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Old 05-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Stabilized Binoculars

I'm thinking about buying a pair of stabilized binoculars for the Admiral.

Anybody have any experience with these? If so, what are your likes and dislikes?

In your opinion, are they worth the extra cost?

And, someone told me that the battery life is pathetic. Do you agree?

Thank you.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. Nsail. I've never tried them but if they perform as advertised I can readily see where they would be of use particularly in the higher powers (above 7X35 for instance). If they weren't so dad-gummed expensive, I'd definatly buy a pair, say in the 15X+ range! A LOT to be said for seeing, either near or far better...Now if I could only find a set in the dollar store like my reading glasses.
Hahahaha...I'm still good looking, just not looking good!
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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I helped pioneer the Fujinons back in the early 80's...even then the technolgy was fantastic...unfortunately all decent models ahve stayed out tof the raech of the average boater so I don't have much recent experience.

However...any binoc with even the old Fujinon tech is WAY better than any normal binoc as long as the optics are up to it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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I have had the Fujinon 14x40 Techno Stabi for several years. Every time I do a delivery and don't take them with me I regret it.
Downside - they are heavy. Upside - they are worth every penny.
My non-stabilized binoc's are Leitz and the Fujinon lens quality is at least equal.
I have no complaints about battery life. I use 4 AA lithium batteries in mine and can't remember the last time I changed them.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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I have not yet used a set of stabilized binoculars but if the stabilization systems are anything like the ones used in camera lenses these days---- which I have used a lot---- they would be very effective.

One of the two digital cameras I use for personal projects is a Cannon with a zoom lens with a 35mm equivalency of 24mm to 840mm. You ever try to hand hold an 800 mm non-stabilized lens? Impossible to see anything other than jerky blurs.

In the Visit to Eagle post I made to Cruising and Events-West Coast bucket there is a shot of a notch barge underway. The second shot of the tug was made with this particular Cannon camera with the lens all the way in to 840mm. Hand held, from the deck of a moving boat.

The only thing I don't like about stabilized camera lenses--- and I don't know if the binocular lenses are the same--- is the jerks the image makes when the movement of the camera exceeds the ability of the optical stabilizer to hold the image steady. At that point the image jerks to a new framing and holds there until the movement exceeds the limits again, and it resets with a jerk again.

The gyro stabilized cameras we use for aerial work are a whole different ballgame. There the entire camera is being stabilized so there are no jerks at all no matter how much the mount moves.

But based on my pretty extensive experience with optically stabilized lenses I would say that if you need binoculars of more than the typical 7 x 35 or 8 x 50, a stabilized unit would be the way to go if they are as good as today's optically stabilized camera lenses.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Takes about 1/2 second to stabilize. (Can be a vertigo moment). No jerks. Smooth as silk. Continuous stabilization unless things get totally out of sorts. Like hand the binoculars to someone else or turn around quickly. Then the stabilization will just disconnect.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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Who are the competitors to Fujinon, I'm going to do a little price shopping. Are they a store item, if so which one so I could look before I buy.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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If you're in Seattle I believe Captains Nautical Supply carries a good selection of binoculars.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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We have a couple pair of Canon IS binocs for nature studies..birds & boobies. Bought one at B&H Photo in NYC & the other from an ex Canon employee that received a pair as preformance/attendance reward & wanted the $ instead. We feel they're well worth it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Canon, Nikon and Steiner would be the 3 I'd compare to the Fujinon. I have not compared my Fujinon to the Steiner but have to the Canon and Nikon. I bought the Fujinon and they were a bit more money at the time if that tells you anything. It was a few years ago so maybe things have changed.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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Correction...we purchased 1st pair of Canon IS from B&H Photo in NYC.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #13
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I've had a pair of Canon IS 10x30 for quite a few years - still on the original batteries. I also have a pair of Nikon 10x50 (not stabilized) that I like. I think my ideal would be a combo - stablized 10x50.

The advertising I've seen for IS binoculars emphasize that it's easier (for instance) to read signage, but I don't really find that to be true. They're just more comfortable to look through in general, like when scanning for a particular feature. And guests seem to enjoy them!
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
The advertising I've seen for IS binoculars emphasize that it's easier (for instance) to read signage, but I don't really find that to be true.
Not my experience with the Fujinon 14x40.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #15
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My Admrial is a bird watcher.

She uses her Cannon 18X stabilized binocs every day and loves them. Had them about 3 years or so and they work great!
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:46 PM   #16
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Sibs (the Admiral) bought me a pair of Fujinon Thechno-Stabi stabilized binocs 14 x 40 for xmas and they are in a waterproof Pelican case...they are fantastic! Not only do they provide easy, stabilized viewing while on the water, they are waterproof and they Float! I compared them with my Steiners (non stabilized) and while the German has unbelievable optics, there is no comparison to stabilization. Save up and get 'em.
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