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binocular usability based on weight and lens size

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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 21:29   #1
FlightTest
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binocular usability based on weight and lens size

Hi. I'm looking for binoculars for my 70+ parents who are going on an Alaska cruise later this year and also like to look at birds in their backyard and on the occasional short hike. I need something < $100 that's easy for amateurs who wear glasses to use and carry. I'm open to suggestions, but the two that seem to fit are:

Levehuk Karma Pro 8x32
https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...rmaPro-166.htm

Carson RD 8x26
https://carson.com/products/rd-series-rd-826/

Levehuk weighs 19 oz, the surface area of the lens is larger and it's fully multi-coated. The Carson weighs 10 oz and it's partially multi-coated. Will the difference in weight and lenses make a difference in image quality and how easy it is to use the binoculars? I see my parents using the lighter Carson more, but not if there's a clear difference in usability and clarity. Thanks.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 22:27   #2
jring
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Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

I can't really comment on the bins you mentioned, as I don't know them. But I would recommend a Leupold Yosemite/Kowa YF/Opticron Savanah WP in 6x30 in that situation.

It should be in budget, the lower magnification is easy to hold steady at sea and also if the hands are not as steady as they used to be, 5mm exit pupil makes for easy eye placement and good brightness in bad light.

Also they have a quite generous 21mm eye relief which should work with most glasses and are fairly small, light and waterproof.

Joachim
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 23:24   #3
Pileatus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightTest View Post
Hi. I'm looking for binoculars for my 70+ parents who are going on an Alaska cruise later this year and also like to look at birds in their backyard and on the occasional short hike. I need something < $100 that's easy for amateurs who wear glasses to use and carry. I'm open to suggestions, but the two that seem to fit are:

Levehuk Karma Pro 8x32
https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...rmaPro-166.htm

Carson RD 8x26
https://carson.com/products/rd-series-rd-826/

Levehuk weighs 19 oz, the surface area of the lens is larger and it's fully multi-coated. The Carson weighs 10 oz and it's partially multi-coated. Will the difference in weight and lenses make a difference in image quality and how easy it is to use the binoculars? I see my parents using the lighter Carson more, but not if there's a clear difference in usability and clarity. Thanks.
I'll second what Joachim said...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...1YG&ap=y&smp=y

Learn how to set the diopter and eyecups and they should enjoy them. I only mention this because I run into a lot of beginners who don't understand the purpose of a diopter or the use of eyecups. A few have been amazed at the improvement when I adjusted the diopter to their eyes.
I owned a pair of these bins for a few years but eventually gave them to a friend. She loves them.

Last edited by Pileatus : Monday 11th February 2019 at 23:29.
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 00:20   #4
ceasar
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Hi Flight Test:

The Leupold 6x30 Yosemite that Joachim recommends would be an ideal binocular for your parents to take on an Alaska Cruise.

Here are a number of reviews from the Bird Forum Binocular Reviews site of the Leupold 6x30 Yosemite binocular. They date back to 2006.

https://www.birdforum.net/reviews/sh...uct/171/cat/10

I have owned one for at least that long. I loaned it to my brother some time after 2006 and he won't give it back to me!

Your parents will be very pleased with it.


Here is a review I made of mine in 2006 here on Bird Forum on April 26, 2006.

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...56&postcount=9

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Tuesday 12th February 2019 at 00:33.
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 04:22   #5
FlightTest
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Joachim - I don't find many comments specific to senior citizens on binocular reviews, so it was useful to get feedback from an experienced user like yourself.

Pileatus - Now that I think about it, my parents probably would try to use it without adjusting the diopter. I'll have to read the manual and guide them through it!

ceasar - thanks for the links. I was on the fence about only 6x, but Joachim's comments made sense and your links convinced me that lower magnification can still be very useful.
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 07:40   #6
LesR
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I will also recommend the light Leupold 6x30 Yosemite for use on a boat, I've used mine for the last 5 years on my many trips across the English channel to France. As a 60+ year old I find them much easier to keep steady on the boat than my 8 & 10 x 42 binoculars, your parents will love them.

Les.
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 11:19   #7
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Another vote for the 8x30 Kowa YF/Yosemite.
I have a 8x30 YF and I'm really happy with it, I consider it a great binocular for the price (well, and regardless of price actually). It is a light and waterproof (or weatherproof, at least) binocular in the porro format, which is in its own right something remarkable and then there's the lovely 3D image only a porro can provide. Besides, to me it has a great "tactile" side to it (if fits perfectly in my hands, and the rubber armour feels nice to hold). Both the 8x and especially the 6x have a more than reasonable field of view.

After my experience with the 8x I gave my mum the 6x as a present for backyard birdwatching (she's nearly the same age as your parents) and she's very happy with them. My main concerns were reliability, shake and size (her hands are both shaky and small). And the Kowa ticks all those boxes for around 100 €. I haven't tried the Leupold so I can't comment on that. However, I did try the Eagle Optics sibling on 8,5x (you can find it heavily discounted at the moment), and while I found the build quality even better than the Kowa (for me, the only downside of the Kowa is the focus wheel), the image was not up to the same standard (I don't know if it was due to coatings, but I found it a tad dimmer, but YMMV).
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 13:18   #8
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I'm very surprised that none of my postings (from around 3 years ago) of this Pentax 8x30 never got any attention. I have three of them, and I find them all excellent for now only $99. I find them much better than the one Yosemite 8x30 sample I once tried. Those gave me a headache. The one review on the B&H Photo website is mine. Following is the link to the binocular; click on the Reviews tab. They are listed as special order (7-10 days), but maybe another vendor has them in stock: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...binocular.html
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 14:48   #9
FlightTest
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Thanks, Les and yarrellii. Usability is the biggest concern for my parents, so your comments are helpful.

Thanks, Howard. I'll look into the Pentax. Any ideas on what I should look for in a binocular to avoid headaches?
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 16:01   #10
jring
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Hi,

yes, adjusting interpupilary distance aka IPD and diopter for the user is important and can take a bit of time - that's why one should ideally not share binoculars... unlike spotting scopes which don't have this problem with their single eyepiece....

A very common cause for a headache while using binoculars is a pair which is out of collimation, so the two tubes don't point in exactly the same direction.
When the decollimation is large, you will see different images in both tubes and your brain will not be able to merge the images.
If it is not so large, your brain will be able to merge the images but you might get a headache after a while.

Something similar could happen if one tube is not exactly in focus - e.g. due to not quite correct diopter settings. Your eyes might be able to accomodate regardless, but once again a headache might be the consequence after some time.

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 16:16   #11
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At 70 plus the eyes accommodation is likely to be very small, so it is important to get the dioptre set accurately.
In some binoculars this cannot be easily achieved as there is stiction or drag as one focuses leading to variable dioptre.
Hopefully, the 6x binoculars mentioned should be O.K.
Also the problem is less with 6x binoculars usually.
I would go with 6x not 8x.

Also an annual eye test is recommended.

B.
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 02:31   #12
FlightTest
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Thanks, Joachim and Binastro. I'll start them off with one bin and get a second if they like the first and don't like readjusting each time.
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