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Binoculars -- Am I over-thinking this decision?


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As a complete novice, I wanted to start out with a simple pair of binoculars (10x50 or similar) in order to begin the process of learning the sky, learning the techniques and learning to get used to the freezing cold :) I've read a few guides, and have browsed around here a lot, and I think I'm starting to overthink things a little ;)

Given that I will be spending ~500pounds on a scope soon, should I be sweating so much about a 30-50pound pair of binoculars?

Here are the few I have narrowed it down to:

  1. Bresser Hunter 7x50
  2. Bresser Hunter 10x50
  3. Celestron Upclose 10x50 No focus
  4. Viking standard 10x50

Would any of these be suitable as an entry into the hobby, or is there a model/manufacturer I should avoid?

Is there something else in a similar price range I should think about?

Thanks :)

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Your questions would get answered more in depth if you posted it here:

Observing - with Binoculars - Stargazers Lounge

Maybe a Mod would be so kind as to move this thread to the binocular section.

However i agree with Martin. The better known brands are worth sticking to: Bresser,Celstron,Revelation etc. Not sure what is available for £30-50. You may have to spend a bit more (£70-80).

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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If you're spending that much on a scope soon - though useful from time to time it's doubtfull you'll use the binocs quite so much. I find a set of Rocktrail 10x50's from Liddl's very good for the price. Nice and sharp and contrasty, but make sure you get a set that's well collimated (switch until you do). There's a 30-day money back no quibbles guarantee and only £15'ish ;)

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In birdwatching Viking have a very high reputation for build and optical quality of their budget range optics. Notably sharpness in low light, just the job for those late afternoon Short Eared Owls.

I'd say go to your local optics shop and have a look at them, Vikings and Opticrons especially but I am a bit of a fanboi.

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I hear the strathspey 10x50s are the best sub £50 binos, and the strathspey marines are a damn good sub £100 option.

The Strathspey Marine 10X50 seem to be the "choosen one" according to many sources.

I have a pair of 20x90 Straths and can heap nothing but praise on them and the company.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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If your going to be buying a 'scope soon...try a car-boot or similar for the binos...you can try before you buy or even a charity shop...again..try before you buy...leaves more money for the 'scope & add-ons you'll need/want

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It's worth pointing out that the Lidl Rocktrail 10x50's that brantuk mentioned are re-badged bresser 10x50's and for the price are very good. They are only available at certain times and a heads up usually gets posted when that is imminent. I have a couple of pairs and like them very much. The collimation can be an issue but they are adjustable with a small jewellers screwdriver.

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Thanks all. It sounds like the Bresser 10x50's might be the ones for me, but I'll have a look into strathspeys as well.

Thanks (again) for the help. This forum really is a shining example of how *all* forums should operate!! (I used to help moderate a computer forum, and people were nowhere near as helpful as here!)

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Never mind. I messed up -- those weren't Strathspeys.

Does anyone have any opinions on Olympus as a manufacturer? Their DPS-1 is on sale on Amazon within my price range, and I'm very tempted.

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Olympus glass is very good. Another vote for Viking. A trip to an optics shop will give you some ideas about weight and sizes. Second-hand are often a good buy. I find my Zeiss East Germany 10 x 50s are great optically, but rather heavy for extended use. I tend to use my birdwatching bins 8 x 40 or 7 x 50 as they are lighter and don't shake. They also have adjustable eyecups which the old zeiss don't.

Derek

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Hi, I have been stargazing since I went camping in france in the summer and saw great skys , I read all the advice and started with bins which I still have as I am learning the stars and like you I spent ages researching and then eventually saw some fujinon 10 x70s on ebay and I spent a fair bit on them knowing how good they are rated , they are brilliant binoculars but I still think i'm limited even with these as light pollution wont really let me see any thing over 4.5 magnitude, I can get jupiter and its moons very clearly and some clusters but I think the telescope will be coming soon because I want to see more , in france camping they would be brilliant but not here.

So my advice is get a cheap pair for now and keep your money for your scope.

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