Telescopes for birdwatching – what you need to know

 

 

Birdwatching is something that many consider a fun and exciting hobby, capable of offering plenty of distractions from the hectic days we live nowadays. Although it is true that spending time in nature while searching for rare or simply interesting birds might seem like a boring activity to the uninitiated, given the large number of those practicing it, I think there is something special to it. However, no matter if you are a newbie in the field or you simply want to switch from using binoculars to using a telescope, this blog entry should teach you just what you need to know about using telescopes for birdwatching.

So, the question many birdwatchers come to ask themselves is `why should I buy a telescope when I could settle for a regular pair of binoculars`? Well, such a question is a good starting point for this discussion. In fact, the two devices are quite similar as the same technology is used. Still, although they both use prisms to fit the focal spectrum into a compact image, the two technologies also part ways, as scopes enhance your birdwatching experience in many ways that binoculars cannot. And, when I say this, I mean that scopes have a greater capacity to magnify the image, the quality of the glass used in making the product is better and the overall brightness of the image is superior.

First thing first, the principal thing one should look for in such a device is easiness to carry. Size is of the utmost importance because you will end up carrying this device for quite long periods of time. So, the model you end up buying should be quite light so that it will allow you to move in accordance with your needs.

Moreover, magnification is another key aspect. To put it simply, If binoculars are capable of magnifying the image up to 10 times, specs are even more advantageously designed, as they have magnification between 15 and 75x.  However, this feature depends greatly on the eyepiece and size of the model you end up choosing. So, opt for a model that gives you the possibility to observe in detail objects that are far away from the place you are standing, so that you won’t have to get close to your objective and scare the birds away.

Last but definitely not least, make sure your new acquisition is equipped with a light and steady tripod. In this regard, my advice to you is that you invest in a telescope made out of carbon fiber as this material is both very resistant and light. However, because this material might be rather expensive to most if you don’t want to make a serious investment, settle for a model constructed from lightweight aluminum tubing, as it should do the trick.

 

 

How to get a great beginner’s telescope

 

 

Buying a telescope is a decision that will not disappoint. As a passionate astronomy fan who has quite the collection of telescopes, I can easily tell you that the experience of having your own star analyzing device is amazing. Just imagine how mind-blowing is the idea that you can be able to watch the always awe-inspiring Universe from the comfort of your home! So, because I still remember the difficulties I experienced when I first had to decide what kind of telescope I wanted to buy, today I am sharing with you some tips and tricks about what you should have in mind when buying a beginner’s telescope.

One of the first features you should check is the model’s aperture or how large is the telescope’s front lens is. The reason you have to pay attention to this element is the fact that the size of the lens matters because it controls the quantity of light captured by the telescope. In other words, the size of the aperture reflects on the quality of the view you will have of the objects placed at a great distance; a big lens means more clearly viewed remote objects.

Then, be sure to check the size of the `f-number`. Also known as the focal ratio, or speed of the telescope, this feature controls the magnification capacity of your device. To keep things simple, let me put it this way: if you want a telescope that allows you to see small details on the moon, buy one with a high focal ratio, if you want to have a wide eyepiece view, settle for a model with a small `f-number`.

Stability is the key when making this kind of acquisition! What I mean by this is that a great telescope is that one that has a stable mount. As a result, you will be capable to easily follow moving elements in the sky, such as stars. For greater stability, I suggest you opt for a model with the Equatorial Mount, as it is easier to use. However, if you don’t want to invest too much on this kind of device, an altazimuth mount should work just as well once you get the hang of it. A further detail that you should know is the fact that the models with the altazimuth mount feature are usually lighter. So, if you want to take your new acquisition on stargazing trips, this type of model is probably better fitted for your needs.

Well, I think that this entry covers the basics. Before making your decision try not buy a model that is too expensive. Keep in mind that you are a beginner in the field and that this first telescope that you are buying should just teach you the basics. Have fun shopping!