One thing bird watchers and butterfly watchers have in common is binoculars. Of
course, the butterflies can be harder to see if you want to see something as small or
smaller than a hummingbird.
Binoculars, unfortunately, may be a challenge to choose. Every person will need a set
that is best for that individual. If you wear glasses, if your face is wider, if your hands
tire easily, or if you live in a humid climate, you will have to choose a set of binoculars
that will suit each unique need. Butterfly watching can be a time-consuming hobby. If
you get caught up in your activity, you could spend hours tracking your subjects.
A pair of binoculars used for hunting deer would not necessarily be the best binoculars
for the avid butterfly watcher. There are many brands available at many prices. Don't
just take someone else's word for it that a certain brand or type is best. Do your
research and try some to see if there is something that works better for you personally.
Binoculars can be under $30 or more than $400! It depends on how involved you will be
in the butterfly watching area. If you'll be depending on this activity for income, you'll
want the best. But money doesn't determine which is best. The quality of the
binoculars is what determines this. So, check your consumer reviews before you
purchase an expensive pair. You can always upgrade later on if you have to start with a
cheaper pair because of lack of money.
You could try used ones, but again, you should check the consumer reviews before you
buy. There may be a good reason the person is selling their binoculars, but it may not
be in your best interest.
The features you'll need to check for your butterfly watching adventures include: close
focus, magnification, weight, ability to gather light, and whether or not humidity will
Close focus matters because of the minimum distance you'll be able to focus clearly.
More magnification is not the key to a good quality set either. Hands that tremor as you
tire will easily throw off your vision with higher magnification. A lower magnification
and wide field of vision are better, especially as the butterfly rapidly moves about.
Weight will matter if you'll be using them for long periods of time. The longer you use
them, the heavier they become.
A large, objective lens of at least 40 mm is recommended because this size gathers more
light. If you want greater detail and clarity of your butterfly, you will be thankful for
this feature. Cloudiness, shadows, and time of day will affect the outcome as the light
available for viewing changes. You may be doing your butterfly watching on a cloudy
day or later in the evening. Suppose you plan a trip away from home to butterfly watch
and the weather forecast changes unexpectedly? On the other hand, if your interest is
uncertain, you won't want to invest heavily in supplies.
Selecting a Digital Camera
Identifying your butterflies make your digital camera your friend. A good quality digital
camera can help you determine details you might forget in the process of elimination.
Details you may not even notice until you get out that photo shot are the difference
between an amateur and someone with experience. But butterflies are fast and may not
linger long enough for you to capture the best image the first time. So, having the
perfect digital camera for the job is a must.
An entomologist studies insects, not just butterflies. Entomologists are well-paid
individuals who have distinguished careers. They would want a more advanced camera
than just a backyard lepidopterist who studies butterflies in their spare time for fun. If
you study butterflies as a part of your career, you'd want more than just the average
digital camera that is good enough for family vacation shots. You might want a camera
that can provide close-ups of butterflies.
Not only is a good digital camera important to the professional, it can also be a way to
move up from just an amateur to a well-established butterfly watcher who gets paid for
the joy of the position. Finding the right digital camera for butterfly watching is a
matter of searching through what's available in your price range and studying the
consumer reviews to help you decide.
Some of the better digital cameras can be found at prices between $200 and $300.
What you'll be doing with your butterfly photos will make the decision easier, too. If you
just want some photos for the family album, it won't be as crucial to get the fine
details. But you should still shop around for the best camera you can afford; you may
want to share some photos with the local newspaper or rural co-op magazine!
Note: All prices in US Dollars