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Alan French
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Reged: 01/28/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Upstate NY
Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS
      #1214605 - 10/24/06 04:58 PM

Canon is once again offering $100 rebates on its larger IS binoculars, and I think we might spring for a pair. We are leaning a bit toward the 18x50 because of its smaller exit pupil (we both have astigmatism and often use binoculars without glasses) and potential edge for astronomy.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these?

Thanks!

Clear skies, Alan


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Rick
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1214640 - 10/24/06 05:14 PM

When I compared them inside the store for about 20 minutes, I sensed the 18x was a little too dim for my eyes. But when I was in Kauai I wished for just a touch more mag than my 15x when watching the surfers offshore. But compared to my 18x Nikons on the Moon, the view is not that much different. So if you think you will get more daytime use, perhaps the 18x is more desirable. I think for astronomy, I prefer the large FOV of 15x. When the additionl 20%+ cost is factored in, I think the 15x is the best value too.

-Rick


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Alan French
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Rick]
      #1214690 - 10/24/06 05:36 PM

Rick,

Thanks. I had forgotten about the rather large price difference. I don't envision using these during the day, although I can't speak for my better half.

Clear skies, Alan


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Erik D
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1214786 - 10/24/06 06:37 PM

Alan,

I have used my friend's 18X50 IS for several week-long test sessions over the past three years.(and his 10X30IS too, but not at the same time) The last time I tested the 18X50 IS was a 3-way comparsion with my Leupold Olympic 12X50 Roof and a 20X80 LW. I could see deeper with the 18X50 IS compared to the 12X50. But when I wanted to really OBSERVE vs scan the sky for DSOs I always found myself reaching for the 20X80 LW. I could see much more detail in the 20X80 even when I was just handholding it with my elbows supported while seated in a recliner.

Since I have two 20X80s and a 25X100 I don't spend much time OBSERVING DSOs with smaller binos. My 12X50 Roof works nicely as a dual use high power bino when I travel. I have yet to convince myself I needed a 18X50 IS.

I have no experience with the 15X50 IS but I WOULD consider it as a step up from my 12X50 Roof. For me 15X is the threshold where I can benefit from IS technology. The 15X offers a wider 4.5 deg FOV and more user friendly 3.33 mm exit pupil compared to 2.78mm for the 18X50. I may consider traveliing with just a 15X50 IS as my only pair. With the 18X50 IS I would want to pack a smaller 8X compact. I think the 15X50 IS would be a better all around bino for ME.

Keep in mind the above comments are from someone who has 5 pair of binos 60mm and bigger for astronomy. An 18X50 IS would not be my primary astro bino.

Of course a slimmed down version 15X50 ISL II would be most welcome.;-))

Erik D

Edited by Erik D (10/24/06 08:24 PM)


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milt
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1214864 - 10/24/06 07:29 PM

Hi Alan,

I owned the 18x50 for 3 years and used it extensively for astronomy, bagging all but a few of the Messiers and doing some SSS's before Sue took over Scotty's column. I have also looked through Rich N's 15x50; any differences from mine were minor and would have required a side-by-side comparison. My 18x50 made a fine camping companion including one trip back your way.

That said, I gave up on handholding early on. Trying to split a tight double or resolve a cluster? IS not steady enough. Trying to do an extended observation? Too heavy to hold for any length of time. Trying to find an obscure object? Too much hassle refinding your place in the sky each time you consult the star chart. For most of the 3 yrs. mine were mounted on a Manfrotto 3130/3011 head and tripod. However, I believe Rich uses his handheld exclusively so he can serve as a counterpoint.

I found the Canon optics to be decent but not any better on-axis than the Miyauchi 22x60 I just purchased. And the Miya is giving much better views of DSO's in 45 comfort, for less money. However, if you have to have image stabilization, by all means get the Canon. They aren't bad binoculars, but IMO if you aren't going to regularly use the IS they are overpriced.

Good luck,
Milt


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Alan French
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: milt]
      #1214886 - 10/24/06 07:40 PM

Eric and Milt,

Thanks for your comments. I simply can not hand hold anything over about 10x, so the IS is very nice when I don't want to bother with some type of mount too. I agree that they are heavier than might be desired, but am more apt to tolerate that when seated in a lawn chair than when birding in the field.

Thanks again.

Clear skies, Alan


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Erik D
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1214992 - 10/24/06 08:23 PM

Alan,

I should add that lower price of the 15X IS is a bonus. Not a factor in my consideration. If I felt 18X is better/more desireable for my application I would spend more.

To me any bino over $500-$600 is in the premium price range. My purchasing decision of premium optics is usually not a rational one. It's based on WANT, not NEED. If I WANT something bad enough I'll pay for it.

Milt,

I did not find the Wt of the 18X50 IS taxing while I was viewing from my back yard. But my $150 20X80 LW always gave me more satisfaction. Add the Bogen 3321WN/501 head combo I am still at 1/2 the cost of the 18X50 IS...

I do mind the extra bulk and weight of a porro prism when I pack for air travel. I usually take 3-4 international trips every year. My flights to the Far East could take 24-30 hrs door-to-door. Everything I need during the flight(s) has to go into my backpack. I won't leave any optics over $100 with my checked luggage. I'll go out of my way to save an oz or two in my carry on bag. My Leupold 12X50 Roof is ~27 oz.

Erik D


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CESDewar
GorillAstronomer


Reged: 01/16/05
Posts: 2085
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Erik D]
      #1215351 - 10/24/06 11:22 PM

I observe extensively with the 18x50 Canons and also have a pair of the 20x80LW. I find that hand-holding the LW's is too much of a stretch unless you happen to be in a position where you can really brace your elbows. The 18x50's are a favorite viewing instrument of mine because they represent about the highest magnification that you can still handhold. Yes, there is still some motion with IS engaged, but I do not find it enough to disturb my viewing as it is fairly slow movement as opposed to the rapid jerking when IS is turned off. All the Messier objects are visible in the Canons (no, I haven't caught them all yet, but I've already caught m74, m76, m109 etc. and the only ones left to do are actually some of the easy ones).

I agree that if these are your ONLY viewing binos, it would make sense to go to the 15x50's as it would be worth sacrificing some detail to get a wider FOV. I use some ultra-high quality 10x42 binoculars to complement my 18x50's which are lightweight and also used for general daytime observing. I find the 18x50's to be an excellent and useful bridge between 10/12x handheld binos and my large Saturn III's.

You won't go wrong with either pair, but even though I have 18x50's myself, If they got lost/destroyed and I had to replace them, I would be equally likely to replace them with the 15x50's as what you lose in Detail is well balanced by the gain in FOV.

--------------------



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milt
professor emeritus


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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: CESDewar]
      #1215473 - 10/25/06 12:27 AM

Quote:

I've already caught m74, m76, m109 etc.



Great job on M109! I checked my notes and I did bag M74 & M76 in my 18x50 but M109 was one of the five that I missed, although I tried many times. The other four were Virgo cluster galaxies. I regret not getting them all, but as someone once said "life is an unfinishedness." My bit of philosophy for the night...

Milt


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RRaubach
AstroCowboy


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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1215585 - 10/25/06 02:18 AM

Alan-

I have had my 15x50 IS for about a year now. I chose the 15x over the 18x for a better f.o.v. in astronomical use. I found the smaller field of the 18x more difficult in use for finding objects. The image seemed a bit brighter on faint extended objects, too. I could easily split Albireo, suspected Mizar as a peanut, and could see the *cigar* shape of M82 easily with the 15x50's.

The 15x50 IS binos are several hundred less expensive, too.

--------------------
Rodger

Meade SN-10 (UHTC) on Tak EM-200 mount/Antares rotating rings. Moonlite focuser.
Parallax 14.5" Newtonian on HD 200 mount (arriving soon!) w/ conical Royce mirror.
TMB 203 f/7 APO refractor on Tak NJP-160 mount.
Discovery 12.5" PDHQ
Schneider 18x80 "Flakfernrohr" binoculars/tripod mounted. Canon 15x50 IS binoculars
Unihedron Sky Quality Meter


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DJB
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/23/05
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: RRaubach]
      #1215690 - 10/25/06 04:59 AM

Hi all,

I agree with Alan's observation above, i.e., without IS, 10X is about my threshold. With IS, the 15X Canon is my threshold, particularly when observing near zenith.

This is due in part to a back injury sustained some years back, which puts undue strain on the back muscles. In turn, I become unstable and in creep the shakes.

Hey, the wider FOV of the 15X model is a pleasant asset for me as well.

Best regards,
Dave.


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Alan French
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: DJB]
      #1215889 - 10/25/06 09:58 AM

I find the IS feature completely eliminates shakes on objects at eye level or a modest distance above the horizon. Sometimes there is a residual "slow roll," but that seems to depend on how rested and relaxed I am, and the slow roll does not seem to reduce my ability to see fine details.

There doesn't seem to be a good solution for simply looking overhead, with or without IS. I find that a reclining lawn chair works perfectly, and is the only way I can get comfortable, steady views of objects high in the sky, either with my 7x42s and their wide field, or my 12x36 IS.

Someday, I should experiment with something similar to the Sky Window.

Clear skies, Alan


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Rich N
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Alan French]
      #1216274 - 10/25/06 01:39 PM

Hi Alan,

I tried a friends 18x IS several times and I also tried another friends 15x several times. This was always at star parties. I found the with the 18x model the IS wouldn't quite dampen my shakes while the 15x model did. The wider field of the 15x also made finding objects quite a bit easier.

Rich


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Joe Ogiba
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Rich N]
      #1216750 - 10/25/06 05:37 PM

My 12x36 IS II's don't track planes as well as my 10x42L's so I don't think I will get the 15x or higher IS binoculars. I have a myriad of 60-100mm binocular/mount combinations from 15x to 32x so it make no sense for me to get IS binoculars beyond 12x IMHO.

Joe

--------------------
Pentax PF-80ED,Meade 102ED APO,Orion EON 72,120ST
Apex 127,C6 XLT,CR150,C9.25,XT10 ,Celestron Regal 100 F-ED, CT152
Zeiss 7x42 FL,Canon 10x42L IS WP,15x50 IS
12x36 IS II , Pentax 8x32 ED
Garrett Optical 28x110 HD-WP Signature Series
Oberwerk BT-80 45, Apogee RA-88-SA
Denk II Power x Switch binoviewer w/13mm Ethos, 20mm Pentax XW's, 20mm Widescan III's.
21mm Ethos,17mm Ethos, 22mm Nagler, 40mm Pentax XW, 14mm Pentax XL, 5.2mm Pentax XL, 8-24mm Pentax XL Zoom, 31mm Axiom LX
Member #17


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camvan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/02/05
Posts: 2142
Loc: British Columbia
Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Joe Ogiba]
      #1216800 - 10/25/06 06:03 PM

I'm just simply boggled at how much the glasses cost! :O

--------------------
Cameron

"Aperture can only be replaced by even more aperture. Dark transparent skies cannot be replaced by anything else." - Stathis Kafalis

Intes MN66
Meade SN8
handfull of cheap ep's


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Alan French
Night Owl


Reged: 01/28/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: camvan]
      #1216811 - 10/25/06 06:12 PM

Quote:

I'm just simply boggled at how much the glasses cost! :O




Take a look at the price of the Zeiss FLs or the Swarovski ELs. (For a high end binoculars, I think the Nikon Venturer LXs are the "bargain.")

Clear skies, Alan


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Joe Ogiba
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Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: camvan]
      #1216956 - 10/25/06 07:48 PM

Quote:

I'm just simply boggled at how much the glasses cost! :O



Premium German 10x42's cost alot more than 10x42L IS binoculars.

--------------------
Pentax PF-80ED,Meade 102ED APO,Orion EON 72,120ST
Apex 127,C6 XLT,CR150,C9.25,XT10 ,Celestron Regal 100 F-ED, CT152
Zeiss 7x42 FL,Canon 10x42L IS WP,15x50 IS
12x36 IS II , Pentax 8x32 ED
Garrett Optical 28x110 HD-WP Signature Series
Oberwerk BT-80 45, Apogee RA-88-SA
Denk II Power x Switch binoviewer w/13mm Ethos, 20mm Pentax XW's, 20mm Widescan III's.
21mm Ethos,17mm Ethos, 22mm Nagler, 40mm Pentax XW, 14mm Pentax XL, 5.2mm Pentax XL, 8-24mm Pentax XL Zoom, 31mm Axiom LX
Member #17


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Erik D
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Posts: 4066
Loc: Central New Jersey, USA
Re: Canon 15x50 versus 18x50 IS new [Re: Joe Ogiba]
      #1217079 - 10/25/06 09:03 PM

I am not sure if Swarovski Binoculars are made at the same location but Swarovski Optik Headquarters is in Absam, Austria.

http://www.swarovskioptik.com/index.php?l=en&css=&nID=x434b780e672ef6.36727081&c=ueberuns

Zeiss Victory FL 10X42 can be had for a bit less:-))


http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?dept=1&type=19&purch=1&pid=4231


Erik D


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