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20x70 binoculars??

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#1 Bill Barlow

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

Does anyone know if there is an economically low priced/good performing 20x70 binocular out there? I saw that Orion had this type a few months ago, then discontinued them. Looking for quality similar to the Garrett Gemini/Oberwerk standard binoculars. Thanks for any help.

Bill

#2 Rich V.

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

Aside from some "no name" 20x70s it's looking like you're stuck with either 15x70LW or 20x80LW type binos.

The 20x80LWs are actually more like 18-19x72 anyhow if you measure their effective aperture and true mag.

Rich

#3 BillC

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

Overland Park is the home of Bushnell/Tasco/Jason; I'll bet they have a "thrift store." Before tasco was bought out they had one just a few miles south of me.

Air can get really thin in ivory towers, and when the bean counters have decided to drop certain models, they will do so--regardless of the quality.

BillC

#4 Bill Barlow

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

Thanks for the information. I might try to find if there an outlet store here and give them a call.

Bill

#5 KennyJ

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Bill,

The 20x70 straight-through type binoculars that I've tried have always been considerably less satisfying than the numbers may suggest -- a bit like 15x50s and 16x50s in that regard( Canon IS models excepted )

Kenny

#6 Man in a Tub

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

I did notice Orion's ads for this binocular. That Orion no longer offers this configuration has probably saved a lot of bandwidth. Can you imagine the addition of posts about a budget (polite term) 20x70 to the almost weekly posts about the Celestron Skymaster 15x70?

:shocked:

#7 Bill Barlow

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:12 AM

Why is that..is the exit pupil too small and the images aren't too bright? Or is it harder to hand hold them at somewhat higher magnifications to minimize the image from shaking? I own a pair of 15x70's, but thought the extra 5x magnification would make the views a bit better for me.

Bill

#8 Mark9473

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 04:42 AM

It will be a combination of smaller exit pupil in an instrument already compromised on light transmission, exit pupil illumination and effective aperture. Something like the top quality William Optics 22x70 (also discontinued) will be a completely different viewing experience.

#9 johntrob

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:46 AM

Ebay has Oberwerks 15 x 60's for bid, directly from Oberwerk (bigBinocular.com). I got one pair for $51.00, they are $89.99 from the bigbinocular website.
If someone here has tried these, maybe they can offer some insite into the quality. I have not had a chance to use them yet so I do not know.

John

#10 aa5te

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

It seems that a Pentax 20x60 will smoke most, if not all, 20x70 offerings, except for the narrow(er) FOV.

#11 GlennLeDrew  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

In order to support the smaller exit pupil, the optical quality must be good enough. To a good approximation, demands on wavefront quality scale as the inverse of the exit pupil. If you halve the exit pupil, the quality must be twice as good. "Budget" binoculars often seem to be limited to a 4-5mm pupil, with the usual variance. Given the number of elements involved in a binocular (typically 10-12 air-glass and 4 reflective surfaces), one should not count on good performance at smaller exit pupils for low cost.

#12 *skyguy*

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

I own the 20x60 Oberwerk bins ... I would have bought the Pentax, except the narrow FOV was a deal killer. I also own the Focal 20x60 bins from 80's. The Oberwerks ... with better coatings and prisms ... through up a better view, but the difference is fairly minor, mostly noticeable as having slightly better contrast. After all, in reality 20X is hardly going to tax almost any 60mm. optical system, regardless of its optical quality ... unless it's really, really bad!

The 20x60 Oberwerk bins are my favorite for deep-sky observing. They are sharp across the entire FOV, with great resolution and contrast. The darker sky background resulting from the 3mm. exit pupil, allows me to resolve fainter structure in galaxies and they are a "killer" when it comes to open clusters. I enjoy using these bins far more than my 15x70 bins. If you can't find some decent 20x70 bins ... try out the 20x60 bins. I find them to be the maximum size, weight and magnification that I can profitably use handholding from a fully supported reclining position.

#13 Man in a Tub

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

Ebay has Oberwerks 15 x 60's for bid, directly from Oberwerk (bigBinocular.com). I got one pair for $51.00, they are $89.99 from the bigbinocular website.
If someone here has tried these, maybe they can offer some insite into the quality. I have not had a chance to use them yet so I do not know.

John


I was in "budget" mode when I bought an Oberwerk 15x60 in 2008 for $109.95. I was pleased with the views. Stars were sharp across most of the FOV. I enjoyed the Obwerwerk 15x60 for several months until I bought a Garrett Optical Signature 15x70 (and subsequently four more binoculars!).

The eye relief may be tight for eyeglass wearers, but I can and do use the Oberwerk 15x60 occasionally since donning my eyeglasses about two years ago. Collimation has held for four and a half years. That amazes me, really. The focus is a bit loose now. Refocusing during observing is a PITA. IIRC, when using Glenn LeDrew's flashlight test, the effective aperture measured approximately 52-53mm. Reduced aperture is no surprise in this binocular price range. It's not waterproof/fogproof. So, don't go observing on a golf course at night or trudge through swamps during the rainy season.

The Oberwerk 15x60 is a "good enough" binocular. Enjoy.

#14 Binojunky

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

I have a pair of Russian 20x60 binos,made from a recycled Typhoon class nulear sub. other than the fact they send my Geiger counter clicking away and give off a subdued glow in the dark they work well,DA. :dabomb:

#15 KennyJ

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

Bill,

Aspects I didn't like of 20x70 straight-through type binoculars I've tried,include:

1.Almost non-existent eye-relief

2.Dull daytime images

3.Far too high magnification for hand-holding

4.Less than 3 degree true field of view too narrow for the kind of views I like to see through binoculars

5.In addition to(4)above,probably less than 1.5 degrees of that field not obviously affected by various aberrations.

6.Exit-pupil so small as to make eye-placement awkward

7.Difficult to obtain and maintain optimum focus

All the above said,if someone had given me one of those when I was 14 years old,I would have been absolutely thrilled,awestruck and convinced they must be the most amazing binoculars ever made.

Many years later,at the time of trying them out,I'd been spoiled by looking through binoculars that suffered none of the above listed drawbacks.

Kenny

#16 Bill Barlow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:11 AM

I have been looking at this pair as well..thinking that the lighter weight of the 60mm binocular will make it easier to hand hold with the 20x. Might get a pair while Oberwerk still have some before they are gone. Thanks for the feedback.

Bill

#17 Bill Barlow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that the weight of my 15x70's..then adding additional 5x magnification, would probably be tougher to hand hold and keep the image steady without a tripod. I see the Oberwerk sells a 20x80 light weight model that only weighs 1/2 pound more than my 15x70's, but it may still be hard to hand hold and keep the image steady..unless you hold them near the front objective lens where most of the weight is.

Bill

#18 KennyJ

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:17 PM

Best of luck with your latest venture,Bill.

I can see from your list of equipment,and know anyway from your past participation in various forums, that you certainly aren't amongst them,but I've known of some people who have claimed to have enjoyed"satisfyingly steady" views through 20x hand-held binoculars,without ever having been anywhere near a tripod!:-)

Kenny

#19 Rich V.

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

I don't get hand holding a 20x binocular. It's hard enough at 15/16x. IMO, too much of the benefit of 20x is given up by not mounting them at that magnification. :question:

Rich

#20 Andresin150

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

It depends also in the size, weight and ergonomics of the binocular. For example, I have difficulties to hold steady my "new" Leica 8x20, mainly because they weight almost nothing, but I like a lot the quality of their optics in such a small package.
I hold very steady my Swarovski 10x42EL, their weight and the ergonomics are excellent, and they have 2x more, and in fact make me feel I can take even 12x with ease.
I dont observe handholding any other of my binoculars, simply too big and not designed for that.

#21 KennyJ

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

For myself,regardless of weight,size,ergonomics,make or model,looking through binoculars of 20x magnification, without image stabilisation,is little more than an exercise in frustration.






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