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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2007 at 09:09
recppd View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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I'm in the market for a pair of binos for police surveillance work and need some suggestions.  I'm a total newbie when it comes to binos, so bear with me.  Here are my basic needs:

 

- Clear optics in low-light / dark conditions

- Ability to read license plate size lettering up to 100+ yards, especially at night

- Rugged construction

- Somewhat compact size

 

From what I've read, Steiner seems to be a solid choice.  I don't want to spend a lot, but I don't want to limit myself either.  Based on my low-light requirements I'm guessing I should stick with 50mm objectives.  But what about magnification?  Is 8x - 10x enough, or should I go higher?  If 8x-10x is enough, what do you think about Steiner's Police 10x50? 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

 



Edited by recppd
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2007 at 12:42
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
Optics Master
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If you are going to be "hunting" license plates @ 100 yds.+ I would go with more magnification.

Both the Pentax PCF WP II and the Nikon Action Extreme ATB come in 12x50mm. Also, the Nikon AE ATB comes in 16x50mm. These are all under $200 locally, or on the internet.

I prefer the Pentax PCF WP II's because they have FMC/Fully Multi-Coated optical coatings which makes them brighter and sharper to "my" eyes than the Nikon AE ATB, which is only MC/Multi-Coated.(but still a very good bino for surveillance).

The Pentax PCF WP was available in the 16x60mm and has been discontinued, however, some Sportsman's Warehouses still have them in stock. I purchased one last Sept. and my store still has them on display for $175.

The Pentax has the right balance between weight and size, in the 12x50mm, and they are handholdable.

You will probably have to support the Pentax 16x60mm or the Nikon 16x50mm, but, inside a vehicle that should present very little challenge. Outside a vehicle you can alway use a monopod. (or the roof of a vehicle)

The Pentax 12x is a rugged, waterproof/fogproof binocular.

The Pentax 16x60mm is not compact. The Nikon 16x50mm is better in that area, but none are in the compact classification.

The Steiner Military and Police models are IF/Individual Focus rather than CF/Center Focus. The 8x Steiner is only available in 30mm, not as good as 50mm for low-light. They are not in the compact department either, weighing in at over 2 lbs.

You could also take a look at these:
http://www.bigbinoculars.com/1250.html

Just remember, using binoculars while looking through window glass (windshields) has a tendency to degrade the viewing image.

Edited by Bird Watcher
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2007 at 20:49
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
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The Steiner 7x 50 or 8x56 in the commader or nighthawk series.  Those will do what your eye will do.  There is some other stuff out there like the Fujion ED glass. After that it gets expencive and most likley will not stand up to the rough handling.  It is the rough treatment that bring the IF stuff into it, own rather than the center focus. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2007 at 22:13
Steve16 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Some good ideas from the participants of this forum. 

 

Here's a link to an article that I found interesting.  It might be limited in what it reviewed, but its police application information was interesting for me.

 

http://www.swift-optics.com/promotional/LET-review.pdf

 

Other people will give more useful information, I'm sure.  Good luck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2007 at 00:18
recppd View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thanks for the replys!  Like I said, I'm not afraid of spending some money (under $1,000) for a good set of eyes.   SWFA has some Steiner Nighthunter XP 12x56's that look pretty interesting - especially at less than $500 as demos/refurbs.  I've also seen a lot of talk about Nikon's Monarch ATB 12x56 binos.  I'll continue doing some research, but I need a pair fairly soon.  I don't need the best, but I need something with clear optics in low-light conditions.  Most of the time I only have moonlight or streetlights to assist me.

 

Thanks again for the info.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2007 at 21:31
Tero View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Ability to read license plate size lettering up to 100+ yards, especially at night.

 
I often test binoculars during the day with signs and license plates, and this is not the easiest thing to do. At 10x you can do it, but I need to rest my elbows on a car or something. For the 12x56 you will need a tripod.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2007 at 21:35
silver View Drop Down
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You can have compact, powerful, or low light.  You just can't have them all together.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2007 at 10:15
recppd View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Originally posted by silver silver wrote:

 

 

You can have compact, powerful, or low light.  You just can't have them all together.

 

Since compact is a desire, and not a necessity, any suggestions on the last two criteria?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2007 at 11:43
jonbravado View Drop Down
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i don't know about the above comment -

 

you can get 6x30's fujinons or steiners - that are both bright and compact.

 

that's an exit pupul of 5mm and PLENTY for lowlight.

 

i had the older 6x30 steiners and they were very bright and easy to handle.

 

maybe a lil low on the magnification side, but still.

 

J

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