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.

Which compact binoculars

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 16:31   #1
Lewie
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Midwestern Illinois
Posts: 136
Which compact binoculars

I am considering buying a new pair of compact binoculars. Am considering
Leica Ultravid 8X20 BCR, Nikon Premier LXL 8X20, and Zeiss Victory BT. I have an Eagle Optics 10X25, which has good optics, but is not waterproof. Also I really have trouble keeping the small binos steady, something I do not have trouble with when using my Pentax DCF SP 10X50s. Therefore I am not considering a 10 power compact. Am not considering the Swarovski because I do not think it enough eye relief for me. The Zeiss might not have enough either.

Any recommendations. Have tried none of them. No stores in the area carry them. Would order them from Eagle Optics.

Lew
Lewie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 23:04   #2
laurencejackson
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 255
I have the 8x Zeiss victory BT compacts as a travel pair. The eye relief is actually very good in my opinion, although I'm not sure on the actual figure - it must be around 16mm. I got them about two years ago and they have been excellent, but I also find compacts harder to hold steady and I am always left wishing I had my full size pair instead. The only downside to the zeiss BTs is the focus ring which is a little narrow and ridged, but I got used to that fairly quickly. OPtically, I find them very sharp and bright, not sure about CA, I havn't noticed it as yet but there's probably quite a bit there, if there at all like their bigger brothers...

Regards

laurence
laurencejackson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 23:43   #3
Humboldt Jim
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Eureka, California, USA
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewie
I am considering buying a new pair of compact binoculars. Am considering
Leica Ultravid 8X20 BCR, Nikon Premier LXL 8X20, and Zeiss Victory BT. I have an Eagle Optics 10X25, which has good optics, but is not waterproof. Also I really have trouble keeping the small binos steady, something I do not have trouble with when using my Pentax DCF SP 10X50s. Therefore I am not considering a 10 power compact. Am not considering the Swarovski because I do not think it enough eye relief for me. The Zeiss might not have enough either.

Any recommendations. Have tried none of them. No stores in the area carry them. Would order them from Eagle Optics.

Lew
Check out these http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp...rch=1&pid=3301

I did at a recent bird fair an reall liked them. They are on my wish list!
Humboldt Jim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 08:28   #4
Kevin Mac
Just sleeping
 
Kevin Mac's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 275
I have a pair of Nikon LXL 10x25s. I originally tried to order a pair of Leica Ultravids but they weren't available. The Nikon's ended up being about $250 cdn cheaper than the Leicas. I am very happy with them- they are bright and have excellent resolution. I am a devout 10x fan but the reduced field of view in these bins does contribute to more shake than a 330 ft view of a larger bin. Still, they are plenty bright and compact. They go everywhere I do at my job (outdoors of course). I wouldn't hesitate to buy the 8x and save a considerable amount of money with the Nikons. I doubt they are better than the Leicas, but the price is hard to argue with. I got mine from etronics.com- much cheaper than anywhere else.
Kevin Mac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 09:22   #5
Atomic Chicken
Registered with the D.O.E.
 
Atomic Chicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 390
Greetings!

I recently conducted a side-by-side comparison between Nikon HG 10x25 and Leica Ultravid 10x25 compact binoculars. Optically, after 30 minutes of back and forth comparisons, I could see no visible differences in either model that would make me want one more than the other. They were nearly identical in terms of brightness, contrast, detail resolution, sharpness at the edges of the field, etc. The Ultravid seemed just SLIGHTLY brighter, while the Nikon made up for this by being a TINY bit more contrasty. Both binoculars are incredibly sharp and clear... I've often said on these forums that the Nikon HG 10x25's are the sharpest binoculars I have ever seen at the edge of the field, a distinction that has been duplicated by the new Ultravid 10x25's.

The big differences between these two boil down to price and ergonomic concerns, including things like armor type, focus knob location, balance, folded size, etc. I think of the two, I personally like the Ultravid ergonomics better than the Nikon, but the Nikon just seems like a more rugged and durable design overall. I already own the Nikon HG 10x25, and will probably eventually pick up a pair of the Ultravid 10x25... they are both fantastic binoculars and either would serve you very well if you are after a compact lightweight binocular with excellent optics.

If you are definitely set on buying an 8x20 (which I would strongly urge you to reconsider in favor of the marvelous 10x25's), then I would recommend the Leica Ultravid 8x20's or the Zeiss Victory 8x20's - in that order. I've found the Nikon HG 8x20 design to be somewhat wanting when optically compared to the Leica and Zeiss offerings, but again... I think the Nikon's really have a ruggedness and reliability that might just swing your decision in their favor.

Best wishes,
Bawko
__________________
Support your local chicken!

"I hope you love birds too. It is economical, it saves going to heaven." - Emily Dickinson

Last edited by Atomic Chicken : Thursday 23rd June 2005 at 09:28.
Atomic Chicken is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 11:20   #6
kabsetz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,506
I agree with Bawko on almost everything he says in his thorough post. The one exception concerns 8x models. There, in my experience, the situation is exactly the same as what Bawko calls for the 10x lot. The Nikon and Leica are neck-to-neck, and the rest (including the Zeiss) are not quite as good. Our differing opinions very likely are explained by having looked through different individual specimen, and he might very well have seen more than I have. However, I have seen more than one unit of each of the above, and feel quite certain in recommending that you do not rule out the Nikon 8x LX L. The only additional bit of silly advice I could give is that of the two brands, Nikon is less likely to become a collector's item within the near future. If you cannot compare them in a store but must mail-order unseen, either Leica or Nikon is likely to make you very happy.

Kimmo
kabsetz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 16:28   #7
Lewie
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Midwestern Illinois
Posts: 136
Thank you for your imput

All:

Thank you all very much for your inputs! I have talked to Eagle Optics, and now just have to decide what to do.

Thanks again,

Lew
Lewie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd June 2005, 17:06   #8
Bill A
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 138
I can recommend the Zeiss 8x20's, but I have to say that I rarely use mine now that I have a pair of Leica 8x32's. The little Zeiss binocs, though razor sharp, seem dim, as all 20mm instruments do by comparison to 32's. And I find that the 32mm binocs are small enough to take just about anyplace I would take the 20's.

Just my thoughts.

Bill
Bill A is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 24th June 2005, 20:39   #9
laservet
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewie
I am considering buying a new pair of compact binoculars. Any recommendations.
I have both the Leica 8x20 BCA and the Leica Ultravid 8x20 BR. The Ultravids have much better edge performance (flatter field) and reduced pincushion. The difference is quite noticeable. Can't help with the other brands.
__________________
Paul Gustafson
laservet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 24th June 2005, 22:18   #10
Leif
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by laservet
I have both the Leica 8x20 BCA and the Leica Ultravid 8x20 BR. The Ultravids have much better edge performance (flatter field) and reduced pincushion. The difference is quite noticeable. Can't help with the other brands.
I bought a compact 8x20 binocular last year, and I compared the four big names (but Leica BN, not Ultravid). I thought that the Nikon had a slight edge due to higher contrast, but to be honest all were excellent and I chose the Swarovski as I preferred the anodised aluminium and rubber styling. I thought that all had similar eye relief i.e. not really enough! I also own a Zeiss 8x20 Classic and the optics are very slightly inferior to the Swarovski due to slight distortion, and of course the eye tubes are rubber. I later tried (briefly) an Opticron 8x21, and was impressed by the high contrast, wide FOV (120m at 1km) and huge eye relief (I wear eyeglasses). Although there was signficant distortion, I might be prepared to accept that for the increased ease of viewing with eyeglasses and the increased FOV. The focus was rather stiff which might be a problem unless it rapidly loosens with use. I'm somewhat surprised that the Opticron has not received any mention on BF.

Leif
Leif is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 17:58   #11
hapaulk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Posts: 81
I have read most all of the questions and replies on compact binoculars. I have seen nothing on Steiner 10x26 Merlin Compact Binoculars. I am really interested in maybe purchasing a pair as they have one great feature that I need, close focus to 6.5 feet. Has anyone had any experience with the Steiner Compact Binoculars? Would really appreciate some help on their quality.

Hap
__________________
hapaulk
hapaulk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd August 2005, 20:31   #12
Otto McDiesel

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hapaulk
I have read most all of the questions and replies on compact binoculars. I have seen nothing on Steiner 10x26 Merlin Compact Binoculars. I am really interested in maybe purchasing a pair as they have one great feature that I need, close focus to 6.5 feet. Has anyone had any experience with the Steiner Compact Binoculars? Would really appreciate some help on their quality.

Hap
I saw those Steiners on Saturday morning at a sporting goods store. They are nice, but not as good as the Nikons LX and Leicas. I strongly suggest that you take your time and drive to a store where you could try them.
Otto McDiesel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 23rd August 2005, 16:39   #13
hapaulk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto McDiesel
I saw those Steiners on Saturday morning at a sporting goods store. They are nice, but not as good as the Nikons LX and Leicas. I strongly suggest that you take your time and drive to a store where you could try them.
Otto,thanks for your reply on the Steiners. I read all the information again on which compact binoculars. I ordered the Nikon LX 10x25 mainly due to its good recomendations and the close focus distance of 10.5 feet.

Thanks again,
Hap
__________________
hapaulk
hapaulk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th August 2005, 01:50   #14
photo1
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 18
I agree with Bawko, Kimmo, and most of the others!! Like Bawko, I tried the Leica and Nikon 10x25s in the store side by side for a long time. Optically they are very close. Ergonomics went to the Leicas for me personally, mainly because of the focus ring. Nikons were very sharp however. You wouldn't be disappointed with the optics of either! I own a pair of Zeiss victory 8x20s that I've had for years and they're a pretty good pair of small binocs. I can't hold any of the smaller binoculars still either. I use Leica 8x32s most of the time and I love them.
Jerry
photo1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th August 2005, 14:35   #15
Stud Duck
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: WV
Posts: 117
I agree with Bill A the Zeiss 8x20 are razor sharp during daylight hours, but as the sun sets they become very dim and very difficult to hold still. I just returned mine to Cabela's for that reason. You would be better served with a 32mm bin.

I have no experience with the Steiner Merlins, but I did own a set of Steiner Wildlife (I think) compacts in an 8x22 (if memory serves me correct). I returned them, too much stray light made it to my eyes if I was glassing facing the sun.
Stud Duck 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
Audubon Compact binoculars borregobirds Others 1 Monday 13th June 2005 22:16
New Zeiss Victory FL binoculars Leif Zeiss 613 Wednesday 1st December 2004 02:51
Brunton Eterna Compact 8X25 Atomic Chicken Others 7 Monday 22nd November 2004 19:19
Binocular Resolution Test Results Atomic Chicken Binoculars 25 Wednesday 27th October 2004 14:38
Choosing compact binoculars J T Binoculars 18 Tuesday 9th December 2003 16:41

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23057008 seconds with 27 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 00:45.