Originally Posted by HeadWest
As I consider adding a pair of 10x42 to my current single pair of 8x42, I am interested to hear about which birding situations best lend themselves to each magnification. When do you opt for the 10x and vice versa? Thanks.
I use the Nikon 8x32 SE. The correct response to that should be, “Who bloody cares?”
For birding, 8 to 10 power rules the roost. Most of it comes down to personal preference. I’ve seen “conscientious” shoppers look out my window at Captain’s with two or three binoculars for more than 2 hours, which would only tell an integrity-challenged salesperson that they are clueless and ripe for the picking. Good advertising need not be accurate or even meaningful. It has only to be believed.
If you do your homework BEFORE going shopping, you can go through a bevy of 20 binoculars in 20 minutes—30 if you’re slow of thought. One size does not fit all. Many, if not most, first or second-time binocular shoppers are unfamiliar with some of the more important aspects of a good image or physical attributes of the instrument. In addition, some folks blame every undesirable facet of a view on the instrument when the largest portion of the problem lies with our own physiological differences, shortcomings, and irrelevant conditions that are most useful for bragging sessions on binocular forums.
My first telescope was a Gilbert 3-inch reflector in a paper tube, with a built-in plastic focuser and EP combination. With it, I saw Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter in that order. As an adult, I’ve owned several of the finest amateur telescopes known to man. With them, I have seen Distortion, Chromatic Aberration, Coma, Astigmatism, Field Curvature, etc. When do you think I had the most pleasure under the stars? U betcha!
No, the above was NOT politically correct. Political correctness just trades COMMUNICATION for OBFUSCATION which hides facts and confuses the honest truth seeker.
The succinct bottom line:
Buy a 30 to 40 millimeter binocular with an 8 to 10 magnification and use it until YOU see a reason to NEED something else. I have it on solid authority that the birds ... don’t care!
Finally, 8 and 10 power are so close, it usually (though not always) takes a nitnoid to get spun up over the difference.