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Old Friday 17th May 2019, 23:59   #16
John A Roberts
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Perth
Posts: 157

‘. . . totally adapted for the daily use of bird watching?’ - the short answer is a resounding ‘NO’

The Traditionals are very acceptable for general outdoor use, as they have stunning on axis resolution
Among other things, this encourages looking around a setting just to enjoy the quality of the detail that can be discerned

Their increased 3D effect (greater objective separation compared to roof prisms), is also appreciable out to at least 50 meters, and adds significantly to the quality of the experience

They also have great charm compared to sameness of many current roof prism designs - their retro appeal, proven design and quality and solidness of construction
(for the same reasons I was greatly anticipating Leica’s proposed 2017 reissue of the Leitz Trinovids - especially the 7x35 leatherette model)

And compared to other alpha class products they are a bargain

For some critical appreciation, see:
Tobias Mennle regarding the 8x30:
Roger Vine regarding the 10x40:

However, the 2 biggest counts against their use for extended birding are:
- the stiffness of the focuser (pre-focusing minimises but does not eliminate the issue compared to the internal focusers on modern roof prisms), and
- the restricted minimum focusing distances (nominally between 3 and 4 metres, however the view is strained for many at the minimum)

Also, glare control control can be an issue
And for many spectacle users, the limited eye relief is unacceptable

Ultimately, they are a 'heart rather than head' choice

For those so inclined, my recommendations would be:

- firstly the 8x30 W (generally the most usable and adaptable, lightest and most compact, BUT potential glare problems)

- then the 10x40 W (superior magnification, better glare control, BUT requiring good holding technique, or the use of rested positions to maximise the magnification potential)

- finally the 7x42 (near state of the art glare control, the stability of 7x compared to 8x for unsupported use, BUT severely restricted Field of View)

I also strongly prefer the leatherette over the RA versions (more retro, more tactile, slightly more compact in the hand)


Last edited by John A Roberts : Saturday 18th May 2019 at 03:10.
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