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Classic Porro Comparision: Swarovski Habicht 8x30 vs. Nikon 8x30 E2?

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Old Friday 26th August 2016, 21:44   #1
Dantanamo
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Classic Porro Comparision: Swarovski Habicht 8x30 vs. Nikon 8x30 E2?

Anybody done a comparison between Swarovski's Habicht 8x30, and Nikon's 8x30 E2?

I'm curious to know how these 2 porros compare to one another with regard to edge sharpness and CA, in particular. Love the size and classic look, yet I'm sure they have differing viewing characteristics.
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Old Friday 26th August 2016, 22:29   #2
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Anybody done a comparison between Swarovski's Habicht 8x30, and Nikon's 8x30 E2?

I'm curious to know how these 2 porros compare to one another with regard to edge sharpness and CA, in particular. Love the size and classic look, yet I'm sure they have differing viewing characteristics.
Probably one of the best in-depth comparison between these two binoculars was done by Tobias. Also, I threw in the Nikon 8x32 SE review because it is considered a classic porro. Here is a link to all three reviews. They are excellent.

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...icht8x30w.html

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...0e2review.html

http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/al...kon8x32se.html

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Old Friday 26th August 2016, 23:22   #3
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Many thanks, Denco.
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Old Saturday 27th August 2016, 01:28   #4
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Many thanks, Denco.
Your welcome. All three of those porro's are very good in my opinion. It just depends on what works the best for you. The EII at about $400.00 is a great value. Tobias likes the Habicht and it is excellent and of course the Nikon SE is legendary. The Habicht is the only waterproof one of the three though if that is important to you. Also, the Habicht has a lot of flare unless you put some sun shades on the objective lenses, whereas, the EII and SE don't glare as badly. The SE is one of the best binoculars around for controlling glare.

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Old Saturday 27th August 2016, 02:30   #5
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They are both excellent if you like small porros. For me the Nikon is the best of the two for birding or wildlife in wooded areas. The wider field of view, lighter focus action give it an edge. The Habicht is more of a general purpose high quality, traditional type of binocular.

For strictly birding use then I would probably recommend the Nikon.

They both have some CA, not really troublesome. Neither is sharp to the edge. If you are concerned about those things then you would be best with a more modern design with ED lenses and field flattener included.
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Old Saturday 27th August 2016, 03:15   #6
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Own the EII and tried the habicht. While the optics were very similar in both, the wider field and more ergonomically friendly Nikon won me over.
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Old Saturday 27th August 2016, 04:30   #7
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Here is an older but excellent review of a number of Center Focus 8x30/32 Porro prism binoculars including the EII, SE and Habicht published in 2009. Regarding the EII and SE, nothing has changed except that the SE has been discontinued and the EII is no longer sold in North America.

http://www.brinbest.com/id38.html

I own both the 8x30 EII and 8x32 SE. I've owned the same 8x30 EII since about 2001 and I have used it hard and it looks it. I have had to re-glue its faux rubber covering back on it a few times.

Bob

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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 19:04   #8
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I suppose I should add something to this thread since I own both of these binoculars. My EII is about 10 years old and my 8x30 W Habicht was made in March of this year (I also have a 30 year old Habicht 8x30 "standard field").

I've gathered a great deal of information about the Habicht 8x30 W in the last few months, but I've nearly lost all interest in writing what would be a very long review of a binocular I don't like very much. So, here are the basic pros and cons as I see them.

Pros:

State of the art light transmission and color accuracy.

Moderate pincushion, enough to avoid the globe effect without calling attention to itself.

Waterproof

Cons:

Too much spherical and longitudinal chromatic aberrations in the field center. As a result the center field image is not quite completely sharp for my 20/15 eyesight acuity. This is most evident when I compare the Habicht to a very low aberration reference binocular like the Zeiss 8x56 FL

Off-axis astigmatism and field curvature are not very well corrected due to the use of an old modified Erfle eyepiece design with well known deficiencies.

Prisms are so undersized that a prism edge actually cuts into the exit pupil. That makes already poor resistance to glare from inadequate baffling of the objective cell even worse when bright side light arrives at an angle that reflects off the prism glass back to the eyepiece.

I could move on to nitpicks, but inadequacy in the optical basics is enough for me. I've asked myself repeatedly in the last few months how this binocular could have gathered such a cult following? My tentative answer is that nostalgia for the Golden Age of the Porro, and admittedly a superbly bright and color neutral image thanks to the latest Swarovski coatings, are enough to carry the day for its enthusiasts. Everything else is forgiven.

My Nikon 8x30 EII has lower axial aberrations, better off-axis corrections and better glare resistance than the Habicht. However, it is visibly dimmer with an obvious red color cast. Choose your poison.

Henry
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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 20:44   #9
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Thanks Henry for your comments.

I know that my Minolta Standard MK 8x40 would perform poorly in tests.
But where do you find a modern useful binocular with a 9.4 degree actual field, probably 8.1x magnification?

Same with cars.
Where do you find a car other than the 1985 Saab Classic that will fit in a Standard British garage? Modern cars are too wide. And the Saab still looks good and has a 6ft. load platform. With snow flaps on 4 wheels, weird gear lever locking etc. But is uneconomical and has no catalyst.

I always thought of the Habicht, but for me the field is too narrow even as it is.

I really think that there could be a decent modern EWA Porroprism binocular made.
At the moment the Nikon EII seems to be the best.

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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 21:11   #10
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Binastro;
I also have a pair of 8x40 Minoltas LNIB along with a pair of auto focus Minoltas from the same time frame.....also LNIB......someday 50/60 years from now after I'm long dead and gone somebody will find them stuffed in the back of the closet ....and throw them in the dumpster...
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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 22:01   #11
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Why didn't you use them?
There were several Minolta 8x40s. I wish the MK EWA had the Activa full multicoatings.
There were several autofocus Minoltas, I think only the last versions really worked well.
The 10x50 Minolta Standard was my main binocular for over 10 years.

Minolta itself is also no longer with us, but the design team I think went to Sony and their mirrorless cameras and lenses are now top rate.

My Minolta SLRs and lenses gave years of faultless service. They even worked well into the minus 30s C.

I am glad for Henry's report as I no longer think I should have tried the Habichts.
I have an ancient Diana and a worn 10x40.
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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 23:38   #12
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I used the 8x40 set...but just around the house...like I said like new because they lived in the box....the auto focus 8x22 I got for the wife....they work fine but she hardly ever used them.....both were bought on closeout ...I think at Gander Mountain [a sporting goods store]....
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 14:04   #13
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Originally Posted by henry link View Post

I've gathered a great deal of information about the Habicht 8x30 W in the last few months, but I've nearly lost all interest in writing what would be a very long review of a binocular I don't like very much. So, here are the basic pros and cons as I see them.


Henry
Henry, Even though you have "nearly lost all interest" I am glad you still have a little bit of interest left in writing the review . It would be a great for us to finally read a professional review of Habicht 8x30.
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 15:02   #14
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.......

Cons:
........
Off-axis astigmatism and field curvature are not very well corrected due to the use of an old modified Erfle eyepiece design with well known deficiencies.
........
Henry
Henry ..... How does the above show up in normal daytime viewing? How does it impact the view?

I am with Subzero. Thanks for posting your comments and it would be great if you do post more. It is always a learning experience for me to read your posts.
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 18:32   #15
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Henry ..... How does the above show up in normal daytime viewing? How does it impact the view?
Hi,

while I'm not Henry (who must be thanked for stating his impressions), the line above will result in bad fuzziness at the edge of the field, which cannot be focused out as is the case with just field curvature.

Actually this would be my least concern among Henry's results - visible longitudinal CA at 8x shouldn't happen and even if you don't see it due to more normal eyesight, you will see the transversal part...

Plus the well known stray light problems and truncated exit pupil... ouch.

I am content with my Nikons - maybe I'll get to compare to a Habicht sometimes.

Joachim
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 19:24   #16
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Hi,

while I'm not Henry (who must be thanked for stating his impressions), the line above will result in bad fuzziness at the edge of the field, which cannot be focused out as is the case with just field curvature.

Actually this would be my least concern among Henry's results - visible longitudinal CA at 8x shouldn't happen and even if you don't see it due to more normal eyesight, you will see the transversal part...

Plus the well known stray light problems and truncated exit pupil... ouch.

I am content with my Nikons - maybe I'll get to compare to a Habicht sometimes.

Joachim
The stray light problems are bad at extreme angles with the Habicht 8x30 W. I can attest to that. Looking up at high craggy cliffs trying to spot Mountain Sheep the entire FOV was clouded over. Really disappointed me. I had seen some flare with them but not until I used them at a really extreme angle was it that bad. I put them away for the rest of the camping trip and got the trusty old Swarovski SV's out. Sold them on Ebay when I got back.
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 23:03   #17
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The Habicht's - hero to zero in 5 posts.....

...and, no, I haven't tried them and would love to but it just illustrates the somewhat fickle nature of this place.
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Old Monday 29th August 2016, 23:28   #18
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The Habicht's - hero to zero in 5 posts.....

...and, no, I haven't tried them and would love to but it just illustrates the somewhat fickle nature of this place.
I don't think anybody will trust my opinion because I vacillate too much. But when Henry speaks it get's everybodys attention. He does have a LOT of knowledge about binoculars.
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Old Tuesday 30th August 2016, 02:27   #19
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Henry is a great asset to this forum and to the binocular enthusiasts of the world.

Neither of these binoculars has ever been described as perfect. They both have a charm and attraction for various reasons.

I agree with Henry's tentative opinion on their cult following. There is a nostalgia associated with this type of binocular. Porro 8x30 binoculars have been produced in their thousands over many decades by many different manufacturers. These two are some of the best of their type. They are both old designs that have survived because of their common appeal. I can certainly forgive their faults.

If you want a better binocular there are plenty of other choices.
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Old Tuesday 30th August 2016, 03:04   #20
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My Nikon 8x30 EII has lower axial aberrations, better off-axis corrections and better glare resistance than the Habicht. However, it is visibly dimmer with an obvious red color cast. Choose your poison.
Henry, great write-up and as others have said, I'd love to see your full review (hint, hint ). But you forgot one factor - the Nikons are a lot less expensive than the Swaros, which can be a pretty decisive advantage!

...Mike
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Old Tuesday 30th August 2016, 03:12   #21
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Dennis, I almost bought your Habichts but I am content with my forty+ year old 8x30 Habicht that I purchased for 50.00. I really like my older Habichts for backyard birding but afield they are really hard to use in stray light.

I'm glad yours sold so quickly.
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Old Tuesday 30th August 2016, 05:46   #22
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Dennis, I almost bought your Habichts but I am content with my forty+ year old 8x30 Habicht that I purchased for 50.00. I really like my older Habichts for backyard birding but afield they are really hard to use in stray light.

I'm glad yours sold so quickly.
What REALLY shows flare in Habicht's is looking up a steep mountain at an extreme angle on a sunny day. I was trying to see those Bighorn Sheep high up on these craggy cliffs from a canyon and the Habicht's flared so bad it clouded the whole FOV. I couldn't believe it. That is a good way to test binoculars for flare because the sun enters the prisms at an odd angle. Try it with yours. For backyard birding they are fine unless you look at a bird high up in the tree.
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Old Tuesday 30th August 2016, 13:27   #23
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I've noticed the flare in the past, and I agree it's bad and renders the bins unusable.
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Old Wednesday 31st August 2016, 10:32   #24
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EIIs in summer on the occasions when the weather is good and Habicht in classic British murk and sogginess when flare is the least of my concerns and the Habicht image works better for me. I am also less concerned about them getting a good soaking.

Horses for courses really, also because I like the small eye pieces and handling of the non-armoured Habichts they tend to get used quite a bit anyway. I may be in a minority of one, but thats the way it is.
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Old Thursday 1st September 2016, 02:16   #25
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I tend to use the Habicht more often as I don't do much in the way of birding. The Habicht is the one I take on family vacations and day trips.

My Father in law tried them both and then bought a Nikon EII for himself.

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