In the market for optics?

Yesterday was the day that I finally upgraded my binocular. I had decided that it was a good time to pass my adequate Swift Audubon HHS 8.5×44 on to my wife to replace her lower quality Bushnell’s. At least that was the noble reason. I also felt bad making her use those Bushnell’s when I was counting hawks at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. It is amazing how much more you can enjoy bird watching when you are looking through a binocular that is sharp and has a large field of view (FOV) and I want her to enjoy birding with me.

So I headed to Lost Creek Shoe Shop to look at binoculars. This Amish run shoe shop in Oakland Mills, Pa also has a large selection of all the top optics ranging from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars. They generally have excellent prices as well and accept trade-ins of optics as well.

I already pretty much knew what I wanted because I had researched all the top bins that are currently available. I knew I wanted something with a huge FOV, it should be comfortable to use with and without glasses, and it should feel good to hold. Well, I ended up with what I had in mind, the new Zeiss Victory FL* 8×42. I tried the Leica Ultravids and they were also fantastic, but the FOV was slightly less, and they were also heavy. I know, I know, I was nitpicking but I wanted to end up with something I would enjoy. I will give my thoughts on the Victory FL’s in a later post.

So if anyone is looking to buy optics at good prices I highly recommend Lost Creek Shoe Shop. Click for a Google Map to the shop. The high end bins are usually several hundred dollars cheaper than Eagle Optics and optics4birding.