As a photographer, especially when out and about shooting wildlife, a good pair of binoculars can come in handy when scoping out birds and other animals to photograph. Here are some top tips for photographers using binoculars:
Hold them correctly
To get the clearest, steadiest view possible, it's important that you hold your binoculars correctly. It's a good idea to carry them on a strap, providing easy access should you suddenly want to get a closer look at something. Bracing your elbows against your body can help. For maximum stability, looping the binocular strap around your elbows and then pushing outwards to create a solid brace whilst holding the binoculars with both hands is very effective.
Adjust them correctly for your eyes
You should adjust the distance between the two barrels of the binoculars to the right width for your eyes. Too far apart or too close together, and you'll end up seeing black edges in your field of view. The view should be a perfect circle.
You need to find something to focus on to ensure you get the image crystal clear. A tree branch against the bright sky will work well. Turn the central focus wheel with both eyes open until it looks in focus. To focus even finer, close your right eye and adjust the focus wheel until everything is clear. Then use your right eye and use the dioptre adjustment until your view is in sharp focus.
Efficiently finding the birds or wildlife
When scouting for birds or wildlife to photograph, it can be tricky to get an animal you've seen directly into the viewing field of the binoculars. There is one really easy way to help you find it through your binoculars.
You can practise this technique on a stationary object like a bright leaf or a certain spot on a distant building. Lock your eyes onto the spot and without removing your eyes from that spot, bring the binoculars up to your eyes. With practise, this technique can really work. Sometimes making note of features that stand out around the bird or wildlife can help you to find it when you bring the binoculars to your eyes, too.
Pentax's new range of Z, S and A series of binoculars are waterproof and feature multiple coatings to help reduce flare and ghosting in the image, resulting in a much clearer view. For more information on Pentax's range of binoculars, take a look at the Pentax Sport Optics page.