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

Bushnell 10x50 vs Cometron 7X50 vs Celestron 10-30X50

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 KcajCousland

KcajCousland

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2020

Posted 06 January 2021 - 06:43 PM

Hi there,

I've been interested in getting some cheap binoculars (under $50) for stargazing. I know you get what you pay for, and I'm ok with getting lower quality Binoculars, since I'm figuring out if I really like this or not. If I do I'm going to end up moving to a good beginner telescope and keep the binoculars as a support item.
Main objectives would be constellations, the moon and maybe Jupiter if possible. Observing from the city.

Celestron G2 10X-50 seem to be the best, but those are out of stock :( . Having said that, I've narrowed down the search to

https://www.amazon.c...9973106&sr=8-20

https://www.amazon.c...,aps,217&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.c...2_t2_B006ZN4TZS


Some pros and cons I've identified:

Bushnell:

Pros
10X50

Cons
No Environmental protection
Apparently Quality varies greatly from item to item.
Not much word about multicoating, so I'm asuming if there is it can be mediocre at best.
No Tripod slot (Not a big con as I don't think I'll get a tripod for these, but you never know)
Eye relief seems unforgiving, but I don't wear glasses so that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Cometron

Pros
Environmental Protection
Tripod Slot
Multi Coated

Cons
7X50

Celestron G2 variable 10X-30X50

Pros:
10X50
Environmental Protection
Tripod Slot
Multi Coated

Cons
Variable zoom makes me have a bad feeling about them. Also I think anything over 10X would be hard to keep steady, so I would be "wasting" the extra zoom.


Appreciate your thoughts!



#2 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 948
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 06 January 2021 - 09:07 PM

Here are a few.

 

Zooms are notorious for collimation problems.

 

At this price point, I wouldn't expect the weatherproofing to be very robust, at least not for the long haul.

 

The ability to mount on a tripod can be very useful.  I can see much more with a tripod even at low magnification.  That said, there is more than one way to mount binoculars on a tripod.

 

There is nothing wrong with 7x50s for astro use.  The large exit pupils may be wider than you eyes can accommodate, but larger exit pupils are less sensitive to eye placement.  

 

Good luck with your choice.


  • KcajCousland likes this

#3 hallelujah

hallelujah

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,995
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2006
  • Loc: North Star over Colorado

Posted 06 January 2021 - 10:39 PM

https://oberwerk.com...oom-binoculars/

 

Stan


  • KcajCousland likes this

#4 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 89,375
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 07 January 2021 - 07:53 AM

I've been interested in getting some cheap binoculars (under $50) for stargazing. I know you get what you pay for, and I'm ok with getting lower quality Binoculars, since I'm figuring out if I really like this or not. If I do I'm going to end up moving to a good beginner telescope and keep the binoculars as a support item.

Main objectives would be constellations, the moon and maybe Jupiter if possible. Observing from the city.

 

 

Some thoughts and experiences:

 

I think most of have been down the road of lower quality binoculars.  Low quality binoculars generally have a number of issues that mean you end up fighting with them, you don't really find out if you like this hobby or not because you are wrestling with the problems of the binoculars rather than enjoying them.  

 

Some of these problems include collimation/alignment problems.  Inexpensive binoculars tend to be sensitive to alignment and once they go out of alignment, they are not usable.  Optically they can be not horrible/OK but an inexpensive 50 is probably a 40mm at most due to undersized prisms.  They tend to "self focus", that means when you are using them, they focusing mechanism will shift so they go out of focus.  Another issue is the bridge between the eyepieces are typically plastic and flexible so the two eyepieces play teeter-totter with focus.  

 

I would recommend spending a little more and buying somewhat better binoculars.  The Nikon Aculons are good binoculars.  

 

Also, your sense that zooms are to be avoided is good.. Its really too bad they actually make them.  

 

Jon


  • KennyJ, sevenofnine and KcajCousland like this

#5 Rokkor

Rokkor

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2019

Posted 07 January 2021 - 02:14 PM

I would think that any vintage Japanese binocular would be better than anything new around this price point? You can definitely find 70-80s multicoated, Bak-4 7x50 and 10x50s for $50. Two lines that seem to garner good mentions are the Carton Lux/Adlerblick MC and Vixen Ascot or Ultima. Maybe consider a 7x35 or 8x40 wide (8-9 degrees) or extra-wide (9-11 degrees) if you plan to use them as a supplement for a telescope. I don't think full-multicoating is really the most important feature anyway, for stargazing in terms of preventing glare and increased brightness, and it is my experience that the internal structural design and finish quality are far more responsible for maintaining contrast and preventing flares.

I would not worry about finding something that is waterproof or weather-resistant either. Good, clean condition that is well-collimated and ergonomic is much more important, as is looking in an area with low artificial light pollution. 


  • KcajCousland likes this

#6 sevenofnine

sevenofnine

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 288
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Santa Rosa, California

Posted 07 January 2021 - 04:15 PM

+1 On Jon Isaacs recommendations. I will just add that Oberwerks LW (Light Weight) series gets generally good reviews for a low cost binocular. They are fully multi-coated and tested for collimation (alignment). I have had no problems with the optics in my 8x56 LW or 15x70 LW. I've read that many like their 9x60 LW too. Good luck with your choice!


  • KcajCousland likes this

#7 CarolinaBanker

CarolinaBanker

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Eastern North Carolina

Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:43 PM

I bought the Cometrons back in December and have had them for a couple of weeks and for what they are, they are decent. Collimation for mine wasn’t an issue, but I’ve heard it has been for others. Overall, they’re a perfectly serviceable pair for around $35.


  • KcajCousland likes this

#8 KcajCousland

KcajCousland

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2020

Posted 16 January 2021 - 12:08 AM

Hi everyone!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

I read them and decided to keep looking. I would have liked to buy some of the tad more expensive Binoculars you recommended, however the budget was pretty tight. Also I couldn't look for those used 70s-80s binoculars since I would have had to pay extra in international shipping if they even offered it (I'm out of the US). That's also why I have been checking Amazon, since they even have international free shipping to my location.

Eventually found the Tasco Essentials Porro Prism 10X50
https://www.amazon.c...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So I went on and bought them.
These seem to cover the basics pretty well: 10x50, Multi coated, some degree of weather protection, more eye relief than the Bushnell and Cometron, tripod slot.  Of course, the downside is they are Bak7. However I can't really complain at that price tag including international free shipping (delivered in under a week!). 

The product seems good. The quality of the optics is hard for me to judge since these are the first binoculars I've had since I was a kid playing with toy binoculars. That being said, after adjusting the diopter and focusing on some random objects, I have to say I am pleased with the views I'm getting. I've had cloudy nights so the Astronomy tests have been a bit of a challenge, but every now and then a star escapes the clouds for a few minutes and I am very happy with the view.

I have to say, for potential future readers, if you are considering anything over 10X binoculars, bear in mind you'll need a mount. These are already enough of a challenge to keep steady without one. 

I'm adding a few pictures so any potential future reader gets to know the winner, even though it wasn't in the contest at first. For the record, if I had had to choose between one of the 3 I mentioned in the title, I would have gone for the Cometron.

Box

gallery_351379_15674_97810.jpeg

 

What's in the box? Binoculars, lens covers, strap, small piece of cloth to clean the lenses and a bag to carry everything. 
The bag's quality definitely feels very cheap and has no padding, but you can't expect much for this price.
There is also a piece of paper saying you should visit http://tasco.com/pag...uction-manuals/ if you want to check the manual (not shown in this photo).

gallery_351379_15674_26146.jpeg

 

gallery_351379_15674_62418.jpeg

 

Tripod Slot covered/uncovered
gallery_351379_15674_97014.jpeg

gallery_351379_15674_68834.jpeg


I'll make sure to update this post if I have any problem with the binoculars (Factory defects or something like that). Let's hope that doesn't happen though!
 

Again thank you all for you valuable thoughts! Clear skies!


  • Rokkor likes this

#9 Nate1701

Nate1701

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 202
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 10:05 PM

I do agree if you already KNOW that you want a life time bino, spend more money.

 

However, i bought a cheap 10x50 sky Genius and in a way i consider it an inexpensive education...

1. I got to travel with it, no worry of damage.

2. I got to learn some defects of cheap binos. Which would only make me appreciate quality in the future.

3. Also if 10x hand held was ok for me... i didn't like it. That's when i appreciated all the recommendations of 8x for free hand. This was better than spending $200 on 10x and then wondering If i got the right mag for me. ( which later i got a 10x50 Bushnell Legacy and just decided i was a mounted guy)

4. i dropped it by accident and then tinkered with collimation. Since i am a DIY guy - this taught me how Binos work - and why i Wouldn't want to do this with expensive ones!! wink.gif I got them collimated ok enough. 

5. After i Decided it was time to upgrade - they made a great gift.

6. Being a "Telescope Only" guy i discovered the joy of small Binos. Once i laid back in my Zero-G chair on a blanket during a cold night. I was all comfy cozy and warm, ooooooh, ahhhhhhhhh !       THIS is how to enjoy the stars!

 

Those lessons were worth my $50


Edited by Nate1701, 17 January 2021 - 10:06 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