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The BEST Binoculars I've EVER Looked Through!

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#176 SASeanOD

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:12 PM

Co-incidentally, I've looked through quite a few Swift HR/5 8.5x44 Audubon Porros, and still own a 10x50 version, and a Nikon 10x42SE and a 1970s Zomz 12x40.

 

To my eyes, the Nikon 10x42 SE exceeds all the others in every conceivable aspect.

 

Kenny

Kenny,

 

They are the best overall to me, but I find that the two Swifts just work when I look through them, whereas the Nikon is (for me anyway) more sensitive to eye position.

As for sharpness, I may not have taken the extra 2x magnification of the Zomz into account.

 

If I had to choose just one binocular, I think our choices would be similar ...............



#177 KennyJ

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:11 PM

It's true the 10x42SE presents "tricky" eye placement for most people.

 

It was an unfortunate "design compromise" with the eyepieces, one must suppose, with the "kidney beaning blackouts" occuring as result of being able to place the eyes in a particular zone which is a little too close to the eyepieces.

 

The problem can be eliminated by fitting additional "spacer washers" to "pad out" the oculars, making it impossible to do so whilst retaining the full field of view, whilst at the same time encouraging more accurate centralisation of the eye pupils, in much the same way the little "centralising ring" device does, which TeleVue used to supply free of charge with their 60 degree long eye relief Radian eyepieces.

 

I'm fortunate in that with the eyecups folded back and my glasses worn, the outer rims of my glasses seem to prevent my eyes from wandering into that zone.

 

In fairness to the specimens of Swift and Zomz I have ( both well used prior to my ownership ) probably both would benefit from a professional cleaning and servicing, but neither provide anything like enough eye-relief anyway for me now when I wear my glasses.

 

Kenny



#178 jay.i

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

I'm glad to hear the magic in the 12x50 SEs is present in the other SE models. I've seen some good things about the 8x32 SE as well. The 12x50s are great during the day, and dazzling at night. I don't want to have to choose between using my Fujis and my Nikons, because now I have two truly amazing pairs of binoculars. The Fuji has a wider field, the Nikon has CF and is easy to hand-hold due to the light weight and long barrels. I enjoy using both, but the Nikons really blow me away with very controlled CA, overall sharpness (center vs. edge be darned), brightness, and very appreciable contrast. I'm gonna have to sell the 8x42 LXs even though they have a 3D-like sharpness all the way to the field stop, because I will baby them too much in situations where I'd actually use an 8x42 roof, so they will go unused.


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#179 Balenk

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:15 PM

Well, just for the pleasure to participate :

 

The best I've ever tried, but only in daytime : Nikon WX 7x50

The best I have owned and used at night : Canon 10x42 IS

The one I have now, and I really like it : Nikon 8x30 EII


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#180 hallelujah

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:17 PM

AAAHHH... the Good Old Days... jump.gif

 

 

Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:02 PM

"Nothing in my collection can compete with the views that I get through my Orion MEGAView 30x80mm.

My favorite views are the Orion Nebula, the Double Cluster, the Pleiades, the moon, Saturn, & Jupiter, just to name of few.

 

My discovery of Comet Holmes was with my 30x80mm."

 

Stan


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#181 CAAD9

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 03:39 AM

Out of an admittedly limited repertoire, for me it is the Canon 10x42L IS.  

 

I tested them extensively in the shop against other Canon IS models and thought they were probably the best of that bunch even accounting for the price. But it was a considered decision and actually quite close in the end based on specs, my perception of optical performance, my preference for wide field and ultimately my perception of value I guess.

 

Anyways, later that night I drove an hour out of town to a semi dark sky.... WOW! Two hours later I remembered I had a 10" dob in the boot of the car. Ahh, the love affair has not waned one bit since! heart.png heart.png heart.png


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#182 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:07 PM

I blundered in #171, above.     

 

Yasuyuki  "Charley"  Nemoto,   died  ca.  2014  or 2015,    not  the stated 1984 or 1985.  RIP.  We  first met and dealt in 1980 or 1981, soon after  he became the Fuji  Special Products Manager  for USA/western hemisphere.

 

I worked on and sold  the   Fuji Meibo 25 x 150  beginning abut 1973,  soon after its introduction  by Ben Ichiyasu ( RIP).



#183 Albie

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:30 PM

The nicest view I experienced through a binocular was a 8.5x42 Swarovision EL at a Camera Store.They just felt right to me,the view and the way they felt in my hands was second to nothing I have experienced.Next to those would have to be either of the Nikon SE's that I had the pleasure of owning (8x32 and 10x42).The nikons had a well balanced view and feel to them.They exuded quality and durability. I would love to get another 8x32SE.



#184 jring

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:31 PM

Hi,

 

since I also go birding, I get to try some alpha birding glass and compare with my SE 10x42 (which work great for me even though I don't wear glasses) or E2 8x30 (when I want sth lighter). The ones I kept in memory as "might want to buy when I win the lottery" were a Nikon EDG 7x42,  Zeiss FL 8x32 and Canon IS 10x42.

 

Memorable astro bins were FMT-SX 10x50 and 16x70, Kowa Highlander, APM 120mm with two 12mm Docters and of course a 12" or so diy binodobs - the latters superb views were a bit diminished by remembering that the owner spent some hours to get it properly collimated before.

 

Joachim


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#185 Sketcher

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:51 PM

My primary astronomical binocular usage is for DSOs.  For that purpose, the best was the one with the largest aperture and magnification.



#186 denis0007dl

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:59 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 smile.gif

For me, the best ones optically are now in the hands of a fellow CNer smile.gif 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.

I really enjoy in my Canon 18x50 IS binos.

They are for sure best binos I ever used. 

Mechanics is super strong, very precise, realy Japan precision and quality.

Not too big, not too heavy.

Excellent daytime and nighttime performer.

 

Mounted:

 

Optic deliver pinpoint stars across whole FOV, even on extreme edges, and very flat FOV.

Eye releaf is very good, contrast is simply amazing, as well sharpness, and as well excellent colour correction.

I use it almost every day, and would pick it any time over Nikon 18x70, Zeiss 15x60 GAT* and other binos I owned.

I know many love Nikon 18x70, but what bother me on Nikon is too much false colours, too short eye releaf, a bit warmer image and bad corrected FOV, where most FOV is actually unusable at stars.

Popular Zeiss 15x60 GAT* have bit yellowish tone of image which I dont like, and shorter eye reelaf tan I prefeer. Also not as sharp across FOV and not so good contrast as Canon 8x50 have.

 

And most important, Canon have that magic IS button, which leave any other non IS bino in dust handhold :)

 

Had also Canon 15x50 IS and Canon 10x42 IS, but Canon 18x50 IS is definetly for my taste on highest bino rank I ever owned.

https://www.cloudyni...50-help-please/


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#187 Sarkikos

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:45 AM

"The BEST Binoculars I've EVER Looked Through!"

 

Canon 10x42 IS.

 

Denis, I'm thinking about getting either the Canon 15x50 or 18x50 ... but I'd never let the 10x42's go!

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 10 October 2017 - 10:48 AM.

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#188 denis0007dl

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:56 AM

Hi Mike, 10x42 IS is excellent, but 18x50 show much more, goes much deeper, more contrast, much details on any object, and thats what impressed me.
I had them all 10x42, 15x50 and 18x50 for couple days, and each day of testing, 18x50 was only one who impressed me each time.
You know what feel I am talking about :D

Get 18x50, and keep 10x42 ;)
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#189 Sarkikos

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:00 AM

Yep, the Canon 10x42 and 18x50 would make a nice team.

 

:grin:

Mike


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#190 denis0007dl

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:08 AM

Correct :)

#191 MartinPond

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:20 AM

Firstly: Martin,

 

Thanks so much for that photo and the information.

 

Secondly, for me the overall best binocular I have ever used was (is) the Nikon 10x42SE.

The most comfortable is a Swift HR/5 8.5x44, closely forllowed by a Swift Audubon 10x50.

Tha sharpest has to be a '70  or '71 Zomz 12x40.

 

Yeah, the Audubons have a special natural feel for eye placement. 

I would expect the 10x42E would be super...

 

People often say Zomz is "Eastern Zeiss", but they seem to have their own

super-precision/more-elements/std-field-width thing going on.  It's like they

started with a Zeiss layout and used the early-20th-century scattering-reject tricks

like the best from Paris.  Really elaborate EPs for their time. 

 

I foolishly gave out some 8.5-44 Audubons I got for a song early on...that ship sailed.

For bird hikes the 7x35 Toei Kogakus are just more convenient, or 7x26 Customs..

The 8.5 is good for across-pond...that sort of thing.


Edited by MartinPond, 12 October 2017 - 12:21 AM.


#192 CAAD9

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:49 PM

Yep, the Canon 10x42 and 18x50 would make a nice team.

 

grin.gif

Mike

Yes they would. I'm slowly getting there.

 

I will definitely keep the 10x42s. I just wish the nights would clear up so I could use them....


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#193 MartinPond

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:44 PM

I have a theory that the stabilization of the image in IS binoculars 

would give you a higher effective intensity of a detail, and thus

the higher power-per-aperature still seems bright...


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#194 CAAD9

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 01:08 AM

I have a theory that the stabilization of the image in IS binoculars 

would give you a higher effective intensity of a detail, and thus

the higher power-per-aperature still seems bright...

Ian Morison (radio astronomer from Jodrell Bank) seems to lend support to your hypothesis. On page 50 of his book, An Amateur 's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens, he states thus:

 

"With a handheld, non-stabilized pair, the light from a star will be falling on many adjacent rods or cones in your retina as the image wonders about. This makes it difficult for the brain to detect faint objects. When stabilised, that light remains concentrated on a very small area of the retina and is then far easier to detect. In addition it is thought that the brain can integrate for a few seconds, the net result being that stars at least half a magnitude fainter will be seen than otherwise." 

 

My personal experience totally confirms much greater detail is visible with stabilisation on, either day or night.


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#195 MartinPond

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 01:31 AM

Aha!

Of course, you can get the same effect with a solid tripod

   (various tests showing improved chart acuity for mounted binocs seem to

       bear that out from Ian's 'not wandering about' approach)..

But...of course, the IS pair does not need a tripod..


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#196 denis0007dl

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:23 AM

 

I have a theory that the stabilization of the image in IS binoculars 

would give you a higher effective intensity of a detail, and thus

the higher power-per-aperature still seems bright...

Ian Morison (radio astronomer from Jodrell Bank) seems to lend support to your hypothesis. On page 50 of his book, An Amateur 's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens, he states thus:

 

"With a handheld, non-stabilized pair, the light from a star will be falling on many adjacent rods or cones in your retina as the image wonders about. This makes it difficult for the brain to detect faint objects. When stabilised, that light remains concentrated on a very small area of the retina and is then far easier to detect. In addition it is thought that the brain can integrate for a few seconds, the net result being that stars at least half a magnitude fainter will be seen than otherwise." 

 

My personal experience totally confirms much greater detail is visible with stabilisation on, either day or night.

 

Correct!

Thats why I dont use anymore non IS binoculars.

 

If I have to use any kind of tripod/mount, for that purpose is telescope and binoviewers.


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#197 CAAD9

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 06:37 AM

I tried to use tripods with binos, but we're just aren't a good anatomical fit. That is a personal thing of course. 

 

But its a bit like what Denis says if you need to go to that much trouble, you know: mount, chair etc, you might as well go deep. With binoculars the ideal is to be able to sweep from horizon to horizon in total freedom, doesn't always happen of course but the bias is towards freedom rather than infrastructure.  The stabilisation gives the best of both worlds.

 

I'm slowly chipping away, the 18x50s are getting closer and closer  yay.gif


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#198 Gumball

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:10 PM

Zeiss 10x56 "Night Owl" . . .  Daytime clarity is superb, night vision is exceptional . . . . even for old eyes.



#199 grif 678

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:57 PM

In the mid size, my vintage celestron 8 x 56's ultimas from Japan.



#200 Sarkikos

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 11:58 AM

Zeiss 10x56 "Night Owl" . . .  Daytime clarity is superb, night vision is exceptional . . . . even for old eyes.

Looks like the Zeiss 10x56 Night Owls are only available used.  Even so, the price is often around $1300.  If I pay that much, I think I'd want IS. 

 

I'd really be reluctant to buy any binos any more that aren't IS, unless they're so big and heavy they'd have to be mounted.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 15 October 2017 - 12:03 PM.



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