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Need Help Choosing 8x42

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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 12:19   #1
patrickbcox
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Need Help Choosing 8x42

Hello,
I am in the market for a new pair of 8x42 Binoculars. I will be using them around my house to watch the bird feeders and also on some short hikes. I had in mind a budget of around $500 but I could spend more if there is a compelling reason to do so. I don't have a lot of experience with binoculars but I am a hobby photographer and I appreciate quality lenses like Canon L lenses. As far as other attributes...I do like the idea of reasonably close focusing and then regarding FOV, I know it is a factor but I am not sure what the acceptable cutoff should be.

I have done some research but I will hold off on mentioning the models I have been researching.

Finally, I do wear glasses so I would prefer a pair that will work well with glasses.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your suggestions.

Last edited by patrickbcox : Sunday 30th June 2019 at 12:30.
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 12:28   #2
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Unless you have a specific need for a full size binocular I'd go for an 8x32 from Opticron, Vortex, Hawke. Other US based birders may have different ideas.

All.above should provide 6ft close focus and 300+ ft field of view . Unless dawn and dusk are your thing you won't need a 42mm bin.

Russ
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 12:40   #3
patrickbcox
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Originally Posted by tarsigercyanurus View Post
Unless you have a specific need for a full size binocular I'd go for an 8x32 from Opticron, Vortex, Hawke. Other US based birders may have different ideas.

All.above should provide 6ft close focus and 300+ ft field of view . Unless dawn and dusk are your thing you won't need a 42mm bin.

Russ
Thanks for your suggestion. So I guess the benefit of 8x32 over 8x42 is lower weight and lower cost? Is the image as big when viewing? The main reason I had 8x42 in mind is it seems like I have read that this is the most common setup. But I could be wrong.
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 13:07   #4
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Patrick

I agree with Russ, an 8x32 for viewing mainly from the house or while on short hikes is definitely the way to go.

You ask if the image is as big when viewing. I am guessing that intuitively you link the 42mm objective lens size with what the size of the image is likely to be. In fact the objective size doesn't determine the size of the image at all, and in terms of how much of the scene you see each time you look through your binos you should be aware that this is called 'field of view' and 32mm binos often have a bigger field of view than their 42mm relatives.

Benefits of 32mm binos are lower weight, more compact size (which helps if you carry other stuff e.g. photo gear, or want to pack the binos in your backpack) and often a bigger field of view. 42mm win on light-gathering power so are a better choice if you regularly use binos are dawn or dusk.

My personal favourite 32mm binos at very roughly around your price target are Opticron Traveller ED, Zeiss Conquest HD and Meopta B1 (now replaced by the improved B1.1 8x32) but some folks on here will point you towards Nikon because of their own experience.

Lee

Last edited by Troubador : Sunday 30th June 2019 at 13:12.
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 13:29   #5
patrickbcox
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Patrick

I agree with Russ, an 8x32 for viewing mainly from the house or while on short hikes is definitely the way to go.

You ask if the image is as big when viewing. I am guessing that intuitively you link the 42mm objective lens size with what the size of the image is likely to be. In fact the objective size doesn't determine the size of the image at all, and in terms of how much of the scene you see each time you look through your binos you should be aware that this is called 'field of view' and 32mm binos often have a bigger field of view than their 42mm relatives.

Benefits of 32mm binos are lower weight, more compact size (which helps if you carry other stuff e.g. photo gear, or want to pack the binos in your backpack) and often a bigger field of view. 42mm win on light-gathering power so are a better choice if you regularly use binos are dawn or dusk.

My personal favourite 32mm binos at very roughly around your price target are Opticron Traveller ED, Zeiss Conquest HD and Meopta B1 (now replaced by the improved B1.1 8x32) but some folks on here will point you towards Nikon because of their own experience.

Lee
Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful. I just checked the store where I buy my camera equipment and they have the Zeiss Conquest HD on sale for $799. That seems like a pretty good price for what sound like excellent binoculars. Would you agree?
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 13:49   #6
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8x30-32s are a great option but FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE they can be difficult to make work for some people. I tend to get more glare, off axis aberrations, and have difficulty with eye placement in the 8x32s as compared to 8x42s.
Most people don't seem to have these issues, so it is always recommend to try before buying, if at all possible. I've sent you a message regarding some particular recommendations.

Justin
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 16:14   #7
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I too prefer an 8x42. I have a couple of cheaper 8x32s (Opticron, Vortex) and have purchased AND RETURNED the much-lauded 8x32 Zeiss FL. I have handled an 8x32 Swarovski EL. NONE gave me the ease of view of a decent 8x42, for my eyes. My main bin is a Leica Ultravid HD 8x42 (which is "smallish" for 8x42s) but I have seen great views through lesser priced 8x42s.
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 16:18   #8
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I would jump on these New Nikon 8x42 HG's for $639.99 on Ebay. There are only two available! Don't hesitate.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Nikon-M...IAAOSwG9VdAskm
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 16:29   #9
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Originally Posted by patrickbcox View Post
Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful. I just checked the store where I buy my camera equipment and they have the Zeiss Conquest HD on sale for $799. That seems like a pretty good price for what sound like excellent binoculars. Would you agree?
Zeiss Conquest HD is an excellent choice but if possible do try other models at the same time.

Lee
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 18:20   #10
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Well, I guess I missed out on the Ebay deal on the 8x42 HGs. I was at Cabellas testing out binoculars...

I tried some 8x32s and 8x42s and I actually felt like the 8x42s were easier for me to find the right spot to see through, especially with my glasses on.

First comparison was the Vortex Viper and Nikon Monarch 7 and I would say they were comparable in terms of IQ but the Nikon had a bit larger FOV. I am not really sure how important FOV is for bird watching?

I then tried the Zeiss Conquest 8x42 and it was definitely better IQ than the other 2 but it was also a bit heavier and the FOV was less. I also tried a high end Swarovski and while it had great IQ, I don't know that I really noticed how it was better than the Zeiss. I am sure it is but I didn't really notice the differences. I wasn't really aware of the Nikon HG so I didn't try that one.

I will probably go back and try the Monarch 7 again along with the Monarch HG if they have it and then the Zeiss Conquest again. I think they also have Leupold which I didn't try. Should I?

The other thing that was suggested to me is to try a Maven B Series so I am considering that.

Thanks again for comments!
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 23:00   #11
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Well, I actually discovered that there was still one remaining brand new 8x42 Monarch HG at an excellent price so I went ahead and bought it. I was impressed with the Monarch 7 and for another $160 I was able to get an HG so I am pretty sure I will be happy with it. I'll report back. Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 02:08   #12
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Originally Posted by patrickbcox View Post
Well, I actually discovered that there was still one remaining brand new 8x42 Monarch HG at an excellent price so I went ahead and bought it. I was impressed with the Monarch 7 and for another $160 I was able to get an HG so I am pretty sure I will be happy with it. I'll report back. Thanks for everyone's input!
You'll never beat that for that money. Good find on Dennis's part!
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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 02:30   #13
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You'll never beat that for that money. Good find on Dennis's part!
Thanks! That was pure luck. I was just searching for Nikon HG 8x42's on Ebay and they came up. The two pair were gone very quickly for good reason.

Dennis

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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 02:52   #14
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Thanks for the heads up Dennis, but I was a bit too late. Great find anyway.
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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 03:23   #15
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I'd have bought that 8x42 MHG in a heartbeat, and tried (gone), even though I have one.
Really a great binocular.

You'll owe Dennis a big thank you, Patrick
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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 04:20   #16
patrickbcox
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I'd have bought that 8x42 MHG in a heartbeat, and tried (gone), even though I have one.
Really a great binocular.

You'll owe Dennis a big thank you, Patrick
You can say that again Kevin!

Thanks again Dennis! 😁
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