Habicht 8x30W and Italian supercars (my take on the Habicht)
Italian supercars have both a stunning performance and stunning looks. They can accelerate from 0 to 60 in a sigh and give you goosebumps from their sheer speed and the incredible way they negociate bends. Basically they’re machines of pure joy and will give you indeleble memories and experiences like few other cars can. But then there’s the fact that they only seat two people and hardly any luggage, they’re extremely uncomfortable to get in and out, the ride is harsh and you end up with an aching back, and also the heat from the motor comes into the driver's compartment. This would sum it up for me with the 8x30W Habicht.
I have been using the 8x30W intensively over the last weeks, on every single daily walk, I’ve used it over open terrain, on the coast, on shrubby areas, and then I took it for my holiday trip to a National Park with both thick forests and clear, high-altitude open spaces. They’ve been on boats for seabird and whale watching and have come with me to look for nests among the branches of trees. A bit of backyard astronomy and a bit of the best night skies Europe has to offer. In every situation the Habicht showed its mighty optical quality: sharp as sharp can be, bright, and giving this “supernatural” almost oneiric look to anything you look at; just fan-tas-tic. But then, every single time I’ve used them I’ve thought of how comfortable and relaxing the view is through the Nikon EII (the closest in terms of format/performance that I own). I’ve changed the eyecups for the military green ones (this made them more comfortable) and have tried changing the position of the binoculars, but they never seem to offer a relaxing view (somehow a supercar will always want you to drive it at full speed in tension). And then there’s the glare. I have the much vilified Nikon Monarch 7 8x30; they have been nicknamed “the glare monster” around here. And there’s no denying that the M7 suffers from glare, it can be pretty annoying, actually. But over the weeks I’ve found that the Habicht shows a lesser glare problem but… more often. So, in difficult situations the M7 will make the view almost unusable, but in many situations the Habicht will make it uncomfortable: less annoying but more often. Talking about light where it shouldn’t be: I don’t know if it is the design of the eyecups, but the Habicht gathers “foreign light” in the eyecups like no other binoculars I’ve tried. Then there's one issue, I'm not sure about the name: when there are reflections coming from one side (both during the day and especially by night) you can see strange mirroring images (ghost images?) in the middle of the FOV. The focus wheel is not as hard as I have anticipated (especially the central part, where most of the action happens is not that hard), but nevertheless it makes using them single-handed pretty hard, to say the least, which kind of defeats one of the reasons to have binoculars that are small and light.
Now I am waiting for a new set of Chinese eyecups (slightly winged) to see if they make the situation and use comfort a little better, but I am having a hard time deciding to keep them. They are everything I ever wanted: great optical quality, small size and weight, waterproof and porro (the waterproof is what kills the EII for me, because I live on an extremely humid and dusty environment, where getting your lenses fogged up is not unusual and this makes me concerned about the durability of the EII).
Pros: the optical performance is just mind-blowing, the quality of the image makes you have to pick up your jaw from the floor pretty often, so bright and sharp. The look of the binoculars is simply classy and timeless, and the way they feel in the hands is so reassuring, the grip is perfect and they’re waterproof (the build quality seems remarkable) and the customer service is ace.
Cons: they lack the ease of view other binoculars offer (most notably the EII), so prolonged use can be quite tiring; there is a serious glare issue; the eyecups suffer from light coming from the sides/back; there are strange reflections if there’s a strong source of light; hard focus wheel.
I know there are long-time users of the 8x30 Habicht in the forum. I would like to know if they’ve encountered the issues I mention above and how did they cope with them (besides the new winged eyecups). Thanks for reading this far!
(Needless to say these are my very personal and subjective experiences, I don't pretend to be an expert in optics or binoculars, just give my impressions; I'm happy to stand corrected in any technical term and learn at the same time).
Last edited by yarrellii : Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 13:45.