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Tried the Habicht 8x30

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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 23:13   #1
james holdsworth
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Tried the Habicht 8x30

A friend came over for a glassing session from my back deck, armed with his brand new Habicht 8x30 and his SV 8.5X42 for reference. I also did some direct comparisons with my HT and a few Zeiss Classic models.

The Habicht was simply superb - very bright, superbly colour neutral and transparent with great apparent sharpness and contrast. Comparing the three [Habicht, HT, SV] there was little in it - both the Habicht and SV showed more glare and a bit more CA at the edge and the SV [to my eyes] always looks a bit bluish and colder than the other two. The Habicht and SV had larger sweetspots.

About glare, as much has been written on this for the Habicht - yes, it was there - low bright sun scattered through spruce branches, ideal for veiling glare, but it was never so bad as to obliterate the view and certainly wasn't as horrid as I expected.

Now, to address the idea of using the Habicht as a daily birding glass - forget it, never, no way, no how. The focus is ridiculously stiff and slow and even stiffened more in the 3 C temps. You would peel the skin from your fingertips trying to keep up with actual living / flying birds. So, a wonderful reference standard and boutique bin but not a birding optic IMO.

The SV continues to impress - marvelously easy, walk-in picture window view with no blackouts, fantastically sharp and contrasty - only lags behind the HT a bit in poor light in terms of brightness / glare / contrast. Maybe a hair ahead in good light though, which I thought I would never say....that said, still love the HT and have no need / compulsion to ever trade ''up'', down or sideways.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 23:22   #2
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and no mention of the acclaimed porro 3D view??? Hmmm...

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 00:51   #3
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Itís a brand new Habicht and the firm focuser will become much easier with use. This is an heirloom binocular and requires some Ďrunning iní. Personally, I love the Habicht focus. Itís a mechanical delight.
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 03:46   #4
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My three samples of Habicht's had very tight focusers also. The Habicht also is fatally flawed , as far as, handling glare. When looking up at steep angles the total view will be obstructed with veiling glare. Here is post by Henry Link explaining why it does this.

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...7&postcount=23

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 04:53   #5
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You need a vise grip wrench to turn the Habicht focuser and it does not loosen up.
It does not loosen up? That's simply NOT true.

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 08:49   #6
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Maybe it does not loosen up during the "30-day no-questions-asked return period"?
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 12:24   #7
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Maybe it does not loosen up during the "30-day no-questions-asked return period"?
My Habicht 1991 6X32 and 1999 8X32 GA porro focusers work very smoothly. My newest 2013 7X42 GA and 2015 10X40 GA need a little more persuasion (and more glassing time behind the wheel)!!

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 15:43   #8
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No mountain Goats?
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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 18:06   #9
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Originally Posted by james holdsworth View Post
The Habicht was simply superb - very bright, superbly colour neutral and transparent with great apparent sharpness and contrast. Comparing the three [Habicht, HT, SV] there was little in it - both the Habicht and SV showed more glare and a bit more CA at the edge and the SV [to my eyes] always looks a bit bluish and colder than the other two. The Habicht and SV had larger sweetspots.
I've got the 7x42 and the 10x40 Habicht, and having done a pretty thorough comparison between the HT and the Habicht 10x40 I'm with you here - the optical quality of the Habicht is quite outstanding. As far as glare is concerned, I even feel the Habicht is just a little bit better; it's a lot better than the 8x30 in that respect.

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Now, to address the idea of using the Habicht as a daily birding glass - forget it, never, no way, no how. The focus is ridiculously stiff and slow and even stiffened more in the 3 C temps. You would peel the skin from your fingertips trying to keep up with actual living / flying birds. So, a wonderful reference standard and boutique bin but not a birding optic IMO.
And that's where I don't quite agree. Sure, in woodland or at migration hotspots with passerines moving around in the bushes all the time, the Habicht with it's slow and stiffish focuser doesn't cut it. It's simply not fast enough, even though the focuser does loosen up over time.

However, as soon as you're out and about in wide, open places, the Habicht works pretty well, for instance at the coast and above the tree line in the mountains. I used the 10x40 for my last trip to Norway last year, and the Habicht worked really well in the Dovrefjell, Jotunheimen und the Hardangervidda. And it's very low weight (for a 10x40) proved to be a real asset on the long trips in the Norwegian mountains.

I think the Habicht most suited to daily use in all sorts of habitats is the 7x42, provided one can adapt to the small field of view. Optically it's even better than the 8x30 and the 10x40, with pretty good sharpness near the edge and NO problems with glare at all, and the small magnification means you don't have to focus quite so much.

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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 19:34   #10
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Red face

Quote:
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My Habicht 1991 6X32 and 1999 8X32 GA porro focusers work very smoothly...

Ted
Oops, meant 6X30 and 8X30!!!
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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 20:52   #11
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Yes, but an SV will do everything the Habicht will do optically with a smooth, easy fast focuser and give you sharp edges and a bigger FOV to boot and in the case of the Habicht 8x30 W nowhere near the glare. Why fight a tight focuser?

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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 23:07   #12
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Yes, but an SV will do everything the Habicht will do optically with a smooth, easy fast focuser and give you sharp edges and a bigger FOV to boot and in the case of the Habicht 8x30 W nowhere near the glare. Why fight a tight focuser? The Habicht is 1/2 the price of the SV. But IMO the new Swarovski 8x30 CL is a superior binocular to the Habicht 8x30 W and it is nearly the same price. The CL is just as sharp on-axis, it has sharper edges, about the same FOV, way better glare control, a much smoother easier focuser and much more comfortable eye cups in a smaller lighter binocular.
And yet some people prefer the view through a Habicht.

Itís as simple as that really.
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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 23:53   #13
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 00:40   #14
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Nice observations James.

IMO the upper tier of binoculars all come down to personal preference for the most part. They are all pretty dang good! Most of us can make a case for owning and using any of them, and with good reason!

I've got three Habicht's; 8X30W, 7X42, and 10X40W. I think they are probably the best looking binoculars ever. The 7X42 and 10X40 in particular are IMO the most handsome binoculars there are. It's a good thing because I never use them. It's all eye relief and focus adjustment issues. I'd probably try to use them more if the eye relief was a little more. But it is what it is.......
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 03:33   #15
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I've used my 8x30W's on a few trips now and am quite happy with them. My typical observation distance is a bit further, so I don't really have an issue with the slower focusing. These were used in the mountains and snow, and I personally encountered very little flare issues. I'm confident these will last me a lifetime.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 06:33   #16
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I've got three Habicht's; 8X30W, 7X42, and 10X40W. I think they are probably the best looking binoculars ever. The 7X42 and 10X40 in particular are IMO the most handsome binoculars there are. It's a good thing because I never use them. It's all eye relief and focus adjustment issues. I'd probably try to use them more if the eye relief was a little more. But it is what it is.......
Chuck

Boy do I agree. At Bird Fair I can never walk past the 7x42 without picking it up. I don't like the handling of porros and I know full well that they don't work with my spectacles, but by golly they are just so handsome I have to pick them up for another try anyway.

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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 15:27   #17
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Lee and Chuck. I think most would agree the Habicht is a "Good Looking" binocular but kind of like a woman good looks are not everything. The main point of James thread though is the Habicht focuser and is it too tight for normal birding use. What is your opinion on the Habicht focuser tension? Like a politician I think you all are skirting the issue.

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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 15:32   #18
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I've used my 8x30W's on a few trips now and am quite happy with them. My typical observation distance is a bit further, so I don't really have an issue with the slower focusing. These were used in the mountains and snow, and I personally encountered very little flare issues. I'm confident these will last me a lifetime.
Eric. Have you ever looked up at steep angles in the mountains on a sunny day? Just curious. That is where I encountered the veiling glare.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 15:55   #19
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I'd caveat my comments with - if you are just out to enjoy the view or not trying to focus near to far too often then the Habicht would be fine. The way I bird / glass even something like the SV is way too slow for my tastes - the Habicht would not be considered.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 16:10   #20
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Lee and Chuck. I think most would agree the Habicht is a "Good Looking" binocular but kind of like a woman good looks are not everything. The main point of James thread though is the Habicht focuser and is it too tight for normal birding use. What is your opinion on the Habicht focuser tension? Like a politician I think you all are skirting the issue.
I agree with James and I have binos with a slow stiff focus tension that I enjoy very much but I don't use them for intensive birding let alone dragonfly chasing. They are great for casual birding and landscape admiring and even watching otters and whales but for serious birding, no way Jose.

Lee

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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 17:25   #21
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I agree with James and I have binos with a slow stiff focus tension that I enjoy very much but I don't use them for intensive birding let alone dragonfly chasing. They are great for casual birding and landscape admiring and even watching otters and whales but for serious birding, no way Jose.

Lee
I agree with you. I would have tolerated the slow, stiff focus in my Habicht 8x30 W for landscapes if I hadn't discovered the veiling glare problem. I understand how that easy fast focuser in the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 is great for going between insects and back to birds. A Habicht would never work in that situation.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 17:28   #22
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I'd caveat my comments with - if you are just out to enjoy the view or not trying to focus near to far too often then the Habicht would be fine. The way I bird / glass even something like the SV is way too slow for my tastes - the Habicht would not be considered.
"The way I bird / glass even something like the SV is way too slow for my tastes - the Habicht would not be considered."

James. Try Lee's Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 for a fast easy focuser. It can't be beat.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 18:38   #23
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Eric. Have you ever looked up at steep angles in the mountains on a sunny day? Just curious. That is where I encountered the veiling glare.
I've only been able to catch glare a few times when glassing uphill towards the sun.

My only complaint is finding a reliable tripod mount. I've used the bushnell buckle strap as well as the Outdoorsmans Bino Hand. I don't like the lack of security with the bushnell, and the outdoorsmans is heavy and can be loud with the buckle mechanism.

I may need to fabricate a mount that allows me to thread on a field optics research peg or something similar.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 18:46   #24
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"The way I bird / glass even something like the SV is way too slow for my tastes - the Habicht would not be considered."

James. Try Lee's Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 for a fast easy focuser. It can't be beat.
Dennis

James already has a Conquest HD 8x32.

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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 19:25   #25
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When I visited the UK Birdfair last year I was like a kid in a candy store. All those amazing binoculars that the manufacturers so kindly set up for everyone to look through! The 8x30 Habicht was one of those that - thanks to Birdforum - I most wanted to try and the staff at Swarovski kindly found one for me (it wasn't on display and they were under no obligation to hunt around for one for me, but they did - thanks!). I have to admit the amazing 8x56 SLC might have dazzled me as I didn't see the brightness so many BF users had mentioned, but a x30 is always going to lose something in that respect to a binocular with objectives nearly twice as large. It was, however, definitely brighter than the 8x30 EII and to my eyes at least, sharper too. It had enough diopter adjustment for me to use it without glasses, which the Nikon didn't, and the focus tension oft mentioned here didn't bother me - but I like a stiff focuser, a bit on the slow side, with which I can make tiny adjustments to follow birds at distance without overshooting. All in all a nice classic but sadly the short eye relief limits its practicality for me. If I didn't already have a classic 8x30 for sunny summer days I'd want one much more Ithink.

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