The most useful binoculars for bird watching include several key features. They have a central focus wheel and a diopter focus adjustment. The diopter is often part of the right hand eyepiece in the camera. The purpose of the diopter is to compensate for the difference between your two eyes (because no two eyes are the same or have the same ability to focus.) Adjusting both the diopter focus and the center focus is how you get a clearer picture from your camera.
Tip: Always use your camera neck strap. Getting your optics in your hand through the tape requires trouble. The strap keeps the camera secure around your neck and away from your chest, within reach of you. Some poultry farmers prefer to use a camera, which uses straps over the shoulder and back to distribute the weight of the camera.
Warning: If your camera does not have a diopter or a central focusing wheel (some models require you to focus on each eye individually), these are not good optics for a bird. Consider replacing them with a pair that is more suitable for poultry.
- Start by adjusting the distance between the two barrels of the camera so that they are the right width for your eyes. Too far or too close to each other and you see black edges in your field of view. If you have the right space, your view will be the perfect circle.
- Then notice something, such as a dark tree branch against a blue sky, a street sign, or a cable above. Focus with both eyes open by turning the center wheel of focus.
- Now it’s time to focus on the fine. Close your right eye and just adjust the focus wheel with your left eye. Then, close your left eye and, using a diopter adjustment, bring your point of view to a sharp focus.
- Now open both eyes and see if your attention is clear. If the image is not clearly focused, repeat these steps and make small changes using one focus wheel or the other.
- How can you tell if your focus is right or not? First of all, the view of your camera with an adjustable diopter should be about three inches. It should really show up and be clear to you. Also, do not strain your eyes when using your binoculars.
Note: If you feel a slight tension in your eyes, or the use of your optics causes you a headache, you may have problems with your binoculars. They can be from together. Most binocular manufacturers are happy to serve their optics. If you think your cameras are having problems, contact the manufacturer and ask about your optical service.
Find the bird
One problem that birds usually face the most is adjusting their binoculars to the side of the bird. This can cause problems even when the bird is sitting quietly in a prominent place. Fortunately, this problem can be overcome with a little practice. Here’s how
Looking with your naked eyes, find a bright leaf on a distant tree or a specific spot in a distant building and close your eyes to it. Now, don’t take your eyes off that place, bring your binoculars to your eyes and match your look. Did it work?
With practice, you will find that closing your eyes in place and coordinating the cameras actually works. This makes it easier to find birds with your binoculars, even if the bird is moving.
Tip: When you close your eyes to a distant bird, note some other features or a sign near the bird’s location. This could be in the contour of a tree, a brightly colored leaf, or even a passing cloud. Notice where the bird is in relation to this sign and it will give you another point of reference to use when removing your camera.
Clean your binoculars
Whether your cameras are $ 100 or $ 1,000, they need to be cleaned regularly. And cleaning them in the wrong way can really hurt them. Leaving your coat on the lenses may seem like the easiest way to clean the dirt, but you can leave slight scratches on the glass lenses or lenses. Over time, these slight scratches will reduce the sharpness of your camera image.
The best ways to clean expensive optical lenses are:
- Use a soft brush or compressed air to blow off particles (dust, mud, sand, debris, etc.).
- After removing the particles, dampen the lens cloth or the cloth of the lens with a clean solution (a solution for use on closed lenses available in camera stores and outdoor stores).
- Wipe the lenses with a damp cloth.
- Dry the lenses with a dry piece of cloth.
- Keep the binoculars in the light and look for spots or jokes. Repeat the wet cleaning if necessary.
Protect your cameras
On a recent trip to Guyana, BWD editor Bill Thompson, III, had the opportunity to test a BinoBib produced by Devtron (scopecoat.com). BinoBib is similar to your binoculars in that they are covered in a soft neoprene layer. There is a tube of material in the middle that slides into the container. A large pre-made piece extends over the eyes and around the lens of your optics to fit snugly and provide perfect protection.