Inexpensive Binoculars

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#1
Central Florida
96 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We will be cruising Alaska 8/1. There are 3 of us and it would be great if we each had our own. I'd also like to get a newer p&s 10x zoom camera so the budget is tight. This is an expensive trip!

I'd like suggestions for reasonably priced (under $100) 8x42 binoculars. Only requirement is that they are waterproof. I've read many posts on the Alaska board so I am familiar with xome of the choices.

Thanks.
#2
Southern California
7,697 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by Sprocket Rocket
We will be cruising Alaska 8/1. There are 3 of us and it would be great if we each had our own. I'd also like to get a newer p&s 10x zoom camera so the budget is tight. This is an expensive trip!

I'd like suggestions for reasonably priced (under $100) 8x42 binoculars. Only requirement is that they are waterproof. I've read many posts on the Alaska board so I am familiar with xome of the choices.

Thanks.
I have used a pair of Celestron binoculars and was impressed by the image. They are renowned for their telescope optics and it seems to carry down to their binoculars.

http://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Outl...5541512&sr=1-1

Dave
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"Teams! Together we can do the work of one!" - Despair.com


A cruise ship is my favorite camera accessory!
#3
Boca Raton, Florida
2,304 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I don't know enough about binoc prices - I've got 2 or 3 that I've sort of inherited over the years - one big yellow waterproof Nikon pair, one tiny foldable 'Hummer' pair, and one electric pair with power zoom and autofocus. The foldable doesn't have as much magnification as you are looking for, and that and the electric ones aren't waterproof - so only the Nikon pair would apply to your needs - I think it was in the range of $120 a few years back.

Anyway...if you are considering getting a new P&S camera with a big zoom...you might find that there's no need for a pair of binoculars for at least you. Depending on the zoom and the model, most ultra-zoom cameras will sport a 12x optical zoom, with a 36mm equivalent wide end (some go to 15x, with a 27-31mm wide end). Which means at full zoom, they will achieve anywhere from 430mm to 500mm of optical zoom in 35mm equivalence. Your 8x binoculars would produce approximately 400mm...so the ultra-zoom cameras are actually capable of outdistancing the binocular's resolving power. Plus, you can often add an optical extender, such as a 1.7x or 2x teleconverter, and push the ultrazooms past 700mm. And that doesn't even include any digital zooming on top of that.

I actually stopped using my binoculars during a cruise, when I was using them to spot a distant ship...just a speck on the horizon. With the binoculars, I could make out that it was another cruise ship - but barely...I certainly couldn't identify anything about it - not shape, size, or even stack color. Then I pulled out my 12x Sony DSC-H5 camera, screwed on the 1.7x teleconverter, and zoomed to 12x (432mm) with the 1.7x converter (720mm) - right away I could see the stack color and identify the cruise line, but not the ship. I snapped the photo, then viewed the photo on the LCD, and zoomed in digitally to 5x...and was able to identify the name of the ship by the large plaquard below the stack.

After that, binoculars just weren't necessary for me anymore!

Anyway...just a suggestion. If you're getting an ultrazoom anyway, it might let you buy 1 less pair of binoculars!
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#4
Southern California
7,697 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by zackiedawg
Anyway...just a suggestion. If you're getting an ultrazoom anyway, it might let you buy 1 less pair of binoculars!
Great point, Justin!

It's one of the reasons I don't own any good binoculars. I used the ones I mentioned above on the last cruise by virtue of standing next to and engaging in a conversation with a gentleman that was using them (I was really impressed with the Celestrons).

Anything I'm looking at that needs magnification is probably a candidate for getting photographed anyway!

Dave
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"Teams! Together we can do the work of one!" - Despair.com


A cruise ship is my favorite camera accessory!
#5
Central Florida
96 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by pierces
Anything I'm looking at that needs magnification is probably a candidate for getting photographed anyway!
That is a great way to look at this. I had not looked at it from this angle.