Monday, July 23, 2012

It's not all about birds!

Binoculars and telescopes are not just used for birdwatching and one of the most common applications is for insects, especially butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. A good pair of close-focusing binoculars and a telescope really enhance observing some of the less approachable species and where you can't get close to them, for example, dragonflies settled on the other side of a stream or pond. Generally the best close-focus is achieved by 8x32 binoculars and 65mm or 50mm telescopes, but the exceptions to this rule are the Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 and 8.5x21 which both focus down to 50cm (20'').

Dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, moths and wildflowers are just as rewarding to watch as birds, having endless diversity and the opportunity to find rare, localised and vagrant species. The summer can be a quiet period for birds in the UK, especially during calm sunny weather, but is one of the best times to see insects and so many birders turn their attention closer to the ground. An interest and appreciation of many aspects of the natural world is the best way to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience whatever the time of year.

Not only can you use binoculas and scopes to observe, but it is also possible to digiscope the smaller wildlife. Yesterday I took a Swarovski ATM 65 HD with zoom and UCA camera adapter and my little compact camera to the edge of our pond and in about ten minutes had a few photos and videos of some of the insect activity.

Here are a few of the results of bit of macro-digiscoping.
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Zeiss Victory HT and Conquest HD UK launch at Cley Spy

The new Victory HTs promise outstanding
low-light performance
New high-end binoculars always cause a stir, especially when the manufacturer has set out to create something ground-breaking. The much anticipated new Zeiss HT Victory binoculars are just that, offering unparalleled brightness and the first opportunity to test them out in the UK will be here at Cley Spy's Glandford shop. We will also have the first demo of the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 which, if the 8x42 and 10x42 versions are anything to go by, should be extremely impressive.

The Victory HTs promise unrivalled brightness, thanks to a light transmission of up to more than 95% - this unique result is created by the innovative optical concept of the VICTORY HT range. It is made possible by the perfect interplay of SCHOTT® HT glass, the Carl Zeiss T* multi-layer coating and the Abbe-K├Ânig prism system.
You will be able to try these for yourself using our excellent viewing facilities on Friday the 20th of July from 10:30am to 4pm when Zeiss will bring the first pairs in the country to Norfolk. We will also be taking orders for the first available UK stock.

The view from our Glandford Shop.  Perfect for testing optics 'in the field'

Looking forward to seeing you!

Cley Spy