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Steiner 25 x 80s

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#1 KennyJ


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 03:42 PM

Has anyone ever tried the Steiner 25 x 80 binos ?

From the reports of others who know more about binoculars than I ever will , I'm not particularly taken by Steiner binoculars per se ,

BUT, in theory at least, 25 x 80 is the kind of specification that for me would seem to have much going for it for a astro -bino.

That is to say ,

1. Minimal but JUST about acceptable exit -pupil.

2. Respectable light -gathering ability at 80mm WITHOUT being TOO heavy or bulky for use on a Manfrotto / Bogen 055B tripod with 501 head.

3. At 25x ,a magnification I use a lot with my 102mm scope, considerably more potential than 15x , 16x or even 20x , and the power at which for example , I find the likes of discernment of Saturn's rings , resolution of the 4th trapezium star in M42, the positive splitting of several "double stars" and greater detail of moon surface to be within more comfortable reach.

The TFOV of the Steiner 25x compares favourably to that of the Pentax 20 x 60 , and the model is described as being waterproof and fogproof with Bak 4 prisms.

So at least on paper , this would seem to be at least "Interesting"

So , I repeat , has ANYONE ever tried these ?

Although it is probably doubtful that many , if indeed ANY members actually have tried this particular model , a wider question I have is " Does anyone agree that 25 x 80 sounds like a useful specification ? "

Clear skies -- Kenny.

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 07:06 PM

Alas, Kenny, my Steiners are the 20X80s, so I can't testify on the 25s. However, based on my experience with the 20X, they should be a great pair of skyeyes. Last night, viewing Saturn with a stable tripod, I felt I came so close to discerning the rings that only absolute honesty keeps me from saying I did. But, the oval was clear as a bell with no discernible color aberration or, for that matter, aberration of any type. I don't know if another 5X would have done the trick on those rings, but it would, at the least, come even closer than mine.

I like to take my Steiners, rest them on my eyebrows in a recliner, and tour the universe through those two, big 80mm portholes. To me, this type of instrument (the 25s would be even better) is the ultimate wide-field portal to the heavens. And the way the Steiners are constructed, they should last several lifetimes as the heirlooms that keep on giving.

#3 KennyJ


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Posted 05 May 2004 - 12:49 AM


I agree that these Steiners certainly LOOK robust and very impressive overall . I especially like the winged eyecups , although unless I get some "winged glasses" that follow the same contours I would be stuck in the annoying predicament of either having to remove my favourite eyecups or settling for viewing without glasses.

The fact that astigmatism is the main reason I need to wear glasses is another plus for the going for an exit pupil slightly smaller than the dimensions which I normally preach to others about.

My main concern with the 25x model is whether or not I would be able live comfortably with 2.25 degree TFOV.

Another slight "worry" is the reference to "autofocus" up to a certain distance in the ( briefer than I prefer )technical summaries available.

Perhaps you Mike could enlighten me about the focussing mechanism in more detail ?

That apart , the thought of a sturdy , waterproof ,25 x 80 binocualar permanently attached to my superbly sturdy and smooth Manfrotto 055B with 501 head is a most pleasant one.

Regards , Kenny.

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 08:42 AM

Kenny, I've seen references styled "auto focus" used by some binocular manufacturers, including Steiner, and I confess, I don't know what it means. I assume it has something to do with depth of field once the instrument is focused at a certain distance. However, if that's the case, they ought to just say that.

In any case, the Steiners are adjusted by dialing the viewer's eye-correction formula on each eyepiece; i.e., turn the dials until absolute clarity is achieved. Constructing binoculars this way, without a central focus mechanism, allows the unit to be more effectively sealed at the factory, so that it can be loaded with dry nitrogen to keep things clear internally whatever the humidity/temp combo one faces.

I, too, suffer from (pretty severe) astigmatism. I have viewed the heavens compliments of my Steiner Eyes with and without my glasses and/or contact lenses, with very pleasant results in every case. I have read that it is best to use one's corrective lenses with binoculars or scopes when one has astigmatism, but, at least in my case, I don't really have to do that after properly adjusting each eyepiece of the Steiners.

I am nearsighted. Quite often, I use just one contact lens when stargazing to allow me to focus on distant views for proper orientation with the corrected eye, and allowing me to read my charts and write my notes with the uncorrected eye (since I don't need any correction for reading). When I use this methodology, I simply dial the proper settings on the respective eyepieces on the Steiner and view away. When doing this, I still get uninterruped binocular vision as effectively as if I had lenses in both eyes or with my glasses on or off.

I'm planning to keep this rich-field set of Steiner Eyes forever, and then let my kids fight over them once God punches the "forever" slot on my ticket.

Best regards.

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