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Chinapig

Considering some decent cabin-bag friendly 10x50s

28 posts in this topic

Hi folks

Preparing for some foreign travel, and have regretfully decided that my much loved Helios Apllo 15x70s are too big and heavy to take.  Need something that will share a carry-on bag with camera gear etc, but would like to combine good image quality and robust build in a 10x50 format.  Don't mind spending a bit of budget for something that's going to last, and keep my eyes happy!

I guess I COULD stretch to the Lunt magnesium 10x50s, or would the new Helios LightQuest HR be a viable alternative?  Or perhaps the Pentax SP/WP would fit the bill happily enough.  

Any comments and other suggestions etc very much appreciated.  I wear glasses, so need to keep decent eye relief and, ideally, preservation of field of view in mind.

Cheers all - thanks!

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Chinapig said:

I guess I COULD stretch to the Lunt magnesium 10x50s, or would the new Helios LightQuest HR be a viable alternative?  Or perhaps the Pentax SP/WP would fit the bill happily enough.

A tad "preliminary", but i have the LightQuest for testing/review at the mo. I've not finished testing, but so far:
* Overall very nice for an IF binocular
* Coatings not as good as the Lunt
* Eyepieces and eye relief better than the BA8 (WO, Resolux, etc.)
* Same weight as the Lunt (i.e. significantly lighter than the BA8)

I have reviewed the Pentax SP/WP here. Unless you specifically want an IF, at the current BinocShop/FLO price, it's a steal.

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5 hours ago, BinocularSky said:


I have reviewed the Pentax SP/WP here. Unless you specifically want an IF, at the current BinocShop/FLO price, it's a steal.

As great as they are, isn't the reported ~50 degree AFOV (50mm models) and ~43 degree AFOV (20x60) rather narrow? :happy10:

Edited by SpaceBass

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49 minutes ago, SpaceBass said:

As great as they are, isn't the ~50 degree AFOV on the 50mm models , a figure mentioned on one or two retailer websites but not confirmed, rather narrow? :happy10:

To some extent its a question of preference. Going back a few years  I think  said the self same thing and bought the Williams Optics 10x50s which has a 6.3 degrees  fov  and is indeed a very good binocular.  However, my mainstay binocular is now the Opticron iMagic 10x42 which is 5.5 degrees and in practice I find this is plenty wide enough. It should also be remembered that in the case of the Pentax  the 50 degree afov gives  a 5 degree fov that is sharp almost edge to edge. The Nikon Action Ex 10x50 which many people like for its wide fov has, according to  reviews  a visually sharp fov that is marginally less than the Pentax. The WO 10x50 is very sharp across much of the fov but certainly not edge to edge. Like I say I think its a matter of preference and perhaps emphasizes the usefulness of trying binoculars before you buy, if that is at all possible.

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Many thanks for your input folks.

Steve - appreciate the early feedback on the LightQuests, and your comments help put the range in context.

SpaceBass - cheers for your point re AFOV.

I'll ponder for a little longer, and probably make a final choice on Monday.

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Hi Alfian.  I'm aware that the Pentax SP WP models have very good optics with a flat field to near the edge. It's more the narrow apparent FOV that I wonder might be troublesome.

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1 hour ago, SpaceBass said:

Hi Alfian.  I'm aware that the Pentax SP WP models have very good optics with a flat field to near the edge. It's more the narrow apparent FOV that I wonder might be troublesome.

The "narrow" afov converts to a 5 degree fov which many people do not find to be a problem. The iMagics have a 55degree afov and they are just fine, there is no sense of tunnel vision. I have the Pentax 20x60 which has a 2.2 degree fov which is narrow and they are a bit of a specialist instrument, and whilst there is a bit of knack to using them, I would not describe them as troublesome to use.

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If its astronomy your pondering whilst away, You'll only wish you had taken the Apollo's.
They would easily go as hold luggage, unless you only travel with a briefcase, but if you still need to take something else, I would suggest going the other end  of the spectrum,  lower power, wide field,   something like 8x40 for your carry on!
My Strathspey's were purchased for the very sole reason of ready to go,  go anywhere, but my most used bins are my Helios 8x40s, day or night. I`m also considering a spotting scope for Mrs.
If your after some fancy optics, might they be cheaper to purchase whilst away on your holiday?

 

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11 hours ago, Charic said:

My Strathspey's were purchased for the very sole reason of ready to go,  go anywhere, but my most used bins are my Helios 8x40s, day or night

Good point. One thing that surprised me about the 10x42s, I don't know why, was how much more compact they felt than a 10x50, but still a very capable binocular.  They gather a bit less light, yes, but maybe a useful trade off in terms of  weight and size.

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Re the narrow FoV of the Pentaxes (or should the plural be Pentaces? :D): If it was a mounted binocular, that might be an issue. As it's hand-held, you move the entire binocular, rather than gaze around a nice wide stationary field.

That said, I prefer The BA8, the LQ and the Lunt to the Pentax; I compared the BA8 and the Pentax directly during the September 2015 lunar eclipse. The Pentax won on stray light control, colour rendition, edge sharpness and weight, yet I still preferred the BA8. They "seemed" to be brighter, but I couldn't tell why - I couldn't actually see any fainter stars. Ultimately, what it comes down to, as  @Alfian said, is personal preference.

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6 hours ago, Alfian said:

Good point. One thing that surprised me about the 10x42s, I don't know why, was how much more compact they felt than a 10x50, but still a very capable binocular.  They gather a bit less light, yes, but maybe a useful trade off in terms of  weight and size.

When I go on holiday, I take my 10x42 (Opticron BGA) - narrow FoV & less bright compared to any of my 10x50s except the Strathspey Marine (which is really a 10x41), but so much lighter and more compact.

Edited by BinocularSky
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On 17/02/2017 at 21:45, Charic said:

If its astronomy your pondering whilst away, You'll only wish you had taken the Apollo's.
They would easily go as hold luggage, unless you only travel with a briefcase, but if you still need to take something else, I would suggest going the other end  of the spectrum,  lower power, wide field,   something like 8x40 for your carry on!

 

Thanks Charic - yeah, you're right about the Apollos, I may well regret it if I leave them at home!

And take your point re wide field.  My little B&S Savannah 8x42s are not bad, and perhaps I should be content with taking those, but I bought them before I was quite so dependent on wearing glasses, and I find them a bit of a fiddle to keep my eyes in their sweet spot. Hence the search for something else, preferably with a tad more reach and aperture - but I appreciate the benefits might be marginal.

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Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42 is currently discounted to £149 at Curry's and whatsit_azon.  You get a really bright, clear view and (reportedly) flatter towards the edge than the more expensive Monarch 5's. They have phase coatings but inferior control of stray light compared to the Pentax SP's. Eye relief is 15.5mm but I just tested them and had an unrestricted view with the cups screwed in.  

Could be a decent, less cumbersome option for travelling, along with a Konig neck strap tripod, if you don't mind the less than exemplary stray light performance :happy6:.

https://store.nikon.co.uk/prostaff-7s-10x42/BAA841SA/details#specificationstab

Edited by SpaceBass
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On 17/02/2017 at 00:51, Chinapig said:

 

I guess I COULD stretch to the Lunt magnesium 10x50s, 

 

 

 

This :icon_biggrin:

 

Another to consider and only approx £30 more than the Lunt is the new APM branded ED Apo 10x50. If the 16x70 is anything to go by, it'll be a stunner.....

 

http://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/binoculars/binoculars-50mm-aperture/lunt-engineering-10-x-50-magnesium-series-binoculars

 

Edited by Damo636
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On 18/02/2017 at 15:53, BinocularSky said:

When I go on holiday, I take my 10x42 (Opticron BGA) - narrow FoV & less bright compared to any of my 10x50s except the Strathspey Marine (which is really a 10x41), but so much lighter and more compact.

Cheers, sounds a great option for an ultra lightweight set up!  £40 for the tripod adapter seems overpriced though 

Edited by SpaceBass

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5 hours ago, Damo636 said:

This :icon_biggrin:

 

Another to consider and only approx £30 more than the Lunt is the new APM branded ED Apo 10x50. If the 16x70 is anything to go by, it'll be a stunner.....

 

http://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/binoculars/binoculars-50mm-aperture/lunt-engineering-10-x-50-magnesium-series-binoculars

 

Hmm, thanks Damo - food for thought indeed!  Have noted with interest your "first impressions" thread on the 16x70s.  So far, can't find anywhere that stocks the APM to have a look through, but I hope to  be able to try out the Lunt 10x50 within the next few days.

Edited by Chinapig

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7 hours ago, SpaceBass said:

Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42 is currently discounted to £149 at Curry's and whatsit_azon.  You get a really bright, clear view and (reportedly) flatter towards the edge than the more expensive Monarch 5's. They have phase coatings but inferior control of stray light compared to the Pentax SP's. Eye relief is 15.5mm but I just tested them and had an unrestricted view with the cups screwed in.  

Could be a decent, less cumbersome option for travelling, along with a Konig neck strap tripod, if you don't mind the less than exemplary stray light performance :happy6:.

https://store.nikon.co.uk/prostaff-7s-10x42/BAA841SA/details#specificationstab

Good suggestion. Going by my Prostaff 7 8x42, the Nikon could be a very viable option indeed - my 8s are very light bins with excellent optics almost edge to edge. I love em - handling is so sweet ( they really seem to fit my little paws like a glove) and their size is very manageable for travel.

 

 

Edited by ghostdance
typo!
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14 hours ago, Chinapig said:

...........dependent on wearing glasses, and I find them a bit of a fiddle to keep my eyes in their sweet spot. Hence the search for something else, preferably with a tad more reach and aperture - but I appreciate the benefits might be marginal.

I have to wear glasses for driving, but don't wear them when  using my binoculars or telescope.
Although there is provision to lower or raise the eye-caps, I still find wearing glasses whilst viewing a bind.

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12 hours ago, Charic said:

I have to wear glasses for driving, but don't wear them when  using my binoculars or telescope.
Although there is provision to lower or raise the eye-caps, I still find wearing glasses whilst viewing a bind.

Yup, initially I did the same, and all was fine until my astigmatism got to be more of a problem, particularly in my dominant eye.  Now I find glasses are pretty much a must whether with binos or scope.  Annoying, but there you go...

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20 hours ago, Chinapig said:

Hmm, thanks Damo - food for thought indeed!  Have noted with interest your "first impressions" thread on the 16x70s.  So far, can't find anywhere that stocks the APM to have a look through, but I hope to  be able to try out the Lunt 10x50 within the next few days.

Rother Valley sell them but much more expensive than direct from APM.  Your best bet might be to order from APM and return if not suitable. It will be at your expense to return them (unless faulty) which at a very rough guess might set you back £20-£30, depending on insured or not.

Edited by SpaceBass

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19 hours ago, Chinapig said:

Hmm, thanks Damo - food for thought indeed!  Have noted with interest your "first impressions" thread on the 16x70s.  So far, can't find anywhere that stocks the APM to have a look through, but I hope to  be able to try out the Lunt 10x50 within the next few days.

Some more food for thought if you do get to try the Lunt and like it :smiley:

 

http://www.bresser.de/en/By-Manufacturer/Lunt-Engineering/LUNT-ENGINEERING-Astro-and-Yachting-Binocular-10x50-FMC-Magnesium-bresser.html#

 

I bought my 16x70 from here (also supposedly ex display) but I'd swear it had never been out of the box!  A nice £100+ saving on UK price!

 

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2 hours ago, Damo636 said:

I bought my 16x70 from here (also supposedly ex display) but I'd swear it had never been out of the box!  A nice £100+ saving on UK price!

Ditto my 10x50, after your initial sharing of that source (thank you!).

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17 hours ago, Damo636 said:

 

I bought my 16x70 from here (also supposedly ex display) but I'd swear it had never been out of the box!  A nice £100+ saving on UK price!

The ED's?  I was on the site a few weeks ago but didn't notice them there.  UK price at Rother Valley is £800 and around £600 from APM.  Quite a difference!

 

Edited by SpaceBass

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1 hour ago, SpaceBass said:

The ED's?  I was on the site a few weeks ago but didn't notice them there.  UK price at Rother Valley is £800 and around £600 from APM.  Quite a difference!

 

You are correct, I was referring get to the Lunt Magnesium.

The price difference for the APM ED 16x70  is indeed massive if bought in the UK. I'm not sure why :dontknow:,but there's no way I'd pay it!

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Many thanks folks, for all the advice, wisdom, links and suggestions.

All very much appreciated.

Decision made.  With a flight deadline and birthday approaching, backed by a big smile from my good lady, I decided to spend the wee bit extra on the APM 10x50ED, as compared to the Lunts.  Couldn't risk ordering from outside the UK, in case of unexpected delays in transit, so have gone for a UK supplier who had them in stock.  More soon on that front...

A special thanks to Damo for leading me in the general APM direction!  Yup, noted the UK/Europe price differential on the 16x70s, but on the 10x50s it seemed acceptable in the circumstances.

Will report in due course.

Cheers all

 

 

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