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Old 07-08-2017, 10:20 AM   #1
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Binoculars

Wifey wants her own set of binoculars. Any particular favored rand and power suggested by you folks? I have a bigger pair, Steiner 7 X 50's I believe purchased for astronomy purposes but now reside on the boat as we needed something and I already had them. They are a little big/heavy for her but I like them ok. Not sure if narrow or wider field is preferred on a boat...???
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:38 AM   #2
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Steiner 7 x 50 is a classic boat binocular. The logic is that 7 power is the strongest magnification that can be handheld and the 50 mm lenses lets in enough light to use it in low light conditions.

For your wife I suggest you get a stabilized binocular. Fuginon and Canon both make good ones. The Fuginon has more stabilization but the Canon is lighter. Look at the 10 or 12 power binoculars. With stabilization you can use the extra power.

If you buy stabilized binoculars, your poor wife won't get to use them because you'll grab them first.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
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The difference in price between normal and stabilized binoculars is pretty significant. I'm sure the stabilized binoculars are far better but I've never been able to justify the cost.


I will offer this one piece of advice: Take your wife to the store and let her pick out a pair that works for her. I had a terrible time with binoculars until I did just that. Something about my eyes I'm sure but out of what was available at West Marine for under $300, only one style worked and it wasn't the most expensive.


What I ended up with was the "permanent focus" type where you adjust each individual eyepiece and everything at a reasonable distance is in focus. No fussing with focusing on each item. This may or may not be best for her or you.


And yes, 7 x 50 is considered the best for boat use, regardless of brand or style.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Steiner 7 x 50 is a classic boat binocular. The logic is that 7 power is the strongest magnification that can be handheld and the 50 mm lenses lets in enough light to use it in low light conditions.

For your wife I suggest you get a stabilized binocular. Fuginon and Canon both make good ones. The Fuginon has more stabilization but the Canon is lighter. Look at the 10 or 12 power binoculars. With stabilization you can use the extra power.

If you buy stabilized binoculars, your poor wife won't get to use them because you'll grab them first.
Thanks HopCar, was looking at your website when I wrote this post. Will search some more.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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The difference in price between normal and stabilized binoculars is pretty significant. I'm sure the stabilized binoculars are far better but I've never been able to justify the cost.


I will offer this one piece of advice: Take your wife to the store and let her pick out a pair that works for her. I had a terrible time with binoculars until I did just that. Something about my eyes I'm sure but out of what was available at West Marine for under $300, only one style worked and it wasn't the most expensive.


What I ended up with was the "permanent focus" type where you adjust each individual eyepiece and everything at a reasonable distance is in focus. No fussing with focusing on each item. This may or may not be best for her or you.


And yes, 7 x 50 is considered the best for boat use, regardless of brand or style.

That's the plan. Take her and let her pick out but wanted to narrow it down to a couple of make/models first. Appreciate the comments..
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstbase View Post
Wifey wants her own set of binoculars. Any particular favored rand and power suggested by you folks? I have a bigger pair, Steiner 7 X 50's I believe purchased for astronomy purposes but now reside on the boat as we needed something and I already had them. They are a little big/heavy for her but I like them ok. Not sure if narrow or wider field is preferred on a boat...???

I use Steiner Commander XP 7x50s with the compass. These were an eventual replacement for the original Commander 7x50 I got in about 1982 when we lived in Germany; that one, and it's warranty replacement fromabout 1996-ish, eventually fogged... likely from temperature swings and especially freezing temps because I often left them in the car, especially when when we lived in Colorado and near FLL.

Wifey prefers smaller most of the time, so she uses Steiner Navigator Pro C 7x30s, also with compass.

FWIW, we believe we want to add a stabilized binocular... but haven't shopped diligently yet. The ones we've seen in person suggest this is a purchase that needs hands'on evaluation, since they're heavy and slightly unwieldy rascals... and since we both wear eyeglasses so extended eye relief is a serious criterion.

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Old 07-08-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
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I recently bought a bushnell h2o 7x50 and I am satisfied with it. I was surprised to see how well they are built for the cheap price I paid for them (around 100$ CAD).

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Old 07-08-2017, 11:02 AM   #8
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Surprisingly, Bass Pro may have a good selection. Walk outside with a few pairs wherever you go and pick a distant object to look at (Stop signs are good). Have her look for sharpness, light gathering...she will notice differences. You will too, esp. when you see the prices!
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:00 PM   #9
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At the risk of being howled down...

We diligently researched stabilised binoculars, and the latest Canon one came up tops in our opinion considering image quality first then price then brand reputation. They were really good.

However, then we went to Costco (in Brisbane, Australia) for grocery shopping and I found a pair of Olympus binocs 7x50 for about $150 Aussie dollars. Bought 'em, they have been great. When they die, I will get another pair. And they cost about 10% of the price of the stabilizers Canon binocs we liked...

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Old 07-08-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
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I love binoculars, and I have a half-dozen or so on board. My two go-to binocs are a 7x50 full size, and a compact 8x25.

My opinions for our boat usage (puget sound inland waters):

More light is better ... 7x50s over 7x30s

If you go over 8x power, you really need stabilization

Waterproofing is a nice-to-have, but not required, especially if you have multiples

Other features like compasses and rangefinders are cool... but we just don't use them

Go with cheaper models and consider them somewhat of a consumable item -- things happen, and losing $100 is much better than $800

That said... when someone comes out with a 10x25 model with built in FLIR, GPS, and WiFi, well... TAKE MY MONEY!!!
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:24 PM   #11
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Check out Fujinon.....rated with the best, usually less expensive.

Bought mine when they first came out , half the price but jumped up when popularity and tests showed them as equals.

Even with all the binocs I used in the military and commercial marine work, the Fujinons hang with or better the best.

Only ones better but way more expensive were the Fujinon stabilized.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:34 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone...Non-stabilized don't go over 7 x 50. She's is a small little thing and likes lighter not heavier so maybe a pair of 7x30's that she is comfortable holding. 10-12 x 30/50 only if stabilized. I come from an amateur astronomy background so do know that bad optics suck.... chromatic aberration, vignetting and all of that stuff. However, not trying to separate binary stars here...just trying to find the red marker downstream. However, don't mind spending a little more for quality.

Oops. I just remembered something. 7 grandchildren. On the boat. Walmart has binoculars right?
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:49 PM   #13
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I got a pair of the Steiner Navigators in 7 x 30 and I'm extremely pleased with them. Very sharp and always in focus.

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Old 07-08-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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My wife wears Nikon or she wears nothing at all.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Check out Fujinon.....rated with the best, usually less expensive.

Bought mine when they first came out , half the price but jumped up when popularity and tests showed them as equals.

Even with all the binocs I used in the military and commercial marine work, the Fujinons hang with or better the best.

Only ones better but way more expensive were the Fujinon stabilized.
Still have my trusty 7x50 MTR-SX's from the 80's. Superb glass and bright.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:24 PM   #16
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I've had my trusty West Tahitis with built in compass 7x50 for years 12-15 I think, Always worked well taking bearings etc , good clean lens and view. Then in 2010 I bought a set of Canon 10x30 stabilzed, I agonized for ages about the cost $411 in those days, What a transition love them and they are still working excelently. No jumping around of the image etc.

Its a shame they do not have the built in compass, that would make them truely awesome.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:42 PM   #17
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I'm going to go against the grain here: I prefer the Nikon 10x50 power over a 7 power glass. As I get older I find the additional 3 power helps to see things at a distance, like buoy numbers, and other "wild life".

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Old 07-08-2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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We have Nikon stabilized and a regular 7X50's. When we brought our boat home from Virginia last year we took both pairs up to the flybridge. After a few days we never even brought the 7X50's up anymore. Just love the stabilized. Yes they are heavier but they are worth it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:01 PM   #19
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I've come to prefer higher power, which as discussed requires stabilization. The reason for higher power is to be able to read a boat's name or a marker number from a reasonable distance. With 7x binocs, I couldn't read most markers and boat names until I was so close it no longer mattered. So if you just want to spot boats and markers, 7x is fine. But if you want to identify them, or identify wildlife, 10x or even 14x is the ticket, but they MUST be stabilized to be usable. We each have Fujinon 14x 40 stabilized and don't use anything else. Expensive, but well worth it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:17 PM   #20
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three years ago we added a pair of stabilized Cannon 10x30 binocs to our toolbox which already contained 4 pairs of 7x30 from a variety of manufacturers. they cost $399 at the time. They are now the only pair used. When i do deliveries, I always take the stabilized binocs with me. They are light weight and powerful. Excellent for picking out the navigation aid numbers and boat names and reading the warning signs. The price has gone up a bit in the past few years, but you should be able to find them for under $500. https://smile.amazon.com/Canon-Image...ized+binocular
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