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Old 14-09-2014, 16:43   #1
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What Power Binoculars?

I know that what brand of binos has been talked over thoroughly but I'm curious what power binoculars is too much. I have an 8x42 pair that works great and I was thinking of going up to a 10 power but am afraid that the extra power will make it harder to keep my sight steady. What I mean is obviously the lower the power the easier it is to find targets and stay on them but you have less definition. The higher power you go the more definition but the harder it is to not loose your target and or find it. What has your e experience been and have you regretted getting too strong of a set of binos?

Thanks again for any and all info?
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Old 14-09-2014, 17:07   #2
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re: What Power Binoculars?

Myself, I can't use anything over a 7 power in any kind of a seaway. My 7x50s are fine. I can't see 10 power being usable at all unless it's the fancy (expensive) stabilized version.

If I can't see it with a 7x50 its generally not close enough to matter. Besides, what I can't see doesn't scare me
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Old 14-09-2014, 17:18   #3
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re: What Power Binoculars?

Thats kind of what I was thinking. Thank you for your input. It definitely helps in The decision making process.
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Old 14-09-2014, 17:27   #4
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re: What Power Binoculars?

Image stabilisation! A mate of mine has a 10x and when you hit the stabilising button the whole thing just clicks into absolute clarity. Dunno who invented them but by jingo toss a few extra dollars in for some.

$1,300!

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Old 14-09-2014, 18:40   #5
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

7x50 standard watchkeeping glasses.
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Old 14-09-2014, 18:43   #6
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

We have 7x50 but I am shopping for a lighter pair now for day use. Especially if it is a rough one.

b.
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Old 14-09-2014, 20:22   #7
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

8x42s must be pretty dark. Fine I suppose in bright sun, but I'd be worried using them in low light. They only have a brightness rating of 5.25.
The "standard" watch binoculars of 7x50 have a brightness of (a little over) 7. That would make me feel a lot safer in lower light situations.
For those who don't know, divide the lens diameter by the magnification for your brightness rating. So in the above two it's 428=5.25 and 507=7.14
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Old 14-09-2014, 20:25   #8
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLGCrawford View Post
8x42s must be pretty dark. Fine I suppose in bright sun, but I'd be worried using them in low light. They only have a brightness rating of 5.25.
The "standard" watch binoculars of 7x50 have a brightness of (a little over) 7. That would make me feel a lot safer in lower light situations.
For those who don't know, divide the lens diameter by the magnification for your brightness rating. So in the above two it's 428=5.25 and 507=7.14
Good info thank you! I was not aware of that. It does explain some things though
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Old 14-09-2014, 21:34   #9
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

Navy uses 7x50s for a reason.
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Old 14-09-2014, 21:51   #10
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

Canon 15 x 50 IS (image stabilization) is what I want.

Image stabilization must be seen to really understand the value.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Stabiliz...s=Canon+15+x50
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Old 14-09-2014, 22:08   #11
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

If you want more magnification than 7X, spring for image stabilization. It really works. Canon and Fuginon both make good image stabilized binoculars. If I remember correctly, Canon stabilizes 2.5 deg. of motion and Fuginon stabilizes 5 deg. of motion.
Both work well.
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Old 14-09-2014, 22:34   #12
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

As others have mentioned, I use binoculars more frequently for seeing in the dark than for making things larger in the daytime. With a nice pair of 7 x 50 it is pretty easy to see a buoy/day beacon in the dark. For this reason the second number is more important that the first in many ways. I agree if you can only carry one pair it is hard to beat 7 x 50. I also carry a second, lighter, pair for backup and to throw in the backpack.
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Old 14-09-2014, 22:58   #13
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

Also concur anything over 7 power is going to cause problems.

Yes, image stabilization works, but at a cost. I'd rather buy an EBPRIB or other saftey equipment with it.
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Old 14-09-2014, 23:12   #14
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Wink Re: What Power Binoculars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLGCrawford View Post
8x42s must be pretty dark. Fine I suppose in bright sun, but I'd be worried using them in low light. They only have a brightness rating of 5.25.
The "standard" watch binoculars of 7x50 have a brightness of (a little over) 7. That would make me feel a lot safer in lower light situations.
For those who don't know, divide the lens diameter by the magnification for your brightness rating. So in the above two it's 428=5.25 and 507=7.14
David, your math's spot on, but actually it's called "Exit Pupil". And yeah, the difference you're referencing IS amazing. I have a pair of 6x30's that'll fit into a large pocket (Steiner Military-Marine), & a pair of 7x50's (Steiner Commander Pilots), & after dark I always shake my head when I compare the two.

That said, if I was really thinking about ponying up $2k for a set of binos, image stabilized or not, I'd get a $300 set of Steiners or similar, plus some NVG. Or had I a bit more coin... Thermal or Multi-Spectral.
Standard glass will never compare to electro-optics once the Sun says good night. And yes, such a combo's doable for that kind of coin.
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Old 15-09-2014, 01:46   #15
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Re: What Power Binoculars?

I try to stay out of controversies like this because like motor oil threads it usually turns into a no-win situation.

The issue with exit pupils and low light performance is one of those things. As mentioned, if you take the objective diameter and divide it by the magnification you get the diameter of the image that is transferred to the ocular side. The theory being that in darkness, our pupils dilate to 7mm and therefore we get an optimal match between the image and the opening that our eye gives to our retina. One of the issues is that our eyes can take several minutes to several hours to adapt to darkness. The pupils can dilate rather quickly but that is not the entire story.

The other factor is that greater magnification can provide greater detail that we can perceive, even with a smaller exit pupil. This is called the "twilight factor" or "twilight coefficient" of a pair of binoculars. It provides a better "real world" comparison on how different models can actually perform on a functional basis and is a (possibly) slightly better number for choosing a pair for nighttime use.

However... not all binocular use is at night anyway, and during the daytime the pupil constricts to about 2mm. Now a pair or 7X50's will generally give you a larger field of view, but not always (it depends on the design) but they are heavier which can make a difference in holding them still for an extended period of time on a moving boat.

The one thing about optics, is if you compare a $50-$100 pair of binoculars to a $250 pair of binocs by looking though one then the other, it's an OMG! moment in terms of clarity, and the bad news is if you then compare that $250 pair to a $600-$700 pair you get the same reaction again. And I am one cheap guy, so for me to say this takes some doing (just ask my wife). Also, the pricier optics have better lens coatings which improve light transmission.

One thing about optics is they seem to take a pretty big depreciation hit, so if you do not mind purchasing used there are some bargains on ebay and a pair of binocs that sold for upwards of 5-600 can be bought for a couple hundred but if you want to purchase new optics I would suggest going to one of the larger camera stores and talk to a knowledgeable salesperson who can help you make an informed decision (and not simply some advice from some nameless guy typing stuff out on the internet, like me for example!).

Best of luck in whatever you choose!

Mark
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