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Monthly Archives: October 2005

28 Oct

We are proud to announce that we will be working with Corry Suddarth, a master in optical repair and restoration. I’ve seen pictures of what he can do and it is truly amazing. If you have an optical instrument that needs a breath of new life, you can contact Cory at 1-918-650-9087 or email him at binofixer@aol.com.…

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26 Oct

Just to prove that Nebraska is more than just football, you should check out this site for Seven Hills Observatory. There’s enough here to keep you busy for quite some time, especially if you enjoy nice photos. Of course, it you want to buy products and get started in astronomy, you should check our OpticsPlanet.com website. That’s where I come in. On our website you’ll find a couple of articles I have written with the beginner in mind. The first article is How to choose right Telescope and the second is all about using a telescope now that you’ve bought …

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25 Oct

Okay, I’ve kept this a secret long enough. Most birders tend to think of a spotting scope as a tool for groups such as raptors, marsh birds, waterfowl, gulls, shorebirds and open country sparrows and their allies. What many birders don’t realize, however, is that a spotting scope equipped with a low-power, wide angle eyepiece can be used much closer work on popular songbird groups such as warblers, thrushes and woodpeckers.

The key is to use an eyepiece with a seriously wide field of view. On my Kowa 663, I have used both the TSE-14WD 30x wide-angle eyepiece and the …

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20 Oct

I have been asked to by several customers to give my opinion on an “easy” to use telescope, so the discussion usually leads to computerized telescope versus non-computerized telescope. Which is really better for the beginner?

I wish I had an easy answer. If I feel the customer is dedicated and will stick with astronomy, I usually recommend a Dobsonian such as the 6″ Celestron Starhopper as a beginner scope. It’s big enough to be a serious telescope and it’s a no brainer for ease of operation. The Dob is definitely one of my favorites.

If the customer just wants …

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18 Oct

I tested two binos today over lunch and found the comparison interesting. First was the Zeiss Conquest 8×40. Optics were certainly good, but I picked up some annoying edge distortion as I panned back and forth across the landscape. I could live with that, but the focusing on this unit was terrible. It was rough and gritty and inconsistent from one end of the focusing range to the other. Worse yet, it took two fingers to even move the knob. Okay, so I’m not Superwoman, but a roof prism should be a little easier to focus.

By comparison, the Kowa …

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17 Oct

I have been missing my old Leica Trinovid 8×20 compact binocular so much lately that I am planning on trying the new Leica 8×20 Ultravid. I sold the older 8×20 Trinovid this summer to pay for some medical bills and I can’t believe how much I miss it. For so many years it was my constant companion and with it, I added many birds to my life list. Unlike my old Trinovid compact, the new 8×20 Ultravid BR is waterproof and has a much improved focusing knob. Optics are supposed to be better, but I will report back on that …

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15 Oct

I have been selling a lot of compact binoculars lately, especially the reverse prro prism types. This design is not as compact as a roof prism, but when we’re talking about $120 or less, the reverse porro is a much better choice optically. Best sellers here have been the waterproof versions such as the Nikon Prostaff 8×25, the Pentax 8×25 UCF WP, and the Bushnell 8×26 Legend. For those not needing something waterpoof, the best sellers have been the Pentax UCF X II 8×25, the Nikon 8×25 Travelite and the Bushnell 8×24 Legacy. In my opinion, any of these will …

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13 Oct

We’ve just added two new Meade telescopes to our website. Meade is now offering the same LNT module which earlier appeared on their LX90 and ETX-PE scopes on their less expensive DS telescopes. This means you can now get the automatic north and leveling features on a more affordable scope. You can choose between the DS2080LNT, an 80mm refractor or the DS2130LNT, a 5 inch reflector. I have no doubt the LNT module will be added to other Meade telescopes in the future.…

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11 Oct

After fighting with my old klunky HP 2.1MP digital camera this last weekend, I have vowed to replace it with one of the new breed of digital cameras on the market.

One serious contender for my attention will be the new Canon SD550. Though we don’t carry it on our website yet, I can personally attest to its performance since my friend carried one on our recent outing. She purchased hers last week and we were both blown away with its great optics and 7+ MP resolution. It’s also about the cutest little camera I have ever seen and that, …

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11 Oct

In my haste to get out of town last week for my vacation in northern Wisconsin, I made a decision which haunted me for the entire trip. There on the table sat my full-size Nikon Premier SE. Should I pack it or not? I’d be hiking and climbing in some canyons and gorges along some rivers to view waterfalls. Moisture would definitely be present and the Nikon Premier SE, as good as it is optically, is not waterproof.

Since I had recently sold my little 10×25 Premier LX to pay some bills, all I had to fall back on was …

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