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Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars

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#1 David E

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Lately I've been purchasing some Halley's Comet related items off EBay to put together a display for the upcoming *Tri*Star* in Jamestown NC. It's amazing the thousands of items you can find commemorating the 1985-6 return of Halley's Comet. Many companies cashed in on the craze, simply putting the words "Halley's Comet" on any cheap item made it a "collectable." I even bought a box of comet dust! :o When I saw this Tasco 7x50 binoculars commemorating the Comet, I thought to myself- yeah, they probably just put Halley's name on a cheap pair of binocs to grab their piece of the comet pie. When the binoculars arrived boy was I pleasantly surprised! :yay: It turned out these are Japan-made with fully coated optics, excellent color correction, and all metal construction! Model number 425Z, they have a field of view of 420ft at 1000yds (what would that be in degrees of field of view? :question:) They have center focus, right eyepiece diopter adjustment, plenty of eye relief and fold down rubber eye cups. This is not just another object for my Halley's Comet display, but a real usable item. :jump:

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#2 David E

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

A view of the other side:

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#3 David E

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

Really nice glass!

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#4 hallelujah

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

Good for you!
It's always nice to find a real bargain. :waytogo:

I looked it up on eBay and I could not find any more. :question:

Stan

#5 plyscope

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Looks great! 420ft/1000yds equals 8 degrees which is wide angle for 7x50 but approx 56 degrees apparant field of view so not strictly speaking a wide angle binocular.

Very few 7x50 binoculars have over 7.1 degree field of view (50 degrees apparant).

#6 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:43 AM

Good for you!
It's always nice to find a real bargain. :waytogo:

I looked it up on eBay and I could not find any more. :question:

Stan


Thanks Stan. I don't know how many Tasco sold of these binocs. I'm assuming that this was a model that they sold back in the 80's without the Halley's connection, although it could be a unique model in their historical lineup.

#7 EdZ

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:59 AM

Looks great! 420ft/1000yds equals 8 degrees which is wide angle for 7x50 but approx 56 degrees apparant field of view so not strictly speaking a wide angle binocular.

Very few 7x50 binoculars have over 7.1 degree field of view (50 degrees apparant).


that's extremely wide angle for a 7x50, if you only knew how large the prism clear aperture and the eeyepiece field stops need to be to accomplish that. There's a vey ggood reason why 7x50s usually do not exceed 7.1°.

Either these are an extremely well made expensive binoocular, or due to angular distortion they do not really provide tthe statted field of view or perhaps there is no field stop and the outer eddge of the field of view has no clearly defined stop orr the outer fieldd illumination is rather poor. One of those needs to be true for this to be claimed an 8° binocular.

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#8 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

Looks great! 420ft/1000yds equals 8 degrees which is wide angle for 7x50 but approx 56 degrees apparant field of view so not strictly speaking a wide angle binocular.

Very few 7x50 binoculars have over 7.1 degree field of view (50 degrees apparant).


Thanks for the reply, looks like I have something special here. I knew the TFOV was large, I can squeeze Orion's belt and sword in the same field of view. I looked on Amazon and found a Steiner Commando model and a BetaOptics that have a 7.5º field of view.

#9 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

Looks great! 420ft/1000yds equals 8 degrees which is wide angle for 7x50 but approx 56 degrees apparant field of view so not strictly speaking a wide angle binocular.

Very few 7x50 binoculars have over 7.1 degree field of view (50 degrees apparant).


that's extremely wide angle for a 7x50, if you only knew how large the prism clear aperture and the eeyepiece field stops need to be to accomplish that. There's a vey ggood reason why 7x50s usually do not exceed 7.1°.

Either these are an extremely well made expensive binoocular, or due to angular distortion they do not really provide tthe statted field of view or perhaps there is no field stop and the outer eddge of the field of view has no clearly defined stop orr the outer fieldd illumination is rather poor. One of those needs to be true for this to be claimed an 8° binocular.

edz


Those are good points. Next clear sky I get I'll do a better star test (the sky was not very clear at all for my first light the other night) and get a better understanding of what these binocs can do.

#10 Simon S

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

Similar to my world class Taco model in my collection.
Mine are optically poor, a10x50 but I love the leatherette.

#11 planetmalc

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

I looked it up on eBay and I could not find any more. Stan


They'll be re-issued in 2061. :)

#12 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

Tasco had a very wide angle 7X50 (Model 124), which had eyepieces of at least 70 degrees apparent field of view. The prism and field stop apertures were 29mm. The f/3.5 objectives were further reduced to an effective f/3 via focal reducers, mounted either at the rear prism aperture or on barrel extensions as part of the eyepieces (depending, I suppose, on date of manufacture.)

I forget the claimed field, which might have been somewhere in the range of my calculated 11 degrees. Rather wider than this unit's ~8 degrees, which shows it to be eminently possible.

#13 plyscope

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Holger has a review of wide angle 7x50's including the Tasco model 124.

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#14 hallelujah

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Thanks for the link to the reviews.

#15 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

Thanks for the link to the reviews.


Yes that's a great review. My Halley's binocs are not the same as the Tasco 124 though. My pair has no rectilinear distortion at all, and is reasonably star-sharp at the edge but with some field curvature. (Again, I'll get a better idea of how these work for astronomy if it ever clears up again!) Mine also has ample eye relief for eye glasses, and the AFOV is definitely rated smaller than the 124.

#16 SMark

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

Tasco had a very wide angle 7X50 (Model 421?), which had eyepieces of at least 70 degrees apparent field of view. The prism and field stop apertures were 29mm. The f/3.5 objectives were further reduced to an effective f/3 via focal reducers, mounted either at the rear prism aperture or on barrel extensions as part of the eyepieces (depending, I suppose, on date of manufacture.)

I forget the claimed field, which might have been somewhere in the range of my calculated 11 degrees. Rather wider than this unit's ~8 degrees, which shows it to be eminently possible.


It was the Tasco model 420. It was listed at 578 Ft. @ 1000 Yds., or 11°. I owned a model 420 for awhile and the images were not very flat. By comparison, the model 410 which is a 7x35 listed at 657 Ft. @ 1000 Yds. offers much better images over a wider field. Jason also made an 11° 7x50 in their Statesman series.

Here's a pic of mine...

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#17 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:23 PM

It was the Tasco model 420. It was listed at 578 Ft. @ 1000 Yds., or 11°. I owned a model 420 for awhile and the images were not very flat. By comparison, the model 410 which is a 7x35 listed at 657 Ft. @ 1000 Yds. offers much better images over a wider field.
Jason also made an 11° 7x50 in their Statesman series.


Mine Also is a Z model. Any idea what the Z-designation meant? :question:

I remember seeing that Jason 7x50 in a thrift store once. The price was right but the binocs were badly abused so I passed them up.

#18 SMark

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

"Z" just means that it features the ZIP focus system. IMO that "feature" actually make the binocular worse off, but that's just my opinion.

#19 junomike

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Found a pair in Miami . Price seems a little steep?

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#20 Scott in NC

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Very cool, David! And thanks for mentioning *Tri*Star*. I totally forgot about it last year until the weekend had already passed! :foreheadslap:

#21 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

Found a pair in Miami . Price seems a little steep?

Mike


IMHO, maybe not. Today a new pair of binocs in the $100 range probably would not be as nice as that Tasco. :shrug:

#22 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

I wouldn't say $100 for a pair of these 7X50s is steep at all, if in good condition. They are fairly well built, with 24.5mm clear aperture prisms mounted on a separate, tiltable shelf. The somewhat wider field than the common 'standard' found in most 7X50s is a plus to me.

#23 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

"Z" just means that it features the ZIP focus system. IMO that "feature" actually make the binocular worse off, but that's just my opinion.


Yes, the short travel of the focus knob does make nailing the focus a bit difficult.

#24 David E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

Very cool, David! And thanks for mentioning *Tri*Star*. I totally forgot about it last year until the weekend had already passed! :foreheadslap:


I hope you can make it this year, Scott. I had a lot of fun last year.

:jump:

#25 ScumotheUniverse

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

I wouldn't say $100 for a pair of these 7X50s is steep at all, if in good condition. They are fairly well built, with 24.5mm clear aperture prisms mounted on a separate, tiltable shelf. The somewhat wider field than the common 'standard' found in most 7X50s is a plus to me.


I paid $100.00 30 years ago for Japanese manufactured 7X50 8 degree bins. With inflation in consideration a hundred dollars today is a deal. One did not have the Chinese option in those days. I believe they did not enter binocular manufacturing until the early 2000s. Imagine the excitement a pair of 15X70 bins would have generated during the Halley apparition.






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