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Binoculars - help please


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Hello,

I've always loved the stars but this is my first time aquiring some binos and I was hoping to have a little help please?

I've done loads of research and as I understand it the important criteria are: magnification (anything 7 to 10 is usually okay to hand hold), apperture (the bigger the better), exit pupil (7mm is good), field of view (the bigger the better), eye relief (> 15mm for glasses wearers), eye cups (twist up are the best if sharing binos between family members), glass type (BaK-4), prism type (Porro is better as cheaper to get good porro than good roof), coating (fully multi-coated is the best), weatherproof-ness (not that I plan to be outside if it rains but waterproof is good for rapid temperature changes, and of course rain) and weight (the longer you hold them up the heavier they will feel!).

I'm looking for my first pair to use at home and on holiday.  Ideally I would like to not have to take a tripod.  I currently have a Canon camera which, when lense-less, weighs around 830g and that's an okay weight even with lenses on so I figure anything up to 1.2kg should be okay to hold.... maybe?

I've currenly narrowed my list to the following (in order of preference):

1. Celestron Skymaster 8x56 (7mm exit pupil, 5.8' field of view, 18mm eye relief with fully multi-coated BaK-4 porro prism glass)

2. Celestron Skymaster 9x63 (7mm exit pupil, 5' field of view, 17mm eye relief with fully multi-coated BaK-4 porro prism glass)

3. Bushnell 10x50 (5mm exit pupil, 5' field of view, 18mm eye relief with fully multi-coated BaK-4 porro prism glass)

4. Bresser Spezial Jagd 8x56 (7mm exit pupil, 6.6' field of view, not sure what eye relief but with fully multi-coated BaK-4 porro prism glass)

Does anyone have any experiance with any of these or have any advice please?  Anything would be very appriciated.

Thank you!  :)

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They are celstron Granite 8x42, 780 grams with strap and lens caps.

Chose this size for the wide field of view 8 degrees as these are astro and general purpose use like birds and aeroplanes. The fov was more important then 10x magnification for me.

My camera body is just 495 grams then plus lens.

Edited by happy-kat
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I would not get hung up on 7mm exit pupil too much. The value of 7mm is perhaps fine for younger eyes under very dark skies, but with light pollution you can readily get slightly washed-out backgrounds. Most people go for 10x50 or 10x56 for hand held, although some do prefer 7-8x. I use my 15x70 Helios Apollo HDs (2400 g or so) readily hand held, but for long session prefer some support. This shows how personal binoculars are. Try before you buy is the best advice.

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They are celstron Granite 8x42, 780 grams with strap and lens caps.

Chose this size for the wide field of view 8 degrees as these are astro and general purpose use like birds and aeroplanes. The fov was more important then 10x magnification for me.

My camera body is just 495 grams then plus lens.

That's interesting that you would go for the fov as more important - thank you.  Do you think that 5.8 degrees is enough for a beginner?

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I would not get hung up on 7mm exit pupil too much. The value of 7mm is perhaps fine for younger eyes under very dark skies, but with light pollution you can readily get slightly washed-out backgrounds. Most people go for 10x50 or 10x56 for hand held, although some do prefer 7-8x. I use my 15x70 Helios Apollo HDs (2400 g or so) readily hand held, but for long session prefer some support. This shows how personal binoculars are. Try before you buy is the best advice.

Thank you.  Yours sound really heavy!

I can't find any shops nearby so I may have to try with bags of sugar/flour at home for now until the weekend comes round again.

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It is the angle that you hold binoculars it is different to a camera.

I thought 8 degrees was huge and it is at night but as these are also daytime used I would not go for less. 10x for me would be too shaky an image my 8x get shaky enough when I get tired.

The darker the sky the more they will see anyway.

Binocularsky great website plenty to read and the chap who runs that does a monthly newsletter on what to see.

Edited by happy-kat
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It is the angle that you hold binoculars it is different to a camera.

I thought 8 degrees was huge and it is at night but as these are also daytime used I would not go for less. 10x for me would be too shaky an image my 8x get shaky enough when I get tired.

The darker the sky the more they will see anyway.

Binocularsky great website plenty to read and the chap who runs that does a monthly newsletter on what to see.

Thank you.  I hadn't come across that website before so I will have a look.  

A lot of people say to try them first but I can't find any shops that stock a variety nearby.  I'm pretty sure I'll have to buy online which is another reason why I would like people's opinion's so thank you for your help.  :)

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Binoculars are surprisingly heavy compared to a camera as you use them in a different way.  To get more of an idea, hold your camera looking / pointing vertical up at the sky for a minute and feel the strain on your arms !  Most people consider 10x50s to be the max for comfortable hand hold use  but around 8x40 are more manageable to hold for any length of time.  I have a light weight pair of 10x50s around 700 grams but they still take some effort to keep things still in the frame.

Good tip on the binocular sky site, have a good read through the articles.  Whatever you decide, they are a great way to explore the night sky.

The Binocular Sky Newsletter, September2015 - Observing - with Binoculars - Stargazers Lounge

andrew

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Binoculars are surprisingly heavy compared to a camera as you use them in a different way.  To get more of an idea, hold your camera looking / pointing vertical up at the sky for a minute and feel the strain on your arms !  Most people consider 10x50s to be the max for comfortable hand hold use  but around 8x40 are more manageable to hold for any length of time.  I have a light weight pair of 10x50s around 700 grams but they still take some effort to keep things still in the frame.

Good tip on the binocular sky site, have a good read through the articles.  Whatever you decide, they are a great way to explore the night sky.

The Binocular Sky Newsletter, September2015 - Observing - with Binoculars - Stargazers Lounge

andrew

Thank you Andrew, I never thought of it like that before!  I shall have to hold it over my head.

The Binocular sky site seems really knowledgeable.  I've found thse : http://astore.amazon.co.uk/binosky-21/detail/B0001HKIJKwhich I think may out perform the ones I listed in my OP.

At 855g they're definitely the lightest!

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Thank you Baz.

I'm going to use his testing page if I can visit a shop that stocks binoculars at the weekend  :)  it seems really usefull!

From Biocular Sky I like:

Opticron Imagic TGA WP 7x42mm Binoculars (6mm exit pupil, 7.2 degrees width of field, 682g),

Opticron Imagic TGA WP 8x42mm Binoculars (5.3mm exit pupil, 6.5 degrees width of field, 682g),,

and

Nikon Action EX 8x40 CF Binocular (5mm exit pupil, 8.2 degrees width of field, 855g),

I hear what you're all saying about weight and agree that lighter is better!  :)

But what do you think about the difference between the three above please?

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 I can't comment as to the pros and cons of the various ones listed, but a few people on here use the Opticrons Imagic and are very pleased with them.  Considered good budget binoculars i.e. under £200.  I have some 10x50 Opticrons although a different model, hopefully you will be able to try some out when you have time.   It might be worth you starting a new thread for advice in the binocular section where you will get some more feedback.

andrew

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 I can't comment as to the pros and cons of the various ones listed, but a few people on here use the Opticrons Imagic and are very pleased with them.  Considered good budget binoculars i.e. under £200.  I have some 10x50 Opticrons although a different model, hopefully you will be able to try some out when you have time.   It might be worth you starting a new thread for advice in the binocular section where you will get some more feedback.

andrew

Thank you Andrew.  I thought here was best as I'm a beginner but I'll repost there.  Thank you for your help.  :)

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Thank you  :)

I have reposted here - http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/253153-advice-with-celestron-vs-bushnell-vs-bresser-vs-opticron-vs-nikon-please/

If anyone has any experience of Bushnell or Opticron it would be really very much appriciated!

I'm really keen to buy a pair of binoculars but want to make sure I'm making the right choice as don't have money to burn or the patience to wait and keeping swapping pairs until the perfect one arrives!  :)

Thank you  :)

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