Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

In praise of tiny binocs.

  • Please log in to reply
133 replies to this topic

#51 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:36 PM

Sure thing Stan!

 

www.opticsplanet.com

 

Pentax 8X21 UCF R



#52 hallelujah

hallelujah

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,122
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2006
  • Loc: North Star over Colorado

Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:56 PM

Thank you.



#53 Nakedgun

Nakedgun

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 707
  • Joined: 30 Mar 2014
  • Loc: Southwest

Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:17 PM

Sure thing Stan!

 

www.opticsplanet.com

 

Pentax 8X21 UCF R

 

These are a newer version of mine. Great price!



#54 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:29 AM

I offer these confessions in good conscience.

 

I am fairly large. Six feet, two inches, and about 250 pounds these days (groan).

My hands are larger sized (but not hockey gloves).

 

I do have a distinct fondness for tiny, very cute things. (My Darling Mary is only 4'11" tall wub.png  ).

My appreciation of things petite certainly extends to binoculars.

So I'm throwing out a sampling of some of my little fellows.

 

Using the following photos as a guide, you will see a standard (and mint condition) Manon 7X50 apparently "towering" over the rest of the mites. I will offer a totally non-scientific summary of the qualities and attributes of a few small binoculars.

This in no way on the level of an EdZ report.

Gosh. Why is it I always feel like I should kneel or something when I refer to Ed?

Oh! I think it's called "deep respect".

 

Getting semi-serious.borg.gif

Just before the "huge" 7X50 is a Celestron 8X25, a Swift Eaglet 7X25, and the venerable Bushnell CC 7X26.

 

Somewhere I recall a review where the Swift Eaglet was compared to the Bushnell Custom Compact with modestly favorable leanings. I also made this comparison.

The Swift Eaglet is very solidly built. The coatings on the objectives are very pale. The oculars are uncoated.

The Eaglet is a nice binocular with a decent image. The Bushnell CC is in another league.

 

This contest was like putting Wally Cox in the ring with Muhammad Ali.

Bell. One punch. KO.

I wonder what Howard Cosell would have said about it?

 

The Bushnell has remarkable optics. Perhaps not "alpha" class, but it doesn't cost a like a million dollars like some of the more "prestigious" names do.

 

The Celestron 8X25 competes very favorably with incredibly sharp images.

Problem? This binocular is so light and "quirky" feeling, that I have never been able to hold it steady for some reason.

Notice the similarity (outwardly) between the Celestron and the Swift?

 

Over to the more conventional styled Porros.....

There is an "as new" Tasco 7X25.

This is a highly useable binocular. Very well balanced with a 10* field.

These can hang around your neck all day and you'd hardly know it.

Though the coatings are basic, the images are very rich and pleasing.

 

A "Carl Wetzlar" 6X25, "Micro Executive".

The "cute" factor spills over the top here.

For a traditional style Porro, this is the shortest binocular I know of.

It has a nice 9* field.

Images are in the mediocre to decent range.

My feelings are that if coatings and prisms were better, this little binocular might have really been something!

Obviously, for those in the know, it is one of those contemporary Japan built jobs with a European sounding name.

 

I unashamedly love my micro Selsi 6X15 binoculars. 8* field.

These are shockingly sharp and I can hold these very steady.

These literally go with me everywhere. They fit anywhere and you don't even notice them.

I note that this category of binocular doesn't rate much attention here on CN.

Probably because they generally fail to do much astronomically.

 

Included is a picture of some of my "skeletal" binoculars. Some are real jewels.

Anyone catch the old Wollensak "Biascope"?

I knew you would.

 

Unfortunately, most of my observing pursuits are about 85% terrestrial now.

Ships, seascapes, aircraft, nature, certain events...

I live in SW Michigan. A gross exaggeration is that you can see the sky about 19 days a year.

Furthermore, I live in SE Grand Rapids. Blight and sky glow wipe out what's left.

 

I do recall 50 years ago. We lived in what was then the extreme suburbs of Grand rapids.

You could look up at night and see the Milky Way on any clear night. The sky was FULL of stars.

Those suburbs have long since been consumed by urban goulash.

 

My best to all you nice people.

 

Eric

 

 

017_opt(1).jpg

019_opt(1).jpg


  • shredder1656, j.gardavsky and DrJ1 like this

#55 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:30 AM

022_opt.jpg


  • PXR-5, shredder1656, Mbinoc and 3 others like this

#56 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,985
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada

Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:05 PM

Nice collection of little "skeletal" binos, Eric.  bow.gif

 

My first bino as a child was a similar 6x15 given to me by my grandparents in the mid-50s.  It piqued my budding interest in the benefits of using optics to take a closer look at the world around me.

 

Rich



#57 hallelujah

hallelujah

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,122
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2006
  • Loc: North Star over Colorado

Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:47 PM

 

The Celestron 8X25 competes very favorably with incredibly sharp images.

Problem?

This binocular is so light and "quirky" feeling,

that I have never been able to hold it steady for some reason.

 

 

Eric

I remember mine being so small that it was awkward to use at the time. crazy.gif

 

Stan
 



#58 Nakedgun

Nakedgun

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 707
  • Joined: 30 Mar 2014
  • Loc: Southwest

Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:19 PM

Sure thing Stan!

 

www.opticsplanet.com

 

Pentax 8X21 UCF R

 

Yesterday at this time they had five pair remaining - all gone, now.



#59 Rokkor

Rokkor

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2019

Posted 16 January 2020 - 07:03 AM

I like my 8x24 Olympus. Even smaller than the 8x21 Pentax but with a 0.2 degree narrower view, otherwise the specs seem better. BAK-4 but no aspherical lens. Sharpness is very good across the field, with only some CA which is worse than my older binocs but the view is very crisp and they give a short depth of field. The original model had a 7.2 degree view and was larger in a similar design to the Pentax. 



#60 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 16 January 2020 - 10:55 AM

Rokkor,

 

Can you post a picture of the Olympus 8X24?

 

I received my shipment of the Pentax 8X21 UCF R's in good order.

I have dealt with Optics Planet before and have been pleased.

(This model is now sold out).

 

I was also very pleased to inspect these little binoculars.

For a clearance price of $31.99 I stand in awe of the optical quality.

These are really sharp.

Yes the field is narrow at a stated 6.2*.

But it's all very sharp to me.

 

They have an interesting IPD adjustment in which only the prisms and oculars swing in tandem.

This may not be unusual but it is a novelty to me.

The eyecups "pop" up and down securely.

A useful little strap is included.

Don't expect much from the case. A small belt pouch or camera case will do you better.

 

Overall, I am well satisfied.

In no way did I expect "Alpha" quality and durability.

My personal purpose for the purchase qualifies it as a "successful mission".

 

I'm attaching a few pictures.

What you get.

Size comparison with a 7X35 Ultrawide.

Buddied up with a Custom Compact.

 

After studying many, many reviews.....

 

May I add, and typically not being a "scornful" type of being, that when I read harshly negative reviews that condemn products of this "class", I don't harbor a, how is it said now? "I feel you Bro", when people whine and cry.

(Recipients of a truly defective unit being exempted).

 

So you lay down 25-60 bucks for a binocular, and then go out to become "champion of the wilderness", conqueror of the world", or "Jungle Commando", and then act outraged and indignant when your innocent, budget instrument doesn't hold up or perform like something 20 times it's price is designed to do.

This kind of silliness becomes wearisome.

 

I put out money and under-expected on this deal.

I feel happy and content that I actually got more than I expected this time.

 

Cheerfully,

 

Eric

 

002_opt(2).jpg

003_opt(1).jpg

005_opt(4).jpg

 

 

 

 


  • hallelujah and mtminnesota like this

#61 MartinPond

MartinPond

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,384
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2014

Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:26 AM

The Custom Compact is especially unusual....

that generation of it has an internal negative element allows an eyepiece

   with excellent eyeglass relief.


Edited by MartinPond, 16 January 2020 - 11:27 AM.


#62 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:57 AM

Hi Martin!

 

You are as astute as ever.

 

Yes, this Custom Compact (7X26) does have excellent eye relief.

Very comfortable with or without glasses on.

 

I continue to find and experience new qualities about this little binocular.

 

I feel as though I'm looking through a high quality (standard vision field) 7X35.

It's hard to explain, but I feel like I'm looking through a much larger binocular.

 

Eric



#63 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,985
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada

Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:17 PM

FWIW, years ago now, Astronomics took over the Better View Desired website where Stephen Ingraham had reviewed many binoculars over the years.  I loved his insightful reviews back in the day.

 

This BVD ariticle is "old news" and dated but the thoughts about compact binos are still relevant, IMO.

 

https://www.cloudyni...oculars-bvd.php

 

Rich


  • hallelujah and WALL.E like this

#64 Rokkor

Rokkor

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2019

Posted 16 January 2020 - 10:09 PM

Rokkor,

 

Can you post a picture of the Olympus 8X24?

Here with a 7x35 and 7x50: https://imgur.com/a/SEVxOYQ

 

There is also a 10x24 and 12x24 but I've not seen them and don't think they'd be as good, but they are the exact same size: https://www.olympus-...81208pc2re.html


Edited by Rokkor, 16 January 2020 - 10:13 PM.

  • WALL.E likes this

#65 Corcaroli78

Corcaroli78

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 947
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2009
  • Loc: 55N, 9E, Denmark

Posted 17 January 2020 - 02:45 AM

Thanks Rich......

Leica has alway$ been out of my reach...

 

Stan

Hi Stan,

 

Fortunately you can get one of this for 100 - 150 usd with a similar pedigree :-).  Amazing quality, compact design and very clear views for a small bino! The FOV should be around 7 deg. and they are very comfortable with glasses.

 

This bino lives permanently in my jacket 

 

zeiss_west3.gif

 

Carlos


  • j.gardavsky likes this

#66 davidmcgo

davidmcgo

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,686
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2004
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:50 AM

I have a similar Zeiss 6x20B individual focus that is amazingly sharp and folds up smaller than a cigarette pack (only reason I know that is when the zipper on the leather case broke, I found a perfect small pouch for them at a Daiso in Yokohama that was meant for carrying cigarettes).

 

Dave


  • WALL.E likes this

#67 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Rich!

 

That's a terrific read.

 

The observations, evaluations, and opinions expressed are spot on.  (Dated or not)!

 

 

Rokkor,

 

It appears that little Olympus has a fairly large eye lens.

Pretty good eye relief?

 

Eric



#68 harbinjer

harbinjer

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Southeastern Minnesota

Posted 17 January 2020 - 01:33 PM

 

The Custom Compact is especially unusual....

that generation of it has an internal negative element allows an eyepiece

   with excellent eyeglass relief.

I think they kept that for the next generation too. I discovered them when I got a pair with stuff inside. I took the objectives and eyepieces off to clean them, but it seems that the crud is BETWEEN the two prisms. Do you or anyone know to to get them apart further? Despite the problems, they were superbly made, optically and mechanically.

 

Here is a picture: 

Bushnell Custom Compact

Bushnell Custom Compact


Edited by harbinjer, 17 January 2020 - 01:44 PM.

  • j.gardavsky likes this

#69 WALL.E

WALL.E

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Grand Rapids Mi.

Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:39 AM

harbinjer,

 

A good Custom Compact is a beautiful thing.

 

Be careful with further dis-assembly!

 

Of course, you may be highly skilled (or very courageous).

I "chickened out" in an attempt to tighten a slightly "saggy" IPD hinge on a Custom Compact.

It just got too tiny once further inside.

To adjust it properly got rather complicated.

 

I know this doesn't help you with your question.

I'm simply suggesting "caution".

 

Eric



#70 harbinjer

harbinjer

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Southeastern Minnesota

Posted 18 January 2020 - 04:46 PM

Thanks WALL.E

I'm not "highly skilled" but I have been operating screws since before I could say screwdriver. 

I did open it up once again, from the front and back, and the gunk not on either prism face. I have no idea how stuff got in between the prism faces, but that's where it appears. 

 

Finally got a good picture of it: 

gunk between the prisms?
When the objective and negative lens are out, the first prism surface is clear. And with the eyepiece out, the rear prism surface is clear. I don't know how to remove the whole back, and if possible. Are there screws under the rubber? 
 
And one for better identification:
 
B&L CC 7x36
 
The image through them is still VERY nice, long eye relief as stated, and perfectly neutral color balance(even with pure white snow, which is the most accurate test by my eye). 


#71 grif 678

grif 678

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,423
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 18 January 2020 - 05:56 PM

I still have my trusted friend in my Sears 7 x 15 x 35 zoom, Excellent binoculars at a very modest price. The only thing I had when Halley's Comet came through. The Milky Way is a treat at low power, and it is really cool to see how the sky darkens when you zoom in, actually showing the deep sky better, it seems. The vintage Sears optics are very good, and these binoculars have given me no trouble for many, many years. There are quite a few of them on ebay, I am thinking of getting another pair in case these walk off.



#72 Yarddog

Yarddog

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 379
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2019

Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:16 PM

I can think of one reason for not having the mini binoculars.

 

They can hide really well.

 

I got a Pentax 10X24 around 30 years ago. I haven't seen them in years. I always thought I would eventually come across them but so far no luck. For the last few months I have been actively searching my house. Yesterday, I came across the box, papers and unfilled warranty card.

 

The price was $139 but I am sure I paid much less. Looking at the instructions, I noticed  an optional tripod adapter which I actually had. The tripod socket was on the bottom.

 

I remember them being OK optically. They were lighter than my Custom Compacts but not quite as good optically.

 

I am determined to find them.



#73 Nakedgun

Nakedgun

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 707
  • Joined: 30 Mar 2014
  • Loc: Southwest

Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:20 AM

I can think of one reason for not having the mini binoculars.

 

They can hide really well.

 

I got a Pentax 10X24 around 30 years ago. I haven't seen them in years. I always thought I would eventually come across them but so far no luck. For the last few months I have been actively searching my house. Yesterday, I came across the box, papers and unfilled warranty card.

 

 

 

 

 

I am determined to find them.

 

 

Funny!

 

I had the opposite issue recently, in that I had forgotten just where I had moved the original box and leather case for my classic Tasco 7x35s (old, leather-neckstrap-old) to after some rearranging during Autumn '18. Binos were always on the shelf ready for use. Looked everywhere, and looked again, finally thinking they had been discarded somehow. After more than a year I discovered them buried in my office stuff.

 

My filing system has always needed revision!

 

 

IMGP2626 - Copy (2).JPG

 

IMGP2634 (1).JPG

 

IMGP2629 (1).JPG

 

 


Edited by Nakedgun, 19 January 2020 - 02:28 AM.


#74 Rokkor

Rokkor

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2019

Posted 20 January 2020 - 03:41 AM

Thanks Rich!

 

That's a terrific read.

 

The observations, evaluations, and opinions expressed are spot on.  (Dated or not)!

 

 

Rokkor,

 

It appears that little Olympus has a fairly large eye lens.

Pretty good eye relief?

 

Eric

Specs say 16.5mm. With the soft-ended eyecups twisted out (and they lock), I measured 11mm to the eyepiece. The eye relief is definitely longer than that. The image isn't great during the day, too much chromatic aberration but in the shade and after sunset, they really shine and chromatic aberration isn't noticeable. The multicoating is good too, not noticed any flares. 



#75 Mbinoc

Mbinoc

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,153
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2019
  • Loc: 30 miles West Of Chicago (Split time in Dupage, and LaSalle County IL)

Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:21 PM

Over the years I have had about 5 pairs of mini sized binoculars. I have never spent much on any of them, and they have all been picked up 2nd hand.

 

Out of the ones I have had in the past, two of them have found there way into my keeper collection. One pair is a set of Minolta Pocket EZ, 8x20's, and the others are Nikon 8-24x x 25 Zooms.

 

1.JPG

 

Both of theese two pairs work well for me, and will often find there way into a pocket when I take a hike. The Nikons are higher powered and offer a sharper view at the cost of being a larger size. I also enjoy the zoom feature on this set. The maximum 24x zoom is really pushing its limits and can be diffulcult to hold steady, but what is nice is you can start out at 8x, and then zoom to a power that is comfortable. They seem to work really well up to about 16x. The overall construction seems sort of cheap, but the image they can provide really impresses me for what they are. I let my father take these Nikon's on a cruise ship last fall, and he also loved using them while on vacation.

 

I find both of these sets enjoyable and easy to look through in day light hours.


Edited by Mbinoc, 21 January 2020 - 08:50 PM.

  • Thotmosis likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics