Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

A couple of $200 8X32s.....

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 17:33   #1
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
A couple of $200 8X32s.....

Good morning....

There's this binocular that is held in a VERY high regard here on BF. If fact, it is said that maybe it is THE binocular to buy for $200 or less. I've come close to purchasing it SEVERAL times. In fact I've probably said I'll NEVER buy it because I don't NEED it. So much for THAT! SO, several years after Frank posted his review about this binocular, I actually did PURCHASE one....the Sightron Blue Sky 8X32.

Now I actually wanted something in the same price range and format to compare it to. I had paid $170.00 or so for the Blue Sky's so I really didn't want to get above $200.00 I really didn't have a CURRENTLY available binocular in the format/price so I went about picking one out. I had purchased a Vortex Diamondback 8X32 some time ago for a friend and knew I didn't want to go that direction. I had looked at some 8X42 Leopold BX-2 Tioga's a few times and liked the construction. I checked to see if the BX-2 was available in the 8X32 format and checked to see if it was less than $200.00....so check and check so I ordered the Leupold BX-2 8X32.

Before I get into my observations and thoughts on these two and other similar 8X32s I want mention that I purposely did not refresh my memory of the listed specs of the Blue Sky nor did I look at the specs of the BX-2 other than to see format and price. I like to have as little bias as possible before going afield.


INITIAL IMPRESSION

The BX-2 arrived first. Upon opening the box I first noticed that the BX-2 has a nifty little case! It's nice! I didn't even take the strap out the wrapper. WOW is the BX-2 SMALL. It's among the smallest 8X32s I have ever seen. Construction seems to be VERY good. Gives the impression of a more expensive binocular. Focus adjustment seems great and requires about 1&1/2 turn stop to stop. Diopter adjustment is in the usual spot under the right eyecup and functions fine. Eyecups feature three stop adjustment. Weight...binocular only- 15.7 ounces. Country of origin- China.

Blue Sky... Right out of the box, I could tell I was really going to like the handling qualities of the Blue Sky. It reminded me of my favorite 8X32, the Swarovski EL 8X32 Swarovision. Case it about what you would expect for a sub-$200 binocular as is construction...maybe slightly above it's price point. Focus adjustment seems fine and requires about 1&1/3 turn stop to stop. Again, diopter adjustment is in the usual spot. Eyecups feature five stop adjustment. Weight...binocular only- 17.1 ounces. Country of origin- Philippines.


IN THE FIELD

I've had these two binoculars a little over two months. I used them every time I've gone birding during this time except for about 10 days while on vacation. Let's say a good bit! I also kinda caught the end of summer right to the beginning of winter. Also birding conditions have ranged from very sunny to downright gloomy. I didn't attach a binocular strap to either binocular, instead I zip-tied RYO snaps for the UL harness. Of course both binoculars feel like that are hardly there when worn. As usual I carry both binoculars rotating one in front and one to the side.

During the first part of October I was able to catch some of the tail end of fall migration. Some of those birds were Indigo Bunting, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart(a favorite!), and Gray Catbird. I was surprised to get those! Mostly conditions in October were very nice for viewing and IDing birds. Both binoculars functioned perfectly. It was easy to prefer one over the other in terms of handling. The Blue Sky ACED handling. Quite honestly they are about perfect for me. Easy and without any thought and very instinctive. Eye relief was perfect for me and very comfortable while wearing glasses with the eyecups all the way down. The BX-2s aren't the best in terms of handling. For me the barrels are a little too short especially with the strap rings a little far down the barrels. Eye relief for the BX-2 was adequate with eyeglasses but nothing more.

Optically....certainly a difference. The Blue Sky is really better in every way. Detail and optical imagery is noticeably better than the BX-2. The Blue Sky comes across as a more expensive binocular here. While looking AT and FOR birds, I was surprised at how much better the optical presentation was with the Blue Sky. Detail was much better with improved image definition. In fact the BX-2 reminded me of the Vortex Diamondback 8X32 I had here briefly. I wish I still had it to compare. Cloudy conditions magnify the optical advantage of the Blue Sky with better color, contrast, and imagery. Checking FOV....I could tell in the field that the Tioga BX-2 had less FOV than the Sightron Blue Sky. I would have guessed 40 feet. Checking each binoculars factory specifications the difference isn't that much...420ft vs. 394ft, but it sure seemed like more of a difference. One side note...it's CRAZY what a small piece of the pie one is REALLY seeing with a binocular!

More coming!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1475.jpg
Views:	200
Size:	95.0 KB
ID:	682361  
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 18:47   #2
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 9,006
Great write-up and a nice pic as usual Chuck.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 19:19   #3
dries1
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,508
Thanks for the review Chuck. It seems that the Sightron for a low priced glass seems to have some consistency with respect to performance and construction. I have the Fuji KF 8X32 which is one of the clones of the Sightron with a FOV of about 390 feet.
That pic (nice to have green vegetation at this time of the year) really shows how small the BX-2 is, too bad about the optics.

Andy W.
dries1 is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 14th December 2018, 15:39   #4
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Great write-up and a nice pic as usual Chuck.

Lee
Thanks Lee!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
Thanks for the review Chuck. It seems that the Sightron for a low priced glass seems to have some consistency with respect to performance and construction. I have the Fuji KF 8X32 which is one of the clones of the Sightron with a FOV of about 390 feet.
That pic (nice to have green vegetation at this time of the year) really shows how small the BX-2 is, too bad about the optics.

Andy W.
Andy...
That pic was actually taken when there WAS green vegetation in October! It's gone now for sure.
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 14th December 2018, 16:19   #5
ailevin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 303
Chuck,

Nice review. My experience with the Sightron is very similar. The word that comes to mind is comfortable, both in terms of ergonomics and optics. I am pleasantly surprised every time I pick them up.

The Leupold Mojave BX3 (?) rebranded as Cabela Guide was a much better match up with the Sightron. Sadly, I don't know that either is currently available.

Alan
ailevin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th December 2018, 16:23   #6
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
Continuing.....

I continued to compare the BX-2 and the Blue Sky between themselves and a couple of others I have around the house, mostly non-current models. I grabbed up the Leopold BX-3 Mojave 8X32 and the Zeiss Terra ED 8X32. I traded vehicles from my Ram Crew Cab 4X4 to a Jeep Wranger and the Endeavor ED II 8X42 was too large for the Jeeps glovebox so the BX-3 is my current "truck-binocular." I was eager to see how the two Leopold's would compare.

The BX-2 really DOESN'T compare to the BX-3, even though I paid close to $50 LESS for the BX-3 during a close-out. In fact out of all four of these 8X32s, the BX-3 is the better binocular. It's a nice compact size and handles very nicely. Central diopter adjustment is different than the norm and a nice feature. Optically switching between the binoculars it's pretty easy to see how nice the image of the BX-3 is. Mechanically the BX-3 is excellent.

Throwing in the Zeiss Terra ED 8X32.....Mechanically it's as nice as any of these. The strap lugs are exactly where they should be, out of the way. The eyecups adjust to any length from all the way extended to all the way down. I really like them. Focus adjustment....nice. Optically, this isn't Zeiss's best work though and it's not the Blue Sky's nor the BX-3s equal. Image is not as bright nor as defined as those two.


CONCLUSION

Buy now I'm sure it's easy for anyone to conclude that I think the Blue Sky is the better binocular in practically every way. Though on the large size for a 8X32, it's still lightweight and handles great. It's truly a binocular worth owning and worthy of recommendation and for sub $200.00 it's one of the best. The Leopold BX-2 was somewhat of a disappointment. Optically it comes out below the Blue Sky and also at the bottom of all four of the binoculars mentioned. It also suffers in the handling department as the barrels are so short with the harness/strap lugs so far down the barrels. That's too bad because it's really a well-made binocular. It MAY be useful to those that place a primary importance on size but otherwise I can't recommend it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1482.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	82.3 KB
ID:	682396  Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00751.jpg
Views:	154
Size:	55.1 KB
ID:	682397  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1484.JPG
Views:	51
Size:	81.2 KB
ID:	682398  
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 14th December 2018, 17:45   #7
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,365
Could this particular BX-2 be a lemon?
henry link is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 15th December 2018, 11:37   #8
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
Could this particular BX-2 be a lemon?
I really don't THINK so. I looked it over as best I could from the objective end and everything looks in order. In fact it comes across as well made. I think compromised optics is where the price point was met similar to the Vortex Diamondback. A BF member that owns this binocular has a similar experience with it and I quote, "would not get as sharp as I would like compared to similar priced binoculars." It has also been brought to my attention that this model has been D/C and will be replaced in 2019.
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 15th December 2018, 13:47   #9
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
I really don't THINK so.
Hi Chuck,

If you want to KNOW what's wrong with your BX-2 I have one hyphened word for you: star-test

Henry
henry link is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 16th December 2018, 17:24   #10
justabirdwatcher
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 540
I agree with every point you make. I owned a pair of those 8x32 BX-3 Mojaves as well, and the Blue Sky's are just plain sharper, with better color. And they handle better. I don't mind a light 8x32 being an open bridge because I have very large hands and appreciate how well they handle. In fact, of all the binoculars I've ever used - and that's probably 100's by now - the little Blue Sky's handle as well or better than any of them.
justabirdwatcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 17th December 2018, 12:55   #11
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
Hi Chuck,

If you want to KNOW what's wrong with your BX-2 I have one hyphened word for you: star-test

Henry
I may do that. Thanks,
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 17th December 2018, 18:34   #12
Upland
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 319
Hi Chuck. If I'm reading this correctly you think the BX-3 is the best including the Blue Sky? I really love mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
Continuing.....

I continued to compare the BX-2 and the Blue Sky between themselves and a couple of others I have around the house, mostly non-current models. I grabbed up the Leopold BX-3 Mojave 8X32 and the Zeiss Terra ED 8X32. I traded vehicles from my Ram Crew Cab 4X4 to a Jeep Wranger and the Endeavor ED II 8X42 was too large for the Jeeps glovebox so the BX-3 is my current "truck-binocular." I was eager to see how the two Leopold's would compare.

The BX-2 really DOESN'T compare to the BX-3, even though I paid close to $50 LESS for the BX-3 during a close-out. In fact out of all four of these 8X32s, the BX-3 is the better binocular. It's a nice compact size and handles very nicely. Central diopter adjustment is different than the norm and a nice feature. Optically switching between the binoculars it's pretty easy to see how nice the image of the BX-3 is. Mechanically the BX-3 is excellent.

Throwing in the Zeiss Terra ED 8X32.....Mechanically it's as nice as any of these. The strap lugs are exactly where they should be, out of the way. The eyecups adjust to any length from all the way extended to all the way down. I really like them. Focus adjustment....nice. Optically, this isn't Zeiss's best work though and it's not the Blue Sky's nor the BX-3s equal. Image is not as bright nor as defined as those two.


CONCLUSION

Buy now I'm sure it's easy for anyone to conclude that I think the Blue Sky is the better binocular in practically every way. Though on the large size for a 8X32, it's still lightweight and handles great. It's truly a binocular worth owning and worthy of recommendation and for sub $200.00 it's one of the best. The Leopold BX-2 was somewhat of a disappointment. Optically it comes out below the Blue Sky and also at the bottom of all four of the binoculars mentioned. It also suffers in the handling department as the barrels are so short with the harness/strap lugs so far down the barrels. That's too bad because it's really a well-made binocular. It MAY be useful to those that place a primary importance on size but otherwise I can't recommend it.
Upland is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 18th December 2018, 13:00   #13
chill6x6
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019
 
chill6x6's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upland View Post
Hi Chuck. If I'm reading this correctly you think the BX-3 is the best including the Blue Sky? I really love mine.
Absolutely! Both are nice binoculars for their price..
__________________
Chuck
chill6x6 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best of the mid-range 8x32s? jremmons Binoculars 33 Friday 23rd June 2017 17:12
Which 8x32s? nightswift Binoculars 26 Wednesday 8th May 2013 13:38
300 8x32s? RichardF Binoculars 12 Monday 1st September 2008 15:52
LXL 8x32s for $720 new! karmantra Nikon 8 Monday 15th May 2006 17:30
High End 8x32s Serg Binoculars 8 Thursday 16th June 2005 17:35

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.30818605 seconds with 28 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 21:39.