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Zoom Binacular - Sakura 15-180X72

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#1 davaid

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:42 PM

I am new to all of this I need to buy a zoom binacular that would enable me to see the dust over a 5 miles away building.

I encountered this binacular on e-bay ZOOM Binocular

Is it any good, I am looking for a quality zoom binacular that its zoom range is from 8 to 100 or more...

Please help


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#2 BillC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:03 PM

There is not a good zoom binocular on the planet and anyone who would try to sell a 180 X 72 binocular should IMHO be in jail, a mental institution, or both.

Cheers,

Bill

PS the Zeica Duovid is NOT a Zoom.

#3 davaid

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:08 PM

So what do u think is the best, quality zoom binocular that I can get at a good price.

thanks for response

#4 camvan

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:21 PM

well davaid, like BillC said, 'there's not a good zoom binocular on the planet', so my guess is there isn't anything.

what do you want a binocular for? is it for astronomical purposes? if so, look at the 15x70's by Celestron. but I guess it would be good to ask what your maximum price range is.

#5 Mark9473

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:23 PM

Davaid, you'll find that the general opinion on this forum is that zoom binocular are really no good. I tend to agree.

Why don't we think outside the box for a moment. If the sole purpose of your quest is to see "dust over a 5 miles away building" then for sure there are much better solutions than zoom binoculars. A high-powered spotting scope, or even a telescope, comes to mind. Have you considered this?

If you have the time, you should wander over to the Cloudy Days forum where there are several threads about viewing things at 5 miles away - most notably vehicle license plates, but that's a detail. You could learn a lot about what it takes, optically, to get a good view that far away.

#6 ChrisR

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:24 PM

Bad question to ask. Bad bad bad.

Save your money, and then buy a good fixed magnification bino.

Zoom bad bad.

Peace,
Chris

P.S. I am trying to be funny, if I failed; sorry.

#7 Mark9473

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:25 PM

Another something you could consider is one of the 80 or 100 mm binoculars which take interchangeable eyepieces. Several of those are capable of good views over 50x.

#8 Rich N

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:28 PM

One of the Leica Duovids. They aren't exactly zoom binoculars but you can switch between two magnifications.

If you must have 100x in the daytime you should look for a good little astronomical telescope that can accept different eyepieces.

Most spotting scopes only go up to 60x. One of the Pentax models goes to 100x.

You aren't likely to find a binocular, telescope or spotting scope that prefroms well at high power... without spending quite a bit of money.

You might look for a used Celestron C70F or C80F. One is a 70mm f/8 and the other is an 80mm f/8. They have very nice optics. The "F" means it has a fluorite element in its doublet objective.

Good luck,
Rich

#9 davaid

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:29 PM

Hi,

I need it for astronomical and city, people watching..... I need to feel close to the degree that I would think I am there What do u think about getting the Nikon or Olumpus I think they wouldn't produce a zoom binocular unless its of a high quality what do u think about this pricegrabber

or this buydig

#10 chris charen

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:32 PM

Do not buy them ! 1/ 'Zoom's' are not generally recommended -as they give a narrow 'F.O.V.' ['Tunnel vision'] 2/To advertise '15x-180x' power is totally misleading and false. 3/ These type of binoculars usually have inferior [cheap] lens coatings and build quality.
The strong suggestion would be to read the reviews and forums on 'Cloudy Nights' and then visit a reputable optical store and try out various binoculars.

#11 Rich N

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:25 PM

Hi,

I need it for astronomical and city, people watching..... I need to feel close to the degree that I would think I am there What do u think about getting the Nikon or Olumpus I think they wouldn't produce a zoom binocular unless its of a high quality what do u think about this or this


Both have small aperture objectives. Even if the optics were excellent, at full zoom 24x or 30x the view would likely not be a bright as you would like.

The other thing to consider when you are running more than about 12x a binocular becomes difficult to hold steady. You will need to mount the binocular on something like a photo tripod.

You could get a small telescope and a binocular viewer but that again will be pricy if you want good images.

You need to get out and look through different binoculars and telescopes before you spend your money.

Good luck,
Rich

#12 ChrisR

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:30 PM

Davaid:

Take this to the bank. THERE ARE NO GOOD ZOOM BINOCULARS. They have too many parts that have to move to make them work. Because of said moving parts they have alot of "play" so that the collimation goes out easily, and the barrels have a very good chance of not being at the same magnification.

Now add in that a large percentage of people start to see the shakes really bad at 10x and this problem gets worse as the power goes up, (remember EVERYTHING gets magnified), trying to hand hold a small binocular at 20x without a tripod or stabilization technology becomes an excercise in futility.

One more point. For looking at things on this planet, Terrestial viewing), 80x is about the practical limit on a good day with good optics, and very little thermal distortion. The reason why is because, everything between you and your target becomes part of the optics system, (ie windows, dust, thermal distortions, glare from other buildings, pollution, etc etc).

Sorry just trying to help.

Peace,
Chris

#13 Rich N

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:34 PM

A Canon 15x50 IS binocular might work well for you but they cost about $800.

The Canon 15x50 IS had very nice optics and it use an image stablizing system.
Canon also has other models but IMHO the 15x50 is the highest power model that works well for me.

Rich

#14 Rich N

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:43 PM

It looks like the new Celestron 6 inch SCT is selling for around $500. Check the Astronomics website.

You could mount the OTA on a sturdy photo tripod. You could also get a couple of eyepieces and a small finder telescope.
The entire setup should be under $1k. You can get some pretty good zoom eyepieces. You could also add a binocular head.

This would give you the best chance for relatively high power views.

I just hope you're not watching me. :crazy:

Rich

#15 BillC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:24 PM

Hi,

I need it for astronomical and city, people watching..... I need to feel close to the degree that I would think I am there What do u think about getting the Nikon or Olumpus I think they wouldn't produce a zoom binocular unless its of a high quality what do u think about this
or this


Over the years, I have come to like horse poop over cow poop by about 3 to 1. However, I see no reason to expend that much investigative energy comparing zoom binoculars. In addition, I would like point out that the vast majority of binoculars produced today are produced by companies that do not have their names on the side.

Once, after declaring that there was not one single line of hand-held binoculars that were designed and built in the United State, I had to offer a $100 to anyone who could prove me wrong, to get my point across. I still have my hundred, and I am just as sure about zoom binoculars.

On the other hand, there are some folks on the list with incredibly low expectations. On the OTHER other hand, if you try to use a 180x72 binocular, I think you will come up with a pretty CLEAR idea of how things really are. Of course, you won’t get a really BRIGHT idea, because at 180 power you will have a .4 (POINT 4) millimeter exit pupil and a field of view the size of a dime at a million miles and which jiggles more than Charo in her younger days.

If to this point we have not dissuaded you, by all means have fun. :jump:

Just a thought.

Bill

PS Welcome to CN

#16 KennyJ

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:25 PM

davaid ,

If you are PARTICULARLY interested in seeing DUST , then this 180 x 72 binocular may actually be a very good choice.

Almost EVERYTHING you will see through it will look like DUST anyway ! :-)

For an INCREASED , kind of " SUPER DUST " factor , you could always buy TWO of these instruements , set them both to the 180x magnification and place one objective lens of the second behind an eyepiece of the first , to get a monocular magnification of 32,400x !

Good luck ( although I KNOW you are going to need MORE than good LUCK if you buy ANY 70mm zoom binoculars ! )

Regards , Kenny

#17 edwincjones

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:56 PM

brief review 15-140x70 binoulars from Sharper Image. I do not remember the name, but think it started with a Z...

Ok, my details are vague because I was not planning a review, but we have a new shopping center in the area with a Sharper Image store, and while visititing, I "played" with their zoom binocular.
At low power, eye relief poor, exit pupil small but image okay; but as power went up, image deterated into NOTHING.
Tripod was very weak and flimsy, but since I could not see much in the binoculars, the shakey tripod didn't make much difference. $199.

For $200 you can get a good fixed magification binouclar, or a low end beginning scope from Orion/others.

edj

#18 edwincjones

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:56 PM

brief review 15-140x70 binoulars from Sharper Image. I do not remember the name, but think it started with a Z...

Ok, my details are vague because I was not planning a review, but we have a new shopping center in the area with a Sharper Image store, and while visititing, I "played" with their zoom binocular.
At low power, eye relief poor, exit pupil small but image okay; but as power went up, image deterated into NOTHING.
Tripod was very weak and flimsy, but since I could not see much in the binoculars, the shakey tripod didn't make much difference. $199.

For $200 you can get a good fixed magification binouclar, or a low end beginning scope from Orion/others.

edj

#19 edwincjones

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 07:03 PM

I do like zoom eps in telescopes, but to get a good zoom you must spend $200-400 just for the eyepiece.
A quality zoom is fun, but a poor quality zoom is useless.
Binoculars have yet to create a quality zoom*, and if they ever do the cost will be high due to needing two quality zoom eps.

edj

*Vixen did have a zoom 25-75 x120 binocular that used telescope zooms at cost around $4500; and the BT binoculars that use interchangeable telescope eps can be fited with zoom eps.

#20 edwincjones

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 07:09 PM

WOW-my brief review was considered so good that CNs computers posted it twice.
I feel honored.

edj

#21 brentwood

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 09:10 PM

Bill C, would you not consider the NikonHG 8-16x40 to be 'good' quality. I do not have any, but I have looked through some and like you, had always considered 'quality zoom' to be an oxymoron, unti I looked through them.
I do,however have an old Fujinon 5-10x35 zoom of apparently good quality, the prisms look like BAK4 & the FOV is 8o @ 5X, and 5.30o @ 10x, which are not bad specs. They about a heavy though as an older 7x50porro, the shape is similar to a Sard 6x42, massive prisms?
What say you, oh Wise One?

#22 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 09:29 PM

They have 15x-180x100 shown in photo . :foreheadslap:

#23 Joad

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 09:40 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, davaid. You are receiving the responses of an unusual set of binocular users: some of these guys are professionals, and those who aren't are astonishingly well informed amateurs. Everything they are telling you is correct. You may not be able to interpret their more technical remarks, though, so I will attempt a layman's summary:

Zoom binoculars are very difficult to construct at an affordable price point, no matter what their magnification, and the situation gets worse the higher the magnification offered. Whether zoom or not, when binocular magnification gets much past 12X, the view is going to shake like the dickens anyway if the binocular is not set on a mount, or is not image stabilized. In addition, with a 70 millimeter binocular, there isn't going to be enough light gathering ability to illuminate a magnification much past 25X: this means that the view will be rather dim to begin with. The higher you go past 20 or 25X, the dimmer the view will get. As you go even higher, the ability of the binocular to resolve an image (bring it to a decent focus with identifiable detail) is going to break down further and further. At the same time, the size (measured in diameter millimeters) of the beam of light that exits the eyepieces (oculars) of the binocular and enters your eye will get smaller and smaller as the magnification rises (this is "exit pupil"). When the "exit pupil" gets too small (and boy will it at anything much past 40 or 50X with a 70 mm binocular), you just won't see anything at all at night. Daytime is a bit different, but the view will be grainy, at best, and will eventually be nothing at all as you approach 100X and beyond.

The references to "collimation" refer, in essence, to the ability of a two-barrelled instrument (a bi-nocular) to merge the light paths of two different optical trains into a single distinct image. Even very very expensive, high quality binoculars can run into trouble in this department at high magnifications, and it gets worse when the eyepieces (oculars) are zooms, because each eyepiece is not precisely matched to the other as you change magnifications (it is different with a "click stop" eyepiece, which locks in at a precise point, but click stop "zoom" eyepieces are very expensive and are not provided on any binocular that I know of today—though, oddly enough, I have a click stop Japanese binocular (7-12X) from 1965 that actually does merge images very well into a single image.

It is unfortunate that products like the one you are looking at are advertised and sold. It is very difficult for a beginner to know how patently unreliable the product claims are.

#24 kingjamez

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 09:56 PM

Just as an FYI. I own the "20-180x100" Sakura binoculars. There are a few things that you need to know about them. For $100.00 (about the average selling price on eBay) the Barksa 20x80's are a FAR better buy. My binoculars are labled 20-180x100, yet only the 20 is accurate. They are actually 70mm lenses, no where near the label of 100mm. The maximum zoom magnification is about 40x... I have no idea where the other number come from.
That said, the zoom works fairly well once you realize that the low powers have low F.O.V. although it expands nicely as the power is increased. I haven't had a problem with collimation yet either. Over all they work OK and I keep them at about 1/2 way through the zoom which has shown me many astronomical objects.
So, they aren't as awful as most here would profess, but there are better deals out there too.
Don't trust the numbers, so if you buy them verify what your getting first...

-Jim

#25 BillC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 11:41 PM

They lied to you--dramatically--about the magnification; they lied to you--dramatically--about the size of the objective lens. What else did they lie to you about that you haven't yet the experience to know?

The last _____ that came into my shop for repair, I had to take to the dumpster, because once looking through a quality instrument, the customer refused to take the thing with him.

I am not bashful about my feelings. I've published my view of zoom biniculars in about 50 magazines over the last 20 years. When I find one that I feel is good, I'll certainly buy it.

Cheers,

Bill


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