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What was your first binocular?

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#176 theo98


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Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:52 PM

1980 Bushnell 12X50 Porros with speed focus-used for wildlife and scenic views for over 30 years!



#177 Ericlobo


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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:59 PM

@Vanguard - Great thread bud. My first pair of binoculars was around the age of 9. This is when those red 3d cameras came out as well. I remember taking the binoculars and started looking at the moon. The black shades of the surface of the moon were just mind boggling. Good times :)

#178 grandpastar


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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:43 AM

In 1972, as a teenager, I got a cheap pair of 7x50's from Kmart(Focal was the brand name). I used them for years. Certainly better than nothing!

#179 AlienRatDog



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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:58 AM

My first were a pair of Tasco 12x50 Porros I bummed off my parents...

Edited by AlienRatDog, 18 March 2017 - 11:59 AM.

#180 thomasr



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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

Celestron SkyMaster 15x70s, purchased around 6 years back. Big binos. Big mistake. Not at all what I should have chosen to get started in astronomy.

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#181 Rutilus



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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:29 PM

7X50 "SCOPE" brand from Japan that my late father bought around 1959-60. Still have them, still use them--aren't the highest quality--stars start to loose sharpness about 2/3rds way out from center of the field of view, but otherwise work fine for astronomy. Anyone know anything about this brand, were they sold under other names, etc?? Thanks.


Recently picked up a U.K.  price guide from the late 1960s. Here are a couple of Scope binoculars,

​price is British pounds.   

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#182 AxelB



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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

A cheap Bushnell 7x35 was my first binocular and first "astronomical instrument".

When I finally upgraded to modern Pentax 10x50 PCF WPii I was amazed by how much more luminosity and clarity I gained. I do miss the wider field of view and portability so I will most likely get a good pair of 8x42 eventually (probably the Celestron Granit).

Edited by AxelB, 23 March 2017 - 12:10 PM.

#183 John F

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:01 PM

When I first got started in Astronomy I had read a few articles that recommended starting out with binoculars rather than with a telescope.  Prior to that I would never have thought about the option of using binoculars rather than a telescope.  I also like that for a beginner a pair of binoculars would provide a larger field which seemed to me to be a good thing for someone who is just starting out.  They were also easier to use than a telescope, they cost much less, and they were easier to store, transport and use.  I also liked that I could use them while laying comfortably in a lawn chair.


My first pair was a rather poor 9x63 roof prism binocular that was called the Orion "Little Giants" and they cost $169.00 if I recall correctly.  However, they were good enough that I found that I enjoyed driving out to dark sky locations where I could observe for 3-4 hours on a summer night and see the night sky as I had never seen it before.  And even though I could not resolve much detail in them I was soon able to find and observe quite a few of the larger Messier objects (e.g., M6, M7, M8, M16, M17, M22, M3, M24, M25, M31, M45 and so on).  And one of things that I learned from that was "now I understand why astronomers have telescopes" because I wanted to be able to see more details in those deep sky objects that I was finding and observing with my binoculars.  The following year I did get my first telescope and it was a 94mm F/7 Apochromatic Refractor and that instrument had much better optics than my 9x63 binoculars did so those binoculars fell into disuse.    Several years later I realized that I missed doing binocular astronomy so I then set about getting a new pair of binoculars but ones that were reputed to be of very high optical quality like my telescope was.  Fortunately, I succeeded in finding several pairs that I really liked (i.e., 8x50s, 12x50s & 15x60s) and those got me re-hooked on binocular astronomy once again and since that time 40% of the nighttime observing that I do is with binoculars and the rest is with my telescope (split between mono and bino viewing modes). 


Compared to the much high quality binoculars that I've been using for the past 25 years that first pair of 9x63s I had were dogs.  However, they were still good enough to get me started in astronomy and to get my engaged enough while going it that I would later be willing to invest a lot more in my binoculars if they could provide me with much higher quality views of the night sky. 


One of the things that I learned in that first year when I got those 9x63s was that I really enjoyed driving out to remote sites in the boondocks and stargazing there.  There were no other people there, no lights, no noise, just me, my equipment and the night sky (in the form of an overhead dome that was full of interesting sights) and that it seemed like that I had it all to myself to observe and contemplate.  And for what purpose?  Well, just for me to be doing something I enjoyed doing and which didn't have to have to have any purpose other than that.  In other words, I found it to be a very relaxing activity to engage in.  Some years later I also took up backpacking and mountain climbing.  Those were physically challenging activities and I was often exhausted after a long day's trek or climb.  But what I enjoyed about those activities (and like astronomy) is that they got me out into natural areas and far removed (both mentally and physically) from the hustle and bustle of contemporary society.  


John Finnan



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#184 MartinPond


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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:30 AM

A note on Scope binoculars:

   Mine all are crisp to the edge, but on half of them I had to tighten the alignment on the focuser arms.

   There's an issue with filings slipping under the washer when they drill for the setscrew for the clamp.

    I get back that factory-fresh parallelism, using either an extra thin washer or removable Loc-Tite.

   Otherwise, awesome optics.

Edited by MartinPond, 28 March 2017 - 12:31 AM.

#185 Brent


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Posted 30 March 2017 - 03:02 PM

I got my first pair of binoculars at the age of 28 or 29: a pair of Orion Adlerblick 7 X 50s (Carton made).  I used them a lot then, and still have them.  They were and are a nice pair of binoculars.  Although the apparent field of view is somewhat restricted compared to true wide-angle types, and although they have noticeable vignetting toward the field edge for astronomical use, still most of the field is useable, and very, very sharp.  They are lightweight, bright, and about the most comfortable-to-hold binoculars I've ever tried.  Their rubber covering makes them really fun to hold.  And they have very long eye-relief.


Since then, I have added some alpha binoculars to my stable, but the old Adlerblick are still an acceptable instrument.

#186 lunardave



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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:10 PM



When I was a kid, this was the coolest 5h1t.


Sometimes, seeing these pathetic 60'S Commercials, gets ya right here, scratchhead2.gif


I know, Sappy Childhood memories.


First full size binoculars Crappy Plastic Horrors, It's what I believe dove me to try the Doppler effect standing outside my Grandmother's Upstairs Exhaust Fan, which was in the 2nd floor bathroom, that started me on the road to Science. (Yes, I figured out the Doppler effect on my own). But My discovery occurred in my 7th year of life.


I used to dream of flying without anything more than willing it so.

#187 lunardave



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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:23 PM

That crap of a goat binocular was blow molded plastic The center focus knob was fake (**** Grownups)


They had "Molded Low Grade Plastic Fork" optical elements.


But we played Army with our friends using these exact binoculars, Bowie knives and turpentine Frags.


Yep,the good old days when you got a plastic lump of fake binoculars.


This is when I was sure that Gods and Goddesses do not exist.


Sounds extreme until you think about it.

Edited by lunardave, 31 March 2017 - 07:26 PM.

#188 Szumi


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Posted 22 January 2018 - 05:25 PM

My first binoculars is a 7x35 Zenith.  I found them out in the garage recently.  The left lens in the eyepiece has separation problems with the adhesive.  My grandparents bought these for me.  I'm going to restore them. 




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Posted 22 January 2018 - 06:29 PM

The first binocular I used for astronomy was my late father's 1950's Kershaw Monarch 12x40w, I have inherited them. My first personal binocular was a 10x50 Stern.

#190 CHASLX200



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Posted 22 January 2018 - 06:45 PM

My first were a pair of 7x35's at the age of 12 in 1975.  I used them to look at girls across the canal.  Then one nite i looked up and noticed i could see more stars and was hooked ever since.

#191 contrailmaker


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Posted 22 January 2018 - 10:25 PM

Tasco 7x35s circa 1970. My dad had the fancy 7x50s. We would climb on the roof of the house to observe. Also took them on camping trips and sports events. Wonder what happened to them.



#192 rushintuit


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Posted 23 January 2018 - 05:42 PM

Bushnell 7x26 in 1983.

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Edited by rushintuit, 23 January 2018 - 05:43 PM.

#193 astroclint


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Posted 23 January 2018 - 05:44 PM

Late 1990s Tasco 10x25 don't have them anymore.

#194 AJ Cadena

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:16 PM

Tasco 7x35... 1970´s...

Edited by AJ Cadena, 23 January 2018 - 10:18 PM.

#195 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

A filthy vintage Swift Triton 7x35 I fell in love with first views in a consignment shop about two years ago. It is a 1950s version, small eye lenses, solidly built with covered prisms. It cleaned up fantastically well and taught me to work on bins. 

Edited by Wayne Costigan, 25 January 2018 - 06:17 PM.

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