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cannot decide between EL 8x32 and EL 8.5x42 - thoughts please? (1 Viewer)

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
I'm looking for a new pair of binoculars to replace/upgrade my current Opticron 10x42 BGA imagic.

I'm trying to decide between the EL8x32 and the EL8.5x42 -- tried both for about 1/2 hour & both were fantastic.

I really liked the lighter weight and ergonomics of the 8x32, but leaning towards the 8.5x42 for the 'better performance in low light' & the confidence that I won't suffer further upgradeitis.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! I'd use these as my only pair of binoculars, for birdwatching. I do have a scope but mostly don't take it with me.

I realise this question or similar have been asked across the forum and internet -- I've read all I can find but still can't decide!

Thanks
 
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dipped

Well-known member
As you say either will be fantastic. The 8x32 is Swarovski's top seller I believe.

I think there is a book that reflects on making decisions and accepting that you made the right decision and not looking back or something. Can't remember the book title.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Those two EL's are sensational binoculars. The EL 8x32 will of course be lighter and smaller and it has a bigger FOV than the 8.5x42 but it shows a little more glare. The bigger EL will bring in 70% more light so if you do any low light observing that could be important. The smaller EL will WOW you more than the bigger EL because of it's bigger FOV. Don't forget to try the Nikon EDG , Zeiss SF's and the Zeiss FL's also if you are in the market for an alpha. The EDG and the two Zeiss's will control glare better than the EL and have smoother focusers, especially the EDG which has about the best focuser of any binocular. The FL's are probably the brightest if you like a bright binocular. The El's have the sharpest edges if that is your preference. It all comes down to priority and preferences.
 
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dries1

Member
If it will be the only one in the cabinet, then I would go for the 8.5X42, also a great glass for the night sky- and just about everything else. It is a weight vs performance issue. If you can handle the weight and slightly bigger size you will not be disappointed.

Andy W.
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
Thanks all for the advice.

Today I bought the 8.5x42, after further comparisons in the shop (a super bright sunny november day), and realising that a totally objective decision would be impossible.

The theoretical low light capabilities won over the very noticeable weight difference!

Then went and tested at dusk at our local nature reserve. Wow !!! so much detail even with terrible light....

no looking back now
 

SeldomPerched

Well-known member
Hi Interoception, not sure if you will be looking at the forum now but just going back through some old threads I wondered how you have been getting on with your EL 8.5x42 bins. Did you get the latest Field Pro version (but before they took away the close focus in summer 2020)? Were you pleased you got the bigger glass and not the 8x32?

All the best,

Tom
Thanks all for the advice.

Today I bought the 8.5x42, after further comparisons in the shop (a super bright sunny november day), and realising that a totally objective decision would be impossible.

The theoretical low light capabilities won over the very noticeable weight difference!

Then went and tested at dusk at our local nature reserve. Wow !!! so much detail even with terrible light....

no looking back now
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
The 8.5 x 42 are really great and I have no regrets.

yes I have the field pro version - I bought them in Nov 2019 so still has the close focus.

I found them a bit heavy at first but soon got used to it. The 8x32 were also amazing but no point looking back.

I don’t feel the need for any other binoculars now
 

pimpelmees

Well-known member
Hi Interoception, not sure if you will be looking at the forum now but just going back through some old threads I wondered how you have been getting on with your EL 8.5x42 bins. Did you get the latest Field Pro version (but before they took away the close focus in summer 2020)? Were you pleased you got the bigger glass and not the 8x32?

All the best,

Tom
Took away the close focus ??
 

Patudo

Well-known member
The 8.5 x 42 are really great and I have no regrets.

yes I have the field pro version - I bought them in Nov 2019 so still has the close focus.

I found them a bit heavy at first but soon got used to it. The 8x32 were also amazing but no point looking back.

I don’t feel the need for any other binoculars now

I have to admit (through gritted teeth) that every time I use my brother's 8.5 fieldpro I get the feeling I would have been better served getting one just like it than the ten I already have. It really is superb.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have to admit (through gritted teeth) that every time I use my brother's 8.5 fieldpro I get the feeling I would have been better served getting one just like it than the ten I already have. It really is superb.
You are better off with ONE exceptional binocular than ten mediocre ones. Get an NL, and then you're done with it.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
I have the EL FP 8.5x42. It's my favorite. If I had to have only one, this would be it. I've not used the EL 8x32.

I use the Kowa Genesis 8x33 a lot when I have camera gear. I really like it, but as I said, I'd pick the 8.5x42 over it if I had to pick one.
 

Mac308

Well-known member
I've used ONLY 7x30/8x30/8x32 binoculars since the 1980's. I really have no need for a 40/42mm objective. I love the ergonomics of the 8x32 EL, I just can't stand the flat field (rolling ball) and absolutely prefer the Leica Ultravid. But if you're not bothered by the Swarovski's optical compromise then you can't go wrong with it.
 

bkdc

Well-known member
I haven't handled the newest "Legend" binos but I have a sneaking suspicion that they also focus slower (more rotations) where it matters. That's what happened to the SLC.
 

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