I bought my very first astronomy optics today. I have a PhD in Astronomy, but I got interested in the field from the Physics side. I never was an amateur astronomer, and I never have owned a decent telescope or binoculars — why spend $1000s when I have $10,000 to $10m equipment at my disposal?
I’ve been away from professional astronomy for a long time now, and my eldest is showing some interest in skywatching, so I spent a few hundred to get some astronomical-quality binoculars. What makes then sky-quality is the large aperture (70mm) for better light gathering ability, but I stayed with relatively low power (10x) to get a better field of view for dim, diffuse objects. I got a tripod for it too because these are pretty heavy glasses.
It turns out that Eagle Optics, apparently one of the biggest binocular sellers online, is only about a mile from my work so I biked over there and was very pleased with the help I received in their little showroom.