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Monthly Archives: August 2005

31 Aug

Although I don’t usually recommend a roof prism for astronomy (due to the inherently lower brightness of the roof prism), I have to admit that one of my finest nights of observing with a bino was with a Zeiss 8×56 Classic , now discontinued. The version I was using was even the early, non-PC version, but the “picture window” view that wonderful instrument produced made it nearly impossible to put it down. Since I had checked the Zeiss out for testing, it nearly broke my heart to return them the next day, but even then, back in the late 80′s, …

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30 Aug

In my many years of observing the wonders of the night sky, I have used every imaginable type of equipment, from the ultra-simple to the dauntingly complex. Although I am far from a Luddite, these days I find myself leaning more and more to the understated end of the technical spectrum. Fact is, I have always been a low-tech observer at heart.

My first serious piece of astronomical equipment was a binocular and binocular observing under a dark sky is still my favorite way to do astronomy. Time was, when a 7×50 was standard equipment in an astro binocular, but …

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29 Aug

Yes, I have returned from my fabulous adventure on the coast of Oregon followed by some much needed surgery. I enjoyed the ocean and endured the other, but, yes, I am back.

Chicago has not changed in my absence, but OpticsPlanet.com has. We continue to grow and I returned to find many new faces. Since I am the product specialist, all this means is even more job security than I had before. How much security do I need, though?

Truth be told, though, I missed all my nice customers and good friends here. Be it ever so humble … Anyone …

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10 Aug

I’ll be gone for a week or so on personal leave, so I may not be able to blog daily as usual. When I return, I will be fresh as a daisy and super sweet. Who knows, I might eve look better! (Can’t look worse, I know.) Hopefully, I will be able to regale one and all with tales of exotic birds and celestial wonders – all my usual stuff.

Until then, don’t wait for me. Get out and observe! Earth Mother has given us great and wondrous things to behold, so get out and hold them. Right?…

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08 Aug

After all this summer heat, I’m looking forward to those cool fall nights under the stars and all my favorite autumn deep-sky objects. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing quite so lovely as the Double Cluster or the Pleiades in a good bino. Or how about the grand old lady of galaxies, M31? Then there’s M36, 37, and 38 in Auriga and M34 in Perseus. Well, the list of binocular objects goes on and on.

Binoculars still hold a warm place in my heart for their simplicity and convenience. By the time the high tech boys and all their …

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06 Aug

I’ll be heading to Oregon late next week and my biggest concern is that I won’t be able to come back. I have a return ticket, of course, but I’m liable to take leave of my senses once I get back to that part of the world where my heart says I should be.

I’d guess I am like many of us who wish we could arrange our lives to be in the place we most want to be. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t wonder why I ended up in Chicago. There are so many things I …

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05 Aug

Kowa has recently been upgrading their eyepieces for their superb line of Kowa spotting scopes. First, they came out with a new Z7C 20-60 zoom eyepiece for their 820 series. With this eyepiece, the big 823M actually edged out everyone else on the scopes I tested for resolution except for the Nikon, which it tied for first place. By the slightest of margins, it edged out the Swarovski HD, the Leica APO and the Zeiss 85. Very impressive with excellent contrast and brightness, too.

Now they have come out with a new and much improved Z9B 20-60 zoom for their …

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04 Aug

My doctor gave me an EKG today and told me it was textbook perfect and that it could even be used as an example for her students. Wow! Not bad for an … elderly … optics nut. Told her I have achieved my perfect health by swearing off cheap optics. I’ve always known that looking through Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski binoculars made my vision better, but here is proof-positive that looking through the good stuff is also good for the heart (and riding a bike 10 miles a day, too).…

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03 Aug

Will be traveling to Oregon for a reunion soon. Whenever I travel, I always agonize on what to bring for optics. If I was just going for birding, I would take my Nikon Fieldscope, but since I may not be able to slip away, I will settle for a compact bino. Might try the Leica Ultravid 8×20 this time. That’s the beauty of a compact – you’re always ready wherever and whenever you go. Of course, I will also keep my Nikon HG monocular in my purse as a backup.…

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02 Aug

Had guests this weekend and since their idea of fun is not heading to a smelly marsh and sitting under the hot sun with a spotting scope, no birding for me! Ouch! When I go more than a week without birding, I begin to get a little frantic, especially when I know I could be missing some late summer shorebirding. I mean, hey, looking at the wildlife across my apartment complex at the pool is fun, but ….…

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