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8x/10x: Any models that standout for excellence at one power but fail at the other?

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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 00:54   #1
18000bph
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8x/10x: Any models that standout for excellence at one power but fail at the other?

I'm not asking about the inherent differences between different magnification powers. Rather, I am curious if there are any models that you have observed where the same model and size at one power are significantly more competitive than the other power offering.
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 04:29   #2
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First, let me state that I am not sure what you are asking here?

All other things being equal, the magnification powers of binoculars are inseparable from the utility of their usefulness. After that things will get more complicated in making comparisons.

I have Nikon 8x32 and 10x32 LXLs. In these two binoculars all things are equal except magnification power and eye relief.

I also have Nikon 8x32 and 10x42 SEs and Nikon 8x30 and 10x35 E2s and even in these I can't ignore the inherent differences caused by their different magnification powers.

Their depths of field and fields of view and eye relief are all determined by it although the designs of their eye pieces also are a factor in determining their FOVs.

Generally speaking, 8x binoculars are more efficient to use when birding in wooded areas with close cover and 10x binoculars are more efficient when birding in open areas. We have to be careful here with confusing efficiency with competitiveness I think.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Friday 21st December 2018 at 04:39.
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 06:10   #3
F88
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I know what you're asking but I don't have any personal experience.
You often see in reviews that e.g. the 10x is a bit better than the 8x etc. I haven't read of an example where one power was claimed as excellent while the other was garbage though.
If you accept Allbinos as an example they claim the EDG (42) 10x is a bit better than the 8x but both are claimed to be excellent. Obviously as you're well aware that different magnifications are different animals of sorts.
Personally I have a a decent amount of binoculars that I use of various sizes but I don't own two of the same model/size in different magnifications. Most of them being 8x with a couple of 7x.

Last edited by F88 : Friday 21st December 2018 at 06:15.
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 06:35   #4
18000bph
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I'm curious if there are any models that users have found are competitive in their class at one power but the same model in higher or lower power has undesirable traits beyond what would be expected by the inherent trade offs between 8x/10x.

Made up examples...

Binocular X in 8x32 is one of my favorites in it's class, but in 10x32 observed CA is out of control beyond what is expected for the increase in magnification and I prefer other models in the class.

Binocular Y in 10x42 is one of my favorites, but the same in 8x42 is well known for unusual blackout and glare issues that are not present in the 10x.

Binocular Z has competitive FOV in 10x but is lacking compared to others in class for the 8x version.


I'm not really looking for the generic attributes of 8x vs 10x as that's been discussed at length in countless threads... though feel free to comment on that as well!

Perhaps it's a silly idea for a topic, but I am curious if there are any standout examples and I think it could make for an interesting discussion.
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 12:40   #5
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I have heard it said that the first bino of an 8x and 10x pair is optimised during development and then, when the performance specifications have been met, software is used to translate the optical train into the other magnification and that this latter process is not quite as good as being phyiscally optimised. In other words the second of the 8x/10x pair is not always quite as good as the first. Sounds good enough to spark a hundred urban myths. Especially if this is true.

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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 13:04   #6
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A few years ago I almost purchased a 8x42 Vortex Razor HD but chose my Leica 7x42 instead.
I really liked the Razor (Japanese made) for a number of reasons.

A couple of years ago I thought of buying a 10x42 to compliment my 7x. I ordered the 10x42 Razor HD (Japanese)
thinking it would be the one. There was a distracting blue ring around the periphery of the image which wasn't
present in the 8x42 I tried. I returned the 10x for this reason.
I don't have much experience with 10x bins and not sure if this type of aberration is common due to the higher magnification or not.
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 14:14   #7
iveljay
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I only experienced significant optical differences between binoculars of the same nominal design, but different magnifications over 40 years ago. Even then it was difficult to be sure that it wasn't a lack of QC leading to excessive manufacturing variations, or just marketing demanding a design to be stretched too far.

The variations between the various magnification models of the Swarovski Habichts seem to be one of the areas recently where some users have flare issues with the 8x but not the 10x - but again these are a very old basic design.

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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 15:48   #8
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Doesn't the 8x Noctivid get exceptionally good reviews; but not so with the 10x ?
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 16:06   #9
henry link
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Originally Posted by iveljay View Post
The variations between the various magnification models of the Swarovski Habichts seem to be one of the areas recently where some users have flare issues with the 8x but not the 10x - but again these are a very old basic design.
The 8x30 and 10x40 Habicht Porros are identical except for the objective tube that's screwed onto the prism housing. That makes a crucial difference for glare because the glare problem in the 8x30 occurs mainly because the baffle cone in its objective tube is too large at the front to effectively block reflections from a shiny objective lens cell from reaching the eye. The 10x40 cell may be better baffled by its different cone, but it also has another inherent advantage in that the focal ratio of its objective is lower than the 8x30. That allows the first prism shelf opening to act more effectively as a baffle in the 10x40 compared to the 8x30 because the shelf aperture appears to be the same apparent size from the eyepiece in both models, but because of its lower focal ratio the objective cell of the 10x40 appears disproportionately larger from the eyepiece, which better conceals it behind the prism shelf aperture.

You might think the 8x30 would have been fixed by now, but I have specimens from 2016 and 1990 that have exactly the same problem. Newer models are not immune either. The glare problem in the 8x32 EL SV is about as bad as the 8x30 Habicht.

Maybe it's also worth mentioning again that glare tends to appear worse in small vs large exit pupil models like 7/8x42s vs 10x42s even if the internal reflections that cause the glare are identical simply because the glare at the edge of a small exit pupil will enter the pupil of the eye more readily.

Last edited by henry link : Friday 21st December 2018 at 16:25.
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Old Saturday 22nd December 2018, 04:36   #10
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Henry:

These are all good points, but I think the OP was referring to binocular models with similar objective sizes, for
example, 8x32-10x32, 8x42 - 10x42 and 8x56 - 10x56.


I do not have any comparisons that would apply.


Jerry
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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 10:56   #11
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In 2015, the French magazine Nat'Images published a test of 60 Binos.
They used the lab and optical machines their twin magazine Chasseur d'images have had made (and improved), starting in the 80's. Their optical tests are a reference, and Nikon and Canon are trusting them, as the magazine proved them many times the flaws of some of their lenses.

So, in their opinion, for some models, there's a difference optically between 8x and 10x of the same diameter models.
They claim increase magnification decrease quality (for some models).

For example, the Leica Trinovid and Ultravid 8x42 are better optically speaking than their 10x42 counterpart.
The same goes for Zeiss Conquest 8x32 better than the 10x32 Conquest.
Same goes too for the Terra's and Swarovski CL 8x30 Companion (not the new ones).
Exception for the Pentax S Serie WP.
The 10x42 are better than the 8x42.

Note that the Bushnell Excursion 8x42 HD has been declared the surprise of the test. Very good optical quality, Swaro EL 8.5x42 and 10x42 at the very top of the Test, Zeiss Victory SF 10x42 behind.

Writing all this, and knowing Quality Control, I think it's difficult to generalize about something like that.
I mean, what if the tester receive a cherry 8x and a 10x lemon...
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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 14:00   #12
henry link
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Is this test accessible online? It would be interesting to know what specific optical characteristics were evaluated and how the tests were done. "Better" can mean a lot of things.

Henry
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Old Tuesday 25th December 2018, 14:20   #13
RobMorane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
Is this test accessible online? It would be interesting to know what specific optical characteristics were evaluated and how the tests were done. "Better" can mean a lot of things.

Henry
Unfortunately, it's not.
I remember reading that the "lab" they created to test lenses is considered as "one of a kind" and have been created from scratch with optics engineers.
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Old Wednesday 26th December 2018, 21:50   #14
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Google didn't have too much trouble finding that magazine:
https://issuu.com/chassimages/docs/ni032_issuu
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Old Thursday 27th December 2018, 12:43   #15
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Quote:
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Google didn't have too much trouble finding that magazine:
https://issuu.com/chassimages/docs/ni032_issuu
For sure, but there are laws about this in France, and without the magazine approval, it's called copyright infringement and making such a link public is risky legally speaking (300 000 Eur Fine and 3 years of jail time...)
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Old Thursday 27th December 2018, 14:25   #16
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For sure, but there are laws about this in France, and without the magazine approval, it's called copyright infringement and making such a link public is risky legally speaking (300 000 Eur Fine and 3 years of jail time...)
No, Chasseur d'Images have published this online and made it available so it's not any copyright infringement to link to it. Obviously it's marketing with the purpose of selling more magazines.
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Old Thursday 27th December 2018, 22:48   #17
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Oh dear the didn't think much of my HGL 10X32 "a luxury frame at the end of life with outdated performance. it is found in the case of some commercial sites" optically 3* not as good as a lot of much cheaper modern glass 🤔
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Old Sunday 6th January 2019, 00:52   #18
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Owning both Swarovski EL 8.5x42's and 10x42's (both 2010 models) I can't quantify one as better than the other both are optically excellent. I generally prefer using 8x but do use 10x as well. One thing is I notice more perceived "rolling ball" effect in the 8.5's over the 10's. While I can perceive it, it does not negatively affect me.
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