close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Binoculars

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by Superfueler, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Superfueler

    Superfueler Glockenplane

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    I want to get a decent pair of binoculars, and not sure how much I'll need to spend. I don't need the top of the line, but I don't want junk. All I am going to use them for is looking at wildlife from my balcony, and aircraft at the airport. What is a good brand/model, and how much should I spend?
     
  2. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

    Messages:
    24,124
    Likes Received:
    11,974
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA

  3. Ian_Cognito

    Ian_Cognito Old timer

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2001
    Location:
    North of Louisville
    Pentax 8x42 DCF WP. About $300 - $350, sometimes less. I got mine for $215 delivered when Pentax was advertizing a $100 rebate awhile back. HERE'S a pair on ebay. The best 8x you'll find for the money. Even though you said you don't need top of the line, folks are going to chime in with their German made glass @ $900 or $1700 or whatever. I also have a pair of 12x Pentax's that are super too, but 12x is hard to hold still without a rest.
     
  4. sublime

    sublime

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Location:
    TEXAS
    I had a friend that was Elk hunting in New Mexico. He had a pretty good pair of Nikons and his guide had a high dollar pair of Zeiss' or something. It was dusk and they were both looking down into a valley through their own binocs. The guide was talking about cows and bulls that my friend wasn't seeing. So he tried the guide's binocs and said something like "oh, now I see them".

    So, especially in low light conditions the high dollar binocs seem to do a better job.
     
  5. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Cochise County, AZ
    I compared a bunch of models and ended up with the Zeiss Diafun 10x30's for about $350. Granted there were some others that I liked better, but their price tags were not in the cards.

    If you have a local optics shop, head down there near sundown and start looking through them. Some folks just can't see well enough to get the full benefits of some glass. Low light and the thrown shadows when the sun is going down is where good glass really stands out.
     
  6. SKeefe

    SKeefe

    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Location:
    SC
    I've seen 8x and 10x30 mentioned here.

    In addition to the first question, is there a good explanation for these numbers and which is better, decent, poor?
     
  7. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

    Messages:
    24,124
    Likes Received:
    11,974
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    The bigger the objective lens, the more light. The more light, the better the image.

    A $500 pair of 8x21 will not see crap compared to a $100 pair of 8x50.

    Of course, always buy the best you can afford!

    In this example, the 8 is the number of times the image is magnified. The 50 is the diameter of the big lens in milimeters.
     
  8. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Cochise County, AZ
    Sorry Ithaca, but I have to dissagree with you. Objective lens size is only part of it. If the glass doesn't transmit light well, it doesn't really matter how big it is. The clarity of the glass and the coating play a huge part in how much light reaches your eyes. Low light shows this the most because even though some glass is collecting more light on the surface, it gets diffused as it passes through.
     
  9. iiibbb

    iiibbb

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    In terms of bang for the buck, the Nikon "Action" series are pretty good. The offer a good field of view, nice bright optics and a relatively inexpensive price.

    Orion makes some nice binocs too.

    If you are using them to spot wildlife, and think you might use a tripod, make sure they have the 3/8 inch threads so you can get the tripod adapter for them (really good for distance viewing). Generally, as you increase magnification you sacrifice field of view... I think the best to consider would be between 7 and 10 power.

    In low light you want a big objective. In very low light you want to make sure the exit pupil is about 5mm (Divide the second number by the first number... i.e. 10x50 have an exit pupil of 5mm). The significance of exit pupils is that in low light your pupil expands to between 5 and 7mm (pitch black). If you want to take full advantage of the light gathering of the objective, the exit pupil must be at least the same size as your actual pupil.

    By in large you get what you pay for in optics. The more you pay the better (usually the pay off is in coatings and brightness). I would say a good entry pair is $125 to $150. Get as wide a field of view as you can find (another reason I liked the Nikon Actions... they have a nice wide field of view for their powers).
     
  10. Eddie C.

    Eddie C. Administrator Moderator CLM

    Messages:
    5,094
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Location:
    State of Confusion
  11. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

    Messages:
    24,124
    Likes Received:
    11,974
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    Don't be sorry. You can dissagree. :)

    The lens size is only part of it, but a large part of it.

    Keep in mind that a $100 binoc and a $500 binoc will not be worlds apart in construction and quality. There will be a difference, and the difference will be noticeable. But there will be more difference due to the size of the objective lens and the light it can capture than there is due to the quality of the binocs.
     
  12. Superfueler

    Superfueler Glockenplane

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
  13. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

    Messages:
    24,124
    Likes Received:
    11,974
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    I bet you'll like them.

    Personally, I'd go with the 10x50 for about the same price.

    I have a pair of 10x50 from Orion http://www.telescope.com/
    They have different price ranges, depending what you want to do and what you want to spend :)

    The potential drawback of a 10 power is that many people cannot hold them steady enough. That is why 7 power is more popular.

    The 50mm gathers more light and will give better vision at dusk and at night. But the drawback of a 50mm is that it weighs more.

    I like to watch deer at night with my 10x50. With just startlight, I can see quite a bit.
     
  14. iiibbb

    iiibbb

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    I like those Nikon Actions for entry models... I've got a pair of 10x50's and I have been very satisfied with them.

    I have a professional birder where I work who thought they were a steal for the price. He was pretty amazed at the quality of the image for what I paid. From a guy who sports $800 pairs.

    I think you won't go wrong with those... certainly as a benchmark to compare with others.
     
  15. iiibbb

    iiibbb

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    those are not waterproof.... if it matters to you.
     
  16. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

    Messages:
    9,514
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    sierra trading post.com

    For good prices on good quality.
     
  17. Ian_Cognito

    Ian_Cognito Old timer

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2001
    Location:
    North of Louisville
    FWIW, the "WP" in the Pentax DCF WP series stands for Water Proof. No problem in the rain or shallow water. Of course, if you drop them into a 500' deep lake and manage to retrieve them a day or two later, that's a different story.
    One reason the birders really like this glass is because they will focus down to about 6 1/2 feet.
     
  18. ad9mac

    ad9mac

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    I have a pair of Nikon Superior E 8x that I love , but..
    I've been toying with getting somethng in the 10x or better range.
    Anyone have Canon image stabilized ?
    I've tried them in the store and they seem to work fantastic. However I think there is a problem with moving objects appearing to be in slo-mo.
    Any experience with them?
     
  19. lenmattsen

    lenmattsen

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    So. California
    Sir,

    Like you, I wanted the best binocular I could get at the least cost for the best best VALUE .

    Buy the best you can afford but more $ automatically doesn't = improved quality. I went to a huge sporting goods store and looked through every (good) major brand; Zeiss, Swarofski, Leupold, Nikon, etc.

    I bought a Pentax 7X50 for about $120 +/- because a side-by-side comparison proved to me the image quality was best with the Pentax.

    It's water resistant with a 7mm exit pupil (50/7=7+/-) so its good for night viewing, sports, bird watching etc.

    BAK 4 glass lenses, fully coated for 97% light transmission.

    No color aberration, no spherical aberration.

    Individually adjustable eye pieces because I wear glasses.

    A bit on the heavy side but the quality offsets that.

    "Weidmannsheill mon Herr."

    Len
     
  20. redwinger

    redwinger

    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    I too have a pair of 12 x 50mm nikon action series binocs.For under 100 bucks they cant be beat.My wife bought me a set last christmas and i think their was a sucnificant mail in rebate to boot.
    I use mine to monitor the cardinals and woodpeckers and others that frequent my bird feeders about75 feet looking threw the front door.They are a bit heavy but most binocs are hard to hold stedy.I rest the front of mine on the glass door.once your focus is established thids works best to see well and arm muscle tiredness.