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8x42 EDS experience? (1 Viewer)

Cluster

Well-known member
Hi, thinking of adding an 8x42 roof to my set of binoculars. I have noticed that these binoculars can be bought for around £200, but can't find much in the way of reviews for them.. Has anyone tried them?
 

Cluster

Well-known member
The Viking 8x42 ED-S and the Vanguard 8x42 Endeavor (Mk1) are available for under £200, I wondered if they might suit me.
It may be a tall order, it will have to better my Nikon M7 8x30, mainly in regard to the contrast and also get somewhere near the optical performance (within the sweet-spot) of my HRWP8x42, with better ergonomics.
I can get to LCE and view the Viking, but not the Vanguard, so some input would be welcome.
 

typo

Well-known member
Hope someone comes along that has tried me more recently than I have, or at least managed to do some sort of direct comparison.

For what it's worth, I rather liked the Endeavour as I recall. On a sunny day I found the centre sharp, and allowing for field curvature quite a reasonable sweet spot. The CA was there, but I thought acceptable. The colour balance was warm, which made the colour rich at times, but seemed to reduce contrast in more gloomy conditions. I didn't give the model a second look after the EDII was launched.

I've only tried the ED-S briefly along side the other EDs in the Viking range and a couple of RSPBs. Sorry that I don't rmember too many details but I wasn't particularly impressed. Didn't seem sharp to me and the colours looked dull.

Without comparison I couldn't really say how either would stack up against the HRWP or the M7, but my guess is the Vanguard would get closer. I've not tried the ED version of the Opticron Explorer WA yet, but based on the previous version, that might be worth a look?

David
 
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Swarovski Man

Well-known member
Cluster - FWIW, I tried the Viking ED-S at RSPB Lochwinnoch a few years ago and thought that it was okay, but did not have any stand-out qualities, although it got a good review in one of the birding magazines at the time ( when it was priced far higher than the £175 that you can get it for now ). What I would say is that it has a fov of 7.8degrees which is pretty good. I have thought of buying it myself recently with the price drop, but the position of the focus knob so close to the eye pieces puts me off. I did (briefly) own the Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42 Mark 1 but returned it. It was very comfortable to hold due to the "pebble" armouring, but optically, it was just mediocre - the cheap Chinese ED glass did little to enhance the view.
 

Cluster

Well-known member
Thanks both for your comments. I admit that I was tempted by the low price, dropping from what was quite high. I guess that the reason we've not heard too much of it is that it's a fairly average bin.
 

Cluster

Well-known member
Small departure from the thread...
During an outing to an RSPB reserve, I was able to try some of their 8x42 binoculars. I realised that as I looked through my 7x36, then the 8x42 at a fixed object (feeder etc) it was not difficult to see that I got a small amount of extra magnification which, with the right bins, would give me a little more detail, as do my 8x42 porros as used at home. So much for A-B comparison, but when out in the field, as I look at objects/birds at varying distances that I am not familiar with, the concept of such a little extra magnification is completely lost on me... there are always birds a little further away than I can see super detail on and some that are "within" range. I can't really tell that the distance is any different for 7x or 8x, but I can sure tell the difference in DoF and binocular steadiness.
Perhaps I should be considering 10x.
 

chris6

Well-known member
Small departure from the thread...
During an outing to an RSPB reserve, I was able to try some of their 8x42 binoculars. I realised that as I looked through my 7x36, then the 8x42 at a fixed object (feeder etc) it was not difficult to see that I got a small amount of extra magnification which, with the right bins, would give me a little more detail, as do my 8x42 porros as used at home. So much for A-B comparison, but when out in the field, as I look at objects/birds at varying distances that I am not familiar with, the concept of such a little extra magnification is completely lost on me... there are always birds a little further away than I can see super detail on and some that are "within" range. I can't really tell that the distance is any different for 7x or 8x, but I can sure tell the difference in DoF and binocular steadiness.
Perhaps I should be considering 10x.
Cluster,
Improving upon HRWP8x42 is a tall order and the way you have described the 'range' quandary, involving DoF, and steadiness was interesting too.

You could well find that 10x does more significantly increase that 'range', while steadiness/DoF suffer, but perhaps going to 50mm objectives might alleviate the downsides. Evidently ease of use is maintained by the exit pupil, and steadiness through higher weight, although I am not sure how DoF would be affected?

However, as magnification/range increases I guess there may be greater potential for the important factors, especially sharpness, to become more problematic. I have been very satisfied with the colour and contrast provided by relatively inexpensive 8x32 binoculars with sparkle and wide clean view, in spite of average sharpness:-
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pentax-F...031711&hash=item1edfa4fdd2:g:t0kAAOSwdytaxL~C
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Feldsteche...031711&hash=item3d6061e278:g:SHQAAOSw-uda05q8
- but not so much with such economical 42mm or 50mm ones at 10x magnification

At low or even medium cost I found 10x32 was less 'easy' and an adequately sharp and colourful 10x42 or 10x50 has been hard to find. Taking it to the extreme, it was finally resolved by resorting to Meostar HD 12x50. The increased 'range' is very obvious while, at any distance, it also provides a beautiful image...so maybe Meostar HD 10x42 would be worth a try?
 
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Cluster

Well-known member
Thanks Chris6, the urge has passed now. The HRWP will be fine for outings to reserves where open areas are viewed (and the need to use 8x persists), my UV7x42HD/ZR ED2 7x36 for most else and the M7 8x30 where a lightweight and compact bin is needed.
I had a couple of 10x42 some time ago and this put me off them, although one was a porro that seemed to be better.... I wonder if that issue with porro's effect on the apparent magnification might help here... you might know or remember that the closer view through porros tends to be "seen" as a lower mag than is really the case, maybe a brain thing? For my brain, an 8x porro gives a view (at least of closer objects) similar to a 7x in a roof.. Maybe I might like a 10x porro...
 

chris6

Well-known member
Interesting about that porro effect upon apparent magnification, which I have not heard about or spotted. The forum has been very helpful, except that in my case it provokes new urges - latest has been belatedly to try a Sightron BSII clone, Kenko OP 8x32 DH II https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004DYQRME/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This Kenko is black rather than green in colour but still in 2018 it turns out to be as good as nearly everyone has already said (so many times!). It's smaller and lighter than the earlier favourite Pentax ED 8x32 mentioned above. I think the Kenko DHII (not necessarily the same as its predecessor, the earlier/cheaper non-DHII version) is very slightly sharper, sparkle (contrast/colour?) being much the same, and is almost as easy to use, although perhaps it has a marginally smaller FoV. Nevertheless the Kenko is still not quite, as I remember it, as sharp as the other forum-recommended porro (FrankD again being responsible), Orion Ultraview 8x42, which had an even wider field at '8.2 degrees', and Meostar 8x32 (most recently by Troubador) although neither of the latter seemed quite as colourful as Pentax ED 8x32 and Kenko II.

Of course I had also been sorely tempted by the Opticron HRWP which you have, if it is the same as FrankD reviewed https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=214018 except for the Field of 112m at 1000m - so that was one of the few not realized. However the Orion was the sharpest, among the biggest sweet spots, and widest FoV of the porros I have owned except for the Nikon SE 8x32, and 10x35. Evidently the SEs are recognised as benchmarks and by pure luck in those days I once had them together before getting anything else but don't miss them at all because I found them both too difficult to use, partly because of Eye Relief and roll down rubber eyepiece covers.

Amongst several porros tried, I did not find Pentax SP 10x50 WP sharp or bright enough but guess that after all you might just be tempted again by the Orion 8x42 because of its wide FoV, and sharpness which you might find equivalent to the HRWP.
(- or perhaps by the Orion Ultraview 10x50 available at £132.99. I have not tried that version but at 10x magnification it may have a similar AoV, while the image could be usefully bigger than that provided by the HRWP: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-09351-UltraView-Wide-Angle-Binoculars/dp/B0000XMRBM )...?
 
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Cluster

Well-known member
Interesting info and experiences you have.. Thanks for the pointer to the Orion 10x50, it could be a runner (and cheap!).
This thread has wandered off the original theme, so I may post a general question "what bin should I buy".
Thanks for your input..
 

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