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ALDI bino's


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They are "quite good" for the money but not good enough for astro work. The FOV is very small at the low magnification end and there is a lot of glare and false off axis images. No comparison at all between these and the mainly excellent Meade/Bresser 10x50's often available at such outlets. A non zoom 10x or 12x 60mm would be interesting!

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Yes, £15 binos won't be as good as £150 binos. But are a lot cheaper.

I got a pair from Lidl's - seem OK to me. Have to refocus slightly after changing mag is only prob I've found so far. Prefer them to the 25 year old Tasco 16x50 or unbranded 10x40 binos I inherited from my late father and my uncle 15 years ago.

M.

Edited by MishMich
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I did some sneak in-shop testing of some similar spec zoom binoculars in Lidl today. They were very nicely finished in all black rubber armour and appear to be a better quality to the Aldi offerings. The images throughout the magnification range were reasonably good resolution wise and not much chromatic aberration. I think the main issues, for astronomy, would be the restricted field of view at the lowest mag, internal reflections and long term reliability of the zoom system. By comparison, the Meade/Bresser 10x50's are much better value. To be fair, if you like something a bit different or are looking for an optical Xmas present for an allrounder, then £14.99 is not a big ask. I did however take a "punt" on the planetarium at £49.99 and will report on it as soon as I've had chance to try it out. I t might turn out to be a relief from the withdrawal symptoms of the poor weather!

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I had a look at the Lidl pair today. They look much the same as the Bresser 10x50 build wise. Same style body and rubber coating.

But the specs put my off getting a pair. Bak7 prisms, blue coated lens (no fully multicoated) and a very narrow field at the 10x end of the zoom. Also found a review online that said they only worked well between 10-15x but the field was way too narrow.

I'll wait and see what a few others say first.

I have two pairs of the 10x50's from Lidls. One is Meade from 2005 and the other Bresser from 2007. Both are still working faultlessly.

Edited by russ
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They work OK between 10 and 20 at night, but pushing them beyond that obtaining focus is difficult. I did have some difficulty aligning both tubes with my eyes (I'm wall-eyed) - but I have that problem with binoculars generally. I observed Jupiter, and could see the four moons - but no detail. However, I'd not expect that from anything smaller than my 80ED with a barlow. I have to say though, that after I set up my SPX and had difficulty focusing that or making out detail - and then I couldn't get a decent video image recorded either - so that could be down to Jupiter being very low, turbulence, haze & poor seeing.

Will see what they are like on Dartmoor next week, and by the sea, during the day. I only use bins at night when I am looking for something, so that I now where to point the finderscope.

M.

Edited by MishMich
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I suppose this ought to be on the Libl binos thread - but that has been dead 3-4 days now.

I tried them again between clouds. The FOV contains the Pleiades or Orion's sword easily, whatever the magnification, and they can be pushed to about 25x once your eyes have settled down. One niggle was light creeping in from the gap in the corner of the eye/eyepiece - but switching the kitchen light off resloved that. I could make out what I can usually make out of M42 with a small scope, but not quite as vivid, which surprised me - as the seeing was very poor, even with no obvious cloud, viewing was dim. They managed to pick out Mars, and magnify it to the extent that it was clear it was Mars, so I could point the scope at it knowing it was Mars. Not enough magnification to make out anything - but then neither does my ED80.

I'm happy with them - until I get some 20x100. Then I can put them on eBay with a starting price of £15.

M.

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I have two pairs of the 10x50's from Lidls. One is Meade from 2005 and the other Bresser from 2007. Both are still working faultlessly.

You're lucky. I had three pairs of Lidl Bressers. The first two were out of collimation when bought and so returned. The third pair went out of collimation after a few weeks. Junk. Bought a pair of Pentax 10x50's. Happiness. Ok, you could buy 9 pairs of Bressers for the price of the Pentaxes, but the Pentaxes work beautifully, which is always a bonus.

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I bought a pair of lidl 10-30x60's yesterday and quickly tested them at home.

Mechanics and optics similar to the famous 10x50's and so at first I was quite happy. On further testing however I found the field to be Too small at all Magnifications and the constant refocussing upon zooming was a pain.

The clincher however was that at all Magnifications these bins suffered from Extreme barrel distortion (where the inner part of the lenses magnify more than the outer parts). The strip of windows opposite my house looked, well, barrel shaped!

No good for me so I returned them this morning. They have got me thinking however that some thing similar would be a useful addition so I'll keep an eye open!

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Bought a pair of the Lidl binos and looked good on terrestrial subjects first day out. Will hopefully try them on sky tonight.

Also bought planetarium for a bit of fun. This is going to be a really good way of getting to sleep by projecting on bedroom ceiling at night. To see the stars drifting across the ceiling with the odd meteorite thrown in could be really good. May even try to take a photo of the meteorite to show it is really there. I have read that someone in Wales can use a camera on a five minute exposure and image lots of meteorites. Apparently it has to have a church in the shot so maybe he has help from on high.

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I have to admit, I am not keen on binos, because of the way my eyes work (I have huge problems getting to see through both barrels, as mentioned earlier - I cannot use those miniature straight-barrelled binos).

So I hadn't noticed the barrelling - yes, at 30x mine bow out, but at 10x they bow in. But not by much. In between - say 15x to 25x they don't seem to at all. I found adjusting the width to match my eyes helped diminish this a bit - but not completely. I'm not convinced this is a problem for a pair of £15 bins, and it sounds like the build quality is not consistent, because I see a different effect from you, and I'd expect some distortion at both extremes, but not barrelling throughout the range.

The need to refocus is a pain, I have to admit, but it is more like fine tuning the focus than refocusing - but I intend to use mine at x20 mainly anyway. You also have to move the bins slightly towards or away from the eyes, as zooming alters the focal point a bit. I found once I appreciated that, I didn't necessarily need to refocus, and this is preferable, because that means you will be maintaining viewing at the most comfortable point for your eyes.

What I noticed was rather odd was that the FOV is not that different between 10x and 20x (never had binos that zoom before) - the view visibly shrinks as you decrease the magnification, and expands as you increase. I'm left wondering what the point of a zoom on these binos is - because you are not 'zooming in', just magnifying what is in the FOV more.

I don't think these offer much improvement on my 20+ year old Tasco 16x50s, but like you, it has made me think about looking out for a similar style pair of 20x80 or 25x100s. As these are noticeably light, can be picked up firmly by grabbing one barrel, and with the rubberised body, they will be great for the beach hut or the bongo, so I'm hanging on to them. I'll stick with the old ones for the back garden. Not sure what to do with the 10x40s now though (they lived in the bongo).

M.

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Don't just be careful about cheap binoculars, be even more careful about expensive binoculars.

The number of extremely expensive bins with awful lenses, is scandalous.

Simple basic test of lenses, hold the bins at arms length, and the wrong way round, so the eye pieces are away from you. If you see a diamond or a square when you look at the lenses, they are only centre polished cheap rubbish.

I ended up with my present pair of Russian bins, when the National Gamefair was held at Margam Park, South Wales. It was a very hot day, with a heavy haze out in the Bristol Channel. While waiting in the queue for expensive bins on special offer, I picked the Russian 7 x 50's up to have a look around.

Out in the haze, I spotted a tanker, and spent some time looking at it. Next, my turn in the queue, and the 'down to £650 special offer' bins were in my eager mitts. First thing to check, that tanker, to see how much better it looked.

No trace of it. Not just a poorer image, nothing at all.

Asked the guy behind also waiting with the Russian bins if I could do a quick compare, and spotted the tanker right away. We both swapped bins back and forth checking them out, and we both ended up buying the far superior £29.95 Russian 7 x 50's.

The expensive ones (just centre polished) weren't even 2nd division optics, the Russian ones (fully polished) were most definitely 1st division.

I have had about 20 years of sterling service from them since.

So 'caveat emptor', the 'best' names at the 'highest' prices, can be the biggest rip off of all.

Edited by Ogri
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In a word .. No.

For more info check THIS post over on Astro-Chat.

LOL! If you follow that thread, to the article about why zoom binos are no good, you are recommended to go for one of these:

Big Binoculars - Oberwerk 70mm Binoculars

or one of these (if you need to change magnification):

Oberwerk 25/40x100mm Long-Range Observation Binocular, Classic and Contemporary

Not rocket science - pair costing $150 will be better than a pair costing £15 - and a pair costing $1500 will be even better still.

But, seeing we are into comparing the incomparable - I have to say that these binoculars are far better than the Chinese takeaway I had delivered last night, and cheaper. So between last night's takeaway and the Lidl's binos, I'd say the Lidl's binos may not be as good to eat - but are much better value for money, and allow me to see the faces of the surfers at Boscombe peer from half way between Boscombe peer and Bournemouth (I guess nearly a mile). They didn't allow me to resolve the object on the horizon which I have been trying to make out what it is for a couple of weeks - but it was clearer to me that it isn't a ship than when looking through a 20+ year old unbranded pair of 10x40s. But then it was too hazy to make out any visual detail on the Isle of Wight or Purbeck today anyway.

I suspect it must be an oil rig, because it never moves, and it looks more like an oil rig in the Lidl's binos than in my older binos. But, I'll have to wait till a clear day to be sure - and if the binos still don't help me resolve it, I'll have to take the ED scope and mount down and try that. Or I suppose I could spend a grand on a new pair with interchangeable lenses...

M.

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