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7X42 format.

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Old Saturday 20th April 2019, 21:10   #1
wachipilotes
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7X42 format.

Hello,
On this occasion I would like to ask if you would really consider the 7x42 format as a good binocular birding, and I ask it because usually when we talk about 42mm or we mention 8X or 10X as usual binoculars for that purpose.
Has any of you been able to compare a 7X with an 8X42? At the level of pupillary removal we would have a 5.25 vs 6mm, maybe not too much difference maybe during a day observation.
Regarding the level of magnification, the difference between 7x and 8X is 1X, not a whole world ... So why is this format often mentioned or chosen much less?

Has anyone seen superiority of the 7x42 format over the 8X42?

Regards,
Wachi
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Old Saturday 20th April 2019, 21:37   #2
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Wachi,

7x42 binoculars offer superiority of Field of View and superiority of Depth of Field over 8x42 binoculars.That is, they have a larger FOV when looking for and identifying Hawks in the sky and a longer DOF when following birds in flight through the nearby wooded undergrowth,

Jerry Liquori, the author of 2 books on Hawk Watching and Hawk Identification:Hawks At A Distance and Hawks at any Angle; always used a 7x42 binocular although he did specify that it be a "High Quality" binocular; "because most 7x42's offer a wide field of view." (See p.8 of "Hawks At A Distance).

My personal experiences with these binoculars confirms that.

Bob

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 00:25   #3
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7x isn't that popular for birding and not many manufacturers are making them anymore because the majority of people have decided it isn't enough magnification and they don't sell well even with all it's advantages. There was a comment on Bird Forum that a Zeiss Rep said they sold one 7x42 in two years. If 7x has so many advantages why not go to 6x which has better DOF and a bigger FOV. It is because the majority of people feel the magnification is too weak. 7x has a wide FOV but the AFOV is smaller than a comparable 8x. I just had a Nikon EDG 7x42 and although I liked the easy eye placement and relaxed FOV the birds just aren't as big and you can't see detail as well as in an 8x and it just didn't have as much WOW as my 8x32 SV. True, a 7x has a big FOV but the objects IN the FOV are smaller and harder to see. Also, because of Twilight Factor you will see more in low light with a binocular of equivalent aperture and higher magnification like an 8x42 or 10x42 than you will with a 7x42. The Nikon 7x42 EDG even with it's wide FOV only has a 56 degree AFOV and even the Zeiss 7x42 FL only has a 60 degree AFOV compared to the 64 degree's of the 8x32 SV. IMO the AFOV is what really gives you that WOW factor when you use a binocular. People have decided 8x is the best compromise in FOV, AFOV, DOF and magnification and from what I am seeing 8x32 is getting to be the most popular birding format because it checks more of the boxes than any other size especially size and weight and there is very little difference in performance between a 32mm and a 42mm in 95% of birding situations.

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 02:34   #4
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Wachi,

Dennis is right. If you want your birds to look bigger get a higher power binocular.

Bob

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 05:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,

Has anyone seen superiority of the 7x42 format over the 8X42?

Regards,
Wachi
I think @Ceasar is right, and 7x is just about gone from the market and also 8x32 is now eating the lunch of the 8x42 models. The fact that some 8x32 designs fit in a large pocket probably helps.

As a hobby painter I like my 7x because the view with and without the glasses is very easy to reconcile. They are stable, easy to look through, but also easy to put down. I bought my new-old-stock Leica 7x42 because some members of the forum said this ratio gives exceptional stability, brightness and comfort, and they were totally right. But as I noticed during my buying spree, fashion is definitely moving the other way.

BTW, maths alone woud lead me to suspect that 7x42 would be brighter than 8x42, other things being equal. But Im' not sure this means you can see stuff better at dusk - I haven't yet figured out what twilight factor really means. Also, in some cases 7x might have fewer lenses and thus fewer surfaces, and again better brightness. However any 7x models tend to be old tech ...

So far, as a beginner, I have been struck by one model, the Zeiss SF. It is said that the 10x42 gives as much field as some 8x models, and the magnification is of course large, so you might want to look at it.

Edmund
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 07:21   #6
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Over many years, I have been waiting to encounter a professional (or serious hobby) birder who would give me a credible account of an excursion during which he had NOT been able to identify a species with his 7x bino, but would have been able to identify it with an 8x. I am still waiting .....

Handheld binocular efficiency (see „Field Guide to Binoculars and Scopes“) makes it unlikely that an 8x bino would show substantially more detail than a 7x of equal quality, especially in field applications where the user is moving (mounted, the story is of course a different one).

The switch in the binocular markets from from 7x to 8x over the years has in my view a lot to do with marketing of producers and perception of users.

Just my 2 ct.

Canip
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 07:34   #7
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Whilst agreeing with a lot of the views as to why 7 x 42 is not in most manufacturers stable these days, I recall fondly looking through a Nikon porro 7 x 35 and Leitz roof 7 x 35 a few years ago. Very agreeable viewing for me. My kitchen and back garden bins remain the Dialyt 7 x 42.
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 10:45   #8
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I've used 8x binos for many years and now use 7x42 as my main binocular for the last 3+ years.
I have just 2 binos now: 7x42 Ultravid Plus and Swaro CL 8x30 (old version)

The main features I enjoy in my 7x:

Very easy eye placement while wearing eyeglasses due to large 6mm EP; Large impressive window view; a very comfortable viewing experience.

Calmer image (less shake) compared to higher power binos

Wider true field of view than many 8x42 binoculars; 420 ft @1000 yds in the Ultravid. There are exceptions like 8x42 SF which has a very wide FOV.

also when I was comparing 8x42 vs 7x42 ultravids, the following swayed me towards the 7x42 purchase:

Slightly more eye relief compared to 8x42 Ultravid; 15.5 vs 17mm

A little more than 2 ounces lighter than 8x42

I don't find 1x difference in mag to be significant to me. I go back and forth between my 7x42 and 8x30 and don't see an advantage in 1x more power. However, some people perceive a big enough difference and need the extra power.

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 12:46   #9
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Wachi,

The best thing to do is to use both concurrently, you may find out which one you prefer - not others opinions. Never rely on what others say (those are their opinions), try for your self and make your own decision.
I do agree with the last sentence from Canip, regarding the switch from 7X to 8X.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 15:15   #10
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Is there really such a difference between 7X vs 8X?
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 15:32   #11
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IMO there is. But like dries1 said in his post try them yourself. Some people like them. I notice quite a bit of difference in moving up or down 1x magnification in binoculars. I have tried many 7x binoculars over the years and I always come back to 8x and 10x. I always feel the 7x are too weak and the popular opinion must agree. To my eyes there is definitely a difference in 7x and 8x magnification binoculars.

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 18:54   #12
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Ok!
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,
On this occasion I would like to ask if you would really consider the 7x42 format as a good binocular birding, and I ask it because usually when we talk about 42mm or we mention 8X or 10X as usual binoculars for that purpose.
Has any of you been able to compare a 7X with an 8X42? At the level of pupillary removal we would have a 5.25 vs 6mm, maybe not too much difference maybe during a day observation.
Regarding the level of magnification, the difference between 7x and 8X is 1X, not a whole world ... So why is this format often mentioned or chosen much less?

Has anyone seen superiority of the 7x42 format over the 8X42?

Regards,
Wachi
I actually probably use a 7X42 the MOST of any format type for birding. I have quite a few too; Opticron WP PC, Meopta B.1, Nikon EDG, Zeiss FL, Swarovski SLC, Swarovski Habicht, Leica BN, and Leica UVHD+. It's too bad there isn't an SV 7X32. Most need to actually USE a 7X42 in the field for a bit before being critical. Positive aspects are huge exit pupil, usually larger FOV than their 8X counterpart, lots of ER, ease of use, and large depth of field. I believe most folks get 8X thinking it is the best compromise between 10X and 7X and it IS a good one. Many are afraid that 7X won't be enough magnification for birding and that 8X will. It too depends on terrain and foliage if splitting hairs. It would be a rare occasion indeed for a 7X to not be enough magnification for most birding situations.

Personally, I think a good 7X and a good 10X would be a great way to go....
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:29   #14
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I wonder if I just bought the only 7x42 that Leica will sell this year


Anyhow, no buyer regrets after one month, they’re very easy on the eyes

Regards
Andy
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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 23:38   #15
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The 7x provides a very easy viewing experience, so if you plan to have your eyes to the binoculars for long periods of time (such as when hawk watching or warblers necking into the high trees), it can have a lot of benefit. I find it easier to get 'roughly' in focus as well, so for small birds flitting around in dense vegetation, it can allow for quicker identification.
I also use an 8x42 a lot (and a IS 10x some) and can't say they 8x would have ever afforded me an identification that the 7x would not. 7x vs 10x is maybe a more compelling argument for certain birds in terms of ease of identification (which is also experience based - many of the birds I use my 10x for are shorebirds I don't often see).
In general, the views between 7x and 8x are very similar and I think the 8x is a perfectly happy medium for most users, hence why they are so popular; many birders are also not particularly familiar with GISS/vocal focused birding, so they often think more magnification results in more accurate identification.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 02:31   #16
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I'm probably the only one that does this, but when I am doing serious birding I carry a 7x and a 10x around my neck. I use the 7x if the bird is close in dense cover and the 10x if it's farther away. 7x wider FOV and easier to get glass on the bird. But too week to ID small birds at a longer distance, whereas the 10x almost always gets that job done. If I only was going to own one binocular an 8x would be it, as long as it had wide FOV around 420ft @1000ft.

Sometimes I only carry the 10x or 7x alone if I am only birding in habitat where I wouldn't need the other.

I much rather have a 10x for observing birds of prey instead of 7x as was mentioned before. But that is just a personal opinion.

I currently use Tract Toric 10x42 and Sightmark Solitude 7x36. I also have Sightron Blue Ski II 8x32, it stays in the car for random needs.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 02:48   #17
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I'm probably the only one that does this, but when I am doing serious birding I carry a 7x and a 10x around my neck. I use the 7x if the bird is close in dense cover and the 10x if it's farther away. 7x wider FOV and easier to get glass on the bird. But too week to ID small birds at a longer distance, whereas the 10x almost always gets that job done. If I only was going to own one binocular an 8x would be it, as long as it had wide FOV around 420ft @1000ft.

Sometimes I only carry the 10x or 7x alone if I am only birding in habitat where I wouldn't need the other.

I much rather have a 10x for observing birds of prey instead of 7x as was mentioned before. But that is just a personal opinion.

I currently use Tract Toric 10x42 and Sightmark Solitude 7x36. I also have Sightron Blue Ski II 8x32, it stays in the car for random needs.
W,
I do this too and have for quite a while. I carry one of the 7X42s and right now usually a SV 12X50....sometimes a 10X42 but usually the 12X50.

Now if it came down to ONE binocular it would be either the 8.5X42 SV or the Maven 9X45...
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 11:02   #18
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I'll add my support for the 7x42 format. Having birded in over 20 countries and observed about 2000 species, I've yet to find my SLC's lacking. If you need more magnification, you can always carry a scope. I have also owned and used a pair of 10x42 Zeiss, which were fantastic; using them in enclosed environments such as rainforest was a bit claustrophobic, and as a result I ended up getting rid of them. Personally I'm not convinced by the difference in magnification between 7x versus 8x (I use an 8x32 for work due to size/weight), though there is clearly a difference when you step up to 10x. I think W. Travis and Chuck are onto something, but I wouldn't want to drag the additional kit around for the most part.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 15:58   #19
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Handheld, I find 7x easier on the eyes. Not a huge difference between it and 8x. I think 7x is an excellent general purpose mag. There’s a reason militaries over the world use 7x. I have 7x42 and 8x42, I have no plans to sell either. They are tools in my toolbox.
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 22:28   #20
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AFOV compared to the 64 degree's of the 8x32 SV.
Hello,

that is not correct...
http://www.optik-foto-mueller.com/sw...e_Daten_FG.pdf
The apparent field of vision is 61 degrees...

Andreas

P.S. Sorry, only in German, see "augenseitiges Sehfeld."

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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 00:33   #21
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Hello,

that is not correct...
http://www.optik-foto-mueller.com/sw...e_Daten_FG.pdf
The apparent field of vision is 61 degrees...

Andreas

P.S. Sorry, only in German, see "augenseitiges Sehfeld."
A lot of the manufacturers use different methods to compute AFOV. So it becomes hard to compare different binoculars across the board. I use the simplified method of FOV(Degrees)XMagnification=AFOV(Degrees). So the SV 8x32 is 8X8=64 Degrees AFOV and the Nikon 7x42 EDG is 8X7=56 Degrees AFOV.
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 04:01   #22
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When comparing FOV....is comparing a 42mm platform to 32mm platform an apples to apples comparison? If one wants to do that let's start another topic.... If one wants to compare 7X to 8X then fine...but let's stick to a 42mm platform since there aren't any comparable 7X32s AFAIK...

ALL expressed as [email protected]

7X42 UVHD+ - 420ft
8X42 UVHD+ - 389ft

SLC 7X42 - 420ft
SLC 8X42 - 408ft

Victory FL 7X42 - 450ft
Victory FL 8X42 - 405ft

EDG 7X42 - 420ft
EDG 8X42 - 405ft

Meopta B1 7X42 - 411ft
Meopta B1 8X42 - 402ft

With the type of birding I do from now thru October I feel like a 7X42 may have a slight advantage but I also realize this is completely personal preference. But why in the world would I use a 7X42 when I can walk out the door with a 8X42? OR a 8X32?
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 10:18   #23
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I use the simplified method of FOV(Degrees)XMagnification=AFOV(Degrees).
Hello Dennis,

This method is extremely inaccurate!
Example Swarovski 12x50, 5.7 degrees FOVx 12 is 68.4 degrees AFOV manufacturer 63 degrees!
I measured the 12x50, (63 degrees) the Swarovski 8,5x42 (60 degrees) and the Zeiss SF (64 degrees), in all measurements the manufacturer's specifications are correct.
The Nikon EDG 7x42 has only 54 degrees!
The manufacturer of some glasses do not perform correct measurement and use the above simple formula is regrettable, but these data are often much too high.
For high-end eyewear, the manufacturer's measurements are usually the same and why should Swarovski at the 12x50 "only" specify 63 degrees for the AFOV if it is according to your formula in reality 68.4 degrees?
Understatement ... why?

Andreas
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 11:38   #24
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I've never really understood the obsession with AFOV... Isn't true field of view more important when trying to pick up on birds? I know I'd rather have a 7x42 with a 420' field than an 8x42 with a 380' field when scanning for warblers, hawks, etc. I know I can pick up more along the periphery of my view with my 7x UVHD than my lower field specified 8x binoculars.

Justin
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 14:17   #25
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I've never really understood the obsession with AFOV... Isn't true field of view more important when trying to pick up on birds?

Justin
Hello Justin,

yes, that's right, but there are many people here who want to know something about binoculars, so it is important to at least correctly specify the parameters that are objectively determinable,only that was my point, the difference between 61 degrees and 64 degrees AFOV is significant, and AFOV is for many People no unimportant criterion to buy binoculars.
I like to enjoy a "window view" even if the facial field is smaller compared to another glass, you are just more "in" the binoculars.

Andreas
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