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Double Hinge Compacts

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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 14:58   #1
Upland
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Double Hinge Compacts

Iíve been thinking of picking up some compacts. Most seem to have double hinges which I havenít used. Wondering what others think about them. BTW Iím not looking for recommendations of single hinge compacts as Iím aware of whatís out there. Just want opinions on the double hinge design. Thanks
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 15:25   #2
Lt 26
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I am kinda new here but just purchased an EL 8x32 fp. It is very nice but I could use 1 or 2mm more between the hinges. My wife can get her middle, ring and pinky fingers wrapped around the barrel . My little finger kind of floats around looking for a spot to rest.. It is light enough that this is really a none issue.

Just like Limu Emu I will figure it out..

Dereck
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 15:40   #3
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Assuming that 25mm or under is a compact, my personal thought is that some of the budget models will show slack, looseness and subsequent frustrationvery quickly. I retailed in sports optics for ten years and the only compact I own is a green Leica Trinovid 8 x 20. Probably down to little use but the hinges are still extremely positive and stay where they are positioned after opening out. Double hinges do take a fair degree of " getting used to" but with practice, perseverance and positioning can be invaluable. I found that brand worked for me better than any other in all ways.

P
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 15:45   #4
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Originally Posted by Lt 26 View Post
I am kinda new here but just purchased an EL 8x32 fp. It is very nice but I could use 1 or 2mm more between the hinges. My wife can get her middle, ring and pinky fingers wrapped around the barrel . My little finger kind of floats around looking for a spot to rest.. It is light enough that this is really a none issue.

Just like Limu Emu I will figure it out..

Dereck
I think the above bino. is classed as a double bridge or open bridge single hinge, rather than a double hinge.

P
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 18:49   #5
Lt 26
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Check. Thanks for that, I am still catching on to the different classifications.

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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 19:10   #6
Roadbike
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My wife uses a Swarovski 8x20 double hinge and loves it. I've tried many times but can't get used to the double hinge design. Aligning my eyes and exit pupils is a challenge for me. Single hinge no problem. Best to try them first.

Last edited by Roadbike : Thursday 27th June 2019 at 19:32.
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 21:10   #7
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They are awesome. It seems like they fold up smaller than compact single hinges, or maybe just into a more convenient form for storage. I welcome someone who feels inclined to research dimensions to chime in if I am wrong.
I got some 8x25s (swaro CLs) a couple of months ago and have been loving them. I carry them whenever I am going to be doing anything else before birding (most often fishing, but also just when I am walking around town).
I don't find them fiddly or uncomfortable. Each barrel can only extend so far before it hits a hinge stop, so I put one barrel out as far as it can go (kind of locking it in place), then adjust the other barrel to match my interpupillary. No biggie, and generally not that different than a single hinge when used this way.
My partner has a pair (10x25 Zeiss conquest circa 1995) where the barrels can swing all the way around to the other side with no hinge stop, so they could be used upside down if one were so inclined. I find this format a little less usable because both barrels are kind of floating. But hers are old, and 10x25s so it is hard to compare.
With the 8x25s you really aren't giving up that much as far as the view goes to bigger binoculars when you use them during the day. The field of view is narrow, but not unacceptably so in my opinion. They are bright and sharp and clear. Just an awesome pair of binoculars. Couldn't recommend them enough if you have additional outside hobbies.
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 22:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upland View Post
Iíve been thinking of picking up some compacts. Most seem to have double hinges which I havenít used. Wondering what others think about them. BTW Iím not looking for recommendations of single hinge compacts as Iím aware of whatís out there. Just want opinions on the double hinge design. Thanks
I bought a pair earlier in the Spring, Zeiss Terra ED 8X25, the first pair of 25mm binoculars I've ever bought. I didn't want top spend a lot on 25mm binoculars but or course I wanted a decent binocular. I think I paid like $270. I was a little apprehensive about even trying them, wearing glasses/double hinges/etc. I've really been surprised and in a good way. Optically they are very good, surprising good. The focus is a little tight, prob a tad tighter than I'd like. I used them back to back with several other binoculars including the SV 8X32 in the pic. Overall I like them so much I'm prob not going to upgrade and I'd definitely re-buy.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 01:57   #9
marcsantacurz
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I use the Ultravid BR 8x20. Super compact and lightweight. The main issue is looking through them is a little like looking through straws, not that bad but you get my point. And there's very little ER, so I need to extend the eye cups and hover a bit (I do not wear glasses, with glasses might be OK). My eyelashes brush the ocular or the inside of the eyecups now and then. But when I want small and light, I take them. Way better than nothing. Apart from the small diameter and ER, the view is pretty good.

I have heard a lot of people love the Zeiss Victory 8x25, but I have not tried it.

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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 07:26   #10
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I had a Leica 8x20 double hinge for years and tried really hard to get on with it but although the focus was not particularly stiff and the hinges not loose, when I used the focus wheel the pressure I exerted always moved the position of one optical tube or the other. I could never focus and maintain my view through the binos.

In the end I sold them and got a pair of single-hinge Zeiss Victory Compact 8x20 and these were great. Swapped these for a pair of Victory Pocket 8x25s and am very happy indeed.

So my experience of double hinges is only with one example of one model but it doesn't encourage me to try any more.

Lee
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 12:01   #11
Gary58
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I have both the Zeiss Terra and the Swaro Compact 8x25. Both are the double hinge design and are great to wear on my belt when photography is my main goal. The double hinge takes a little getting used to but the quality of the view is pretty darned good. They both fold up into a nice neat package.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 14:43   #12
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I have the Swarovski 8x25 CL-P with the double hinge design. I tried the Zeiss 8x25 Victory with the single hinge but I prefer the Swarovski's optics because of the flatter field and sharper edges and I prefer the double hinge design. I think the double hinge folds smaller and is more compact and works better for me.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 15:53   #13
kellmark
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I am a big fan of double hinged compacts.

My first were the old Leitz 10X25 Trinovids. Used them for years as my only pair of bins.

Then I moved on to the Leica Ultravid 8x20 and 10X25 when they came out. I take one of them now whenever I travel. They can be fiddly, but especially the 8x20 is a true wonder for its size. Tiny, and very useable. Excellent glass.

A few years ago, I acquired the Zeiss Terra 8X25. Also very good. So good and reasonably priced, I bought a pair each for my kids. They are my "knockabouts". Fast focusing and comfortable to use. Nice view. Also close focusing, as are the Leicas. The Terras did have a problem with floppy hinges. I sent mine in and they replaced them, no issues. The new ones work just fine.

While I was waiting quite awhile for the Zeiss to be resolved, which took months and months, because I liked the form factor of the 8X25s I acquired a pair of Swarovski 8X25 CLs. They are also excellent.

I also have thought about the Zeiss Victory 8X25s, which have gotten rave reviews. The Victories are single hinge, offset. But I like the double hinge design, the way it folds up. And my other ones are fine.

So here is what I would suggest. If you want them for travel, get the Ultravid 8X20s, but try them first, to see how you get on with them as far as adjustment for IPD and eye relief. I use them with glasses and have no problem.

If you want them for general use, look at the Swaros and the Terras. The Terras are much cheaper and have faster focus and closer focus, but there is something special about the Swaros. They are more precise in focus and their eye cups are absolutely the best of all the ones that I have had. The form factor of the 8X25s is easier handling than that of the smaller 8X20 Ultravids. Some people use them instead of the larger 8X30, 8X32 bins. I seriously thought about the Swaro 8X30 CL-B when it came out, but decided to stay with the 8X25s, as I could see times when I would take the 8x25s and not the 8X30s.

I have other full size binoculars, but except for high magnification, where I go with Canon IS, the compacts do just fine.

To be honest, for me, the best combination for all around use for me is an 8x compact and the full size 12x Canon IS. But that is when I can carry two. Not often. Then it goes to the compacts.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 16:16   #14
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I have a Swarowski 8 x 25 CL , lovely compacts , I have no problem with the double hinges , actually there is absolutely no difference in using a single hinge design versus a double hinge design in my opinion.
Buy whichever one you like.
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Old Saturday 29th June 2019, 02:37   #15
mwhogue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upland View Post
Iíve been thinking of picking up some compacts. Most seem to have double hinges which I havenít used. Wondering what others think about them. BTW Iím not looking for recommendations of single hinge compacts as Iím aware of whatís out there. Just want opinions on the double hinge design. Thanks
As usual, lots of good advice here. While I prefer an asymmetrical single hinge like the Zeiss Pocket, dual hinge compacts are great if the hinge tension is good and you can adapt to handling the design. As others mention this may well take some practice and especially try experimenting with extending the barrel for your dominant hand all the way out and adjusting the other barrel to obtain correct IP adjustment as mentioned in post #7. This method decreases the somewhat fiddly nature of the dual hinge design in handling and puts the focus knob in a more natural position for your finger.

Excellent recs for specific models here as well. The ergonomics of both the Zeiss Terra and the Leica 8x20 UV are slightly better for me than the SW 8x25 CL mostly because they have more hinge tension which helps prevent unintentional movement of the ip adjustment during use. The SW has a slightly better overall image than the Leica. The Terra has a very good image for the price but of course it is not an alpha quality image like the other two. In relative terms while the SW and the Terra are nearly identical in size and shape the SW is noticeably heavier and the UV 8x20 is much smaller and lighter than the other two.

If any of these three work for you and your budget, you can't go far wrong IMO.

Mike
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Old Saturday 29th June 2019, 08:09   #16
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I'm not a fan of compacts. I've had three single hinge models and they rarely got used. Not versatile enough for a birding outing, and still too big to fit in the pocket for those chance occasion you didn't plan for. A few weeks back I bought an ex-demo Opticron dual hinge BGA PC T Oasis 8x24. Japanese made, nicely engineered, it works fine with my glasses, is a big step up optically from the budget models, and most importantly, it fits comfortably in all my jacket and vest pockets. It leaves the house with me when the bigger ones don't. There are a couple of niggles, but for what I want, it fits the bill perfectly.

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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 21:53   #17
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I've tried many, and my favorite double-hinge pocket roof is the Leica 8x20 Ultravid BL. Its hinges have positive stops (unlike those of the Leica 8x20 Trinovid), so it isn't as fiddly as double-hinges that are "double-jointed". I extend the right side all the way to the stop, then set IPD with the left side. I have two units and both have very nice tight hinges that hold their positions. However, my overall favorite pocket roof is the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket, which has a wide FOV and excellent contrast in tricky light. It has a single hinge, which doesn't matter to me.

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