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Another Zeiss bino question from a novice (1 Viewer)

zdr

Active member
United States
In my last post here, I mentioned that the Swaro 10x30 CL companions could be difficult to hold steady at times and I am considering getting an 8x32 Victory FL. However, after much reading on this forum, I am re-thinking the 8x as I see lots of folks use 10x for birding and wildlife observation. I have been reading a lot of material on the Zeiss Experience sub-forum here and its been helpful as well.
I live on the high desert southwest and most wildlife is viewed from a distance so the 10x seems more appropriate.
I would like to stay on the lighter side as well so am thinking about the following:
Would a larger binocular be easier to hold steady? I really dont have too bad of a problem with the CL's, its just something I notice on occasion.

The bins I am considering are:
Victory FL 10x32 seems to be highly regarded based on the reading I have done here and reviews on other sites.
Victory SF 10x32 maybe optically better than the FL? Easier to hold with the open bridge design?
Swaro EL SV 10x32 probably very similar to my CL's, but better optically, bigger and open bridge design as well.

Is there one of these 3 that would stand out based on the questions I am asking? Is there another x32 bin I should consider? I want to make this a long term buy and I dont have an opportunity to try these out locally. I may be on the east coast in Jan so maybe more opportunity there though.

I appreciate any thoughts & opinions.
thanks!
zdr
 
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eitanaltman

Well-known member
Yes, it's definitely easier to hold a larger, heavier binocular steady. There are also techniques you can use to hold it steadier, like bracing your arm under the binocular and steadying with your fingertips vs wrapping your mitts around them.

Obviously, it's all a balance of priorities, as the heavier it gets it also gets more tiring to carry around and you'll get more arm fatigue if you're trying to take long looks. I am of the opinion that super light and compact 30mm options like the Monarch 7 and the Swaro CL are just TOO small and light for me to use comfortably for 10x.

I live in San Diego and birding in open, arid habitat with lots of sunlight the 10x32 format is quite useful. Its biggest weakness is low light performance, but in high desert conditions you're talking a few minutes at extreme dawn/dusk. If you're getting along fine with the Swaro 10x30, then I think you'd be happy with a heavier, more premium 10x32. And if much of your viewing is spotting small birds perched up on distant rocks and bushes, the extra reach is helpful.

It's a pity you just missed out on a Nikon EDG 10x32 for a good price in the classifieds. This is the model I settled on and I believe it is the best 10x32 out there (although I haven't tried the new Zeiss SF), and represents a great value considering it's out of production and can be had under $1K used. I think it's superior to the Swaro SV 10x32 which also will be much more expensive on the used market.

Another model to consider is the Kowa Genesis 10x33, which you can find new for under $1K. This was my second favorite and the one I would have kept if I didn't find a great deal on the EDG. It has extremely comfortable handling, not super heavy but enough chunk to grab on to and comfortable armor and eyecups, I found it pretty easy to hold steady. Extremely bright with exceptional color neutrality, deadly sharp in the center, almost no color fringing, and a wide FOV. The Zeiss Conquest HD 10x32 is also quite good but I found it slightly inferior to the Kowa in most respects.

The wildcard option is a light 10x42, like the Nikon Monarch HG and Vortex Razor HD. These binoculars are barely heavier than the chunkier 32mm models, and offer a very wide FOV with slightly better viewing comfort and low light performance.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Also, I just realized I didn't address the Zeiss part of your question and this is the Zeiss subforum (although frankly this doesn't feel like a Zeiss-specific question!)

The Zeiss FL 32mm is nearly universally loved, so I'm sure you'd be very happy with it, however it's extremely difficult to find used Zeiss FL these days and 10x32 is the lowest selling format so you may not be able to acquire one easily. The new SF 10x32 is fabulous I'm sure, but it's also double the price of some of the other options discussed (Kowa Genesis 10x33, used Nikon EDG 10x32). So if you don't mind spending that much and you want the latest and greatest, go for it.
 

zdr

Active member
United States
Eitan,
Thank you so much for the detailed answers. I have only seen rave reviews on the Nikon EDG. I would love to find an EDG 10x32 but know that is difficult. I do have a line on both a 8x and 10x32 FL though at reduced price.
I also watched a video on the Zeiss Experience where the individual was holding a set of SF32s with his fingertips as you mentioned. I will give that a try.
I didnt realize there was a whole bino forum buried below the brand specific forums here. I had never scrolled down far enough to see it until earlier today.

Again, thanks for the detailed answers and the recommendations. Much appreciated!
z
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi ZDR,

In relation to techniques to maximise the performance of hand held binoculars, I’ve previously posted in some detail about such matters

A) For an introduction as to the variety of ways one can hold binoculars:
• See post #948 and 955, along with the comments of others at:
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/new-product-introduction-today-from-swarovski.391608/page-48

• Along with some additional comment in post #80 at:


B) For an introduction as to the use of braced and rested positions:
• See from post #29 on at:
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/10x42sv-10x50sv-yet-another-thread-on-these.381116/page-2

• And for additional information about various bracing options see from post #960 on at:
https://www.birdforum.net/threads/new-product-introduction-today-from-swarovski.391608/page-48


Of course you need to experiment to find what best suits you, with what you’re using, in your particular circumstances


John


(I presume that the second link shows up differently as that page includes material from after the recent update to the BF site?)
 
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zdr

Active member
United States
John
This information is extremely helpful. The thumbs under cheekbones, elbows under hands in particular. I'm going out later today to try it in the field, but so far, these techniques look to be a big improvement in stability for me.
Thank you!
zdr
 

Jessie-66

Germany
Victory SF 10x32 maybe optically better than the FL? Easier to hold with the open bridge design?
The open bridge design is only useful if you do not have a narrow interpupillary distance (IPD). Otherwise, the fingers do not fit between the tubes.
Heavy binoculars do not help per se against trembling, jitters are small rotational movements in the wrist, you do not need more mass inertia, but a larger moment (torque) of inertia. That means the mass has to be as far away from the pivot point as possible. So a longer instrument with heavy objectives or eyepieces helps. Longer binoculars are more likely to be grasped at the front, some mass shoud also be in the near of the eyepieces, prisms. At least for the Victory SF 42 Zeiss has developed something special, check the website.
Between 8 and 10x magnification you will hardly notice any difference in detail recognition. Maybe you should keep your 8x binoculars and buy 12x magnification binoculars with a monopod or a spotting scope or a camera with good display and teleobjectives (long focal length).
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
The open bridge design is only useful if you do not have a narrow interpupillary distance (IPD). Otherwise, the fingers do not fit between the tubes.
Heavy binoculars do not help per se against trembling, jitters are small rotational movements in the wrist, you do not need more mass inertia, but a larger moment (torque) of inertia. That means the mass has to be as far away from the pivot point as possible. So a longer instrument with heavy objectives or eyepieces helps. Longer binoculars are more likely to be grasped at the front, some mass shoud also be in the near of the eyepieces, prisms. At least for the Victory SF 42 Zeiss has developed something special, check the website.
Between 8 and 10x magnification you will hardly notice any difference in detail recognition. Maybe you should keep your binoculars and buy 12x magnification binoculars with a monopod or a spotting scope.
I have an IPD of only 58mm and find the open bridge layout of SF 8x32 to be easily accessible to my fingers.
Lee IMG_4361 Red.jpg
 

Steve C

Well-known member
The thing that would make me shy away from a 10x in desert environments, keeping in mind I live in a desert part of the Inter mountain West, is heat mirage. Now I am mostly an 8x type, as I find that if I can't get enough detail with an 8x, 10x won't cut it either. However magnification preference is a pretty individual deal, that being the reason for the existence of the entire debate of 8x vs. 10x, they both work. In bright, clear days with no heat waves, 10x can come into its own, but I have been out numerous times when the heat mirage was so bad, it rendered 10x useless. Leser magnifications are better, but even they are affected, just to a lesser degree than 10x. So when I'm out away from home, I always have a couple of different magnifications with me. Personally, I will always choose an 8x for a single binocular choice when circumstance allows for only one.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
The Zeiss bins you mentioned are nice, compact, and handy. Personally, I would step up to the 42mm options in 10-power if it were me. 10x42's on the lighter and compact side are still easy to transport and use. The extra brightness might no be advantageous in the midday sun but, if you are in Moonsoon season in or around Southern Arizona or are under overcast skies, the extra size and weight will be worth the effort IMHO.

Personally, I use my 8.5x43's a lot more than my 8x33's. I just find the extra weight and size penalty of the larger bins to be a small price to pay for better views. For those times when I really need to travel fast and light, the 8x33's work well when the weather cooperates.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
The thing that would make me shy away from a 10x in desert environments, keeping in mind I live in a desert part of the Inter mountain West, is heat mirage. Now I am mostly an 8x type, as I find that if I can't get enough detail with an 8x, 10x won't cut it either. However magnification preference is a pretty individual deal, that being the reason for the existence of the entire debate of 8x vs. 10x, they both work. In bright, clear days with no heat waves, 10x can come into its own, but I have been out numerous times when the heat mirage was so bad, it rendered 10x useless. Leser magnifications are better, but even they are affected, just to a lesser degree than 10x. So when I'm out away from home, I always have a couple of different magnifications with me. Personally, I will always choose an 8x for a single binocular choice when circumstance allows for only one.

When I lived in Tucson, Az, looking for desert critters in the midday heat when mirage would be a real problem was not an issue as the birds, lizards, ground squirrels, etc. would be hunkered down in the shade somewhere.

Morning and evenings were really good for butterflies, hummingbirds, and all sorts of other wildlife. Those time frames didn't present mirage problems where I was out and about watching wildlife.
 

zdr

Active member
United States
The elevation where I live is 5000'+ and doesnt get nearly as hot in the summer as Az, but I have experienced some heat mirage at times.

I do have to say the tips on holding the bins from @John A Roberts above have been really beneficial for me today.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Every time I go out birding from my car in the winter, I see this.

Unless you drive around with no heat in the car and the windows down, you are going to see mirage as soon as you roll down the window.

I have to shut off the engine when parked because the auxiliary cooling fan causes a noticeable effect whenever it comes on and starts blowing hot air out of the engine compartment through the radiator.

It's annoying, because you just can't get the focus quite right.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Good point I guess.
Every time I go out birding from my car in the winter, I see this.

Unless you drive around with no heat in the car and the windows down, you are going to see mirage as soon as you roll down the window.

I have to shut off the engine when parked because the auxiliary cooling fan causes a noticeable effect whenever it comes on and starts blowing hot air out of the engine compartment through the radiator.

It's annoying, because you just can't get the focus quite right.
Good point I guess.

Personally, I never used binoculars from a car so this isn't an issue for myself.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee, you have also small/narrow hands. But you are right, I expressed myself in a general way. Jessie
Actually Jessie my hands are 198mm (7.8") long and 88mm (3.5") wide which according to information I have make them a little longer than average and exactly the average width for men.

Lee
 

Jessie-66

Germany
Hi Lee, can you also grab a 42-mm-binocular with open bridge design satisfactorily, use open bridge design? I have no little or small hands for a woman, and IPD = 62 mm, this special design does not bring me any advantages with 42-mm-bins. Jessie.
 

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