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15 replies to this topic

#1 Steve Napier

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

Hi.
The last wheelie bin is on,Ive had a quick bath and,here I am at the library asking "Can a 7x binocular allow you to see more detail than a 8x-10x binocular when hand held?"
Of course not but, wait....
Whilst reading a few posts on a bird forum I came across one where a lad could identify a bird using a 7x binocular and his fellow birders were using 10x binoculars of equal quality, they could not identify the bird as quickly because of the shake in their hands with the higher magnification.
Obviously this varies from person to person but,I was wondering if any of the members on this forum have found it easier to identify an object in the night sky with lower power binoculars when hand held?
Thankyou,
Steve.

#2 EdZ

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:07 AM

Well yeh, I think there are a few items which I see easier in 7x.

the head of Draco
the V of Taurus
Lyra
Delphinus
Sagitta

other than that and maybe a few other asterisms, NO.

edz

#3 Erik D

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:51 AM

I have not used my 7X50 or 10X40 binos for astronomy for quite a while but in general I prefer to use higher power than 7-8X. I find I can see more with 12X50 or bigger binos even with shakes and jitters......The ability to "tune out" the jitters seem to vary greatly from person to person.

I have taken 8X and 10X binos on many overseas trips during the past 5 years. I find that 8X is fine for urban excursions but generally prefer higher than 10X for nature studies. I was checking out a black bird with purple head in my backyard this weekend with 8X25 binos. After checking my birding book and switching over to 12X50s I was able to verify yellow eyes and make a positive ID.

I took the Eagle Optics P Ranger 8x32 RooF Prism to the Singapore Bird Park last year. I intend to go back this June with my Leupold Wind River 12X50 roof prisms for a closer look.

Erik D

#4 Steve Napier

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 12:19 PM

Edz,Stevie Wonder can see the V of Taurus!
I will conduct my own experiments over land and sky.
Steve.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 01:22 PM

For terrestrial viewing - wildlife etc - I find I can often see as much apparent GENERAL detail through my 8x bins as through my 12x or even 15x. However, SPECIFIC detail at a distance is revealed better with the higher power (assuming you can keep them steady, which as everyone knows who lives in the windy UK can sometimes be a problem). The only qualification for this that I can think of is when you have atmospheric distortion due to rising heat, or some other 'filter' (eg haze/dust)in the atmosphere between yourself and the object being viewed when the higher power may not show much advantage. I don't have enough experience of astronomical viewing to answer your question directly.
Best regards,
Mart

#6 KennyJ

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 01:39 PM

< I will conduct my own experiments over land and sky. >

Steve ,

I'm one of the minority who DEFINITELY feels can occasionally make out more detail in daylight hand -holding 7x binoculars than when holding 10x , unless I'm resting elbows against something solid.

It is clear that some people suffer from the shakes more than others , but if as many people really CAN hold 10x bins as steady as they seem to claim they can , I doubt if Canon would have sold enough of their 10x 30s to have warranted the research and development of the 10 x 42.

One factor which might affect my own apparant difficulty with free-holding binoculars is the fact that I have exceptionally long arms.

On average , a person's reach is very similar to the person's height , but if that were true for me , I would stand around 6 feet 5 inches tall.

As far as night -sky is concerned , I would find it easier to COUNT stars at 7x than I would at 10x , if holding the binoculars by hand alone.

Regards , Kenny

#7 Glassthrower

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 02:23 PM

I have a pair Bushnell 8X42's and I use them exclusively for boid watching. I find I can hold them shake-free without bracing or making a fuss.

My 15x70 Skymasters I also use for boid watching on occasion, but only if I need to ID a bird that is very far or very high in the sky. Usually hawks, eagles, and the like. The shake does make it hard to identify any fine details other than overall shape, profile, and color.

As for stargazing, I hand-hold the 15X70's and they are great for meteor-watching, constellation viewing, and other non-detail orientated viewing. However, the amount of shake makes it next to impossible to star count, discern tight details in DSO's, and view planets like Jupiter.

In the beginning, I used a cheap Walmart camera tripod for the 15x70's. It wasn't the best tripod, and it still got the shakes, but nowhere near as bad as hand-held.

Most low-power binocs of good quality have a tripod-adapter thread. My Bushnell's have one, but I have never felt the need to mount them.

Mike

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 02:33 PM

I have the preference of not hand holding bins if they are being used for astronomy. I just can't stand a shaky FOV. If I was in a pinch, sure, I can deal with it. But at any other time, I just won't do it. A personal preference. And this, of course, guarantees that I would buy a tripod. Bogen/Manfrotto must be grinning.

I was wondering if any of the members on this forum have found it easier to identify an object in the night sky with lower power binoculars when hand held?

So how can hand held bring out certain objects that could, or would, be harder to see mounted?

#9 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 03:48 PM

Get the new Canon 10x42L IS WP's for the best handheld view possible IMHO.

Joe

#10 KennyJ

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:39 PM

< So how can hand held bring out certain objects that could, or would, be harder to see mounted? >

NW -- Hello again old friend -- I've been away for a little while and have missed the forum.

Dare I suggest the question of yours as I've highlighted above is probably a misunderstanding of what my fellow countryman Steve is trying to find out.

He is NOT suggesting for one moment that ANY object (s) might be better scrutinised hand -held than mounted , but just emphasising that it is WHEN hand -held ( and NOT mounted ) that he wishes to find out if any members feel they can see "more" with 7x binoculars than 10x ,specifically as a result of the lower power = lower shakes factor.

Regards , Kenny

#11 MaritimeSky

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 06:09 PM

Well, having done both the 10x50 and 7x50 thing many, many times as they were all I had for a long time, I always found the 10x50's provided a better and more detailed view handheld.

Both 10x50 and 7x50 are about the same size and weight in the hands, and one would think that lower power would show stars that were more stable - and this is true, but the kicker is in the magnification. Even handheld, with slightly more jitter to the image the 10x50's consistently showed richer starfields and a more pleasing image. I should also mention that I can quite easily handhold 50mm binos steady, so the reduction in jitter didn't translate into a better view for me, because the jitter wasn't really hindering my view in the first place.

I can handhold my 15x70 Skymasters for stargazing with what I feel is an acceptable amount of jitter, but I too prefer to have my binoculars mounted whenever possible, including terrestrial viewing. With the option of 10x50 handheld or 15x70 grab n' go on a tripod, I choose the mounted setup every time. I only choose handheld when I'm going to be actively roaming around, like on a hike - not generally something you do under the stars at night.

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 06:45 PM

Ah. Thanks for the clarification my old CN friend. It's good to see you chiming in from time to time.

#13 Claudio

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 11:40 PM

Unfortunately I haven't time enough to give a contribution to this thread, so I will post a passage of a text I wrote some time ago to the Deutsche Optik Forum.
I would like to add many comments, especially on the influence of focusing system, weight and length in a steady hand view, I hope to find the time to do it.
Regards
Claudio

(…) I find indicative that you are inclined to change from a 9x binocular to a 7x one, it seems to reveal a way of birding that I agree, favouring the absorbed observation of birds instead of the anxious and barren search of markings (twitching). Most of birders feel that with a magnification lower than 10 they would not see all the details they need to identify the species. Binocular trembling, narrower field of view, difficult in catching details of subjects in motion (some people are very sensitive to it), higher aberrations (especially the chromatic one, particularly in short roof prisms), frequent need of re-focusing because of the shorter FOV and other smaller disadvantages cancel the theoretical benefit of 10x. My eyes aren’t perfect, but even so I have often seen that with a 7x I can detect and distinguish birds quicker and better than birders with 10x, in the wood as well as in open fields (in the last case, a well projected Finnish stick works wonders, and this reveals the importance of minimizing vibrations by improving the way of holding the binocular). Moreover, while I am looking through the glasses, I smile…..something rarely seen in the somewhat tense expression of most of the 10x birders, particularly those ones employing binoculars with exit pupil lower than 5mm. Actually smile and relaxed breath are symptomatic result of well sized and well corrected exit pupil, perfect axes alignment, perfect focusing system, no residual chromatic aberration at least in the centre of the view, low astigmatism at the edge of the field, sufficient and adjustable eye relief (neither too long nor too short), stereoscopic and plastic view, balanced and ergonomic construction…..well, let me stop. (…)

#14 Neil Weiner

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 06:47 AM

Claudio, among the many helpful comments on this thread, yours I especially welcome and agree with. Please write more.

For the reasons you summarize, I have great enthusiasm for my Fujinon 8x30. It has a stiff hinge, stiff individual focus oculars and exceptional depth of field. This combination means that once set to my eyes, there is never adjustment. The stiff settings and high depth of field mean that my hands, eyes and brain are devoted to seeing, not focusing. And whenever I grab them, even in and out of a case, they are always reliably ready for seeing, not fidgeting.

The wide porro design means a very steady hold, with hands "attached" to my cheeks and forehead for steady viewing, locked with my head movement, and blocking side light to the oculars for maximum contrast. The rubber armor also helps in this natural, firm hold.

What more could I want? Again, what you said--a bigger exit pupil. For me, 7 magnification would be great. I would see more; I have had the experience--in response to the question originating this thread. But I would also take a 35-42 mm objective. It would not add much brightnesss to this optically near-perfect bino, but the bigger exit pupil would give an even more relaxed view, even in daylight.

I'm smiling.

#15 Glassthrower

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 09:51 AM

I only wish my 25x100 Celestrons had the same image quality and overall fit-finish of my Bushnell 8x42's. I agree though about magnification and birding. I much prefer using the 8x42's over the 15x70's.

Mike

#16 KennyJ

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 06:18 PM

I agree with Neil that yet again our friend Claudio has provided a most entralling post.

Kenny


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