Optics

This is part of a series describing some of our common items we use onboard.

We refer to these often not only for our own use, but also when asked specific questions about systems on Denali Rose, and when participating in discussions on various forums.


We aren't implying our choices are the best or only way to go; they just happen to be the decisions we made [...or sometimes what came with our boat...] 

Binoculars:

We travel with 2 pair of the Steiner Navigator Pro C 7x50 [not 7 x 30...] binoculars with lighted compass [and range/size reticule.] One is the West Marine branded version, the other Steiner; they are identical except for the labeling. 

We love them [and have 2 with compasses so we can provide magnetic coordinates when asked "...where away?"]

They are well balanced: Even the Admiral [who admits to having less upper body strength and stamina than I do...] has no issue using her pair for long periods of time. 

We prefer a shaped flotation collar/neck strap [i.e., curved vs. straight made of bright color neoprene] for comfort and retrievability from the water... [Make sure the collar has enough buoyancy to float the binos you have...]


The 7 x 50s are excellent in low light [long after we can no longer see objects with our naked eyes... The 7 x 30s would not have this same light gathering capability; hence why we bought the  7 x 50s.]

The lighted [night vision preserving] compass is well dampened and accurate [at least our pair always agree- even if the binocular users don't...] However, one major difference between the Commander Global model and the other Steiner models is the digital compass on the Commander Global is world usable: the Navigator Pro compasses are regionalized and require factory swap-out if one travels around the globe*. 

Here is the link to the Steiner model comparison chart.

A point worth noting: Using the [infinite focus] Steiners at sea, you never have to wonder if you missed something because your manual depth of focus was not set properly... You will clearly see anything in view when scanning the horizon. We feel this is an important safety feature.

The trade-off for this infinite focus with our Steiner 7x50s is they won't focus closer than ~20 meters, so we use the designated 'guest' binoculars [with manual focus] when inspecting the rig from the deck or other close quartered objects.

RE: Purchasing Steiner binoculars in the US: we did business with this company which sells discounted Steiner binos that are factory refurbished, factory sealed, and open box [demo] units- all with factory warranties. 

They were good to work with, and we wouldn't hesitate to do so again.

Otherwise, there is always Amazon...



Expendables:

The compass light on our binoculars uses a CR1225 battery.


Footnotes:

From Steiner's FAQs
In order to get an accurate compass-heading reading from a compass, the magnetic needle in the compass must be able to move freely inside the compass capsule. The needle must be balanced to make sure it can move freely, without touching and dragging along the top or bottom of the capsule; while consistently and precisely point to a compass-heading.
The compass industry has divided the earth into 5 zones. Your compass is pre-set for the magnetic field in the northern hemisphere (Zone 2). If you sail too far outside of the pre-set zone, the compass needle might stick or not work at all. Many trans-oceanic sailors will take 2 or 3 binoculars with different zones.
Changing compass modules is not a DIY project. You can send your binoculars to our Service Center if you need a different compass zone.

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