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Old 09-19-2018, 09:34 PM   #1
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Fixed Focus

So, a couple weeks ago we over-nighted in Comox (which I recommend!). Pathalogically unable to resist a hardware store, I stopped in to the small but remarkably well-stocked chandler.

On the counter was a placard touting "auto-focus binoculars", with an example. I carried them outside and found them to be remarkably clear and crisp. Took off my glasses, no change. Handed them to the wife, same result.

Okay, you dont need a degree in optical physics to understand that with no moving parts, these aren't "auto" anything, certainly not for the proferred $99(Canadian), but are simply focused over a range of distances.

Being asymetrically myopic and astygmatic, I constantly struggle to find a clear image, especially after someone else has used the glasses...at least I did until I bought my new $99 7x50s. Experimentation shows the pre-set range is about 20 yards to infinity. I now wonder why anyone would want any other type, maybe if one were a bird-watcher...
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:58 PM   #2
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I used to have a pair of them. Worked well. I now rely on stabilized binoculars and love them.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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We have a pair of the Bushnell Perma Focus 7 x 35. Had them for upwards of 8 yrs. Good little units. My wife has one and I have another type. Use them regularily without fooling around with focus. They are small and can be kept in front of us with limited space for storage on the dash.

The Image stabilized units may be better but for about $40 or so these are hard to beat, at least for our purposes.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:42 PM   #4
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I bought a pair(just one really) of fixed focus binoculars about 2 years back,no known brand.They serve their purpose well, but I`ve never tried image stabilized upmarket ones.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:56 AM   #5
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Once you have a GOOD pair of fixed focus marine binocs.......every other pair seems like you should leave them at home. Most every water professional I know agrees and thats what you find on the dash of most military/commercial boats .....that I have been on.

Obviously image stabilized binocs have their strong points....but I havent used a pair yet that I would leave my Funjinons at home....but I definitely would add a pair with at least 10 power for those stubborn bridges or the ones with tiny numbets on their tide boards...
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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I still have and use a pair of Fujinon 7x50, fixed-focus binocs that I got more than 30 years ago. They are big and heavy, and when I want to carry a small and light pair I take my manual focus binocs with me. Otherwise, though, they are my go-to binoculars.


The stabilized binocs, of course, are a whole different beast.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:59 PM   #7
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My wife gave me a Barska 7x50 perma-focus a few years ago. I thought, "OK, she meant well ... Barska, what a piece of junk." Boy was I wrong! They are great. Everyone who picks them up goes, "Damn, these are great!"


I have terrible eyesight and the binocs work just as well with or without wearing my glasses. Amazing.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:57 PM   #8
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Bill, Are you still in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor area? Did you find a winter home for Seeadler?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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Fixed Focus

Bill, I got a pair of fixed focus marine binocs through a bank rewards program. They are great for general use. However, I usually end up using my stabilized binoculars.

Most of the time when I want to use a pair of binoculars I want to identify something with detail. Maybe it is a name of a boat, the number of a buoy, the sign at a marina etc... for that, the higher mag and stabilization is wonderful.

Still, on those rare occasions when I go to the fly bridge, I take the much cheaper fixed focus, water proof marine binocs. If I drop them they are less expensive and less likely to break.

And I’m curious along with Ken. Where are you at now?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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I'm still in love with my Fujinon 7x50 armored marine binoculars that I got in the late 80s. Once each eyepiece is adjusted you never touch an adjustment again. Yes, big and heavy, but their low light capability is amazing.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken E. View Post
Bill, Are you still in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor area? Did you find a winter home for Seeadler?
Im at Chinook Landing, on the Hylebos Channel. First quality facility, crappy neighborhood. Hanging out for a few days til Gina drives up for UPS parents'weekend. Got plenty of boatwork to fill my time.
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
Being asymetrically myopic and astygmatic, I constantly struggle to find a clear image, especially after someone else has used the glasses...at least I did until I bought my new $99 7x50s. Experimentation shows the pre-set range is about 20 yards to infinity. I now wonder why anyone would want any other type, maybe if one were a bird-watcher...

I mentioned in another thread, I think center focus SUCKS!

Partially because I'm likely spoiled, having used Steiner (in my case) fixed focus binocs since approx '83 or so...

I suspect center focus is less expensive to make; that's just a guess, though. Even for birders, unless the critter is inside the minimum focus distance (20', I think?) I can see how fixed focus wouldn't be the preferred option.

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Old 09-21-2018, 07:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Once you have a GOOD pair of fixed focus marine binocs.......every other pair seems like you should leave them at home. Most every water professional I know agrees and thats what you find on the dash of most military/commercial boats .....that I have been on.

Obviously image stabilized binocs have their strong points....but I havent used a pair yet that I would leave my Funjinons at home....but I definitely would add a pair with at least 10 power for those stubborn bridges or the ones with tiny numbets on their tide boards...

I mentioned Fuji's new compact 12x stabilized binoc in another thread. Wifey told me again the other day that she likes 'em... even though I see her having to fiddle with the stupid focus ring all the time. Anyway, we got 'em for exactly the same need: reading tiny stuff at distance while bouncing.

Luckily she's agreed to be the one fiddling with the stupid focus ring...

I have to admit to usually carrying a smaller 7x35 (I think) center focus binoc (B&L, I think) when hunting. The Steiner 7x50s are much better but their extra weight gets me down after a while, unlike on the boat where the things aren't hanging on my neck all the time. Can't focus on things quickly, so the 7x35s are only a half-a$$ solution. OTOH, maybe I can use wifey's smaller 7x30 fixed focus Steiners this year; she might not notice.

-Chris
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