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12x or 16x binoculars? that is the question

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#1 Flythemoon

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:34 AM

Hello 

 

I am going to buy a new binocualars ...  I was wondering if a 16x not so heavy ( Nikon action ex or aculon ) would be a good choiche... 

I mean , I never owned a binos with this high magnification ,,, would it be stable? 

May be a 12x it is easier for hand use ? 

thx



#2 sg6

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:57 AM

If hand use buy 8x's, even better search out 6x's if any exist.

Even 10x's will need some form of monopod or better a tripod after a short time. Above that the stars are very wobbly in the view. Occasionally they will wobble out of view.

 

I have looked at Saturn in 8x42's and Saturn is all over the view.

 

There seems to be a difference in what the stability is percieved as between say 12x during the day and 12x at night. At night the stability appears substantially reduced. Actually all magnifications seem to come out a lot less stable at night, unsure why. So it may be a poor idea to select binoculars on daylight useage as I suspect night usage experience is different.

 

Oh yes - Or buy a tripod for them. Have a big set at outreach and they are/can be difficult as they are normal in being straight through so people have to bend both ways to look through them - down at the back, up at the neck. Gets difficult for some (me).


Edited by sg6, 03 December 2019 - 05:00 AM.


#3 Swedpat

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:46 AM

Sg6,

 

I agree about the perceived wobbliness at the night sky. Often not even 6x binocular will provide a stable view on the stars. The best is some kind of support.



#4 astronomy-shoppe.com

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:48 AM

Any magnification over 10x will benifit greatly form a cmera tripod or monopod. , as the magnification increase stability decreases.  In Daylight, stabily seems better becase there is a background image, its easier to stabilize the image with a background. At night there is no background so it more difficult to stabilize.  12x 70  would be easier to hand hold than 16x70 but with a monopod you will see more in the higher power pair.

Tony


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#5 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:04 AM

If hand use buy 8x's, even better search out 6x's if any exist.
Even 10x's will need some form of monopod or better a tripod after a short time.


For what it's worth, this is very much a minority opinion. Most people who own 10X binoculars use them unmounted almost all the time. I certainly do.

I use both 12X and 15X binoculars hand-held fairly regularly, but it does require putting some thought and effort into finding a truly stable position for your body and arms. A reclining chair is probably best, but lying on my back on the ground works well, too. A picnic bench offers many possibilities, and a regular chair (with a back) is much better than nothing.

 

The issue has much more to do with magnification amplifying vibration than with weight -- at least for me.


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#6 Wouter1981

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:07 AM

handholding a 12x or 16x binocular is not ideal. I see almost as much in my 7x50 than with my 15x70 when handholding both because it's so much harder to keep the 15x70 steady. The weight is one problem but higher magnification is the bigger problem.

If I mount my 7x50 on a monopod, I see more details than with my 15x70 handholding. Altough it's possible to to handhold those bigger binoculars you aren't using it's potential fully.

Really if you are serious about buying a higher magnification binocular, look for something to mount it, even if you are just ducktaping it on a broomhandle ;-)



#7 Antonio R.G

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:11 AM

Nikon Aculon 16x50 is surprisingly good on tripod.. you can use occasionally hand held but you'll lost performance.. 12x .. all people are different, my useful limit hand held is 12x, on a chair or supporting the elbows in a comfortable position but in this case only for short views.. more power hand held you'll lost a lot of viewing..
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#8 Flythemoon

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:12 AM

For what it's worth, this is very much a minority opinion. Most people who own 10X binoculars use them unmounted almost all the time. I certainly do.

I use both 12X and 15X binoculars hand-held fairly regularly, but it does require putting some thought and effort into finding a truly stable position for your body and arms. A reclining chair is probably best, but lying on my back on the ground works well, too. A picnic bench offers many possibilities, and a regular chair (with a back) is much better than nothing.

 

The issue has much more to do with magnification amplifying vibration than with weight -- at least for me.

I use 10x unmounted and I have no problem ... which kind of 12x or 16x is good?  Nikon action ex ?



#9 erin

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:26 AM

I recently picked up the Nikon AE 16x50. I love the build quality and the views are excellent. I use mine mounted on the Orion Tritech ii and it is a very portable set up and makes all the difference in the world as to what you can see. If I got the 12x50, I would still use the tripod for anything more than a quick look, but hand-holding would be more do-able. 


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#10 jaraxx

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:56 AM

Antonio and Erin report the same experience I have had. 10x is about the limit for ease of use, above that the shakes make life more and more difficult. I can use 12x in the daytime fairly well, but the subjects are birds or mountains and not points of light. Using 12x at night for a short period is feasible (brace yourself), but a monopod is much better, and a tripod better yet. As mag goes up, shaky increases.

 

I have binoculars at 6x, 8x, 10x, and 12x, and the 12x are Nikon AE 12x50s. I consider them to be a fine value for the money. I use them on a monopod most of the time at night, and find this to be a workable combination. 


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#11 Flythemoon

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:01 AM

Antonio and Erin report the same experience I have had. 10x is about the limit for ease of use, above that the shakes make life more and more difficult. I can use 12x in the daytime fairly well, but the subjects are birds or mountains and not points of light. Using 12x at night for a short period is feasible (brace yourself), but a monopod is much better, and a tripod better yet. As mag goes up, shaky increases.

 

I have binoculars at 6x, 8x, 10x, and 12x, and the 12x are Nikon AE 12x50s. I consider them to be a fine value for the money. I use them on a monopod most of the time at night, and find this to be a workable combination. 

which monopod ?



#12 MikeTahtib

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:05 AM

I have a pair of 15X70s, and stability is a real problem.  I do like holding them by hand, but I have to really brace myself, preferably in a reclining chair, with elbows tucked firmly to my sides, eyecups pressed against my eyes, and held at the objective end, hold my breath and look.  After all this, the view is stable for only a brief period, and swings around a bit.  Still, I do enjoy them.  I spent one very enjoyable night last summer on my deck with them, poking around Cygnus / Sagitta/ Delphinus.  I got very good views of the small constellations and the coathnager Cluster.  I hae also had good views of the Beehive cluster and Pleiades.  When I really want to see things, though, I use one of my telescopes.  I also have a pair of general purpose (not specialty astronomy) 7x35 binos that are much easier to use, but don't show a whole lot on DSOs.  They are useful for seeing constellations in my light-polluted sky, though.


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#13 FLT-Astro

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:17 AM

I prefer 10x handheld but you could fill a cloth bag (secure with ziptie) or a rubber type ball (fill and then close cut hole with gorilla tape) with dried beans and it makes a wonderful support for cameras, binos, even small telescopes. Put the support against trees, atop your car, on tripods, on a ladder, anything really. With a bean filled support you can stabilize up to about 25x, without the support you’re not going to be able to stabilize much over 10x and most likely 6-8x is your best option. I use low power 6-10x for general sky scanning and star ID in polluted skies and higher power for more detail in distance day and night objects.

 

The best bino option is probably one low power 6-10x unsupported and one higher power 12-25x with support.


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#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:51 AM

For what it's worth, this is very much a minority opinion. Most people who own 10X binoculars use them unmounted almost all the time. I certainly do.

I use both 12X and 15X binoculars hand-held fairly regularly, but it does require putting some thought and effort into finding a truly stable position for your body and arms. A reclining chair is probably best, but lying on my back on the ground works well, too. A picnic bench offers many possibilities, and a regular chair (with a back) is much better than nothing.

 

The issue has much more to do with magnification amplifying vibration than with weight -- at least for me.

 

To add to Tony's comments:

 

- The stability of a binocular seems to depend on more than just magnification.  Length and weight both can work in your favor, that is until your arms get tired.  

 

I have two pairs of 70mm Orion Resolux binoculars, 10.5x and 15x,  Both weigh about 5 pounds.  I can hold them both quite steady, particularly the 10.5's which seem to be rock solid.. But I can only do this is short spurts, probably a minute or so at a time.  Of course reclining on a zero gravity chair makes things easier.  

 

- In terms of the image magnifying the vibration, I think longer binoculars have an advantage because the amount angular change in the image is less for a given hand motion.

 

- As far as 12x or 16 x in the 50mm size, the 16x AES have a 3.5 degree TFoV, the 12x have a 5.5 degree TFoV.   My 15x70s have a 4.4 degree TFoV, I think 3.5 degrees is pretty narrow for something without a finder.

 

Jon


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#15 TOMDEY

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:04 AM

If you want high-magnification, hand-held, you will need Image-Stabilized binos. Then you actually can do that. Mine are 20x and work fine... a wee bit hefty, but rugged and preform wonderfully, hand-held. Many of our familiar astro-vendors have this Premium make and model in stock, ready for free shipping; would make a nice Christmas present!    Tom

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  • 42 ZEISS-Image-stabilized-binoculars-Spezial-20x60-T_-S.jpg
  • 43 60 Zeiss 20x60 I.jpg

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#16 Flythemoon

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:01 AM

Hi Tom... Always cheap binos 😂😂😂

#17 hallelujah

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 12:55 PM

I am going to buy a new binocualars ...

I was wondering if a 16x not so heavy ( Nikon action ex or aculon ) would be a good choiche... 

I mean , I never owned a binos with this high magnification ,,, would it be stable? 

May be a 12x it is easier for hand use ?

Years ago I had the Nikon Action 16x50, the forerunner to the Aculon.

Not stable enough for stargazing, even difficult during the daytime for birding.

The Action/Aculon has fewer optical coatings than the Action Extreme ATB.

Did not care for the ghosts when viewing a full moon.

 

For stargazing I prefer more aperture at 16x.

70mm is a nice compromise when it comes to weight & size.

 

12x is much easier to live with, when it comes to hand holding for stargazing.

Even at that mag it still does much better when mounted.

 

https://www.nikonspo...-12x50-atb.html

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 03 December 2019 - 02:08 PM.

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#18 Mark9473

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 01:50 PM

I was wondering if a 16x not so heavy ( Nikon action ex or aculon ) would be a good choiche... 

I mean , I never owned a binos with this high magnification ,,, would it be stable? 

Your signature shows an "APM  Apo 16x70  Magnesium ED".

How are you at holding that steady?


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#19 Flythemoon

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:08 PM

Your signature shows an "APM  Apo 16x70  Magnesium ED".

How are you at holding that steady?

I use a manfrotto ... but 16x70 is not 16x50 or 12x50 



#20 hallelujah

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:15 PM

I use a manfrotto ... but 16x70 is not 16x50..........

Higher magnification + less weight = not such a great combination for hand holding,

especially for star gazing.

 

It's best if you can use a zero gravity chair, or some such comfortable chair, as

opposed to standing.

 

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 03 December 2019 - 02:19 PM.

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#21 Cestus

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:04 PM

I can't hand hold anything more then an 8x for an extended period of time. I much prefer using a tripod, even for the smaller bins.


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#22 dd61999

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Posted Yesterday, 12:03 AM

I was perplexed by this for the longest time

 

so I just bought all the magnifications and saw what worked best for ME.

 

I concluded that I love the ultra wide field of view of 7x35

 

for higher magnification I found that 15x was the start of big views but were harder to handhold. While mounting is nice I enjoy the freedom of handholding so I found 12x is my preference on the higher end


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