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Canon 10x42L and 18x50 IS

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Old Sunday 25th February 2018, 09:14   #1
Binastro
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Canon 10x42L and 18x50 IS

This morning the sky was clear, just below freezing but not particularly transparent.

Jupiter was at about 20 degree elevation at 02.36 UT.

I thought I'd try the 10x42L for a change.
I could see Callisto well to the right of Jupiter.
Closer to the limb was Ganymede but with a possible close companion, I thought Io, but I couldn't clearly separate them.

Often the 10x42L IS shows Jupiter's moons just as well as the 18x50 IS.

Not this morning.
I then used the 18x50 and the difference was very great.
Callisto was much brighter, both because of the larger aperture and increased magnification.

Instead of a difficult pair, a triangle of moons was easily seen with a moon hidden in the 10x42L easily seen nearer the limb.

All 3 closer moons were bright and well separated.

The 18x50 is really in a league of its own in hand held binoculars for resolving things, only beaten by the Zeiss 20x60S and possibly the Russian 20x50 and 25x55 stabilized.

I don't know if current 18x50s are up to my old 18x50 IS.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 19:23   #2
JerryLogan
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Thanks so much for the nice report! I’ve been tempted to add a brother for my 10x42L but lock up deciding between the 18x or 15x models. Have you had a chance to compare these two?

Thanks again and best regards,
Jerry
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 19:41   #3
Binastro
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Hi Jerry,
Yes, I have used both.
I have used every Canon IS except the original 15x45 IS, which may have been a roof prism?

Also Russian ones. And Bushnell 10x35; my one is junk.

I haven't used the Nikons or Fujis.

For general use the Canon 15x50 IS is better than the 18x50 IS.
I think it would be better for general birdwatching at a distance.
Even Zeiss acknowledged that the Canon 15x50 IS is a fine binocular.

But for specialised use, such as looking for Jupiter's moons either close to the limb or very close to each other the 18x50 IS suits me better.
I have used it regularly for over 15 years.

The best is the Zeiss 20x60S but it is heavy, bulky, user unfriendly as the button has to be held down, so it is basically supported one handed.
But no batteries, although I don't know how many years the internal magnet lasts.
For the young or strong it is fine and resolves 30% better than the Canon 18x50IS

But a good spotting scope on a tripod is better than any of these hand held stabilised binoculars.

P.S.
I haven't used any of the new 32mm Canons.
I think the price is not tempting.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 26th February 2018 at 19:52.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 21:05   #4
JerryLogan
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Thank you for the experience grounded advice. Can you mention a brand name for the Russian 20x50 or 25x55? I’ve seen some fine Russian optics but there’s also a sea of mediocrity and it’s hard to sort them out.

Best,
Jerry
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 21:40   #5
Binastro
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I saw them on a U.S. site.
They seemed overpriced and over advertised.
I don't believe binocular adverts anyway, but I doubt the claims made for these.
They may work when new, but for how long?
Knowing Russian stuff, I doubt they would work for 15 years like my Canon 18x50 IS.

They may have military origins and need specialist attention to keep them going.

An earlier 16?x50 was actually 16x35 as different parts of the objective were used as the stabiliser worked over perhaps a 5 degree range.
I think these were used in moving military vehicles but were sold to civilians as export optics.
Again adverts claimed all sorts of things.

I think that some Russian image stabilised optics were rebadged for export.

Some Russian military stabilised optics use incredibly noisy gyros that take a minute or more to go 'supersonic'. Stealth. I don't think so.
The gyros take perhaps a few minutes to slow done from memory, before they have to wound up again. Took 4 or 8 AAs. I can't remember.

There were early British military stabilsed optics also.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 21:55   #6
Binastro
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Magnaroptics youtube claim 20,000 hours life against 3,000 for Zeiss and 2,000 for Fujinon.
Mechanical system.
Shockproof etc etc etc.
Magn'r or Magnar 20x50.

But I think I saw the same thing or similar earlier as Farvision binoculars.

Perhaps some kind soul, just a regular user with no ties to anybody connected to them could give an independent test. Re. vignetting, durability, quality etc.
I'd be willing to buy one if cheap, but I doubt they will be.

It could be an upgrade of the old 16x50, so there may still be vignetting.
Apparently the 16x50s were used in tanks, so maybe they are robust.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 21:59   #7
Binastro
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Farvision 20x50S at Oberwerk and Big Binoculars.
$2,995.

A bargain for someone maybe.

It could be that they work, but what of the real performance and real specs?
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 22:04   #8
Binastro
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Did Binomania test the Farvision 20x50S against the Canon 18x50 IS in 2016?

Maybe I am just a cynic and they actually work.
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 22:28   #9
Binastro
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The Binomania test is interesting.
6 degree compensation in the Russian binocular instead of 0.8 degrees in the Canon 18x50 IS.

But false colour, ghosts, not flat field so poor towards the edge in the Farvision 20x50S.
And it has some kind of magical magnetic levitation in it.

Also it does not seem to work properly at high elevation targets, say stars at 45 degree elevation.

The Farvision has plus points, but what is the size of the exit pupil? It seems to have less eye relief, which may be O.K. for me.

I might have a go at $600 but not at $3,000.
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Old Tuesday 27th February 2018, 03:30   #10
ailevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Hi Jerry,
Yes, I have used both.
I have used every Canon IS except the original 15x45 IS, which may have been a roof prism?

<snip>
I have the 15x45. They are not roof prism, but very much the same design though an earlier version of the 15x50 and 18x50.

I had an observing buddy who had the 18x50 and we would regularly swap while observing. He preferred the added magnification of the 18x50, which brought out fainter stars and provided a little more resolution, I preferred the additional field of view of the 15x45. I don't know if it was merely variation from unit to unit, but his 18x50 was slightly more prone to stabilization hiccups if it was not held sufficiently steady or scanned sufficiently slowly.

Alan

P.S. Though I have heard about issue with Canon service with their IS line, I have had mine for 20 years and have never had a problem that a new set of batteries wouldn't cure.
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