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Old 08-18-2015, 02:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
Don't underestimate the convenience of not having to focus the Steiners.
Ditto. When I bought mine, I thought that feature was insignificant. But, after using, I wouldn't be without if possible.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:18 PM   #22
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Why I Like Having a Compass in the Binoculars

Interesting to note how many here don't use this feature. Personally I think it is one of the most valuable navigational back-up systems on the boat; and I have fun practicing its use. Here are my uses, more or less in order of priority. Before I got my big Fujinons, I carried a nice hand bearing compass , but in my opinion the binocs do the jobs better and easier, because you can pinpoint distant targets much more accurately.

1) Are we on a collision course? This is the fastest way to determine this, even vs ARPA on the radar. Yes, I know and use the old trick of lining up something like the edge of a window frame with, say a point on the railing, and the vessel in question, but boat yaw and sea condition can make that difficult, and there isn't always a handy set of things to line up.

2) Are my main boat compasses accurate? This makes it easy to DIY swing your compass and do spot checks. Stuff happens on a boat and compasses can get put off inadvertently. Binocs are easy to get away from any possible magnetic influences.

3) Where am I ? easy to figure out with pretty good accuracy by taking two or three fixes on charted objects. Also helps you tell if you are dragging or have swung on your anchor without looking at the plotter. I also kept a nice box compass a friend of mine gave me as a going away cruising gift right by my bedside for an instant read on which way the boat was pointing. Binocs with a light overhead do the same thing.

4) As psneeld mentioned, makes it very easy to hand the binocs to someone and say "hey, take a look over there at 110, what the heck is that?"

When we are out on the water, I like to scan around all the time. The 7 x 50's give a nice big picture look. When I went cruising with a buddy with as I recall 14 power stabilized binocs, I used the 7's first then the 14s if I wanted to home in.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:24 PM   #23
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I think I have narrowed it down to another pair of Nikon OceanPro (probably this time with the compass) or the Steiner Mariner. Anyone have any experience with the Steiner Mariner version?

We have two Steiners, one 7x50, Commander XP, presumably similar to the current Commander 7x50c model. The other is the 7x30 Navigator Pro. Both with compass. Both are excellent. And the compass feature is very useful; we use that often.

The larger succeeds the first 7x50 Steiner -- Commander with compass, something like that -- wifey bought me when we lived in Germany in the early '80s' -- also excellent glass.

Don't know the Mariner, though. I'd presume good glass.

OTOH, because I wear eyeglasses and eye relief is important... I've found when buying a binoc it helps to look through them first before buying.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
Don't underestimate the convenience of not having to focus the Steiners.
Yep, exactly! As useful as the compass!

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Old 08-18-2015, 05:34 PM   #24
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A different perspective. I mostly use Nikon 10 x 30, but also have Canon 8 x 22 and as well as Eddie Bauer 10 x 50. The advantage of the little ones is that you can basically wear them without really noticing the weight.

I'll test some Steiner 7 x 50 when I get a chance but suspect that if I add to my inventory it will be with some higher power stabilized ones. My eyes are good (except for reading) and to me magnification power is king!
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:44 PM   #25
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I have come to love the stabilized binoculars. .
Me too! I have what the doctor calls an "Essential Tremor" and I'd be totally screwed if it were not for my Cannon Stabilized Binocs. They are absolutely terrific! I've had them for about 4 years and they were around $400 at the time. When I push the button, everything is dead still...nothing like it anywhere.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:48 PM   #26
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The 7X50s are all about light gathering and just the right amount of magnifying to be of use on a moving vessel....believe me...they are a standard for a reason.


The good ones are 1/2 way to inexpensive night vision devices with how good they are.


There are other combinations of power and light gathering optic combinations other than 7X50...but usually not for handheld on smaller vessels.


I have used the smaller compact binocs with great success in back waters where very calm..but 7X50 is still regarded as the best average.


While an invaluable tool...with the advent of GPS...binocs aren't nearly the tool of navigation that they were 20 years ago...but recreation they are invaluable.


That's why I love the compass feature...point and shoot to the number for the peron you are dealing with.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:51 PM   #27
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... to me magnification power is king!
My feeling exactly. Historically, usable magnification has been limited by how steady you can hold the glasses. 7x seems to be the practical limit.

With stabilized glasses you can easily go to 14x and still have a steadier image than with 7x handheld. It makes a huge difference in how early/far away you can identify another boat, a marker's numbering, a deadhead, a crab trap vs a sea gull, etc., etc..
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:56 PM   #28
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When I visited Codger2, I used his gyro stabilized binocs and was very impressed!! The stabilization allows you to see more detail without the need for great magnification. If I had no budget, I'll look for a stabilized pair.
Actually, the Cannons were the least expensive when I went shopping.....I'd forgotten all about AL's visit on board and using the Cannons.. Getting old is a bitch!
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:23 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codger2 View Post
Me too! I have what the doctor calls an "Essential Tremor" and I'd be totally screwed if it were not for my Cannon Stabilized Binocs. They are absolutely terrific! I've had them for about 4 years and they were around $400 at the time. When I push the button, everything is dead still...nothing like it anywhere.
I have Essential tremor also not real bad at this point my father also has it pretty bad I have a older Nikon stabilized and have to send them in for the 2nd time to get repaired

When they work they are great
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:36 AM   #30
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Thanks everyone for all the great advice. Last night, we ordered a pair of Steiner Navigator Pro 7x50. For the type of boating we do, stabilized isn't really necessary. I decided to forego the compass, but may get an inexpensive monocular later with a compass. My wife and I have been boating together since the 90s, and have never felt a need for one, so I just couldn't really justify the extra $150 for the compass. Nor could I justify the significant increase in price to go with the Commanders. Looking forward to trying these out. I wear glasses, but usually take them off when using the binocs because I like the eye cups up close to block out light. For that reason, the set and forget Steiner focus seemed to make a lot of sense. Once the Nikons are repaired, they will be my wife's primary pair, and I'll use the Steiners. Again, thanks for all the real world experience. This is is part of what makes this forum great! I'll report back once I have a chance to put some miles on them.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #31
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Steiner is by far my favorite. we have a 7x50 pair and the optics are excellent
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:39 AM   #32
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I have Nikon 10x50 and don't really care for them on the boat, way to shaky underway. They are nice for hunting when you can sit still. 7x50 is probably the way to go.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:55 PM   #33
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I have Nikon 10x50 and don't really care for them on the boat, way to shaky underway. They are nice for hunting when you can sit still. 7x50 is probably the way to go.

This is why you need electronic stabilized binoculars. By the time you get a great 15X pair, you can't hold them still enough to see without electronic stabilization. Try a pair. You won't believe how steady they are in your hand on a rocking boat.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:25 PM   #34
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Of course I do have the high end Fujis, which I got to compare pretty extensively side by side with the Steiner equivalent, but for me the optics and especially the low light capability of the Fuji carried the day, not by a huge margin, but enough. I have been very impressed with their mid range units too. I had to have one of our mid range units repaired and found the service from the guys in New Jersey to be excellent.. but in my case they just sent me a new pair.

Anyone shopping for binocs should find the opportunity to do a side by side test for which (and I would include Nikons too) fits them better, not just optics but overall ergonomics. I wear glasses, by the way.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:03 AM   #35
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You need 2 sets of binos .

Your set is kept in a drawer at the nav table.

The 2nd set is out ON the nav table for general and esp Guest use.

Most nav uses are fine with $35.00 cheapos , but when you need to read a buoy number at dusk, the right tool is in the drawer. Undropped.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:47 AM   #36
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You need 2 sets of binos .

Your set is kept in a drawer at the nav table.

The 2nd set is out ON the nav table for general and esp Guest use.

Most nav uses are fine with $35.00 cheapos , but when you need to read a buoy number at dusk, the right tool is in the drawer. Undropped.
Best advice so far.....
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:54 AM   #37
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I have fujinon mariners. They have great optics. I like that they are light. Mine have a compass which I use occasionally. I also have West Marine 10x42 binos. They were worthless on the sailboat, but are fine on the powerboat. They are compact and light.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:04 PM   #38
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You need 2 sets of binos .

Your set is kept in a drawer at the nav table.

The 2nd set is out ON the nav table for general and esp Guest use.

Most nav uses are fine with $35.00 cheapos , but when you need to read a buoy number at dusk, the right tool is in the drawer. Undropped.

Yep, we have a sacrificial binoc for guests. Decent enough glass. Wifey and I are the only ones who use our own respective binocs.

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Old 08-23-2015, 09:40 PM   #39
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The big jump in price is from the $200-300 dollar decent binoculars that are great for everyday use, that you won't cry when you drop them, to the Real nice pair of stabilized binocs. They are totally worth the coin if you choose. My deckhands drop mine, so I ain't going there, even if I had an itch to spend that money on them.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:12 AM   #40
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Have had a pair of Fuji, think they are Poseidons. Absolutely amazing in haze or low light. After more than 15 years with this pair, they are worth the price.

I'd like to supplement with a stabilized pair, but given the performance of the Fujis, it's not real,high on the wish list. I can't recall a time using the Fujis, that I felt I was missing out on something better.
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