Good look. This is the film and the book I'm working on. About bird spotting in the area around Bergen. You only see them when you look closely, Johan Cruyff couldn't have said it better. This is certainly true for birds. If you look at it they are everywhere. And when you look with binoculars you see more and more. I needed a new binocular, it was the Eden 8×42 XP. Below you can read why this was the best choice for me.
A film about birds, with a book with pictures with characteristics and peculiarities. Important questions such as: How does a kingfisher taste? Why is winter king called Winter King? Where can you spot the best birds in Bergen and surroundings? Why did Catholics eat Rotgans but no meat on Friday?
Bird Ticks, the guide contains the bird top-100 of mountains and surroundings, whoever has unchecked them all has won. Besides finding answers to these questions, the finding and filming of birds also took a lot of time and effort. Beautiful work, there are worse things than with 25 kilos of equipment by the dunes trudge in the flowing rain. And when the weather is nice and the birds show, it's even fun. Although I have made the most beautiful images during a rain shower. A good and splash-proof binocular is indispensable for this work. I had another viewer, ever bought on Texel at the Cooperative Fishing Purchasing Association. That viewer is an old Russian model, 8 x 30 and did not cost much. USSR is on it. It's a nice viewer but he starts to show some mechanical flaws. Time for a new one so. In This information age it must be a cinch to find a good viewer. Unfortunately… There is too much information. I am looking for an affordable viewer that I can use in nature. And there are many of them. I counted as soon as 90 brands of binoculars in different price ranges. There I was also not wiser of that. So I suggest my requirements: affordable and good. This is something that is quite disappointing. I don't need expensive binoculars of 1500 euros, I use it too little for it. Moreover, I'm frugal on my gear but while filming, everything can go wrong. Expensive also means extra insure and that also costs premium again. But the viewer must be good, not too heavy, easily adjustable and a sharp picture. Old and new next to each other 8×30 Russian viewer and the Eden 8×42 XP After a short exploration the Swarofski's, Bushnells and the Zeiss viewers fall off, very nice but for the use I make of it, not necessary and not affordable. The viewer is for me tools. and tools you need to sort out a bit rationally, the most expensive one is not always the best for the purpose for which you buy it. And when assessing tools, it is a few things:
- Is it for daily intensive use (than professional quality, price plays small role).
- Regular use (good is good enough, price is important). This is my situation.
- Is it occasionally needed, then rent or buy cheap. (also inexpensive tools from the five-eurobak of the building market can sometimes be valuable).
Lifestyle vs Quality In addition, I ask myself, how is the price determined, is that a lifestyle price and you also pay for the name and label? Or is the price determined according to the quality? And what is the quality? That is often difficult to discover. But my quality requirements are simple, affordable, up to 300 euros, must be able to withstand a bump, optically good or very good, not too heavy, fast adjustable and the design must be well. Furthermore, the viewer must feel solid, i.e. no slack in the knobs, moving smoothly, firmly. The Eden has larger front lenses 42mm and the old viewer has lenses of 30 mm The Eden is slightly stronger but thereby also slightly heavier. And in addition, the viewer must have good reviews, in other words he should preferably be on the market to have enough reviews. So far, the Eden 8×42 in theory meets my demands. and the long warranty term does not say anything but also gives confidence in the quality in the longer term (or it is a form of suicide marketing, but that I do not believe).
Quality has its price, but not everything that is expensive has automatic quality.
The USSR viewer cost 30 years ago something like 49 guilder including bag and yellow filters. The kitchen scale gives 628 grams. That makes it a great battle weapon in combination with the leather carrying strap. He fits in the pockets of my film jacket. The viewer that I chose is the Eden 8 x 42 XP. The viewer is slightly heavier than the old Rus but in practice that is not too much. The concept of this viewer appealed to me, a viewer without expensive brand name but with good specifications. The binoculars are sold directly through the webshop that means they have a nicer margin, but also that there is no extra margin to the intermediate trade. As a price conscious consumer and as a publisher and author of prices & Rates guide I like that. I mailed the importer and offered advertising space in a bird book in exchange for the viewer. Nice deal seemed to me. I had already made my choice. The importer asked if I could instead write a review about it, well I wanted to. Apparently they rely on the quality of the binoculars or on my friendly phone voice. And with that quality it is good, of course, otherwise I did not choose this viewer. There are a few points I would like to mention, such as the turn-oogdopjes. Many binoculars have that. I think it's a bit nonsensical, why do I have to turn that caps out every time? This is not necessary but I feel I am inclined to turn them back on after use. If I then want to look again paste my eyeballs against the glass because I forgot to turn the oogdopjes out. But that learns quickly, maybe Glue and hope I never need glasses? Much extra volume does not deliver. It is an extra moving part and is tightened to protect the eyepieces less. Glasses wearers are probably not agreeing with me because this is a mechanism that is meant for this. On the map is the area where the movie was created. While watching the movie you can already practice with ticking, a counter in picture shows the number of species of spotted birds. Another aspect is the wearing comfort. I doubted what the big strap. Compared to the thin leather collar of the Russian optics, this has been rather severely attacked. Something that I also have to cram into my pocket because it is stuck to the viewer. But the combination is in any case very comfortable. After a long bike ride through the rain I discovered that I had the viewer all afternoon around my neck. Nothing of noticed so positive. But maybe I'd ever choose a thinner leather strap anyway. That bike ride through the rain also resulted in no problem with moisture. While my raincoat was a few pounds heavier, and all my other clothing soaked, the Eden continued to do its job. Quite a reassurance because I'm sure I'll drop the viewer once in the mud. And probably he also goes along to sail, that will be on sweet and on salt water. The practice the image quality of this viewer is fine, very good even, much better than the old Rus which now gives a somewhat smoky image. The picture is very bright there very sharp, the colors are nice and contrasty, the focusing is going smooth. The Russian is slightly lighter but that also comes from the other design. More technical reviews on the Internet show that the optical quality of the Eden 8×42 is above average. What I find particularly important is how the viewer performs in practice. For that I must first tell you how I use the viewer while filming. For the bird project I get a lot in the dunes, I hear the birds rather than see them. And then the binoculars come in handy. Tripod lens and camera roads soon 12-15 pounds In The dunes filming has limitations, for example, you may not come by car and that is good too. But for filming it is sometimes tricky with all the equipment. If I'm lucky, most can stay in the car while I'm a few feet away film. But often I also sagaram everything on a trolley. I use a large 4 kg heavy camera with a 3-kg telephoto lens that sits together on an even heavier 6 kg tripod. Together a kilo or ten a twelve. So I sometimes have a trolley where always too much and too heavy equipment on it is stowed. And always of course the route runs through the mulled sand. For my binoculars choice has that effect, I don't want that thing to my neck when I voortsleur that trolley. The viewer must fit in my pocket. And as shown on the picture, I can't have any binoculars to hang my neck during filming, the thing would sway everywhere. But in case that does happen, the soft rubberized material of the Eden is much better than the knoert hard metal of the Russian viewer. There you are in the Tufts, behind a camouflagenet or in a vogelhut. Everywhere are birds to hear and nowhere are they to see. At least not for me. Time for the viewer. Then a clear picture, good contrast and fast focus is very pleasant. And since I don't have a tripod for the viewer the magnification of this 8×42 viewer is strong enough. The lens I often use when filming in nature has a virtual focal length that is in 35 mm terms 1176 mm, for the non-filmmakers/photographers among you, that's idiot a lot. This telestand is only used with cold weather because the image is distorted differently by the vibrations of the ascending warm air. (The lens is a Sigma 150-600 sports with 1.4 Extender and the camera does a further 1.4 magnification. And that in 4k resolution!). So.. Hearing birds, bird spotting with the viewer, then zoom the camera lens in part and focus on the bird, search, zoom in, accidentally swing and back, focus (no autofocus, unfortunately it doesn't work), and hope the bird is still there. And hopefully again a few seconds nice picture. On the binoculars it will not lie, which satisfies excellently. I would like to mention one small problem, namely the colour. The binoculars are black, like all my other stuff, camera, lenses, tripods, lights, everything is dull black. That is very nice on the one hand, it is not too much. On the other hand, this is difficult because it is not too much. I've been wrong a few times because I couldn't find the binoculars back between all the film gear. But a bright orange binocular is, of course, not good again, there scares the birds. But maybe the importer can supply yellow lens caps as an accessory? Until then, I have devised a solution for both problems without any glue or other irreversible changes. Just a few rubber bands that prevent me from accidentally rollback the rings. Because I chose yellow rubber bands, the viewer is also better found in a bag full of lenses and other blacks. conclusion, the rubber bands probably don't get the warranty period but for me this EDEN 8 x 42 XP has proven to be a very good viewer.
(Disclaimer: I got the importer's viewer asking if I wanted to write about it, the importer didn't have any influence (neither asked nor gotten) on this review. )
The Finch Guide can be purchased from 15 January for 14.95 via publimix.nl or through various visitor centres around the dunes. ISBN/EAN: 978-90-8671-053-9 108 pages Full color Title: Finch Guide Subtitle: Birds in Bergen, from camper Dune to Casticum aan Zee