More people are turning to the observation of nature as a way to get away from their existence with concrete and complications.  Whether used for watching wildlife or for hunting enhancement, the increase has resulted in a need to protect the life of optics.

To that end, here are some excellent precautions and recommendations.

The thing you see a lot of people do all the time is using a shirttail to wipe off your lenses.  That is probably the worst thing, especially if it is early season hunting.  You sweat a lot and you get dirt and dust that becomes mud and grit inside you shirt.  It may not look like it when you start wiping those lenses but you are making minor scratches.  You may not put them into the lens you put it in the coatings.

The coatings are what control so much of light transmission and even clarity.   You want to protect them at all cost.  Even when wearing the binoculars around your neck.

If in a situation where you have to wipe lenses you always take two steps.  If you can, get the dirt off without touching or putting anything on the top.  Blow air on the lens.  That is the ideal situation.

If you have to touch it a lens do not touch it dry.  You want to lube it with some lens cleaner.  If you do not have lens cleaner try a lens cloth or lens wipe tissue, those are better anyway.  If you are stuck in a situation without anything, and you have to use your shirttail, then at least breathe on the lens a little bit.  Fog it up so to speak on the outside.  It provides at least a little bit of lubrication.

Carrying binoculars around your neck is the most protected from dings and jars.

Even the best binoculars in the world are damaged if they take a hard enough hit.  Try to keep them in the case as much as possible.  People put them up on the dash and the heat is not really going to hurt them a whole lot.  It may fade the finish a little.  It loosens up them up from the vibrations.  Put them in the case or keep them around your neck for real protection.

What kind of coatings should people look for when shopping?

Every company seems to have different ones and everyone is proprietary.  You do not really know what is in the coatings.  The easiest thing to look at is, whether or not it is multi-coated and is it fully multi-coated.

Multi-coated means at least one lens inside has more than one coating on it.  The more coatings you have the better your glass is going to be in terms of light transmission and resolution.

If you are shopping for new optics, the first thing is to set your budget.  Know what you are going to spend and then look at the products in that light.    Just like all things, the value for what you pay is so much better.  However, fully multi-coated is ideally what you want to see.

If you are buying from a major manufacturer, they all have good coatings.  A lot if it comes down to ergonomics, how it feels in your hands.  Fully multi-coated is what you should seek.

Finally, carrying a cleaning kit to do those kinds of things is an easy thing to forget.  Nevertheless, you can buy those small cleaning kits and even those little lens wipes you see people using to clean their glasses.  It is better than doing nothing.

Even lens wipes, used the entire season, there comes a time to throw them away and get a new one.  They collect dirt during the season.  Those little cleaning kits, such as found in a photo shop, are just a good way to protect your investment.



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  1. Pingback: PROTECT YOUR OPTICS IN THE FIELD | Don Gasaway's Blog

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