Top critical review
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Great For Close Distance Nature Walks, NOT A Binoculars Substitute
on July 27, 2010
Lightweight and compact enough for a shirt pocket, with a small lightweight black nylon belt pouch and lanyard included. But I'm a little disappointed with this item despite having researched it thoroughly and having modest expectations.
Its optics are quite good at close distances; for a nature walk, you will see excellent detail on an interesting plant, leaf, etc. But don't expect it to also serve for long distance viewing.
In my experience it is NOT a viable longer distance substitute for binoculars. I can't make out street name signage or park trail signposts at a distance, for instance. It won't help with the street sign at the end of my block 100 yards away. So it's very good close up for enjoying details of a flower, a leaf, a seashell , but not very helpful as a trail-hiking navigation tool.
Birdwatcher's note: This does give pretty fair results out to about 60-80 feet, so if you're fairly close you might get a better look at a bird in a very nearby tree. But (to my eye) beyond 60-80 feet you're out of range and it's not very helpful.
It requires two hands to focus the lens.
Build quality and small carry case are fine. It feels sturdy enough, and I've dropped it once or twice and it was fine. The 'lifetime warranty' requires you send in a $12.00 check for service, LOL, which is about what the unit costs new.
As a plus, this item might also be very useful at museums, to see details of items in glass cases or hung on walls behind barrier ropes.
I give it only 3 stars because it's just not useful for the distance work I would have liked to use it for in addition to the closer work--and at close work, it's just fine.
SUMMARY: This is very good for up close details of outdoor plants, flowers, and other small close up details. Handy, compact and light enough for a shirt pocket. Good value for money. I like it. But don't buy it thinking it will also be a binoculars substitute, even occasionally, the lens is not that versatile.
Hope this is helpful. Happy viewing, everybody.