Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Help me decide: EL 8.5x42 vs. EL 10x50

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 22:30   #1
Samolot
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boston
Posts: 68
Help me decide: EL 8.5x42 vs. EL 10x50

Good evening everyone,

For the past few months, I have been looking for the perfect "alpha" complement to my binocular collection. And by collection I mean solely the Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. The Meostar's were a birthday gift so I have an emotional connection to them; plus their optical qualities certainly deliver so I feel like I have my high power binocular set (especially on a tripod!).

I have been visiting numerous optics stores testing out different alpha binoculars. I am looking for a nice 8x-10x to complement the 12x's. I tried them all and have gripes with each one... except the EL's. I wont dwell on this further (unless someone would like me to) and simply get to the point, I am looking to decide between the 8.5x42 and the 10x50. I love hiking with binoculars and observing daytime wildlife, but love to look up at the stars as well at night. I have read Roger Vines reviews with great interest and understand that the 10x50's should be perfect for me. Having said that, I am leaning towards the 42's because I need something lighter to carry with me that offers more handheld stability which you get with slightly lower power. I tried them outdoors and didn't want to give them back.

My question is, because both have similar exit pupils, is there a visible difference in low light conditions between the two in regards to brightness? Because if not, I will go for the portability of the 42's, but if there is something seriously lacking in them, I will go for the 50's (I tried the 10x50's once in a store without windows so I can't really test them properly... thanks B&H Photo...). Another thing I prioritize is depth of field, or 3D effect (I was spoiled by the Nikon EII 8x30's in the very recent past) so if there is a serious difference between the two, I would love to know!

I have been a long time lurker in these forums and appreciate everyone's thoughtful commentary based on real-world experiences. I am looking forward to learning more from experienced enthusiasts!

Sincerely,

Samolot
Samolot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 22:49   #2
NDhunter
Registered User
 
NDhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ND
Posts: 3,809
I would recommend the 8.5x42 EL, as it is a great size, 8.5 X offers some nice advantages.

It has long been considered the "universal distance viewer", and you mention you prefer a lighter
binocular.

It seems you already have a quality 50mm binocular, now is the time for a top 42mm.

I hope this helps.

Jerry
NDhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 23:27   #3
Pileatus
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samolot View Post
Good evening everyone,

For the past few months, I have been looking for the perfect "alpha" complement to my binocular collection. And by collection I mean solely the Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. The Meostar's were a birthday gift so I have an emotional connection to them; plus their optical qualities certainly deliver so I feel like I have my high power binocular set (especially on a tripod!).

I have been visiting numerous optics stores testing out different alpha binoculars. I am looking for a nice 8x-10x to complement the 12x's. I tried them all and have gripes with each one... except the EL's. I wont dwell on this further (unless someone would like me to) and simply get to the point, I am looking to decide between the 8.5x42 and the 10x50. I love hiking with binoculars and observing daytime wildlife, but love to look up at the stars as well at night. I have read Roger Vines reviews with great interest and understand that the 10x50's should be perfect for me. Having said that, I am leaning towards the 42's because I need something lighter to carry with me that offers more handheld stability which you get with slightly lower power. I tried them outdoors and didn't want to give them back.

My question is, because both have similar exit pupils, is there a visible difference in low light conditions between the two in regards to brightness? Because if not, I will go for the portability of the 42's, but if there is something seriously lacking in them, I will go for the 50's (I tried the 10x50's once in a store without windows so I can't really test them properly... thanks B&H Photo...). Another thing I prioritize is depth of field, or 3D effect (I was spoiled by the Nikon EII 8x30's in the very recent past) so if there is a serious difference between the two, I would love to know!

I have been a long time lurker in these forums and appreciate everyone's thoughtful commentary based on real-world experiences. I am looking forward to learning more from experienced enthusiasts!

Sincerely,

Samolot
I have and use both.
The 10X50 does have shallower DOF and it's noticeable in the amount of focusing I do...old age has its effects.

The 8.5X42 SV is the better all-purpose bin, especially since you have the Meopta for stargazing and you want less weight in the field.
Pileatus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 00:22   #4
[email protected]
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,498
You already have your astronomy binocular in your Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. Get the 8.5x42 SV. It is a better all around binoculars than the 10x50 SV with better DOF and easier to hold steady and as Pileatus says lighter in the field.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 02:16   #5
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,183
Between THOSE two....I'd EASILY pick the 8.5X42 since you all ready have a nice 12X. Depending on your birding terrain/enviroment, I might even go SLC 8X42.
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 10:36   #6
Samolot
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boston
Posts: 68
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Yeah, I think the 8.5x will better complement the 12x's. Regarding the SLC vs. EL, I don't have much experience with the SLC line as not a lot of stores carry them. I do like the compactness of the SLC's.

From what I gather, they are not as sharp on the edges as the EL. On the flip side, I believe they have AK prisms for higher light transmission; therefore would they offer a brighter image early the morning or later in the afternoon?

Finally, I am a huge fan of large eyepieces (personal preference). The EL certainly delivers with a 25 mm eyepiece. Is the SLC similar? I can't find good pictures online (I am still absolutely fascinated by the eyepieces on the 8x56 SLC... what a beauty).
Samolot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 10:41   #7
RobMorane
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Alps
Posts: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samolot View Post
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Yeah, I think the 8.5x will better complement the 12x's. Regarding the SLC vs. EL, I don't have much experience with the SLC line as not a lot of stores carry them. I do like the compactness of the SLC's.

From what I gather, they are not as sharp on the edges as the EL. On the flip side, I believe they have AK prisms for higher light transmission; therefore would they offer a brighter image early the morning or later in the afternoon?
The SLC 56 are the only one to have AK prisms in the SLC serie, the 42 have SP prisms.
RobMorane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th April 2018, 19:48   #8
Samolot
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boston
Posts: 68
So for the last few months, I have been going to different birding stores to play with Leica, Zeiss and Swaro optics. Unfortunately, because it is not a popular size, none of them carried the EL 10x50. Well because I am visiting family in NYC, I had a change to go back to BH Photo and try the 10x50's again, this time looking for specific features I have grown to love. In short, despite the fine recommendations by you all, I am fully invested in acquiring the 10x50's. While the brightness and clarity was the same between the 10x50 and 8.5x42, what was unique to the 10x50's was the 3D image I have come to love after trying the EII 8x30's. This binocular truly has everything I am looking for. Ergonomically, it handles wonderfully, providing a surprisingly steady image. I won't sit here and list all the other things I like about it, but I am just glad to have found the one. What a day...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6677.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	700.8 KB
ID:	660502  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6678.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	88.6 KB
ID:	660503  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6679.jpg
Views:	99
Size:	105.3 KB
ID:	660504  
Samolot is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th April 2018, 19:53   #9
dries1
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,162
The EL 10X50 looks small. Congrats, it is also a great glass for astro. (Flat view).

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 26th April 2018, 21:15   #10
jgraider
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,205
The 10x50 SV has no peer, IMHO.
jgraider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th April 2018, 23:40   #11
dries1
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,162
How about the 10X56 SLC.

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 01:09   #12
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,183
Congrats on the SV 10X50!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
The EL 10X50 looks small. Congrats, it is also a great glass for astro. (Flat view).

Andy W.
For a 50mm....it is. Same basic size as a SF 8X42.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0496.JPG
Views:	107
Size:	62.3 KB
ID:	660532  
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 02:19   #13
[email protected]
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
Congrats on the SV 10X50!



For a 50mm....it is. Same basic size as a SF 8X42.
Nice picture! You are a valuable resource to Bird Forum because you are the only who has almost every binocular made.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 08:29   #14
Elmer Fudd
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lengerich Westfalen
Posts: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
Congrats on the SV 10X50!



For a 50mm....it is. Same basic size as a SF 8X42.

Most recently I entered a gun store during noon break just asking for some ammo. But I also was attracted by the binos on display there. And I first couln't believe what I saw: an 8.5x42 and a 10x50 SV in company. There was almost no difference in size. But I could resist the temptation to handle both.........
Elmer Fudd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 13:00   #15
Theo98
Eurasian Goldfinch
BF Supporter 2018
 
Theo98's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SE La
Posts: 945
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samolot View Post
So for the last few months, I have been going to different birding stores to play with Leica, Zeiss and Swaro optics. Unfortunately, because it is not a popular size, none of them carried the EL 10x50. Well because I am visiting family in NYC, I had a change to go back to BH Photo and try the 10x50's again, this time looking for specific features I have grown to love. In short, despite the fine recommendations by you all, I am fully invested in acquiring the 10x50's. While the brightness and clarity was the same between the 10x50 and 8.5x42, what was unique to the 10x50's was the 3D image I have come to love after trying the EII 8x30's. This binocular truly has everything I am looking for. Ergonomically, it handles wonderfully, providing a surprisingly steady image. I won't sit here and list all the other things I like about it, but I am just glad to have found the one. What a day...
Samolot,

Although the EL 10X50 SV has SP prisms, the +9mm wider objective spacing (relative to their IPD setting) Does Provide a very pleasing sense of spacial 3D stereopsis that I also find very desirable. In direct comparison between the ELSV 8X, 10X and 12X, I felt the 10X offered a definitive advantage with their Step-in-window-FOV! Using the 8.5X42 for 10 days in Austria, loved their versatility, but did not find they possess the enhanced stereopsis of the EL 10X50 SV.

Now, Have to get back to my post em. surgery left eye retinal tear repair "336 hour laying on my right side Positioning" for hopefully, a successful post recovery...Very Boring, but necessary!

Ted
__________________
Seeing is Believing ...Believing without Seeing is...FAITH!

Last edited by Theo98 : Friday 27th April 2018 at 13:02.
Theo98 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 13:22   #16
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo98 View Post

Now, Have to get back to my post em. surgery left eye retinal tear repair "336 hour laying on my right side Positioning" for hopefully, a successful post recovery...Very Boring, but necessary!

Ted
Ted
First good luck with your recovery and second, I really, really hope that the 336 hours to which you refer is a typo and should read 36 hours.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 13:42   #17
dries1
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,162
Dennis,

Do you still have the SLC 8X56 or have you traded it for the 8.5X42.

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 14:10   #18
BruceH
Avatar: Harris Hawk
BF Supporter 2018
 
BruceH's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
The EL 10X50 looks small. ........ (Flat view).

Andy W.
The Swaro 10X50 may look small in the context of the above photos, but that is not how it impresses me in use. There is a lot of binocular to fill the hand and to heft around.

As compared to the 42 mm Zeiss SF, the Swaro 50 mm is similar in size in length only, otherwise they are not that close. The Swaro is noticeably larger in feel with the larger diameter and heavier (approx. 35 oz vs 27.5 oz or 999 g vs 780 g) with a much more forward weight balance.

Here is a photo that I think I posted in another thread a couple of years ago that shows some of the difference.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2140_1 Downsized.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	126.4 KB
ID:	660579


Ted: Sorry to hear about your surgery. Hang in there for now so you get a great long term outcome!
__________________
It's all about the view!
vs.
A fool and his money are soon parted!
(The Yin Yang of the Binocular Forum)
BruceH is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 14:12   #19
BruceH
Avatar: Harris Hawk
BF Supporter 2018
 
BruceH's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
Dennis,

Do you still have the SLC 8X56 or have you traded it for the 8.5X42.

Andy W.
Also, what was the reason for selling off the new Swaro Companion CL so soon? It sounded like it was your ideal binocular.
__________________
It's all about the view!
vs.
A fool and his money are soon parted!
(The Yin Yang of the Binocular Forum)
BruceH is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 14:21   #20
Kammerdiner
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,767
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
Also, what was the reason for selling off the new Swaro Companion CL so soon? It sounded like it was your ideal binocular.
Dennis is Dennis. We all know the drill. I find it amusing for the most part.

Mark
Kammerdiner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 15:10   #21
Theo98
Eurasian Goldfinch
BF Supporter 2018
 
Theo98's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SE La
Posts: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Ted
First good luck with your recovery and second, I really, really hope that the 336 hours to which you refer is a typo and should read 36 hours.

Lee
Thanks Lee and Bruce,

I wish, but unfortunately no typo. Have to keep the "gas bubble" against the laser repaired retinal area for 14 days. This ensures the retinas' scar tissue heals properly. BTW, it's tuff keeping my head on my right shoulder as I type this, don't really recommend it... . However, my highlight each hour is an allowable "5" minute break from this position!?!

Surgeon did her part...time for me to do Mine!

To OP...sorry for the hijack, but wanted to offer my EL 10X50 SV support! Ergonomics are no SF, but IMHO the view...WOW!!

Ted
__________________
Seeing is Believing ...Believing without Seeing is...FAITH!

Last edited by Theo98 : Saturday 28th April 2018 at 07:22.
Theo98 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 15:16   #22
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,120
Let me start by stating I really like and want an SF, but that Zeiss logo on the front hinge looks really cheap next to the embossed Hawk on the SV.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 15:57   #23
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
Let me start by stating I really like and want an SF, but that Zeiss logo on the front hinge looks really cheap next to the embossed Hawk on the SV.
Hate to agree to this but its true. Blame the suits in Oberkochen who banned the use of the ClassiC Z logo

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2018, 16:01   #24
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
Let me start by stating I really like and want an SF, but that Zeiss logo on the front hinge looks really cheap next to the embossed Hawk on the SV.
Do you have anything to say about Leica's red dot while you are at it?

And the same goes for Lee in his post # 23.



Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Friday 27th April 2018 at 16:05.
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 27th April 2018, 16:15   #25
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Do you have anything to say about Leica's red dot while you are at it?

And the same goes for Lee in his post # 23.



Bob
Bob you wicked provocateur.......

Actually I love the Leica red dot and the the fact they have kept the old script font and not changed it to something more 'happening' or 'trending'. I am not that fond of of the model name on the flanks of the Noctivid and other models though. But it doesn't look cheap, just naff.

And naturally I still like the blue shield with the semi-circular cut-out at the base of a certain other German brand.

Now on some Meopta models you will find a bronze-looking version of their logo which is based on the overlapping outlines of two side-by-side lenses and this looks very classy. See below

Lee
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Meopta Red.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	28.9 KB
ID:	660603  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2799 - Logo.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	183.5 KB
ID:	660609  

Last edited by Troubador : Friday 27th April 2018 at 16:21.
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
swarovski 10x50 vs swarovski 8.5x42 Hati Swarovski 11 Saturday 19th August 2017 23:39
Swarovision EL 10x50 vs. Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX Sharpness/Resolution ? tlb Swarovski 20 Sunday 18th January 2015 13:31
Opticrom Imagic BGA SE 10x50 or Celestron Granite 10x50 Rafael Campos Binoculars 3 Tuesday 13th January 2015 18:42
Can't decide on action extreme 10x50? degrizz Nikon 15 Tuesday 3rd November 2009 03:41
Swarovski SLC 10x50 VS Leica Ultravid 10x50 szybszy Swarovski 19 Sunday 6th July 2008 09:46

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.22272110 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:05.