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Choices 10x or 12x? (1 Viewer)

Yippeekiay

Well-known member
Finally! I saved enough for a decent set of 10x50's but in searching I've found the possible 12x as another option. I kind of like the idea of the jump from 8x to 12x but I've been wanting a 10x50 for a looong time now. The 50 to 56mm objective is definite. Zeiss night owls in 10x56 would be nice but I can't find them for under $900.
The short list:
10x50 Fujinon FMTR-SX
12x50 Leica Trinovid
12x50 Nikon SE
12x50 Vortex Razor

Any others for $750 or under? If not, being that I can't try any beforehand, what's the best option?

Thanks!
Paul
 
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motts

Well-known member
Unless you're going to be using a tripod, I wouldn't go as high as 12x. It will be difficult to hold steady. In 10x50, you can also check out the Meopta Meostar, Pentax SP or ED, or Minox BL (10x52), Steiner Nighthunter (10x56).
 

Yippeekiay

Well-known member
That was the other one. B&H has a used Pentax 10x50 ED for $750
Thanks for reminding me. :t: It's actually the front runner.

As far as 12x, most likely a mono pod would accompany. I do have a few nice tripods but I can't see myself carting one around just for a 12x view.... 15x maybe but not 12.
The 12x is only in the running because SWFA has a Trinovid for cheap and I've always wondered about them being "bomb-proof" and all. Then that got me to daydreaming about the 12x SE's as I loved my 10x42's. Though with the SE I worry about the CA factor. The Razor I don't think is HD but it is less money.

Choices.... Choices.....
 

John Dracon

John Dracon
A 12 power glass resting over the hood of a vehicle or sitting down with elbows resting on knees is manageable. Or for a short period while standing. But I predict you will find your pulse becoming noticeable, with every so light jars as your heart beats. This can become distracting. Try it out for yourself and see if it happens to you.
 

ronh

Well-known member
Paul,
I use a 12x50 Trinovid BN a good bit for birding and sightseeing. The detail revealed is staggering. I think enjoying 12x has more to do with accustomization and tolerance than being super strong and steady, which I certainly am not. The high weight, excellent ergonomics, and super wide field combine to make this particular 12x relatively user friendly and great fun for me. Also, the long straight roof shape makes for instinctive pointing. It really isn't much harder than 10x, and the rewards are significant.

But, I will not minimize the downsides.

Depth of field is practically nonexistent. A surprisingly distant tree will not be all in focus at once, and will require "focusing through". Even half a mile is not "infinity", you have to refocus to a mile. At a mile, you're about there.

12x is a bad deal if you are hiking strenuously with heart beating hard and winded. Here, you will see that motion blur looks a lot like the blur of bad optics, and will be frustrated.

It is a slow binocular. Heavy and slow to bring up, and slow to get to sharpest focus. Up close flitty birds are obviously a disaster.

Regarding the Trinovid per se, glass and precision, and view comfort too, could hardly be beat, but the older coatings relegate the brightness, contrast and color presentation to what, nowadays, must be called second rate. The 11 foot close focus is impressive for such a high power. Mine is a somewhat rare example, in my experience, of a perfectly smooth focus action. That really helps battle the narrow depth of field. It is undeniably massive at 40 oz. I use a bandolier style strap, many would recommend a harness, but a neck strap is not going to do it.

I also use a 10x50 Ultravid (non HD) as my main birding binocular. It lacks the long range detail ability of the 12x, but exceeds 8x, and is an altogether pretty good compromise. The wide field and lighter weight makes it just tolerable for close up warblers and such. OK, I still miss more than with my 8x. And naturally, its not as good as 12x on ducks way across the lake. Of course its later coatings raise its contrast over the Trinovid, but it is outside your stated price range.

The jump from 8x to 10x is significant, but to 12x is breathtaking. There aren't many 12x fans here but I am not alone. Still, the smallness of our number, and the common admonition "10x max" cannot be ignored. Am I just weird or what?

Still I'd recommend the 12x50, as it is such a refreshing jump from 8x, at least for me. 12x is a challenge that I enjoy. I'm not saying the Trinovid has got to be the one. The SE is undoubtedly contrast per dollar and also lighter weight, if you're more into that than the Leica's better design features. If you use binoculars a lot (even obsessively like me) you have probably developed skills that would make 12x fun and easier than you expect. Of course it will be a shock at first and you will think you can't manage it. But after a couple of days, you'll probably get the hang of it and feel the power of, uh, power.
Ron
 
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typo

Well-known member
Unfortunately I've not tried any on the binoculars on your list (though I'd like to), but I'm one of the small band that likes a 12x.

My main birding pair is a 7x36 for the leafy lanes round where I live, but it lacks the reach for the nearby lakes, nature reserve etc. I have a couple of 10x and tried a whole lot more, but generally the additional shake means I struggle to see any more detail. However my 42oz 12x50IF porro is steady. Curiously about as steady as I got with a Canon IS 12x36 and nicer to use. The weight has certainly got something to do with it, as it's much steadier than most lighter weight roofs I've tried. Balance is at least as important. The big porro housing, means the balance point is quite close to my face. Last week I tried a 30oz plastic barrelled Celestron roof that was almost as good. Much steadier and hence sharper than the Swaro 12x50EL for example (though not optically comparable).

I find 42oz too much to hand round my neck even if that place wasn't taken by the 7x. I simply sling the porro over one shoulder. It does take a moment longer to get it up to my eyes, but it's not the obvious tool for warblers anyway. Mind you, if you can find an obliging warbler the detail from a 12x is stunning at 20 yards. I find the combination preferable to taking a scope.

Obviously individuals will vary considerably, and it just works for me. In fact I'm keen to track down some 15x, though I'm definitely not going above 42oz for hand held.

David
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
How are you using the binoculars? Your options confuse me with their differences.
-The fujinon with IF will be harder to use for birding.
-The lack of waterproofing may be an issue for the nikons.

I have a pair of Leica Duovids 10+15x50s. I use the 10x 90% of the time, but can hand hold as 15X for a brief period of time. Leaning against a tree/car top helps for longer viewing.

I would suggest the 12x if use is mainly for raptors, shore birds, hunting (if weight ok),
but the 10x for more general use.

edj
 

Yippeekiay

Well-known member
Your options confuse me with their differences.
edj

Well, I already have my 8x32 HG's which I will NEVER be rid of. And 7x50 Fujinon covers the low-light conditions admirably. Plus the IF doesn't bother me. The 10x50 configuration seemed the next logical step as compacts are a no go. But yes they will be used primarily for longer ranges such as shore birds and raptors. (Sept. 14-15 is fast approaching!) Then, when I saw the Trinovids at such a nice price 12x became feasible.
As far as the shake inherent to higher magnification, that shouldn't pose too big a problem. Before birding became a favorite long range shooting was it. There you become extremely aware of any shake as with spotting scopes. It got to a point where I could shoot between heartbeats. So I agree where techniques can override natural instability.
I actually spent the day more or less set on the Fuji 10x's but the Trinovids seem to have made a come back.

Can anyone comment on a comparison between the two views? FMTR-SX vs Trinovid?

Side note: Unless I can find a blazing deal on some SE's they may be just out of my price range. And the Pentax apparently have "horribly truncated exit pupils" so they're out also. Vortex? I'd probably go after the Kaibabs first.

Edit: Scratch the Trin's. Looks like someone bought em'. .. Snooze ya lose i guess. Still have a few days before I get my cash (90+hrs in a week!) so the search is still on!
 
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edwincjones

Well-known member
I have had the fujinon 7x50s and 10x70s, but not 10x50s;
but the 10x50s should be just like the 7x but 10x
If the weight and IF is not a problem, sounds like a good option-they are a high quality binocular for a reasonable price.

edj
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
It's like deja vu all over again. Think we discussed this before, haven't we?

If you are sensitive to CA, you probably won't find the 12x SE suitable, particularly for watching birds of prey. It's also harder to hold steadier for terrestrial use than the 10x42, being a bit front heavy and having the balance point on the seam between the prism housings and barrels whereas the balance point on the 10x and 8x is on the prism housing. I don't find that much difference in steadying the image in the 12x as I do the 10x when my back is braced in a reclining lawn chair while stargazing, but for terrestrial use, there's a noticeable difference because the weight is out front.

For birding, I think you can rule out the Fuji. The IF EPs and heavy weight require a tripod or at least one of those monopods with feet.

So that leaves you with the Trinnie and the Razor. I've come to the opinion that like compact roofs, with higher power full sized bins, you need high quality to get a good image, because high magnification brings out the flaws more obviously, particularly CA.

While the Razor is well regarded, particularly the HD version, the Trinnie is a classic, and if had the opportunity to buy one at a nice price, I would based on Ron's glowing reviews and the wide FOV for its configuration. It will also hold its value (perhaps even increase) more than the Razor if later you decide that 12x is too much to deal with.

The other 10x50 you might want to throw into the mix is the Docter 10x50 Nobilem. See allbinos review. Other than edge performance, not too different from the Fuji in overall performance, and it has center focus, and it's less heavy than the Fuji. Having owned the 8x50 Octarem, which is similarly proportioned, the weight is well distributed and it has flat prism housing bottoms for good thumb support, and those factors make the bins feel lighter in your hands.

You said you "loved" your 10x42 SE, so I assume you no longer have it. Have you tried the latest version, 050xxx? The contrast and brightest have improved, and the 10x SE is easier to hold than the 12xs and provide an extra 1* FOV. It also has better ergos than the two-torpedoes-stuck-together Trinnie, and best of all, it only weighs 25 oz. Other than for stargazing, I can't see the advantage of the 12x50 SE over the 10x SE.

I would probably enjoy the view through the 12x Trinnies very much, but they wouldn't be as comfortable to hold as the 10x42 SE, and my arms would tire too quickly. I could mount them, but I hate to use monopods, not just because of having to lug them around, but it limits my ability to quickly follow or get to a bird compared to using the bins handheld. So I usually end up taking the bins off the monopod. I even used the Nikon 8-16x40 XL Zoom handheld for terrestrial use. Fairly steady up to 15x. It weighed 32 oz. and was well balanced.

In summary, if I had arms like Terminator-era Arnold and my name was Cool Hand Luke, I'd go for the Trinnies. Since my arms are like Popeye's before the spinach and I have "luke warm hands," I bought the latest 10x42 SE and don't regret losing the extra mm exit pupil or the 8mm aperture, which doesn't matter except under extreme light conditions and for stargazing, for which I have the Celestron 10x50 Nova, with 8* FOV.

<B>
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Of the four binoculars mentioned in your OP the Fujinon is probably the best optically so if the IF isn't a problem I would consider it a strong contender. I often glass at long distance and the Fuji 10x50 works great for such applications but I also use a 12x (Nikon SE) and 15x (Zeiss GAT T*) and you can always discern more detail with the higher magnifications despite the image being a little shakier.

If you decide on a 10x I don't think there is a 10x binocular any better than the Fuji optically. I have compared it side by side with a 10x50 EL on loan from my local Swaro dealer and the Fuji was just as good optically but of course the Swaro was much better in the ergonomics department. I've also compared it with my SE's (8,10, & 12) and I think the Fuji is a tad bit better than the 10x and 12x SE and about the equal of the 8x SE.

Since you have a Fuji 7x50 you're already know just how good the Fujinons are but the general consensus is that the 10x50 is the best of the series so expect it to be even better than your 7x50.

Steve
 
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mooreorless

Well-known member
Steve I would have to agree with your thoughts on the Fuji 10x50. Paul is already used to IF and this binocular would be used at longer distances.
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Just to add another voice in support of the 12x50 Trinovid.
It is a super all weather birding glass, robust and user friendly, with excellent optics.
A 12x glass is very manageable, at least imho, even for small warblers flitting between the leaves, with superior detail views. Weight concerns are pretty much eliminated by a decent harness.
If you can get this glass at your price target, it is a steal.
 

ronh

Well-known member
Paul,

The Fuj is extremely bright and sharp for sure, but IF is not its only problem. It shows a fair amount of CA, and suffers quite badly from scattered light when a bright source is just outside the field. By day, you have to mash pretty hard to see the whole field of view.

The Tri is hardly extremely bright, and also shows considerable CA, but controls scattered light well and is in my opinion a better terrestial binocular largely due to its excellent ergonomics and engineering. It is also a fine astronomy binocular, as its star images, while lacking some of the color and ferocity of the Fuj, are superbly sharp, and the field of view, while not as flat as the Fuj, is very well corrected by old timey standards and way more than good enough for hand held/central viewing.

Um, getting deja vu on myself here. But, I feel, like I owe it, to someone.
Ron
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
For all reasons stated or implied...stick with the 10x....a 12, while the power is nice, is not stable enough in your hands without using some form of stablization. jim
 

Yippeekiay

Well-known member
By day, you have to mash pretty hard to see the whole field of view.Ron

This is one of the questions I've been pondering. Most places (even the Fujinon website) state a 20+mm eye relief but some Cloudy night's reviews and threads state from in hand experience 15mm or so (Big difference). Can anyone put a definite number on this? Or is it more of a year/model spec?
I'm particularly leaning towards the Fujinons because it looks like someone already bought the Trinovids. And finding another at that price may take quite some time. But the mere mention of CA in the Fuji's has me wondering if I should be looking for something with HD or ED glass... (?) But given my price range is that going to leave the view much less desirable than the Fuji's. Unfortunately the choice of this configuration (10 or 12x50) is extremely limited in modern bin's. Maybe settle for a 10x42?...

Did I just hear a collective sigh of exasperation?
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
The 10x50 Fujinons have more useable eye relief than the others in the series so if you can manage your Fuji 7x50 the 10x50 will have plenty of eye relief for you. The problem I have with the 10x50 Fujinon is that I can just manage to get the oculars the right distance from my eyes to attain the full fov because the large diameter of the oculars start "pinching" my nose.

I can't manage to see the full fov in the other IF Fujinons because for me they have less useable eye relief than the 10x50's, really a shame because I always wanted to do a side by side between my Nikon 18x70 and a Fujinon 16x70.

Steve
 

Nixterdemus

Well-known member
Whilst on this 12x jaunt can anyone apply logic to the Zeiss 12x45 Conquest going for the discounted price of 850 clams for a demo?

No ABK prism and not the new & improved HD, so besides being a 12x w/3.75 EP 4.6* assembled in Hungary what's the big whoop?
 
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