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Advice please - Looking at getting a smaller pair of binoculars


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Hey there peeps,

I'm looking at getting a smaller pair of binoculars.

I have a pair of Saxon 30x80s that I use mounted to a tripod as these are simply too heavy /shaky to hand hold. 

I am looking at the Nikon 10x50 or the Nikon 10-22x50 zoom binoculars. These will be used to scan the guy and identify constellations. while the bigger ones I will use to show more detail & "hone in" on the object in question. However I am open to other opinions and options too.

If anyone could offer me some advice on this (even other magnifications, brands etc.) that would be awesome! :)

I'm in Auckland New Zealand, if that helps.

I look forward to your response (s)

 

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I was in your shoes just recently, its hard to choose :) i bought a vortex diamondback 8x42, it is pretty good. But as it is my first pair of binoculars, I dont really have anything to compare it with :)

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10x50 is a nice size, and Nikon is a good brand, so you won't go wrong, as long as you steer clear of zoom versions. I generally use my 16x80 Helios Lightquest without monopod for quick session, although I realize most find this a handful. An excellent source on choosing binoculars can be found here:

https://binocularsky.com/binoc_choosing.php

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Perhaps your mind is made up on ZOOM binoculars ... GOOD! The attached is the first of 5 pages from my first bino book on that subject.

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 4.34.00 PM.png

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I find 8x binos to be right at the limit for me to hand hold.  I need to be sitting with my elbows braced for 10x and above to get decent views.

If you're going to be standing, I would go with 8x42 bins.  Sitting, 10x50s will work.

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On 03/03/2021 at 23:37, WJC said:

Perhaps your mind is made up on ZOOM binoculars ... GOOD! The attached is the first of 5 pages from my first bino book on that subject.

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 4.34.00 PM.png

 

Bill, thanks for writing this excellent book that I find invaluable.  I learned a huge amount - the title says it all.

It's available on Amazon UK.  Go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/BINOCULARS-Fallacy-Fact-Instruments-Industry/dp/1548932191

 

 

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I bought a pair of Canon 10  x  32 image stabilising binocs. They are very good, batteries last about 9 months and there’s no image shake. The big downside is the cost - £800 here in the UK. I’d previously used a very cheap pair of 8 mag binocs and found the image shake was irritating. I’ve since then bought a very basic telescope (limited choice because of the lockdown) and I prefer the Canon binocs because they are less fiddly and you’ve a wider field of vision.

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14 hours ago, steve p said:

If i were in your shoes, I will prefer a Zoom Binoculars. 😃

50 years of optical experience ... down the tubes.

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I've several zoom bins, I was warned off them years ago by an old friend that has forgotten more about optics than i'll ever know!!

Have to say, He was right, I thought I would focus in and low mag then zoom in!

In reality, Once zoomed, They had to be refocussed and sometimes even balanced again for my eyes!! 😳

I eventually learned my lesson and skips traigh past 'Zoom' in the binocular listings!! 

 

By the way- The big massive zoom bins (I have some that I think are 15-70x zoom- They're worse than useless!!

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This is about the best zoom bin I have, Still has to be refocussed after zoom but don't have to mess about doing one eye then the other!!

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I bought some Tecnar 10x50 from fleabay on buy it now, They're very lightweight (Plastic body!), They were useless when they landed, I noticed the right side objective bell was slanting slightly due to being replaced cross threaded at some point throwing the collimation way off, I unscrewed it (Which was really hard to do!), Found the start of the threads and screwed them back together, Absolute spot on collimation then!!😮- I was seconds away from putting them in the bin!!
They're not top end bins by any stretch but they turned in to a very nice bright and clear set of bins!!

They were very clean otherwise!

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John 👍

 

Edited by johnbaz
cuz eye carnt spel proply ennit! 😂
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The main thing is whether or not the customer is happy. And you obviously are. However, from the opto-scientific standpoint of one who has spent decades in both the precision and ophthalmic optics, there is about a 90% chance they were “spot on” because of your spatial accommodation and not the instrument. Both my bino books explain the difference Collimation and Conditional Alignment. 100% of the “collimation tips” on the Internet are WRONG! And I would be pleased to have you quote me. I’ve been fighting this battle for 44 years.

I was an invited guest at Photonics West in 2012 and presented my paper, which was published in Proceedings in October that year and is now—thanks to the international Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers—is an industry accepted fact.

The attached snippet from one of my bino books might help. But ... "don't worry ... be happy." If you're not noticing eye strain, you're good to go!

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 9.23.08 AM copy.png

Edited by WJC
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On 11/03/2021 at 04:39, Louis D said:

I find 8x binos to be right at the limit for me to hand hold.  I need to be sitting with my elbows braced for 10x and above to get decent views.

That's my experience too. The magnification of the bins magnifies the shake to the same extent.

I have a pair of Nikon 14x40 image stabilised that are excellent for hand-held use, even though they are heavier than traditional binoculars.

At the other end of the scale my Orion 2 x 54 are fantastic for constellation-level viewing. They are not so much binoculars as a way of taking 20 years off my eyesight. They have a small magnification factor (x2). But their main benefit is they "give back" about a magnitude of ocular sensitivity. Though I can't say how effective they would be where light pollution is what limits seeing faint objects and stars.

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On 18/03/2021 at 20:34, Louis D said:

I always thought that this site was fairly accurate, but if you say there are no correct internet discussions of collimation, I'll believe you.

Please have a look at the attached before you say that. Binocular forums usually have a few people who are totally clueless about optics and binoculars but have some sick need to present themselves as an opto-wizard as if their goal is a stroked ego. There are forums for optical engineers. However, most wouldn’t come to one of these forums for love nor money. I have been in most branches of optics for 50+ years, have handled the repair and collimation for over 12,000 binoculars, and have dined with some of the industry greats. However, I don’t have a PhD in optics! So, I have to sate myself with knowing that many who do ... send me Christmas cards.

P.S. Please feel free to think of me as self-serving, condescending, arrogant, or any other way you like; I’ve worn them all. Today, if you know what you’re talking about—and think it a waste of time to have to candy-coat the truth—you leave yourself open for such. Finally, much of my youth was spent in and around Pecos.

 

250939372_ScreenShot2021-03-19at8_31_42PM.thumb.jpg.55fc068793df239fef943e2d4cb934ce.jpg

Edited by WJC
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I have 8x42s and 15x70s and find they complement each other really well. I love my 8x Helios Mistral ED WP6s. Fantastically light and great colour contrast.

 

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I was very lucky to be able to get a pair of Canon 15x50 IS about 20 yrs ago as a long service award. Originally for birds, I looked at the stars. 8 telescopes later 😀 the Canons are still number one binocualars for instant use and tavel. I hear that the 12x36 are now very good and a bit more affordable. 

At the cost though, many would recommend a scope and mount instead. But you can't hang that around the neck or on a harness, can you?

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First I would find out where you stand on 8x versus 10x. At 68 I find I no longer enjoy 10x, which is a pity because I have one very good pair! The difference in image steadiness is considerable for me and so I use 8x42 for astronomy. In terms of what is revealed, there is little difference. Optical prices are usually proportional to the worked surface area of the glass so dropping from 50 to 42 might bring more in terms of quality than is lost through reduced aperture. Since you aim to move to a larger instrument after your initial tour I'd have thought that ultra-portable would beat very portable.

Olly

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Fujinon 7x50 or 10x50.

I have the 7x50 and optically they are very nice indeed. But they are pretty heavy.

I also use Canon is 15x50 and 10x30.  I love the stabilisation but feel optically they are quite a bit behind the Fujinons. The Canon's price is crazy now as well.

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I have a pair of Celestron 20x80s and have a few other pairs of binoculars knocking about.  The second pair that I go to are a pair of 10x50s (Zenith branded) that I picked up from a charity shop over a decade ago.  10x50 is a lovely compromise with enough aperture to get a good quantity of light in and not too much magnification that you can comfortably hand-hold for a long time without too many issues.

I did get a chance to try out an older pair of Opticron 10x50s last week that belonged to my late Grandfather (who really knew his stuff about optics, a story for another time) and I have to say, I was absolutely blown away with them in a Bortle Class IV sky.  I had the 20x80s on my parallelogram but was happy to just use the 10x50s for a while and didn't feel like I was particularly missing out; plus being able to handhold is a distinct advantage.  They had the 'screw in' style eyecups and the eye relief was absolutely superb and made them incredibly easy, plus the glass was clear and the image sharp as a razor.  I believe the modern equivalent is the Opticron Imagic TGA WP (RRP £199) and if I wasn't saving for other purchases, would buy them in a heartbeat.

They also make a 7x50 which would be worth considering, too.

Edited by GrumpiusMaximus
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Hi again

In regards to a smaller  binocular, I bought this Russian 8x30 Komz porro for just £10 at a local carboot sale, Have to say, It's every bit as good as my Zeiss 8x30 Jena, The Komz bins turn up on fleabay for a little more usually, They're small but not tiny!

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Smaller are these Nikon 9x25, Again, Out of production but turn up frequently, Smashing li'l pocket sized glasses! (Lost their badge at some point in the past!)

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John 🙂

 

Edited by johnbaz
cuz eye carnt spel proply ennit! 😂
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