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Old 02-16-2013
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which binoculars ??

Hi any advice about suitable binoculars ? Are the ones with built in compasses any value?
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

I have a pair of the West Marine Tahiti (7X50) binoculars (built in compass). I like them.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

We have tried a wide variety of binocs and have been very happy with our Fujinons. We carry a cheap set and the much better military grade. The cheap set float but are not nearly as clear as the higher end Fujis.

The reason we went with Fuji over Steiner is the field of view at the eyepiece (I forget the dang name for that!!) is better. Steiner also makes a great set though and I would consider them too and see which feels best. The only negative of the high-end Fuji is they are heavier than the steiners and larger as I recall.

Regarding the compass, yes, I would have at least one set with a compass in them. You can use it to take bearings and verify with charts. Because you have narrowed in on the object of interest, I believe they give a much more accurate reading than using the boats compass.

Do be aware, a good set of binocs are not cheap... I think our low end Fujis were around $200 and our Polaris were 600-700. Well worth it though (especially when setting on the deck and doing night viewing... really clear). They are also great at night. You can see things with them that otherwise are often too dim to see.

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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

I've got a Nikon Ocean Pro and a WM Tahiti. Both at 7x50 and both have compass.

Optically he Nikon is remarkable, the Tahiti is fine as a second pair.

You definitely want 7x50, its the right trade off of mag power and stability. The compass is nice feature but too jumpy to get an accurate bearing (I use a proper hand bearing compass for that ... I like the hockey puck style)

I do use the compass though ... say I'm looking for a marker and I know it should be at ~235 degrees ... the compass is very helpful in those instances.
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Re: which binoculars ??

Depending what your needs are? If you need to read off the number on the buoy to get a fix, you need a good one. Go for a Steiner. Oh yeah, alway with compass option. No matter how many GPS on board, it is always nice to get a fix on the paper chart when I am in a unfamiliar water.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

Steiner are overpriced and overvalued in my opinion. Many years ago in the Dusseldorf boat show I went to the dealer to buy one. The guy represented two brands, Steiner and Eterna by Silva. I tried both and at least with the illumination on the boat fair, the Silva give a more luminous and better image. I bought the Eterna instead at almost half the price.

Now I am with my second pair and I have no regrets. I don't know who make the binoculars. They remain Eterna but Silva was bought and today they are represented by Nexus.

Nexus Eterna Marine II 7x50. Navigation Binoculars, Waveinn.com, buy, offers, nautical & fishing
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

Steiner Commander XP

The optics are really great and they're good in the rain.

Steiner Commander XP Binoculars
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

Definitly with compass.
If you are a couple then get two paurs, His and Hers, then when you are looking at something you just call out the bearing and the other person can find it too.

I doubt you need Steiners... but if you can afford them go for it... Oh, Image stabalised is good too.... but its money!
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

Johnny, unless you tell us what your intended USE is, answers will be meaningless.

eh's suggestion of WM is good. Why? In my case, because they have a lifetime warantee. I've replaced a few over the course of the years - like free replacement binoculars!!! Yes, of course, they shouldn't fog up, but stuff happens. I've never found a need for the compass feature.

Now, if I was going offshore for years, I'd have a completely different approach and would start to deal with the better manufacturers.

I've been sailing on boats with binoculars for 25 years.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: which binoculars ??

We've tended to use whatever the Oz version of West Marine has on sale as our day to day pair. A pair of Tamaya military style are similar in the day but definitly better night visio. Bought a pair of Canon Image stabilised late last year and although not 7 * 50 they are excellent on board in a sea. Biggest problem with the cheapies is that one decent knock is all it takes to bugger them.

The Tamayas otoh are still working perfectly well into their dotage. then again maybe that has something to do with looking after them while the cheapies tend to just hang about the cockpit.

Andrew B
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