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Buying new 10x50's or maybe 12x50's ???


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Hello fellow gazers, I'm going to pose a very hard question (as in sure nobody has owned all these models) but any individual advice would push me in the right location, I'm sure. I desperately need a new pair of mid sized bins, as my Meade 10x50's have given up the ghost, seeing double n all that. Plus I want to step up a bit. Now, I own revelation 15x70's and the are great, but need a decent set of 10-12x50's. After 2 weeks researching, I have arrived at ?? Maybe ??

Pentax xcf10x50.

Barr and Stroud Savanah 10x56

Barr and Stroud Sahara fmc 12x50 waterproof

Olympus DPS 10x50

Or Pentax 12x50 xcf.

I will be using bins for astronomy only. I own a decent tripod, although hope my deck chair will suffice, neck ache.

Is it true that, buying porro prism binoculars under the £100.00 mark is a pointless exercise ?

If you have any other suggestions on good 10x50 to 12x50 ish bins for astronomy use, please give me your advice. Much appreciated folks, clear skies one and all.

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I'ved not used the ones you list unfortunately but I have recently acquired a pair of the Helios Naturesport Plus 10x50's and found them rather good for their purchase price which is somewhat less than £100. My son has the 8x40 versions which he has carted to various far flung plces birdwatching and they seem robust as well as showing decent images.

I've had a few larger astro binoculars in the past but prefer to use a scope but I find 10x50 can be reasonably well hand held for convenient astronomy use.

I've not used more expensive binoculars so I can't say how well the Helios Naturesport's do against those but I'm quite happy with mine :smiley:

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Hi Paul..........I have the Revelation Astro 15x70 and I don't rate them for my astronomy, because of the lack of detail I see with them!  so I went down to 8x40's, preferring the wider, expansive views The 15x70s more suit my terrestrial needs now. 

That said, I'm wanting a decent pair of 10x50's and at present I want the Pentax PCF WP II's ?

I'm still holding back on the buy button, as there is still the opportunity to try something else first?   If the  Pentax or Opticron were available to me last week on my shopping trip to London, who knows!

Edited by Charic
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darn it John? 

I really like the Naturesport  8x40s as you well know, and I've often though that if their so good, can the 10x50's be any worse? 

Then FLO says the Naturesports can be bettered by the two choices in my previous text above!

..........decisions! decisions!

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Not sure about the porro prism aspect I would have thought that they were good, simply as they are 1 lump of glass and so need less alignment. In roof prism binoculars the roof prism consists of 2 prisms and they need to be accurately aligned to each other.

Equally I have 2 sets of roof prism binoculars and not a problem in the last 10 years.

Both mine are 8x42's and I use them for looking at the sky, was out last night for the moon, the better ones are the Bushnell Natureviews, the optics on them are good.

They are comfortable to use and no "bouncing" of the object I am looking at, I would suspect that if you go to 12x then things will start to bounce around. I was going to get the 10x42's but the supplier ceased and then Busnell altered the exterior and to me it looks awful. They are goig for £96 somewhere and if they were in a less strange exterior finish I would get myself a set of 10x.

Owing to stability I woud not go above 10x, equally you cannot point binoculars of this type at a planet and actually see anything, the magnification required is much greater then 10x or 12x or even 15x.

I suppose that Dartford is too far from Rutland Water (Up the A1 to Stamford, turn Left) ???

In August there is "Birdfair" on there and there is a large Marquee full of binoculars to try, and several others manufacturers external to the mani opotics marquee. It was where I went to search for what I wanted. If you wanted to look at and through 500+ different binoculars then it is the place to get to.

Minor problem with Birdfair is that you look through Bushnel's and they are nice (£100), you then try Minox and they are really nice and sharp (£600) then you try the Leica's (just for the hell of it) (£1500) and you are spoilt for life, nothing is as good. :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Thanks for your views chap's. I will settle on a new set of 10x50's. As you suggest, I think anything above 10x would sacrifice a steady view, etc. Mmm Bushnel, Helios naturesport, the research continues. I am not expecting top of the range views from a £100 set of bins, just a step up from my Meade 10x50's. I am kind of wondering if anyone knows of any bad points, niggles etc on the bins in my first post ?? Or indeed are they all produced the same way, same factory in China, hope not. Thanks for any advice, ronin I can only imagine the excellence of a view through some Leica's, but I shall hold off for now.

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Hi happy kat, I have adjust my bins and they are not perfect, but improved from how the they were. I now use them at work as they work really well still for close observation purposes. I just want to step up a little from my £30.00 Meade 10x50's. They are great budget binoculars, but I feel I could do better with a spend of £100 - £200 ish.

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I just got my new 20x80's yesterday with monopod, they are the celestron skymaster brand.  seem like they are going to be great from what little daylight viewing I did. I have not had time to get out with them yet at night.I  will post later when i do. The whole rig cost me about 175.00, binoculars, monopod and swivel for monopod. A day later which I didn't include in the price was good strap and a quick release pad for swivel that I can use with my camera. Binoculats were 105.00.

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John......Are the 10x50's as sharp as the 8x40's?

Another forum member seems to think their 10x50s are less than sharp?  Its an older article and does not reference the 'Plus' signature, so maybe the new plus variants are better. I know the 10x50s afov will be tighter, and  contrast should be about the same with  the 5mm exit pupil.

Edited by Charic
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That said, I'm wanting a decent pair of 10x50's and at present I want the Pentax PCF WP II's ?

I picked up a fair of those in the Amazon Black Friday sales last year for £115. :) I like them, although I should admit I don't have any expereince of other binoculars in the same price range.

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John......Are the 10x50's as sharp as the 8x40's?

Another forum member seems to think their 10x50s are less than sharp?  Its an older article and does not reference the 'Plus' signature, so maybe the new plus variants are better. I know the 10x50s afov will be tighter, and  contrast should be about the same with  the 5mm exit pupil.

Well I really like my 10x50 Naturesports for both terrestrial and astro. Not as good as Fuji's I'm sure but mine are as nice as my sons 8x40's and stars and the Moon look rather sharp and well defined to my inexperienced binocular eyes.

Being 10x they are a little more challenging to hold steady for astro use than the 8x ones of course but they are not heavy for 10x50's compared to others that I've used and my old Taiwanese charity shop 10x50's that they replace.

I split Albeiro with the Naturesports last night and my old cheapo 10x50's can't quite manage that.

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........paul, my  8x40s are very good, I'm  still very tempted to purchase the   Nature Sport 10x50's.

I'm still interested in some type of Marine proof / WP  optics, not that I'm going to be out in the rain all the time, but these  10x50's will be my general purpose optics, but I'd like full protection  so that the internals don't ever fog up?

My Mrs said to me last night, when I mentioned Fujinon FMT-sx, she just quipped....."just buy the B/things and be done with it!" ?

If only she knew,? but there was my permission!  but do I have the heart to go ahead?  Such classy optics! And what a price. But will the aging old eyes make best use of such fancy optics!  Having the best  means diddly squat if the eyes cant keep up IMHO.

Enjoy your Nature Sports when they arrive. In another thread there was an issue regards the +PLUS+ signature. Its not mentioned on the packaging/box, but assured that the PLUS variants have  the rotating  eye-guards! 

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.....Enjoy your Nature Sports when they arrive. In another thread there was an issue regards the +PLUS+ signature. Its not mentioned on the packaging/box, but assured that the PLUS variants have  the rotating  eye-guards! 

My Naturesports don't have "Plus" on them anywhere but they do have the twist up eyecups.

I guess some quality variation is possible with these relatively low cost items ?. I suppose one of the things you get when you pay a higher price is higher levels of quality control during manufacture / distribution.

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John.....thanks for that. I hand held  my 15x70s  last night ( first time I have seen some Stars in about a Month? ) and the Moon was all over the place. The Stars almost impossible to view. I have resigned them from use from my back garden for astro use. (street light pollution ) They may fare better from a darker site mounted, but I don't need so many optics. The 8x40s complement the scope better for my needs, so they are my dedicated astro bins for now.  The 10x50s will be  more everyday general use,  the 10x offering just a bit more than 8x, but still holdable without tripod. The 15x70s will still need  supporting Day or Night. These might have to move on? 

Edit:  My 8x40s neither are marked as plus! I think the other thread refers to fold down cups as the  NatureSport and  rotating cups,  the plus versions.

A bit of printed ink  would still have been a nice option, just to say they differ.

Edited by Charic
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I can only hand hold 15x70's for very short periods and even then not steadily enough to do them justice :embarrassed:

I have wondered if 12x70's might be worth a try one day ?

I think any binoculars benefit from a tripod mount for astro viewing though. I can see what 50mm is capable of when I look through my 9x50 RACI finder which is steadily mounted on my scope of course.

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