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High magnification binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 07:55
jba View Drop Down
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Hello i'm trying to find some high mag binoculars (at least 10x). I have a pair of Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42, and I'm partial to Zeiss, but i'm open to anything.

I have been watching ebay for vintage Zeiss 10x 15x 18x, but I don't know how they will compare to modern binoculars. It seems that they sell for $200 - $500.

Are the cheap modern binoculars better quality than old alpha glass? I'm looking for binoculars to glass the sides of mountains, and to look out over fields.

Maybe I should just save and buy a decent spotting scope and some lenses? If I were to get a spotting scope i'd probably get the Vortex Razor HD, but that is $1000 more than the binoculars.

In an perfect world it would be best to have both. The binocs could be a stepping stone twards a spotting scope, but maybe a spotting scope would eliminate the need for the high mag binocs.

Anyone here have a similar experience?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 10:04
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Try carrying a spotting scope around your neck. Thumbs Down

Try using a spotting scope without some type of mount. Thumbs Down

Try squinting through a spotting scope for hours on end. Thumbs Down

High magnification spotting scope lenses will give you a very narrow FOV. Thumbs Down

Depending upon daytime temperatures you will also encounter heat shimmer at higher magnifications. Thumbs Down

This is the binoculars forum, so it goes without saying that most of us here are already convinced 
that two eyed viewing is much better than squinting through one eye. watching.gif

Binoculars around the neck are much more convenient than a spotting scope mounted on either a
tripod or a monopod with a pan head.

Depending upon how much magnification you really need you could always check out the Canon
Image Stabilizer binoculars, but you may not care for the prices.


Just my two cents worth.  Big Grin


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 11:32
tahqua View Drop Down
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I have a pair of these http://www.samplelist.com/Steiner-15x80-Military-Binocular-DEMO-A-P64926.aspx
They are fine binoculars for distant viewing and quite good in low light. Because of their large size I can stabilize them quite well by holding the ends of the barrels at the objective lense end.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 14:04
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

I have a pair of these http://www.samplelist.com/Steiner-15x80-Military-Binocular-DEMO-A-P64926.aspx
They are fine binoculars for distant viewing and quite good in low light.
Because of their large size I can stabilize them quite well by holding the ends of the barrels at the objective lense end.

The Steiner 15x80 is a very nice binocular, however, it may be a bit on the LARGE size (80mm)
for certain individuals hands. Just a thought. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 14:45
jba View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Try carrying a spotting scope around your neck. Thumbs Down

Try using a spotting scope without some type of mount. Thumbs Down

Try squinting through a spotting scope for hours on end. Thumbs Down

High magnification spotting scope lenses will give you a very narrow FOV. Thumbs Down

Depending upon daytime temperatures you will also encounter heat shimmer at higher magnifications. Thumbs Down

This is the binoculars forum, so it goes without saying that most of us here are already convinced 
that two eyed viewing is much better than squinting through one eye. watching.gif

Binoculars around the neck are much more convenient than a spotting scope mounted on either a
tripod or a monopod with a pan head.

Depending upon how much magnification you really need you could always check out the Canon
Image Stabilizer binoculars, but you may not care for the prices.


Just my two cents worth.  Big Grin




I like having both eyes open, and I feel that the binoculars would be used more than a spotting scope. A spotting scope would be nice for getting a better look at something, or if you need to see something very far out.

I have looked at the canon's and yes they are nice, and are expensive. I would prefer to Keep It Simple and not have electronics involved.

Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

I have a pair of these http://www.samplelist.com/Steiner-15x80-Military-Binocular-DEMO-A-P64926.aspxThey are fine binoculars for distant viewing and quite good in low light. Because of their large size I can stabilize them quite well by holding the ends of the barrels at the objective lense end.


I like those, but they are also expensive. If I could find a used pair I would buy them. I saw they also come in 20x and that is also cool. 15x or 20x is really what i'm looking for. My 8x work very well for spotting, but I would like a little more power for glassing beyond what my 8x will do.


Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

I have a pair of these http://www.samplelist.com/Steiner-15x80-Military-Binocular-DEMO-A-P64926.aspx
They are fine binoculars for distant viewing and quite good in low light.
Because of their large size I can stabilize them quite well by holding the ends of the barrels at the objective lense end.

The Steiner 15x80 is a very nice binocular, however, it may be a bit on the LARGE size (80mm)
for certain individuals hands. Just a thought. 



I have large hands so the size isn't a problem. I wouldn't be opposed to lugging around a tripod or shooting sticks to have a nice stable rest.



Thank you, all of you, for taking the time to reply to my post and share your knowledge.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 18:28
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Originally posted by jba jba wrote:


I like those, but they are also expensive. 
15x or 20x is really what i'm looking for.

I wouldn't be opposed to lugging around a tripod or shooting sticks to have a nice stable rest.






Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 18:52
jba View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Originally posted by jba jba wrote:


I like those, but they are also expensive. 
15x or 20x is really what i'm looking for.

I wouldn't be opposed to lugging around a tripod or shooting sticks to have a nice stable rest.









Is the Nikon better optically than a equally priced vintage binocular?

If i'm not mistaken this model Pentax is made by United Optics who also make binoculars for the lower priced models from Celestron. I know Pentax makes quality optics, as does Celestron, but are these models on par with an antique alpha glass?

So many questions, so many unknowns... I'm trying to absorb as much information as I possibly can, so I appreciate every tidbit that you all offer up to me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2014 at 20:55
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Originally posted by jba jba wrote:

[QUOTE=Bird Watcher][QUOTE=jba]

Is the Nikon better optically than a equally priced vintage binocular?

If i'm not mistaken this model Pentax is made by United Optics who also make binoculars for the lower priced models from Celestron. I know Pentax makes quality optics, as does Celestron, but are these models on par with an antique alpha glass?

So many questions, so many unknowns... 
I'm trying to absorb as much information as I possibly can, so I appreciate every tidbit that you all offer up to me.

There are many vintage binoculars of superior quality & workmanship;
there are many vintage binoculars of poor quality & workmanship. 

An Alpha quality vintage binocular will have a similar price tag.

Consider the price range of both the Nikon AE & the Pentax PCF WP II binoculars & you have answered 
your own question. (no, when compared to alpha glass)

United Optics has absolutely zero models similar to the Pentax PCF WP II binoculars, so you are indeed mistaken.
UO offers a one or two year warranty on their binoculars, not so with Nikon & Pentax.
UO quality control is not the same as Nikon or Pentax!

Pentax (now owned by Ricoh) & Celestron both import various price levels of binoculars to the U.S.

Vintage binoculars of alpha quality & workmanship require time & energy to search out,
& buying sight unseen, over the internet, requires experience, & knowledge of the product, as well as 
the seller.

Vintage alpha binoculars lack modern day optical coatings which increase light transmission.
Vintage binoculars lack modern eyecups, sometimes have poor eye relief, & usually lack the
fogproof/watperproof options hunters desire.

Vintage binoculars won't have today's armor, which assists in gripping & gives some degree of
protection to the hands & fingers, from the cold.

A vintage binocular has no warranty, so service may be expensive if it is even avaible at all, depending upon the brand name.


Edited by Bird Watcher - September/13/2014 at 21:40
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