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7x50 vs. 10x50 Binoculars?

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#1 cj33803

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:39 PM

Hi everyone! Obviously, I'm new here, and I am looking to buy my first pair of quality astronomical binoculars. I have one question though concerning what size I should get. I am pretty young (less than 20) so my eyes can dilate to 7mm, but I also live where there is light pollution. Should I stick with a pair that has 5mm exit pupil because of the light pollution, or should I get binoculars with 7mm exit pupil because of my age? (FYI, I live in an area w/ a NELM of about 4.5)

Thanks for all your help in advance!

#2 djeber2

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:44 PM

I prefer 10x50 over 7x50 binocs. More magnification, darker sky background. For lower power and wider field I use 8x40 not 7x50.

#3 BobinKy

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:04 PM

cj33803...

I live under 5.0 NELM skies. I am age 60 and my eyes dark adapt to 6.5mm. I observe the night sky with several different models of binoculars. However, the two models that I use the most are 7x50 and 16x70. I also use a 10x50, but not as much as the 7x50 or 16x70. I think if you are only going to buy one pair of binoculars for several years, then you might consider the 10x50. However, if you plan to buy one pair this year, and another pair in another six months or so. Then I recommend you first purchase a 7x50, and then a 15x70.

. . .

I also have a couple of binoculars in the 8x range: 8x42, 8.5x44. They are nice and light, good for daytime nature viewing. However, night time objectives should be 50mm or larger to capture maximum amount of light. I see more of the night sky with my 7x50s than with either the 8x42 or 8.5x44. The 7x50 size is a nice size--easy to use.

Of course, I see more with a 10x50 than with a 7x50, just as I see more with a 16x70 than a 10x50.

Another thing to consider is Field of View (FOV) and waterproof--dew happens in many places this time of year.

There has been much discussion in this forum over the years about the 7x50--8x40--10x50 question. There is probably not a best answer as everyone's observing habits differ, and change with time.

. . .

But buy what makes sense to you.

There is really no wrong choice when you buy your first binocular for night sky observing. Just buy what you can afford--so you can get outside and start observing as soon as possible. There is no perfect binocular. And no matter how much you research and shop around, you will probably find another pair you like better a few months after you purchase your first pair.

Please allow me to repeat--Buy what makes sense to you and get out and start observing as soon as possible.


I hope this helps.

#4 NickG

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:31 PM

I prefer 10x50 over 7x50 binocs. More magnification, darker sky background. For lower power and wider field I use 8x40 not 7x50.


completely agree with this. Overall, 10X50. Not too much mag that you have trouble holding them steady, not too heavy for use without tripods, and if they have a wide apparent field of view, can give you the same true field as most 7X50, and better contrast. An example of contrast was looking at Halleys Comet years ago with the same brand (Nikon) of 7X50 and 10X50. The 10X50's obviously showed detail in the comet better than the 7X50.

Clear skies.

#5 Reverie

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:12 PM

I prefer 10x50 over 7x50 binocs. More magnification, darker sky background. For lower power and wider field I use 8x40 not 7x50.


Totally agree. The contrast is high, making those dim objects obvious in the view.

The only concern is hand shaking. It is quite annoying to some observers. A 8x42 is more suitable to those guys.

#6 ronharper

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:42 PM

In the very darkest sky, with my 6.5mm eyeballs, I have found that there are a few very large structures of the Milky Way that are better seen in the 7x50, simply because they fit in the wider field better. 7x is easier to use, if you are going to stand up and freehand the binocular. Also, 7x50 gives an outstanding daytime view, although the binocular is too big for most people to enjoy carrying around.

But overall for astronomy, I prefer 10x50. My backyard sky is only a pretty good NELM 5.5, and most Milky Way structures of interest, and all other objects, are fine for the 10x50's field, and for these conditions and objects, the 10x will pretty much eat the 7x alive. I have to sit down, lean back, and brace my head and elbows, though, to get a satisfyingly steady view with 10x, and to view directly overhead comfortably with any magnification. My chair, although nothing fancy, is as important as my binoculars.
Ron

#7 KennyJ

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:32 AM

Welcome to the forum , CJ ,

I think you are perhaps worrying unduly about issues such as light pollution , NELM , pupil dilation and exit - pupil , when your main concerns ought plainly and simply to be whether or not you really can hold 10x binoculars steady enough for stars not to appear to be dancing around and whether or not you feel a typical field of view that a 10x binoculars offers ( narrower than 7 degrees ) is actually wide enough for you to familiarise yourself with and easily navigate the night skies .

Some people seem to regard an ability to hold higher magnification instruments steadier than most people as something to brag about , while others tend to live in states of self delusion regarding what the term STEADY actually means .

My advice would be to order and try BOTH and keep the one you prefer .

Kenny

#8 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:00 AM

My vote also go for 7x50 as it was mentioned if you plan to buy another one then the next purchase should be a minimum 70mm objective to see more detail.

About using hand held; Personally I can hold a 7x but 10x is little more for me (Even 7x50; my hands keep shaking but not like 10x).

So, the choice is yours if you have light pollution in your area then my recommendation would be 10x50
------------
Jawaid

#9 DJB

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:40 AM

Hello there,

Considering your light pollution and possible hand-holding shakes, have you considered the CANON 10x30IS?

Other than cost set aside, this is an amazing litle machine in my opinion. The 3mm EP may be better for your sky conditons, even though your younger eyes can accommodate 7mm. Just my thoughts.

Best regards,
Dave.

#10 RichD

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 04:54 AM

go for a 10x50

Pentax PCF WPII might suit

#11 J1M

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:23 AM

10x50 would certainly get my vote, always my 1st choice for handheld.

#12 Obx

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:35 AM

I use 7x50s a lot of the time, but not much for astronomy. I think 8x42 is the best all-around utility choice. If you just want the binoculars for astronomy and you decide to use a tripod for long, steady views, then I would recommend a move up to 15x.

#13 EdZ

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:33 AM

I think you are perhaps worrying unduly about issues such as light pollution , NELM , pupil dilation and exit - pupil , when your main concerns ought plainly and simply to be whether or not you really can hold 10x binoculars steady enough for stars not to appear to be dancing around and whether or not you feel a typical field of view that a 10x binoculars offers ( narrower than 7 degrees ) is actually wide enough for you to familiarise yourself with and easily navigate the night skies .

Kenny


Boy, I agree with that.

In general, I would recommend the 10x50. Many people can hold 10x steady. And a 10x50 field of view is more than adequate. Don't be so concerned about whether or not the 5mm or 7mm exit pupil is brighter or darker. Even a 5mm exit pupil is very bright. 10x will show more and closer objects. For instance, in open clusters, objects for which small binoculars excel, a 7x binocular will at best only separate stars that are about 20-21 arcseconds apart while the 10x binocular will separate all the stars as close as 15 arcseconds. The result is you will see much more resolved with 10x.

edz

#14 cj33803

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:48 PM

Thanks for all your help guys, I decided to go with a pair of 10x50's, they seem like an overall good choice. I'm probably going to get the Pentax PCF WP 10x50's or the Orion Savannah's or maybe the Nikon Action's.

#15 Simon S

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:01 PM

It is funny, when I was into astronomy, all the books were saying 7x50 was the best bet. But I have to say 10x50 are far better and seem to be wider on the whole.

#16 orbitaljump

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:49 PM

10x50 gets my vote.

#17 Andresin150

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:58 PM

If you want to use them in daylight as an all around purpose binocular (while you get aperture fever), you may consider a 10x42 for portability/comfortability reasons.
10x would also be my election.

#18 Tony Flanders

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:52 PM

It is funny, when I was into astronomy, all the books were saying 7x50 was the best bet.


Fashions change. Who knows what they'll be saying 30 years from now?

Still, I have to go with the prevailing fashion ... go for 10x50s.

I must admit a fondness for the 7x35 size, though. Odd how that's fallen out of fashion.

#19 Simon S

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 04:15 PM

And dont forget the wide 8x40, still with a 5mm exit pupil but wider......

#20 RHoward42

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:36 PM

Having a 7x50 will result in an IMMEDIATE desire for the increased magnification of a 10x50. If possible, purchase a Fuji 10x50 FMT-SX and be done with it for life.
Rick

#21 pjsemail1

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:17 PM

This writing is not made due to knowledge, but out of ignorance.

Does the user's knowledge of the sky make a difference (i.e. wide views to learn star patterns vs. pulling out the most stars in a smaller area?) in 7x or 10x?

Does expectations made a difference (to a newbie/ the experienced)? Like, does one expect to see ring separations of Saturn, the bands on Jupiter, DSO (seeing Hubble like views or even views like the time exposed pictures with CCD camera on a 12" RC)?

Also mentioned was Asro only, day and night, hand held only or both hand and tripod use? This would also cover IF or CF likes (dislikes) or has become familiar with one or the other (if one has only ever used CF will the IF be discouraging).

How about with or without the need of glasses?

Does standing or reclining viewing styles make a deference between 7x or 10x?

How about the amount of time spent under the stars per sessions (1/2 hour, couple hours or all night)?

How about plans for other telescopes (APO's, SCT, Newts and the likes)?

Just some thoughts.

#22 KennyJ

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:23 AM

If the sole intention is to use the proposed instrument hand - held , due to it's considerable weight and the lack of flexibility as a dual purpose / daytime instrument due to the individual focus arrangement , I would be less inclined than Rick to so enthusiastically recommend the Fujinon FMT SX to the exclusion of any or all other binoculars in the 10x and below configurations .

I find my 10x binoculars complement rather than dispose of the need or enjoyment of my 7x models .

Kenny

#23 DJB

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:58 AM

Hi EdZ,

I have a question. When you said that "10x will show more and closer objects," were you speaking of terrestrial landscape objects?

For astronomy, I can't see where 10x would show "closer" objects. Am I misreading this is some way?

Thank you in advance for your answer to my question.

Best Regards,
Dave.

#24 BobinKy

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:36 AM

Earlier, around 4:00 a.m., I went outside for a brief observation of the constellation Draco in the North West sky at 65° altitude. The head of the dragon, outlined by the stars Etamin (Gamma Dra), Rastaban (Beta Dra), Grumium (Xi Dra), and Kuma (Nu Dra), fit perfectly in my 7x50 binoculars (7.1° FOV).

. . .

I own 14 binoculars. So, earlier this AM, why did I pick up a 7x50 size?

As I said in my previous post to this thread, I do most of my binocular observing of the night sky with 7x50 and 16x70 models. Most of the time I lay down on a chaise lounge and observe with my hands propped on the arm rests. I call this doing the binocular two-step--switching from the 7x50 to the 16x70. I also stand and mount the 16x70 on a tripod. But, I must confess, most of my binocular observing is done laying on my back in the chase lounge.

I also have a nice 10x50 and 12x50 in my binocular selection. Sometimes when I only want to go out with one binocular, and I want to observe an old friend in the sky that is easy for me to locate, I handhold the 12x50. Occasionally, I select the 10x50, mainly because it is a roof and the ground conditions are right for heavy dew. Frequently, I go inside and trade the 12x50 for the 16x70 or set up a scope.

. . .

I do not notice a lot of difference between the 7x50 and the 10x50 binoculars. Oh, the 10x50 or 12x50, to be sure, pull in more stars when I am observing an open cluster. And the 10x50 or 12x50 give the stars and DSOs a bigger bump in magnification. However, most of the times, what I see in the 10x50 or 12x50, I also see in the 7x50.

. . .

A couple of weeks ago, during the new moon, I conducted a little Messier test with three binoculars and one scope. Here are the results. Messier Comparison

Size.....Easy.....Difficult.....Total Observed

Binoculars
7x50......15......34............49
10x50.....15......34............49
16x70.....26......43............69

Scope
15inch.....39......46............85 Now, the quality of the view did vary a great deal by instrument. As to be expected, the larger magnification and aperture instruments produced far better views than the smaller instruments.

But the important thing I wish to point out is both the 7x50 and 10x50 detected the same number of Messier objects during the nights I ran the test.

. . .

I own two models of 7x50 binoculars--one is individually focused, the other is center focus. I guess I use 7x50s as much as I do because I use them to sweep the night skies or because I know a specific star arrangement fits nicely inside the 7x50's FOV. Mostly, I use the 7x50s because they are a comfortable and easy first step in observing the night sky.

I also like to use the 7x50s at twilight or during the day, when I am not worried about their size. I just like the view of the 7x50s--to me they seem more natural, closer in proportions to the way my eyes see.

#25 J1M

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:12 AM

As I mentioned in my earlier post the 10x50's are normally always my 1st choice, but I have to admit that for just a bit of relaxed nightsky scanning my Minolta 7x35's widefields are an absolute delight to use and it's hard to beat that feeling of falling into the night sky ...


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