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Sport Optics - Binoculars, Spotting Scopes & Riflescopes Paperback – November 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


Sport Optics is a comprehensive survey of the issues involved in choosing sports optics, from one of the recognized masters of the sports optics craft. Sure to be of help to anyone interested in the best optical experience in the field.   Stephen Ingraham, Birding & Observation Product Specialist - ZEISS Sports Optics & former Publisher of Better View Desired.

In this well-conceived, well organized and authoritatively written book, Alan Hale tackles a daunting challenge, that of addressing the specific needs of different optics users, whether for hunting, astronomy, birding and nature viewing places upon optics. This book is packed with useful and vocationally-calibrated tips that will guide optics buyers to the instrument that meets their needs. Everyone will learn something from this book. Pete Dunne is a well-known birder, hunter, and author of multiple books.

Alan Hale's new book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to sports optics ever written. Everyone with an interest in sport optics products from experienced users, to potential buyers, to those simply curious about optical equipment, will find this beautifully illustrated book filled with useful information that is clearly presented. It is also a reminder that sports optics serves a wide variety of outdoor activities. Dennis di Cicco is Senior Editor at Sky &Telescope Magazine.

Sport Optics is an exceptional and thorough overview of the current state of the optics industry. It has comprehensive, updated information and background on all of the various types of observation instruments available. Daniel C. Hamilton - President, Vortex Optics.

Alan Hale's book - Sport Optics - is a welcome addition to the literature about the workings and uses of consumer binoculars, spotting scopes, and riflescopes. The great variety of instrument types currently available worldwide comes through loud and clear. The technical content is understandable and adequate for most users of these optical instruments. Paul Yoder is a renowned author of several books on optical instrument design, including Mounting Optics in Optical Instruments & Opto-Mechanical Systems Design, and has taught numerous courses on optical and opto-mechanical engineering worldwide.

Alan Hale has impeccable credentials in the optical industry. Everyone who uses or is contemplating the purchase of binoculars, spotting scopes, or riflescopes, including all sports fans, bird watchers, hunters, shooters and amateur astronomers needs to read Sport Optics. Best of all, Sport Optics is written for the layman in a clear, understandable and interesting manner. Chuck Hawks is a former professional photographer. He is the owner of several websites including Guns and Shooting Online & Astronomy and Photography Online at

Alan Hale has used his lifetime of optics experience to produce an invaluable reference guide, Sport Optics, about understanding, choosing and using sport optics products. If you're in the market to purchase an optical instrument, be sure to read this guide first - it will ensure you make the very best choice for your needs! This book is destined to become essential reading for optics enthusiasts and for all those that want an in-depth primer on sport optics. Brin Best is an award-winning author in the UK, with a lifelong passion for binoculars. His book, Binoculars and People, told the 400-year story of the relationship between people and their binoculars in war and peace time.

Sport Optics has to be the most comprehensive book on optics currently available, what is more, it is written in such a way as to make very technical terms simple to understand and easy to read. Jason Whitehead owns the website bestbinoculars dot com.

Alan Hale is one of the Zen masters of sport optics in North America. He knows more about how optics work, how and where they are made, and how to put them to their highest possible use than most outdoor sport optics writers. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in buying or using optical devices, whether for star-gazing, bird and wildlife watching, or hunting. Read this book before you make any optics purchase and you won't be sorry! Bill Thompson III is the co-publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest and the author of numerous books on birds and nature.

Books on optical instruments usually come from academics writing to impress other academics or people who know much more about grammar than optics. Through a life-long association with the optics industry, Alan Hale's Sport Optics cuts through the hype and sensationalism proffered by manufacturers wishing more to promote products than educate consumers. He gives the consumer helpful information in an easy to use format. William J. Cook has worked in virtually every facet of optics and tech writing for 43 years.

Alan Hale's wide career experience serves him well in Sport Optics, a reader friendly, excellent book covering the most important aspects enthusiasts need to make informed optical equipment buying decisions. It's a great service to a public deserving accurate basic technical knowledge to replace popular optical myths and ad slogans. Al Nagler is a noted optical designer & the founder & CEO of Tele Vue Optics.

The distillation of a lifetime of practical experience choosing and using optics, Alan's book is a "must have" if you are thinking of buying a binocular, spotting scope, or rifle scope. Fred Bieler has 34 years of experience in optics retail and manufacturing and the owner of Astronomics.

Alan Hale’s Sport Optics is a great and essential book for amateur astronomers, birding enthusiasts, hunters, and outdoor lovers.  It presents a uniquely valuable overview of binoculars, spotting scopes, and riflescopes, and delivers everything you need to know to choose and use the best optical gear for your outdoor activities.  A winner! David J. Eicher is Editor-in-Chief, Astronomy magazine & author of 17 books. 

Alan Hale’s Sport Optics is by far the most comprehensive book covering the consumer optics industry today.  This should be required reading for anyone wanting to learn about binoculars or scopes. Richard Cameron, President of Carson Optical, Inc.  Carson has a reputation of cutting edge product designs.

Sport Optics is a comprehensive guide from the ground up on optical products.  Mr. Hale has taken a lifetime of knowledge and uploaded it to this book.  Sport optics products can be a complex and confusing subject but with the help of this book, any beginner will understand what is important to look for in their next buying decision. Jason Mulek has 15 years’ experience in the optical industry with his partners at binoculars dot com & telescopes dot com.

Sport Optics is a great resource for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of optics and the often overwhelming jargon used in the sport optics industry.  It provides valuable insight and information valuable to all levels of optics users.  Joshua Lazenby has been in the optics industry for many years & is currently the Sport Optics Product Manager at Celestron & previously was at Kowa Sport Optics for 10+ years.

About the Author

Alan R. Hale was the President, C.E.O., and Chairman of Celestron for many years, as well as a minority owner in the past, and currently is Chairman Emeritus of Celestron. Celestron is an international company and Hale was instrumental in leading it to be one of the world's largest optics manufacturers offering various optical products such as telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, and related products. Alan has gained a vast knowledge of optical products over the years. Alan has B.S. and M.B.A. degrees. He is an amateur astronomer, bird watcher, hunter, and target shooter as well as an avid sports enthusiast. He actively hikes and greatly enjoys nature and wildlife.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Hale Optics; 1 edition (November 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989791602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989791601
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Redfin on August 31, 2014
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Easily the best and most comprehensive source of information on optics I have seen. For the optics user this is outstanding.
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Well written for those of a non technical background in this field. The general principles of selecting optics and fitness for purpose are indeed helpful.
A specific and general performance rating and value for money table by product group would have been interesting to see.
Not sure what the US market break down has to do with anything, except perhaps of interest to industry insiders.
Still, a good general reference work and worth the read for those preparing for a potentially daunting investment.
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This book was highly recommended by many in the birding sector of optics users. All I can figure is they're all friends with this guy. The book is horribly organized. I'm sure he just compiled articles (others have done same, but done it well) he wrote on different types of optics: binoculars, spotting scopes, etc. But there are several pages of almost verbatim same stuff in each chapter. The book could have been cut almost in half with out the tedious repeating. I have to believe all the people who said it was great didn't read it. If you want to read some books that aren't ponderous or superficial, I recommend the following: The Gun Digest Book of Sporting Optics by Wayne van Zwoll, Optics for the Hunter by Barsness, Optics Digest by Rees and The Field & Stream Hunting Optics Handbook by McIntyre. Avoid Shooter's Bible Guide to Optics also by McIntyre as it's very little information and mostly catalog sections. By far the worst read is Sport Optics by Hale that I reviewed here. Save you money and look elsewhere.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Glynn on December 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent Book!
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