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Old 17-08-2020, 10:28   #31
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The compass on my Steiner does not work on my steel boat.
It does. The photo shows you inside the boat, not on deck.
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Old 17-08-2020, 10:31   #32
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I think it depends on your background. If you've ever used a hand-bearing compass for shooting LOP's, then the built-in compass in the binoculars is great. Not only for piloting, but once you learn to use it you'll find all kinds of other uses. To be able to note the bearing to something, then transfer that to your chartplotter or radar, is great.

If you can't do DR piloting, and haven't truly internalized the whole concept of a compass bearing, then it's probably useless.

And, of course, it's also useless once out of sight of land where piloting is impossible anyway. Except maybe as a backup compass to toss into the liferaft as you step up into it.
I think this is spot on.

If you don't use hand bearing compass, don't do proper pilotage, if you just drive a dot on a chart plotter, then you won't care. If you do, you will.

A good pair of compass binos is a really superior HBC, and if you want to know how what you are looking at relates to the chart (or to an AIS target, or radar blip), then you have an instant answer. Actually I can't think of all that many things you would look at with binos where you wouldn't want to know the bearing, other than bikini bathers on a nearby beach (and even there, a bearing might be handy in some cases ).

Cheap compass binos however don't work very well, so you have to be prepared to shell out a bit of coin.

All that being said, I no longer HAVE compass binos. I had a cheap Fuji set which I gave away. I currently use the same binos I've been using since I was a boy -- my Dad's old Fuji Meibos, which make gorgeous images, but lack a compass. Therefore I keep a normal HBC in the cockpit for taking bearings. Some day I'll buy a pair of Fuji Polaris compass binos, or something like that.


The Polaris has the same optics as the old Meibo other than coatings; the glass is even interchangeable. Really great optics.
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Old 17-08-2020, 10:39   #33
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

If you want really useful binoculars get ones that have stabilization. On a rocking boat they are invaluable.

I have a pair if non-stabilized Fujinon's with built in compass. Good for bearings when at anchor or very smooth conditions.
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Old 17-08-2020, 10:40   #34
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

The Fuji Polaris are great units, as are high end Nikon or Steiner units. But my pick at this point for a budget binocular is the Fuji Mariner. Less than half the price of the high end units and still pretty darn good. Definitely not as good, but the step down is a lot smaller than the price difference would indicate.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:01   #35
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
Another "vote" for the Nikon marine binoculars with a compass.


Later,
Dan
Not seeing any Nikon 7x50 binos with image stabilization. Would you have a model number?
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:06   #36
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Not seeing any Nikon 7x50 binos with image stabilization. Would you have a model number?
I linked them above but hereís the link again: https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-OceanPr...ag=googhydr-20

The problem is that after I linked it, it sold out quickly. It was at the same price point as the Fujinon
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:10   #37
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

I have two, a set of image stabilized Nikon’s and Steiner.
For day time use and looking at things far away the Nikons are a very good set. They have a much higher magnification than the Steiner’s
But they suck at night or periods of low illuminations, the Steiners optical clarity and light gathering just blow the Nikon’s away, but in daytime the Nikon’s are fine. You really need to be able to pick up one pair after the other to really see the difference, it’s rather pronounced.

I bought the Steiners used, they are old. When I got them it was obvious that the compass had “issues” it would stick and you could see foreign matter in the Compass.
I sent them in to be repaired under warranty and found out that wile Steiner’s warranty is excellent, it excludes the compass and any electronics.
The manufacturing date is part of the Steiner’s serial number, it’s easily read too.
However for $100, they replaced the compass, disassembled the bino’s and cleaned the prisms and lens and resealed, purged with nitrogen and leak checked them.

The Steiner’s stay in the cockpit with me, the Nikon’s down below, if we are watching a Space-X launch or something, the Nikon’s are better, but for Marine use, the Steiner’s are in my opinion better.
The Compass is nice, but not absolutely essential, I can tell very close how many degrees off of the Port or Starboard a target is just by observation.

I believe Steiner’s warranty for newer Bino’s is forever. For countries other than the US, there is a link to click, it varies apparently.
https://www.steiner-optics.com/product-warranties
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:12   #38
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I linked them above but hereís the link again: https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-OceanPr...ag=googhydr-20

The problem is that after I linked it, it sold out quickly. It was at the same price point as the Fujinon
Thanks but I don't believe those have image stabilization. It isn't mentioned on the Nikon page anywhere.


https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr...tTabs-Overview
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:14   #39
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

+1 on the Steiner 7x50 with compass.

Here in SoCal there's a lot of shipping traffic & it's great to be able to check the bearing on the warships, tankers, and container ships to verify that you're not on a collision course. The built-in compass makes this very easy, and is a great way to introduce non-sailors (e.g. my wife and kids) to basic navigation using the physical world rather than having their first experiences with it being looking at dots on a screen.

I can't see much of a downside - it is very slightly bulkier, and a bit more $$ but they'll last for decades.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:17   #40
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

I’d look at vortex

Their glass is just as clear, better on a price and features standpoint and their warranty, well you could practically use the binos as a anchor and they’d still take them in.

I know folks who work wildlife for the state who swear by them, these things are kicked around snow mobiles, canoes, muddy trails and they just keep going yet still are good enough to identify a small animal at range for their charts.

https://vortexoptics.com/binoculars.html

The compass thing, if you’re on the boat you’re probably next to a compass anyways, it’s not too hard to figure it close enough
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:17   #41
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

The image stabilized Nikonís are boxy looking things with a battery pack.
You have be careful with marketing, the Steinerís at first glance may seem image stabilized, but they are referring to the compass for example.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:21   #42
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

Iíd get two pair: one 7X50 w/compass and a gyro stabilized 14X. I have had to have my Steiner compass binoculars rebuilt at least once. When you want to take a bearing they sure are handy.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:31   #43
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The image stabilized Nikonís are boxy looking things with a battery pack.
You have be careful with marketing, the Steinerís at first glance may seem image stabilized, but they are referring to the compass for example.
Good catch, thanks @a64pilot. I totally thought they were image stabilized. Especially considering the price difference between them and the Nikons.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:45   #44
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

A compass in the binocular is very useful ! If You need to take a bearing to a distant object You can hardly identifie with naked eye, it is the only way You can.
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Old 17-08-2020, 11:53   #45
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Re: Binoculars - with or without built-in compass

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Originally Posted by NaClyDog View Post
Thanks but I don't believe those have image stabilization. It isn't mentioned on the Nikon page anywhere.


https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr...tTabs-Overview
None of the 7x50 marine binoculars have image stabilization because they donít need it. This thread is confusing because people are taking a Nikon for a very high magnification stabilized unit and the Steiner for a 7x50 stabilized etc. The Steiner is not stabilized, none of the 7x50ís are and Nikon makes every kind of binoculars incl. 7x50.

The reason for having 7x50 is that it works best, day and night, for navigation use on a boat. For spying neighbors or military type operations, the high magnification stabilized units make sense.

So we have, Steiner 7x50 with compass, Nikon OceanPro 7x50 with compass and Fujinon 7x50 with compass. Make your pick
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