Shaky hands are not only bad for surgeons. If you have binoculars, and actually use them quite a bit or under demanding circumstances, most people find they can’t hold them still for very long. Usually a brace of some kind or even a tripod is in order. (I use one with my uber-heavy “astronomicals”).      The solution is a stabilized pair. They’ve been around for a few years, but the prices have been prohibitive for the bulk of users. The military depends on the M25 manufactured by the Fraser-Volpe Corporation … and as with anything the government does, it ain’t exactly cheap. I’ve seen pairs for over $6500. A more consumer-friendly version by other companies is actually affordable. One such standout model is the Canon 8×25 IS. It’s usually available online for $250-$300 shipped to your door.

The very first seconds you use it, you understand why ALL other binoculars are rendered obsolete by this tech. It won’t matter if you have a wider field of view or greater magnification if the subject is blurred. When the button on the top is held down, the image suddenly snaps still … very startling for a seasoned binocular fan. This has been around for years in camcorders and is time-proven, so it won’t matter what type of optical stabilization is used (active or passive), the point is … it works.

My around-the-world, 30+ year old travel Nikons aren’t missed. Don’t believe the reviews about the less expensive models … while the binocular reviewers may be more discriminating/demanding, many don’t understand binocular use in the “real world.” A $1000 pair simply isn’t necessary for the bulk of users. The entry level Canons will perform far beyond most people’s expectations. If you need more than a pair like this, you have specialized needs.


The Canon comes with a nylon case, strap and eyepiece covers, but oddly doesn’t include primary lens covers. So I designed my own and 3D printed them.

My 3D .stl file, should you want to print your own, is available for download here.  I used just a few feet of PLA filament and a connector I found laying around to keep them together.

Like the old axiom says … seeing is believing.

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