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Is stabilization worth the hefty price?

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#26 clearwaterdave

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 02:29 AM

I made this simple mount for my 15x70's.,It worked so well I designed a mount for my frac's after it.,Could not be happier.,or more stable.

 The bino mount can be picked up with one hand.,while I spin my chair to face another direction.,very cool bean's for me.,

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#27 edwincjones

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 04:38 AM

If I do end up liking the binos, maybe a monopod is in my future, and then possibly some IS peepers later on.

when we take our first baby steps, hard to know if we will become a hiker or runner

 

try the 9x60s,

if you like them then consider going up to larger with mount and/or IS

(both sides of this issue are right)

if you do not, then just discard and return to scopes

one never knows until they try

 

waytogo.gif

edj


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#28 Oscar56

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 11:31 PM

To me the IS is well worth the price, and has gotten more valuable as I've gotten older. 

 

I have been a birder and amateur astronomer for more than 60 years, and have considered binoculars necessary for each. In 2001 I treated myself to a pair of high end 7x42s as my main birding glass and for its wide 8-degree view of the night sky. Just a month later we bought my father-in-law a pair of Canon 10x30 IS. I used them occasionally when we were up in the Adirondacks and really liked them. In 2004 my wife gave me a pair of Canon 12x36 IS IIs for Christmas. They very quickly became my main birding glass and got used for a fair amount of astronomy. A steady 12x view provides better views of birds, easier IDs, and shows more in the night sky. (I did try the tripod route, first with 14x70 and later with 16x70 binoculars, but decided I preferred a simpler, mount free approach.) 

 

As I've gotten older I have more trouble holding 7 and 8x binoculars steady, so I appreciate the Canon IS even more. I replaced the 12x36 with the newer 12x32 and have also had the 15x50 IS for several years. I have kept the 7x42s for the wide true field, which can be handy, but they don't get much use. 

 

Clear skies, Alan

I also use 8 X 42’s for birding. Do you find the view through 12 X 32 significantly darker?



#29 paulsky

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:11 AM

Hi,

I´ve two binocs. 12x36IS and the 8x42....first is darker!! but fasninating..

Paul.



#30 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:20 AM

I've been very impressed with the Canon IS 15x50s that my wife and I bought back in August.  They're a bit heavy but the views have been exceptional.


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#31 barbie

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:43 PM

I have the Oberwerk 12x60mm and love it!!  It's light and handholding them is no problem for me and I have less than steady hands. After years of big scopes, I downsized to just a 72mm apo refractor and my binoculars and I'm very happy I did and am quite content with both. The convenience is a 100% factor for me now that I'm older and physically disabled.



#32 Oscar56

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:56 PM

I've been very impressed with the Canon IS 15x50s that my wife and I bought back in August.  They're a bit heavy but the views have been exceptional.

Do you use these for just astronomy or for terrestrial as well?



#33 LIVE LONG

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:03 PM

I've been very impressed with the Canon IS 15x50s that my wife and I bought back in August.  They're a bit heavy but the views have been exceptional.

   I am on the fence about purchasing the Canon IS 15x50. The weight of the bino seems to be a common topic. Also the price!

 

   I was wondering how long you can hand hold these, before you get tired ? 

 

   I have a zero gravity chair. I know that will help, a lot. 



#34 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:32 PM

Do you use these for just astronomy or for terrestrial as well?

I've used them for both purposes but mainly for astronomy.

 

   I am on the fence about purchasing the Canon IS 15x50. The weight of the bino seems to be a common topic. Also the price!

 

   I was wondering how long you can hand hold these, before you get tired ? 

 

   I have a zero gravity chair. I know that will help, a lot. 

I'm pretty good at hand-holding binoculars but I've never timed how long I can use them before tiring.  I have a zero gravity chair but haven't used it with these binoculars.  I do find it easier, of course, to do seated observations using a folding chair and my wife recently purchased a collapsible chair that reclines somewhat that I've used twice so far with good results.

https://www.amazon.c...ng-goods&sr=1-4


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#35 Nate1701

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:23 AM

Well, I decided to grab a pair of Oberwerk 9x60s for now.  I've never really used binos much for astronomy.  Guess I've always been more of a scope kind of guy.  Anyway, for 100 bucks, I figure these will be good to see if I even like using binos.  I am all about convenience, so that is one big thing binos have going for them.  I have a big, cumbersom 5" refractor, but the scope I usually grab is my Celestron 6SE.  I shouldn't complain because it's not really a big deal to set up and align, but it's not as simple as just grabbing a pair of binos and plopping down in a comfy seat.

 

If I do end up liking the binos, maybe a monopod is in my future, and then possibly some IS peepers later on.

I think that was a wise move. First see how much you like using binos. I was a "Scopes only" guy for years. I totally discounted and underestimated and overlooked and bypassed binoculars for astronomy. But now they are my preferred tool. I still use my scope a lot. But two eyed viewing, wide field, convenience of binoculars is just a different and complimentary and very enjoyable experience compared to scopes. And 9x60 is a really good choice to start. waytogo.gif Easy mag to use, Good FOV, Good exit pupil, Good eyerelief = comfort. I think you will really enjoy them. 

 

I liked bino's so much i got the Canon 15x50. I really like them. But Is it worth it? Maybe. I'm still deciding. Here's where I'm at...

 

Pros:

  • 15x50 is an excellent config for Bino Astronomy IMHO. Good Mag, Good contrast, 50mm is a good diameter and almost minimum for me ( 42mm is good and would be rock bottom for me.)
  •  Canon optics are excellent
  • Suuuuuper convenient. Binos are convenient But Canon-IS = convenience x 10. No tripod setup, just go out and look.
  • 4.something degrees is good field for a 15x50. I'm happy with the FOV and mag combo.
  •  For good reason they really can claim 'the keeper'  title, or the 'you will have to pry them from my cold dead hands' title, because they are a potent little tool. It's like having a 15x70 that is relatively compact and light and can be handheld FOR EVERYONE ( not just the minority of outliers that hand hold 15x70, 20x80 and the fewer that try 25x100 shocked.gif ). 
  •  to get the absolute most binocular viewing for the most convenience - this is it. It's a serious tool for serious binocular users. I have seen more objects in one night with these binos than my telescope for a whole summer. It has seen more objects total than any other instrument i own. And it sees and finds them really well. Especially if i get 30 min away from town.

 

Cons:

  •  In cold weather the eyepieces fog really easy - that makes them a warm weather only bino for me. Thus cooler climate states, provinces, countries might negate some convenience. i can view in them with glasses or not. But non-glasses creates the fogging. They fog quicker than any bino i have. If i view with glasses that reduces heat and moisture contacting them from my face, but that takes me to my next con...
  • eye relief is a bit tight with glasses. i loose just a bit of the edge of the FOV. For some they get the FOV with glasses - but i think it varies from person to person. Lower ER is no doubt the trade-off of 15x and 4+ degrees. It's ok but it's just not as comfortable as i want it to be.
  • batteries. But if i dont use in cool weather it's less of a problem. but again - cool weather takes away from convenience. But i should try the Lithium - still have to do that. But none the less - it's just something else to plan and think about. And without them they are just like any other bino, or worse.
  • it's not as good as tripod mounted... for me. I like mounted A LOT - that's why this is a con. For some who just can't stand the idea of mounting a binocular this is a moote point and not a CON at all. And i totally get that - the stability of  'IS' is really good and not having to think about a mount has value, for some THIS IS THE #1 Reason to get ImageStabliized. But the clarity of mounted is better. With mounted i don't have to take breaks for my shoulders, also i can look at my phone or a chart and look back in a mounted bino exactly at the target. With ImageStabilized  if i want to reference something i have to take my bino away from the target and then find it again. With mounted i can sit -  and the view hovers in front of me and i can enjoy the view indefinitely. I don't just want to find objects - i want to study and absorb them. Only thing is with a chair: a tripod is a bit clumsy beside it. I have experimented with a Articulating arm - but attached to the chair shows heartbeat vibrations. Actually i have been thinking the past few months i might make a stake with a foot plate to push in the ground with my foot. Stake it beside my chair and just attach the arm to that. I think that would be a fantastic setup. And that's my problem - i keep trying to find a way to get my ideal mounted setup.
  • 12x50 gets me very close for a lot less money. And i can use it free hand or mounted. I REALLY like 12x50. Almost as much as 15x50 but not quite.
  • there is a life to 'IS'. The guts won't last forever. Probably not even a lifetime. But take care of your Obie 9x60 and they will last a long long time. If i take care of my Pentax 12x50 it's going to long out live my Canon. But people have their Canon's 20+ years and going strong. If they divide the cost over 20 years it's not that bad either. As long as it doesn't put a lump in your throat that you have to replace these after 20 years - you are GOOD. Or you are smart enough to put something aside for when that time comes - then this is a moote point also. For me i get a lump in the throat, that i might not be in a position to afford replacing or repairing when the time comes.

 

Neutral:

  • Both 'IS' and 'non-IS' binos are best enjoyed with a chair for astro. If so - then the chair already adds stability to the non-IS. For me the 'IS' is still better - and most will agree. But the fact that really i need to drag out a chair for either one -  kind of puts the Canon on equal footing with 'non-IS'. Maybe that devalues the Canon. I have just walked out and taken peeps at a few sky objects with no chair, it was nice and 15x makes it nicer than 10x. 

 

What does this all mean? I have no idea. I think i almost talked myself into selling my 15x50. lol.gif  But i have had that inner debate before and still keep using them and liking them....they really are a fantastic Bino.

Really though i think it emphasizes that it depends on a persons goals, viewing habits, limitations, location, passion for the hobby etc. as to whether stabilization is worth the hefty price.

If a person wanted to do astronomy and had a decent budget ( $1000), but had little time, wanted simple, lived in mostly mild conditions year round ( not too far north or south), no astigmatism i.e. needed glasses, wanted portable and easy storage, wanted to easily take with them for travel, enjoys DSO, widefield, sweeping over star fields; more than planets and splitting double stars - then these would be very very worth while. 

Some could argue a 80mm ED on alt az could suit just as well - but it would not be as light, and as portable, and as simple.

 

Myself, as above - l lean toward mounted, and because i have to setup a chair anyway, something for mounted is not that much more, but no set up is nice too. I'm on the fence because of all this. But i have no quibbles about the quality of the package - they are one EXCELLENT binocular, and MemphisAstro channel convinced me to try them - and i still think those guys make good points.

https://www.youtube....h?v=VN0Jkzs75Qs

https://youtu.be/6gGYkokavC8?t=217

https://youtu.be/DMh-pn5f-Qw?t=214


Edited by Nate1701, 24 October 2020 - 07:31 AM.

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#36 Nate1701

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:43 AM

   I am on the fence about purchasing the Canon IS 15x50. The weight of the bino seems to be a common topic. Also the price!

 

   I was wondering how long you can hand hold these, before you get tired ? 

 

   I have a zero gravity chair. I know that will help, a lot. 

You can read my post above for my Pros and Cons.

I find i can hand hold about 10 mintues straight. Maybe  longer at the beginning of a session. Then it gets shorter / breaks more frequent. That is a bit of a Con for me, however that would be true of a 'non-IS' bino like 10x50 also, even if it is lighter. Just holding arms up with no weight is tiring after 20 minutes. I can overhead press 100+ pounds. No it's not an Olympic record - i realize that. But it's not weak either, and i don't train my overhead press. Point is that endurance is a different story. For a "relaxed" viewing session lasting  an evening.... well... 2 hours of holding your arms in the air ain't relaxing. That's why i like mounted. So it depends on your strength / endurance and length of observing.

If you are average strength for your age, and observe maybe an hour on average - weight won't really be a problem. You will enjoy using them so much you won't think about the weight. If like me, you observe often for 2 to 3 hours... then you will notice the weight.

 

Zero G chair. Yes i use that. That is the best way to do Binocular astronomy IMHO. It does help. But the reason I'm using it is because i view for a couple hours at least. If you observer for an hour and use a chair you should be fine.

 

The price - it depends how much you like binocular observing, and how often.


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#37 KennyJ

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 02:47 AM

Nate1701,

 

Your post #35 adds up to being the most honest and informative post or article I've ever read about Canon 15 x50 IS binoculars in around 20 years.

 

By far the majority of others I've seen have tended to be mostly either "all PROS" or "all CONS, which have combined to place this model almost as much in the "marmite/ love or hate" category as the Celestron Skymaster 15x70.

 

Ironically, the latter "entry level" instrument adds an intriguing question to your point about why a combination of 15x magnification and eye - relief "adequate for most glasses wearers" appears to have presented such an almost unsolvable problem for binocular designers for well over half a century.

 

For all it's widely reported weaknesses, at least the humble Skymaster seems to satisfy both criteria!

 

Kenny


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#38 ArsMachina

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 05:18 AM

Most cons are about the eyecups, which are really rubbish.

But this is easy to solve and even improve a lot.

 

First cut these eyecups down completely:

 

IMG 9491
 
Then get a pair of Bino Bandits and attach them to the rear of your Canons:
 
IMG 9492
 
So you are getting a very comfortable use even you are wearing glasses.
The eyepieces fogging issue is also solved this way
The Bino Bandits are shielding ALL light around you, even while standing below street ligh
Contrast is improved a lot stshielding out all light.
 
This little and cheap mod are moving these Binos from already very good to perfect.
 
I got a pair of the Canon 1.6x boosters converting  the 15x50IS to a 24x48 IS
Sure the stabilization has to work hard with this magnification, but using a seat with armrests or leaning to a wall is compensating this drawback.
And the 24x48 IS are only usable at daylight and the moon, for other astro use they are to dim.
But for hiking the stabilized extra boost is fantastic.
Watching climbers in the alps mountains is unbelievable...
 
IMG 9494

 

The 15x50 IS with Bino Bandits and 1.6x boosters is a very handy setup providing me the most observing pleasures.
Unfortunately these boosters are very hard to find today :-(
 
Jochen
 

 


Edited by ArsMachina, 24 October 2020 - 05:19 AM.

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#39 Nate1701

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:48 AM

Nate1701,

 

Your post #35 adds up to being the most honest and informative post or article I've ever read about Canon 15 x50 IS binoculars in around 20 years.

 

By far the majority of others I've seen have tended to be mostly either "all PROS" or "all CONS, which have combined to place this model almost as much in the "marmite/ love or hate" category as the Celestron Skymaster 15x70.

 

Ironically, the latter "entry level" instrument adds an intriguing question to your point about why a combination of 15x magnification and eye - relief "adequate for most glasses wearers" appears to have presented such an almost unsolvable problem for binocular designers for well over half a century.

 

For all it's widely reported weaknesses, at least the humble Skymaster seems to satisfy both criteria!

 

Kenny

Thanks Kenny,

coming from you ( and your experience on this forum) that is a BIG compliment.

I feel like I've just been knighted "honorary Duke of 15x50" lol.gif



#40 ihf

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 10:51 AM

I think it is a fair statement that people who like setting up tripods will see less value in image stabilization than people who don't. So this is a very personal question. I only have experience with Canon IS. I think the price asked by Canon is fair for what they offer. The extra bulk and weight are regrettable, but within reason. In fact I would pay Canon's price for IS on any "decent" bino starting as low as 7x or 8x magnification. But that is me, trying to weasel out of carrying and setting up a tripod (and being contorted by it).



#41 ArsMachina

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 11:24 AM

I think it is a fair statement that people who like setting up tripods will see less value in image stabilization than people who don't. So this is a very personal question.

Yes and no.

 

I love the possibility to use a Canon IS very quickly without the need for a tripod.

Often I am returning home late and am finding very good conditions.

But beeing tired I would never pull out a big setup, the Canons are perfect for such situations.

 

And the Canons do have advantages for zenith observing while using a reclined chair, where tripod mounted binos are tricky to use.

 

But there are also situations where I put my Canon IS on a tripod.

When I am planning to observe mainly the moon or climbers while hiking, especially with the boosters mounted.

 

Jochen


Edited by ArsMachina, 24 October 2020 - 07:03 PM.


#42 edwincjones

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 01:03 PM

"is stabilization worth the price?"

 

I am not sure this is a question one can answer without first trying them.

 

question.gif


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#43 LIVE LONG

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 05:40 PM

You can read my post above for my Pros and Cons.

I find i can hand hold about 10 mintues straight. Maybe  longer at the beginning of a session. Then it gets shorter / breaks more frequent. That is a bit of a Con for me, however that would be true of a 'non-IS' bino like 10x50 also, even if it is lighter. Just holding arms up with no weight is tiring after 20 minutes. I can overhead press 100+ pounds. No it's not an Olympic record - i realize that. But it's not weak either, and i don't train my overhead press. Point is that endurance is a different story. For a "relaxed" viewing session lasting  an evening.... well... 2 hours of holding your arms in the air ain't relaxing. That's why i like mounted. So it depends on your strength / endurance and length of observing.

If you are average strength for your age, and observe maybe an hour on average - weight won't really be a problem. You will enjoy using them so much you won't think about the weight. If like me, you observe often for 2 to 3 hours... then you will notice the weight.

 

Zero G chair. Yes i use that. That is the best way to do Binocular astronomy IMHO. It does help. But the reason I'm using it is because i view for a couple hours at least. If you observer for an hour and use a chair you should be fine.

 

The price - it depends how much you like binocular observing, and how often.

   Nate1701, 

Thank you for your response. I agree with your statement that... 2 hours of holding your arms in the air ain't relaxing.

 

Your post #35 is excellent!!! 

 

Right now I cannot see spending that kind of money, on IS Bino's. I will most likely get a pair of 15x70 or 20x80 binos, and mount them so I not only get stable views, but I can walk away from them, and consult my sky safari or star atlas.

 

Thanks Again, and Clear Skies.

                                                       Bill


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#44 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 06:47 PM

Here's a photo of the collapsible reclining chair that I mentioned in post #34.

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#45 ArsMachina

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:00 PM

Here's a photo of the collapsible reclining chair that I mentioned in post #34.

I am having a similar one

That beer can holder is essential ;-)

 

Jochen



#46 Nate1701

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 10:14 PM

   Nate1701, 

Thank you for your response. I agree with your statement that... 2 hours of holding your arms in the air ain't relaxing.

 

Your post #35 is excellent!!! 

 

Right now I cannot see spending that kind of money, on IS Bino's. I will most likely get a pair of 15x70 or 20x80 binos, and mount them so I not only get stable views, but I can walk away from them, and consult my sky safari or star atlas.

 

Thanks Again, and Clear Skies.

                                                       Bill

Your weclome Bill, and thanks for the compliment. 

 

You will need to experiment a bit to see what is comfortable for you mounted. 20x80 will take you into more challenging territory for stability - but it just takes a bit more persistence... and / or money. If you are handy then it's all just play time in the garage or workshop etc. anyway. 

I would tend towards a 15x70  = lighter tripod and easier grab and go. And works OK on a monopod too. Although that 20x is nice if you are game for a studier mount. No doubt you are already aware that around 60* to 70* it gets harder to look up through straight throughs. 

I experimented a bit with cheapo Celestron 20x80 with a pipe and bracket attached to a cheap camera mount. On the end i used a trigger grip - which the ball joint was at it's limit with 20x80. The binos do not sit perpendicular on top of the trigger grip - notice that it's on an angle. I made an angle bracket so that it points up at zenith when the grip is at an angle of 45* - this was key to getting it to work with the grip. If it was perpendicular then then the grip handle would be parallel to the ground if i want to look at zenith - but that would be too much leverage and the ball tension would not be able to support that wieght from the side.

You notice i have a green laser mounted also for my finder. This was all just prototyping to see how much i enjoyed this. It takes a bit of fussification to get the chair and tripod working with each other to view the target - but once it was set - SOOO NICE. The image just hovers in front of you. I would just sit and observe for 30 mintues straight. All of this is a bit easier with 15x70. 

I enjoyed it so much i pulled the trigger on 25x100 and fabricated my own P-gram which is the second pic.

Zenith is no problem for this type of observing. It's harder on the neck without a chair.  

 

How does all this relate to the subject line "hefty price worth it?" Well the setup is not as convenient as 'IS', but since i have to pull out a chair - why not slap the tripod together and 15x50 cannot even touch 25x100, or 20x80 either. ( of course it is better than a cheapo skywatcher - but would not be over a better quality Oberwerk, APM etc.)

If you haven't seen Steve Tonkin's site check it out - he has good suggestions. 

These are all just suggestions to give you some ideas to try out. There are other good ideas out there like the T mounted Mono-pods.

https://www.cloudyni...23&hl=+monopods

 

C20x80.jpg


Edited by Nate1701, 24 October 2020 - 10:31 PM.

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#47 Nate1701

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 10:15 PM

second pic of Argus 25x100.

 I think that it's only fair to add that as much as i enjoyed these setups - i am toying with the idea of replacing 15x50 and 20x80 and 25x100  with 15x70 or possibly just with my 12x50 and 20x60 because those sizes are so flexible in many configs - chair, mounted, monopod, and when i use mounted everything is just so much lighter and easier to work with. I might sell my 25x100 and then miss them and buy it back again so that i can level up from beginner amatuer to intermediate. That is how to become intermediate right? Sell what you have looking for something better and then realize that you want what you had in the first place? Or is it only the advanced amatuers that do that? 

Argus25x100.jpg


Edited by Nate1701, 24 October 2020 - 10:44 PM.

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#48 LIVE LONG

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:54 AM

second pic of Argus 25x100.

 I think that it's only fair to add that as much as i enjoyed these setups - i am toying with the idea of replacing 15x50 and 20x80 and 25x100  with 15x70 or possibly just with my 12x50 and 20x60 because those sizes are so flexible in many configs - chair, mounted, monopod, and when i use mounted everything is just so much lighter and easier to work with. I might sell my 25x100 and then miss them and buy it back again so that i can level up from beginner amatuer to intermediate. That is how to become intermediate right? Sell what you have looking for something better and then realize that you want what you had in the first place? Or is it only the advanced amatuers that do that? 

attachicon.gifArgus25x100.jpg

   Nate1701,

 

I like the second set-up better. I am now leaning towards a parallelogram mount and either 15x70 or 20x80 binos. I would have to use a red dot finder. There is an airport a few miles from house, and a laser cannot be used.

 

Whatever you do, DO NOT sell your 25x100 binos. You will just regret it, down the road. I lost count how many times I got rid of something, just to regret it later!



#49 david fannon

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the replies, all. Anyone have experience with the "melting" rubber phenomenon? I see there is another thread going in this forum where it's discussed. Sounds like it's a real issue. Makes me very hesitant to spend so much.



#50 Alan French

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:23 AM

I also use 8 X 42’s for birding. Do you find the view through 12 X 32 significantly darker?

I carry the 12x32s pretty much exclusively as my birding binocular, and have never thought of the view as "dark." My main impression, back when I did daytime comparisons between my 7x42s and the 12x36s, now replaced with the 12x32s, was that the 12x view was far more detailed, allowing for better views and easier bird IDs. For example, there were Kinglets in the backyard. With the 7x42s I could simply say Kinglets. With the 12x36s I could see it was mostly Ruby-crowned Kinglets, with a couple of Golden-crowned mixed in. 

 

But I'll bring out the 7x42s and do some comparisons with the 7x42s. Note, however, that under reasonably bright conditions our eye is probably stopping down 7x42s to ~7x14 to 7x21, so it will also be working at a small exit pupil. Ditto for 8x42s.

 

Clear skies, Alan


Edited by Alan French, 25 October 2020 - 09:28 AM.



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