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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Best compromise for a pair of Woodland binoculars ideally 7x ? (1 Viewer)

William Lewis

Wishing birdwatching paid the bills.
United Kingdom
I use the 7x42 habichts as my only pair of bins but if I was only using them in woodland they wouldn't be my choice. Everything about them once you have a bird in frame and focused is great and I wouldn't want to change them personally for general purpose but for exclusively woodland birding there's much better options. The Habicht doesn't need much focusing above 50 meters but do need use below when the let's say "sturdy" focus action gets a little tiresome!

My choice of the binoculars I've owned would be the opticron's srga's 8x32. I know it's not a 7x but the field of view is great, minimal ca (ca annoys me too) and a very quick focuser. Also light, small, cheap and rubber armoured so you won't mind too much if you bang them on a tree! As usual give a new pair a go and see how you get on.
 

Charnwood

Active member
United Kingdom
I use the 7x42 habichts as my only pair of bins but if I was only using them in woodland they wouldn't be my choice. Everything about them once you have a bird in frame and focused is great and I wouldn't want to change them personally for general purpose but for exclusively woodland birding there's much better options. The Habicht doesn't need much focusing above 50 meters but do need use below when the let's say "sturdy" focus action gets a little tiresome!

My choice of the binoculars I've owned would be the opticron's srga's 8x32. I know it's not a 7x but the field of view is great, minimal ca (ca annoys me too) and a very quick focuser. Also light, small, cheap and rubber armoured so you won't mind too much if you bang them on a tree! As usual give a new pair a go and see how you get on.
I agree the fast focus on the srga is a real advantage. I’ve come to prefer them over my other binoculars for walks through woodland.

To add to the discussion - I think the widely spaced objectives of a porro seem to give an advantage when trying to focus through/past any intervening twigs and stems on a bird in the depths of a hedge or scrub.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
"To add to the discussion - I think the widely spaced objectives of a porro seem to give an advantage when trying to focus through/past any intervening twigs and stems on a bird in the depths of a hedge or scrub."

The 3D effect of a porro definitely helps in situations like that. A porro always seems to penetrate deep woods better to find animals between thick timber. I know when I was in Yellowstone National Park, the Habicht 10x40 porro I had was great for spotting bears in the trees.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
I know there are various opinions. But I really love the focusing on the Kowa. I have no complaints at all

Agreed. Opinions do differ and there's also the dreaded sample variation but focusing on my Kowa 6.5 works very well. The combination of EP, low magnification and ultra wide FoV make it both very useful and enjoyable for birding in the woods.

Mike
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

a well priced pair of EDG 7x42 or FL 7x42 might be one of the few things to break my self imposed "I have enough binoculars" moratorium...

Joachim, who would also like an MC version of the pre-brick Leitz Trinis in 7x42 - but that might be even harder...
 

Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
RichardD, post 24,
On the WEB-site of House of Outdoor we have published an investigation of the Optolyth Touring 7x42 roof. Its shape seems to be inspired by the Leitz 7x42.We found the following data: weight 835g, FOV 140m/1000m, Close focus 7,6 m, transmission 68-69%, handling comfort is allright.
The 7x42 Kite seems more attractive from our short investigation, but I have to look for the data we found.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thanks Gijs - Not overly good transmission even for the age. I suspect given the basic coatings CA might be higher than I can tolerate too.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
Richard, as much as I love the Ultravid 7x42s they are not entirely free of CA. CA is well controlled in the HD+ model but CA might be a bit more of an issue in older Ultravids (I don't know, but think it possible). So, if I were you, I'd make sure to be able to return them. I also use my kids' Kowa YF 6x30 porro which I think is way better than its price point suggests. Virtually no CA, neutral colours, bright, steady 3D view and a great depth of field which I find very useful in woodland. Focusing may feel a bit sticky, though.
 

Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
Per CleySpy’s Twitter feed they have a used SLC 7x42 just in
Thanks - I shall find out which version
Maven 7x45's are heavy, but very very good. 7x28's are lighter, but still good albeit with less aperture.
Thanks - I don't know of any UK dealers of Maven and import costs might be prohibitive. Weight isn't a big consideration if they're well balanced.
Richard, as much as I love the Ultravid 7x42s they are not entirely free of CA. CA is well controlled in the HD+ model but CA might be a bit more of an issue in older Ultravids (I don't know, but think it possible). So, if I were you, I'd make sure to be able to return them. I also use my kids' Kowa YF 6x30 porro which I think is way better than its price point suggests. Virtually no CA, neutral colours, bright, steady 3D view and a great depth of field which I find very useful in woodland. Focusing may feel a bit sticky, though.
Thanks - quite a few reviews suggest that whilst Leica produce lovely lively images CA control wasn't their strength in older models. I seem particularly sensitive to it so have pretty much ruled out the old BA and BNs unless I stumble across a pair in person. I hadn't really considered the Kowa porros but they might be something worth looking at.
 

Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
Thank you for everyone's advice.

I reviewed what I liked about my current binoculars (sharp centre and fairly high contrast, bright, '3D view') , what I disliked about previous (dull view, CA), and narrowed it down to the FL 7x42's the SLC 7x42 neu then I looked at past and current secondhand prices. With the lack of current 7x42's apart from Ultravids and the Habichts used prices for excellent condition 7x42's from the big 3 (and Nikon) are a lot higher than 8x42s. The FLs in near new condition generally went for £1200, the SLC 7x42 neu are as rare as hen's teeth and could only find well-used pre Swarobright for under £1000. I could have kept waiting and hoping but in the end I went with a pair of old stock SLC 7x50 B neu for well-under budget.

Yes they're heavier than the 7x42's (the shop kindly sent me a free SW Bino harness in case I needed it) but they're beautifully balanced in the hand, and I've carried heavier camera gear round my neck without issues. I don't think my pupils expand that much beyond 6 - 6.5mm these days so I don't think I'll gain much in low-light, but they'll work better with the 2x booster for occasional use and the fall-in view is just lovely. FoV isn't class leading, but much better than the Habichts - good enough for my needs. Focusing is beautifully smooth without being too fast (just a full turn from close to infinity). To my eyes central sharpness is at least as good as my 10x42 Habichts and the sweet spot is very large with just slight fall off at the very edge. I don't know what the light transmission of these are, but they feel as bright as the Habichts, and the Habichts are the brightest binoculars I'd previously used. I pushed them hard to try and see some CA and they're effectively free of it apart from at the very edge under the toughest of conditions to my eyes, and so far I've not had any glare issues despite trying to force it. I was slightly concerned by Allbino's stated 6m close focus, but my highly scientific sheet of newspaper pinned to wall test gave about 4.1m - still not terribly close but fine for birdwatching (I can slip my Minox Macroscope in my pocket if I'm also looking for dragonflies/butterflies, or even my pocket CLs. No they don't quite have the 3D view of the Porros, but it's very immersive and not flat.

All in all I'm very happy with them from a two day 'driving test' - there's a lot I love about them, nothing I hate about them and the modest FoV and close focus are good enough.

If I'm primarily birding over the old gravel pits or out at the coast I'll primarily use the 10x42's, and If I'm going on a long hike I'll use the CL Pockets, but I suspect I'll be using these for a lot more than just woodland birding.
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Probably of absolutely no use to anyone but did a graphic as attached trying to convey difference in FOV and magnification of, from top left anticlockwise, Zeiss 7x42 FL, Zeiss 8x42 FL and Kowa BD II 6.5x32.
Thanks to the forum member who advised me how to contact edwincjones who confirmed that he preferred his Zeiss 8x32 to the Kowa BD II 6.5x32 for woodland birding because for him the benefit of the extra magnification for viewing those little critters outweighs the advantages of the extra FOV.

fovs.jpg
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Probably of absolutely no use to anyone but did a graphic as attached trying to convey difference in FOV and magnification of, from top left anticlockwise, Zeiss 7x42 FL, Zeiss 8x42 FL and Kowa BD II 6.5x32.
Thanks to the forum member who advised me how to contact edwincjones who confirmed that he preferred his Zeiss 8x32 to the Kowa BD II 6.5x32 for woodland birding because for him the benefit of the extra magnification for viewing those little critters outweighs the advantages of the extra FOV.

View attachment 1429225

So you've named 3 of the 4. What was the 4th circle binocular?
 

normjackson

Well-known member
So you've named 3 of the 4. What was the 4th circle binocular?
Apologies for late response. The fourth circle should be about 124/150 the width of the top left circle which simply corresponds to the comparative actual FOV specs of the Swarovski SLC Neu 7x50 with the Zeiss FL 7x42. As you experienced BFers will know there's a myriad things not taken into account so more than plenty wrong with taking these pictures too literally.

Fun though. Wonder if anyone spotted the little boird I added in the bottom right as a bit of a naughty joke ;).
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
Fun though. Wonder if anyone spotted the little boird I added in the bottom right as a bit of a naughty joke ;).
Oh no, Norm, with that SLC you're going to miss the bird every time ;)!
Seriously though, I think there is often too much emphasis placed on AFoV and I'm sure the 7x50 has several compensating qualities.

John
 

Paultricounty

Well-known member
United States
I'd consider 7x35, but the only one I know of is the 'Retrovid' and new in the UK I've not seen them for less than £1200. I can see their appeal, although I think Leica is charging a lot for nostalgia value / retro appeal when you compare the pricing to their other Trinovids.
Sorry a little late here. Retros are more than nostalgia. Nostalgia is in the body and mechanics, optics are superior to any other Trinovids and in another league to the newer HDs. These are true entry level Alphas.
Paul
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I continue to bird with the retrovids. My only complaint is I would like the focus wheel to be padded, but....I understand being a retro, why it isn't. But the optics are simply stunning. I don't have a regular pair of Trinovid to compare them to so can't relate right now but I would guess closer to the Ultra's than the Trinovid.
 

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