Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Time to Buy Re: Time to Buy

Luka B

    [quote author=sregener link=topic=275.msg4934#msg4934 date=1332843108]
    Everything I have read says the Canon IS line is the absolute best for astronomers, with the steady image having the same effect as adding 20mm to the aperture…
    But some people see and hate the jitters that they can cause. Also the IS mechanism is electro mechanical, which can break. Zeiss makes  a 20×60 IS that is purely mechanical(or magnetic?), which is twice as expensive as the Canon. The Canon's are more divisive in the love it or hate it sort of way than any other.

    Fujinon's Polaris line has always been top notch in quality. They can have problematic "nose relief" I've heard, for people with big noses and deep set eyes. They have changed the coatings a bit, but they were always very good. Contrast and sharpness are excellent, and they're all individual focus. I've heard they changed some of the optical design, but that's a rumor that I can't confirm or deny. They have changed the objective covers though, for the worse, but that's a small gripe. In the 15×70 and the 10×70 size, many people think that the Oberwerk Ultra or Garrett SS are as good as the Fujinon 16×70 for half the price. But for the 10×50 size, the Fujinon is better.

    Regarding Vixen, I've heard bad things about their ARK series. But their 7×50 Forresta are superb. Their very large binoculars(mount only) are good.

    Leica's are excellent, but expensive, and for astronomy you might get more from the Canon IS series, or Nikon Prostars. Leupold's are good, but rarely the best for the money. Steiners are great for hunting, and not so popular with the astronomy crowd. Supposedly they use more glue and plastic and less screws and metal than competitors, but that's only a problem with fixing them, not viewing through them. Swarovsky and Zeiss make amazing binoculars but not big ones. The best one I've heard is the Zeiss BGAT 15×60 porro, which some say is best astronomy binocular ever.

    Binoculars are very personal things, and can be a great fit or a very poor fit, like gloves or shoes. Deciding what to see and where you want to use them, and then how much aperture and magnification you want will partly determine what you should consider. And then of course price.