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Fujinon new 12x28 vs Canon IS

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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 08:14   #1
Super Dave
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Fujinon new 12x28 vs Canon IS

Oh man, I really was excited for this IS binocular. It sounded great. I thought it would be perfect for traveling and had all kinds of grand plans with it. But, mine sucked bad. I'm trying to process the return now. I didn't realize it was made in China and should have known because of the price.

What a disappointment. The right side worked fine but the left side was awful. Check out the image on the clarity. Optical quality was no comparison to the older Fujinon 14x40 and the new Canon 14x32 smokes it.

The image stabilization seemed good and fast compared to the older 14x40. The 14x40 takes way too long to warm up and get into viewing mode. This new one is stabilized by the time you get it to your eyes.

It's nice and small but my Swarovski 8x25 will be my travel companion.

Bummed it didn't work out.
Dave
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 16:42   #2
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Thanks Dave,
Looks to be out of alignment.

The Chinese made Canon compact cameras can be very good.
But other Chinese optics can be a disgrace.
It depends on who is running the operation, I suppose.

I wonder where the other recent stabilized binoculars are made, Opticron and so on?

I have a 5x21 so called extra wide field Fujinon reversed Porro binocular. It is rather poor.
I sometimes wonder about Fujinon.

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B.

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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 19:25   #3
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Dave. I would exchange them for a new pair. As Binastro says they look to be out of alignment. Most of the reviews on these are pretty good. I think you just got a lemon. Here is a good review from Amazon.com.

"Michael C. Jackson
4.0 out of 5 starsStabilized compact binoculars that are OK (not great) those of us who wear glasses - at a price, and at only IPX2.
May 9, 2018
Verified Purchase
The short version of this review - Astoundingly compact for it's performance, with great battery life - at the sacrifice of sealing, with slightly exaggerated eye-relief and exit pupils. Good for those of us who wear glasses, but only by a smidge, leading to some finickiness.

The larger Techno-Stabi sibling has been long regarded as an excellent value in stabilized binoculars - but it had two shortcomings that prevented me from ever using it.... Insufficient eye relief, and it was a bit cumbersome - still compact-ish, given it's stabilization and magnification and overall ability, but larger than I like to travel with or carry around. The Techo-Stabi Jr was never a great alternative - just about as heavy, horrible eye relief - it may have been a bit more compact, but not enough to really justify it when it's far superior older brother was an option.

I pre-ordered these when I found out about them because I had high hopes, based on the massive amount of eye relief. Those high hopes have mostly paid off, but there are some gripes here and there... What you have in this package is a very lightweight stabilized binocular with acceptable eye relief, "on paper" beyond any other compact stabilized binocular. There's a lot of qualifications here - first and foremost, they are compact binoculars - and with that, carry all the caveats of compact binoculars, in that they are always a compromise.

So first of all, some specs that Fuji didn't bother to mention:

- Real field of view is ~ 4.6 degrees. Calculating this at all is a bit annoying, but especially so when it's expressed as "meters view at 1000 yards" - it's like asking someone how long it will take them to travel 5 kilometers at 35mph. I'm nitpicking, but still.
- Sealing is rated at a rather disappointing IPX-2 - That protects against objects 12.5mm (seriously, not a typo) from entering, so you're well protected from most ball bearings, but most dust tends to be smaller than that. They can handle some dripping water - while vertical. I have not tested this, nor do I recommend you do so.
- I really don't see how 12x28 ends up with a 2.5mm exit pupil. The calculated answer is 2.33, I guess they considered 2.5 "close enough" - More on this in a bit.
- Close focus is somewhere in the 8' area, which is excellent for this category.
- Eye relief is specced at 17.5mm, but the lenses are recessed a couple of mm into the eyecups, even at the smallest setting, so it's realistically closer to 15-15.5. This takes it from "awesome for use with glasses" to "good for use with glasses". It's still quite good for a glasses wearer in reality - I spent a lot of time comparing it to others in my collection, and it's definitely near the top of the list - so this isn't too harsh of a criticism.
- The objective lenses can be covered via a 30mm clip-on lens cap, if you so wish - no cover for the objective lenses is included. They are recessed a few MM, so relatively well protected on their own - I'd have no qualms throwing it in a bag as is, but if you are the sort who MUST cover them, you'll want to order two 30mm clip on lenscaps.

The stabilization system is powered by a CR2 - a bit exotic for some of us, but you can order a ton of them from here, and they will keep for a long time. This is likely part of what keeps it so lightweight, though - It's rated for 12 hours of use. I suspect that's optimistic, but not wildly so - and that's another one of the major draws here. Most other system are rated between 1-3 hours.

Not everything is perfect - I'm not sure if it's the "2.5mm" exit pupil or the ~2mm that the lenses are recessed - but the "viewpoint" is just small enough to be annoying to line up. These are some of the more finicky binos I own in this regard - I have others that have a true 2.5mm (and at 15mm "manufacturer" eye relief, at that) that aren't this hard. Combined with the stiff action on the pupillary distance, it can be frustrating to dial in the exact fit. The great news is that when you get it right, it will stay there - but you'll still have to be pretty precise in how you line it up when you hold them to your face.

I'm also REALLY concerned about how these would do in a light rain / ocean spray - It took a long time to find any sort of waterproofing rating for these, it was buried away in a manual... The ultimate rating is IPX-2 - That's more like mild sneeze-proofing than any sort of sealing, and that is a hard sell at this price... I'm not surprised that Fuji buried this particular spec in the manual. There is additionally no information on any waterproof seals / nitrogen purging, which tells me that these may not be a good call for bad weather or large temperature changes. Most everything else along these lines (and certainly, even the really high end WR lenses / cameras) doesn't even bother with an IPX rating, but I'd imagine that anything "WR" will do better than this. So I don't think I'd take this in the most extreme conditions, or even in a rain to be honest. It seems inexcusable to me that these aren't better sealed and nitrogen purged at this price - I would love to see real weather sealing on this. It's possible that this is the tradeoff that keeps these small and lightweight- so caveat emptor, but I really feel like it wouldn't have taken more than a couple of o-rings to have made a ton of difference here.

The glass is very good - it's razor sharp at the center, and remains very sharp to the edges, at least on my sample. Close focus is surprisingly good for a 12x as well - I'd put it at close to 8'. Another spec not officially listed, I'm afraid. They could even do OK for stargazing - Likely not as flat of a field as you'd see in some higher end binos, and yes, they are dim. But surprisingly usable in ways they would likely not be if they weren't stabilized.

These aren't TINY, but they are a VERY small - one of the smallest stabilized on the market, if not THE smallest - and a good size for a 12x - they don't fold down as tight as many others, but they remain very compact when in use - they are just under an inch and a half longer than my Nikon 10x25s, presumably to cover the stabilization. They are also very light weight - on paper, they are the absolute lightest stabilized binoculars on market at this time, and that is really the headline here.... They are a very good size - you won't slip them into your back pocket and forget they are there by any means, but they certainly won't bog you down at all. They may even fit in a jacket pocket with no issues.

There really are almost perfect for me - I'm a compact binocular junkie, so I can live with a lot of shortcomings if things are generally in place... even with the compromises you make in that class, there are some things I'd be close to knocking a star off for on these binoculars. I'm honestly a bit frustrated by the spec exaggeration on eye relief / exit pupil, although it seems OK in real world usage.... Just not quite "as advertised." The lack of weatherproofing at this price point definitely keeps it from being 5. And not just weatherproofing - IPX2 is just really sad. Definitely look up the ratings online if you aren't familar, but there's a reason you never see anything advertised visibly as under 5. It has me really concerned about dust intrusion, outside of just water concerns. Time will tell, but these very well could be dust magnets. Let's hope that isn't the case. Of course, you will see no mention of waterproofing on similarly sized Canons (the smaller IS, not the very waterproof 10x42), so I suspect that they are largely the same deal. So it's not completely out of the ordinary for the price point, but it's still disappointing.

Even given these shortcomings, as it is, under almost all situations, I will reach for them before all others - the experience of using them is quite good, and I can use them all day and take them everywhere with no fatigue whatsoever.

There's always compromise in compact binoculars... At the price point I paid - which I'll mention, was less than list - I'd say these are good, and they fill a niche that I've not seen anyone else address - very lightweight, stabilized binoculars that are mostly appropriate for those who wear glasses. While you won't get the full 17.5mm, no other stabilized compact binocular comes close in terms of eye relief - and few non-stabilized compacts do this well, either. It's absolutely no comparison to my Opticron Travelers in that regard - my other go-to - but those are 6x32, and they also have an absurd amount of eye relief. I find the usability comparable to my Nikon 8x20s / 10x25s, although the Fuii is just a bit more finicky with positioning.

I'm not sure how much larger the whole system would be if it was, say, 12x36 - I'd personally love to see a weather-resistant 12x36 with an "actual" 17.5mm eye relief, maybe powered by a CR123a (a bit easier to come by, more capacity, not much heavier, great rechargable Li-Ion options) - until that comes along, these will be my go-to. That is - as long as it isn't raining.

All of this being said (and it is a lot)- I have little basis of comparison to other stabilized binoculars. I did also pick up the Canon 10x42 IS, and I will say that the Fuji system seems far superior, at greater magnification - and the 10x42s are quite good on their own. There's enough going on here that it's hold on a 4 is tenuous, but that may just be the compromises inherent to a compact. May be worth seeing what other professional reviewers have to say about that, and I'll be curious to see what those who have used other IS/VR/whatever systems think. Price wise, it seems comparable to similarly sized Canons - but those Canons weigh twice as much. From everything I can tell, you are paying a premium for a good image stabilization system in as compact of a package as possible, especially for 12x - and if literally everything else is secondary to that, or you can live with the compromises in exchange for something small and light, then you've found your binoculars.

-- REAL WORLD USAGE - Update after a few days of use --

I've taken these with me on a few bird-watching walks / light hikes, and that's a good use for these... They really are small enough to be unobtrusive, and the clarity / stabilization has been wonderful to have on hand - and I never had to take my glasses off to use them effectively. It's still sometimes a pain to get the pupils lined up perfectly, but that's generally a small annoyance and doesn't affect my overall experience. I do find myself second guessing how I have the eyepieces set.

I'm not kidding when I say that the real value in these is how compact they are... I know it sounds weird to say "they are smaller than they look" but that's how it feels. Because of this, I end up taking them in situations where I'd never bring something full-sized. They feel great to use all day.

Field of view has been a bit small, but appropriate for a 12x - rather good for a compact 12x - and not so small as to present a problem finding and chasing sea birds at flight.

I've also used these minimally to look at the night sky - As I said above, I wouldn't make that my primary use of these, but they are also the best performing compact I've used for this - which is to say that they are surprisingly usable, but don't expect anywhere near the same results you'd get out of anything with a 42mm or 50mm objective. That being said, they are much better than you'd expect - certainly, if you want to look at the moon, you will not be let down.

What I have yet to do - and I'm so curious about - is take these on a boat. From what I understand, that's where the traditional Fuji system has excelled. That's also why the lack of better sealing is inexplicable. There may be some whale watching in my future, and if so, these are coming with me. We'll see if they hold up to a spray of water or two. I'm really skeptical about that, if it isn't obvious."

Last edited by [email protected] : Saturday 7th September 2019 at 19:48.
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Old Saturday 7th September 2019, 21:12   #4
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Hey guys. Yea, my review is harsh and I definitely got a lemon. Maybe I will give them another chance and send them back for repair. I really want to like them. I don't know. I got them off of ebay from a reputable seller but... No word back so I will play with them over the weekend.

Here's what I don't understand. I can't get a clear view out of my left eye no matter where I place it. It's blurry, like I need to blink or I'm looking through rainfall. The only way I could do the clarity sketch was to put my right eye on the left side of the binocular. (What do you call the left and right sides?)

So, even though the left side does have a small sweet spot I can't seem to get it in focus with my left eye. This is when I put a cover on the the right side lens and only look out of my left eye and focus on the area of the sweet spot. Is that due to eye placement and the small exit pupil? Or, being out of alignment?

One other thing that doesn't line up with the stated specs is they are supposed to power off after 10 minutes. Mine shut down after 5 minutes.

Have a good weekend.
Dave
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Old Sunday 8th September 2019, 00:11   #5
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Dave. Don't worry about what's wrong with them and don't even consider repair. You bought a new pair of binoculars you shouldn't have to wait weeks to get them fixed and I even doubt they would fix them being MIC. Don't just send the seller a message file with Ebay for a refund and if the seller doesn't offer refunds file a not as described case and after you return the binoculars you will get a refund. Don't play with them. I don't think I would even mess around with this seller trying to get them exchanged. Just buy a new pair somewhere else. It is hard to say but the seller could be selling returns or something especially if he is selling at a considerable discount. You can save money on Ebay but there is always more risk than from buying from a reputable seller.
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Old Sunday 8th September 2019, 07:55   #6
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I have looked through one Fujinon 12 x 28 and a couple of the Kenko versions of this IS binocular, and none of them gave anything close to what I would call a sharp and high-quality image. Stabilization worked very well, but that was not of much use when the view was so dismal otherwise.

Maybe there are okay ones out there, but three strikes and out is not promising.

- Kimmo
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Old Sunday 8th September 2019, 09:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabsetz View Post
I have looked through one Fujinon 12 x 28 and a couple of the Kenko versions of this IS binocular, and none of them gave anything close to what I would call a sharp and high-quality image. Stabilization worked very well, but that was not of much use when the view was so dismal otherwise.

Maybe there are okay ones out there, but three strikes and out is not promising.

- Kimmo
And +1 from me, I fully agree with Kimmo‘s term „dismal‘.

I have compared all the new small 10x30 / 12x28 / 12x30 IS binos from Vixen, Fujinon and Kenko (which in large parts are identical), first among them and then with the Canons, and they are a far cry from anything that Canon produces. IS works ok (Kimmo says „well“, I for myself would not use that term), but the optics „leave wanting“. Just my view.
The biggest disappointment for me was the Fujinon, because I somehow expected more from this brand.
The Kenko, which by the way is 10x30 and therefore has for me the most useful exit pupil (the others are really small, and I wonder about the latest addition by Fujinon of their 16x28 with less than 2mm exit pupil), has the advantage of an eyelens with a larger diameter than the others, allowing better ease of view than the Vixen and the Fuji.

So far, unless something better comes along, Canon needs not be afraid of this competition.

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Old Sunday 8th September 2019, 13:30   #8
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Have you tried awkwardly holding them upside down to see if the clarity issue remains with the same barrel or if it stays with your left eye?
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Old Sunday 8th September 2019, 20:55   #9
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Yea, I agree with everything said on the optical quality. Regardless of the left side issue, I still have a feel for the optics and they don't give the pleasing and immersive view that I'm after. It's an OK view that is stabilized. The Alpha 8x25s, and everything else I have give a much more enjoyable view.

8000bph, I did as you suggested and when flipped upside down I could see the restricted sweet spot better with my right eye. I tried the left eye again and the sweet spot was clear at times. I don't know. They are frustrating and I'm tired of looking through them. My left eye works fine with my other binoculars.

Later,
Dave
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 14:27   #10
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Yea, I agree with everything said on the optical quality. Regardless of the left side issue, I still have a feel for the optics and they don't give the pleasing and immersive view that I'm after. It's an OK view that is stabilized. The Alpha 8x25s, and everything else I have give a much more enjoyable view.

8000bph, I did as you suggested and when flipped upside down I could see the restricted sweet spot better with my right eye. I tried the left eye again and the sweet spot was clear at times. I don't know. They are frustrating and I'm tired of looking through them. My left eye works fine with my other binoculars.

Later,
Dave
Dave. A binocular with a 50.4 degree AFOV is never going to be immersive. I think you need at least a 60 degree AFOV to be immersive. Any binocular with a bigger exit pupil and a bigger AFOV is going to be more enjoyable and immersive. An alpha 8x25 is going to be more enjoyable than the 12x28 and an alpha 8x42 is going to be more enjoyable than the 8x25. I think that is what you are going to get from a 12x28. An OK 12x view that is stabilized. I think you are expecting a little too much from a 12x28 binocular. I think these binoculars with the high magnification and stabilization and a narrow FOV were designed for discerning detail at great distances. For example, on a boat with a lot of movement they would be used for reading safety buoy numbers and other navigational aides at sea. They would be good for birding ID's at distance and anywhere you needed to see a lot of detail at long range but not so good for fast moving birds where you need a bigger FOV.

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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 18:29   #11
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That's interesting Dennis. I suppose I am expecting too much in terms of quality view from those specs. Oh well. Live and learn.
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Old Tuesday 10th September 2019, 03:43   #12
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Yeah, you know it is not going to have the WOW factor of an SV 12x50. But I think it would be good for detail at long distances and on a boat. I think that is what Fujinon designed it for. Almost like a WA stabilized telescope like the Pirates of the Caribbean used to use at sea from the crows nest.
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Old Tuesday 10th September 2019, 05:47   #13
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Fuji is strange.
They produce a few low end, indistinctive, mediocre at best optics while also producing spectacular cine lenses, lenses for OEM Hasselblad, and their own super high quality APS and medium format cameras and lenses. Not to mention their renown nautical and astronomical optics.

I'm a big fan of Fuji, but they do sell some junk.
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Old Tuesday 10th September 2019, 14:21   #14
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I bought a Fujinon 12x28 just out of curiosity. I get it tomorrow. I will let you know what I think of it. I can always return it.
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2019, 07:26   #15
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Holy cow Dennis, you bought one? That's awesome. Very interested in your findings. I hope you get a good one.

The 14x40 is the one for boats and it uses a gyro for the stabilization. The gyro stabilization has a very different feel and I can see how it would be far more effective on a boat. It's an impressive piece of equipment. When I said the stabilization of the 14x40 takes too long to warm up...that's just my take on viewing stuff from my lanai. But, if I was on a boat that is the binocular I would want.

Buzztronics sent me a label for the return. They sell devices for consuming marijuana and a variety of Zeiss optics. I find that interesting.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn...Zeiss&_sacat=0
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2019, 09:41   #16
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Buzztronics, is where I bought mine. Almost $100.00 off of retail. I like to try new binoculars. No guarantee I am going to keep it though. We will see.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 02:48   #17
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I finally got the Fujinon's 12x28. They were at my neighbor's house who has the same name as me. We always get each others mail and packages. I am sure now you got a defective binocular Dave because I am very impressed with the Fujinon's. I think the build quality is higher than the Canon's with better armour and stuff like how the battery compartment has a nice screw lid just seems better quality than the Canon's and they have longer battery life with the CR123 battery. For a 12x28 I am IMPRESSED with the optics. They are very bright for such a small exit pupil, very sharp on-axis and pretty much tack sharp to the edge just like the bigger Fujinon's. The FOV seems bigger than the specs would indicate but it helps that the edges are so sharp. The eye cups work very smoothly and are long enough and big enough that I can put them right in my eye sockets and I don't get any blackouts! Yeah! They are remarkably not finicky with such a small exit pupil. I thought they had very easy eye placement with very little blackouts. I think the stabilization on these is superior to the Canon's. It get's rid of a lot of the shaking but doesn't have that sea sick floating feeling like the Canon's do. The button to engage the IS is much more positive and quality than the Canons and a green light comes on when it is operating. It makes 12x so much more usable. The ergonomics on these ar quite good for such a small binocular also and the focus is smooth and positive. The IPD adjusts like the Canon's and stays where you put it. The diopter is on the eyepiece and also does not move easily so it keeps it's setting. They don't come with objective covers but they do have eyepiece covers, a nice strap and a nice case. I would take these any day over the Canon's. IMO they are higher quality and have better optics. Buzztronic's on Ebay has them for $100.00 less than retail which is a great price. I REALLY like these little stabilized binoculars. HIGHLY recommended!

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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 03:36   #18
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Damnit. There were two left. I got the junk ones and you got the good ones.
:)

Glad you like them Dennis.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 05:10   #19
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Damnit. There were two left. I got the junk ones and you got the good ones.
:)

Glad you like them Dennis.
Dave
There is one good one left. Try them again.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujinon-Tec...c013%7Ciid%3A1
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 06:54   #20
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I'm going to wait and see how my return goes. It is a good deal but I had to pay $30 shipping to Hawaii and I think you got free shipping.

For my needs the Fujinon would really be a travel binocular. I'd like to see if you will be toting it along on trips. For viewing at home I'd pick up my 14x32 Canon every time when looking out over the bay.

You don't care for the new Canon's but I think they are amazing. I use mine multiple times a day. Love it.

Quote:
It get's rid of a lot of the shaking but doesn't have that sea sick floating feeling like the Canon's do.
I never experienced that with the Canon IS. I found the 14x40 Fujinon had more of that floating wave feel especially when the gyro is warming up.

Well, I'm glad you like it. Image Stabilization is amazing. These Fujinon's are priced right and I hope the market grows so we all benefit.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 09:37   #21
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I wonder how long Dennis will keep this binocular(:

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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 15:26   #22
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I am thinking about getting the Fujinon 16x28's. The idea of a stabilized 16x in a 15oz. binocular would be very cool.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2019, 15:29   #23
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Originally Posted by Super Dave View Post
I'm going to wait and see how my return goes. It is a good deal but I had to pay $30 shipping to Hawaii and I think you got free shipping.

For my needs the Fujinon would really be a travel binocular. I'd like to see if you will be toting it along on trips. For viewing at home I'd pick up my 14x32 Canon every time when looking out over the bay.

You don't care for the new Canon's but I think they are amazing. I use mine multiple times a day. Love it.


I never experienced that with the Canon IS. I found the 14x40 Fujinon had more of that floating wave feel especially when the gyro is warming up.

Well, I'm glad you like it. Image Stabilization is amazing. These Fujinon's are priced right and I hope the market grows so we all benefit.
That high magnification stabilized view is really nice looking out over the ocean looking for ships and whales and whatever. I might try the Fujinon 16x28's. Buzztronic's don't have the 16x28 though for that good price. The Fujinon's are reverse porro's which I didn't know. The 16x28 has a 4 degree FOV so they have a quite large 64 degree AFOV. They are a little heavier at 18 oz. but not bad. They would be great for wolf spotting in the Lamar Valley at Yellowstone National Park. I bought a pair of Fujinon 16x28 and I will write a mini-review after I have tried them. What I am beginning to realize is IS is the answer to the finicky nature of small compact binoculars with small exit pupils. By stabilizing the image you don't need as big of an exit pupil because the smaller exit pupil stays aligned with your eyes better. The Fujinon 12x28 could be the best small binocular I have ever used. It is bigger than the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P or Zeiss Victory 8x25 but just blows them away in detail and comfort when you engage the IS. The Fujinon 16x28 is close to the power of the Canon 18x50 but less than half the weight but I will bet in the daytime it is comparable in performance.

Last edited by [email protected] : Friday 13th September 2019 at 03:36.
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 08:48   #24
Super Dave
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Wow. Looking forward to the 16x28 review.
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Old Friday 13th September 2019, 14:34   #25
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Get it Sunday. Had to buy from Amazon.com. Buzztronics don't have the 16x28. I am expecting it to be really good. The IS really helps on these little, lighter binoculars. 12x or 16x would be hard to hold steady on these light binoculars but with the IS they are great. The IS really helps with eye placement also I am finding. It makes the small exit pupils on these Fujinon's not nearly as finicky as most smaller binoculars. What is nice about these Fujinon's is that they have bigger and longer eye cups so it matches the eye relief quite well and they fit up with your eye sockets and help avoid blackouts. These are very nice little lightweight IS binoculars. Where else can you get a 16x IS binoculars that weighs 18 oz.. The Canon's are way heavier and bigger. I find the Fujinon's are brighter and have better contrast than the Canon's I have had also. Especially, better contrast. They must have pretty good transmission and coatings. Fujinon's are known for high transmission.

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