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~6.5 power binoculars? (1 Viewer)

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Another "rarity from the past" in the 6x30 category is the 6x30 Habicht. Late-production models (early 90's) are theoretically still optically pretty competitive. I generally am not enough of a collector to go looking for old / discontinued bins, but have thought for some time that I'd be interested if one came along. Unfortunately they have gotten pretty pricey for late samples in good condition.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Josh - you’re probably just seeing the inherent flaws in the design with more use. See reviews from Henry on the 10x42 and my comments on the 6.5x32 among others. They initially wow with the very bright optics and great color and the low mag masks some of the defects, which is why the 6.5x is popular (and Gijs measured the real magnification at 6x).

My sample also had a janky focus knob and perhaps was slightly miscollimated. I really liked the feel and handling and the awesome Kowa C3 coatings but it’s clear these are a cheap design with poor correction of aberrations. And lots of sample variation.

Perhaps you are correct, but I'm also impressed by the number of people who give them quite positive reviews and don't mention these issues. I don't think that I'm magically pickier than others, so I'm still using them from time to time and trying to come to a better understanding of what is going on. Whatever the end cause ends up being is perhaps less important than the education that comes from the investigation / thinking about it.

It's another case of it being interesting to think about individual variation vs sample variation. Perhaps I just don't have a good fit with the bin and cannot get the easy view as readily as most. This is similar to another discussion in another thread lately regarding the MHG 8x30. With that bin, I notice far less glare and have essentially no complaints, in comparison to several others. Either I have a cherry specimen or, more likely, I just get on with it very well and it fits me and my face.

My BDII seems close enough to perfectly collimated that I cannot note a problem. The focus has a very small amount of slop, pretty acceptable for the price point in my view. I don't see diopter problems (ie, differential focus between tubes when focusing fwd vs bkwd) but I do see a difference in diopter (at times) between near and far focus. At some point I want to take the time to really go through them better and do some more testing (within my abilities). I don't fancy myself an optics wizard by any stretch, but it's a fun world to dip into and learn about.
 

Charnwood

Active member
United Kingdom
Although you are looking for low power, I will note that for the same price range the Opticron Traveler ED 8x32 is a much better corrected optic than the Kowa. Unlike the Kowa, it doesn't have any funky distortion characteristics and has very low astigmatism across the field, and above average correction of CA, so it subjectively feels like a huge sweet spot with good "clarity".
Opticron also offer a 6x32 version of their Traveller BGA Mg in the UK. This is an older design but its fairly solidly built and they offer a 30yr guarantee. I have the 8x version and it works well for garden birdwatching and butterflies - very compact, 19mm eye relief (I use it with spectacles), close focus is 1.5m, but a limited FOV. Not sure if it is available in the US or what the guarantee there might be.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Another "rarity from the past" in the 6x30 category is the 6x30 Habicht. Late-production models (early 90's) are theoretically still optically pretty competitive. I generally am not enough of a collector to go looking for old / discontinued bins, but have thought for some time that I'd be interested if one came along. Unfortunately they have gotten pretty pricey for late samples in good condition.

pbjosh,

FYI since you have a potential interest: On my 6x30 Habicht of 1955 vintage the AFOV is very narrow. Surely the coatings/optics on the models from the 90's would be better, but my guess is the AFOV hasn't changed if that matters to you.

Mike
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
pbjosh,

FYI since you have a potential interest: On my 6x30 Habicht of 1955 vintage the AFOV is very narrow. Surely the coatings/optics on the models from the 90's would be better, but my guess is the AFOV hasn't changed if that matters to you.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I've seen a FOV of 8,5 degrees - implying an AFOV around 50 degrees - for later models. I agree it's not really inspiring...

Currently I'm hoping the new APM 6x30 will outperform (for my eyes/use) the Kowa.

Cheers!
Josh
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Well regarded for sure, and interesting for sure. I think the FOV is modest, ala the 6x30 Habicht - something like 8,5 degrees? Independent Focus is also a bit offputting for non-astro use. It does seem a nifty bin though.
"Independent Focus is also a bit offputting for non-astro use."

Independent focusing is not a problem at all at 6x. I had a pair of the Fujinon FMTR-SX 6x30 and you hardly ever have to focus them because of the great DOF. I am starting to prefer Independent Focusing on 8x and below in magnification because you never have to focus unless the bird is less than 30 feet away. If the bird is only 30 feet away I just use my eyes anyway.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Independent focusing is not a problem at all at 6x. I had a pair of the Fujinon FMTR-SX 6x30 and you hardly ever have to focus them because of the great DOF. I am starting to prefer Independent Focusing on 8x and below in magnification because you never have to focus unless the bird is less than 30 feet away. If the bird is only 30 feet away I just use my eyes anyway.

To each their own :) Everyone has their own preferences, and I am not trying to be argumentative, but there are a lot of good reasons why birders don't tend to carry 50mm+ porros, independent focus bins, or very many bins over 10x magnification. Sure, I've seen large porros in the field a few times (mostly in Latin America, among younger birders, where access to and funds for newer bins are limited so they're working with what they can get their hands on). And sure, I've seen 12x and 15x bins on finnsticks in certain areas and in certain circumstances, but not frequently. However, I've never seen an IF bin in a birders hands...
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Independent focusing is not a problem at all at 6x.
I guess this pretty much depends on what you are looking at (if it moves towards or away from you) and the distance between you and what you are looking at. I've used several 6/6.5 x extensively (especially the 6x30 Kowa YF and the 6.5x21 Papilio) and believe me, focusing can be a problem at 6x, at least for me. You are lucky if it isn't a problem for you, enjoy :)
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
To each their own :) Everyone has their own preferences, and I am not trying to be argumentative, but there are a lot of good reasons why birders don't tend to carry 50mm+ porros, independent focus bins, or very many bins over 10x magnification. Sure, I've seen large porros in the field a few times (mostly in Latin America, among younger birders, where access to and funds for newer bins are limited so they're working with what they can get their hands on). And sure, I've seen 12x and 15x bins on finnsticks in certain areas and in certain circumstances, but not frequently. However, I've never seen an IF bin in a birders hands...

I.F. has its place IMHO for some users and the places they use their bins. My "Police" Steiners focus at ~2m and are super easy to just pick up and use. Fast focus versus precise slow focus? How about NO FOCUS!

On 6.5 power close focus bins though, I'm not sure I.F. is the best choice for many people as a sharp 2' focus that then changes to ~20' probably isn't an option for I.F. bins.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
To each their own :) Everyone has their own preferences, and I am not trying to be argumentative, but there are a lot of good reasons why birders don't tend to carry 50mm+ porros, independent focus bins, or very many bins over 10x magnification. Sure, I've seen large porros in the field a few times (mostly in Latin America, among younger birders, where access to and funds for newer bins are limited so they're working with what they can get their hands on). And sure, I've seen 12x and 15x bins on finnsticks in certain areas and in certain circumstances, but not frequently. However, I've never seen an IF bin in a birders hands...
I use Fujinon 16X70 for a "closer look" to supplement my 10X and now 8X regular glass.

Usually over ponds for water birds and waders, I don't go chasing warblers through the pucker-brush, and I bird from a car, so resting them on a partially raised window is feasible.

They obviously help a great deal, but are like looking through a tube so I am always glad to go back to the regular optics. If I can't see it with one or the other I just shrug and look at something else, or go somewhere else. I seldom take my Nikon Field Scope III ED anywhere.

It was very entertaining to use them to watch a Kingfisher whacking a fish against the tree branch it was perched on, about 100 yards/meters away. (not so much for the fish)
 
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Kevin Conville

yardbirder
I just had my Fuji 6x30 AR-SX out a few minutes before writing this to refresh my memory. At once I am reminded of what I like -and- dislike about them.
They are sharp and really offer an excellent view, within their limits. The pronounced field stop gives them a tunnel vision-esque aspect which belies their 8* field of view. Being stubby and wide, I don't care much for the way they hold/handle but I didn't care too much for my Nikon EIIs for this same reason.

But the biggest issue is the most obvious one, individual focus. For birding and looking at things at constantly varying distances they, umh uh, how should I say? Suck. Too much futzin' around for my tastes.

Dennis must have superb visual accommodation or just not care about his bins being in perfect focus as the below statement is not my experience. Center focus is a hit, for a REASON.
Independent focusing is not a problem at all at 6x. I had a pair of the Fujinon FMTR-SX 6x30 and you hardly ever have to focus them because of the great DOF. I am starting to prefer Independent Focusing on 8x and below in magnification because you never have to focus unless the bird is less than 30 feet away. If the bird is only 30 feet away I just use my eyes anyway.

In the case of the bigger binoculars with IF, like my Fuji 16x70s, there are used more for infinity viewing and they fit this requirement well.
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
Look around for a pair of the old Vortex Fury 6.5x30's. I won't part with mine.
I won't discount your opinion, but I had a pair of these and they were junk. Optically mediocre, they also catastrophically failed after just a few days (bought new) The focus axle twisted apart, seemingly made of semi-soft cheese. If only they had used an aged Parmesan they may have lasted a little longer. :rolleyes:

Contemporaneously I was using my brother's 8x something or other Vortex Vipers which were also new and they had daily diopter shift to the point that after about a week they were unusable. I adopted an unfavorable view of Vortex binoculars during that time.
 
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oldfortyfive

Well-known member
I won't discount your opinion, but I had a pair of these and they were junk. Optically mediocre, they also catastrophically failed after just a few days (bought new) The focus axle twisted apart, seemingly made of semi-soft cheese. If only they has used an aged Parmesan they may have lasted a little longer. :rolleyes:

Contemporaneously I was using my brother's 8x something or other Vortex Vipers which were also new and they had daily diopter shift to the point that after about a week they were unusable. I adopted an unfavorable view of Vortex binoculars during that time.
A buddy and I both got them about 8-10 years ago and they have been on hunting trips every year since. They've been rock solid despite the abuse. Could never complain about the view either.
 

Kevin Conville

yardbirder
Certainly Vortex has their following and they wouldn't have stayed in business if my experience with them was typical.
But after 0 for 2, and with so many choices, I'd pass.

I think that with many brands offering Chinese goods from that time their QC was mostly nonexistent. The marketing strategy (I think) was to get as many out there as they could, cheaply, and deal with any customer issues with a quick replacement. In effect letting the public sort them out.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Regarding 6 power Porros, most have minimum focus distances of ~15'. I've looked at a lot of them but, they also seem to be targeted to the disposable or 'kid' market.

Suggestions for current production bins in the <$400 price range that are compatible with eyeglasses and butterflies are appreciated! I'm thinking roofs for pocket carry but, porros are also an option for me though, not as bulky as the Steiners, please!
Was mentioned earlier but wasn't any more....Why not try a Pentax Papilio II 6.5X21 reverse porro? I brushed off this little binocular for years. It is literally THE binocular that should be in every inset-watchers repertoire. It will practically focus to any distance you seem fit! I believe it will focus to like 1.5ft. It is admittedly a pretty amazing little binocular. Mine weights 10.4oz. Optically it's better than you would expect. Ricoh states its FOV is 393ft. ER is stated at 15mm and I can use it with eyeglasses on. You can probably get one for $125. What have you got to lose? IMG_1607.jpeg
 

Patudo

Well-known member
But the biggest issue is the most obvious one, individual focus. For birding and looking at things at constantly varying distances they, umh uh, how should I say? Suck. Too much futzin' around for my tastes.

Dennis must have superb visual accommodation or just not care about his bins being in perfect focus as the below statement is not my experience. Center focus is a hit, for a REASON.

I suppose if one can find "tons of warblers" in February, using an individual focus binocular is indeed "not a problem at all" ...
 

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