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Old 19-09-2020, 09:02 AM
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Crater101 (Warren)
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Canon IS Stabilised Binoculars - Thoughts?


I had a look through the various threads here 'n' there for information, so if I've missed something obvious I apologise.

Does anyone have any experience with the Canon range of IS Binoculars? Are they worth it? Good / Bad / Indifferent?

I'm not thinking of using them to replace a telescope and mount, but most of my fascination is with the moon and the nearer planets, and I was wondering if these would be a good thing to keep handy for when the scope can't be used (such as when I'm travelling for work).

Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 19-09-2020, 12:42 PM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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I’ve got the 15x50is, bought them in a fit of enthusiasm about 10 years ago, but don’t regret it...they’re awesome.

They’re not lightweight - over 1kg - but the IS gives them extra reach. Sweeping the sky on a dark night is great.
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Old 19-09-2020, 12:54 PM
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Hi Warren, I've used my daughter's on many occasions, and can say that the
stabilising works A.1. Jupiter is wandering all over the place, press the button,
and there it is steady, for you to peruse. If you want them primarily for astro
I recommend getting the 12x36 or 42, a bit more aperture and magnification is always good. Whatever you are looking at at 12x I.S. is great. I love my stabilised lenses too, great when a tripod is not available. Just saw Dunk's post, yes the 15x 50 are obviously preferable for
astro to the smaller sizes that I mentioned, but as Dunk said, they are heavy, they are also much bulkier. Your choice.

Last edited by raymo; 19-09-2020 at 01:03 PM. Reason: more text
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Old 19-09-2020, 01:59 PM
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tempestwizz (Brian)
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I bought my 15 x 50s about 15 years ago and have carried them around the world despite their bulk. Providing a 4.5° field of view they provide a wide view of the sky. I have also found them effective finding meteorites in polluted skies.
I’ve found that at 15x you still need to keep yourself steady to get good views. The IS works well, but has its limits. From a moving platform they can be unusable. Also mine tends to be hungry for battery power. It demands good quality batteries or they die quickly. I bought some el cheapo batteries overseas, and they lasted only very short time. At first I thought the binos had developed a fault, making a clicking noise as they were trying to operate, but good batteries solved that.
When new, mine had a rubberised coating over the some of the parts. After 10 years , in my environment this turned into sticky goo. This can be removed with with metho. With the bare plastic exposed, they don’t appear so ‘sexy’ but the performance is not impaired, and in the dark, few people notice.
The bottom line is that I’m happy with them. I brought them with me when I had to travel back to Oz at short notice back in January, and glad I did, as I’m now stranded here because of covid, waiting to get back to the family in Laos.
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Old 19-09-2020, 04:21 PM
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Derek Klepp
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Warren I have the 14x32snew version primarily for bird watching they are OK .But do not have the clarity of expensive Lieca Noctavids.I think the 15x50s would be good.But in all honesty I have a pair of 15x70 Celesteron binos and with the rubberised coating I lean them up against trees the shed anything to get a stable view they get used anywhere anytime and not much can go wrong with them.Thay are great values for money.Hope this helps .
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Old 19-09-2020, 09:57 PM
FI93 (Norm)
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I have had a set of 15x50 for years, had them at sea for astro work and leaning up against a support they took all of the ships motion out.
on land it helps to steady yourself but viewing is crystal clear... no regrets at all!!!
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Old 19-09-2020, 11:51 PM
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byronpaul (Paul)
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I have the 12x36 and think they are excellent. This size is great for Astro work and the IS works really well, and I also take them to concerts and sporting events - they are a good size to carry around.

I would also like a pair of 15x50 but haven’t made the plunge yet

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Old 20-09-2020, 03:52 AM
Renato1 (Renato)
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I have the 15X50 IS ones.

They are fun - they give an excellent view of the moon when it's going through eclipse at whatever angle it is in the sky. Which is mainly what I've used them for.

So, I don't use them that much. For looking at deep sky objects, I prefer hand holding with my 15X70s or 16X70s or 18X80s - yes the image shakes a bit, but the objects and stars are brighter. When we used to go travelling around Europe, my wife and I would most often prefer to use my 15X70s when looking at scenery, birds, vistas. distant towns etc, despite often having had 10X50s or 8X25s handy.

I never saw any reason to take my 15X50IS ones overseas, mainly because my ones have very short eye relief, and I have to push the rubber eyecaps back every time I use them. Which I find rather annoying - since it means one can't use eyeglasses with my pair, which makes them very annoying for my wife.

Also, image shakiness doesn't seem to us to be much of a problem during daylight hours, compared to using binoculars on stars. I had a pair of 16X60 Pentax ones that I didn't like using at night (narrow field and shakiness), but which my wife found great for birding hand-held during the day.

To sum up, if one doesn't have much of a problem hand holding 15X70s at night when looking at DSOs - then there isn't any real need to get the image stabilised ones - though they would be nice to have. But plainly there are people around who have a hard time hand-holding even 10X50 binoculars, and for them image stabilised binoculars would be marvellous.
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Old 20-09-2020, 10:08 AM
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Crater101 (Warren)
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Thanks very much for all the feedback, it's greatly appreciated. I've decided I'll definitely be investing in a pair of these, it does sound very much like they'll be worth the money.
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Old 21-09-2020, 02:28 PM
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Hello Warren,
You might want to also consider the Fujinon stabilised binoculars. I did a fair bit of research a few years back and decided on the Fujinons instead of the Canons. The main reason was that the Fujinons have a 5 degree stabilisation compared to the Canon having about 3 degrees. This means the Fujinons are "more stable" over a larger movement such as hand holding or on a boat deck etc. (I believe the US coastguard uses Fujinons. This larger 5 degree stabilisation freedom is also very handy if you want to do some nature observing such as birds in flight, wildlife etc.
I also was able to compare the views with a similar sized Canon pair, and with the Canons there was a very slight image vibration due to the stabilising mechanism. It was quite minor, but it was there.
I have the Fujinon 14 x 40 Stabli binoculars and like others have stated, they are relatively heavy for their size. They use 4 x AA batteries, and the batteries last a vey long time with the Fujinons.

All the best,

Buck (Paul)
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Old 23-09-2020, 11:53 AM
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Crater101 (Warren)
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Cheers again! Much food for thought.
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