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Hesitation Canon 15x50IS or APM ED Apo 10x50

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#1 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 05:24 AM

Hello everybody,

 

I own currently 15x70 apo binoculars from Teleskop Service. They are splendid optical instruments but due to the magnification, despite many set-up efforts they lost the binoculars convenience that I need: hand-held use.
I became father for a second time, my free time for astronomy is shrinking so I absolutely need something to use hand-held. I will observe from the ground (laying down) or sitting.

 

I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. After knowing the Apo quality I want to keep high quality glass. I hesitate today between the Canon IS 15x50 and the APM MS apo 10x50.
https://www.apm-tele...ries-binoculars

 

Canon IS 15x50 pros
- high magnification
- IS
Canon IS 15x50 cons
- price, very hard to justify (twice the APM)

 

APM 10x50 ED Apo pros
- cheaper

- wider FOV
- collimation screws accessible (I had to collimate several binoculars and those with screws under rubber are a hell)
APM 10x50 ED Apo cons
- lower magnification

 

I think the quality of the optics is probably equal or at least that I would be amazed by both anyway. The APM have no IS but at 10x and some pillows and a monopod I doubt it will be an issue.

So I have some remaining questions to help my choice.

 

- People having the APM or similar high-quality binoculars (ex the Fujinon 10x50) AND the Canon 15x50 IS, did you stop using the normal binoculars since you have the Canon? What is your general feeling?
- Canon IS: does the bino-bandit adapt good to the eyepieces?
- Canon IS: does the stabilization work good at zenith or high declinations?
- Canon IS & APM: do the eyepiece hold properly the focusing adjustment? I used to have some binoculars that I needed to re-focus often due to pressure of the eyepiece on my brow bones.

 

There are also 10.5x70 apo binoculars (same than mine but lower magnification) at Teleskop-Service but I'm scared the real magnification is higher than 10.5x and it gets the same issue.

 

Thanks a lot,

Freezout


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#2 drt3d

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 05:37 AM

It would make more sense to compare the Canon 10x42 IS to the 10x50.
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#3 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 05:47 AM

Hi drt3d,

 

Thanks. The price of the 10x42 keeps them out of my reach definitely.

 

The real 3rd binocular that I could add to my short list is the 10.5x70 apo (equivalent to Oberwerk Ultra in the USA) from TS. 

 

10.5x70 apo pros

- price

- takes filters

- 70mm light gathering

10.5x70 apo cons

- weight

 

 I'm open to all suggestions!



#4 edwincjones

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 05:56 AM

"I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. "

For IS I think the Canon 10x42 would be better due to its wider FOV

 

" did you stop using the normal binoculars since you have IS?   "   no

 

10X would better compliment the 15X you have

 

edj

 


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#5 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 06:01 AM

"I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. "

For IS I think the Canon 10x42 would be better due to its wider FOV

 

" did you stop using the normal binoculars since you have IS?   "   no

 

10X would better compliment the 15X you have

 

edj

Thanks. To note: I will have to resell the 15x70 to purchase new ones. 



#6 f18dad

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 06:54 AM

The weight of the 10.5x70 BA8 is a major factor compared to the other binoculars.

 

Looking at Zenith with or without IS is the same for me. It strains the neck unless you are reclining. The 15x50 IS works the same either vertical or horizontal.

 

Yes, I use my non-IS binoculars a lot less now. But I still keep and use them for diversity of perspective and for specialty purposes.

 

The Bino Bandits work beautifully on the 15x50 IS when adjusted properly. They are almost as game-changing as the IS is.

 

The 15x50 IS do hold their focus but I also find myself refocusing more often with them because it is center focus and not necessarily set permanently at infinity. This is not annoying to me, it's more like a habit. I also seem to refocus when switching from IS on to IS off and visa versa just to get that more perfect view. It's probably not necessary to do it and I should probably just leave it alone. But yes, I think I refocus more often with the IS models, which are also so silky smooth and precise that you kind of like doing it.


Edited by f18dad, 23 March 2023 - 10:39 AM.

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#7 ngc7319_20

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 07:10 AM

Hello everybody,

 

I own currently 15x70 apo binoculars from Teleskop Service. They are splendid optical instruments but due to the magnification, despite many set-up efforts they lost the binoculars convenience that I need: hand-held use.
I became father for a second time, my free time for astronomy is shrinking so I absolutely need something to use hand-held. I will observe from the ground (laying down) or sitting.

 

I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. After knowing the Apo quality I want to keep high quality glass. I hesitate today between the Canon IS 15x50 and the APM MS apo 10x50.
https://www.apm-tele...ries-binoculars

 

Canon IS 15x50 pros
- high magnification
- IS
Canon IS 15x50 cons
- price, very hard to justify (twice the APM)

 

APM 10x50 ED Apo pros
- cheaper

- wider FOV
- collimation screws accessible (I had to collimate several binoculars and those with screws under rubber are a hell)
APM 10x50 ED Apo cons
- lower magnification

 

I think the quality of the optics is probably equal or at least that I would be amazed by both anyway. The APM have no IS but at 10x and some pillows and a monopod I doubt it will be an issue.

So I have some remaining questions to help my choice.

 

- People having the APM or similar high-quality binoculars (ex the Fujinon 10x50) AND the Canon 15x50 IS, did you stop using the normal binoculars since you have the Canon? What is your general feeling?
- Canon IS: does the bino-bandit adapt good to the eyepieces?
- Canon IS: does the stabilization work good at zenith or high declinations?
- Canon IS & APM: do the eyepiece hold properly the focusing adjustment? I used to have some binoculars that I needed to re-focus often due to pressure of the eyepiece on my brow bones.

 

There are also 10.5x70 apo binoculars (same than mine but lower magnification) at Teleskop-Service but I'm scared the real magnification is higher than 10.5x and it gets the same issue.

 

I am lucky to have both the Canon IS 15x50 and APM 10x50 ED, and also the 15x70 and the 10.5x70.  From your discussion, the Canon 15x50 is the bino you want.  Some points:

 

For DSO the extra magnification of the Canon is a huge plus.  For a few very large nebula like North American, Veil, etc. or sweeping Milky Way, the APM are better due to wider view.

 

The IS at 15x gives a much steadier view than the 10x with no IS -- this allows you to see much more detail on DSO.  Since you are interested in quick-looks, I assume we are not talking about a parallelogram mount for the 10x.  I do not think a monopod will work very well high in the sky, but I am not sure (I have not tried that).

 

I have never had any collimation issues with any of the Canon IS binos.  I have owned some for 25+ years.  But I am very careful with them, and they live in big foam-lined cases.

 

I have not tried the Bino-Bandit on the Canon.  I do not think you would need it -- the eyecups are very deep.

 

Yes, the IS works perfectly at all positions in the sky.

 

The focus holds fine on both the Canon and APM.  The Canon have internal focusing.  The APM are individual eyepiece focus.

 

You mention 10.5X70, but these are very heavy and not a solution to your quick-look desires.  They are hard to hold steady, at least for me.

 

The Canon IS 10x42 are less good for DSO, as the 42mm is not really enough aperture for DSO (I have tried those also).

 

Also in Bortle 5 skies (like I have also) the smaller exit pupil of the 15x50 makes the sky background darker, and helps with spotting small nebula.  In very dark skies the APM 10x50 would have some advantage for very large, faint nebula (again North American, Veil, California, Rosette, etc.).

 

An extra bonus, is that the Canon are also fantastic for daytime.  The APM are hard for daytime since they have individual eyepiece focus.

 

The price is the only real down-side of the Canon, but you only pay it once.  I bought them many years ago, and they are still one of my best astro purchases.


Edited by ngc7319_20, 23 March 2023 - 07:17 AM.

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#8 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 07:25 AM

Hi f18dad and ngc7319 20,

 

Thanks a lot for your input. I am sad that I didn't act earlier, even just last year a couple of months ago the IS were way cheaper.

The 10.5x70 are 2.6 kg, it's even heavier than the 15x70. I think they're out of the race.

 

Indeed I don't want to have to deal with a parallelogram mount. For high in the sky, I lay down. With the 15x70 I use inflatable pillows that provide support for the neck and the arms, it is unbeatable for comfort.  

 

Some savings to do, otherwise it will be the 10x50 APM. 



#9 edwincjones

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 08:26 AM

Thanks. To note: I will have to resell the 15x70 to purchase new ones. 

that ? changes things for me-  the 15X IS will see more handheld

but a wider FOV better to explore the sky

 

edj



#10 Mad Matt

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 08:35 AM

Many years ago I was in a similar situation when my daughter was born. I bought the 18x50 IS for the very same reason but ended up not using it very much because of the weight. Even when lying on my back or in a chair it became uncomfortable after 5 minutes. Mine also had the IS induced blur some have reported but I believe this is more noticeable on the 18x50 models. Also I found scanning to be not as enjoyable as the IS tries to correct the movements and the FoV starts to jump as you scan across the milky way. 

Some people love IS and they are very happy, others like me are challenged by it. I ended up going out less often but when I did, I would take more time and set up at least a tripod or my p-mount.


Edited by Mad Matt, 23 March 2023 - 08:37 AM.

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#11 zakry3323

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 09:24 AM

IS make me feel like I'm living in the future. But I still get tired of using them. If brief observing is primarily what you'll be doing, they're a lot of fun. If you plan on having longer observing sessions it makes more sense to mount your binos, and IS becomes irrelevant. 


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#12 astroboyabdi

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 09:36 AM

Also before buying maybe make sure you try it for at least 10-15min

I had my eyes set on one of the IS models and the views were amazing, however within a few minutes I started getting vertigo and almost threw up. I wanted them so badly I tried a few times but each time it would come again. Hopefully you dont have same issue



#13 f18dad

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 09:52 AM

Hi f18dad and ngc7319 20,

 

Thanks a lot for your input. I am sad that I didn't act earlier, even just last year a couple of months ago the IS were way cheaper.

The 10.5x70 are 2.6 kg, it's even heavier than the 15x70. I think they're out of the race.

 

Indeed I don't want to have to deal with a parallelogram mount. For high in the sky, I lay down. With the 15x70 I use inflatable pillows that provide support for the neck and the arms, it is unbeatable for comfort.  

 

Some savings to do, otherwise it will be the 10x50 APM. 

 

The APM's should be fine for you.

 

Image stabilized binoculars ARE expensive. Far more users find them "game-changing", but there are also outlier experiences, such as the three posts above, for whom they are not a fit. IME they are the best binocular investments I have made so far. I can't imagine being without them. Yes, it hurt my pocketbook when I bought them, but now I have zero (0) regrets and they would probably be the last binoculars I would let go of.

 

So yes, whenever possible 'try before you buy', or make sure you get a very flexible return policy.


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#14 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 10:31 AM

Zakri and Astroboy, may I ask which model you had? It would be interesting to know if it is specific to one.



#15 Erik Bakker

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 10:39 AM

Like Mad Matt, the IS models do not quite fit me. Tried them (Canon 10x42 L, 15x50, 18x50 and Fuji 14x40), wanted to like them, but found out I did not. But it is evident they work great for many and suit them well, as is amply demonstrated in this thread and elsewhere on CloudyNights. So I fully understand the choice for any of those recommended here.

 

As far as my own experience with the non IS models goes, three questions first:

  1. Can you and do you want to keep your current 15x70 if you buy a 10x50 or 10x70?
  2. How dark are the skies you observe under?
  3. Do you need to use glasses while observing with your bino?

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#16 f18dad

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 10:42 AM

Thanks. To note: I will have to resell the 15x70 to purchase new ones. 



#17 Freezout

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 11:08 AM

 

Like Mad Matt, the IS models do not quite fit me. Tried them (Canon 10x42 L, 15x50, 18x50 and Fuji 14x40), wanted to like them, but found out I did not. But it is evident they work great for many and suit them well, as is amply demonstrated in this thread and elsewhere on CloudyNights. So I fully understand the choice for any of those recommended here.

 

As far as my own experience with the non IS models goes, three questions first:

  1. Can you and do you want to keep your current 15x70 if you buy a 10x50 or 10x70?
  2. How dark are the skies you observe under?
  3. Do you need to use glasses while observing with your bino?

 

Hi Erik!

 

1. I will sell the 15x70 before buying something else if I don't want to start 3rd world war in my house.

2. I am in the NL too, in Roermond. I observe from Bortle 5 or 4, besides some possibilities of week-ends in better skies.

3. I don't wear glasses, but have long eyelashes. Eyepieces rated 13mm ER were not possible to use for me.



#18 Rich V.

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 11:10 AM

Here's my take, even if I'm not directly answering your question about choosing 10x non-IS vs 15x IS.

 

It's hard to compare 10x to 15x; they are worlds apart in magnificaton and how deep they go.  An "apples to oranges" comparison, so to speak. IS would be an improvement at either mag. 

 

A 10x42 IS won't be quite as bright as the APM 10x50, but you'll see fainter stars, split doubles easier and see more details day and night compared the the hand held 10x50.  At 10x, the IS has daytime capability with its close, fast CF focusing that the IF 50mms won't have. The 10x42 IS bino is about 6 oz. lighter in weight, and has the flattest field you'll find in any bino, besting the APM 10x50 even though it has "flat field" eyepieces.

 

The 15x50 IS gives up brightness to your 15x70, more so than in the 10x comparison (50%), but for hand held use, the IS will still show more details day or night.  15x hand held is a compromise for most of us.  You lose resolution because of the shakes you can't control.  

 

If you insist on hand holding, and don't want to mount your binos, IS is the winner no matter which way you go.  If mounted, the larger aperture non-IS binos will go deeper but you'll lose the flat field the IS binos provide, particularly in the case of the 15x70 which isn't sharp to the edge like the 15x IS.

 

Just something to think about.

 

Rich


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#19 Erik Bakker

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 11:46 AM

Thank you for answering the 3 questions, as that helps me and likely others to better understand what is important for you.

 

Also, Rich makes some valuable points above.

 

Within your budget and uses, I think you’ve nailed the most relevant instruments.

 

If IS works for you, the IS 15x50 will show you a very similar view to the 15x70, just much steadier, with more detail and just a little less brightness.  But more contrast with regards to the sky background. If you like the true field of view in your current 15x70, that would be my first suggestion.

 

Personally, for getting to know the sky better, I prefer a wider true field. But that goes with a lower magnification and less detail in deep sky objects and more difficulty in distinguishing the smaller ones from stars.

 

Under Bortle 4-5 skies, a Wide Field 10x50 of good quality is a great astronomy choice for many. And at less than half the cost of the IS 15x50. A 10x50 quality porro is not the easiest to hand hold still though. But it is a wonderful, allround, hand holdable deep sky performer.

 

Alternatively, you could opt for a really good 7x50, much easier to hand hold, but showing far less detail than even a 10x50. For learning the sky, it is superb, though it really begs for darker skies, like Bortle 4 or better 3. Under those conditions, that is my suggestion for cruising the Milky Way.

 

Now here are your initial thoughts with regards to your intended uses, instruments and price:

 

Hello everybody,

 

[…]

I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. After knowing the Apo quality I want to keep high quality glass. I hesitate today between the Canon IS 15x50 and the APM MS apo 10x50.

https://www.apm-tele...ries-binoculars

 

Canon IS 15x50 pros
- high magnification
- IS
Canon IS 15x50 cons
- price, very hard to justify (twice the APM)

 

APM 10x50 ED Apo pros
- cheaper

- wider FOV
- collimation screws accessible (I had to collimate several binoculars and those with screws under rubber are a hell)
APM 10x50 ED Apo cons
- lower magnification

 

I think the quality of the optics is probably equal or at least that I would be amazed by both anyway. The APM have no IS but at 10x and some pillows and a monopod I doubt it will be an issue.

[…]

 

Thanks a lot,

Freezout

 

In summary, it seems a good Wide Field 10x50, like the APM ED, will currently suit you best, taking your uses and budget restraints into account.

 

That said, an IS 15x50 will show you much more in the sky, but with less of overview due to the much narrower true field. And at roughly 2.5x the cost, perhaps putting unwanted and unnecessary stress on your family budget.


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#20 sevenofnine

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 02:06 PM

Well...I would approach this problem differently. But that's me of course. The 15x70 binoculars that you own are terrific for night sky viewing. You just need a very easy and portable mount for them. This link show you how to use a lightweight tripod from a sitting position tipped back on two legs. The binoculars and mount can easily be left near the door ready to go. If that doesn't work for you then try a Oberwerk H/D pistol grip monopod. I use this with my 15x70's and it works great! Especially from a seated position. 

 

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry12583208.

 

Finally, I would just add some very affordable but good quality 10x50's to your collection. The Nikon AE 10x50's are a forum favorite in the budget category ($167). The Oberwerk tripod and monopod should work well with both of the binoculars and for a whole lot less than Canon IS binoculars.

 

https://www.bhphotov...eme.html?sts=pi.

 

https://oberwerk.com...ies-tripodhead/.

 

https://oberwerk.com...tion-ball-head/.

 

Best of luck to you and your decisions! borg.gif


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#21 f18dad

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 02:18 PM

I find myself agreeing with sevenofnine on this. IMO the 15x70 is the sweet spot for astronomy binoculars. They need to be mounted of course. I wouldn't give them up unless you are replacing them with a better 15x70 model. My advice would be to continue saving and get that 10X of your choice.

 

These are always very tough decisions. We all feel for you!

 

Good luck and let us know how it all works out!


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#22 Astronoob76

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 02:44 PM

A Canon IS is hard to beat for ease of use. But the ergonomics are not the best and weight might be an issue.

Interestingly I can use my Fuji FMTR with 1.4kg longer than my Canon 18x50IS because the Fuji has better balance.

That being said -- it is still an amazing piece of equipment but one should be aware of the downside.

For lazy skysurfing I prefer lower magnifications nowadays that don't need tripod or IS. Like a 7x35, 7x50, 8x30/42. Or even just a 2x54 "starfield bino".


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#23 ngc7319_20

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 03:09 PM

I find myself agreeing with sevenofnine on this. IMO the 15x70 is the sweet spot for astronomy binoculars. They need to be mounted of course. I wouldn't give them up unless you are replacing them with a better 15x70 model. My advice would be to continue saving and get that 10X of your choice.

 

I agree 15x70 can be awesome for astronomy.  And I would probably NOT sell them.  But it comes down to a question of mounting them and convenience.  If first priority is convenience, then it is hard to beat simply grabbing the 15x50 IS.


Edited by ngc7319_20, 23 March 2023 - 04:43 PM.

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#24 f18dad

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 04:23 PM

I agree 15x70 can be awesome for astronomy.  And I would probably NOT sell them.  But it comes down to a question of mounting them and convenience.  If first priority is convenience, then it is hard to beat the simply grabbing the 15x55 IS.

Sing'n to the choir on that one!



#25 Rich V.

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 04:57 PM

+1 for me as well with 15/16x70s.   I've been a big fan of 16x70s for 22 years now.  An astronomy sweet spot, at least under my relatively dark skies (21+mpsas) and darker sites.

 

I prefer using them mounted, though, and I have a range of choices.  I use a monopod/ ball heads, tripods/ video heads, and a Unimount depending on circumstances.  I never use them hand held.  Hand held for me is 7x, 8x and10x and 10x42 IS.

 

Rich


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