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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 00:01   #1
rtx
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Question binoculars for birdwatching and stargazing

Is there one binocular which can come in handy for both birdwatching and for stargazing? Lightweight, with preferably 7x magnification and large exit pupil. I'm interested in the offering from top companies.

Thanks!
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 00:13   #2
FrankD
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The Nikon EDG 7x42 would probably fit the bill quite nicely. Nice big 6 mm exit pupil. Huge sweet spot with good edges. It would be my first choices for these reasons.

The 7x42 FL and Ultravid HD should also be consideration.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 00:40   #3
Highway Dog
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Rtx, I bet you have good dark night skys there in Northern India. In that case a 7x42 binoculars would be good. I personally would like a 10x56 for a dark night sky.

The 7x does excel with daytime views. I like my 7x43 ZenRay on heavy cloudy days. You do have a lot of cloudy days in Lucknow, I think. On good bright days I like my 8x42.

I hope I have helped,
Rob.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 00:52   #4
NDhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankD View Post
The Nikon EDG 7x42 would probably fit the bill quite nicely. Nice big 6 mm exit pupil. Huge sweet spot with good edges. It would be my first choices for these reasons.

The 7x42 FL and Ultravid HD should also be consideration.
Frank:

This is very sound advice, and I agree.
I have experience with the EDG and the FL.
For the poster, you would be choosing among 2 of the finest binoculars available.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 01:02   #5
brocknroller
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I could never understand why amateur astronomers like to use 7x bins. Birds are tiny enough, but at least on occasion, you can get close enough to them to see some good detail with 7x, but stars and most DSOs are tinier still and they will never be closer in your lifetime by enough to matter even if they are traveling @ 66,700 miles per hour right toward you.

I don't have the world's most steadiest hand (but I'm glad I'm a man and so is LOLA :-), but lying in a reclining lawn chair, I can hold a 10x bin fairly steady, and the jump in detail from 7x to 10x on the night sky is quite stark, more so than 7x to 10x for birding. Plus, you can use 10x for birding.

The best lightweight dual purpose bin I've found is the Nikon 10x42 SE. Great contrast, pinpoint stars, very good edges and comfortable ergonomics. I do prefer the Celestron 10x50 Nova for stargazing, because of its 8* FOV, but it's heavier, and when my arms get tired, I switch to the 10x SE, and the Nova is not a bin I use for birding while I do use the SE.

Consider trying 10x for handheld stargazing. It will make a "world" of difference.

Brock
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 01:11   #6
NDhunter
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
I could never understand why amateur astronomers like to use 7x bins. Birds are tiny enough, but at least on occasion, you can get close enough to them to see some good detail with 7x, but stars and most DSOs are tinier still and they will never be closer in your lifetime by enough to matter even if they are traveling @ 66,700 miles per hour right toward you.

I don't have the world's most steadiest hand (but I'm glad I'm a man and so is LOLA :-), but lying in a reclining lawn chair, I can hold a 10x bin fairly steady, and the jump in detail from 7x to 10x on the night sky is quite stark, more so than 7x to 10x for birding. Plus, you can use 10x for birding.

The best lightweight dual purpose bin I've found is the Nikon 10x42 SE. Great contrast, pinpoint stars, very good edges and comfortable ergonomics. I do prefer the Celestron 10x50 Nova for stargazing, because of its 8* FOV, but it's heavier, and when my arms get tired, I switch to the 10x SE, and the Nova is not a bin I use for birding while I do use the SE.

Consider trying 10x for handheld stargazing. It will make a "world" of difference.

Brock
Brock:

Good point in mentioning skywatching. I will agree with you, the 10X, will
be much better than 7X.
So, the Nikon EDG or SE in 10x42, would be a nice choice for both.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 01:21   #7
plyscope
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If you really want 7x then I can recommend the 7x50 Vixen Foresta as a nice lightweight dual purpose binocular and good value for money. However my own preference is 10x for astronomy.

I think a 10x40 porro would be a great compromise.
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 05:06   #8
ronh
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7x is sure the best for close in birding. But binoculars are kind of puny vs the stars to begin with, and the bigger the better. The most often recommended first astronomy binocular is 10x50. The 10x42 Nikon SE is excellent for stargazing, and for birding IF you like 10x, and IF your climate is not extremely humid (it is not sealed and nitrogen filled like most roof prism models). India has a reputation for heat and humidity that promotes fungal growth in unsealed binocuars, but I don't know what it's like in Lucknow.

A 10x50 that is nice for both birding and stargazing in any conditions (ok, it needs to be fair to see the stars) is the Leica Ultravid. But don't believe me, because I have one I'd like to sell! I recently got a 10x56 that I like better. But oh man that 10x56 is big. It makes the 35 ounce Ultravid look small. Perspective is everything I guess.
Ron
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2012, 09:07   #9
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I'd say 8x56- mine are great for birdwatching and stargazing. Plus, higher magnifications tend to the sky to appear darker, which improves the view. I have ZR 7x43 and the Eden 8x56; with the 8x56, I can see the Orion Nebula and Andromeda galaxy, whereas with the 7x43 I tend to just notice that there's a brighter patch of sky. The larger aperture makes a huge difference in astronomy for allowing you to see deep sky objects, and higher magnification improves the view.

One other thing, it doesn't matter how steady your hands are, you will need a tripod or some other support if you want to do some astronomy for more than a few minutes. So don't go for a lower magnification binocular or lower weight binocular because you plan to hold your bins in your hand. Put the binoculars on a tripod and really enjoy the view, otherwise you're not going to be doing much astronomy.
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