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Old 10-11-2015, 11:55   #106
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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You can usually find a menu setting to change the screen brightness. Sometimes as on my camera there is also a default setting to automatic screen brightness which darkens it in dark conditions and brightens it in bright light. Turn that off.

In any conditions day or night with a good digital camera you can not only use it as a telescope / night vision, but you can also take a photo and then zoom a long way into that image on the screen. I do that for example if I want to check the name of a distant yacht. That way is much more powerful and steady than most binoculars.
I tested the impact of the brightness settings and also the impact of different display modes (like exposure simulation), but still could not reach very good results with the live view of the back screen. Still pictures with high ISO (I can go up to 25600, which means poor picture quality, but the light is there) seem to be the more serious night vision mode in my camera.

In daylight, I have also checked quite a few boat and ship names with long lenses, stabilizer and still shots. Good also for recognizing birds and navigation aids.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:18   #107
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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I tested the impact of the brightness settings and also the impact of different display modes (like exposure simulation), but still could not reach very good results with the live view of the back screen. Still pictures with high ISO (I can go up to 25600, which means poor picture quality, but the light is there) seem to be the more serious night vision mode in my camera.

In daylight, I have also checked quite a few boat and ship names with long lenses, stabilizer and still shots. Good also for recognizing birds and navigation aids.
Yes cameras do vary. I have a Canon 5D3 with about the best low light capability. The trouble is I don't want to get it splashed with salt water even though it is meant to be splash proof. I often take my much cheaper Canon 700D sailing in a bag in the cockpit. I usually have the 5D3 tucked away safely if I take it along.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:33   #108
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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Yes cameras do vary. I have a Canon 5D3 with about the best low light capability. The trouble is I don't want to get it splashed with salt water even though it is meant to be splash proof. I often take my much cheaper Canon 700D sailing in a bag in the cockpit. I usually have the 5D3 tucked away safely if I take it along.
I'm not as careful. That may be because I usually have only brackish water, and a camera that is one step older (5D MkII) .
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:38   #109
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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I'm not as careful. That may be because I usually have only brackish water, and a camera that is one step older (5D MkII) .
5D2 is as good as 5D3 in most regards.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:50   #110
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

I have a lot of Canon photography gear including quite a few "L" lenses, so when I went binocular shopping I let my photography bias make the decision and bought the Canon 10x42 L IS. "Waterproof" and Image Stabilisation makes it great on board and the optics are so sharp

Canon 10x42 L IS WP Image Stabilized Binocular 0155B002 B&H

I bought mine a couple of years ago from B&H on a visit to NYC when the USD was low making it a bargain compared to now
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:31   #111
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

GrahamHO, hoppy,

Have to start thinking about 5Ds R and new "L" lenses too keep my sailing equipment in top condition. ... Maybe thinking only.
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:44   #112
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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GrahamHO, hoppy,

Have to start thinking about 5Ds R and new "L" lenses too keep my sailing equipment in top condition. ... Maybe thinking only.
I know we are off thread! It's the lens that makes the difference. I have 6, L lenses including 135 f2. Also several other primes. Primes are noticeably "better" than zooms in image quality. My favourite is IS 35 f2.
The 5DsR doesn't have the same low light capability as 5D3. You could though, use primes on it and have enough resolution to crop 2X. You would zoom by cropping. With that camera you must use good lenses and possibly a tripod to obtain its resolution. It'll fill up the computer twice as fast too.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:01   #113
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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I bought a Leicas for hunting and have never seen better clarity. Somehow my wife started using them to look out the kitchen window to look at boats entering our harbor. But they were being mistreated so I locked them up and put out the Steiners. My wife complained that the Steiners were not as clear, etc., but I assured her that Steiners were considered superior and showed her some on-line reviews. She wasn't having any of it and wanted the Leicas back. Maybe for Christmas.

Your wife has better taste than most, looking through better binoculars changes your expectations.


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Old 10-11-2015, 15:21   #114
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Birders seem to argue the Holy Trinity are Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss. And they reserve $300-500 binocs for newbies and girlfriends.


There used to be about a dozen optical companies (including those three) that actually owned the platinum crucibles that were used to actually smelt optical glass for lenses, and the crucible owners kept the best stuff for their own use. I don't know if that has changed.


The Nikon Monarch series are actually named for the Monarch Butterfly because, yes, they were designed for butterfly watchers, who require a close focus in their glasses (often less than ten feet) which normal binocs simply don't have or need. That's not to say they aren't god glasses, but that their design is compromised and extended for a purpose one hopes the average boater never needs.


All kinds of information is available on the different binoc & optics web sites. For a bouncy little boat perstered with salt spray? I think a top-end pair of Leicas for two grand just might be more than you want to temp Neptune with. And once you find your personal eyes can't tell the difference in binocs, that's time to stop right there. Although, if you can find a pair that are three or four ounces lighter...that's going to feel way better by the end of watch. And "lighter" is gonna cost, too.
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Old 10-11-2015, 16:07   #115
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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Birders seem to argue the Holy Trinity are Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss. And they reserve $300-500 binocs for newbies and girlfriends.


There used to be about a dozen optical companies (including those three) that actually owned the platinum crucibles that were used to actually smelt optical glass for lenses, and the crucible owners kept the best stuff for their own use. I don't know if that has changed.


The Nikon Monarch series are actually named for the Monarch Butterfly because, yes, they were designed for butterfly watchers, who require a close focus in their glasses (often less than ten feet) which normal binocs simply don't have or need. That's not to say they aren't god glasses, but that their design is compromised and extended for a purpose one hopes the average boater never needs.


All kinds of information is available on the different binoc & optics web sites. For a bouncy little boat perstered with salt spray? I think a top-end pair of Leicas for two grand just might be more than you want to temp Neptune with. And once you find your personal eyes can't tell the difference in binocs, that's time to stop right there. Although, if you can find a pair that are three or four ounces lighter...that's going to feel way better by the end of watch. And "lighter" is gonna cost, too.

I bought the Nikon Monarchs based on price performance. From reading responses birders may research optics better than sailors. I found my 8x42 allow me to see detail better than some 16x56 I have tried, no distance compromise. Roof design glasses seem to have better water proofing than porro designs. Some porro shave individual lenses adjustment to meet water resistance.
I found shorter barrelled 21oz roof Monarchs have better results than typical marine glasses.

PS I am a sailor not a birder.


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Old 10-11-2015, 16:50   #116
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Some years ago, when discount eyeglass chains were a big new thing, I was talking to my ophthalmologist about vision. And he said, based on his decades of practice, that some folks were perfectly happy and couldn't tell if their glasses were 1/4 diopter off and had the astigmatism reversed, while others, like me, would walk in every once in a while and say "Hi, I need an extra 1/4 diopter in the right eye" and actually be spot-on about it.


Some folks can appreciate $2000 binocs, others never will. Or never will need to.


I suspect there are a lot more birders, and duck hunters, than recreational sailors.
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Old 10-11-2015, 17:02   #117
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Back a few years ago when I was an avid long range shooter Leica, Swaroski (sp?) and Zeiss had something in common, they all used Zeiss lenses. I don't know if that is still true or not


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Old 10-11-2015, 17:35   #118
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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Some folks can appreciate $2000 binocs, others never will. Or never will need to.I suspect there are a lot more birders, and duck hunters, than recreational sailors.
While I was shopping for cheap binocs the other day I looked at the $3000 jobs. I don't think they were that fancy just good quality. I asked the sales guy who buys this stuff? He said snipers. I live in southern Oregon, USA.?
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:44   #119
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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I know we are off thread! It's the lens that makes the difference. I have 6, L lenses including 135 f2. Also several other primes. Primes are noticeably "better" than zooms in image quality. My favourite is IS 35 f2.
The 5DsR doesn't have the same low light capability as 5D3. You could though, use primes on it and have enough resolution to crop 2X. You would zoom by cropping. With that camera you must use good lenses and possibly a tripod to obtain its resolution. It'll fill up the computer twice as fast too.
You are forcing me to dream about the 1D X for night vision .

My binocular supporting long distance lens is 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. Zoom for backpack portability. Some assistance from a 2x teleconverter (that destroys about half of the benefits it provides by lower picture quality).
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:54   #120
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Re: Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

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You are forcing me to dream about the 1D X for night vision .

My binocular supporting long distance lens is 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. Zoom for backpack portability. Some assistance from a 2x teleconverter (that destroys about half of the benefits it provides by lower picture quality).
Yes there is always a better camera. You get one then another comes to tempt you. I have both the 70-200 f2.8 IS (1) and the lighter 70-200 f4 IS. The f4 for better portability and air travel where a carry on can only be 7 kg. I have the Canon 1.4 X extender which gives very good results. I do have the Canon 2 X as well but often leave the 1.4 X fitted semi- permanently to a 70/200 and only remove it to go down to 70mm.
Of course if you have an APSC camera body as well as FF you get 1.6X for"free"

If you try the fairly new IS 35mm f2 lens and like the focal length, as I do, you will probably want to buy it.

We are going to into terrible trouble for talking cameras. But they are an important yacht cruising accessory and can make a good IS telescope.
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