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Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe"

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#26 steve@37n83.9w

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

The 18x70's show up on astromart or ebay occasionally but can still be purchased new...you'll just have to wait for delivery. I purchased mine from optics planet and the sales person said the 18x70's were not a stock item and to expect delivery in about five weeks since they would have to come from Japan. I placed my order and my credit card wasn't charged until optics planet received them (about five weeks later) and shipped them out to me.

For astronomy use I prefer my Nikon IF binoculars not just for their views but especially for their ergonomics. I love the views through my Fujinon but can barely see the full fov because of its huge oculars; however, the Nikon IF series "fit" me perfectly. Actually been thinking about picking up a 10x70 Astroluxe myself, B&H has had them in stock for several months now.

Steve

#27 HfxObserver

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

I can just drive down the road behind my house and be under mag. 6.5 sky in 30 mins, add .25 mag for each additional 15 mins out.

Hopefully we'll get another clear night soon, the 2hrs I had with them really isn't as much a test as I wanted.

-Chris

#28 John F

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:41 PM

Chris,

Regarding the 10x70 Astroluxe vs the 15x60 B/GATs. Both binoculars are superb but as you know, the B/GATs are have been out of production for some time now and when they do show up a nice pair may cost you well over $2000.

The B/GATS are a wide field binocular with a 65 degree apparent field and a 4.33 degree true field. For most objects you would want to use a pair of astronomical binoculars on I think the B/GATS would provide the better views. Their large field is immersive, their higher 15x power shows a lot more detail and it also contributes to those binoculars providing better contrast. If I had to make a choice between the two I'd choose the 15x60s because of their superb perfomance and more all-around versatility.

However, once I had a quality binocular in the 15x - 18x power range and in the 60mm - 70mm aperature range, then I would give strong consideration to getting the pair of 10x70 Astroluxes to suppliment them for use on the Milky Way.

At almost any reasonably dark sky site you will be impressed with the views the 15x60s can provide whereas with the 10x70s you need to be able to get to really very dark sky sites to be able take full advantage of them. I hardly ever use mine except for a few times each Summer when I drive 300 - 400 miles to get to very dark sky sites in Eastern Oregon to use them at.

The 10x70s only have a 51 degree apparent field and when you switch to them after using the 15x60s their field seems somewhat narrow. However, it doesn't take long to get used to them and even grow to like their 51-degree AFOV. I think that may be because your eyes don't have to move around as much and it is less of a strain to use them for long periods of time than a wide field binocular is. Plus their 5.00-degree true field is large enough to satisfy me.

To sum up, the 15x60s are a great all-arounder and more of a must-have binocular (i.e., for the type of capabilities that they provide) whereas the 10x70s are more of a nice-to-have if you're able to get to really dark sky sites to use and enjoy them at.

John Finnan

#29 HfxObserver

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:56 PM

Thanks John, I have the really dark skies close at hand and get to the "as dark as it can get" locations six or seven times a year.

How does the eye relief compare?

-Chris

#30 John F

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:34 AM

Chris,

The published eye relief figures for the two binoculars are 16mm for the 10x70s and 15mm for the 15x60s. I find both to be very comfortable to observe with.

I'm glad to hear that you live in a location where you should be able to get a lot of good use out of your 10x70s. It is really one of the finest binoculars ever made. I bet if they went out of production their used-value prices would start creeping up over time like they did with the Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs and Takahashi 22x60s.

John Finnan

#31 HfxObserver

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Thanks John, you never know when one might find something for a good price, that's how I came to have these Nikon 10X70's. I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting since I'd never seen a pair in person but they have amazing build quality, though, the fake leatherette covering makes them appear like many of the 11X80's from the 90's.

-Chris

#32 ronharper

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:41 AM

On a genuine red ringed Nikon, one would expect REAL leatherette!

Seriously, even though I cannot partake in the brandfest with you guys, I have enjoyed this thread, and all of your comments. Maybe someday I will get myself a 10x70. I want one, but it's hard to justify, owning a 10x50 already.
Ron

#33 Fomalhaut

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:51 PM

Hi Ron,

I don't know you age and therefore suggest you measure if your eye-pupils do reach a night-vision-diameter of 7mm (10x70's exit pupil), and this better before buying.

Mine would not fulfil this criterion any more... (They are just between 5 - 6 mm nowadays...)

Chris

#34 HfxObserver

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

I looked at the Fujinon 10X50 but the weight pretty much requires mounting, as do the Nobilem and others, and I was even less sure of the ER, 13mm, than the Nikon, 16.3mm. Once you factor in used pricing decisions become easier.

So little is available on these, for instance, I couldn't locate a report nor anyone who had used the Nikon 10X70 red stripe with glasses....yet they work perfectly if you must wear them.

-Chris

#35 ronharper

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

Chris,
My eyes are good for about 6.3-6.5mm, so some glass would be wasted. But, I enjoy my 7x50 very much, more than the effective light collection would suggest. In fact, I suspect that the view is so comfortable precisely because my eye fits within the exit pupil, and has some wiggle room. It would be nice to have that experience at 10x.
Ron

#36 HfxObserver

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:11 PM

Ron, even at 6.3mm pupils you are still getting great use from a 10X70...not a lot of 10X63's out there. I use my 7X50 in the city all the time and doubt I'm getting that much but they still provide great views.

-Chris

#37 HfxObserver

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

I put these up on the Micro-Star last night an went out at 3am, skies were a little soft with moderate aurora to the north and some large clouds breaking up but it was definitely the best night in the past month.

Scanning the Milky-Way is a lot of fun with these wide fields mounted this way, just as easy as looking without the binos....really like having bionic eyes.

Objects viewed were Tr 37, the cluster in IC1396 in Cephus, NGC 7000 and associated nebula, Gamma Cyg dark nebula, IC 4665, Taurus Poniatowii/ Collinder 359, Scutum Star Cloud including B111, M11 and Basel 1. Collinder 302 / Scorpius group, including M4 and NGC 6144.

Good session, only an hour, hopefully more to come with better sky.

-Chris

#38 HfxObserver

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:46 PM

Lots of people have written PMs regarding the Nikon 10X70 AStroluxe binoculars and this thread.

I used the binoculars extensively over the summer for milky-way scanning and recently on the moon.

These binoculars continue to impress with the appreciation of IF increasing over time. I was hesitant about IF as never used a pair before the purchase but the other night I put them in the micro-star for some lunar work and did some observing, then caught myself, I hadn't had to focus! This is critical in cold climates and even though it was just -5C it was great to keep the gloves on. The last time I set focus was at dark sky ~500km of driving ago, so they keep focus exceptionally well.

Colour correction is superior to the Canon IS binoculars, though that is one of the few places they beat those exception binoculars.

Although they don't dive as deep as my 22X100's the drawback of those "big binoculars" is that when taken out I might as well have set-up the 5-inch apo. The 10X70 fit the "grab and go", I've taken them out in early mornings to view some clusters and nebulae.

-Chris

#39 davidmcgo

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

Glad I'm not the only one who finds these near perfect. I have both the "red ring" 10x70 Astroluxe and also snagged (finally) the earlier 10x70 wide field. For looking at the Moon the Astroluxe coatings are perfection and the eye relief is great. For the Milky Way, I use the wide fields for the added immersive effect (they fit the whole belt and sword of Orion at the same time).

Dave

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#40 SMark

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:52 PM

Dave,

Compare & Contrast those two a little more please. You seem to indicate that the newer coatings might give the 5.1° an advantage over the 6.5°, but that the wider field alone is enough to make you want to use the 6.5° for some views... Anything more you can add to this?

Thanx.

#41 davidmcgo

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:57 AM

You summed it up pretty well. The older Wide Field model is very immersive but shows a few ghosts on the Moon (kind of a chain of them getting progressively smaller) that move around with small movement of the image. Really only noticeable after 1st quarter phase. The 10x70 Astroluxe are no where near as immersive a view but have much smaller and more comfortable eyepieces (with the straight eyecups), a little sharper, and don't ghost even on a full moon. They are also lighter but somehow more difficult to hold due to increased length.

It's hard to really justify having both but I got them both used for very reasonable prices, the Astroluxe several years ago and the Wide Field more recently. If I had to keep one it would be a tough call but it would likely be the wide field model. Mostly because they feel solid like an anvil. No glue on the prisms, hinge axis 50% larger than the newer style.

Dave

#42 SMark

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

Thanx. The Wide Field is also much harder to come by and the price is going up. A near mint example showed-up on eBay a few months ago and sold for $1,329. :shocked:

#43 planetmalc

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

I make the same choices with my 16 x 70's: it's the Swift with its 80 degree AFOV for the Milky Way, and it's the 64 degree Fujinon for the serious stuff (because it's a better performer).






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