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Why are you keeping your 7x binoculars?

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Old Wednesday 31st July 2013, 18:45   #51
ceasar
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Originally Posted by dalat View Post
I don't really see what the success of binoculars with the military tells us about their usability for birding.

A 7x binocular is good for birders that have difficulies with handshake, typically older people. And it is good for warbling and similar birding types, where a large field is important but a large mag. rather less important.

A 70 year old birder looking at a warbler 5 m away, that is as far as it can get from typical military binocular use.

Birding in open country is probably more similar to military use, but for open country birding, 10x is usally prefered, at least in Europe.

But then I am even not sure if I understand the reason military used a lot of 7x and 6x binoculars. Ok, they need a large FOV, but they also need to see things far away, for which a high mag would be better. Perhaps it had more to do with 7x and 6x binoculars being easier and cheaper to produce in reasonable quality?

What is modern military using btw, still predominantely 7x?
Florian,

I don't really know what the army's of the world are using now. Some 7 x 28 IF Roof Prism binoculars have been used in the Near East and have been discussed here in the past.

The 6 x 30 porro prism was in ubiquitous use throughout WWI and WWII although they were all IF. You are right. They were used because they had a wide FOV, were lightweight and easy to carry, easy to use and easy to make. Officers generally carried bigger, more impressive binoculars.

There is a thread here discussing the binocular that played a big part in the movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" which expanded into one about binoculars which were used in movies.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=161217

Bob
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Old Wednesday 31st July 2013, 19:27   #52
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Originally Posted by dalat View Post


Birding in open country is probably more similar to military use, but for open country birding, 10x is usally prefered, at least in Europe.

But then I am even not sure if I understand the reason military used a lot of 7x and 6x binoculars. Ok, they need a large FOV, but they also need to see things far away, for which a high mag would be better. Perhaps it had more to do with 7x and 6x binoculars being easier and cheaper to produce in reasonable quality?
Militaries probably use low power binoculars because during strenuous physical activity they are easier to hold steady. Someone running from pothole to pothole trying not to get shot isn't going to waste too much time trying to pick out the delicate shading of a bird's feathers. They are perfect binoculars for getting a quick look at something and, coincidentally, great for birding in those situations where getting a quick ID is all one can hope for. I have a pair of 10X32 UV's that work great in the wide open spaces and barren ground cover of Arizona, but in Michigan, spotting a warbler in the shadowy underbrush of a forest canopy requires more hand to eye coordination and quick reflexes than resolving power.
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Old Wednesday 31st July 2013, 20:23   #53
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For a quick id is a 8x,10x or even a 12x power binocular better. The strenght of a 7x power bin is its ability that one can watch birds through it for a long while before it gets too shaky. Far longer than you could with a bin of higher power. So for looking at birds a higher power is maybe better, but if you really want to observe birds a 7x power might be not a bad idea.
Also is the steadiness of a 7x bin an big advantage in cold or windy days. Or as you have to raise your bin to look at a bird high in a tree right above you.
I have to apologise for my bad english.

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Old Wednesday 31st July 2013, 20:59   #54
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. The military use a variety of binoculars.
The 630 often with reticules was maybe the most common.
I think the fact that it can be handheld without shaking and it's fairly wide field with simple optics was the main reason. Also with uncoated optics it gave a reasonably bright image.

In Britain for some reason the British made Avimo 742 fixed focus was specified with long eye relief.
I think it can be used with glasses. But it was disliked because of its elbow design which meant one's head was raised 2 inches which is not a good idea if somebody is shooting at you. I think I would have used it upside down. it is still being used although probably more modern binoculars are also used.
I believe that some 842 roofs are also specified.

In Russia I think that as well as 630, 830 were popular.
Tank crews also sometimes used the 1550 I think, image stabilised mechanical binocular which had a big compensation angle and apparently works quite well.
However, the way it works means that the actual aperture is about 35mm as only a part of the objectives are used at any one time.

I've seen British officers using personal small roof prism binoculars may be 821.

In World War II the British didn't have enough binoculars and there was a scheme where civilians lent whatever binoculars they had which were then categorised into several qualities and given out to the military. All sorts of magnifications and apertures were found.
In World War I there were still many Galileo field glasses used and I believe very strangely that the British had access to Zeiss prismatic binoculars.

Fujinon image stabilised binoculars such as the 14 x 40 are used in moving vehicles such as helicopters. They can be plugged into the electrical supply or used hand-held with 4 batteries.
There is also the night and day version with interchangeable eyepieces, normal optical and image intensifiers.

There are also Russian image stabilised monoculars that are used I think also by the British. One version I think takes about a minute for a flywheel to speed up for the stabilisation. It is noisy and weird.

There are technicians who service all these different binoculars in the field but sometimes they don't make such a good job of it although I would think with a 630 they were simple enough and robust enough to perform well with the servicing they had.

I've also met military Questar telescopes and Den Oude Delft Mirror telescopes of incredibly high quality.
Some of the Soviet tank scopes are apparently one 20th wave.

There were all sorts of elbow telescopes and other binoculars some using huge eyepieces some of which contain thorium.

Then there are the 750, 860, 1080, 1580 and larger binoculars of 100 mm, 120 mm, 150 mm, 180 mm, 200 mm, 250 mm, and 300 mm aperture of the refracting type.

A whole listing of military binoculars and scopes would be very long indeed.

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Old Wednesday 31st July 2013, 22:45   #55
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As a big fan of the 6.5x/7x + 10x combo and owner of two great 8x binoculars, I feel qualified to share my opinion.

The biggest advantage of using a 7x is the speed with which an ID can be obtained.
This is the result of the vastly increased depth of field and the large FOV. If focused to medium distance, a roof like the Fury or Meopro 6.5x32 with their fast and light focusing knobs can be dialled into focus within fractions of a second. Their big FOV makes aiming a child's play and the low magnification not only delivers steady images for prolonged viewing, but also instantly after lifting the binocular.

If the FOV is imagined as a virtual, cone-shaped volume rather than a 145 m disc at 1000 m distance, it becomes obvious that the great angle of view and the great depth of field of a 6x/7x will provide MORE visual information than any 10x ever will.
More birds are
1) within the FOV (inside the outer walls of the cone)
2) sharp (inside the outer walls and inside the subvolume that's in focus)
3) rapidly dialled into sharpness
4) viewed interacting with other birds
than ever possible with any 10 binoculars.

The magnification difference of a 6.5x vs an 8x resembles the 8x vs a 10x.
I have found, though, that the shorter depth of field of the 8x causes some uncertainty where the focus really is, unlike a 10x where the sharp image appears at a very precise focus position.

In addition, I have made in vivo comparisons between a top 8x and a top 10x and concluded that the 10x offered no advantage in real use over the 8x, regardless of distance and detection of the smallest discernible details.

My final conclusion would be that a 6x to 7x roof is indispensible for close range birding, and very usable for average birding situations. A 10x will deliver what the 6x/7x won't, but that also goes for a good 8x/8.5x.
The 8x will serve better substituting a 10x than substituting a 6x/7x.

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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 00:15   #56
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In both of his books about identifying Hawks in flight in the section about "Optics for Hawk Watching" Jerry Liguori stated he used 7 x 42 binoculars because of their wide field of view. He used Zeiss 7 x 45 Night Owls from 1994 to 2008 when he switched to a 7 x 42 Victory FL. He noted that others preferred 8 x 42 or 10 x 42. He also stated, strongly, that whatever binocular one used it should be "high quality."

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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 03:48   #57
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Originally Posted by Pileatus View Post
The relationship between magnification and DOF is irrefutable. At 1X, our eyes do the best they can do to accommodate various distances, an ability that diminishes with age. As others have discussed before, I think the perceived DOF of any binocular is determined by three things: (1) the overall ability of the binocular to deliver a sharply focused image, (2) the magnification of the bin and, (3) the ability of the user's eye(s) to accommodate.

A dull binocular unable to deliver a crisp image at the focal point isn't going to have good DOF, regardless of magnification. Also, DOF implies gradual degradation from the focal point, not uniformity. Young, flexible eyes simply have a better chance of correcting as distance increases...hence a younger person might report great DOF that an older birder just can't see.

There's a lot to be said about 7X. Personally, I believe the reduction in handshake supersedes the increased DOF, especially for aging birders. I also believe the ideal general-purpose travel binocular would be an alpha 6X32. I'd buy a 6X32 Swarovision in a heartbeat! The stability of a well balanced 6X32 is simply amazing and the "loss" of magnification isn't as detrimental as one might think.

My accommodation isn't very good so the 7X42 has only one advantage for me, reduced handshake. My 8.5X42 SV probably shakes a bit more, but its across-the-field sharpness has resulted in less movement and fewer focus adjustments. Mathematically the 8.5X42 has less DOF than the 7X42, but that's not the point. I perceive, in the real world of birding, a less burdensome view in the SV. I call this the optical workload factor...or the OW factor. If bin A hurts less than bin B then I'm buying bin A. It's that simple and the reason us old folks save our pennies and buy the very best. It's also why the "95% as good" argument is specious, at best, especially to those of us with aging eyes.
I like your post, and it has many things that we can address about sizes
and how they work. I do look at any recommendation made on this forum
should include those with average eyesight. That will include those wearing
eyeglasses and those without.

When bringing in issues relating to age, such as shakiness, poor accommodation,
eyeglass, varifocal, trifocal, etc., that may be why a 7X binocular may have a place.
But the choices are getting to be few. 7x42's are available, but is there a
good choice in 7x32?

I look at the 8 or 8.5X42 binocular to be the best all around choice.
The 42mm objective, just gives a larger, bigger, better view, and helps
you center the object you are looking at.

The 32mm, has its limitations for those with some vision issues.

Jerry

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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 05:29   #58
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Excellent thread, one of the best I've come across.

Would someone like to add this info - thanks. How's the Nikon 7x35 - Action/Aculon or EX - in woodland - brightness, depth of field, usable field of view, handling? Also, if possible, compared with a 6/6.5x, with any other 7x.

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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 09:41   #59
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Thanks a lot for your comments!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloseFocus View Post
Militaries probably use low power binoculars because during strenuous physical activity they are easier to hold steady.
This is something I did not think about... Another point I did not think of is the advantage of lower mags in low light, I guess that was certainly sth. important for military use, although today they probably use better toys when it's dark.
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 17:22   #60
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Thanks a lot for your comments!

This is something I did not think about... Another point I did not think of is the advantage of lower mags in low light, I guess that was certainly sth. important for military use, although today they probably use better toys when it's dark.
Yes, better, more expensive toys. I'm almost tempted to join the army to get to play with them, but birding in Afghanistan doesn't fit my schedule at the moment.
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Old Thursday 1st August 2013, 18:48   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
I
I look at the 8 or 8.5X42 binocular to be the best all around choice.
The 42mm objective, just gives a larger, bigger, better view, and helps
you center the object you are looking at.

The 32mm, has its limitations for those with some vision issues.

Jerry
Hello Jerry,

I think you mean that the 8/8.5x42 provides a larger image than the 7x, but I am not sure what you mean by better view. The exit pupil of an 8x 42 is 5.25 mm, which is smaller than the 6 mm exit pupil of the 7x42, and with the latter it is surely is easier to "acquire" the target, just as an 8x32, at 4 mm exit pupil is a little harder to line up. Is that what you mean by "helps center the object you are looking at"?

Happy bird watching,
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 04:27   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
Hello Jerry,

I think you mean that the 8/8.5x42 provides a larger image than the 7x, but I am not sure what you mean by better view. The exit pupil of an 8x 42 is 5.25 mm, which is smaller than the 6 mm exit pupil of the 7x42, and with the latter it is surely is easier to "acquire" the target, just as an 8x32, at 4 mm exit pupil is a little harder to line up. Is that what you mean by "helps center the object you are looking at"?

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
Arthur:

My comparison was the advantage the 42mm objective has over the
32mm size. The larger objective helps with ease of view.

Jerry
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 16:24   #63
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Arthur:

My comparison was the advantage the 42mm objective has over the
32mm size. The larger objective helps with ease of view.

Jerry
I have an 8x42 Ultravid that I use for forest birding. It has a better depth of field and a brighter image than my 10x32's. But if I'd had the option, I would have probably gone with a 7x32 for that kind of birding. I like the easy to handle size and light weight of the Leica 32mm binoculars. A 7x binocular would have a larger exit pupil and a wider field of view, although the posts on this thread about roof prisms possibly limiting the field of view make me wonder. In the mini size there is no question that a 7 or even 6 power binocular would be preferable over the standard 8x option.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 17:31   #64
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Despite my liking for the 7x42 FL I have also used truly dire 7x binoculars. 7x is not in itself a universal 'must have', only when it is combined with other features that help to bring out its best virtues.

One of the best features of this thread is that we will never agree, we are all different, using our binoculars for slightly different purposes and also we are all built differently.

My choice of best binoculars changes from week to week depending on my latest project and varies between many manufacturers, magnifications and constuction.

8x30 porros were my first love, but like past girlfriends, when you return to them in later life you are sometimes grateful you decided to move on and experience a much broader life experience.

To clarify, I still have, use and love my 8x30 porro Zeiss and Nikons but play the field with a whole range of others.

As to my ex girlfriends, I have no idea what happened to them. (This is strictly tongue in cheek for those who are about to label me a sexist ***) N.B. Binoculars are cheaper.

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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 17:37   #65
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Despite my liking for the 7x42 FL I have also used truly dire 7x binoculars. 7x is not in itself a universal 'must have', only when it is combined with other features that help to bring out its best virtues.

One of the best features of this thread is that we will never agree, we are all different, using our binoculars for slightly different purposes and also we are all built differently.

My choice of best binoculars changes from week to week depending on my latest project and varies between many manufacturers, magnifications and constuction.

8x30 porros were my first love, but like past girlfriends, when you return to them in later life you are sometimes grateful you decided to move on and experience a much broader life experience.

To clarify, I still have, use and love my 8x30 porro Zeiss and Nikons but play the field with a whole range of others.

As to my ex girlfriends, I have no idea what happened to them. (This is strictly tongue in cheek for those who are about to label me a sexist ***)
I can just see it: someday you will , by chance, come across that special one and it won't take long to know she's your one and only. She will have all of the characteristics you've been looking for and you will finally settle down, content in the knowledge that you chose well and have a life partner who understands you, supports you and still turns you on. I'm talking about binoculars of course.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 17:52   #66
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It is when you start dreaming about binoculars instead of girls your worries really begin.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 18:30   #67
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Hi Annabeth,

Strangely, I was married to my late wife for many years during which time we rarely agreed on anything, other than bringing up our dogs and children. We loved each other enormously and never had a boring moment. If only I could find a pair of binoculars that could party as well as she could my life will be complete.

In the mean time I will return to my promiscuous binoculars, sound recording kit and cameras and continue to curse the pigeons that are using my cars as target practice prior to launching a full scale blitzkrieg against humankind.

I think there is some sort of moral about 7x binoculars in all this, but for the life of me, its way beyond my feeble brain....

N.B. When I start dreaming about binoculars you have my full permission to put me out of my misery!!!

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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 18:39   #68
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Hi Annabeth,

Strangely, I was married to my late wife for many years during which time we rarely agreed on anything, other than bringing up our dogs and children. We loved each other enormously and never had a boring moment. If only I could find a pair of binoculars that could party as well as she could my life will be complete.

In the mean time I will return to my promiscuous binoculars, sound recording kit and cameras and continue to curse the pigeons that are using my cars as target practice prior to launching a full scale blitzkrieg against humankind.

I think there is some sort of moral about 7x binoculars in all this, but for the life of me, its way beyond my feeble brain....

N.B. When I start dreaming about binoculars you have my full permission to put me out of my misery!!!
That's a sweet story :) and, I think if a couple agrees on everything than maybe something is amiss there. Or they just got very lucky (?).

heehee...as long as you are DAY-dreaming about binoculars (like the rest of us) you're ok.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 19:09   #69
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I once dreamt I had a pair of Kowa Highlanders. To my relief, on waking I found I still had a wife, and no Highlanders. I think the two are mutually exclusive (in my case anyway).
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Old Friday 2nd August 2013, 21:10   #70
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I have three bins that I use on a regular basis. Two of the three are 7x. The wider field of view coupled with the increased depth of field makes them a pure joy to use.

I realize why manufacturers aren't producing them much anymore but sometimes folks don't know what they are missing out on.
Spot on Frank :) I too prefer my 7x and 6.5x :)
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Old Saturday 3rd August 2013, 07:49   #71
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The only reason I have any 8x is because the make/model/format I wanted was not available in 7x.
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Old Monday 5th August 2013, 04:19   #72
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I use these 7x binoculars quite a bit. The two 7x50s (Nikon Prostar and Pentax PIF) are superb performers under the night sky. The Pentax PIF is the only binocular I've found that equals the legendary edge performance of the Prostar. If there is a star anywhere in the fov it is tack sharp.

The 7x42 EDG is also a great performer and with its large fov and great depth of field closely mimics the view in a porro. I find the view in the 7x42 EDG and the 8x30 EII very similar as far apparent fov, depth of focus, and of course the same pleasing warm Nikon color balance but of course the EDG offers better edge performance.

On the left are two Nikon 7x35 9.3 Wide Fields which are great optical performers. I've heard other members express opinions about this series questionable build quality and while they aren't as rugged as many of the Nikon porros I've still had no problem with either of these two which I use quite often. I also have two more of the 7x35 9.3 Wide Fields (Gold Sentinel versions) NIB which I purchased for "back up" if needed. Despite having several alpha roofs and premium modern porros I still use the 7x35 Wide Fields for birding on a regular basis.....the 7x wide angle fov is almost addictive.

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Old Monday 5th August 2013, 06:43   #73
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The only reason I have any 8x is because the make/model/format I wanted was not available in 7x.
If only the manufacturers would take this on board.
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Old Monday 5th August 2013, 11:54   #74
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If only the manufacturers would take this on board.
They did and sales were dismal.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2013, 21:57   #75
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Sales of the Swarovski 15x56 are probably dismal, but it still gets made !
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