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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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David E
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Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars
      #5643246 - 01/25/13 07:50 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

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! 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! 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? ) 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.

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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5643247 - 01/25/13 07:51 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

A view of the other side:

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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5643249 - 01/25/13 07:51 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

Really nice glass!

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hallelujah
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5643290 - 01/25/13 08:17 PM

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

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

Stan

Edited by hallelujah (01/25/13 09:28 PM)


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plyscope
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Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Perth, West Australia
Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5643359 - 01/25/13 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).


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5643892 - 01/26/13 07:43 AM

Quote:

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

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

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.


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EdZ
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: plyscope]
      #5643908 - 01/26/13 07:59 AM

Quote:

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


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: plyscope]
      #5643910 - 01/26/13 08:00 AM

Quote:

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 7.5 field of view.


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: EdZ]
      #5643922 - 01/26/13 08:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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Simon S
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5644096 - 01/26/13 10:17 AM

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


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planetmalc
sage


Reged: 10/21/09

Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5644296 - 01/26/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

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




They'll be re-issued in 2061.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: planetmalc]
      #5644320 - 01/26/13 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.

Edited by GlennLeDrew (01/26/13 08:11 PM)


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plyscope
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Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Perth, West Australia
Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5644703 - 01/26/13 04:43 PM

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

web page


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hallelujah
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: plyscope]
      #5644795 - 01/26/13 05:37 PM

Thanks for the link to the reviews.

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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5644856 - 01/26/13 06:21 PM

Quote:

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.


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SMark
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5644946 - 01/26/13 07:18 PM

Quote:

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...






Edited by SMark (01/26/13 07:34 PM)


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: SMark]
      #5644957 - 01/26/13 07:23 PM

Quote:

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?

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.


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SMark
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5644973 - 01/26/13 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.

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junomike
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: SMark]
      #5644988 - 01/26/13 07:39 PM

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

Mike


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Scott in NC
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: SMark]
      #5644994 - 01/26/13 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!

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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: junomike]
      #5645057 - 01/26/13 08:17 PM

Quote:

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.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5645063 - 01/26/13 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.

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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: SMark]
      #5645065 - 01/26/13 08:19 PM

Quote:

"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.


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5645066 - 01/26/13 08:20 PM

Quote:

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




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



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ScumotheUniverse
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5645206 - 01/26/13 10:19 PM

Quote:

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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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: ScumotheUniverse]
      #5657659 - 02/02/13 07:40 AM

I got my first good viewing session in last night. I must say that for astronomy these are really nice binoculars! The field curvature I noticed in daytime viewing was not much of a bother against the night sky. The stars were reasonably sharp mostly to the edge, with the brightest stars becoming the most distorted. Even with the slight distortion the stars still look like stars, not comets or cross hairs. With no rectilinear distortion it was really nice to pan across the sky. The TFOV I would say is right at 6. I can easily get the belt and sword of Orion in the same field with plenty of room to spare. In Auriga, I could just squeeze in M36, M37, and M38 in the same field but it was really tight. The color correction is excellent, with Sirius glowing a bright white, but there is a bit of a warm tint, noticeable mostly on the Moon. Stars have good color saturation with red giants showing up nicely in their orange to red colors. My only complaint is the very short focusing distance of the focus wheel. It makes it a bit hard to nail the focus. Also, from my suburban skies I prefer something with a smaller exit pupil, the 7x50 gives a bit of a washed out sky. But overall, the quality of the optics, fit and finish, and comfortable grip make this one I would highly recommend if you happen to stumble across one.


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KennyJ
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5657955 - 02/02/13 11:28 AM

I hear an increasing number of observers complaining about 7mm exit-pupils providing washed--out images.It was almost unheard of 30 or 40 years ago, and I wonder if increased light pollution has played it's part in that.

It's useful to remember how easy it is to make objective masks and many may be surprised what a difference it makes to mask a 50mm bino down to 30mm or thereabouts.

Kenny


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5658018 - 02/02/13 12:07 PM

Even under quite dark skies, where the Gegenschein is visible, I find those big exit pupils to deliver an almost distractingly bright sky. It's fine when my unaided eye is showing me such a bright sky, but through an instrument I generally like the darker view provided by a 4-5mm pupil, getting down to 3mm from the suburbs.

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Mr. Bill
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5658042 - 02/02/13 12:27 PM

Likewise....



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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5658260 - 02/02/13 02:23 PM

Quote:

Even under quite dark skies, where the Gegenschein is visible, I find those big exit pupils to deliver an almost distractingly bright sky. It's fine when my unaided eye is showing me such a bright sky, but through an instrument I generally like the darker view provided by a 4-5mm pupil, getting down to 3mm from the suburbs.




My favorite pair of deep space binoculars is my 12x36 Canon IS.


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Rich V.
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5658263 - 02/02/13 02:25 PM

Even under mag. 6.5 skies, there's a huge difference in sky background brightness between 10x70s and 16x70s, for instance. For me, the 4.4mm exit pupils give a far more satisfying view than 7mm.

I'm actually quite happy with 3mm exit pupils...

Rich


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5658515 - 02/02/13 05:00 PM

Quote:

Even under mag. 6.5 skies, there's a huge difference in sky background brightness between 10x70s and 16x70s, for instance. For me, the 4.4mm exit pupils give a far more satisfying view than 7mm.

I'm actually quite happy with 3mm exit pupils...

Rich




Indeed, people routinely view deep space objects in telescopes at 3mm exit pupil or less, and then I often read how people think 3mm is too small for binoculars.


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Rich V.
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: David E]
      #5658558 - 02/02/13 05:26 PM

I take all the exit pupil talk with a grain of salt...two of my best astro binoculars have 3.3mm and 3mm exit pupils. Even 50x100mm is quite satisfactory. I guess Canon IS users are poor, deluded souls as well.

Rich


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Mark9473
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5658560 - 02/02/13 05:27 PM

Quote:

Even under mag. 6.5 skies, there's a huge difference in sky background brightness between 10x70s and 16x70s, for instance. For me, the 4.4mm exit pupils give a far more satisfying view than 7mm.




Or is it the 16x magnification? You should compare your 10x70 with a 10x44, or your 16x70 with a 16x112.

At a given magnification, from a purely aesthetical point of view, I would prefer the largest exit pupil. When I had a 7x50 I found the image bright! And colourful! "Washed out" to me is something different, it implies something is lost from the image. The opposite is true, it is the binocular having smaller exit pupil where something is lost, the image is "dimmed down".

That said, image aesthetics isn't everything, and I don't have those 7x50 anymore. My eyes don't give a nice sharp image when the entire pupil is illuminated.


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David E
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Re: Tasco Halley's Comet Binoculars new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5658672 - 02/02/13 06:21 PM

Mark, when I mentioned "washed out" I was refering to the background sky, although I probably wasn't clear about that. I'd say that star colors are definately well saturated, no washing out there.

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