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best Canon for birdwatching?

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Old Tuesday 26th June 2012, 16:27   #1
albatrosviajero
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best Canon for birdwatching?

Hello,
In your opinion which of these would be more appropriate binoculars for bird watching?
12x36 or 18x50 Canon IS ..?
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Old Wednesday 27th June 2012, 00:10   #2
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12x36. The 18x50 is too heavy.
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Old Wednesday 27th June 2012, 02:48   #3
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Agree entirely. The 12x is a rapier compared to the claymore that is the 18x50.
Also the FoV of the 18x50 is substantially narrower, which makes it more difficult to get on the bird.
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Old Saturday 30th June 2012, 12:47   #4
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the 10x42, because it is waterproof

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Old Saturday 30th June 2012, 19:24   #5
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the 10x42, because it is waterproof

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And has noticeably better optics, but at a price.
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Old Sunday 1st July 2012, 16:03   #6
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I am looking for the model is the best compromise in terms of value for money, weight and maneuverability as well.
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Old Sunday 1st July 2012, 21:04   #7
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Originally Posted by albatrosviajero View Post
I am looking for the model is the best compromise in terms of value for money, weight and maneuverability as well.
10x30. Quite a bit cheaper than the 12x36, decent optics, low weight. Not a substitute for a scope, but none of the Canons is a substitute for a scope.

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Old Thursday 5th July 2012, 13:26   #8
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Hello,
Between 10x30 and 12x36 model II IS which one worked best?
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Old Saturday 21st July 2012, 00:39   #9
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We have both the 10x30 and the 12x36 II, and I very much prefer the 12x version for birding. The only significant advantage of the 10x30, other than price, is their closer focus.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Saturday 28th July 2012, 16:47   #10
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We have both the 10x30 and the 12x36 II, and I very much prefer the 12x version for birding. The only significant advantage of the 10x30, other than price, is their closer focus.

Clear skies, Alan
Hi Alan,

Long time, no hear. So Sue likes the 10x30s? I would think the larger FOV would make it easier to spot birds. I had the 10x30 IS, but not the 12x36.

I probably asked you this ages ago, are you sensitive to CA? Some people aren't, the lucky dogs. If you do see CA, for terrestrial use, how noticeable is the CA in the 12x36 IS?

It was too much in the 12x50 SE for me, particularly on birds of prey against cloudy skies (I could see it even on birds against clear skies to a degree), and a 12x50 is more weight and bulk than I care to carry for birding, though the 12SEs are superb on the night sky.

Brock

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Old Monday 6th August 2012, 14:05   #11
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Hi Alan,

Long time, no hear. So Sue likes the 10x30s? I would think the larger FOV would make it easier to spot birds. I had the 10x30 IS, but not the 12x36.

I probably asked you this ages ago, are you sensitive to CA? Some people aren't, the lucky dogs. If you do see CA, for terrestrial use, how noticeable is the CA in the 12x36 IS?

It was too much in the 12x50 SE for me, particularly on birds of prey against cloudy skies (I could see it even on birds against clear skies to a degree), and a 12x50 is more weight and bulk than I care to carry for birding, though the 12SEs are superb on the night sky.

Brock
Brock,

Yes, I have not been here in a while.

The 10x30s sit in the dining room, where they can be grabbed to check out the feeder. They don't seem to leave the house much. (The 10x30s originally belonged to Sue's dad.) Sue actually uses the 18x50s a bit for birding, although they are mostly for astronomy.

I don't find the smaller field of the 12x36s much of a impediment to spotting birds. What is sometimes an issue - as I was reminded during a woodland walk the other day - is their lack of close focus. (I have a pair of 8x32s which I should carry when I am in the woods.) To me, the big advantage of the IS is the ability to use higher powers, which allow for easier identifications and better views, and this is the main reason I picked the 12x36s over the 10x30s.

The CA has never bothered me. If I look carefully at high contrast edges, I can see it, but I just don't notice it while birding. I have noticed that getting the wrong IPD can produce more obvious, detracting color fringing - but that is easily solved.

Clear skies, Alan

Last edited by AlanFrench : Monday 6th August 2012 at 14:22.
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Old Monday 6th August 2012, 14:39   #12
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Originally Posted by albatrosviajero View Post
Hello,
In your opinion which of these would be more appropriate binoculars for bird watching?
12x36 or 18x50 Canon IS ..?
I like the 15x50 or the 18x50, but I would also use them for astronomy. If you are strictly using them for birding look at the 12x36. The 10x42 are also great and are waterproof, but much more costly.

Mike Peoples
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Old Monday 6th August 2012, 15:47   #13
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I would suggest that anyone considering a pair of IS binoculars (or any binocular) try one in person before purchasing. The fit and feel of binoculars is greatly a personal matter, and what feels fine in a reviewer's hand may not feel so nice in your hands.

The 10x30 and 12x36 IS seem the models that are most appropriate to birding. They're light weight and have reasonable fields of view. The 10x42s address the close focus issue, although I find their change of focus to be glacial, and the waterproof issue, but are pretty big and heavy to be carrying around on a long hike, at least for me.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Monday 6th August 2012, 22:56   #14
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I would suggest that anyone considering a pair of IS binoculars (or any binocular) try one in person before purchasing. The fit and feel of binoculars is greatly a personal matter, and what feels fine in a reviewer's hand may not feel so nice in your hands.

The 10x30 and 12x36 IS seem the models that are most appropriate to birding. They're light weight and have reasonable fields of view. The 10x42s address the close focus issue, although I find their change of focus to be glacial, and the waterproof issue, but are pretty big and heavy to be carrying around on a long hike, at least for me.

Clear skies, Alan
I too use the 10x42s as my basic birding glass and find it very good indeed, provided its peculiarities are respected.
It is a heavy glass, so a harness is pretty much essential for an average size person such as me. I like the suspenders type harness that clips to the back of the belt, because the arms and the neck remain free.
It works well with glasses, is very sharp, bright, color neutral and very good for CA, with a reasonable field of view. I find the 'glacial' change of focus quite useful, as it allows the user to slice through the underbrush, with the nearer growth almost disappearing from view as the focus shifts to further back.
Waterproof is good, mostly because it gives peace of mind and because it makes it easy to just rinse the glass after a day at the beach.
Considering that this glass combines excellent optics and mechanicals with the really wonderful IS capability at half the price of the 'alphas', I'm surprised it has not been much better received. Imho, it is a superb bargain.
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Old Wednesday 8th August 2012, 23:17   #15
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I have the 8x25 IS , 10x42L IS , 12x36 IS II , 15x50 IS and like the 10x42L best unless I have to carry them all day and then it would be 12x36 IS II. For tracking birds or planes the 10x42L IS is the best binocular I ever used for that.
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Old Thursday 9th August 2012, 03:10   #16
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Brock,

Yes, I have not been here in a while.

The 10x30s sit in the dining room, where they can be grabbed to check out the feeder. They don't seem to leave the house much. (The 10x30s originally belonged to Sue's dad.) Sue actually uses the 18x50s a bit for birding, although they are mostly for astronomy.

I don't find the smaller field of the 12x36s much of a impediment to spotting birds. What is sometimes an issue - as I was reminded during a woodland walk the other day - is their lack of close focus. (I have a pair of 8x32s which I should carry when I am in the woods.) To me, the big advantage of the IS is the ability to use higher powers, which allow for easier identifications and better views, and this is the main reason I picked the 12x36s over the 10x30s.

The CA has never bothered me. If I look carefully at high contrast edges, I can see it, but I just don't notice it while birding. I have noticed that getting the wrong IPD can produce more obvious, detracting color fringing - but that is easily solved.

Clear skies, Alan
Alan,

I figured Sue would go for high power. With little white fuzzies light years away, the bigger, the better. Plus, weight is less of an issue if your lying in a lawn chair, as opposed to carrying the bins around your neck all day and lifting them repeatedly in front of you.

I haven't tried the 10x42 IS L but since you and dennis found them to be too heavy, that's good enough for me. :-)

I think I'm more sensitive to CA than you. I remember looking at Jupiter low in the sky and comparing the view through a Celestron 10x50 ED and a 10x30 IS. The Celestron showed a nice round ball with no color fringing. The IS showed what appeared to be an egg shaped scoop of Neapolitan ice cream - chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

Not bad during the day until the winter where gray skies bring out the worst in any non-ED bin.

CA bothered me in the 12x50 SE while I find level of CA in the 8x and 10x SEs more than tolerable, but 12x was pushing it. I'm hoping that Canon will come out with a 12x36 IS L with a timer button. That would solve two pet peeves.

The other issue is after trying two different 10x30 IS samples (the guy I bought mine from actually had 5 of them and sold me the best of the bunch, then later bought it back), I found that there's "sample variation" in how well the IS mechanism works.

So it might take more than one sample to get one with enough correction for me to keep the moon from "swimming" and swallows from "streaking". But sample variation can also happen with non-IS bins. Took buying two Nikon 8x32 LXs to get one with a focuser that wasn't too loose.

If Canon ever does come out with a 12x36 IS L, and it doesn't weigh more than a couple ounces extra and doesn't cost more than the 10x42, I might jump on board.

Say hello to Sue for me, and tell her Jack said to remind her to: Keep Looking Up. :-)

<B>
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2012, 13:20   #17
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A new version of the 12x36 with closer focusing would be nice. I wonder if it could be made with a fast focus or in a compact package. They focus by moving the objective. I should play around and see how much farther forward the objectives would have to move to focus at 6 feet or so.

Sue says "Hi," and she shows no signs of not looking up.

Clear sies, Alan
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2012, 13:54   #18
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Assuming the 36mm lens in the 12x36 IS is an f/4, it looks like the lens needs to move 3.6mm to get from an infinity focus to 14.7 feet, which is what Canon says is the "close focus" on this model. Measurements show the objective moves about 5mm, which makes sense to allow some leeway in the infinity focus for variation in an individual's eyes.

To allow the binocular to focus as close to 6 feet would require another 6.7mm of travel - a fairly substantial increase over what it has now. If the 10x42 version, which focuses as close as 8.2 feet, also focuses by moving the objective, this could explain why the change in focus seems so glacial at the close end.

Clear skies, Alan
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