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Old 08-11-2015, 04:36   #16
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

My Steiner 7x50 with compass are great. I prefer them to Canon and Leicas that I have had on the boat. Like others say, the compass is really useful.

I plan to buy some Fujinon 14x40 IS bins and will next time I am in the US (half price of the UK). Whenever I struggle to see something clearly it is because of shake and these will help a lot. I have tried some low end Canon IS bins and the stabilisation is very impressive.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:01   #17
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Just a note with the compass equipped models. The regular one's won't work world wide which is something to consider if venturing far afield.The models that work world wide are a lot more $$$ then the regular versions.

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Old 08-11-2015, 05:06   #18
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

We have two Steiner binocs. Mine is the 7x50 Commander XP with compass and wife's is the 7x30 Navigator Pro with compass. Both excellent, 7x50s better at night and with a larger picture, 7x30s easier for wifey to handle.


Mine is a replacement for my first Steiner 7x50 military/compass model, got in Germany in the mid-'80s. That one was eventually replaced (meaning, not just repaired) by the then-US importer because of a bubble forming in the compass fluid. The next time that happened, importers had changed, and Steiner didn't make quite the same model anymore... so they offered a major financial incentive to replace with new.


IOW, good customer service... especially given that the earlier ones slogged through all sorts of hot and especially freezing weather...


No matter what you end up with, I think useful to try in person before buying. For example, in our case eye relief is very important... so that's something we want to test first.


We've been eyeing stabilized binocs, but haven't found time to shop in person. I'd suspect both a 7x50 with compass and a stabilized binoc would make a great pair on board.


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Old 08-11-2015, 05:27   #19
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

In my experience these:

http://www.amazon.com/Steiner-7x50-C...mander+compass

are the best marine binoculars in the world. There are a number of reasons for this. Superb compass for enhanced bearing data. Superb low light capability (an earlier poster suggested this was not important and I could not disagree more!). Enormous ocular, making it easy to hold a target steady and more or less eliminating the need for image stabilisation (which frankly is of very limited use aboard a moving vessel, in my experience, as the motion generally exceeds the capacity of the stabiliser anyhow, and usually makes the glasses very bulky and heavy).

But most importantly they have an almost supernaturally deep field of focus. Basically once adjusted simply to your eye quirks, they never need to be refocussed! It is like looking with the eyes of an eagle, as your eye naturally refocusses near and far instantly just as is the case when looking with only the Mark I eyeball. All round fantastic. They will also fix any issues free of charge from a point of sale unlimited warranty of 25 years duration. And they stand by their word on that. Of course they are expensive, but then you get what you pay for.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:44   #20
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Gee, thanks everyone for your input, especially Uncivilized for a great post.
Prying this much out of me is never easy and I pity the poor shop keeper
I love my old Nikon 7x50s with compass but they corroded through the focus worm screw so obiously not marinised well enough.

I'll test the Steiners and the Fujinons side by side. It should make for a fun Sunday A boy in a toy store!

Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:52   #21
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Gee, thanks everyone for your input, especially Uncivilized for a great post.
Prying this much out of me is never easy and I pity the poor shop keeper
I love my old Nikon 7x50s with compass but they corroded through the focus worm screw so obiously not marinised well enough.

I'll test the Steiners and the Fujinons side by side. It should make for a fun Sunday A boy in a toy store!

Thanks everyone.
Most welcome, enjoy!
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:55   #22
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Oh and one more thing, don't bother with night vision systems unless they are truly high end Gen II + or above. The Gen I sets commonly costing a few hundred dollars are little more than toys. Basically useless in a marine environment. If you have around 7 grand $$$ to spare your best bet would be a handheld FLIR thermal scope… but I don' t have one either!
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:28   #23
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

I've been using a pair of Bushnell Angler waterproof compact binos for about 25 years. Small enough to go with me anywhere. Very good quality, and obviously has lasted me 25 years...so far. I've had many other binos, and they are always the first choice on my boat(s). Not expensive either.

I think the modern equivalent is:
Bushnell - 8x 25mm

Even if just as a spare, you will not be disappointed. Sure, get the expensive, stabalized binos if you want...but these are ones you can actually use, and fit in your pocket or dinghy without worry. I've spotted many critical buoys and lights with mine.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:36   #24
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Without a doubt the Fujinon 14x40 TS1440 Techno-Stabi Image Stabilized Binocular. I'd have to say they are the best ones I own. I also have the Steiners with compass as a secondary.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:47   #25
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

"West Marine has West Marine branded Steiner 7x 50's for $399 and exact same West Marine 7x 50's not Steiner for $599. Sounds weird!"

The Steiner's are being replaced by the West Marine Binos though essentially they are the same bino, just branded differently. If you choose the Steiners, now is the time to buy them. West Marine has a sale going on and there is an additional $50 off ($50 off any purchase over $300, less off of smaller purchases), thus bringing them to $350 plus tax or about $381 with tax.

Good luck with your hunt. By the way, if you go to B&H, note that they are closed on Fridays after around 1 or 2 PM. Even their website is closed from then until Saturday morning.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:49   #26
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

We have 2 good binocs on board, but for the life of me I can't remember brands. One is stabilized, and one is smaller, but is always in focus (not stabilized). I usually grab the smaller (always in focus) pair for general use and only bring the stabilized pair out if I need to read marker numbers or sail numbers from a distance. I like both, but find myself using the stabilized pair less.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:55   #27
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Slightly jealous of you guys with your compass-equipped Steiners. But as a lake sailor, and mostly daysails or weekending, I couldn't justify spending 20% of our boat's replacement value on binoculars.

This year I fell across a half-price sale on these waterproof 8x40 Bushnells so I snapped up a pair. They've been pretty useful, the image is crisp and bright, and they seem to be built durable enough. One thing I've noticed around here is how battered many people's boat binocs look...

Mark, if you're going to be doing some serious binoc testing, I'm sure we'd be interested in your opinions of a few of the 'budget' models as compared to the higher-end ones. Maybe you can identify a budget model that would be ideal second binoculars, or adequate main binoculars for cheapskates like me.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:56   #28
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

joining this thread lateso ay have missed stuff. I bought West Marine Steiners a year ago and took them back 2 days later as after a proper test outside of a shop my eyes could not see the compass simultaneously with a target object, also i discovered the warranty was only a 3rd of that on a pair of their others and anyway was return to maker only not to West. I eventually bought a pair of 7x50 west Antigua binos with compass which have a 30 year warranty and are superb, they suit my eyes perfectly and the compass is in proper focus for me. The compass lighting is also excellent unlike the others I tried and the semi hard drop front carry case is the very best of the bunch and the protective lens covers stay put and don't fall off when putting the binos back in the case, some of which are way too skimpy. The ones I bought are center focus style too ( with one adjustable eyepiece for compensation) and easier and faster IMO than the semi fixed focus adjust one eyepiece ones, that suits me but may not others. I can for example view the masthead 55ft up from on deck, in focus which was not possible on the other types.

Best advice I can give is make sure you give a full test in all conditions before finally deciding what works for you. At least West are very good in that respect as they accept returns and exchanges without question.

Apologies in advance for errors and typos, I did this in a hurry.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:20   #29
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I am in New York with a bucket of cash to buy new bond's. Yippee!
But the range is huge!

West Marine has West Marine branded Steiner 7x 50's for $399 and exact same West Marine 7x 50's not Steiner for $599. Sounds weird!

What's the "best"?

What about image stabilization and night vision that's affordable?

Thoughties puleeeeeze.


Mark

Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
Seago 7x50 Compass Binocular BM750C seems to be recommended as a good value set of sailing binoculars...


Although, I find the attached supplier also offers a full range of detailed options;


Binoculars | Camera | lenses | Nikon | Canon | Pentax | Sigma | Bushnell | London Microglobe


My personal preference would be for a monocular;


+waterproof, saltproof and floating 7X50
+built in compass
+ illuminated range finder
+ night vision
+ good quality lens
+ comfortable eye piece


Good luck with your hunt and do let us know what you decide to buy and why.


Happy sailing,


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Old 08-11-2015, 09:22   #30
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

I went through the search for better ones and found sites on sport-optics. Most marine store glasses are less than state of the art. Try http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=112 if you want to learn some think.
I ended up with a pair Nikon Monarch 5 8x42's. No stabilization or compass but great optics for the price, waterproof, and weigh only 21oz.
You would not go to gun store to ask what kind of boat to buy.


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