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Discussion Starter #1
Might be goint to the Met for an opera in NYC and will probably have nose-bleed seats. The seats are way up high and in the back of the auditorium.

I am looking an excellent quality binocular that has autofocus that works well in low light, and is small in size.

I don't know the length of a long auditorium, but I wouldn't think I would need the most powerful binoculars, ones that maybe the miltary would need. :)

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
 

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M Mad
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Small and work well in low light don't go together.

Anything more than the typical "opera glasses" would be a bit silly looking.
 

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I have a pair of Bushnells' that can also take digital pictures of the magnified image. It's very cool and good for long distance shots :thumbup:
 

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Token Canadian
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How about binoculars made for "birders"? Generally thay are fairly small and have good low light characteristics. Most of the big name manufacturers produce a set.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sheez, didn't know it could be this complicated. :D Well, the Met is very big I read and if I am in the Family Circle seats I am 5 stories high and far back enough to justify 7 x 50 binoculars. Family Circle seats are the cheapest. Just learned that the first number means 7x and that 50mm means quite a bit of light will be available to a 7 x 50 binocular, but 7 x 50 is one of those big military size ones.

So trade-offs I have to consider are the weight of the binocular, clarity of the optics, amount of light that it lets in, tendency to shake, and finally field of view. There is also something called eye relief for people who wear glasses. A big eye relief would mean the binoculars could fit over a big pair of glasses. I would want a wide field of view to see all the action on the stage. Typical opera glasses are 3x, but reading that they aren't good. I thought I would be too dorky bringing binoculars but I guess many patrons do.
 

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M Mad
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50mm means the size of the objective (front lenses). Light gathering is two things, exit pupil and transmission.

The eixt pupil is the objective size divided by the power. The larger the exit pupil, up to the size of your own pupil means better low light performance.

Transmission has to do with the optical properties of the "glass" and coatings. The cheaper the binoculars, the lower the transmisson, enough so that a top quality 7x35 can out perform a cheap 7x50.

Back when I bought my good binoculars, Fujinon had the best transmission, Steiner was number 2 by a slight marging. But Fujinons were big and heavy. So I got the Steiners, much smaller and ligher, also lexan case means strong but light. Same thing the military uses. NOT cheap, but worth it.
 

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RetiredBum
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Smaller, lighter "birder" binocs are the deal, imo.
The small pair have come a long way in the past few years:
Nikon, Canon, Bushnell, et al.

Smaller and lighter, from my experience as the big pairs are very heavy and unless you've been hoisting bags of stones for a living, holding a heavy pair up for any length of time will induce arm fatigue and eye strain pretty quickly.

I've been to the Met several times: even the FamCircle seats aren't that bad, as the Opera is for sound, ambiance and the overall "scene" onstage as opposed to close-in seats watching a play, etc. You will enjoy it, imo.
GL,md
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pinecone or anybody who knows about binoc's: Been reading up on binoc's. A lot to know, and the price range varies greatly from $40 to almost $400. Nikon makes a nice titanium at either 7x or 5x, both only weigh about 7 oz., but cost almost $400. Nice looking binoc's though. A saw Zeiss one on sale for $100, not as nice looking, but I suppose the specs are comparable. Why the huge price range? The Nikon can't be 100 times better than the $40 one, but is it twice as good? What am I paying extra for . . . quality control, prestige, light weightness?

MotorDavid, what would you recommend sitting in Family Circle. 3x? 5x? 7x? Opinions seem to range from 3x to 7x. 3x would give me the widest field of view, right? Do you think I need to go to 5x sitting in FC?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I didn't do an exhaustive search, but found two that I like.

Nikon 8 x 25 Sportstar Black $70
FOV = 429 feet
weight = 11 oz.
Bright, multicoated optics


Nikon 5 x 15 Titanium $370
FOV = 471 feet
weight = 7 oz.
Silver mirror prism coating
Ultra multicoated lenses

The Titanium does look better to me, but other than than what could make one pair of binocular cost so much more than another? It sounds like the Titanium has better coatings on their lenses and the Titanium is made of out titanium.
 

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A few years back I went to a concert at the Gorge and this lady next to us started talking to us and eventually let us borrow her binoculars which were Nikon and very similar to that Titanium series one. They are still the best I have ever used. From what she was telling me her hubby worked for Nikon and got these things before they were to be released to the public... :thumbup:
 

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M Mad
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Oh yes they can be that much better.

Try to find transmission specifications. The other thing that high end optics have is a flat field. With most optics if you focus on something in teh center of the field of view (FOV) the edges will be out of focus. This leads to eye strain if used a good bit. Higher gualtiy optics will have the enire FOV in focus. We have some microscope objectives that are truely flat field, looking at about $2K for just the objective. Standard, very nice objective is about $200.

Also focusing mechanism with be smoother, no slop and repeatable (ie you can move x turn to focus on something else, then back the same amount to refouc ont he first object, not required, but it does make them nicer to use). Quality ones will just feel better. Sort of like the difference between a BMW and Hyundai. They both do the job of getting you around, but which would you rather drive. :)

Higher quality (more expensive) will have better sealing to keep moisture out of the interior.

Rubber coating is nice for general use ones since they can get knocked around.

Typically Nikon (or any of the high end camera companies), Zeiss, Swarovski, Steiner, Fujinon, Leitz, and such make good products. The Bushnells, Tascos and other lower end brands tend to not be worth the lower price.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think the twighlt factor is similar to the transmission, but don't know the significance of the specs below:

Specifications for Nikon 5x15 Titanium Binoculars:

Prism Type: Roof
Magnification: 5x
Objective Diameter: 15mm
Angle of View: 9.0°
Field-of-View (@ 1000 Yds): 471' (156 m at 1000 m)
Minimum Focus Distance: 4.0' (1.2 m)
Exit Pupil Diameter: 3.0mm
Eye Relief: 16mm
Relative Brightness: 9.0
Twilight Factor: 8.7
Focus Type: Center
Weatherproofing: None
Tripod Socket: No
Dimensions: 3.3 x 4.1" (83 x 103mm) WxH
Weight: 0.44 lb (200 g)

Features of Nikon 5x15 Titanium Binoculars:

* Multicoatings upon each air-to-glass surface
* Titanium construction for lightweight, stylish rigidity
* High-index phase coated BaK-4 roof prisms with silver mirror coatings
* Exceptional close focus performance for birding and insect observations


Package Contents:

* Nikon 5x15 Titanium Binoculars
* Lifetime $10 "No-Fault" Warranty
* 25-Year Limited Warranty
* Case
* Strap

Nikon 5x15 Titanium Binoculars - 7312
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This set of specs talks about relative brightness, perhaps that's also similar to transmission??

Specifications
Type of Prism Roof prism
Coating Fully Multi-Coated Lens
Real Angular Field of View 9***65533;
Field of View at 1000 Yards 472'
Exit Pupil 3 mm
Eye Relief 15.8 mm
Relative Brightness 9
Twilight Factor 8.7
Close Focus Distance (ft) 3.9'
Rubber Coated (Armored) No
Waterproof / Fogproof No
Dimensions 3.3" x 4.1"
Weight 7.1 ounces
 

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Get a pair of Steiners to go with your BMW.

I have a pair of these.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dawg90 said:
Get a pair of Steiners to go with your BMW.

I have a pair of these.

cool looking for sure, interesting brown. :) but look heavy and hoping for something like and small. but thanks, never heard of steiners until this post. :)
 

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Magna said:
cool looking for sure, interesting brown. :) but look heavy and hoping for something like and small. but thanks, never heard of steiners until this post. :)
They make a lot of small, light models, but honestly I don't know much about binocs, listen to the other guys in this thread.
 

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RetiredBum
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Magna said:
...
MotorDavid, what would you recommend sitting in Family Circle. 3x? 5x? 7x? Opinions seem to range from 3x to 7x. 3x would give me the widest field of view, right? Do you think I need to go to 5x sitting in FC?
Magna, from your recent posts, it looks like you've done some serious homework. :thumbup:

I still vote for the lightest pair you looked at/listed. Holding them to your eyes for any length of time becomes an isometric ex., after a few mins. No binoc Xpert here, so I'm sorry I can't comment on the field of view; I personally use 2 pair: one an old cheap, Light pair by Nikon and a very old, very powerful, very heavy pair by Minolta. I use both for birding off my deck in the NC Mtns. I have never used them at the Met...I was there for the sound and the "look", even from the cheap seats. I've had outstanding seats and Fam Circle seats, several times: both were fine, imo. :thumbup:

If you are searching for a pair for this Met trip: cheaper and Lighter...if you are looking for a pair for the Met trip AND birding, babes, sports, etc., more dough usually equals better optics and thus, less eye fatique over time, but lighter is always better, imo, for holding the sumbitches up to your eyeballs for any duration, :D
GL, md
 

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I Like To Peep Into Condos Across The Bay With These Bad Boys:rofl:
 

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