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The BEST Binoculars I've EVER Looked Through!

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#1 Andresin150


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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:31 PM

This is a nice idea....
Not everything could be criticism...
All binoculars allowed, but it would be nice to hear not only names, but whys :)

For me, the best ones optically are now in the hands of a fellow CNer :) and where the Nikon ProStar 7x50. Almost perfect to the edge, and no residual color. I would prefer a bigger Afov though.
Others that I have and have incredible optics and wider Afov are the 10x42el Swarovsky's, but I don't like their focus to infinity, as if somehow they lack a bit of focus for very distant targets, that's why I'll prefer the Nikon's optically.
In the giant class, nothing has beat the 150mm Fuji's, I guess only the ED's would be better.
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#2 Rich N

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:04 PM

The KOWA 32x82 Highlander Prominar gives beautiful images.
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#3 pcad



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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:07 PM

The Tak Astronomer 22x60. The next would be the Nikon 12x50 SE. If not mounted, the Canon 10x42 IS.

#4 Mr. Bill

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:15 PM

In the giant class, nothing has beat the 150mm Fuji's, I guess only the ED's would be better.

I think the BT100 45s with the 24mm Panoptic eps are very close to the Fuji 150s in terms of sharpness, contrast, and edge correction and have better color correction. The eye relief is also more comfortable in the BTs.

In spite of my reservations on ghosting, the Fuji FMT-SX 10x50s are amazing for sweeping starfields in the MW with great contrast and pinpoint stars to the edge of the fieldstop.

#5 Erik D

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:39 PM

I must have close to 30 pairs of binos +/-3 pairs currently. None of them are perfect or best for all applications. But in terms of edge sharpness, contrast and workmanship the Miyauchi Saturn III 100 mm F7.5 comes close.

But for daytime terrestrial viewing the Saturn IIIs do not meet my expectations. Even at F7.5 CA is a factor . Close focus is several hundred meters. They are best as astro binos. Seem to show more detail with bigger image scale at 54X bino vision than my 80 mm F5 refractor at 88X.

For high power handheld use when I am traveling overseas my Leupold 12X50s roofs are tough to beat. About 26.5 oz , the same wt as the Celestron Regal 10X42 LX and compact enough to fit in the same carrying bag too. I am sure the optics of the Ultravid 12X50 HD is better, but I don't mind leaving my $350 Leupold in a foreign hotel room. I would not do the same with a pair of $2,600 Ultravids. The Leupold 12X compact roofs are very close to my ideal for a pair of around dual use bino, till I can find something better....

ERik D

#6 rouseyfire


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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:38 PM

Zeiss 8x42 FL for handheld daytime views.
Nikon 12x50 SE on a tripod for night sky viewing.

#7 brentwood



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Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:36 PM

I was able to get onto the bridge of a Canadian destroyer, at night, while it was at berth. I used the bridge 'Big Eyes' on M42, and they were fantastic. They were, I think, Litton Industries 20x120.
I have also used the ones on an American destroyer, also at berth, but not at night. The ones I've looked through were not marked, so I took a tape measure with me and sneakily measured the Objective & exit pupil to get them to be the same size. The last ones I looked through on the US ship were WAY out of whack! I bet half their bridge crew walked around cross eyed!
As for handheld, probably my Fujinon FM 7x50, or a Zeiss 8x50B Porro, that I tried in a shop.
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#8 Richard McC

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:54 PM

The Fujinon FMT-SX 10x50 and the Nikon 12x50SE. The Fujinon has a lovely wide flat field with eye lenses that feel big enough to fall into. The Nikon is smaller, more easily handled, still has a fairly wide field of view (but not as wide as the Fujinon), goes a little deeper and has more eye relief. Both are sharp almost from edge to edge.
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#9 Sgt



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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:03 PM

Tak 22x60 astronomers. Second place goes to Zeiss Fl 10x56

#10 chris charen

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:09 PM

The Oberwerk 100-45 - just relaxed viewing with very good optical qualities, followed equally by the Leica 12x50 BN and Minox BD 10x58 ED BR - both give that 'wow' image.
The Nikon 10x70 IF HP WP's also run a very close second.


#11 John F

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:11 PM

For terrestrial viewing I'd have to say the new Swarovski 8.5x42 Swarovision ELs. Since I only got the recently I have not had a chance yet to try them against the Summer Milky Way. However, they're are very sharp to the edge and exceptionally clear, so from what I have seen so far I expect they'll do very well under the stars.

As for # 2, I'd have a hard time choosing between my two Nikons, the Zeiss & the Takahashi's -- they're all superb.

John Finnan

#12 CESDewar



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Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:43 PM

Tak 22x60 Astronomers.

The view is just breathtaking. Yes, the FOV is rather narrow, but the views are "Tak"-sharp and that more than makes up for it. On a really dark night, M42 and the Trapezium were amazing. All four stars so clearly visible, and the superb contrast made the nebulosity of M42 stand out really well.

I have other binoculars that have impressed me, but for exquisite optics, nothing beats the Taks yet...

#13 RichD



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Posted 09 March 2010 - 03:59 AM

Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX for the wide, well corrected, immersive field of view.

#14 Simon S

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 04:34 AM

I suppose these are close to the best I own.
The Swift HR5 is still impressive even after a modern Zeiss.

#15 Solar B

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 04:35 AM

That i have tried todate for day-time use---the original 8.5x42ELs offered astonishing views :shocked: a completely different take/perspective on the World for me.
Night-time use---would have to be the Taks as im yet to try
anything else larger that offers Apo like views.


#16 Richard McC

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 04:57 AM

Simon, I agree that the Swift HR/5 binoculars are very nice. I put them a step below the Fujinon FMT and Nikon SE series but above anything else that I have used (note that there are many fine binoculars that I've never touched including all of the big dollar roofs). I still sometimes grab my Swift Audubon 10x50 glasses when I head outside and I really like the wide 70 degree apparent field of view they provide.

#17 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:03 AM

My Swift Neptune 7x50s....but only because they're the only pair I've ever had. Considering they're pretty battered and bruised, they were wonderful to use last night when my son and I went out together and he seemed to much prefer using them than my 8" Newtonian. That was enough to convince me to get another pair, and my Canon 10x30is are on their way. Then, we can both escape the stupid pointless streetlights my tiny village in the middle of nowhere has at 50yd intervals and escape into countryside without any cumbersome tripods.

#18 edwincjones


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Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:26 AM

miyauchi 100 fl or fuji 25x150= tie

miyas sharper optics/fuji better light grasp


#19 mako7x50



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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:13 AM

Fujinon FMTRC SX2 7x50.

#20 Wes James

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:24 AM

Bang for buck- the award would go to my Garrett 20x110's... That much aperture with reasonably good correction makes for great bino viewing at an affordable price, if you don't take into account the mounting requirements! Otherwise it'd be my Tak 22x60's... with the Fujinon 10x50's/Nikon 12x50SE's being close runner-up's. The Tak's are in a totally different class than the Fuji's/Nikon's, but the latter are wonderful nonetheless- and don't require mounting.

#21 stargazerfrank


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Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:32 AM

Oberwerk ultra 15x70 Garrett 28x110

#22 medinabrit


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Posted 09 March 2010 - 10:45 AM

Tak Astronomers,Mia Saturn 2 ,Nikon 18x70 astrolux,Swaro 15x56,Nikon 12x50SE,in that order but 12x36IS probably the most used.

#23 GlennLeDrew



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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:30 PM

Any bino that can accept a pair of 13mm Ethos eyepieces!

Currently these for me, working as a 20.8X60 having a TFoV of 4.7 deg. (100 deg. AFoV). The military surplus Amici prisms deliver nearly 100% illumination to the edge of the field.

Posted Image
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#24 elwaine



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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

Well... I have a slightly different take on this topic. The "best" binoculars I have ever looked through was a pair of Bausch & Lomb 6x (30mm?) when I was about 7 years old. Unlike the cheap pair of plastic 2.5x bnos that my dad owned, my uncle's B&Ls were "real" binoculars.

I couldn't tell you a thing about FOV, or how sharp the image was at the edges, or whether or not there was any false color, coma, etc. None of that was important. The views were mind-expanding, and that was all that mattered. It was a seminal moment, and led to a lifetime of interest in optics, nature, and astronomy. Now, I ask you, how better a pair of binoculars can one ever hope to look through?


#25 Joad



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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:59 PM

I once looked through a Swaro 40 mm roof and was blown away by the brightness and clarity of the image, though my current Japanese-made 8X42 phase-coated roof (branded Browning) offers a similar image.

I've never looked through a Leica. I was disappointed once by the view through a 30mm Zeiss (but it may have been an old one), and brief views through a Steiner in a shop did not do much for me.

Best views with a big bino were probably through a 100mm BT with 19mm Radians. Really sharp bright nighttime image.

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