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Old 05-11-2011, 14:11   #1
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What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

What's your favorite set that doesn't cost a fortune... say $300(ish) and under. Ideally with a compass. Anyone play around with a stabilized set? Worth the money?

I'm looking for a nice pair (and great value) but small enough to travel with for charter trips.

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 14:20   #2
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Re: What's your favorite marine binocular?

fujinon 7x50 with a compass. best ever. but i have seen some west marine binocs that were actually pretty good and more compact than the fujinons.
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Old 05-11-2011, 14:42   #3
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Re: What's your favorite marine binocular?

Apparently the manual on the Fujinon states that the compass can be up to 5 degrees off (some have reported up to 7). If I have a compass, I need it to be accurate... otherwise, why bother? sck5, have you experienced such variations?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 17:58   #4
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Re: What's your Favorite Marine Binocular?

West Marine's Antigua is frequently on sale for 200. I got one by walking away between sales and they said....we'll give it to you.

7X is the magnification....I tried using my birding binocs and at 8x the boat motion is just too unstable. They have a compass which I wanted but really have yet to make much use of. Clear, easy to use, center focus, waterproof. So far so good.
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Old 05-11-2011, 18:04   #5
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Re: What's your Favorite Marine Binocular?

Nikon.

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Old 05-11-2011, 18:09   #6
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Re: What's your Favorite Marine Binocular?

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...... Anyone play around with a stabilized set? Worth the money? .....
While I have never owned a stabilized pair, I have used them several times (Fujion 14x) and the difference was fantastic. I could see stuff (like buoy numbers) easily (from a moving yacht deck) that was just a blur in the standard 7 x 50's. I haven't used them at night and I don't know all the downsides. They are delicate items and and not as robust as "marine" binoculars.

There are quite a few threads and a wealth of information on CF about binoculars, just use the <google custom search> in the pull down search menu.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:35   #7
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

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Anyone play around with a stabilized set? Worth the money?
When I used them (Canon, non-marine) they were big money. And they were absolutely fabulous. IMHO the marine kind 7 x something are complete crap to use from the deck of any small boat. I only use them because the night/dawn/dusk vision is so much improved.

I have also used something for night vision (bushnel, I think) it was very good stuff too.

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Old 06-11-2011, 06:19   #8
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

I never noticed my fujinon's compass being off. That said, it isnt an exact science on a moving boat.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:29   #9
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

I got a pair of Nikon stabilized 14 power on Ebay a couple of years ago for $500. You gotta keep a keen eye. (no pun Intended). I am just completing a trip to South Africa and because I had the 14 x stabilized nocs, I spotted a leopard (cat not boat) when the game driver had not seen it.

Save your money a little longer and keep a automatic search on Ebay for all the goodies you want. I got a Raymarine color chart plotter once for $205.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:04   #10
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

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When I used them (Canon, non-marine) they were big money. And they were absolutely fabulous. IMHO the marine kind 7 x something are complete crap to use from the deck of any small boat. I only use them because the night/dawn/dusk vision is so much improved.

I have also used something for night vision (bushnel, I think) it was very good stuff too.

b.
My experience exactly. Have the Nikon 7 X 50 marine and an old, very good set of Bushnels as well and find I can read numbers on buoys and markers about as well by eye. On a boat even a 7X50 shakes too much to focus on the small stuff. But are great in low light conditions to see the buoys, other boats and such, even if I can't read the numbers.

Would love to get a stabilized set in the 12-15 X range but, for the purposes of the OP question, that will blow away his budget of $300
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:35   #11
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

You'll pay more but the Fujinons are worth every penny. There are several other companies that make first rate binocs. Don't waste your money on cheap ones.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:48   #12
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

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I never noticed my fujinon's compass being off. That said, it isnt an exact science on a moving boat.
Perhaps you do not wear glasses? Or your glasses do not have ferrous metal elements?

Make a test vis-a-vis a glasses wearing fella and you will see the point. Regular deviation, metal induced.

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:25   #13
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

In 1987 I bought a pair of 7x50 West Marine binoculars for $75. Being careful of the equipment that I own and use, they are still in perfect condition. The blue body is a wee bit faded, but hey, my wrapper is a little faded also. A few friends that sailed with me last season couldn't get over their condition.

Since I can read navigational charts, always plot my position when out of home waters, it is rare that I would benefit much from an internal compass (to be fair I do own a handheld fluxgate compass that I use) or that have stabilization.

The most important thing is to have good optics.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:58   #14
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

The Antigua model from West Marine is bright and crisp, center focus, eye relief adjust, has a compass with a light, is waterproof and not as heavy as my 8x42 birding binocs from Bushnell. Available routinely for 200. Go look at them. Folks are always willing to spend your money for incremental quality. These do the job for me.

My Bushnell NatureView birding binocs are also excellent value....paid like 100 bucks a few years back and they have been awesome in use.
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Old 09-11-2011, 16:54   #15
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Re: What's Your Favorite Marine Binocular ?

"Perhaps you do not wear glasses? Or your glasses do not have ferrous metal elements?"

plastic glasses. but now i have some with metal in them so next time i am on the boat i will check this out
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