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Old Saturday 28th January 2017, 13:53   #76
Troubador
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Clive

Well done on your radio repair.

For an exotic island destination I recommend any island off the west of Scotland. Bliss,

Lee
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Old Sunday 29th January 2017, 07:16   #77
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Clive

Well done on your radio repair.

For an exotic island destination I recommend any island off the west of Scotland. Bliss,

Lee
Thanks, I managed to sort the other problem although I have no idea why but anyway, it's singing away beautifully as before or possibly even better.

Obviously I do live on an island off the west coast of Scotland and I wish it were bliss but then London does my head in too. Here I do feel like a bit of a recluse but even here is to crowded with so much constant traffic.

I might go for a cycle later although might need some spiked tyres for the ice!
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Old Sunday 5th February 2017, 17:10   #78
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Field of view...but closer

Bit of a newbie question nested within (equally newbie)wider enquiries.

If two given binoculars offer the following different fields of view;

Bin A = 350 ft @ 1000 yards

Bin B = 370 ft @ 1000 yards.

At 1000 yards Bin B has a 20ft wider field of view.

Not much controversy so far I hope.

Because the field of view expands in a cone shape with distance from the objective lenses, thus protecting it's uniform afov expressed in degrees, would it be fair to say the following;

@500 yards

Bin A = 350ft divided by 2 = 175 ft

Bin B = 370ft divided by 2 = 185 ft

A difference of 10 feet

...and should this follow, then;

@250 yards

Bin A = 350 ft divided by 4 = 87.5 ft

Bin B = 370 ft divided by 4 = 92.5 ft

A difference of 5 feet.

I fear I have just revealed either one of the limits of my reasoning, my mathematics, or both.

Should my theory hold, my contention is that at 125 yards (which I reckon from my own experience is personally about as far as I can differenciate one Finch-sized bird from another in the current overcast and grey UK skies using an 8x32 of modest price and quality), Bin A loses out to Bin B by about 2.5 ft, or about the length of a short branch.

One either sees this as a big deal or one doesn't.

All the best Tm.
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Old Sunday 5th February 2017, 17:59   #79
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TM

Don't forget that the field of view isn't a straight line at the end of a set distance.

That straight line is the diameter of a circle of view and the bins with a FOV of 350 ft have an area of view at 1,000 yds of 96,223 sq ft. The other bins with 370 ft FOV have an area of view of 107, 535 sq ft or 11.75% more area.

This is not a trivial advantage when you are scanning a big sky for circling hawks or the sea for a re-surfacing diver or otter or seal. And that nearly 12% difference is constant at all distances so gives you a better chance of getting your bins onto a close flying dragonfly or warbler erratically flitting between bushes.

Lee
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Old Sunday 5th February 2017, 18:59   #80
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TM

Don't forget that the field of view isn't a straight line at the end of a set distance.

That straight line is the diameter of a circle of view and the bins with a FOV of 350 ft have an area of view at 1,000 yds of 96,223 sq ft. The other bins with 370 ft FOV have an area of view of 107, 535 sq ft or 11.75% more area.

This is not a trivial advantage when you are scanning a big sky for circling hawks or the sea for a re-surfacing diver or otter or seal. And that nearly 12% difference is constant at all distances so gives you a better chance of getting your bins onto a close flying dragonfly or warbler erratically flitting between bushes.

Lee
Thank you Troubador.

That's an excellent point. Far more comprehensive than my simple, if merely illustrative, 'scan-the-line' thinking.

It's a difficult variable to balance against other metrics on paper, as I am currently almost exclusively compelled to do.

Herein lies the limitations of looking at hard metrics as all that matters in a selection process of, well, almost anything. Were such rationale to trump all others then we would all be riding around on Honda C90 scooters and eating protein based porridge gloop !

Such things can help to narrow down a vast field of options and there are some which I have excluded on that basis alone.

You're reply demonstrates the danger of trying to equate simple statistical criteria whilst excluding their real world impact in field conditions.

Another example might be weight. Who says a little more weight is strictly a bad thing in all conditions?

Same with size to an extent and so on.

This is before we even get into 'the intangibles' such as feel, look and ergonomics eh?

I've spent far more time back-tracking threads on here than is probably healthy, chasing various rabbits down various holes in order try and bring some rigour to a subject which is ostensibly straightforward.

Wrong.

I have to accept that whatever way I end up going with this there is undoubtably going to have to be a bit more 'gut instinct' and 'personal taste' as well as a plethora of other unquantifyables in the mix and just accept it as such. It's the same here for everyone, no matter what they profess from time to time.

I'm prettymuch full to the brim with opinion, both mine and others. Some of the rabbit holes are very deep and lead nowhere. Some open into fascinating chasms of reasoned experience having been bogged down in the mire for pages.

What I suppose I'm sort of saying is that opinions are useful to a point and beyond that one must get hands on and having done so, within certain limits, allow oneself to be steered by gut instinct. There's nothing wrong with that- at least to me.

Funny though, perhaps because of my circumstances, I've probably now eclipsed the amount of hours and minutes I put into buying my last car on this topic.

I find some of the hurly burly of these threads also quite entertaining and dare I say it, refreshingly insignificant in the face of what's happening in the real world at the moment. A bit like watching snooker or indoor long mat bowling both of which have recently been on our free to air channels (for our non-uk , cabled-up friends).

Perhaps bird watching per se falls into this catagory too for many of us.

Thanks again for a very helpful reply.

Tm
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Old Sunday 5th February 2017, 19:44   #81
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Tm

You are very welcome and you are so right that although specifications are useful, as are the opinions of others, there is nothing to beat picking up the bins and in the end going with your heart as much as your brain.

You can probably predict which bins you will respect but I find it impossible to predict those I will love. A good example for me personally is that I have an FL 8x32 that is demonstrably superior to my Conquest HD 8x32 but it is the Conquest that won my heart as soon as I picked it up.

So don't just take specifications with you to try out bins, take your heart as well and listen to it.

And by the way: there is more to nature observation than birds as fascinating as they are.

Lee
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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 09:25   #82
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Agreed.

Paper spec, reviews and opinions are far from the whole story. I've looked through many bins (and owned some) that are widely commended as the latest-and-greatest and wondered what all the fuss was about: whilst also trying to fiddle with eye placement to limit horrible stray-light issues.

Fad, fashion, and zeitgeist have much to answer for. Emperor's new clothes and all that...

Binoculars are undoubtedly a very personal fit and I don't think it helps to perpetuate the very-far-from-objective and distinctly arbitrary 'Alpha' / 'Second Tier' / etc hierarchy.
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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 11:22   #83
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Originally Posted by crinklystarfish View Post

Fad, fashion, and zeitgeist have much to answer for. Emperor's new clothes and all that...

Binoculars are undoubtedly a very personal fit and I don't think it helps to perpetuate the very-far-from-objective and distinctly arbitrary 'Alpha' / 'Second Tier' / etc hierarchy.
I know what you mean Crinkly, but there are grains truth amongst the fads and fashions. For example the Leica BA/BNs that were around everyone's necks a decade and a half ago and the Swarovski's that swarm today were and are terrific instruments. Equally, there have been other terrific instruments that didn't capture the imagination of the masses.

And the alpha/second tier/third tier hierarchy isn't always helpful its true, but it does broadly reflect approximate price bands and has been personified by Zeiss with their Victory/Conquest/Terra product structure and even Leica has dipped a toe in there with their latest Trinivids priced under their top models.

BTW did I take a photo of you on Islay a few years back? See below.

Lee
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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 18:31   #84
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He's a distant cousin (nice photo by the way).

I'd be completely happy with the notion of an alpha / second / third etc tier hierarchy if it were simply used to broadly differentiate between price bands.

That would make sense...
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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 19:30   #85
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He's a distant cousin (nice photo by the way).

I'd be completely happy with the notion of an alpha / second / third etc tier hierarchy if it were simply used to broadly differentiate between price bands.

That would make sense...
Actually to me alpha has always referred more to certain brands rather than particular models.

If thats your distant cousin then perhaps this is you.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2017, 09:19   #86
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How embarrassing, caught skinny-dipping!

I think most would generally agree that branding underpins the troublesome notion.

My personal (current) thinking is that - amongst aficionados anyway - alpha binoculars are to some what designer handbags are to others.

The OP is clearly a thinker who, I suspect, will eventually choose an entirely appropriate handbag.
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Old Monday 5th June 2017, 01:23   #87
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Whee did all that time go!

Handbags!

Blimey, I don't know. I head off into the garden to hang a few birdfeeders up and three and a half months go by.

I've had another op on one of my arms, had two screws that were poking into my shoulder socket removed and am almost recovered from that. Only got 24 bolts and 4 plates in my arms now. Lightweight eh?

Finally in a position to be getting out and about to shops and hold some of the glass that gets discussed. Should be in no more than three weeks. Can't wait.

Doubt I'll find everything I want to try in one place. Anyone here recommend places in Central London? Prepared to go futher afield for the right place but would have to have a pretty wide selection.

Got a lot of catching up to do but see that Leica have fleshed out their Trinovid range with a couple of x32's. Gotta catch up on some of the MHG reviews too. Sure there's much more too.

Anyway- just wanted to say hello and hope everyone is having a lovely early summer. I went to a small nature reserve today and saw some Reed Warblers having fun on some dune reeds today. What beautiful little birds.

Probably the farthest I've walked in six and a half months. It's good to get out. I'm nearly there.

All the best

TM
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Old Thursday 8th June 2017, 23:13   #88
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Quote:
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..... I really want a more of less constant companion every time I step out my door .....
If you're serious about that statement there is only one:
Swarovski 8x25 Pocket CL.
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Old Friday 9th June 2017, 00:03   #89
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Fair point

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Originally Posted by EnjoyTheView View Post
If you're serious about that statement there is only one:
Swarovski 8x25 Pocket CL.


One of the few I tried and honestly? I wasn't that impressed. I generally wear an M65 style jacket and always have a military style edc bag with me even if I just nip out for a newspaper. I have enough capacity to carry almost anything up to and including a Zeiss SF 8x42.

Not so critical as it was therefore. One of the few benefits of having all this extra time without waving the credit card around I guess.

I see where you're coming from though. Can't challenge that thinking at all.

Holding a candle for the SF currently after reading Chuck's/Chill6x6 reviews on Noctivid 10x and MHG. Place a lot of store by his word. Just calls it like it is.

Own tests will be the acid test though.

All the best

TM
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Old Monday 19th June 2017, 18:36   #90
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Finally - part 1.

Got to run a back to back test of sorts today.

Leica Noctivid 8x42 vs Zeiss SF 8x42 Black edition.

Sold out of Swaro EL 8.5x42's and don't stock midupper end Nikons - Swaro should be back in stock next week. I will continue my hunt for MHGs.

Sharpness

Wow! Both Eye poppingly sharp. Felt like a sniper dialing in a target with both. Couldn't split them.

Contrast

Mid day sun on the hottest day of the year so far so not a great ratio available. Will go back to this on a later test.

Brightness/Saturation

Both very bright with perhaps the Zeiss just edging it at the expense of saturation but we're talking very small differences.

Colour caste-hue/accurate colour rendition

Couldn't see any detectable hue. Very short test of course. Instinctively felt either would be well within acceptable rendition limits. Very punchy given flat, direct lighting conditions way up in the 54k range and beyond.Certainly saw no overt green hue in Zeiss or crushing of lower range of what I might call a histogram in the Leica. You just can't tune into such subtleties in five minutes with each though. Well I can't. Ymmv.

Field flattening/rolling ball

Unsurprisingly Zeiss prettymuch bang on to the black edge. Leica up at maybe 90-95% though. Can't see almost any situation short of a locked off tripod mount I would need such peripheral sharpness but its there in the Zeiss, as expected and not as much in the Leica, as expected.

Not sure if rolling ball is something that comes on with extended viewing or hits you from the off. If it's the latter, I didn't see it at all. Maybe someone who suffers with it can advise me what I should be tuning into- if that's how it goes.

Focus

Maybe the heat, maybe a dud, maybe my expectations were way off the scale but the Leica was barely useable and it's location was too far towards the nose on top of that.I almost had to thumb under/index over pinch it to get it going. If thats the decider that holds me back I'll want to test against another to compare. Very disappointing if I'm honest - expected SO much more.

Zeiss - absolute peach. Intuitive positioning too. Just no contest.

Eye relief

Both needed dialing back from full lockdown to counter blackouts. If I was splitting hairs? Zeiss felt more roomy. My glasses are not exactly face hugging but had generous room with either. Glasses wearers- both left me putting that long irritating issue back in the cupboard, locking it and sending it off to get recycled. We can wear our glasses without compromises. Its done. Mike drop.

Overall ergonomics

Leica noticeably heavier which seemed to be bettered by the larger but infinately more comfortable Zeiss **. Zeiss instantly felt 'part of me' - like a comfortable pair of gloves. Leica more 'modular' and a distinct object if that makes any sense?
Both look and felt like toys in my quite large hands.
Leica was good. Zeiss was balanced just perfectly. I could have taken that out until the sun set and loved every minute of it. Leica felt like a stranger I might come to trust with time...or not.

Build quality

The Leica's weight and marginal compactness gives it a feeling of instant advantage as one might interpret robustness with build quality. Focus dial popped that bubble straight off.Real shame.
Zeiss didn't feel as comedy binocular, Benny Hill large as I expected but some may interpret its noticably lighter and more ergonomic feel as not as classically teutonic in its construction. Personally, I think that would be a mistake.

Truth is, fresh out of the box, scuff free and gleaming, who knows which of these bins will embody the true spirit of Vorsprung Durch Technic? Probably both. (see whinge about focus dial)

'3d' effect/stereopsis/depth of field in perfectly arranged object field in Leica

'How many fingers am I holding up Winston ?'

'Five'

'Do you SEE five or do you WANT to see five ? Again ! ' (Voltage turned up to 9)

George Orwell, 1984.

Seriously though. No offence against deeply held opinions. Again, maybe something one tunes into. Should I buy the Leica I will earnestly look forward to being pleasantly surprised by its discovery.





Conclusion

Maybe the diopter locking collar was not engaged properly or something else but I would not have bought THAT Leica. I would have bought THAT Zeiss.

If the Leica had a buttery focus ?

Tougher

Really hard not to feel the Zeiss WAS * (for me and at that point) the better bin.

Oddly enough I was prepared to place a lot of weight on a rich saturated image over many other metrics. I'm sure it will shine when I go back at anything other than peak washout brightness time. Its there, I can see it a bit. Maybe first thing or be that annoying last customer. Maybe I should hold back until the shoulder of the season. I REALLY wanted to fall in love with the Leica but I just wasn't feeling it. The Zeiss offers a really compelling package. There's just nothing not to love straight outta the gate.

Zeiss 1 0 Leica

To be continued......

* edited as on re-reading this was unclear. To be clear, the Zeiss SF was clearly the one that suited me personally at that time. Apologies for confusion.

** another error. Forgive me. It's pushing 30c here. Just not used to it. To be clear - the Zeiss' size was less of an issue that the Leicas' weight.

TM

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Old Wednesday 21st June 2017, 22:28   #91
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Hi Moog,

Reading about your quest, as you apply serious thought and experimentation to finding the binoculars that best suit you, has been fascinating.

At the risk adding unnecessary detail to your pile of information, I'd like to mention one datum which I came across only recently, and which I find helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Themoog View Post
Another example might be weight. Who says a little more weight is strictly a bad thing in all conditions?
A certain amount of weight in a pair of bins is a good thing: it helps to dampen the shaking in the user's arms. Too much weight, on the other hand, is evil, since tired arms shake much more.

In his recent book, Holger Merlitz suggests that the happy medium is about 800 grammes.

Now I understand why I just never used bins that weighed more than a kilo.

The English title of Holger's book is "Handheld Binoculars: Function, Performance, Selection". But, as far as I know, only the German edition has been published so far. Some extracts in English have been placed on the Web, and the suggestion I mention comes from

http://www.holgermerlitz.de/book_eng...formance_1.pdf

Later,

John
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Old Thursday 22nd June 2017, 03:05   #92
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Also, balance, combined with grip and focus knob placement. The binocular in this little video is a 12x (some assert that any 12 is too unsteady, and some say that even of 10x), it weighs 1060 g or 37 oz, and the user's build appears to be slight, compared with the average female N. American.
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Old Thursday 22nd June 2017, 03:29   #93
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Hey TM....
I don't think there's any coincidence that allbinos list the Nikon EDG, Swarovski SV, and Zeiss SF as their top three binoculars in 10X42 models and the EDG and SV were one and two in 8X42 variations. Those three probably ARE the top three binoculars for most in each persons individual order.

That Monarch HG really DOES offer SO MUCH for $900. I'd probably say it's the most COMPLETE $900 birding binocular out there.
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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 13:55   #94
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Hi Moog,

Reading about your quest, as you apply serious thought and experimentation to finding the binoculars that best suit you, has been fascinating.

At the risk adding unnecessary detail to your pile of information, I'd like to mention one datum which I came across only recently, and which I find helpful.



A certain amount of weight in a pair of bins is a good thing: it helps to dampen the shaking in the user's arms. Too much weight, on the other hand, is evil, since tired arms shake much more.

In his recent book, Holger Merlitz suggests that the happy medium is about 800 grammes.

Now I understand why I just never used bins that weighed more than a kilo.

The English title of Holger's book is "Handheld Binoculars: Function, Performance, Selection". But, as far as I know, only the German edition has been published so far. Some extracts in English have been placed on the Web, and the suggestion I mention comes from

http://www.holgermerlitz.de/book_eng...formance_1.pdf

Later,

John
Thank you John.

Agree Holger's stuff is absolutely first class. Thank you for the link. By rights I will seek to order a copy of his book. I speak a smattering of pigeon German and love the logic of the language (would love to reach conversational level) but a full book is beyond me.

I'll research it and find a way even if I have to buy it in German and sit with my battered old yellow copy of Langenscheidt. Holgers analysis is worth it. Why? Because despite my best efforts and earlier protestations of being determined not to develop a passion for the hardware I'm regrettably almost certainly hooked - (groan, slaps head).

It's all your fault Bidforumers !

I think all of the bins on my shortlist top out at around 800g or less.



I think the essential proposition of the thread remains intact and I will pursue my aim. After all, I may have inadvertently developed a bit of GAS for bins, but I won't be spraying money around.

I would like to think that someone coming to my thread who may be going through the same tribulations will feel I've given it a fair crack of the whip and not bottled out by just throwing money at the issue. I'm still looking for my own personal 'keeper' in the way that I have currently four iterations of a Gibson Les Paul but one is very much my soulmate and the others joined the party to fill a niche.

Frankly, it is after all just a tool that is there to facilitate engagement with nature and not the end in itself. I'm actually perfectly fine with my 'reasonably priced bins' for now in the sense that I have them here and ready to rock. Should there suddenly be some sort of event whereby all stocks of binoculars are banned and are never made again, these bins will do. I would miss the super quality I was tantilisingly introduced to at the begging of this week on many, many levels but it's ultimately about the birds, bees, butterflies, flowers, trees etc. - at least for me.

My little neighbourhood of garden birds have more of less fledged their first broods now and the ones that try a second round are gearing up accordingly. The fluff is almost feather and the yellow purses of the fledglings mouths are maturing as they (with great amusement on my part) balance on branches, skid along feeders and berate mum and dad to feed them because it's all so much to take in...and fly !

As I hope is clear, I can be very patient. Let's be honest until now I haven't had much choice . There really is no hurry. I WILL test all the bins that I have shortlisted that I CAN. I won't travel more than a day and frankly, if retailers and suppliers within that radius haven't the hardware on test then there's a reason for that.

All the best

TM
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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 14:13   #95
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Also, balance, combined with grip and focus knob placement. The binocular in this little video is a 12x (some assert that any 12 is too unsteady, and some say that even of 10x), it weighs 1060 g or 37 oz, and the user's build appears to be slight, compared with the average female N. American.
Fair point. Its a recipe and weight is an ingredient. I'm so glad I've had (and have) the chance to test personally. As enlightening, technically insightful and vicariously interesting as window shopping through others' eyes is, nothing beats pressing the flesh, if you will. Especially with a tool I expect to have with me as much if not more than my smartphone.

Video was really nice to watch.Thank you. Those bins really look amazing. I just don't see that sort of format in circulation in these parts. Nearest thing would be an SLC.

Maybe it's because they come across as more of a hunting format and us Brits, by and large, don't hunt. Let's not even 'go there'.

I'm beginning to think I might have to go to this Birdfair thing. Guess I may have missed it this year. Will look into it. Excuse the tasteless pun but I could kill several birds with one stone and go hog wild with my shortlist and waaaay beyond. Maybe there's even a London- based equivalent.
(Why didn't this occur to me before?)

All the best

TM
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Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 14:43   #96
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Hey TM....
I don't think there's any coincidence that allbinos list the Nikon EDG, Swarovski SV, and Zeiss SF as their top three binoculars in 10X42 models and the EDG and SV were one and two in 8X42 variations. Those three probably ARE the top three binoculars for most in each persons individual order.

That Monarch HG really DOES offer SO MUCH for $900. I'd probably say it's the most COMPLETE $900 birding binocular out there.
As always Chuck, you make good sense.

I don't know why,for example, I hadn't considered the EDG. I really like the allbinos site. A few glitches with their comparison tool, at least with my hardware, but a consistent waymark nonetheless. Love it or hate it, you have to respect it.

I guess the EDG didn't figure until now as, has been mentioned, they're showing their age a little in terms of specification and were I a stock buyer looking at the graphs I would hazard a guess that Nikon is either going to pull out of that pure alpha market or come out with something in the next 12-18 months that sets the bar so high that the big three Europeans go back to the drawing board scatching their heads.


As a snapshot though, and by your own reckoning, is the EDG a better allround $1300 bin than the MHG is a $900 bin?

I'm increasinly thinking some sort of binocular fair is the way to go but on the quietist day. Downside is unless they sell on site you're back to a blind buy on products not routinely held in bricks and mortar stores. My NV experience has scorched me of that idea. You need a peach, cherry out of the box. Who wants to lay down that kind of money to then have to box it up and wait for who knows how long and who knows how much hassle for a calibration, grease, part replacement etc?

Nikon, it must be said, seems to fair largely very well out of the box on this forum and elsewhere. They even pulled the EDG v1's from the USA at goodness knows what expense. Hard to argue with that kind of muscle.
I run a twenty year old Toyota 4x4 and short of having the exhaust replaced last year with a custom SS system, over and above routine parts and servicing, it's NEVER gone wrong. Drinks like a fish, moves like a bus, looks like a relic but it never lets me down.

Hope you're getting some nice days out Chuck.

We're melting over here - mad dogs and englishmen etc.

All the best TM
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 04:12   #97
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TM, a hundred posts and six months on I hope you will now be able to test and find a binocular that is just right for you! Or, you could compromise on a less costly model right now with a view to replacing later and you might even find that it is good enough to keep on.

The binocular in that video is not common but not unknown in the UK with a review done there some months back in BirdForum: link

The setup of makes at the British Bird Fair was described briefly a few days ago in another thread. There will be a wide variety probably including pre-launch models, but it does not seem to be the place for leisurely comparisons! I have not heard of anything similar in London.
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 14:10   #98
Dr Owl
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Hello again, Moog,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Themoog View Post
... it's ultimately about the birds, bees, butterflies, flowers, trees etc....
Butterflies! Fascinating creatures. A couple of years ago, I set out on a quest for a pair of top-flight x42 bins suitable for watching both birds and butterflies. This ended up at an optics day at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire spending some quality time with Swarovision ELs and Zeiss Victory SFs.

Both were most certainly top flight models. They showed crisp detail, both at a distance and at five feet, and natural colours; they were comfortable to use for ten minutes at a stretch. As far as my limited experience could tell, they deserved their alpha rating.

But I had no hesitation in buying the SFs; for two reasons -- field of view and balance.

Zeiss makes sure that potential customers have heard about the SF's wide field of view. And it is good: I could see what was going on around the bird on which I was concentrating. At the time, it was this factor which seemed to me to be the more important.

Two years later, I now think that the balance is the greater benefit. The centre of balance of the bins is close to resting on my thumbs, so little effort is needed to keep them horizontal. This makes them more comfortable to use for extended periods than my only other good bins, a pre-Swarovision pair of ELs.

I'm beginning to think that, if one can trust the optics to be first rate, then it is ergonomics that should be the major factor in one's choice.

Obviously, different hands and eyes will have different perceptions. In particular, two knowledgeable butterfly chasers on BirdForum have found that speed of focus is most important when viewing birds and butterflies in the same session, and needing to rack from five feet to infinity quickly; and that 8x32 bins can be the most useful.

If I understand them correctly, Lee Troubador

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....71#post3581771

chooses the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32, which you can easily try, for this purpose, and Alexis Powell

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....13#post3508213

chooses the Zeiss Victory 8x32 FL. These seem to be out of production and are hard to find, but I think that CleySpy has a few left.

Later,

John
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 14:49   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Owl View Post
Hello again, Moog,




Obviously, different hands and eyes will have different perceptions. In particular, two knowledgeable butterfly chasers on BirdForum have found that speed of focus is most important when viewing birds and butterflies in the same session, and needing to rack from five feet to infinity quickly; and that 8x32 bins can be the most useful.

If I understand them correctly, Lee Troubador

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....71#post3581771

chooses the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32, which you can easily try, for this purpose, and Alexis Powell

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....13#post3508213

chooses the Zeiss Victory 8x32 FL. These seem to be out of production and are hard to find, but I think that CleySpy has a few left.

John
Hi John

Some quick remarks: Zeiss FL 32mm is still in production and available. Mine needed some attention and so I have been relying on my Conquest HD 8x32 for some time but now the FL has come back it might end up replacing the Conquest.

These two fast focusing 32mm models come into their own when I am in habitats where many nearby and fast-moving subjects like butterflies and dragonflies occur at the same time as distant birds. This is when the fast focus is a real benefit, so in a very recent holiday in France the 32mm got more use than the SF 8x42. However, when we are in Scotland where the pace of occurence of insects and birds is much more leisurely than in the south of France, I go with the SF 8x42 because the slower focus isn't such a liability and I just love the field of view and, as you point out, the balance.

The 'balance factor', for me, means I am able to hold the SFs up steadier for longer, so watching the behaviour of birds or otters or seals is much easier.

I do not criticise the SF for its focus speed as I think it is a great compromise between speed and precision for most of the nature observing that I do, but for those special habitats where nearby insects and distant birds are coming thick and fast, a faster focus is desirable and both the FL and Conquest HD 32s offer this.

Lee
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 16:15   #100
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TM, a hundred posts and six months on I hope you will now be able to test and find a binocular that is just right for you! Or, you could compromise on a less costly model right now with a view to replacing later and you might even find that it is good enough to keep on.

The binocular in that video is not common but not unknown in the UK with a review done there some months back in BirdForum: link

The setup of makes at the British Bird Fair was described briefly a few days ago in another thread. There will be a wide variety probably including pre-launch models, but it does not seem to be the place for leisurely comparisons! I have not heard of anything similar in London.
Blimey ! Half of those of course are me responding. Seems only courteous to reply, where appropriate, if someone has gone to the kindness of pitching in. People have been very generous with their knowledge and experience.

I think it may compromise the premis of the thread to allow price to become a limiting factor on top of those I've already imposed. I'm in the fortunate position of being able to not have to on this occasion. Six months of no going down the pub or smoking fills the piggybank pretty quick. Plus, you gotta treat youself now and then. Put it this way, 100 set aside for each lump of titanium I now 'own' more that covers an alpha and well on the way to a second. (I no longer smoke and rarely drink- prefer the quiet sunrise just me, a coffee and the birds)

The limits I have imposed may be shared by many but not all prospective buyers- bricks and mortar testing, travel time, all-round flexibility (although I concede that up to a 800g 8x42 is not everyones idea of an all- rounder) etc. Although at various points I've flirted with x32's and 10x I think an 8x or a 7x is a little more versatile for me. The x32 seems not to give me quite as much as is potentially available as the evening draws in - it could of course be my ageing eyes. Look forward to finding out.

What I would definitely concede is that should a buyer ever have any intention of buying a second pair, in parallel rather than serially, so to speak, then this opens up a huge raft of possible strategies. It could be argued that I've almost conceded that point by admitting to developing a tangetial interest in the hardware in its own right. That's the problem with hanging around with GAS junkies on here

There's a guy who's written a couple of pieces (something like, 'greatestbinoculars of all time'?)A cinematographer. One of his contentions is that bins by various marques have their own raison detre in terms of, for example, colour rendition and one picks according to ones own optical tastes and proclivities. I think this is a very important point and can easily be missed in the dash for perfection. We all have our own 'vision' (pardon the pun) of balance and harmony in tonality, palette, range and just inate pleasure to behold.
Choose ones weapon accordingly. There is no right or wrong aesthetically IMHO.

Some of the protracted bunfights I've read on here over some of the more subjective criteria are by turns hilarious and exhausting. Enlightening though.

I used to be GAS mad about stills camera equipment which, if sports optics is a narrow vein to be carefully mined, is more opencast dynamite mining of equipment, if you will. In my defence, I did used to sell the stuff.

I will bash on with my criteria but could easily see a second pair finding its way coming along thereafter to fill a more nuanced roll should a distinct gap emerge.

Were it not for the fact that Mrs.TheMoog (who has by sheer attrition as much as anything else has become as interested in nature watching as I ) that role would be filled by my existing bins. They have therefore already been 'hedged'.

One thing I would humbly hope is that I never get to the point of buying each new micro iterational evolution of a given platform of each marque. If I do I'll be relying on the kindness of the enablers in here to march me off to the nearest Betty Ford clinic !

Good point about Birdfair et al. Having looked at the homepage, much of which seems not to have working links, at least as of last night, I would still like to go. Rutland looks beautiful as a spot. Coupla hours to get there. Could be a very nice day out. Just gotta make sure I only take money for 'soft' purchases though or it could get messy.

TM
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