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Any 15/16x binocular fans here

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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 00:58   #1
Dd61999
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Any 15/16x binocular fans here

Especially compared to a spotting scope?
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 02:42   #2
Maljunulo
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Especially compared to a spotting scope?
I have a pair of Fujinon 16X70 that I use from my car, and they are much better and faster than a scope. I just rest them on a partly raised window. I only use them to augment my usual 10X42 when it just isn't quite enough, or I want to see just a bit better.

The advantages of using both eyes make a big difference I think.

If I can't see it, or ID it with the 16X70 I let it go.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 10:32   #3
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I run 15x56 Swaro's. For extended sessions with a tripod. They are much much easier on the eyes compared to single eye spotting scope use.

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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 16:00   #4
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I run 15x56 Swaro's. For extended sessions with a tripod. They are much much easier on the eyes compared to single eye spotting scope use.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
+1 Eyes felt much better after a day of whale or hawk watching when I purchased and tripod mounted Swaro 15s.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 18:29   #5
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Have recently purchased a 15x56 Conquest HD to be used this year for shore watches and raptor spotting as we are planning on a coastal move. They will be tripod mounted but, so far, I'm quite amazed at how hand-holdable they are, largely due to their wide and spacious FOV.

I've never gotten on with scopes and hope that the ease of use / view will compensate for the lower mag.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 19:34   #6
Dd61999
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Good to see I’m not the only one who prefers 15/16x binoculars over a spotting scope
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 20:51   #7
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I run 15x56 Swaro's. For extended sessions with a tripod. They are much much easier on the eyes compared to single eye spotting scope use.
+1, but they don't replace a spotting scope for waders on mudflats
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 21:53   #8
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Hello,

If one is going to share an instrument, than an angled 'scope on a tripod makes more sense.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 13th January 2019, 23:04   #9
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Another point to consider:
A commonly expressed impression when comparing quality optics is that, for a binocular of a given magnification, the visible detail is ‘about equal’ to that of a telescope of 50% greater magnification

Although I couldn't find the reference (perhaps either Yoder or Vukobratovich?), by scientific testing the difference is 40%
- so multiply the binocular magnification by 1.4, which for a 15x binocular would be 21x equivalent

Or to flip things around: for a given magnification, a telescope reveals only around 70% of the detail of a binocular

And of course the above assumes that both the bino and the scope are on a solid mount

John

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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 02:11   #10
Kevin Conville
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Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
If one is going to share an instrument, than an angled 'scope on a tripod makes more sense.
True.

And big (straight) bins or a straight spotter require a taller tripod. And a quite tall tripod for looking "up". When tripods get tall they get more robust as well, and that makes them heavy and often expensive.

Sharing or not, a straight view optic requires much more adjustment in the field.

To the OPs Q, and with all the above considered, yes I'm a fan of 15/16 bins. Binocular viewing is always superior to monocular viewing. More brain power utilized, stereoscopic viewing, and less stressful.

I have Fujinon 16x70s and Leica 12x50s. I have used extensively Minox 15x56 (very good) and Nikon Monarch 5 16x56 (OK, not great).

I really want Swaro 15x56 SLCs but don't want to pay for them. I purchased the used Leicas instead and I'm pretty happy with them but that extra 3-4x is nice.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 02:43   #11
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Wonder how the Canon 15x50 IS would fare in this decision tree.
It seems to offer a way around the tripod requirement at very low cost.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 03:24   #12
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When you need a spotting scope, you need a spotting scope! I've used a 12x50 a LOT....not even close to what 30-40X will do in bird ID. You can cover WAY more area with a scope. I can't imagine 3X more making a bit of difference when I'm all ready at 12X. If you are into shore birds/waterfowl at ALL....I really can't imagine one doing without a decent spotting scope if at ALL serious about birding.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 09:12   #13
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Wonder how the Canon 15x50 IS would fare in this decision tree.
It seems to offer a way around the tripod requirement at very low cost.
It does usually come around to the what about Canon question.
With the usual funky eyecups, ergonomics of a toaster, and it's an electronic device counters.

Their fans tend to be zealous however, and the promise of a 15x optic that can be hand held is compelling, no doubt.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 09:23   #14
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Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
When you need a spotting scope, you need a spotting scope! I've used a 12x50 a LOT....not even close to what 30-40X will do in bird ID. You can cover WAY more area with a scope. I can't imagine 3X more making a bit of difference when I'm all ready at 12X. If you are into shore birds/waterfowl at ALL....I really can't imagine one doing without a decent spotting scope if at ALL serious about birding.
I agree that big bins are not a substitute for a spotting scope.
They are certainly more of a boutique piece of equipment and with a steady mount can deliver a lot of detail.

I just find them more pleasurable to look through especially for any duration and, as John has pointed out, they punch above their weight class as compared to monocular vision of the same power.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 13:07   #15
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The Meopta Meostar 15x HD is very close optically to the vaunted Swaro SLC HD. So close in fact that you'll have to have them side by side to see any difference at all, and even then you will have to search for it.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 16:45   #16
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The Meopta Meostar 15x HD is very close optically to the vaunted Swaro SLC HD. So close in fact that you'll have to have them side by side to see any difference at all, and even then you will have to search for it.
The Meopta is unquestionably impressive, particularly at its price. For my specific purpose - long distance surveillance - the Swarvoski’s extra fov is easy to see and worth the extra money (to me, ymmv).
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 17:30   #17
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The gain of 40% using a binocular instead of a scope assumes the observer has two equally good eyes and has no prism problems.
Many people have one eye better than the other, so the gain is less and sometimes minimal.

However, someone that I gave a 15x70 binocular likes it even though one eye is unfortunately poor.

I use both standard and IS binoculars.
Hand held the Canon 18x50 IS out resolves any hand held 15x or probably any standard hand held binocular.
The Zeiss 20x60S is better but not user friendly for me.
I am not a zealot using IS binoculars, maybe 15 different ones over the years.
If hand held fine detail is to be seen that is just the way to go.
Or one can use a tripod, but I dislike tripods for binoculars, and sometimes a tripod mounted binocular will just not get to difficult angles.

With bigger than bird watching instruments it is always a scope for me.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 18:32   #18
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The gain of 40% using a binocular instead of a scope assumes the observer has two equally good eyes and has no prism problems.
As I recall it also assumes a scotopic light level. At photopic levels I believe the claimed gain in detail is only 10%.

It's an easy enough thing to check with any binocular and a USAF 1951 resolution chart. Just determine what element can be resolved with both eyes and then repeat using one eye. I just did that and found the the difference to be slight. 10% seems about right.

I have to agree with Chuck. I typically use a scope at magnifications between 30x and 100x. It would not be at all replaceable by a 15x binocular.
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 06:25   #19
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Another point to consider:
A commonly expressed impression when comparing quality optics is that, for a binocular of a given magnification, the visible detail is ‘about equal’ to that of a telescope of 50% greater magnification

Although I couldn't find the reference (perhaps either Yoder or Vukobratovich?), by scientific testing the difference is 40%
- so multiply the binocular magnification by 1.4, which for a 15x binocular would be 21x equivalent

Or to flip things around: for a given magnification, a telescope reveals only around 70% of the detail of a binocular.
This agrees pretty well with my own experience as far as the binoculars are concerned.

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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 13:44   #20
Maljunulo
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It would not be at all replaceable by a 15x binocular.
I don't think anyone has suggested that it would be "replaceable". We are just saying that under some circumstances we prefer the binocular instrument for at least two reasons.
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 16:53   #21
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The gain of 40% using a binocular instead of a scope assumes the observer has two equally good eyes and has no prism problems.
Many people have one eye better than the other, so the gain is less and sometimes minimal.

However, someone that I gave a 15x70 binocular likes it even though one eye is unfortunately poor.

I use both standard and IS binoculars.
Hand held the Canon 18x50 IS out resolves any hand held 15x or probably any standard hand held binocular.
The Zeiss 20x60S is better but not user friendly for me.
I am not a zealot using IS binoculars, maybe 15 different ones over the years.
If hand held fine detail is to be seen that is just the way to go.
Or one can use a tripod, but I dislike tripods for binoculars, and sometimes a tripod mounted binocular will just not get to difficult angles.

With bigger than bird watching instruments it is always a scope for me.
I’m almost legally blind in my left eye (still can see the big E on the eye chart). With that said. Still find it way more comfortable and enjoy the views better in binoculars then a spotting scope
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 16:55   #22
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I don't think anyone has suggested that it would be "replaceable". We are just saying that under some circumstances we prefer the binocular instrument for at least two reasons.
And some of those reasons are strong enough to be content with the slightly lower magnification and leave the spotting scope at home

Heck, I’m even contemplating selling them to buy more binoculars

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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 17:31   #23
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I am not surprised that many find a binocular more relaxing than a scope, even if one eye is not so good.
This is probably because of the relaxed viewing, and hand held I find that a binocular is steadier than a monocular, although not always.
The old Kowa 20x50 scope is steady when I use two hands.

Since I was a teenager using a 3 inch refractor I trained both my eyes to stay open when viewing. I can completely ignore the view in the other eye, or use it to find objects.
I don't squint and try to close one eye.
I sometimes used an eye patch at night and also with rifle shooting.
Because of light pollution I increasingly used a large sturdy cardboard box over my head with suitable cut outs.
I did this from home, as doing this in public might be viewed as a little odd.

A policeman once tried to arrest a friend who was hiding behind a bush to avoid light pollution.
I was also stopped at night, with 'Sonny what are you doing in that hoodie'. I said I am 40 years old and just trying to view the sky.
I was written up in the newspaper as laying down in a field for an early view of Comet Halley. I don't consider this odd, others do.

I suppose bird watchers may be concerned with whether their viewing methods seems odd.

I use binoculars up to 20x braced and for 20x and higher I use a scope.
When binocular magnification is simply too low for fine or distant detail, it is a spotting scope, or for even finer detail an astro scope.
A good Celestron 8 can give fine daylight views as can a 6 inch refractor.

Last edited by Binastro : Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 17:34.
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Old Tuesday 15th January 2019, 21:14   #24
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I don't think anyone has suggested that it would be "replaceable". We are just saying that under some circumstances we prefer the binocular instrument for at least two reasons.
Exactly. I’d hate to scan for whales at 30x, much less 100x. Once the beast is located then, by all means, bring out the scopes.

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Old Wednesday 16th January 2019, 13:21   #25
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If I felt like either the Meostar or the Conquest HD 15X56 had enough ER for me, I'd probably give one of those a try. I don't think I'd USE it enough to justify the price of the SLC which is the only one of these I KNOW would be fine.
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