Telescope or binoculars

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by SB21, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Just looking for a little input here. I've always been on the lookout for a decent set of binoculars, compact sized, but most of the ones I look at rarely enhance the view enough to be worth using. I also wouldn't mind having a decent telescope as they can be rather compact , and although it's been quite a while since I've looked thru one, they always seemed to enhance the view and was a clearer picture than the compact Bino's. I've thought of getting a cheap scope, but that's not really as compact as I'd like to have . Does anyone have any good recommendations on a good set ?
    Marck, Mountain mama and Motomom34 like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Compact does not translate well. Especially when optics are concerned, size is often a trade off. You can find 7X 35 that will MAYBE do what you are looking for. Telescopes are an entirely different widget, and money is the deciding factor most times. It would be very useful to know what you intend the optic to do to get some better ideas. In the meantime, check out Swift optics, I'm happy with my 7X50 binocs. Again, especially with optics more, than in nearly every other commodity, you get what you pay for.
    Brokor likes this.
  3. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Just basically wanting to see what's on the other side of the field, lake , down the road, who's that at the top of the hill or down in the valley. I've got a decent set of Bino's but they're full size , heavy and bulky. Looking for lighter and smaller for scouting and such. I'll look into Swift optics. Thanks
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I agree. I like the idea of a telescope, like one of the old spy glasses. I have one eye that is stronger then the other so binoculars are hard for me to use. Spy glass is certainly more compact.
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  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    +1 for Steiner optics! I have a older set of 8X50 I purchased as factory reconditioned for about half price, full warranty! Cost about $400 on line! I also have a very small set of Zeiss Opera binos that fit in my pockets well, and are very sharp and clear! These are about 7 power with a 20 mm objective! Quality vs cost is always going to be an issue, and your eyes might like a different brand then mine or others! Try as many as you can before just running out and buying any thing! A good older set of Japanese M21 binos from U.S. Mil surplus can be found on line for under $100 some times, and these make an awesome value for a very good set of binos! Never was a fan of Monocle Optics, you just don't get the field of view or "Panorama" that "Stereo Optics" give! JMHO
  6. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    This is why they make one of the eyepiece lenses adjustable so you can focus using one eye and then adjust the other eyepiece to be infocus while looking at the same object.

    7X50 means you get 7 power (7X) magnification, the 50 is the size of the objective lens (the big one) in mm. The bigger the objective lens the more light it lets in, you can get 7X35 and they will be smaller lighter, so depending on your usage, that may be good for you, personally I go by bigger is better and my go to binoculars are 12X50, which is hard to steady unless you are leaning it against a tree or knee or something solid, but it really gets you up close and personal, I can spot deer several miles away on a ridge line, and of course there are the neighbor ladies, a different dear.

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  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have 3 pairs of binoculars. A small set of Bushnell 9x25 that I have carried around the world and many a mountain top, had for years, fits in my cargo pocket, waterproof and do the work and take the knocks. When I first got back I saw a deal on a set of Leopold 10x42 and really love them but...then I walked in the same store 2 weeks later and pick up a pair of Vortex 10x42 which was about the same price as the Leopold (both waterproof) and the optics were so much cleaner and brighter that I bought them on the spot (and got an earful when I got home LOL!). But, I am so sold on the Vortex that any new scopes or any type of optics that I purchase in the future will definite be Vortex because for the money I don't think you can get better. And, I m not spending a $1000 on binoculars, not rough as I am on my gear. Anyway, I keep a pair on the back window and a pair on the front to look at the deer, turkeys, and etc. that waltz around here... What I would love would be a telescope that condenses down enough to carry real easy (easier than the small binos), waterproof, rugged and gave me up to 20 in power and not break the bank.
    Even 10 power in not enough some times but who once to carry around a spotter scope.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
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  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Side light, FWIW. The Navy standardized on 10X50 binocs a LONG time ago because that is the highest magnification with the widest field that a healthy male can hold still enough to identify masts and sails on the horizon. I don't know how definitive that sounds, but it'll give you an idea. Every ship in the navy is issued one or more, even today when they do not get used too awful often with the fancy other detection gear, but the ships have them as recently as ten years ago. I can tell you that I cannot steady 10X50 these days, but do ok with 7X50. My Nikon 7X35 are shaky unless braced on something, but they are far more portable.
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  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    We carried Nikon 12X24X 56 in the Choppers for long range spotting on missions into hot LZ's and I can tell you, those were Super bright and clear, Impossible to hold steady unless resting on the open sill or a bi-pod, but boy were they the shiznit! I have been really thinking I need to add these to my set up! A good Marine set with compass, and ranging stadia would be stellar!
    Motomom34 and OP, Take a look at the Barska line, they are a Czech made brand using Ziess glass and prisms and I have found them to be very bright and clear, with really good sharpness, contrast, and light gathering for the size! They also have a really broad range of ocular adjustment for both eyes as well as the focus to get you close! I personally recommend a 7x or 8x as the ideal for hand use! And spend a little extra for a harness!
    sec_monkey and Thunder5Ranch like this.
  10. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Both kinds of optics have their relative disadvantages. Horses for course I think...much depends upon what you're wanting to scope, at what range operational range, portability, weight, robustness, quality of optics, etc etc etc.

    As an aid to navigation, and target indication, a pair of binos with graticules in mils is handy to have. (makes estimation of distances by subtension rule calculations)

    If money is no object....laser range finding binoculars are handy to have
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  11. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    I vote Binoculars, just for ease of use. Anything over 8x is going to be really hard to keep steady. Your best bet is to go to a sporting type store and try out different ones. I settled on a set of 7x35 Nikons on sale for $99 when our Gander Mountain opened, but I must have looked through every pair there. I have found that I tend to carry these compact ones more than my old bigger ones and get more use from them as a result.
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  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Oh, man...Jealous. :)

    I actually got into the habit of using my golfing monocular --kind of sounds funny, but it works. Going off the standard, a golf flag is supposed to be 7 ft. and the measuring for the yardage is set according to this, it's a handy item which doesn't take up space and requires no batteries.

    A good, quality set of binoculars, though are always good to have.
  13. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    For gun scopes I've got 3 Barska scopes on my AR's, don't buy their scope with the build in lens caps, they break, and they are not just screwed/pressed on, they are part of the body. So buy separate lense caps for the Barska, I went with Butler Creek flip up style.
    And while I'm at it let me tell you a story about Bino's, had a pair of Nikon 12X50, and a pair of Edmund Sci 12X50, I figured since I'd used Edmund lenses in many projects their Bino's would be good, they were until one of the prisms inside decided to start rattling around, I guess I could send it in. The Nikon was my on the porch Bino's to watch the illegals coming over the hill (no kidding), so they sat on the porch thru lots of weather, the eye cups finally rotted away so I called Nikon and they said we don't sell just the eye cups, send them in for I did, I got a brand new pair back, repair sheet said that customer did not say the entire outside covering was roached as well as the eye pieces, replace, no charge...

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  14. bebop

    bebop My Maggie

    check out ATN I have one of their day/night rifle scopes this thing is awesome I can go from 5x20 to 5 x50 to their spotting scope it is 5x 250 on this one scope although it is all digital I can not be happier they have digital binos too 4x16 day/night vision
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  15. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    A spotting scope will spoil you for precision optics ,especially for long distance observation. you'd want a tripod as well .
    I have other scopes and love the spotter best.
  16. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    I would LOVE to be able to use a compact set of binoc's.....but it seems my eyes are set a bit wide, for the ones I've tried in the stores, making it impossible to locate both lenses in front of both eyes, at one time! :(

    That being said, both a telescope & binoculars have their advantages and disadvantages. A telescope is more compact (usually, unless you plan on gazing at stars and nearby planets with it), but typically less powerful. A set of binoculars is bulkier, and heavier, but more powerful. And, unless I'm mistaken, even if you broke one lens of a set of binoc's, you would still have one useful side.... making it, basically, a telescope?
  17. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    For those of you that have mentioned having trouble keeping your binos steady check out the link below. I have been using their product for over 20 years and have the same strap. Can't say enough good about them. You can adjust the system so that your binos don't bounce and beat ya to death if you need to run, and it provides just enough resistance when you raise the glasses up to your eyes that it really helps steady the larger ones for a great clear view. I've bought several over the years as gifts after guys have tried mine out.

    Crooked Horn Optics and Optics Accessories
  18. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have had a set of Steiner 8x30r for over 20years. I can't speak highly enough of them.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  19. Georgia_Boy

    Georgia_Boy Monkey+++

    I bought a pair of Fujinon 8x50s in the late 80s for use on our boat. They are great for light gathering which is important at dusk/dawn and further at night on moonless times. These binocs have a built in compass that aids in cross bearings. Cross bearings aid determining relative motion, distance and other useful navigation helps.
    I have other binos, smaller, lighter ones for hunting. 10x50s are great for animal ID at close ranges.
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