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Old 16-06-2006, 09:15   #16
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I have been sailing for 4 years with many different and experienced sailors. The people I sail with all recommend (and carry) 7x50, rather than the 7x35. A pair with a compass is great, but most have said to avoid the digital - just another set of batteries to worry about. Non-electric is more reliable. If you get the digital, make sure you have a good hand-bearing compass, too. Nikon and Fujinon get high marks, as do certain models of West Marine.

I have a pair of 12x Fujinon stabilized and they are wonderful for picking up distant bouys and daymarks on a rolling boat. Also great when anchored and doing some birding. Got them on ebay for 1/2 price. Everyone on the boat is always borrowing them. Canons are also very good. The key is to look at the specs and check the degree of vertical stablization, expressed as degrees; the higher the number, the greater amount of stabilization. The Fujinons - at least the 12x - were higher than the comparable Canons at the time of purchase.

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Old 16-06-2006, 09:34   #17
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Bob, thanks for the comments on the stabilized Fujinon binocs. Makes me want to try them even more...<gr>
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Old 16-06-2006, 09:39   #18
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We currently have 2 pairs of binocs on board. 1 pair of Steiner Admirals the other pair the Tasco 7x50 marine. The Tasco's came off a powerboat we no longer have and I always thought they were OK untill a couple of weeks ago we were out on a hazy day and I was looking for a friends boat who left the anchorage before us.

Could not make out boats clearly at a distance using the Tasco's so for grins went and grabbed the Steiners. Order of magnitude difference!! Could pick out detail that just was not there with the other pair.

So if you depend on your binocs spend the $$ - It really does make a difference. I have been wishing for a pair of the Baby Steiner 8x30s for day light but can't justify that right now...
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Old 16-06-2006, 09:48   #19
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Jon,

Thanks for reminding me of the Steiners . Nikons and Fujinons are very good, but I did sail with one guy who had a top of the line pair (Commander series) of Steiners. Phenomenal clarity, sharpness and light gathering ability. But expensive - retail is $1600, but can be found for under $900 on the internet. I'll buy them when I can afford that new Shannon (or Morris or Hinckley or .........)

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Old 16-06-2006, 10:27   #20
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wallm, i have spent so many nights bouncing around in the dark trying desperately to decode lights nearby i can't fully express the anxiety i felt!! i try lieing down in the cockpit and bracing the binocs on the cockpit combing and maybe i see some green blobs bouncing around one second and the next i think they're red. i end up just trying to wait it out till the vessel is closer..
maybe it is because my boat is so small, or maybe i'm now a granny when it comes to vision..
when i buy binocs, i get the salesman to let me take a few different pairs out to the parking lot, (west marine was cool with this), so i could actually focus on objects farther away than the gps counter.
as a ps...has anyone else remarked upon the price of binoculars tripling in the last decade or so?
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Old 16-06-2006, 10:58   #21
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Little Boat: your experience is just like mine. bouncing around trying to find a light or buoy at night or in the haze! I have been giving a lot of thought to a monocular as well as stabilized binoculars.
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Old 16-06-2006, 13:11   #22
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wallm,

I am not sure a monocular will be more stable than a binocular; still handheld.

If haze is an issue, or you do a lot of night sailing, then there is always a night vision scope. Last weekend I sailed with someone who had a Generation 3 scope. Great for objects, but because it does not register color, you will have to rely on shapes to differentiate between green/red bouys/daymarks. It is good enough that you cannot legally take it out of the country. Pretty amazing, but big bucks. Gen 2 or 2.5 is less expensive, but less quality.

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Old 16-06-2006, 16:28   #23
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I am absolutely certain that a monocular is more stable than an equivalent binocular - even handheld.
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Old 16-06-2006, 21:27   #24
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"a monocular is more stable than an equivalent binocular -"
Which is probably why snipers still use monoculars, but the rest of the folks with unlimited budgets still seem to buy and use binocs. Including the naval lookouts, AFAIK.
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Old 16-06-2006, 22:08   #25
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I have a form of Amblyopia so binoculars don't really do me any good, but that's what I've got (the Nikon Ocean Pro's with compass). In my case, it's my left eye that's good; the difference between my eyes is great enough that individual eyepiece adjustment isn't sufficient, but even if it was, my brain learned long ago to largely ignore the signal from the right eye (using it only for peripheral vision, motion, color, etc..., but not for acute vision unless the left eye is blocked). Fortunately the compass is on the left in my Nikons, so I can see it holding the binoculars normally. If I want to see the view without the compass blocking part of it, I can just flip the binocs over and look through them upside down!

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Old 16-06-2006, 23:15   #26
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I can't for the life of me, remember what set I am using. But they autofocus. Or more correctly, they are in constant focus from close up out to infinity. I have no individual eye piece adjust ment. It simply doens't need it. Have no idea how that works. I wear glasses, but I can see clearly through these with my glasses on or off. They are rubber coated and I highly recommend that. I wish I could have gotten them in a bright yellow though. The black, darkgrey/blue are hard to find down in the darkercabin sometimes. That's if someone hasn't put them back where they belong.
I may pop out to the boat tomorrow and have a look, but the weather is supposed to be miserable tomorrow, so will see.
Some good names in optics are
Zeiss
Zenith
Steiner
Gerber
Bushnell
Sakura
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Old 17-06-2006, 08:28   #27
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Let's have a look at some good monoculars.
What would be a good place to start?
(links make it easy to see what is suggested)
Thanks for the hlep.
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Old 17-06-2006, 19:28   #28
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" I have no individual eye piece adjust ment. It simply doens't need it. " Tha simply means your eyes are both very similar. For a large part of the population that wear glasses, the rx for each eye is different by a significant amount and THAT creates a huge problem unless the eyepieces (or at least one of them) have individual diopter adjustment.

"Focus free" really just means the lenses have enough depth of field so that they can be focused "way out there" and be clear all the way from infinity in to something like 100 feet away from you. But try to use them for something else closer up (birdwatching? checking the masthead rigging?) and you'll find you can't, because they simply won't focus close-up the way adjustable focus binocs would. Lighter, cheaper, maybe more waterproof--but not as flexible. Still a good choice most of the time at sea, but if there wasn't even one eyepiece diopter adjustment, I'd pass on "these are as cheap as we could make 'em". I need that adjustment.
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Old 18-06-2006, 09:32   #29
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If you find a good monocular let me know. I've got an unusual eye condition I don't even know if it has a name. I only have monocular vision. When I am looking at something on the right side of my body I only use my right eye. When I look left I only use my left eye. I wear glasses that have about the same correction. Depth perception is limited to monocular depth p[erception clues.

I looked for a long time for a monocular for hunting. I didn't think it was worth it to carry around an extra tube that I didn't use. Although you can get really nice hunting optics monocular quality is not as good. On a boat I am not as concerned with weight so I use the binocs. West Marine are pretty good but if I had an unlimited amount of money I would go with Stieners. There optics are amazing.
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