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Newbie needs help picking binoculars.

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 03:42 PM

I'm looking for help from you experts.

My primary use will be terrestrial. I live on a lake with lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. Astronomy and photography are secondary but important interests. My astronomy interests are probabably predominately wide-field. I'm not too excited about points of light. My photography interests revolve around wondering if there will be a way to connect my new binoculars with my existing digital camera collection.

I'm currently looking at this guy on ebay.

I'm very intrigued with this unit from Jim's Mobile and I may have a price break there as my Brother is their General Manager.

Any suggestions or comments would be very welcome.

This morning there was a bald eagle feasting on a canadian goose out on the ice. Wishing I had some serious hardware,

Douglas



#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 04:08 PM

Did you see these at Astromart?

http://www.astromart....asp?cid=234673

#3 EdZ

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 06:31 PM

Let me get this straight. Your primary use is terrestrial. Your looking for advice. And your looking at twin 6" scopes reverse binocular that was never intended to see the light of day???

My recommendation. Buy a good 8x42 Swift Audubon or a 10x50 Nikon Superior E.

edz

#4 KennyJ

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:30 PM

Ed ,

I agree entirely with the spirit and philosophy of your advice here , but just to make a couple of minor technical corrections , Nikon does not make a 10 x 50 SE ,but offers this excellent model in three formats , v.i.z :

8 x 32 10 x 42 12 x 50

Similarly the Swift Audubon comes in two packages :

8.5 x 44 ( Porro or Roof , ED or non -ED )

and 10 x 50 Porro ( non -ED )

ANY of the above would be infinitely superior to that behemoth zoom beastie for the stated intended purpose .

Regards --Kenny

#5 EdZ

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 09:11 PM

Thank you Kenny. Those are the right numbers. edz

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:46 PM

Douglas....give us posters here a price range (absolute, no compromise, will not exceed under any circumstances...etc)...then I think we can give u some real solid purchase advice....spyglass


#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 10:21 AM

Doug:
I and my wife own 4 sets of binos, used for both terrestrial and night sky. The favorite hand held set is the 10x30 Canon IS Image Stabilized binos. They are great for both day and night use. A little pricy, but I found a used set on Astromart for a great price and we've been enjoying them for the last 6 months. Just replace the 2 penlight batteries and you're stable as can be.
The other great buy are the Pentax WP, Nitrogen purged 10x50's. Wonderful optics; great in all kinds of weather and waterproof. Can't beat the price either. With a bino mount they are very good for observing night sky objects also.
The other two are the Burgess 20x80 lightweights and TAK 22x60's both of which require a good bino mount with that kind of power. Burgessoptics site sells that 20x80. The Tak is expensive but unsurpassed quality. (Not for daytime use, as they are like carrying two 60mm telescopes).
I like them all for different kinds of observing but the Canon blows away any bino for ease of use and stable viewing. Best of luck with your selection.

George
NY

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 06:35 AM

For hand held, I would have to recommend Fuji 7X50 FMTR SX..absolutely awsome (tho a little pricey + heavy)..very hardwearing & waterproof...I think the US Marines are issued them?..very good for daylight or nightime, brightest binos I've ever looked through...eyepiece focussing.....My pair will be with me for the rest of my life!!

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 12:48 PM

I'm scouring the reviews & ebay now. Thanks a bunch.

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 04:55 PM

Just a question to slightly depart from the original topic, but it's still a newbie looking for binocs.

In another forum, I'm looking for a scope for kids. It was suggested that I look into binocs for them instead, or as well. I'm not looking for anything great as they are 3 1/2 and 4 1/2, but do need to see something in the sky. If I'm still planning to get a scope, I don't really want to spend a lot. Any suggestions? I'm not too up on the power/magnification thing. I looked at some here in the $40-60CDN range.

thanks for any info,
david..

#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:06 PM

Hello again, David!

I promise I'll stop following you...If these are strictly for the kids usage, get the cheapest, smallest, toughest ones you can find. The 8x22s and 10x25s are what I'd look at. If I were looking for binocs for my 3 1/2 yo, it would be the 8x22s or the Celestron "UpClose" in the same general sizes at Island Eyepiece

I let other, real, experienced users give you advice now.

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:53 PM

No problem Tom, you can answer my questions any time. :lol:

That's exactly what I was looking for. I don't know much about the magnification thing. I'll check them out.

thanks..

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 06:02 PM

Hello again, David!

I promise I'll stop following you...If these are strictly for the kids usage, get the cheapest, smallest, toughest ones you can find. The 8x22s and 10x25s are what I'd look at. If I were looking for binocs for my 3 1/2 yo, it would be the 8x22s or the Celestron "UpClose" in the same general sizes at Island Eyepiece

I let other, real, experienced users give you advice now.


These look good, but I do have one real newbie question. What do the different numbers stand for? There are some 8x22 and 10x25 Celestrons that look right. What's the diff?

Sorry, couldn't find a FAQ section on this info.

thanks in advance..

#14 KennyJ

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 07:21 PM

David,

8x makes objects viewed look 8 times bigger ( 8x closer )than as viewed with naked eye and 10x makes objects appear 10x bigger ( or 10x closer ).

The 22 and 25 figures represent the diameter in the objective lenses ( bigger front lenses ) expressed in millimetres.

There are many differences , even between these two comparitively "similar" small sized binoculars and rom the two I think 8 x 22 is the better choice.

But I do not recommend either to be truthful.

All else being equal ( such as quality of make etc )the larger the difference between the two numbers ( 8 and 22 ) or ( 10 and 25 ) the better , especially for young people.

This is because a young persons eye pupils open much wider than an older persons such as mine.

In the two examples given , neither is very big.

The larger number ( objective diameter ) divided by the smaller ( magnification ) gives us what is called the EXIT PUPIL ,which is the floating image that the eyes actually see.

The bigger this exit -pupil is , the brighter the image and the much easier it is to see .

For example an 8 x 32 ( 32 divided by 8 ) equals 4 , which is a far better and easier size to deal with than something between 2 and 3 , as your examples provide.

I therefore tend to disagree with the general advice previously given , especially if the interest is in astronomy rather than daytime binocular use.

Ideally in your predicament I would be looking for a very lightweight 6 x 30 or 7 x 35 , but unfortunately cannot think of any from the top of my head.

This is by no means to suggest that there are none to be found.

As a child around the same age my father bought me a "toy" plastic 6 x 30 binocular which gave me much pleasure for many years for daylight use and general play.

I hope others can help and good luck with your choice.

Regards Kenny



#15 Rusty

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 08:43 PM

Anacortes has Celestron 8x25s on sale for about $13...I got a pair, just because I like bargains, and have been pleasantly surprised. They're VERY small, lightweight, and due to the design, should be able to be adjusted for small kids' interpupiliaries (spacing between the eyes). :bigshock:

#16 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:22 PM

David (and Kenny),

My first (and main) consideration is the age of the kids. I would buy the cheapies, let them play with them and get better one when they mature a bit and begin to take advantage of the binocs in general. 8x25s for $13 is a bargin to say the least!

Rusty, I couldn't find them at Anacortes.

#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:47 PM

David (and Kenny),

My first (and main) consideration is the age of the kids. I would buy the cheapies, let them play with them and get better one when they mature a bit and begin to take advantage of the binocs in general. 8x25s for $13 is a bargin to say the least!

Rusty, I couldn't find them at Anacortes.


I think they could probably see enough on their own and more with a scope sometimes. I think it will be a graduating thing and I can get more, and better equipment as they get older. I saw these on Anacortes, but couldn't find 8x25's. Did you remember where you saw them? That's a good deal.

#18 Rusty

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:54 PM

shpike, those are the ones...Ah, so what's a few silly millimeters (they ARE 8x21s; I really need to get rid of some of my binocs, because I can't remember what's what - and I just found a pair of 7x35s I didn't know I had....).

They're REALLY tiny, and at that price, they're not too expensive for little kids.

#19 KennyJ

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 02:41 AM

At $13 you surely can't go wrong with those Celestron 8 x 21

I would definitely stick with something that is no worry if the kids, during a moment of boredom or private warfare , suddenly decide to use them as toy missiles or submarines !

Regards -- Kenny

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 12:49 PM

Heavens and Earth has some 10X50 for $24CDN. Based on what Kenny said earier, these might be quite good. I'm going to see if these are light and small enough for the little ones, otherwise, I'll grab the 8X21's. I think I may need two pairs as you know what it's like when you have two kids.. :winky:

thanks for the help. I'll let you know what I find on the 10X50's

#21 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 01:23 PM

Kenny, my whole point! If the binoculars survive 1 year, it will be an amzing feat! I know that I wouldn't want to tell my youngun' to "be careful" everytime he used them.

#22 Charlie Fisher

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 12:20 AM

Tom, et al, regarding kids and binos,

My youngun' lost a pair at the park just today. Poor guy felt terrible but you have to lose something and learn how that feels one day. The pair in question was similar to many of those discussed above: cheap Olympus 8X21 compact reverse porros... they belonged to my dad, but were on semipermanent loan to my son. My son's name is Boone and we called them the Boone-oculars. These little compacts were a good pair to lose if you had to lose one, not very costly. I had the poor little guy call his granddad to apologize. Calling to apologize was punishment enough, he sure felt awful. Grandfather was magnanimous and understanding.

Anyway, the little Olys were very kid sized and cheap for what that is worth. Not recommended for main use binos, for sure. But I did see Uranus with them.

We were out birding with the dog, which found an old, fetid rabbit carcass and was running around with it while I hollered for it to drop the stinking old thing. Once the dog was collared and the remaining fur, legs and back dropped, the binos were gone. "Where are PD's (grandad's) binoculars?" "I don't know." "Did you take them off?" "Yes!" "Where?" "I don't know." Well, we didn't get much farther than that other than a lot of tears. What can you do? Six year olds can't remember a lot, and we had covered at least 10 of the 70 acres in that park. The sun went down and we saw Venus, but no little Olys in the grass.

Anyway, keep the bins cheap for youngsters until they lose their first pair. I don't think that the little guy will lose any bins anytime soon, even if I hand him my Fujis!

Best regards,

Charlie

#23 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 11:05 AM

Hey Charlie, too bad about the Boone-oculars...I can just picture the scene. Poor guy...I'm sure that was hard enough since he was probably very attached to them on top of having to tell Grandad.

After thinking about it a bit, a set of binocs are in order for my youngest. I KNOW he will be excited when we go out at night and look at "Mars." It will be a more grownup thing of his to take care of (as much as a 3 1/2yo can, anyway).

#24 Charlie Fisher

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 01:11 PM

I went back to the park this morning and retraced our steps. I found the Boone-oculars, a little the worse for wear but operational. I then got a life bird with them, Blue-headed Vireo, so I like them even more now. It was eating a caterpillar and whacking it against a branch.

No astro report as the sun obscured all sky viewing! Needless to say my son was delighted to have them back. Granddad was pleased also.

Charlie

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 01:21 PM

All's well that ends well! And a happy Boone. :D


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