^^^ Thanks everyone for your quick response to my hunt for binaculars. Now I have to do some research and find what is best for my needs. Of course I'm looking for something powerful, reliable and good quality. Also maybe I could swing a Christmas/Boxing day deal. I'm putting extra cash into this investment as I want to keep these binaculars for a long time.
A bit of advice for finding the best in cheap binoculars.
There's an old astronomers trick used for checking the alignment of the optics in cheaper binoculars. ($pendy ones - need not apply)
If you hold the eyepiece away from your eye at arms length, and look at a light source (any point source, but definitely not the Sun) through each compound optical element (or in English: through each side), and notice a perfectly rounded spot of light, then the optics are straight - if the spot of light is elongated then the optics are askiw and you should move on to another sample.
Next, check for lens aberrations - when you focus on a distant object, the image should be focused in the center and on the outer edges at the same time. If it isn't, then the lenses weren't ground uniformly.
Once you clear the 600 dollar mark, this takes on less significance.
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