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Magnification and uses

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2015 at 20:28
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General question. If something that is 15 to 18 magnification is it ok for general use?
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8 or 9 power is all a person can generally hold still enough to see clearly without excessive "shake".
 That is unless you intend to use a stand to keep them still.
 Also, the bino's I have seen in higher magnification are much harder to focus.
My personal favorites are:
9x63
8x56
8x42
7x50.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2015 at 22:16
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I do intend to get the image stabilization ones from canon.

But my main concern is the field of view. If I am using it for general things, will it be too close ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2015 at 22:39
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Depending on the objective size which you didnt state, but yes generally speaking in that high of a power your FOV will be very small in relation to a standard 8-10 power bino.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2015 at 23:04
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Originally posted by qpalzm qpalzm wrote:

I do intend to get the image stabilization ones from canon.

But my main concern is the field of view. If I am using it for general things, will it be too close ?


"too close" is not dependent on the binocular.  You can have a 4x bino and still be too close to whatever it is that you are trying to view.  "Closeness" is determined by you, and where you stand in relation to whatever it is that you are looking at.   Or to put it another way - if you are trying to see Jupiter, then a high-magnification bino would not be too close.  If however you are trying to get a better view of your toenails, then 18x would indeed be too close.  Since you have elected to keep this type of needed information to yourself, it is impossible to determine what would or would not be "too close" for you.

  Just remember that FOV and power is an inverse tradeoff.  More power, less FOV.  Or FOWWV, if you are whale watching.

If you want something for "general use", then you should look at what others typically buy for general use.  8x and 10x are by far the most commonly-used GP powers.   Keep in mind that the vast majority of bino users do not use image-stabilized binos, especially the high-powered ones.   Most just don't have need for that kind of power, or don't want to spend a lot of money on something that is dependent on a battery to work, and is known to break down more frequently.  I love my 12x Canon IS, but would never consider it as an "only" binocular.  If I were to just have one bino for what would have to be general use, it would be the most expensive 8x32 I could afford (I live in a usually bright place).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 06:43
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I live in a place where there is a diversity in nature. I would say the distance would be around 100-150 meters away from my home. I would want to see these animals fairly up close, but I am not hunting or not necessarily needing to see every spot on them, but would like the feeling though of being quite close to it at the same time. I use a 7 * 50 pair right now (bought it for about $200 some years back, i look through them and essentially think "if i could be twice as close as i am now..that be perfect". so that led me to think that about 15 magnification would be perfect..but i was concerned field of view would be small. 

The canon ones I'm considering are the 15 * 50 (which have a real field of view of 4.5)


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 09:53
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Quote  love my 12x Canon IS

They are coming out with a newer version of this pair in August.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 11:42
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Also guys what is the difference between real and apparent field of view. The high magnification binos seem to have poor real filed of view but make up for it and more in the apparent.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 18:48
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In my opinion any magnification 12x and above is a specialized use.  They are useful in specific situations, but are about as useful as a pocketful of rocks in close.  In my view, your max identified distance is pretty close, you should get what you need with 6x at 150 yards.  There is a reason why handheld binoculars top out for general use at about 10x.

The real field of view is the one listed in feet or meters at 1,000 yards or meters.  Sometimes it has an angular fov listed as well.  You can determine the angular fov by dividing the 1,000 yards distance by 52.5.  The simple way to determine the apparent fov is to multiply the angular fov by the magnification.  For an 8* fov 8x binocular the afov is simply 64*.  In a 6* 10x you get 60*.  Wide field is commonly considered to start at 60* afov.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 20:32
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Quote In my view, your max identified distance is pretty close, you should get what you need with 6x at 150 yards.  There is a reason why handheld binoculars top out for general use at about 10x.

Maybe I have this wrong, but if my target is 100 meters away (328 feet), would seeing my target from 18 to 22 feet away, (15 to 18 magnification) not be better than 33 feet? (10 magnification) Why would it be pointless or useless? or doo you mean just from the perspective that it be a waste of money?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 21:14
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Very simply, increasing magnification does not yield a direct, linear increase in image detail, due to the inevitable negative optical design trade offs. As magnification increases, optical aberrations (flaws) are likewise magnified, exit pupil gets smaller. As exit pupil decreases in diameter, eye position becomes more critical and light transmission decreases unless there is a corresponding increase in effective objective lens diameter, which then increases the bino's weight and bulk. As magnification increases, both field of view and depth of field decreases, making it more difficult to acquire distant objects in the FOV and requiring more refocusing as you pan between objects at varying distances away from you. Beyond 10X, maybe 12X, most people have difficulty hand holding a bino steadily enough to realize the benefit of the higher magnification. You therefore can't discern fine detail any better than with a 10X bino because the benefit of extra magnification is negated by amplified image shake. To counter the image shake and narrow FOV and DOF, you need a tripod or other solid rest to steady the optic, which then totally negates the advantage of carrying a bino vs spotting scope in the first place.

Image stabilized binos do allow you to effectively use more magnification, but you then have an optic that is only really useful provided you have fresh batteries and as long as the electronics last. You also spend more money for the gadgetry and don't get optical performance quite on par with non-stabilized binos of similar price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2015 at 21:43
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Thanks Rifledude,

The pair I am considering though is the 15 * 50 by Canon (Image Stabilized). The ratings of it are very good. It also says they are wide angle. They appear to be very good optics wise as well. These are $1200. 

Any thoughts on their quality based on what the specs/design is? (since a lot of people dont seem to have personal experience of these) ..at least on here.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2015 at 09:52
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To each his own, I guess. I've only handled the Canon IS 15X50 binos at trade shows and have no in-field experience with it, because I don't like its weight and form factor and the fact that the main benefit it provides is totally dependent on batteries to function. Regardless of its other virtues, those things alone make me disinterested.

As best I could tell, it seems pretty good optically, but I noticed more chromatic aberration (color fringing) than I typically see with good 8X and 10X binos, undoubtedly a byproduct of the increased magnification, and I don't like the optical sacrifices that have to be made for that magnification level. If I'm buying a binocular that large, I want more than a 3mm exit pupil in exchange for the size and weight. The IS feature seems to work well, as it's essentially the same technology used in their camera lenses.

As far as the "wide angle" claim is concerned, that's a relative term that's meaningless without a basis of comparison. Compared to typical 8X and some 10X binos, it has a very narrow FOV, about 100 ft less @ 1000 yds or 2-deg less angular FOV. So, I don't consider that "wide angle" at all. I don't like its ergonomics, and I don't want any part of carrying around a 2.6 lb, extremely bulky bino in addition to all my other gear... a 2.6 lb bulky bino that totally relies on batteries to exploit its chief benefit. No thanks.

But, that's me.

I have no problem seeing very fine detail with my Leica 8X32 UV HD binos in every conceivable situation where I'd use binos instead of a spotting scope, and they have excellent optics while still being very small and light.

Gear that gets left at home because it's inconvenient to carry around with me is always less beneficial than gear that's a joy to carry and use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2015 at 21:37
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Hi Ted,

i totally get you, but I'm sort of opposite. First, no matter how good of a bino it is, i hate using a tripod. They have to be a pair that i can carry. But, i've found that for my uses, more magnification is necessary, and 15 seems ideal actually. So when I combine those two realities, Canon almost seems like one of the only choices.

I'm not sure why using batteries would be problematic, assuming you always have some handy. I have seen no complaints about battery issues or anything like that..your post seemed to suggest that it existed.

A newer version of the canon 12 * 36 is coming out in August and one of the main things they did is more then double the battery life..something like 9 hours. They also improved the IS (they have some cpu or something controlling it).

I hope they do that soon for the higher magnification ones.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/20/2015 at 16:24
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Originally posted by qpalzm qpalzm wrote:

Maybe I have this wrong, but if my target is 100 meters away (328 feet), would seeing my target from 18 to 22 feet away, (15 to 18 magnification) not be better than 33 feet? (10 magnification) Why would it be pointless or useless? or doo you mean just from the perspective that it be a waste of money?


No you don't have it wrong, but why you think you need it so close is a mystery to me.  It is a binocular, not a microscope.  It seems you are making a common mistake along the lines of more is better.  Since you already seem to have it figured out that more is better for you in the first place, I'm now curious about the question in general.  General use binoculars do not fall in the 12-18x magnification range for general use in the vast majority of people.

I agree with Ted in that you will need a tripod or image stabilized glass.  You will get what he means about batteries the first time you are out and need a spare which you happened to forget that day.

There are several downsides to high magnification for general use.  The first is that as magnification increases, depth of field and shallowness of focus increase.  Eye strain increases with magnification.  Distortion from mirage increases with magnification, size of the instrument increases with increasing magnification, width of field decreases. Keeping afov the same still packs too much into the space.  There are others certainly, but for some specialized uses, these may not be as critical.  Keeping the package steady becomes critical.


Edited by Klamath - June/20/2015 at 16:30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2015 at 09:20
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Qpalzm --
Have you actually ever spent extensive time in the field using different binos ranging in magnification from 8X-10X up to, say, 16X? I'm not talking about quick glances through various powers or comparisons in a store; I'm talking about real, extensive use, carrying and using them all day long, while bird watching, hunting or other activity where you're doing a lot of searching and scanning at various distances near to far. If so, have you ever used really GOOD 8X -10X binos, in a similar price category as the Canon IS? If you had, you'd understand pretty quickly how much easier it is to find your intended subjects with the lower powered binos. You would understand that with greater depth of field, you have to do much less refocusing to find subjects of interest from near to far. You would see how much less fatigued your eyes get after a few hours of glassing because they aren't trying to fight a super high magnification optic's shallow focus depth, critical eye relief, and small exit pupil. You would understand the advantage to finding your quarry when you can take in much more real estate in the view.

You seem to be seeking reassurance for your idea (or for a purchase you already made) rather than advice. You're getting good advice from people here who have a lot of experience with optics, and it appears you're unwilling to accept the advice you asked for. It's a very common rookie mistake to think more is always better. After all, the purpose of every magnified optic is to enable you to see a closer, more detailed view of distant objects, so more magnification must be better. In reality it's not that simple. There are always trade offs involved with getting "more," and there are practical limits.

If you're dead set on buying the Canon IS, then by all means buy it. It's your money, not ours, and it's probably a good quality instrument, albeit a very specialized one. However, when you ask for advice from people with a lot of
experience with binoculars, it seems to me that you'd be best served by weighing pros and cons rather than trying to counter the points being made. If you've already made up your mind, why are you asking for advice?

On the battery life issue, if the 9 hours is accurate, that would be terrible for me! At that rate, I'd have to replace batteries every day during deer season!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2015 at 10:56
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Originally posted by qpalzm qpalzm wrote:

General question. If something that is 15 to 18 magnification is it ok for general use?

No they are not for all the responses given. I have all of the powers mentioned including a 15x80 Steiner. They are great for looking at the stars and planets or distant ships. But, for general use, they cannot close focus, the field of view is relatively narrow and they are bulky for carry.

If you must, I would look at a 10x glass. My Meopta 10x binos work well for general use. I can focus close enough for a butterfly at 15m, yet resolve well enough to see birds at 150m, no problem. That is not possible with the 15x. If something was in close, the narrow FOV would take much longer to pick up the object and re-focus.

For your price point I believe a higher quality 10x will get you better contrast, resolution, FOV and close focus capability for general use. There are too many sacrifices on the 15x in these areas.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2015 at 21:18
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Qpalzm --
Have you actually ever spent extensive time in the field using different binos ranging in magnification from 8X-10X up to, say, 16X? I'm not talking about quick glances through various powers or comparisons in a store; I'm talking about real, extensive use, carrying and using them all day long, while bird watching, hunting or other activity where you're doing a lot of searching and scanning at various distances near to far. If so, have you ever used really GOOD 8X -10X binos, in a similar price category as the Canon IS? If you had, you'd understand pretty quickly how much easier it is to find your intended subjects with the lower powered binos. You would understand that with greater depth of field, you have to do much less refocusing to find subjects of interest from near to far. You would see how much less fatigued your eyes get after a few hours of glassing because they aren't trying to fight a super high magnification optic's shallow focus depth, critical eye relief, and small exit pupil. You would understand the advantage to finding your quarry when you can take in much more real estate in the view.

You seem to be seeking reassurance for your idea (or for a purchase you already made) rather than advice. You're getting good advice from people here who have a lot of experience with optics, and it appears you're unwilling to accept the advice you asked for. It's a very common rookie mistake to think more is always better. After all, the purpose of every magnified optic is to enable you to see a closer, more detailed view of distant objects, so more magnification must be better. In reality it's not that simple. There are always trade offs involved with getting "more," and there are practical limits.

If you're dead set on buying the Canon IS, then by all means buy it. It's your money, not ours, and it's probably a good quality instrument, albeit a very specialized one. However, when you ask for advice from people with a lot of
experience with binoculars, it seems to me that you'd be best served by weighing pros and cons rather than trying to counter the points being made. If you've already made up your mind, why are you asking for advice?

On the battery life issue, if the 9 hours is accurate, that would be terrible for me! At that rate, I'd have to replace batteries every day during deer season!

Hey,

First, i def appreciate all the advice. Second, i def didn't buy them already. 

But I think part of the problem is that I didn't accurately describe my uses. I'm a very casual binocular user, but have the money to get a pretty good bino.

Essentially, i'm not a hunter, nor do i travel with them, or have hikes with them, it is simply for use from my home. From my home I do get to see different wildlife, birds, etc that are about 100meters away. i have a really good view from my home, and it is not overly foresty, so i can often with my eyes see my target/object, or that something is there Of course, i can no in way see it well,  or sometimes be sure what it is, but I often don't need binos to scout the area at all.

I just need the bino to see closer..so for me, having used 7 and 10 magnification before (but poor quality binos), i thought i'd like to see this closer than farther. 

So what you guys say may still be applicable, but I thought it be important to state that 1) i only use this at my home, so i could always have batteries ready etc and buy a good supply of batteries 2) i can almost always spot an object/subject with my eyes..i just need the binos to see closer, not to scout the area for things.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/2015 at 17:05
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Perhaps, with use of economy binoculars, you have no missed clarity. Clarity trumps magnification and has been pointed out magnification diminishes clarity. I routinely glass deer and habitat for hours with top quality glass @ 8x and have never felt that I need more. I believe this is because the viewing field is absolutely clear.

I can't imagine any better or more thoughtful advice than you have received on your thread. The only additional observation I can make is don't make your equation more complex than necessary. You will walk away frustrated.
Wf
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2015 at 13:01
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what do you guys think of the new MeoStar 12x50 HD? could I hold that one in my hind without significant loss to clarity? in fact, i often sit in a chair and move backwards in a laying down position and then place the binoculars against my shoulders.
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My dad has the Meostar 12x50.  He really likes them.  I have used them a lot and for the most part I feel they are just fine.  I also have 10x and 8x binos, and yes they are a bit harder to hold steady but are doable IMO. 

But that being said, There is nothing I cannot see just as good with my 10x that he can see with his 12x.  I am a fan of 10x binos personally.  

If you have some way to steady them I bet you would be just fine.  But again, you are not really going to be able to see anything better with the 12x.  2x magnification just does not make much diff.  
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It sounds like your minimum viewing distance (usually) will be 100m.

Given the other parameters you have mentioned (particularly no battery/portablity issues), I do think higher magnification (12-15x) binoculars with image stabilization could well benefit you and your uses.

Canon's IS technology in binoculars is impressive without a doubt, and the optics are decent as well.  the 10X42 L model in fact is much better than decent.

The confusion in this thread I think came with the term "general use" where your "general" uses are not those of the average binocular user.

The high magnification IS binoculars are special use binoculars and your uses are special, so they could be a great fit!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2015 at 16:25
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

It sounds like your minimum viewing distance (usually) will be 100m.

Given the other parameters you have mentioned (particularly no battery/portablity issues), I do think higher magnification (12-15x) binoculars with image stabilization could well benefit you and your uses.

Canon's IS technology in binoculars is impressive without a doubt, and the optics are decent as well.  the 10X42 L model in fact is much better than decent.

The confusion in this thread I think came with the term "general use" where your "general" uses are not those of the average binocular user.

The high magnification IS binoculars are special use binoculars and your uses are special, so they could be a great fit!

You really hit the nail on the head and understood what I'm saying. i feel now better about my potential purchase. 
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