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Old 05-12-2011, 10:00   #1
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Compass Binoculars

I find myself using a handbearing compass a lot in the English Channel, where the ship traffic resembles nothing as much as the Indy 500 going by.

I find the crappy plastic hand bearing compass I use to lack precision, and have decided to acquire a proper pair of compass binocs. I thought Fuji military 7x50's. Pros and cons? Any other recommendations?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:04   #2
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Re: Compass Binocs

Steiner Commander V. The prices have come way down on these, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:09   #3
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Re: Compass Binocs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I find myself using a handbearing compass a lot in the English Channel, where the ship traffic resembles nothing as much as the Indy 500 going by.

I find the crappy plastic hand bearing compass I use to lack precision, and have decided to acquire a proper pair of compass binocs. I thought Fuji military 7x50's. Pros and cons? Any other recommendations?
I routinely keep a "hocky-puck" style hand bearing compass on a lanyard around my neck and have found them to be quite accurate. Never-the-less, we also have Fujinon Polaris (compass) binoculars (7x50) and I do think they are good units, particularly at night. However, for close quarters work, particulalrly crossing situations, I find taking relative bearings across a reference fixed object on the boat very dependable.

FWIW...
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:37   #4
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Steiner Commander V. The prices have come way down on these, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.
I second that. I used a pair during a very lumpy race last year and the optics were ideal and the compass quite accurate to judge from the nearby fluxgate I was comparing it to.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:42   #5
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Re: Compass Binocs

I use the Nikon armored. Super optics .
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:42   #6
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Steiner Commander V. The prices have come way down on these, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.
Yassir!

2nd to that, you have VHF. Call the guy who comes in on a troubling course and ask him for advice.
It is my stratagem being in the Channel. Then they know what you are doing and also that you are alert and attending. You will be highly appreciated!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:55   #7
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Thumbs down Re: Compass Binocs

I had a pair of 7 x 50 Silva with the built in compass, the compass stuck 2 weeks after the warranty expired and Silvas response was "tough its out of warranty" , I asked if I could pay for a repair and they said "No, they can't be repaired buy a new pair"

Needless to say I would not recommend Silva
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:23   #8
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Re: Compass Binocs

There are lots to choose from. What's your budget? >>> Barska 7x50mm Waterproof Floating Binocular with Compass and Rangefinder Reticle - Binoculars at Binoculars
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Old 08-12-2011, 18:33   #9
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Re: Compass Binoculars

I've had my Fujinons for about 10 years and love them. Occasionally I wish I had the model with the lighted compass but not often.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:12   #10
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Re: Compass Binoculars

Hi Dockhead - 2Qs

What did you decide and do you have any reflections on your decision?

I ask because I'm on the lookout for binos and started, as I usually do, by reading up on the subject. There's a really good summary at Marine Binoculars: Best and Brightest | Cruising World

Then I looked through this forum for advice and found this thread. It's only fault is the date originally posted so . . . any fresh more up to date thoughts?

Graham
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:46   #11
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Re: Compass Binoculars

We have some Fujinons, beautiful light gathering capability, but heavy, and no image stabilizer. We have some Canons, with less good light gathering, but the image stabilizer, and they are much lighter weight, so can use them one handed.

If I were looking today, I'd want the image stabilizing, you can even read boat names with them, they do help, especially if the boat is leaping about in a lumpy seaway. Perhaps you can find the image stabilizing coupled with light gathering. And, yes, the little compass, just makes everything quicker.

The compass will be adjusted to the area where it is sold, so you should buy one in the region you'll be sailing. If you're high latitude northern hemisphere, the compass will stick as you get south of the equator. You can probably special order equatorial balance, or southern, but those will hang up as you go north. Perhaps 2 pairs would be best if you want to cruise high latitudes in both hemispheres. It is especially an issue for the ship's compass.

Ann
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:54   #12
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Re: Compass Binocs

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Yassir!

2nd to that, you have VHF. Call the guy who comes in on a troubling course and ask him for advice.
It is my stratagem being in the Channel. Then they know what you are doing and also that you are alert and attending. You will be highly appreciated!
MacG,

You have to know that your VHF strategy is extremely annoying to most merchant vessels, and definately not highly appreciated by the OOW. Just follow the rules of the road ! Especially the russian officers officers are not really the "talking kind" :-)

As for thr binoculars: Steiner!

Brgds,
Safc
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Old 05-08-2017, 21:13   #13
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Re: Compass Binoculars

I see this was a old tread, but anyone currently looking, here a deal. For the money, you can't do better than this pair of binoculars. Steiners, w/lifetime warranty, German made 7X50, autofocus, waterproof, rubber armor and the coatings are very nice for night. I also just sight with a hand bearing hockey-puck.

Steiner 7x50 Police Binocular 646 for sale! - EuroOptic.com
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Old 05-08-2017, 21:27   #14
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Re: Compass Binoculars

Recreational optics have advanced a LOT in the last decade or two. But some of the basics about glass (& bino's) don't change, thanks to physics. And I've been fortunate to have used professional grade optics for decades, as well as self-educating on same.

Given that, I've had Steiner 7X50 Commander Pilots w. Red Illuminated Compass since the 90's, & love'em. Though any more there are plenty of bino's that are there equal or better for relatively "cheap". Meaning under $500. But you don't even need to spend that much.

DO get ones with a compass, for navigational reasons. But also consider that if you're doing old school nav using a compass for bearings, there are other optical tools out there with built in compasses which will record multiple bearings for you as fast as you can click the button on them. So that if you're triangulating a fix it's a lot easier than using compass bino's & writing down each bearing between each sight.
Also, many such nav tools allow you to check the range to things via a built in ranging reticle, much as is found in bino's that have compasses, like Steiners.

And for info on bino's, I wrote a couple of pieces that were quite well recieved, explaining a lot about the differences in quality between various optics. They're a few pages of text, & perhaps a rehashing of what you've already read, but still good info. The links to them are below.
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912.html#post1956720
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-2.html#post1957450
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-2.html#post1957462
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-3.html#post1957740

And if you've more questions, do some searching here on CF or ask. As there's little shortage of knowledge on here. Also, by no means did I include fully every key bit of info on bino's & glass in the above articles. Just most of the key ones.

The reasons why 7x50's are the standard/norm in ship's bino's are explained in the text (mostly), though a couple of things may or may not be in there. I don’t recall. But I've since written about those bits as well, here on CF.Which likely can be found using a combination of my handle & the right search phrases.That & of course via online searches for other magazine & professional articles.

It’s also worth doing some study on; Image Stabilized Bino’s, Night Vision (NVG), & Thermal Optics. Including trying some of them out, prior to dropping lots of $ on optics.As any more you can buy a good/great pair of bino’s, including many models of Steiner’s, plus some NVG (gen III), for what a superb pair of bino’s costs. And to be honest, you won’t much notice the difference between a good/great pair of bino’s & a superb pair.

FYI, DO NOT buy a pair of “reconditioned” NVG’s as the key bits in them, the tubes, can’t be reconditioned. And said components only have a limited service life.So in buying reconditioned units, you’re getting used tubes in shiny new housings, more or less.

Also, be aware that there are laws governing what kinds of optics can be taken outside of the US (exported). You’ll see references to ITAR & the US State Department on such things. And they primarily relate to some NVG’s & Thermal Optics. But some day optics as well.

Read & heed!

PS: For navigation, & night watch standing, nothing beats a pair of good bino’s with a built in compass. Not even a good pair of non-compass bino’s & a separate hockey puck. However for daytime nav, there are some nice to have toys out there, such as a KVH Datascope, for example. It’s a monocular with built in magnification, a compass, ranging reticle, & the ability to record several bearings (if memory serves).
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:49   #15
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Re: Compass Binoculars

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Recreational optics have advanced a LOT in the last decade or two. But some of the basics about glass (& bino's) don't change, thanks to physics. And I've been fortunate to have used professional grade optics for decades, as well as self-educating on same.

Given that, I've had Steiner 7X50 Commander Pilots w. Red Illuminated Compass since the 90's, & love'em. Though any more there are plenty of bino's that are there equal or better for relatively "cheap". Meaning under $500. But you don't even need to spend that much.

DO get ones with a compass, for navigational reasons. But also consider that if you're doing old school nav using a compass for bearings, there are other optical tools out there with built in compasses which will record multiple bearings for you as fast as you can click the button on them. So that if you're triangulating a fix it's a lot easier than using compass bino's & writing down each bearing between each sight.
Also, many such nav tools allow you to check the range to things via a built in ranging reticle, much as is found in bino's that have compasses, like Steiners.

And for info on bino's, I wrote a couple of pieces that were quite well recieved, explaining a lot about the differences in quality between various optics. They're a few pages of text, & perhaps a rehashing of what you've already read, but still good info. The links to them are below.
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912.html#post1956720
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-2.html#post1957450
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-2.html#post1957462
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/binoculars-which-ones-heeeellllpppp-155912-3.html#post1957740

And if you've more questions, do some searching here on CF or ask. As there's little shortage of knowledge on here. Also, by no means did I include fully every key bit of info on bino's & glass in the above articles. Just most of the key ones.

The reasons why 7x50's are the standard/norm in ship's bino's are explained in the text (mostly), though a couple of things may or may not be in there. I don’t recall. But I've since written about those bits as well, here on CF.Which likely can be found using a combination of my handle & the right search phrases.That & of course via online searches for other magazine & professional articles.

It’s also worth doing some study on; Image Stabilized Bino’s, Night Vision (NVG), & Thermal Optics. Including trying some of them out, prior to dropping lots of $ on optics.As any more you can buy a good/great pair of bino’s, including many models of Steiner’s, plus some NVG (gen III), for what a superb pair of bino’s costs. And to be honest, you won’t much notice the difference between a good/great pair of bino’s & a superb pair.

FYI, DO NOT buy a pair of “reconditioned” NVG’s as the key bits in them, the tubes, can’t be reconditioned. And said components only have a limited service life.So in buying reconditioned units, you’re getting used tubes in shiny new housings, more or less.

Also, be aware that there are laws governing what kinds of optics can be taken outside of the US (exported). You’ll see references to ITAR & the US State Department on such things. And they primarily relate to some NVG’s & Thermal Optics. But some day optics as well.

Read & heed!

PS: For navigation, & night watch standing, nothing beats a pair of good bino’s with a built in compass. Not even a good pair of non-compass bino’s & a separate hockey puck. However for daytime nav, there are some nice to have toys out there, such as a KVH Datascope, for example. It’s a monocular with built in magnification, a compass, ranging reticle, & the ability to record several bearings (if memory serves).


Just a quick thanks. You've given me a lot to read and think about. Another reply will come in due time.
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