Follow Optics Blog:



Monthly Archives: October 2009

30 Oct

The big news for Nikon fans, this year, has been the new Nikon EDG spotting scopes, which now join the Nikon EDG binoculars as the top of the Nikon sport optics line. The problem has been getting an EDG spotting scope in to test, but, a Nikon EDG85 in straight arrived, this week, so I grabbed it off the shelf for a look. If you’ve been a fan of the Nikon Fieldscope 82ED, as I have, you know there is one weaknesses in the Fieldscope 82ED and that is the zoom eyepiece. The current Nikon #7467 zoom (25-75x on the …

Continue reading

28 Oct

I have a friend who is forever into all things digital, especially digital cameras. We are close friends, but when it comes to our tastes in cameras, we are world’s apart. She absolutely cannot understand my fascination with simplicity and elegance of design, especially my fascination with the Leica MP. It wasn’t just the astronomical price that made her frown, it was the camera, itself. I tried to explain to her that I want a Leica MP as much for what it can do as for what it cannot do.

A Leica MP cannot shoot videos. It cannot do a …

Continue reading

27 Oct

Ever wonder if there is a website designed, specifically, for lab equipment? Ever wonder where to buy glassware, microscope accessories and all the other products needed to keep a modern laboratory running, smoothly and efficiently? Welcome to our newly launched LabPlanet, the one-stop website for all your lab needs. Yes, our lab sales have been growing so fast, it was time to handle it all with a separate website devoted to this line of high-tech equipment with one website, LabPlanet. Congrats to our Lab Sales Team and Web Team for making this a reality. We will be adding products to …

Continue reading

26 Oct

Okay, for most of us, owning a Leica M is only a dream, given the prices. Or is it? I’ve been shopping for a used Lecia M, from time-to-time, and weighing all my Leica M options, as to models and lenses. For the most part, I’ve kept my focus on film versions, not the M8, M8.2 and, now, the M9. I am absolutely certain those are great digital cameras, but it is just plain hard to turn my back on film after so many years and so many memories of working with film cameras, especially, manual film cameras. Besides, if …

Continue reading

22 Oct

Down through the years, we have all had a favorite binocular, spotting scope or telescope. I certainly have and even though that favorite binocular, spotting scope or telescope may not have been the most expensive or the most technically adavnced, it worked for me and, most importantly, it worked for me when I needed it the most. I’m sure you know what I mean. Maybe your favorite binocular, spotting scope or telescope was the one that was around long enough to become an old friend. Maybe you feel that your favorite spotting scope or telescope is the best value for …

Continue reading

22 Oct

Just had the new Celestron Regal 80 ED spotting scope come through, so I thought I would grab one off the shelf and put it through its paces. For the selling price of just under $600, this is most expensive 80mm Celestron spotting scope yet and represents Celestron’s bid into the serious, conventional style 80mm spotting scope under $1000 market. The question, of course, is how does it compare to the competition, that being an 80mm Bushnell Elite spotting scope and the 80mm Brunton Eterna? The Bushnell Elite spotting scope and the 80mm Brunton Eterna are as good as it …

Continue reading

21 Oct

When we think of telescope designs, we usually equate simplicity with the reflector telescope, which uses only mirrors, rather than the refractor telescope, which uses only lenses. True, mirrors are cheaper and easier to make than lenses, since lenses require more grinding and polishing, but it may come as a surprise to learn that refractors with their lenses were actually the first telescopes, not reflectors. Why? The problem was getting the required reflectivity on the mirror back before they actually invented mirror coatings. The earliest reflecting telescopes used polished metal for the mirrors, not coated glass, which had yet to …

Continue reading

20 Oct

There’s still nothing like a big telescope to take you somewhere and see things you will never see in a small telescope, no matter what the quality of the small telescope. Yes, when it comes to telescope performance, telelscope size is the most important feature. Problem with large telescopes has always been the price and, of course, portability, but shave all the bells and whistles off the telescope and the telescope mount and you can get a very large telescope at a great price in a Dobsonian. In fact, dollar for dollar, a Dobsonian telescope is the largest telescope you …

Continue reading

19 Oct

The digital camera of today offers great value in terms of performance and features and no one will argue the convenience of digital cameras, such as the excellent Leica D Lux 4, but there are some things I do not like about the digital camera market. Chief among these is the relentless and obsessive drive to keep pushing newer, faster, better digital camera models down our throat before we have even managed to smudge a lens or drain the battery on the current model. Is that extra megapixel or two on that new digital camera model really going to make …

Continue reading

15 Oct

A great way to practice digiscoping is to setup shop at birdfeeder. If you are careful not to move too much, the birds often become accustomed to your presnce and you can get some nice shots through the spotting scope. This gives you some essential practice with both the spotting scope and the digital camera as far as focusing and framing, but, most of all, it gives a sense of timing as to when the bird is going to sit still long enough for a sharp pic. Believe it or not, this is a big factor in digiscoping with songbirds, …

Continue reading