Author Topic: Newbie looking for binocs under $150 *w/ quality control*? Am I just dreaming?  (Read 124 times)

abtempoecar

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What ever you get, 10x is the limit for most people hand held. I prefer 8x, although I do own a 10 for some objects that need a little extra power. Check out a good sporting goods store like Gander or Bass Pro, they have a wide selection you can try out and see which ones fits your hands......and eyes best.

My bino's are out every night I use my scopes. This time of year, I'll finish a session just lying on my back and cruising the Milky Way

headsbigwardsubs

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Redfield 10x42. They use an aluminum frame and have a lifetime warranty.

https://www.bhphotov...1,1105202454760

Might even be able to find them for less.

However not phase coated,thats enough to make me avoid them,TD.

perpemucho

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You will very often see the Nikon Extreme 10x50 recommended in this price range and for good reason. It's an excellent instrument for the price and will last. Don't even bother with anything cheaper if $150 is a good price for you. It's where stuff starts to get good. I can't speak for the Pentax model, but I'm betting it's a good one too. I have the Nikon EX and find it to be sharp nearly to the edge and well collimated and constructed for the modest price. It's also an amazing terrestrial binocular.

You need to be physically careful with any binocular but the cheaper ones are especially easy to get knocked out of collimation and often are not well collimated even at the factory. I think the reason for this is that poor collimation is easier to get away with for terrestrial use and so many buyers don't know what to look for at first. Good collimation is much more important for astronomical use.  It seems like the Nikon EX and Pentax are pretty well made in this regard.

A few other points:

Binoculars IMO are indispensable as a viewing instrument. You'll find most serious amateur astronomers have at least one, and some have many. It was my first purchase and I use it extensively.

10x50 seems the most versatile size for most people if you can only have one. That's an arguable point, though.  It's a good compromise for steady hand-holding, field-of-view, power, exit pupil, etc But a lot of folks have a variety of sizes. For many, 7 or 8 by about 42 works well too. Anything over 10 power gets annoying hand-held because any jitteryness starts to negate optical quality that you are paying for.

The Amazon link in post #4 seems to have a nice write-up on purchasing binoculars.

As for tripods and monopods, there are various ways to use them. My favorite is with a cheap, light, photo tripod with the legs folded up and held against my body but off the ground. It adds a lot of stability but allows for ease of moving around.