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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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Fomalhaut
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/16/08

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: Fomalhaut]
      #5131787 - 03/20/12 08:18 AM

...and here picture #3:

http://astro-foren.de/attachment.php?attachmentid=2583&d=1322577628

Compare the coatings, again!

Chris


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: Fomalhaut]
      #5131875 - 03/20/12 09:21 AM

Great pictures, you can really see the prism size of the Zeiss is approaching that of the larger Nikon bino.

-Chris


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Erik Bakker
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/10/06

Loc: The Netherlands, Europe
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: Fomalhaut]
      #5132338 - 03/20/12 02:03 PM

Quote:

...and here picture #3:

http://astro-foren.de/attachment.php?attachmentid=2583&d=1322577628

Compare the coatings!

Chris




Nice pictures Chris. They shed some light on the differences between these two classics.

I continue to be amazed at the incredible brightness and crystal clarity of the images of the heavens in the Nikons. Last night I observed M13 in the 16" and the Nikon. I really enjoyed both views immensely.


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John F
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/16/04

Loc: Washington State
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: rydberg]
      #5132873 - 03/21/12 01:19 AM

Marco,

I can't and am not saying that the 10x70s are optically superior to the 7x50 Prostars. If anything, I think the Prostars are a little sharper out towards the far edge of the field. Nevertheless, the 10x70 Astroluxes are more than sharp enough so I don't consider that to be much of an issue between them.

For hand-holdable use the 7x50s are better because of their lower power (i.e., easier to hold steadier), smaller size and lighter weight.

Both binoculars perform superbly for terrestrial use (on longer distance targets). The 7x50s have the advantage of a larger true field and the 10x70s the advantage of providing a larger image scale but no drop off in brightness.

For astronomical use I don't use either of those binoculars very much between the months of October and May because the skies where I observe at during those months are not dark enough to enable either of those binoculars to perform well enough that I'm captivated by the views they provide. My 8.5x42 Swaros and 15x60 B/GATs perform much better under "ordinary dark skies" or in suburban settings.

However, under really dark skies at sites far away from any cities or even small towns, then the two Nikons will excel. However, between those two I find the 10x70s to be more useful and consequently I spend a lot more of my observing time with them than I do the 7x50s. Under perfect conditions I will spend maybe 30-45 minutes using the 7x50s to view everything that I think that I can profitably use them on during mid-summer night observing session. However, with the 10x70s I usually spend about 2 hours with them and on the whole come away much more impressed by what I've seen through them. By the way, I could probably spend even more time using them but have to I have to allocate some time to use with my other binoculars and telescope/binoviewer.

Even though both of those binoculars have large 7mm exit pupils, the 10x power of the Astroluxes does seem to darken the sky somewhat and improve the contrast. Also, there is a signifigant difference in image scale between 7x & 10x.
So on the whole more objects look better to me through the 10x70s than they do through the 7x50s.

The 7x50s show the really fainter Milky Way clouds better than the 10x70s do, but the latter show most of the brighter ones much more impressively than the 7x50s do. But the bottom line is that when I'm at really dark sky sites (which I'm usually at for 4 - 8 hour observing sessions on 5 - 10 nights each summer season)I find in practice that I spend at least 3 times as much time observing with the 10x70s than I do with the 7x50s.

So do I think that you should get a pair of the 10x70s? Well, if you can get to some REALLY DARK SKY SITES where the Milky Way is bold and bright to the naked eye, then yes I would recommend getting the 10x70s. However, if you're not able to get to such sites to observe with them at, then I'd recommend that you consider getting a pair of the 15x60 Doctor Optics Nobilems, the 16x70 Fujinons or the 18x70 Nikons instead.

John Finnan


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rydberg
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 02/25/04

Loc: Richmond, KY, USA
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: John F]
      #5133051 - 03/21/12 07:05 AM

Hi John:
Thanks for the well thought out reply. What you say makes perfect sense, and I have reached similar conclusions as well. Around here, unless I travel in the furthest reaches of Eastern KY, I'd be better served by a 16X70 or thereabout binocular of good quality. But the design and feel of the classic Nikon is always a draw. I was lucky in acquiring my Prostars (they were basically new at a used price...) and the Astroluxe looks and feel the same. I'd be definitely better served by the Astroluxe 18x70, but they're even rarer the the 10x70...
Thanks again!
Marco


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steve@37n83.9w
sage


Reged: 01/20/11

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: rydberg]
      #5133788 - 03/21/12 02:19 PM

The 18x70's show up on astromart or ebay occasionally but can still be purchased new...you'll just have to wait for delivery. I purchased mine from optics planet and the sales person said the 18x70's were not a stock item and to expect delivery in about five weeks since they would have to come from Japan. I placed my order and my credit card wasn't charged until optics planet received them (about five weeks later) and shipped them out to me.

For astronomy use I prefer my Nikon IF binoculars not just for their views but especially for their ergonomics. I love the views through my Fujinon but can barely see the full fov because of its huge oculars; however, the Nikon IF series "fit" me perfectly. Actually been thinking about picking up a 10x70 Astroluxe myself, B&H has had them in stock for several months now.

Steve


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: steve@37n83.9w]
      #5133904 - 03/21/12 03:37 PM

I can just drive down the road behind my house and be under mag. 6.5 sky in 30 mins, add .25 mag for each additional 15 mins out.

Hopefully we'll get another clear night soon, the 2hrs I had with them really isn't as much a test as I wanted.

-Chris


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John F
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/16/04

Loc: Washington State
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5134730 - 03/21/12 11:41 PM

Chris,

Regarding the 10x70 Astroluxe vs the 15x60 B/GATs. Both binoculars are superb but as you know, the B/GATs are have been out of production for some time now and when they do show up a nice pair may cost you well over $2000.

The B/GATS are a wide field binocular with a 65 degree apparent field and a 4.33 degree true field. For most objects you would want to use a pair of astronomical binoculars on I think the B/GATS would provide the better views. Their large field is immersive, their higher 15x power shows a lot more detail and it also contributes to those binoculars providing better contrast. If I had to make a choice between the two I'd choose the 15x60s because of their superb perfomance and more all-around versatility.

However, once I had a quality binocular in the 15x - 18x power range and in the 60mm - 70mm aperature range, then I would give strong consideration to getting the pair of 10x70 Astroluxes to suppliment them for use on the Milky Way.

At almost any reasonably dark sky site you will be impressed with the views the 15x60s can provide whereas with the 10x70s you need to be able to get to really very dark sky sites to be able take full advantage of them. I hardly ever use mine except for a few times each Summer when I drive 300 - 400 miles to get to very dark sky sites in Eastern Oregon to use them at.

The 10x70s only have a 51 degree apparent field and when you switch to them after using the 15x60s their field seems somewhat narrow. However, it doesn't take long to get used to them and even grow to like their 51-degree AFOV. I think that may be because your eyes don't have to move around as much and it is less of a strain to use them for long periods of time than a wide field binocular is. Plus their 5.00-degree true field is large enough to satisfy me.

To sum up, the 15x60s are a great all-arounder and more of a must-have binocular (i.e., for the type of capabilities that they provide) whereas the 10x70s are more of a nice-to-have if you're able to get to really dark sky sites to use and enjoy them at.

John Finnan


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: John F]
      #5134741 - 03/21/12 11:56 PM

Thanks John, I have the really dark skies close at hand and get to the "as dark as it can get" locations six or seven times a year.

How does the eye relief compare?

-Chris


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John F
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/16/04

Loc: Washington State
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5134862 - 03/22/12 02:34 AM

Chris,

The published eye relief figures for the two binoculars are 16mm for the 10x70s and 15mm for the 15x60s. I find both to be very comfortable to observe with.

I'm glad to hear that you live in a location where you should be able to get a lot of good use out of your 10x70s. It is really one of the finest binoculars ever made. I bet if they went out of production their used-value prices would start creeping up over time like they did with the Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs and Takahashi 22x60s.

John Finnan


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: John F]
      #5135295 - 03/22/12 11:19 AM

Thanks John, you never know when one might find something for a good price, that's how I came to have these Nikon 10X70's. I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting since I'd never seen a pair in person but they have amazing build quality, though, the fake leatherette covering makes them appear like many of the 11X80's from the 90's.

-Chris


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ronharper
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/14/06

Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5135442 - 03/22/12 12:41 PM

On a genuine red ringed Nikon, one would expect REAL leatherette!

Seriously, even though I cannot partake in the brandfest with you guys, I have enjoyed this thread, and all of your comments. Maybe someday I will get myself a 10x70. I want one, but it's hard to justify, owning a 10x50 already.
Ron


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Fomalhaut
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/16/08

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: ronharper]
      #5135548 - 03/22/12 01:51 PM

Hi Ron,

I don't know you age and therefore suggest you measure if your eye-pupils do reach a night-vision-diameter of 7mm (10x70's exit pupil), and this better before buying.

Mine would not fulfil this criterion any more... (They are just between 5 - 6 mm nowadays...)

Chris


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: Fomalhaut]
      #5135594 - 03/22/12 02:11 PM

I looked at the Fujinon 10X50 but the weight pretty much requires mounting, as do the Nobilem and others, and I was even less sure of the ER, 13mm, than the Nikon, 16.3mm. Once you factor in used pricing decisions become easier.

So little is available on these, for instance, I couldn't locate a report nor anyone who had used the Nikon 10X70 red stripe with glasses....yet they work perfectly if you must wear them.

-Chris


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ronharper
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/14/06

Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5135853 - 03/22/12 04:57 PM

Chris,
My eyes are good for about 6.3-6.5mm, so some glass would be wasted. But, I enjoy my 7x50 very much, more than the effective light collection would suggest. In fact, I suspect that the view is so comfortable precisely because my eye fits within the exit pupil, and has some wiggle room. It would be nice to have that experience at 10x.
Ron


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: ronharper]
      #5136051 - 03/22/12 07:11 PM

Ron, even at 6.3mm pupils you are still getting great use from a 10X70...not a lot of 10X63's out there. I use my 7X50 in the city all the time and doubt I'm getting that much but they still provide great views.

-Chris


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5137560 - 03/23/12 05:49 PM

I put these up on the Micro-Star last night an went out at 3am, skies were a little soft with moderate aurora to the north and some large clouds breaking up but it was definitely the best night in the past month.

Scanning the Milky-Way is a lot of fun with these wide fields mounted this way, just as easy as looking without the binos....really like having bionic eyes.

Objects viewed were Tr 37, the cluster in IC1396 in Cephus, NGC 7000 and associated nebula, Gamma Cyg dark nebula, IC 4665, Taurus Poniatowii/ Collinder 359, Scutum Star Cloud including B111, M11 and Basel 1. Collinder 302 / Scorpius group, including M4 and NGC 6144.

Good session, only an hour, hopefully more to come with better sky.

-Chris


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HfxObserver
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Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5532725 - 11/21/12 05:46 PM

Lots of people have written PMs regarding the Nikon 10X70 AStroluxe binoculars and this thread.

I used the binoculars extensively over the summer for milky-way scanning and recently on the moon.

These binoculars continue to impress with the appreciation of IF increasing over time. I was hesitant about IF as never used a pair before the purchase but the other night I put them in the micro-star for some lunar work and did some observing, then caught myself, I hadn't had to focus! This is critical in cold climates and even though it was just -5C it was great to keep the gloves on. The last time I set focus was at dark sky ~500km of driving ago, so they keep focus exceptionally well.

Colour correction is superior to the Canon IS binoculars, though that is one of the few places they beat those exception binoculars.

Although they don't dive as deep as my 22X100's the drawback of those "big binoculars" is that when taken out I might as well have set-up the 5-inch apo. The 10X70 fit the "grab and go", I've taken them out in early mornings to view some clusters and nebulae.

-Chris


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davidmcgo
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/09/04

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #5532813 - 11/21/12 06:56 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Glad I'm not the only one who finds these near perfect. I have both the "red ring" 10x70 Astroluxe and also snagged (finally) the earlier 10x70 wide field. For looking at the Moon the Astroluxe coatings are perfection and the eye relief is great. For the Milky Way, I use the wide fields for the added immersive effect (they fit the whole belt and sword of Orion at the same time).

Dave


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SMark
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/29/11

Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
Re: Nikon 10X70 IF SP "Astroluxe" new [Re: davidmcgo]
      #5533160 - 11/21/12 11:52 PM

Dave,

Compare & Contrast those two a little more please. You seem to indicate that the newer coatings might give the 5.1° an advantage over the 6.5°, but that the wider field alone is enough to make you want to use the 6.5° for some views... Anything more you can add to this?

Thanx.


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