Binoculars^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
chris
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 8:11 pm

Binoculars^

Post by chris » Thu May 22, 2003 8:57 pm

Anybody use them in their boat? Mostly I'd be interested in using them to look at wildlife, but they could also be useful for navigation I should think. I gather magnifications above 7 are not much use on the sea because of the motion. The classic naval spec. is 7x50 which are huge and heavy. These are 6x18, nitrogen filled waterproof and about £30 I think. Any thoughts?

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.tasco.com/binoculars/special ... <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END-->

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Binoculars

Post by sub5rider » Thu May 22, 2003 9:29 pm

I find it hard enough just using a digital camera in the boat, bins would be most disturbing for me.

I carry binoculars almost everywhere, but in the boat they're behind the seat.

Couldn't possibly comment on the quality, I use Leitz & Zeiss 10x40's which are at the other end of the market.....
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Binocs

Post by MikeB » Thu May 22, 2003 9:45 pm

Likewise, I couldn't comment on the quality but I do know you "get what you pay for" - - -

Certainly one additional factor to consider is the field of view and that's effected to a great extent if you wear specs - beware.

I'd suggest trying em out - you'll find the difference between the top and bottom of the quality range is enormous.

Chris B
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 10:13 pm

Tried binocs

Post by Chris B » Thu May 22, 2003 10:13 pm

I have a pair of 8 x 20 Zeiss which are great for use from thge beach and at camps. Since they are supposed to be waterproof and they fit in my BA pocket I have tried them from the boat but it is very difficult to get a steady enough image, also they are not as waterproof as I was told. at £30 its worth getting some to try, as 6 x 18 may be a low enough magnification to keep the shake manageable.

chris
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 8:11 pm

Binoculars

Post by chris » Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:41 am

I've just got a pair of these. The quality seems very good - far better than you could reasonably expect for the full price, let alone the discounted one. I'm more than happy, but I haven't tried using them from a boat yet.

www.7dayshop.com/catalog/...ts_id=8336

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Binoculars

Post by Mark R » Sun Jun 22, 2003 4:24 pm

They look like amazing value, I may well order some. However, I have a question - and this is embarrassing - what exactly does 6 x 18 mean?


-----------Mark Rainsley

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Binoculars

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:01 pm

Amazing value at that price they can have any numbers they want!! I wonder if they are really waterproof.

I only tried binoculars once in a kayak and A, nearly fell over and B, nearly vomited.

6 X 18 means 6 times magnification and 18mm diameter front light gathering lenses.

The higher the magnification the steadier your hand/boat needs to be. The bigger the front lens and the smaller the magnification the brighter the image will be in low light situations. Naval glases are 7 by 50 for these reasons. But they are quie bulky.

Twitchers quite often like 8 by 30 as a compromise for size.

Brightness of image counts for a lot, you get some idea of the brightness by dividing the lens size by the magnification so 7x50 will have a brightness factor of 7. 8x30 a brightess of 4 6x18 a brightness of 3. I have a wee Olympus 8x24 with a brightness of 3 which is perfectly adequate for fair weather activities.


About 12 years ago I lost sight of a pal while windsurfing in a 50 knot wind against an outgoing spring tide. I borrowed a pair of 20x50 (sold to the owner on a bigger is best basis) but I could not hold the things steady enough and the field of view was very narrow anyway. After 1 hour I phoned the coastguard. Fortunately he turned up after 90 minutes. He had managed a landfall but could not launch again until the wind had backed down a bit.

After that I have always kept my 7x50s (from my big boat days) in the car when I go windsurfing.

Thought for the day, Confucius say "beware of asking simple question, you might get rambling answer!"

Douglas


Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Binoculars

Post by Steve B » Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:20 pm

6x magnification (not very high.)
18 mm objective lens (this determines the light-gathering power and therefore brightness of the image - 18 mm is pretty small.)

To give some meaning to those figures, useful binoculars for general purpose use are in the 8x30 to 10x50 range. But more powerful binoculars are always much bigger and heavier of course.

The other important specification is field of view - with a small field of view it looks as though you're peering through a hole, a wide field of view is much more satisfactory. Field of view is not quoted which means it's probably nothing to shout about.

I once tried out several compact low cost bins in Dixons and some of them were almost unusable.

But, having clarified just what you'll get for your money, they look like terrific value and ideal for carrying in a boat/BA for occasional use.

Steve B.

(Posted my response before seeing Douglas's. The reason we give different numbers isn't because we disagree, it's because there's a wide range which is ok - the point is that the Eyetx ones are at the bottom end of that range.)
Edited by: Steve B at: 6/22/03 5:27 pm

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Binocs

Post by MikeB » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:50 pm

Field of view and exit-pupil size are the keys to success - I understand the two are linked.

I've got a pair of Zeiss 8/50's which are fantastic - great clarity and superb field of view, even with specs. My brother has our dads "somebodys" 10/50's which are nothing like as good.

I agree with the "you get what you pay for" comments - but at the price they might be decent value provided the field of view is adequate - as a speccy wearer, most binocs fail this test for me. I see these have rubber eye-cups which might help.

Anyway, I've just ordered a pair - if they suck they'll be going straigt back.

Mike.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Binoculars

Post by Jim » Sun Jun 22, 2003 7:15 pm

Douglas wrote:
"Thought for the day, Confucius say "beware of asking simple question, you might get rambling answer!""

He must have been expecting me to answer!

JIM

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Binoculars

Post by Steve B » Sun Jun 22, 2003 8:04 pm

Go for it Jim ;-)

Steve B.

chris
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 8:11 pm

Binoculars

Post by chris » Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:25 pm

Specs. printed on the bins say "Field 7.5 degrees" and "131m/1000m".

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Binocs

Post by MikeB » Sun Jun 29, 2003 2:46 pm

Well, mine were waiting when I got back from a wee trip to the Farnes - pity I wasn't able to take them, seeing as how its a kinda "birdy" area over there - lots and lots of the feathered things.

I have to say I am very impresses with them! They are tiny things but the overall quality of the image is excellent and the field of view is more than acceptable, especailly with the lens cups folded back to allow for specs.

In comparison with my proper Zeiss 8/40's, they hold their own remarkably well and when you consider the price they are remarkably good value indeed.

There is now way I would try and use the Zeiss glasses at sea, in the boat but these little things will become a standard "throw in the boat" piece of kit I think.

So, recommended. 5 stars. Well worth the small amount of loot involved if you want a practical, usable small pair of glasses that you wouldn't cry over if they got lost.

Mike.


User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Binocs

Post by sub5rider » Sun Jun 29, 2003 7:26 pm

"In comparison with my proper Zeiss 8/40's..."

Mike are these Zeiss "West" 8x40 (at @ £650 ?) or the (IMHO) inferior East German manufacture?

I'm fortunate in having both Zeiss and Leitz 10x40's which I still find to be excellent in comaprison with new models even tho' lens coatings have improved a great deal in the past 20 years.

So, if they're good in comparison with what I normally use I may add them to my kit list too...
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Binocs

Post by MikeB » Sun Jun 29, 2003 9:27 pm

East or West?? No idea - they didn't cost £650, thats for sure :o

Carl Zeiss Jenna - Octarem - 8X50 (not 40 - sorry) - bought for watching puffins on Orkney about 7 years ago iirc. A present from my ex-wife as it happens. Not that she was "ex" at the time, and we were on holiday and we'd always wanted a decent pair of glasses.

They are, I suspect, the "inferior" East German ones!! |I But as they have a wonderful field of view, excellent light gathering, sharp definition and a large exit pupil, they certainly do the job very well indeed. I can't recall what they cost - £200?

However, comparing even an inferior £200ish set of binocs with a £13 pair is an interesting comparison and the £13 pair is certainly comparing rather well I think. Which also poses the question as to what like the rather more expensive eyetx ones are like?

I'm no expert on binocs - I do know though that I tried a few pairs of the years and most of the small and/or cheap ones just dont deliver. Looking at a pair of £50 8 X 40's a while back (considering them as paddling glasses) they were very poor indeed. Poor field of view and not that sharp. The little eyetx's are far and away superior in fact.

Hearing tell of what people do spend on buying small, compact binoculars, there is some serious money to be paid it would seem. £650 is small beer compared to the £1500 which (allegedly) was the cost of one rather nice pair I borrowed one day at "the races". Whether I would have taken them paddling is another story but then my £10 paddling watch works just as well as the Rolex that I can't afford and wouldn't want anyway.

Anyway - back to "inferior" binocs - am I not right in thinking that Carl Zeiss was renowned for their lenses and that they were East German?

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

EBay!!

Post by MikeB » Sun Jun 29, 2003 9:29 pm

Just in case anyone is interested : cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISA...gory=10955

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: EBay!!

Post by sub5rider » Sun Jun 29, 2003 10:06 pm

In 1945 some of the Carl Zeiss company factories ended up in the GDR, ie East Germany, and some in the West. The GDR factories were in the town of Jena, and output from this factory generated "hard" currency for the Soviet block. This factory churned out, IMHO, optics that were good in 1939 - ie, not much development was done after the war - or rather, not incorporated into that factories output for the West.

The difference between good and excellent can't be judged on 2 minutes use. I can look thro' either of my pairs for an hour or more continuously without strain, and to use them all day - for instance doing cliff nesting species population counts - comfortably.

So, think I'll give 'em a miss and put me £13 towards the cost of a VHF.
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Binocs

Post by MikeB » Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:01 pm

The difference between the professionals tools and the amatures tools is about 4 times the price - I doubt whether a pro would use the little eyetx's meself!

I must admit the thought of looking thro binocs all day fills mewith some discomfort and in those circumstances you do want good ones.

Rather like spanners - once you've tried Snap-ons you'll want them until you find that a single spanner costs more than the full socket set you bought at a certain large car acessory shop.

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Tools for the job

Post by sub5rider » Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:52 pm

"once you've tried Snap-ons you'll want them until ..."

This could be the start of a very long list of "excellent over the average" so I'm trying to refrain from indulging....

I want to know why toolsets only have one 13mm socket & spanner, and why it is that this particular size disappears from the set almost immediately, never to be seen again. Hmmmm ??

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Tools for the job

Post by Steve B » Mon Jun 30, 2003 3:13 pm

Once you've tried sea bass marinated in calvados, olive oil, herb fennel and ginger you'll never want fish fingers again.

Steve B.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Tools

Post by MikeB » Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:20 pm

"I want to know why toolsets only have one 13mm socket & spanner" - buy a metric/imperial set and then you'll get half inch ones as well :D

Price should never be THE deciding factor ;) quality wins every time, especially long-term. (Will the little eyetx's still function well and look good in 10 years?????)

I must try that sea-bass suggestion though - yummy.

Mike.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Sea Bass?

Post by Jim » Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:57 pm

Handline, fishmonger or supermarket?

JIM

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Pisces

Post by sub5rider » Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:32 am

What's wrong with tinned ?

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Fishy

Post by MikeB » Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:59 am

We ARE talking about QUALITY are we not? Mind you, tinned oysters are rather good - even if they dont work as well as they used to these days . . . :D

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

QUALITY

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:26 pm

It's not just about how often they work......

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Sea Bass?

Post by Steve B » Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:07 pm

Jim: usually fishmonger, we are surprisingly well served in Taunton, but the last one was supermarket I have to confess. Tesco's quality is pretty fair.

Nigel/Mike: tinned smoked oysters are ok for novelty value but I wouldn't want to eat them too often.

Steve B.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Back to Binocs

Post by MikeB » Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:46 pm

Returning to the subject of cheapo binocs, I used the little ones last weekend for the first time "in a boat" - surprisingly useful they were and practical to use at sea as well.

Helpful for checking beaches for camping. And nice to have in the pocket for looking at things. Now a standard part of my paddling kit.

I could also recommend them to the skipper of the VERY big sailing yacht powering along westwards between Little and Great Cumbrae and with scant disregard for the rules of navigation >: Still, even with them he wouldn't have been able to see through his sails I suppose so it seemed like a good idea to take evasive action.

The other four people hanging off the side were obviously too busy drinking G&T's as they didn't seem to be "on watch" either.

On second thoughts, my next purchase is going to be a white flare - putting that through his nice big sails would have got his attention for sure :evil

M.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Clyde traffic

Post by Jim » Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:13 pm

Having conducted sea trials in the area around Gt Cumbrae I can authoritatively say the most dangerous thing around there is the small boat traffic, i.e. yachts and fishing boats!

Neither show any regard when you are hammering up and down the Skelmorlie mile and will happily try and force the ship to take evasive action (means aborting the run, turning going back turning again and building back up to speed - can easily take half an hour to get back to where you where in the trial). For a southbound run there is a certain trick to turning off Inverkip and timing the first part of the approach so you pass Wemyss Bay pier just after the ferry has passed - well they are trying to run a scheduled service!

Last year we did a bollard pull trial at Hunterston terminal, which involved 1km of wire, a strain gauge and a supply ship pulling as hard as it can against the dolphin - took up most of Largs channel! Despite markers on the wire and a picket boat running up and down to head the idiots off, several yachts seemed intent on ignoring all the warnings (and clearly never checked with the harbourmaster at all that day) and tried to sail into the wire. At least the Cumbrae ferry and the fishing boats gave us a wide berth on that occasion.

Of course ships on sea trials are not the safest things to be paddling amongst, that's the time they break down the most, not to mention not having a proper crew on board and most of the people on board being busy repairing (I mean testing) things!

What was this thread about?????

JIM

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Clyde traffic

Post by sub5rider » Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:17 am

"up and down the Skelmorlie mile"

Surprised that this is still done, it seems a bit archaic when most vessels will be fitted with (D)GPS systems. Why not just hammer up and down a bit of water that's got no other traffic?

Or can't the instruments be trusted during sea trials?
Nigel, aka Sub5Rider, Onioneer

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Clyde traffic

Post by Jim » Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:47 pm

Some of the instruments can't be trusted during trials, the log for example is set up during the trial....

GPS (or preferably DGPS) is a possibility and we have been looking into using it for speed trials, and indeed when the speed is not the primary requirement owners have let us use it. Generally though the GPS speed lags a little, although ships don't tend to change speed very quickly so this isn't a problem. When taking the speed from a measured mile there are a few cross checks you can do, like against the GPS to see how different it's result is, and it can be. Also the speed is always averaged over an exact mile so all runs are directly comparable. There may be weather and sea conditions to consider, and by doing equal and opposite runs at each power we can negate these effects to some extent.

Main problem with GPS in the past was never knowing if the US would turn SA back on, I understand the latest version correction technology (WAAS?) renders this irrelevant? Although it should be noted that only about 3 of the 12 sattelites required for global coverage are actually up there yet.

JIM

Post Reply