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Tasco/Celestron/Orion 9x63

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#1 SteveTheSwede

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

I have been looking at three 9x63 binocs and I wonder if anyone know what, if any, the difference in quality is...

The Tasco 9x63 cost about 100 euro around here.
The Celestron 9x63 cost about 200 euro.
The Orion ones cost 300 euro.

Interestingly, and as far as I can tell the Tasco and the Orions look very similar both visually and the specs.

The Celestrons looks different visually and they have a stated eye relief of 17 mm while the Orions have a stated eye relief of 26mm. I can't find any stated eye relief for the Tasco.

I know most budget binocs are manufactured in the same places and rebranded. In this case the price difference seems a bit high to be identical units, as well as the oddity that the cheapest and the most expensive ones seem identical.

Anyway, any info on these would be valuable, thanks!

#2 rydberg

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Hello:
I was not familiar with the Tasco 9x63 but after a quick search I realized that is very similar to the Meade 9x63. The two models are roof binoculars and are passable binoculars, but are far from the top of the line. This is to be expected given their price (roofs are usually more expensive than equivalent Porro binoculars). They originate out of China.

Of the Celestron 9x63, there are two possibilities: a newer one called Skymaster (made in China, for a lower price point), and an older, discontinued one, the Ultima DX line. The Ultima DX where better binoculars. Overall these are probably better than the Tasco above, but not worth double the money.

The last one, the Orion 9x63. It is called a MiniGiant here in US. Originally came from Japan, and it may still be, and that should explain the difference in price. Also, the Orion comes with a 5 year warranty. I doubt the other ones have it. On paper is the better of the the three you mentioned.
Hope this helps.
Marco

#3 BobinKy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

Steve...

Unfortunately, I have no experience with the Tasco or Celestron models.

I recently went through the forum threads (CN and elsewhere) and sent some PMs to some of my friends. There is another 9x63 model that you may want to consider.
Vixen Optics 9x63 ZCF Geoma Binocular

The cost will probably be higher for the Vixen than the other 9x63 models you are considering. What follows is my path to the Vixen 9x63 model.

*****

I considered the Orion Mini Giant 9x63, but ordered the Vixen ZCF 9x63 because of the lighter weight and outstanding optical reputation of the Vixen from several of my friends here on Cloudy Nights with experience of 9x63 models. And my own experience with the Vixen Foresta 7x50 porro also says a lot about the quality of Vixen Optics.

For my purposes, I will use a 9x63 primarily during twilight and heavy overcast days for nature observation, when a 7mm exit pupil will be quite useful. I also may use the 9x63 for comet-chasing. I already own other excellent binocular models for regular night sky observing. Thus, I probably will not use a 9x63 as my primary binocular observing of the night sky.

However, let my say that I did read several good comments about the Orion mini giant 9x63 on the Orion website, as well from my friends here on Cloudy Nights who have experience with the Orion model. Most who liked the Orion Mini Giant 9x63 commented upon its Japanese production and the design quality of the binocular, and some were quite pleased with the optical quality as well.

Before all is said and done, I may end up roughing about with a 9x63. After the Vixen model arrives in a few days, if I think it may be too fragile at night on the mountains, I may return it and try out the heavier Orion model.

*****

In closing, I agree with Marco that the current Celestron 9x63 is NOT the same model as the older Celestron Ultima 9x63, which many have said was an outstanding binocular. I have heard that Tasco binoculars also experienced a decline in quality since their earlier heyday.

I hope this helps.

#4 SteveTheSwede

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

Thanks rydberg, that does help clear things up.

You seem to be right about the Orions. On closer inspection I found that they are indeed listed as made in Japan. It would seem, then, that they might be worth the extra money.

#5 SteveTheSwede

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

Thanks BobinKy,

I think the Vixens would be beyond my budget, but the Orions aren't. I already have the Nikon 10x50 Action VII and I am happy with them but I thought a 9x63 would be a tad easier to handhold while catching a bit more light.

#6 BobinKy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

I am excited for you. Whatever binocular you get next, please write about it here on the Cloudy Nights Binoculars Forum. The largest collection of binocular night sky observing equipment and observing reports anywhere--because of dedicated participants like yourself.


#7 JIMZ7

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

Is there any blackout issues with longer eye relief? The Orion 9x63mm has a eye relief listed at 26mm.

Jim :watching:

#8 *skyguy*

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

I have the Celestron ... made in Japan ... 9x63 binoculars. Overall, their mechanical and optical quality are pretty good. However, I have mixed feelings about the usefulness of any 9x63 binocular for observing the night sky.

I purchased mine for the same reasons you have stated ... "I thought a 9x63 would be a tad easier to handhold while catching a bit more light."

In my experience, the larger and heaver objective glass makes them more difficult to handhold than my 10x50's ... even with the reduced magnification. Also, their 9x magnification and 5º FOV always always leaves me wanting for more, which sends me back to my 10x50 binoculars. Since the 9x63 bin has a 7mm. exit pupil, I doubt they are a good match my older eyes. Perhaps if I was still in my 20's and was observing from a very dark location ... I would find them more useful.

Out of the 7 binoculars I use for deep-sky observing, my 9x63 bins are used the least. If you have never observed using this size binoculars, I suggest you try them out before you buy.

Jim

#9 Rich V.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

I won a pair of Barska Blackhawk 9x63 roofs at a star party. They are inexpensive non-phase coated roofs that measure 9x59 effective. Meade appears to market the same binocular as the Travel View.

They are heavy and not very bright; my little 10x35 Nikons are brighter and show more contrast on DSOs. So much for large exit pupils!

I would say that if I were considering a "9x63" it would have to be a Porro prism model as the cheap roof versions are definite underperformers, IMO.

Rich

#10 SMark

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Awhile back I purchased two Bresser binoculars. One was an 8x56 porro and the other an 8x56 (non-phase coated) roof. They both go for about the same price, but the porro was so much brighter and clearer than the roof... it was quite revealing. That experience along with another encounter with a ~$100 Bushnell roof taught me to stay away from all cheaper non-phase coated roofs.

#11 SteveTheSwede

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

<snip>
I purchased mine for the same reasons you have stated ... "I thought a 9x63 would be a tad easier to handhold while catching a bit more light."

In my experience, the larger and heaver objective glass makes them more difficult to handhold than my 10x50's ... even with the reduced magnification. Also, their 9x magnification and 5º FOV always always leaves me wanting for more, which sends me back to my 10x50 binoculars. Since the 9x63 bin has a 7mm. exit pupil, I doubt they are a good match my older eyes. Perhaps if I was still in my 20's and was observing from a very dark location ... I would find them more useful.

Out of the 7 binoculars I use for deep-sky observing, my 9x63 bins are used the least. If you have never observed using this size binoculars, I suggest you try them out before you buy.

Jim


Thanks, that is a very good point, I did not consider the weight. Also I suspect there might be a balance issue if the 9x63 are more front heavy than a pair of 10x50 (as they look like they are anyway).

Steve

#12 BobinKy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

My Vixen ZCF 9x63 should arrive tomorrow. After some testing and comparisons with various models, I will post a few preliminary comments in a separate thread. These will probably be daytime tests and comparisons.

#13 Mark9473

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

I suspect there might be a balance issue if the 9x63 are more front heavy than a pair of 10x50 (as they look like they are anyway).


I wouldn't worry too much about that. I have a pair of Orion 15x63 that I find pretty easy to hand hold. The extra weight and length over a typical 10x50 helps to steady them, and they're not too front-heavy to be bothersome. Of course, YMMV!

#14 KennyJ

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:07 AM

Although it's very short eye-relief has relegated it mainly to a permanent life spent in it's case in a closet,one aspect I did appreciate about the Helios 15x70( alias Orion Little Giant 2)was how surprisingly easy it was to use hand-held.

It is relatively lightweight and MUCH more user friendly in that respect to the Celestron Skymaster/Barska clones.

The photo below illustrates the difference in relative size.

I can't imagine the physical dimensions of those 63mm binoculars presenting such a problem.

Attached Files








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