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Need Help Finding a Pair of Binoculars That Suite My Needs


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Hi guys and gals,

I recently purchased a pair of Nikon Aculon 10-22×50 Zoom binoculars for around $179 and I'm pretty disappointed with them.  I live in Semi-rural northeast Texas and was looking for a good pair of binoculars for a casual stargazer like myself.  I thought these would be the perfect pair, I was wrong. The field of view is pretty small and the focus is annoying.  The view is like tunnel vision at 10× and too dark at 22×. 

Do any of you individuals have any helpful suggestions on what exactly I should get that suites my individual needs?

I am looking for something that won't break the bank (under $300), has a large field of view, would allow me to see the moons of Jupiter, the Andromeda Galaxy, starclusters, nebulae, and maybe some of the Messier Objects?  Also, without a tripod needed. I would like something  that is comfortable on the eye and easy to hold.

Its asking a lot, I know. But I'm hoping some of you who are more knowledgeable on the subject would be able to help me out?

Thanks.

 

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5 hours ago, JAFULTON said:

Hi guys and gals,

I recently purchased a pair of Nikon Aculon 10-22×50 Zoom binoculars for around $179 and I'm pretty disappointed with them.  I live in Semi-rural northeast Texas and was looking for a good pair of binoculars for a casual stargazer like myself.  I thought these would be the perfect pair, I was wrong. The field of view is pretty small and the focus is annoying.  The view is like tunnel vision at 10× and too dark at 22×. 

Do any of you individuals have any helpful suggestions on what exactly I should get that suites my individual needs?

I am looking for something that won't break the bank (under $300), has a large field of view, would allow me to see the moons of Jupiter, the Andromeda Galaxy, starclusters, nebulae, and maybe some of the Messier Objects?  Also, without a tripod needed. I would like something  that is comfortable on the eye and easy to hold.

Its asking a lot, I know. But I'm hoping some of you who are more knowledgeable on the subject would be able to help me out?

Thanks.

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-71198-Cometron-Binoculars-Black/dp/B00DV6SI3Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533963346&sr=8-1&keywords=cometron+7x50

I like the Orion Tritech II head and tripod. $80

Edited by refractordude
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Hi and welcome to SGL.

The most often recommended advice for hand holdable astronomy binoculars would be 10 x 50. Your budget allows a good quality purchase, mostly you get what you pay for.

Individual eyepiece focussing is more robust than centre focus, as long as you don’t want to use them for regular daytime viewing. Good eye relief, especially if you wear glasses. See what’s available, and checking online reviews can help, especially on astronomy websites.

HTH, Ed.

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Middle ground says 10x50. I have the 10x50 Strathspey Marine and I find them very good in use. I first used them  for astronomy and  Stars appeared sharp. The next time I used them during the Day, they did not require further adjustment, such is the decent field of view, but very close in, adjustment was required. I literally set them and leave them, perfect for my needs. When I say set them, I'm referring to the individual focuser for each eye.
These binoculars were not just for astronomy, I wanted something general purpose that was tough and durable. Their now permanently stored in my boot safe, where they'll endure vibration, heat and cold, perfect for my needs.

I also  have a set of 15x70 ( there might be an issue with my set, still assessing ). With magnification EVERYTHING is magnified, so the higher you go, the more its noticeable, but not only does your target look closer, bigger, image shake is more apparent if you hand hold them, providing their not too heavy, but most optics over 10x mag require some form of mount, be that a rest, monopod or tripod. Your field of view also decreases as the mag increases, reducing the amount you can see at any one time.

For general astronomy, I much prefer my 8x40's  with their +8° field of view. I don't see any Planetary details, that  still requires a telescope, but I just like the width of view these binoculars give me. Their so light and comfortable, yet I still mount them on a tripod! 

I'm just short of 5mm dilated pupils, so a binocular that has an exit pupil of around 5mm allow me to make the best use of the exit pupil, not too large that light is wasted, not to small that eye placement becomes difficult. Using either my 10x50 or 8x40 I will have the same exit pupil, only the size weight and magnification differ, although my 8x40's still appear to be brighter?

I once had a pair of Nikons myself, yet they did not 'fit' my face, and a couple of other issues, but that were not comfortable! yet never had any bother with ANY other binocular so far. The person who bought them of me couldn't have been happier, especially with the price!

Anything out there that you buy to observe something will have its good points and bad, but only the end user will know if it looks and feels right. I've no doubt you will find something  eventually that suits your requirement. Trial and error may be your only option, as only your eyes will decide what's best.

 

Edited by Charic
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On 11/08/2018 at 09:25, Ricochet said:

Zoom binoculars are not really recommended.

From what I've read, that 's an understatement. Low-priced zoom binoculars are utter rubbish that should be avoided at all costs.  It's tricky enough to make fixed-power binoculars that stay in alignment during use and despite knocks, without introducing a pair of zoom eyepieces that have to track perfectly, and extra moving mechanical parts.

Also, as anyone who has used a zoom eyepiece will know, the field of view at minimum zoom is rather small compared with that of an equivalent fixed eyepiece.

My pair of Bresser 10x50 work quite well and cost me around £15 new (but I had to adjust the collimation myself after a while).  For better quality you can spend up to around £500 for a leading brand 10x50. 

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I have a pair of discontinued 8x42 Meade binos with a 65 degree AFOV.  They are most similar to the Orion UltraView 8x42 Wide-Angle Binoculars.  I prefer them to 10x binoculars for hand holding due to a more easily controlled shakiness.

I also have a pair of Galileo 15x70 binoculars.  They are similar to the Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars.  I have to be sitting in a rocker/recliner patio/lawn/camping chair to use them without a tripod.  They provide a nice boost in magnification and limiting magnitude.

Binoculars are best for large star fields and large star clusters.  You'll also be able to discern Jupiter's moons.  Large nebula generally require really dark skies and even then, a pair of nebula filters would probably help.

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20 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I prefer them to 10x binoculars for hand holding due to a more easily controlled shakiness.

I mount my 8x40's for the same reason which fixes the shake problem. I suppose everyone has some form of shake, even a doctor, especially when you go higher than 10x magnification. Not only that, just about any binocular will look better if the image is rock steady.

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Im thinking of mounting my Lunt 8x32 Sunoculars. I just need an L bracket. I can see sunspots with them, but cant properly observe them. I'll use my new Ravelli pistol grip tripod and mount.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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6 hours ago, Charic said:

I mount my 8x40's for the same reason which fixes the shake problem. I suppose everyone has some form of shake, even a doctor, especially when you go higher than 10x magnification. Not only that, just about any binocular will look better if the image is rock steady.

I would probably just pony up the big bucks for a Canon image stabilized binocular before I'd mount a pair of binoculars.  I've tried several different bino mounts and didn't really care for any of them.  All of them totally ruin the binocular experience.  The whole point of binoculars is that they are easily used as a grab and go.  If I'm going to bring a mount into the picture, I'll just grab my ED72 with a binoviewer for a much more comfortable view.

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On 13/08/2018 at 01:28, Louis D said:

The whole point of binoculars is that they are easily used as a grab and go.  If I'm going to bring a mount into the picture, I'll just grab my ED72 with a binoviewer for a much more comfortable view.

 

Agree with that. I like my 10x50s, but my 70mm Pronto with a 35mm Panoptic on a mini giro alt az mount gives a lovely rock steady and comfortable 5 degree field.  Ok, that’s one eyed observing but a great view. Add in an Orion Ultrablock nebula filter (for the  appropriate objects) and I could almost live with it as an ‘only’ scope.

Ed.

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On 13/08/2018 at 01:28, Louis D said:

All of them totally ruin the binocular experience.  The whole point of binoculars is that they are easily used as a grab and go.  

I use a ball head and trigger grip which gives me precise articulation, any view. I can also remove the bins in a flash at the flick of a lever. The best views I get are when the image is steady, and either tripod mounted, mono-pod or just leant on/against something is a far cheaper option than IS.

IS are a good solution but best used from a moving platform what ever that may be. From my experience they were very capable when flying, and boats too, but I was not looking for stars. 

Folk have their opions but mounted binoculars clearly will not ruin the experience, well not for everyone!

Why does everyone always recommend IS for magnifications over 10x50 to prevent the shakes? They don’t! But there’s always a reference to simply mounting them! As you say, big bucks, but a solid mount is far more affordable, and no electrics to fail when the IS system battery runs out of juice. 

Just my opinion?

Edited by Charic
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3 hours ago, Louis D said:

StarRocker, I might just buy one as a near perfect binocular mounting solution:

 

What!  better than IS ?
Grab & Go!..........not seeing that either, more like heave and ho!
Shove that lot around,   you'll do your back in!........... No wonder you'll need a seat lugging the red one around?

But Louis D...........I do agree, they look stunningly comfortable, maybe too comfortable  for Stargazing ????

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7 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

IS bins really dont get good reviews here. 

That’s just not true Paul, IS bins in general get very good reviews I would say. I had a pair of 15x50 Canon IS and though they were fantastic.

However, that is not what the OP is asking or budgeting for. There is a lot to be said for a decent pair of 8x42s. Nice wide field of view, easy to hand hold for longer periods and keep steady due to the lower mag. Under a dark sky they will show you plenty, although planets will remain as tiny disks or dots. You should be able to see a few of Jupiter’s moons when positioned correctly.

I tend to be of the school of thought that Louis comes from ie if I want to put a tripod out, I will put a scope out rather than for binos. But a lot comes down to personal preference.

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