Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
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A few years ago when the budget wasn't too tight and I was in a boat spending mood I purchased two sets of 7X50 marine binoculars.
The first, and reputedly the best, was the Fujinon Polaris model, with built-in compass. After many thousands of sea miles, I like them OK. Built like a tank, great optics, like the built-in compass. These are supposed to be a U.S. Navy favorite, and are roughly equal in quality and price to the Steiners which I found to be bulky and unattractive.
The second, and much less money, was the Navy One model, built by Pioneer. I bought these for the crew/watchstander, and all aboard know not to touch my Fujinon's. These binocs are great to handle, have very good optics, and no built-in compass.
Truth is, except for the compass I really like the Navy One's more than the Fujinon's, because:
1. they have a great shape and are very nice to handle;
2. they have optical performance which I can't distinguish from the Fuji's; and
3. they are much less sensitive about eye placement.
The Fuji's require your eyes to be pretty well centered, and are unforgiving in this aspect. The Navy One's are far less demanding; just slap them up to your eyes and they see very well. No adjusting necessary.
Bottom line: to save money, if I were buying now I'd probably buy a pair of the Navy One's and a Weems & Plath hockey-puck hand bearing compass.