on 25 November 2013
The author, Stephen Tonkin, is a recognised authority on Astronomy and (having attended a lecture of his) I can recommend his knowledge, humour and power to entertain. His book demonstrates those characteristics and is most informative on how to get the most out of binocular "star gazing". I am a keen astronomer and have found the attraction of binocular viewing irresistible. Moreover the latter part of his book gives an excellent guide to star recognition - the best I have seen apart from "Sky at Night" magazine inserts.
I still use a telescope but find binoculars ideal for a quick dash to catch the moon, planets and stars - during a brief gap in the clouds! They are also ideal when that gap appears and you are near an upstairs window. The landing window makes an ideal opportunistic viewing spot.
Beware - once you have understood the benefits of binocular viewing you will (like me) want a monopod - to make binocular star gazing even easier and comfortable, sitting down or standing up. I haven't cracked binocular photography yet but I am having too much fun, just looking!
on 17 November 2014
Having just got back into astronomy, I purchased this book in expectation of it being an excellent guide for the beginner. It's well-written (if you disregard the annoying American spelling) and the author knows what he's talking about. I felt that in many parts, especially the chapter on the "innards" of binoculars, the technical descriptions went over my head and were unnecessary. I also found the star charts to be not especially helpful when I used them "in the field" last week. Finally, some of the equipment he describes looks impressive but would be beyond the means of the average back garden astronomer.
In summary: a good book of its kind, but the complete novice might want something simpler.