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enigma

12x binoculars?

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Could someone suggest some quality 12x binoculars? I think this could be a good middle solution between a 10x and a 15x binocular and easier to hand hold than higher power binoculars.

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I haven't used one, but the Nikon 12x50 Action Extreme is rumoured to be quite good. I think Ed Zarenski reviewed one over at CN.

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I agree. There is universal agreement in the birding world that 10X is the hand held useful limit for most poeple.

It strikes me that 12x introduces the need for support without adding much useful magnification, but you might well find otherwise.

Olly

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A lot of birders; particularly in the States, are seeing the benefit if higher mag bins. Especially useful in estuary/seawatching/hide applications. Quite usable handheld. I have used 15x70 hand held with night problems.

As for what you gain, you make the item appear12x closer rather than only 10x!

TheThing

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I routinely hand-hold my 15x70 bins. Yes the p-mount adds stability, but I can generally get by without, often by leaning against something, or using a reclining chair (ever so comfy ;)). 15-16x I would say, is a limit, beyond very few could stray and still get away without a mount; 12x could be nahd held, for those with stable hands.

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My first pair of bins was some 12 x 40 Russians that I used sucessfully for many years ( still have them ). Now I use 10 x 30 and 15 x 50 Image stabilised and it is noticable how much is lost with the slight jiggling when not stabilised. I have seen the Crab Neb with the 10 x 30's which was clear with stabilisation and not obvious without.

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I have some crappy 12x50s and they're fine hand held though with all bins, even 8x I think resting them or your elbows against something like a post, wall fence, tree helps immensely. And unlike birdwatching your subject is unlikely to move rapidly across your field of view so the narrow field of view is not so critical. I was seriously considering a decent pair of 12x and concluded the Pentax PCF was probably my preferred option or slightly cheaper the Barr and Stroud Savannahs 12x56 (non-ED version). Both are still on my wish list so might get a pair one day.

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Clearly a lot depends on your hands. I can't gain from more than 10X because I lose to the jitters what I gain in resolution. Others do rather better, it seems! The answer has to be 'try your hands' before deciding what magnification to buy, I guess.

Olly

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I use Canon 12 x 36 is binoculars. I can tell you how difficult it is to hold them without the image stabilizer on!

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I have some crappy 12x50s and they're fine hand held though with all bins, even 8x I think resting them or your elbows against something like a post, wall fence, tree helps immensely. And unlike birdwatching your subject is unlikely to move rapidly across your field of view so the narrow field of view is not so critical. I was seriously considering a decent pair of 12x and concluded the Pentax PCF was probably my preferred option or slightly cheaper the Barr and Stroud Savannahs 12x56 (non-ED version). Both are still on my wish list so might get a pair one day.

You mustn't forget unlike bird watching, you target is much dimmer, has much higher contrast and are point sources. While you won't see image blur in day time due to minor vibration, they will show up clearly at night against a dark background. Personally I prefer 7x or 8x for astro.

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Hello,

I'm not sure if you're still after the binos, but Park Cameras sells Pentax PCF WP II 12x50 for £105 delivered, which is ridiculously cheap comparing to the rest of the internet: http://www.parkcameras.com/2423/Pentax-12x50-PCF-WP-II.html

I thought it was an error because the specs mention 8x40 bins, but I rang them to confirm and bought a pair straight away. They came on Friday and for me they are truly excellent, exactly what I was looking for. Saturday/Sunday night was clear and I was mesmerised with what they showed to me.

I don't find them difficult to hand hold, particularly leaning against something, but probably I couldn't go any further without a tripod support. I tried 16x once and it was too shaky. 10x42 was comparable in my opinion in terms of stability, but I thought I would like this little bit more of resolving power which 12x give. This way you can easily see 4 moons around Jupiter, a bit more of M31 cotton wool etc. Perhaps try first and see how you feel. Personally I wouldn't swap. I also have a pair of cheap and rubbish 7x bins and a little Soviet 20x50 refracting telescope. The latter offers better magnification (tripod only) and performs surprisingly well on bright objects, but I still prefer the Pentax. It's brighter on faint objects and in terms of clarity, contrast and sharpness across the field of view they are a class or two higher.

And this way I've posted my first reply oon the forum, who hoo! :)

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Hello,

I'm not sure if you're still after the binos, but Park Cameras sells Pentax PCF WP II 12x50 for £105 delivered, which is ridiculously cheap comparing to the rest of the internet: http://www.parkcamer...-PCF-WP-II.html

I thought it was an error because the specs mention 8x40 bins, but I rang them to confirm and bought a pair straight away. They came on Friday and for me they are truly excellent, exactly what I was looking for. Saturday/Sunday night was clear and I was mesmerised with what they showed to me.

I don't find them difficult to hand hold, particularly leaning against something, but probably I couldn't go any further without a tripod support. I tried 16x once and it was too shaky. 10x42 was comparable in my opinion in terms of stability, but I thought I would like this little bit more of resolving power which 12x give. This way you can easily see 4 moons around Jupiter, a bit more of M31 cotton wool etc. Perhaps try first and see how you feel. Personally I wouldn't swap. I also have a pair of cheap and rubbish 7x bins and a little Soviet 20x50 refracting telescope. The latter offers better magnification (tripod only) and performs surprisingly well on bright objects, but I still prefer the Pentax. It's brighter on faint objects and in terms of clarity, contrast and sharpness across the field of view they are a class or two higher.

And this way I've posted my first reply oon the forum, who hoo! :)

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the heads up. It's a very good price.

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Hello,

I'm not sure if you're still after the binos, but Park Cameras sells Pentax PCF WP II 12x50 for £105 delivered, which is ridiculously cheap comparing to the rest of the internet: http://www.parkcamer...-PCF-WP-II.html

I thought it was an error because the specs mention 8x40 bins, but I rang them to confirm and bought a pair straight away. They came on Friday and for me they are truly excellent, exactly what I was looking for. Saturday/Sunday night was clear and I was mesmerised with what they showed to me.

I don't find them difficult to hand hold, particularly leaning against something, but probably I couldn't go any further without a tripod support. I tried 16x once and it was too shaky. 10x42 was comparable in my opinion in terms of stability, but I thought I would like this little bit more of resolving power which 12x give. This way you can easily see 4 moons around Jupiter, a bit more of M31 cotton wool etc. Perhaps try first and see how you feel. Personally I wouldn't swap. I also have a pair of cheap and rubbish 7x bins and a little Soviet 20x50 refracting telescope. The latter offers better magnification (tripod only) and performs surprisingly well on bright objects, but I still prefer the Pentax. It's brighter on faint objects and in terms of clarity, contrast and sharpness across the field of view they are a class or two higher.

And this way I've posted my first reply oon the forum, who hoo! :)

see this post yesterday and went online straight away and bought a pair. They are arriving tomorrow so hopefully I get a decent weekend with them. It's an absolute bargain at £99

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Pentax 12x50PCF WPII are AWESOME. Got them as a present a few years ago. Tried the cheapie Bresser 10x50s from LIDL that come out now and again, OK and v manageable . Now I'm a hefty bloke who can stand for ages with these things as my arms are up to it. Look at www.binocularsky.com for many and varied ideas on supports for viewing with Bins, but maybe if it's your primary "grab n go" optics, then strengthen your arms/shoulders through resistance training to increase your endurance. Bigger bins don't weigh so much more that the stability goes out the window if you have just a little extra strength to manage them. An upturned broom makes a cheap and effective support for your bins and brings so much more into play, or increases the aperture you can steadily hold. Bins are truly the gateway into astronomy!

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Hi,

I have some Visionary 12x60HD see link:

http://www.binoculars-uk.co.uk/acatalog/Visionary_HD_Binoculars.html

I find them really sharp and brighter image from the 60mm obejective is noticeable.. I can hand hold them for a short time if I brace myself against a wall - but they are much better mounted on a tripod - I use a Velbon CX640.

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