Binoculars ?

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Binoculars ?

Postby baz on Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:52 pm

Subject: Binoculars ?

I currently have an aging pair of binoculars I bought from WM a number of years ago. While they are pretty good when my boat is stationary or I'm standing on solid ground, they aren't so good when using them on a rocking boat. The image simply moves around too much making it nigh impossible to see a distant object clearly for any extended time.

With the above in mind I'm now researching a pair of binoculars that can stabilize the image. They are obviously more expensive having the image stabilizing technology and I'm having difficulty in really understanding how best to make a sensible choice on what to buy.

If you have any advice on how to go about comparing binoculars that have image stabilization technology I would be most appreciative.

What are the most important salient features to concentrate on ?

Here's my starting point - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/outdoors/buying-guide/binocular

Thank you.... :)
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby fishheadbarandgrill on Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:12 pm

I'm a big fan of image stabilization. And that's why we have elbows :P
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby baz on Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:46 pm

Hey Bob, I know you're joking, but elbows on a moving surface ain't going to cut IMO. :lol:
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:19 pm

I think the amount of light binoc's pass through is more important than magnification. your eyes are amazing if given enough light. so a bigger second number as in the 50 in a 7x50

Steiner makes a nice pair but the best way is to find a store to try them out like captains
https://www.captainsnautical.com/collections/optics/products/steiner-575-marine

if you have less magnification image stabalization is less important. you'll see the stablizing binocs generally are 10X30 or even crazy 18x50 https://www.amazon.com/Canon-Stabilization-All-Weather-Binoculars-Batteries/dp/B00004THDE/ref=sr_1_3?hvadid=177194787116&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9033321&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t3&hvqmt=e&hvrand=3748173523581231240&hvtargid=kwd-42081486&keywords=image+stabilized+binoculars&qid=1551993432&s=gateway&sr=8-3&tag=googhydr-20.

I think you might be surprised how good a 7x50 is in comparison for a lot less money
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby NorthernFocus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:28 pm

It's been a while since I went through this exercise. But the angle(in degrees) of correction that they are capable of indicates how much movement they will stabilize. When I went through them Fujinon were the best and what I went with. They do a good job on the classic version Rangers or on any boat as non-planing speeds. One the motion becomes too jerky they won't handle it completely.

FYI the Fujinons are also what the military uses to spot IEDs while rolling along in a Humvee.
Dan

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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:31 pm

excuse my language but ^(&^)@# (*^&(&*) ^*&%*% - $5999 for a pair of binocs!

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/206835-USA/Fujinon_7514402_S1640D_16x40_Gyro_Stabilzed_Binocular.html

good reviews on this model which explain Dan's point
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... Image.html
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby Bruce Moore on Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:44 pm

Good overview: Boat US on Stabilized Binoculars.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby JamesTXSD on Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:01 pm

Don't be swayed by the low price on the Canon 10x30 IS binoculars - we used these on our boat for about a year, at which point the rubber covering on them turned to goo. Really, the black stuff would come off on your hands and clothes. I contacted Canon about this and was told they had never heard of this issue (this has been years ago), but a search of the internet proved different. When I sent them in for service, I was told that "they have been dropped in the water" (absolutely not true) - they wanted more to repair them than it would cost to buy another one!

I got on a Canon owners forum and told about this experience - I was immediately contacted by a Canon "tech specialist" who said they would replace the binoculars if I would take down that post. I did, they replaced the binoculars. Then, I made another post.

The binoculars are decent. The Image stabilization takes care of any hand-shake, but isn't enough to counteract boat movement. Canon service was downright combative in my attempt to solve the situation. They even refused to return the binoculars unless I paid their ridiculous repair price. This whole thing drug on for months. Again, don't be taken in by the price on the 10x30 IS binoculars.

I agree with the post that a good pair of 7x50 non-stabilized binoculars is a good fit on most boats.
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby NorthernFocus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:38 pm

JamesTXSD wrote:Don't be swayed by the low price on the Canon 10x30 IS binoculars...The binoculars are decent. The Image stabilization takes care of any hand-shake, but isn't enough to counteract boat movement...I agree with the post that a good pair of 7x50 non-stabilized binoculars is a good fit on most boats.

This is consistent with what I found when I compared Canon and Fujinon(Nikon sells relabeled Fujinons). The Canon corrected for 1.5 degrees and the Fujinons correct for 5.0 degrees.

There are various other issues other than optics to consider with IS binos.
- For one they take batteries to operate. Not as a big a deal if you use them often. A real PITA if used infrequently and the batts are dead every time you pick them up.
- They are heavy/bulky.
- If brightness of the image is important to you(as it is for most of us with old eyes) none of the IS binos come close to the same amount of transmitted light as traditional binos. Consider that typical high powered marine binos are 8x50 or 10x50. The second figure is the size of the objective lens which dictates how much light the binos gather. The Fujinon IS are either 12x30 or 14x40. More magnification, less light. The objective lens is kept small to minimize size. In order to compare favorably the IS makers have come up with a bogus "effective light" rating. Basically saying that with a stable image you don't need as much light. Each individual has to decide if they buy the argument.
- Using the IS binos is very disorienting when in a boat/vehicle. What your body is feeling doesn't match what your eyes are seeing and it plays tricks on you brain/equilibrium. I always put elbows on dash/window frame or lean a hip against rail/bulkhead.

I had the 14x40 stabilized version for several years and found myself always using my 40 year old Fujinon 6x30 traditional binos due to the 95 percent light transmission versus something like 25 percent transmission of the IS pair. I usually need the binos most at night or in poor light which is when the IS binos are at their worst. Finally sold them for about half what I paid and was glad to get that much back.
Dan

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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby baz on Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:08 pm

Woweeee..... thanks so much for all the responses. This Tugnut site is worth more than a few bars of gold. ;) :D

I'm going to try these - Fujinon 14x40 TS1440 Techno-Stabi Image-Stabilized Binocular, and one of the nice goodies was getting the Snapzoom Universal Digiscoping Adapter for free with the purchase as I'm a real fan of taking photos/videos of distant objects/scenes with my iPhone, and in addition this -> OP/TECH USA Bino/Cam Harness (Elastic Version). :D
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby knotflying on Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:11 am

I have the Cannon 10X30 They are adequate, but not stellar. Price seems to correlate to how well the binoculars stabilize. If I had to buy again I would physically try them out before buying and I am guessing that something $1,000 or more would be a starting point for quality of stabilization.
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby Toucan on Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:34 am

We bought Canon image stabilized binoculars and were unhappy with them. Then, we bought the Fujinon stabilized binoculars. We use neither anymore. The problem is that the stabilization reduces hand shake and allows the magnification to be increased when you are on solid ground. Increased magnification means a smaller field-of-view (FOV). When on a rocking or bouncing boat, the narrow FOV makes it very difficult to locate the object you want to look at and keep it in the FOV. IF you could get stabilized binoculars with a 6X magnification, that would be very useful on a boat. We do not even use the stabilized binoculars when we walk around bird watching because they are heavy and it takes too long to get the bird into the narrow FOV.

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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby baz on Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:32 am

Barry Thompson:

I'm going to try out the Fujinon 14x40 TS1440 Techno-Stabi Image-Stabilized Binocular, and will post back my experience using them on land and sea. Most reviews I've read were quite positive with the weight being the most -ive issue.
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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby EdandJeanne on Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 pm

I would highly recommend the Steiner Navigator Pro 7X50 binoculars -- very large objective lens - let's a lot of light in. Bought them a year ago at the Seattle Boat Show - took them to Alaska last summer - just excellent! Will probably get another pair - so my wife and I don't have to fight over them :lol:

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Re: Binoculars ?

Postby H28 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:09 pm

I have a pair of WW2 Navy Mark 45 7 x 50.

I figure if they were good enough to defeat the Empire of Japan, they'll work for me.......
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