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Finding the binoculars that are right for me.

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#1 ddm0502

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 04:20 PM

After reading through the forums and reviews, I'm still a bit unsure of exactly what I want. I'm currently using a borrowed pair of inexpensive Tasco 7x35, and would like something better for my own.

I'm most interested in star clusters, a few binary stars, and a few of the brighter nebulae and galaxies (limited by what the binoculars are capable of, of course). My primary viewing location is in the subburbs of Salt Lake City with moderate light polution, but I go up to the mountains as often as possible. I don't wear glasses, so eye relief is no a problem. I'll be using them hand held, as I would perfer to spend my money on better quality optics, rather than spread my funds thin trying to buy both binoculars and a tripod.

So far, I'm mostly looking at the Oberwerk 11x56 or 12x60. From my undstanding, 10x50 is about the limit for hand held binoculars, but previous discussions say the 11x56 shouldn't be a problem. The 12x60's aren't that much bigger, would those work hand held, or would you adivse against it? Feel free to suggest other brands that fit in my price range ($100-150) that may fit me better. If you do suggest something else, please keep it to things you have experience with; I'd rather spend the upper limit of my price range than take the risk with something that costs less, but is unknown quality.

#2 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 05:05 PM

I actually say 12x is the limit on hand holding.
I use 11x80's as my hand held pair. lol

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, look into some of the bargain 15x70's, and get a decent Vangaurd 64" Tripod, both should run about $100 total. You would also need a decent "L" adapter. But this setup is extremely gratify'n in dark sky. If you definetly want hand held, there are almost to many suggestions these days to name.

I still like Orion Mini-Giants myself. 12x63's are pretty killer

#3 KennyJ

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 05:26 PM

< After reading through the forums and reviews, I'm still a bit unsure of exactly what I want.>

My opinion is that when the day ( or night ) comes that ANYONE knows EXACTLY "what they want" it will be too late to get it anyway :-)

Blue's suggestion above does have something going for it in a way.

With a $150 US -ish upper -limit I'm sure you could do far worse than go with a "bargain" 15 x 70 and "bargain" tripod.

BUT for reasons you didn't fully explain , you DID express a preference for "hand -held".

I think 11x is pushing it a bit for hand -held.

Personally , I would try to get yourself the best QUALITY binocular in the 10 x 50 range that you can find.

Remember you don't HAVE to buy NEW.

With that in mind I suggest you re-read the "mini-reviews" then search the "used ads".

Good luck with your process --and keep in touch.

Regards , Kenny.

#4 EdZ

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 05:45 PM

A high quality 10x binocular that weighs about 2#. As Kenny says, much has been written here to help. Check the weights on the 11x60 range. 12x is really pushing hand held. It can be done, but the higher the magnification the more noticable the shake. I see a whole magnitude more with my 12x50s when I mount them vs when I hand hold them.

edz

#5 ddm0502

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 07:08 PM

Looking into it a bit more, if the Vanguard tripod is any good, going with tripod+big binoculars won't cost as much as I thought. Now I'm kind of leaning that direction rather than hand held. You people aren't making this any easier, showing me more options :mad: :grin:

Anyone with first hand experience with the vanguard tripod? They're pretty inexpensive, it seems a good deal if they're stable.

#6 sftonkin

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 11:30 PM

People might be intersted in a rudmentary web page I put together a fewyears ago on holding binoculars:
http://astunit.com/faq/binhold.htm

#7 kfred

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 12:41 AM


I own both a pair of Orion Ultraviews 7x50's and Oberwerk 12x60's. Both are great binoculars.

Wanting a binocular with a little more power and light collection, I bought the 12x60's. They are a little heavy, but not that bad. However, I do use a tripod with them.

To be honest, I quickly became spoliled with the Oberwerk's, they are now my favorite. For me, the 12x60's fills the gap between a low power binocular and those "giant binoculars".

Fred

#8 KennyJ

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 01:37 AM

Stephen,

Thanks for that link to your web page.

You kept quiet about THAT one :-)

Highly recommended --and a strong candidate for inclusion in Ed's "links page" --along doubtless with many other of the prolific Mr. Tonkin's work (with the right honourable author's permission of course )

Regards , Kenny.

#9 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 08:46 AM

Looking into it a bit more, if the Vanguard tripod is any good, going with tripod+big binoculars won't cost as much as I thought. Now I'm kind of leaning that direction rather than hand held. You people aren't making this any easier, showing me more options :mad: :grin:

Anyone with first hand experience with the vanguard tripod? They're pretty inexpensive, it seems a good deal if they're stable.


They are more then decent with 15x70 binos. My 11x80's start to tax it pretty good though. With some dillegent web searching that 64" tripod can be found for around $25.00

I actually gave the Barska 15x70 and Vangaurd 64" Tripod combo to a Nephew and Niece and they both have really had some great observations since then. I think that is the most powerfull $100 you can spend in all of astronomy today.

#10 sftonkin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 12:14 PM

>
>You kept quiet about THAT one :-)


Quite honestly, I'd forgotten about it -- I'd expanded it into a section for AstroFAQs, and never bothered to maintain or improve upon it (it was initially intended to have much more on mounts and possibly expand into a more comprehensive FAQ on binocs for astronomy).

#11 EdZ

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 12:51 PM

We like your links Stephen, and I can't imagine you'd not be happy that we link to them from our offsite links post.

edz

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 03:51 PM

If you would like to spend a little and get a lot, go to
Bill Burgess' website. I have his 20x80 lightweight binos and they are light enough to hand hold. Call Bill and he'll tell you all about his new Series II binos which are on sale now. I saw them at NEAF and was very impressed with their quality build and optics.
My next suggestion, for more money, would be the CanonIS series binos. Great optics; image stablized; and well worth the extra money spent. I bought mine for $200 dollars on Astromart and have been using them over a year now with no complaints. (needs batteries, though).
(by the way, my wife and I own and use: CannonIS 10x30; Tak 22x60; Burgess 20x80LW; Burgess 20/40x100 Astro Binos (and just sold my PentaxWP 10x50's) We use them all at appropriate times and each has it's strengths. I love my Taks and AStros for super "3d" :cool:views during deep sky observing.

Best of luck with your choice. (And there are plenty of choices out there).

George :)

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 09:01 PM

I have and use 5 different bino's , all very nice with different magnifications and aperature.I'm always looking for the other bino thats right for me. I have come to realize I dont need more bino's but a couple more sets of arms and eyes in which to use all of them....Can you say addiction......JIM

#14 sftonkin

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:09 PM

We like your links Stephen, and I can't imagine you'd not be happy that we link to them from our offsite links post.


Are we having some species of mutual misunderstanding here? :) My comment to Kenny was merely to explain why I hadn't mentioned the page before -- I'm very happy (flattered even) that you like it and wish to link to it (or to any other web-page of mine) -- after all, my entire purpose in putting up web pages like that is to help as many people as possible.

And, if I know it's been linked to from CN, it might also give me the impetus to improve it a bit. :)

#15 ddm0502

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 02:13 PM

After doing more reading and ckecking on all of your suggestions, I've decided to go with the Barska 15x70s and vanguard tripod. I'll be ordering them shortly. I can't wait to get them. Hopefully these clouds will move out by the time they're delivered. Thanks to everyone for your help.

#16 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:16 AM

After doing more reading and ckecking on all of your suggestions, I've decided to go with the Barska 15x70s and vanguard tripod. I'll be ordering them shortly. I can't wait to get them. Hopefully these clouds will move out by the time they're delivered. Thanks to everyone for your help.


That is a most powerfull $100 well spent, if'n ya ask me. lol


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