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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 17:41   #1
pduxon
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10x bins - Alula Test Results

The Finnish Magazine Alula has just published a test report of 10x bins. I thought some of you would be interested in the results. I’ve got to say that they seem very objective tests to me.

Those included were:
Leica Ultravid 10x42 BR, Zeiss Victory 10x40, Swaro EL 10x42, Nikon HG10x32, Swaro EL 10x32, Nikon 10x42SE (his reference binocular). The Nikon HG 10x42 weren’t available for some reason.

There were optical quality breakdowns (sharpness, contrast etc) and Ease of use and thecnical breakdowns (comfort, weight, waterproofing etc).

The optical totals were
Leica Ultravid 10x42 BR – 43.25
Zeiss Victory 10x40 – 45.5
Swaro EL 10x42 – 43.75
Nikon HG10x32 – 45.5
Swaro EL 10x32 - 43
Nikon 10x42SE – 44.75

Behind the scores though he rated the porro SE (the cheapest incidentally) best image (narrowly) but let down by the field of view. The Victories apparently suffered from a lot of CA, and the little Swaro’s lacked a little in Sharpness and contrast. To be fair he felt all the bins had their respective flaws. For instance the ultravid’s scored poorly for quality near edge of field.

For Ease of use
Leica Ultravid 10x42 BR – 31.5
Zeiss Victory 10x40 – 31
Swaro EL 10x42 – 29
Nikon HG10x32 – 31.5
Swaro EL 10x32 - 31
Nikon 10x42SE – 23.5

Interestingly he makes some comments on the 8x Ultravid against the 8.5 Swaro’s, he prefers the Swaro’s just but says the Ultravids faster focus can be a descisive advantage for some.

If anyone wants info on a particular bin or more details of the report please feel free to PM me
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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 17:57   #2
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This rather suggests that the Nikon HG 10x32 could be a cracking buy at 499 from Warehouse Express currently. Anyone currently using this?
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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 18:54   #3
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For most people, the image would be fine with all, and the Ease of use and thecnical breakdowns (comfort, weight, waterproofing etc) part would be more important.

For 10x, I would prefer lenses in the 36-42mm range, if other factors are close.
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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 19:58   #4
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anything mentioned about the chromatic aberration in the 10x32 HG:s or Ultravids?
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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 20:03   #5
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a bit Ultravids - I would also hope for less CA
Nikon - same amount of CA as the Leicas.

the EL32's have more CA than the above the 42's less and the SE the least
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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 20:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blincodave
This rather suggests that the Nikon HG 10x32 could be a cracking buy at 499 from Warehouse Express currently. Anyone currently using this?
I have a pair. I have not read Alula's review but I feel that these are very close to perfect binos for those who like 10x power: compact but bright, wide, sharp and durable - with outstanding eye-relief. I now have also 8x32SE (thanks Jens!) and my eyes resolve more with 10x32HGs. Oh yes, Art Thorn has told you this already.

Some HG owners have complained about the ocular covers and the placement of the neck strap, but I don't have any problems with them. I think these binos have the best focusing ever made in any binoculars: fast, "silky" smooth, precise (absolutely no play at all) and perfectly positioned, big focusing wheel. My only complaint is this darned lateral chromatic aberration (CA), which is frequently visible when watching high-contrast targets and when the eye-placement is not optimal. I have also felt that you may get "black-outs" if you move the eyes instead of the binoculars - the view is sharp to the edges, but you (or at least I) have to keep your eyes in the center.

That 499 sounds like a very good price in Europe - in the USA you may easily find a pair for 100 less - sigh.

If you are not easily disturbed by the CA, I can warmly recommend HGs - if CA is disturbing, nothing beats SEs - and they are even less expensive.

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Old Thursday 29th April 2004, 21:28   #7
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Pete: At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, I think that reviews by someone else are useful as a guide to help a prospective purchaser create a shortlist, but no more.

Handling is a very subjective issue: I still think that my Nikon 8x32 SE has superior handling to my Swarovski 8.5x42 EL, though I suspect some people would totally disagree.

How long did 'Mr. Alula' spend using each binocular?
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Old Friday 30th April 2004, 06:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
Pete: At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, I think that reviews by someone else are useful as a guide to help a prospective purchaser create a shortlist, but no more.

Handling is a very subjective issue: I still think that my Nikon 8x32 SE has superior handling to my Swarovski 8.5x42 EL, though I suspect some people would totally disagree.

How long did 'Mr. Alula' spend using each binocular?
yes would fully agree, I've said that a few times myself!!

he had the leicas for a few weeks, owns the SE's apparently and had the others for 3-4 days - just for you lot I emailed him!! Very helpful bloke.

Oh and it is really embarassing how well Europeans speak and write English
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Last edited by pduxon : Friday 30th April 2004 at 07:57.
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Old Friday 30th April 2004, 17:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pduxon
yes would fully agree, I've said that a few times myself!!

he had the leicas for a few weeks, owns the SE's apparently and had the others for 3-4 days - just for you lot I emailed him!! Very helpful bloke.

Oh and it is really embarassing how well Europeans speak and write English
Do you have the points for brightness?
Let me guess the brightness ranking!

1.Zeiss Victory 10x40
2.Nikon 10x42 SE
3.Leica Ultravid 10x42 BR
3.Swarovski 10x42 EL
4.Nikon HG 10x32
5.Swarovski 10x32 EL
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Old Friday 30th April 2004, 17:35   #10
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uh wrong!!

1 = Victories
1 = Ultravids
3= Nikon SE
3= Swaro ELx42
5 Swaro El x32
6 Nikon HGx32

He comments that the better contrast of the Nikon means it performs as well in low light as the ELx32
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 14:22   #11
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What impresses me is how close all of these scores are. The differences among top binocs are probably not all that great; in other words, you can't miss in terms of overall performance. I currently am very happy with my Nikon 10 x 42 SE's, which I've owned for six years. I don't bird much in the tropics or in heavy precipitation, so the lack of waterproofing isn't a critical issue, and I have always prefered the "feel" of porros. I also have never felt the need to focus superduper close. I'd recommend them to anyone who doesn't mind carrying full-sized porro binocs, as the image quality edge-to-edge is amazing and the cost is much lower than the top-flight Swaro, Leica, Brunton, and Zeiss roof prisms.

I was just a few days ago considering, "would I buy these binoculars again?" This was no abstract exercise, as I had accidentally left them under the seat of my rental car in Oahu at the end of a recent vacation. Yikes! Miracle of miracles, however--some persistence with the rental car agency and some luck led to their being returned to me in perfect shape through the mail. Yesssss!!

One thing that came out of this experience was that I was "forced" to use my backup pair of binoculars, a five-year-old pair of Swift Audubon ED's, during a recent birding trip to Georgia. These have wonderful quality in the central image, but a bit of falloff in sharpness around the edges. In a binocular "let's compare" with some top Georgia birders on Kennesaw Mountain a few days ago, I thought that they stood up very well to MUCH more expensive Swarovskis and Bruntons, particularly in terms of color rendition.

But I'm very happy to have my SE's back!!!!!
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Old Wednesday 5th May 2004, 20:15   #12
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Greenberg
I was just a few days ago considering, "would I buy these binoculars again?"
But the question went unanswered...

So, would you buy these (10x42 SEs) again?
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