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Global Birdfair 2024

Posted on Jul 9, 2024

For the love of birds

As the biggest event on the birding calendar draws near, we round up our favourite brands for bird photography and observation

July brings the arrival of the much-anticipated Global Birdfair 2024, when thousands of bird lovers make the journey to Rutland Water for three days to talk, learn and share stories about anything and everything avian.

And what a time of year to do it! Migratory species are back; the trees, banks and hedgerows are filled with activity, and sunny mornings are perfectly complemented by a beautiful chorus of birdsong.

Over the following pages, you’ll find a selection of brands exhibiting at Global Birdfair 2024 (15-17 July) and an overview of what they have to offer nature enthusiasts. 

We’ve also highlighted products from each – including binoculars, scopes and telephoto lenses. Whether you are an observer or photographer, beginner or professional, if you’re a bird lover, there’s something for you. 

globalbirdfair.org

Fujifilm

Fujifilm’s glass – branded as Fujinon – has garnered a strong reputation for producing quality optics suitable for both wildlife photography and observation. Its binoculars and photographic lenses incorporate proprietary coatings for enhanced light transmission, robust weatherproofing and ergonomic designs, facilitating comfortable use in various environments. 

Fujinon Techno-Stabi 12×28 binoculars

Built-in image stabilisation means these binoculars reduce shake at high magnification. Combined with a lightweight and compact design, they are good for extended birdwatching sessions, delivering bright, high-contrast images.

Fujinon XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR lens

With a 229-914mm full-frame equivalent zoom range and robust weather sealing, this lens is terrific for wildlife photographers. It offers significant reach and image quality, with advanced stabilisation for maximum sharpness.

Viking

Viking Optical Ltd makes a variety of hard-wearing, high-quality binoculars and spotting scopes for observing birdlife. Its products – including the Peregrine and Kestrel series – prioritise clarity, durability and user-friendliness, catering for both novice and experienced enthusiasts. As the exclusive optical partner of the RSPB, it must be doing something right.

Viking Peregrine 8×42 binoculars

These binoculars offer strong optical quality with a wide field of view and outstanding low-light performance. Waterproof, durable, small and lightweight, they are ready to come with you into most environments.

Viking Swallow spotting scopes

Compact and lightweight, this range of spotting scopes provides top-notch optics with ED glass for sharp, clear images. Being waterproof, they are ideal for birdwatching on the go.

Leica

Leica Sport Optics bring Leica quality to the binocular and scope sector. Known for their optical superiority and durability, ranges like Noctivid and Ultravid offer high light transmission and accurate colour fidelity, making them suitable for diverse lighting conditions and adverse weather. Paired with Leica’s pleasing design, there’s plenty to like.

Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 8×42 binoculars

Featuring high-definition optics which maximise light and colour neutrality, these binoculars are well-suited for birdwatching. They are lightweight, waterproof and durable, ensuring reliable performance.

Leica APO-Televid 82 spotting scope

This spotting scope utilises apochromatic lenses and fluoride glass to deliver bright, clear views with high resolution. Its rugged, waterproof design makes it suitable for nature observation in any weather.

OM System

OM System is known for its cameras and lenses, which provide image stabilisation, weather sealing and a small, lightweight Micro Four Thirds design. But the brand also offers a broad range of binoculars at diverse price points and caters for all skill levels – from novice birdwatchers and travellers to more serious wildlife observation.

OM System 8×42 Pro binoculars

These binos perform brilliantly in low light and enjoy quality-enhancing lens coatings. Add fog resistance and waterproofing to this for a top outdoor choice.

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS lens

With a super-telephoto 300-1200mm full-frame equivalent zoom range and robust construction, this lens is well-suited to bird and wildlife photography. Its advanced stabilisation helps keep results crisp. The fog resistance and waterproofing is ideal for exterior use.

Canon

Image-stabilised binoculars and telephoto lenses from Canon are highly respected in the birdwatching and wildlife photography community. Its extensive ranges provide great optical performance paired with a durable and ergonomic design, making them trusty companions.

Canon 10×42 L IS WP binoculars

These image-stabilised binoculars provide steady, clear views by reducing the effect of vibrations from hand shake or vehicle movement. Waterproof and durable, they are also good to go in adverse weather conditions.

Canon RF 600mm f/4 L IS USM lens

A professional-grade super-telephoto prime lens with outstanding sharpness, fast AF and on-board 5.5-stop image stabilisation. But be warned, such pro features come with a five-figure price tag.  

Sigma

Most of us have heard of Sigma’s 200-500mm f/2.8 beast of a telephoto zoom, renowned for its huge performance (and size). However, for those with more modest requirements, the brand offers other much more manageable high performance telephoto lenses for a variety of mounts, favoured by amateur and professional photographers alike. 

Sigma 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS Sports lens

The newest of Sigma’s telephoto primes is designed to excel in sports and wildlife photography. With weather resistance, image stabilisation and a relatively lightweight construction, it’s a fantastic option. 

Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens

This zoom range boasts excellent versatility when out in the field, while optical stabilisation reduces the effect of camera shake. It’s also dust and splash resistant, providing you with the peace of mind you need. 

Nikon

Nikon has a wide selection of binoculars and lenses ideal for birdwatching and wildlife photography. Its Monarch series binoculars deliver bright, clear views and robust durability, while Nikkor telephoto lenses are famed for their excellent image quality and quick AF – something that’s essential for capturing wildlife in motion.

Nikon Monarch M7 10×42 binoculars

Offering superior optical performance with a wide field of view, these binoculars are perfect for birdwatching. They are lightweight, waterproof and durable, ensuring reliable use outdoors whatever the conditions.

Nikkor Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens

This Nikon superzoom delivers great versatility in a small package. It boasts a broad zoom range, image stabilisation and a rugged, dust- and splash-resistant build. 

This feature was first published in Issue 116 of Photography News.

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