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Binoculars For Plane Spotting  
User currently offlineHKA From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 148 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I would like to know if there are handy binoculars available to watch planes flying at full altitude, say FL350.

I am looking for binoculars that is strong enough to spot and recognize a plane type and airline flying in clear sky when it is passing over my city.

When I watch planes crossing in clear blue sky, I wonder what airline could it be.
The model and price etc will be more helpful.

Any suggestions or help will be appreciated.

Thanks

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNeilalp From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1034 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 32767 times:

Some things about binoculars that I’ve learned are as you "zoom" in with some as they have a magnifier less light is able to be let in thus making you image a lot darker. Also when you try to see something so small and you are magnifying so much every little movement you make is magnified. Very shaky unless you rest your arms on a table. I don’t have access to my binoculars to get the specs, but those are just two problems I notice.

User currently offlineAmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Neilalp (Reply 1):
Some things about binoculars that I�ve learned are as you "zoom" in with some as they have a magnifier less light is able to be let in thus making you image a lot darker. Also when you try to see something so small and you are magnifying so much every little movement you make is magnified. Very shaky unless you rest your arms on a table. I don�t have access to my binoculars to get the specs, but those are just two problems I notice.

I'm not sure about them losing light as you magnify. On the other hand yes shaking is an anoying thing to have happen I can usually just see the KLM 747 enroute to IAH flying over at like FL350 with my binoculars but a slender MD-80 or 737 I have a hard time seeing at FL350. though at lower altitudes like FL250 and under I can see aircraft really good I don't know what kind of binoculars they are but my mom got me them for 50 dollars.



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User currently offlineAircanada333 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 471 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting HKA (Thread starter):
I would like to know if there are handy binoculars available to watch planes flying at full altitude, say FL350.

I am looking for binoculars that is strong enough to spot and recognize a plane type and airline flying in clear sky when it is passing over my city.

When I watch planes crossing in clear blue sky, I wonder what airline could it be.
The model and price etc will be more helpful.

Any suggestions or help will be appreciated.

Thanks

Hi! I'm often spotting planes at high altitude with my binoculars(Nikkon action 16x50 4.1 degrees). It cost me 200$ when I bought them one year ago. With those binoculars, you can easily recognize the airline and kind of the planes you see. For me it is a very good thing to buy. Anyway......Hope it helps!

Benjamin  wink 



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User currently offlineJohnKrist From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1401 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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I would recommend a spotting scope like the ones bird watchers use, and have a tripod. Tricky to use at first, but after a while you can follow the aircraft with one eye, and look in the scope with the other making it easier to find the aircraft if you lose sight if it. Spotting scopes can be found from $100 and up to 1000's of dollars.


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User currently offlineCountrydude39 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, im glad this subject came up. ive been using a pair of 7x35 binoculars to spot aircraft with. they are not quite stong enough for high altitudes flights. they help in seeing the aircraft but its almost impossible with them to determine what aircraft it is, lol unless its a southwest flight. or a AA MD80. im planning on buying a more powerfull set of binoculars soon, im sure Benjamans set of 16x50s would let you see the aircraft very well as thats over twice the magnifiing power of mine. as far as the hand shakeing goes, find something to rest your arms on, or one thing if found that helps is dont hold the binoculars so tight. just let them rest in your hands and relax. have a nice day, john

User currently offlineDodger From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi All,

I have a Russian pair of Binoculars made by KRONOS 20x60 , not bad for plane spotting but you do need a tripod for sure or something to rest them on i have had them now for four years and they only cost me a hundred uk pounds at the time brand new so i would think they would be a lot cheaper now,

As to being able to see the airline at 30odd thousend feet ? but i can see what aircraft it is , one thing that can happen if you hold Binoculars to tight is your heartbeat can make them move but it may be its me as i,m old!!!lol.


Cheers Roger.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9543 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting AmericanAirFan (Reply 2):
I'm not sure about them losing light as you magnify.

Since the objective lens is a fixed size, zooming means spreading a given amount of light over a larger area. Ideally, the greater the magnification, the wider the objective lens.

Quoting JohnKrist (Reply 4):
would recommend a spotting scope like the ones bird watchers use, and have a tripod.

One advantage of a scope, other than the obvious cost, is that you don't have to worry about "synchronising" two eyepieces. With some binoculars it can get quite difficult at high magnification, especially after they've aged a bit.

As mentioned above, don't be tempted to go for very high magnification. High magnification with a tripod is fine for stationary or slow moving objects but tracking moving objects can get difficult. Optical quality can often give you more detail than high magnification.

Before you buy, try a few out and imagine you're looking at a dot in the sky. Look at a door handle or some other small object across the street and note how clearly you can see the details while holding the binoculars.


User currently offline747srule From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 429 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days ago) and read 32767 times:

I have some 12x50's and have no problem seeing contrails and can see what the aircraft and airline is up there.Hope this helps.


Jesus is the way,the truth,and the life
User currently offlineChrisjake From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 879 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

a friend of mine has a pair of 15x70's, and they work well!

the other day, we could easily tell it was a Continental Express E145 overhead! i've been considering getting a pair of my own


chris



Well nothing's dead down here, just a little tired
User currently offlineCountrydude39 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

hi, i go out in the afternoons on days that are clear or partly cloudy. there are a lot of aircraft that fly over my location. as i said before i use a pair of 7x35s, which is all i have right now, they help you see the aircraft and you sometimes you can make out what airline it is, but if they are very high up or off in the horizon very far you sure cant make out what aircraft it is. i have been studying airliners liverys on the website here and it helps in identifing the airline, southwest flights are the easiest, lol, sometimes the way the sun hits them the red on the belly almost glows. northwest newer livery is also easy to tell. i have noticed around 4:15 or so a 747 flying west almost every day. so i kind of look for it. ive also seen several fed ex planes flying somewhat lower, i think they are coming from IND and are still climing. one of them i can tell is a dc10 or an md11. anyway ive been having fun with it and ill be glad when i can afford a stronger pair of binoculars, im gonna buy at least 15x50s, as i want to be able to tell what im looking at. take care, and have fun spotting, john

User currently offlineDevil505x From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I purchased a pair 10-20 X 80 on ebay a few years ago they are Galileo brand. They are not the most expensive pair but the cost was about $80 and they are worth every penny. Good viewing of planes above 30,000 ft and I also get great detail of planes on approach to PHL at about 10000ft or lower from where I live. Check ebay out you may be able to get a decent set of binoculars on there.

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