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Canon 15X50 or 18X model for birding?

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#1 curiosidad

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

hello,
it is a good bino for birding-astro observations?
Thanks

#2 KennyJ

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:41 PM

For birding, a wider field of view is a great asset.

Even if only for that reason alone, if I had to choose between only those two models it would simply HAVE to be the 15x and even the field of view through that would be very restrictive for most types of birding.

There are many thousands of birders who spend well over $1000 each for their favourite binoculars, and probably less than 3% of those ever go for anything with a true field of view less than around 6 degrees.

Kenny

#3 Pinewood

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:49 PM

Hello Curiosidad,

Kenny is, as often, right on the mark. His compatriots, far more than American bird watchers, are likely to carry both binoculars and a spotting 'scope. The binoculars are for finding and following birds; the scope for observing closely anything stationary. Even a good 10X binocular is not ideal for following birds in flight.
When I am in a good mood, I carry a 7x and a 10X, but I usually just rely on an 8x. On trips to the shore, I have been known to carry an 8x and a 12x, on a monopod. The latter was used, with some success, for observing a colony of egrets. With the 12x, I was able to pick out the one cattle egret among dozens of great egrets.

I have no idea if IS binoculars are suited for following birds in flight.

Happy observing,
Arthur Pinewood

#4 Hikari

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

+3 on the 15x. I only find higher power bins good for water fowl and my bird feeders, but I need some kind of support. These are not good for woodland birds.

Personally, I find the sweet spot for a single pair of bins to be the 10x42 roof prism type. They are compact, you can hold them well, good magnification and aperture.

#5 edwincjones

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 06:24 AM

on BirdForum there is a current thread on the best birding binocular
8x32 is the clear winning size so far,
7x42 distant second favorite
seems like light weight and wide FOV very important

edj

#6 Binojunky

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:28 AM

Why not get the 10x30IS model?, its outstanding as a general purpose instrument, can be bought for well under $400 new, its light and can be used for the night sky, birdies or whatever takes your fancy, another plus is that its powered by standard double A,s, DA

#7 pftarch

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:55 PM

I'm not a birder, but I love my Canon 12*36 IS Bino's. (Only a 5 degree field though). I bought them for astronomy, but they spend as much time as general use bino's during the day.

The stabilization is nothing short of a "magical" to me. (At night the difference is huge.) During the day the example that I have people do is have the first time user find a car license plate far away without the stabilizer on. Typically they can't make out the actual digits. I then have them push the "happy" button that turns on the stabilizers and look again. Now they can easily read the numbers. Typically 10X is about the limit for hand held bino's due to the shakiness factor, but my Canon's are a joy to use at 12x with no problems.

Binojunky points out the 10x30's and they have a 6 deg. field from what I have read online. I'd see if you could try some out.

The 15X and 18X are quite a bit heavier than the smaller models, (and significantly more expensive), so that may limit there use for birding as well as their narrower field.

In regards to Ed Jones post above, I can't speak to his birding knowledge, but what I know of him through the telescope forums place him in about the 99.999999999999th percentile of his peers when it comes to optical design, theory, and construction. Although I may think I know what I am talking about, Ed DOES know what he is talking about, so I could be all wrong on this one.

Enjoy whatever bino's you get!

Peter T.

#8 snorkler

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 09:35 PM

What the others said. 15x and 18x binos have too narrow fovs, which make finding and following birds difficult. I prefer 10x42s for their magnification detail in my open-space western birding. If I lived or birded primarily in thick forest conditions, I'd go with 7X35s or 8X40s.

I used to use Leica BA 10x42s, but as I aged and my hands got shakier, I changed my primary birding binos to Canon "L" 10X42 IS. They do well for birding, but are mediocre for astronomy. The 15 and 18x IS binos should be much better for astronomy, but relatively poorly for birding.

#9 pftarch

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:23 PM

..... but are mediocre for astronomy. The 15 and 18x IS binos should be much better for astronomy, but relatively poorly for birding.


I was curious as to what you didn't like about the 10X42's for astronomy. (I love my 12X36's for astronomy, but I've never used a bigger binocular, so I can't compare them to a larger aperture model.) Is it just that they are too small for light gathering/exit pupil or is there something else?

Peter T.

#10 snorkler

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:42 PM

10X is not enough magnification to see Saturn's rings, Jupiter's equatorial bands, that Albireo is a double, etc. 10X is fine for large objects like the Beehive, Melotte 111, the Pleiades, and Brocchi's Coathanger.

#11 Binojunky

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:44 AM

To be honest if you want to split doubles, see Saturns rings, Jupiters moons etc then a small inexpensive scope like the Orion Starblast in the 4.5" size will serve you better, cost is around $175, or the astro OTA version of the venerable Orion ST80, again under $200, that would still leave you money in the budget for a good pair of binoculars,DA.

#12 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

What the others said. 15x and 18x binos have too narrow fovs, which make finding and following birds difficult. I prefer 10x42s for their magnification detail in my open-space western birding. If I lived or birded primarily in thick forest conditions, I'd go with 7X35s or 8X40s.

I used to use Leica BA 10x42s, but as I aged and my hands got shakier, I changed my primary birding binos to Canon "L" 10X42 IS. They do well for birding, but are mediocre for astronomy. The 15 and 18x IS binos should be much better for astronomy, but relatively poorly for birding.

I have the 10x42L, 12x36 II and 15x50 IS and I think the 15x50 IS with wide 67.5° AFOV is great for viewing detail in birds but for just quickly spotting birds I use my ultrabright 7x42 Zeiss FL or smaller 8x32 Pentax ED binoculars.






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