Poll : How Many Binoculars Do You Own?
Posted 15 January 2005 - 10:01 AM
Posted 15 January 2005 - 11:22 AM
7X35WA for general purpose
15X70 for handheld/bino chair observing
25X100 for pgram mounted observing
Posted 15 January 2005 - 11:59 AM
Posted 16 January 2005 - 01:22 AM
8x40. 1st pair I bought. still get used when on day trips (bird watching etc)
7x50. Bought second hand. Poor quality. Dont get used much.
16x50. Good "pick up and go" all rounders.
11x80. Amazing rich field views.
25x100. Dont even think about hand holding em. Better views of Macholls than my 10" dob.
The .5 is my ex army issue 7x50 monocular. Nice wide field of view and gets used at star party walk abouts.
Posted 16 January 2005 - 02:48 AM
Posted 16 January 2005 - 04:48 AM
Fujinon 7x50 Suppliment telescope/solar/air travel
Miyauchi 20x100 Travel scope
Fujinon 25x150 Serious viewing in observatory
Posted 16 January 2005 - 07:20 AM
I've had 36 in all, more than 25 max at one time
3 returned no sale
3 recently given as presents
2 sold to happy customers
7 received by loan
still own 25 pair
have had more 10x50 than any other size - 8
next to that 20x80s - 5
combined 15x70s,16x60,16x70,16x80 - 6
own only 4 with exit pupil larger than 5.1mm.
Posted 16 January 2005 - 11:39 AM
Regarding "how many" , I ticked the 6 to 8 box , because including the Swarovski 8 x 20s which I bought for my wife, I currently have 7 models at my disposal.
1. The Swarovski 8 x 20 is a great little genuine pocket sized roof prism model, (see my review in the CN mini-review section )which comes in handy for all sorts of uses.
Within the last month , it came in very useful at a 20,000 seater rock concert , and on several occasions for daylight viewing during short walks in Wales.
Only last night , a very cloudy one , at one stage my wife was out in the backyard looking at Sirius through a break in the clouds, fascinated by all the twinkling colours and the sheer prominence of the star.
As I think I mentioned in my review , for a 8 x 20 , it actually performs surprisingly well for hand -held astronomy.
2.My Practika 12 x 25 reverse -porro is the least expensive of my little collection ,but at around £30 , even that cost almost as much as do some 15 x 70s in the U.S.A !
I bought it for two reasons. One was to experiment with hand -holding a 12 x binocular, the other to have a binocular I could keep in the glove compartment of a vehicle without worrying overmuch about it getting stolen, lost or damaged.
On one occasion I carelessly left it out of it's carry -case on the dash of a vehicle , in warm sunny conditions , and the result was flaking of the ruby coatings.
It also came in handy during experiments with comparing magnifications and fields of view ( it has 4.6 degrees )and the effects of exit -pupil in daytime and night -time use.
The 2mm exit -pupil certainly helps minimise the effects of astigmatism when looking at stars without my glasses on.
3.Much of which applies to (2) applies to my "fake" Minox foldable pocket roof 8 x 25, which I bought in a moment of madness during a holiday in the Canary Islands 7 years ago.
It is out on permanent loan to one of my son -in -laws , who takes it all over Europe to "enhance" his enjoyment of watching Formula One motor racing.If he knew a fraction as much about optics as he does about motor racing I'm sure he would realise that for the sake of missing just ONE Grand Prix ( the winner of which has been a foregone conclusion anyway for the past 2 years ) he could treat himself to a binocular that would "enhance" his enjoyment many fold.
4.My Telstar 10 x 50 is a Japanese Porro prism model with a narrow 5 degree TFOV, which I have owned for almost 40 years now. If nothing else it serves to illustrate what a long way binocular technology has come since those days.
I only use it now very occasionally , mainly to remind me how fortunate I am to own any of the other binoculars.
5.Swift Audubon Kestrel 10 x 50 ( see mini -review )has an outstanding extra -wide 7 degree TFOV, and in spite of poor edge performance ( particularly frustrating for astronomy) ,remains my most used binocular , partly because it has been relegated to "permanent vehicle status".
On -axis resolution in daylight is surprisingly close to that of ANY 10 x 50 I've ever tried. A side by side comparison with the Telstar gives the impression the Swift model must be worth about TEN times more ,when in REAL terms ( i.e as a percentage of income at the time of purchase ) it actually cost virtually the same.
An underated model for daytime use.
6. Helios 15 x 70 Observation has much in common with the Swift 10 x 50. It is Japanese made , fully multi -coated , has Bak 4 prisms and is a centre -focus porro -prism model with built -in tripod adaptor.The model costs around £139 new in the UK , but anyone wishing to spend considerably more on the same item can always buy the Orion Little Giant, which retails for £225 in the U.K.
The worst aspect of this 15 x 70 is the 8mm eye -relief.
Strangely , the more I use this binocular , the more I tend to like it -- but it is better for astronomy than it is for daylight use , when excessive false colour ( CA )easily becomes a problem. It is surprising how much more enjoyable it is to use with a really good tripod and mount , such as the Manfrotto 055B / 501 head on which I have it mounted.
To add a little perspective , in daylight , this 15 x 70 seems mediocre compared with the only other two 15x models I've ever had the chance to compare it against , which were Swarovski 15 x 56 SLC and Minox 15 x 58 BR. Of course both of the latter models cost MANY times more to buy.
7.Although not included in Ed's list of specifications, I maintain that for all round hand -held use ( both day and night) a 7 x 42 is a tough combination to beat, especially when a specimen is as outstanding as my beloved Zeiss classic BG A T *P*.
It's 8.6 degree TFOV makes looking through all other glasses, apart from the Swift Kestrel, appear constricted, and it is an aspect which might even now put me off ever buying a Nikon Superior E 10 x 42 , which for all it's attributes , does present ME with a slight "tunnel -vision" effect by comparison.
If I were to buy another binocular in the near future ,it would probably be either a 20 x 80 with at least a 3 degree TFOV , or a Canon IS 12 x 36 mark two.
Regards , Kenny
Posted 16 January 2005 - 12:24 PM
1)Latest binocular I presently own is a new pair of Apogee RA-88-SA. Since I got them, there has been only a single clear night, and I was out of town when it occurred.
2) I have an APM 25-40 x 100mm on order, and it should arrive in early February. I expect the APM will become my preferred big binoculars, and the Apogees will end up being kept at either my second home, or donated to the local school or the local observatory (which I am a board member of).
3) The current most used binocular is a pair of Canon IS 15 x 50 binoculars. I take them on some of my business trips, as they are easy to carry and do not need a tripod. I have owned these binoculars for about a year and am very happy with them.
4) My oldest pair, which was the ones that first got me started as a young child were given to me by my father in the 1950's. They are a pair of 7x50 Bauch and Lomb military individual focus binoculars that were made in 1943, and were used on the deck of US Navy submarines. He bought a pair while he was serving in India in WWII, and gave them to me in the mid 1950's (I was born in 1948 shortly after the war). I still have them, and they work pretty well. They are outclassed by my newer binoculars, but they certainly were quaility built.
5) I have a bargain pair of 7x50 binoculars since college, but don't use them. I leave them in my other home as a knock around pair.
6) I also have a pair of folding miniature binoculars, but they are of no use for astronomy.
Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:42 PM
Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:43 PM
10x50 Nikon Action Lookout IV
Posted 17 January 2005 - 03:41 PM
10x25 Zeiss compacts (lightweight travel)
10x32 Leica Ultravid (most used overall)
10x42 Nikon SE (most used stargazing)
16x70 Fujinon (used on Universal Astronomics UniMount)
10x25 Nikon (older pair not used much lately)
8x30 Bushnell (cheap, keep at work)
Posted 17 January 2005 - 09:18 PM
Leica 8 x 20 trinovid (circa '85)
2 Vivitar 10 x 25 (I made one into a white light solar bino)
Oberwerk 12 x 60 (also bought white light solar caps)
Barska 15 x 70
Barska 12-30 x 70
The last four were obtained after I took an active interest in astronomy. The roof prisms were used when we're birding.
Posted 18 January 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted 18 January 2005 - 05:55 PM
7x42 Trinovid also for hiking, my favorite for all around use
7x50 Pentax PCF III for astronomy, great ER, my 1st pair of binos
10x70 Fujinon for astronomy, great ER, more comfortable that the 16x70
14x70 Fujinon military surplus, not pretty but functional, great loaner for friends
16x70 Fujinon for astronomy, if the ER was better I would say it was perfect
Oberwerk BT100 for astronomy
Posted 18 January 2005 - 09:07 PM
Leitz Binuxit 8x30-made in 1950, it would be unequalled if it were multicoated. I prefer it to the Nikon 8x32 SE because it never suffers from blackouts and has a wider field
Zeiss 7x50 BGAT*-a superb glass, certainly better than the USN 7x50, from WWII, which I bought twenty, years, ago.
Zeiss 7x42 BGAT* Classic-bright wide views. The Abbe Konig prisms make a difference in this roof glass which is great for bird watching.
Zeiss 8x40 Victory which I bought before I ever heard of BVD , and is my all around useful binocular. This morning, I used it to look at Jupiter, with three moons. Yesterday, I spotted northern shovelers, 140 meters, away.
Leitz 12x50 BA-on a monopod for steady viewing
Zeiss 15x60-always on a tripod, gives great views of the moon.
However, I should mention a 47 year old, Leitz Marseptit 7x50, which is outclassed by the Zeiss. One evening, twenty five years, ago, I visually found Jupiter, after sunset, and idly, used the Marseptit to look at the planet, when I saw all four Gallilean moons stretched out from Jupiter. That was my initiation to the pleasures of binocular astronomy.
Posted 19 January 2005 - 06:06 AM
Orion 20x80 Megaviews (My big bino)
Nikon 8x42 LX (Most comfortable bino and most day use)
Nikon 12x50 SE (Favorite astronomy bino)
Posted 20 January 2005 - 02:41 PM
Minox BD 8x22 P
Hertel & Reuss 8x30
Hartmann 8x30 Porlerim
Leitz 7x50 Marseptit
Docter 10x50 Dekarem
2 Leitz Binuxit 8x30
Hensoldt 8x30 Diagon
Carl Zeiss Fernglas 8 x 30 B
Carl Zeiss 8x30
Geller Uhlenflucht Silvana 8 x 45
Beck Tordalk 11 X 80
TS 20x80 Triplet
Posted 25 January 2005 - 11:18 AM
2 pair of Tasco clunkers for my butterfingered sons.
Posted 26 January 2005 - 10:23 PM
Celestron 15x80 used for backyard tripod astronomy. Really enjoy the night sky through these.
Eagle Optics/Celestron 9.5x44 ED, used for handheld astronomy and wildlife observing. Saturn and moons are a lovely sight through these, as is the Orion Nebula.
Unitron Pro Series 8x32 porro, used for baseball games, backyard birding and quick grabs of the night sky. Yes, that wide field is a blast at night!!
8x24 Nikon "Look" binoculars - Reverse porro design that look like Rayban glasses. Nice optics for a 35 year old binocular, and good for taking along for casual use.
6x18 Nikon "Look" binoculars - Another reverse porro. Good for opera and concerts, but you have to watch the stray light. On long term probably permanent loan to my daughter.
Nikon 7x26 roof prism glasses are about 30 years old. I'm told it was Nikons first roof prism to compete with a big german name. Decent glass with a very wide 8.5 fov. It isn't as sharp as comparable size porro glasses. They get some use for sports viewing.
Swarovski 6x30 Habicht porro prism - A very enjoyable glass for walk through the woods birding and wild life observation. It does a very nice job in contrasty situations and the wide field makes scanning easy. The 6x power is somewhat limiting on distance viewing. I really enjoy this glass.
5x15 Nikon Titanium roof prism binoculars - Stylish sort of rocket ship shaped case. The optics are very sharp and clear and close focus is in the inches. So far it's seen duty at the opera, but that close focus would do well on butterflies. Not much for the night sky tho.
I think this is all.
Posted 27 January 2005 - 04:29 AM
List for astronomy:
Celestron Ultimas 10x50
(TUBA software from Phil Harrington)
(New planishere from David Levy)
Others for the love of the gear:
Barska Atlantic 12x50 roofs
Sightron SII 12x50
kmart Focal 20x60
Nikon Action Egret II 7x35
Swift Aerolite 7x35
Orex 7x50 (individual focus)
Perl Presicent 10x50 (wide angle)
and various others.
Posted 27 January 2005 - 05:33 AM
Pentax 8x42 DCF WP - I bought these for general use and they are indeed generaly not used.
Fujinon 16x70 FMT-SX 2 - Purchased for astronomy, I even built a Bino-chair to use them with and even though they are excellent binoculars I dont use them much any more because...
Canon 18x50 IS UD - Currently my most used Astronomical instrument. Armed with a cup of tea, a lawnchair and the 18x50's, I can go out for an hour before turning in and actualy get in 59 minuts and 30 seconds of observing time
When I'm on a business trip there is always enough room for the lawnchair and Canons in my trunk.
Miyauchi 15x60 45° - Sold these to get the Miyauchi 20x77 and have regretted it ever since. Wish I had kept them. Narrow FOV but very sharp and simply alot of fun.
Miyauchi 20x77 inc. 30x eyepieces) - Sold these to get the Fujinons mentioned above. Initialy I liked the added magnification and extra Apeture but after a while the poor contrast and spiky stars simply got on my nerves.
Posted 28 January 2005 - 10:39 PM
Verdict: Get something else.
2. Pentax PCF WP 10x50 - Nice and sharp to ~90% from centre. A pleasure to use, even handheld. Great with glasses. Refer recent EdZ review.
Verdict: I won't be selling mine in a hurry!
3. "Oberwerk" 15x70 '03 series, fully multicoated - virtually a give-away price, any true or percieved defects fade into insignificance. CANNOT do better at the price for stargazing.
Verdict: Can't stop grinning!