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My Favorite Field Accessory: Binoculars

I love my binoculars. I love them so much that I have decided to write an entire blog entry about them.

These are the waterproof 8x32 binoculars from REI (photo from REI's website). They currently go for about $130. They're small, durable, and the best part is they don't fog up in the rain or in incredibly humid environments. They even fit in my rain jacket's pocket. I don't know what I would have done without these babies when looking at hand use in Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica.

I find the image to be stable, even after hours of holding them up to my eyes. I wear glasses, and find them easy to use without taking my glasses off. They let in enough light without straining your eyes - I could follow a migrating hawk across the horizon on incredibly bright days and in a dark rainforest with ease.

Both the raptor migration position and the condor internship provided me with other binoculars: 10x42 Eagle Optics. These are great binoculars, but cost about $200 more than my REI ones. Although they provided a little more detail, I found the image to be shaky and a little darker. They are also larger, both in length and weight.

I'm no expert on binoculars, these are just my thoughts on two pairs. I encourage you to venture into an REI and ask to try out several pairs to see what you like.

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