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Old 09-08-2010, 21:19   #46
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I would watch the sales. I got a pair of Steiners for 350 I believe. Great Binocs. They are not stabilized as well as the new ones, but the compass and view can't be beat.
Then again, I have not looked through the new electronic stabilized mega buck ones. They may be worth the $$.
Finally, I got an old pair of off brand that work better in low light than any I have ever used- go figure.
BTW- this is my post and my post only. Don't anyone try to modify it or drift it in a different direction.
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Old 09-08-2010, 22:25   #47
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Steiners are a good set but I prefer the 7X50 Tasco Offshore 54's for clarity in lower light conditions and the compass has worked well in Northern latitudes. Don't recall exactly how much I paid for them but not over $500 about 10 years ago, I think. Reasonably rugged, light and easy to focus. Had an old pair of Zeiss field glasses my Dad brought back from the European theater in WWII that were tough as nails and served me well for years but lacked the magnification needed for offshore. I'd go for the max of what I could afford. Practical Sailor had a couple of great comparisons a few years back that drove me to buy the Tascos. hope this helps... Capt Phil
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Old 09-08-2010, 23:05   #48
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With bins, as with anything on a boat, buy quality and you will save money in the long run. If you havent already bought a set, It shouldn't take you long to save the extra few hundred bucks and you'll really be glad you did.

I picked up a second hand set of (now discontinued) Steiner Skipper 7x50's with illuminated compass and love them to bits. Chunky, scuffed covers and no rangefinder but man I'm glad I got these compared to a shiny new set of cheap & cheerfuls. Comparing them at the marina with other sets you do notice the difference - especially in low light. The point an earlier poster made about damping is also very important - the Steinies are brilliant at this, other compasses zip around like a drunken blowfly and are fairly useless in bumpy conditions.

If you are going to pick up a second hand set just make sure they are set in the correct zone: 1 for everything north of the Med/Mexican border/South East Asia; 2 for Central America/West Indies/North Africa/Middle East/India/S.E.A; 5 for Australia/NZ/Southern Ocean; 3 or 4 for the bits in between.

I'm interested to read that others don't like using the compass binoculars for taking bearings; Ive found them far superior to a hand bearing compass. Perhaps its to do with the aforementioned damping, does anyone want to share their thoughts on this?
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:59   #49
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I have Steiner Admirals, very good.

IIRC, Practical Sailor rated the Tahitis from West Marine quite highly, they're about 1/4 the price of the Steiners...
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Old 11-08-2010, 20:53   #50
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I have had cheap pairs of binoculars which last for less than a year, unless you don't mind chameleon vision after the first time they get placed down hard. I also have an over $1000 stabilized pair of Canon binoculars which I am frightened of using for fear of breaking them or losing them. Somewhere in between is the sweet spot.

Also, the cheap hockey puck hand bearing compasses I think work better than the built in bearing compasses.
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