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Binoculars - General discussion

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Salva
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Binoculars - General discussion

Unread postby Salva » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:12 pm

I don' t really know where else to post this question.

We'll be visiting Kruger in november and need to buy 2 pairs of binoculars. There is so much difference in price and other things and I really want to get it right this time.

Budget: around 250 Euro or 2000 ZAR each.

Any tips?

Salva
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Unread postby DebM » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:48 pm

We have Leica 10x25 they are compact lightweight binoculars, have been very pleased with them. I've had mine since '97, SO are only a couple of years old - his where cheaper and came with a leather case. Loaned mine to a friend going on safari, he was impressed. Not sure how much they cost now may be a little more than E200.
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Unread postby richardharris » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:51 pm

I am a great fan of the Canon range of image stabalized bins. The 10 times are about your price, and are lightweight.

Sue loves them for weight/IS - I prefer the higher powered ones and usually use 18 times (I am partially colour blind and need to be a 'close' to a bird as possible to get the colour right!).

Richard

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Unread postby bert » Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:43 am

Hi
If you want the small 8 x 21 or 8 x 40 (bigger)try
Bynolyt of Bushnell
Great value for money.
They fall in your price range.

But always try the binoc on the street.
Colourquality and sharpness

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Salva
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Unread postby Salva » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:46 pm

thanks for the tips: I think I'll go for at least a 10 times so 10x50 would be ideal, wouldn't it?

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Unread postby bert » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:52 pm

Salva wrote:thanks for the tips: I think I'll go for at least a 10 times so 10x50 would be ideal, wouldn't it?

Salva


I gave birdingcourses and we always advice against a 10x50 :?
Because a 10 x 50 is more difficult to hold rocksteady.
That will notice when y must indentify a object very far away
Most birders (In Holland that is) use 8 x 40
Easier to control
But if you go with Image stabalization it wont matter
But they are much more expensive.

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Unread postby richardharris » Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:02 pm

Actually the 50 bit (size of front element) is very large in modern binoculars. They would be heavy and bulky - and few of the better makes do such a beast.

The Canon I mentioned is 10x30. Modern optics make a larger front element less important than say 20 years ago.

Only go for a larger one if you need a more powerful binocular as well.

Richard

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Unread postby francoisd » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:52 am

You should also consider the application you want to use it for.

I use a Bushnell H2O 10x42 (also have a 10x50)

As mentioned the first letter is the magnification, and this 10X magnification is not the same as the optical zoom 10X of a digital camera for instance. A 10X binoculars gets closer than a 12X digi camera.

The last number e.g. 42 is as said the size of front lens. The larger this number the larger the field you will see through the binos. 50 is a very nice size for following birds in flight because you can see a larger area in comparision with say 20.

When testing the binoculars in the shop also make sure how close they can focus. There is nothing so frustrating than seeing a bird at 3m off and you are trying to see detail and your binoculars cannot focus that close!

As to weight my Bushnell 10x50 is very leight and easy to keep steady.

The important thing is to try out the binoculars before buying. Make sure they are comfortable for you, and if the shop is situated in such a way that you can test them outside even better.

As to price I sometimes wonder if spending R12000 on binoculars is worth it. My H2O has nitrogen gas filled tubes to prevent them from fogging up, it is waterproof, and the image quality to me is the same as my friends 10x42 Leica binos. My binoculars cost me R1700, his is around R12000 and has the same specifications.
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Unread postby richardharris » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:40 am

I don't think its as simple as that. The front lens diameter is much more to do with brightness of the image. The actual and apparent angle of view is much more to do with the construction of the binoculars.

Nikon

This is Nikon's binocular site (in Europe); check the detailed specs on their three 8x for example.

Canon

This is some technical stuff from Canon - not always as clear as it could be!

I do agree though with the most expensive may not be best for you. Go and try them out. A good pair is worth investing in - but do you need Leicas?!!

Richard

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Re: New pair of binoculars

Unread postby lam » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:41 am

Salva wrote:I don' t really know where else to post this question.

We'll be visiting Kruger in november and need to buy 2 pairs of binoculars. There is so much difference in price and other things and I really want to get it right this time.

Budget: around 250 Euro or 2000 ZAR each.

Any tips?

Salva


It depends whether you will be just game watching or bird watching. If it is just game watching, 8x magnification is fine and you don't have to go too expensive.

I started off with a R100 pair of those tiny Tasco binoculars 8x25 (I think??). Although, I wouldn't recommend them, they were sufficient as a start, and well worth the money. We now keep them permanently in the car, so that we always have a pair of binoculars with us wherever we go.

I became a bird watcher and now have Bushnell 8x40, but would often like something better, especially for waders. But maybe, we should just get a scope for that :?:

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Unread postby lam » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:59 pm

I suggest that every person has a pair of binoculars, even if your 4th pair is only a pair of those really tiny 8x25's. You can buy them for about R109 to R169 here. I am sure you should be able to pick them up for about £10 at Dixons. They aren't wonderful, but are much, much better than waiting for a pair.

If you see a LIT, no-one will want to drive, make coffee or wait for a pair.
Last edited by lam on Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Elsa » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:00 pm

Hi Caves

Welcome to the forum.

I am no fundi on the subject of binoculars but we are avid animal/bird watchers and regular visitors to Kruger.

We have had a pair of Nikon 8X40 for the last few years now and have found them excellent, especially in terms of clarity and ease of use. I'm not too sure of the exact specifications or whether they are the same as what you are looking at getting.

My only criticism is that the focal point is not that close and can sometimes be a problem in trying to identify, say birds in a fairly nearby tree. I need all the help I can get.

I'm sure you will get other advice or be directed to a specific thread.

Hope you have a wonderful visit to the park,
Enjoy.
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Unread postby arks » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:30 pm

Hi Caves:

While I see you're mostly considering high(er) powered binocs, I agree with the comments that all members of your group should have their own pair. Even then, you'll have some "competition" between sharing the lower and higher powers.

I travel alone and am always juggling binocs and several cameras :lol: . I favour the smaller binocs and can highly recommend ones that I got at Jessops a few years back - their own brand, 8 x21 and cost at the time £12.

While these may not satisfy serious birders, they have served me well and I'd go back to Jessops (even tho I live in the US :D ) to replace should I need to.
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