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Old February 22nd, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Default binoculars

We want to buy binoculars just for our alaska cruise. Does anyone know about TASCO 7 x 35mm or is quantray or bushnell better ? Thanks
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: binoculars

IMO,those no matter the brand,are not strong enough..I wouldnt use anything other than 10x50 or 20x50.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: binoculars

My clear preference are the wide angle 10x50's, I would not consider 20x50's for their narrower field of view for marine wildlife, but would be excellent for land wildlife viewing. 10x50's are a good overall view. Try out several and see what you like the best and have the best focusing and viewing for your preferences.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: binoculars

I agree with Karen although 10 x 50's might be a tad heavy. 20 x 50's are too powerful without a tri-pod imho. You won't be able to hold them steady enough.

Remember that the first number is power and the 2nd number is aperture. The larger the aperture the clearer and brighter the view. In telescopes and binoculars the aperture is much more important than the power.

Tasco or Bushnell are fine brands for binoculars (not so much for telescopes).

By the way, I have used 7 x 35's while viewing nature and wasn't disappointed.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Re: binoculars

thanks for your reply. I am a bit confused. You saw the 10/50 is very heavy so should I stick with the 7 x 35. Thanks. This is just to see the whales from the ship. We probably won't be using it much after that.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: binoculars

For whale watching from any cruise ship- you definately need the 10x50's. The wide angle is vitally necessary with all the vast expansive areas to cover. BUT you also will be required to invest a great deal of time at the FRONT open decks of your ship. Forget side viewing- cut's the sights by 50%. Areas to consider- several hours before and after Juneau, several hours before and after Icy Strait. several hours- before sailing southbound Vancouver Island. Hook up with your ship naturalist and find out where the hot spots have been. Be certain to have proper attire, meaning layers, gloves,knit hats.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: binoculars

10x50 is not "very" heavy....just heavier than the 7 x 50's or 7 x 35's.
As I mentioned, I,ve seen fine with 7 x 35's over the years but as Karen menitons this isn't as good as the 10 x 50's. And the 50 is the more important number. More aperture means more light reaching your eye and the more light, the brighter and sharper the image.

I'm not good with optics so I won't be totally accurate here but a 50 aperture doesn't gather 50% more light than a 35, it gathers 100% more light.

And if you decide to go whale watching on a tour like Captain Larry in Juneau.....you won't need binoculars so much because he gets so close!
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: binoculars

Pretty much agree. We bought Nikon 7x35 for the cruise which were much smaller and lighter than the 7x50 or even 10x50 and were plenty bright, but the more powerful 10 power would have been a little better for the eagles and seals and further objects. But 10 power is above the limit on holding the image steady unless you buy image stabilizing binocs which are much more expensive. Anything stronger than 10 is not useful without a tripod, and nothing up there will stand still for that, except maybe a mountain sheep or bear. And on deck, it will be crowded when there is something to see onboard. We found 7x35 to be plenty bright and much smaller and lighter than the very nice 7x50, but brightness was not a factor in the bright clear weather we experienced on our cruise.

The whale watching tour is very exciting, and as said you won't need the binocs there. No time to locate your target, and they will be close enough to take pictures to bring home the sights.

Two important features are to select a wide angle (WA) version of whatever power you choose so you can find your target quickly, and center focus (CF) so once you have your two eyes aligned, you can focus quickly with just one center motion. WIthout that, you have to focus both separately, a very bad deal.

With all we had to carry (cameras included) the 7x35 WA/CF Nikon worked best for us. There is a difference in quality which you should evaluate in the store. Look around and focus on objects at different distances to see if you can get a clear view with both eyes easily. Some cheaper binocs have flexible plastic connectors that don't keep the two eyepieces precisely focused together. And there is not much difference in price because of competition. Nikon and Bushnell are well known for their optical quality, which is the main thing you are buying.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: binoculars

It will pay to try out several binoculars- I have NO problem with clean focusing and easy ability for spotting with my 10x50's. They are not image stabilized.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: binoculars

By the way, Capt. Larry with Orca did provide binocs for the passengers. Not sure if the other tours do.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Re: binoculars

I've ordered the Canon - 12 X 36 IMAGE STABILIZER II BINOCULARS. If you don't have image stabilization, then recommendations are not to go over 8 power. These are not cheap but withthe image stabilzation feature, reviews from atronomers and bird watchers have raved how these out perform much higher end binoculars. Some have compared it to using a scope on a tripod without the tripod. Cheapest place to buy online at a reputable store is Beach Camera.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: binoculars

We also purchased the harnesses which greatly relieves stress on your neck. That way, they are always right on your chest and handy when you need them. They were one of the best things we purchased for our trip. Enjoy!
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Old April 8th, 2005, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Re: binoculars

These seem pretty light at 23 oz. The older version of these were about 1/2 lb heavier. Did you buy these? I thought these were ideal as anything above these were too heavy and $$$, while these were the same size and weight as the 10x30 though more expensive. I'll think I'll rent them out to pay for them:-)
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