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    Too low to display list($640.00)
    1. Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization
    Too low to display $924.95 list($2,000.00)
    2. Canon 18x50 Image Stabilization
    Too low to display $774.95 list($1,600.00)
    3. Canon 15x50 Image Stabilization
    Too low to display $279.95 list($299.99)
    4. Meade ETX70AT Telescope with 882
    Too low to display list($299.99)
    5. Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour Laser
    $89.99 $87.99 list($160.00)
    6. Olympus Tracker 10-30x25 Zoom
    $69.88
    7. QX5 Computer Microscope
    $239.99 list()
    8. Nikon LaserCaddy 500G Laser Rangefinder
    $215.99 $192.98 list($450.00)
    9. Night Owl NOCX5 Explorer Pro 5x
    $259.95 $259.88 list()
    10. Nikon Sky & Earth 15-45x60
    Too low to display list($299.99)
    11. Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour XL Laser
    $999.99 $899.95 list($1,630.00)
    12. Celestron Nexstar 5i Computerized
    Too low to display $489.00 list($999.99)
    13. Canon 12x36 Image Stabilization
    $279.99 list()
    14. Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42 Waterproof
    Too low to display $499.88 list($995.00)
    15. Meade ETX90EC Telescope with 884
    $46.99 list($99.99)
    16. Bushnell Powerview 16x50 Wide
    Too low to display $278.00 list()
    17. Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 Waterproof
    Too low to display list($460.00)
    18. Canon 8x25 IS Image Stabilizer
    Too low to display $945.00 list($1,850.00)
    19. Meade ETX125EC Telescope w/ UHTC,
    $34.89 list($69.99)
    20. Bushnell NatureView 8x40 Birder

    1. Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization Binoculars with Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
    by Canon
    list price: $640.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004THDC
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon
    Sales Rank: 257
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • 10x magnification in a compact design
    • Built-in optical image stabilization uses 2 AA batteries
    • Super Spectra multicoating and lead-free glass lenses
    • Long 14.5mm eye relief
    • Weighs only 21 ounces

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why image stabilization is a revolution in binoculars
    If you want to get a quick idea why image stabilization (IS) is the next revolution in binoculars, that's easy: take any binoculars that you can get and look through them at some object (a printed page of paper with several font sizes is ideal). Then look again at the same object from the same distance, but this time with the binoculars moudnted on a steady support (don't touch em!). You will notice that the actual resolution increases by a factor of at least 2 or 3 when mounted. That is, you can discern details that are at least two or three times smaller, because mounting eliminates the smear caused by the shaking of your hands. IS is like having this support available any time and anywhere you need it by a push of a button! In most conditions, the practical resolutions I can get with my Canon IS cannot be matched by any hand-held, unstabilized binoculars in the market, including those fancy Nikons, Swarovskis, Leicas and Zeiss that cost three or four times as much. No matter how good (and how expensive) is the optics of these top-of-the-line binoculars, their limiting factor in the field is the shaking of your hands. You may have heard that IS is important because it eliminates eyestrain and headaches, or because you can use the binoculars from a boat or a moving car. While these are good reasons to buy the Canon, the best reason is that they let you see much more detail in any given distance. And this is the reason why you buy binoculars in the first place.

    If you are a birder like me, and you are looking for a top of the line binoculars, do not buy anything before you try this one. In my opinion IS is going to revolutionize the whole field, so a costly pair of Swarovski or Zeiss, that normally could be considered as a good investment for life, will not be top of the line anymore in two or three years. In addition to the IS, the Canon has quite good optics, good field of view and is much smaller and lighter then most models you probably considered. This makes the Canon very close to the ideal birding binoculars: Highest resolution, less weight, and less money. I did not have the opportunity to test the larger Canon IS models, but I don't think I'd buy them even if I had the money, because they are twice as heavy and (very important for birding) has smaller field of view.

    Note one general disadvantage of the Canon, however: They are not as tough as the top roof prism binoculars. They are water resistant but not water proof, and the IS requires batteries (a pair of NiMH for several hours of birding. This is the digital camera procedure: get a charger and at least one replacement set). While the binoculars feel sturdy, dropping them is not good for the IS mechanism, and this is probably why Canon gives only one year warranty. So the Canon are not the best pair to take for an expedition in Alaska, but for a Sunday birder like me, these are easily the best in their price range, and probably the best in any price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Canon brings a true revolution in binoculars!
    Although expensive, my experience trying the 10x30 with Image Stabilizer from Canon in a store was unbelievable
    At the push of a button the image was rock steady allowing to finally see near diffraction-limited details, this in my hands! I could read signs at the other end of the room. I never thought IS correction could be so effective. And optics are great anyway, even with no IS.

    I give it a 5 star (even if the 10X is a bit week, a zoom module would help, and there is no dig camera inside!).

    This binocular or rather technology is definitely a revolution, like color TV was to black and white TV. Forget about your other binoculars (unless they are IS too)!

    Note: Are they going to install the same technology on a conference laser pointer so even after a cup of coffee the spot is rock steady?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comfortable 10X magnification
    This is the first binocular that allows me to move up to 10X magnification & not feel eye strain. I can focus on tiny details without my brain hurting from the movement. I had the opportunity to do a side by side comparison with a pair of Leica 10X binocs. & the Canon optics were VERY close. The stable image made the difference though. At night I can look at the moon & see so much more than ever before. The Canon IS binoculars are a totally unique viewing experience. Really, they're that good!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 3 Year Warranty
    I just received my 10x30IS, my first pair of high quality, made in Japan binoculars, and found out about the 3 year warranty provided by Canon USA. I bought it thinking it had just 1 year. This makes for a very sound investment in a marvelous technology.

    It works great on regular AA rechargeables. No expensive proprietary li-ion packs or hard-to-find batteries to deal with here.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Binoculars nice - Canon service and case not so good
    Got these binoculars for my wife at Christmas this year so they are about 3 months old. We went on around 5 short hikes when the stitching binding the strap to the case came completely out of one side dropping the case to the ground. I emailed Canon expecting an apology and a new case. I got the apology, but it was with an explanation that the cases have NO warranty and I was out of luck. After spending over $300 on this product by a well-known company with a high reputation and owning it only 3 months, I expected better. The binoculars are nice, but what happens when the strap on your unwarranted case breaks, drops and breaks your binoculars, and you call Canon? Very poor quality cases. Right now I cannot use the binoculars because I have no case and have to figure something else out. So what good are great binoculars you cannot use?

    Binoculars - 5 stars; Case - 0 stars; Canon - 1 star ... Read more


    2. Canon 18x50 Image Stabilization All Weather Binoculars with Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
    by Canon
    list price: $2,000.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004THDE
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon
    Sales Rank: 766
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Canon's 18x50 IS binoculars incorporate an optical image stabilizer for shake-free viewing and minimal eye fatigue. This technology was first developed for Canon video camcorders and is now available in many of Canon's binoculars. The system employs a Vari-Angle Prism, dual transparent plates, independent vertical and horizontal sensors, and a dedicated microprocessor to continuously adjust the prism to maintain a steady image.

    The 18x50 IS binoculars feature a water-resistant, shock-resistant rubber coating for a nonslip grip and better durability. If you get caught in the rain and still want to view, you don't have to worry about the optics fogging up. These binoculars deliver high magnification and wide-field viewing. Controls for focusing and image stabilization are centrally located and accessible by both hands. These binoculars provide long eye relief for extra comfort.

    Image Stabilization and More
    With any high magnification binoculars, most users will experience frustrating image shake. Unless fixed to a tripod, image shake can render high magnification binoculars useless. Canon's IS technology is remarkably effective at eliminating this problem and is widely used by the television industry with Canon's professional broadcast quality video recording equipment. A special VAP (Vari-Angle Prism) corrective IS system sits between the objective lens group and the porro prism on each side of the binoculars. Within thousandths of a second of the binoculars being moved from their optical axis by vibrations, a detection system activates the IS mechanism. The VAP shape alters to refract or 'bend' the light path by precisely the right amount, thus fully compensating for the vibration. It is this essentially immediate response that effectively suppresses image shake.

    Super Spectra Coating
    A number of optical factors affect the brightness of an image, including the amount of incidental light that is reflected by the lens. An uncoated lens will refelect away as much as 8% of the incidentail light, significantly dimming the image. Canon's Super Spectra Coating prevents that reflection.

    What do the numbers mean?
    15x50? 8x25? The two numbers used to describe any pair of binoculars are their magnification — 8x, 12x, 15x and so on — and the diameter of their objective lenses — 25mm, 36mm, 50mm, and so on. The larger the first number is, the larger the object will appear to be in the objective lens. For instance, if you use a 10x lens and look at an object that is 100 yards away, it appears to be the same size as an object located just 10 yards away. The second number, the size of the objective lens, is important because the larger the objective lens, the more light it can admit for brighter, more detailed images, and the better suited they will be for lowlight situations.

    A look inside

    ... Read more

    Features

    • 18x magnification
    • Built-in optical image stabilization uses 2 AA batteries
    • Wide, extra-bright field of view
    • Lenses are multicoated for contrast, clarity, and color fidelity
    • Shock- and water-resistant

    Reviews (17)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stabalized image at high power worth the money
    The optics and general quality are what to expect for binoculars at one third the price. But image stabilization changes everything. At 18X power, conventional hand-held binoculars, even thousand dollar ones, require support; either tripod or at the very least, elbows carefully resting on a car roof or on both knees when sitting on the ground. (The latter two methods rule out skyward viewing or sweeping views). The base is threaded for tripod use, which serves as a reminder of what you would need if you forgot to put in the two AA batteries. The Image Stabilizer feature is fingertip selective, so that fully comparing the IS image with the non-stabilized image is easy in all situations. The stabilization is not perfect, as there is still some need to hold them steady. But the residual image-shake is less than for 6X power unstabilized binocs, and the effect at 18X is very pleasing, even startling -- binocular Image Stabilization is no gimmick. One-handed viewing is nearly as good as with a two handed grip, something out of the question for ordinary binoculars. A limitation of the IS feature is that when attempting sweeping views, or when following moving objects like airplanes, there occurs minor blurring as the system tends to misunderstand the user's deliberate movement as jerkiness. Thus it is necessary to follow objects smoothly. These binoculars came without lens caps for the objective lenses, a remarkable omission since the objective lenses are not well protected in the shallow recess of the encircling frame ridges. Presumably this is to keep bulk to a minimum. The eyepieces have somewhat oversized fold-back rubber cups. While these cups are not ergonomically shaped, as they could be -- bumping the eye brow while still admitting light at the sides -- they fold back for eyeglass wearers, and offer good incidental lense protection when extended. The soft, padded, lightweight nylon carrying case is adiquit, but could use a waist belt loop for easy carrying. (A premium quality hard case would be a nice accessary.) The carrying weight is not bad, feeling about the same as ordinary 50 mm porro prism binoculars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best technology and best price on the market
    To my knowledge there are only two image-stabilised binoculars on the market -- Canon's 18 x 50 or 15 x 50, and Zeiss' 20 x 60. In the UK the latter retail for just under 3,000 pounds.

    Having looked both at the Zeiss and the Canon, my (admittedly not very expert) judgement is that Canon has by far the better image stabilisation system. The Zeiss system is not battery powered but rather mechanical and does not eliminate as much wobble as the Canon system. On the other hand Zeiss are world leaders in producing crystal clear, bright images. The Zeiss binoculars are marginally better than Canon's in producing a bright image -- especially at sunrise and dusk.

    In the end, the Canon binoculars win because of the wonderful stabilising system -- and that fact that they are about 1/3 the cost of Zeiss.

    The Canon binoculars are ideal for bird watching and back-yard astronomy (looking at the moon through these binoculars is a truly wonderful experience). Although hardly low-cost they are a fantastic buy -- a marvel of modern technology and a source of lasting pleasure.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting High-Tech Toy
    I bought the Canon 18x image stabilizer binoculars a month ago and I love them.

    The reason I bought these high-powered binoculars is I want to identify all the major landmarks in the San Jose South Bay area. My wife and I ride up to the mid-hill of Mt. Hamilton once a month. Most of the time before we are ready to turn back and coast down the hill, we spend a fair amount of time looking at the spectacular scenery of the San Jose and South Bay area. We want to identify as many landmarks as possible. With our compact Minolta 10x binoculars, we get a clear look at downtown San Jose and of course the Lockheed aircraft hangers. But we could not find the San Jose airport. With the new Canon binoculars, we can identify the airport and many other places. We can even find the street intersection that is only one street away from where we live. The interesting thing is once we identify a place, we can also use the compact Minolta to see the landmark, although with smaller vision. These Canon binoculars make excellent spotter.

    The image stabilizer is an interesting high-tech feature. It helps to get a clear and stable view if you press the stabilizer button. However, the binoculars weight 2.6 lbs. I am tired after holding them for two to three minutes. Last time we rode up Mt. Hamilton, we bought a regular camera tripod with us. These Canon binoculars come with a built-in screw thread that can accept a standard tripod quick-release plate. With the binoculars mounted on the tripod, we spent a good half hour looking down the beautiful landscape. The obvious question is, does the use of the tripod defeat the purpose of paying extra for the image stabilizer? How much something is worth is a very personal question. It differs from person to person. I am not going to attempt to answer this question.

    We are very happy to own these binoculars. This is a very pricey toy, but we love it. I first saw the Canon 15x image stabilizer binoculars at Wolf's Camera web site and they have a price tag of around $1,200. I was shocked by the price. I told myself some day I might buy it. A year later, amazon.com was carrying this 18x version at a much lower price. I was overjoyed and broke down and bought this toy the following month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Binoculars!
    I really like these binoculars. Please read the other reviews to gain knowledge on the product's high points. Also note, I have not found any of the low points mentioned to be present or affect my viewing in any way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love My Binocular!!!!!!
    These are a great binocular. A little pricey, but give exceptional optics with rock solid stability for viewing. ... Read more


    3. Canon 15x50 Image Stabilization All Weather Binoculars with Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
    by Canon
    list price: $1,600.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006I53P
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon
    Sales Rank: 1347
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With its wide 50mm objective lenses and high magnification,these rugged, all-weather Canon Image Stabilizer binoculars are destined to set a new and higher benchmark for image brightness, clarity and ergonomic design.

    Leave your tripod at home when you use the new Canon 15x50 binoculars. Canon has once again made its world-renowned optical image stabilizer more convenient to use on this all-weather binocular. With a push of a button, bumpy images are stabilized instantly for maximum viewing. Multicoated ultralow dispersion (UD) objective elements add contrast, clarity, and color fidelity. Housed in a rugged, water-resistant, and slip-free rubber body, these binoculars can be used in rain or shine, whether in a football stadium or on the high seas. Stargazing is also possible with these versatile binoculars. The 15x50 is greatly improved over the previous model, with a larger 50mm objective lens, more convenient operation of the optical image stabilizer, and optional antifog eyepieces. Two AA batteries power the device. Also included in the package are a case, neck strap, and eyepiece covers.

    Image Stabilization and More
    With any high magnification binoculars, most users will experience frustrating image shake. Unless fixed to a tripod, image shake can render high magnification binoculars useless. Canon's IS technology is remarkably effective at eliminating this problem and is widely used by the television industry with Canon's professional broadcast quality video recording equipment. A special VAP (Vari-Angle Prism) corrective IS system sits between the objective lens group and the porro prism on each side of the binoculars. Within thousandths of a second of the binoculars being moved from their optical axis by vibrations, a detection system activates the IS mechanism. The VAP shape alters to refract or 'bend' the light path by precisely the right amount, thus fully compensating for the vibration. It is this essentially immediate response that effectively suppresses image shake.

    Super Spectra Coating
    A number of optical factors affect the brightness of an image, including the amount of incidental light that is reflected by the lens. An uncoated lens will refelect away as much as 8% of the incidentail light, significantly dimming the image. Canon's Super Spectra Coating prevents that reflection.

    What do the numbers mean?
    15x50? 8x25? The two numbers used to describe any pair of binoculars are their magnification — 8x, 12x, 15x and so on — and the diameter of their objective lenses — 25mm, 36mm, 50mm, and so on. The larger the first number is, the larger the object will appear to be in the objective lens. For instance, if you use a 10x lens and look at an object that is 100 yards away, it appears to be the same size as an object located just 10 yards away. The second number, the size of the objective lens, is important because the larger the objective lens, the more light it can admit for brighter, more detailed images, and the better suited they will be for lowlight situations.

    A look inside

    ... Read more

    Features

    • This pair of binoculars from Canon are unique among high-magnification binoculars because they incorporate Canon's remarkable Optical Image Stabilizer technology
    • The Image Stabilizer technology compensates for handshaking as well as minute vibrations at the touch of a button
    • It also features 15x zoom to accommodate wide-ranging activities
    • A 50mm objective lens for a wide, extra-bright field of view
    • Multi-Coated Ultra-Low Dispersion Objective Elements add contrast, clarity & color fidelity

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars nothing short of spectacular
    This is one of the finest optical instruments i ever bought. The Image Stabilizer works so fantastic and flawless you just don't wanna let this bino out of your hand. It even works while you watch from a driving car. You can make out license plate numbers from about 400 ft away. I also bought protective lenses which I use during daytime. When stargazing I realized some mirror effects from the protective lens - so just let those off during nightime. This is the most useful and inexpensive tool for stargazing. Even better than some telescopes for the same price. The AA at 2100 mAh last for about 3-4 hrs. Even with the IS shut off the optics are awesome - but with the IS engaged it is breathtaking. It is definitely worth to spend the extra money to get this system over any other w/o IS.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for learning basic astronomy
    I bought these binoculars (along with "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide", "Touring the Universe Through Binoculars," and Starry Night software) to learn some basic astronomy. This has turned out to be a winning combination.

    While these binoculars weigh 2.6 pounds, they have a very natural, comfortable fit in the hands and are easy to handle.

    The image stabilization is amazing and really improves my ability to resolve stellar objects and surface details of the moon.

    It does seem a little odd that Canon did not include front lens caps. However the 15x50s are threaded for 58 mm filters, so one can easily purchase standard lens caps. I bought a pair of 58 mm Canon lens caps which fit, although the heavy rubber armor leaves minimal clearance to operate the lens cap release buttons. With filters installed the lens caps fit exactly as they would on a camera lens with plenty of clearance to remove, even if wearing gloves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar Performance
    These binoculars are spectacular. Point them at Jupiter and you see a bright dot wandering around in the field of view. Press the image stabilization switch and the planet and its moons instantly become visible. While they can't subtract all movement they do get rid of the little shakes that make hand held viewing so difficult. 15x is enough magnification that Saturn is obviously not round.

    A complaint about earier versions of the Canon IS line was that your finger went to sleep holding the IS switch down. Now you can press it briefly to turn on the IS circuitry which will automatically shut off in 5 minutes. If you press and hold the switch it shuts off as soon as you release it.

    I haven't had my pair long enough to comment on battery life but do see a problem changing them when they are mounted on a tripod. Unlike most binoculars where the tripod mounting is at the objective end where the two barrels rotate on the Canons it is at the bottom of the binocular near the center of the tubes which don't rotate. And the battery compartment is just in front of it so you can't get to it if the binoculars are on a tripod of have a quick release plate attached.

    Since the lens barrels don't rotate intra-ocular distance is adjusted by actually moving the oculars. They are kind of stiff but that is good because they stay in place once you get them set.

    The tripod mount is lower than the highest part of the lens barrels so if you have a big quick release plate like that of the Manfrotto (Bogen) 410 geared head (highly recommended) it presses against the bottom of the barrels and not the flat between them.

    For some reason Canon doesn't seem to fell that the objective lenses need any protection as they don't ship lens covers for them. They do provide lens covers for the oculars but they pop off a lot because the eye cups are so soft. It looks like you need something like 69mm lens caps. They don't tell you in the manual but Canon sales says they are threaded to accept 58mm filters so you can buy solar filters for them.

    I can use the binoculars with my glasses on due to the 15 mm eye relief but it is really easier to use them without the glasses.

    They are heavy, ~2,5#, but if you support them on the heels of your hands very stable. ... Read more


    4. Meade ETX70AT Telescope with 882 Tripod and Software
    by Meade
    list price: $299.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005ATSR
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Meade
    Sales Rank: 1256
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Exclusive multicoated, air-spaced achromatic objective lenses
    • Razor-sharp images of both astronomical and terrestrial subjects
    • Extremely portable at only 6.8 pounds
    • Telescope can be used on any flat surface
    • Meade 882 tripod included

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not a Televue but . . .
    This is a great little telescope for the money. Two previous reviewers (who gave it a low rating) had quality control problems with it. I've had none with mine but I have had 3 of them with my Meade 4" refractor. The Meade customer service people were wonderful in correcting these problems, but it seems their quality control could be better.

    Optically, this is an achromatic refractor with a very fast focal ratio. That means it's good for viewing extended objects like star clusters, Milky Way star clouds, large nebulae, pretty conjunctions, etc. Dark skies help alot -- the darker the better of course -- but good clear rural skies in Ohio are plenty wonderful. It doesn't have the aperture for dimmer objects but the brighter Messier objects, for example (and there's plenty of them!) are great. It isn't at its best on planets and the Moon but you can definitely see Saturn's rings, the phases of Mercury and Venus, Jupiter's moons and belts (the red spot is difficult at best) and the Moon simply can't help but look wonderful in any telescope!

    The Autostar is really good. It's best when you align it carefully: use the north star to point it to north and use a bubble level to level the tripod and tube. You can find brighter Messier objects, comets, asteroids, the planet Neptune, etc, so easily! (But of course not Pluto, quasars, black holes and some other ridiculous objects in the Autostar database.) And you get better at aligning it as you practice. Be sure to check out the "synchronize" feature (in the owner's manual under the "enter key").

    As others have pointed out, the focus mechanism is bad, and the tripod is not terribly sturdy. Together they make higher magnifications (which are not optically optimum either) just about impossible. But 50X is still reasonable with a good 7mm orthoscopic eyepiece. Also a good 32mm eyepiece will eliminate the need to buy a finder and give you wonderful wide views. A dew shield is a must in Ohio (reduces glare too).

    It ain't a Televue, it's true, but for the price, this scope is hard to beat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lot of telescope for the price
    The ETX 70 AT is a great little scope, very portable and easy to use (with a couple of nights practice!). A Barlow multiplying lens (x3) is a must to get good sharp close ups of the moon and planets. A set of filters also helps for a sharper contrast and cuts down the brightness of the moon. Once you have mastered the Autostar alignment procedure any object can be tracked automatically, ideal for photos. I have used the scope with and without the tripod, but the tripod does give a much more solid base (ie. less vibration when looking at the object).
    The manual focus can be irritating (about 15 turns) when switching between eyepieces or adding a lens. Deep sky views are a bit faint but this is after all an ideal beginners scope.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Easy to Use Telescope
    ...I can only offer praise and Kudos to Meade for offering such a wonderful instrument at a value price. For the past 30 years I have used a 60mm refractor from Sears without any problems. I finally decided it was time to get somthing a little more modern but didnt want to spend over a thousand dollars. After researching the market for 3 months, I finally decided on the ETX 70-AT. After adding 2x and 3x Barlow lenses, a 5mm plossl, a basic filter selection, and hard case I have spent less then $700.00. Once you have a realistic idea of what to expect when viewing through a small telescope, you will find that the image quality offered in the ETX 70-AT is outstanding for a 70mm telescope with such a short focal length (f/5). Autostar also makes easy work of finding subjects for the evening. The ETX 70-AT is a highly versatile instrument for both novice and experienced amateur astronomers. The rings of Saturn are clearly visible as is the Cassini Division. Jupiter is outstanding with the Red Spot visible under good conditions, and 5 moons visible. The Orion Nebula is very distinct as are the Plaedes. The only shortcomings I have found are: battery life could be better, focus knob is awkward, and dew shield should have been included as standard. Also, if this is your first telescope, dont expect to see images like those on the box. All in all, a Very Good Telescope for the money, and highly recommended for the astronomer on a budget.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Let Meade Focus!!
    At first I thought this scope was an excellent beginner scope. Soon I returned it as the motor would not train correctly. I received a brand new one. Same or similar problem. Returned and again received a new one. Problems are; training motor is a negative, If you are using in a city or with much light pollution you can't really go much higher than 70X so don't worry about purchasing 1000x+ eye pieces as you might as well purchase Captain Crunch. The focus knob is in a terrible place and just assume that Meade placed it there so they could focus! I have to admit though, Meade did replace the scope (twice) and their service dept. seemed great! However, back to reality, If you are interested in purchasing this scope...I would strongly suggest either; 1) Spend more money and receive a better quality scope or 2) spend the money you are going to spend on this scope and purchase yourself a very nice spotting scope and a cold beer!! You will not be disappointed by this advice. Now go out there and get the job did!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Scope!
    This is a great scope. At first I had trouble aligning it because when I tried to center the star with the autostar it didn't move. Later I found out that I had the speed to like 64X or 8X. Which is very slow. Then I moved it to 0.5 and I got it to work perfectly. The first night I got it to work I saw jupiter and its moons and I saw the moon. If you would like to see more detail of planets I would suggest buying a 3X barlow lense. You may not see things like you would in a planetarium but hey this is an ametuers scope and for the money you can see things well enough to say you had a great night in the field. ... Read more


    5. Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour Laser Rangefinder
    by Bushnell
    list price: $299.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006I52W
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Bushnell
    Sales Rank: 527
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Using advanced digital technology, Yardage Pro takes the guesswork out of measuring distances
    • Delivers superb range performance to targets with +/- 1 Yard accuracy
    • Reflective Range Performance = 700 Yards
    • Determine Tree distance within 570 yards
    • Weighs less than 7 ounces

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour is a great tool!
    I bought Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour unit through adorama.com on 5/17/2004 and it arrived with no problems. You get an email with order confirmation and when you log into your account there is a link to ups tracking number. Someone posted a negative comment about them not having a phone number listed but at their site but I see the phone number listed on every single page so I think that that comment is wrong. Their prices are lowest I could find and I had no problems with order/delivery at all. Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour unit is great for golf. It is compact and extremely easy to use. I use it on the driving range with all my clubs. You can easily get a distance for any visible target on the range (tree, bunker, flag, slopes) and figure out the exact club you need for that distance. Knowing the exact distance a ball will travel has helped my game a lot. This unit is the great! ... Read more


    6. Olympus Tracker 10-30x25 Zoom Porro Prism Compact & Lightweight Binocular
    by Olympus
    list price: $160.00
    our price: $89.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006G33N
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Olympus
    Sales Rank: 756
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With its compact, lightweight, and sleek design, you can take the Olympus Tracker binocular anywhere and still enjoy the great view. With a magnification of 10x to 30x and an objective lens diameter of 25mm, faraway images will be in sharp detail with brilliant clarity. The lens itself is made from special optical material to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, while the full multicoating keeps maintains brightness and contrast.

    The BaK-4 prisms have a high refractive index for complete edge-to-edge clarity. The center knob is in perfect placement for your fingers to comfortably adjust the focus. The built-in dioptric correction adjusts for individual eyesight so everyone can use the binocular to its full potential. The Tracker also has eyecups that twist up and down, allowing each user to personalize the binocular to their comfort, while the long eye relief is a necessary feature for eyeglass wearers. ... Read more

    Features

    • 8x to 30x magnification and 25mm objective lens
    • Field of view: 56 to 33 meters (at 1,000 yards)
    • High-index prisms for a bright, crisp image
    • Compact and lightweight for portability
    • Twisting eyecups for personal comfort; central focus knob and dioptric correction

    7. QX5 Computer Microscope
    by Prima Creations

    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002HLKI2
    Catlog: Toy
    Manufacturer: Prima Creations
    Sales Rank: 964
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Simply connect this microscope to any PC and watch as the tiny things are magnified to incredible size -- and displayed on your monitor
    • Up to 200X magnification for seeing the tiniest particles and microbes, bigger than life
    • Requires USB port and 4 AA batteries(not incl.)

    8. Nikon LaserCaddy 500G Laser Rangefinder
    by Nikon Sport Optics

    our price: $239.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001CAB60
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon Sport Optics
    Sales Rank: 103
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • High resolution images in fast, precise, and consistent measurements
    • Advanced digital processor and high grade optics
    • Lightweight and compact at only 7 ounces
    • Water-resistant design
    • Uses one lithium battery

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 500G
    This little thing is sweet. Very clear optics, easy to read, super accurate, and nice and small for my golf bag. Well worth the money. ... Read more


    9. Night Owl NOCX5 Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope with I/R Illuminator
    by Night Owl Optics
    list price: $450.00
    our price: $215.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004THMU
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Night Owl Optics
    Sales Rank: 667
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Go night fishing, boating, or nature viewing with Night Owl's ExplorerPro viewing scope. It is a compact, easy-to-operate device that travels well forrecreational use. It's also useful for surveillance, search and rescue, andproperty management. You'll expand your viewing boundaries with the powerful 5xmagnification and high-level amplification. The Explorer Pro is also weather- resistant so when you are caught in the rain you can still view without damagingyour monocular. ... Read more

    Features

    • Ergonomic design and styling for comfortable night viewing
    • Durable, covered power and IR buttons
    • Weather-resistant
    • Powerful 5x image magnification
    • 15,000 image tube gain

    Reviews (5)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Yes and No
    It is good for general landscapes when there is very little light. But it does not have the power to easily illuminate small animals. Great for camping trips.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for police/security surveillance
    I use this for security surveillance when I watch my clients property at night and it works very well. You also have the option to purchase a camera adapter (on other web sites) which will allow you to take pictures which has been very usefull. When the police department I work for purchases new night vision equipment I will be reccomending they look at the Night Owl line of products.
    Len Stang

    3-0 out of 5 stars poor optic
    Well, I can see things in even total darkness, but with lot of image distorsion. Very poor lens optic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing power and clarity.
    At night I'm able to view animals at great distances in the field behind my house. Even past 100 yds I'm able to see if a deer is a buck or doe. The infared is like shining an invisiable flashlight on something and it works best if turned on within about 30 yds or inclosed space. It's has solid construction, clear picture, and is a fun to mess around with.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Night Vision Dream
    This nightr vision scope is spectacular, the range is incredible. This product is helpful for me when I hunt or walk outside to get the newspaper. This is a must-have for all "toy-collectors" ... Read more


    10. Nikon Sky & Earth 15-45x60 Spotting Scope Outfit with Slik Tripod
    by Nikon Sport Optics

    our price: $259.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006GF1K
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon Sport Optics
    Sales Rank: 1022
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Lightweight,water resistant polycarbonate body.
    • Fully multicoated optics for bright, clear image.
    • Built - in sliding sunshade.

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brings the Maine islands alive!
    I purchased this for my Dad for Father's Day, and he has not stopped raving about it. He can now look out his window in coastal Maine and read the names of sloops rounding islands far offshore. The price was so good, I hoped it wouldn't turn out to be cheaply made. Thankfully, the optics are powerful, and the housing is sturdily built for years of use. Note that a good tripod is included (not made clear on the product detail page). I'm VERY pleased with this purchase.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Product (but not Excellent)
    I shoot in the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The true test of a scope for me is if one can see a .223"-round at 100 yards (lighting conditions apply). The key thing here is the focus. To see a .223" hole in black paper with a black background can be very demanding on a scope... this scope will do it. I don't rank it as excellent (5 stars) because that would insinuate that this scope is as good as an equivilant aperature Kowa or Swarovski. Nevertheless, Nikon has produced an excellent product. If you're trying to get a good bargain at a budget price I recommend this scope.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This thing is amazing!
    I just got back from a seaside resort on the Pacific Ocean.The hotel provided one of these scopes on our balcony for whale watching. I was incredibly impressed with the clarity, zoom ratio, and image width. In fact, I just bought one from Amazon. A bit pricey perhaps, but absolutely without question worth every penny.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
    It was just perfect. I could not be more delighted with this scope. It saved me a great deal of money buying it from you guys, thanks again. ... Read more


    11. Bushnell Yardage Pro Tour XL Laser Rangefinder
    by Bushnell
    list price: $299.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005AXIZ
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Bushnell
    Sales Rank: 993
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Water-Resistant
    • Accuracy to +/- one yard from 10 to 1000 yards away
    • 4x magnification
    • Internal reticle which makes estimating the range to the pin quick and easy
    • Great for golf

    Reviews (6)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy fhis from Adorama Camera
    I attempted to buy this range finder as a gift for my golfing buddy's birthday. I paid $20 in shipping and was told I would receive this product in 1-3 business days. Adorama never shipped the range finder. When I called a week later, they told me they had canceled my order. They refused to send me the product even though they charged my VISA card! They don't publicize their phone number and I'm currently out over $200!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent--BUT
    This is an excellent device that gives accurate distances on the golf course. It will measure to the pin, a bunker, or any other surface perpendicular to the direction in which you want to go.

    BUT.....

    The on off switch is positioned in such a way as to be activated when the unit is in its case. So the only way to prevent it from eating batteries is to either not use the case, or to paste a thick washer around the switch to prevent the case from contacting it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Range Finder Designed for Golf
    My golf partner had this particular model and I became dependant on playing with him. When we were not playing together, I could estimate fairly close to the distance, but sometimes frustrating when I was off. Many range finders that are on the market were not designed for golf, but for hunting. It was too difficult for many of them to determine distance using the flag stick. Before I purchased this range finder, I did some research to find the best device for the least cost, and one that was designed specifically for golf. I first purchased a less expensive model, however even on par 3s, it had trouble ranging on the flag. Not a problem with this model. It is outstanding! Many golf shops sell this model for $400+tax. Stop by a few of your local golf shops, ask for this model number, and check out their price, then go back on line and order one for $125 less. If you want a range finder that was designed specifically for golf, you will not be disappointed. It's a great deal, and worth the investment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How to fix battery problem
    My new Bushnell range finder is a super investment and does everything I need very well. An earlier review referenced a battery problem when put in the case, the case presses the "on" button and runs the battery down. I had this problem but fixed it by glueing a garden hose washer (just exactly the right size) around the button, this keeps anything but my finger away. my problem is solved

    2-0 out of 5 stars Beware of "hidden costs"
    I don't have any big problem with its technical specs. My Pro Tour XL works, but its design is flawed. Because its power button is bumped and very sensitive, the device can get powered on very easily in the maker-supplied carrying case. You notice every time you simply put it back in the carrying case, the device turns on. I'm sure that it gets on whenver I grab it or it's packed with other stuff in a golf bag. As a result, battery drain is significant. One battery lasted only two months for just a few rounds of play. At this rate, costs of batteries can quickly surpass the price of this device! ... Read more


    12. Celestron Nexstar 5i Computerized Go-To Telescope Kit w/ Hand Control & Tripod
    by Celestron
    list price: $1,630.00
    our price: $999.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00007AP9Q
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Celestron
    Sales Rank: 2641
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Review

    The Nexstar 5i is the computerized version of Celestron's legendary five inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Although I own larger telescopes, I find myself getting out the five inch SCT more than the others because it combines good optics with excellent portability and easy operation. The Nexstar 5i's optics are sharp enough to bring out pleasing detail on the Moon, on the planets, and on star clusters and galaxies, yet the optical tube is less than twelve inches long. It's small enough to carry outside (even when it's already set up ready to go), small enough to take on high desert camping trips, and easy to transport to public star parties.

    The NextStar handset is your user-friendly guide to more than 40,000 celestial objects.
    What can I see with the Nexstar 5i? On a good night I like to use an optionalUltima 7.5mm eyepiece for a magnification of 166X. With the Ultima 7.5mm, I can see the Cassini division extending all the way around Saturn's rings. I've been able to watch the shadow of Jupiter's moons glide across the face of the planet, and sometimes the moons themselves. I can see the famous Great Red Spot on Jupiter (it's actually tan this year), and when Mars is favorably placed, I can see the polar cap and dark surface markings on Mars. From a dark viewing site in the country, I've been able to find all the Messier galaxies. When I look at M86 in the Virgo galaxy cluster with the standard equipment 25mm plossl eyepiece (about 50X), for example, I can see five galaxies at once, including M84 and three fainter NGC galaxies. When I look at brighter globular clusters like M13 and M22 with a 12.5mm plossl (100X) I can resolve many individual stars.

    The included Nexstar computer is much easier to use than earlier generations of computerized telescopes. You can choose from four different alignment modes, from the traditional two star alignment to the latest GPS-aided automatic setup using the optional CN-16 GPS module. I especially like the flexibility of the new "quick align" feature. I took two computerized telescopes to a recent public viewing session. Using the "quick align" mode I was able to set up the Nexstar 5i and start letting folks look at Venus a full half-hour before sunset! Meanwhile the older computerized telescopes, including my own, were waiting more than an hour before the first alignment stars appeared in the twilight.

    The biggest drawback to the Nexstar 5i is the short life of its AA batteries. Low batteries can cause the Nexstar computer to crash and lose its alignment. I've been able to avoid these computer crashes by using Celestron's car battery adapter with a rechargeable jump-start power pack. Like all Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, dew forms easily on the front corrector lens, but Orion's #4209 Flexishield dew cap works well to prevent problems with fog on the lens. --Jeff Phillips

    Pros:

    • Proven optical performance of Celestron's five inch SCT
    • Small enough to keep set up ready to go
    • Nexstar computer is easy to use
    Cons:
    • Short battery life
    ... Read more

    Features

    • Includes a special kit for adding a computerized hand control and a sturdy Celestron tripod
    • 127mm (5-inch) diameter Schmidt-Cassegrain refractor
    • Focal length of 1,250mm and focal ratio of f10
    • Fully enclosed high-speed motors on both axes
    • Auxiliary port for adding optional accessories

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Go one better than a starter scope and you won't regret it
    If you're thinking of an entry-level scope but can go a few dollars more, the "kit" form of the NexStar 5i that includes the computerised hand control and the tilt-plate wedge tripod is a great place to start. You won't have the mediocre tracking issues you find in the under $500 scopes, and you have classic, well regarded optics in the Celestron "C5" 5" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assembly (OTA).

    I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this scope. It tracks extremely well for a non-worm driven telescope and it is good enough that even in alt-az (non-equatorial mode) you can do short exposure astrophotography. If you utilize its tilt-plate wedge and use the built-in polar alignment routine (on the hand control -- it talks you through polar alignment) you can do even better, taking many good 90 second to 2 minute images. You will have to toss some of them because tracking isn't wholly consistent, but still, we're talking about an under $1000 kit so this is good stuff!

    The whole unit can stay put together if you've got the room, which means that a smallish person can carry the whole thing in one hand and be set up in minutes (assuming you've given the scope enough time to reach the outside temperature of course). If you add an external power source -- rechargable 12V DC of at least 7 amp-hours like a "jump start" type battery) and a dew shield straight away, you'll have everything you need for some incredible viewing for a long time. You'll want to add eyepieces so look at the Celestron eyepiece kit as a good starter package.

    All you need to do after ordering or before if you're smart, is check out the Yahoo NexStar group to ask for help in learning your new cool toy. And check out the NexStarSite dot com for an "i" series specific alignment guide. You'll need to follow it to get the best GOTOs and tracking.

    After that, if you kick yourself because you didn't buy an 8" OTA, don't worry. You can add it later. Ask how on the group and they'll direct you to the hardware you'll need. I regularly swap OTAs on my NexStar 5i.

    This isn't a long exposure astrophotography platform (for CCD imaging) but if you are interested in starting somewhere, it isn't half bad. And even if you upgrade later to a more appropriate platform for imaging later, I bet you'll keep this little guy. ... Read more


    13. Canon 12x36 Image Stabilization II Binoculars with Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
    by Canon Cameras US
    list price: $999.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XH6G2
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon Cameras US
    Sales Rank: 1521
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Canon's 12x36 Image Stabilization II binoculars incorporate an optical image stabilizer for shake-free viewing with minimal eye fatigue. This technology was first developed for Canon video camcorders and is now available in many of Canon's binoculars. The system employs a Vari-Angle Prism, dual transparent plates, independent vertical and horizontal sensors, and a dedicated microprocessor to continuously adjust the prism to maintain a steady image.

    These 12x36 Image Stabilization II binoculars feature a water-resistant rubber coating for nonslip holding. If you get caught in light rain, you don't have to worry about the optics fogging up or getting ruined. These binoculars deliver high magnification, long eye relief, and wide-field viewing. Controls for focusing and image stabilization are centrally located and are accessible by both hands.

    Improvements to the objective lens assembly have resulted in the binoculars being approximately 26% lighter and 10% smaller than the previous 12x36 IS model they replace. And reductions in power consumption mean a massive 270% increase in battery life of up to four hours using two AA-size alkaline batteries.

    Image Stabilization and More
    With any high magnification binoculars, most users will experience frustrating image shake. Unless fixed to a tripod, image shake can render high magnification binoculars useless. Canon's IS technology is remarkably effective at eliminating this problem and is widely used by the television industry with Canon's professional broadcast quality video recording equipment. A special VAP (Vari-Angle Prism) corrective IS system sits between the objective lens group and the porro prism on each side of the binoculars. Within thousandths of a second of the binoculars being moved from their optical axis by vibrations, a detection system activates the IS mechanism. The VAP shape alters to refract or 'bend' the light path by precisely the right amount, thus fully compensating for the vibration. It is this essentially immediate response that effectively suppresses image shake. The binoculars' compact design is based on Canon's popular 10x30 IS model. Curved surfaces mean easy handling, while nature lovers will appreciate the low-reflectance exterior and low gloss front covers, which help to avoid disturbing birds and other

    What do the numbers mean?
    15x50? 8x25? The two numbers used to describe any pair of binoculars are their magnification — 8x, 12x, 15x and so on — and the diameter of their objective lenses — 25mm, 36mm, 50mm, and so on. The larger the first number is, the larger the object will appear to be in the objective lens. For instance, if you use a 10x lens and look at an object that is 100 yards away, it appears to be the same size as an object located just 10 yards away. The second number, the size of the objective lens, is important because the larger the objective lens, the more light it can admit for brighter, more detailed images, and the better suited they will be for lowlight situations.

    A look inside

    ... Read more

    Features

    • Light and compact Image Stabilizer binoculars featuring Canon's Vari-Angle Prism
    • High magnification (12x), long-eye relief and wide-field viewing optics with wide, extra-bright field-of-view
    • Multi-Coated Canon optics including Doublet Field-Flattener for excellent edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast
    • Power-saving design allows for up to 4 hours of continuous use
    • Water-resistant non-slip rubber coating

    14. Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42 Waterproof Binoculars
    by Nikon Sport Optics

    our price: $279.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006I5JH
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon Sport Optics
    Sales Rank: 830
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Phase correction coated and fully multicoated for bright, crisp and clear imaging
    • Precision aligned optics for extended viewing
    • Ergonomically styled, wth easily operable controls
    • 100% Waterproof / Fogproof / Shockproof
    • Ultra rugged, rubber armored, roof prism design

    15. Meade ETX90EC Telescope with 884 Tripod and Software
    by Meade
    list price: $995.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008K7N7
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Meade
    Sales Rank: 2343
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Review

    The Meade ETX90EC is a compact telescope with excellent optics, packaged with a sturdy tripod and the remarkable Autostar computer control. Even though I own several telescopes and belong to an Astronomy club, the first night I took out the ETX, it showed me objects I'd never seen before. The ETX90EC is the computerized version of an affordable Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope first introduced by Meade in 1996. Every reviewer since then has commented on the excellent optics. How excellent? When I presented a session on optical testing at my local Astronomy club, I brought my ETX90 so that everyone could see what a "textbook" star test actually looks like.

    What can you see with an ETX90? You won't see the flag on the Moon, but you will see sharp, color free views of mountains and valleys, craters, and lava flows. The planets are also a delight. I'll never forget seeing Saturn's rings with my own eyes for the first time. Although you can see the rings of Saturn and the cloud bands of Jupiter with the included 26mm Plossl eyepiece (about 48X magnification), you'll want to increase the magnification to bring out more detail. I find that a magnification of about 100X is ideal on most nights. You can reach 100X by using a Barlow Lens, I like the Celestron Ultima Barlow, or a smaller eyepiece such as the Celestron Omni Series 12.5mm . It's tempting to crank up the power to 200X or more, but on most nights I didn't see any more detail.

    The Autostar controller makes it easy to find 30,000 celestial objects.
    As good as the optics are, however, the most amazing feature of the ETX90EC is the Autostar computer. The ETX90EC with Autostar was the first computerized "go-to" telescope for under a thousand dollars. While bright objects like the moon are easy to find, the Autostar excels at finding the galaxies and star clusters that make space so fascinating. Maybe it's because I play with computers anyway, but I found the Autostar easy to use. The owners manual instructs you to begin the alignment by pointing the telescope North and tilting the telescope to level. I don't use a compass or a spirit level to do this, I simply point the telescope at the North Star, Polaris, and lower the telescope 44 degrees using the setting circles. This works because my home is near 44 degrees latitude. Don't know which star is Polaris? You'll want some kind of star chart that identifies the stars by name, NightWatch by Terence Dickinson is one of my favorites.

    Many of the best galaxies and star clusters were discovered by a French comet hunter named Charles Messier. These so-called "M" objects looked to Messier like comets in the small telescopes of his day. My first night with the ETX, I switched on the "tour" mode. After looking at a few favorites, the cluster M52 came up on the Autostar. I pressed GO TO, and the telescope aimed itself at a cluster I hadn't looked at before. And darned if it didn't look just like a distant comet passing in front of a few small stars! I was so impressed, I bought an ETX for my step-son who works for the Air Force.

    It's only fair to warn you, however, that if you find yourself enjoying Astronomy, you may start wanting a bigger telescope! --Jeff Phillips

    Pros:

    • Excellent optics
    • The Autostar computer finds objects and describes them for you
    • Small and easily portable

    Cons:

    • It's small--the only way to see more detail is with a bigger telescope
    • When using small eyepieces, you might bump the finder scope with your nose

    ... Read more

    Features

    • Includes Autostar controller and deluxe field tripod
    • Cordless motor drive for fully automatic tracking
    • Equatorial fork mount, flip-mirror system
    • Maksutov meniscus corrector lens of Grade-A BK7 optical glass
    • Includes a Meade Series 4000 Super Plossl 26 millimeter eyepiece for 48 times magnification

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Meade Does It Right
    The Meade ETX90EC lives up to its billing. It's a high-quality piece of gear that exudes craft and workmanship. The bundled package w/Autostar and Tripod gives you most of what you need. If you have any intent of doing terrestrial viewing, you should consider the 45 degree erecting prism. Also, the package does not come with any power adapters. If you plan to be out for a long evening of star gazing, you will probably want the adapter that lets you plug into a cigarette lighter. I wish Amazon had the UHTC version available, but no luck. Finally, I haven't been able to find the correct T-mount adapter for this scope on Amazon. I do want to use it for photography eventually. The main thing I would say is that this is not a toy, but it is ideal for beginners to intermediate enthusiasts. I've had more fun in just a couple sessions than I've ever had before.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in Meade
    This was my husband's big present for Christmas, something he has always wanted. While unwrapping and unpacking, he heard a rattle in the spotting scope. Upon investigation, he fished out a broken set screw and discovered that it had sheared off the outside of the spotting scope. Another screw was badly damaged. The eyepiece covers had all been left off when shipping. Also, all the settings were loose and had to be reset. Meade does not have an 800 number and you are put on hold interminably when you try to contact them. All in all, he likes the scope BUT was very disappointed in the quality of the manufacturer and lack of customer service. What a disappointment for Christams day!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Telescope
    I've only used my telescope a couple times, but it has been great. It takes a little while to get used to it, and I highly recommend reading the manual. Also, Meade has a deal going on that you will probably want to check out (http://www.meade.com/promo.d/plosslpromo.html). You will definitely want to take them up on this offer. ... Read more


    16. Bushnell Powerview 16x50 Wide Angle Binocular
    by Bushnell
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $46.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000J6WY
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Bushnell
    Sales Rank: 189
    Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The Bushnell 16x50 Powerview binoculars are easy to hold and easy to use for the general and outdoor user. They allow you to view an expanse of 182 feet from 1,000 yards away. The Bushnell Powerview 16x50 comes with soft rubber covering and the patented Insta-Focus focusing system. With Insta-Focus, a touch of the fingertip is all it takes to hold your subject in sharp focus.These binoculars come with a neck strap and carrying case. ... Read more

    Features

    • High 16x magnification
    • For general and outdoor use
    • Field of view of 182 feet at 1,000 yards
    • Insta-Focus system allows you to focus with a single touch
    • Carrying case and neck strap included

    Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hope this sheds a little light on the product
    I bought this item to go nature viewing and must say that it really is a great binocular for the price. The items viewed have a really nice 3-dimensional look to them and the diopter comes in handy even for someone with very bad vision like myself. The focus for this model (16 x 50 Wide Angle) is a flat tab between the barrels that makes it VERY convenient to use without having to look or stretch your fingers. It gives a very nice field of vision and has roll down eye cups, which is good just in case you want to wear your glasses or shades. The binoculars do shake a little b/c of the power of the magnification. And it can be a chore to hold for long periods of time b/c of its weight. It weighs about as much as one of Michener's hardback novels.

    Here is where it can get interesting. The binoculars come with a pleather carrying case, a really cheap neck strap that looks like a plastic shoelace, and a cheap cleaning cloth that is way too abrasive to be used everyday. I suggest replacing both the neck strap and cleaning cloth as soon as you can. The soft, microfiber cloths they sell in eyeglass stores works great. Plus, pick up some of the eyeglass cleaner (spray directly onto cloth, not lens) as it really gets the lens clean and protects any coating on the glass.

    Tripod use: highly recommended to get a steady picture. You can get a regular camera tripod for around 18 dollars. Yes, this binocular comes with a tripod adapter. No, it's not very easy to find. The instruction booklet is virtually useless, but I found out through the website that the adaptor is located behind the front cap between the barrels. Just screw the cap off and viola, there is your threaded coupler. You will still need to get a binocular adaptor to connect the binoculars to the tripod, but I've found that they aren't too expensive: around 7-16 dollars for the generic models. I gave this item 4 stars b/c of the poorly written instruction manual and cheap accessories. Hope some of this info helps. Can't wait to see the stars tonight!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful info to get you started
    I bought this item to go nature viewing and must say that it really is a great binocular for the price. The items viewed have a really nice 3-dimensional look to them and the diopter comes in handy even for someone with very bad vision like myself. The focus for this model (16 x 50 Wide Angle) is a flat tab between the barrels that makes it VERY convenient to use without having to look or stretch your fingers. It gives a very nice field of vision and has roll down eye cups, which is good just in case you want to wear your glasses or shades. The binoculars do shake a little b/c of the power of the magnification. And it can be a chore to hold for long periods of time b/c of its weight. It weighs about as much as one of Michener's hardback novels.

    Here is where it can get interesting. The binoculars come with a pleather carrying case, a really cheap neck strap that looks like a plastic shoelace, and a cheap cleaning cloth that is way too abrasive to be used everyday. I suggest replacing both the neck strap and cleaning cloth as soon as you can. The soft, microfiber cloths they sell in eyeglass stores works great. Plus, pick up some of the eyeglass cleaner (spray directly onto cloth, not lens) as it really gets the lens clean and protects any coating on the glass.

    Tripod use: highly recommended to get a steady picture. You can get a regular camera tripod for around 18 dollars. Yes, this binocular comes with a tripod adapter. No, it's not very easy to find. The instruction booklet is virtually useless, but I found out through the website that the adaptor is located behind the front cap between the barrels. Just screw the cap off and viola, there is your threaded coupler. You will still need to get a binocular adaptor to connect the binoculars to the tripod, but I've found that they aren't too expensive: around 7-16 dollars for the generic models. I gave this item 4 stars b/c of the poorly written instruction manual and cheap accessories. Hope some of this info helps. Can't wait to see the stars tonight!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Buy On Excellent Binoculars!
    I believe this to be one of the best buys in binos. The optics are great:
    1) Porro prisms provide for a more realistic viewing depth of field.
    2) 50mm objective lens (superb light gathering capability).
    3) Good focus adjustment.
    4) Great 16x magnification (product of the light gathering ability)

    The unit is very well constructed and has a rubber outer skin. It also comes with a decent carry case and accessories. Make sure you want 16x magnification, as it will require steady hands.

    Lower magnification (10x, 12x) with a 50mm objective lens will provide a wider field of view. You may wish to take this into consideration depending on your type (preference) of viewing.

    BTW- I also own a $2000.00 pair of 18 x 50 binos.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great binoculars for observation
    This binoculars are good. They give a great clarity. I first tried the Bushnell binoculars from one of my friends. It was 8x21, small Bushell binoculars. I was astonished by the good quality of the binoculars especially the optics. After this I decided to buy binoculars for my self to use them for terrestrial and night sky observation. During the terrestrial watching they do a great job, but in my opinion the more power is better. It's still cold outside to tell how they do at night. But once or twice I have tried watching at the stars, good clarity but the binoculars are kind of heavy to hold on to. The case for Bushell is great but the strap for the binoculars is garbage. Nonetheless I recommend buying this binoculars but I think the more power is better. Bushell is doing a great job in optics. By just looking at the binoculars one would think that they should be more powerfull because of their size. I should have bought myself a 12x50 or even 16x50 Bushell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible value
    I researched binoculars on the Web after my grandaughter lost my previous Bushnells (7x35). I was prepared to spend several hundred dollars after a cheap pair of Tasco's failed to illuminate at a Simon & Garfunkel concert.

    My research led me to believe a Pentax 8x50 waterproof model would be the best choice ($265). I stopped at a local sporting goods store and tried various models of Pentax, Minolta and Nikon binocs, and they were ok. They had a pair of these Bushnells and I was amazed at the quality. They were the brightest, had the best field of view, were easy to adjust, and I was able to easily use them with my eyeglasses.

    I bought a pair. Why spend $100s when these do the job even better at $45? ... Read more


    17. Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 Waterproof Binocular
    by Nikon Sport Optics

    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006AG6C
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon Sport Optics
    Sales Rank: 1753
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Ultra rugged, rubber-armored, roof prism design
    • Multicoated lenses for bright, clear images
    • Precision aligned optics for extended viewing
    • 100% Waterproof/Fogproof
    • Extended eye relief and central focus for viewing convenience

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Performance at a reasonable price
    I really like these binoculars. They are light, bright, work well with eyeglasses and I give five stars because they are excellent value. I bought these binoculars for a nature trip in the Amazon and I use them in the back yard, on hikes and occasionally at the symphony or opera. My sister, an ornithologist, told me to get the most expensive binoculars I could afford. To her binoculars are a professional tool but I really didn't want to afford a thousand bucks like she was suggesting. She also told me to try out binoculars in dim conditions and to get 8x42 rather than 10x42 because it is easier to find what you are looking for and easier to hold so that the view is not shaking.

    In the store I compared these with the same power Leica. The Leica was nice but a lot heavier. I could tell the Leica was better, but not three times the price better. It was dusk, overcast and drizzling (ideal conditions for trying out binoculars). For example, I was looking at the brick work under the awning on a building about a block away from the store. I could see more detail in the brickwork and felt more 'there' with the Leica. In brighter conditions the difference is less noticeable and I like the lighter weight of the Monarchs.

    On the Amazon trip I has the opportunity to compare binoculars with other people. Most people had brought cheaper binoculars and I think as a result their wildlife watching experience was compromised. The only people who had brought comparable binoculars were avid bird watchers. They had Opticrons which are in the same price ballpark as the Leica. Again, they are excellent binoculars but not three times better.

    I like the hard rubber-armor construction. It does not become slippery when wet. They feel solid but light. I am not so nervous about dropping the binoculars as I would be with the Leica or Opticrons. The firm turn-and slide eyecups (like the Lieca) are a huge improvement over the fussy soft foldable rubber eyecups found on many other binoculars.

    Looking for binoculars is a lot like looking for Hifi speakers. As the price goes up, the quality improves. At a certain price point you can no longer tell the next price level is clearly better; it is mostly just different. That is a good place to buy, and is something of a personal judgement. Minolta has some binoculars that are priced between the Monarchs and the high end and I think the Monarchs are every bit as good. ... Read more


    18. Canon 8x25 IS Image Stabilizer Binoculars with Case and Neck Strap
    by Canon
    list price: $460.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000063YA5
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon
    Sales Rank: 368
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Whether you are sitting in the nosebleed seats of a stadium or an opera house, with Canon's 8 x 25 IS binoculars you'll get an outstanding close-up view of the action. The binoculars are designed to fit perfectly in your hands and have a rubber coating for nonslip grip and protection from damage. The focus dial is center-mounted and the image stabilizer controls are easily accessible from either hand. Canon's optical image stabilization technology eliminates shake and reduces curvature of field. The image stabilizer operates with two AA batteries. A BP-B1 battery pack is included. The lenses are coated with Super Spectra multicoating that improves image quality by maximizing contrast and minimizing color smear.

    Image Stabilization and More
    With any high magnification binoculars, most users will experience frustrating image shake. Unless fixed to a tripod, image shake can render high magnification binoculars useless. Canon's IS technology is remarkably effective at eliminating this problem and is widely used by the television industry with Canon's professional broadcast quality video recording equipment. A special VAP (Vari-Angle Prism) corrective IS system sits between the objective lens group and the porro prism on each side of the binoculars. Within thousandths of a second of the binoculars being moved from their optical axis by vibrations, a detection system activates the IS mechanism. The VAP shape alters to refract or 'bend' the light path by precisely the right amount, thus fully compensating for the vibration. It is this essentially immediate response that effectively suppresses image shake.

    Super Spectra Coating
    A number of optical factors affect the brightness of an image, including the amount of incidental light that is reflected by the lens. An uncoated lens will refelect away as much as 8% of the incidentail light, significantly dimming the image. Canon's Super Spectra Coating prevents that reflection.

    What do the numbers mean?
    15x50? 8x25? The two numbers used to describe any pair of binoculars are their magnification — 8x, 12x, 15x and so on — and the diameter of their objective lenses — 25mm, 36mm, 50mm, and so on. The larger the first number is, the larger the object will appear to be in the objective lens. For instance, if you use a 10x lens and look at an object that is 100 yards away, it appears to be the same size as an object located just 10 yards away. The second number, the size of the objective lens, is important because the larger the objective lens, the more light it can admit for brighter, more detailed images, and the better suited they will be for lowlight situations.

    A look inside

    ... Read more

    Features

    • 8x magnification with wide field of view
    • Optical image stabilization system
    • Multicoated for contrast, clarity, and color fidelity
    • Doublet field flattener lens
    • Rounded design for holding comfort

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars They beat Leica 8X32's
    Oh, man. I worked eBay, finally got myself a pair of the vaunted Leica 8X32 roofs at a decent price. And splendid binoculars they are. Excellent.

    Then Canon comes out with these IS 8X25's. I already had the 12X36 jobs, wonderful and bulky. HAD to have the 8X25's.

    Here's the deal. Serious binocular users know "Better view Desired" http://www.betterviewdesired.com/

    I used a casual version of his NEED test.

    The $300 canon IS 8X25's beat the $500 Leica 8X32's all hollow on any measure of hand-held resolution. HAND-HELD. On a rest, the Leicas showed their precision optics. Hand held, the Canon's were far better.

    There ya be, friends. Image stabilization RULES.

    RossB

    5-0 out of 5 stars Viewing Power per Dollar - Second to None!
    I have to give these binoculars 5 stars, not because they are the finest optics money can buy, but because they give the clearest and steadiest handheld viewing you can get at anywhere near this price. Value for the money is the point, here. But, besides value, they actually are very good quality optics! They feel well made. Although they are mostly plastic, it's good quality material, they don't feel cheesy. No, they are not built like a Leica tank (intended to survive an atomic blast), but the image stabilization is so amazing, I am willing to be a little extra careful with them. You look through them and press that button, and, PRESTO, the view just stops jiggling! It's just fantastic! The I.S. has greatly improved my stargazing pleasure. Maybe I have especially bad hand tremor, but I would bet anybody would notice a big difference. I really love them!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars You can't pound tent pegs with them.
    They are, and they aren't, great binocs

    What they are: as it says, the lightest and least expensive IS binoculars on the market (right now). The optics themselves are only merely very good, but - HAND HELD - with the IS activated, they allow me to read fine print about 20% closer than with my Leica 8x32 Ultras. On a rest, the Leicas are superior. It's the elimination of the jiggles - the 8x25 Canons don't give an image that's as bright and contrasty as those high dollar Leicas, but the steadier image more than makes up for that.

    What they aren't: waterproof or armored. So have a care if you use them in conditions of rain or dust. They're much more complicated than simple binocs, with electric circuits inside, and the matter of reliability does come into consideration - but in the first year, they've survived life in the tote bag ,bouncing along dirt roads without a hiccup. Two more things: besides armoring and ruggedizing, Canon had to compromise _somewhere_ to make them this small. So, while the IS deals well with rapid human shaking. it doesn't seem to correct at all for slow motions. I imagine the engineers were forcd to leave off the sensors for slow motions, to fit everything else in. And, they use CR123 batteries, more expensive and harder to find in a pinch than AA batteries. Of course, if the batteries run dead, all your are left with is a functional set of very good, if a bit bulky, 8x25 binocs. What Canon has created is $300 binoculars that - hand held, with the IS active - outperform my high dollar Leica 8x32 Ultras. And, I imagine, the Nikon SE's, too. No kidding. ... Read more


    19. Meade ETX125EC Telescope w/ UHTC, Autostar Controller (497) and Tripod (884)
    by Meade
    list price: $1,850.00
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008IOVZ
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Meade
    Sales Rank: 2561
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    From the Manufacturer

    The ETX-125EC permits a broad range of astronomical study. In deep space, the ETX-125EC's larger aperture enables the observation of galaxies and nebulae in much wider extension and permits the resolution of celestial objects as faint as magnitude 12.5. The entire Messier listing of 110 objects is now not only visible, but, in addition, every object takes on a readily discernible structure. The Autostar controller turns the ETX-125EC into an automatic celestial object-locating system.

    The UHTC Difference
    Each time light encounters a mirror (above) or lens (below), some light is lost. In the case of a lens, light is lost at both the entrance to and exit from the lens. UHTC dramatically decreases this light loss.
    Image brightness in a telescope is crucially dependent on the reflectivity of the telescope's mirrors and on the transmission of its lenses. Neither of these processes, mirror-reflectivity or lens-transmission, is, however, perfect; light loss occurs in each instance where light is reflected or transmitted. Uncoated glass, for example, reflects about 4% of the light impacting it; in the case of an uncoated lens 4% of the light is lost at entrance to and at exit from the lens, for a total light loss of about 8%. Meade standard mirror and lens coatings equal or exceed the reflectivity and transmission, respectively, of virtually any optical coatings currently offered in the commercial telescope industry.

    Ultra-High Transmission coatings (UHTC), recently developed at the Meade Irvine coatings facility, however, have permitted the vacuum-deposition of a series of exotic optical coatings precisely tuned to optimize the visual, photographic, and CCD imaging performance of Meade telescopes. This telescope includes primary and secondary mirrors coated with aluminum enhanced with a complex stack of multi-layer coatings of titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide. The thickness of each coating layer is precisely controlled to within 1% of optimal thickness. The result is a dramatic increase in mirror reflectivity across the entire visible spectrum; at the important hydrogen-alpha wavelength of 656nm. - the predominant wavelength of emission nebulae -- reflectivity is increased from 89% to over 97%.

    This telescope presents dramatically brighter images on the full range of celestial objects — from emission and planetary nebulae such as M8, M20, and M57 to star clusters and galaxies such as M3, M13, and M101. Observations of the Moon and planets, since they are observed in reflected (white) sunlight, benefit in image brightness from the full spectrum of increased transmission.

    And more
    The computer-driven Autostar controller makes it easy to find 30,000 celestial objects.
    Just plug the Autostar into the telescope's HBX port in place of the standard-equipment electronic controller, do a quick telescope alignment, and you're ready to observe any object in the Autostar's 30,000-object database.

    ETX optical systems include a Maksutov meniscus corrector lens of Grade-A BK7 optical glass. High-transmission magnesium fluoride (MgF2) coatings on both sides of the correcting lens, as well as aluminum-silicon monoxide coatings on the primary and secondary mirrors, are provided as standard equipment. Use the standard pushbutton electronic controller at any of four dual-axis speeds: 8x sidereal for image centering in the main telescope at high power; 32x for image centering at lower powers or for pushbutton object tracking in the altazimuth mode; slow mode for image centering in the viewfinder or for terrestrial tracking of nature and sightseeing; or medium speed for fast slewing across the sky. The observer can instantly select any of these speeds simply by depressing the speed button on the controller.

    The telescope’s ultraportable design allows the viewer to view from any flat surface, be it a window sill, car hood, or picnic table. The optional tripod can raise the telescope to any comfortable height.

    The Nuts and Bolts

    1. Eyepiece
    2. Viewfinder
    3. Eyepiece Holder Thumbscrew - Tightens the eyepiece in place.
    4. 90° Eyepiece Holder - Holds the eyepiece upright for easy viewing.
    5. Optical Tube - The main optical component that gathers the light from distant objects and brings this light to a focus for examination with the eyepiece.
    6. Vertical Lock - Controls the manual vertical movement of the telescope.
    7. Fork Arms - Hold the optical tube in place.
    8. Focus Knob - Moves the telescope’s optical tube in a finely-controlled motion to achieve precise image focus.
    9. Horizontal Lock - Controls the manual horizontal rotation of the telescope.
    10. Computer Control Panel
    • A. ON/OFF Switch.
    • B. Auxiliary Ports - Provide connection for current and future Meade accessories.
    • C. Handbox (HBX) Port - for the Electronic Controller or the optional Autostar handbox.
    • D. The 12v connector, designed to accept an external power supply such as the optional AC Adapter or Power Cord.
    • E. LED power indicator light.
    11. Base Housing - Supports the telescope for placement on a flat, level surface, such as a tabletop or optional tripod.
    12. Holes for Optional Tripod - See your tripod’s instruction sheet for mounting information.
    13. Right Ascension (R.A.) Setting Circle.
    14. Flip-Mirror and Flip-Mirror Control Knobs - ETX telescopes include an internal mirror. With the flipmirror control in the "up" position, light is diverted to the eyepiece. With the flipmirror control in the "down" position, as shown in Fig. 2b, light proceeds straight out the photo port for photography.
    15. Photo Port - Attach any 35mm camera with a removable lens to this port using an optional adapter.
    16. Declination Setting Circle (on left fork arm).
    17. Viewfinder Alignment Screws - adjust these screws to align the viewfinder.
    18. Viewfinder Alignment Bracket.
    19. Dust Cap
    20. Battery Compartment (not shown, underneath base).

    .


    ... Read more

    Features

    • Includes AutoStar controller and deluxe field tripod
    • UHTC coatings are on all optical surfaces for enhanced detail
    • 500x maximum magnification
    • Maksutov meniscus corrector lens of Grade-A BK7 optical glass
    • Includes a Meade Series 4000 Super Plvssl 26 millimeter eyepiece for 48 times magnification

    Reviews (4)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Meade EXT125EC /uhtc w/ autostar
    A novice to astronomy i bought this unit with extra bells and whistles, thinking it would be a good intro to astronomy. I am completely disappointed and would never recommend it to anyone for any purpose other then a door stop. Unless you already have some knowledge of telescopes avoid it at all costs. Set up is difficult to impossible, and what eventually appears is not much better then what you can already see on a clear night. As far as i am concerned this purchase was a waste of money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Telescope!!!!! Beginner or Expert!!!!!
    This is an awesome scope that is so much fun to use and makes it easy as can be to learn about astronomy. It comes with everything you need to see some of the most amazing outerspace objects, nebulas, other galaxies,and more. I can not say enough how easy and fun you will have with this scope. You can use it for terrestrial or space exploration. The only negative to the scope is do not expect to get many hours out of the AA batteries. Buy rechargeables, or build you a 12volt power supply like I did with a lead-acid battery and small battery box. It will last you for several weeks of viewing and plenty of power. The price is not cheap, but remember you get what you pay for these days. I started with a lesser scope and had to upgrade a month later to this one. Just do it right the first time and get the ETX-125 now instead of wasting your time and money with other smaller scopes. Again, this is an awesome scope you will be proud you purchased and impress your friends!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Versatile Instrument
    This is a great instrument for beginners and amateurs alike. Highly portable and easy to set up, which is important in light polluted areas such as Natick, MA. This allows me to get up and go to dark sky areas for fantastic viewing. Even in light polluted suburbia, the Moon, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Andromeda Galaxy, and the Orion Nebula are clearly visible as well as many other Messier objects. If you're a beginner, don't expect to see the flag on the Moon, Hubble Space Telescope can't even see that, or canals on Mars. Do expect to see amazing craters during crescent Moons and polar ice caps during Mars opposition. Jupiter is impressive to look at due to it's shear size. You can make out cloud belts and the famous eye of the 300 year storm. Jupiter's four largest moons show up as small points of light and they change location each night. It's as if you're looking at a miniature solar-system. Saturn and it's rings are among the most beautiful objects to observe. On very clear nights you can make out the Cassini division in Saturn's rings as well as it's largest moon, Titan. Andromeda Galaxy is viewed as a fuzzy cloud with more detail observable in darker skies. Use a CCD camera to overcome your eye's limitation by capturing the color and detail that are shown in pictures. The Autostar is an excellent educational tool with detailed information on each object. It allows you the hands-on experience of learning which makes it fun. Follow the instructions carefully for configuring the Autostar. The more accurate the motor calibration, the easier it will be to align to the stars. It helps to set your watch to the atomic clock which can be found at www.time.gov and use that for the time entered. This will give an accurate position of the stars according to the Earth's rotation. Make sure your telescope is pointed "True North" and follow the instructions for the fork arm location on the telescope. Learn the locations of a few stars during the different seasons in order to make the alignment procedure simpler. I found that if I placed the telescope slightly to the East of "True North" then each time the star it was aligning to was in my 26mm eyepiece. Don't be afraid to pick up the tripod and move it clockwise or counterclockwise until the star your aligning to is shown in the eyepiece. Then you can use the motor to center the star in the eyepiece. The less you use the motor for aligning the more accurate it seems to be and the faster it slews to the object.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My childhood dream- works like a champ!
    Like many of you out there, I have dreamed about owning a telescope since I was a little boy. The time finally came to fulfill that dream and after a great deal of research and sweat, this was the telescope for me. I purchased from Oceanside Photo and Telescope (Amazon did not stock it at the time) and they were very helpful with timely delivery. I had owned a cheap, "Wal-Mart" scope before and it was an exercise in frustration to see anything at all. As far as optics go, one gets what one pays for. I wanted a top-quality scope but also one that was fairly portable. Buyer beware: a scope with enough light gathering power and focal length to be really versatile tends to be one that is best left in place. This one seems to be as close to a no-compromise scope as it gets. It has more than adequate light gathering ability, the design allows an impressive focal length in a very small package, the optics are first rate, and it is reasonably portable.
    My first attempt at getting it up and running failed- my fault because of impatience. I didn't take the time to align it properly and (no surprise) couldn't find anything. The manual says to take your time and do it as carefully as you can and they're not kidding. PLEASE take your time and do it right. Once I got the hang of the whole process it was quite easy and the Autostar system would place the scope pretty close to dead-on target everytime. The scope itself is made very well and the limiting factor in everything I've tried to look at has been atmospherics and light pollution, not the scope. Necessary accessories- my opinion- would include the AC converter (comes with a jack for auto use. The scope will work with batteries (needs eight AA's) but is very slow and the batteries get used up fast), a few extra lenses (it comes with one low-mid power lens), and possibly the dew shield. I found the even a little condensation really spoiled my view and the water can damage the optics. I would also advise anyone to talk to someone knowledgeable or invest in a good basic book before investing in lenses so you don't end up wasting a lot of money. Back to the scope: This scope is a precision, professional quality instrument and if you can afford it and take the time to learn how to use it, you will not be disappointed. ... Read more


    20. Bushnell NatureView 8x40 Birder Binocular
    by Bushnell
    list price: $69.99
    our price: $34.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004SABH
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Bushnell
    Sales Rank: 248
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Bushnell's 8x40 Birder binoculars are designed with the budding bird watcher or avid naturalist in mind. They offer 8x magnification and a field of view of 340 feet at 1,000 yards.Large 40mm lenses allow lots of light in for early-morning visibility.These binoculars also feature center and near-close focusing and extended eye relief for added comfort during long use. The Bushnell 8x40 Birder binoculars come with a carrying case, a strap, and a bird-watching guide. ... Read more

    Features

    • 8x magnification with field of view of 340 feet at 1,000 yards
    • 40mm lenses allow more light in during prime bird-watching hours
    • Center and near-close focus
    • 12-millimeter eye relief for comfort during extended use
    • Carrying case, and strap included

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very happy with purchase
    Our first pair of binoculars, and my wife and I could not be happier. Clear, easy to focus, light weight. Great clarity at near distances; we have a Mourning Dove nest right off of our balcony -- less than six feet away -- and these binoculars allow us to to observe excellent detail. We're very happy with them; so much so that I just purchased the Bushnell Powerview 16x50 pair!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Get a pair and get going!
    These ain't Leica's but they work darn good!
    With these binoculars you can. . .

    Check out the birds and see who's making that racket! Excellent begining birder glasses.

    The close focus ability is great for butterfly watchers( 8 feet)
    get close without getting close!

    Look at the heavens and see that all is not as it seems.
    many "stars" are actually double stars, clusters or galaxies!

    Easily read a license plate 100 yards away!

    well worth the money!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent buy
    I'm impressed. For the $$$, these are awesome. I use them mostly for watching birds on the feeders around my house, and for looking at the moon. Very nice. They are easy to use, crisp, and light. I can see better with these than with my 10x60 binoculars (not that I understand the 8x40 vs. 10x60 :) Bottom line: If you are after perfection, don't buy these -- instead spend $$$$$ and get a great pair of binoculars. If you aren't quite that demanding, aren't a millionaire, and just want to be able to see things in closeup around your house, etc. I highly recommend these.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What these eyes have seen..
    I bought a pair of these last year, and I haven't been disappointed.

    What good are binoculars in the city, you ask? Well, I've found a number of uses for 'em. I use 'em for casual birding in Central Park - I'm even on an internet mailing list that tells me when unusual birds have stopped through.

    I take 'em to the opera and the symphony too! If you can't afford the $350 seats, these binocs help to bring the nuances of the performance into your range of vision. Amazing to check out the sets and the instruments as well.

    And finally these are my constant companion in the nosebleed seats at Yankee Stadium! I think Clemens keeps some kind of powder in his glove...

    I really appreciate the rubber eyecups and the long eye relief - I can use these with my glasses on without fear of scratches. If you want to view with your glasses off, there is a diopter ring on the left eyepiece to dial in your correction. Focusing is smooth and easy and so is adjustment of interpupillary distance.

    Lightweight, great optical quality (if not perfect, certainly fully adequate), and finally, the price is right! I recommend these binoculars. ... Read more


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