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Binoculars - 10x50 or 15x70


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Ok I have been asked by the other half what I want for xmas.

Currently I use a pair of 10x25 binos that ive had years. My question is are the 15x70 that I see everyone going on about good for hald held use for just a quick glance here and there ?

I say this as I generally use binos to find what I want before i look through the scope ( being new and all ) makes it a lot easier. I dont really want to be using a tripod, although its not out of the question.

Or shoud I just get some 10x50's ?

Thanks

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I'd go for the bigger 15x70s if I were you. I have had my pair for nearly 3 months now and I am very pleased with them. Yes they are bigger and heavier than 10x50s but with a bit of practice I can hand hold them for a couple of minutes standing up with not too much shakiness. Sitting down is obviously better and improves the stability loads. I haven't had the chance to use these with a tripod yet but I have heard that the adapter supplied isn't the best and could do with being replaced with something sturdier.

They are great for grab and go, travelling to dark sites on holiday and for a quick glance out when you can't be bothered to drag the scope out.

I'd be quick in ordering the them though, the official promotion has ended and the price at FLO will go back the original price in the next few days/weeks depending on availability.

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I've owned 15x70's (a couple of different pairs) and I'd generally agree with Tom's assessment although personally I found I needed to put them on a tripod to get the best out of them (ie: if I wanted more than a quick look-see). Perhaps Tom has bigger biceps than I do :)

The Celestron Astromaster ones are pretty good for their cost.

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Right that settles that. I am sending the link to her now.. Just going to have to wait till Xmas now. I will get them when we are up at her folks house xmas day. You can imagine where I will be at night :)

Cheers for the advice, cant wait till xmas now ( giggles like a child )

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are the 15x70 that I see everyone going on about good for hald held use for just a quick glance here and there ?

Not in my humble opinion. For astro purposes, nothing more than 8x should be considered hand holdable ... a decent tripod allows a pair of binoculars to perform much "bigger" in terms of resolution and light grasp.

15x70s are at least twice the weight & bulk of 10x50s. Given that I had a scope to start with, I'd far prefer a good pair of 10x50s to the mediocre pair of 15x70s that the same money might buy.

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Having owned lots of bins here is my 'tuppence worth'

I have found excellent light transmission, sharpness, lack of CA and weight to be more important than magnification to get the most enjoyment out of bins.

I have owned the Celestron 15 x 70's and they were OK on a tripod and good for the price.

However the field of view is narrow and they are not sharp edge to edge.

They cannot be hand held usefully for any time and I have very large arms !

I had a pair of lightweight Vixen Ultimas 10 x 50's that could be hand held for a long time perfectly steady.

They were sharper and although of a lower magnification I could see lots more with them due to better coatings and glass both on planetary and deep space targets.

I owned a pair of Bresser 9x63's that in my opinion were as sharp as the Vixens but brighter with better contrast.

If you are going to go for higher magnification I would skip the Celestrons and use a tripod with some 20x80's or 20x100's

Otherwise a pair of Bresser 8x56 or 9x63's and enjoy the freedom of hand holding.

Paul

Edited by Polar Bear
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I use the 15x70s and they're fantastic. I find the FOV very good.

They're fine to hold in your hands for short periods but they really do need a monopod or similar. Strong or not; the shake will kick in :)

Currently I lean against a wall or use a length or 2by1 lol. I have better things to spend my cash on atm but a mount is on the list for stable viewing once those other things are bought ;)

The view of Pleiades was awesome, moon nailed and Orion nebula very beautiful (grey smear or not..it's stunning in these).

I don't see why, with a monopod, the 15x70s wouldn't be an outstanding grab and go set of BINs. £50 is an excellent deal :D

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Not in my humble opinion. For astro purposes, nothing more than 8x should be considered hand holdable.

Gotta agree with Brian on this.

I'm a big chap, and I'm more than capable of wrangling my 12x50's, but I've got to be honest and say that for hand-held sky-scanning that's just too much magnification.

8x50 or 7x50 is a much better idea, and bear in mind that both the quality and the width of view are important considerations when choosing a pair.

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....I owned a pair of Bresser 9x63's that in my opinion were as sharp as the Vixens but brighter with better contrast.

If you are going to go for higher magnification I would skip the Celestrons and use a tripod with some 20x80's or 20x100's

Otherwise a pair of Bresser 8x56 or 9x63's and enjoy the freedom of hand holding.

Paul

Interesting that you mention 9x63's here Paul. I've often wondered about those for astro purposes because of their seemingly attractive balance of aperture and reasonable size / weight. The only thing that I've had any doubts about was the roof prism design which i've seen reported as less than ideal for astronomy. Clearly you have not found that an issue ...... ?

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My bino collection includes: 2.3x40, 7x50, 10x50, 15x70, 20x80. If asked to rank them in order of which gets the most use, I'd have to leave them in that order. For me, wide field trumps magnification by far. I suspect that I'm older than most here, and I hate to admit it, but the 7x50s are as much as I can use handheld with any meaningful degree of enjoyment. I can use 10x, but only for a matter of seconds before the shaky-cam effect overwhelms enjoyment of the views.

As always, your experience will vary from mine. I know a number of folks who feel that anything less than 15x is a waste of time. In my experience though, the most relevant advantages of binoculars are the relatively wide fields of view they produce and the ease with which you can scan large areas of sky without restriction. For me, mounting binos negates that second advantage and that is why I tend to use the larger apertures far less.

By the way, the little 2.3x40s are a hoot -- love 'em!

It looks like you've already pulled the trigger on the 15x70s and the good news is, it's hard to go wrong with any astro-products purchase -- I'm sure you'll use them to great advantage.

Hope this helps others.

Gary

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Tried my 15x70`s on my way home tonight.From Southport coastal road I could see people kite flying at St.Annes which is nearly 9km away.I`d got them in the car so I could check out Venus when I got to work this morning,had a nice view,but I was resting them on top of the car door.

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My bino collection includes: 2.3x40, 7x50, 10x50, 15x70, 20x80. If asked to rank them in order of which gets the most use, I'd have to leave them in that order. For me, wide field trumps magnification by far. I suspect that I'm older than most here, and I hate to admit it, but the 7x50s are as much as I can use handheld with any meaningful degree of enjoyment. I can use 10x, but only for a matter of seconds before the shaky-cam effect overwhelms enjoyment of the views.

As always, your experience will vary from mine. I know a number of folks who feel that anything less than 15x is a waste of time. In my experience though, the most relevant advantages of binoculars are the relatively wide fields of view they produce and the ease with which you can scan large areas of sky without restriction. For me, mounting binos negates that second advantage and that is why I tend to use the larger apertures far less.

By the way, the little 2.3x40s are a hoot -- love 'em!

It looks like you've already pulled the trigger on the 15x70s and the good news is, it's hard to go wrong with any astro-products purchase -- I'm sure you'll use them to great advantage.

Hope this helps others.

Gary

I'm with you Gary on the handholding (for Astro anyway). I can comfortably hold 10x50s for eg birdwatching but for astro I got constant double vision as the stars jiggled. I have some 7x36s which are 'OK' and can be hand held but I felt that if I could not handhold I should go for a flexible mount and bigger than 10x50s, hence the Helios Apollo 15x70s I bought. They weigh about 5lbs and are in a case which I can take on a plane - the monopod in a case. for me great for a quick peek.

8x40s would be the most I'd want to handhold for longer periods.

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Interesting that you mention 9x63's here Paul. I've often wondered about those for astro purposes because of their seemingly attractive balance of aperture and reasonable size / weight. The only thing that I've had any doubts about was the roof prism design which i've seen reported as less than ideal for astronomy. Clearly you have not found that an issue ...... ?

Hi John

I had the Bressers a few years ago before I was really into sky-watching seriously but I can remember they were very sharp across the field.

They are used by a few members on the forum and I will look up who they are for clarification

As with many optical devices bins can be very subjective dependant on what suits the viewer.

Personally I dislike LER and prefer to rest the bins in my eye sockets !!!

I'm the same with EP's on scopes preferring to get right into EP.

I have found inexpensive 'wide angle' bins to be disappointing with regard to sharpness across the field for astro use.

The Vixens I owned recently were superb and lightweight at 750 grams.

I still feel that anything above 10x is difficult to handhold for astro use.

Main reason being I have found that to get the most detail you need to be looking for 5 - 10 minutes at an object until all the detail pops out.

A casual look may be ok but not any 'real' study

But this is just my personal experience.

Paul

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Well - you have a great spread of advice there - all good and valid stuff. Just to throw in a curve ball - you could get a pair of "image stabilised" binocs - they are amazing bits of kit - ultra light and hand holdable - your arms move but the image stays fixed, amazing - you'd need a good £600 spare for them though :)

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Wow just come back to this thread after a few days, thanks all for the advice. Well I have decided on the 15x70's anyway, but I plan to use them on a tripod and sort of treat it as my "mobile scope" cant exactly keep the skywatcher in the boot!

I Think I will in the future also buy a pair of 8 X ?? for hand held use.

Thanks again

Jason

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