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Old Saturday 8th September 2018, 22:45   #1
marcsantacurz
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7x recommendations

My girlfriend has a slight shake in her hands, so is looking for a lower mag binocular to help keep the image steady, mostly for birding. She sometimes wears glasses and sometimes wears contacts. She says she prefers a slightly heavier binocular to help dampen the shakes, so a x42 is probably better than an x32 for her. But I don't think she wants to go up to an x50. She will not be using these out in storms, but maybe a light drizzle or accidental spills.

She likes looking at all the little insects and flowers too, so close focus is important to her. She already has the Pentax 8x21's ultra-close focus if there's no good compromise otherwise in a single binocular.

From what I can see in used and new these are the options. Is there something else you'd add to the list for us to look at? What would be your recommendation for quality and durability (dropping, banging around)?

* leica Ultravid (plain, HD, HD+) 7x42
* Opticron discovery 7x42
* Nikon EDG II 7x42
* Swarovski SL or SLC 7x42
* Opticron traveller 6x32 (probably too little magnification)
* Leica Trinovid BN 7x42
* Zeiss Victory T* FL 7x42
* Zeiss Dialyt B/GA T* 7x42 (is this in P* too?)

Thank you!
Marc
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 00:17   #2
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I own all of the 7x42s listed above except for the Nikon 7x42 EDG, Leica 7x42 Ultravid and Zeiss Dialyt none of which I have had the opportunity to use.

I also have an Opticron Traveller 6x32. Frankly I think the original Leupold 6x30 Porro prism binoculars were much better and IMO the Swarovski 8x30 CL Companions are very much better.

IMO the Zeiss Victory 7x42 T* FL is optically the best of the group of 7x42s that I own. If I could only own one 7x42 it would be the one I would keep. It is very bright, very sharp, and shows excellent contrast. It is also significantly lighter in weight than the others, (except for the Opticron), better balanced and it has the widest FOV by 1/2 a degree. It also has more modern coatings than the earlier Dialyt. It does have larger objective tubes than the others because of its AK prisms.

They all have long adequate eye relief and I have never experienced any glare problems with any of the ones I have used.

All the binoculars listed above have proven their durability over many years of use by many people, except for the Opticron 7x42, which is new to the Opticron line. It seems to be plenty rugged enough to me; I've had mine for about 6 months.

Bob

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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 00:26   #3
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The EDG and the Victory T*FL are the two best that I've seen. Both are good at different things, the T*FL controlling CA better but the EDG having better edge to edge sharpness. I've always found the Ultravid/Trinovid line less appealing than the other top of the line models, as I don't find them to control CA as well as the best, nor have the most color neutral image. The SLC NEU (though I've only seen the 10x) is very good optically, still among the best in my opinion, but a fair bit heavier than other models.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 02:41   #4
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Don't forget to try and find a pair of Meopta 7x42 to try. They are now discontinued, but are outstanding.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 03:03   #5
marcsantacurz
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I've added the meostar 7x42 to my list.

Is the SLC 7x42b the same as the neu?

How do you think the Opticron 7x42 compares to the Victory or SLC or EDG? It is surely much less expensive.

Thank you all for your input.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 03:06   #6
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Some of those are hard to find like the Zeiss FL and the EDG II is going to be pricey at more than $1500.00. When you said dropping and banging around and she preferred slightly heavy the Leica BN is what popped up in my head. Like the others have said it isn't the best of the pack but it is TOUGH and it is very GOOD optically. I think if you look for awhile you could find one for about $700.00 in really excellent shape and you won't touch any of those alpha 7x42's for that kind of money. Make sure you get the BN. It has a closer focus than the BA. Allbino's a well recognized review site says the Ultravid HD isn't much different than the Trinovid although many people will argue that point. "So we have a situation where the Ultravid HD doesn’t differ markedly from the Ultravid BR and the Ultravid BR is an almost identical copy of the Trinovid but clothed in a lighter casing." Look for a pair like this.

https://www.allbinos.com/302-binocul...lus_10x42.html
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 07:44   #7
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The MeoStar 7x42 is outstanding for sure but its close focus is not good enough for insect study and I think this would also apply to Zeiss's old Dialyt 7x42 which was born well before close focus became important.

Opticron's Discovery is a neat and compact bino and is quite new.
Zeiss's FL is probably the best of the bunch with Leica's BN next in line although Nikon's EDG will be in the mix too but for all of these you have to get lucky and find a good used unit.

Lee
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 09:05   #8
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I've tried all those except the pre HD Ultravid and the Dialyt, but generally not more than two at a time and over quite a long time period. Personally, I feel the EDG might head the list by a whisker on optical performance, but I'm not sure the argument for lower power is always about performance. The only one from that list I wanted to take home was the little Opticron Traveller. Optically it really doesn't compare with the rest, specially in the older non-phase coated form, and the odd focus position takes a bit of getting used to, but it's virtue is speed of use. Small enough to use with a wrist strap, the depth of field means you hardly need to focus. You can get it to the eye and on a bird in a fraction of the time of a larger, heavier x42s. I actually settled for the, now discontinued, Opticron Classic 7x36 instead. A bit bigger and heavier, and probably wouldn't challenge many on that list for performance either, but it's still one of my favorites. Even when a destination call out for a higher power or performance, I can usually find room for it in the bag.

David

P.S. Correction. I have seen a Dialyt, just not a good one I suspect. I know the Meopta too.

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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 11:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
I've added the meostar 7x42 to my list.

Is the SLC 7x42b the same as the neu?

How do you think the Opticron 7x42 compares to the Victory or SLC or EDG? It is surely much less expensive.

Thank you all for your input.
The SLC 7x42 Neu is the same as the SLC 7x42 B. The box it came in has "NEU" printed on it. The binocular has SLC 7x42 B on the focus wheel.

The Opticron 7x42 is about an inch or so shorter than the Victory and SLC . It is about 11 ounces lighter than the SLC 7x42 B and about 4 ounces lighter than the Victory.

It has a smaller FOV of 408'@1000yds to the 420'@1000yds of the SLC and EDG and 450'@1000yds of the Zeiss Victory. Optically it is an excellent binocular for its price. It is bright and has good color contrast. I have had no problems with glare while using it. The Diopter on mine is rather stiff and it takes some effort to set it but that can be a good thing.

Bob
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 13:21   #10
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Add the Maven to the mix

My 7x45s are outstanding--a little pricy and a little larger but altogether an outstanding bino.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 15:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
My girlfriend has a slight shake in her hands, so is looking for a lower mag binocular to help keep the image steady, mostly for birding. She sometimes wears glasses and sometimes wears contacts. She says she prefers a slightly heavier binocular to help dampen the shakes, so a x42 is probably better than an x32 for her. But I don't think she wants to go up to an x50. She will not be using these out in storms, but maybe a light drizzle or accidental spills.

She likes looking at all the little insects and flowers too, so close focus is important to her. She already has the Pentax 8x21's ultra-close focus if there's no good compromise otherwise in a single binocular.

From what I can see in used and new these are the options. Is there something else you'd add to the list for us to look at? What would be your recommendation for quality and durability (dropping, banging around)?

* leica Ultravid (plain, HD, HD+) 7x42
* Opticron discovery 7x42
* Nikon EDG II 7x42
* Swarovski SL or SLC 7x42
* Opticron traveller 6x32 (probably too little magnification)
* Leica Trinovid BN 7x42
* Zeiss Victory T* FL 7x42
* Zeiss Dialyt B/GA T* 7x42 (is this in P* too?)

Thank you!
Marc
I have an Ultravid 7X42 BR (2004) and a Swarovski SLC 7X42 (refurbished in 2016) along with 8X and 10X bins.

Regarding hand tremors.
Without question extra weight dampens vibrations but when the weight is in the bin it can be challenging for many users. An alternative to dealing with hand tremors is the use of wrist weights on one or both wrists. If effective, it may widen her choice of bins. There can be side effects so proceed with caution.
https://www.livestrong.com/article/3...s-for-tremors/

Regarding 7X.
I enjoy the relaxed view of 7X and my 7X42 Ultravid (27 ounces) has always been a joy to use with two limitations. Eye relief is just a tad short for me eyeglasses and the edges have become "softer" as I've aged. Still, it's a fantastic bin with a great view. Close focus ~ 11 ft.

I purchased a used Swarovski 7X42 SLC that was completely refurbished to like new condition (new prisms, focus, eyepiece, new serial number, etc.). I think it weighs about 34 ounces. It has more eye relief than I need and the edge sharpness is perfect for my eyes. I love it so much I used it almost exclusively on a recent two week excursion to Newfoundland. I purchased it for $999 and the seller has similar items for sale. The SLC, however, DOES NOT have a close focus (13').

In spite of the dampening effect of extra weight I can hold my wife's 8X32 SV (21 ounces) as steady as any other bin and the wide FOV is intoxicating. Close focus is ~ 6'.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 16:38   #12
marcsantacurz
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Thank you everyone, it is very helpful. Fortunately, I seem to love making spreadsheets of binoculars

I think the no-brainer thing to do first is get her to try the Opticron discovery. If she likes it, the price is super and the close-focus might work for her. Otherwise, I think all the others (except maybe the Victory) are out of the game for close focus, so I'd no longer make that a consideration. After that, I think the UVHD or UVHD+, as it is easily available and not wildly expensive 2nd hand. Then it's just a waiting game to see what else pops up.

The maven B2 7x45 specs I saw make it look pretty heavy with a narrow fov. Is that true?

Things to try first:
* Opticron discovery 7x42: 24 oz, 4.6’ cf, 408’ @ 1000 yd ($240 new)
* Leica Ultravid HD 7x42 27.1 oz, 11’ cf, 420’ @ 1000 yd ($??)
* Leica Trinovid BN 7x42: 31.4 oz, 11’ cf, 420’ @ 1000 yd ($??)
* Swarovski SLC neu 7x42: 33.5 oz, 13’ cf, 420’ @ 1000 yd ($700 - $800 forums, $1200 eBay)
* Meopta Meostar B1 7x42: 31.4 oz, 9.8’ cf, 449’ @ 1000 yd ($1185 from eBay germany)

Things to try if they can be found at decent price:
* Leica UVHD+ 7x42: 27 oz, 10.8’ cf, 420’ @ 1000 yd ($2100 new, $1200 forums)
* Leica Ultravid BR 7x42: 27 oz, 11’ cf, 420’ @ 1000 yd ($950 used)
* Nikon EDG II 7x42: 31.4 oz, 9.8’ cf, 449’ @ 1000 yd ($3300 new, $1600 forums)
* Zeiss Victory T* FL 7x42: 26 oz, 6.6’ cf, 450’ @ 1000 yd ($1300 from 2016 Astromart price)
* Maven B2 7x45: 33.25 oz, 6.5’ cf, 388’ @ 1000 yd (EU990 new)
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 18:11   #13
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Just a few corrections on the Meopta B1 Meostar 7x42. It's generally available here for about €760 and its FOV is 137 m @ 1000 m, or 411' @ 1000 yds. My wife has been using one since its introduction in 2005 and it's an outstanding binocular for its price. I have a lens replacement on one eye and thus no accomodation and measured a close focus of 2,5 m or about 8'.
Also found this https://www.intercon-spacetec.de/akt...7x42-dcf-.html, an excellent price for Europe, if not for the US.

John
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 18:58   #14
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Just a few corrections on the Meopta B1 Meostar 7x42. It's generally available here for about €760 and its FOV is 137 m @ 1000 m, or 411' @ 1000 yds. My wife has been using one since its introduction in 2005 and it's an outstanding binocular for its price. I have a lens replacement on one eye and thus no accomodation and measured a close focus of 2,5 m or about 8'.
Also found this https://www.intercon-spacetec.de/akt...7x42-dcf-.html, an excellent price for Europe, if not for the US.

John
John
Production of this model ended in February of this year so even if it is still advertised it would be a good idea to check if it is really still in stock before travelling to a dealer.

Lee
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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 19:13   #15
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Here is Lee's review on the Opticron Discovery 7x42.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=362909

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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 16:04   #16
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Why not try a pair of Celestron Granite 7x33? It has 159m/1000m fov.
And they are very sharp at the center.

Last edited by Troubador : Monday 10th September 2018 at 16:28. Reason: Fov figure is linear not apparent fov
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 16:36   #17
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With her slight hand tremor, could it also be important to find a binocular with a solid, intuitive eyepiece-to-eye placement?
What I mean is that some binos I can plunk right up to my eyes and see the view inside a single round circle instantly. Others, I have to fiddle with the screw up eyecups, IPD, and even bridge my fingers and eyebrows to obtain a single round circle.
I just wonder if a bit of hand shake might make finding the sweet spot on some binoculars a bit more difficult (though I don't have experience with most on your list).
~ Foss
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 18:04   #18
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With her slight hand tremor, could it also be important to find a binocular with a solid, intuitive eyepiece-to-eye placement?
What I mean is that some binos I can plunk right up to my eyes and see the view inside a single round circle instantly. Others, I have to fiddle with the screw up eyecups, IPD, and even bridge my fingers and eyebrows to obtain a single round circle.
I just wonder if a bit of hand shake might make finding the sweet spot on some binoculars a bit more difficult (though I don't have experience with most on your list).
~ Foss
This is very important to her. She has been using Nikon Monarch 5s that she can only reset on her brow. When she tried some Zeiss Conquest HDs, she found it much easier to hold them steady because she could rest the eye cup against her whole orbit. I think this will be an important factor for her, so that is one reason I like to have a list of options so we can keep trying them until we hit on what truly works for her. Hovering is not an option for her.
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 18:08   #19
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Why not try a pair of Celestron Granite 7x33? It has 159m/1000m fov.
And they are very sharp at the center.
Thank you! The specs look good on that, and the 2nd hand prices are attractive. I'll get a copy for her to try with the Opticron Discovery.
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 21:44   #20
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This is a fun discussion, also because I considered it before.

I did obtain the Zen Ray 7x42 ED2 that work very well. Early on I got a Zen Ray 7x36 which i passed on to a friend. They were good.

I bought my mom a Bushnell Custom 7x26 early on. Even my college friend John who studied Ornithology bought one of those small binoculars. They are so well light buffered that the image is bright in a dark black frame.

Sightmark Solitude 7x36 XD binoculars is a similar model to the Zen Ray though I have never looked through one.

Right now there are two Celestron 6.5x 44mm for sale from the Cloudy Nights classifieds. They are 275 and 299 dollars for this Porro model. I have looked through a Swift ED model which is similar to those. The Swift seemed to have a weaker ED glass that didn't completely eliminate chromatic aberrations like the modern ED glass does. Maybe these two have better glass.
https://www.cloudynights.com/classif...ort_order=desc

You have been given good advice. Others have told me about the Opticron model that is a 7x36. They say it works excellently.

Just this week I ebay purchase a Tasco World Class 7x42. It is very retro. The infinity focus just barely reaches focus for my eyes. The near focus must be about 25 or 30 feet. They could have made the far focus with more accommodation, but then the near focus would be more like 45 feet. It is fun to try this retro model.

I never tried the Leupold Hawthorne 7x42 roof. The Bushnell 7x42 Infinity was good. The Bausch and Lomb Discovery 7x42 was much too wide and distorted and only a smaller sharp area. I would pass on a Vixen Ultima 7x42 because the view is too restricted. (restricted but sharp. )

Rob A.
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Old Friday 14th September 2018, 03:57   #21
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Why not try a pair of Celestron Granite 7x33? It has 159m/1000m fov.
And they are very sharp at the center.
We got a pair of these and tried them out. I do not think they are worth the $222 price tag. The focuser feels inaccurate and sloppy. Yes, the center is sharp and an okay view, but the outside goes very soft. I was not impressed by the build quality.

I should be getting a copy of the Opticron 8x42 soon to try out. At just a little bit more ($249 from B&H), I'm expecting these will be significantly higher quality.

Marc
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Old Friday 14th September 2018, 05:34   #22
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We got a pair of these and tried them out. I do not think they are worth the $222 price tag. The focuser feels inaccurate and sloppy. Yes, the center is sharp and an okay view, but the outside goes very soft. I was not impressed by the build quality.

I should be getting a copy of the Opticron 8x42 soon to try out. At just a little bit more ($249 from B&H), I'm expecting these will be significantly higher quality.

Marc
I agree with you on the Celestron Granite's 7x33. Been there done that. Same result as you. I think you are going to have to go up the food chain if you want a higher build quality. I think you are going to have to spend $400 to $500 to notice a big improvement in quality. I still recommend the Leica Trinovid BN 7x42. It is going to be way higher quality than some of these you are looking at. The build quality on the BN is as good if not better than some of the $2k alpha's although they may have a slight edge in optics.

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Old Friday 14th September 2018, 06:28   #23
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The Opticron 7x42 Discovery WP PC is well worth its very reasonable price of $285.00.

Opticron is not trying to do more with this binocular than a small 24 ounce 7x42 is capable of doing. They have given it long comfortable ER of 25mm; close focus of just under 5 feet and a 408'@1000yd FOV with a very large "sweet spot."

Opticron's service in the USA is efficient. I purchased mine from Gordon at "Honey Creek Bill and Beak," in Lewistown, PA. I had to return my first one because the diopter was almost impossible to move. I returned it directly to Opticron, USA in North Carolina. It was replaced promptly and the new one is working just fine and is a pleasure to use.

Bob

https://www.opticronusa.com/Pages/discovery_wp.html

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Old Friday 14th September 2018, 11:16   #24
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Marc,

You were quite specific in your original post that your girlfriend has hand tremor and you were looking for a 7x binocular to try to overcome that problem.

I have been in exactly the same position as your girlfriend and have overcome the problem in a different way.

I used to use a Nikon 10x42 SE but had to reduce the magnification to an 8x32 SE due to temor. This worked for a while but the inability to achieve a sharp image and the eyestrain involved became too much and I was on the point of giving up using binoculars. However, before I did, I posted on the Forum and ask if anybody had any suggestions for overcoming the problem. I was pointed in the direction of 7x and also the use of the finstick support which I tried and even bought a Nikon 7x42 EDG, but that didn't significantly improve the situation.

By chance, I was looking at a secondhand mint Canon 10x30 IS on the famous website and took the plunge. At £200 ($250) it wasn't too much to loose if it didn't solve the problem.

The first time I looked through them and then pressed the image stabilisation button was a revelation. The shaking ceased and the image became rock solid - I could see more detail than looking through any of my top class binoculars. I still have them and the view is so addictive that I now have other magnifications as well and only have Canon IS binoculars now. My wife has a Pentax 6.5x21, that she uses for bugs and flowers which I can use if I need close focus.

I hope that your girlfriend can try a Canon as it might be the answer to her problem.

Regards

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Old Friday 14th September 2018, 12:02   #25
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If I were in the market for a 7X binocular on SOMEWHAT of a budget, I'd look at the following:

Used SLC 7X42
Used/NIB Leica 7X42 Trinovid BN
Meopta B.1 Meostar 7X42
Zeiss FL 7X42

Some of those are going to be harder to find than the others...from the Meostar on the low end to the Zeiss FL/SLC on the high end. All are nice binoculars and all could potentially be "keepers."

I have the Opticron 7X42. I got mine from Gordon too! I've used it a LOT over the summer....It's a good binocular for a beginner....hey, it's a $250 binocular. In no way will it compare optically to one of the others above. It's not Opticron's best work optically, either. Just saying.....

ALSO...Stan above makes a good case for the Canon IS binocular. If y'all can swing the ergonomics, it might just solve the "shakes" issue.
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