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Old 10-25-2021, 06:37 PM   #1
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Stabilized Binoculars

Hi there,

I'm adding this thread here because it relates to navigation.

We're looking for recommendations for stabilized binoculars. I have a set of non-stabilized WM binoculars that are 7x50 and are blue rubber coated. I've had them for years and they are simple and reliable. I like the internal compass and have used it off shore when assisting others in delivering their boats.

As we transition to live aboards next year, we'll be primarily coastal cruisers and plan to spend some time in the Caribbean over the next several if not longer years (selling the dirt home).

Do you have recommendations for stabilized binoculars?

Thanks - JimL
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:47 PM   #2
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:47 PM   #3
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I am in the market as well.

Years ago I bought the wife a set of Cannon 18X stabilized binoculars for bird watching.

she would bring them to the boat occasionally and they worked Great!!! Very stable.

I need a pair of my own.

What else is on the market? Something even better? I bought the Cannons probably a decade ago, and we all know how quickly technology is advancing.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:05 PM   #4
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Had them, sold them, didn't like them. Had Fujinon 14x40 Techno-Stabi, a high quality, very stabil glass but we did not like the narrow field of vision. Both my wife and I much prefer our Fujinon 7x50's with compass. Best anchor anyone?
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:38 PM   #5
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I have had a pair of Nikons for 20 years and love them. Donít know if Nikon is still making them or not. My wife tried them and said they were too heavy so she used the 7x50s. But after a few days cruising she started using them more and more. After a couple more days she never brought the 7x50s up to the bridge againÖ
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:48 PM   #6
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With 14x instead of 7x you are going to get a narrow field of vision.

I demo'd the Cannon and Fujinon, the Fujinon have a much greater range of stabilization than the Cannon. I've owned the Fujinon for several years now. They are heavy and not what you grab for a quick look, but for picking out something that is distant, like reading a buoy number or distant wildlife, they are far better than anything unstabilized, including my wife's $2K Swarovskis. You just can't compete with 14x, and you can't handhold 14x unstabilized on a boat. The Fujinons and a 7x50 (also Fuji) sit near the helm and I probably grab the stabilized ones 1 out of 4 times - but glad to have them for those occasions.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:52 PM   #7
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We bought a pair of Fujinon 14x40 from Mike of Woodland Hills. They were used but refurbished. He had several pairs for sale. Mike was great to work with . We have used them for one season and love them. They are esp. useful for Diane but I like them as well. The 7x50 Nikons are still in use but the more powerful, stabilized Fujinons really help her read bouys and markers.

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Old 10-25-2021, 08:11 PM   #8
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With 14x instead of 7x you are going to get a narrow field of vision.

I demo'd the Cannon and Fujinon, the Fujinon have a much greater range of stabilization than the Cannon. I've owned the Fujinon for several years now. They are heavy and not what you grab for a quick look, but for picking out something that is distant, like reading a buoy number or distant wildlife, they are far better than anything unstabilized, including my wife's $2K Swarovskis. You just can't compete with 14x, and you can't handhold 14x unstabilized on a boat. The Fujinons and a 7x50 (also Fuji) sit near the helm and I probably grab the stabilized ones 1 out of 4 times - but glad to have them for those occasions.


This. I have the Fuji 7x50 and the Fuji 1440 stabilized. My go to grab is the 7x50, but when I have need for the 1440, I love having them. But get the 7x50 first.
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:10 PM   #9
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We donít even use the 7x50s at all. I donít find the narrower field of view to be a problem. But I do find the more power very useful. I even used them when we were in the Chesapeake to look for crab pots. I would just scan back and forth going out further each time. My wife would keep lookout while I was scanning so we kept situational awareness. It was actually quite easy to find them this way. I would do it every 5 to 10 minutes when we were in areas with pots.
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:32 PM   #10
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I went with the Fujinon for stabilized.

But I also bought the swarovski pure 8x42’s which are the single best pair of optics I have ever used. I bought my mother the Swarovski 10x42 EL’s which is an earlier model for birding (she is a serious birder) and those in my opinion used to be the best but the new Pure model is unbelievable. These sell for silly prices though but for anyone that wants the best unstabilized binoculars they are the one, and the new Pure’s have amazing field of vision as well in comparison.
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:38 PM   #11
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Thanks All,

I really appreciate your comments and advice.

JimL
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Old 11-01-2021, 12:48 PM   #12
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Canon's are great

My vote is for the Canon... I had a pair for a decade then they mysteriously disappeared. Will be looking for a new pair as stabilized is the only way to go on the water....
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Old 11-01-2021, 01:11 PM   #13
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Have the Fujinon TSX1440 and very pleased with performance.
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Old 11-01-2021, 02:54 PM   #14
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I have owned several sets of the Fujinon 14x40's. They eventually would fail due to the poor connection between them and the separate removable battery compartment on the bottom. They were awesome and had much better full-on stabilization. Think a true gimbal on a video camera in rough water. They also ran through 4 Lithium AA batteries fairly quickly.

For the last 8-10 years I finally switched to the Canons. I have the 8x25 IS, 10x42 IS, & now - the 18x50 IS models.

The 8 power are light, but you need to hold the button down. The other two only need the button tapped once to turn them on (or off). These are not like the Fujinon's for stability in rough seas. They are more for lighter weather, hand shake, etc. They also last quite a while on 2 Lithium AA batteries.

If I were to pick one, the Canon 10x42 IS would be it for the money. The 18 x 50's are awesome for glassing for wildlife though!
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Old 11-01-2021, 03:16 PM   #15
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Had them, sold them, didn't like them. Had Fujinon 14x40 Techno-Stabi, a high quality, very stabil glass but we did not like the narrow field of vision. Both my wife and I much prefer our Fujinon 7x50's with compass. Best anchor anyone?
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Old 11-01-2021, 03:19 PM   #16
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After a lot of research I decided to buy the Fujinon Techno Stabi 1440 stabilized binoculars instead of upgrading my 7x50's to a stabilized version. My plan, which has turned out to be how it works in the real world, was that my basic Steiner Marine 7x50 unstabilized would be the go to glasses 90% of the time. They are sufficient for most day to day needs. When I need a long range reading of a sign, a marker number, a warning buoy, gas dock, or whatever I go to the 1440s and am very pleased with how stable they are and how clear the target becomes. I would not recommend the 1440s as the only pair at the helm as the narrow field is not the best for general use. We carry three or four pairs on board. The 7x50 and Fujinon for me at the helm. My wife prefers a lightweight set of Nikon Monarch 8x42 that are an exceptional value and the best glasses in this price range that we have seen. A couple of other pairs on board are mainly used by visitors (Bushnell ).
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Old 11-01-2021, 03:35 PM   #17
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I have a Canon L series (10-42) and I find it perfect for the boat. The optics are superior and the image stabilization is like magic. They are also waterproof. The only negatives I have are that they are fairly heavy (but all IS binocs are heavy) and the objective lens caps tend to fall off easily. Also -a bit pricey. I would use filters--mainly to proctect these quality (and costly) objective optics.

https://www.amazon.com/Canon-10x42-S...s%2C108&sr=8-5
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Old 11-01-2021, 08:40 PM   #18
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When you demand only the best!

https://fraseroptics.com/products-1
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Old 11-01-2021, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donpjr View Post
After a lot of research I decided to buy the Fujinon Techno Stabi 1440 stabilized binoculars instead of upgrading my 7x50's to a stabilized version. My plan, which has turned out to be how it works in the real world, was that my basic Steiner Marine 7x50 unstabilized would be the go to glasses 90% of the time. They are sufficient for most day to day needs. When I need a long range reading of a sign, a marker number, a warning buoy, gas dock, or whatever I go to the 1440s and am very pleased with how stable they are and how clear the target becomes. I would not recommend the 1440s as the only pair at the helm as the narrow field is not the best for general use. We carry three or four pairs on board. The 7x50 and Fujinon for me at the helm. My wife prefers a lightweight set of Nikon Monarch 8x42 that are an exceptional value and the best glasses in this price range that we have seen. A couple of other pairs on board are mainly used by visitors (Bushnell ).
We had the same three as you, the Techno Stabi, Fujinon 7x50, and Nikon Monarch 8x42. We RARELY had a need to use the Techno Stabi plus my wife found them confusing to use. In fact, because of their narrow field of view, when I did use them, I had to look up and make sure they were pointed in the right direction. So, we sold them at a $50 profit. Never missed them, not even once. Spotting distant markers? I suppose but, as I said, we never had the need even when doing 5,500 miles on the Great Loop. Spotting a marker a mile away with that narrow field of vision was very difficult. I gave up and turned to the 7x50s.
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:45 AM   #20
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Nothing against stabilized binoculars, but we just use our image-stabilized Nikon Coolpix B600 point and shoot camera with 60X optical zoom lens when we need to see something far away. It's light, small, and cheap; and it stores and the image and displays the image on a screen and on a smart phone, so multiple people can look at it. With up to 60X magnification and digital zooming of the image on the screen after the fact, we can see details at far greater distances than binoculars allow. Also, there's no sense of urgency when trying to see something, just snap a pic and look when convenient. Oh, it also works really well as a camera too. I think they cost around 300 bucks.
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