Field Guide to Binoculars and Scopes (SPIE Press Book)
By Paul R. Yoder Jr. & Daniel Vukobratovich | SPIE Press Books | 2011 | 152 pages | Spiral Bound | Available Direct from (Members $34.00, Non-members $39.00) | ISBN: 9780819486493
What the publishers say

Modern binoculars and scopes meet a variety of user needs. This Field Guide provides readers with a concise, organized reference that explains the functions and configurations of instruments commonly used by bird watchers, hunters, amateur astronomers, and military and law-enforcement members. This book also addresses the rationale behind instrument design choices, with hardware examples illustrating specific arrangements and features.

The intent of this Field Guide is to explain the functions and configurations of various types of binoculars and scopes to the beginner as well as to the experienced user. We also attempt to show why a given instrument is designed the way it is.

Binoculars of various sizes – ranging from pocket size to giant models, high magnification and wide angle types, and ones used for military, law enforcement, marine and amateur astronomical applications – are considered. Scopes include small monoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes, weapon sights, and astronomical types as large as 300 mm. Mounts for the larger instruments are also considered. Theoretical explanations of optical and mechanical systems performance are summarized.

We acknowledge with thanks Bushnell Outdoor Products, Carl Zeiss AG, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics, Leuopold & Stevens, Moller-Wedel GmbH, Questar, Schultz Optical, Inc. Loupe Direct, Steiner, Swarovski Optik KG, and the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences for technical information and illustrations included here. We also thank John Greivenkamp, Wright Scidmore, and Bruce Walker for reviewing the manuscript and offering valuable suggestions for corrections and clarifications.

Any mention of specific hardware in this Field Guide is not meant to be an endorsement, but rather, it is intended to cite an example of a certain instrument configuration or design feature of potential interest to the reader.Fatbirder View

I cannot pretend that this book demystifies all the jargon you are likely to see in a puff for a scope brand of a magazine review of binoculars – but it does the next best thing – explain the they **** they mean! When I compare binoculars etc I know what I like and when one thing is better than another without knowing why it is so. This is a handy reference to check the terms out and to better understand what makes for good optics or, more importantly, what makes one fit for purpose while another is great for something entirely different.

Greybeards like me started birding with over sized and heavy bins better suited to u-boat captains or tank commanders… OK for a quick scan for the enemy but murder to hold steady for long periods trying to tell a willow warbler from a chiff-chaff. Then came the Russian issue – cheap so that the military masses had them but not much better than the hand-held telescope. These days the difference between a ‘cheap’ pair and top of the range is more likely to be about durability, weight and after sales service than about the quality of the lenses, more about coatings than about alignment but it really helps to know what’s what.

I commend this ring-bound volume to your shelf – its surely cheaper to peruse than to buy something that just won’t suit you or your birding.Fatbirder