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Learning the HARD way...
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I have a pair of the West Marine Tahiti (7X50) binoculars (built in compass). I like them.
 

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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.

Brian
 

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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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美国华人, 帆船
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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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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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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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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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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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My Admiral gave me a pair of Steiners with the compass last year. They are a blessing. Quick and easy to see if you're dragging at anchor. Seeing marks a snap and if you pick up a point on your boat and land easy to see if you're being set. Quick and dirty way for judging intercept courses. Yes the compass is definitely worth every penny. Be careful about how much magnification you get. More magnification less light coming in the binocs. Less light coming in harder to use at night etc. Find no chromatic or other distortion with the Steiners so no trouble keeping my eyeglasses on when using them.
 

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btw .... image stabilised are not as good at night compared with non IC.
 

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I have a decent set of Fugi's, mid level, nice pair and rugged. But, what I love are my image stabilized Canon bino's. They are nice but NOT rugged at all. I would not use these when it is nasty out. But 90% of the time they are awesome. Very easy to pick up bouy numbers from very far off.
 

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Anyone tried the Bushnell Marine Binoculars?

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I shopped around very carefully, and compared a lot of different pairs. I was prepared to shell out the money for some Steiners, but I ended up going with the Bushnell 7x50 with built in illuminated compass. They are fantastic binocs for the money. They are waterproof, rubberized for shock resistance, and have excellent coated optics, for half the price of the Steiners. The only thing I wish they had is the attached rubber lens caps instead of the cheapo loose plastic ones, but for under $200 I guess you cant have everything!
 

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Schock .... ref the lens caps .... I cannot believe that any pair of binos have those stupid loose caps. Our cheapos have captive yet the Canon ISed don't. Price doesn't seem to come into it.
 

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I have a pair of Steiner Commander binoculars with the compass. They came with the boat. They are excellent quality and the optics are nothing less than spectacular, but at USD900 for a new pair, I'd be reluctant to buy them. They have stood up well to abuse though.
 

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How to test binoculars.....

Hi any advice about suitable binoculars ? Are the ones with built in compasses any value?
Thanks
If you go night sailing at all, transmission is a big deal. The all look fine in broad daylight, but I've learned that there is a good way to compare transmission in a store or boat show. Find a store cabinet or closet far away, at least 60 feet. Open the door and make sure it's dark inside. The difference between a 95% transmission and 92% transmission is quite evident, as long as the thing you're looking at is really quite dark.

Compass is good, but in my experience the usability depends a lot on your dominant eye. If you shoot a rifle, do you shoot left handed or right handed? If the compass is on the correct side for you, it works great. If it's on the wrong side it's just sort of distraction and very difficult to read.

GJ
 
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