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Is stabilization worth the hefty price?

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#51 david fannon

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:35 AM

For more than 20 years I've had a real love hate relationship with the canons. Yes, they are truly superlative for observing the night sky but I've had 2 pair develop the sticky rubber. I wrapped my 12x36 in electrical tape and gave my 10x30s away. I used my 15x45 for 15 glorious years but the IS eventually malfunctioned and canon repair is beyond expensive. About 5 years ago I purchased a fujinon fmt 10x50. Mounted or handheld, They offer an immersive tack sharp experience of the milkyway and they are a pleasure to hold in my hands. They might be an option for u

#52 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:03 AM

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 ...

I think you would only notice the difference in brightness in deep twilight, when your pupils start to open up.


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#53 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 01:38 PM

For more than 20 years I've had a real love hate relationship with the canons. Yes, they are truly superlative for observing the night sky but I've had 2 pair develop the sticky rubber. I wrapped my 12x36 in electrical tape and gave my 10x30s away. I used my 15x45 for 15 glorious years but the IS eventually malfunctioned and canon repair is beyond expensive. About 5 years ago I purchased a fujinon fmt 10x50. Mounted or handheld, They offer an immersive tack sharp experience of the milkyway and they are a pleasure to hold in my hands. They might be an option for u

How long did it take for the sticky rubber to occur?



#54 Oscar56

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 01:46 PM

I think you would only notice the difference in brightness in deep twilight, when your pupils start to open up.

and not during horribly overcast winter days for birding in forested/brushy habitats?  

 

If that is the case then the 12 X 32 may be just the sweet spot for me.  I am few hundred km's from a retailer who may carry these, so there is limited opportunity to test-before-buying.


Edited by Oscar56, 25 October 2020 - 01:47 PM.


#55 Tyson M

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 05:15 PM

and not during horribly overcast winter days for birding in forested/brushy habitats?  
 
If that is the case then the 12 X 32 may be just the sweet spot for me.  I am few hundred km's from a retailer who may carry these, so there is limited opportunity to test-before-buying.


For me the 10x42L are the perfect mid range birding binocular. And they double for astro use very well due to 6.5 deg and flat field.

At bird sanctuaries, botanical gardens, ect you likely need something with wider fov and close focus. That's where I will use the Kowa 6.5x32.
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#56 KennyJ

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:29 PM

Tyson,

 

I find that last sentence of your especially interesting.

 

Two weeks ago today I had a very interesting ( and unexpected ) conversation over the telephone with someone who has been employed as a sales person for binoculars and spotting scopes at specialist "wetland villages" for 25 years.

 

I only rang the place to find out if the centre had finally re-opened following closure due to the Coronavirus ( with an idea to take two of my younger grandchildren for a couple of hours to enjoy the outdoor surroundings and wildlife on what promised to be such a pleasant weather day ) and was surprised upon realising the person who answered the phone was the same man I'd spent hours talking with and buying binoculars from more than 20 years ago at a different, similar centre, 20 miles away.

 

The "enquiry call" which I expected to last no longer than around 20 seconds ended up continuing for at least 20 minutes, and I've been wondering if or when to even mention it in one of these binocular threads.

 

I could easily write a thousand words and more about the things we discussed ( for example, he is one of very few people in the UK fortunate enough to have spent some "quality time" with the latest Swarovski "Pure" line ( which he warned me not to even try unless I was prepared to splash the cash for! ) but will use this opportunity to summarise his response to my question to him about the popularity of Canon IS binoculars amongst the kind of typical "serious birders" who tend to think little of spending in the region of £2,000 on 32mm or 42mm binoculars which they consider "the best for their usage".

 

I could tell he was quite taken aback by my even asking him the question.

 

He told me that amongst what must be in the order of 20,000 items he'd sold since we last met, he could literally count on two hands the number that had been Canon IS binoculars.

 

He also said he'd probably not sold many more than around thirty 15x binoculars over that same period either, that almost every one of those had been a Swarovski, and that probably half of them had been returned as part exchanges for 8x or 10x models.

 

He added that by far the best sellers were either 8x32s or 8x42s, not just Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica and Nikon but the likes of Hawke, Opticron, Vangard and Vortex.

 

He assured me quite categorically that he has never received any "special commission" for selling any particular brand over another, and that a percentage of profits from all sales goes towards wildlife conservation projects, amounting to more than £1.5 million over the past 20 years between the six wetland outlets shared by the same optical retail company.

 

In a nutshell -- similar instruments -- completely different hobby -- completely different folks -- completely different strokes!

 

Kenny


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#57 Tyson M

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:51 PM

Tyson,

 

I find that last sentence of your especially interesting.

 

Two weeks ago today I had a very interesting ( and unexpected ) conversation over the telephone with someone who has been employed as a sales person for binoculars and spotting scopes at specialist "wetland villages" for 25 years.

 

I only rang the place to find out if the centre had finally re-opened following closure due to the Coronavirus ( with an idea to take two of my younger grandchildren for a couple of hours to enjoy the outdoor surroundings and wildlife on what promised to be such a pleasant weather day ) and was surprised upon realising the person who answered the phone was the same man I'd spent hours talking with and buying binoculars from more than 20 years ago at a different, similar centre, 20 miles away.

 

The "enquiry call" which I expected to last no longer than around 20 seconds ended up continuing for at least 20 minutes, and I've been wondering if or when to even mention it in one of these binocular threads.

 

I could easily write a thousand words and more about the things we discussed ( for example, he is one of very few people in the UK fortunate enough to have spent some "quality time" with the latest Swarovski "Pure" line ( which he warned me not to even try unless I was prepared to splash the cash for! ) but will use this opportunity to summarise his response to my question to him about the popularity of Canon IS binoculars amongst the kind of typical "serious birders" who tend to think little of spending in the region of £2,000 on 32mm or 42mm binoculars which they consider "the best for their usage".

 

I could tell he was quite taken aback by my even asking him the question.

 

He told me that amongst what must be in the order of 20,000 items he'd sold since we last met, he could literally count on two hands the number that had been Canon IS binoculars.

 

He also said he'd probably not sold many more than around thirty 15x binoculars over that same period either, that almost every one of those had been a Swarovski, and that probably half of them had been returned as part exchanges for 8x or 10x models.

 

He added that by far the best sellers were either 8x32s or 8x42s, not just Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica and Nikon but the likes of Hawke, Opticron, Vangard and Vortex.

 

He assured me quite categorically that he has never received any "special commission" for selling any particular brand over another, and that a percentage of profits from all sales goes towards wildlife conservation projects, amounting to more than £1.5 million over the past 20 years between the six wetland outlets shared by the same optical retail company.

 

In a nutshell -- similar instruments -- completely different hobby -- completely different folks -- completely different strokes!

 

Kenny

Thanks for sharing Kenny.

 

Yes the Kowa's are amazing.  Super small and light weight, razor sharp with huge ability to focus on things super close or far away. The most egregious aspect about them is field curvature in the outer field, but that field is 10 deg so its massive.  Helpful to track birds/butterflies close up and then on the fly I reckon and get them towards the center of the field.  I am still putting them through their paces but I can easily see why birders would love these binoculars.  As well as any 8x32 or 8x42 max. The Swarovski come to mind here as a birder's favorite because they have slightly smaller field of view than Kowa's but the field is flat and thus usable.  You pay a significant more for that perk though. I cant see it being dramatically sharper than the center of these new Kowa's, but I havent looked through them so I cant comment.

 

If you do birding at lakes, which I do as well, that is where a bit more magnification is helpful.  My pentax 12x50 have been surprisingly good at that task.  Inexpensive, light weight, loads of eyerelief.  They are a huge bargain.  They will be replaced with the Canon's.  The Kowa's are noticeably sharper than the pentax as well.  For strictly birding, the Canon's would not be my first choice, the Kowa's would be.



#58 david fannon

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 11:17 PM

How long did it take for the sticky rubber to occur?

About 7 years for both. Never had any problem with the 15x45.  



#59 Sketcher

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 12:09 AM

All opinions are valid.

 

And just to add one more opinion to the mix:

 

Speaking only for myself, "the hefty price" for stabilization is not worth it -- to me.  For most of my binocular observing I use each of my three pair of binoculars, 8x42, 20x80, and 25x100s, hand-held.  The first two pair I always use hand-held.  Though I started out my usage of the 20x80s mounted.  The 25x100s I'll rarely (as in about 2% of the time) use with an inexpensive, homemade mount on a 40-plus year-old tripod.

 

So, for myself, it would be an unnecessary waste of money to pay for image stabilization.

 

That being said, I understand why most others would have different opinions that are just as valid for them as mine are for me.  Different people, under different skies, with different purposes in mind and with different skill sets are going to naturally develop different preferences.



#60 ihf

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 12:36 AM

 

Speaking only for myself, "the hefty price" for stabilization is not worth it -- to me.  For most of my binocular observing I use each of my three pair of binoculars, 8x42, 20x80, and 25x100s, hand-held.  The first two pair I always use hand-held.

Do you mind elaborating this some more? Image stabilization is typically used hand held (and not in combination with a tripod or similar). Why does image stabilization not help in your case? Is it that it is simply not available in the sizes you chose to use?



#61 Andrea_b

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 07:13 AM

Do you mind elaborating this some more? Image stabilization is typically used hand held (and not in combination with a tripod or similar). Why does image stabilization not help in your case? Is it that it is simply not available in the sizes you chose to use?

I think he means that, because he can use a 20x80, or even a 25x100, handheld, he would not need IS on a 15x50.



#62 Alan French

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:22 AM

and not during horribly overcast winter days for birding in forested/brushy habitats?  

 

If that is the case then the 12 X 32 may be just the sweet spot for me.  I am few hundred km's from a retailer who may carry these, so there is limited opportunity to test-before-buying.

I had a very cooperative male Cardinal who stayed very late on one of my platform feeders.

 

Comparing my 12x32 IS to my 7x42 I never felt the latter gave a brighter view, but always found that the larger image scale at 12x was beneficial, allowing detail to be more easily seen. By the time the Cardinal departed, he was invisible by eye and no color was visible through either binocular. 

 

But a caveat is in order. My older eyes may well not take advantage of the full 6mm exit pupil of the 7x42. Indeed I should probably see if there is any perceptible difference to my eyes between my 7x42 and 8x32, which both provide 8 degree true fields, on the night sky.

 

Clear skies, Alan


Edited by Alan French, 26 October 2020 - 08:33 AM.


#63 mkothe

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 02:04 PM

I could easily write a thousand words and more about the things we discussed ( for example, he is one of very few people in the UK fortunate enough to have spent some "quality time" with the latest Swarovski "Pure" line ( which he warned me not to even try unless I was prepared to splash the cash for! ).

Yes, please do 😁.

Maybe over in the NL Pure Thread, which has been a bit quiet lately. I still have not had a chance to try them, and I have not yet started selling off some of my other binos to be able to afford one, but I’d be happy to continue salivating Over them 😂.

Michael

Edited by mkothe, 26 October 2020 - 02:11 PM.


#64 cuzimthedad

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 02:15 PM

For me, the answer is yes, it was worth it. I'm not as steady holding bins today as I was 30 years ago and after using the Canon 10x42 IS for several months now, I am super glad I bought em. They are a great alternative to a grabngo small refractor or travel telescope. I also enjoy birding which makes them a multi use tool as well. I can understand the price being a major barrier to a lot of people, but if you have the dough to spend, then it could be considered a "no-brainer" to purchase a pair and try them out.


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#65 mkothe

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 02:28 PM

They are a great alternative to a grabngo small refractor or travel telescope.

This is how I feel about my 15x50s. While my 4” refractor offers more detail and higher magnifications, for the low power use the simplicity of the stabilized binos is really nice.

Michael

Edited by mkothe, 26 October 2020 - 09:31 PM.

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#66 Nate1701

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:15 PM

This is how I feel about my 15x50s. While my 4” refractor offers more detail and higher magnifications, for the low power use the simplicity of the stabilizes binos is really nice.

Michael

Mike,

I appreciated your link to the post of your equipment selection.

It kind of gives nice perspective on  post 81 in a thread i started in the refractor forum...

https://www.cloudyni...mak/?p=10605028

 

I really like your thought process for each piece of equipment you selected. Post #12 in that thread agrees with your wide field comparison of 15x50 and an low power in a small refractor. Interesting. 



#67 Nate1701

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 09:31 AM

In post #35 i mentioned the idea of a "stake mount" and i had an idea lingering in the back of my mind.

I finally got around to prototyping and trying it. 

 

results are here:

https://www.cloudyni...ars/?p=10634799



#68 Nate1701

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:02 PM

And just did a shoot out as promised here in this thread:

https://www.cloudyni...ocking-results/



#69 Stuart W Johnson

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 03:02 PM

Pretty impressive!




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