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Recommendation in 8x30-35?

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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 01:12   #1
marcsantacurz
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Recommendation in 8x30-35?

All,

I'm looking for a compact, lightweight bin to use for spotting during photography w/ long lenses. Most of this is done at dawn or dusk to get that long lighting. So, all I want is compact, lightweight, and good at dawn & dusk. I'm sure that's easy :) I don't wear glasses. What would you recommend?

I can get a pair of UHD+ for $1500 CPO and now and then I see some used FL's in that range. I also hear good stuff about the Kowa Genesis 33. I've not tried the Conquest HD (on the heavier side in this class) or Companion CL, though they are definitely in the price range.

I've used the UV BR 8x20 and Zeiss HT 10x42. In the UV, I start to notice the small exit pupil in low light. The HT's are great, but bulky and heavy (I'm already carrying around a giant lens).

Thank you,
Marc
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 01:35   #2
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... for $1500 CPO and now and then I see some used FL's in that range. ...

Thank you,
Marc
Hello Marc,

I have been rather satisfied with my FL 8x32, which I have has for a dozen years. If you buy a used FL, imported by Zeiss USA, it would be covered by the Zeiss transferable guarantee. If you have the serial number, Zeiss USA will tell you if it is covered.

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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 02:15   #3
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Swarovski 8x32 SV Field Pro.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 05:43   #4
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The Kowa Genesis have NO! CA and once set the eye cups let you throw them up without thought, Your eyes are set and there is do fussing to get the right sight picture. I have both these and their big brother the 8.5X44 and only my Zeiss are very slightly better but not by much. These are occasionally on sale and ca be a bargen.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 07:40   #5
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Hello marcsantacurz. For dawn/dusk viewing, I would place a premium on glare control. That type of lighting situation, with a bright sky but dark landscape, is particularly challenging for a binocular. My personal choice would be the 8x32 Nikon EDG II if you can find one within your budget, but maybe you would consider it too heavy. Of the ones that you mention, I would give the UVHD+ a slight edge over the Conquest HD for glare control. It won't be perfect (no binocular is), and you might see some crescent shaped glare in the bottom of the view, but otherwise it is very good at suppressing glare. I have not tried either the FL or the new CL.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 11:37   #6
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Most of this is done at dawn or dusk to get that long lighting. So, all I want is compact, lightweight, and good at dawn & dusk.
I am sure you know those are conflicting requirements. Perhaps the Swaro Habicht 8x30 would be a good compromise---bright and not too heavy, and well within your budget. If brightness is more important to you, then you have to trade off some weight for it and go with a 42mm FL (with AK prisms).
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 14:04   #7
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Hi Marc.

I`d take a look at the Opticron dba vhd plus 8x42, its very compact for a 42mm. weighs less than 700g, but gives you the advantage of a 42mm objective with ed glass in a package not much bigger than many 32mm offerings.

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-produ...s/dba-vhd-8x42

John.

P.S. Actually they weigh just 100g more than my 32mm swarovski SV and are almost exactly the same height and width !

Last edited by Torview : Sunday 5th August 2018 at 14:07.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 14:56   #8
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I am sure you know those are conflicting requirements. Perhaps the Swaro Habicht 8x30 would be a good compromise---bright and not too heavy, and well within your budget. If brightness is more important to you, then you have to trade off some weight for it and go with a 42mm FL (with AK prisms).
Remember the Habicht 8x30 has two weaknesses. A tight focuser and bad flare which could be a big problem at dawn and dusk.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 17:46   #9
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I'd grab the HD+ for that price. Every time I've checked them out I thought they were the best in that size class and was able to compare them side by side outdoors with the EL, Victory's and Conquest (which I previously owned in the 8x32). Of course everyones eyes are different so hopefully you can compare them all. As for the Habicht I owned a pair of 8x30s and while they were nice I think the new glasses have surpassed them. Again this is my personal opinion and you and others may feel quite differently.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 19:52   #10
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Hi,

You can't be wrong with the GREAT Meopta Meostar 8x32. Perhaps the MOST UNDERRATED brand and model binoculars. I have one and is my go-everywhere- binocular. Great optics and mechanics. At any price. Period.

Good luck!

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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 22:31   #11
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Yes, I was being a little facetious in listing those requirements, but at least I didn't ask for it to be inexpensive too! Thanks for your comments, btw.
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Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 23:20   #12
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All,

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll try to get a look at a Kowa and Meopta -- I don't know those brands so I'll check them out.

Based on the feedback, I think the UHD+ bubble towards the top of my list, but what I was looking for was things I don't know about or wasn't sure about and like the Kowa and Meopta suggestions. I'm sure most any of them would be great. I don't mean to discount the EDG, but they are heavy, almost in 42mm class (I shoot nikon cameras, so nothing against them).

From my spreadsheeting the alternatives.... Sorting by weight and giving preference to a full 8 degree FoV, it's the Zeiss FL, Kowa Genesis, and Swaro EL32. The Meopta and Leica UHD+ are lighter, but 7.7 degrees. The EDG (I think this is model #7568?) is heavier and 7.8 degrees. I don't think I'd notice the difference in 7.7 vs 8, but I would notice the difference between 18.9oz (leica or meopta) and 23oz (nikon). The Zeiss & Kowa are in the middle on weight (19.7 and 20.8).

Marc
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 03:32   #13
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Hi Marc.

I`d take a look at the Opticron dba vhd plus 8x42, its very compact for a 42mm. weighs less than 700g, but gives you the advantage of a 42mm objective with ed glass in a package not much bigger than many 32mm offerings.

https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-produ...s/dba-vhd-8x42

John.

P.S. Actually they weigh just 100g more than my 32mm swarovski SV and are almost exactly the same height and width !
A 366 foot FOV is pretty tunnel like IMO.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 09:31   #14
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A 366 foot FOV is pretty tunnel like IMO.
Its a trade off though, a 42mm the size and weight (roughly) of most 32mm offerings, and lets not forget that is pretty much the fov on the Tract Toric you once lauded as totally adequate .
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 12:39   #15
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Try the SV, FL, UVHD+, CL, and Conquest HD. One of those should suit your fancy! Each has their own merits.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 15:00   #16
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Its a trade off though, a 42mm the size and weight (roughly) of most 32mm offerings, and lets not forget that is pretty much the fov on the Tract Toric you once lauded as totally adequate .
Didn't Steve say the Tract Toric 8x42 had a FOV much closer to 400 feet after testing it?
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 15:47   #17
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Didn't Steve say the Tract Toric 8x42 had a FOV much closer to 400 feet after testing it?
Well maybe the Opticron quote is conservative also, in the end we can only buy on the supplied specs, I will say the dba vhd is very nice anyway, and a great contender for anyone wanting to keep the size in check, but needs a 42mm objective.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 15:54   #18
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Well maybe the Opticron quote is conservative also, in the end we can only buy on the supplied specs, I will say the dba vhd is very nice anyway, and a great contender for anyone wanting to keep the size in check, but needs a 42mm objective.
Another smaller and lighter 8x42 with a bigger FOV than the Opticron would be the Nikon MHG 8x42 with a 435 foot FOV.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 16:29   #19
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If eye relief is not a problem I would get the Leica 8x32 UVHD+.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 15:20   #20
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If eye relief is not a problem I would get the Leica 8x32 UVHD+.
I AGREE!

I've never owned that binocular for exactly that reason....BUT if it weren't for that, I'd have it. I've used one on several occasions. It's a VERY nice binocular. Maybe the best considering size. It ALMOST has enough ER. But I felt like it was too close to risk it for me.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 17:54   #21
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Marc: if you are considering the Meopta, there is a pair of 8x32 in the cassifieds for $415. At that price you can’t lose. Perhaps you’ll love them as others here do or they will make a fine pair of backup, loaners, or car binoculars. These are Cabela’s branded but the exact same as the Meopta model.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 18:58   #22
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Could still pick up a “sub alpha” Nikon 8x30 E2 and have plenty spare for beer and travel money...

Peter
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 22:04   #23
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Could still pick up a “sub alpha” Nikon 8x30 E2 and have plenty spare for beer and travel money...

Peter
Would depend if you're planning to go out much in the rain though....otherwise, one of the best of the small chaps
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Old Thursday 9th August 2018, 06:47   #24
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Would depend if you're planning to go out much in the rain though....otherwise, one of the best of the small chaps
It wouldn't be in a downpour, but maybe a light drizzle or light dampness from marine layer. I've been looking at the 8x30 E2, I see people are starting to like it more in the 100th anniversary edition, supposedly brighter, but that gets into a chunk of change compared to an import or used E2.
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Old Monday 13th August 2018, 04:31   #25
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As a new amateur owner of the Kowa Genesis 8x33 here are my thoughts:

I would rather have CPO UHD+ 8x32. I have compared the models head to head for about 30 minutes, but it only took me about 30 seconds to make up my mind. I can't speak to the Zeiss.

My experience is that the Kowa are only competitive in the mid to high tier when it comes to long range use... the kind of situations that most would prefer 10x. I've never used a spotting scope, but I can see why Kowa is so popular in that field. It's close enough to be debatable, but I think the Kowa slightly edges the Leica in this metric only. However, there are a couple of serious issues when using them at less than ∞ that are disappointing.

1. The strong CA control that everyone raves about is true. Why is this bad? The slight softening that other bins get from mild CA leads to a wider apparent DOF. It is really tough to quickly get items in sharp focus. I find myself needing to fine tune focus with even small differences that are relatively far away.

2. The small sweet spot that everyone else complains about is prohibitively small. The sweet spot is as sharp as anything else but it drops off so quickly and the blurring is extreme. It doesn't seem to affect me with long distance viewing but is very frustrating with close to mid range. To my eyes the sharpness is significantly worse than even the $100-200 budget options outside the center 30%.

3. The Genesis feels closer in size and weight to 8x42 binoculars. The 8x32 Leica feels significantly smaller and lighter than the 8x33 Genesis. Based on listed weight specs I didn't expect the Genesis to feel so porky. I've never handled the Zeiss HT but you might find you don't feel like the Genesis is any smaller when in hand or hanging from your neck.

Another observation that's not necessarily bad... comparing to various 8x and 10x binos my impression is that the Genesis 8x33 is closer to 8.5 or 9x.

Contrast, brightness, and exit pupil are great even at night.
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