We'll be on the Sea Princess July 7-13. I'm wondering if anyone knows of some decent, lightweight, not too expensive binoculars. We'd be getting 2 pair, because basically, I'm a hog and don't want to miss a thing! Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
This month's (May 2002) Consumer Reports has several recommended including compacts. I just purchased a Pentax 8x25 UCFX ,compact and weighs 11 oz. (rated as a best buy) for about $80. Works great. Good hunting
You may want to check two things. First, the binoculars that were used in the Consumver Reports article were low magnification and low field of view. These may not be of best choice in Alaska, where field of view will come into play. When looking at binoculars, they are usually rate as a magnification number by the size of lens. For example, an 8X25 has eight times magnification and the lens size is 25mm. The lens are also coated, with the better lens being called Bak4 lens. You really pay a premium for these binoculars, although if price is no object, go for it! Look for the field of vision, that for the compact models should be 5 degrees, and for the full size should be 3.7- 4.0 degrees. If you wear glasses, make sure that they have an extended eye relief.
Secondly, check prices. E-Bay offers Pentax', with 10X50 for around $100! If you need two pairs and want to save a dollar, try Wal-Mat. I know, Wal-Mart, but the next time you are there, walk over to their sporting goods department. They usually have some sets in a glass case that they will let you look at. Ask to look at a couple. They had some compact binoculars, (that you could put in a coat pocket), that are 8X34 for about $34. They have some fullsize 10X50 for about $75. They were Bushnels, but weren't Bak4s lenses.
I was looking through them and looked clear across the Supercenter, and for the price, they are worth giving a look at. May not be the pair you by, but at least it give you an idea of what you are buying.
We are going to Alaska in August (Sun Princess) and were looking for bincoulars also. My wife insisted on two pairs since she thinks I would hog them (she knows me too well I think). I did not want to spend too much since I am not a die hard viewer of things but wanted something with decent magnication and a good lens size.
Here is what I got on Amazon.com: Meade Travel View 8X42 Porro Prism Binocular (B120019B). $24.99 each. I used a coupon code for $5 off if you use a Visa (I looked and it is expired now, sorry) so got two pairs for like $53.
They are not the smallest but I figure we'll be carrying a back-pack with camera etc in it anyway when we go on excursions or can carry it around deck.
QUESTION - What is the best way to use binoculars if you were glasses? Please post your tips or experience.
The instructions say to fold down the rubber eye cups and place them against my glasses. I was not sure if they meant down toward the outside or inside but it looks better with my glasses off still and using the binoculars. I popped the rubber pieces off and was the same. I think it is because the binocs just are not close enough to my eyes due to the glasses.
I just went through this myself. Go to Eagleoptics.com. There's a lot of information about how/what to look for in binoculars and what all the lingo means, as well as an excellent selection and good prices. There's even an 800 number, so you can call those nice people in Wisconsin and ask for advice. I wanted a decent price, decent optics, small size, bright view and a good field of vision. I ended up with Bushnell Natureview Plus 8X30 for about $80. While waiting for these to arrive, my mother gave me a vacation gift: a pair of Nikon Sporter I 8 x30. The optics on these are fantastic, but they're a bit larger and cost about twice as much. We're taking both pairs on our trip to Alaska and they're both great.
Been going thru the same thing on binoculars for some time now. Gave up once, deciding to stay with my Pentax, 8x24 which are compact, not real good in low light and don't work well with glasses. My other pair is Busnell Natureview Audibon, 8x42 which are medium sized, pretty bright and sharp. Then I went looking again and found some Nikon 10/50, with Bak -4 prism and these are really sharp, about $115 on sale at Sportsmart. They are a little heavier, bulkier but seem nice. Nice to use from the ship but not sure I would pack them all day on a denali shuttle bus or hike.
My question for the binocular experts is how important in general use is the need to be waterproof. I have had my two previous pair for 10-15 yrs and no water problems, but I don't stand out in the ocean waves or pouring down rain for extended periods. With limitations, do we need waterproof. My camera and camcorder equip isn't water proof either. And if it is really important for the landlubbers who find themselves around water now and then, how much do we have to pay for waterproof in quality optics.
As far as someones question on glasses, the better binoculars have a rubber eyepiece that will fold down on the outside to allow glasses to get closer, however if the image looks better without the glasses, that might be best way. If your glasses are as thick as mine, if you take off glasses, I would need 18 power on the binocs!!! I have noticed on many of the small pair that they are too narrow to work well with glasses on. Good luck to everyone looking.
My Consmer Reports expired right before the May issue!!!
For Alaska, I feel it is vitally important to have a good pair of wide angle binoculars. My 10x50 pair has seen many trips. I also take my 16x50's and use both, BUT for wildlife viewing- you need a large field of view due to the vast areas.
The best choice from most on these boards for Alaska is a 10 X 50 wide angle. I just ordered a pair over the internet from www.binoware.com. Bushnell's for $47.27. I hope they work well. We will be on the Radiance of the Seas leaving on June 22nd. dpw in Va