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10x32 viable alternative to 10x42? (1 Viewer)

matt green

Norfolkman gone walkabout
Been hankering after a 10x bino for a while now, having recently sold on my old 8.5x42 el I was originally thinking of heading over to the 10x42 counter, however the 32 el feels so sublime in the hand and find the smaller size easier to hold steady than the larger 42mm version.

I'm wondering if the 32mm objective can gather enough light and resolve enough detail to make an alternative to a heavier 10x42 bino?

Matt
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I went through this same decision recently, and while YMMV the answer for me was 100% yes.

I originally went through several 10x42's, eventually settling on the Leica Trinovid BR, but over time I found it to be too bulky and heavy for my tastes. Most of the time when I want 10x magnification, it's in daylight birding when I'm either in open country or at a local lake where I'm walking around and want long distance detail (but won't be carrying a scope).

Since it's primarily daytime use, I tried out some 10x32's and found that they do a great job outside of the worst lighting, as long as they are high quality optics. If you are looking at the Swaro SV 10x32, that shouldn't be a problem!

I eventually settled on the Nikon 10x32 EDG, which gives up absolutely nothing to the 10x42 Leica in daytime. In fact, it's a bit better outside of the slightly more finicky eye placement, and the decrease in size/weight more than makes up for that. I also thought the 10x32 Conquest HD and 10x33 Kowa Genesis were great, but the EDG is on another level (as should be the Swaro SV).

I've found that when you are out and about in the field, you adapt to the smaller exit pupil and stop noticing it, especially in daytime use. Every now and then you need to fidget with the IPD a bit to get things aligned, but for the most part I don't think about it in the field. Only when I swap back and forth between something with a much large exit pupil (like my 7x42 Ultravid HD) that it becomes apparent, but in real world use I adapt fairly quickly.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Been hankering after a 10x bino for a while now, having recently sold on my old 8.5x42 el I was originally thinking of heading over to the 10x42 counter, however the 32 el feels so sublime in the hand and find the smaller size easier to hold steady than the larger 42mm version.

I'm wondering if the 32mm objective can gather enough light and resolve enough detail to make an alternative to a heavier 10x42 bino?

Matt
The 10x32 SV is favoured by a particular secret organization - I could tell you but then we'd probably both disappear .... ! :eek!: :gn:

It is again a very special little bin - it surprised me, as I had written off the 3.2mm EP out of hand due to my glasses. It actually fit my glasses as easily as any other Swaro - that is to say - very easy, and the ease of view seemed like that of a much larger exit pupil. During daytime viewing (patches of reasonably dull) I found it just as bright as anything else - which is to say bright.

Sounds like you really like the way it feels in the hand and with you finding it steady to hold too, then that's more than half the battle won. Check it out in different conditions and aspects to see if glare etc is going to be an issue for you (I didn't notice any the days that I had it - but was absent harsh summer sun).

Sounds like an absolute winner for you to me :)









Chosun :gh:
 

mwhogue

Registered User
Supporter
Matt,

I agree with Eitan generally that 10x32 is a convenient and enjoyable format, even underestimated in my view. Assuming an alpha model it "punches above its weight." Specifically the SW SV FP 10x32 is very capable in low light and IME well worth it in terms of the size /weight trade off against an alpha 10x42. Further IIRC the 10x32 usually has a somewhat larger FOV than the corresponding 10x42 in most lineups.

I have 10x32 in Zeiss T*FL, UV HD+, Nikon EDG II and SW SV FP. I prefer the Nikon overall but the SW is a close second. In terms of low light performance my general impression is SW is probably best. If you have any question I would be glad to compare the 4 in low light or otherwise, although please note I am an enthusiast not an expert.

Haven't tried the Zeiss SF 10x32 yet, trying not to.....

Mike
 
Yes - another vote for 10x32s. They've been my only bins for years and are good, even ok in lower light depending which model you choose. Was using an older version of the Swarovski ELs and they were good, but recently gave in and switched to the Zeiss 32SFs. Personally think they've even better, so worth a look / comparing if you can. I think the image is brighter, rainguard is a better fit, didn't notice any glare issues, they're easier to hold, focusing wheel is smoother and also liked the fact that the image is less flat. It feels more "real" and 3D. Field of view also bigger though the ELs aren't much smaller.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I am going to have to be the party pooper in this 10x32 love fest. I had the SV 10x32, FL 10x32 and the EDG 10x32 and when I first started using 10x32's I thought they were a miracle. I thought WOW 10x magnification in a nice small light 32 mm binocular. This is great! In normal daylight without a lot of sun they were a god send. Then the facts of physics and that smallish 3.2 mm exit pupil started raising its ugly head in low light and sunny highly reflective conditions and I started noticing the increased difficulty of eye placement versus a 10x42 or better yet a 8x42. For an all around binocular a 10x32 does not cut it with it's 3.2 mm exit pupil because it doesn't perform like a 10x42 or 8x42 in low light and it is more finicky with eye placement and worst of all it shows much more glare. I have had ALL the Swarovski binoculars and the SV 10x32 easily showed the most glare of any of them. Even more than the infamous SV 8x32! I only had the SV 10x32 for a week and I took it up to Rocky Mountain National Park, and I was in a big mountain valley overlooking a lake looking for wildlife and birds along the edges of the lake, and I was appalled at the amount of veiling glare the little SV 10x32 had. It was UNUSABLE. I put it on eBay that night. The FL 10x32 and the EDG 10x32 were better for glare, but they still did not compare to their bigger 10x42 or 8x42 cousins for overall comfort and glare control. I have found the bigger the exit pupil the better because the glare passes the field stop of the binocular and never reaches your eyes. For these reasons I would never recommend a 10x32 unless you are birding where there is not a lot of sun or water and you value the small size and lightweight over viewing comfort. For an all around binocular I personally prefer the 8x32 or 8x42 and it looks like most birders agree because in the poll of the most popular size binoculars the 8x42 was 1st with 25% of birders using them and the 8x32 was 2nd with 22% and the 10x42 was 3rd with 14% but the 10x32 only had 3.8% of birders actually using them so that should tell you something. There is a reason for that LOW percentage and it is viewing comfort, low light performance and glare control.
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
Yes - another vote for 10x32s. They've been my only bins for years and are good, even ok in lower light depending which model you choose.

I wouldn't want to use a 10x32 as my ONLY binoculars, but the EDG are so good that I could do it if I had to.

Thankfully I don't, and I think pairing a 10x32 with an 8x42 or 7x42 for situations where the exit pupil size is more important than extra magnification is a nice setup. I could get rid of everything but the EDG 10x32 and Leica UVHD 7x42 and be happy forever I think.

For a lot of the birding I do though the 10x32 format works great as a primary option. Not a lot of thick forest habitat here in San Diego, and I like being able to see extra detail on a sparrow perched up on that distant bush or a raptor soaring way out there.

But if I were going to somewhere tropical with rainforest, I would want to have another option.
 

tenex

reality-based
Antarctica
The only reason we need a 10x32 "love fest" here is that so many people rule it out summarily as a matter of common wisdom. It is in fact an excellent format for most purposes, and has been my primary bino for almost 20 years. Under a few circumstances (twilight, high wind) a significantly larger EP will perform better, and there are some here who so prize "ease of view" that they'd prefer one anyway, but in normal use I've never found a 3.2mm EP irritating. I use the Leica, though it may not suit everyone with eyeglasses; the Swaro is also lovely, though more susceptible to glare; and now there's the Zeiss SF as well. (I've never seen an EDG and they may not be easy to find.)
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
Over the years I have gone from 40-50mm binoculars to 32mm as my personal preference.
I have a 6.5, 8, and 10X; and find the 8x32s the most used.
The lighter weight makes up for any loss of light gathering.

edj
 

matt green

Norfolkman gone walkabout
Thanks for all your insights folks,

Plenty to consider, ultimately need to try and compare different models before jumping on a specific model..my current 8x32 was the result of looking to save pack size and weight on long walks but comparing it against an older 8.5x42 while I had it it didn't really prove to make much difference anyway so not ruling out a 42mm completely.

I do have a particular fondness for late evening viewing (owls etc) so that might swing my bias towards a larger objective!

Matt
 

tenex

reality-based
Antarctica
I do have a particular fondness for late evening viewing (owls etc) so that might swing my bias towards a larger objective!
Well if you want large... we saw a pair of screech owls at dusk not long ago in our SLC 10x56. Might not have noticed the mouse one had otherwise. We also get great horned around here, saw a pair mating earlier this year.
 
I wouldn't want to use a 10x32 as my ONLY binoculars, but the EDG are so good that I could do it if I had to.

Fair enough. Other than cost, main reasons for not wanting a second pair of larger bins is the extra weight and IPD Range (the latter rules out many larger bins for some people, including me). I quite like the extra magnification and personally find them comfortable to use, even around sunny wetlands where I spend the majority of my time - the Zeiss SFs appear to cope better than the ELs, based on using them. I'm sure 42s are better in certain circumstances, but for me, most wouldn't be suitable.
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
Been hankering after a 10x bino for a while now, having recently sold on my old 8.5x42 el I was originally thinking of heading over to the 10x42 counter, however the 32 el feels so sublime in the hand and find the smaller size easier to hold steady than the larger 42mm version.

I'm wondering if the 32mm objective can gather enough light and resolve enough detail to make an alternative to a heavier 10x42 bino?

Matt

The answer is absolutely yes. I used to have the 10X32 EL....probably a little over a year. I used it birding quite a lot. In fact during one trip I mistakingly put my SV 10X32 in my luggage instead of my SV 8X32! In most cases I don't believe you'd ever notice a difference between it and the SV 10X42. It has a little more FOV than the 42mm even. But at times there is some glare present. At no point did I ever find it to be "un-usable" because of it.
 

JWalck

Member
I just got my Zeiss Victory SF 10x32. Prior to this model, I used Victory FL 8x32 and Swarovski FP 8x32 a lot and enjoyed them very much. I wanted a bit more 'reach' but did not like the size or weight of 10x42s. The SF is terrific. Yes - they have those aspects of 10x32: a bit finicky with eye placement (not a big deal since my FP 8x32 was too sometimes) and I do find (depending on the bird) that I must focus a bit more as the bird is moving around. Again, not a big deal to me. 10x32 are not for everyone, but I'm having lots of fun with mine. BTW - I wear eyeglasses.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
How about somebody with a pair of Canon 10x32 IS to pipe in here. I would think IS might solve some eye placement problems with the small exit pupil 10x32 and Canons are usually very good controlling glare.
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
I have the 10x42 and 8x32 EL before the 10x32 EL. For the 10x42, I used it mainly for longer walk if scope is not possible. The 8x32 combo with my scope most of the time.

When I got the 10x32, it sits between the other two models and for my need, it is good enough. Lightweight like the 8x32 but has the power of 10x42 with 6.9 FOV.

IMG_20201102_132826 10x32.jpg IMG_20201102_132902 10x32.jpg
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Just to add a bit more to this....

I am currently in Mexico on a vacation and agonized over which binoculars to bring, since I have ended up with so many at the moment. My two "premium" options are the Leica Ultravid 7x42 HD and the Nikon EDG 10x32 that I mentioned above.

After going back and forth endlessly, I ended up bringing the EDG. I was concerned that the 10x32 wouldn't be a good enough "all around" format for different types of birding, but the deciding factors were (1) the reduced size and weight of the 32mm EDG vs the 42mm UVHD and (2) my desire to have extra magnification for open habitats and more distant birds, especially since I wasn't bringing a scope with me.

I've been birding now in various habitats, including open arid high desert, tangled thickets of tropical scrub, and high elevation pine/oak cloud forest, and have not regretted my choice one bit.

Even in the dim, murky lighting of cloud forest at ~10,000' elevation shrouded in mist, the EDG have been perfect and I haven't been bothered by the small exit pupil at all.

As I noted above, adaption is important and I'm sure if I directly compared to the 7x42 UVHD it would feel much "calmer" and "easier", but without that alternate reference point I haven't even thought about the 3.2mm exit pupil. And the extra magnification has proved quite useful in several situations.

Of note, the guide we birded with also used 10x32 (Swaro SV) and he uses them in various habitats all over Mexico.

The one thing I'll say is that with a "challenging" format like 10x32, quality matters a lot more. I'm not sure my impression would be favorable if I was using an inexpensive 10x32. It's a lot easier to make a decent 8x42 because there's more "margin for error" with the forgiving nature of the large exit pupil. So if you're going to go 10x32, be prepared to pony up for something high quality.

(also, on a side note, we swapped binoculars for a few minutes and I very much preferred the EDG to the Swaro SV... the 10x32 SV has much more severe AMD, and the EDG felt more natural without the "rolling ball" spatial distortion when panning and superior color saturation and neutrality.... the EDG are really special binoculars, nearly perfect optically IMO)
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
(also, on a side note, we swapped binoculars for a few minutes and I very much preferred the EDG to the Swaro SV... the 10x32 SV has much more severe AMD, and the EDG felt more natural without the "rolling ball" spatial distortion when panning and superior color saturation and neutrality.... the EDG are really special binoculars, nearly perfect optically IMO)

Like you, I also prefer the EDG 10x32 to the Swaro EL 10x32---the EDG have a more relaxed view with better color rendition and better glare control. However the 10x32s that I prefer most are the FL 10x32: for me they are better than the EDG---they are a better fit to my facial features.
 

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