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Old 03-17-2009
erps's Avatar
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Fortunately my job allows me to use some nice optics. Like I said earlier, I have the $700 Fujinon 7X50 and I loved them. Out on the water though, as we would make our approach to a boat it became apparent that the guy with the binoculars could not read the boat registration any sooner than the guy without the binoculars because of the motion. I picked up the Cannon 10x42 binoculars. On a calm day, you could read boat numbers from a distance on the fly, although with any chop, we would have to slow down to around 10 knots. I could read crab pot buoy numbers from great distances too. S.D. is right that they are not as bright as the 7x50's at night, but the steadiness almost makes up for it.

Now I'm not a big spender. When it comes time to buy a nice set of binoculars for my boat I haven't decided whether the extra money is worth it or not, but I certainly haven't ruled it out. I've been watching local pawn shops to see if I can pick up a set for a reduced price. I would love to give the real expensive IS binoculars a try sometime to see what they're all about, but on second thought, then I would know what I'm missing.
S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA

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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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Old 03-19-2009
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I know we should support Sailnet, but I just thought I'd mention that West Marine put their house brand Binoc's on sale. The Tahiti model which was given rave reviews by Practical Sailor was knocked down $90 from $29x to $200.

There is also a 10% off coupon floating around plus, if you use a referral site (like Fatwallet Fatcash) you get an additional 4% off.

I love you sailnet, but times are really tight...
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Old 03-19-2009
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Fujinon 7x50 + 12x32 stablized.

I think its worth it to buy good binocs...I have Fujinon 7x50 FMTRC-SX are outstanding. Compass or no compass, either way. Defender has a sale coming up, and even their current price is less than Eagle Optics, which is pretty darn good. .

But I also have a pair of Fujinon 12 x 32 Techno-Stabi Juniors, which are really, really cool.

These two binocs serve different purposes, and I need them both.

When you are working your way into a new cove at dusk and you are trying to figure out if that rock is nearer or further than that bouy, you want the super coated 7x50's. They have an amazingly bright image, you can fall right into it.

When you are trying to figure out what the name of the boat that just threw that huge wake at you or if the sign on the piling says visitors welcome, trespassers will be shot, or diesel $4.55/gal you want stabilized binocs. The image is not as bright, and its harder to judge distances and relative sizes, but the trick of a stabilized image and what it does to readability is like science fiction come true.

Last edited by TaylorC; 03-19-2009 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Set notification option off.
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Old 03-20-2009
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Need two diff binocs

Looks like the best bet is to get two binocs:

1. 7X50 - with compass & rangefinder
probably Fujinon or Steiner

2. 12 or 14X50 - with IS (no compass)
probably Canon, Steiner, Fujinon

Apparently some binocs have auto focus, anyone know which ones have this feature.

Actually the beaten up binocs I currently use are quite similar to the two above in terms of power. I find I hardly ever bother with the 7X50's since if I need binocs I want the max power even though it is sometimes "almost" impossible to use them when the boat motion is abrupt.

Thanks folks for your comments.
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