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casual astronomy binocular suggestions

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casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby waaden on Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:33 pm

I am looking to upgrade from a cheap pair of bushnells (10-30x50 zooms, but they never leave 10x). I use them mainly for sitting around at night and looking at the sky, so low light performance and handling are probably the 2 most important things for me.

At first I was going to go for the Oberwerk 9x60, but I think I have upsold myself to the Vortex Vulture 10x56. Its safe to assume this upgrade will put me in a completely different class and is totally worth the extra $300 right?

Is there anything else I should look at in this price range? My favorite feature is the large objective lenses, but maybe there is some fancy coating that can make 50mm or even 42mm just as bright? I'm very new to all this as you can tell.
waaden
 
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby Jne_K on Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:23 am

Hi

Going to the Vortex gets you the roof prism advantages of internal focusing, nicer handling, better waterproofing and so on, not to mention better overall durability and build quality for that extra $300, but, for astronomy, these are not major advantages. If all you are doing is astronomy, you may, in fact, find the Oberwerks to be as bright or even brighter, given that porro prisms are more light efficient. That's why most dedicated "astronomy binoculars" are porro prisms.

If your goal is to get a binocular that you can use by day as well as night for a multitude of uses, the Vortex is certainly the better choice, though, be warned, no 56 mm bino is a lightweight. If all you want to do is astronomy, I'd put that money into a good Fujinon 10x50 or similar. That would put you into top of the line optics AND superb quality.
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby waaden on Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:03 pm

Thanks for your reply! I think maybe I am just so used to having cheap binoculars that I am incorrectly taking a sort of "lens size brute force" approach to low light performance. I'm guessing that even a nice pair of 10x42s will blow me away as far as brightness compared to what I have now. I probably just want a nice pair of binoculars :) As there are tons of "recommendation at $___ price point" threads on here, I will continue researching through the forums. I also found this binoculars for low light conditions page, which looks like it will be very helpful.
waaden
 
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby Jne_K on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:55 pm

Hi

I like a 10x50 as an option for a dual purpose astronomy and wildlife binocular. You can get some quite useable 10x50 porros under $200, such as the Nikon AE or Pentax PCF WP II. Either of these will be a step up from your zoom in terms of both optics and construction.
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby waaden on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:12 pm

How much would I have to spend on roof prisms to match the performance of the $150-$200 porros that you have recommended? Would they be phase coated or am I not up to that level of optics yet? Thanks!
waaden
 
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby Jne_K on Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:42 am

Hi

Typically around $300 to $400 for a roof to match the optics of a $150 class porro and, yes, at that price all roofs will be phase-corrected.
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby waaden on Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:18 pm

Thanks a lot for all the help. I think I will order the nikon ae 10x50 for their fov advantage over the pentax, and because they are highly reviewed and highly recommended by you.
waaden
 
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Re: casual astronomy binocular suggestions

Postby Jne_K on Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:03 am

Hi

Great bino for the money, yes. Enjoy
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

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