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Beginner's questions - Which sizes ?

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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 00:21   #1
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Beginner's questions - Which sizes ?

Birding comes third to hiking and photography for me, and I find my old 8x30 Bins are too heavy and fiddly to use (especially with specs).
I want some new general-purpose ones I will actually carry (and with better Eye Relief).

My first question (having checked the effects, but before considering brands) is whether to choose Objective size 25 or 32 - knowing the bigger will be brighter and easier to use BUT I know I won't bother to carry anything big and heavy regularly.

Then whether to choose magnification 8x or 10x - knowing the first's wider view will be steadier and quicker to find subjects, but 10x will show me more satisfying detail (and be another bonus over my old 8x30).
If only Zooms really worked.

With a budget of under 100, what sizes should I choose ?
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 00:29   #2
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10x will NOT show you more satisfying detail with an objective that small, the tiny exit pupil and hand shake will negate any increase in magnification. Now, it would be one thing if you were willing to spend 1500 on a Leica or Zeiss 10x32 but for 100.... not so much. Chasing extra magnification is often a fool's errand.

It's very hard to find a decent compact below 30mm objective size... I would try to find the lightest, most compact 8x32 I could find. There may be some decent 8x28's around also...
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 00:35   #3
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you can get some fairly good compact bins that will fit in a jacket pocket for around that price. I'd go for 8x magnification myself that way your image should still be reasonably sharp.
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 02:24   #4
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Get a good 8 x 25 reverse porro prism like the Olympus or the Nikon Pro Staff or the one made by Opticron and sold over there.

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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 07:34   #5
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Check out my review of the Opticron Discovery WP PC 8 x 32 in the reviews section. I would avoid 10 x at this price.
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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 08:05   #6
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Of the ones I've tried the Olympus PCI 8x25 (Tracker) would be my choice for a under 100 compact, but it isn't waterproof if that's important. The EX Nikon Travelite EX is waterproof and not bad either.

One I haven't tried. The Hawke Frontier PC reviewed by CliveP recently sounds quite good:

Though a little over 100, I tried the Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x32 swalker mentioned last weekend. I rather liked it as well. Yes it is probably bettered by the reverse porros, but for a small light weight roof, it was rather fun.


Last edited by typo : Wednesday 21st December 2011 at 08:10.
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