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In your opinion, the best looking binoculars are....

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Old Saturday 29th August 2020, 20:42   #1
rdnzl
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In your opinion, the best looking binoculars are....

I'm partial to these. B&L Mk28 and Zephyr. What I consider perfect form. One large, and one small.
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Old Saturday 29th August 2020, 21:34   #2
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My shortlist would be: Leica Ultravid BL, Zeiss Victory HT, Vortex Razor UHD.
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Old Saturday 29th August 2020, 22:44   #3
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Old Saturday 29th August 2020, 23:07   #4
Arthur Red Rod
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Zeiss Dialyt 7x42B

My God, what an elegant, yet masculine and rugged design. It immediately reminded me of the Porsche 930 Turbo in black with its distinctly German, almost Gothic aesthetic. The moving bridge is very charming as well and harkens back to a simpler time, like air-cooled turbo engines.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 05:26   #5
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I like the simple, elegant classic looks of the Leica Trinovid BA. I think it is one of the best looking and toughest binoculars around. The ribs on the armour keep your fingers from sweating and it is comfortable in the hand.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 10:48   #6
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Whatever I say, there’s likely to be some Leica model or other - perhaps from their Silverline series - perhaps covered with the skin of some endangered South American reptile - perhaps made from beautifully machined unobtanium - that looks better. And so it should, for the no-doubt stratospheric price.

Absent that, I have rather a liking for the “industrial brutalist” form-follows-function look of the Zeiss FL series and that Trinovid mentioned above. While I prefer those, the more conventionally good-looking Zeiss HTs are, I’ll confess, very nice-looking and likely to seem so to more peoples’ tastes.

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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 14:38   #7
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Leica Ultravid BL and the Retrovids.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 15:12   #8
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I liked the design of the Night Owls.
Also, I have a soft spot for the Leica ultravid 8x32, the zeiss dialyt 8x30 b/ga t* and Nikon 10x42 SE.
Ofcourse I like my 7x42 T*FL and victory 8x25 (form + function).
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 16:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I like the simple, elegant classic looks of the Leica Trinovid BA. I think it is one of the best looking and toughest binoculars around. The ribs on the armour keep your fingers from sweating and it is comfortable in the hand.
Definitely a contender.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 17:31   #10
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Leica BN

Hello,

I am not certain if this Leica in eye catching red is beautiful or naff. The armor is irreplaceable.

Stay safe
Arthur
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 17:42   #11
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... the pair that I have with me when sth interesting shows up... which is my Papilio 6x21 often enough...

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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 17:52   #12
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First edition Nikon EDG.

No doubt about it.

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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 18:42   #13
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I don't care in the slightest how 'good looking' binoculars might be just that they're ergonomically designed, good to use and optically superb - aesthetics come a very long way behind.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 19:40   #14
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Aesthetics come a long way behind function for me too, although I only wanted the black version when I bought my FLs, so guess it must matter a little for me
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 19:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cantelo View Post
I don't care in the slightest how 'good looking' binoculars might be just that they're ergonomically designed, good to use and optically superb - aesthetics come a very long way behind.
Maybe another topic for discussion.....Which bins have the best ergos.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 20:02   #16
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I like the simple, elegant classic looks of the Leica Trinovid BA. I think it is one of the best looking and toughest binoculars around. The ribs on the armour keep your fingers from sweating and it is comfortable in the hand.
Dennis, that is a truly refined choice. The texturing on the rubber preventing the pooling of sweat is something I did not know. I learn something new every day on here, I swear.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 20:28   #17
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Some nice choices. I always find porros to be more attractive. At least to me they are, but you guys mentioned some nice roofs. Maybe its because I grew up in the late 50's and 60's using porros.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:05   #18
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I would judge a 'good look' as one that makes you want to pick them up and point them at something.
In that regard, i'm going for two i already have - the Zeiss FL 8x32 - short, stubby, robust, less lines on the armouring than the Leica, but enough to feel a little vintage...and the:
Nikon EII 8x30 - like the vintage open-top two-seater that you might get out to take The Duchess for a spin on a summer's day.....perhaps with an Epsom basket containing lobster and Champagne. The binocular equivalent of an Austin Healey Sprite.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:15   #19
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Originally Posted by Arthur Red Rod View Post
Dennis, that is a truly refined choice. The texturing on the rubber preventing the pooling of sweat is something I did not know. I learn something new every day on here, I swear.
I noticed when I used the Trinovid BN my hands didn't sweat as much and I thought about it and I realized it was because the little channels in the BN's armour helps ventilate your hands because it allows air to move around under your hands. The armour on the BN's is also harder than most binoculars so it naturally doesn't cause your hands to sweat as much as some of the softer more pliable armour as commonly used on other binoculars plus it is very durable. The Zeiss Dialyt 7x42B uses a similar type of harder armour with grooves in it also for ventilation and also for a better grip.

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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:21   #20
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Hello,

I am not certain if this Leica in eye catching red is beautiful or naff. The armor is irreplaceable.

Stay safe
Arthur
I like the red. You don't commonly see them. Very racy. It looks like a Ferrari Enzo. Same red with black.
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:31   #21
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I like the red. You don't commonly see them. Very racy. It looks like a Ferrari Enzo.
Dennis! Now I think I also know which car you prefer
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:48   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy7 View Post
I would judge a 'good look' as one that makes you want to pick them up and point them at something.
In that regard, i'm going for two i already have - the Zeiss FL 8x32 - short, stubby, robust, less lines on the armouring than the Leica, but enough to feel a little vintage...and the:
Nikon EII 8x30 - like the vintage open-top two-seater that you might get out to take The Duchess for a spin on a summer's day.....perhaps with an Epsom basket containing lobster and Champagne. The binocular equivalent of an Austin Healey Sprite.
Hello Paddy.

If I recall the 8x30 EII had sloping prism housings, very handsome.

Stay safe,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 30th August 2020, 22:52   #23
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Dennis, that is a truly refined choice. The texturing on the rubber preventing the pooling of sweat is something I did not know. I learn something new every day on here, I swear.
If you hang around here long enough you'll be swearing a lot.

Ed
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Old Monday 31st August 2020, 00:05   #24
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Any of the Zeiss Dialyt models 7X42, 8X56 and 10X40. The original 7X42 and 8X40 Leitz roofs also.

Andy W.
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Old Monday 31st August 2020, 00:57   #25
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This is like asking who you think the best looking woman is - everyone has a different idea of what beauty is! I also agree with John Cantelo that binoculars ought to be looked through rather than looked at (although it's certainly possible for them to be good in both departments!) and I would much rather own a butt ugly binocular with great optics than one that looks beautiful but can't cut it optically, which is why I don't own a Leitz Trinovid...

Having said all that, as far as old porros go, I personally like the look of the American B&L style (which many Japanese manufacturers followed) a little better than the Zeiss style which most European manufacturers adopted. The arch of the top edge of the prism plate, though it looks more old fashioned, seems more graceful to me than the more angular European style, and fits my hands just as well. I also like the fact that the B&L body is made in one piece. But comparing a Zephyr with say a Binuxit is like attempting to compare Bacall with Marlene Dietrich... most ungentlemanly!

Roof prisms wise, though a great many roof designs have followed the lines of the Trinovid BA/BNs, those binoculars themselves, icons though they are, are not as easy on the eye (at least to my eye) as the ELs, FLs, SFs. I can't disagree with the nickname "brick" for the x42 sizes especially. But they are a better birding tool - waterproof, durable, and optically superior - than the more elegant Leitz Trinovids that preceded them...

If looks are the sole criteria, I feel leatherette covered binoculars are prettier than rubber armoured ones, although the latter are certainly more utilitarian (a sentiment which anyone who has ever marked up the edge of a "beauty ring" will agree with, I'm sure). The Dialyts I own are both GA models, but I'd be the first to say (what on earth am I doing talking down binoculars that I own? It's not very BF Binoculars at all...) the leatherette versions of the 8x30 and 10x40 have more eye appeal to me.

I'll also admit that, nice though the leatherette Dialyts are, Leitz's Trinovids surpass them - though in the end only very slightly - in absolute cleanness and refinement of line. They also handle and point most beautifully, proving that looks and handling can be combined in one (and could be as early as the 1960s). This gentleman, in discussing the 8x32 model Trinovid, puts it far better than I could when he says that "Although the non-phase coated Trinovids did not optically match the superb Porro I binoculars they replaced, they were remarkably light-weight and compact and were a pleasure to hold with a streamlined gracefulness to their appearance which made them one of the most ergonomically and visually pleasing binoculars ever made and heralded the demise of Porro prism binoculars to the overwhelming popularity of roof prism models (even though Porros are an optically more efficient and less costly design than roofs)."

The photo I've attached is the same one featured in this post by its owner Artigas. I would not purchase one myself, but as something to look at, it's off the charts on my personal lust meter.
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