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Old 18-02-2016, 09:48   #46
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That's actually a very good point.

The way I do collision avoidance in really hairy places (Dover Straits; Elbe Approaches), when I have crew, is at the nav table concentrating on radar and AIS, with crew keeping the visual watch on deck. How does he ask you about something he sees, which worries him, if he doesn't have compass binocs or at least a HBC?

"Hey, see that big car carrier over there" "Where?" "Off the port bow" "Which of the 12 ships off our port bow?" "Well, that great big one, between the two bulkers" "What?" etc.

Compared to:

"Car carrier at 008 -- are we ok with that one?" "CPA one mile passing ahead, I'm watching him."

Sometimes it's really important.

Ever since I first went to sea, and standing my first watch as look out, we were taught to report sightings by points.
Eight points in a 90 degree sector.
Example's would be light at 3 points starboard bow, or 2 points fwd of port beam etc
Now it is second nature to me.

When I get young cadets reporting something at 5 o'clock, I tend to cringe. Guess I'm getting to be a grumpy old git.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:09   #47
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Wise words.

Yes, primary use is for taking bearings. Of course, if they are good as binocs as well, this is not meaningless. I'm not a birdwatcher or anything, but we all peer at stuff through binocs from time to time.

Can anyone comment on the comparative compass quality, stability, and readability on:

Steiner Commander C
Steiner Navigator Pro C
Fuji Polaris?
Dockhead,

We own 2 pair of the Steiner Navigator Pro C 7x50 with lighted compass [and range reticule.] One is the West Marine branded version, the other Steiner; they are identical except for the labeling.

We love them [and have 2 with compasses for the reason MarkJ cited: give magnetic coordinates when asked "...where away?"]

They are well balanced: Even the Admiral [who admits to having less upper body strength and stamina than I do...] has no issue using her pair for long periods of time. I recommend a shaped [i.e., curved vs. straight] flotation collar/neck strap for comfort and retrievability from the water...

They are excellent in low light [after I can no longer see objects with my naked eyes...]

The lighted [night vision preserving] compass is well dampened and accurate [at least our pair always agree- even when the binocular users don't...] However, one major difference between the Commander Global model and the other Steiner models is the compass on the Commander Global is world usable: the Navigator Pro compasses are regionalized and require factory swap-out as one travels.

Here is the link to the Steiner model comparison chart.

A point worth repeating: Using the [infinite focus] Steiners at sea, you never have to wonder if you missed something because your manual depth of focus was not set properly... You will clearly see anything in view when scanning the horizon.

The trade-off for this infinite focus with our Steiner 7x50s is they won't focus closer than ~20 meters, so we use the designated 'guest' binoculars [with manual focus] when inspecting the rig from the deck or other close quartered objects.

RE: Purchasing in the US: we did business with this company which sells discounted Steiner binos that are factory refurbished, factory sealed, and open box [demo] units- all with factory warranties.

They were good to work with, and we wouldn't hesitate to do so again. [No incentives; we are just customers...]

Best wishes finding your next pair of binos.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:19   #48
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Re: Compass Binocs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Ever since I first went to sea, and standing my first watch as look out, we were taught to report sightings by points.
Eight points in a 90 degree sector.
Example's would be light at 3 points starboard bow, or 2 points fwd of port beam etc
Now it is second nature to me.

When I get young cadets reporting something at 5 o'clock, I tend to cringe. Guess I'm getting to be a grumpy old git.

Whats funny is to yell, "left, two Oclock" and watch their heads snap back and forth as the brain first hears "left", then "2 Oclock"
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:27   #49
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
yea, in the electronic age . . . probably the 'high skill' approach is to draw a route on the plotter and bring up cross track error on one of your biggest cockpit displays. . . . and hope you do not get a set of those relatively rare gps 50m error data sets. Actually this is a selling point of those high precision inertial navigation boxes we talked about elsewhere.
Don't get me started . . .

And often it's even worse than that -- set a waypoint at your destination without checking the route for obstacles (which are not visible unless you zoom in along the whole route), drink beer while watching the XTE display . . .
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:29   #50
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Re: Compass Binocs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Ever since I first went to sea, and standing my first watch as look out, we were taught to report sightings by points.
Eight points in a 90 degree sector.
Example's would be light at 3 points starboard bow, or 2 points fwd of port beam etc
Now it is second nature to me.

When I get young cadets reporting something at 5 o'clock, I tend to cringe. Guess I'm getting to be a grumpy old git.
I'm afraid I never learned points. Did you learn to "box the compass"?

I think you've out-gitted me.

But if we're serious -- points are probably very useful.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:40   #51
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Re: Compass Binocs

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Dockhead,

We own 2 pair of the Steiner Navigator Pro C 7x50 with lighted compass [and range reticule.] One is the West Marine branded version, the other Steiner; they are identical except for the labeling.

We love them [and have 2 with compasses for the reason MarkJ cited: give magnetic coordinates when asked "...where away?"]

They are well balanced: Even the Admiral [who admits to having less upper body strength and stamina than I do...] has no issue using her pair for long periods of time. I recommend a shaped [i.e., curved vs. straight] flotation collar/neck strap for comfort and retrievability from the water...

They are excellent in low light [after I can no longer see objects with my naked eyes...]

The lighted [night vision preserving] compass is well dampened and accurate [at least our pair always agree- even when the binocular users don't...] However, one major difference between the Commander Global model and the other Steiner models is the compass on the Commander Global is world usable: the Navigator Pro compasses are regionalized and require factory swap-out as one travels.

Here is the link to the Steiner model comparison chart.

A point worth repeating: Using the [infinite focus] Steiners at sea, you never have to wonder if you missed something because your manual depth of focus was not set properly... You will clearly see anything in view when scanning the horizon.

The trade-off for this infinite focus with our Steiner 7x50s is they won't focus closer than ~20 meters, so we use the designated 'guest' binoculars [with manual focus] when inspecting the rig from the deck or other close quartered objects.

RE: Purchasing in the US: we did business with this company which sells discounted Steiner binos that are factory refurbished, factory sealed, and open box [demo] units- all with factory warranties.

They were good to work with, and we wouldn't hesitate to do so again. [No incentives; we are just customers...]

Best wishes finding your next pair of binos.

Cheers!

Bill
Thanks for that.

I've pretty much decided to go with either a pair of the Fuji Polaris 7 x 50 ones (best optics, best construction, but huge and heavy) or a pair of Steiner Commander 7 x 30 ones (different tradeoff -- not as good in low light, but far more compact).

Probably leaning towards the Steiner because I will not need the extra light gathering power 90% of the time, but these will be far, far handier, like a fraction of the volume and weight.


Cost is about the same at roughly $600.


I have Nikon 7 x 50s and indeed night vision scopes on board, if I need more light gathering. My Father has my ancient, battered pair of 7 x 50 Fujis. Maybe he'll give them back to me since he's sold his boat. Absolutely fabulous optics, best I've ever used by far, better than my Leicas, but I've never tried Steiners or the Fuji Polaris. The old Fujis would make a nice pair with some Steiner 7 x 30's.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:47   #52
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Re: Compass Binocs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm afraid I never learned points. Did you learn to "box the compass"?

I think you've out-gitted me.

But if we're serious -- points are probably very useful.
Certainly had to learn all the compass points, 32 in all, but pretty easy once you work out the pattern.
In my Dad's day, they would use 1/4 points, indeed, some of the ships he sailed on, the compass card was graduated in 1/4 points rather than numerical degree's.

The attachment might be of interest.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Compass_Points.pdf (211.4 KB, 30 views)
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Old 18-02-2016, 11:44   #53
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It's not just objective lens size, long ago that was seized on as a marketing thing, many inexpensive optics have big objective lenses, but only a portion of the center is actually used.
The relevant factor is the exit pupil - which is the diameter of the area through which the focused light passes as it enters your eye. It's simple to calculate, objective diameter divided by magnification.

The standard 7x35 binoculars have a 5mm exit pupil, the typical night glasses are 7x50, which yields a 7mm exit pupil. Since the typical eye has a 7mm pupil, anything less than a 7mm exit pupil doesn't gather as much light as it could, anything more is wasted.
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Old 18-02-2016, 15:35   #54
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Re: Compass Binocs

Self focusing binoculars mostly only work for draft age people. At my age I need to have a focus adjustment.


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Old 18-02-2016, 16:43   #55
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Re: Compass Binocs

I don't think they are self focusing, just the focus is set to infinity?


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Old 18-02-2016, 17:29   #56
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Re: Compass Binocs

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I don't think they are self focusing, just the focus is set to infinity?


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Same thing no moving parts, makes for cheap waterproofing.


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Old 21-02-2016, 09:56   #57
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Re: Compass Binocs

So my Father has found and given me the battered old pair of 7x50 Fujinons which we used to use on his boat. They look like 1960's vintage if not older. The optics are magnificent.

He also told me something interesting -- unlike me, he has many times used the Steiner Commanders, and expressed the opinion the optics are greatly inferior to those of the Fuji Polaris. My Father was a very good photographer in his day and I trust his opinions about optics.


He's also given me a SNO-M sextant in perfect new-like condition. I had forgotten, but I had given it to him as a present in the early '90's, having bought it in Moscow. It's missing its wooden box (has a modern waterproof plastic instrument case instead), and has only one of the two scopes (the inverting star scope), and it's missing the vernier magnifier, but it is a magnificent instrument.

Now what?? It's too bulky to just keep on board as a souvenir. I'll need to either sell it or give it someone, or learn how to use it. Hmmm.
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Old 21-02-2016, 10:36   #58
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Re: Compass Binocs

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He's also given me a SNO-M sextant in perfect new-like condition.
My plath sextant is one of the very very few pieces of gear I took off Hawk when we sold her (I even left my good binocs to go with the boat). They are just such perfectly made things. I will always find room for it because it reminds me how things 'truly should be' made.

Do you have children? If you do, you really want to hang onto it and pass it on to them. I think it can be an eye opening moment when a child takes a sight and locates himself on the globe just from looking at the sky.

And you really need to get a properly varnished wooden box made
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Old 22-02-2016, 08:40   #59
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
My plath sextant is one of the very very few pieces of gear I took off Hawk when we sold her (I even left my good binocs to go with the boat). They are just such perfectly made things. I will always find room for it because it reminds me how things 'truly should be' made.

Do you have children? If you do, you really want to hang onto it and pass it on to them. I think it can be an eye opening moment when a child takes a sight and locates himself on the globe just from looking at the sky.

And you really need to get a properly varnished wooden box made
Good points.

The Old Man has now given me his books on celestial navigation and his artificial horizon. So now I see really have no choice.



Concerning the binocs -- I think Fuji it is. I have been marveling at the imagery produced by the battered old Fujis, which by the way are marked "Fuji Meibo Marine Tested". I guess they are from the '50's or '60's.

The Polaris ones can be had new for $600, and the non-flat field version (Poseidon) for about $100 less. I guess I'm just going to bite the bullet and buy a new pair.
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