Follow Optics Blog:

Monthly Archives: October 2006

31 Oct

I’ve had the LOMO SF-100 stereo microscope for a couple of weeks, now, and though I haven’t had much time to play, I have placed a number of treasures on the stage for a closer look.

One of my main reasons for getting the SF-100 was to study grasses(hey, I’m from Nebraska!)and this kind of microscope is ideal for studying the small flowering structures (yes, grasses have flowers). In this regard, I have been very pleased with the LOMO.

I’m also an aspiring rockhound and plan to use the LOMO for some amateur geology. Wow! Do crystals and rocks look …

Continue reading

27 Oct

I’ve been hearing scattered reports from some of my email customers about dark skies around the country this last ten days or so. I have two things to say about this. First, good for them! I know and appreciate how rare and special a good night under the stars can be for an amateur astronomer. Second, when is it my turn? Pass some of that around, please. Okay, Chicago is not exactly the observing capitol of the world, but we deserve a dark sky every other month or so at least.

Sure, I entertain myself with videos, books and magazines …

Continue reading

24 Oct

I’m a proud owner of a LOMO SF100 stereo microscope. Why did I buy a microscope? Probably for the same reason a lot of people buy a microscope – just to look at things in general. For that kind of use, a stereo dissecting scope like the LOMO SF-100 is ideal. Just stick a rock, leaf, flower, twig, insect, thumb, whatever and focus. It’s a whole new world under the microscope and best of all, there are no slides to prepare or mounts to make as with a conventional compound microscope. Want to work on your jewelry? Inspect coins? Work …

Continue reading

18 Oct

We’ve been carrying Brunton optics as a product line in optics for some time, so it didn’t comes as too much of a surprise to learn that we are adding all the Brunton compasses and camping gear. I do like Brunton optics, though I tend to be a bit picky on some details, but how can you say anything bad about a company that is smart enough to have their headquarters in Riverton, Wyoming? For a western gal like me, that is as close to heaven as it gets. Now, why can’t I convince my bosses here at to …

Continue reading

16 Oct

A local birder (actually, me)reports that she was surrounded by a horde of bird species at a local marsh over the weekend and had to defend herself with a Kowa 663 spotting scope. Apparently she wandered into a birding “hotspot” located in the grassland between the marsh shore and an adjoining tree line, when she spotted Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Tree Sparrows in the grass and brush. The invasion continued when she turned her attention to the tree line behind her and spotted Eastern Bluebirds, a lone Nashville Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby crowned …

Continue reading

12 Oct

October 12 and it’s snowing here in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Except for driving in the snow – traffic here is bad enough on a sunny day – I like snow, especially when it lands on leaves that are in full fall color. It’s a photgrapher’s dream, but, of course, I picked the wrong day to leave my Pentax Optio A10 at home. Usually, it’s in my purse, waiting for just such an ocassion.

This early snow is also a graphic reminder that my fall birding is about to switch gears. The fall warbler migration is pretty much over, …

Continue reading

11 Oct

Just got my hands on the new Swift Eaglet 7×36. I’ve been waiting for this one to show up on my desk and I have to say, it was worth the wait. What a sweetie!

I’ve always been a fan of 7x binos and have been saddened to see the demise of the 7x as a popular magnification over the years. The optics world deserves more choices in a 7x, so thank-you, Swift. I’ve also been a fan of small binos and the Eaglet, though not quite a compact, does have the overall feel of a smaller 32mm bino, despite …

Continue reading

10 Oct

I’ve been thinking of expanding my casual interest in rock collecting into more of a hobby. With this in mind, I was collecting rocks along the Lake Superior shore last week and planned to take them home and look at them under a stereo microscope such as the LOMO SF-50.

My friend and I were ambling along, just picking here and there at rocks that looked pretty. This has been a tradition with us for a couple of years, now. When we get home, we place them in a water filled jar which makes a nice centerpiece on a table. …

Continue reading

03 Oct

I will be heading up to the northern Wisconsin / Michigan border area on my annual fall waterfall and fall color photo trip as of tomorrow, so no blog for a few days. Hopefully, when I return,I will have some pics to post. Last year, I managed some nice pics with my old and partially disabled HP 2MP camera (see pic), but this year I will be carrying my Pentax Optio A10, 8MP beauty. Look out Lake Superior, here comes Joanie! The Optio A10 has already proven itself for digiscoping and wildflower work and with its superb color saturation, I …

Continue reading