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Binoculars?? Confused


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Hi. Great to find this group. Very new here and not so young. My wife loves looking at the stars etc. We are lucky enough to live near the coast and spend many warm summer nights on the beach star gazing I guess. I have always owned a very old /cheap pair of binoculars 8x40 and have a newer pair of Nikon Aculon 10x25. As I said we are both in our late 50s and I don’t want to carry a telescope around. I’ve done quite a bit of online research into buying my wife a new pair of binoculars something that gives her a closer clearer view. I’ve read something about pupil size as we get older??? Not got a clue what that means?? I’m undecided between a 10x50 and something bigger ie 15x70. I understand the bigger we go the heavier it gets? I’ve looked at the Pentax SP 10x50 think they are around £100. 
The opticron adventurer 10x50 T WP around £80. The Helios Stellar II 10x50 I think around £139. Then I got drawn into a review for Celestron skywatcher 15x70 for a very good price. So I’m very confused and hoping for some quality advice. I’ve read so many reviews I guess it’s a case of just making a decision. Also they all seem out of stock. Would really appreciate any help. Thanks. 

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For handheld use, you might like to consider a lower magnification. Perhaps a 7x50. You'll get a nice bright, wide field of view.

At x10 and certainly at x15 you might have trouble with the wobbles unless you support them with a stand or tripod.

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2 minutes ago, Kropster said:

For handheld use, you might like to consider a lower magnification. Perhaps a 7x50. You'll get a nice bright, wide field of view.

At x10 and certainly at x15 you might have trouble with the wobbles unless you support them with a stand or tripod.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Am I right in thinking I can attach most binoculars to a tripod? 

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16 minutes ago, GaryP999 said:

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Am I right in thinking I can attach most binoculars to a tripod? 

Yes, but if you are taking the time and effort to set up a tripod you might as well set up a telescope. A small telescope with a lightweight mount that fits on a photo tripod probably won't be much more difficult to carry than a large pair of binoculars that need tripod mounting. If you do want to stick with binoculars then in my experience I think you want to be looking at 8x40 or 10x50 for a hand held pair, or 15x70 with a trigger grip and monopod. Any magnification over this narrows the view to the point that I think you will also need a red dot finder, so you're looking at a tripod to keep things steady as you switch from finder to binocular and my previous comment about getting a telescope applies. 

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If you want to be highly portable, go for not higher than 10x50. Even at 10x it's hard to hand-hold still enough to see detail on things. If there's a handy wall to lean against or a post to brace the binoculars against, make use of it. Or get a monopod but that's an extra "carry". For purely hand-held, probably less than 10x is better. Yes, most modern binoculars have provision for tripod or monopod mounting but it's worth checking. Have a good read on this site, where you'll find a lot of stuff explained and there are recommendations in price-brackets:

http://www.binocularsky.com/?awc=11005_1599756095_2dd405fa6dca11102a441acfe1e04829&dcmp=afc-489797-na-na-longtail&dclid=CKHEmO-D3-sCFQrmuwgdSdYD6A

Edited by wulfrun
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I have a pair of Olympus DPS-1 that are 10x50 think they were about 59.99£ and well stocked. They aren’t to heavy but I am currently using them to locate objects for the telescope so I don’t use them all the time. Pretty sure they also have the appropriate bracket to accept a L mount for tripod use. I bought them to accompany the telescope though so compromised on price vs more astro focused / bigger ones.

Edited by wibblefish
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I have the Celestron 15 x 70 binoculars and find they do give some great views but only with a monopod. My solution was a telescopic walking pole, attach a handle which makes a convenient walking stick. The handle once removed can fit in your pocket then attach a ball head to your binoculars and you are ready to go. This only takes a minute or two which I find very convenient.

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Thank you all for your great advice. I guess it’s a matter of choice and I value all your help. Think I am swaying toward the Opticron Adventurer 10x50. They are reasonably priced and some good reviews. Just need them in stock somewhere??I’m sure in the future bigger and better!! 

Edited by GaryP999
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6 minutes ago, GaryP999 said:

Thank you all for your great advice. I guess it’s a matter of choice and I value all your help. Think I am swaying toward the Opticron Adventurer 10x50. They are reasonably priced and some good reviews. Just need them in stock somewhere??I’m sure in the future bigger and better!! 

Good luck with stock and be interesting to hear about your adventures! Heres to clear skies 😎

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2 hours ago, GaryP999 said:

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Am I right in thinking I can attach most binoculars to a tripod? 

Hi,

Many modern binoculars have a threaded hole which takes a standard sized screw . There are adapters (in many shapes & sizes) available which screw into the hole, and then screw onto the standard screw size which protrudes from a photographic tripod or monopod.

I second the binocular sky website as a good source of info, I took their recommendations and bought the Opticron 10x50 WPs , and the adapter Opricron suggest for that model , see the 'accessories' tab on this page

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-products/binoculars/adventurer-t-wp-binoculars/adventurer-t-wp-10x50#accessories

I already had a monopod and a small ball & socket head , and I use those to steady the binoculars on. Amazon basics have a monopod for about £15

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasics-WT1003-67-Inch-Monopod/dp/B00FAYL1YU/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=monopod&qid=1610656719&sr=8-6

, a ball head makes using the binoculars easier as you can tilt them up , without it the binoculars would always be fixed at right angles to the monopod.

I just did a quick search on amazon : tripod ball heads £7-£11 and had over 500 results, here's a random example :

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/WIFUN-Camera-Ballhead-adapter-Bracket/dp/B08NJ8BGFV/ref=sr_1_26?dchild=1&keywords=tripod+ball+head&qid=1610657673&refinements=p_36%3A700-1100%2Cp_72%3A419153031&rnid=419152031&s=electronics&sr=1-26

Plenty of more expensive monopods and other heads available , but those will do the job.

Hope that helps !

Heather

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Worth bearing in mind that magnification isn't everything -some binoculars like these just aim to make everything brighter. That might not be what you want, but worth bearing in mind - super portable and they get good reviews.

I think there are similar less expensive offerings. 

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20 minutes ago, GaryP999 said:

Thank you all for your great advice. I guess it’s a matter of choice and I value all your help. Think I am swaying toward the Opticron Adventurer 10x50. They are reasonably priced and some good reviews. Just need them in stock somewhere??I’m sure in the future bigger and better!! 

Good choice. You will likely suffer with some wobble. I get around it by laying on a sun lounger and balancing the binoculars on my face. However, a monopod will be relatively inexpensive, highly portable and easy to set up.

 

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26 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Hi,

Many modern binoculars have a threaded hole which takes a standard sized screw . There are adapters (in many shapes & sizes) available which screw into the hole, and then screw onto the standard screw size which protrudes from a photographic tripod or monopod.

I second the binocular sky website as a good source of info, I took their recommendations and bought the Opticron 10x50 WPs , and the adapter Opricron suggest for that model , see the 'accessories' tab on this page

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-products/binoculars/adventurer-t-wp-binoculars/adventurer-t-wp-10x50#accessories

I already had a monopod and a small ball & socket head , and I use those to steady the binoculars on. Amazon basics have a monopod for about £15

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasics-WT1003-67-Inch-Monopod/dp/B00FAYL1YU/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=monopod&qid=1610656719&sr=8-6

, a ball head makes using the binoculars easier as you can tilt them up , without it the binoculars would always be fixed at right angles to the monopod.

I just did a quick search on amazon : tripod ball heads £7-£11 and had over 500 results, here's a random example :

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/WIFUN-Camera-Ballhead-adapter-Bracket/dp/B08NJ8BGFV/ref=sr_1_26?dchild=1&keywords=tripod+ball+head&qid=1610657673&refinements=p_36%3A700-1100%2Cp_72%3A419153031&rnid=419152031&s=electronics&sr=1-26

Plenty of more expensive monopods and other heads available , but those will do the job.

Hope that helps !

Heather

Thank you. So helpful. Can I ask what adapter you used for the Opticron 10x50s ? Are you pleased with them and would you recommend? 
Thanks 

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The adapter I bought was the Opticron one they recommend on the page I linked to, this is it

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-products/accessories/binocular-tripod-mounts/binocular-tripod-mount-for-binoculars-to-50mm-og

Plenty of similar ones can be found all over the internet, but I thought I might as well be sure and buy the Opticron one,it was no more expensive than the cheap far eastern ones , as I bought it with the binoculars as a package from the only place which had them in stock at the time (lockdown #1 , 'Tring astro. I just looked and they are out of stock at the moment )

I like the binoculars, they are an improvement over the cheap 10x50s I bought from Jessops 20 years ago, better made,  sharper images and waterproof ( glass & metal gets dewed up on cold nights) but that's all I have to compare them with .

Heather

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Have you considered purchasing stabilised binoculars? Yes, they do cost more but because the image is held very steady with no wobble you can see a lot more compared to regulars bins, meaning you can use smaller, thus lighter ones. Weight does  become an issue as I am sure you are aware. The other advantage is there is no need to lug a tripod around. I have had the same pair of stabilised bins for around 25 years now and I love using them while the telescope is busy.  
Something to think about anyway.

 

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