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Can a 25mm binocular resolve sky/cloud detail well? (1 Viewer)

iseegeorgesstar

Well-known member
United States
A bit of an odd question, since it's mostly birders here. But I'm more of a nature-scenic viewer. I love looking at landscapes or zooming in on flowers.

I'm realizing part of my (personal) disappointment with pocket binoculars in the 20-21mm range is that they can't resolve cloud detail well. I kind of wanted a pocket binocular for morning walks to view the sunrise and such.

Am I expecting too much from a 25mm? Say the 8x25 Swaro CL Companion.

Would I need more a "travel" binocular in the 32mm range?

My 40mm habicht handles the task well so clearly you dont need big big binos.

Thank you for your thoughts and comments.
 
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A bit of an odd question, since it's mostly birders here. But I'm more of a nature-scenic viewer. I love looking at landscapes or zooming in with flowers.

I'm realizing part of my (personal) disappointment with pocket binoculars in the 20-21mm range is that they can't resolve cloud detail well. I kind of wanted a pocket binocular for morning walks to view the sunset and such.

Am I expecting too much from a 25mm? Say the 8x25 Swaro CL Companion.

Would I need more a "travel" binocular in the 32mm range?

My 40mm habicht handles the task well so clearly you dont need big big binos.

Thank you for your thoughts and comments.
How big is the cloud detail you want to resolve? They come in all sizes. If you want a reasonable answer, you are going to have to draft a reasonable question but you must remember it would change for each person asked.
 
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Firstly, clouds don't have detail.

Except noctilucent clouds at night at 82km height, and usually 200 miles away unless a very good display when they can be very high, even overhead. June and July.

Secondly, looking at sunsets is dangerous, even with a 25mm binocular.

However, I did see the green flash at Hartland Point with a 7x23 Nipole binocular.
This is just when the Sun has set.
I have never seen the blue flash.

10x25 binoculars certainly show aircraft detail well even when at cruising height.
However, IS binoculars are better.

Regards,
B.
 
I look at sunsets with binos, and I think I am on earth ;).Best bino for that purpose in my eyes is the 5x25 VisionKing with 71 degree AFOV - not a huge amount of cloud detail, but excellent immersion experience and splendid views of cloud structures.
Other binos I like for that purpose are 6 - 7 magn binos with large AFOV (e.g.Fujinon 2000 7x35).
 

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I think the answer comes down to your personal preference
Is the image adequate for you?
Are you more likely to carry the smaller binos?
what works -- for you?

for me naked eye

edj
 
Thanks for all the interesting replies.

Quick clarification. I wrote in my original post "sunset" however I meant sunrise. That said, I do a lot more viewing of sunsets.

With the morning sunrise, I tend to look at the sun directly via filters from Thousand Oaks Optical on my 10x40 habicht. It works quite well actually.

How big is the cloud detail you want to resolve? They come in all sizes. If you want a reasonable answer, you are going to have to draft a reasonable question but you must remember it would change for each person asked.
I wasnt expecting this reply. Youre right, technically I can see clouds in the pocket bins. But it's just not satisfying enough. There's no intricate details or wonderful mix of colors or mix of black/white (light).

To try and answer your question. I want to be able to see the outline of the cloud when the light hits it at the correct angle.

Firstly, clouds don't have detail.

Except noctilucent clouds at night at 82km height, and usually 200 miles away unless a very good display when they can be very high, even overhead. June and July.

Secondly, looking at sunsets is dangerous, even with a 25mm binocular.

However, I did see the green flash at Hartland Point with a 7x23 Nipole binocular.
This is just when the Sun has set.
I have never seen the blue flash.

10x25 binoculars certainly show aircraft detail well even when at cruising height.
However, IS binoculars are better.

Regards,
B.
I'm not familiar with cloud terminology. I live in the northeast usa and all I can say is that during the spring/summer the clouds are extremely scenic here in the afternoon and into the evening.

When the sun hits a certain type of "full" cloud you can see a thousand little lines along the rim of the full clouds. It's like looking at mountains of snow or marshmellows or renaissance paintings with hundreds of exacting brushstrokes.

I think a small porro perhaps would give a more satisfying view of the clouds, I remember the small kowa yf 8x quite pleasing for scanning the skies.
I think youre right. I have in my head several bino purchases i want to make (my bino addiction is showing?) and some of them include the few good porros out there: kowa, nikon ex, nikon eii, hinode, habicht.
I'm curious about which kinds of "detail" OP sees in the sky and clouds.
I know everyone says you lose the 3d effect with porros when looking into the distance but i swear sometimes I can see a 3d effect when looking at clouds with the habicht. Portions of the clouds just stack in front and behind each other and when you look at it all it feels like you're flying up there.
I look at sunsets with binos, and I think I am on earth ;).Best bino for that purpose in my eyes is the 5x25 VisionKing with 71 degree AFOV - not a huge amount of cloud detail, but excellent immersion experience and splendid views of cloud structures.
Other binos I like for that purpose are 6 - 7 magn binos with large AFOV (e.g.Fujinon 2000 7x35).
Maybe i will give the VK a shot. I had the 6.5x kowa before so I'm familiar with a wide view at least.

I recently gave the curio's a shot but reality quickly squashed my fantasy making and I realized you need the right tool for the job.

They were great for "quick looks" with the incredible resolution such as looking at construction workers laboring on the side of a building but that didnt translate well to scenic viewing as I liked. I'm not convinced an extra 4mm of objective will remedy the situation.

Also lovely photo ty.
I think the answer comes down to your personal preference
Is the image adequate for you?
Are you more likely to carry the smaller binos?
what works -- for you?

for me naked eye

edj
Yes, reality is the real teacher in this regard. I find the quality of bins i want to use are ones i cant carry around all day (i'm currently working at a pier/harbor hence the birth of this post) or dont want to carry around all day. When im outside i like to carry around as little as possible. A jacket and whats in my pockets really... I have back issues so I'm allergic to things like backpacks and never use neckstraps even.
An 8x32 shows good detail in cloud structures and sunsets.
I'm thinking/hoping it might.

This post made me realize I probably wont get along well with a larger compact bino if I didnt jazz with a pocket bin to begin with.

I'm still curious to hear about people's user experiences. I guess "personal preference" is a journey but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
 
Question related to this post. Are there any decent reverse porros from yesteryear still available through used means? I'm not familiar with some of the older models.

I had the nikon mikron 6x15 for a while which I liked. Isnt there an older 25mm version or one similar to it from a different company?
 
There ae numerous micro binoculars of all sizes under many names.

I have several 25mm and other sizes.

These are reverse prism with prisms outside under the metal.

Regards,
B.
 
If you want small binoculars, you are going to have to make some serious compromises.

As long as the binoculars you are want are not the binoculars you can/will carry, I think you have set yourself an insoluble problem.

No matter how much money you spend, or no matter how many different ones you try, the laws of physics aren’t going to change.

There is no magical binocular, but if you have a 32 mm or 42 mm binocular of 8X or 10X from the big three Europeans, or the top Japanese manufacturers, you will be able to see anything that the best optics can show you.

Beyond that, you are limited by your own eyesight, and smaller/cheaper optics won’t be as good.

No matter your desire to “carry as little as possible” you can’t change the rules of the game.

I wish you the best of luck in your quest.
 
I'm thinking/hoping it might.

This post made me realize I probably wont get along well with a larger compact bino if I didnt jazz with a pocket bin to begin with.

I'm still curious to hear about people's user experiences. I guess "personal preference" is a journey but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
While some 8x32s are almost as big as their 8x42 cousins, a few are fairly small: Zeiss FL and and Leica UVHD come to mind.
 
Post #13.

To me this is just elitism.

I spent a decade with a Nipole 7x23 micro reverse prism skeleton binocular in my twenties.
It showed me everything I wanted to see.

This harping about needing £3,000 binoculars is not how I see things.

A good older £100 Porro shows me what I want to see.

And IS binoculars completely outclass the top non IS binoculars.

I enjoyed driving new Rolls Royces.
But they stuck with drum brakes too long and could become deadly if overused.
Also parking in town was not advisable.

I got as much pleasure from a Renault 4, Mini Cooper S and Austin 1800.
I drove the Austin 1800 to Hammerfest on the worst roads I have ever seen.
It was a tough car, and I am not sure the Rolls would have taken it.
6,000 miles in three weeks.

I agree with Canip that the cheap VisionKing 5x25 if a good example would probably better the £3,000 binocular for the observations mentioned.

B.
 
The Habicht keeps coming up again & again - are you sure you don't already have the best binocular for this? I would echo the comments on smaller binos, they don't interest me very much. Stick with the 42's.

I don't watch clouds & sunsets much, but I love to lie on my lounge chair at night and watch the flow of clouds going over the Moon. On those nights, it's the only astronomy viewing possible. My favorite bino for this is the Zeiss 8x42 SF, I wouldn't want to downsize or use anything else for it. This has the highest clarity of any bino I use, probably similar to Habitch in that regard.

It's fun to have a bunch of different binos, but your most expensive, best one should be the one that gets the most use IMO.
 
Post #13.

To me this is just elitism.

I spent a decade with a Nipole 7x23 micro reverse prism skeleton binocular in my twenties.
It showed me everything I wanted to see.

This harping about needing £3,000 binoculars is not how I see things.

A good older £100 Porro shows me what I want to see.

And IS binoculars completely outclass the top non IS binoculars.

I enjoyed driving new Rolls Royces.
But they stuck with drum brakes too long and could become deadly if overused.
Also parking in town was not advisable.

I got as much pleasure from a Renault 4, Mini Cooper S and Austin 1800.
I drove the Austin 1800 to Hammerfest on the worst roads I have ever seen.
It was a tough car, and I am not sure the Rolls would have taken it.
6,000 miles in three weeks.

I agree with Canip that the cheap VisionKing 5x25 if a good example would probably better the £3,000 binocular for the observations mentioned.

B.
Well said. And so it goes.

Each time I try to point out the realities of the matter, based on over 50 years in precision—as opposed to ophthalmic—optics, and over 20 years working with high-end binocular customers, I get lambasted by those who think I am foolishly trying to diminish the pleasure they derive from wasting money.

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it; ignorance may deride it. But in the end ... there it is.” — Winston Churchill

But as long as there are those who complain about their binocular not being able to focus (when the problem is really an error in collimation), or those who think depth of field relates to the name on the side or back plate of the instrument, or those who want to know how far a particular binocular ... CAN SEE, or those who believe optical quality is directly related how much money a binocular costs, they will continue to walk among us! Or when the observer would rather have the opinion a clueless person who posted something last week than the facts offered by an optical engineer posted even a year ago!

It has been said that I don’t suffer fools well. This is not so. We are all ignorant in a variety of subjects. However, when it metastasizes into willful stupidity—based on an unwillingness to chip a nail in research, I do often steer clear.

“The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance. It is the ILLUSION of knowledge.” — Dr. Stephen Hawking

Most binocular forums thrive on the latter. Because:

“Good advertising need not be accurate, or even meaningful. It need only be believed.”

Cheers,

Bill
 
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Bill;

As long as I think I can see a difference in favor of my Zeiss SF over other glass, I do not thing I have wasted my money.

I am talking about all the subjective, indescribable, and hand-waving aspects of the view through the best optics. Clarity, transparency, wow factor and so on, are those sorts of things.

I am firmly convinced that I can and do see a difference, especially since having my eyeballs refitted with new lenses a few years back.

Take care, and it's always good to hear what you have to say.

Yours,
Richard
 
I think I'm just going to give pocket binos another shot and temper my expectations and specifically my use-case usage. Sometimes when I'm at the pier it would be helpful to read the signage of incoming-docking boats. I will leave the cloud watching for the larger instruments I guess.

There ae numerous micro binoculars of all sizes under many names.

I have several 25mm and other sizes.

These are reverse prism with prisms outside under the metal.

Regards,
B.
Yes, I was under the impression there might be some more popular brands. I ended up randomly ordering a 8x32 vintage porro binocular. It's probably more a collector's item and I grossly overpayed (late night purchase :eek: ) but here we are.

I also found this interesting video with a nice review write up in the video's description which some people might enjoy.


8x30 Classics Vol. I (4/4): Swarovski Falke 8x30

If you want small binoculars, you are going to have to make some serious compromises.

As long as the binoculars you are want are not the binoculars you can/will carry, I think you have set yourself an insoluble problem.

No matter how much money you spend, or no matter how many different ones you try, the laws of physics aren’t going to change.

There is no magical binocular, but if you have a 32 mm or 42 mm binocular of 8X or 10X from the big three Europeans, or the top Japanese manufacturers, you will be able to see anything that the best optics can show you.

Beyond that, you are limited by your own eyesight, and smaller/cheaper optics won’t be as good.

No matter your desire to “carry as little as possible” you can’t change the rules of the game.

I wish you the best of luck in your quest.
"As long as the binoculars you are want are not the binoculars you can/will carry, I think you have set yourself an insoluble problem."

That really sums it well actually. Thank you. I'm just going to experiment more and see what comes of it. The problem for me is that I have an idea of how i want things or think things will be and then in reality they end up being different. E.g. I think I will be okay with a pocket binocular and then take it with me and never use it and regret the extra micro weight.


The Habicht keeps coming up again & again - are you sure you don't already have the best binocular for this? I would echo the comments on smaller binos, they don't interest me very much. Stick with the 42's.

I don't watch clouds & sunsets much, but I love to lie on my lounge chair at night and watch the flow of clouds going over the Moon. On those nights, it's the only astronomy viewing possible. My favorite bino for this is the Zeiss 8x42 SF, I wouldn't want to downsize or use anything else for it. This has the highest clarity of any bino I use, probably similar to Habitch in that regard.

It's fun to have a bunch of different binos, but your most expensive, best one should be the one that gets the most use IMO.
Thank you for reflecting back to me the habicht gets used a lot. I'm actually really wondering if my 10x40 could use a 7x42 as a compliment. I know the latter has a narrow fov. However I (also) worry that the extra brightness from the increased exit pupil might be too bright for cloud viewing. Especially since the 10x40 takes some adjusting to already. I know some people have experimented with using polarizing filters but I tend to want to use as little extras as possible.

Watching the moon in such a relaxed manner sounds lovely. I love catching the little cloud interactions too. How they might make the moon look haunted or cover up some glare or introduce some atmospheric CA. Your SF sounds lovely.
 

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