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10x42 v 10x32 advice for a newbie. (1 Viewer)

Mikewander

Well-known member
Scotland
As the thread title.
I'm new to the hobby, and the more i read, the more i'm getting confused!
I've recently bought a pair of 8x25 Zeiss Victory Pockets, and am very happy with them most of the time.
A lot of my birding is on an estuary, so i'm thinking some extra magnification will help.
I won't usually be birding at dawn or dusk, but often walk in forests, so does that make a difference to what i should be considering?
TIA.
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
As the thread title.
I'm new to the hobby, and the more i read, the more i'm getting confused!
I've recently bought a pair of 8x25 Zeiss Victory Pockets, and am very happy with them most of the time.
A lot of my birding is on an estuary, so i'm thinking some extra magnification will help.
I won't usually be birding at dawn or dusk, but often walk in forests, so does that make a difference to what i should be considering?
TIA.
I wouldn't recommend a 32mm, especially since you already have a compact bin. A 32mm will lower the optical quality and produce a darker image. As far as magnification, it's a pretty personal thing, some people prefer the extra power and detail of a 10x, while others prefer the wider FOV, larger exit pupil, and less image shake of an 8x. Do you own a spotting scope? If you do then I would lean towards 8x. If not then I would get a 10x, especially since you bird at an estuary
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Thanks for the reply.
I don't have a scope. (yet!)
My mind is mostly made up on a 10x42 and you've helped focus my thoughts.
Before you plunk down your money, at least look through an 8X42. You may like it as well or better.
I agree with Maljunulo, at least test an 8x42, as magnification is very much a preference. But I do think you will like and find a 10x42 more useful.
And I don't know what models you are looking at, but it's best to test as many as possible side-by-side, because ergos and optics are also subjective and preferential.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
As the thread title.
I'm new to the hobby, and the more i read, the more i'm getting confused!
I've recently bought a pair of 8x25 Zeiss Victory Pockets, and am very happy with them most of the time.
A lot of my birding is on an estuary, so i'm thinking some extra magnification will help.
I won't usually be birding at dawn or dusk, but often walk in forests, so does that make a difference to what i should be considering?
TIA.
If you don't mind the size and weight of a x42 and you want more reach, go for a 10x42. Your 8x25 and a 10x42 will cover more ground than another 8x.
A x32 may have a wider field of view but will certainly have less resolving power and a smaller exit pupil than a x42. That said, I have a 10x32 (Ultravid HD) and I love it. I compared it to the UV Hd+ x42. The x42 has all the advantages of a larger pair, but for me compactness is often more important. You've got an 8 power compact, so maybe compactness is important for you, too? Sorry, if I am adding to your confusion.
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Take a trip to the sporting goods/camera store. Try a few, get some impressions, ... remember the brands. This gives you a common base to work off of. Come back here for fine tuning.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
If you don't mind the size and weight of a x42 and you want more reach, go for a 10x42. Your 8x25 and a 10x42 will cover more ground than another 8x.
A x32 may have a wider field of view but will certainly have less resolving power and a smaller exit pupil than a x42. That said, I have a 10x32 (Ultravid HD) and I love it. I compared it to the UV Hd+ x42. The x42 has all the advantages of a larger pair, but for me compactness is often more important. You've got an 8 power compact, so maybe compactness is important for you, too? Sorry, if I am adding to your confusion.

Take a trip to the sporting goods/camera store. Try a few, get some impressions, ... remember the brands. This gives you a common base to work off of. Come back here for fine tuning.

Mikewander,

Lots of good input here, the two posts above really sum it up. To expand a bit on general considerations in addition to the recommended testing/comparison, the main advantage of a 10x32 would be whether you would use it more often given smaller size and weight (and possibly wider FOV as jafritten mentions). But that assumes you are looking to buy at the $1000 level or above. IME below that level, a 10x32 will lag optically farther behind a 10x42.

Mike
 

Mikewander

Well-known member
Scotland
Thanks for all the replies. Pretty set on a 10x, but still not sure if a 32 or 42 would be better for my use. I'm not very mobile, so won't be carrying it any great distance.
My budget is around £1k, so middle tier Alpha i would think. Am i correct in thinking the only real advantage 42 has over 32 is better viewing in low light, or is there more to it?
I might have to travel to find a decent stockist to try things out. I don't wear specs so hopefully eye relief wont be a factor in my choice?
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
Well, actually I don't wear glasses and eye relief can STILL be a problem. Too much eye relief (19-23mm) can actually backfire by you having to hold the lens away from your face a bit. (not my style at all). It all depends on how far the eye cups extend to accommodate this large amount of eye relief. It varies from manufacturer, so once again, the safe move is to actually try them.
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
32 vs 42mm

the positive of the 32 is the lighter weight, the positive of the 42 is greater light gathering
you have the smaller 8x25s so I would suggest the 42mm unless carrying the extra weight would be an issue for you

edj
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Am i correct in thinking the only real advantage 42 has over 32 is better viewing in low light, or is there more to it?
A x42 will also have greater resolution. This is what I noticed when I compared the 10x32 UV HD (non +) to the 10x42 +. Things seem more detailed and sharper as it were.
A 10x32 can be a bit dim in woodland, even more so if it's not top tier glass. I have often wished my 10x32 was brighter, especially in woodland.
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Thanks for all the replies. Pretty set on a 10x, but still not sure if a 32 or 42 would be better for my use. I'm not very mobile, so won't be carrying it any great distance.
My budget is around £1k, so middle tier Alpha i would think. Am i correct in thinking the only real advantage 42 has over 32 is better viewing in low light, or is there more to it?
I might have to travel to find a decent stockist to try things out. I don't wear specs so hopefully eye relief wont be a factor in my choice?
The only big advantage of a 32mm is weight, so you really have no need for a 32mm. A 42mm will produce a much better image. Honestly, even if you were going to be hiking with these I would still recommend a 42mm. The weight of my 10x42s has never bothered me at all.
 

dogbreath

Well-known member
If weight really is an issue get a Rick Young Ultralight harness from somewhere like The Birder's Store - makes all the difference.
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Most, I think, would agree that birding in woodland an 8x binocular is generally easier to use than a 10x; easier to find things, quicker to get focus. Under a dense canopy as jafritten acknowledges the rather small ~3mm exit pupil of your 8x binocular might well impact the brightness of the view.

If you do a Google search on "Stephan Groehn binoculars" you'll find you can download a .doc file of a review of a dozen 10x42s most of which should fit your budget; some probably only available as used now.

For the estuary trying to get the maximum useable hand-held magnification the suggestion of binoculars with image stabilisation is a good call and worth a look. If that represents a "left field" call then maybe a "right field" one might be the Swarovski Habicht 10x40, whether the rubber armoured model with the larger eyecups or the one reviewed here :

Can't immediately find an optics dealer in Dundee. See there's a retailer for hunting goods in Fife which stocks the Leica Trinovid HD and Zeiss Conquest HD models if they are on your radar.
 

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