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resolution/sharpness compromise in 32mm objective binoculars??

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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 13:15   #1
matt green
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resolution/sharpness compromise in 32mm objective binoculars??

I'm sure this has been covered before,but i'm wondering what trade offs should be expected in choosing a 32mm objective binoculars over larger
42mm binoculars.

the well known advantages of a well chosen 8x32 should be a wider field of view often combined with a closer focus distance,though in many cases there will be less usefull eyerelief.depth of focus can also be less than desired in a compact binocular,however i'm specifically thinking about resolution and sharpness at distant object/birds.

the situation is that i'm currently choosing new binoculars,the leica ultravid
8x42 is my present first choice,but the trinovids are also very nice..and cheaper.

the 8x42 trinovid is a beast though,because I need to close the barrels almost as far as they will go (close set eyes) there is no room for me to curl my thumb under the left barrel,this effect makes them feel like a rubberised house brick!,so if I chose a trinovid I think i'd prefer the smaller 8x32,if I were to choose the ultravid the 8x42 model would be my first choice,so i'm weighing the pro's and cons of both.

what I would like to know is if there is a difference in sharpness and resolution
between the 8x42 and 8x32 bn trinovids?,the difference in depth of focus,close focus,exit pupil and field of view are well noted elsewhere on this forum.

your thoughts welcomed

matt
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 13:31   #2
Atomic Chicken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt green
I'm sure this has been covered before,but i'm wondering what trade offs should be expected in choosing a 32mm objective binoculars over larger
42mm binoculars.

the well known advantages of a well chosen 8x32 should be a wider field of view often combined with a closer focus distance,though in many cases there will be less usefull eyerelief.depth of focus can also be less than desired in a compact binocular,however i'm specifically thinking about resolution and sharpness at distant object/birds.

the situation is that i'm currently choosing new binoculars,the leica ultravid
8x42 is my present first choice,but the trinovids are also very nice..and cheaper.

the 8x42 trinovid is a beast though,because I need to close the barrels almost as far as they will go (close set eyes) there is no room for me to curl my thumb under the left barrel,this effect makes them feel like a rubberised house brick!,so if I chose a trinovid I think i'd prefer the smaller 8x32,if I were to choose the ultravid the 8x42 model would be my first choice,so i'm weighing the pro's and cons of both.

what I would like to know is if there is a difference in sharpness and resolution
between the 8x42 and 8x32 bn trinovids?,the difference in depth of focus,close focus,exit pupil and field of view are well noted elsewhere on this forum.

your thoughts welcomed

matt
All of the binocular resolution testing I've performed using a film plotted resolution test chart and controlled lighting have made me reach this conclusion:

For binoculars of the same quality level (binoculars of the same class by the same manufacturer, or same rough price range by different manufacturers with VERY few exceptions), there do NOT seem to be any resolveable resolution differences between X42 and X32 configurations. In fact, I've even done resolution tests comparing X50 and X32 configurations, and in all but one case (where there was only 1 Arcsecond difference), there were also no discernable differences in measurable resolution.

Where you WILL find differences between objective lens sizes, however, is in low-light performance - where the X50 and larger objectives truly excel. Between X42 and X32 models, however, I've personally found very little real-world discernable advantage - perhaps a few minutes of extra viewing during dusk at most.

This is why the 8x32 configuration is currently my favorite overall - and why I would choose that configuration for a first binocular, or as my only binoculars if that were ever a tragic necessity.

Best wishes,
Bawko
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Last edited by Atomic Chicken : Sunday 17th September 2006 at 13:35.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 13:56   #3
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Hi Matt, I have to agree with Bawko there, although I´m nowhere near as technical as he. I own 8x32 and 10x42 models in Swaro EL´s range (preferred them `cos I have small hand and wrists, I found the Leicas more awkward to use). The 8x32 would be my configuration of choice if I had to choose one over the other. I think they´re a tiny bit sharper, brighter by day, wider FOV, lighter and easier on hands and neck, and in the evening the 10x42 don´t have much advantage over them, even in those last few minutes before it´s time to pack up and go home. The magnification advantage of the 10x is kind of irrelevant if you have your scope with you in the field. All my own opinion of course, totally anecdotal and personal, others will advise differently. Best of luck with your choice!
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 15:03   #4
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The results reported by Bawko and Sancho are quite understandable. Under daylight conditions most people have a pupil opening of 2 to 3mm, so both the 8x32 and 8x42mm would effectively be reduced to 8x16 or 8x24s. Extra aperture is useful under low light conditions when our eye's pupil opens up.

In my experience, increased resolution is most directly related to increased magnification, although the increasing difficulty in holding higher powers steady may reduce the effectiveness of the higher magnification. Some of us - me for instance - have more problems with steady views at high powers than others.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 15:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Chicken
...

This is why the 8x32 configuration is currently my favorite overall - and why I would choose that configuration for a first binocular, or as my only binoculars if that were ever a tragic necessity.

Best wishes,
Bawko
Only one problem for me - wearing specs, the eye relief of even the best 32mm bins is shorter. I wish it weren't!

)-:
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 18:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
Only one problem for me - wearing specs, the eye relief of even the best 32mm bins is shorter. I wish it weren't!

)-:
Quite true. I loved the Leica 8x32s, but they just don't have enough eye relief for me.

Should I "downsize," the Nikon Premier LX L 8x32 with 17mm of eye relief and the Zeiss Victory FL 8x32 with 16mm would be on my list. However, the numbers can be misleading, and a personal check of each would be in order.

Price leads me to favor the Nikon.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Sunday 17th September 2006, 20:09   #7
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thanks for those thoughts folks...

to be honest I wish I still had the leica 8x32 ba's I purchased secondhand
from cley spy a couple of years ago,at that time I was still playing the field and searching for the 'perfect binocular',I have since learnt that such a thing does not exist.

only the short eye relief of the leica 8x32's prevent them from being 'the ultimate bin',however i've always considered the 8x32 the ideal 'naturalists'
binoculars.

a leica 7x32 trinovid or ultravid with a larger exit pupil and about 18mm eye relief would be nice no....?

matt
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 00:36   #8
Atomic Chicken
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Greetings!


Quote:
Originally Posted by matt green
...a leica 7x32 trinovid or ultravid with a larger exit pupil and about 18mm eye relief would be nice no....?

matt
Leica 7x32 Trinovids? My dream binoculars... for which I would gladly sell my soul! :)

Best wishes,
Bawko
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 01:18   #9
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Though resolution is the issue in question I still feel somewhat compelled to point out the difference in exit pupil size between the 32 and 42 mm configurations of any given binocular. Though I attend to agree with Bawko and Alan's comments about the 8x32 configuration being ideal in terms of overall size and practical image quality in comparison to a larger 42 mm I often find myself coming back to how much more comfortable it is for me to move my eye around a 5 or even 6 mm exit pupil. Both my 8x42 and 7x42 current bins are a pure pleasure to use in this regard. I have an 8x32 Trinovid coming some time in the next week so I hope to compare it to the others directly. Considering how much praise it receives I have high expectations for it (15 mm of eye relief or not) but I wonder how comfortable it is going to be when I once again try a 4 mm exit pupil.

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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 01:39   #10
matt green
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankD
Though resolution is the issue in question I still feel somewhat compelled to point out the difference in exit pupil size between the 32 and 42 mm configurations of any given binocular. Though I attend to agree with Bawko and Alan's comments about the 8x32 configuration being ideal in terms of overall size and practical image quality in comparison to a larger 42 mm I often find myself coming back to how much more comfortable it is for me to move my eye around a 5 or even 6 mm exit pupil. Both my 8x42 and 7x42 current bins are a pure pleasure to use in this regard. I have an 8x32 Trinovid coming some time in the next week so I hope to compare it to the others directly. Considering how much praise it receives I have high expectations for it (15 mm of eye relief or not) but I wonder how comfortable it is going to be when I once again try a 4 mm exit pupil.
agreed..

my current 7x42 porros have a great deal of tolerance when it comes to eye placement,the smaller exit pupil of 32's requires a little more attention.

however, once you have been using your forthcoming 8x32's (i'm sure you'll love them btw) this will become second nature.

those little leicas are a gem!

matt
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 04:35   #11
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Matt and FrankD,

I certanly agree that larger exit pupils give you a lot of leeway. I went from 7x42s to 12x36s, and the 3mm exit pupil took some getting used to and requires more care in eye placement.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 13:22   #12
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I have a cheaper 8x32 I use quite a lot, but as I still get more detail at 10x, I prefer that, 10x42. Now, I was wondering if there is a decent 8.5x32 around, mid price? Like Minox BD 8.5X42 BR A.L.T but 32mm version, if they made one.
The 9x I have searched through, and there really was not much. And I already have a 9x25 porro.
I have no additional input on the resolution issue, sorry.

As far as dream binoculars go, I want a 9x42 roof prism with wide FOV. And no individual focus for the two eyes.
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 16:59   #13
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I have and regularly use a 7x42 ultravid and a 8x32 trinovid, I've not done any scientific tests, but cannot see any difference in the resolution. I have also noticed that although the 7x42s give a brighter image in poor light I can still resove detail just as well with my 8x32s. As has already been noted the larger exit pupil on the 42mm binocular does make for easier viewing. I see that the 8x42 ultravid is your first choice, have you tried the 7x42?
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 17:03   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Chicken
Greetings!
Leica 7x32 Trinovids? My dream binoculars... for which I would gladly sell my soul! :)

Best wishes,
Bawko
Agreed! Make mine a 7x32 Ultravid.

I've use various 7x30/8x30/32 bin's for twenty years now. I have never found a reason to lug around a larger, heavier bin. Granted, a 7x42 Ultravid/FL etc., is astonishing because of the large exit pupil and the eyes ability to "roam around" but, practically speaking, the 8x32 Ultravid is my favorite bin...

just wish it were a 7x32!!!!!
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 20:50   #15
matt green
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quote postcardcv.........have you tried the 7x42

very briefly,in norwich once while comparing with the 8x42,as you will know comparing binoculars from an inner city highstreet store cannot give an acurate idea of an instruments true optical quality.

I think i've always been one of those folk who automaticaly plumps for a regular 8x42,although at present i'm using a rather nice pair of opticron tga 7x42 porros which because of their good resolution gives me enough magnification for most situations,and has been previously discussed in lengh
here before the benefit of an extra 1x magnification is almost undetectable
by the human eye,however the advantages in field of view,brightness,depth of focus and ease of viewing makes a 7x42 more desirable than the 8x42.

so in the respect yes,it's between the 8/7x42 ultravid and the 8x32 trinovid.
both very different binoculars with their own pro's and errr..not very many cons!

fortunate is the man with both

matt

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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 20:53   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt green

so in the respect yes,it's between the 7x42 ultravid and the 8x32 trinovid.
both very different binoculars with their own pro's and errr..not very many cons!

fortunate is the man with both

matt
Matt, I've always said if I were going to own two binoculars It'd be those two.
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Old Monday 18th September 2006, 23:11   #17
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I guess I'm stuck with my Leica 7 x 42 BN Trinovid and my Nikon 8 x 30 SE II. But I'm not complaining! Not at all! And if I get bored with them I can always switch to my Nikon 10 x 42 SE. Life is good!

Cordially,
Bob

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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 01:32   #18
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I guess I'm stuck with my Leica 7 x 42 BN Trinovid and my Nikon 8 x 30 SE II. But I'm not complaining! Not at all! And if I get bored with them I can always switch to my Nikon 10 x 42 SE. Life is good!
I guess I now find myself in much the same boat as the rest of you. The 7x42 FL and soon the 8x32 Trinovid will be my own version of this combination. However I "ain't gettin' rid" of the Venturers yet either.
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 01:49   #19
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I think weight can influence our ability to hold a binocular steady. I find I can hold my reasonably heavy 7x42s steadier than my little, lightweight 8x21s, and I don't think it is the slightly higher power that hinders my ability - I think it is the light weight. If I decide to go for a pair of 8x32s someday, I will certainly have to try a pair and see how well I can hold them. YMMV.

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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 02:06   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar
I guess I'm stuck with my Leica 7 x 42 BN Trinovid and my Nikon 8 x 30 SE II. But I'm not complaining! Not at all! And if I get bored with them I can always switch to my Nikon 10 x 42 SE. Life is good!

Cordially,
Bob
Bob,

Did you mean the 8x30 EII or the 8x32 SE? In any case, if the shoe fits, wear it!

I certainly never found any problem in sharpness in moder Nikon, Leica or Zeiss binoculars with 32 mm objectives. For reasons other than central sharpness, the 32 mm Zeiss FL glasses seem to have a nice following.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 05:24   #21
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Arthur,
You're right. I got carried away there and created a new super-hybrid binocular!. I meant, of course, the 8 x 30 EII. I've never had the opportunity to use a Nikon 8 x 32 SE, but I will defer to those who know and concede that the SE is better than the 8 x 30 EII. It is possible to have everything, just not practical.
Cordially,
Bob
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 05:42   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanFrench
I think weight can influence our ability to hold a binocular steady. I find I can hold my reasonably heavy 7x42s steadier than my little, lightweight 8x21s, and I don't think it is the slightly higher power that hinders my ability - I think it is the light weight. If I decide to go for a pair of 8x32s someday, I will certainly have to try a pair and see how well I can hold them. YMMV.

Clear skies, Alan
I'll have to agree with you there Alan.

My Leica 7 x 42 Trinovids (more than reasonably heavy) hunker down in the palms of my hands like a cat taking an afternoon nap. Talk about inertia! Nothing moves! You don't mind that kind of weight. Not front heavy, not back heavy, just heavy and dead centered heavy at that.

Bob

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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 09:16   #23
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[very briefly,in norwich once while comparing with the 8x42,as you will know comparing binoculars from an inner city highstreet store cannot give an acurate idea of an instruments true optical quality.]

Matt

Have you been to Viking Optics on Timber Hill? I was comparing 10×25's there in Jan this year and you can get a pretty good view/comparison over the city from outside the shop. Haven't been in there for a while so I don't know if they currently stock the models you are looking at.
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 12:22   #24
matt green
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Elliston
[very briefly,in norwich once while comparing with the 8x42,as you will know comparing binoculars from an inner city highstreet store cannot give an acurate idea of an instruments true optical quality.]

Matt

Have you been to Viking Optics on Timber Hill? I was comparing 10×25's there in Jan this year and you can get a pretty good view/comparison over the city from outside the shop. Haven't been in there for a while so I don't know if they currently stock the models you are looking at.
thats the one,friendly little shop..bit pricey though.

as you say there is a good view looking down timber hill,when looking at bins I usually like to focus on distant dead trees,leaves,mud or maybe even a bird.

the pigeons that flock in the middle of norwich are great for trying out binos!

the best shop for viewing binoculars or scopes by far has to be cley spy in norfolk,the shop is essentially located in converted farmyard buildings in the middle of the north norfolk countryside..well worth a visit.

matt
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Old Tuesday 19th September 2006, 12:37   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt green

the best shop for viewing binoculars or scopes by far has to be cley spy in norfolk,the shop is essentially located in converted farmyard buildings in the middle of the north norfolk countryside..well worth a visit.

matt
In that area, you could add In Focus and the RSPB shop, both at Titchwell - and both offer truly excellent viewing facilities and good prices.
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