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  1. #1
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    Default Is a 15 x 70 binocular the preferred astro-binocular?



    With all things considered, weight, price, ease of use, etc, is the 15 x 70 binocular the most 'cost efficient' and ideal ? Or is the old 10x50 still queen?

  2. #2
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    Default

    I have both 10x50 and 15x70. I find I use the 10x50 about 99 times for every once I use the 15x70. It's just too heavy and awkward to hand-hold, and I'm too tall to use a binocular on a tripod.

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    Default

    It depends on how you plan on using it.10x50 is perhaps the best size for a hand-held binocular. Anything bigger needs to be tripod mounted.

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    Default

    you know me peter 15x70 binoculars are good for astronomy infact in my opinion when i first started 15 years ago but here is my proper answer and i hope it helps
    If you plan on mounting them why limit yourself to a 10x or a 12x? And since you've already got a 22x, the 18x Nikon would probably not be the best choice. I compared the two once and there was not enough difference in magnification to make it seem worth it to me to view the same objects through both of them. If you did not have the 22x60s, or if you planned to sell them, then the 18x70s would be one of your best choices.

    So I think that the logical choices for you would be the the 15x60 CZJ/Docter Nobilem, the 15x60 W. German Zeiss B/GAT or the 16x70 Fujinon FMT-SX2.

    The original Fujinon 16x70s had 12mm of eye relief and the newer FMT-SX2 version has 16mm of eye relief. This is really an excellent all around binocular and its price is a real bargain compared to its competition. And like the 18x72 Nikons, it also has a 4.00-degree true field but it has a somewhat narrower ("only" 64 degree) apparent field. However, on the plus side most observers think it has a flatter field and that the stars are sharper towards the outer edge than they are in Nikon 18x70s (which is still an excellent binocular).

    Phil Harrington, the author of the book Touring the Universe with Binoculars, published a review of all the high end 60-70mm binoculars in Astronomy Magazine about 2 and a half years ago. He is a long time Fujinon 16x70 user and he rated those #2 and a little ahead of the Nikon 18x70s which he rated #3. He rated the Zeiss B/GATs # 1 and said something to the effect that he had never night sky before in the way that those binoculars revealed it to him. The bad news is that they were very expensive. I think I paid around $1750 for my new pair when I bought them and then the price later creeped up to $1995 and then the binoculars were discontinued about a year and a half ago. Not many were sold in the US but many were sold in Europe and they do show up from time to time on eBay.

    The Carl Zeiss Jena/Docter Optics 15 x 60 Nobilem is also a very nice binocular. I don't think those are made anymore either. I believe that Docter Optics is now selling a 15x56 as their high power binocular. Maybe they think that their 56mm aperture size and higher 15x power will catch the eye of people who might be considering purchasing Zeiss's latest flagship binocular -- the 12x56 Victory IIs. Anyway, used 15x60 Nobilems also show up from time to time on eBay or the used market for about 50% - 60% of the price of a pair of used Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs. Performance wise I'd rate the Nobilems (or at least the pair that I owned for 9 years) as at least 90% as good as the 15x60 B/GATs. The 15x60 Nobilems by the way had the B type eyepieces with longer eye relief. I don't remember what the published figure was but I think it was around 15mm. Also, they advertised their AFOV at 69 degrees and their TFOV at 4.50 degrees. Given how they compare to the Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs I suspect it was more like 65 or 66 degrees which is still quite large and satisfying.

    All factors considered I think that your best bet is still the 16x70 Fujinon FMT-SX2s. They are least expensive of the options, you can get a new pair with a warranty for less than used pairs of CZJ/Docter or Zeiss 15x60s. If you are not happy with them you can always resell them and won't have to take a big financial loss. In other words, there is very little risk if you choose this option and a lot to gain. I think that you will be happy with them and they will fit very nicely between your 10x42s and 22x60s.

    Also, since you asked, the eye relief of the Leica 12x50 Ultravids is 13.8mm and the eye relief of the Nikon 18x70s is 15mm.

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    Default

    you know me peter 15x70 binoculars are good for astronomy infact in my opinion when i first started 15 years ago but here is my proper answer and i hope it helps
    If you plan on mounting them why limit yourself to a 10x or a 12x? And since you've already got a 22x, the 18x Nikon would probably not be the best choice. I compared the two once and there was not enough difference in magnification to make it seem worth it to me to view the same objects through both of them. If you did not have the 22x60s, or if you planned to sell them, then the 18x70s would be one of your best choices.

    So I think that the logical choices for you would be the the 15x60 CZJ/Docter Nobilem, the 15x60 W. German Zeiss B/GAT or the 16x70 Fujinon FMT-SX2.

    The original Fujinon 16x70s had 12mm of eye relief and the newer FMT-SX2 version has 16mm of eye relief. This is really an excellent all around binocular and its price is a real bargain compared to its competition. And like the 18x72 Nikons, it also has a 4.00-degree true field but it has a somewhat narrower ("only" 64 degree) apparent field. However, on the plus side most observers think it has a flatter field and that the stars are sharper towards the outer edge than they are in Nikon 18x70s (which is still an excellent binocular).

    Phil Harrington, the author of the book Touring the Universe with Binoculars, published a review of all the high end 60-70mm binoculars in Astronomy Magazine about 2 and a half years ago. He is a long time Fujinon 16x70 user and he rated those #2 and a little ahead of the Nikon 18x70s which he rated #3. He rated the Zeiss B/GATs # 1 and said something to the effect that he had never night sky before in the way that those binoculars revealed it to him. The bad news is that they were very expensive. I think I paid around $1750 for my new pair when I bought them and then the price later creeped up to $1995 and then the binoculars were discontinued about a year and a half ago. Not many were sold in the US but many were sold in Europe and they do show up from time to time on eBay.

    The Carl Zeiss Jena/Docter Optics 15 x 60 Nobilem is also a very nice binocular. I don't think those are made anymore either. I believe that Docter Optics is now selling a 15x56 as their high power binocular. Maybe they think that their 56mm aperture size and higher 15x power will catch the eye of people who might be considering purchasing Zeiss's latest flagship binocular -- the 12x56 Victory IIs. Anyway, used 15x60 Nobilems also show up from time to time on eBay or the used market for about 50% - 60% of the price of a pair of used Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs. Performance wise I'd rate the Nobilems (or at least the pair that I owned for 9 years) as at least 90% as good as the 15x60 B/GATs. The 15x60 Nobilems by the way had the B type eyepieces with longer eye relief. I don't remember what the published figure was but I think it was around 15mm. Also, they advertised their AFOV at 69 degrees and their TFOV at 4.50 degrees. Given how they compare to the Zeiss 15x60 B/GATs I suspect it was more like 65 or 66 degrees which is still quite large and satisfying.

    All factors considered I think that your best bet is still the 16x70 Fujinon FMT-SX2s. They are least expensive of the options, you can get a new pair with a warranty for less than used pairs of CZJ/Docter or Zeiss 15x60s. If you are not happy with them you can always resell them and won't have to take a big financial loss. In other words, there is very little risk if you choose this option and a lot to gain. I think that you will be happy with them and they will fit very nicely between your 10x42s and 22x60s.

    Also, since you asked, the eye relief of the Leica 12x50 Ultravids is 13.8mm and the eye relief of the Nikon 18x70s is 15mm.

 

 

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