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Stabilised binoculars - any experience?

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I'm thinking of getting a pair of stabilised binos. Not for normal use, but as a race officer sighting down the start-line - I can see that some-one is over, but if the line is >250 metres, I have difficulty making out the sail number. I figured stabilised binos will extend my useful service life by a couple of years. Does anyone have experience with them? Recommendations? Budget is about $1200.

 

TIA

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I'm thinking of getting a pair of stabilised binos. Not for normal use, but as a race officer sighting down the start-line - I can see that some-one is over, but if the line is >250 metres, I have difficulty making out the sail number. I figured stabilised binos will extend my useful service life by a couple of years. Does anyone have experience with them? Recommendations? Budget is about $1200.

 

TIA

I've got a older pair (nikon). I love em. And I bet new technology is even better.

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Expensive but they really do work. You can use greater magnification on a boat that is moving around and still zero in on distant objects.

 

But your use does not seem like you are really looking at distant objects. Of course the stabilization would help in any use but cost benefit might not be there for sighting down starting line. (I guess it depends on how long the line is.)

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Expensive but they really do work. You can use greater magnification on a boat that is moving around and still zero in on distant objects.

 

But your use does not seem like you are really looking at distant objects. Of course the stabilization would help in any use but cost benefit might not be there for sighting down starting line. (I guess it depends on how long the line is.)

+1. They are definitely an improvement over non-stabilized, they have limits but they improve viewing in all circumstances. I would have the same comment regarding looking down a starting line from an RC boat, too short to help a lot?

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I have a pair of Canons that have worked well for years. Try and use them in ways that match how you expect before purchasing- getting the right magnification is key to having them do the job you hope.

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The Canon 10x42 with L glass sell for about your budget. They work quite well. The IS really clears up the image.

 

The practical max for unstabilized boat binocs is 7X.

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My crew had a pair of stabilized Canon's last week for the AC, and they were *really* nice for that. I think he paid around $350, but they weren't waterproof.

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I'm thinking of getting a pair of stabilised binos. Not for normal use, but as a race officer sighting down the start-line - I can see that some-one is over, but if the line is >250 metres, I have difficulty making out the sail number. I figured stabilised binos will extend my useful service life by a couple of years. Does anyone have experience with them? Recommendations? Budget is about $1200.

 

TIA

 

Is your wife/ gf up for it. Of she's okay w it I recommend you go ahead. Might wanna up the budget some however.

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I'm making the same decision.

 

 

Cannon 10x42 L IS WP "waterproof" look pretty sweet, though you seem to pay a lot more for "waterproof" versus "all weather/water resistant".

 

It would be nice to be able to try them out first to see about eye relief and so forth. Maybe buy a $400 pair, see if you really like them, then step up to the nicer ones??

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I have the Cannon. I've had them for 4 years now. At the time the Nikon was not available because the US Government had bought them all. The Cannon works very well. I managed to break an eyepiece and I sent them back and they repaired for free. Waterproof is a must.

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I have had a pair of the fujinon 14x40 for 3 or 4 years. Amazing how far you can make things out with 14x. It is like having a telescope. One thing I don't particular like is the stand by feature. Seems like just off and on would be easier.

 

Not sure what they cost but I know a lot, so much that I always have another pair on board to use and to give to the less careful crew, ie kids and for just anybody to use that is playing around. These things are not toys.

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We cruised with a pair of Canons for 3 years - they lived in the cockpit and didn't lead an "Easy" life. 4 years after returning to shore, they are still going strong.

 

Go stabilized! You will NOT regret the decision!

 

The only negative (of sorts) is that they went throught AAs pretty quickly. Swapping to disposable Lithium AAs seemed to calm the battery eating to an acceptable level.

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Wouldn't you need a single lens style telescope instead to line up the pin with the flag pole directly in front of you?

Nope. One lens on either side of the flag pole and line up the vertical reticule with the mark/flag pole at the other end. Works great for big fleets and a long line.

 

You do need a second pair of eyes to keep an eye on the near side of the line, since you're focused on the far end.

 

I haven't dropped the coin on IS . . . yet. I imagine when my Fujinon's shit the bed, I'll buck up. I mistreat my equipment, though. Trashing a $1200 pair of binos would suck.

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Thanks all for the comments. I ran a nationals for a class where I declined to be paid for the event, but the sneaky bastards inveigled my bank account details out of my wife and dropped some cash in. I figured the only decent thing to do was buy some IS binos so I can call OCS on more of them next time around.

 

I have a lifelong rule to never own anything with the Canon brand on it (long story) so I've been considering the Fujinon 14x40. While 12x magnification should be plenty, I suspect the 30mm lenses of the 12x30 might be a bit limiting.

 

Good to see SA is still good for advice from peeps who know what they are talking about - thanks again.

 

R

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Thanks all for the comments. I ran a nationals for a class where I declined to be paid for the event, but the sneaky bastards inveigled my bank account details out of my wife and dropped some cash in. I figured the only decent thing to do was buy some IS binos so I can call OCS on more of them next time around.

 

I have a lifelong rule to never own anything with the Canon brand on it (long story) so I've been considering the Fujinon 14x40. While 12x magnification should be plenty, I suspect the 30mm lenses of the 12x30 might be a bit limiting.

 

Good to see SA is still good for advice from peeps who know what they are talking about - thanks again.

 

R

 

I had a similar bias against Nikon, used Canon gear for photography for years. I got over it; I think it's more of a religious issue and both companies make top quality gear.

 

Before heading off shore we bought a refurbished pair of Nikon StabilEyes 14x40 (4° field of view). Not really a sensible way down under for you to buy them, but we bought ours at the Defender tent sale where they had a limited number of refurbished units for sale. If memory serves it came in under $700 vs. buying a brand new pair for around $1200.

 

Absolutely love them. Seeing numbers on cans, reading names off of ships and boats - all those things work as advertised. You can read things you can't even see with the naked eye while under sail and moving. One of the better uses we've found is offshore at night for discerning ships lights. You can resolve that patch of light on the horizon to see exactly what the light configuration of the ship is.

 

We could even make out that Saturn had rings, though you couldn't discern them or tell colors or anything.

 

From the people we talked to when we bought them, in most cases "Refurbished" meant "Returned", as people bought them and decided they didn't want them so returned them with very light, if any use. Very few of the Refurbs are actual repaired units, most just can't be sold for new any more.

 

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Thanks all for the comments. I ran a nationals for a class where I declined to be paid for the event, but the sneaky bastards inveigled my bank account details out of my wife and dropped some cash in. I figured the only decent thing to do was buy some IS binos so I can call OCS on more of them next time around.

 

I have a lifelong rule to never own anything with the Canon brand on it (long story) so I've been considering the Fujinon 14x40. While 12x magnification should be plenty, I suspect the 30mm lenses of the 12x30 might be a bit limiting.

 

Good to see SA is still good for advice from peeps who know what they are talking about - thanks again.

 

R

 

I had a similar bias against Nikon, used Canon gear for photography for years. I got over it; I think it's more of a religious issue and both companies make top quality gear.

 

Before heading off shore we bought a refurbished pair of Nikon StabilEyes 14x40 (4° field of view). Not really a sensible way down under for you to buy them, but we bought ours at the Defender tent sale where they had a limited number of refurbished units for sale. If memory serves it came in under $700 vs. buying a brand new pair for around $1200.

 

Absolutely love them. Seeing numbers on cans, reading names off of ships and boats - all those things work as advertised. You can read things you can't even see with the naked eye while under sail and moving. One of the better uses we've found is offshore at night for discerning ships lights. You can resolve that patch of light on the horizon to see exactly what the light configuration of the ship is.

 

We could even make out that Saturn had rings, though you couldn't discern them or tell colors or anything.

 

From the people we talked to when we bought them, in most cases "Refurbished" meant "Returned", as people bought them and decided they didn't want them so returned them with very light, if any use. Very few of the Refurbs are actual repaired units, most just can't be sold for new any more.

 

Thanks BJ, good info. The Nikon 14x40's are exactly the same unit as the Fujinon 14x40's apparently. That tent sale sounds great, too bad I'm a long way away. I priced a set of Fuji's from Defender but they are over the limit for Customs dispensation in Aus, - I need to find a way to avoid the duty (legally of course).

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Thanks all for the comments. I ran a nationals for a class where I declined to be paid for the event, but the sneaky bastards inveigled my bank account details out of my wife and dropped some cash in. I figured the only decent thing to do was buy some IS binos so I can call OCS on more of them next time around.

 

I have a lifelong rule to never own anything with the Canon brand on it (long story) so I've been considering the Fujinon 14x40. While 12x magnification should be plenty, I suspect the 30mm lenses of the 12x30 might be a bit limiting.

 

Good to see SA is still good for advice from peeps who know what they are talking about - thanks again.

 

R

 

I had a similar bias against Nikon, used Canon gear for photography for years. I got over it; I think it's more of a religious issue and both companies make top quality gear.

 

Before heading off shore we bought a refurbished pair of Nikon StabilEyes 14x40 (4° field of view). Not really a sensible way down under for you to buy them, but we bought ours at the Defender tent sale where they had a limited number of refurbished units for sale. If memory serves it came in under $700 vs. buying a brand new pair for around $1200.

 

Absolutely love them. Seeing numbers on cans, reading names off of ships and boats - all those things work as advertised. You can read things you can't even see with the naked eye while under sail and moving. One of the better uses we've found is offshore at night for discerning ships lights. You can resolve that patch of light on the horizon to see exactly what the light configuration of the ship is.

 

We could even make out that Saturn had rings, though you couldn't discern them or tell colors or anything.

 

From the people we talked to when we bought them, in most cases "Refurbished" meant "Returned", as people bought them and decided they didn't want them so returned them with very light, if any use. Very few of the Refurbs are actual repaired units, most just can't be sold for new any more.

 

Thanks BJ, good info. The Nikon 14x40's are exactly the same unit as the Fujinon 14x40's apparently. That tent sale sounds great, too bad I'm a long way away. I priced a set of Fuji's from Defender but they are over the limit for Customs dispensation in Aus, - I need to find a way to avoid the duty (legally of course).

 

Didn't figure my purchase info would do you much good...

 

Great glasses though, we really love them.

 

I do not think the Fujinon and Nikon are identical. Similar yes, but the Nikon has a "Land" and "On Board" mode with apparently dampens different sorts of motions more optimally. Not surprisingly, "On Board" works better on the boat...

 

Nikons are also Porro prism, Fujunons are Roof prism.

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Didn't figure my purchase info would do you much good...

 

Great glasses though, we really love them.

 

I do not think the Fujinon and Nikon are identical. Similar yes, but the Nikon has a "Land" and "On Board" mode with apparently dampens different sorts of motions more optimally. Not surprisingly, "On Board" works better on the boat...

 

Nikons are also Porro prism, Fujunons are Roof prism.

 

Hmm - the "identical" info came from another site with a lot of good info about IS - shame I can't remember it now!

 

So - I'll now go and read up about "roof prisms" and "porro prisms" - thanks for that! :wacko:

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Didn't figure my purchase info would do you much good...

 

Great glasses though, we really love them.

 

I do not think the Fujinon and Nikon are identical. Similar yes, but the Nikon has a "Land" and "On Board" mode with apparently dampens different sorts of motions more optimally. Not surprisingly, "On Board" works better on the boat...

 

Nikons are also Porro prism, Fujunons are Roof prism.

 

Hmm - the "identical" info came from another site with a lot of good info about IS - shame I can't remember it now!

 

So - I'll now go and read up about "roof prisms" and "porro prisms" - thanks for that! :wacko:

 

They LOOK practically identical, and I also heard they were made in the same factory with different labels slapped on them. Which may be a version of the truth...but if you do a Product Compare on a website like bhphoto.com you can see a few differences.

 

Good luck...

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