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8x42 vs. 10x42 Binoculars (2 Viewers)

On the last bird walk I attended, someone had a large camera mounted on a monopod and it appeared pretty steady. I’m definitely going to see if I can use my trekking pole as a monopod. Thanks for the reply and have a good evening!

You'll be pleased you did. You just need to experiment a bit to get the right platform that provides the right balance of stability and easy movement. My favourite is a kind of wide plastic tube covered in rubber.
 
You'll be pleased you did. You just need to experiment a bit to get the right platform that provides the right balance of stability and easy movement. My favourite is a kind of wide plastic tube covered in rubber.

I’ll try the trekking pole but if that does work, I’ll look for one like you mentioned. Thanks again!
 
If you have some pictures available, it would be appreciated. Thanks and have a good day!

Here you go; self-explanatory I hope. There is a walking pole and an old piece of plastic waste pipe with a slot cut out so that it can slide (tightly) along the top of the handle. Then use pieces cut from an old bicycle inner tube to secure the pipe in place from both ends and give it a grippy surface so that the binocular 'sticks' nicely once it is sitting on there. This will need some effort to slide them on tightly but once on it is a very secure arrangement. If your walking pole has a different kind of handle the idea can be adapted.

If you make the pipe long enough, you can rest your wrists on the ends as you focus and aim the binocular. This takes the weight of your arms and also improves stability, so that you can observe for long periods without effort. Setting the pole length correctly and placing the foot in your belt or a pocket also gives you a Finn-stick.

I have various methods but this is the simplest and possibly also the easiest for panning and elevation changes. As a nice touch, I can add memory foam pads where the binocular rests and this increases stability even further because the weight of the binocular makes a dent in the pads and supports it naturally. You can even take your hands away and it will stay! I have not shown this but can if required.

I hope this helps - I find it extremely useful especially for the 12x, and taking a small and light stool (~700g) allows extended periods of detailed observation.
 

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Here you go; self-explanatory I hope. There is a walking pole and an old piece of plastic waste pipe with a slot cut out so that it can slide (tightly) along the top of the handle. Then use pieces cut from an old bicycle inner tube to secure the pipe in place from both ends and give it a grippy surface so that the binocular 'sticks' nicely once it is sitting on there. This will need some effort to slide them on tightly but once on it is a very secure arrangement. If your walking pole has a different kind of handle the idea can be adapted.

If you make the pipe long enough, you can rest your wrists on the ends as you focus and aim the binocular. This takes the weight of your arms and also improves stability, so that you can observe for long periods without effort. Setting the pole length correctly and placing the foot in your belt or a pocket also gives you a Finn-stick.

I have various methods but this is the simplest and possibly also the easiest for panning and elevation changes. As a nice touch, I can add memory foam pads where the binocular rests and this increases stability even further because the weight of the binocular makes a dent in the pads and supports it naturally. You can even take your hands away and it will stay! I have not shown this but can if required.

I hope this helps - I find it extremely useful especially for the 12x, and taking a small and light stool (~700g) allows extended periods of detailed observation.
I appreciate the detailed instructions and photos. I have a similar trekking pole to the one in the picture that I can use for a monopod. I can scrounge up a pice of PVC pipe and some black pipe insulation for padding to make the rest. I use some Gorilla Tape to secure it. This is a very practical and economic idea. Thank you very much and have a great day!
 
I appreciate the detailed instructions and photos. I have a similar trekking pole to the one in the picture that I can use for a monopod. I can scrounge up a pice of PVC pipe and some black pipe insulation for padding to make the rest. I use some Gorilla Tape to secure it. This is a very practical and economic idea. Thank you very much and have a great day!

I hope it goes well.

Once you find a nice setup then I recommend the old inner tube eventually to bind it all together, because it's stronger and more waterproof, permanent and grippy than tape. A local bike shop will give you one for free.
 
I hope it goes well.

Once you find a nice setup then I recommend the old inner tube eventually to bind it all together, because it's stronger and more waterproof, permanent and grippy than tape. A local bike shop will give you one for free.
I probably have an old bicycle tire tube around the house that I can use instead of the tape. Cheers!
 
I have a Conquest HD 10x42 that I keep on a tripod aimed at the birdfeeder. When looking elsewhere, I'm always comparing various vintage binoculars to the Conquest 8x32. The Conquest is brighter in less than full light, but not necessarily sharper.

The tripod mounting plate is a quick disconnect, and I can hold onto the tripod adapter as a pistol grip. Those with heavy binoculars might give that a try. You can cross one arm and rest the bino-holding elbow on it; pretty stable. Or use a cup & saucer grip with your elbows on your chest.
 
I have a Conquest HD 10x42 that I keep on a tripod aimed at the birdfeeder. When looking elsewhere, I'm always comparing various vintage binoculars to the Conquest 8x32. The Conquest is brighter in less than full light, but not necessarily sharper.

The tripod mounting plate is a quick disconnect, and I can hold onto the tripod adapter as a pistol grip. Those with heavy binoculars might give that a try. You can cross one arm and rest the bino-holding elbow on it; pretty stable. Or use a cup & saucer grip with your elbows on your chest.
I’ve been told that a 10x42 really shines when it’s mounted on a tripod. I was recently at an Audubon owned birding spot, and the volunteer was using a pair of 10x42 Vortex Vipers. He said that he needed the higher power to identify birds, especially when he was leading birding tours. The Conquest 10x42’s are highly rated and if buy a pair, I’m going to try your suggestions. Cheers!
 
Choosing between 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars for birdwatching and general wildlife viewing depends on several factors, Here are some considerations to help you decide:
  1. Magnification vs. Stability: Higher magnification, such as 10x, allows for closer views of distant subjects but can also amplify hand movements, leading to shakier images, especially if you have unsteady hands or are viewing subjects at long distances.10x magnification might be preferable. However, if stability is a concern or if you prefer a wider field of view, 8x magnification could be a better choice.
  2. Field of View: Higher magnification typically comes at the expense of a narrower field of view. A wider field of view allows you to see more of the surrounding area, making it easier to locate and track birds and wildlife. If observing birds in flight or fast-moving wildlife, a wider field of view provided by 8x binoculars may be advantageous.
  3. Eye Strain and Comfort: Higher magnification binoculars can also result in increased eye strain, particularly during prolonged use. Additionally, higher magnification binoculars may have a narrower exit pupil, making it more challenging to maintain a full view if your hands are not perfectly steady or if you're using them in low light conditions. Consider your comfort level and any potential issues with eye strain when choosing between 8x and 10x binoculars.
  4. Light Gathering Ability: Both 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars have the same objective lens diameter (42mm), meaning they gather the same amount of light. However, higher magnification binoculars may appear dimmer due to the increased magnification, especially in low light conditions. If you anticipate birdwatching during dawn or dusk when lighting conditions are less than optimal, you may prefer the brighter image provided by 8x binoculars.
 
Choosing between 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars for birdwatching and general wildlife viewing depends on several factors, Here are some considerations to help you decide:
  1. Magnification vs. Stability: Higher magnification, such as 10x, allows for closer views of distant subjects but can also amplify hand movements, leading to shakier images, especially if you have unsteady hands or are viewing subjects at long distances.10x magnification might be preferable. However, if stability is a concern or if you prefer a wider field of view, 8x magnification could be a better choice.
  2. Field of View: Higher magnification typically comes at the expense of a narrower field of view. A wider field of view allows you to see more of the surrounding area, making it easier to locate and track birds and wildlife. If observing birds in flight or fast-moving wildlife, a wider field of view provided by 8x binoculars may be advantageous.
  3. Eye Strain and Comfort: Higher magnification binoculars can also result in increased eye strain, particularly during prolonged use. Additionally, higher magnification binoculars may have a narrower exit pupil, making it more challenging to maintain a full view if your hands are not perfectly steady or if you're using them in low light conditions. Consider your comfort level and any potential issues with eye strain when choosing between 8x and 10x binoculars.
  4. Light Gathering Ability: Both 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars have the same objective lens diameter (42mm), meaning they gather the same amount of light. However, higher magnification binoculars may appear dimmer due to the increased magnification, especially in low light conditions. If you anticipate birdwatching during dawn or dusk when lighting conditions are less than optimal, you may prefer the brighter image provided by 8x binoculars.
A couple of bird guides in their late 60’s-early 70’s pointed out that they need the higher power to quickly identify the birds for their clients. I thought that maybe the highest quality of alpha glass, would make up for any unsteadiness, but one guide was using a Swarovski EL and the other a Vortex Viper in 10x. From everything you’ve described, it seems that 8x42 binoculars are probably the best choice for me. Thank you very much for the help and have a great day!
 
I think the 8x42 is probably the best combination of objective size (size and weight) exit pupal, FOV and steadiness. Best for almost anybody from beginner to the more advanced observers. Its very good in lower light conditions. I think the 10X is the second best and maybe for some one who can get along with a little more shake, which can come from experience. Its just the 8X42 seems to be an all around good observing tool that checks the most boxes. Id also ad that a nice 7x42 with a nice FOV might even be better. A nice two pair set up imo, would be a 7X42 or 8X42 and a 10X42.
 
On most of my local outings I take a 10x25 binocular that weighs only 12 ounces. I have 12x50 that I use when distances are going to be greater and 20x60 that are for astro use. My 8x42 are the least often used ones and I plan to sell or donate them.
 
On most of my local outings I take a 10x25 binocular that weighs only 12 ounces. I have 12x50 that I use when distances are going to be greater and 20x60 that are for astro use. My 8x42 are the least often used ones and I plan to sell or donate them.
I’ve never got along with the compact 20-25’s. I just jump to the better performance and eye box with the 8x30 Swaro Habichts and 8x32 Leica UV’s 16-18oz.

But you can donate all those 8x42’s to me , I’ll give them a good home.
 
I think the 8x42 is probably the best combination of objective size (size and weight) exit pupal, FOV and steadiness. Best for almost anybody from beginner to the more advanced observers. Its very good in lower light conditions. I think the 10X is the second best and maybe for some one who can get along with a little more shake, which can come from experience. Its just the 8X42 seems to be an all around good observing tool that checks the most boxes. Id also ad that a nice 7x42 with a nice FOV might even be better. A nice two pair set up imo, would be a 7X42 or 8X42 and a 10X42.
So far, 8x42’s seem to be the most comfortable to use. A Zeiss Conquest GD 10x42 would be good to have for viewing wildlife at further distances or mounted on a tripod. Thanks for the reply!
 
On most of my local outings I take a 10x25 binocular that weighs only 12 ounces. I have 12x50 that I use when distances are going to be greater and 20x60 that are for astro use. My 8x42 are the least often used ones and I plan to sell or donate them.
I can see where lighter binoculars would be advantageous, especially during long walks or hikes. Thanks for the reply!
 
As someone who owns 8x20 trinnies, and has used/owned 8x30’s (HG and SFL) I have to admit I’ll never go back to 8x20 unless it involves extreme mountaineering or something where extraordinary weight savings are required.
Compact binoculars definitely have a purpose. I’ve ordered a couple pairs of inexpensive 8x25 reverse porro prism binoculars (Leupold Rogue and Vortex Vanquish) for morning walks, but they’re more bulky than expected and too big for a jacket pocket. I’m going to look for a small roof prism instead.
 
Compact binoculars definitely have a purpose. I’ve ordered a couple pairs of inexpensive 8x25 reverse porro prism binoculars (Leupold Rogue and Vortex Vanquish) for morning walks, but they’re more bulky than expected and too big for a jacket pocket. I’m going to look for a small roof prism instead.
I should clarify a little: If I was going to a concert, or somewhere where I literally want a pair of bins in my jacket or even shirt pocket, then yes, the 8x20 are great (and why I still own them). But for any kind of nature, bird, etc. observation, the physical diff between 8x30 and the 8x20 is tolerable, whereas the optical difference is HUGE. 8x30 are 'real' EDC bins and if anything they have questioned my need for 8x42 etc. The 8x30SFL are a little fiddly, but they could be my birding bins for 95% or more of my outings. Also I'll note that I wear specs, so avoiding the 'peephole' effect with 20's is a lot harder.

For the sake of keeping on topic, I'll just add that I've owned several 10x in the past years and have ended up selling them all. I simply find them harder to hold steady (particularly if hiking etc), and if anything, I'm often wanting to migrate to 7x (from 8x) :p
 

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