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Yet another 10 x 50 question


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Hi,

first-time poster and novice stargazer here.

I’m looking for a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars, mostly for astronomy and some bird/wildlife watching. Budget is around £150, but could creep up a bit with a good enough excuse :)

The only local shop has a very limited range. I tried a pair of Opticron Explorer WA 10x42, which I liked a lot, but presumably won’t be ideal for astronomy, and are £200. (They’re also roof prisms, which from what I’ve read won’t be as good as equivalently-priced Porro prisms?)

After trawling through a lot of archive posts here and elsewhere,I ended up getting a pair of Pentax PCF WPIIs online (couldn’t find a local dealer), which seem fine optically, and I didn’t mind the narrow FOV that some people have a problem with, but they just don’t fit my face - eyepieces too big, and it feels a bit of a stretch to the focussing wheel (odd, since I don’t have small hands). So they’ll be going back.

Based on my Opticron experience, I’m tempted by the Opticron Imagic TGA WP, which unfortunately the local shop doesn’t stock, so again I’d be buying blind, so to speak. If anyone can comment on eyepiece size I’d be grateful!

I’ve also seen Williams Optical ED mentioned here as alternatives, but I’m put off by the weight - I’m finding the Pentaxes quite heavy enough…

Any other suggestions/comments?

many thanks,

Tim H

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The way I understand it - and I am by no means a binoculars expert - is that Porro prisms are preferred, and they are cheaper, but they are bigger and heavier than the same sized roof prisms.

I've just got a pair of Minox 10x42s (which are roof prisms), not had them out many times, but they are reasonably light and comfortable, didn't struggle (once I'd sat down and got comfy) scanning around for about 1/2 an hour. Could see Ganymeade, and had a lovely view of the beehive cluster.

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Thanks both.

I think what I'd really like to know at this stage is whether the Pentax has unusually large eyepieces. If yes, then I suppose I'm reasonably safe ordering something else online. (I have emailed the Binocular Shop to ask about the Imagic's eyepiece - no reply as yet.)

 

 

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Might I suggest a book?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Stargazing-Binoculars-Robin-Scagell/dp/1849073007/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1464261279&sr=8-12&keywords=binoculars+stargazing

This uses a significant part of the book explaining how to choose binoculars from a pair of professionals, its worth listening to their advice. If you've got 150 quid to spend on  binoculars read up before buying!

Also heres a section on BBC's Sky At Night magazine with reviews of binoculars from your kind of price range/specs!

http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/telescope-reviews/binoculars

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On 25/05/2016 at 14:31, tjh said:

Based on my Opticron experience, I’m tempted by the Opticron Imagic TGA WP, which unfortunately the local shop doesn’t stock, so again I’d be buying blind, so to speak. If anyone can comment on eyepiece size I’d be grateful!

40mm diameter . (My wife has this bino). Assuming the Pentax PCF WPII has the same eyepeices as the SP that replaced it (I think it does, but cannot be certain), they are 48mm diameter.

 

2 hours ago, tbrookes3890 said:

Also heres a section on BBC's Sky At Night magazine with reviews of binoculars from your kind of price range/specs!

http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/telescope-reviews/binoculars

Unfortunately that is a bit out of date; the most recent review on there i sone I did 30 months ago; there've been a few since :icon_biggrin:.

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8 hours ago, tbrookes3890 said:

Might I suggest a book?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Stargazing-Binoculars-Robin-Scagell/dp/1849073007/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1464261279&sr=8-12&keywords=binoculars+stargazing

This uses a significant part of the book explaining how to choose binoculars from a pair of professionals, its worth listening to their advice. If you've got 150 quid to spend on  binoculars read up before buying!

Thanks, good suggestion. As it happens, a copy dropped through my letterbox this morning ;) . I'd actually already read the section on choosing bins, courtesy of Amazon's handy 'look inside' feature...

5 hours ago, BinocularSky said:

40mm diameter . (My wife has this bino). Assuming the Pentax PCF WPII has the same eyepeices as the SP that replaced it (I think it does, but cannot be certain), they are 48mm diameter.

Thanks Steve, that sounds promising. Would you say they're of comparable optical quality to the Pentax? One thing I did notice about the Opticrons I mentioned trying was that they seemed easier to focus accurately and quickly than the WPIIs. I don't know whether this would be down to shallower depth of field, and if so whether that's good, bad or neither...

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38 minutes ago, tjh said:

Thanks, good suggestion. As it happens, a copy dropped through my letterbox this morning ;) . I'd actually already read the section on choosing bins, courtesy of Amazon's handy 'look inside' feature...

 

Fantastic tell me if its any good. Clear skies!

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  • 1 month later...

Rather belatedly reporting back! Have had the Opticrons for a couple of weeks now but no opportunity so far for stargazing. Will be on the W coast of Ireland in a few weeks time, so hoping for some nice dark skies...

I can say that they're startlingly smaller and lighter than the Pentaxes though.

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As a brand, Opticron  are well known, the iMagics are highly recommended by so many, and at one stage,  were second on my list to the Pentax PCF's ?

I eventually bought the Strathspey Marine  for general purpose use, filling the 10x50 gap, yet still preferring my 8x40's for sweeping across the sky.

 I also note your issue with the PCF's, I had a similar issue with Nikon Extremes, one size does not fit all.:glasses9:

Enjoy your new binoculars, day and night.

 

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