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Decide on three compact binoculars

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Old Thursday 8th January 2015, 22:46   #1
wachipilotes
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Decide on three compact binoculars

Hello,
I'm trying to decide on one of the following models, compact binoculars:
- Minox BV 8x25 BR
- Canon 8X25 IS
- Kowa BD 8x25 DCF Series
Could someone advise me on this?
Thank you very much in advance for your attention and advice.
Wachi
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Old Thursday 8th January 2015, 23:53   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,
I'm trying to decide on one of the following models, compact binoculars:
- Minox BV 8x25 BR
- Canon 8X25 IS
- Kowa BD 8x25 DCF Series
Could someone advise me on this?
Thank you very much in advance for your attention and advice.
Wachi
I think I would go with the Canon 8x25 IS. For the money the best optics. The Canon 10x30 IS is quite a bit better but it is bigger. The stabilization will help you see detail.
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 00:40   #3
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An 8x25 IS just seems like a waste of time and money?

Why did they even venture into that format?

Bryce...
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 01:36   #4
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An 8x25 IS just seems like a waste of time and money?

Why did they even venture into that format?

Bryce...
Have you read this thread about the Canon 8x25 IS? Interesting.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=296972
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 13:18   #5
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Hello,
I am looking a pocket binocular , small, maneageable for all purporse, camping, birding, wide angle day vistas..
Thank you very much
Wachi
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 16:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,
I am looking a pocket binocular , small, maneageable for all purporse, camping, birding, wide angle day vistas..
Thank you very much
Wachi
The Canon 8x25 IS is pretty small.
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 19:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,
I am looking a pocket binocular , small, maneageable for all purporse, camping, birding, wide angle day vistas..
Thank you very much
Wachi
Pocket, that's the key.
Of the bunch, I'd pick the Kowa
(I think it's the BD, actually)
http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...inocular-green
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 22:14   #8
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Of your choices I've only owned the Canon IS 8x25. I didn't like it. Cheap plasticky build, and jumpy, jerky IS. You don't need IS at 8x.
Get yourself a Hawke Sapphire ED 8x25 and be done with it.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 04:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
Of your choices I've only owned the Canon IS 8x25. I didn't like it. Cheap plasticky build, and jumpy, jerky IS. You don't need IS at 8x.
Get yourself a Hawke Sapphire ED 8x25 and be done with it.
Thank you Sancho, I rest my case.

Bryce...
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 18:53   #10
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Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
Of your choices I've only owned the Canon IS 8x25. I didn't like it. Cheap plasticky build, and jumpy, jerky IS. You don't need IS at 8x.
Get yourself a Hawke Sapphire ED 8x25 and be done with it.
Binastro disagrees with you.




"Canon 8x25 IS brief test
. This test of the 8×25 image stabilised binocular on a bright sunny day.
Weight 498 g with battery.
Field 6.50° or 6.55° approximately, no chance to test it on the stars.

Almost no chromatic aberration centrally, some chromatic aberration at the edges.

A small amount of pincushion distortion at the edges.

Possibly made in April 2014. Made in Japan

Compared with a full-size top-quality 10×42 binocular the image in the 8×25 is much less bright.
However, the white pillars are white.

The resolution of the small pimple on the chimney pot 400 feet away is 50% to 70% better than without the image stabiliser. In fact it cannot be seen without the stabiliser.
But I'm judging it against many other binoculars.
The resolution of the 8×25 with the stabiliser on is equivalent to a good standard 13 times binocular. This is for a static target.

Looking at an aircraft about 2 1/2 miles away it was easy to read the carrier's name on the side of the aircraft with the stabiliser on but impossible to read it with the stabiliser off.
On a moving target such as this the resolution is 100% better with the stabiliser on.
And an aircraft 10 miles distant easily showed the winglets with the stabiliser on but these were not seen with the stabiliser off.

A carrion crow happened to be sitting 1.5 feet to the right of the pimple on the chimney pot.
Much more detail was seen with the stabiliser on, perhaps 100% better.
However, there was a hint of false colour at the edge of the crows outline.

With the stabiliser on, the oscillations have about the same frequency as with the stabiliser off, but the amplitude is about 1/8 as much.
This looks rather strange if you carefully examine the detail, as there is an obvious fairly rapid but very small oscillation.
This seems to be quite different to the stabilisation of the larger Canon binoculars such as the 18×50 and others of 10×,12 times and 15 times.

The 8×25 has a tilt mechanism apparently of the third element of the objective from the front, whereas I think that the others have variable prisms.
There is also an optical window in front of the 8×25 and I think in front of many, perhaps all of the other Canon image stabilised binoculars.

If you look into the front of the binocular you can see an element moving as you press the stabiliser button. The stabiliser only operates when you press the button.

There are two perhaps three uncoated surfaces at the front of the binocular, but the eyepiece, which is quite complex has nice multi-coatings.
I would guess that the transmission is about 75% to 80%.
I don't know how the focusing is done, or whether the tilting element is also the focusing element, but probably not?

This is a great little binocular for some, but it is not waterproof.
It will be mainly used for watching cricket matches.
It does not seem to be as robust as a top quality binocular, but it costs less than half as much.
The guarantee is only one year.
For elderly people or people who have unsteady hands this should definitely be a binocular to be considered.

I have tested an earlier 8×25 image stabilised binocular but I'm not sure if it had a different stabiliser system."
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 19:17   #11
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I just added to that post a brief test of an older 8x25 that moves whole front internal groups rather than single elements of the new system.
Inertia must be much less and the new system probably much quicker to counteract hand movement plus possible faster software?
The old system is jerky.

Last edited by Binastro : Saturday 10th January 2015 at 19:20.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 19:33   #12
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[b]Binastro disagrees with you.[/.
Ah no worries Dennis. I'm sure Binastro and I will never come to blows over a binocular. And I'm well-used to being disagreed with; OH disagrees with me on many things, particularly my abilities to perform useful tasks.

Last edited by Sancho : Saturday 10th January 2015 at 19:47.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 20:05   #13
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Hi Wachi,

Adding one more that I ended up getting (also was looking at the Minox): Opticron T3 Trailfinder WP 8x25. Low price point, really good armoring and build, tethered objective lens caps, nice padded case, close focus, lightweight and a very clear view to boot. Not the best out there--(I mean $95!) but for some very decent optics to pack and go, this was a good choice for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
Hello,
I'm trying to decide on one of the following models, compact binoculars:
- Minox BV 8x25 BR
- Canon 8X25 IS
- Kowa BD 8x25 DCF Series
Could someone advise me on this?
Thank you very much in advance for your attention and advice.
Wachi
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 20:08   #14
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One proviso, although the old binocular seems to have a good battery, I will retest with a brand new battery as I know from experience subtle changes as battery slowly discharges.

Sancho, no problems.

I know birdwatchers need different things to my interests.
Bright image, waterproof, tough, reliable etc. Resolution is only one aspect of binocular suitability.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 22:55   #15
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Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
I just added to that post a brief test of an older 8x25 that moves whole front internal groups rather than single elements of the new system.
Inertia must be much less and the new system probably much quicker to counteract hand movement plus possible faster software?
The old system is jerky.
Interesting so they did change the IS system on the 8x25 IS. The Canon IS's have very good optics. Maybe not alpha level but the fact of the matter is if you want to see detail most people will see more on a tripod or with a Canon IS. Being steady helps. The Canon 8x25 IS's are very popular with the general public. Look at all the 5 and 4 star reviews on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Image-St...ustomerReviews

Last edited by [email protected] : Sunday 11th January 2015 at 00:03.
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 19:08   #16
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Okay, I confess. The IS 8x25 actually do have very nice, flat optics. Not very impressive FOV, but great colour, contrast and sharpness. For looking at garden birds, they are superb; you will see amazing feather detail in rock-steady views.
But for practical birding in the field, they are next to useless. On pressing the IS button, there is a massive jump in the view, followed by a fuzz which requires re-focussing. A skulky warbler can be lost long before you re-adjust. Also when panning, the image shifts in and out of focus unbearably. These two issues, added to the cheap non-waterproof finish, make them unsuitable for all but stationary birding of practically motionless birds.
Oddly, the Canons I most enjoyed using (and I've owned them all, bar the 18x50), were the 12x36. But I dropped them.
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 20:01   #17
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. It may be that the problem of going out of focus has been cured with the new system.

The old system, from what I can see, moves the whole front internal elements, including critically, the objectives, and the whole cell that contains the objective and perhaps another element behind. The inertia of this large long moving component may be meant that it couldn't work properly.
In the new system the objectives seem to be fixed, and the only thing that moves seems to be a thin element behind the objectives. This could be a flat optical plate or perhaps curved with some power or not.
I did not notice any change of focus with the new system. But I didn't have it long enough to be sure.

I had no trouble at all following an aircraft, which was pin sharp the whole time that the stabiliser button was pressed, but of course this was essentially at the infinity focus position.

I think that in the main the Canon 8×25 IS binocular would suit the elderly and those with unsteady hands as the 10×30 is probably a better general binocular.

Did the 12 x 36 break when you dropped it, Sancho, or did it bounce undamaged.
I'm pretty sure a Leica binocular would survive this.
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 20:18   #18
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Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
.
Did the 12 x 36 break when you dropped it, Sancho, or did it bounce undamaged.
I'm pretty sure a Leica binocular would survive this.
Ah it broke alright, Binastro. Knocked way out of collimation. I sent it to Canon UK and it came back with the collimation okay, but the IS unworkable. I concluded that these are delicate binos that can't be repaired once damaged. I might in the future surrender my Swaro SLC 15x56 in favour of another Canon IS 12x36. Maybe I'll need them - this ageing process has me worried!
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 21:59   #19
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I wouldn't worry too much, Sancho.
It is better to get old than not to get old.

I agree that they are rather delicate. Maybe a tripod mounted binocular would be suitable.

I have smashed a beloved camera onto concrete, a 10x70 monocular onto granite and a few eyepieces.
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 22:07   #20
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True. I use my big swarovski now, for sea watching, on a monopod while sat on a foldable campchair, with the monopod foot resting on the seat between my knees. It's about as stable a view as one needs.
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Old Tuesday 13th January 2015, 13:16   #21
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Hello,
Thanks for all opinions!!
I had using a 18X50 IS Canon, good for astro but for birding this unit very poor in resolution, image very "inquiet"..I have a 12X36 very very best that the big Canon IS. I like know if the image in the small 8X25 is tembling o more stable, like the 10X30 model..
Thank you very much

wachi
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2015, 04:35   #22
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I prefer the Canon 10x30 IS the best also.
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2015, 19:29   #23
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First: very much differences between the 8X25 to 10X30 in relation optics quality and smalll size?
Second: very much differences between the 8X25 to 8X30 or 8X32 in relation above questions?
third: very much differences between a 8X25 to 10X25 in relaton vibration images? 8X vs. 10X ? and poor light for the 10X ?
Thanks again for this questions.
Wachi
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2015, 21:05   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
First: very much differences between the 8X25 to 10X30 in relation optics quality and smalll size?
Second: very much differences between the 8X25 to 8X30 or 8X32 in relation above questions?
third: very much differences between a 8X25 to 10X25 in relaton vibration images? 8X vs. 10X ? and poor light for the 10X ?
Thanks again for this questions.
Wachi
Hombre, ¡Tantas preguntas a la misma vez! ¿Y cómo empezar? Okay, I think the optics of the 8x25IS are better, but the 10x30IS is better overall because the IS system therein is less 'jerky'. I'm not quite sure I understand the second and third questions, as Canon don't make IS binos in 8x30, 8x32 or 10x25 formats.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2015, 06:03   #25
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Some Optics Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by wachipilotes View Post
First: very much differences between the 8X25 to 10X30 in relation optics quality and smalll size?
Second: very much differences between the 8X25 to 8X30 or 8X32 in relation above questions?
third: very much differences between a 8X25 to 10X25 in relaton vibration images? 8X vs. 10X ? and poor light for the 10X ?
Thanks again for this questions.
Wachi
Hi Wachi:

The combination of magnification [the '8' in the 8x25] and objective/aperture [the '25" in the 8x25] is the "rating" (often misnamed power). When the objective gets larger, the binoculars generally get bigger and heavier. But this "rule" can vary if the bins are built with a polycarbonate body or a magnesium body or have different amounts of glass in them.

But brightness generally decreases when the objective gets smaller or the magnification increases. At the same aperture size (25mm, 32mm, etc.), as you increase magnification the image becomes less bright, and this is more obvious at dawn and dusk. Thus, a 10x32 binocular, technically having more “power” than an 8x32, will be less bright under low light conditions. More power isn’t always a good thing! So, (all other things being equal) a 25 is smaller, gathers less light than a 30 which gathers somewhat less light than a 32 mm.

The higher the magnification (10 vs. an 8) will introduce more shake to an image (unless you have an IS to compensate). Some people can handle a 10X pretty well without IS but some may prefer the relative steadiness of an 8X (as well as a brighter image).

When you are looking at the combinations above, there is a shaft of light called the "Exit Pupil" (EP) which is the actual amount of light hitting your eye.

This diameter of the EP (expressed in millimeters) exits a binocular’s eyepiece and enters through your pupil. The EP is calculated by dividing a binocular’s aperture by its magnification, e.g. 42mm / 8x (for an 8x42 binocular) = 5.25mm.

This is one of the primary reasons most birders choose an 8x42; it’s the best combination of magnification and aperture, keeps the binocular’s physical size from being unwieldy, and still delivers a bright image at moderate power.

Here are EPs for some binocular ratings:
8x25: 3 EP
8x32: 4mm EP
8x42: 5.25mm EP
10x21: 2mm EP
10x32: 3mm EP
10x40: 4mm EP
12x36: 3mm EP

Just remember that your age will determine the Max EP that you can use.
A very young person have an maximum eye pupil of 8mm.
After 30 years old it will be smaller than 7mm.
After that about:
40 years old: 6mm
50 years old: 5mm
65 years old: 4mm
And finally to the very end of life about 3mm.

So just keep these "few" things in mind when buying a pair.

For me, I have recently gotten a pair of 8x25s, not to replace my full size binos, but to provide a more packable, decent quality pair that will fit easily in my backpack and will not weigh me down. I have a pair of HD 8x32s which for me are the best all around combination of size, weight, and performance since I do little birding at dawn and no birding at dusk.

I'll let the others on this forum argue the merits of quality and small size (IMHO, you can get very decent small bins for not that much money but you also can give up durability and build quality for less money), but I thought I'd give you some basics. Hope this helps!

Glenn
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