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Need help and suggestions for new binoculars

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Need help and suggestions for new binoculars

Postby dave11 on Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:25 am

Hello, I am very new to this site and hope to get some guidance for buying some new binoculars for my son, daughter and I to use.
Our main use will be to use on our terrace in the late afternoon and evening to look at planets, the moon and some distant objects we sometimes see but cannot discern what they are. We also live right off a main air corridor and would use them regularly to look at the planes and helicopters. There are some high hills off on the horizon also. There are quite a few "high rise" apartment buildings going up everywhere around and this might be something else of interest to view. This will be a lot of enjoyment for us.
Other uses, but not as often would be for camping, hiking, reconnaissance and vacation at beach and mountains.
I am thinking about binoculars for very long distance, and a narrower field of view (I do not know if my considerations are correct, and I do not know the optics to specify. I have had some cheap Bushnell binoculars before but was not very impressed...I am hoping for a very good brand, something MUCH better for this purchase and greater quality.) Would appreciate your help, thanks.
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Postby Jne_K on Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:20 am


A waterproof 8x42 or 10x42 roof prism binocular, such as the Nikon Monarch (world's best selling $300 binocular) is the universal binocular and can be used for nearly any binocular application. Will work for any of those applications to some extent. Keep in mind that 1) binoculars, even astronomy binoculars, are not used for serious observing of the planets and 2) once you get over 10x (first bino number) you must mount the bino on a tripod for steadiness. If you do not want to mess with a tripod, do not go over 10x. In terms of magnification, 8x is 8x. Going to a better 8x42 or 10x42 will get you better image quality, but will not necessarily get you significantly more detail than what you already have.

For more on the basics of bincoular design and features, see my article at
How to Understand Binoculars

If you are thinking more magnification, go with a spotting scope or a high power bino but both must be mounted on a tripod. For the basics on higher power observation instruments, both binoculars and spotting scopes (small telescopes designed to be used by day), for horizon watching, spotting ships, distant wildlife and some astronomy, see my article at High Power Observation For Home Or Office This article also includes recommendations in various price ranges

For an observation binocular, I would recommend the Pentax 20x60, mounted on a camera tripod such as the Nikon 848 with a tripod adapter, such as the Pentax 69553
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Joanie K - Your personal optics expert


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