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Canon 10x42L vs 15x50 vs 18x50 IS binoculars

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#1 Wes James

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:24 AM

I received the Canon 18x50's yesterday from Amazon... got a good half hour of skies to check them out last night, and after thinking about it overnight I made a decision to return them and go for the 15x50's. I already have the 10x42L's, which I love- they are keepers- and when a friend of mine showed up at the astro viewing site with a pair of the 15x50's, had a chance to compare the two, and was surprised to see that I actually preferred the 15x50's. I surmised the 18x50's would be even better, so ordered a pair finally after selling a few other items.
Now we have been discussing the pros and cons of the 15x vs the 18x here recently, some prefer one- some prefer the other. Bottom line turned out to be that the only way to find out what was best for me was to try the 18x, since I already had tried the 15x.
CSEDewar made a comment that the 18x were probably right at the threshold of what was practical in a hand-holdable, even with the IS, and he is correct. For me, just a little too close to the threshold. I think a chair or chaise lounge should be considered a requirement with the 18x.
So, I made the decision to return the 18x and go for the 15x.
Amazon, I might add, is an incredible company to do business with. No problem returning them. My wife and I have done a lot of business with Amazon, only rarely having to return something- but as many of you know, trying to return something purchased on the internet can be a nightmare: Not so with Amazon.
Lastly, I will comment that while Canon has done a great job with these IS binoculars, they fall down horribly on the case and lenscap issues. The 10x42L's come with a nice zip-up nylon case, not the sturdiest most protective case- but still decent. Of course, no objective covers, but at least a decent 1-piece eyepiece cover. The 18x50's (and I assume the 15x50's also) come with a nylon bag with a drawstring and flimsy eyepiece covers. Not in keeping with $1100.00 binoculars. Period. We've discussed this before, and it remains a pet peeve of mine. I will probably purchase a Pelican case for the new 15x50's when they arrive Monday. Only $3.99 for overnight with Amazon Prime!
The final kicker??? The 18x50's ran me $1157.40, the 15x50's are $798.62. That made it- for me- a "No-Brainer"! I'll take the $360.00 difference and the 15x50's over the 18x50's anyday.
I just did.
And applied the $360 to a pair of the Nikon Prostar 7x50's.

#2 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 01:58 PM

Wes, I agree, the perfect IS combo for the 10x42L's are the 15x50's with larger FOV,AFOV and exit pupil than the 18x50's.
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#3 Wes James

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:04 PM

Yep-
And IF I could only own one, it'd be the 15x50. I'm glad I at least gave the 18x50 a shot- this way, I'll never have any regrets or second guess myself- wondering if I'd like the 18x better. Now I know.
Wes

#4 JimW

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:01 PM

Wes,

For general daytime use, I am seriously considering the 10x42L because of the L lens quality and wider FOV. I have a Stellarvue 90mm grab n' go scope on order for astronomical use. In addition, I have a large dob for going deep.

Given my intended use, would you still recommend the 15x50 over the 10x42L?

#5 Wes James

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:23 PM

Jim-
My "recommendation" of the 15x50 over the 10x42L's was my personal opinion, and for astro use. For daytime use, I imagine you would be better off with the 10x42's... I'm almost a strictly astro user, so there are probably others out there who could provide a more experienced answer- but I think- unless you needed the higher magnification, the wider FOV would be a large advantage for daytime use. ANd you don't need the additional aperture for daytime use, either. The 10x42L's are still wonderful nighttime/astro bino's, I will never take anything away from them as astro bino's; simply the additional mag is nice as well.
Wes

#6 Rick

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 05:25 PM

I think the 15x50IS makes just about every smaller bino redundant, including the 10x42L (FWIW, I don't the "L" makes a bit of difference in the optical quality compared to the 15/18x50IS. The 10x power is just too low to be stressing the optics). But it really depends on what your daytime use will be. If you are doing distance hiking with binos, even the 10x42L will be too heavy after awhile. If you are not doing much moving around, but looking over long distances, a small fieldscope might even be a better choice.

clear skies,
Rick

#7 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 06:33 PM

My 10x42L's tracks planes like a NASA Shuttle tracking camera and the 15x50's are much harder to keep within their correction angle of ±0.7° compared to the 10x42L's correction angle of +/- 0.8° IMHO.

#8 DJB

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 02:51 AM

Hi Wes,

As you probably know, I have the Canon 10x32 and the 15x50. I early on decided against the 18x50--specs and all.

With my bad back, the 15x50 is about all I can maintain hand-held anyway. Amongst all of my other binoculars, I am quite happy using the Canon offerings. Really!

Best regards,
Dave.

#9 Wes James

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:41 AM

Last night at our club's public observing session, the 2 old hand binocular observers (who got me hooked a couple of years ago) spent a very enjoyable evening with their 10x42L's and 15x50's...
I'm glad I tried the 18xs's- then exchanged them for the 15x. With my personality, I'd have never been happy until I'd tried them. I'd always be wanting them. Now I know they're not for me.
Wes

#10 JimW

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for all the great responses. Joe, I was particularly impressed with your description of aircraft tracking.

Jim

#11 Wes James

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:49 PM

I, too, have tracked aircraft at high altitude and satellites with the 10x42's... really great for that. The stabilization keeps up with them with no problem, providing a smooth, sweeping view that'd be hard to duplicate otherwise. Quite of the satellites I've seen- in fact most looked like a gold colored star, and the sight streaking across the sky through the stars is spectacular.

Wes

#12 JimW

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:23 PM

Thanks Wes! I wish I had a pair tonight - the shuttle & ISS are making an overhead pass at 10 PM local. Elevation will be about 85 degrees, so I'll be out with my 8x42s. OOPS - just the ISS, not the shuttle too!

Jim

#13 CESDewar

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:58 AM

I made a decision to return them and go for the 15x50's....The final kicker??? The 18x50's ran me $1157.40, the 15x50's are $798.62.


Some people prefer the 18x50's and some do not, so I think it's definitely worthwhile to make sure you purchase them from a company that has a good return procedure. Certainly the price difference here was a big deal! I paid $899 for my 18x50's and got a $100 rebate, so it was a good price at $799. I also had a pair of the prior generation 15x45 binoculars and so when getting a new pair it was a no-brainer for me to get the 18x50's.

I don't have a problem hand-holding them - there is indeed a bit of sway, but it doesn't bother me. I find the small edge in magnification over the 15x50's to be a plus, but it's clear there are some tradeoffs which others may find sways the balance in the other direction.

#14 pedro

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:34 AM

Hi Wes

Uses to show these 10x42's some brief softening (fast loss of resolution) on some objects when panning?

Pedro

#15 Wes James

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:53 AM

Following an object in the sky such as an aircraft or satellite in a smooth manner isn't a problem. If you all of a sudden jerk the bino's to a different area of the sky, the bino's IS function is not going to be able to keep up with that kind of movement.
Wes

#16 pedro

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:05 AM

Hi Wes thanks

Yes, using a smooth manner I mean, none fast softening (sharpness change) is noticiable when following (for example) some distant aircfraft left to right or vice-versa ?

Pedro

#17 Wes James

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 07:28 AM

I have not noted it to be a problem for me... perhaps it's present and I simply don't note it- I haven't looked for it. Will try it with them (the 10x42L's) when I'm out trying the 15x50's this week when I receive them.
Wes

#18 Les

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:39 AM

Uses to show these 10x42's some brief softening (fast loss of resolution) on some objects when panning?


Hi Pedro,

I do not notice this effect when panning - probably because my brain is occupied with keeping the object centered while I pan. BTW, aircraft do not have to be at high altitude for enjoyable views. I have no problem following planes flying near my house at 4K - 5K feet with a nice "stabilized" view.

#19 pedro

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 11:47 AM

Hi Les

I did mention about some ''high altitude airplane'' just because they use to show ''a slow apparent velocity when crossing the sky'' which should be (I think) less complicated and easy to the ''IS angular correction'' - the less panning movement the less some fuzzing on the IS ...am I correct? This is why I am asking about the 10X since with the 15X this is a bit noticiable in anyway.

#20 Les

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:02 PM

the less panning movement the less some fuzzing on the IS ...am I correct?


Hi Pedro,

Not sure about that. I would say from my observations that the fuzzing occurs about as often for high flyers (slow pan) as for stationary objects (when binos are handheld) and that the fuzzing becomes less noticeable for faster pans because it is harder to keep the object from moving around in the FOV which naturally results in loss of perceived resolution.

#21 DJB

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:37 AM

Hi Wes,

I believe that you will enjoy the 15x50 Canon. Actually, I simply do not notice any problems with my two, the other being the lower cost 10x30. (This one should not exhibit many problems due to the lower power and such.)

With my bad back (leads to the shakies), the binoculars are a Godsend for me for a quick G&G. Perhaps I would'nt even notice any problems BECAUSE of the image inhancements.

This has been an interesting read.

Best Regards,
Dave.






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