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Which binoculars for a newbie & small budget?


MrsR
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Hi I wonder if you could all help me.

After years of wanting to get into astronomy but unable I finally have now thankfully and have started on a basic course at my local observatory. I do not have a telescope and need to save for one and want to learn the ins and outs before spending tons of cash and so I am going to start with binoculars for now but am at a loss as to what to go for.

I have a budget of only about £100 for them at the moment.

Can anyone advise me please?

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Fot £100 you can buy a pair of Celestron 15X70. But to be honest that are perhaps a bit too BIG to start off with and you would need a good solid tripod to mount them on. That would cost extra.

For starting off and learning the night sky you really cant beat a pair of 10X50 bins.

What brand?

Strathspey have been voted the best 10X50 in the Sky at Night magazine:

http://www.strathspey.co.uk/

£31

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I dont mind spending extra on a tripod in time.

If I am going to invest in a telescope in a year would I be best to buy the most expensive bins I could afford and tripod? Or just go for a standard pair of bins and tripod?

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On the price front you can spend up to around £1,400 so they can be as much as a money pit as you like! In general though most people find a budget of £50-£120 will buy a satisfying pair of bins. I don't think that I'd spend more unless I was seriously into birdwatching or sports.

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Agree with the above,I wouldn't go above 10x50 hand held and the Strathspey's are very good @ £31.

On most occasions x10 magnification is fine hand held for scanning the sky/Milky Way.

A basic photo tripod (£40-£50 max) shold be able to support them fine for viewing the moon craters,Jupiters moons and the brighter deep sky objects.

Jon

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I dont mind spending extra on a tripod in time.

If I am going to invest in a telescope in a year would I be best to buy the most expensive bins I could afford and tripod? Or just go for a standard pair of bins and tripod?

If you plan to buy a scope in a year or so then i would seriously stick with just a pair of 10X50 for now. They dont need a tripod.

The Strathspey 10X50 won the review (as i have said) in the S@N magazine and for £31......................i dont think you can go wrong.

I have a pair of 20X90 Strathspey bins and even though i am no expert i have used bins for long enough to know they are quality bins.

£31 for quality bins is a great price. I have bought 10X50 bins in the past for 3 times that and they turned out to be rubbish.

P.S.~~~John who owns Strathspey binoculars is one of the nicest people i have ever had the pleasure to deal with (besides FLO).

About 2 months after i bought my bins from him, he sent me an email asking me how the bins were working out for me.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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The Strathspey 10X50 won the review (as i have said) in the S@N magazine and for £31......................i dont think you can go wrong.

Small correction needed here Paul - the 10x50 model that won the S@N group test was not the £31 model - it's the £85 model here <click> - oh, and those prices don't include VAT.

With VAT they work out at about £110.

Nonetheless, I don't doubt for a moment that these are superb binoculars, and I'm considering getting a pair of the lower-magnification 7x50s myself...

Edited by great_bear
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It's a small world :)

I too am on the same course

Really enjoying it so far.

I have also put up a post similar to yours on here about binoculars and already got some great advice.

I'm liking this forum alot.

See you Friday lol

I sit on the left side nearest the wall

Richard

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Hey Richard left side if you are facing the lecture?

I sit on the right side facing the lecture. You wouldn't be able to miss me as I would guess I am the tallest lady on the course at 6 foot lol. I am on the course with another female.

Where is your post on the bins? Can you post me the link please.

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Hi yes I sit on the left side facing the lecture,

I can't remember what most people look like because of the darkness and maybe my memory lol

I can't send a link as I'm using my phone but it's on my profile I think.

I hope you enjoy the course, Its been good so far.

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Right I have found some old bins - Miranda 10x25 Field 5.8" - will they be ok or are they really poor? I had a quick look when the clouds cleared tonight at the moon and was amazed at the detail I could see but found it very hard to keep them steady even leaving on a post!

Richard I was right at the front last week and probably will be again if I can as leg length lol

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If it helps, I've noticed the Celestron skymaster 15x70 are recommended more than most others. Firstlightoptics sell these but they are also selling some Revalation 15x70 much cheaper. These are also recommended alot in these forums and the bloke from FLO (and others) say that they have the exact same optics as the Celestron ones. I've taken the risk and ordered some this morning.

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Miranda 10x25 Field 5.8" - will they be ok or are they really poor?

They will have only a 1/4 of the brightness of a pair of 10x50s

After looking through a pair of "x50" of 7, 8 or 10x magnification, you'll not want to go back to the "x25"

Edited by great_bear
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I've been using 7x50s for years. 10x50s are about the same size. I think anything bigger is going to be a real handful, they will be tiring to hold after a while, they will need a mount of some kind. Even 7x50s need to be held against something.

I suppose it depends on whether you are going to use them instead of a telescope, in which case I would go big, or as an extra, for travel and as a quick 'grab and look'.

The reason I use 7x50s, which are low magnification, is that I am also into sailing and they are the standard in the marine world because they are easier to keep steady. They still jiggle about a bit, but less than most. Also, in theory 7x50s have an exit pupil that is oversize and 10x50s are more sensible, but; imagine being on the deck of a rolling boat, the oversize exit pupil makes eye placement less critical.

Simon

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If it helps, I've noticed the Celestron skymaster 15x70 are recommended more than most others. Firstlightoptics sell these but they are also selling some Revalation 15x70 much cheaper. These are also recommended alot in these forums and the bloke from FLO (and others) say that they have the exact same optics as the Celestron ones. I've taken the risk and ordered some this morning.

If they arrive by Friday would you be bringing them on Friday? If they do and you are I would love to have a look through them.

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