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New Zeiss 8x32SF as your main binocular

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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 12:26   #76
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
Yes, the 'impression' that a 42 is better. But look at the specs concerning FOV:

Zeiss SF:
8x32sf is 155m/465ft
10x32sf is 130m/427ft.

Swaro 8.5x42 133m/399 ft
Swaro 10x42SLC 109m/330m

Zeiss Victory 8x42 147m/444ft
Zeiss Victory 10x42 119m/360ft

Leica 8x42 Trinovid 123m/372ft
Leica 10x42 Trinovid 112m/339ft
And since we look at a circular view, not a 1,000 metre- or 1,000 yard-wide slit, calulcate the areas of view and the differences are even more startling.

Lee
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 12:57   #77
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
Yes, the 'impression' that a 42 is better. But look at the specs concerning FOV:

Zeiss SF:
8x32sf is 155m/465ft
10x32sf is 130m/427ft.

Swaro 8.5x42 133m/399 ft
Swaro 10x42SLC 109m/330m

Zeiss Victory 8x42 147m/444ft
Zeiss Victory 10x42 119m/360ft

Leica 8x42 Trinovid 123m/372ft
Leica 10x42 Trinovid 112m/339ft

I am not sure of the light transition between the bins but I know that Zeiss has always been high in the HT's and SF's. The FOV is amazing though. I might even amend my statement and state that as a binocular, the SF10x32 might be the best one yet. A 10x with a FOV of 130m/427ft and that is comparing it to a 42 and not the 30-32 of other brands.


True here...'ears - eyes - binocular - scope'....but to a degree. Your ears and eyes are variable that 'age'. Also, habitat/environment/mannerisms come into play, unless you have that counted under 'eyes' or have less cognitive ability.
Yup - also flight pattern, size, flock/non-flock, time of year, geographic location all come into the filters.
I wouldn't want to get too hung up on the light thing - there is of course a difference between transmission (property of the glass) and exit pupil (light available to the eye based on dimensions).
What i'm referring to is purely to do with the exit pupil and the fact that there sadly comes a time when an 8x56 is just scattering light into the side of your head.
The reason i don't often take a 42mm anymore is that the 4mm EP of the 32mm is sufficient, until the last knockings of the day - then i go to the pub.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:07   #78
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I`m not sure the big difference for me is to do with anything the bigger objective brings in terms of transmission or resolution, its the shallower depth of field and the way that isolates a close Bird from the background better, the way the focus snaps much faster.

All else being equal, this is the 42`s biggest advantage for me.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:16   #79
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
Yes, the 'impression' that a 42 is better. But look at the specs concerning FOV:

Zeiss SF:
8x32sf is 155m/465ft
10x32sf is 130m/427ft.
The 10x32 SF is actually “only” 390’ at 1000 yards. Still very impressive. The 8x number is correct for view at 1000 yards, but the 10x is 427’ at 1000 meters which Zeiss and some others continue to put in their specs . . . not a particularly helpful measure. For a simple conversion from “m/1000m” to “ft/1000yds” just multiply by 3

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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:18   #80
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True enough - if you've got a focus you know well and can zap about efficiently; in this regard field-flattening or not can play a part too i suspect, although personally, i've always found them tricky. Perhaps i never use field-flattened bins enough to get used to it.
I'm not talking about RB here - just the general DoF. The Vanguard EDII combines that with a very fast focus, and constantly riding the focus wheel is often a feature of a day out; it's the way to go if you like action-packed birding.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:35   #81
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sorry for confusion - my comment related to Torview's post above - nmiller's came in while i was typing
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:42   #82
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
..... But look at the specs concerning FOV:

Swaro 10x42SLC 109m/330m

.....
Holy !!!

That 330m ! Swaro sounds like the business !


I think it will be interesting to compare the 8x32SF with the 8x32SV in terms of eyeroamaboutability (ease of view) and glare performance. The little SV is fantastic to throw up to the eyes - I wonder how the SF will fare in that regard ?

Normally I'd say that the Nikon 42mm MHG is about as small as I'd want to go in size (less weight is always welcome though) - it will be interesting what sort of voodoo magic spell that 155m Fov can weave ......





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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:43   #83
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The 10x32 SF is actually “only” 390’ at 1000 yards. Still very impressive. The 8x number is correct for view at 1000 yards, but the 10x is 427’ at 1000 meters which Zeiss and some others continue to put in their specs . . . not a particularly helpful measure. For a simple conversion from “m/1000m” to “ft/1000yds” just multiply by 3
See this link to Zeiss as they have the FOV for both meters and feet for the SF10x32. It does state 427 feet but the meters to feet doesn't match so perhaps something is skew here but none the less, 390 feet FOV for a 10x is pretty good. https://www.zeiss.co.uk/consumer-pro....html#features

Now....I can understand the need for FOV. I bird with a Zeiss 10x42HT all the time. I have always had 10x's so am very used to a more limited FOV but can understand the need to have more. I believe the FOV on my HT is 110meters or 330 feet. It is limited but again, I am used to it.

So, at what number does FOV for birding wash out? 400 feet ...450? 465? How much FOV do you really need? I do nicely with 330 feet / 110 meters right now, so 'for me' ../moving up to 390 feet / 130 meters would be huge! That is what I am saying about the value of the 10x32SF over the 8x32SF. The latter perhaps has too much FOV and with only 8 power. Why not take the added power of 10x and still have close to 400 feet/ 130 meters FOV. A much better deal.

I was out birding yesterday and was looking way up in the trees above me, trees 'way across the way' and being able to ID the bird. I have a 10x. So that extra power comes in handy and not just for ocean or shore birding.

I would sooner have the 10 power and 390 feet/ 130 meters FOV instead of only 8x and a larger FOV. FOV is over rated unless you have a difficult time picking up on birds initially or following them in trees.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 13:54   #84
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When the SF was first launched and a friend bought one, he gave me a look through it. The FoV seemed almost unnatural to me, like some new technology (VR, or something).
If you've ever been into someone's house and they've got a 'normal' sized room (for UK readers only!) but a TV that takes up most of one wall, it was that kind of feeling.
I would imagine that once used to it, everything else will look like a toilet roll though.
I suppose the use made of binoculars will be a major factor, and the locations you generally go birding.
My first SF view was in woodland, which added to the 'confusion' of the view; for an estuary, it would have made a lot more sense.
So, there's how much FoV you need, or how much you want. Some find narrow FoV quite claustrophobic.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 15:55   #85
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
See this link to Zeiss as they have the FOV for both meters and feet for the SF10x32. It does state 427 feet but the meters to feet doesn't match so perhaps something is skew here but none the less, 390 feet FOV for a 10x is pretty good. https://www.zeiss.co.uk/consumer-pro....html#features

Now....I can understand the need for FOV. I bird with a Zeiss 10x42HT all the time. I have always had 10x's so am very used to a more limited FOV but can understand the need to have more. I believe the FOV on my HT is 110meters or 330 feet. It is limited but again, I am used to it.

So, at what number does FOV for birding wash out? 400 feet ...450? 465? How much FOV do you really need? I do nicely with 330 feet / 110 meters right now, so 'for me' ../moving up to 390 feet / 130 meters would be huge! That is what I am saying about the value of the 10x32SF over the 8x32SF. The latter perhaps has too much FOV and with only 8 power. Why not take the added power of 10x and still have close to 400 feet/ 130 meters FOV. A much better deal.

I was out birding yesterday and was looking way up in the trees above me, trees 'way across the way' and being able to ID the bird. I have a 10x. So that extra power comes in handy and not just for ocean or shore birding.

I would sooner have the 10 power and 390 feet/ 130 meters FOV instead of only 8x and a larger FOV. FOV is over rated unless you have a difficult time picking up on birds initially or following them in trees.
My 8x has 140m Fov at 1km. I really find this useful for circling raptors, as both of a pair remain in the view when riding a thermal several hundred meters away.

My former 114m 10x just didn't cut it in that regard. A 130m 10x is super sweet, and may? just be enough to pass the double raptor test - I know that 120m 10x don't really do it despite their quite good Fov's.

I was in some closed woodland recently trying to track high speed geewhizzits up in the canopy (20-30m high, and up to 50 or so meters away). I was wishing for more Fov than my 140m, but also slightly more than 8x mag. Rejigging the 8x32SF's 155m formula would give a 146m 8.5x, but then it would need a bigger objective too.

I think on smaller birds, 50m away or closer, you'd rapidly get used to the 155m and come to appreciate it.





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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 16:13   #86
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Originally Posted by Torview View Post
I`m not sure the big difference for me is to do with anything the bigger objective brings in terms of transmission or resolution, its the shallower depth of field and the way that isolates a close Bird from the background better, the way the focus snaps much faster.

All else being equal, this is the 42`s biggest advantage for me.
With a 10x42, I do enjoy the effect of slicing through complex foliage to isolate a subject amidst the chaotic patterns in front of, and behind it.

Some of these optical properties I think of as aesthetic preferences, as opposed to other factors that can be said to confer a strategic advantage, for those purely on the hunt for the small, elusive critter.

There are sensible arguments as to why greater depth of field is to be preferred- More of the field is in focus, less re-focusing required, etc. but there's something wonderful visually about shallow depth of field. Perhaps because its a phenomena we can't naturally achieve with our naked eyes, anymore than greater magnification, I suppose. Both part of what makes binoculars such fascinating and rewarding devices to look through.

-Bill
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 16:40   #87
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One of the aspects of the 32mmSF i'm interested in checking out is this combination of wide FoV and field-flattening, and how they work together.
Those who know the Vanguard EDII will perhaps already be familiar with it's not over-wide field, even though it's crisp right to the edges - my only flat-field familiarity.

I haven't really had much experience of an SF of any stripe actually out birding - just looking through others' bins. There is fortunately a retailer within an hour of me where you can actually use them in open land behind the shop, which is where i think such an experiment can take place.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2020, 17:27   #88
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With a 10x42, I do enjoy the effect of slicing through complex foliage to isolate a subject amidst the chaotic patterns in front of, and behind it.
-Bill
Same here.... many times the birds are in reeds or camoflauged against rocks etc. I was hunting down a waterthrush the other day across a small pond and I know the 8x would have a difficult time determining the species (one of two it could have been) while the 10x allowed me an opportunity to view for detail. This is a good example of why a 10x 'for me' works better.


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Originally Posted by chosun View Post
My 8x has 140m Fov at 1km. I really find this useful for circling raptors, as both of a pair remain in the view when riding a thermal several hundred meters away.

I was in some closed woodland recently trying to track high speed geewhizzits up in the canopy (20-30m high, and up to 50 or so meters away). I was wishing for more Fov than my 140m, but also slightly more than 8x mag. Rejigging the 8x32SF's 155m formula would give a 146m 8.5x, but then it would need a bigger objective too.
Chosun
Raptors for sure would benefit from a wide FOV...agreed. Once 'on the bird' you shouldn't have much of an issue following though with 10x.

Closed woodlands? Not sure. I was in some closed woodlands yesterday with my 10x HT (110 meters), and I had little issue. Same tree canopy dimensions (roughly as yours). I think in that case it all depends on how familiar you are with your binocular power. jim
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Old Sunday 17th May 2020, 23:01   #89
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So, folks that have maybe 30 years of the rest of their lives left, and their senses, including vision, slowly degrading, should only get something that on some 'objective' basis, perfectly corresponds to their ability to see things?

According to whose standards?

Who should set standards for those needs...

Jerry, I'm looking at specs for a "Nikon Aculon" and cannot find an 8x40. I CAN find an 8x42. eye relief? 12mm....

What if they wear glasses? Uh-uh.

The whole idea of a culture, or society based degradation of folks, whether due to age, or lack of experience, in an activity they may come to truly enjoy, is not a pleasant prospect to consider.

How many folks on this forum make a living looking through their binoculars at birds? My guess is a single digit answer. Perhaps the answer is ZERO....

If you're a fan of binoculars its ok to talk about buying excellent tools? But if you're a retired person contemplating a deep dive into nature and optics, then you only deserve scorn and the cheapest possible device?

I don't buy it.

-Bill

Bill: My post was to simply point out that any binocular can help people enjoy viewing in the great outdoors.

Your point of quality of vision is important. For some viewers that don't go out much, the simple Aculon is sufficient. Many users have trouble setting the diopter, do you know what that is ?

You seem to have your dander up for no reason, what is that all about ?

The last time I checked, I don't need your approval to post my opinion......

Jerry
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 02:55   #90
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I have discovered a cheap and optically effective tool to make the image of a bird larger, nearer: Birdseed.

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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 03:38   #91
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Bill: My post was to simply point out that any binocular can help people enjoy viewing in the great outdoors.

Your point of quality of vision is important. For some viewers that don't go out much, the simple Aculon is sufficient. Many users have trouble setting the diopter, do you know what that is ?

You seem to have your dander up for no reason, what is that all about ?

The last time I checked, I don't need your approval to post my opinion......

Jerry
Jerry: I was shooting from the hip.

Please feel free to post your opinions as you please.

My apologies for coming across as a narrow-minded, irate, s.o.b.

Every once in awhile that is exactly what happens....

Whether that is my intention, or not!


-b.
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 04:21   #92
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I have discovered a cheap and optically effective tool to make the image of a bird larger, nearer: Birdseed.

Edmund
Ok, now that’s funny! Think of the dump trucks full of cash we’ll all save! 😂😂
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 19:23   #93
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...He spoke of the reliance on the 'grey pound;; couples who retired to Norfolk/Suffolk and were looking for something they could gently do together in their later years. This was often birding, and - with little prior knowledge of birds, binoculars or anything related - would buy his and hers alphas without batting an eyelid.

He closed the conversation with that great British put-down - 'all the gear - no idea!'
Ah, yes, how very British indeed - that condescension (indeed, often more resembling barely-disguised contempt) towards those who, be it in the form of something as "tacky" as buying blue-tit tea towels, pay one's wages...

Bill (wdc) sums it up for me. If retired folks have the wherewithal to plonk down the cash for brand new alphas, what's wrong with getting a superb optic that will serve them for the rest of their lives, and after that, be handed down to their children/grandchildren, or make their way to those of us who gratefully buy our binoculars secondhand? It's a bit of an irony that the inexperienced amongst us, many of which do indeed in their inexperience end up with the cheap and nasty rather than matching pairs of alphas, actually need quality optics more than the likes of the veteran paddy7 spoke to, who could doubtless make a far quicker and surer ID with his 30-year old, gaffer-tape covered binoculars than the retired couple new to birding (that ability, of course, being one of the rewards of a life spent in the field...).

Maybe, some day, conservation organizations will be funded by the public purse generously enough not to need to hawk blue-tit towels to curious visitors. But until the "great British public" vote for that day...

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...I bird with a Zeiss 10x42HT all the time. I have always had 10x's so am very used to a more limited FOV but can understand the need to have more. I believe the FOV on my HT is 110meters or 330 feet. It is limited but again, I am used to it.

So, at what number does FOV for birding wash out? 400 feet ...450? 465? How much FOV do you really need? I do nicely with 330 feet / 110 meters right now, so 'for me' ../moving up to 390 feet / 130 meters would be huge! That is what I am saying about the value of the 10x32SF over the 8x32SF. The latter perhaps has too much FOV and with only 8 power. Why not take the added power of 10x and still have close to 400 feet/ 130 meters FOV. A much better deal.

I was out birding yesterday and was looking way up in the trees above me, trees 'way across the way' and being able to ID the bird. I have a 10x. So that extra power comes in handy and not just for ocean or shore birding.

I would sooner have the 10 power and 390 feet/ 130 meters FOV instead of only 8x and a larger FOV. FOV is over rated unless you have a difficult time picking up on birds initially or following them in trees.
I think the answer to those questions re field of view and the advantage of 10x really depend on the type of birding you do. If the object of the exercise is to nail down IDs (I quite enjoyed Stephen Ingraham's description of 10x users in an article several years ago as "...a certain sort: steady handed; intently focused; experienced enough to know that he or she wants something more than the average 8 power glass; generally the type who goes boldly after the far and wee (or deep and dark) ID when all about him (or her) are hedging their bets..."), I definitely agree a 10x has real advantages in doing that. 8x is traditionally thought to be better in woodland, but with today's fast focusers and the wide fields of view that 10x binoculars have, a birder could operate effectively in wooded environments with a 10x, no doubt - indeed, in some situations maybe even more so, as I recall a couple of threads discussing finding and identifying birds in very tall trees in which some pretty experienced guys noted that the extra magnification of 10x was a real advantage.

All that said, the historic and continuing popularity of 8x mag is testimony to its own set of advantages - greater steadiness and normally greater field of view. I get the impression that 8x mag seems to be more popular in Europe than in the United States, and it may be that 8x performs particularly well in typical European birding environments.

Regarding how much field of view does one really need - I think most of us could probably operate quite effectively with smaller fields of view than we might want. But alpha-class binocular purchases have little to do with what we really need, and a lot to do with what we want! Besides the practical advantages of being able to scan large areas more quickly, I find a large field of view makes for a very enjoyable viewing experience - it's the major reason why I keep and regularly use some old porro binoculars despite their much poorer light transmission and ergonomics (short eye relief) compared to modern designs. The two 10xs I use the most have 110m field of view, like your HT, and 130m (old Zeiss West 10x50 porro). The former is the more effective birding tool, certainly if you wear glasses as I do; but although the latter has its quirks, it is the more satisfying of the two to look through.
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Old Monday 18th May 2020, 22:39   #94
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There's quite a lot in the last paragraph alone (re FoV) and perhaps comes down to an interesting distinction with some binoculars.
As a birding tool, you want to be able to get onto your target quickly. For that, you don't really need much of a field (unless it's a skyward look for a raptor or similar)
I was out with the Nikon Eii 8x30 at the weekend. I find that binocular a real delight to look through, but realised - in a busy birding environment - how its great advantages can be shackled by its disadvantages.
The wide field of view, the depth of field, the colour, the definition are all wonderful; the focus low-gearing allows for minute adjustment for total clarity - and then, when something happens much closer or further away, there is a lot of focus-cranking to get anywhere near it.
While not seeming related to the original question, it actually is - your 'main bin' has to have a lot going for it! I love the Nikon, but it couldn't be my main bin - it would have to be a lot faster, and then would lose what i like about it.
A binocular is a tool to achieve the best possible results in a range of situations that can't be anticipated - a case of 'man and machine' working in streamlined efficiency. As well as great design, optics, ergonomics and everything else with an 'ics' at the end of the word, there is also familiarity and practice.
This is why some folks will always do 'better' with the glass they've had for 30 years than someone else with the best that money can buy, with which they have no familiarity.
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Old Tuesday 19th May 2020, 21:48   #95
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Could an 8x32 be my "main" binocular? After having tried dozens over the past 3-4 years, I have arrived at the conclusion that there isn't much I can't do with 8x32 Conquest HD's. To me, they are the perfect combination of size, durability, weight, brightness, sharpness, handling, function and price.

You can beat them in any of those categories, but it's going to come with a penalty.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 04:57   #96
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Count me in the 8x32 category. I generally bird with a scope on the shoulder - 8x42s are just overkill. On the move, bins in the pocket of the field coat or bike handlebar bag or backpacking/dayhiking - 8x32s are perfect, 8x25s too small, unstable. If I need twilight bins - then I'd go really big, 8x56 or some such. That is the specialist bin.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 05:01   #97
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I also just want to chime in about the latent sniping etc. Get over it guys. Really unpleasant. 95% of us on the site come here to relax, those of us who work have enough stress in real life. And, there's a pandemic on. Spring is here, and it's gorgeous. Get out, do some birding, smell some roses, and live.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 13:29   #98
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I also just want to chime in about the latent sniping etc. Get over it guys. Really unpleasant. 95% of us on the site come here to relax, those of us who work have enough stress in real life. And, there's a pandemic on. Spring is here, and it's gorgeous. Get out, do some birding, smell some roses, and live.
:-)....I have been out 'birding' and thinking about birding more time this year than the last few years. love it....! ...Spring is here, a Great migration this year too. Yet, at night or in down-time, I enjoy the forum especially if I am in the 'hunt' for some gear to compliment what I already have but yes, I admit....the 'latent sniping' is not called for.

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 14:30   #99
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I am pretty convinced that for most of the time 8x32s work as well for birdwatching as 8x42s especially for the more mature birders.
I complemented my 10x40 Zeiss Dialyts for their 7x42s in the 1990s (phase corrected version) and rarely used the 10x.
On a visit to my optometrist some years I was informed that my eye pupils struggled to achieve 4mm diameter. When my wife had major surgery on her spinal chord she stopped using her 8x32 Nikon HG 8x32s. I took the opportunity to use the smaller and lighter 8x32s. I did not perceive a dimmer image and enjoyed the compactness and lightness of the smaller binocular.
Two factors which are rarely mentioned on these threads are physiology and psychology, the emphasis is naturally on optical qualities and optical excellence.
Some older (grey pound /dollar?) men I am sure feel the larger binocular is more suited to their image (psychology) ignoring the physiology which means large exit pupils are redundant. I understand that the pupil size is the limiting factor in image brightness and most of the time 4mm exit pupil size is ample (even in the UK). There are IMO spurious arguments about easier eye placement with larger exit pupils , but this has never been a significant factor
for me, similarly the argument that bigger objective lenses give better resolution have never been an issue to me.
The purpose of this post was to identify and recognize both the rational and emotional factors in choosing optics.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 15:05   #100
wllmspd
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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There is something special about a wide open view, which I miss when I use my Papilio.
I have some very old very wide 7x35, which have such a depth of Focus you don’t have to constantly adjust them, little eye relief and weigh a ton, so plenty of reasons I don’t reach for them normally. 8x3X are just as useful, but so much easier to carry about the place. Much younger me would have been shocked that I’d be happy with “such a small” pair of bins.....

Peter
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