A good pair of binoculars is one of the most important tools for bird watching. Binoculars allows close up views of birds in their natural habitat. The right binoculars makes it easy to see birds nesting, feeding and flying in the distance.
The first thing to look for in a new pair of binoculars is a good quality lens. Find a binocular that shows no signs of image distortion or color changes when viewing objects. A change in color through the binoculars would make identifying birds a much more difficult process.
The next feature to consider is the magnification and the size of the lens. Many bird watchers prefer the 7×35, 7×42 or 8×42 binocular; the lens allows sufficient light into the optics and are lightweight while hiking and bird watching. The 7x means that you are seeing your object 7 times closer than with the naked eye. An 8x or 10x magnification brings images closer, but the drawback to the 8x or 10x is that they are a heavier binocular to be lugging around to watch birds. The 35, 40, 42, 50 numbers that follows the magnification is the diameter of the lens in millimeters. The larger the diameter of the lens the sharper and brighter the object. Don’t forget the weight that comes along with the larger lens, too.
The binoculars’ exit pupil is a guide to the image brightness. For watching birds in the day a 3 or 5 exit pupil is fine. An exit pupil around 7 is used in low light situations like for astronomy. To figure out the exit pupil just divide the magnification into the diameter of the lens (ie. 7×35 would be a 5 exit pupil).
One more thing to consider when finding the right binoculars for bird watching, though not the last thing to consider, is the ease of the central focus mechanism. Look for a pair of binoculars that has the center focus wheel and make sure that the wheel turns easily and smoothly.
These are some of the main factors to keep in mind when you are out looking for the right binoculars for bird watching. The right binoculars will make your adventure so much more fun.
Your Bird Feeder recommends the Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 Binocular. The Monarch 7294 features a sharper and brighter image. The low-light performance of the Nikon Monarch has been drastically improved. The weight of these binoculars and the focusing mechanism are excellent for bird watching. Take a look at the Nikon Monarch ATB Binoculars here.
UPDATE: Nikon has changed the name of the Nikon Monarch ATB III to Nikon Monarch 5