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Choosing 8x32 vs 7x42 vs 8x25 (1 Viewer)

Just wondering, as this is for on a boat at sea: are there any recommendations regarding protecting and cleaning the binocular lenses that would make sense to also share, specifically for that context?
Both for the OP and for others (including me :) ) out of interest.

(I associate sea with salty water, wind, sand in case of at shore, ... which doesn't sound ideal. And not all manufacturers have the common sense of even shipping objective covers with their binoculars. (I have Opticron covers on my Zeiss Victory 8x25...) You don't need liters of drinkable water to rince of lenses, of course, but still.)

Keep one barrel focused at infinity and the other somewhat less. It'll give you big depth of field, especially at 7x, and your brain will surprise you with how quickly and well it adjusts. For a longer look, just tighten up the focus!
Nice tip, thanks. Can you advise whether this method would be worth trying with a 10x50 IF Porro as opposed to a 7x50?

The Hawke Marine 7x32 ED is a very good binocular and designed for use on boats.
Yes, this, built for exactly this purpose, optics (for the price) are genuinely excellent and it even comes with a floating neck strap. (There is also a 7x50 version, with or without built in compass, if you're considering a full size binocular).

A Kowa BD II 6.5x32 XD would do the job just as nicely and would be my (very subjective) personal choice if I was undertaking this trip.

OP then has 8x25 VP's for excursions/hikes on land during the trip, which are perfectly suited to that job.
…If I had my own boat it would be simple to buy the best bins for the job which seem to be the Leica Ultravid 7x42.
I went into a Leica store last year just to check out all the models I could and by the time I walked out the 7x42 Ultravid had gone from not being of any interest to me, and straight to the top of my list. They’re now probably my single favorite binocular to look through, even though my 8x20 Ultravid gets more usage.
Aren't marine binoculars specifically waterproof for the harsh conditions of seafaring? Even though this seems like an only one-time event for you, could the planned Leica's survive such conditions? Salty air corrosion? Moisture? What happens if you accidently drop your leica's into the water? Are they just splashproof or are they waterproof? Are you planning on getting a flotation strap for the bins? Just some thoughts.

If your heart says Leica then go for Leica. That said, you mention that the 7x42mm might be too large for general use for you. Perhaps the Zeiss sfl 8x40, which are reported as svelte, could be an alternative? Or one of the GA Swaro Habicht such as 7x42 for waterproofing albeit with a less accessible focuser?

I concur to consider IS as well. Personally I sway enough as it is normally standing -- I can't imagine on choppy waters.

Good luck with your search, looking forward to reading on which you decide and how it ends up for you.
I think IS is adding complexity and electronics to a device that could be splashed with salt water, and also pushibg the price up.

The damage on a boat would most likely be from getting dropped on the deck or sliding around, if it happens.
For me IMG_2769.jpegthe the golden standard at the sea is the Steiner Commander, but the Hawke is so nimble and light compared to it that I am thinking to sell the later, there is an universe of difference in user friendliness. The small Hawke is so well rounded for a couple hundred bucks that is a very hard contender as budget general bino.
The "best" binoculars are the ones you will actually take with you. I have a dozen binoculars but the ones I use by far the most are 10x25 that weigh less than 11 ounces and in their carry case they fit inside a jacket pocket or inside the water bottle pocket of a day pack.

For travel some thought should be given to not having an expensive looking binocular that makes you a target for a thief. A 8x is probably a good choice for a first pair. 10x may be OK but are more difficult to use on a small boat on the water. 7x is good with large 50mm objectives for night viewing but not great for identifying the features of very small birds (where I like to use 10x binos).

Got to the bhphotovideo website and you can select the magnification and objectives diameter and sort by price and read customer reviews. Good value binos are ones from Pentax, Meopta, and the Nikon Monarch (8x30)

8x20 are smaller still but I have never liked the ones I have tried, at any price. The 25mm objectives have a surface area that is 56% greater than with 20mm objectives and that provides an indication of the relative light transmission that can be provided.

Any bino selling for more than $200 with have adequate weather sealing an be waterproof and most important with have a sealed gas in the bino to prevent fogging with moisture on the inside surfaces of the lens elements. I have owned "marine" binoculars that has a good amount of armor to protect them when they hit the sides of the boat when offshore in heavy weather making boat deliveries in the Atlantic. Few people ever encounter such conditions.
Hi, I am hoping for some advice on purchasing my first decent binoculars.

I have to admit I am not a bird watcher but I like to travel and I’m a nature lover. I’m 32 M. Normally I like to travel very light with just hand luggage at 10kg, and have bought my first decent binos Leica UV 8x20 and also Zeiss victory 8x25 for this purpose.

I have a trip coming up sailing on someone elses boat 5 weeks onboard, and am wondering if I will be ok with the smaller binoculars or I should use this opportunity to get a larger pair, like 8x32 or 7x42.
Now If I had my own boat it would be simple to buy the best bins for the job which seem to be the Leica Ultravid 7x42. But I am thinking, after this trip, that size may be too large for general use. But also, being on a boat for 5 weeks, looking through decent binoculars may be a very good thing to do.

Sorry if my questions are a bit daft but I am quite inexperienced and also, these are rather expensive so can’t really afford to make a mistake.

Thank you.
Why not a Swarovski Curio 7X21? Will satisfy all your needs. I have a pair and I love them.

Regards Bert
Would that be better than a 8x25 victory pocket for my intended use? I like the small size.
If we split the entire forum over just these two binoculars, there'd be a lot of people in both groups. I really fell for the 8x25 Victory Pocket during the time I had a set to try out, but the 7x21 Curio is one I'd really not like being without. It's also the only binocular I've purchased at retail, not to mention not having any regrets about it either. If you're really into compactness, as am I, then there's two strong contenders, and the Zeiss isn't one of them. But the Curio is.
Would that be better than a 8x25 victory pocket for my intended use? I like the small size.

The only reliable answer will have to be based on your own direct comparison of the two candidates.

That said and with respect to your planned trip, it sounds like you might be more interested in the Curio as a possible / additional true shirt pocket model rather than as a "better" bin than your VP 8x25 (or UV 8x20)?

IMO, The more versatile and economical combination if you are inclined and willing to deal with the additional size and weight would be to pair the UV 8x20 with the recommended Hawke 7x32.


Conquest 8x32.
Get a 2nd hand one, Ace optics for example. Sell after 5 weeks if you need to.
You won't mind them getting knocked around a boat, and people WILL ask to look through them!!!
Wide FOV, bright, waterproof, easier to use than VP or 8x20 Ultra, and bombproof.
Strange choice having 8x25 AND 8x20:unsure:
There is a superb 8x32 Conquest in the classifieds right now at, quite frankly, at a ridiculous price.
I would jump on those without hesitation.
Perfect for your trip.
Another vote for the Conquest 8x32. Very versatile (not too heavy, good for lowlight as well, in between 7 and 10 power, large FOV, rough)
IF I would buy a 8x32 it would be the Conquest 8x32.
A good 8x25 isn't a bad idea.

Strange choice having 8x25 AND 8x20:unsure:
I have a trinovid 8x20 and leave it in my pocket without hesitation, because it is so light and small. However, it is not comfortable in use (for me). That's the reason why I am considering to add a more comfortable 8x25 (or maybe 10x25) as well, with more weight, larger eyecups, more grip. I feel no attraction towards 7 time magnification, because I want to get as close as possible without too many sacrifices.

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