• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Low Cost Ninos for Hawkwatching (3 Viewers)


Well-known member
My birdwatching bins are 10x50's, they have a scrunched field of view. I figured 7x50's would be better. I spent too many hours internet shopping, and FINALLY bought a pair of Nikon OceanPro marine bins from BandH photo.
They cost 250 American. I made some homemade straps, and I plan to replace the eyepiece lenscaps with something worthwhile. I took them out yesterday to check out a Turkey Vulture roost high on a hill in perfect weather conditions. I had a nice scope, and my regular bins.
I soon began to prefer the OceanPros to the regular bins. They had good clarity, and they covered twice the area of the other bins. I'm sure they couldn't snag birds at ultra long range, but scanning with a scope did that, as well as pick up field marks. The OceanPros were fast, and that counts.
I plan on giving them to our hawkwatch site leader. Why not? They are lousy for songbirds, but should be able to withstand being loaned to walk-on spotters.
Any opinions would be welcome. I tried to compare these bins to some cheaper ones, and came away scratching my head. They seemed more than worth the price, but there may have been better deals out there.
Counts: Hundreds of TVs, three BVs, one Great Blue Heron, and some Gashawks.
A lot depends on the type of hawk watching you want to do, and to some extent your viewing location. 7x50 binoculars are very pleasant to look through because of the large "exit pupil" combined with the steadiness of low magnification, which is valuable when scanning for hours on end. And if you don't have to point them upwards too much (ie. if observing from a hilltop or tall building) the weight of a large binocular (x50mm) isn't as much an issue.

Where the 7x magnification can be frustrating, though, is in picking up very distant birds. At times this may not be an issue, for instance if your are counting raptors as part of a group. But if you're searching for rarities, or when trying to follow specific birds that may range around widely (eg. falcons), the extra magnification of say a 10x can be very useful. Yes, a scope will show (considerably) more detail - but only if you can find the bird with it and stay on it, and means lugging along more hardware.

Have fun whichever way you go!

Users who are viewing this thread