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Flying Eye

Hilkinson 12x50 - opinions?

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Hi all,

Spotted these, LINK the spec looks pretty good unless I've failed to spot something, and the price is not too terrifying.

Wonder if they might be worth a punt?:D

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They look OK. Always remember that when you're buying binoculars, you're basically buying 2 eyepieces, plus a focuser assembly, plus 2 x objectives. Translate that gear into modest scope prices and even for a mid-range set of the same, you're looking at around £150 at least.

Now, the brain apparently realizes an increase in visual quality of the picture of roughly 1.6x when viewing with both eyes, so you can afford to be on the budget side of mid-range and still get great results.

But you should always ask yourself - "what region of quality would you get if you spent the same on a pair of eyepieces?"

With the above, you're looking around the same price as a pair of BST's. Depending on the build quality, i'd be inclined to say they'l be decent, but not amazing. There are probably similar/better out there for the same money, but you never know unless you try.

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Hi Ian,

They look 'exactly' like my Strathspey10x50s. I have realised that I can't focus my right eye using the dioptre adjustment. I'll try again tomorrow night as tonight was very cloudy, just about saw Jupiter but missed the moons.

Regards,

Bill.

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They,re the same as an-other brand but without twist eye cups. One of the best

12x50s in that price range

Some of the other Hilkinsons are re branded opticron vegas

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They,re the same as an-other brand but without twist eye cups. One of the best

12x50s in that price range

Some of the other Hilkinsons are re branded opticron vegas

Oh, this is good news, I loathe and detest twist up eyecups (spit).:headbang:

It was the "Made In Japan" bit that first caught my eye with most Hilkinsons, but you have to be careful to check in each case as a few are not.

I wonder are there any truly naff Japanese made ones or is it generally a safe bet in comparison with most Chinese made stuff?:D

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12x is too high for hand holding in my experience. What you gain in resolution you lose to the shakes. If you have particularly steady hands you might feel otherwise.

I don't see any useful information on the spec so personally I'd buy from somewhere decent. You can get pretty straight, well specified bins from a place like FLO for that price and know what you're getting.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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12x is too high for hand holding in my experience. What you gain in resolution you lose to the shakes. If you have particularly steady hands you might feel otherwise.

I don't see any useful information on the spec so personally I'd buy from somewhere decent. You can get pretty straight, well specified bins from a place like FLO for that price and know what you're getting.

Olly

I don't go in for hand holding, so for me this would not become an issue. However you can also take that as my total agreement about 12x50 probably not being suited to it for most people. Optimal results can only be obtained with a good solid mounting.

This is the best information I could find on the specs:

Hilkinson 12x50 Exmouth

Magnification 12x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm) 50

Field of View 5.6°

Field @ 1000 metres 98

Bright 17.6

Exit Pupil Diameter (mm) 4.2

Minimum Focussing (metres) 5

Eye Relief (mm) 14

Optics Full wideband multi coating on all glass/air surfaces

Prisms BaK 4 Porro prism

Style ZWCF

Body Black Rubber Armoured

Eye Cups Rubber fold down

Tripod Socket Yes

Weight (gm) 940

Dimensions (mm) 175x200x64

Case/Strap Soft

Special feature Nitrogen Filled Waterproof

For my use the exit pupil seems perhaps a tad on the snug side, but probably just big enough to be workable without undue discomfort.

I tend to buy from Amazon as it fits in very well with the rest of my life, so in that respect it's decent enough 99% of the time.

I'm not sure about 12x50 prices yet as I have only just started to explore that size, but it struck me as not being all that high from what I have seen so far. Some pay seemingly ludicrous amounts for some optics, and while I'm sure they must be absolutely wonderful for those with good eyesight, it's entirely possible that my eyesight is defective enough that in my case doing it would simply be like casting pearls before swine! :D

I was simply hoping others may have experienced this not too much mentioned brand; on paper quite a lot of their stuff looks rather more tempting than many others. I was hoping to learn how closely they might deliver on what's on the paper.

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I wouldn't buy any binocular unless I could try it first or the dealer had a good returns policy, in most respects the paper specs are meaningless, it's what you see that matters. :D

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I wouldn't buy any binocular unless I could try it first or the dealer had a good returns policy, in most respects the paper specs are meaningless, it's what you see that matters. :D

Excellent advice

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Peter, DN18,

Yes excellent advice, and that is one of the big reasons I shop at Amazon.

One thing I had not previously mentioned, I am house bound, as a result, the Amazon returns policy fits my life really well, they send out a courier at no charge to pick up objects that are rejected on quality grounds or for any issues of any other kind.

In fact they did just that this morning, all I had to do was put it back in the packaging, print and affix the label they provided for me online, and enter some details for the pick up on their courier's web site. No fuss or hassle whatsoever.

In my situation it does not really get any better than that. Since I can't go try them in a shop, this is definitely a great leveler for me and others in this position. It's actually life changing when you think about it; I can shop independently, which I was not able to do before they came up with this arrangement. I've no issue with the Amazon shopping experience at all. This and the distance selling regulations bring me the equivalent of trying them in a shop really, slightly better in fact as I can have 7 days to try them where I would actually be using them, and you can't normally do that in a shop!:)

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I was looking at your OP and your signature and wondered...

You have a few decent instruments already, why not save up for a while longer and buy a "decent+" binocular. (IMHO there doesn't seem to be much difference between the Hilkinson and your Olympus).

I recently bought a new Opticron 10x50. I initially baulked at the price but now, having used it, could never go back...

I'm not saying go with an Opticron (although they do a decent 8x32 as well) what I am saying is that it may be well worth your while saving a bit more and going for the next level.

Just a thought.

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I was looking at your OP and your signature and wondered...

You have a few decent instruments already, why not save up for a while longer and buy a "decent+" binocular. (IMHO there doesn't seem to be much difference between the Hilkinson and your Olympus).

I recently bought a new Opticron 10x50. I initially baulked at the price but now, having used it, could never go back...

I'm not saying go with an Opticron (although they do a decent 8x32 as well) what I am saying is that it may be well worth your while saving a bit more and going for the next level.

Just a thought.

And thanks for that thought Grunthos, it's much appreciated as are all ideas!

Hehe, it must look a little bit odd I guess. I'm a birder first and I'm tinkering with a-focal web cam use too. I take shots of birds using the webcam in the left eyepiece, and I have determined that my 10x50 are not quite zoomed in enough for a perfect shot for one of my usual spots for good shots. I recently had a chance to try 15x-45x scope and found that at 15x it was slightly over cooking the zoom, so I thought 12x being the only other mag in between (that I know of), then that might be the best I could do with that situation.

Although for astro work another 2x over the 10x50s would probably not be earth shattering, it would not be unwelcome either; I also found that 15x bordered on being a little claustrophobic for say the belt of Orion, and I am guessing 12x might work OK and certainly a slightly roomier fit than the 15x.

Lastly the Hilkinson are FMC, BAK4, waterproof and nitrogen filled, and the Olympus are not any of those. Well, they might be FMC (whatever that truly might mean) but Olympus are not really saying clearly one way or another, which I am taking to mean they are not, as marketing people generally seem most keen to make a big fuss over what I feel probably would not hurt if it were to be a standard feature anyway. :D

So, while it may look odd at first I do have an end game in mind, and am also taking the view that a few pairs with differing features and talents is most likely what I need, as they don't make anything that covers it all. I don't think that is possible anyway given I want good near and good far focus! :)

Bear in mind this is research, the Hilkinson may not pan out after more research. If something truly unmissable popped up I may spring for it, but I'm generally taking my time over this one. :hello2:

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If you are worrying about the quality of Chinese binoculars, Pentax PCF and Nikon Action Ex are made in China.

If you look at the other products that dealer sells, you will see some binoculars with ruby coating. I wouldn't buy any binocular from a dealer who sell optics with ruby coatings.

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If you are worrying about the quality of Chinese binoculars, Pentax PCF and Nikon Action Ex are made in China.

If you look at the other products that dealer sells, you will see some binoculars with ruby coating. I wouldn't buy any binocular from a dealer who sell optics with ruby coatings.

But rubies are 'spensive!

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If you are worrying about the quality of Chinese binoculars, Pentax PCF and Nikon Action Ex are made in China.

If you look at the other products that dealer sells, you will see some binoculars with ruby coating. I wouldn't buy any binocular from a dealer who sell optics with ruby coatings.

I'm not unduly concerned about the quality of Chinese binoculars, I am a bit bothered by a casual approach to any quality control they may have in place, which sometimes seems slightly more prevalent there. I've got a pair of Chinese made binoculars and they are not too bad (Olympus). In fact I suspect possibly all of my kit was made there. I'd quite like to give the Japanese ones a try now so I can know a little more about that for the future too.

As for ruby coatings, to be practical, I just don't knowingly order any of those and would immediately return any that might turn up with them. Similarly with twist up eye cups (spit) :D I have one example of those and that's enough to last me a lifetime - spawn of the devil they are!:):hello2:

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Just out of interest, what's wrong with twist up eye cups anyway?

I have them on my Pentax and I quite like them.

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Just out of interest, what's wrong with twist up eye cups anyway?

I have them on my Pentax and I quite like them.

I find, especially for a-focal work, they can misbehave quite a bit; at the slightest touch, they often tend to twist down a bit when you could usefully do without that happening.:hello2:

Fold up eye cups just stay where you put them. Simple, solid and reliable, so they are much more useful.:)

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