Gadgets: Image Stabilization Binoculars

Wingerr

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To me, they're gadgets, because I don't have a real need for the image stabilization feature, much less binoculars at all. But lack of need rarely stops us, does it?

I was looking at the Canon 15x50 All-weather IS binoculars; any comments on just how impressive I might find them to be, or battery life, use with glasses, how tiring to use long term, etc.?
 

Cones

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Wingerr,

If you check out my website you will find a full review on the Canon 18x50 IS. They are great!

HTH
Mark
 

Wingerr

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Great review, thanks! I was considering the 15x instead of the 18x to bring the cost down some, but I'd guess the same things apply to it, just a little less so- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

It does look like no one has anything negative to say about it- Oh well, I was hoping they'd come back with the $100 rebate they had on them some time ago, but that may be never- and patience isn't my strong suit.
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleye11.gif
 

MrBenchmark

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I also have a pair of the 18x50's. They are extremely impressive and useful binoculars. I use them for astronomy, and they are great. Only downside to them is that they are a little heavy when you are pointing them up at the sky for a long period. The Image Stabilization works well, but it doesn't make the image rock solid when I hold them. (But I'm really shaky.) It does massively improve things, though, and the difference with the IS on and off is remarkable. I find the 18x binocs to be highly useful handheld with IS on.
 

paulr

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If I were to spend a lot on astronomy binoculars I think I'd want some with right-angle eyepieces. Looking straight up with normal binos (especially heavy ones) is hard on the neck. I wouldn't worry about IS because I'd put the binoculars on a tripod. Or there are tripod parallelogram adapters you can get at telescope places, that will let you point the binos straight up and get under them comfortably.
 

paulr

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Of course you want one of these to go with them:

http://starchair.com

index_poster.jpg
 

Wingerr

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Now we're getting serious! *Extreme* astronomy!
(Harold and Kumar/White Castle ref.) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I'm more in the lawnchair and fluffy pillow end of things-
 

Wingerr

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With the brief trial I did on them, the image stabilization is pretty darn effective. Doing A-B comparisons with the stabilization off and on, reading the names on the edges of stacks of CDs in dim light at about 30 feet was an easy matter with it on, but pretty difficult with it off. Off, I was able to pick out some of the larger titles now and then (in between the swirling images), but it wasn't anything like when it was on, when I could rattle them all off one by one with certainty.
Also tried comparison with my 7x50 Marathon one from CC, but as expected, could only make out that there was a stack of CDs, no hope at all of reading the names.
Now to find some 58mm filters to protect the optics-
 

guncollector

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Anyone know if the 7x50mm IS versions work as well? I'm particularly interested to know if they'll stabilize images while used on a small boat, out to sea? TIA!
 

Arcoholic

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Zeiss makes a very nice one, i think it was called 20x60S.
I used it a few times years ago it does not use electronics but oil dampening if i am not mistaken. So it is very rugged but also expensive.
 

cy

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Andreas recently posted he had a Zeiss 20X60 available.
 

bwaites

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guncollector,

I've never tried them on a boat, but out of a moving car, they worked great!

Normally most people get that queasy feeling looking through binoculars while moving, but no one complained about it with the IS binoculars I was trying out. (Canons)

I think Nikon and Minolta(?) now also make some and I plan on purchasing a pair soon, so I keep hoping for more info too!

Bill
 

jenks

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I'm looking for more information or reviews of image stabilized binos. The application will be on a 30 RHIB rescue boat. Need to be stabilized waterproof and rugged.

Any suggestions, thoughts or recommendations would be great. Is there any site similar to DPreview for this kind of toy, I mean tool?

Thanks
Jenks
 

PhotonWrangler

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I saw a protptype of the first image-stabilized video camera many years ago. It was a gyro-based system and it was created for telephoto shots at sports events and from helicopters. It was amazing to watch it work. The thing was huge and made lots of noise and drew lots of current, but it proved the concept of optical image stabilization. Virtually all of the aerial car-chase shots we see on TV, including the infamous O.J. car chase, are shot with the assistance of an image stabilizer on the chopper-mounted camera. Amazing stuff.
 
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