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Getting my first pair of binoculars


nxrc
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Hi all,

As the title mentions, I'm looking to get my first binoculars. I've done some reading (such as the guide on the Binocular Sky website) and it seems the consensus is to go for a pair that are 10x50 and Porro prism. I'd like to use them with glasses and also take them with me if I fly anywhere. I've put together a list of models that are reasonably priced and may be suitable, but I'm still unsure. These are:

Olympus DPS-1 - good price on Amazon, but lacking eye relief?

Celestron Nature - £65 from FLO.

Helios Fieldmaster - £47.99 from Harrison Telescopes. The website says they have long eye relief and Binocular Sky recommends them.

Meade 10x50 - £39 from Telescope House.

There are other models too, like the Strathspey Marines or Waterproofs, Helios Naturesport and seemingly dozens more.

I'm leaning towards the Fieldmaster ones, as they're well priced and look perfect. Are those a good choice then, or ...?

Thanks!

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I think I'm eight in saying that Binocular Sky had the DPS1's in the recommended under £50 section until the price went up a bit and took them over the threshold.

I have the DPS-1's and am happy with them - not really noticed an eye-relief issue, although I don't wear specs so its not such a big thing for me anyway.

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We are, I think, in a situation of "it would be wise to try before you buy":

The eye relief of the DPS-1 is marginal for spectacles -- its adequacy depends on how deep-set your eyes are.

May I ask: Why do you wear spectacles? If you have hypermetropia (aka hyperopia), presbyopia or mild myopia, you can normally "focus it out" with binoculars. Some binoculars don't have the focus range to cope with anything other than very mild myopia; some can cope with severe myopia. Of course, none can cope with astigmatism.

However, as long as your binocular eye relief can cope with your spectacles, you'd probably be happy with any of the ones you mention: you could spend ages agonising over which one to get, but it it comes down to minute differences. And personal preference: 50 other people could prefer a binocular that you find slightly awkward to use. But all will show you far more of the night sky than you can see without tehm.

(@Jim-a: You are correct about the reason for the DPS-1 being removed because of the price rise. )

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Thanks very much tetenterre. I wear glasses because I'm quite shortsighted; I don't believe I have astigmatism (I assume I'd know about that!). I'm not sure I'll be able to get somewhere that has all those models to try out!

Ah, I see now why when you talk about the Fieldmaster, you say "another, good ..." and there's a reference to DPS-1, even though it doesn't appear anywhere else on the page - both are because that model has been removed from that section.

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Astigmatism often comes with short-sightedness. The easiest way to check is to take off your glasses and look at a distance light source. It the defocused image is circular then it's fine, if it is elliptical then you have astigmatism.

Most glasses prescription contains this information (Listed under cylinder), but most people including myself only read the myopia (spherical). My astigmatism is quite mild and I can often just ignore it. However, I need my glasses if I want to see pin point stars

Edited by E621Keith
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Thanks all so far. mikehab, do you wear glasses when using the DPS-1?

Well I'm supposed to wear glasses (I'm short sighted with astigmatism) - but I always take them off when using the bins - I haven't actually tried using the bins with my glasses on. I find that I can get a good image just by adjusting the dioptic on the bin eyepiece - so I guess my short-sightedness/astigmatism isn't too bad. I'll certainly try with the glasses on next time there's clear skies and report back.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I'm eight in saying that Binocular Sky had the DPS1's in the recommended under £50 section until the price went up a bit and took them over the threshold.

The price has come down again, so I've put it back. :smiley: Edited by tetenterre
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  • 2 weeks later...

My 10x50 DPS1's arrived from Amazon yesterday after reading the fine advice in this thread and over at The Binocular Sky. Managed to get half an hours observing whilst fiddling with the new washing machine! Got a good view of the pleiades and Jupiter before the cold and wind forced me back inside. I was very pleased with the view I got for only £50. The pleiades were very nicely framed in the view and stars appeared very sharp. Was also surprised by just how many more stars were visible through the bins. Can see me spending many happy hours reclining in a chair in the back garden viewing the heavens. And they are the perfect size to take wherever you go, so a bit like having a nice grab and go scope with you. Might finally get some use out of Turn Left at Orion as well! Go to scopes really make it far to easy not to the learn the night sky in any detail.

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