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Looking for brighter night bino than Bresser 8x60.

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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 18:12   #1
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Looking for brighter night bino than Bresser 8x60.

Hi there,

Over the years I have purchased a spotting scope and a pair of binoculars for my family to watch the birds and other wildlife around where we live.
The binoculars we are using are:
Bresser 8x60
Under 50 from Lidl.

Regardless of weight and size these have proven to be perfectly useful for our needs.

However, I have taken a liking to going out at night and sitting at the field edge in a hide and watching for all sorts of nocturnal animals. I live in Scandinavia and at this time of year the winters are very dark, all-be-it with normally some snow to reflect around what little light there is. These Bresser binoculars have been ok for this night time use. The large objective lens of 60mm in the Porro format seems to work just well enough.

I would love to know however, if I could improve my night viewing using better quality binoculars.

For example, Meopta Meostar B1 8x56 roof prisms would numerically and from a prism perspective be a bit poorer in the dark, but would I actually find them significantly or just a little better in the dark than my very cheap Bresser?

If so, any thoughts on what a low quality 8x60 Bresser might equate to in a quality glass (such as Meopta or Steiner) for light transmission (e.g. 8x56 or 42, etc)

Also any thoughts on particular binoculars (or just what to look for) which would be superb for my use at night would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much for your help, your time and feedback is very much appreciated.

Kind regards
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 18:29   #2
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Hi H,

I have two 15x60 Bresser Porros.
They are awful. Poor coatings, grey glass, probably vignetted.
The Minolta 12x50 Activa Porro is just as bright and lighter and a lot nicer.

The 8x60 Bresser is probably improved, but I don't think it will be anywhere near as good as a Meopta 8x56.

The best thing is to try them side by side in very poor lighting..

Do you actually have 7mm or 7.5mm pupils?

It is likely a high end 8x50 will be better than the Bresser 8x60.

I have a Barr and Stroud Savannah 12x56 ED which I like. It is also made in 10x56 ED and 8x56 ED.
They are also made without ED glass, but I would go for ED glass.

If possible buy from a store and if you like a binocular, buy the one you test and not a boxed new seemingly identical one.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 17th December 2017 at 18:42.
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 18:56   #3
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first of all, welcome to BF!

At night the most important feature of a pair of binoculars is the exit pupil size - your 8x60 has sightly more than 7mm, which is the maximum eye pupil size for most young adults, so going higher would make no sense.

Better coatings will of course bring a percent or two, but nowadays even cheap chinese coatings are not too shabby, if they're properly applied. If not, you'll hopefully see the defects when you inspect your bins.

Regarding your Bresser 8x60 I found a thread on those in a german astro forum - one owner had them disassembled because they were out of collimation and found that they were stopped down quite a bit to the level of an 8x40 or so. And for good reason because the prisms were very small...

So maybe you should measure the exit pupil of your example... if it is considerably less than 7mm, getting sth else with a 7mm exit pupil would probably give you a much brighter view...

If you can tolerate individual focus and a bit more weight, there's quite a lot of nice astro bins... a fujinon fmt-sx 7x50 will probably be an eye would be the meopta... any puns are fully intended...

If you're on a very tight budget and want sth portable, a late soviet or early russian example of the ZOMZ 7x50, preferably with multicoatings is warmly recommended. They have 7mm exit pupil, are very sharp and extremely relaxing to use due to the huge depth of focus. On the down side, the mechanics is soviet... They can be had for 30-50€ over here on ebay or local classifieds.


Last edited by jring : Sunday 17th December 2017 at 22:08. Reason: speling
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 19:27   #4
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Thanks for your warm welcomes and useful information, this is really helpful so far. I look forward to seeing if there is anymore suggestions/guidance tomorrow.

Thank you for your help so far everyone,
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 19:32   #5
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Much more important than the binocular, is to be well dark adapted.
This takes 20 to 30 minutes for a young person, although it takes hours to reach optimum levels.

So one should sit indoors in the dark for at least 20 minutes before going out to the cold.
If going in to get warm one should still sit in the dark before going out again.
Don't use white light. Red torches are better.

I have been out all night in the observatory at -15C but only an hour at -25C.
At -34C I could only take 15 minutes with no wind and panic reaction when a wind blew up.
My Nordic friends were out all night at -37C photographing aurorae.

I wore a scarf over my mouth to stop my breath condensing onto optics.
If one wears glasses this can be a problem.

The Bressers I have are only blue coated once on two external surfaces so the transmission may be 60% plus the grey glass, probably giving less than 50% plus vignetting. Who knows?

It is this lack of coating, which cheap binoculars have and vignetting that makes them a poor choice for night use.
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Old Monday 18th December 2017, 00:50   #6
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The Swarovski SLC 8 x 56 WB NEW Binoculars will be very big improvement over your Bresser's. One of the best low light binoculars IMO although there are other good ones.

Last edited by [email protected] : Monday 18th December 2017 at 00:55.
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Old Monday 18th December 2017, 01:07   #7
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I don't know your budget, but a used Fujinon FMT-SX in 7X50 or 10X70 would be good.
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Old Monday 18th December 2017, 04:01   #8
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I obtained a Eschenbach TROPHY P 8x56 Binoculars. It is the porro model. I think that it is no longer a current product but there might be some new old stock available.

It is wonderful in its construction, and a wide view. I think it is made by a Japanese OEM.

You could not go wrong with it, but it is probably just has heavy as the Bresser. 1190 grams.

Rob A.
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