By Seth R. Nadel
Much of our life deals with the transfer of information, and the fastest way to do so is visually. Yes, it takes me time to write these words, and you time to read them. Man has always sought to enhance our senses, but we can only smell that which is strong enough, hear that which is loud enough, and see that which is close enough. So we invent tools to make things stronger, louder, and closer.
Visually, we first invented the telescope, useable by only one eye, and lacking in depth perception. Then we joined two telescopes together, aligned them to see one scene, and then found a way to focus them to compensate for our vision – binoculars (bi = two, oculars = eyes). Now binoculars have become the primary device for “vision enhancement,” and they come at different price points for different purposes. Today we look at a truly “go-anywhere, do anything” binocular.
While we own some high end binoculars, their cost keeps us from buying extra sets for various places in the house, or for each vehicle, or leaving them in our vehicles. As I have previously written, we live way out in the country, so there are frequent occasions when some “visual enhancement” would be handy. Some of these events are close up. Just yesterday I was delayed getting to the highway while I waited for a herd of 11 Antelope to cross the road in front of me. Most of the time, the encounters are at a distance, and it is fun to watch nature in action.
To the West we have a great view – a valley of about two miles of open land with cattle and horses in residence. We also see hawks, eagles (the Bald Eagles are a treat!), hummingbirds, the aforementioned antelope, deer, and the occasional elk. The antelope are the most fun – they will run up to a fence, stop, and form an orderly line as they all cross under the fence at the same spot! Elk meanwhile jump over fences.
The other sides of the house are more limited vistas with more hummingbirds and other wildlife, and most important, rattlesnakes! I HATE rattlesnakes, always fearing we or our dogs will be bitten. The other issue around us is uninvited “guests” of the human type. It is really helpful to be able to look across the valley and see what trespassers are doing. If they are just out four wheeling, that is one thing. If they are dumping their trash, or worse yet, their no longer wanted pets, those are different issues! Plus our nearest neighbors have some health issues, so we keep an eye out should one of them fall or become incapacitated away from their home.
We also happen to live under a flight path, and some unusual iron birds fly overhead from time to time. It seems at least one helicopter manufacturer uses the local airport for test flights of modified aircraft, and some military units use it for high altitude training. So the air overhead frequently features unusual aircraft.
The solution is some quality, but less expensive binoculars, readily accessible. Enter Bushnell, with their high quality and wide variety of models. We chose the Bushnell 10×42 Trophy for our everyday binoculars.
Humans still have our innate limitations, as life is motion. Our breathing and pulse – the blood moving through our bodies – creates tremors. These tremors limit the power of a magnifying device to about 10 times – beyond that, and the vibration of life makes them hard to utilize without a solid mount. Weight can be an advantage or disadvantage – some weight tends to cancel out the natural tremors, but too much induces additional tremors in our muscles as they tire. There is a point of just right, and the Bushnell Trophy 10×42 Binoculars are right at that sweet spot for me.
They are compact enough to fit in the storage space (have you ever seen a pair of gloves in the glove box?) in all of our four wheel drive vehicles. Plus, their price point is such I can afford those, plus some other sets around the house. Should I drop or lose a pair, while I will be unhappy, I will not have to save up to buy a new pair. I just hop online and order another pair!
Their color rendition, clarity, and focus are all great! The accommodate my sunglasses, or if I take them off, a quick flick of my wrist brings the eyecups back to my eyes. When I forget my spotting scope at the range, my binos will help my aging in eyes see those shot groups, large or small.
The Bushnell 10X42 Trophy binoculars are rubber coated for several reasons. It helps them withstand the normal bumps of life, and it provides a firm grip even when your hands or the binos are wet. Speaking of getting wet, these binoculars can withstand complete immersion, so if they fall into a puddle or pond, they are still good to go.
Up front they feature a pair of attached rubbery lens covers. When you want to use them, just pop the covers off, and they hang attached to the binos but out of your field of view. If you want to set the binoculars down, they snap back in place to protect the objective lenses.
The binoculars are focused in the traditional manner – use the central wheel to focus the left side, then fine tune the right focus with the smaller wheel on that eyepiece. My eyes have different corrections, so I need this feature. There is enough friction that the unit holds your personal focus until you intentionally change it.
The eyepieces are protected by rubber cups that fit on the neck strap so they are both easy to remove and replace, and they will not get lost. The folks at Bushnell are clever enough to have the strap only go to one side of the covers, so they can hang clear while you use the binoculars. Of course a cushioned neck strap is included. The belt case includes a soft protective cover as well as complete instructions. It makes for a great package.
Life is movement, and movement at a distance can be hard to watch. But an economical pair of Bushnell 10×42 Trophy Binoculars can bring life closer, and make your life more interesting!