The RSPB has recently launched a new High Definition 82 mm telescope.
I asked Scott Mayson, one of Minsmere's volunteer bird guides
and SE Suffolk County Bird Recorder, for his thoughts on this new
telescope. Here's what he said.
"Having been birding for many years I have used a great range of
optics from both ends of the spectrum and almost everything in between.
The RSPB range mainly covers the lower to mid range with recent higher
end versions coming to the market place. I recently tried the new 82mm
scope in the field and was keen to see how this new addition would fair
in respect to it close rivals.
"On first appearances it is similar aesthetically to the both the
Kowa 880 series and the Leica APO televid , not a bad thing in my eyes
as both are great looking scopes. The body is made from light weight
magnesium with a black powder type coating and the whole 'scope feels
like a quality piece of kit.
"The huge 82mm objective lens combined with the HD glass and aspheric
lenses produced a very bright sharp image on what was a rather dull
winter's day, allowing the fine plumage details to be picked out on a
group of mixed gulls. Colour reproduction was excellent, with only a
slight yellow cast but this was in truth barely noticeable.
"The two focusing wheels are nicely placed with one allowing fast
focus whilst the smaller one dealt with fine focus. The 25-50x zoom
eyepeice is wide angled allowing the scope to be used at lower
magnification whilst scanning for birds, with the 50 times being great
for helping to clinch the ID of that distant problem bird. Throughout
the range of zoom there is no real loss in brightness or sharpness with
very little "tunnelling" effect often found in cheaper zooms. At the top
end of the zoom I found the fine focus to be most effective as the
depth of field is on the narrow side. I did notice some colour fringing
during my test but this was only apparent when birds were strongly back
light, in my case ducks silhouetted on water.
"With a large objective lens it should lend itself beautifully to
digiscpoing but this was not something I was able to test. All in all
this is a very accomplished scope that offers many of the features and
optical quality usually reserved for high end optics but at a much
If you like the sound of this superb new telescope as a Christmas
present or New Year treat for yourself or a loved one, here's a few
facts and figures to help you decide.
• Large HD objective lens for maximum light transmission
• Broadband multi-coating for bright, life-like images
• 25-50x eyepiece for wide angle viewing
• Aspheric lenses for a sharp, edge-to-edge image
• Magnesium alloy body for reduced weight and rugged protection
• Waterproof and dry nitrogen filled to prevent fogging
• Locking eyepiece for extra stability and security
• Two focussing wheels for fast and fine focussing
• Excellent value for money
Why not pop along to Minsmere and try one for youself in the shop?