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Big Binocular Search (1 Viewer)

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
I’m looking for some big mag / big objective binoculars to be used tripod mounted, for lake watching and other distance-type birding. I’ve been using Zeiss Conquest 15x56 for this but want more reach, so thinking at least 25x. I find using a scope uncomfortable so I want something that could approximate that experience with a bino.

I have no experience with this format and would appreciate the help of other forumers that may be able to provide some personal input. I don’t want to spend alpha prices, so looking for the best quality below about $1000.

Looking for good sharpness, low ca, reasonably neutral colour....size and weight not that much of a factor as they will be pod mounted. Brand not important as long as the quality is there.

Thanks for any assistance.
 

dries1

Member
James take a look at Orion, or APM, and Oberwerk. Most of these will be IF, unless your require Central focus.

Andy W.
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
James take a look at Orion, or APM, and Oberwerk. Most of these will be IF, unless your require Central focus.

Andy W.

I have little experience with IF, will it be able to maintain sharp focus from, say, 200 m to infinity?

I’m ok with having to refocus but not sure how easy, practical this will be with IF. There are definitely times when I might want to focus closer to shore, maybe under 100 m.
 

dries1

Member
For long distance viewing on a tripod and with your experience it will be a piece of cake. Plus you can view in some tough conditions, cold /wet and know that they are well sealed. I actually prefer IF for that type of viewing, set and forget.

Andy W.
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
I have little experience with IF, will it be able to maintain sharp focus from, say, 200 m to infinity?

I’m ok with having to refocus but not sure how easy, practical this will be with IF. There are definitely times when I might want to focus closer to shore, maybe under 100 m.
Have you posted your question on the CN too? The members there are more likely to provide useful advice about "big eyes" binos.
 

Canip

Well-known member
James (post #1),

I do have experience with large binoculars and so called binoscopes (binocular telescopes, usually with exchangeable eyepieces) and have reviewed a number of them on other forums.

The only 25x or more binocular with (CF) central focusing that I personally know is the Vixen 30x80, it‘s out of production and it‘s optically not very convincing.

There are a number of 20x binos with CF, but I find few of them really satisfactory.

If you were to go for IF (individual focusing), you would get many more options.
A number of companies sell 25x100 binos that are quite usable, among them APM, who have currently the best one on the market (see https://binocular.ch/apm-ms-25x100-ed/ ), and Oberwerk, and others (some of which, including the ubiquitous Celestron, are not so great).

However, I am sure you are aware that very often, atmospheric conditions do not allow using magnifications above about 20x with real gain in detail recognition etc. (at least for daytime viewing, the story is different for astronomy).

Canip
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have used a lot of big binoculars and one of the best ones I have come across for the money is the Orion GiantView 25 x 100 for $399.99. Also, if you want to go over your budget a little at $1299.99 and like the comfort of having 45 degree eyepieces which are nice for terrestrial viewing, as well as, astronomical use there is the Orion GiantView BT-70 45-degree Binocular Telescope which is 22x with the supplied eyepieces but you could easily change the eyepieces to increase or decrease the magnification similar to a spotting scope.

https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orion-GiantView-25x100-Astronomy-Binoculars/rc/2160/p/9326.uts
https://youtu.be/G7ML-23hunk
https://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=132186
https://youtu.be/n8_FRTgfmMU
 

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dries1

Member
Likely not, or the weight will be at the limit. Some of the tripods used for the heavier scopes are rated for 20LBS, so additional cost. Some research on the scope you are going to buy will be required, weight will be a factor if you want to use the tripod you already have.
Go big or go home James.

Andy W.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I’m wondering if a standard scope-type tripod will be able to handle the up to 5 kg weight of some of these monsters.
The mounts that Orion recommends for each of the binoculars above are very good and will support each binocular very well. They give you two choices for each binocular in different price ranges. They run $150 to $800.

https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orion-GiantView-25x100-Astronomy-Binoculars/rc/2160/p/9326.uts
https://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=132186
 

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wllmspd

Well-known member
I use a backpack portable APM 70mm 45degree with ultrawide angle eyepieces, for 30x viewing, can swap eyepieces and go upto 60x or so for zooming in or down to 16x if the light fades. More flexible than a fixed magnification, but you end up having to buy pairs of eyepieces.. and then carry them. However astro eyepieces are usually well corrected, so the field can stay sharp to much closer to the edge that normal binoculars show. The IF is set and forget for distant views and if you twist both eyes together you can adjust near/far quite easily, resetting is just a few seconds of closing one eye then the other.

45degree viewing means lower and thus more stable/cheaper tripod. I can carry myself up round all day long without too much trouble and have space for a lower power pair and some snacks in a backpack. With a trolly you could go 82/100/120/150mm options, but those cost more than the Nikon WX and push the power levels up considerably.

Peter

Mine ride on a Manfrotto 190 and mvh500ah head just fine, only a little wobbly at highest powers/when it’s windy/people are walking about on flexible bird hide floors.
 
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edwincjones

Well-known member
James take a look at Orion, or APM, and Oberwerk. Most of these will be IF, unless your require Central focus.

Andy W.

There is an overwhelming amount of information on Clouldynights binocular forum about these.
Most/many would suggest starting with Oberwerk (better customer service than Orion), APM has higher quality/expensive options.

edj
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
These appear to fit your criteria:
https://luntsolarsystems.com/shop/b...UD93LlEQ7Z8w0Ym4_N_qmByZvwrZYmFBoCprEQAvD_BwE

Here's a heavy duty, very well made, affordable, tall tripod with beaucoup weight capacity:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1157827-REG/benro_tma47axl_mach3_aluminum_series_4.html
I have one of these and it's a rock.

The 25x100 APMs will work great with a simple fluid head with decent capacity, like this:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553886-REG/Manfrotto_128RC_128RC_QR_Micro_Fluid.html

The bins are APO and that's a plus.
The tripod is 85" tall (max). With the head it'll be around 90" tall. This height will be useful on slopes or when looking "up", as in the night sky.
The Manfrotto 128 is just flat hard to beat. Inexpensive, smooth, reliable. Been around forever, for a reason.

The tripods that Dennis attached are not particularly well suited for terrestrial viewing, with the (possible) exception of #3, IMO.
I have a parallelogram mount and they are really best suitable for night sky viewing in a reclining chair.
The alt/az type mount #4 is bulky and unnecessary for terrestrial use with a relatively compact optic like 100mm bins.
The #3 may be OK but I'd go for the height and weight capacity of the Benro over that.

Cheers
 
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Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
The Manfrotto 128 is just flat hard to beat. Inexpensive, smooth, reliable. Been around forever, for a reason.
Cheers

I have to disagree there, Kevin. Those 25x100 APM binoculars are heavier than the maximum load capacity of the Manfrotto 128.
I used to have a 128 and it would not even hold my Kowa 883 (<2 kg) at elevation without creep.
Something like a Manfrotto MVH502AH with variable counterbalance would, I think, be far more suitable.

John
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
I didn't realize the APM 25x100s are about 10 lbs.
Yeah that would be asking a lot from a Manfrotto 128.

A gimbal head might actually make the most sense if the mounting area were wide enough.
 

jgraider

Well-known member
I’m wondering if a standard scope-type tripod will be able to handle the up to 5 kg weight of some of these monsters.


I've been using a Manfrotto tripod and fluid head for years with the Big Eyes. I use a Bog universal binocular mount as well and the combo works great.

The rec's from Dennis are a joke......just disregard them. Nobody is going to lug those monstrosities around in the field.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I've been using a Manfrotto tripod and fluid head for years with the Big Eyes. I use a Bog universal binocular mount as well and the combo works great.

The rec's from Dennis are a joke......just disregard them. Nobody is going to lug those monstrosities around in the field.
"I’m looking for some big mag / big objective binoculars to be used tripod mounted, for lake watching and other distance-type birding."

I don't believe James said he was going to be lugging them around in the field. I don't think I would lug a 25x100 binocular either. I wouldn't even lug a 8x56!
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
"The tripods that Dennis attached are not particularly well suited for terrestrial viewing, with the (possible) exception to #3, IMO.I have a parallelogram mount, and they are really best suitable for night sky viewing in a reclining chair."

I suggested the parallelogram mount for terrestrial viewing because they CAN be used from a reclining chair and many people prefer them just for that reason. You just sit in your recliner and you have nothing to impair your vision and you can make small adjustments up or down much easier than a regular tripod. A very comfortable way to observe and once you use one you won't go back to a normal tripod. If you are getting a 25x100 binocular you might be tempted to point it up at the night sky on a clear night and you can't beat the parallelogram mount for that.

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/585458-ukraine-parallelogram-mount/
 

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