The EL only has one downside, and it's a big one: price. Listing for $2,888 these bins cost as much as a used car and are more of an investment than a purchase. However, if you're a serious birder or wildlife watcher that wants the absolute best, or you're embarking on a once in a lifetime safari, these bins will undoubtedly elevate your experience.
Swarovski’s EL 10×42 is a fantastic  pair of rangefinder binoculars. The specifications only confirm that, but you’re more than likely more interested in how they stack up, rather than numbers. They look very good, with a dark green armor that’s actually very pleasant to hold with it’s texture and warmth. The cutouts on the back make them even more comfortable to hold. It has a Hawk badge embedded, which gives it a very classy look, and Swarovski claim that it’s also hypoallergenic. The bridge area has the same armoring, and all together, this is a very elegant pair of binoculars with rangefinders. The body has an open-bridge design, and it’s a bit longer than the Zeiss Victory we’ll discuss a bit later on. The weight is around 840 grams without the strap or caps, which is a pretty respectable weight for a premium pair of binoculars. The body makes use of magnesium alloys, and it is sealed against water up to 4 meters.
The sole obligation of Celestron under this limited warranty shall be to repair or replace the covered product, in accordance with the terms set forth herein. Celestron expressly disclaims any lost profits, general, special, indirect or consequential damages which may result from breach of warranty, or arising out of the use or inability to use any Celestron product. Any warranties which are implied and which cannot be disclaimed shall be limited in duration to a term of one year from the date of original retail purchase. 
The comfortable ergonomic chassis is made of a fiberglass reinforced polycarbonate to help reduce weight, without sacrificing strength while adding impact and temperature resistance. Being resistant to temperature changes not only ensures that the housing will remain a constant temperature, even in cold and wet conditions, but will not experience the expansion and contraction common in metal chassis that can cause the optical elements to move out of alignment over time and preventing the binocular's ability to achieve sharp focus. The chassis is covered in a black rubber armoring that helps to protect it from drops and impacts, and provides a slip-resistant grip.
Now, it’s no secret that there are plenty of choices. From cheap, sub-par quality pairs of binoculars with rangefinders, to high-end, premium options from reputable manufacturers which have supreme build quality and optics, the market is fairly saturated. This means that there is something for everyone. Whether you’re after an entry-level option that’s great for only a few things that you really need, or a premium binocular from the likes of Carl Zeiss and Swarovski that have everything you need, and more, as well as some added benefits in terms of quality and optics, you can get something that’s right for you.
One of the best features of the Athlon Optics Midas ED was the ease and precision of adjusting the focus. It smoothly and accurately adjusts across a wide range of focal depths. Some models, like the Nikon Prostaff 5, focused very quickly, but this often translated to loss of detail at distance, or basically, the smooshing together of anything more than a couple hundred feet away into one focusing position. This sounds confusing, but makes sense if you think of a focusing knob the way you might a volume control. Less rotation between silence and loudness means you can get between the extremes quickly, but you may not be able to get to precisely the level you want; on the other hand, a volume knob with too much rotation will take forever to adjust. With binoculars you want a happy medium that focuses fast but allows for granular accuracy. In other models, even within the same brand (e.g., Nikon Prostaff 7S), this focusing issue was less noticeable, and they performed well in this regard. In still others, such as the now-discontinued Opticron Explorer WA Oasis-C pair, the knob was sluggish, requiring a good crank around several times to focus on anything near or far.

And the sky is always changing. Summertime offers such showpiece sights as Mizar and Alcor, the famous pair of stars at the bend in the Big Dipper's handle, and the perfectly round little fuzzball of M13, the Great Cluster in Hercules. Sweep the summer Milky Way from Cygnus overhead through Sagittarius low in the south, looking for knots of stars and luminous bubbles of interstellar gas. Some sections of the Milky Way look, to me, better in binoculars for astronomy than through any telescope.


Kicking things off with the focus and built in functionality, adjusting the focus is a piece of cake and it’s still surprisingly accurate. You won’t be having any issues with it, that’s for sure. As far as functionality goes, there is a built-in compass and rangefinder. Seeing as it’s a military/marine oriented pair of binoculars, the compass can actually prove to be pretty useful. The fact that it’s a rangefinder binocular means that it measures distance as well. At this price point, we couldn’t blame you for thinking that the distance measured is going to be incorrect however, it is pretty accurate. Whether you’re out on the water, or birdwatching, you’ll find it pretty useful. It’s worth mentioning that you will find an illumination switch on the compass, as well as the rangefinder.

Binoculars Built for BirdingBinoculars are so common a companion of outdoor enthusiasts that many pack them with hardly a second thought. They’re tossed into a backpack alongside bug spray, sunblock, and waterproof matches with not half the care afforded the typical cell phone. But to some outdoors groups, binoculars serve a highly specific and eminently indispensable purpose. And there is perhaps no group for whom this rings more true than for bird watchers. If you count yourself among this exceptionally technical clan of hobbyists, here are 10 birding binoculars you’ll want to know more about – even if you know about them already.1.      Vortex Diamondback 8x28$175 – 225This compact roof prism model is a true bargain for birders (or birdists, as some prefer) searching for a lightweight binocular they can carry on any occasion, in any pocket or pack. Argon-filled, with multi-coated lenses and phase-correction dielectric coating, the Diamondback is valued for its close focus (2 meters) and macro clarity. It is as adept at scanning for far-off albatrosses as it is at taking in the details of the little auks flapping so close you can feel the wind on your face.2.      Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars$175 – 225Wide field of view, BAK-4 prisms with phase and dielectric coatings, two-meter close focus, magnesium alloy body, and fully multi-coated optics ensure that this binocular is lightweight, durable, and sharp of sight at both short and long ranges. Though the model does not allow the same degree of light-gathering as other more expensive bins, its wide view is excellent for birders because it necessitates less movement to keep an eye on the avian wildlife.3.      Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x42$300 – 350Reviewers have praised this model for several reasons key to birding: Its rubberized waterproof design is durable for weather conditions birders frequently find themselves in, and its supple focus knob allows for easier tracking of birds moving among trees and other obstructions. The Ranger ED may be slightly too large for distance backpacking, but its image quality is top notch. Take these bins on trips that don’t require much hiking.4.      Zeiss Terra ED 8x32$425 – 475Since its foundation in Germany in 1846, Zeiss has established a reputation as one of the world’s leading optics companies. The Terra ED is among the best of its name. Noted for its impressive field of view, which is said to surpass most of the other Zeiss models, these binoculars make an ideal accompaniment to any nature adventure – and hence, a fine fit for birdwatchers. An under-armor harness, plastic storage case, and nice velvet bag are also included.5.      Steiner Predator 8x42$425 – 475Another German optics company, Steiner field-tests every lens it produces. Its Predator Pro has good mobility, a bright picture, and is simple to use. The color adjusted transmission coating is designed to increase contrast and light transmission, making wildlife (particularly fast-moving bird life) easier to see – though some reviewers have been unable to notice the difference when compared to lenses without the coating. Its magnesium alloy chassis is also durable and lightweight.6.      Athlon Cronus 10×42$475 – 525Ideal for birders whose top priority is high-quality glass at a reasonable price, the Cronus is Athlon’s flagship model and commands a solid reputation among similar Nikon and Bushnell scopes. The ESP dielectric coating makes for excellent light transmission and clarity, two aforementioned priorities in birding. Reviewers have praised this model’s minimum focus distance (two meters) and detail when glassing at ranges around 300 meters (985 feet). Even at viewing distances of several miles, Cronus performed at least as well as more expensive birder-loving brands like Zeiss and Swarovski.7.      Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42$475 – 525The Monarch line has always been Nikon’s best-selling binocular product, a beloved choice among birders the world over. And though the 8x42 Monarch 5 is said to be their most popular model in terms of sales, the 7 (as professed by Nikon itself) is its top-performing binocular. Nikon is certainly qualified to make this statement: Founded in Japan in 1917, it has its hand in many areas of image technology. Not only that, its Monarch 7 is a quarter the cost of similar bins like the Zeiss Victory and is among the lightest and smallest in the Monarch family. The 7 uses a lens coating that sets it above the 5 and 3 models, and its online reviews attest to its quality.8.      Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42$475 – 525Building on the success of the award-winning Endeavor ED, the ED II offers resolution-enhancing BAK4 roof prisms with phase coatings, extra-low dispersion glass, a close focus of two meters, fully multi-coated optics, 19.5mm of eye relief, and a magnesium body that is proofed against fog and water. (Rumor has it other binocular producers have had to lower their prices to better compete with Vanguard’s respectable position in the market.) Vanguard uses high-end Hoya optics from Japan to provide optimum clarity, though some reviews have mentioned that the adjustment on these bins can be a little stiff at first.9.      Leica 10x25 Ultravid BCR$725 – 775The Leica-proclaimed “reference standard,” these compact binoculars are compared to just about every other compact model available. In some reviews, they are the lightest and smallest models tested. It may seem that Leica needed to make huge compromises in order to produce such a small model, but this does not appear to be the case: Regardless of their size, these bins still have many of specs modern birders have come to expect, such as multi-coating on every air-to-glass surface, phase-coated roof prisms, nitrogen-purged waterproof housing, and internal focusing. This model is perfect for bird watchers who like to put some hike into their hobby.10. CL Companion Polaris 8x30 B$1,325 – 1,375Swarovski is known for making glass of such superior quality it can virtually be marketed as jewelry. While the CL Companion Polaris is not as extravagantly outfitted (or priced) as some other Swarovski bins, it is a winning choice for both bird watching hikes and trips that require little foot traffic whatsoever, like Arctic or Antarctic bird watching cruises. Use its 124-meter (372-foot) field of view to get oriented, then zoom in using the 8x magnification. The binocular weighs 17.6 ounces (500 grams), measures 4.7 inches (119 mm) long, and has a comfortable ergonomic design, making it an easy item to pack for any occasion or distance. Keep these bins at your side and you’re sure to amass all manner of bird-filled sights to share with your fellow members in the American Birding Association, or any birdwatching society to which you happen to belong.


Which Monarch are you looking at? There are three models in the series: 7, 5, & 3. The three is the basic model and performs great, it's not really on-par with the Zeiss...for that you'd need to go with the 7/5 as they get upgrades over the 3 with extra low-dispersion glass, and phase-corrected dielectric coated prisms so there won't be any color fringing and the resolutiona and contrast will be greatly improved. The main difference between the 7 & 5 is that the 7 has a wide field of view to present you with a really immersive observational experience.

What pair of binoculars that you should get, will depend on how specialised and exactly what you want to use them for: The best binoculars for someone who wants to observe the stars with, but also then to use during the day, will be different to those that want to only use the binoculars for star gazing and don't have to worry about carrying them about.
The good news is we really didn't run into any binoculars that were uncomfortable to hold. No matter what model you buy you'll likely be able to use them for hours on end without any nagging discomforts. However, small touches like the nice thumb indents on the Vortex Viper makes the bins feel a bit more ergonomic and comfortable. Likewise, the tacky rubber coating of the Nikon Monarch models lends a solid feeling grip whether you're fondling the barrels like you're double fisting beer cans, or using a dainty fingertip grip as if you're sipping tea at a fancy party.

The Swarovski EL series has been the upper echelon of hunting optics for years and the EL Range is no different. Swarovski rates this unit to 1500 yards, which is a fairly accurate limit. The EL Range doesn’t have the raw ranging power that the other high end units have but for most hunters having the ability to solidly range past 1000 yards is plenty.
The design of the rangefinder binocular makes a big difference. It has to be compact and lightweight for you to easily handle. The weight defines how easily you can take it with you. You should have the ability to carry it with you without being fatigued. Also, if it is too compact, there is always a chance of the device falling off from your hands. A balance between compactness and weight would be the ideal match for a good rangefinder binocular.
They also have the added bonus in that they are far more versatile and you can use them for many other applications. If you plan to use this method, you should keep magnification below 12x in order to maintain steadiness. A good pair of binoculars with a magnification of 7x to 12x and a large objective lens will show you planets in our solar system, hundreds of star clusters, nebulae and even some galaxies.
My use is 50/50 day/night celestial/terrestrial. I have found in the past when using a 10×50 I’ve always wanted some more distance/zoom. I have never used a larger power than this and am happy with the reviews of the Meade. portability is not an issue and neither is the weight, i will be using them hand held. budget is the driver and the most bang for buck. Given the above would you recommend the Meade 15×70?
The Leica Geovid HD-B is an advanced model with a versatility that can handle target shooting and hunting. The model features automatic adjusting that alters ballistics based on the atmospheric conditions when in use. It also has fantastic optics with the ability to view targets clearly at over 1,500 yards. Its field of view is 300 feet even at 1,000 yards.
Seeing as all of the major manufacturers of optics have a pair or two of laser rangefinder binoculars, it’s no surprise that Nikon wants to be in that game as well. The LaserForce 10×42 is among their best offerings, but what really makes it stand out is the 1900 yards distance however, that number should be taken with a grain of salt. Even Nikon themselves mention that the number was achieved under their measurement conditions, and you might not be able to achieve the same in less-than-ideal conditions. Aside from that, its features and specifications are more or less on par with other premium offerings from that price range. Let’s take a better look at the specs.
In addition to the built-in rangefinder, the binoculars also include a compass in order to properly get your bearings. Sturdily constructed, they are designed to be shockproof so that they can withstand rougher environments on your adventures. Because of these qualities, the Barska Outdoor Marine waterproof rangefinding binoculars are truly impressive.
Magnification: This determines the extent to which you can make faraway objects appear closer. Experts suggest that most people find a happy medium—enough magnification to identify birds from a distance, but not so much that unsteady hands become more noticeable and the viewing area becomes too small. Higher magnification is also less than ideal when you’re tracking a moving target, which will probably be the case when you’re birding.
Technically, the type of prism utilized in binoculars is a double-Porro prism, but is always shortened to just “Porro.” It is also always capitalized because it is the last name of the inventor, Ignazio Porro, who designed this prism system around 1850. This most basic of prism configurations is defined by the folded light path, which displaces the point where the light enters and exits the prism, which results in the familiar look of a “traditional” or “old-school” binocular.
Binoculars are much easier to learn to use than a telescope. It's a little like comparing a point-and-shoot camera to the type used by professional photographers. You intuitively "point" the binoculars at what you wish to see and look through them. This intuitive "pointing" makes it significantly easier to find objects and subsequently move from one celestial object to the next. It's easier, using binoculars, to learn the locations of planets, constellations, galaxys, and clusters and observe their orderly movements — thus establishing the foundation for greater understanding.

Modern binoculars all come with an adjustable eyecups around both eyepieces. This is either a foldable rubber cup or one that adjusts in and out using screwing motion. The simple rule of thumb is that if you wear glasses make the eyecup as small as possible, i.e. you need to get your glasses as close to the glass eyepiece in your binocular as you can.
Look for lenses of good quality, multi-coated if you can afford it since the targets you pursue are so far away that you can make use of any additional feature you can get. Better quality lenses will increase sharpness and brightness, enhance contrast and generally render a better image than low-quality ones. It all comes down to your budget and preferences, of course.
It seems like today manufacturers are putting cameras in or on just about anything – and binoculars are no exception. This growing class of binoculars feature integrated cameras, up to 13MP, with color display screen and a memory card slot. A simple user interface allows you to capture HD video or still images and either use the memory card to upload them to a computer or plug a cable into the two and transfer that way. For many people, if there isn’t a picture then it didn’t happen, so with this kind of binocular when you see that rare bird during the Spring Migration you can now quickly grab video of it and prove that you saw it.
Originally, they were used by military organizations. They wanted their soldiers to have as much real-time mission data as possible, and this technology let them have just that in specific situations. That technology later on trickled down, and we now have it available in the hunting and commercial enterprise world. They’re so common, actually, that people who use a pair of binoculars on a daily basis won’t even take a look at anything else but binoculars with rangefinders for hunting, or for anything else for that matter.
Eyecups on the binoculars ensure that your eyes will be at the correct distance, but if you wear glasses, you can't get your eyes as close to the lenses, so you need to adjust the eyecups to ensure that even with your glasses on your eyes are the correct distance from the ocular lenses. Binoculars with a longer eye relief are ideal for those who wear glasses as they basically project the image further beyond the ocular lens, giving you plenty of room to play with. So if you wear glasses, you should be looking for an eye relief of at least 15mm, to see the full image full image.

Seeing as all of the major manufacturers of optics have a pair or two of laser rangefinder binoculars, it’s no surprise that Nikon wants to be in that game as well. The LaserForce 10×42 is among their best offerings, but what really makes it stand out is the 1900 yards distance however, that number should be taken with a grain of salt. Even Nikon themselves mention that the number was achieved under their measurement conditions, and you might not be able to achieve the same in less-than-ideal conditions. Aside from that, its features and specifications are more or less on par with other premium offerings from that price range. Let’s take a better look at the specs.
Each product's clarity score was based on detailed observations, in varying conditions, to critically compare and rate performance. Factors that can influence clarity are objective lens size, lens material, lens coatings, and optical alignment. A larger objective lens allows more detail into the system, this has to do with the airy pattern and airy disc. ED or high-density glass corrects aberrations. This is important because a larger diameter objective lens can create more aberration issues.

With binoculars at this level they are offering as much as top-quality telescopes and will bring galaxies and deep-sky objects into view. They have BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics as well as individual eyepiece focus to ensure optimal focus position. The body of these Celestron binoculars is water-resistant and they come in a padded carrying case for travel and safe storage.

There are zoom binocular rangefinders which let you use the variable magnification feature. In these, you have the opportunity to change the magnification depending on the range they offer. If the rangefinder binocular is denoted as 7-15×40, you have the ability to adjust the magnification from 7x to 15x. This can be done by turning a lever or wheel which is placed at the center of the binocular perfectly within reach to your thumb or index finger. This offers great versatility to your rangefinder binoculars magnification. But at the same time, it can hamper the quality of the image if deliver.
Compact binoculars are essentially scaled-down versions of full-size binoculars, with similar rubberized construction to protect against impacts, waterproof seals, a central focusing knob, twisting eyecups, and foldable hinges—yet they are about half the size and weight (around 10 ounces vs. 25 ounces or more). Because the lenses are narrower, the field of view (how wide an area you see while looking through them) is reduced compared with that of any full-size model. But, particularly if you have neck/shoulder pain or don’t mind sacrificing a little optical performance for the ease of packing them in a pocket or tote bag, they’re a solid choice for “light” birding, butterfly-watching, or botanizing. They’re also ideal for mountain biking or backpacking, when you may want to look at a couple things on the trip, but they’re not constantly in use.
Let's take just a moment to consider getting astronomy binoculars with zoom optics at this point. You're probably normal and about now you're thinking that getting zoom optics would be especially intelligent when considering astronomy. Zoom binoculars can seem like an astute purchase due to a perceived greater utility. The popularity of zoom configurations is largely based on the range of magnifications available in on instrument. Unfortunately, the very aspect that makes it seemingly attractive can also work against it optically. You can learn more about the optical considerations in choosing zoom binoculars on the How to Buy Binoculars page (this link takes you directly to the section on zoom optics).
The Leupold BX-1 Yosemite is a good set of binoculars that produces clear images. These binoculars are lightweight, waterproof and fogproof, so they can handle wet conditions without damage to the optics inside. They’re low powered and have the smallest objective lens of any binoculars we reviewed. Pros: These Leupold binoculars are some of the lightest we reviewed at 17oz. An 8x magnification and 118m field of view make them a good choice for birdwatching and sporting events where things move quickly.
How much did the binoculars help? Probably not too much. That’s why to really test the quality and effectiveness of the equipment, you need to start with the unfamiliar, such as, say, a set of birds that you don’t see too often. Seeing unfamiliar birds requires the assimilation of a large number of unfamiliar marks all at once, preferably under physically demanding, or at least very different, circumstances.
Hunting binoculars make it easy to spot prey at long distances so you can clearly detect and perfect your shot. We feature binoculars with 12x and higher magnifications for long-range viewing and hunting purposes, as well as options with scratch-resistant coatings, secure lenses and comfortable eyecups for long periods of use. Choose between our different durable and reliable roof prism binoculars and porro prism binoculars to find the best match for your specific hunting needs. Just remember that while you're on the hunt, be sure you're carrying the best binoculars that Academy can offer.
Weighing at 34.7 ounces, it is not the lightest of the lot. You might feel a bit fatigued after carrying it for a longer time period. But it has long-range capabilities which outweigh this aspect. The range is estimated to be from 10 to around 2000 yards, which is much more than a mile. The binocular has a micro sd card slot which can be used to feed the ballistic information. Having a field of view of about 374 feet per 1000 yards, it is one of the biggest you will come across. The range and field of view go hand in hand to deliver you the view of a much larger area through the binocular, something which most of the rangefinder binoculars cannot offer. This will easily make you forget the weight of the device.
Features: It is super powerful and portable to be taken. Suitable for both indoor  and outdoor using. Durable and protective for long time using. FMC glass lenses deliver the ultimate brightness and resolution. Ergonomic design for comfortable handling. It can apply in  military, travel and more places. Streamlined shape,smooth central focus knob for simple operation.
The binocular renders views in high contrast with accurate color through the use of high-definition (HD) extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, an apochromatic lens configuration, XR-Plus lens coatings, and dielectric and phase-correcting prism coatings, which raise the level of optical excellence for this roof prism binocular. The benefits include excellence in color sharpness, coating durability, overall performance, increased resolution, color fidelity, clarity, brightness, and greater light transmission. Additional lens protection from scratches, oil and dust is provided by the ArmorTek exterior lens coating.
My use is 50/50 day/night celestial/terrestrial. I have found in the past when using a 10×50 I’ve always wanted some more distance/zoom. I have never used a larger power than this and am happy with the reviews of the Meade. portability is not an issue and neither is the weight, i will be using them hand held. budget is the driver and the most bang for buck. Given the above would you recommend the Meade 15×70?
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If you can afford them, as they do cost a pretty penny, they will give you clarity unmatched by anything else. When you’re looking at something, you’ll feel like you’re actually looking through your own eyes, and not through a pair of rangefinder binoculars. This is the best of the best, the crème de la crème, if you will. The premium optics have a multi-layer glass, and fluoride, which results in a lot of light being able to go inside the lens. You’ll be able to see objects right before it gets completely dark, with ease. That coating we mentioned is LotuTec, and it also plays a big role in the vividness of the image.
Most believe that Canon was the first company to have image stabilized binoculars due to very good marketing and bringing the price down to within reach of the consuming public, even if it's a long reach! Their introduction in 1997 was based on the work they had done for years in stabilizing video camera images. It quickly caught on and image stabilized Canon binoculars have many devotees. While the Canon technology doesn't seem designed to stabilize the larger movements encountered on boats/ships, speeding cars/trucks, and airplanes/helicopters, it does well with hand movements such as those often associated with health and age. The engagement of the stabilization mechanism and electronics is said to often result in a somewhat softer image which lacks the crispness found in Fujinons. We anticipate publishing a review of the Canon image stabilized binoculars.
The Legend L-Series from Bushnell were built with everyone in mind, from the highly advanced to the novice. The all-black magnesium finish with large 42mm diameter lens can bring in as much daylight as possible, while its 8x magnification brings images in with crisp detail. It features all-weather durability with Bushnell’s own RainGuard HD coating with a field of view that reaches up to 426 feet of distance. 

If you've looked through a hand-held high-magnification astronomy binocular (let's say 12X or above) and tried to read a sign on which the writing appears small in the distance, you'll know how difficult it is to hold the binocular steady. Even when you've braced your arms on a flat surface or against a tree, the simple act of breathing can make the image move enough to keep a person from reading easily!
For careful budgeters, we recommend Oberwerk's 20X80 Deluxe II and 25X100 individual focus models which provide good values for their prices. If your budget is flexible, there are many fine, giant binoculars that will provide very good value for their purchase prices. We plan ongoing reviews of astronomy binoculars as OpticsReviewer.com grows, so please check back from time to time as your astronomy interests evolve!
Everyone talks about magnifications and there is no doubt that high magnifications yield beautiful views of the Moon, planets and fine detail in some deep sky objects. However, many objects in the sky are too large to fit into the field of view of a high power eyepiece. These objects demand a wide field of view to appreciate their beauty and delicate form.
These Vortex are really nice, with phase-corrected prisms to keep images sharp and colors accurate, and wide angles of view. They're water and fogproof also, so they'll stand up to inclement weather great. I also like the mid-sized 42mm objectives which will give them good low-light capabilities when a lot of game . https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1200179-REG/vortex_db_204_8x42_diamondback_binocular_green_black.html
For the mechanics, Fujinon was the first company to have developed stabilization with high-speed gyroscopes and they brought this feature to market as the "Stabiscope" in 1980 with a 14X binocular. The design was improved and the Techno Stabi introduced in 1999 at price points that make it competitive with the Canon offerings. This stabilization approach works particularly well in adjusting for large movements, such as experienced with vessels on water, but also does admirably with smaller movements. Fujinon optics have earned their reputation for excellence and provide an above average crisp, clean, and bright viewing experience.
If your main interest in astronomy is exploring the fine details on planets or showing structure in distant galaxies, you will probably also eventually want to get a telescope as binoculars just don't have enough magnification. However, binoculars have their advantages over telescopes for astronomy and a wide field of view is one of them. If are new to astronomy or if you thrive on large open star clusters and big, extended nebulae, binoculars can actually work better for you than a telescope. It is often said that binoculars are the best "first telescopes" you can buy and even an experienced astronomer usually keeps one with them at all times.
Center it in the field of view. Looking with one eye at a time, can you bring it to a perfect point focus? Or, as you turn the knob, do tiny rays start growing in one direction before they have shrunk all the way in the direction at right angles? This astigmatism is especially bothersome when viewing stars. If you have astrimatism in your eyes, be sure to wear your glasses when doing this test.
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