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Old 17-02-2016, 12:00   #1
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Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

I've got a pair of west marine 7x50 w/ compass for general purposes.
The other night on watch I was looking around with them in the moonless sky and was wishing I could see more stuff. I was able to see Omega Centauri but not much else.

After much deliberation and googling I'm looking at the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars. Now I have camera gear so I have a nice tripod I can use them with on shore, but would they be totally worthless on the boat? I'm hoping I can use them to look around from the boat as well, sure I couldn't hold them steady but could I scan a beach or another boat or is it just impossible?

If I got the Fujinon 14x40 technistabi would I be able to see things in space better? I don't want to drop a grand just to see jupiter's moons.
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Old 17-02-2016, 12:04   #2
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I've got a pair of west marine 7x50 w/ compass for general purposes.
The other night on watch I was looking around with them in the moonless sky and was wishing I could see more stuff. I was able to see Omega Centauri but not much else.

After much deliberation and googling I'm looking at the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars. Now I have camera gear so I have a nice tripod I can use them with on shore, but would they be totally worthless on the boat? I'm hoping I can use them to look around from the boat as well, sure I couldn't hold them steady but could I scan a beach or another boat or is it just impossible?

If I got the Fujinon 14x40 technistabi would I be able to see things in space better? I don't want to drop a grand just to see jupiter's moons.
15X binoculars will indeed be totally worthless on a boat unless they are stabilized. Even on land when you aren't bouncing around it's hard to keep them stable enough to see something without a tripod or something for a rest.
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Old 17-02-2016, 12:23   #3
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

There's a good reason 7x's are used for boating. I've brought small 10x's with me one time. That was one time too many - useless. 15x's??? Simply no way unless stabilized.
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Old 17-02-2016, 12:33   #4
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I've got a pair of west marine 7x50 w/ compass for general purposes.
The other night on watch I was looking around with them in the moonless sky and was wishing I could see more stuff. I was able to see Omega Centauri but not much else.
===

7x50 is the ideal size for night vision and about the strongest magnification you can use on a boat without stabilization technology.
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Old 17-02-2016, 12:34   #5
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Buy a cheap set and let us know how they do on your boat they are under 60 USD on overstock.com
Binoculars - Overstock Shopping - The Best Prices Online
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Old 17-02-2016, 17:55   #6
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I've got a pair of west marine 7x50 w/ compass for general purposes.
The other night on watch I was looking around with them in the moonless sky and was wishing I could see more stuff. I was able to see Omega Centauri but not much else.

After much deliberation and googling I'm looking at the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars. Now I have camera gear so I have a nice tripod I can use them with on shore, but would they be totally worthless on the boat? I'm hoping I can use them to look around from the boat as well, sure I couldn't hold them steady but could I scan a beach or another boat or is it just impossible?

If I got the Fujinon 14x40 technistabi would I be able to see things in space better? I don't want to drop a grand just to see jupiter's moons.
I bought a pair of 15 x 70's as a birthday present for my father (forget the make now, but the same as Celestron), so he can lay back in a lounger and do some astronomy with them.

15 x 70 is about the biggest you can use without a tripod, but I got him a heavy duty tripod too. Very easy to use supported off something like the roof of a car. As they are wide field and not that high a magnification, reasonable boat movement should be ok I think.

Well they are so good, I use them for Nebulae spotting as well, before swinging my 200mm Dob onto the Nebula. Yes you can clearly see Nebulae with them.

Great lenses, great coatings. I did spot Saturn's moons with them, but not tried Jupiter's yet.

Only thing to watch with them (same for any optics really), is if bad handling during shipping may have shoved the lenses out of alignment. It does affect a very low number (no matter the make).

Walmart have them on offer at the moment for $76.98:

Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binocular - Walmart.com

That's about what I paid for dad's over here (the tripod was over twice that lol!).

The light gathering with the 14x40's will be a lot worse, and I seriously doubt the optics are any better (that may shock some, but Chinese lenses and coatings are superb value - look at how they have done in the telescope market with brands like Celestron and Skywatcher, they have had a wonderful effect on amateur astronomy - I say that with two Skywatcher telescopes to my name, and a very large collection of very good value eye pieces), a lot of 'Japanese' optics (and for others) are now made in China.
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Old 17-02-2016, 18:02   #7
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Buy a cheap set and let us know how they do on your boat they are under 60 USD on overstock.com
Binoculars - Overstock Shopping - The Best Prices Online
Cracking price. $56.98 added to the cart.
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Old 17-02-2016, 18:06   #8
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

7x50 is the ideal size for night vision and about the strongest magnification you can use on a boat without stabilization technology.
It's more to do with light gathering for the exit pupil so they are more suitable for night use (divide the magnification into the objective lens and you get the exit at 7mm, about the maximum the eye can cope with when the eye is at its best).

15 x 70's give you a 5mm exit, which is not bad at all for what the eyes can handle as they age.

The 14 x 40's are less than 3mm, which isn't very good at all.

If the sea air wouldn't ruin it, I'd love to take my ST120 on the boat, it is a superb spotting scope for daylight use.
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Old 17-02-2016, 18:34   #9
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

7x50 is the ideal size for night vision and about the strongest magnification you can use on a boat without stabilization technology.
I respectfully disagree - if you have steady hands 10x50 are superior. A larger objective (the second number) will admit more light and would therefore be better at night, but these are not typical in commercially-available binos. Any magnification greater than 10x would require stabilization to be useful on a boat, but this could include being fitted to the boat with a gimballed mounting.
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Old 17-02-2016, 19:42   #10
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Here's a thread, & some specific excerpts from it which a lot of folks found very helpful on the topic in question.
Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Plus, I've done some work with glass, including bino's, so I put up a couple of mini thesis in the above thread, to help folks get up to speed on optics, especially the marine sort.
Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!
Binoculars? Which ones? Heeeellllpppp!

Though, as stated, 7x is about the max which you can stabilize by hand, on a boat, & be able to use the magnifcation effectively. And a 7mm exit pupil is about the maximum light gathering setup which your eyes can use when it's dark/in low light.
Objective size, divided by Magnification = Exit Pupil.
This is why 7x50's have been THE standard for nautical binos for many, many decades.

Aside from that, Lens Coatings play a Big role in how well an optic, & thus you can see. As does the quality of the glass, & it's grind.
All of this is covered in great depth in the above linked articles.

If you want to try & use more than 7x magnification, there are a couple of "tricks" which you can try.
- Brace both yourself, & the optics, against fixed objects near the center of the vessel, where there's the least motion. Such as wrapping yourself around the mast or shrouds, & bracing the binos against same. As well as using their neck strap to setup dynamic tension, in order to further stabilize them.
- Go out on a clear night, with light winds, & flat water, & hoist enough sail so that the boat's heeled over consistently, & evenly.
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:05   #11
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I've got a pair of west marine 7x50 w/ compass for general purposes.
The other night on watch I was looking around with them in the moonless sky and was wishing I could see more stuff. I was able to see Omega Centauri but not much else.

After much deliberation and googling I'm looking at the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars. Now I have camera gear so I have a nice tripod I can use them with on shore, but would they be totally worthless on the boat? I'm hoping I can use them to look around from the boat as well, sure I couldn't hold them steady but could I scan a beach or another boat or is it just impossible?

If I got the Fujinon 14x40 technistabi would I be able to see things in space better? I don't want to drop a grand just to see jupiter's moons.
15x anything is just unmanageable on a boat. But I have a pair of 25 X 100 if anyone is interested.
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Old 18-02-2016, 09:28   #12
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

I bough the 15x70 because they where cheap. I got what I paid fore. No defects but found out they do not resolve out very well (see the detail). I can see more with my $500 8x42 bins, a lot more.
I had vision problems so after I thought I would buy a good set of bins. Well I did not wan't to spend the $2,000-$3,000 that they cost. But you can see so much more detail with better glasses. Go to a big box outdoor store (Cabbalas). Try a pair of Nikon Monarch 5 or 7 8x42 glasses, only 21 oz. and water proofed. They will let you try them all even the $3,000 ones. I am no longer a fan of marine glasses. Hunters and bird watchers no more about optics than sailors.


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Old 18-02-2016, 09:55   #13
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

Not as cheap, but this is what I have and am very pleased with them.
The refurbs come and go, sometimes available, but may be awhile before they come back, but the price, while high is a lot less than new.
Nikon 14 x 40 StabilEyes VR Image Stabilized Binocular - Remanufactured

Mine looked new, but warranty is 90 days as opposed to one yr.
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:02   #14
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

...if you let the boat dry out ashore, run it onto some rocks. Or, if it's a catamaran. Run it up the beach, and then 15 x20 with be fine....on a tripod of course!
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Old 18-02-2016, 10:23   #15
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Re: Anybody with first hand experience with 15x70 binoculars on a boat?

I have a very nice pair of Alpen waterproof. when I was researching them everyone said anything over 8 x 50's were not good for the boat. I pushed the limit and bought a 8.5x50. very clear but still a little too much magnification when the boat is moving a lot. If I did it over again I would probably stick with 7x50.
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