Meade Instruments EclipseView 10X50 Day or Night Binoculars with Removable Filters for Proper Viewing of The Solar Eclipse on August 21st (127000)
|Prism Description||Porro Prism|
|Item Weight||1.8 Pounds|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Removable white-light Filters
- Meade high-quality, 10-power, porro prism binoculars deliver years of use.
- Coated optics and BK-7 prisms provide bright, high-resolution images.
- Rubber armoring protects precision optics against impact.
- Includes removable solar filters, padded case, neck strap, and cleaning cloth. CE & ISO Certified for Safe Viewing.
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The EclipseView 10x50 binoculars are the perfect staple for the outdoorsmen. Portable and durable, these binoculars are sure to keep up with your adventurous lifestyle. Even better, now you can view the Sun with the removable white light filters. These High-Quality multi-use binoculars have coated optics and BK7 prisms. Rubber armored body for a sure grip.
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When I read about these, I was completely seduced by the idea of being able to watch eclipses and planetary transits with the ease and convenience that a pair of handy and lightweight binoculars provide. My only worry was how good quality would be with these when it comes to purely stargazing, which was my main purpose for buying a pair of binos. So I asked the community whether these can be used to look at the Moon and the stars with a decent wieving quality.
I received a few replies saying yes, and one of them added that, living in a very light polluted area --- which is also my case ---, he could see more stars with the binos versus his own eyes. And that is definitely true. Living in a big city, where you rarely can see anything in the night sky other than a very few bright stars, Venus and Jupiter, I was amazed at how many more stars I could see, that is true and a fact. But when it comes to optics quality, I find they do not really excel, although I believe these were not intended to do so either.
Doing some research, I found out that there are, at least to my knowledge, three different qualities of optics. Those are, going from lower to higher quality respectively: coated, multi-coated and fully multi-coated glasses. These Meade EclipseView are at the lower end, being simply coated glasses. Also, now regarding prisms, there are two qualities, BAK-7 and BAK-4, the latter being better, and these have the BAK-7. Does that mean they are bad quality binos? Not at all, they have a very decent quality, but I decided I will buy an additional pair of binos more specifically suited for stargazing, since I concluded the light --- and atmospheric --- polluted sky of the big city where I live needs sharper optics for a better viewing experience.
The bottom line:
The positives to buy: A pair of lightweight binos with the distinctive feature of including solar filters for viewing the Sun and its phenomena anywhere, anytime. Solar filter sheets are tricky to use since they can be torn easily, and with these you forget about those "consumables" surely for many years to come, since binos are sturdy and look durable. These facts have made me keep them instead of returning them, even though my main purpose when I started looking for binos was not to look at the Sun, but at the night sky. Also, these are out of stock at Meade site, and I am not sure whether they will be marketed again, as they seem to have been conceived for the July 2017 eclipse. It is likely that, once sold out, there will rarely be a chance to buy a product of these characteristics at this price again, so these are a keeper to me. Also, unlike another reviewer, no collimation issues, so good Quality Control.
The negatives: Optics could be better, even though, undeniably, that would have implied a higher cost. Hence, if these are your only binoculars, you may find that, like me, you have to buy another pair of binos to better suit whichever your specific needs. Hello Amazon again!
For your $70, what you're getting appears to be the $40 Meade Travelview 10x50 binoculars relabeled with "EclipseView" branding and the solar filters. Together as a package, it seems like a product rushed to market out of stuff they had lying around.
To be clear, the binoculars work well. They seem very sturdy and well made, and I haven't had any of the optical alignment problems previously reported. They're basic, but seem rugged and have a nice grippy rubber layer around them. Together with the solar filters, you can get a very good look at the sun, and see sunspots in good detail.
What's surprising is that the solar filters don't appear to have even been made or designed for these binoculars. They even have warning labels that remind you not to use the "telescope" without them in place, for solar viewing. The filters don't really fit on the binoculars at all; they're way too big. The solution to this was a long setscrew that drives in from the side. This may be a reasonable and common (if inelegant) solution for the metal tube at the end of a telescope, but what happens when you use them on these binoculars is that the setscrew digs into the aforementioned rubber and leaves a permanent, ugly gouge. The openings for the filters are substantially smaller than the objective lenses on the binoculars, and sit noticeably off-center. Of course, since you're trying to limit how much light the binoculars collect anyway, this doesn't make a really noticeable difference in practice.
In all, this "EclipseView" product comes off as an expensive eclipse tie-in marketing gimmick on top of a solid, serviceable set of basic 10x50 binoculars. The solar filter material is exactly the same stuff you find in disposable cardboard viewing glasses, and which can also be purchased in plain sheets of various sizes on Amazon. For the $30 difference between this product and the Travelview product it's based on, I could make some simple filter caps that would actually fit and wouldn't damage the exterior surface of the binoculars through normal use.