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Thread: help me find some binoculars?

  1. #91
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Eagleoptics.com. They do offers a Free 30-Days Guarantee on all purchases. Be advise, try binocular before buying. But if prefers shopping online for Binocular, then check with store return policy.
    Good luck on your finding a binocular.
    ~ Michael

  2. #92

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    I checked that website and they didn't have the kind I want to purchase. Thanks anyway.

  3. #93
    Flashaholic* MoonRise's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    30-110x binoculars?!?!?!

    That magnification isn't binoculars, that's a telescope or microscope!

    Common binocular magnifactions are 8x to 10x or so. Some might be 6x or 7x or 9x. Anything over 10x is usually difficult to handhold, so would really need to be tripod mounted to be used. There are some binoculars over 10x, but like I said they need a tripod and mount to really be used.

    Binoculars are one of the items that are a 'you get what you pay for' thing. There ARE some relative bargains around, but for the most part the decent/better binoculars cost more money. They cost more because they often, but not always, ARE better than the cheaper binoculars. Cheap binoculars are a pain, often a literal pain as in eyestrain and headache after just a few minutes of use.

    If you can, try before you buy.

    Do a web search for reviews of binoculars and you should be able to find out some more info.

    Compact and under $100 is a tough one to get decent quality at that price point. And how compact do you need or want? 8x20, or 8x30, or 8x42, or 10x50?
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  4. #94
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Everything that MoonRise mentioned, plus consider that most zoom (variable magnification) type binoculars are garbage, especially the cheap ones - guaranteed headache generators.

    Some good binocular reading:
    Better View Desired
    Birder's World comparison
    Cornell Lab of Ornithology comparison

  5. #95
    Flashaholic* Malpaso's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    I am not into birdwatching, but I've learned more about binoculars from this site http://www.optics4birding.com/ than everywhere else combined. Especially take a look at the All About Optics section, and use the O4B Scorecard to see what type is right for you.

    Here is one very important area of concern:


    <<Lower priced optics will often use BK7 prisms where better optics use BAK4 prisms. BK7 prisms produce an exit pupil with shaded edges. The BAK4 prism projects a nice round exit pupil. In bright daylight where your eye pupils are smaller than the exit pupil of the optic, you may not notice this distortion. As the light level drops and your eye pupils become larger, this aberration becomes more apparent around the edges of your view with BK7 prisms.>>

    I know it is way out of your price range, but I am contemplating the Steiner Navigator 8x30.

    I'm guessing the ones you were loking at were 30x110, not 30-110x. The first number is magnification, the second is the diamter in mm of the objective lens.
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  6. #96
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Steiner makes a compact 8x22 for $99... I think it's called the Safari.

  7. #97

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    The absolute best deal in binoculars are the stiener military and marine 8x30's , The exact same pair with mil dot's added are $400 and if you look hard, you can fine the M&M 8x30's for about 170. THese are the NATO issued binocs to almost all of europe, as well as to many US troops. They make literally tens of thousands of this model and thus the lower price. It is purely based on economies of scale.

    I have a pair that are over 15 years old, been back to the factory once for a new jacket as I left it on the the dash and they melted, (just the rubber coating) and they fixed it free. every one who has tried them has ended up buying a pair. Once you get them focused to your eyes, they do not need focusing again, it is like your glasses, one set to meet your eyes needs, they work from 15 yards to inifinity.

  8. #98
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    'You get what you pay' for sure applys with binoculars- I own several pair in what could be considered low price range $75-200. These are generally OK, but I made the mistake of using a friends Zeiss 7x42's-WOW_WEE.
    I have decided to get a pair and need only save $2000.00 MORE.(I wish I hadn't looked)

  9. #99
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    I use to have a few of them: namely Minox, Zeiss & Stenier monoculars.

    I end up selling my Minox & Zeiss monoculars & sticking only to my out-of-production Stenier monocular & the 8x30 Safari Bino as both of them are well designed... the free focus is really easy to use & the optics are great for the price I paid.

    Distance yourself from those zooming binoculars...they are totally useless & as mentioned by Sotyakr good only for giving you migraine

  10. #100
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    if it's not a typo and you truly want 30x-110x
    a spotting scope is what you should look at. our local academy sporting store has a Leupold spotting scope for $250. many brands available for much less.

  11. #101
    Flashaholic* ZeissOEM2's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    edit
    Last edited by ZeissOEM2; 04-13-2008 at 03:14 AM.

  12. #102

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Yeah I was looking at the zooming binoculars because the high magnification sounded cool. I'll research this more before buying anything. Thanks for the help and advice.
    These are the binoculars I'm thinking of buying right now http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=019
    Last edited by SkinlessMonkey; 09-14-2006 at 12:58 AM.

  13. #103

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    SkinlessMonkey, those ebay binoculars are absolutely insane, nobody would make anything like that, the exit pupil would be just 0.2 mm or so. They are either incorrectly described or else they are pieces of crap made by lunatics. The exit pupil is the size of the light spot coming out the eyepiece. It's equal to the objective size (i.e. diameter of the "objective" i.e. the lenses at the big end) divided by the magnification. So for 8x24 binoculars (8x magnification, 24mm objective), the exit pupil is 24 divided by 8, or 3mm. That's reasonable for daytime use. 5mm is preferable for all-round use, so full sized binoculars are typically 7x35 or 8x42. For night use you want 6-7mm, so you can get 7x50's etc. or even 20x120 for astronomy (tripod use only). 7mm is about the largest diameter of the eye pupil so binocular exit pupil larger than that is going to spill light outside your eyeball where it's useless.

    Anyway, take a look at www.betterviewdesired.com for a bunch of reviews--that site concentrates mostly on high-dollar binoculars but it explains the concepts pretty well.

    I would not expect to get 100x from a small spotting scope usefully. A bigger scope, sure.

    You can get pretty decent binoculars for $100 but if you want to go to the next level I'd suggest a high tech approach, namely the Canon image stabilized 10x30 which is around $400 and which is excellent, plus the IS feature is a huge benefit for handholding the binoculars (since you're asking about small binoculars you presumably don't want to use a tripod). Canon also has a less expensive 8x24IS which I haven't tried so I don't know if it's as good as the 10x30.
    Last edited by paulr; 09-14-2006 at 01:27 AM.

  14. #104
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Good luck with those binoculars. Let us know how you like them when you get them.

    There is a spotting scope out there that has the kind of magnification range you are talking about but it does it with a trick; it has two objective lenses. It is the Yukon Optics 6-100 X 100 Spotting Scope. It's been tempting me but based on paulr's post I now wonder if it would gather enough light to be useful.
    Bob
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  15. #105
    Flashaholic* MoonRise's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Once you look though some GOOD glass, you often realize just how much of a compromise those $100-$200 binoculars really are. In general there really-really-really is a pretty big difference in those bargain binoculars or even the inexpensive binoculars compared to those darn 4-figure fancy-schmancy big-name binoculars.

    I looked through a pair of 10x50 Swarovskis after having used binoculars for years, and OMG they were niiiiice. Sharp, clear, crisp, and bright images. Beware that once you look through good glass, just about all the 'cheaper' glass seems soooo much more inferior. And then you have to ask yourself the hard question of how much you want to compromise on performance compared to the price. I still have to save up the $$$$ for a good pair.

    The big names IMHO are Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica in the 4-figure price range. They also make some glass in the high 3-bills range that isn't as good but may be OK for you. And there are some other manufacturers that are making some decent, but still a little more performance compromise than the flagship really expensive binoculars, binoculars in the mid-high 3-bills price range.

    There are almost no decent zoom binoculars produced. The optical and mechanical compromises are too great to produce good units at a price point that the public will buy. Skip them.

    Buzz words to look for in quality binoculars include BAK4 prisms and fully-multicoated lenses.

    You get what you pay for. And there are reasons that most binoculars are in the 7x to 10x range, that is about all that is usable in the real world at a reasonable price. Any higher magnification and you need a tripod. If you want higher magnification, then a spotting scope on a tripod is the usual way to go.

    It's all about compromises in size, weight, performance, and cost. You have to decide how much compromise you can live with.

    Exit pupil is always determined from the objective lens diameter and the magnification. It is a physical limit and fancy-schmancy can't get around it. So to get a 5mm exit pupil (a decent but not excessive size) AND 100x magnification means that you need a 500mm objective lens diameter. That's pretty darn big to be lugging around!
    Mike

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  16. #106
    Flashaholic RebelRAM's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    There are quite a few people here that really like the high end binoculars. I agree, the optics are excellent. But most of us here buy things much more affordable.

    I have had good luck with Nikon and Bushnell binoculars. I highly recommend the Nikon Action series.
    http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/prod...1&product=7238
    I don't own a pair, but my father-n-law does and I have used them a few times. They are affordably priced and give excellent performance.

    I own two pairs of Bushnell and they are pretty good, they meet my needs anyways.

    The brand that surprised me was a pair of 8X40 that I picked up from Bass Pro Shop. I got them for $30 on sale. I wasn't expecting much. I'm not sure who builds the binoculars that Bass Pro puts their Red Head brand series on, but whoever it is, they are building awesome optics at a very affordable price.

    So it all depends on how much you want to spend. My point is, if you can only afford $100 or less, there are still some good contenders out there.

    I do suggest going for 8X40 or 7X35 as a general purpose size though. 10X50 if you want more magnification. Anything over 10X is really hard to hold still enough unless you prop up on something or use a tripod.

  17. #107
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    My hands are not that steady, so I found a lot of value in buying the Image Stabilization binoculars, and for me, I can enjoy and see much better using those.

    I've handled some fancier Zeiss binoculars but in real world use, I prefer to use the IS style binoculars.

    The Canon one that I have is not weather proof, so I still have a decent set of bright Minolta Activa binoculars ($300) that I can use if I need to "rough it"
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  18. #108
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Not too long ago I found these binocs
    Bushnell 7-15x25 Powerview Zoom Porro Prism Binocular

    Really pretty nice, especially for the price and B&H being a photography place with a strong reputation, tends to avoid selling crap optics.
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  19. #109
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    $35 CountyComm binocs were the best value in binocs I've ever used and they are the kind I wouldn't cry over if anything happened to them, not at that price. I THOUGHT they were out of calibration, until I realized much later my right eye really needs a -1 dioptric correction (which is provided for) not a 0 (which I always adjusted it for). I'm a -1 on all my SLRs.

    Then someone had to show me what Zeiss can come up with....their flourite series is MIND BLOWING, it is like watching TV vs watching a movie!! SICK!!!
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  20. #110
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    I had the chance to test 3 8x20s from 3 different price ranges. My own $20 unbranded, my father in laws Silva (+/- $50) and my dads Cateye (+/- $150)

    Well, my own POS binoculars get the job done, but barely. They work, but you really have to take a 1 minute break after each 2 minutes of use to prevent a screaming headache. Perfect for me, as I suffer from a bad case of ADD, so I can't concentrate on anything longer than 2 minutes anyway when I'm not taking my meds

    The Silva is a lot better, clearer image, and more comfy to hold. I had no trouble looking through this one for longer periods of time without getting a headache. It seems to be easier to stabilize too, but I think this is mainly because of the better grip.

    The Cateye is a whole different cup of tea. It's about 8 years old and no longer produced, but this could very well be a benchmark in the sub $200 occasional user class. But as it's an older model, progress in technology wil probably allow for even better binoculars for the same amount of $$.... Anyway, the image is so clear and crisp, it's almost like walking up to the subject for a closer look. Very comfy grip, but I'm not a really big fan of the rubberized body (the rubberized suff seems to melt when my sweat gets on it, but then again, I can make old copper coins all shiny again by holding them for 15 minutes)

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  21. #111
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    The last few binocs I bought were all from Nikon. Excellent value for the price, IMO.

    If you want a zoom, I can recommend the Eagleview 8-24x25. Though I have to warn you; zooming in usually needs refocusing, and the higher magnifications do not work well if you wear glasses. A fixed magnification is better for everyday use. However, this Nikon is one of the few zoom binocs I tried that is actually somewhat usable.

    I can also recommend the ProStaff series. Very compact and waterproof.

  22. #112

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Those binocs on ebay are not worth the box the got shipped in. Period.


    Understand that most people have a very difficult time getting a 10X binoc held steady enough to see the improvement over a 7-8x This is also why most boat optics are 6-7 power, The navy spent a fortune on testing and decided that for general use, a 7x50 was the best compromise between power and stability and 50 was the best at giving field of view and allowing one to hold the binocs up for any period of time AND the human eye opens to about 6mm at the widest at night and the 7x50 delivers about a 7 mm exit pupil,

    I have a pair of 15x Ziess that were take backs from WW2, good glass in them but not much in the coating dept, but unless I have them on a tripod. I will get a headache in minutes from the shakey objects in view. I have a 15x45 spotting scope that is shaky even when you have it on a tripod and if you touch the focus ring, you can count your heart beats in the shakes that you hand will transmit to the scope. 100X binox would be unusable without a stabilized tripod.

    The ad for the ebay binox says they are made with Bk-4 glass, which I truely doubt as even nikon and stiener do not use that quality of glass in all their products, usually you have to get over 300 street price to get bk4 glass.
    Last edited by guntotin_fool; 09-15-2006 at 01:55 PM.

  23. #113
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    edit
    Last edited by ZeissOEM2; 04-13-2008 at 03:05 AM.

  24. #114
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    uh, WOW!
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  25. #115
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Another reason for 7x50s is that they are the best low-light performers: relative brightness=((objective diam/power)^2, 50.1 for 7x50, maximum for most usable handheld binocs. You only get higher with larger objective diameters, which makes the binocs too large, and makes no sense with relatively small magnification.

    They are my first choice for most situations.

    The only problem is their size, so my 2nd choice would be a smaller pair , like (7-10)x(25-30). That's also why I never found Steiner's much appealing, since they have weird proportions, even for the small-sized 8x30.

    Anything else I find not useful for handhelds without stabilization.
    Last edited by elgarak; 09-18-2006 at 09:21 PM.

  26. #116

    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    Quote Originally Posted by elgarak
    Another reason for 7x50s is that they are the best low-light performers: relative brightness=((objective diam/power)^2, 50.1 for 7x50, maximum for most usable handheld binocs. You only get higher with larger objective diameters, which makes the binocs too large, and makes no sense with relatively small magnification.

    They are my first choice for most situations.

    The only problem is their size, so my 2nd choice would be a smaller pair , like (7-10)x(25-30). That's also why I never found Steiner's much appealing, since they have weird proportions, even for the small-sized 8x30.

    Anything else I find not useful for handhelds without stabilization.
    Yes, I agree. I wanted a pair of compact binoculars that would be good in low light. I went into B&H Photovideo in NY fully intent on buying a pair of compact Leica or Zeiss. The salesman asked me what I wanted them for and the issue of low light came up. The compact Leicas were I believe 7x20. He told me to try them side by side with a pair of Nikon 7x25 compacts. The Nikons were clearly better in limited light in the store. He told me that while no one made better binoculars in Leica in his opinion, there is no way that anyone could compensate for the extra 25% of aperture that the Leicas were giving up to the Nikons given that the Nikons were of very high quality.

    The kicker was that the Nikons were under a hundred bucks. The Leicas were about $500. He had them both in stock. Ive been very happy with the Nikons.

  27. #117
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    As people get older, their pupils won't open as much, so while a young person might take advantage of the exit pupil (and light gathering) of 7x50's, an older person would not see any advantage of 7x50 over something like 7x35.
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  28. #118
    Flashaholic* elgarak's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me find some binoculars?

    That is correct, however, I would formulate it that an older person MAY not see an advantage. There are huge differences in individuals; it always helps to try.

    7x35 means an exit pupil of 5mm; that's pretty small for the dark adapted eye and at the lower end of the scale in this paper (the full paper is available as pdf). Though it's a rather small sample of just 14 elderly people. The median is 5.6mm of the older age group. That would mean a 7x40, but that's an unusual size for binoculars; common is 8x40, again 5mm exit pupil. NOTE: The extremest case in the paper is around 4.3mm. That individual really does not need anything larger than 30mm objective diameter.

    It still boils down to an 7x50 for the best low light performer with the average (older) eye...YMMV.
    Last edited by elgarak; 09-18-2006 at 10:42 PM.

  29. #119
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    Default Help selecting a quality set of binoculars...

    Looking for some binoculars. Would like them to be weatherproof, rugged, anti reflective lenses, and all around made of quality materials (On par with Leica and Zeiss quality). Extreme long distance viewing is not necessary, but rather for more "private detective" use... Something rather compact to avoid bulkiness.

    Any suggestions?

    Anybody familiar with the Leica Ultravid 8x20 BCR Compact?

    thanks

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    Last edited by beach honda; 06-14-2007 at 09:09 PM.
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  30. #120
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    Default Re: Help selecting a quality set of binoculars...

    I did some research regarding binoculars at one time. I settled on buying the pentax because it was the best value and performance for the money. A family crisis did not permit me to go ahead and purchase. To this date, I still use a WWII lentz it still work but does not give me the "WOW!" the pentax does when I look through them.

    Here's a review of the pentax (waterproof) http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/pentax_wp.html

    Compact binos are not good in low light. Pros and cons: http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/p...osandcons.html
    Last edited by knot; 06-14-2007 at 10:33 PM.

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