My choice of binoculars

Kent Blackwell

I've been a fan of observing with binoculars all my life, starting with a pair of Sears Tower 7x35 wide-angle glasses. Even at 14 I recognized they were pretty awful. Stars at the edge of the field took on the shape of seagulls. My next pair were recommended to my by David Bushnell who at the time was starting a small binocular import company. The Featherweight I pair of 7x50 Bushnell were superb, nearly equaling the optical quality of American made Bausch & Lomb but at 1/10 the cost.
So, what are my favorites now? Basically I have three.
  1. Canon 10x30 Stabilized. These are amazing. They seem to steady handshake vibration of an absolute minimum.
  2. Nikon Monarch 10x40. I've never been enamored with roof prism binoculars. That is until I looked through a pair of Nikon Monarch. Wow, images are bright and sharp and stars are pinpoints to the very edge of their 70-degrees field of view.
  3. Universal 6x30. This amazing little glass give any modern binocular a run for the money and they were made during the WWII in 1943, under a Bausch & Lomb contract.
So what are my favorites? The Universal 6x30 are the pair I pick up most of time for astronomy because they are light weight and have individual focusing eyepieces. Once set to infinity for my yes I never have to refocus a star.
The choice of the winner in optical quality without hesitating goes to the 10x40 Nikon Monarch. It's an absolute pleasure to look through these glasses.
My least favorite pair are the Canon 10x30 stabilized. I find they just don't have the punch of the Nikons and are awkward to hold.
Pictured are the Canon 10x30, Nikon 10x40 and Universal 6x30.
What binoculars do you use and if you have multiple pairs what are your favorites?

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