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Best binoculars for stargazing absolute beginner around $200?

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#1 deniamnet

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:02 PM

Hi fellas, so I am going to jump into stargazing journey and looking for a great binoculars around $200. I've read that the magnification must be at least 10x and that the Porro prism is better than the Roof prism. I really like Vortex Crossfire HD 12x50 but it has the roof prism. Any experience with those for stargazing? Which binocs would you recommend? I've also been looking for Celestron Skymaster series but reviews were so-so. Thanks for your input! 



#2 Mark9473

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:20 PM

Welcome.

Sky At Night magazine seems to think highly of the Crossfire HD: https://www.skyatnig...-for-astronomy/


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#3 tony_spina

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:43 PM

The Nikon Action Extreme 10x50 are very popular, and recommended in this forum 


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#4 whosthebadman

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:00 PM

Nikon Action Extreme.  I would go with 8x40, or 7x35.  Here is why:

  • They are very good daytime AND night sky gear
  • Lightweight, and lower magnitude = less "shakes" = you will see more
  • If astronomy doesn't stick, you still have a very hand all-rounder
  • you'll be under budget

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#5 deniamnet

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:06 PM

Thanks! Is it smart to go 10x50 or even 12x50? I have read that bigger magnification means closer look of objects.

#6 MartinPond

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:11 PM

The Nikon Action Extreme 10x50 are very popular, and recommended in this forum 

And you have change leftover!  



#7 MartinPond

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:14 PM

Thanks! Is it smart to go 10x50 or even 12x50? I have read that bigger magnification means closer look of objects.

It's good to ask that question.

Only a few people can claim they see more detail ... due to the extra shaking at 12x.

  It starts to want a tripod.

Most are OK at 10x.

Some have to back off to 7x to avoid shaking fuzzing the details.


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#8 deniamnet

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:21 PM

Amazing, will probably stick to the Nikon 10x50. Does anybody know what’s the difference between Nikon Action Extreme and Nikon Action Extreme EX or it’s basically the same thing? I have read that EX is waterproof.

#9 deniamnet

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 11:05 PM

Looks like it’s the same model.

#10 Antonio R.G

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 04:14 AM

Nikon Action EX 12x50, with tripod is really fantastic.10x50 if you want for all around use. Action Ex 7x35 if you some lighter. Pentax SP 12x50 WP is really great too. Forget Celestron, Bresser, etc, usually very bad quality control.
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#11 edwincjones

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 04:49 AM

there is an old saying that the best telescope (optics) is the one you use the most

higher mag will give you more detail IF you can hold them steady

larger binoculars will accumulate more light IF not too heavy to hold

I would second the 7x35 to 8x42 sizes to start you bino career

 

I would suggest going to a store that has a good selection of binoculars,

hold them, get the feel and balance, look through them,

see which ones you "bond" with better.--sorta like picking a spouse

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 20 October 2020 - 04:52 AM.

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#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:24 AM

Only a few people can claim they see more detail (at 10x than at 12x) due to the extra shaking at 12x.


I think that most people who have actually made the comparison are happy to agree that 12x shows extra detail. In fact I have several times compared 10x binoculars to hand-held 15x binoculars, and concluded that the 15x show more detail on each and every object. And not by a small amount, either.

However, extra detail isn't everything. I still prefer the view through the 10x binoculars, for many reasons.

First, the view is aesthetically much more pleasing. Hand-held binoculars exhibit some shakiness at 10X, especially if you (foolishly) use them from a standing position with unsupported arms. The shakiness can be reduced greatly by sitting down while observing, by resting your elbows on a support, or even by standing with the binoculars pressed against a solid support such as a tree. But even held casually from a standing position, the shakiness of 10x binoculars is fairly modest.

 

It's a totally different story at 15x. There, the image is shaking around like crazy unless you are both seated and have your elbows supported. Yes, you can see lots of detail, but fishing that detail out of an image that's bouncing all over the place is really hard work. Very far from the relaxing experience that I expect from binocular observing.

 

12x is somewhere between 10x and 15x. I find it tolerable when comfortably seated, but just barely.

 

In addition, as a general rule the higher the magnification, the smaller the true field of view. And since a wide true field of view is the single thing that I value most about binocular astronomy, high magnifications tend to be somewhat counter-productive.


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#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:45 AM

I think that most people who have actually made the comparison are happy to agree that 12x shows extra detail. In fact I have several times compared 10x binoculars to hand-held 15x binoculars, and concluded that the 15x show more detail on each and every object. And not by a small amount, either.

However, extra detail isn't everything. I still prefer the view through the 10x binoculars, for many reasons.

First, the view is aesthetically much more pleasing. Hand-held binoculars exhibit some shakiness at 10X, especially if you (foolishly) use them from a standing position with unsupported arms. The shakiness can be reduced greatly by sitting down while observing, by resting your elbows on a support, or even by standing with the binoculars pressed against a solid support such as a tree. But even held casually from a standing position, the shakiness of 10x binoculars is fairly modest.

 

It's a totally different story at 15x. There, the image is shaking around like crazy unless you are both seated and have your elbows supported. Yes, you can see lots of detail, but fishing that detail out of an image that's bouncing all over the place is really hard work. Very far from the relaxing experience that I expect from binocular observing.

 

12x is somewhere between 10x and 15x. I find it tolerable when comfortably seated, but just barely.

 

In addition, as a general rule the higher the magnification, the smaller the true field of view. And since a wide true field of view is the single thing that I value most about binocular astronomy, high magnifications tend to be somewhat counter-productive.

 

:waytogo:

 

A lot of good stuff. And I do prefer 10x50's as all around binoculars. 

 

Regarding 15x and shakiness:

 

Not all binoculars are the same and no too observers are the same.  

 

I find weight steadies binoculars, length steadies binoculars.  A longer binocular means a given motion/shake results in smaller angular motion of the image.

 

For short periods, a minute or so, I can hold my 5.5 lbs 15x70 Orion Resolux's steady, as steady as my 10x50s.   I definitely see more detail in the 15x70s but I still prefer the 10x50s because they provide a 6.5 degree field instead of a 4.4 degree and they are easier to hand hold, better for scanning the sky, better for figuring out star fields.  

 

Jon


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#14 deniamnet

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:36 AM

Thanks for your input, guys! Very helpful.



#15 Binojunky

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 11:09 AM

If your budget is tight the Bushnell Legacy 10x50 is worth a look , I kept mine while others have gone probably because they just fit me well, Dave.



#16 chanrobi

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:34 PM

Mag  doesn't have to be at least 10x, 7x is totally fine. It just depends what you're going for. I'm more happy with my 7x50 vs 10x50.

 

As well, any shakiness arguments are moot if you're going to be tripod mounting it anyways

 

Don't forget to look used I bought a set of mint Celestron ultimax 7x50's for $50USD... YOu don't always have to buy new


Edited by chanrobi, 20 October 2020 - 03:34 PM.

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#17 android69

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:00 PM

Hi fellas, so I am going to jump into stargazing journey and looking for a great binoculars around $200. I've read that the magnification must be at least 10x and that the Porro prism is better than the Roof prism. I really like Vortex Crossfire HD 12x50 but it has the roof prism. Any experience with those for stargazing? Which binocs would you recommend? I've also been looking for Celestron Skymaster series but reviews were so-so. Thanks for your input!


You might want to look at these

https://oberwerk.com...10x50mm-deluxe/

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 04:38 AM

Don't forget to look used I bought a set of mint Celestron ultimax 7x50's for $50USD... YOu don't always have to buy new

 

 

I buy most everything used, cars, telescopes, binoculars, tools.. 

 

But buying anything used has a risk associated with it, you have to know what you are doing.   Binoculars are quite complicated and can suffer from a number of issues, not just collimation.  Repair is expensive and a first time buyer, even in person looking at the binocular is unlikely to be able to evaluate them properly.  

 

For that reason, I think it's best for a first time binocular buyer to buy new.  A new pair of Action Extremes or Oberwerk Deluxe's is very unlikely to have any issues.

 

We've all gotten bargains, I bought a pair of Resolux 10.5x70s with two solar filters, one owner, $100. New, that was over $500.  I knew the owner.. 

 

But we've all bought used binoculars that had were disasters, had real issues and were not worth repairing. 

 

Jon

 

Jon


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#19 Binojunky

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

You might want to look at these

https://oberwerk.com...10x50mm-deluxe/

I have a pair of these, this is what I found, they are fairly heavy, when the twist up eye cups are all the way down their,s a hard center piece that sticks up and it looks like its threaded for filters? however you need the softer exterior eye  cup up enough to be a bit proud of this center cup as it will scratch your glasses . When at this setting the eye relief is borderline for glasses wearers, if you decide to use them with glasses off I found the pair I received would not come to focus at infinity, but I am very near sighted.

 The focus wheel is stiff also and requires two fingers on it to turn, this may loosen up with use ?. Optics are good at this price point and they have a heavy duty build, Dave.


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#20 kmparsons

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:30 PM

Let me add another plug for the Nikon Action Extreme. I have had the 12 X 50's for many years, and they have been most satisfactory. Take your binoculars, go out on a cool, clear night, lie back in a lounger, and look up. You will not have a more enjoyable observing experience. 


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#21 Supergiant

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 11:55 AM

Nikon Action Extreme are H2O proof--same optics as the Action.  Nice bins--

 

The Bushnell Legacy 8x42 Porros are nice

 

I really like using my Vortex Hurricain 7x50s--same a Orion Resulux 7x50s-- price at around $250 but much better optics/ergos.


Edited by Supergiant, 23 October 2020 - 11:56 AM.


#22 Mark9473

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:05 PM

Nikon Action Extreme and Action (now Aculon) do not have the same optics.
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#23 Supergiant

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 05:55 PM

what is the difference?



#24 Nate1701

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:08 PM

If your budget is tight the Bushnell Legacy 10x50 is worth a look , I kept mine while others have gone probably because they just fit me well, Dave.

i Concur. I like mine as well. Good performers for the money.



#25 daniel_h

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:21 PM

Thanks! Is it smart to go 10x50 or even 12x50? I have read that bigger magnification means closer look of objects.

if i had to choose i would always go 12x50 over 10x50, for some reason i prefer exit pupil near 4 or lower, eg 15x60, 15x50 20x70 etc. if u live in s light polluted area i find the higher mag binos an advantage 

 

dont b too concerned about a high quality roof, they will still show good views of stars, there is usually very little difference in it, unless you buy a really cheap roof - the cheaper porto usually much better, easier manufacture, bugger prism, 

 

‘’i may be in the minority but i usually always preferred pentax line with narrower fov ep;s over the nikon action.action ex, to my eyes pentax usually has lighter stars, which i prefer to larger fov


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