Bird Watcher's General Store

Fixed Focus Binoculars Stink - 09/07/01


Dear Bird Folks,

I've heard that they make permanently focused binoculars. Just like the name says, you never have to focus them. Are they any good?

Tim, Chatham

No Tim,

Permanently focused binoculars aren't any good. In fact, they stink. Think about it. Everybody's eyes are different. There needs to be some way of adjusting them for your own eyes. These binoculars aren't set for "your" eyes, they are set for the eyes of the person who made them, probably a guy in Japan somewhere. Using binoculars that are set for someone else's eyes is like using someone else's dentures. It's a bad idea.

Come on, Tim, focusing binoculars is easy. You just have to turn a tiny wheel, with one finger. That's all. Blinking takes more energy. If the thought of turning a tiny focus ring is stressing you, then a bird walk is going to put you over the edge. Forget the no-focus binoculars, buy yourself some real binoculars and then get yourself an index finger workout video. And in a few short weeks, you'll be turning that little focus wheel with the best of them.



Artwork by Catherine Clark


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