Wide angle 7x50s?
Posted 19 April 2004 - 06:48 AM
Posted 19 April 2004 - 08:04 AM
Posted 19 April 2004 - 08:04 AM
I used to have the Nikon Sports Marine 7x50 binoculars that you inquired about in another thread. For the money, they are a good astro bin, if you're set on 7x. (Personally, I find 10x FAR more beneficial at cutting through light pollution, but I won't belabor the point, since you've clearly indicated your preference for the lower power.)
BUT, you've also mentioned wanting to bird with your binos. The Nikon S/M 7x50s are individual eyepiece focus and don't focus very close at all. I would NOT recommend them as a birding binocular. They're also fairly heavy, though not as bad as some of the WWII 7x50s.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:29 AM
Wide angle binoculars typically use Erfle, or a variant of Erfle eyepieces to get wide field. Edge of field aberrations is a design trade-off in these eyepieces to get wide field. To my best knowledge the best that is available in a moderately wide field with reasonable edge performance and center focus would be the Nikon Superior E series with a 60 degree apparent field in all sizes. Also worthy of consideration at a lower price is the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 in regular and "ED" versions.
For birding and occasional astronomy use, you may like the Swift Audubon 8.5x44, either the non-ED or the ED version. This binocular has good edge of field performance for daytime use, the field is 8.2 degrees true, 70 degrees apparent. The edge of field performance does show some deficiencies when turned on the stars, but the wide field will still give you something on the order of about a 7 degree very good field on the stars and the additional 1.2 degrees will still be ok for finding many objects. Central resolution is extremely good. As a birding binocular with close focus, this binocular has few peers. The magnification is a good compromise between 7x and 10x.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:34 AM
I've been looking at several of the threads you've got going, and watching you go through the bino purchase decision. Am I right in thinking that you're looking for a relatively easy to use, long eye relief, fairly wide FOV 7x binocular for dual use both daytime and nighttime? If I am right about that, you might consider the Swift 7x42 Ultralite with it's 6.9*FOV and 21oz wt. at around $200. That would split the difference between the 7x35s and 7x50s you're considering. Swift also has several 7x50s that might be of interest to you.
In general, Swift makes several good "B" grade binoculars. In other words, they have several models that will get you 80-85% of the performance of the "A" grade models that cost 4 times as much.
Those Ultralites might not be quite as durable as some other models, but if you're careful with them they would likely last several years. I believe EdZ has a set. He might be able to comment on their suitability for your purpose.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:52 AM
Just a point of clarification for everyone...since Swift makes several "Audubons"...the ones Barry is referring to are of the porro design. The Swift Audubon roof binos (of which there are also two models) have the more standard 50-55 degrees (apparent)...giving them around 6.5 degs true FOV.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 10:52 AM
Personally, I've given up on widefield binos, and have just about abandoned my previous quest to find a good set of 7x35s.
I had some Wuest 7x35 with an 11* FOV, but gave them away due to excessive field curvature and poor image quality. Ditto for Nikon Action 7x35 Naturalists. Currently, I'm trying to find a home for some Japanese Celestron 7x35s with a 10* FOV.
I find that when panning with wide FOVs, the field curvature is such that I can almost get motion sickness. Also, when only 50% of the view is resolvable, it calls into question the whole reason for having the extra FOV in the 1st place.
I did some comparisons between the 7x35s with 10*FOV and some 8x42's with 6.5* FOV and found that I was actually finding difficult warblers faster and easier with the smaller, but sharper FOV of the 8x42s. I think the biggest reason for that is just that the ergonomics of the 8x42s work better for me, and so I can instinctively point them easier. Obviously, that's a highly subjective, personal thing. But it is interesting that I've never yet found a set of 7x35s that really felt right to my hands or eyes. To me, the 7x35's always feel like they're too big to be minis, and to short to be balanced right.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 11:43 AM
This thread and others (the Venturer 8x42 thread) has got me pretty much convinced that if I ever get another pair of "high end" handholdable binoculars with a relatively wide field of view, those binoculars should be the Nikon Superior E 8x32. Everything I have ever read or anyone I have ever talked to about these really raves about them.
They are the least expensive of the Superior E's, they have the widest field and would be perfect for most daytime observational uses. For nightime casual astronomy they should be very nice too. With a 60 degree apparent field, 8x yeilds a 7.5 degree true field.
However as long as my Swift Audubon 8.5x44's hold up, they will be my daytime handholdable binoculars of choice.
Note - your comment about the perception of motion sickness - yes, I have experienced that too. A binocular that has an exaggerated curvature of field will do that. The Eagle Raptor 8x42 is like that. Very nice central sharpness, but poor, defocused edge.
Interestingly the thing I dislike most about the image stabilized binoculars is that they give me that feeling too. Can't explain it but somehow by taking the motion out of the image, they put it right in the pit of my stomach. Another place where I don't want it. At least not while I am observing thru binoculars!
Posted 19 April 2004 - 01:03 PM
i'm glad you commented on the EO Raptor. I've used the 10x42s for several years now...for birding. I like them quite a bit for daytime use...wide FOV...quality optics for under $300...and great warranty that the EO folks have. But yes, they are a bit defocused at edge for astronomy use.
I had recently considered the 8x42 Raptors, but after your comments, and after my own astronomy experiences with the 10x42s, I'm more likely to go with the Swift Audubons (roof), or EO Rangers, and just settle for 6.5 field.
HOWEVER, Barry, since you seem to have experience with both the EO Raptors and the Swift Audubons (talking about *porro* now), can you give an opinion on how these compare in the 8x42 size? Both are wide field (8.9 deg in Raptor, 8.2 deg in Swift), and thus subject to the same trade-offs for edge performance. Do the Swifts perform better toward the edge than Raptors, or are these models very similar in that respect?
Posted 19 April 2004 - 01:41 PM
I found the edge of field performance to be a bit better with the Swift Audubon, both have 70 degree apparent fields. I guess Swift specifies a slightly different eyepiece yielding a flatter field.
Both have extremely good central performance. The friend I sold my Eagle Optics Raptors too has told me several times how sharp they are in the central portion of the field.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 03:47 PM
so..."a bit better" means...??? just wondering if I should consider the Swifts you've pictured here, or if I'd be better off just sticking with the 55-deg roof binos (EO Rangers or roof Audubons). I like the extra field of these pictured, but true to trade-offs, I like the higher image quality, too. For daytime use, I lean toward the extra FOV (don't notice the reduced edge performance so much), but on stars, I sure prefer the sharper image across at least a *large majority* of the field (i.e., at least through the same 6.5 degs you'd get with the 8x roof binos).
What would YOU do?
Posted 19 April 2004 - 05:27 PM
Hey, you are asking the wrong person! Remember I own about 16 or 17 pair of binoculars and who know how many telescopes! Ever notice that I don't list all of my binoculars and telescopes at the bottom of each post like some of the other participants in this group do? There is a reason, it would take too long to type!
Posted 19 April 2004 - 06:49 PM
Anyway, Barry you mentioned the Nikon SE 8x32s. Some years ago, I had regular access to a set of those. To this day, they remain my favorite small binocular by a substantial margin. They are the brightest 8x bino I've ever looked through, and are much more user friendly than most 8x42s. Nikon really got it right with those. The person that had those moved away and I miss her... binoculars!
It's kind of funny, because not long after that, I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy ONE Nikon SE at wholesale. The choice was between the 8x32 and the 12x50. (They were out of the 10x42.) I chose the 12x50s and have really enjoyed them. But, I've often wished that I could've seen fit to simply buy both the 8x32 and the 12x50 and be done with binocular purchase decisions for life. I think that combination would essentially do all that I ever will do with handheld binoculars. If I add up all the false starts I've had in trying to save money by not buying the small SEs, I could've already had a couple sets at full retail. Maybe I ought to just get it over with and buy the 8x32 SEs. With those, and the 12x50 SEs and the p'gram mounted Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70s, I could basically get rid of all my other binoculars. Now, there's a thought.
Posted 19 April 2004 - 07:16 PM
The 8x32 SE, 12x50 SE and 16x70 Fujinon FMT-SX is as good a 3 binocular combination as anyone could hope to find. The only thing I would add would be a 4th pair and once again it would provide a 4x jump in magnification. That would be the 20x100 Miyauchi. I have been quite satisfied with mine. I used them last Wednesday night at the Mid-South Stargaze and they provided me with some very nice views. Of course these also give you the option of jumping the magnification to 26x and 37x. This may sound like a shameless plug, but hey, they are really good. Additionally the advertised field @ 2.5 degrees is really what you get. They are not over-reported.
So if anyone has some new condition Nikon Superior E 8x32 and Superior E 12x50's you would like to trade me, I have about 15 other pair of binoculars that are on the trading table......
(Actually my 7x50 Fujinon FMT-SX and the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 are also keepers.)
Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:21 PM
Am I right in thinking that you're looking for a relatively easy to use, long eye relief, fairly wide FOV 7x binocular for dual use both daytime and nighttime?
Mike...that's pretty much it. Low-power (6 or 7 or 8x), wide real and apparent f.o.v. The longer the eye relief the better (though eye relief becomes less important to me the wider the actual f.o.v is). Central focus. Sharp in center. And maximum around $150 US dollars.
Lateley I've been considering the Kowa 7x40 ZCF. It supposedly has excellent eye relief. I don't like that it's 'only' 7.5 degree real, 53 apparent, but that's still better in both respects than the cheap 7x50s I'm using right now.
I've also found some Celestron Bird Watchers with very wide apparent f.o.v.:
Some old closeout models:
Some old-looking Nikon Gold Sentinels I can't find any other info about..looks tempting:
Anyone have comments on any of these? (particularly about on-center sharpness). All of them look like old, made in Japan models. I'm still considering the Bushnell H2O 8x42. I like its ergonomics the best of all, but they are BK-7, so I'm concerned that I'll lose brightness for astro use.
Posted 20 April 2004 - 09:36 AM
what are your experiences with 12x50s in general? Not talking so much about quality of this or that model, but as a size/mag class in general, what's the prime use for a bino this size?
terrestrial? astronomical? hand-held? mounted?
My naive thoughts on a bino this size are:
1. if you're going to mount, may as well just use 15/16x70s
2. for handheld terrestrial use, weight and FOV are suboptimal
3. for handheld astronomy use, weight and magnification are suboptimal...image a little shaky
Also...a quick cruise through my favorite optics sites shows there aren't TOO many to choose from in this size class:
Superior E...out of my budget range
Pentax WP...narrow FOV...may as well use my 15x70s
Nikon Action Extreme...has potential
Leicas...also out of my budget range
I'm just interested in your thoughts/feedback. Afterall, I'm still in undecisive purchase mode right now.
Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:05 AM
Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:33 AM
1)In respect to 12x50 (or 60 mm binoculars) I find that they are sometimes useful, but are kind of in that gray area. You can get away with hand holding them to a degree, but they do better mounted. As was said, if you are going to mount them, why not more magnification? I had both a 12x60 Oberwerk (now sold) and the Pentax 12x50. Neither was used much. The jump from 10x50 to 16x70 was far more logical.
2) In regard to the Miyauchi. I have the basic 20x100 non-fluorite with 45 degree prisms. I got them last year from Oberwerk when they were a reasonable $1995.00. (Other dealers charge far more.) I have also compared to fluorite models and positively find that the fluorite version is not worth the extra $1100.00 unless looking at the limb of Jupiter, Venus or the image of Sirius at 20x will be a primary use of your binoculars. These binoculars perform better than what I was expecting. I also have the 26x and 37x eyepieces which give them a lot of versatility.
I am posting a photo of them with the relatively new Bogen Manfrotto 516 fluid pan head on a Davis & Sanford tripod. Note that the center column is a 10" piece of solid 2.5" diameter aluminum. The accessory tray is a Martha Stewart cake pan from K-Mart. (Say what you want about Martha Stewart, but she makes good astronomy stuff.)
Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:34 AM
Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:48 AM
...but reading your answer to my question, Barry...I'm not so sure you really believe this
Mike...I'll look forward to the new thread...
Posted 20 April 2004 - 11:42 AM
Thanks for the picture Barry and your findings regarding fluorite and non-fluorite Miyauchis. The 20x100 Miyauchis don't allow a user to slap in their favorite 1.25" EPs?
Posted 20 April 2004 - 05:35 PM
1) Regarding 12x50's as part of a 3 or 4 binocular basic set or combo - that was in response to an owner of 12x50 Nikon Superior E's, a very, very nice pair. If I had that pair it would be an anchor in a set, so 8x32 on one side and 16x70 on the other side seem logical. However as I do not have those, the narrow field of the Pentax 12x50 and the ergonomics and relatively poor focuser action on the 12x60 Oberwerks just did not do it for me, hence their utilization was less than it would have been with the Nikon Superior E. (Note - relatively poor focuser action on this one pair of 12x60 Oberwerks that I had, I cannot say that the feel would be the same on all models, means that the focusing movement did not feel smooth, like on the Pentax, and it also was a little sloppy, akin to gear backlash).
2) Regarding other eyepieces with the Miyauchi - I tried a few, basically no standard 1.25" eyepiece works unmodified. The Celestron Axiom 19 did work but this is with the lower barrel removed. Meade Research Grade erfles and orthos will work with lower barrels removed. So will the Orion Explorer orthos (another discontinued set) with lower barrels removed. Shorter eyepieces drop into the eyepiece receptacle too far and you would have to build up the barrel walls somewhat anyway. I did not pursue the quest for additional eyepieces because of the 3 pair "stock" Miyauchi eyepieces that I have. The Miyauchi focal length is 600 mm if you want to figure out potential magnifications with different eyepieces.
Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:33 PM
Re: the search for 7x35.
I own a pair of Nikon E 7x35s. They aren't wide angle, but they are sharp to the edge and hold their own in clarity and color with the 8x32 S.E. Sometimes you can find them used on EBay. Helluva warbler binocular in shady canopies.
Glen in UT
Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:32 AM
>2) In regard to the Miyauchi. I have the basic 20x100 non-fluorite with 45
>degree prisms. I got them last year from Oberwerk when they were a
>reasonable $1995.00. (Other dealers charge far more.) I have also
>compared to fluorite models and positively find that the fluorite version is
>not worth the extra $1100.00
The prices over here are approximately the same numbers in GBP. I got
mine second hand for somewhat less in a deal that included the x37
eyepieces, the finder (not much use at night -- I use a Quikfinder) and a
Manfrotto tripod and head. I was talking to one of the guys from SCS Astro
a few days before I got it -- he has the fluorite version, but tried both before
deciding. He also opined that the fluorite is not really worth the extra
money, but got it because this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity he had
because of a windfall.
I find myself using the x37 eyepieces far more than the x20. That extra
contrast really makes a difference. These really are very nice binoculars!