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Old 20-05-2009, 23:17   #16
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I have a pair of Fujinon stabalized 10x50's and a I love them. However, since they are rather expensive, require batteries, and are stored in a Pelican case (provided by Fujinon), I tend to use them for "special" occasions or where stabalization is really necessary. For a quick peek, I usually just grab my Steiner 7x50's which are 30+ years old and still work great.
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Old 21-05-2009, 08:30   #17
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the problem with Steiners, of course...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparty View Post
For a quick peek, I usually just grab my Steiner 7x50's which are 30+ years old and still work great.
...is that they only come with a 30-year guarantee.
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Old 21-05-2009, 08:43   #18
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Based on everyone's input, I ended up going with the Nikon OceanPro w/ compass. Found it for $250 (incl. shipping) over the internet.
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Old 21-05-2009, 09:03   #19
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Originally Posted by Mule View Post
Any thoughts on stabilized binoculars?
I have this pair onboard. Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabized They are fantastic mostly because I can pick out the names of vessels at great distances and then have a name with which to call them with on the radio, although AIS has eliminated this need for the most part. They were expensive but have paid for themselves in the additional safety that they provide. Many people say image stabilized binoculars with high magnifications shake too much, but in my own experience I have not had any problems with that. Plus its really cool to be able to see Jupiter's moons with them.

I have gone through at least a dozen different binoculars with my job over the years. Its very true that you get what you pay for with binoculars. The cheap binoculars always seem to break after a year or two. Either they get out of alignment so you have what I call "chameleon vision" or water gets in them which ruins the optics making them blurry or completely unusable. In my experience, ultimately there are no good cheap binoculars...eventually the cheapies are going to break. The Canon's I have now have been around for seven years and they still work just fine..(crossing my fingers that they stay that way).
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Old 21-05-2009, 11:03   #20
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How many binoculars are you buying in your life ? I would say one, because it
usually lasts a lifetime, at least the one we have:

STEINER-Optik | Binocular | Commander XP 7x50 K | Marine | Binoculars

My father has the same and after about 35 years there was a problem with the
compass, they fixed it without any charge and fast as well. No complain, that is
more than you can expect in this business.
Very good and trustfull company on our personal opinion.
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Old 21-05-2009, 22:45   #21
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Correction: I stated that I had a pair of Fujinon 10x50 stabilized binoculars. In fact they are 14x40's.
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Old 21-05-2009, 23:24   #22
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I believe that there are a handful of good manufacturers around that make binoculars that last. They do compete with each other which means that their prices are the same for comparable units.

So, if one model costs more than another with the same specs, it is because it is better. The big differences in price are for electronic features (like stabilization) and for the quality of the optics. I am not talking about if they break down or not, I'm talking about the optical properties. A $400 Steiner has better optics than a $250 Canon but they can both last a lifetime or more. Like another poster wrote: never look through a binocular that you can't afford because it will be much better.

I think a fitted compass on a 7x50 is the 1st choice. It allows you to quickly check a bearing to landmark or ship or to determine if a ship is on collision course or not without using electronics. After that, stabilized and night vision binoculars are great additions, although I don't have them.

cheers,
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Old 21-07-2009, 18:58   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson.peter View Post
Based on everyone's input, I ended up going with the Nikon OceanPro w/ compass. Found it for $250 (incl. shipping) over the internet.
I want the same model, where did you get yours?
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Old 22-07-2009, 12:33   #24
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Thanks for this info -- a lot of votes for the Nikons, it seems.
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Old 22-07-2009, 12:54   #25
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The field of binos is very difficult for a lot of people. Most dont understand why 7x50 seems to be the standard. It is because at this degree of magnification, you are more likely to detect something, and not miss other items. It is also the best for use at low light or at night. The higher magnification, and particularly those with a smaller field of view are not so useful as a general purpose bino.

Obviously if you have detected something, identification is the next step, and there naturally in daytime a high magnification, image stabilised system is great, but heavy! make sure you have a rest cause after a while your arms get tired,

This is why the standard mil binocular is 7x50.

For the short handed skipper, a bino with a decent compass is a godsend, but sometimes cheap = inaccurate!

Steiner or Nikon are difinetely the market leaders here. I had a standard pair of Nikon 7x50s for 30 years until a low life borrowed them and anything else moveable from my boat. I replaced them with the Nikon Ocean Pro /w compass! Only complaint - my old ones had a nice heavy duty leather case, the new ones are in a cheap foldable bag.
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Old 24-07-2009, 07:12   #26
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I prefer Fujinon over steiners thats for sure. Better night time optics ( and I think practical sailor said so too)
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Old 24-07-2009, 07:30   #27
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My fujinon's with a compass were stolen from my when we moved... movers? And I got a cheaper pair with a compass. Not much difference for what I use them for.... picking up buoys. And this is usually to confirm what my plotter is telling me. I haven't found the cheaper binocs a problem and would not spend a whole lot of money for stabilized ones since I don't use them much anyway.
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Old 24-07-2009, 08:53   #28
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7 x 50 is standard for marine use, as any higher magnification will be difficult or impossible to hold steady.

BaK-4 prisms are also pretty standard nowadays.

Light transmission, I can only speak anecdotally, but I snagged a pair of these on sale a few years ago:

West Marine: Tahiti Waterproof 7x50 Center-Focus Binoculars with Compass Product Display

and have been very happy with them.
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Old 24-07-2009, 19:42   #29
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I have fujinon 7x50 with a compass I got on ebay. Much cheaper than new and virtually unused (a mother got them for her 5 year old and discovered they were too heavy for him). Great binocs. I am sure the Nikons and Steiners are good too but Fujinons are very good quality.
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Old 27-07-2009, 17:06   #30
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Quote:
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I prefer Fujinon over steiners thats for sure. Better night time optics ( and I think practical sailor said so too)
That will depend much on which models and technologies you compare. If both are normal optic binoculars (no IR and no amplification) but the high end models, the Steiner will be very hard to beat, night or day. I have the Commander V and never saw better (and they were the first with the integrated compass). Basically, Steiner is the one to beat, the reference.

The other brands to consider are Nikon, Fujinon, Celestron, Bushnell and Swarovski, that's it, no more. They are all well over $1,000.- My personal preference would be 1) Steiner 2) Fujinon and 3) Swarovski. I used all the brands I listed and find the Steiner and Fujinon much alike and the Swarovski very different but at times even better (it holds differently). However, after some time of use I was happy to hold the Steiner again.

cheers,
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