Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Binoculars

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 20:15   #1
Bird19189
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: brentwood
Posts: 10
Binoculars

So I'm fairly new to serious birdwatching, I have a pair of 10x25 binoculars and I have a few issues with them:

I am naturally a little bit shaky with my hands and the x10 doesn't help

I find them too small in terms of range, anything over 100 foot is hard to depict colours, which slows down species recognition

The scope is poor I feel like I'm looking through a tube of smarties....

So I am hoping for suggestions, not on individual products but lenses I should be looking at......
I need good range clear sight up to 200m
Lenses that absorb a lot of light - my job entails me straining myeyes a lot, so I need compensating lenses
Weight of the binoculars is not an issue

On my very quick search I come to the conclusion of 7 x 42/50


what do we think?
Bird19189 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 20:57   #2
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 14,273
Perfect given your requirements. That said, any good quality 7-8 x 40-50 glass would be a huge improvement over your 10x 25.
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
fugl is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 4th January 2018, 18:52   #3
SimonLS
Registered User
 
SimonLS's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Essex
Posts: 47
Essex Wildlife Trust are holding an Optics Event at their Centre at Abberton Reservoir, not too far from you, on Sunday 7 Jan where you should be able to check out various models/specifications to see what suits you best, and ask questions face to face.
__________________
Regards,

Simon
SimonLS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 4th January 2018, 19:34   #4
Jaysan
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
Jaysan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Midlothian
Posts: 1,460
I have an RSPB HD 10x42. Love it. I dont notice the shake at all with this bin. Prefer it over the 8x42 any day. But nothing like testing it out as Simon suggests.
Jaysan is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 5th January 2018, 11:57   #5
Paul Longland
Registered User
 
Paul Longland's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: leicester
Posts: 477
A decent pair of 8x42 should do the trick. If weight is an issue you may want to look at something a little more compact such as an 8x32 but these are really better for close work such as woodland birding.

Also eye relief (distance from eyepiece to lens) is an important factor especially if you normally wear spectacles.

As with many things in life cost pays an important part and it often pays to go the best that you can afford. The top end makes, whilst more expensive, will usually have much better optics and build quality. A cheap option may turn out more expensive in the long run if they do not stand the test of time. That said there are some very acceptable budget optics available these days coming from china and the like.

As said before you should always try before you buy to ensure that they are compatible and meet your needs. Remember, even the poorest quality optics will look good on a bright sunny day. The real test is when it is dull. You get a better appreciation of the light gathering and colour definition performance.

Good luck
Paul Longland is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd May 2018, 00:14   #6
amgc36
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: southern California
Posts: 6
Definitely try out the x32 and x42 sizes. I find x32 binoculars to be too light and small for me to enjoy. I don't keep them as steady and given that I wear glasses most of the time, have not been impressed with the eye relief. 7x or 8x are great for all around use, good magnification and generally easy to hold steady.

If you can compare Alpha brand optics (even their 2nd level price points )side by side with value brands you'll get a better understanding of build quality, optics and what you are paying for. And you can decide what works for you price wise.
amgc36 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd May 2018, 13:47   #7
Colin Blues
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 15
To hammer home the point being made above: try before you buy.

Optics are not the things to buy on recommendation alone. If possible pick a day with poor light as this really shows up the quality of optics. Maybe make a day of it at a reserve that stocks a good range and don't get rushed into things.

When we moved on to quality binoculars, my wife and I went to the Bird Fair and visited the various stands multiple times trying things out.

Best wishes
Colin Blues is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 3rd May 2018, 23:46   #8
b3rd
Reg1stered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Washington, DC USA
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird19189 View Post
what do we think?
You should check out some of the posts on the Binocular sub-forum here on this site. There are a few people that like to bird with 7x and they will likely have some recommendations. You can get a very nice set of optics for not a lot of money. If you don't mind size/weight, I'd consider something x50ish if you are particularly wanting something that lets in a lot of light. In terms of what "everyone" uses, 8x42 is a very common configuration. If you want to seriously ditch the shake, Canon makes some IS binoculars that are quite good, but they might set you back some $$$.
b3rd is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 4th May 2018, 13:21   #9
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 4,972
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird19189 View Post
So I'm fairly new to serious birdwatching, I have a pair of 10x25 binoculars and I have a few issues with them:

I am naturally a little bit shaky with my hands and the x10 doesn't help

I find them too small in terms of range, anything over 100 foot is hard to depict colours, which slows down species recognition

The scope is poor I feel like I'm looking through a tube of smarties....

So I am hoping for suggestions, not on individual products but lenses I should be looking at......
I need good range clear sight up to 200m
Lenses that absorb a lot of light - my job entails me straining myeyes a lot, so I need compensating lenses
Weight of the binoculars is not an issue

On my very quick search I come to the conclusion of 7 x 42/50


what do we think?
There's a fair bit to it, but you should be able to get a useful improvement over your 10x25's.

Before delving into formats (power x objective size) I think it's worth mentioning a couple of points (some of which have been touched on already in posts answering your question).

First up is that 'fit' to your face /hands will have quite a bearing on how steady and satisfactory the view is. In general, the higher the magnification power, the less steady the view. 7, or 8x is generally the limit for handheld viewing, though with the right fit, 10x is entirely doable, sometimes more. Depending on the 'fit' to you, you may even find that a particular 10x bin is steadier to hold than another 7, or 8x.

Secondly as has already been mentioned, the more demanding conditions (such as low light, back lighting, dull skies etc) is where the higher quality bins will earn their keep.

Thirdly, your age will generally determine how much exit pupil (objective size divided by magnification) you can use. Young people can use 5 or 6mm or more, whilst someone in their 70's say is mostly maxed out at about 4mm in daylight and can even get away with 3mm. If the exit pupil of your binoculars is less than what your eye can readily use then the binoculars will appear to lose brightness (as your 10x25's might). Generally about 5mm is pretty good.

Fourthly, you need to have the correct eye relief (distance from your eye to the ocular lens). If you wear glasses, this may limit your choice though most bins these days are pretty good. If you don't wear glasses, then the eye cups need to extend far enough to suit you.

It's all about the 'fit' for you. You really need to try the bins in person. One format/brand will 'speak to you'. Certainly they'll all have something to say to your wallet at any rate!

As has been said 8x42 is a pretty good all rounder. I don't think you need to go to 50mm unless you are young and looking at a 10x50. Some people love a 7x42, and if most of your viewing is close-in amongst dense vegetation on fast moving subjects in low light then you might too. The extra wide field 8x42 Zeiss SF and Nikon MHG pretty much negate 7x bins to a large extent these days.

If a bit older, or looking at more open environments, then a 10x42 might be your cup of tea, or even a 10x32.

Whichever format you choose, generally quality counts and there aren't too many substitutes for it.

I would suggest a 8x42, or 8.5x42 would be a good start. Bins such as the Zeiss SF, or HT, or Swarovski SV, or SLC, or Nikon EDG or MHG have lots to recommend them. You might also like a Leica UVHD+ if you don't wear glasses, or an NV if you do. In an 8x32 I like the Swarovski 8x32 SV.

In a 10x, the Swarovski 10x50 SV is king. In a 10x42 the Zeiss SF, or Nikon MHG are good. The only 10x32 I like is the Swarovski SV. The wider fields of these particular 10x's make them useful in general in my view. The other thing to remember with 10x is that depth of field (dof - the range of distance in focus at any one time) is pretty thin. This may be a disadvantage (or advantageous) depending on your requirements.

As has been said previously, you might also like a stabilized bin - Canon's 10x42 springs to mind .....

If your hands are a bit shaky as you say, then ergonomics /fit will be the most important of the factors I mentioned.



Chosun
Chosun Juan is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 7th May 2018, 07:07   #10
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,218
Nice summary CJ.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 09:07   #11
baz1973
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London
Posts: 13
Just a quick note to say: Don't forget about porros. If there's one single bit of advice that I wish I'd had, it would have been to consider porros in my binocular search. The ergonomics suit me, the 3d view is lovely, and the quality of the optics for the money seems much better. Roofs have advantages too, but do check out both.
baz1973 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Birding binoculars vs. hunting binoculars justabirdwatcher Binoculars 60 Thursday 18th June 2015 04:34
Zen-Ray Binoculars Giveaways. Ultimate Prize: two pairs of PRIME HD binoculars ZEN-RAY Binoculars 11696 Thursday 17th May 2012 07:48
Old B & L binoculars ensis Bushnell - Bausch & Lomb 2 Thursday 6th April 2006 22:58
binoculars fergalorion Binoculars 6 Wednesday 30th March 2005 23:57
$100 to $200 US binoculars vs. $1000+ US binoculars Rich N Others 5 Friday 17th September 2004 22:23

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17656398 seconds with 23 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 22:25.