Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Are SF worth the extra £££'s

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Hayballs

Hayballs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2020
  • Loc: 56.9637° N, 2.2093° W

Posted 26 November 2020 - 04:13 AM

Hello everyone,

Debut appearance here on Cloudy Nights  waytogo.gif

 

I'm wondering if SF binoculars are worth the extra cost over 'ordinary' binoculars?

 

A little background for you........

I've been stargazing now for about 14 months and think it's about time that I upgraded to a better pair of binoculars. At the moment I have only been using what was in the house. I bought a pair of Bresser 8x40 Field Glasses about 25 years ago just for general use. I also have a Wingspan 12x50 Manocular which I bought a couple of years ago primarily to take to golf tournaments and other sporting events.
I have no complaints about either of these, as they have both opened up the sky to me. Apart from the magnification factor, the one major difference is the FOV, where at this time in the sky, the Bresser's show both Saturn and Jupiter in view, whereas the Manocular only shows one of the planets. (I live in the North East of Scotland)

 

Reading 'hundreds' of on-line reviews, I think I have discovered bit of brand loyalty to Bresser and like these two models:-

 

Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70

Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80

 

There is a price difference of over £100 between these two models so I'm wondering if it's will be worth the extra cost?

This will be a longtime 'investment' so would be happy to cough up the extra dosh.

 

Budget would be £300 absolute maximum and any other suggestions are welcome.

Celestron: a bit like marmite........... some like............ some loathe

Helios Stellar II: Seem OK

Opticron Pro: a little above budget maybe 

 

Cheers the now and look forward to hearing from you.

 

Hayballs

 

 

 



#2 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,887
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 26 November 2020 - 04:39 AM

Welcome to the forum.

A surprising question - I thought you were going to ask about the Zeiss SF. ;-)

Bresser binoculars are hardly ever discussed because they are a German rebrander not widely known globally.

 

That Bresser SF 15x70 looks a lot like the Helios Stellar II that you also mention and I wouldn't be surprised if they are the same binocular.

 

I haven't checked the exchange rate, but €349.90 buys you the upgraded model with ED glass: https://www.teleskop...fffuellung.html



#3 sg6

sg6

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,665
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 26 November 2020 - 05:51 AM

I would stay with the 8x40's until you decide they have to go and then look for something of similar specification and maybe better optically.

 

Reason is simply that unless you are considering the Vixen HF2-BT81S-A as shown on the Bresser site they are little more then glorified (read bit bigger) standard binoculars that someone has attached the word "Astronomy" to. Until binoculars like the Vixen's are the chosen items I would question the use of the term "Astronomy".

 

In a way Bresser solidify my maybe jaded view by having:

BRESSER Special Saturn 20x60 Binoculars.

 

No one is going to see any resemblance of Saturn at 20x. So someone has thought "Good way to sell more of these, mention Saturn"

 

Also on the general wording - what does SF actually mean?

Seems to be they are a bit bigger then normal binoculars, and nothing more. They are porro prism binoculars with what is actually unknown glass termed BaK4 - there is no standard for BaK4 and Chinese Bak4 is different to the others that are also different to each other.

 

Do you know that "Fully Multi-coated" has no defined meaning either?

Have a look at this TBS makes fun reading on all the general customer appeal aspects commonly used.


  • Neptune likes this

#4 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 37,957
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Lancashire UK

Posted 26 November 2020 - 02:38 PM

Welcome to the pleasuredome, Hayballs!

 

During many years of trying to help others with binocular purchasing decisions, one thing I learned a long time ago for my own part was never to "assume" anything.

 

For example:

 

1. Do you realise that for 15x or 20x binoculars you are going to need some kind of tripod / mount/ panning/ tilting head?

 

2. Do you realise that good qualty varieties of the above are likely to cost close to what you state is your "absolute maximum budget ? and that is not including any new binoculars whatsoever!

 

3.Have you ever looked through binoculars that only have a true field of view of around 3 degrees?

 

4. Do you need to wear glasses when looking through binoculars?

 

5. Do you realise that binoculars with 15x and 20x magnification also "magnify" aliignment / collimation errors, as well as optical aberrations cause by both the binoculars and your eyes?

 

All that said, If I were to make a choice between the two you mentioned, without hesitation I would go for the Astro SF 15x70, which has earned a good review very recently by UK astronomer guru, binocular author and occasional CN binoculars froum contributor here, Stephen Tonkin.

 

https://www.skyatnig...oculars-review/

 

Kenny


  • cnuser likes this

#5 cnuser

cnuser

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 32
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2020
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 26 November 2020 - 03:49 PM

 

 

Reading 'hundreds' of on-line reviews, I think I have discovered bit of brand loyalty to Bresser and like these two models:-

 

Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70

Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80

 

There is a price difference of over £100 between these two models so I'm wondering if it's will be worth the extra cost?

This will be a longtime 'investment' so would be happy to cough up the extra dosh.

 

Budget would be £300 absolute maximum and any other suggestions are welcome.

 

Hi, the budget is getting tight, binoculars with >= 70 mm lens diameter are heavy, mag >= 10x is shaky, you need a tripod, p-mount and you must find the stars you want to see with little real field of view of big bins with high magnification. Kenny has this explained.

Prices: https://oberwerk.com.../tripod-mounts/

You may have to start with porros 8x40 or 10x50 or 12x50 (hand hold in deck chair or with monopod) and save money for big bins with tripod, p-mount. For 40 or 50 mm bins (porros) your budget is good. Nikon and Oberwerk have 50-mm-bins for your budget, Kite sells a very good 8x40 porro, Kite Birdwatcher. Or TS Optics 10x50, show link from Mark9473.

A german word play translated: Better the sparrow in the hand than the dove on the roof. ;-)

Best regards.


Edited by cnuser, 26 November 2020 - 04:27 PM.


#6 Hayballs

Hayballs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2020
  • Loc: 56.9637° N, 2.2093° W

Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:00 AM

Hello everyone,

Debut appearance here on Cloudy Nights  waytogo.gif

 

I'm wondering if SF binoculars are worth the extra cost over 'ordinary' binoculars?

 

A little background for you........

I've been stargazing now for about 14 months and think it's about time that I upgraded to a better pair of binoculars. At the moment I have only been using what was in the house. I bought a pair of Bresser 8x40 Field Glasses about 25 years ago just for general use. I also have a Wingspan 12x50 Manocular which I bought a couple of years ago primarily to take to golf tournaments and other sporting events.
I have no complaints about either of these, as they have both opened up the sky to me. Apart from the magnification factor, the one major difference is the FOV, where at this time in the sky, the Bresser's show both Saturn and Jupiter in view, whereas the Manocular only shows one of the planets. (I live in the North East of Scotland)

 

Reading 'hundreds' of on-line reviews, I think I have discovered bit of brand loyalty to Bresser and like these two models:-

 

Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70

Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80

 

There is a price difference of over £100 between these two models so I'm wondering if it's will be worth the extra cost?

This will be a longtime 'investment' so would be happy to cough up the extra dosh.

 

Budget would be £300 absolute maximum and any other suggestions are welcome.

Celestron: a bit like marmite........... some like............ some loathe

Helios Stellar II: Seem OK

Opticron Pro: a little above budget maybe 

 

Cheers the now and look forward to hearing from you.

 

Hayballs

 

 

Welcome to the forum.

A surprising question - I thought you were going to ask about the Zeiss SF. ;-)

Bresser binoculars are hardly ever discussed because they are a German rebrander not widely known globally.

 

That Bresser SF 15x70 looks a lot like the Helios Stellar II that you also mention and I wouldn't be surprised if they are the same binocular.

 

I haven't checked the exchange rate, but €349.90 buys you the upgraded model with ED glass: https://www.teleskop...fffuellung.html

Hi Mark9473.

Yes these TS Binos look fine. I think I'll have to enter negotiations with my better half if these are to be purchased.

I don't know why, but Quality and German aren't far apart in my head.

Talking of exchange rates, the US are so much cheaper than Europe and UK for some reason.

 

I would stay with the 8x40's until you decide they have to go and then look for something of similar specification and maybe better optically.

 

Reason is simply that unless you are considering the Vixen HF2-BT81S-A as shown on the Bresser site they are little more then glorified (read bit bigger) standard binoculars that someone has attached the word "Astronomy" to. Until binoculars like the Vixen's are the chosen items I would question the use of the term "Astronomy".

 

In a way Bresser solidify my maybe jaded view by having:

BRESSER Special Saturn 20x60 Binoculars.

 

No one is going to see any resemblance of Saturn at 20x. So someone has thought "Good way to sell more of these, mention Saturn"

 

Also on the general wording - what does SF actually mean?

Seems to be they are a bit bigger then normal binoculars, and nothing more. They are porro prism binoculars with what is actually unknown glass termed BaK4 - there is no standard for BaK4 and Chinese Bak4 is different to the others that are also different to each other.

 

Do you know that "Fully Multi-coated" has no defined meaning either?

Have a look at this TBS makes fun reading on all the general customer appeal aspects commonly used.

sg6...... cheers

Well these Vixens are a step up eh? I could trade in my car for them and have enough change for a fish supper lol.gif lol.gif

that article makes interesting reading. Not much, if any standardisation in the industry then going by that.

 

Hi, the budget is getting tight, binoculars with >= 70 mm lens diameter are heavy, mag >= 10x is shaky, you need a tripod, p-mount and you must find the stars you want to see with little real field of view of big bins with high magnification. Kenny has this explained.

Prices: https://oberwerk.com.../tripod-mounts/

You may have to start with porros 8x40 or 10x50 or 12x50 (hand hold in deck chair or with monopod) and save money for big bins with tripod, p-mount. For 40 or 50 mm bins (porros) your budget is good. Nikon and Oberwerk have 50-mm-bins for your budget, Kite sells a very good 8x40 porro, Kite Birdwatcher. Or TS Optics 10x50, show link from Mark9473.

A german word play translated: Better the sparrow in the hand than the dove on the roof. ;-)

Best regards.

Hi cnuser,

Yes, Oberwerk is a name that I've become aware of. I'll investigate them some more.  waytogo.gif



#7 Hayballs

Hayballs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2020
  • Loc: 56.9637° N, 2.2093° W

Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:23 AM

Welcome to the pleasuredome, Hayballs!

 

During many years of trying to help others with binocular purchasing decisions, one thing I learned a long time ago for my own part was never to "assume" anything.

 

For example:

 

1. Do you realise that for 15x or 20x binoculars you are going to need some kind of tripod / mount/ panning/ tilting head?

 

2. Do you realise that good qualty varieties of the above are likely to cost close to what you state is your "absolute maximum budget ? and that is not including any new binoculars whatsoever!

 

3.Have you ever looked through binoculars that only have a true field of view of around 3 degrees?

 

4. Do you need to wear glasses when looking through binoculars?

 

5. Do you realise that binoculars with 15x and 20x magnification also "magnify" aliignment / collimation errors, as well as optical aberrations cause by both the binoculars and your eyes?

 

All that said, If I were to make a choice between the two you mentioned, without hesitation I would go for the Astro SF 15x70, which has earned a good review very recently by UK astronomer guru, binocular author and occasional CN binoculars froum contributor here, Stephen Tonkin.

 

https://www.skyatnig...oculars-review/

 

Kenny

Hi Kenny J,

My pleasure to be here laugh.gif

Happy to answer your questions........

1. Yes, tripod and adaptor are in the thinking also

2. I was hoping for £300 and the Binos and £100 on the tripod etc

3. No, I haven't I'm afraid. My intention was to go along to the local Astronomy Club in Aberdeen to find my feet, but as we know, none of that is allowed. My other option was to nip across to Aviemore and visit Strathspey. I spoke with John Burns earlier this week, but they have stopped selling Binoculars, which is a shame really. Next nearest optical shop is in Edinburgh, which is currently in Tier 3 (Scotland) so can't go there either undecided.gif

4. Nope, no glasses required.

5. I've only read about and have no experience.

 

The other brand which caught my eye is Oberwerk......the 15x70 Delux model...... them or the Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70....??

 

On another note, I was up sharp this morning standing at Dunnottar Castle and managed to get a clear view of Mercury before the Sun came up. I used Stellarium and Time & Date to make sure location and rise times.  At first I thought it was the early morning flight from Stavanger approaching. lol.gif lol.gif

A beautiful sunrise, with Venus, Spica, Arcturus, Deneb, Vega etc all clear to see.

A great way to start my day.

 

cheers the now 



#8 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,192
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:42 AM

Do you realise that for 15x or 20x binoculars you are going to need some kind of tripod / mount/ panning/ tilting head?


For the record, I have a number of excellent mounting options for my 15x70 binoculars. But I use them hand-held at least 95% of the time.



#9 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,192
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:45 AM

Also on the general wording - what does SF actually mean?


Okay, I'll bite. What is SF supposed to mean, anyway? This post is the first time I have ever encountered that particular abbreviation. Or is it an abbreviation? I can't think of any appropriate English phrase -- is this an abbreviation for a German phrase?



#10 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,887
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 27 November 2020 - 07:46 AM

Just to clarify, the TS binoculars I linked to are just as Chinese as the Bresser models you started with.

#11 Hayballs

Hayballs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2020
  • Loc: 56.9637° N, 2.2093° W

Posted 27 November 2020 - 08:09 AM

Okay, I'll bite. What is SF supposed to mean, anyway? This post is the first time I have ever encountered that particular abbreviation. Or is it an abbreviation? I can't think of any appropriate English phrase -- is this an abbreviation for a German phrase?

Hi Tony....... good to talk to you.

 

I don't know either, but it costs about £100 more.

From birdwatching.com.......

 

"SF Optics • The SF combines a huge field of view with edge-to-edge sharpness and long eye relief. The combination provides an exceptional experience of immersion in the image that works even if you wear glasses. The binocular seems to disappear, and all your attention is on the bird".

 

Possibly a coating or a shaping of the lens............. doesn't define how SF is achieved, just a description, or a claim, of improved vision.

Regards

Hayballs


Edited by Hayballs, 27 November 2020 - 08:10 AM.


#12 cnuser

cnuser

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 32
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2020
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 27 November 2020 - 11:47 AM

Okay, I'll bite. What is SF supposed to mean, anyway? This post is the first time I have ever encountered that particular abbreviation. Or is it an abbreviation? I can't think of any appropriate English phrase -- is this an abbreviation for a German phrase?

Hello Tony, thread starter @Hayballs has one meaning of "SF" only for @Hayballs explained. Many optics enthusiasts use this abbrevation for binoculars Zeiss Victory SF 8/10x42 or brand new Zeiss Victory SF 8/10x32. Your photo/avatar shows a sympathetic smile, therefore the other explanation. ;-)

https://www.zeiss.co...ry-sf-8x42.html

The letters "SF" have no special or common meaning in Germany, marketing people from Zeiss have come up with additional letters for different series of binoculars with long time name "Victory". Long time predecessor name with many changes during the long production time was "Zeiss Dialyt" with additional letters.

cs and best regards


Edited by cnuser, 27 November 2020 - 12:29 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics