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Brightness of 8x32 vs 10x42 (1 Viewer)

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Last evening at a time just before and just after sunset, I was able to observe that I could see deeper into shadowed areas under dense brush and tree shade than I could with my bare eyeballs.

The view was much brighter and revealed things which could really only be seen once you knew they were there just using eyeballs.

8X32 SF. 41.84 degrees North Latitude
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Last evening at a time just before and just after sunset, I was able to observe that I could see deeper into shadowed areas under dense brush and tree shade than I could with my bare eyeballs.

The view was much brighter and revealed things which could really only be seen once you knew they were there just using eyeballs.

8X32 SF. 41.84 degrees North Latitude
OK, if you would do that test again but now walk to the right distance and compare it again.
So say the distance is 100 meters and the bin has a 8x factor you walk to a distance of 12.5 meters and compare with bare eyeballs.
You'll probably see the same.

Jan
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
OK, if you would do that test again but now walk to the right distance and compare it again.
So say the distance is 100 meters and the bin has a 8x factor you walk to a distance of 12.5 meters and compare with bare eyeballs.
You'll probably see the same.
Wouldn't he be able to see slightly better with the naked eye? I would think that since binoculars do not transmit the image perfectly he would see a brighter and more detailed image with the naked eye (though I'm sure at this level of glass the difference is slight).
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
Wouldn't he be able to see slightly better with the naked eye? I would think that since binoculars do not transmit the image perfectly he would see a brighter and more detailed image with the naked eye (though I'm sure at this level of glass the difference is slight).
Sorry to disagree, but what you would think is not consistent with what I saw.

The difference in favor of the binocular was dramatic and surprising.
 
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qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Sorry to disagree, but what you would think is not consistent with what I saw.

The difference in favor of the binocular was surprising.
No, I meant that if you were to observe with the naked eye at 12.5 ft, and observe with the binocular at 100 ft then you should be able to see more with your eyes at 12.5 ft
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
No, I meant that if you were to observe with the naked eye at 12.5 ft, and observe with the binocular at 100 ft then you should be able to see more with your eyes at 12.5 ft
In truth, I have no clue since I didn't actually do that. I did not walk up to one-eighth of the distance and observe the same area.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
I think the experiment would be more rigorous if my pupils were a fixed diameter, but they (thank goodness) aren't.

The result depends on how my brain evaluates the different light intensity falling onto my retinas.

That is in part determined by my pupillary opening(s) at the time, and I really don't think that would stay the same.
 
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Rolosama

Active member
Canada
I really think that 8X42 is still the preferred format.
Yes, this is still the case generally, but when observers consider replacing 8x42 binoculars because they are "old" or broken, they often go for 10x42. Currently, this is especially true at the high end.
 

oso

Member
France
Thank you again for all these messages. I finally picked up a pair of SW NL 10x42: cristal clear image, without any deffect: I enjoyed it as much as the Zeiss SF 10x42, but I prefered the slightly more compact design of the SW which was a little more easier to ajust to obtain a full field (shape of face I guess). I also tried the SF 8x32: I liked them very very much for the perfect image quality, the low weight and the heasy handling, but the 10x power for the same brightness drove my decision.

Only drawbacks with the NL 10x42: they're on the heavy side, and for the price, the forehead support should be included in the box.

Nice observations of Rock Ptarmigan and Northern Wheatear yesterday: it's easy to catch every detail, a real pleasure.

Best

Oso
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Wouldn't he be able to see slightly better with the naked eye? I would think that since binoculars do not transmit the image perfectly he would see a brighter and more detailed image with the naked eye (though I'm sure at this level of glass the difference is slight).
This absolutely not our experience so we frequently use binoculars to study nearby flowers, lichens, mosses etc rather than kneel down and use the naked eye, which we used to do until we discovered the magic of using binoculars in this way. Of course we used to use binos for subjects that might flee from us such as dragonflies and butterflies but after years of doing this we noticed that what we got great views of what the butterflies and dragonflies were perched on. Since then this has been our favoured technique.

Lee
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
Regarding the brightness, beside the technical data, the quality of the optical coating, the way the glasses arrangements and body construction also count. Not all 10x42 are brighter than 8x32, Alpha or not. Could someone say Nikon EDG 10x42 is brighter than NL or SF 8x32 ? I guess it might not! Understand that this tread is about to compare the same branch: NL 8x32 with 92% light transmission pretty much can keep up with NL 10x42 with 91% light transmission at dawn. I compared NL 10x32 with Noctivid 10x42 at dawn and very surprised that the smaller 32mm can keep up tad to tad with the bigger 42mm and these are the same 10 powers!
 

dries1

Member
Have you owned an EDG 10X42? besides that I can understand that some cannot handle a 10X42 during the day - it is too heavy, but the idea that a premium 10X32 can see as much as a premium 10X42 under low light conditions is over the top.
 
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dustyroads

Active member
Looks like you already made a purchase, but I'm surprised no-one mentioned 10x50s. They have always seemed more useful to me for longer distances and observing into shaded areas and at twilight.
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
Dries1:

Might be just my eyes, i wear bifocal glasses: -2.5 on one side, -3.5 on the other. I owned the NIKON EDG 10x42 for about a month but returned it and found that is one of the worse light transmission premium bino. It's darknest premium 10x42 I ever handled...I can be prejudice as well since I really like my NL 10x32, much more than my NV 10x42 when I did the side by side comparison at dawn the other day. That said I am really surprised how bright the NL 10x32 comparing to the Noctivid 10x42 because the Noctivid is really bright!

dustyroads:

True that the 10x50 is excellent at twilight! It was my main binoculars for a few years, the EL SV 10x50 until the weight got to me so I replaced it with the NV 10x42
 
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