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CANON 8x20 IS - operating noise? (1 Viewer)

WRL

Member
Germany
Based on mainly positive opinions/experience here in this forum (and elsewhere) I bought a Canon 8x20 IS. It arrived a few days ago. I went out into the field the same day and it works great for me, despite a few (known) shortcomings (a bit smallish FOV, lacking/little weather resistance) which I can live with.

Here is my question to 8/10x20 IS owners:
When the stabilizer is switched on the binos generates a low humming or buzzing noise (as if a little motor spins). Not really annoying, but in a silent environment quite discernible. Is that a feature or a bug? Can owners of such bino confirm this low noise or not?

I am asking because my Canon 12x32 IS does not make such noise. It is silent when operating in the stabilzed mode(s) (on/off clicks are the only noise).

As a general comment to the discusioon "stabilized binos for birding?" I may add: obsolutely. I will never buy any other type of bino for that purpose again.

Greetings
WRL
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
On foot of your query, WRL, I've just checked my 8x20IS, and yes, there us a very faint whirring when I engage the button. I've never noticed it before, and probably never will again; it is almost inaudible and I have to almost put the binos to my ear like a phone to notice it. Just for giggles I tried the experiment with my IS 10x42, and found no hum....silent as the grave!
 

WRL

Member
Germany
You effort is much appreciated, Sancho. Thank you. That is what I assumed. There is something (a sensor?) in the bino that "whirls". Mayby a kind of mechanical gyro or other electro-mechanical device. That is definately different to your 10x42 IS and my 12x32 IS. However, both systems work extremly well, and the "noise" in the 8x20 is, as you mentioned, hardly audible.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
My 18x50 IS makes a noise, not normally heard.

I use this to check that the binocular is off before I put it away in its case.
I put the binocular up to my ear.

Whether the sounds are heard may depend on the age and hearing of the user.

I have a Russian IS that sounds like a demented creature.
The noise is incredible as the giros get up to full warp speed.
Maybe less obvious in a tank.

Regards,
B.

P.S.
Just tried the 10x42L IS.
It make a very audible sound putting the binocular to either ear.
In normal use it is silent to me.

I don't have any 20mm versions.
 
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Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
For more giggles, we should start a thread...'How do your binoculars speak to you?' Some years ago we had one about how various binoculars smell (seriously).
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
P.S.
Just tried the 10x42L IS.
It make a very audible sound putting the binocular to either ear.
In normal use it is silent to me.

I don't have any 20mm versions.
Interesting, my 10x42L IS makes a very noticeable click when the IS is engaged, but nothing more that I can hear.
The caveat is that my high frequency hearing is like Boris Johnson's credibility, less that it perhaps once was.
Can you describe what you hear?
 

Binastro

Well-known member
My hearing is average for an elderly bloke, i.e. not great.

The 10x42L makes a steady hum at either ear pressed against the binocular body.
I think the 18x50 is louder, I will try to compare.
From memory all the Canons, Fujinon, Bushnell, and Russian IS I have used make some noise, but some are silent in normal use.
Some make clunky noises when switched on plus whirring or steady humming.

I heard someone speaking in the middle of the night from somewhere in the room.
I don't believe in ghosts, but what else could it be?
Maybe a radio?
It took a lot of searching and eventually it was a Minolta speaking camera that had lost its marbles.
I couldn't stop it speaking so threw it in the rubbish.
Perhaps the garbage collector began to get worried.
(What has six wheels and flies?
A rubbish truck).

I also have several talking fish that either talk when passing by or can be operated by a button.

Regards,
B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
I just compared two Canon IS binoculars.

Firstly, one needs a quiet environment, so I moved to a quiet room.

The noise is only apparent when my recently syringed ear is really close to the binocular.
( I went almost deaf in this ear thinking it was age related. Syringing was seemingly miraculous).

The noise is medium strength with my ear pressed against either binocular bodies.

I have a digital sound monitor, but it won't tell much here.

The rest noise in either the 18x50 or 10x42L is the same strength in each.
Each sounds like a quiet aircraft air conditioning background noise.

When moving the binoculars.
The 10x42L has quiet clunks on top of the background sound.
The 18x50 IS whistles somewhat louder when moved, again with the same background sound.
Even when seemingly at rest there are occasional clunks or whistles, so I don't think that hand held either binocular is totally at rest.

It has to be said that Canon have changed and tweaked their IS binoculars over the years, saying it increased battery life.
But there may have been many untold changes over 20 plus years even in the same model.

I cannot remember if the Zeiss 20x60S is totally quiet.

Regards,
B.
 

Rich27B

Member
My 8x20 - bought recently with advice from Sancho and Dennis, and I'm delighted with them so far (thanks both!) - make a definitely audible buzzing sound when IS engaged.
I usually carry mine either in a large coat pocket or over my shoulder on a long strap (almost like a satchel) as these are my bins for carrying when doing other things, often used one handed, and I've also noticed a pretty obvious rattling sound - almost sounds like the objective lenses rattling - when I'm walking at speed and they're moving around a little. For my peace of mind: have others ever noticed the same?
I'm also now totally hooked on IS bins and seriously thinking about trying the kite 12x30 to replace my old faithful Leica 8x32 BA's. A total change of style but...IS!
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
I'll jog around my 5km restricted zoe tomorrow, Rich, and see if I hear a rattle! Although it might be my ageing joints...Meanwhile it occurs to me; I once heard, on the radio here, a 'symphony' composed by some German musician, made up of sound recordings of car engines, washing machines, industrial plant, spinning bike wheels, etc. I propose that we IS-owners pool our resources by means of MP3 recordings of our binoculars, compile them in symphonic format, and Go Big: Carnegie Hall. Recording Contracts. Interviews. Artistic Differences. Break-Up. Farewell Tour. Solo careers with different binos. Regroup in ten years. (Bags I be Posh IS-Spice).
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I just compared two Canon IS binoculars.

Firstly, one needs a quiet environment, so I moved to a quiet room.

The noise is only apparent when my recently syringed ear is really close to the binocular.
( I went almost deaf in this ear thinking it was age related. Syringing was seemingly miraculous).

The noise is medium strength with my ear pressed against either binocular bodies.

I have a digital sound monitor, but it won't tell much here.

The rest noise in either the 18x50 or 10x42L is the same strength in each.
Each sounds like a quiet aircraft air conditioning background noise.

When moving the binoculars.
The 10x42L has quiet clunks on top of the background sound.
The 18x50 IS whistles somewhat louder when moved, again with the same background sound.
Even when seemingly at rest there are occasional clunks or whistles, so I don't think that hand held either binocular is totally at rest.

It has to be said that Canon have changed and tweaked their IS binoculars over the years, saying it increased battery life.
But there may have been many untold changes over 20 plus years even in the same model.

I cannot remember if the Zeiss 20x60S is totally quiet.

Regards,
B.
Good on you!
I'm unable to hear anything from my Canon 10x42L apart from the on/off noise.
Logically there should be a hum as the prisms get adjusted, but obviously it is unobtrusive.
 

WRL

Member
Germany
Thank for so much feedback and sharing various experience with your IS bins. Obviously , the latter have a humoristic aspect as well.

Today I rechecked my 12x32 IS and ... it also emits a very low buzzing/humming noise when IS is engaged. That is certainly lower in volume than the one on my 8x20 IS, so I never before really took notice of it. Maybe audibility depends on the "solidity" (or mass) of the bin's body (plastic vs. metal) also.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
My flippancy aside, and apologies....it also depends on the listener. I have tinnitus in one ear so I don't really notice low-level hums or whirring. I can understand why it could get annoying to someone with sharp hearing.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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