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Strathspey bino's, any opinions


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Yes, I have one. It is pretty typical Kunming Optical BA1 fare. Lightweight for a 15x70 (it's more like 1.3kg than the 1.8kg cited on the Strathspey site). It is therefore just about hand-holdable for short periods. About the central 50% of the field of view is acceptably sharp, but the quality drops off noticeably outside that. Typical for this class of binocular, the prisms have a tendency to be knocked out of alignment if you give the binocular anything but kid-glove treatment, but re-aligning them is easy after a few times. The aperture is stopped down internally to an equivalent of about 63mm (but this it typical of budget binoculars). I keep mine as a "lending" binocular and as one to experiment on.

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If these are from Kunming Optical BA1 series does it makes them the same as the Celestron SkyMaster 15x70? Strathspey adverises that they have level iv coatings, but how much difference will this make if the optics are the same?

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If these are from Kunming Optical BA1 series does it makes them the same as the Celestron SkyMaster 15x70?

No. The Strathspey is noticeably better. For a start, it doesn't have the slight yellow cast that the Celestron has. There are quite a few internal differences, some of which are obvious, e.g. the Strathspey right eyepiece is splined on (making it adjustable: see here); the Celestron is glued.
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So for the price, they may be worth a go then. I usually work on a policy of "buy cheap, buy twice" But I have blown my budget on new cams, so funds are limited for a while and I can't afford the best.

Thanks for the input guys.

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I believe the Strathspey 10x50 Marine is superior both mechanically and optically to their 15x70. It's true that 15x70 giant binoculars can show more, but personally I prefer this 10x50 as it is better built and produces nicer star images with less false colour. What I don't like about it is the wide (for me) IPD distance.

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So for the price, they may be worth a go then.
Depends what you want. What is your budget?
I believe the Strathspey 10x50 Marine is superior both mechanically and optically to their 15x70.
I have that one as well. Yes, it is superior quality, but it does have its shortcomings as well. The obvious one is that the internal "stopping" reduces the effective aperture to about 44mm (this phenomenon os very common with inexpensive binoculars). It's main advantage is that it remarkably robust -- mine has survived 8 years of abuse (it lives in my van, and is the one I hand to youngsters to borrow/use at star parties). When I bought it, it was £65. It is now £85 +VAT, i.e. £102. I said at the time that I thought it amongst the best VFM that you can get for under £100 -- if the price goes up much more, I may need to reconsider what I think of its VFM.
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Well the budget ain't much, but as said before, I hate buying twice, so I am stretching the budget to £300 and am now looking at the bino's on the TS site you mentioned in another discussion. I think they were Hellios 15x70.

Unless you can suggest something even better for the money. :laugh:

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now looking at the bino's on the TS site you mentioned in another discussion. I think they were Hellios 15x70.
The Helios Apollo (aka TS MX, aka Garrett Signature, aka Oberwerk Ultra, aka AP, aka General Hi-T, aka APM-HD, and probably lots of other akas) 15x70 is far superior to the Strathspey. It is now easily my most used sort-of-hand-holdable binocular; I use it on a monopod most of the time (see image on my home-page click on sig-banner). I don't think you'd be disappointed and, for that class of binocular, IMO you'd need to spend more than twice as much (Fujinon) for a barely noticeable improvement.

Just be aware that it's a heavy beast (well, it's well-made, has full-sized prisms, decent eyepieces....) and will need mounting if you are to get the best out of it. It is hand-holdable -- I actually find it steadier than the Strathspey, but can't hold it for as long. For mounting, it, you need to be aware that not all L-brackets will fit it because the mounting bush is recessed. The one Strathspey sells is fine; the FLO ones are too wide.

Will also PM you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Helios Apollo (aka TS MX, aka Garrett Signature, aka Oberwerk Ultra, aka AP, aka General Hi-T, aka APM-HD, and probably lots of other akas) 15x70 is far superior to the Strathspey

IIRC, the Strathspey's are basically Oberwerk. Most BIG bins are from the same factory and are just re-branded by the retailers. The same applies to most astro gear:scopes,EP's etc.

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The Helios Apollo (aka TS MX, aka Garrett Signature, aka Oberwerk Ultra, aka AP, aka General Hi-T, aka APM-HD, and probably lots of other akas) 15x70 is far superior to the Strathspey

IIRC, the Strathspey's are basically Oberwerk. Most BIG bins are from the same factory and are just re-branded by the retailers.

The factory in question is Kunming United Optics Corporation of Kunming, China. However, there is a world of difference between their BA8 models (the ones I listed above) and the BA1 models that Strathspey sell (I have both!). There are even internal differences between cosmetically similar BA1 models, with "branders", like Oberwerk, Strathspey and Celestron specifying different levels of things like coating, right dioptre assembly and various other things. Edited by tetenterre
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  • 11 months later...

Just off the topic Steve. I'm trying too sign up too your newsletter and I'm putting in my name and e mail address and when I enter the 5 digit captcha no it just says....captcha key not valid?? can you help? Thanks

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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