Thursday, 26 January 2012

RSPB High Definition 82 mm telescope

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 cheaper price."
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?

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