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Southern Inspirations Garden Design

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Southern Inspirations
Selecting Binoculars or a Camera for Butterfly Watching
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 affect performance.

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!

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