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  #11  
Old 03-30-2008
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Defender has a great deal on Fujinon WP-CF Mariner XL Binoculars. These do not have a compass but they are clearance special for $85.49! That means that they are under $100 for a really nice pair of binoculars. I bought a pair a month ago (when they were $89.99) and I am very impressed.

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  #12  
Old 03-30-2008
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I picked up a set of the older model Steiner 7x50 Navigators a while back. Price was right, they are great binocs. On the down side the compass is very hard to see in the field of view. I'm guessing that is one of the things they changed on the new design.

Get 7x50's you are not carrying them in the woods all day, there is no need to worry too much about weight.
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Old 03-30-2008
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PS did a review of low/mid-priced binocs a couple of years ago and the WM model mentioned earlier was one of their top picks along with the Nikon Mariners 7X50's. The Stieners were also rated highly but more expensive and I think they were individually adjustable eyepieces. I went with the Nikons because I found a great deal on them from one of the big NY Camera/Optics catalog outlets and thought one hand focus might be a good feature on a boat.

They later rated high end binos and said this was an area where the extra money did buy better performance but for me its hard to rationalize over a grand for a pair of binos to use on a boat. I could drop several pairs of my Nikons overboard for the price of a pair of Swaroski's.
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I have owned a set of thoese Fujinon Polararis binoculars, 7x50...

Eagle Optics - Fujinon Polaris 7x50 FMTRC-SX Binocular

...for about 10 years now. Good optics, but the most stupid night compass illuminator imaginable, with a wee disc battery and no O-ring to keep the seawater out. I never even tried it, it was so stupid. I wrote to them to complain, but they did not do me the courtest of a reply.

If you could get a similar spec binocular, with a SEALED night illuminator for the compass, you would be on a winner.

They double up as decent astronomy binocs too, for those that are interested. They are a bit heavy for that, but they do work.
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Old 03-30-2008
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I also have the WM binocs, and am very happy with them. I forget the model name (Tahiti? maybe). List is $299, but they regularly go on sale for $250 (or less).

They are nitrogen filled, and have a compass. 7 X 50
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I have some 7x50 fujinons with a compass that i got on ebay for only $100. If you keep looking good deals come up every now and then.
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Old 03-31-2008
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I have the WMs with the compass and I'm very happy with them.

I've used the 7x50 fujinons on several trips on friends boats and think they're a step up from the WM, but it's a small step up.
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I have a pair of the Steiner Commander V 7x50 with compass and love them if price is not a major consideration (they were a gift). Had some Nikon 7x50 previously, which worked fine, but the image and light from the Steiner's is noticeably better. As mentioned previously, I also don't have much need for the image stabilization for the cost.
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Old 03-31-2008
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I have the Nikon StabilEyes and like them. Maybe because my other pair were cheap WM's I thought the difference was 'worth the extra money'. As for electric use after 4 or 5 years I'm only on my second battery... but I'm not a heavy user. It is a bit of a pain to have to switch them on then switch the stabilize function on. No doubt if the stabilize function was left on for long periods of time it would burn up batteries so I do conserve and kick in the stabilize only when needed. As with everything the old pair is still around for backup but I find in any kind of chop they are close to useless.
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Old 03-31-2008
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for when i need the standard view, 7x50 fuji. But when you gotta shot that harbor approach and need to comfirm the GPS or paper chart, and when the nudies are a few boats down in the Great Salt Pond on Block Island these work:

Sharper Image : Spion 20X-140X70 Zoom Binocular : Binoculars
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