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Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 01:17   #1
Adun
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Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32

I wanted to thank Steve C and FrankD, and for their reviews of the Eagle Optics 6.5x32 porro, but those threads are 10 years old and won't let me comment, so I'm starting a new one and adding my own two cents.

I'm on a very (very!) tight budget, in South America, and upgrading from cheap $32 BK7 "not even FMC" Celestron UpClose G2 binos. I compared the specs of 25 binos, and read countless reviews, and decided to get my wife the Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32, which seems to be the successor to the Raven, for $59 (even less than the Yosemites)

My wife is loving them! While birding today, she stated several times how much she likes them and how much better these binos are than the old ones, specially regarding:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
"what sort of quality is there in the image that you do see". Not necessarily quality in the sense of magnified detail, but color representation, contrast, image shake, image brightness, and so forth.
In theory, by being porro, and not needing dielectric / phase coatings, light transmission could be good without deviating budget from the rest of the optics, and being 6.5x in theory makes them easier to manufacture to a higher quality (and would show less CA than higher powers, lessening the need for ED glass).

But in practice, what impressed me the most was the quadruple synergy between the 6.5x "low power" affording a great depth of field, the reduced focuser fiddling, the elimination of the shakes (big deal for me) and the strong "3D" effect of the porro. These four things combined generate a very big "volume of view", full of helpful depth information. This makes finding/chasing tiny restless tanagers/warblers among the bushes/trees so much easier.

I wish I had gotten another pair for myself. I didn't only because the specs said their max IPD was 70mm and mine is 72mm, but I've measured them to open up to ~72mm, and indeed I could use them fine (and also finally keep my glasses on while observing!). I'm definitely getting a second pair for myself. Maybe two, just in case.

They have two big cons though:

* The focuser is quite stiff. I've read this is the trademark of waterproof porros. The short travel (under 1 revolution) compensates this though.

* The close focus is quite large: the specs say 4.6m, and while I can still focus down to just 2.7m, when I do so, I get some parallax "MasterCard" effect (which I think is inherent to porro close focus). I can live with it, but it's not ideal.

My wife observed through a professional guide's Swarovski's once. We know these Kingbirds are not alphas ... nor betas. Maybe not even gammas, but d*mn they're good. They are worth every penny.
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 07:29   #2
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Thank you for this, Adun!

Question: how is the Kingbird mechanically, esp.: is the bridge rocking (I hate that) when you turn the focuser, or is it pretty stable (in some lower price central focus porros, the bridge is awful, but in some it‘s quite solid)?

Canip

Last edited by Canip : Sunday 21st April 2019 at 07:31.
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 13:42   #3
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Vortex had the fury 6.5x30. Bought them for $120 on close out. Wish I had bought a second pair. They are fantastic and I use them regularly.
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 17:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
Thank you for this, Adun!

Question: how is the Kingbird mechanically, esp.: is the bridge rocking (I hate that) when you turn the focuser, or is it pretty stable (in some lower price central focus porros, the bridge is awful, but in some it‘s quite solid)?
If you mean whether turning the focuser changes the IPD, I just asked my wife and she says it doesn't.

I didn't feel any issue regarding that either, but I only used them for 20 minutes, after we were almost done birding.

Still, given how the focuser is very, very stiff, I can see how someone with smaller hands could end up moving the bridge/IPD while trying to turn the focuser, specially near the infinity and close focus edges (I felt the feedback of "this is the end of focus travel" is was not "clear" enough).

I'd say one needs to be willing to take a hit in mechanics (for the sake of optics, waterproofness and budget) to like this bino.

Last edited by Adun : Sunday 21st April 2019 at 17:20.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 06:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adun View Post
If you mean whether turning the focuser changes the IPD .....
.....
.....
With the term „rocking“, I actually meant that when turning the focus wheel, focusing occurs un-evenly in the two tubes as the bridge pushes and pulls the eyepieces up and down un-evenly (too much play in the mechanics). This is a frequent complaint about cheaper porro binoculars.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 19:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adun View Post
* The close focus is quite large: the specs say 4.6m, and while I can still focus down to just 2.7m, when I do so, I get some parallax "MasterCard" effect (which I think is inherent to porro close focus). I can live with it, but it's not ideal.
Have you tried closing the hinge (making the IPD smaller) when looking at close range? Usually this makes the parallax effect go away.

When using my E2 porro at close range (2 meters) mostly I don't bother to change the IPD, I just close one eye.

George
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 03:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adun View Post
I wanted to thank Steve C and FrankD, and for their reviews of the Eagle Optics 6.5x32 porro, but those threads are 10 years old and won't let me comment, so I'm starting a new one and adding my own two cents.

I'm on a very (very!) tight budget, in South America, and upgrading from cheap $32 BK7 "not even FMC" Celestron UpClose G2 binos. I compared the specs of 25 binos, and read countless reviews, and decided to get my wife the Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32, which seems to be the successor to the Raven, for $59 (even less than the Yosemites)

My wife is loving them! While birding today, she stated several times how much she likes them and how much better these binos are than the old ones, specially regarding:



In theory, by being porro, and not needing dielectric / phase coatings, light transmission could be good without deviating budget from the rest of the optics, and being 6.5x in theory makes them easier to manufacture to a higher quality (and would show less CA than higher powers, lessening the need for ED glass).

But in practice, what impressed me the most was the quadruple synergy between the 6.5x "low power" affording a great depth of field, the reduced focuser fiddling, the elimination of the shakes (big deal for me) and the strong "3D" effect of the porro. These four things combined generate a very big "volume of view", full of helpful depth information. This makes finding/chasing tiny restless tanagers/warblers among the bushes/trees so much easier.

I wish I had gotten another pair for myself. I didn't only because the specs said their max IPD was 70mm and mine is 72mm, but I've measured them to open up to ~72mm, and indeed I could use them fine (and also finally keep my glasses on while observing!). I'm definitely getting a second pair for myself. Maybe two, just in case.

They have two big cons though:

* The focuser is quite stiff. I've read this is the trademark of waterproof porros. The short travel (under 1 revolution) compensates this though.

* The close focus is quite large: the specs say 4.6m, and while I can still focus down to just 2.7m, when I do so, I get some parallax "MasterCard" effect (which I think is inherent to porro close focus). I can live with it, but it's not ideal.

My wife observed through a professional guide's Swarovski's once. We know these Kingbirds are not alphas ... nor betas. Maybe not even gammas, but d*mn they're good. They are worth every penny.
190422

Hi, Adun:

I have been recently reminded of a word I had forgotten all about for decades. It is the great word “ultracrepidarian” and finds no better home than on bino forums, wherein so many folks feel the need to set themselves up as an expert when, in fact, their thoughts don’t mirror reality. One of the biggest of these “bugbears” is that Bk7 is an inferior glass. This is large, male bovine excrement!

I hope the attached will help; it might save you some money. Given an option, I would always choose a bino with BaK4 prisms. However, that would relate more to resale value than usability.

Optics forums are full of these non-issues.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 23:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
With the term „rocking“, I actually meant that when turning the focus wheel, focusing occurs un-evenly in the two tubes as the bridge pushes and pulls the eyepieces up and down un-evenly (too much play in the mechanics). This is a frequent complaint about cheaper porro binoculars.
Un-even focus, for any reason (mechanical or otherwise) is not something I have observed on the Kingbird. However, with the depth of field being so generous at 6.5x, and my eyes still being young/accommodating, maybe it's there and I just haven't noticed.
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 02:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adun View Post
Un-even focus, for any reason (mechanical or otherwise) is not something I have observed on the Kingbird. However, with the depth of field being so generous at 6.5x, and my eyes still being young/accommodating, maybe it's there and I just haven't noticed.
Are you speaking of depth of field or field of view?

Bill
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 07:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
With the term „rocking“, I actually meant that when turning the focus wheel, focusing occurs un-evenly in the two tubes as the bridge pushes and pulls the eyepieces up and down un-evenly (too much play in the mechanics). This is a frequent complaint about cheaper porro binoculars.
Canip,

To answer your question, my specimen is mechanically very stable and the bridge doesn't rock at all in any position, including fully extended. The focusing wheel takes some force to operate, but it's very smooth and has no backlash that I can detect. I guess the extra turning force required is the price one pays for waterproofing. Overall, it's very handy little binocular. I'm always impressed whenever a Porro can meet my eye-relief needs.

Ed
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 08:07   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adun View Post
Un-even focus, for any reason (mechanical or otherwise) is not something I have observed on the Kingbird. However, with the depth of field being so generous at 6.5x, and my eyes still being young/accommodating, maybe it's there and I just haven't noticed.
Clever hypothetical reason for an experience you haven't been experiencing.

Ed
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 00:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canip View Post
With the term „rocking“, I actually meant that when turning the focus wheel, focusing occurs un-evenly in the two tubes as the bridge pushes and pulls the eyepieces up and down un-evenly (too much play in the mechanics). This is a frequent complaint about cheaper porro binoculars.
Not just the cheapies unfortunately... I have had something similar manifest itself in a Nobilem (not when focusing - but if pressing the binocular too hard against your eyes the bridge can be pushed inwards).
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 01:07   #13
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I will give my experience and have before on another thread like this one. The EO Kingbird were
on closeout when they folded, and I purchased 2 for gifts.

I was not impressed with this binocular, especially comparing to the Leupold Yosemite.
It is nothing special, this is for those wondering, don't make a special attempt to purchase one.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 2nd May 2019, 00:29   #14
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Quote:
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Are you speaking of depth of field or field of view?
Bill
I was speaking of depth of field, which for me -visually- is the best thing about 6.5x power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
I will give my experience and have before on another thread like this one. The EO Kingbird were
on closeout when they folded, and I purchased 2 for gifts.

I was not impressed with this binocular, especially comparing to the Leupold Yosemite.
It is nothing special, this is for those wondering, don't make a special attempt to purchase one.

Jerry
A very reasonable and understandable opinion Jerry. I've read great things about the Leupold Yosemite, including your comments about the BX-1 model.

Last Sunday we went birding again, and my wife (again) said spontaneously "these binoculars rock" (my translation from Spanish to English), so while the Kingbirds may not be "special", they are good enough for us.

With the current prices at the stores I can buy from (which are $110 for the Leupold 6x vs $60 for the Kingbird 6.5x), I found it preferable to get another Kingbird for myself.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 00:49   #15
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The second Kingbird 6.5x32 arrived today, and after testing it outside, it seems to work just as well as the first one that my wife has been using. No quality problems. This will be my main birding bino from now on.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2019, 04:08   #16
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Good luck to you, Adun. I'm giving mine to my grandson.

Let us know how they hold up.

Ed
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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 01:31   #17
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Let us know how they hold up.
Ed
After quite several birding outings, they are doing more than great. They are just awesome.

For birding in general they've been fantastic. I'm seeing more birds (and now I'm more often the one to spot them), and I see more detail too. The color rendition is great, and the depth of field is just excellent, a couple times, observing tough birds through branches/leaves, the easy focus (short travel + depth of field) has made the difference.

I've also used them to scan the Sagittarius area in the sky, and compared to my old 10x50 and 7x50, these are much, much sharper. Yes, smaller aperture, but star tests are much better. I was even able to count 3 moons in Jupiter the other day, and one of them was a very close split.

These were a fantastic purchase.

Last edited by Adun : Monday 1st July 2019 at 11:49.
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