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Brief encounter with the Kite Lynx HD 8x30 (1 Viewer)

looksharp65

Well-known member
Finally I got an opportunity to try out the Lynx HD. It wasn't until recently it arrived at the shop at Naturum Getterön, who kindly agreed to let me take it out for evaluation. I had brought my Nikon E II 8x30 which has similar specs and that is well-known to many birders.

First, I have that unfortunate and possibly imfamous habit of judging binoculars by the first impression. Unfortunate because what suits me may not suit someone else, and my tendency to deliver forcible positive or negative opinions might lead others in the wrong direction. This could throw some shadow upon other's opinion about my sanity, hence giving me an infamous reputation.

For me, there are five chosen key properties I expect from a good binocular.
These are sharpness to the edge, natural and brilliant colour rendition, good CA control, a wide FOV and glare resistance. But there's also the intangible moment of the first impression. I believe I'm fairly good at roughly evaluating binoculars very quickly. Admittedly, the meaning of connecting with and getting used to the binocular is very important, and quick evaluations may make me dismiss some binoculars too quickly and too harshly. So don't consider this a review, I only present my initial impressions.

Anyhow. I took the Lynx and was immediately impressed by the tight build (similar to the Conquest HD) and the handy dimensions. The view was relaxed, sharp and bright despite the murky Scandinavian winter light. Colour rendition seemed very neutral and the edge sharpness was remarkable considering its very wide field of view. It appeared slightly brighter than the E II, and the vividness of the colours was too close to see any difference.
As a whole, the view was very similar too the E II, but somewhat easier with spectacles. Further test should reveal differences but it was immediately likable.

Ignoring details that may not be equally important to different users, I rate it very highly. I own the E II and will not sell it, but faced with the choice I'd choose the Lynx. I would also choose the Lynx over the Conquest HD.
I would easily choose it over the Meostar for the view alone, but would probably choose the Euro HD over the Lynx because I love its design and how easy it is to hide in the hands or under a jacket.

Gijs's statements may sometimes be too generalizing, and in particular they seem biased when it comes to brands he doesn't carry.
But everyone should read what he writes about the Lynx HD, because this is a binocular that Kite and the optical engineers should be extremely proud of.
The Lynx HD is an astonishing optical achievement, a quantum leap forward.
Even the price is right. This is a binocular every birder should own a sample of, regardless of what other binoculars they have. To me, it seems to have everything it takes to become a modern classic.
My congratulations to Kite! :t:


//L

PS. I would really love to see a 6x30 in the series. And if somebody decides to arrange a bulk purchase with BF member quantity discount, I'm in.
 
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pompadour

Well-known member
Ls65, how much of the *designing* of the optical system is by Kite and how much by the Japanese co. - Kamakura Koki (?) - providing the "core" of it to both Kite and Nikon? Thanks.
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Looksharp,

Good review.

One minor point:
You could compare Gijs with Holger. Same background, same title, but Gijs (going to his 80s) is retired, but has the possibility to use the University's lab for measurements.
He does not sell bins. He was (ab)used as freelancer (after his retirements) as an "expert" for the Dutch Birding Society.

Jan
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Ls65, how much of the *designing* of the optical system is by Kite and how much by the Japanese co. - Kamakura Koki (?) - providing the "core" of it to both Kite and Nikon? Thanks.

Hi Pomp

Nice to bump into you again.
I am not certain but I don't think Kite has optical design expertise, but I suppose it is quite possible they specified the wide angle of view and pushed Kamakura until they produced the design. Or maybe Kamakura had this design on file already in which case Kite are to be congratulated in having the commercial courage to bring this uniquely wide-angled design (for roof prism bins) to the market.

Lee
 

looksharp65

Well-known member
Looksharp,

Good review.

One minor point:
You could compare Gijs with Holger. Same background, same title, but Gijs (going to his 80s) is retired, but has the possibility to use the University's lab for measurements.
He does not sell bins. He was (ab)used as freelancer (after his retirements) as an "expert" for the Dutch Birding Society.

Jan

Thanks for the clarification! I was erroneously under the impression that he is affiliated more closely to the business.

Ls65, how much of the *designing* of the optical system is by Kite and how much by the Japanese co. - Kamakura Koki (?) - providing the "core" of it to both Kite and Nikon? Thanks.

Lee answered that in a very commendable way!

//L
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Finally I got an opportunity to try out the Lynx HD. It wasn't until recently it arrived at the shop at Naturum Getterön, who kindly agreed to let me take it out for evaluation. I had brought my Nikon E II 8x30 which has similar specs and that is well-known to many birders.

First, I have that unfortunate and possibly imfamous habit of judging binoculars by the first impression. Unfortunate because what suits me may not suit someone else, and my tendency to deliver forcible positive or negative opinions might lead others in the wrong direction. This could throw some shadow upon other's opinion about my sanity, hence giving me an infamous reputation.

For me, there are five chosen key properties I expect from a good binocular.
These are sharpness to the edge, natural and brilliant colour rendition, good CA control, a wide FOV and glare resistance. But there's also the intangible moment of the first impression. I believe I'm fairly good at roughly evaluating binoculars very quickly. Admittedly, the meaning of connecting with and getting used to the binocular is very important, and quick evaluations may make me dismiss some binoculars too quickly and too harshly. So don't consider this a review, I only present my initial impressions.

Anyhow. I took the Lynx and was immediately impressed by the tight build (similar to the Conquest HD) and the handy dimensions. The view was relaxed, sharp and bright despite the murky Scandinavian winter light. Colour rendition seemed very neutral and the edge sharpness was remarkable considering its very wide field of view. It appeared slightly brighter than the E II, and the vividness of the colours was too close to see any difference.
As a whole, the view was very similar too the E II, but somewhat easier with spectacles. Further test should reveal differences but it was immediately likable.

Ignoring details that may not be equally important to different users, I rate it very highly. I own the E II and will not sell it, but faced with the choice I'd choose the Lynx. I would also choose the Lynx over the Conquest HD.
I would easily choose it over the Meostar for the view alone, but would probably choose the Euro HD over the Lynx because I love its design and how easy it is to hide in the hands or under a jacket.

Gijs's statements may sometimes be too generalizing, and in particular they seem biased when it comes to brands he doesn't carry.
But everyone should read what he writes about the Lynx HD, because this is a binocular that Kite and the optical engineers should be extremely proud of.
The Lynx HD is an astonishing optical achievement, a quantum leap forward.
Even the price is right. This is a binocular every birder should own a sample of, regardless of what other binoculars they have. To me, it seems to have everything it takes to become a modern classic.
My congratulations to Kite! :t:


//L

PS. I would really love to see a 6x30 in the series. And if somebody decides to arrange a bulk purchase with BF member quantity discount, I'm in.
What I would like to know is if you see any of "The Smokescreen Effect" many users have seen on the Nikon 8x30 M7. It is an all encompassing glare problem that appears like a smokescreen(See Thread). It is possible the Kite has better baffling and blackening but I would be wary of it for that reason. It could be that because of the Nikon's lower price they cheaped out on the baffling and blackening. Since you did such a quick evaluation it could be possible you have not noticed the glare problem yet. Try it in low sun conditions. It really bothered me on the M7 to the point that I returned it and bought a Swarovski 8x25 CL-P which performed much better under these conditions at a considerable more price granted.
 
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mooreorless

Well-known member
Hi Lars, After reading your very nice brief encounter, I am sure I would love this binocular as well. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

looksharp65

Well-known member
What I would like to know is if you see any of "The Smokescreen Effect" many users have seen on the Nikon 8x30 M7. It is an all encompassing glare problem that appears like a smokescreen(See Thread). It is possible the Kite has better baffling and blackening but I would be wary of it for that reason. It could be that because of the Nikon's lower price they cheaped out on the baffling and blackening. Since you did such a quick evaluation it could be possible you have not noticed the glare problem yet. Try it in low sun conditions.

Well, this time of the year we really have low sun. Today it peaked at 9.6 degrees over the horizon where I live, and in northern Lapland the sun doesn't appear over the horizon at all for a few weeks.
The problem is that it was mostly overcast, damp haze today. I have to leave the regular review details to owners and users of the Lynx HD.

I believe that a binocular with a large AFOV is more prone to glare problems of various kinds. The 10x32 FL I owned did also produce a haze or smoke-screen under the wrong circumstances, but the Fury and the 10x32 HG were a lot better. The Meostar is quite good at handling backlit subjects, but not like the HG.
Presumably, it might help to shade the objective lenses with a hand to get rid of the worst glare.

//L
 
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looksharp65

Well-known member
There are some Swedish birders out there who use Nikon binoculars, but Nikons seem to be difficult to find in shops, thus I haven't tried the M7 30's.
But I have tried a 10x42 M7 very briefly and noticed fuzzy edges and considerable CA.
So although I'm an avid Nikon fan, I am not very keen on trying the M7 30's, at least if they are similar to the 42's. The higher specifications of the Lynx indeed make it more attractive to me. Although dearer than the M7's, it has a very attractive price point.

//L
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Finally I got an opportunity to try out the Lynx HD. It wasn't until recently it arrived at the shop at Naturum Getterön, who kindly agreed to let me take it out for evaluation. I had brought my Nikon E II 8x30 which has similar specs and that is well-known to many birders.

First, I have that unfortunate and possibly imfamous habit of judging binoculars by the first impression. Unfortunate because what suits me may not suit some
one else, and my tendency to deliver forcible positive or negative opinions might lead others in the wrong direction. This could throw some shadow upon other's opinion about my sanity, hence giving me an infamous reputation.

For me, there are five chosen key properties I expect from a good binocular.
These are sharpness to the edge, natural and brilliant colour rendition, good CA control, a wide FOV and glare resistance. But there's also the intangible moment of the first impression. I believe I'm fairly good at roughly evaluating binoculars very quickly. Admittedly, the meaning of connecting with and getting used to the binocular is very important, and quick evaluations may make me dismiss some binoculars too quickly and too harshly. So don't consider this a review, I only present my initial impressions.

Anyhow. I took the Lynx and was immediately impressed by the tight build (similar to the Conquest HD) and the handy dimensions. The view was relaxed, sharp and bright despite the murky Scandinavian winter light. Colour rendition seemed very neutral and the edge sharpness was remarkable considering its very wide field of view. It appeared slightly brighter than the E II, and the vividness of the colours was too close to see any difference.
As a whole, the view was very similar too the E II, but somewhat easier with spectacles. Further test should reveal differences but it was immediately likable.

Ignoring details that may not be equally important to different users, I rate it very highly. I own the E II and will not sell it, but faced with the choice I'd choose the Lynx. I would also choose the Lynx over the Conquest HD.
I would easily choose it over the Meostar for the view alone, but would probably choose the Euro HD over the Lynx because I love its design and how easy it is to hide in the hands or under a jacket.

Gijs's statements may sometimes be too generalizing, and in particular they seem biased when it comes to brands he doesn't carry.
But everyone should read what he writes about the Lynx HD, because this is a binocular that Kite and the optical engineers should be extremely proud of.
The Lynx HD is an astonishing optical achievement, a quantum leap forward.
Even the price is right. This is a binocular every birder should own a sample of, regardless of what other binoculars they have. To me, it seems to have everything it takes to become a modern classic.
My congratulations to Kite! :t:


//L

PS. I would really love to see a 6x30 in the series. And if somebody decides to arrange a bulk purchase with BF member quantity discount, I'm in.

//L,

Thanks for those initial impressions. If you're second look is as good as your first, it sounds like the Lynx HD would make a suitable winter/rainy day substitute for the 8x30 EII, which is what I have been looking for quite a while.

The turn off is that even I could afford to buy one and get it shipped to the U.S., if something went haywire, I'd have to ship it back to Europe to get it repaired.

Perhaps like Opticron, Kite optics will eventually become available in the U.S.

One thing you didn't mention was the focuser. Chris had written that the focuser was "a little more than one full turn from stop to stop. It turns evenly and has no slack, but just a little too hard to turn." He noted that might be because it was new and needed to break in.

Did you find the focuser smooth to turn but not too fast?

What Christ didn't like was that "...there is definately something wrong here. The blurring towards the edges starts much earlier towards the left side of the view than towards the right side. It is very apparent."

Sounds like he got the optics from an 8x30 M7 on one side and a Kite Lynx HD on the other! You mentioned that sharpness at the edges was one of your "must have" criteria. Did you close one eye than the other and test for edge sharpness in both barrels?

Hopefully, Chris's sample was an anomaly.

<B>
 

FrankD

Well-known member
Did you see how much these Kite go for Brock? I think you might be happier staying in the Nikon family. ;)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Well, this time of the year we really have low sun. Today it peaked at 9.6 degrees over the horizon where I live, and in northern Lapland the sun doesn't appear over the horizon at all for a few weeks.
The problem is that it was mostly overcast, damp haze today. I have to leave the regular review details to owners and users of the Lynx HD.

I believe that a binocular with a large AFOV is more prone to glare problems of various kinds. The 10x32 FL I owned did also produce a haze or smoke-screen under the wrong circumstances, but the Fury and the 10x32 HG were a lot better. The Meostar is quite good at handling backlit subjects, but not like the HG.
Presumably, it might help to shade the objective lenses with a hand to get rid of the worst glare.

//L
Yes, the wider angle binoculars are definitely more prone to glare. That is a big reason the Swaro CL-P has less glare than the M7. The thing is the Swaro makes up for the smaller field by having a bigger sweespot. In fact a 100% sharp field right to the edge like the Swarovision. So really the size of the sharp field in the CL-P is the same as the Kite or the M7. Maybe having a smaller FOV with a bigger sweespot is a better solution for glare. My M7's did have fuzzy edges especially compared to the CL-P. The CL-P just seems clearer. I had the CL-P out this morning and it is very similar to my Swarovision. In other words very good. How are the edges on the Kite? Even though the Swaro doesn't have ED glass the CA control is as good as the M7 was because I compared them.
 
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looksharp65

Well-known member
Did you find the focuser smooth to turn but not too fast?
For me, there's no such thing as a too fast focuser. I had the HG 10x32 and had no problem with the focus speed. :king:
The focuser speed and tension were definitely adequate, not to mention silky. It could have been a Nikon focuser. But I suspect that the thin rubber sleeve that encloses the focus knob will wear out too quickly.
I would need much more time with it to identify any aberrancies.

Did you close one eye than the other and test for edge sharpness in both barrels?

I checked the left barrel with my right eye since that's an easy way of evaluating edge sharpness and eye placement issues.
So at least the left barrel was very good, and the binocular view didn't feel asymmetric in any way.

//L
 

looksharp65

Well-known member
Did you see how much these Kite go for Brock? I think you might be happier staying in the Nikon family. ;)

Here, they go for SEK 4995 which is about $710. Binocular prices are generally high here. The Conquest 8x32 HD is about $1090.

//L
 

pompadour

Well-known member
Lee, hi, thanks - and commendation noted - but was thinking there more about the optical design and engineering than about marketing (which is no doubt an important aspect in this).
 
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