• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Collection feels complete… any ideas/suggestions? (1 Viewer)

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
A brief explanation is that I’ve dabbled with astro, bino and camera optics for a while now and this year restarted collecting but more selectively. Didn’t want to put this in the swaro subforum because while I like them, probably better looking elsewhere at this point.

Current:
7x21 CL
8x30 Habicht
8x32 EL
8x42 NL
8x56 SLC
Papillio 8.5x21
8x leica, zeiss, nikon as brand representative.

So the suggested rules are:
1. Needs to be ”the best” at something, eg papillio even though it isn’t rare
2. Needs to be primarily handheld - eg not interested in the upcoming STC spotting scope, or >1.2kg binos
3. Image stabilisation/electronics “special features that might break” are allowed but only if monocular.

Eg something I’ve been keeping an eye out for, is a good drawtube telescope, and a pocket monocular rangefinder. Not sure if I’m also missing anything in the bino realm?
 
Last edited:

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
Zeiss 20x60S - they made it as a scope at some point but I think it's discontinued.
But honestly - I don't think anything is "missing" in your collection. Maybe a dedicated 10x astro bino like a 10x70 Nikon or Celestron Echelon (not to be confused with the cheapo Chinese Celestron stuff). From what I have read those are the best for spotting nebulae. Fujinon also made a 10x70 FMTR once. Unfortunately also discontinued. That being said - it depends on how light polluted your skies are. And they are over the weight limit. As are some other interesting vintage binos like the SARD 6x42.
I do love my vintage wide angles - how about a vintage 7x50 with 11° FoV? My "Scope" Vistar 7x50 is optically almost as good (I think even slightly better) than the Fuji 7x50 FMTR and offers a much wider view. True spacewalk feeling with the eye cups folded down. But short eye relief, in no way water resistant, etc. Still mighty impressive for astronomy. I don't think there is something similar today except for the Nikon WX 7x50 for 6k$/€ and 2 kg weight.
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Until I read point 3 I was going to suggest a high-power IS, like a 10 or 12x Canon. But, with that ruled out, I'd say I see lack of variation in magnification. I find different mags give different experiences (beyond the obvious "making things look larger or smaller). For example, low magnification like 6-6,5-7x have the added bonus of a steadier image (with more detail) and an increased depth of field, these both combine to make for an extraordinarily relaxed view. More depth of field means less focusing, less shake means more apparent detail. I'd say you should definitely try a low mag. Since you like "the more of" something, you could opt for a wide angle low mag, like the Kowa BDXD II 6.5x32 at 10º FOV. Or else you could try a small wonder: the 7x35 Leica Retrovid. It doesn't spot the craziest FOV at 8º, but it's light and compact as an 8x32, has an exit pupil of 5 mm and gives a stunning view, you won't find many binoculars matching that, so it's somehow "the best" in something: it's unique.
 

jafritten

Well-known member
1. Needs to be ”the best” at something, eg papillio even though it isn’t rare
What's the best bird? Whenever people are asked about "the best" they usually talk about personal preferences. If "the best" is synonymous with any superlative, it will not mean that it is even a "good" binocular. In fact, the "best" binoculars might be ruled out by focusing on quantifiable criteria, for example the Leica Ultravid 7x42 HD+ (no superlatives here but paradigmatic of my personal preference). On my list there'd be a 10x missing.

Apart from that, you have a fine collection already! Why not buy yourself free time or spend the cash on a birding trip to use them all extensively? Or do as William ( post #3) suggests.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
5x25 VisionKing.
15 degree field.
Buy 6 to find one with good quality optics.

4x22 Libra/Dowling and Rowe.
16.5 degree field.

As monoculars are liked, a 75mm aperture 1.5x Minolta front converter 30 degree field.
There are bigger afocal adapters.

Mirador 30x75 drawtube scope.

Glanz 7x40 close focus monocular.
9.5 degree field.

Regards,
B.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
.......But, with that ruled out, I'd say I see lack of variation in magnification........ Or else you could try a small wonder: the 7x35 Leica Retrovid. It doesn't spot the craziest FOV at 8º, but it's light and compact as an 8x32, has an exit pupil of 5 mm and gives a stunning view, you won't find many binoculars matching that, so it's somehow "the best" in something: it's unique.
Apologies Yarrellii, for editing the bejesus out of your post. I to reacted to the lack of magnification variety in Kimmik's collection. The 735 Retro also came to mind, but where's a 10 or 12? If this is a collection and Kimmik seems to want some variety ... Besides putting aside the oft reported BF bias against 10s and up, you might discover something you didnt know?
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Amazing ideas, I can group them into:

1. big wide - SARD 6x42, vistar/fujinon/nikon 7x50, nikon/echelon/fmtx 10x70
2. compact wide - vk 5x25, kowa 6.5x32, 2.1x42
3. compact premium - leica 7x35
4. monoculars eg 30x75 and 20x60s
5. cheeky non-optic alternatives (also appreciated :)

Regarding limiting myself to "low mag" - once I allow tripod-optics and battery-optics, the options and budget blow right out of control. I mean, that 600mm f/4 IS autofocus lens with 150mm aperture and takes 100MP photo 8K video is pretty epic... Small handheld portable optics get more use for now. Have non-premium ed 10x42 and celestron 15x70 which aren't seeing much use.
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Mirador 30x75 drawtube scope.
Regards,
B.

Just ebayed such a specimen thank you for the suggestion! in theory the length will allow some degree of handheld use - I have made 30x30 drawtube monocular telescopes out of a poorly collimated pair of binocular, and they work ok handheld due to the length.

IMG_7504.jpg IMG_7503.jpg
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Of course, you have to have a Zoomar 180mm f/1.3 lens for your normal camera.
I did hand hold one a few times.

And Zoomar 240mm f/1.2, Zeiss 50mm f/0.7, Rayxar 250mm f/0.75 and Astro Berlin 2000mm f/10 lenses for the Hassleblad.

Regards,
B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Re. post #13.

Is there a maker's name or is it a modern Indian reproduction copy?

I used a Broadhurst Clarkson 25-40x55 drawtube scope for years hand held for following aircraft and general viewing.
Uncoated.

The Mirador 30x75 is single coatings.

B.
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Re. post #13.

Is there a maker's name or is it a modern Indian reproduction copy?

B.

Ah i was afraid someone knowledgeable would ask... this was in a mixed lot of half broken vintage gear, most of which I just played with and tore down. They smelled heavily of tobacco, part of why I didn't care to find more of their history. One was a zeiss 6x30 with one working barrel.

IMG_7505.jpg
 

yarrellii

Well-known member
Supporter
Thinking about «best of», during many years for many people the 10x50 EL SV has been THE 10x50, with an stunning FOV and image quality. Talking about broadening the scope of your collection, a nice 10x50 sounds like a right addition, a new format that can give you a lot of new possibilities be it birding, astro, etc.
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
Looking at your collection of mainly 8x with a couple of lower magnification and all waterproof, I immediately thought 6x, waterproof.

Zeiss dialyt 6x42 Skipper?
Rare, stupidly expensive, and not centre focus; but otherwise will have the optical qualities & handling of the classic 7x42 dialyt with even steadier view and it is waterproof.
Having myself become used to the 6x32 Opticron traveller, a minty condition Skipper is what I'd like Santa to leave.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
A brief explanation is that I’ve dabbled with astro, bino and camera optics for a while now and this year restarted collecting but more selectively. Didn’t want to put this in the swaro subforum because while I like them, probably better looking elsewhere at this point.

Current:
7x21 CL
8x30 Habicht
8x32 EL
8x42 NL
8x56 SLC
Papillio 8.5x21
8x leica, zeiss, nikon as brand representative.

So the suggested rules are:
1. Needs to be ”the best” at something, eg papillio even though it isn’t rare
2. Needs to be primarily handheld - eg not interested in the upcoming STC spotting scope, or >1.2kg binos
3. Image stabilisation/electronics “special features that might break” are allowed but only if monocular.

Eg something I’ve been keeping an eye out for, is a good drawtube telescope, and a pocket monocular rangefinder. Not sure if I’m also missing anything in the bino realm?
Carl Zeiss 7x50B GA
Carl Zeiss 7x42B GA Dialyt
Leitz/Leica Trinovid 8x40B
IMHO
Lee
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
leica 7x35 is my favoured 7x option, modern compact with 5mm ep. If I lose a 8x30/32mm pair, this will be the one to take its place.

6x42 and 7x50 skipper style sound awesome, saved for a special day.

10x… i think you guys have convinced me to get a 10x! If a SFL 10x30 comes out, I will test it next to VP 10x25 and decide between the two. Probably good as a summer pocket pair as Richard D says. Winter pocket fits the 8x30 and 8x32 :).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top