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Old 05-30-2019, 01:17 AM   #1
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Binoculars with compass

I have a decent nitrogen sealed 7 by 50 marine binoculars but without the compass. Occasionally I convince myself I would find the compass useful, other times I think I'd probably never really use the compass option. I also have a decent hand held marine compass which I could use instead of a compass in the binoculars.

Do those who own binoculars with a compass actually use the compass option?
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:51 AM   #2
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A way more useful thing to have is a pair of stabilized binoculars. We have both stabilized and unstabilized binoculars but find we never use the unstabilized ones.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:30 AM   #3
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I have a pair of stabilized with compass heading. Other than just playing I have never found the compass useful.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:35 AM   #4
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I have found the compass useful on occasion, but agree that stabilization is much more valuable, and will serve you every time you use the binocs.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
Do those who own binoculars with a compass actually use the compass option?

Yes, sometimes.

Others have mentioned stabilization; wifey's current binoc has that, with higher magnification. She finds that useful. In fact, I find it useful that she finds it useful.

Her older unit has a compass, and we could use compass headings to point out various things of interest to each other. Can't really do that as easily, now...

-Chris
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:10 AM   #6
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We had a compass in an old pair and rarely used it.
We now use the "o'clock" system and find it easier and just as effective.
YMMV
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Do those who own binoculars with a compass actually use the compass option?
We have both: with compass & stabilized. Never use the compass feature but we fight one another for the stabilized binocs!
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:15 AM   #8
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I have a pair of binoculars with a distance sight and compass. If you don't navigate with paper charts or use dead reckoning, then no, these features aren't useful. I look it at it like "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it".

IF electronics go down, I'm going to reach for any and all 'arrows in my quiver'.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
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If you don't navigate with paper charts or use dead reckoning, then no, these features aren't useful.

Or electronic raster charts?

-Chris
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:47 PM   #10
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Bearing to crashing airplanes and distant flares are one good reason for the compass.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:51 PM   #11
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agree with Shrew in #8
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:00 PM   #12
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I guess I am unusual in that I use my compass in my binoculars all the time for taking bearings on objects. You could do the same with any compass, it just would not be as convenient. Given the cost of good binoculars, I don't think I would buy a new pair just for this feature. If I was buying a pair anyway, it would certainly be on my want list.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
I have a pair of binoculars with a distance sight and compass. If you don't navigate with paper charts or use dead reckoning, then no, these features aren't useful. I look it at it like "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it".

IF electronics go down, I'm going to reach for any and all 'arrows in my quiver'.
But surely those arrows would be along the lines of backup electronics.
Laptop with opencpn
Tablet with navionics
2nd tablet with navionics
Mobile phone to at least provide lat long if getting desperate

Never used stabilised bins so I guess I don't know what I am missing.
Still using my 30 year old tasco in focus 7x50s held together with gaffer tape.
Saying that, they desperately need replacing
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:18 PM   #14
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Yes, we've had a pair of Fujinon Polaris with compass for the past 15 years or so that we love. I use the compass function all the time to take bearings, plus you can use it to "swing" your own main compasses since you can determine where things are that are affecting accuracy.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:42 PM   #15
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Have compass, never use. Has nightlight but will never use so batteries are removed.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:47 PM   #16
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Never had a pair with a compass so I would not miss the compass either. But we do love our stabilized pair. We have had them since 2003 so there may be better ones on the market now. We have a pair of 7X50s also. When we brought our boat home from Virginia the first couple of days we would take both pairs up to the flybridge. My wife said she didnít want to use the stabilized pair because they were to much trouble, etc. After the second day she stopped bring the unstabilized pair up to the bridge, when I asked her why she said why would I use the regular pair when these work so much better. The stabilized binoculars became our most valuable navigation tool since our eyes are not what they used to be.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:14 PM   #17
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When two guys are glassing for fish / signs of life, especially if one guy is in the tower and the other not (but even when they are side by side), the compass feature is very useful for telling the other guy where to look when you see something of interest. There is also an elevation indicator that allows two dimensional direction. We use it alot. We also have two pairs of gyros (one Rusian and the other Fuji), and the sheer weight gets to be fatiguing, especially on calm days when the boat really isn't rocking anyway. So, often, two guys are looking in compass-equipped 7x50's until one finds something, directs the other two it, then one (sometimes both) take a peek through the 14x stabilized binos. But that is all for fishing, if not for fishing we wouldn't use much, at least not on the west coast where the details of bouys and channel markers are rarely important.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Never used stabilised bins so I guess I don't know what I am missing.

Wifey can make out nav aids with her 12x28 stabilized binoc (seems like) about 2x further away than I can with normal 7x50s. I can see 'em, but she can tell me the numbers on 'em...

If that would be a benefit for you.

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Old 05-31-2019, 10:01 AM   #19
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Greetings,
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:07 PM   #20
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I absolutely LOVE my Steiners, 7X50. Wanted the compass model but didn't feel like plunking down $600 for them so did some research and found the Cabella brand 7X50 with compass and bought a pair. I really like taking bearings and then sharing the info with the admiral. We can spot cans, lights, points of interest, etc. The Cabella binocs cost $350 and the optics are excellent, probably near as good as the Steiners. Two drawbacks though. They are quite heavy and both eyepieces can not be adjusted with a common adjuster. This is really not a problem for us since both the admiral and I have eyesight that is about the same. We pass the binocs back and forth and rarely need to make an adjustment.

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