Sunday, February 21, 2010

Checking Out Some New Alpen Gear....

Ahhh... sunny, almost balmy weather (we made it to 45 degrees!) in Maryland and on a weekend! The perfect birding weather to check out some new Alpen Optics gear for entry into the American Birding Association's (ABA) 2010 Gear Guide issue.

We started out scanning for ducks with the Winner of Great Buy Award in Outdoor Life Magazine - the Alpen 788 Spotting Scope.

We found it to be quite a good buy for a durable lightweight scope.

This baby offered nice light and good focus as we followed a Bald Eagle stirring up a raft of Greater Scaup.

Waterproof with a nice carrying case and 12" tripod included --- great buy, indeed, at about $400.

Our pal, Evelina, joined us as we moved worked out the bins on some passing Bonaparte's Gulls.

The Rainier 8x32 is a rugged pair of bins that are super lightweight with comfy eye cups and perfect grip.

Nice in low light and exceptional for upclose detail in butterfly-ing.

The Rainiers have extra large prisms made of BaK4 glass (high and bright resolution) and are both water and fog proof- and the light weight is real bonus - making these bins are favorite for A.T. hiking!

High performance bins that stack up nicely against the big guys for hundreds of dollars less.

But our all time new Alpen favorite is the Wings ED 8x42.

These binoculars are just pure sweet birdwatching at a list price of about $400.

We were knocking these babies against a pair of high end Leicas and they put up quite a fight. A little hefter than the 8x32 Raniers, but still surprisely light weight (21 ounces!) for the engineering that went into them.

Great light and quick focus were the first things that stood out as we spied a group of Common Goldeneyes doing some spring displaying.

Long range detail along with all the other great Alpen usual features made these bins my new go-to-pair.

I love my Alpen Apex model, but the Alpen Wings model's ED glass is noticeably brighter and clearer.

And, I like to think those nice guys and gals at Alpen Optics listened to my advice about lenghening the strap.

With the nice long adjustable strap, I can sport the Wings ED comfortable girly style across my body rather than hanging from my neck.


Now, bring on the warblers!


Dawn Fine said...

Great reviews! Sounds like some good Birding gear!

Chris Petrak said...

Very useful - I often feel at a loss to suggest good, but affordable optics when people ask me. I'll try to get the old mental computer to remember this post when the next people ask me.

Gail said...

Great info. I have been looking for a good telescope. Thanks for the advice.


Larry said...

Nice reviews-I bought an entry level Alpen spotting scope for just over a hundred bucks a couple of years ago and it worked great until it fell off the roof of my truck.I try to keep my scope inside the vehicle now.