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RSLeesburg

Recommendations for new Binoculars

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Hi All

 

I was thinking of buying some binoculars for our upcoming Alaska land tour and cruise. Anyone have any recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

 

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the website Wirecutter has a really good article on binocs, with good recommendations. we bought a pair they recommended and are amazed how good they are.

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We like our Leupold Cascades BX-2. 8x42, roof prism, 100% water proof. Bought on line through one of their on-line distributors, or else it was direct. Can't remember. I do remember good customer service when I emailed a question.

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get a camera with a long zoom

 

 

I have a Sony with a 63 times optical zoom. you can zoom in on wildlife and get a picture....think these are around $300 us now.....suggest you get a monopod to support camera for zoom as hard to hold still..works better than a tripod for walking

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Hi All

 

I was thinking of buying some binoculars for our upcoming Alaska land tour and cruise. Anyone have any recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Yes,I highly recommend the binoculars I used in Alaska.

Stellar Prestige 7x35

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wow...last time I shopped for binos they were really expensive...one of the reasons I suggested a camera...if you spend that kind of $ it makes sense to me to be able to capture image....looks like you can get decent binos now cheap

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We took two pair of Nikon Aculon 10-22x50 binocs. About $150 each but they were great for being able to scan and then zoom in on things we saw. Used them a lot just to watch and enjoy nature when I wasn't taking pictures, and they got used to find things to take pictures of.

 

 

The one thing I strongly suggest is a pair of some binocs for everyone so you don't need to share when everyone wants to look at something. In our cabin we kept one pair right by the balcony door and just grabbed them anytime stepping out as a just in case.

 

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We took two pair of Nikon Aculon 10-22x50 binocs. About $150 each but they were great for being able to scan and then zoom in on things we saw. Used them a lot just to watch and enjoy nature when I wasn't taking pictures, and they got used to find things to take pictures of.

 

 

The one thing I strongly suggest is a pair of some binocs for everyone so you don't need to share when everyone wants to look at something. In our cabin we kept one pair right by the balcony door and just grabbed them anytime stepping out as a just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

I have 4 pair with me for that purpose .

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Guess I'm the cheapskate here, lol. Bought a pair of rubberized 10x50's from Harbor Freight and they worked very well for us - under $15. We never use binoculars so we took a chance......

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I just ordered and received the "runner up" choice in the Wirecutter article (the Celestron Trailseeker 8X42 - $189) for our upcoming trip in July. I would have gotten the Athlon Optics (their #1 choice), but there weren't nearly as many reviews on Amazon, and given that it was $90 more more for something I know I'll rarely use, I decided to go for the Celestrons. They were also a bit lighter and just like I don't want to have to lug around the DSLR, I also don't want to lug around big binoculars. My initial assessment after an hour or so of messing around with them around and outside the house:

 

  • WOW, Nice Optics - So, I guess I've never really looked through a pair of decent binoculars before. I am a bit amazed at both how CLEAR and how BRIGHT they are. You really do get a sense of "3D" using them. Field of view seemed very good to me (i.e. I wasn't focusing on a "dot").
  • Motion - I see exactly what folks mean when they say you can get motion sickness on a boat with high magnification. I am already prone to motion sickness and felt myself starting to sway a bit. Although you can steady yourself, definitely being able to lean against something helps.
  • Weight - Ah, so one reason I chose the Celestrons was because they were a bit lighter, but lighter is a relative term. These still have some bulk and with 1.45 lbs of weight, you are going to know they are there.

In truth, I think these binoculars would be great, but since I have a month before the cruise, I went ahead and ordered a set of the smaller Celestron 8X32s. They only weigh a pound and their field of view is still pretty good at 409 ft (vs. the 426 ft. of the 8X42s). As I suspect most of my Alaska viewing will be in reasonable light, the lower light capture of the 8X32s may not be an issue.

 

 

Heck, if the 8X32s work, I may even consider a pair even smaller perhaps lower magnification even (i.e. 6X??) if I can get a decent field of view from them.

 

More to come....

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I just bought the Celestron Nature 8x42. It was a little cheaper than the Trailseeker, and with savings I got my son a pair of kids binoculars that were well reviewed on Amazon. I figure as a complete novice, I probably will not notice the difference between the Nature and Trailseekers

 

 

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I bought "Bushnell PermaFocus Wide Angle Porro Prism Binoculars 10x50" from Amazon. They were around $40 and are pretty good for the price. I didn't want to spend a much, and these have been great on my Alaska trip. I read a recommendation somewhere on this board for them; you can probably find that write up if you search for Bushnell.

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I just ordered and received the "runner up" choice in the Wirecutter article (the Celestron Trailseeker 8X42 - $189) for our upcoming trip in July. I would have gotten the Athlon Optics (their #1 choice), but there weren't nearly as many reviews on Amazon, and given that it was $90 more more for something I know I'll rarely use, I decided to go for the Celestrons. They were also a bit lighter and just like I don't want to have to lug around the DSLR, I also don't want to lug around big binoculars. My initial assessment after an hour or so of messing around with them around and outside the house:

 

  • WOW, Nice Optics - So, I guess I've never really looked through a pair of decent binoculars before. I am a bit amazed at both how CLEAR and how BRIGHT they are. You really do get a sense of "3D" using them. Field of view seemed very good to me (i.e. I wasn't focusing on a "dot").
  • Motion - I see exactly what folks mean when they say you can get motion sickness on a boat with high magnification. I am already prone to motion sickness and felt myself starting to sway a bit. Although you can steady yourself, definitely being able to lean against something helps.
  • Weight - Ah, so one reason I chose the Celestrons was because they were a bit lighter, but lighter is a relative term. These still have some bulk and with 1.45 lbs of weight, you are going to know they are there.

In truth, I think these binoculars would be great, but since I have a month before the cruise, I went ahead and ordered a set of the smaller Celestron 8X32s. They only weigh a pound and their field of view is still pretty good at 409 ft (vs. the 426 ft. of the 8X42s). As I suspect most of my Alaska viewing will be in reasonable light, the lower light capture of the 8X32s may not be an issue.

 

 

Heck, if the 8X32s work, I may even consider a pair even smaller perhaps lower magnification even (i.e. 6X??) if I can get a decent field of view from them.

 

More to come....

 

So I got the Celestron 8X32s in the mail today. The result is not really surprising after just a few minutes. Please keep in mind, I am only focusing on stuff liek my backyard and things across the street (nothing truly "far away") at this first blush.

 

First, they are considerably lighter that the 8X42s (1 lbs vs. 1.46 lbs). Second they seem just about as sharp as the 8X42s. The 32 image does seem to have more blur at the edges however. It is not quite as bright as the 8X42s, but still reasonably good. The big difference for me is the field of view. The 42s are definitely larger (more-so than the numbers 409 ft vs 426ft might suggest). The "vertical" size of the image in particular seems notably larger in regular viewing. It is simply easier to bring the 42s up to your face and immediately get the scene without panning around to find the "sweet spot". So, for me it comes down simply to weight vs. field of view. My wife says "how about both" (which does echo the comments of others with regard to each person having their own binoculars), but if I had to pick one right now...man, I'd probably keep the 42s.

 

More to come yet again...

 

RSLeesburg - If those Nature DX are anywhere near as nice as the Trailseekers, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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Thanks for these detailed reviews. I’m also headed to Alaska and in the market for new binos. Budget is not a primary concern but I don’t want to be stupid either! I’ll probably err on the side of the lighter weight option.

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I've got Nikon prostaff 7 10x42's - really nice but larger, leupold Bx-1 Yosemite 8x32 - good all around light set and a new compact leupold bx1 rogue 8x25, very small and lightweight but good in bright lights.

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We have good binoculars for our boat but I find after a time, they get too heavy to hold for just watching something. So when we went to Greenland last summer I was looking for something lightweight yet useful with seeing wildlife. What I found was surprisingly inexpensive but well made. It was only 12x25 but I found that adequate. I just came back from Alaska and loved these binoculars. Amazon shows the shipping weight being only 14.4 ounces. So easy to pack for an airplane. You may buy better binoculars, but if they are so heavy you don’t want to carry them, they become useless. This pair on Amazon was a happy medium for me.

 

G4Free 12x25 Waterproof Binoculars(BAK4,Green Lens),Large Eyepiece Super High-Powered Field Surveillance Binoculars

 

 

 

 

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I bought Bushnell Perma Focus 10X50 binoculars from Walmart.com for $48 last year. The binoculars worked great for my Alaska cruise. This binocular is rated 5 stars in 90% of the reviews. Outstanding quality Binocular for the money. If you buy at Walmart.com, if you don't like the item you bought, you can take it back to the nearest Walmart and get a refund.

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Anyone ever try a monocular? I just ordered an 8x42 from amazon. Small and compact with great reviews. Also ordered an adapter to take pictures with my iPhone. Wondering if anyone has had expierence with this and what you thought of it??

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Anyone ever try a monocular? I just ordered an 8x42 from amazon. Small and compact with great reviews. Also ordered an adapter to take pictures with my iPhone. Wondering if anyone has had expierence with this and what you thought of it??

 

 

 

I bought the iPhone adaptor and the main problem is if your phone is in any kind of case, it makes the attachment wobbly. If you take the case off, it works as advertised but then your camera is at risk if you drop it. The lense takes a little getting used to. I’d practice at home first. Personally I found it easier to bring along one of the smaller zoom lense cameras.

ETA: after looking at Amazon at the monocular you mentioned, I realized I misunderstood your post....there are adapters for your monocular to attach to the iPhone. We have the small zoom lens that clips onto the iPhone itself.

 

I’m interested in how you do with the monocular. DH has one nearsighted and one far sighted eye, so always closes his one eye anyway with binoculars.

 

 

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Edited by SoBaycruiser

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I have the same problem as your husband and can never see right with binoculars! That was one reason I though this might be good.....plus the price is right. I have no interest in investing in an expensive camera so whatever pics I get from my iphone and existing point and shoot camera will have to be good enough....this trip is already way over budget for us. Monocular and adapter should be coming any day. I have plenty of time to practice before the trip. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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For years I've used the Nikon Action 7x35. Lightweight, very wide field of view, water proof sealed. They are very rugged and low cost with a good warranty. I recommend to avoid anything higher power than 8 because hand holding becomes an issue. Unless of course you want to spring for a stabilized pair with their battery life, weight and cost issues. Because of the wide field of view, objects spotted can quickly be found in the binoculars. They are not the sharpest at the edge of the field but I've never found myself spending any time analyzing what is at the edge. If you want something similar but having best edge sharpness, consider Swarovski or Leica.

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For years I've used the Nikon Action 7x35. Lightweight, very wide field of view, water proof sealed. They are very rugged and low cost with a good warranty. I recommend to avoid anything higher power than 8 because hand holding becomes an issue. Unless of course you want to spring for a stabilized pair with their battery life, weight and cost issues. Because of the wide field of view, objects spotted can quickly be found in the binoculars. They are not the sharpest at the edge of the field but I've never found myself spending any time analyzing what is at the edge. If you want something similar but having best edge sharpness, consider Swarovski or Leica.

 

My Bushnell 10x50 Perma Focus worked great for my Alaska Cruise. It had a 65 degree wide field of view, in which you could scan the ocean or land and quickly pick up whales, marine life and animals on shore and also you get a closeup view of the Glaciers. Having a 10X binocular vs a 7X, you will be able to see the animals, whales and the glaciers much better. I have never had a problem with the image shaking. I also have a Nikon Aculon 7X35 which is a good Binocular, but prefer the Busnell 10X50 as your view is 30% closer and image is 30% larger. This 10X power is very important for viewing in Alaska.

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