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£50 Binocular recommendations?


Jim-a
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Hi

I want to get some bins for taking on holiday this summer (if you can call it that) and for general observing / keep-in-the-car-just-in-case.

Preferably sub £50 (as I'm also planning on buying a dob before it starts getting darker and don't want to break the bank)

Would be massively grateful for any opinions / experiences - good/bad with any of the following shortlist.

Helios Fieldmaster - 10x50 - £48 ... http://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Helios_Fieldmaster_10x50_Binocular.html

Strathspey - 10x50 - £45 (by the time you add p&p + vat) ... http://www.strathspey.co.uk/shop/full.php?q=1118253053

Praktica - 8x56 - £45 ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Praktica-B00354-Diana-8x56-Binoculars/dp/B0015U58QA

...or is it worth pushing the budget another £10 for...

Olympus DPS1 10x50 - £58 ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0000AKGX3/ref=asc_df_B0000AKGX38346598?smid=A3IGCAX4OXJ32U&tag=pr-syn91-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0000AKGX3&ascsubtag=a1400617925eba4c6270e2ce14e6c4fc

Thanks everyone in advance

Jim

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One other option I would suggest would be a pair of GNU Russian binoculars 7x50.. They come up on ebay and are very sharp accross the field of view.

Of course you take all the normal risks on ebay but I have a pair that I obtained for welll below £50 and they are superb...

This is not to take away from tetenterre who is the most knowledgeable binocular expert I know on SGL!

Mark

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Hi

Telescope House sell Meade 10x50 bins for £39.99 and I believe they do a Bresser version as a bundle which includes a planesphere and book for the same price. The bins are goods (I used to own a pair and only changed over to the 7x50s in my sig due to a sight defect).

HTH!

Edited by onesmallstep
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This is not to take away from tetenterre who is the most knowledgeable binocular expert I know on SGL!
That's very kind of you, but I don't think it's true; I can think of at least one user on here who knows a heck of a lot more than I do and has probably forgotten more than I have ever known! (But he seems to spend his time making and using them, not talking about them :grin: )
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Thanks v. much for the help guys. Its now a choice between the Helios Fieldmasters (based on tetenterre's excellent site) and the Olympus DPS1's.

Do I stick with the original £50 budget and go for the Fieldmasters...? or go to £60 for the Olympus ...? but then why not £70....? or £80 ... or £100 ? - arrrggghhhh - I'm beginning to realise that in this astro game there is always a slightly better option at a slightly higher price... got to draw the line somewhere :)

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I used to have the Oly DPS as the "best buy" in the sub-£50 class ... then they put the price back up. :D

Seriously, unless you are considering IF, there isn't that much difference between the ones that you are considering. You could spend a lot of time agonising about inconsequential differences if you're not careful.

(On the batphone, so probably riddled with weird predicted text.),

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Seriously, unless you are considering IF, there isn't that much difference between the ones that you are considering. You could spend a lot of time agonising about inconsequential differences if you're not careful.

This is very true and applicable to all equipment. I now take the path of 'choose quickly and use' otherwise astronomical observation turns into hours spent fussing over gear choice. There are many useable inexpensive binoculars available.

Inexpensive pairs I have used and can comment favourably on are

Adler Wildnis 9x63 roof prism binocular (my current pair although mine are branded Tasco) reduced to £55.00 at http://www.scopesnskies.com/bargain-zone.html

Also Praktica 12x50 porro prism binocular at £27.99. These are only BK-7 prisms but I found them to be very good in use. http://www.scopesnskies.com/prod/binoculars/Praktica/12x50.html

Paul

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Hi Jim

I remember these bins Helios Fieldmaster 7x50 in Sky at Night magazine and was the winner 10x50 should be the same

that is what I would go for at that price

have had a pair of Olympus DPS1 zooms 8-16x40 and had great fun with themover the years now my grandson uses them

hope this helps

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If you plan to mount them on a camera tripod, then why not consider the Celestron C50 spotting scope that FLO have on offer for £50 at the moment? I haven't tried mine on stars or the moon yet (been raining almost constantly since I took delivery of mine last week) but should be good. Can be used hand-held as it's quite light, but obviously only one eye at a time.

Edited by jonathan
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I got both my Stellar 15x70's and Pentax PCF WP2 8x40's off ebay for £70 and £50 respectively, very good value and both in excellent condition with cases etc.

I tend to use the 8x40's more so both while I'm waiting for the scope to cool down and also when i'm away from the house as they're small & light and have excellent optics.

Edited by Ronseal
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If I had £50 to spend on a binocular I'd buy a monocular. A £50 monocular is essentially one half of a £100 binocular. Whilst it won't give the illusion of 3D it offers greater performance (compared to a £50 binocular) cannot go out of alignment and can be used by the whole family. It also fits a coat pocket and car glove compartment.

Just a thought :smiley:

Steve

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If I had £50 to spend on a binocular I'd buy a monocular. A £50 monocular is essentially one half of a £100 binocular. Whilst it won't give the illusion of 3D it offers greater performance (compared to a £50 binocular) cannot go out of alignment and can be used by the whole family. It also fits a coat pocket and car glove compartment.

Just a thought :smiley:

Steve

This is a binocular forum!!! HERESY!! ;)

You are right of course, a pair of bins is more expensive to make than two monoculars

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+ 1 for the Meade 10 x 50. I got a set from Telescope House and I am no expert but think they are great. They seem very light too. Maybe because I am used to using 15 x 70. I spent a couple more £'s and got a book, red torch too all for under £50. Great deal.

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This is a binocular forum!!! HERESY!! ;)

:grin:

The £50 price-point is a popular one for binoculars but finding a binocular that offers good optical quality and accurate alignment at this price is difficult. When a binocular is significantly out of alignment it is obvious - you see two of everything! The real danger is when it is 'slightly' misaligned. Our eye muscles can correct slight misalignment but it is not comfortable and causes eye-strain, headaches and sometimes even nausea! And if you are lucky enough to find one it will almost certainly go out of alignment when knocked. This is why we don't offer £50 binoculars and recommend monoculars instead.

If you are not convinced and your heart is set on a £50 binocular then take a look at the Helios Fieldmaster 10x50. If you buy it from a reputable dealer (try Harrison Telescopes) then you won't have any hassle if yours proves less than perfect.

HTH,

Steve

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I just recieved my fieldmaster 12x50 from the FLO clearance thread (thanks FLO) and I'm really surprised at the quality of the views. I've been struggling to learn the sky with telescopes so I though some bins and a planisphere are worth getting. And at £30 these bins are great.

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:grin:

The £50 price-point is a popular one for binoculars but finding a binocular that offers good optical quality and accurate alignment at this price is difficult.

Difficult? Well nigh impossible! I agree with everything else you said, (as I keep asking: If you get two objectives, two eyepieces, two prism assemblies, two focusers and a load of other associated tubing and connecting gubbins for the price of one moderate-quality astronomical eyepiece, exactly what quality do you think it is reasonable to expect?) but there is one thing the monocular can't give you: the relaxed false stereopsis that you get with a binocular.
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... as I keep asking: If you get two objectives, two eyepieces, two prism assemblies, two focusers and a load of other associated tubing and connecting gubbins for the price of one moderate-quality astronomical eyepiece, exactly what quality do you think it is reasonable to expect?

Absolutely :smiley:

A £50 binocular is essentially two £25 achromat refractors, each with an image erecting prism and eyepiece. It's a wonder they perform at all!

... but there is one thing the monocular can't give you: the relaxed false stereopsis that you get with a binocular.

Yes, that 3D effect is desirable but it amounts to little if the two optics are not precisely aligned. I know you know this Steve, I'm just agreeing with you :icon_salut:

Steve

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  • 4 years later...

Hi. i have a pair of Olympus dps 10x50 and i think they are a good binocular. In terms of star gazing though, a  sharper pair at the same size or a larger size maybe 12x50 might be an option.

any thing around or under £100.

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  • 4 months later...

The Russian 12x40 model is excellent for astronomical use with its central sharpness and wide AFOV. I picked up a pair from Cash Converters 6 years ago for less than a tenner and I still use them. Shop around on EBay though as they're sold at a wide range of prices and are highly sought after.

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