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#1 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

I am planning on replaceing my Binos lost to theft and was looking at these. http://www.optcorp.c...px?pid=715-3007 any suggestions or comments.

#2 Binojunky

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

I had a pair of these and they wouldn,t even come to focus for me, the Skymasters have a checkered history, the higher quality 8x56 and 9x63 models aren,t bad, however the cheaper models that include the 15x70, 20x80 etc are what they are, QC is rather spotty,you would be better off IMHO getting a 10x50 say the Nikon Action Extremes,DA.

#3 *skyguy*

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

Poor collimation has always been an issue with these binoculars. If you get "good" ones, they're a great buy and a joy to use ... just make sure you buy them from a vendor that has a "no questions asked" full return/exchange policy. For this reason, I'd buy them Amazon.com ... $94.98 with free shipping.

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B0007UQNTU

#4 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

Good stuff to know. Thanks guys! Anybody else?

Any opinons on these?

http://www.optcorp.c...x?pid=715-18658

#5 hallelujah

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

Tim,

If you are looking for a Good Quality 20x80 you will have to increase your budget.

http://www.bigbinoculars.com/2080t.htm

Stan

#6 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

I was afraid of as much. I am replacing the ones I lost.
Here is the thread that explains http://www.cloudynig...5683021/page...

They were great. Guess I will need to bite the bullet.

#7 Rich V.

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

Are you replacing a 20x80? Do you already have a sturdy mount to put 20x80s on?

The Skymasters are very inexpensive binoculars built to a price point that may have some deficiencies if you are unlucky. They have a light build so are easily knocked out of alignment. If you need to keep the price low you may do better getting a similar binocular from a vendor who stands behind their products like Oberwerk or Garrett. These would be the 20x80LW models they offer:

Oberwerk 20x80LW

Garrett 20x80LW

There are higher quality options such as the Oberwerk 20x80 Deluxe III or the Garrett 20x80 WP-CF MkII which have improved mechanical and optical quality.

Rich

#8 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

Rich, I am replaceing a pair of RA88 Apogee's. I have a nice Manfrotto tripod that I intend to use with the replacements. Thanks for the links, I will look at these also. I really am disappointed having lost my binos just as the best year for comets ever is getting going.

And I was hoping to hold the price down since I don't use them frequently.

#9 Rich V.

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:36 PM

Another plus with the higher grade 20x80s is that they operate at their full 80mm aperture (or very nearly); the Skymasters and other LW 80mms have internal light path restrictions so actually have an effective aperture of around 72mm, FWIW.

Rich

#10 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

So the ones you linked don't have the aperture restrictions?

#11 KennyJ

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

If anyone wants binoculars with around 80mm of true aperture,they could consider getting some 20x90s like I did,which have around 82mm of clear aperture.

They are still of the same mediocre quality as many 20x80s,but at least the extra aperture is there!

You can also improve the image quality considerably by masking them down to 50mm or 60mm. The increased focal ratio works wonders!

Kenny

#12 Rich V.

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

So the ones you linked don't have the aperture restrictions?



The Oberwerk 20x80 Deluxe III or the Garrett 20x80 WP-CF MkII are based on the Kunming United BA10 series which are not restricted like the LW binos. These have the more robust prism design of the premium BA8 binoculars sold as the Ultras/Signatures by these vendors.

Rich

#13 guangtou

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

I had the 20x80 skymasters. Actually enjoyed using them for about a year. Accidentally dropped them and had to send them in for no fault warranty repair, which is a $25 service charge plus one way shipping. They came back fine but lost collimation quickly. They are pretty easy to align (I won't call it true collimation). I got them back to working order and they were out again in a week. Honestly, I was tired of fooling with them and gave them to someone who didn't mind.

#14 KennyJ

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

<I was tired of fooling with them>

I quite like that description, "fooling".

It's much easier to type than "conditionally aligning".

Kenny

#15 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. I will probably avoid the Skymasters. Not sure if I want to spring for the more expensive options. Need to think about it a bit.

#16 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

Ok, I have run across a set of Skymasters with a tripod. They are the 20x100's. I know the skymasters have a poor reputation but was wondering what these would be worth used in like new condition. Of coarse I will look through them and see if they appear to be aligned.

http://www.optcorp.c...px?pid=715-2306

I wouldn't be looking at the skymasters but they are from a coworker and I expect a fairly low asking price. And they are 100 mm.

#17 guangtou

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

Your old Apogees were 13#, and the Skymaster 25x100 is 10#. That can be quite bulky for a straight through binocular. I have the 11# Garrett Gemini 25x100. After getting the Canon 15x50, I honestly don't used them much. Well, that and they're being professionally collimated right now.

To answer your question, I would prefer a Garrett or Oberwerk at that price point new ($320), even if it were less aperture. As far as the value used, I would still prefer to spend the money on a 20x80 from Garrett or Oberwerk!

#18 Jarrod

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

No mention of the Zhumell Tachyon 25x100mm BA3s yet, so I'll plug them because so far my experience with them has been quite good. If $400+ isn't in your budget for a 100mm set with higher-end optics, these are a great alternative at $229 shipped to your door from Hayneedle. They are amazingly well put-together, and come with a pretty nice carrying/storage case. Mine arrived perfectly collimated and the optical quality is good - FAR better than the Celestron 20x80 that I had, and returned (I've not looked through the 100mm Celestrons). They are BIG, so be prepared to have a good mounting solution. But also be prepared for some surprisingly nice views for the price.

I do recommend some blue loc-tite 242 for the knob on the tripod mount, and for the set screws that lock the center post to the frame (to keep everything tight). When I contacted Hayneedle about these issues, they stood behind their product by offering to swap them for another pair. I declined, so they reimbursed me $10 for my troubles instead. They were very professional. I have no hesitation in recommending them as a source, if the products are right for you.

#19 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Thanks Jarod, those look like a great option for the price point.

#20 Jarrod

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

Here is a user review of the Zhumell 25x100. I feel like it's an accurate portrayal of what you'll be treated to with this set. It sounds like you already have a tripod. I did not go with the Zhumell tripod, preferring one with a geared center column for not much more $$ (Davis & Sanford Provista18). It works very well - even better after adding a mounting post extension for extra clearance between the tripod head and oversized optical tubes.

#21 SMark

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:53 PM

I also have the Zhumell 25x100. Thanx to the forum here I found that Zhumell has a 25 year no hassle warranty on this binocular. I ended up using that warranty and had a very good experience. So +1 for Zhumell on that...

My experience with Zhumell (thread)

As long as you aren't too picky about having super tight star images and such, you should be happy with the Zhumell 25x100.






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