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Good value 10x50 around 300 - 500 /$

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Old Thursday 7th November 2019, 16:16   #26
PYRTLE
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Originally Posted by yarrellii View Post
Dennis, Andy. Interesting, thanks! I can see a 10x50 SL on the bay from the East but no SLC. I'll check other sites (maybe I can't see that particular item because the seller won't ship overseas).
I think you're correct, seller will only ship within the UK. Shame.
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 09:54   #27
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That looked so tempting. Thank you anyway for the tip! :)
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 11:35   #28
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A useful thread and not so many choices in 10x50 sub-500 euro.

A tiny handful of overstock Pentax ZD ED 10x50 were plunged on Amazon about six months ago, this may be worth watching as an option, there is a tread about it here.

Regards, Steve
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 12:04   #29
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Steve, thanks. Yes, I remember that thread. Unfortunatelly I was late for that.
I find surprising (talking about porro binoculars) that there doesn't seem to be a lot beyond the Nikon Action EX... until you get to something like the IF Fujinon, etc. I have seen astronomy porros around 200-300 € (like the Vixen Ascott CFW here which I assume must have good optics, but probably they excel during the night time and not so much during daylight (say, they have a poor minimal close focus distance). I remember reading a lot of praise from FrankD (whose opinions I value and whose reviews I enjoy) for the 7x50 Foresta CF. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a 10x50 Foresta CF porro. I like porro binoculars, I love the handling of their wide body and the bright and 3D image they usually provide, so I would love to find a 300 - 500 € CF porro (say a 10x50 EII; bonus points for modern eyecups and haptics. Say an improved Action EX). Obviously a good roof is also very nice, don't get me wrong :)
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 12:55   #30
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Yes, and still worth keeping an eye on, they may pop up again.

I cannot speak for 10x50 porros although I had a Nikon 10x42 SE, very good but the ER did not work for me.

There are a very small number of choices in 10.5x45 (Bresser, Nikon, Weaver) almost where you want to be and perhaps worth a look.

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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 10:56   #31
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Steve, I must confess that I wasn't aware of the 10.5x45 configuration being something "usual" like, say, the 8.5x44. Interesting compromise. However, my concern is that 10.5x45 offers the same 4.2 mm exit pupil as a 10x42, at a higher weight (and maybe more shake because of a tad higher magnification). I guess the 3 mm difference will make up for more brightness, but I'm not sure if they will match a 10x50 for dusk/astronomy. What do you think? Thanks again, very interesting.
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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 18:00   #32
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Perhaps worth having your pupil tested in dark adapted conditions (not chemically dilated). For astro my choice would be a 10x50, a challenge with this budget.

FrankD enthusiastically reviewed the Bresser Montana DK 8.5x45, a search will reveal the thread. This binocular is still available in both 8.5x45 and 10.5x45.

The Nikon Monarch X 10.5x45 and the Weaver Super Slam 10.5x45 are both twilight dedicated binoculars, both have dielectric prism coatings and both are discontinued. I own or have owned both in 8.5x45. The Weaver has the distinct advantage of the focus wheel in front of the rear bridge giving you a natural hands forward placement on the objectives allowing for a very steady and relaxing view.

The Nikon Monarch X 8.5x45 attracted some criticism from bino-nerds for the comparatively high level of CA (although to a certain extent this is user specific). If you can see CA in the view in the last vestiges of twilight (for which this binocular was specifically developed) and when the retinal rods have taken over the function of the colour sensitive cones then you are genuinely special

In the Outdoor Life 2010 optics tests the Weaver Super Slam 10.5x45 came a very close second to the Swarovski EL SV 10x42. Well worth looking at how they test: https://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/g...ics-test-2010/.

Hope this helps.

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Old Tuesday 12th November 2019, 11:03   #33
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Steve, thank you as always. And, as always, very interesting pointers. I wasn't aware of those binoculars.
My intended use is both stationary long range (like on a hide, car, etc.) for seabirds (where weight/bulk won't be an issue) and backyard astronomy (again, bulk not an issue). In my mind a good porro could provide a lot of what I'm looking for, probably at lesser price than a roof. But then, I have no problem whatsoever in buying 2nd hand, so a used quality roof, if found, could be an ideal candidate. If not for the IF, I'd be tempted to get a dedicated astronomy porro (like a 2nd hand Fujinon or the like), but I've tried IF in the past and I know I coulnd't live with it for the other intended purposes. For that reason, a combination of high power (x10) and aperture (50 mm) is what I had in mind, and hence my worries that 10.5x50 could be a tad on the short side. I'm 45 yo, never had my pupil tested. If it helps, I've used binoculars with 5, 6 and 7 mm exit pupil, and the latter have always seem a little brighter (two 8x56, one of mid-range, and a top-range IF, a Steiner Nighthunter).
Very interesting reading the Outdoor Life comparison. There are so many choices! Thanks again.
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Old Wednesday 13th November 2019, 22:29   #34
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It's interesting that 10x50, quite rare nowadays, was actually quite a popular format in the old days. Most of us will remember the Zeiss 10x50 porros from both Jena and Oberkochen, 10x50 models were also made by the various JB/JE companies. Especially if you don't need to wear glasses when using binoculars (you have mentioned using the Nikon 12x40E, 8x30 EII, and Habicht 8x30W in the very recent past), that type of binocular could be worth looking for, although given that most will be close to 20 years old, one needs to be aware of the various age related issues.

I must confess that for the type of observation you have described, in the kind of weather you get in Spain, I would want to give something like a multi-coated 10x50 Dekarem or Jenoptem a really good comparison against roof binoculars in the price range you stated before making my choice. The East German Zeiss binoculars are not too difficult to find and thanks to their prices having risen over the last six or seven years, good ones will probably end up being in your price range. The problem is making sure that such old binoculars are actually in good condition (properly collimated, free from internal hazing, etc). They are not weatherproof and mechanically not all that robust compared to the 10x42/7x42/8x32 FLs or the Meostar 8x32 you've owned. But they have a very good field of view, and although the old T3M coating isn't as good as the West German T*, to my eyes anyway, it's good enough.

Swarovski's 10x50 SL (which you mentioned earlier, and which was discussed in the Swaro sub-forum by John A Roberts), and Docter's 10x50 Nobilem would be well worth trying. Both are built to a different level of robustness and performance, but both are rare, and will almost certainly be quite expensive.
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Old Thursday 14th November 2019, 10:35   #35
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Patudo, thanks for your input. You comment about 10x50 being popular back in the day seems so right; one only has to scan the 2nd hand websites to discover an endless array of 10x50 of all prices and styles. It is a pity that 10x42 seems to be the norm nowadays and only a few brands dedicate their efforts and resources to create a mid-range 10x50. For example, looking at Nikon's chart of roof binoculars which includes nearly 30 models in 7 different ranges, there is only one 10x50, the Prostaff 5, in the lower part of their optical performance range, no 10x50 Monarch 5, 7 or HG, let alone an EDG.

I've had a number of classic porros (JB, CZJ, etc.), but I've got mixed feelings. I love porros, really, from their shape (I like the way the hands curl around the barrels more comfortably than with roofs) to their optical properties, and while the EII and E(C) provide very nice views, my experiences with +20/30 year old porros were a bit of a disappointment performance-wise (E. g. I had a 8x30 CZJ multicoated Jenoptem in impressive condition that was simply trounced by a 100 € 8x30 Kowa YF; well, at least to my eyes). So I have grown a bit wary of the very tempting 10x50 offers of classic German/Japanese porros (there are so many nice looking ones on the German Ebay). I'm a big fan of porros, but the yellow cast on the classic models combined with the rigid plastic eyecups are not my cup of tea. And then there's the problem with the condition of such classic pieces (as you say, collimation, fungus, haze, etc.). This is why I find so sad that there doesn't seem to be a lot on offer between say a Nikon Action Extreme (I had the 7x35 and loved it, if not for the weight and bulk) and something like a Fuji FMX with its IF. It seems to be whether a 100-150 € or astronomy dedicated IF die-hard 1,5 kg instruments. Such a pity that there is no Kowa "IF HD" on 7x35/50, 10x50 or a Nikon "EIII". I had the Pentax FP WPII but found the FOV a bit tight and the eyecups just so large that they became uncomfortable for extended use.

Over last weeks, thanks to comments like yours from other members I'm making a list of candidates, to see if I can test or have some sort of first-hand experience with some of them, so just keep your comments coming, they are all more than welcome :) Thanks again!

Last edited by yarrellii : Thursday 14th November 2019 at 10:37.
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