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2017 Biggest Week in Amerian Birding Festival (1 Viewer)

chill6x6

Well-known member
Most popular brand/binocular...

So I'm an optics geek....I accept that!

So I kinda notice what others are using. For the most part the brands are not nearly as varied as here on BF.

Number one brand in terms of popularity was Nikon...but it was close with the top three in terms of popularity. I'd say is was as follows:

1. Nikon
2. Vortex and Swarovski.
3. Zeiss- WAY down the list.
4. Leupold
5. Others.

The Monarch 7 seemed to be the most popular binocular. The previous model Vortex Diamondback...probably next. I was surprised at how many Swarovski SLCs and ELs there were and those were EASILY the most popular premium binoculars. Prob slightly more Els....but SLCs(previous model HD) were EVERYWHERE.

Didn't see one Maven, Toric, Sightron, Styrka. Don't mean they weren't there...just didn't see them. Saw more than expected Leopold BX-3 8X32s, quite a few of the Yosemites. Zeiss was represented mostly by Terra HDs. Conquest HDs next...a few SFs ;)...a couple of HTs.

Quite a few of the previous generation Trinovids were being used. By far the most popular Leica model I saw...
 

ceasar

Well-known member
So I'm an optics geek....I accept that!

So I kinda notice what others are using. For the most part the brands are not nearly as varied as here on BF.

Number one brand in terms of popularity was Nikon...but it was close with the top three in terms of popularity. I'd say is was as follows:

1. Nikon
2. Vortex and Swarovski.
3. Zeiss- WAY down the list.
4. Leupold
5. Others.

The Monarch 7 seemed to be the most popular binocular. The previous model Vortex Diamondback...probably next. I was surprised at how many Swarovski SLCs and ELs there were and those were EASILY the most popular premium binoculars. Prob slightly more Els....but SLCs(previous model HD) were EVERYWHERE.

Didn't see one Maven, Toric, Sightron, Styrka. Don't mean they weren't there...just didn't see them. Saw more than expected Leopold BX-3 8X32s, quite a few of the Yosemites. Zeiss was represented mostly by Terra HDs. Conquest HDs next...a few SFs ;)...a couple of HTs.

Quite a few of the previous generation Trinovids were being used. By far the most popular Leica model I saw...




And the people using the previous generation Trinovids have probably been using them since they purchased them when they were new before the Ultravids came out. :king::t:

Bob

PS: Wouldn't that 0-ring under the eye cups on your SF increase the ER instead of decrease it or am I not picturing it right in my mind's eye?
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Your brand representation observation is really interesting.

Yes, most Alpha users probably do not upgrade with any frequency. Both psychologically (I have the best, why upgrade?) and empirically (the view through any Alpha from the past 10-15 years is stellar), there is very little incentive or emotion for an upgrade among most people I would assume. Probably all Trinovids, SLCs, and Conquests will also keep most people happy for as long as they need bins.

Not surprised to see Nikon and Swarovski well represented, but surprised to see Leica so far down and Leupold so far up. Mildly surprised that Vortex outranks Zeiss or Leica. I wonder if results would differ in California. Perhaps I don't notice Leupold as much, or more likely I didn't see a good cross section of birders when living there, instead just seeing friends and pelagic participants, neither of which are a broad spectrum.
 

EnjoyTheView

Well-known member
The Optics distribution is very interesting. If the rest of their Monarch 7 line are the same relative caliber as my 10x30 version I can understand their popularity and am happy people have found them. It is hard to see anyone with one of the better bins needing to upgrade, but one can really appreciate some of the smaller things when using an instrument heavily. The continued inflation for the top models though is reducing their market significantly or the quality of the lower ranked bins is really taking a bite out of their market forcing them to increase the price to make manufacturing them viable. Both Zeiss and Swarovski have focused as much, if not more, on ergonomics for their latest revisions of their top glass than on their optics.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
And the people using the previous generation Trinovids have probably been using them since they purchased them when they were new before the Ultravids came out. :king::t:

Bob

PS: Wouldn't that 0-ring under the eye cups on your SF increase the ER instead of decrease it or am I not picturing it right in my mind's eye?

Yeah Bob, it WOULD! Thanks for keeping me straight!

The Trinovids... Yeah you could tell most of the Trinovids were well used. Obviously is was a smart choice when purchased...

Your brand representation observation is really interesting.

Yes, most Alpha users probably do not upgrade with any frequency. Both psychologically (I have the best, why upgrade?) and empirically (the view through any Alpha from the past 10-15 years is stellar), there is very little incentive or emotion for an upgrade among most people I would assume. Probably all Trinovids, SLCs, and Conquests will also keep most people happy for as long as they need bins.

Not surprised to see Nikon and Swarovski well represented, but surprised to see Leica so far down and Leupold so far up. Mildly surprised that Vortex outranks Zeiss or Leica. I wonder if results would differ in California. Perhaps I don't notice Leupold as much, or more likely I didn't see a good cross section of birders when living there, instead just seeing friends and pelagic participants, neither of which are a broad spectrum.

Yeah it could be a regional thing...but there were literally folks from everywhere there....Florida, California, Australia, England...lots from Michigan/Ohio of course..

So many Swarovski's surprised me. It was almost Nikon/Swarovski/Vortex... then everything else. A Monarch 7 8X42 is a pretty solid birding binocular.
 

adhoc

Well-known member
Again from you Chuck, now in a very different setting, unexpected and very useful information, in that pleasing style. I had been wondering how at least one discerning user (other than Zeiss!) could flatly call the SF "the world's best birding binocular". Now that is easier to understand. (It is too big and too pricey for me though!)
 

coopershawk

Well-known member
So I'm an optics geek....I accept that!

So I kinda notice what others are using. For the most part the brands are not nearly as varied as here on BF.

Number one brand in terms of popularity was Nikon...but it was close with the top three in terms of popularity. I'd say is was as follows:

1. Nikon
2. Vortex and Swarovski.
3. Zeiss- WAY down the list.
4. Leupold
5. Others.

The Monarch 7 seemed to be the most popular binocular. The previous model Vortex Diamondback...probably next. I was surprised at how many Swarovski SLCs and ELs there were and those were EASILY the most popular premium binoculars. Prob slightly more Els....but SLCs(previous model HD) were EVERYWHERE.

Didn't see one Maven, Toric, Sightron, Styrka. Don't mean they weren't there...just didn't see them. Saw more than expected Leopold BX-3 8X32s, quite a few of the Yosemites. Zeiss was represented mostly by Terra HDs. Conquest HDs next...a few SFs ;)...a couple of HTs.

Quite a few of the previous generation Trinovids were being used. By far the most popular Leica model I saw...

Hah Chuck I do the same thing. I always wonder if people see me eyeing their bins. Anyway, this closely mirrors my experience when birding with others. Seems like if they can afford it, people go swaro. Otherwise, most people have a monarch. And sprinkled in between are some of the others you mentioned. I would have never known the name maven, tract, or sightron if it weren't for birdforum, and with nearly 1500 posts in the sightron thread, you'd think everyone would own at least 2.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I realize there's a big divide. Either people spend upwards of 2000, or below 500. There is a noticeable lack of the "mid-class."
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
:king::t:

Bob

PS: Wouldn't that 0-ring under the eye cups on your SF increase the ER instead of decrease it or am I not picturing it right in my mind's eye?

Bob

Eye relief is nornally a measure of the distance above the top lens where the point at which the full in-focus FOV can be seen. Putting o-rings under the eyecups doesn't change the eye relief at all, you are stuck with it. However if your eye doesn't arrive at this point with just the help of the eyecup it is possible to adjust the position of the eyecup to bring your eye to this position. In the case being discussed here, the eye relief is too great for the person concerned and lifting the eyecup up with o-rings delivers the eye to a better position.

I do this myself on a number of models due to the design of my current spectacles. Until I got these I never needed this sort of adjustment.

Lee
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Now that I'm thinking about it, I realize there's a big divide. Either people spend upwards of 2000, or below 500. There is a noticeable lack of the "mid-class."

I think again it depends on who you look at. I see a LOT of mid tier bins (particularly Conquests) hanging from the necks of biologists, locals, and younger birders (latino and gringo) in the neotropics. You do not see a ton of alphas aside from visiting birders. I would say the break here is either mid-range stuff in the $300-1000 range or truly cheap bins, like under $100.
 

ailevin

Well-known member
Now that I'm thinking about it, I realize there's a big divide. Either people spend upwards of 2000, or below 500. There is a noticeable lack of the "mid-class."

As in life itself, the "mid-class" is shrinking. Here in Southern California, Swarovski seems to be the most common high end binocular, followed by Nikon, and then a smattering of Zeiss and Leica. I also see a variety of Eagle Optics models.
 

BruceH

Avatar: Harris Hawk
Chuck ..... Thanks for taking the time to write about your trip. It does a great job in providing a feeling for the event. What a good time! It was also good to hear you are becoming one with your SF 8X. The more I use that model, the more I like it.

One trend I noticed at events is that people seem to be going more toward photography. Did you notice that? Was the boardwalk a line of tripods?

It is not usual for me to come across folks with only their camera equipment. They will spot a bird, take a photo and then observe it on the tiny LCD screen. Although I will take some photos with a point and shoot super zoom, my preference is still observing with a good quality binocular.
 

wdc

Well-known member
".. Although I will take some photos with a point and shoot super zoom, my preference is still observing with a good quality binocular.[/QUOTE]

I do the same with a Nikon p610 that I carry. It has helped me study and ID some birds after the fact. I think of it as a digital spotting scope. I do enjoy the binocular view most, though. As observing tools, they really complement each other.

Bill
 

EnjoyTheView

Well-known member
Bob

Eye relief is nornally a measure of the distance above the top lens where the point at which the full in-focus FOV can be seen. Putting o-rings under the eyecups doesn't change the eye relief at all, you are stuck with it. However if your eye doesn't arrive at this point with just the help of the eyecup it is possible to adjust the position of the eyecup to bring your eye to this position. In the case being discussed here, the eye relief is too great for the person concerned and lifting the eyecup up with o-rings delivers the eye to a better position.

I do this myself on a number of models due to the design of my current spectacles. Until I got these I never needed this sort of adjustment.

Lee
+1
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
Last year, at Pelee, there were still a remarkable number of Bausch and Lomb Elites and Zeiss Classic 10x40 B's...for many people this kind of purchase is forever, with no thoughts of moving up even if they [bins] are 20 - 30 years old.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Again from you Chuck, now in a very different setting, unexpected and very useful information, in that pleasing style. I had been wondering how at least one discerning user (other than Zeiss!) could flatly call the SF "the world's best birding binocular". Now that is easier to understand. (It is too big and too pricey for me though!)

The SFs size was one of the reasons I never used it. But you have to remember it weighs pretty close to a Ultravid HD + 42mm. It's hard to beat for sure.

Chuck ..... Thanks for taking the time to write about your trip. It does a great job in providing a feeling for the event. What a good time! It was also good to hear you are becoming one with your SF 8X. The more I use that model, the more I like it.

One trend I noticed at events is that people seem to be going more toward photography. Did you notice that? Was the boardwalk a line of tripods?

It is not usual for me to come across folks with only their camera equipment. They will spot a bird, take a photo and then observe it on the tiny LCD screen. Although I will take some photos with a point and shoot super zoom, my preference is still observing with a good quality binocular.

Yep....a growing trend for sure. I'm either going to look for birds OR I'm going to take pictures of birds....That's how I roll. Taking a picture, at least for me is too time consuming. Five or ten seconds may be all you even SEE a bird, sometimes less. If I can ID it with binoculars THEN have time to take a picture, I'm okay with that. There were folks with what seemed like a Hubble telescope attached to their camera. I'd say 25% had nothing but a camera/huge lens...about 25% binocular and a camera of some type. Speaking of cameras....I've never seen where ONE BRAND was so dominant...Canon. I have a Nikon D750 with a Tamron 150-600 lens. I didn't even take it with me..
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
The Optics Tent...

Love the Optics Tent. Basically any major binocular brand is there...with binoculars/spotting scopes to try. Everyone was very considerate and helpful from every booth I went to.

I compared my SF(gray) to the current SF(black). Of course optically I could tell no difference. But I CAN tell a difference with he focus adjustment. My adjustment is plenty good BUT the new model IS almost Nikon EDG good. Very nice. And of course an extra stop in the eye cups which is nice.

I've been wanting a binocular to leave in the SUV/crossover/whatever it is. It has a glove-box that is too small for a 8X42. So I was primarily thinking Swarovski CL 8X30 if the eye relief worked out for me. So I grabbed one from Time and Optics and out back I went. Personally...I think the CL 8x30 is a great little binocular! And I am to report that the eye-relief is FINE with my Ray-Ban eyeglasses! So I got a price and headed out to eat and look at birds and sleep on it.

Next day I had made up my mind to buy the CL. So just after lunch on our way to the next birding spot we stopped by the tent. The tent was less busy so I basically played with several of the 8X30/32s.

Leica-
Tried both the 8X32 UV HD + and Trinovid HD. The UV HD+ IS one SWEET binocular BUT...their ER listing of 13.3mm is probably accurate and that is just not quite enough ER for me. I can't imagine it being enough for any eye glasses wearer. The Trinovid HD 8X32...works fine with eyeglasses. Great actually. But the feature they are really promoting with that binocular is close-focusing. I had no problems focusing at 3 feet.

Back to the CL 8X30
I basically came to the tent to buy the CL 8X30. But one binocular I had not tried was the Conquest HD 8X32....so Ashlee and I pick up the Conquest HD and the CL and headed out back of the tent. After much comparing with both agreed what our favorite between the two was..... the Conquest HD 8X32. A little larger for sure...about the same price or a little less... The Conquest HD seemed to be a little brighter, larger FOV, and maybe a little more eye relief. So that's the one I purchased and the Zeiss folks threw in a few extras!;)
 

ailevin

Well-known member
Chuck,

Thanks for the report.

When I visited the Zeiss booth at the San Diego Bird Festival in February, they said that the SF 8x32 was due out this spring. Any rumors or comments about that in the optics tent?

Alan
 

David in NC

Well-known member
Chuck,

Clearly you went for the Conquest but can you give your thoughts on the Conquest HD versus the new Trinovid HD, both in 8x32?

Thanks,

David
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Chuck,

Clearly you went for the Conquest but can you give your thoughts on the Conquest HD versus the new Trinovid HD, both in 8x32?

Thanks,

David
Hey David..
I really did not compare those two...since the Trinovid HD 8X32 won't be available here for a while. The brief time I looked at it....optics/eye relief/close focus won't be a concern, IMO... The only issue for ME would be if it truly IS an 8X32 with less than 400ft/1000yds FOV. There really AREN'T that many of those. I guess if one really HAD to have the extra ER in a 32mm binocular...still may be a good way to go.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Just to give you a LITTLE taste of some of the things you MIGHT see at Magee Marsh....
 

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