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Did changing to a lighter 32mm over 42mm bino really make that much difference? (1 Viewer)

Around 2017 I pretty much swapped to a Conquest HD 8X32 and then to an SV 8X32 and now to the NL 8X32 as my primary birding binocular. In no way do I think for one second I've compromised the "view" in any way whatsoever over a 42mm counterpart. Certainly not for my intended uses. I actually feel like I've GAINED in handling, loss in size/weight, and in most cases FOV.
Do you also have less shakes in the 32's because of the loss of weight?
 
Normally you gain shake with lighter binoculars (up until the point where fatigue becomes an issue). Extra mass has a dampening effect on movement.
I agree, i like heavy binoculars for their steady handhold ability, 1 - 1.5 kg. But my 10x25 Leica i gives no shakes at all. I think because of the way i hold it. My eyes, hands and binocular become a stellar, rock solid optical organism :ninja:
 
I went the other way - up to 42mm with the Opticron Aurora (new version) as they are so freaking light it was a no brainer.
 
How much of a difference in ease of viewing do you find the switch from x42 to x32? I am currently in a rabbit hole of figuring out which will be my next set of bins. I am thinking of going from monarch 5 8x42 to high end - noctivid, ultravid it SF, or even FL or conquest. I’m not a Swarovision fan from what I’ve looked through. Anyways I was going to order a noctivid 8x42 and SF 8x32 and compare ease of view/comfort (I use a harness anyways). The pleasure of a beautiful view is what I’m after and willing to pay for.
This is, ultimately, a very personal thing. Not just your preferences, but how you use the binocular. And the only way to really know is to try for yourself, NOT just a quick side-by-side in the store but actual extended use in the field.

My personal assessment: For casual use, in good light, there's not that much difference (assuming you have an 8x32 that you find comfortable to use on its own merits). However, in poor/harsh lighting, and/or with extended use for hours on end in the field, and especially if I (or my eyes) am tired, I find the difference in pure viewing comfort to be pretty huge.

Also, it's like any tool or gadget hobby -- a dedicated enthusiast is going to notice tiny differences that a casual user won't. And someone who uses the tool for hours on end every day will notice differences that someone who only uses a few minutes a day will not. That's why I think an 8x32 is more than good enough for the vast majority of end users, who will neither use them for hours a day nor nitpick the tiny differences like the obsessive enthusiasts.

There's also the caveat that I even have the 7x42 to compare to.... for most of my birding life I would just have a single binocular (nearly always 8x42 or 8x32) and, in the absence of direct comparison, I wouldn't notice the "discomfort" I'm describing. If all I had was, say, a Swaro SV 8x32, I would probably never think that it had poor viewing comfort. I know plenty of terrific birders who use an 8x32 as their primary binocular and it doesn't hold them back, you adapt and get used to what you're using.

But, long story short, it's a pretty simple concept. You're trying to line up one circle (your own pupil) with another circle (the binocular exit pupil). The bigger the exit pupil, the less precise you have to be to. Like shooting a basketball through a hoop -- the bigger the hoop, the less you have to focus and be perfect on every shot. Over hours of use, putting your binoculars up to your eyes hundreds of times, the tiny bit of extra effort accumulates into more eye fatigue.
 
This is, ultimately, a very personal thing. Not just your preferences, but how you use the binocular. And the only way to really know is to try for yourself, NOT just a quick side-by-side in the store but actual extended use in the field.

My personal assessment: For casual use, in good light, there's not that much difference (assuming you have an 8x32 that you find comfortable to use on its own merits). However, in poor/harsh lighting, and/or with extended use for hours on end in the field, and especially if I (or my eyes) am tired, I find the difference in pure viewing comfort to be pretty huge.

Also, it's like any tool or gadget hobby -- a dedicated enthusiast is going to notice tiny differences that a casual user won't. And someone who uses the tool for hours on end every day will notice differences that someone who only uses a few minutes a day will not. That's why I think an 8x32 is more than good enough for the vast majority of end users, who will neither use them for hours a day nor nitpick the tiny differences like the obsessive enthusiasts.

There's also the caveat that I even have the 7x42 to compare to.... for most of my birding life I would just have a single binocular (nearly always 8x42 or 8x32) and, in the absence of direct comparison, I wouldn't notice the "discomfort" I'm describing. If all I had was, say, a Swaro SV 8x32, I would probably never think that it had poor viewing comfort. I know plenty of terrific birders who use an 8x32 as their primary binocular and it doesn't hold them back, you adapt and get used to what you're using.

But, long story short, it's a pretty simple concept. You're trying to line up one circle (your own pupil) with another circle (the binocular exit pupil). The bigger the exit pupil, the less precise you have to be to. Like shooting a basketball through a hoop -- the bigger the hoop, the less you have to focus and be perfect on every shot. Over hours of use, putting your binoculars up to your eyes hundreds of times, the tiny bit of extra effort accumulates into more eye fatigue.
Thanks, that is a very thoughtful/helpful reply. I like this forum :)
 
Do you also have less shakes in the 32's because of the loss of weight?
I'm not one to have a lot of shakes to begin with. I really have no issue using a Zeiss Victory Pocket/Terra ED 8X25s. I DO also believe I can hold a lighter binocular up longer before they start to get heavy. The longer the day the more this comes into play.

I HAVE 42mm, 50mm, 54mm, 56mm binoculars I COULD use and I DO....sometimes. But even as much of a binocular aficionado as I am, I'm still going to pick a 32mm birding binocular probably 80% of the time.
 
I had the good luck to meet a Zeiss birder whom has the 8x40mm.

All I can say is that I see greatness in their future sales once the word of the view gets out. Small is definitely mighty! 5mm exit pupil in a form factor so small, crazy sharp, and light? Delicious.
 
In my opinion, no it doesn't make much a difference. I even went from a lightweight to a heavyweight because I didn't notice a positive effect but just an important negative; due to lower weight I could keep an 8x less still than a heavy 10x.
A harness I never thought needed; seems to me uncomfy around my back, which is sweaty quick in warmer weather esp when on the move. Sometimes a strap in the neck is unpleasant too but that's with every weight bins.
 
I'm not one to have a lot of shakes to begin with. I really have no issue using a Zeiss Victory Pocket/Terra ED 8X25s. I DO also believe I can hold a lighter binocular up longer before they start to get heavy. The longer the day the more this comes into play.

I HAVE 42mm, 50mm, 54mm, 56mm binoculars I COULD use and I DO....sometimes. But even as much of a binocular aficionado as I am, I'm still going to pick a 32mm birding binocular probably 80% of the time.
Thanks for your reply chill6x6.

The 32 mm binoculars are indeed very useful in most conditions and the weight can be an issue. I use Leica 8x32 UV HD (not plus) and Habicht 8x30. For me the choice also depends on the type of hike i do: what kind of binocular i take with me? If it's very rough terrain i will take one of my Habichts GA or my small Leica 10x25 in my shirt pocket and my 8-12 Duovid in my rucksack because of the extra magnification. It's nice to have choices! But honestly for more then 20 years i only had a Swift 10x50 and an Eschenbach 8x20 and was perfectly happy with this combination.
 
Hi Jafriten, i will try to explain.
Note that the 10x25 have longer tubes, also i have small hands.

Eyepieces placed onder the eyebrows and eyepieces extracted.

Left hand: little finger and ring finger on objective part of the tube under the bridge, middle finger and index finger on the bridge and thumb under the bridge
Right hand: little finger on objective part close to the bridge, ringfinger between the ringfinger and middlefinger of my left hand on the bridge and the middle finger on top of the middlefinger of my left hand, index finger partly on the focus knob and partly against my forehead/face and the thumb partly against my nose and face.

With the eyepieces not extracted to get maximum FOV:
The eyepieces don't touch my face my two index fingers touch my forehead and i focus with my middle finger.

I hope this makes sense to you....the trick is to use your fingers/hands to fixate the binocular with as much contact points to the face as possible.
 
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Hi Jafriten, i will try to explain.
Note that the 10x25 have longer tubes, also i have small hands.

Eyepieces placed onder the eyebrows and eyepieces extracted.

Left hand: little finger and ring finger on objective part of the tube under the bridge, middle finger and index finger on the bridge and thumb under the bridge
Right hand: little finger on objective part close to the bridge, ringfinger between the ringfinger and middlefinger of my left hand on the bridge and the middle finger on top of the middlefinger of my left hand, index finger partly on the focus knob and partly against my forehead/face and the thumb partly against my nose and face.

With the eyepieces not extracted to get maximum FOV:
The eyepieces don't touch my face my two index fingers touch my forehead and i focus with my middle finger.

I hope this makes sense to you....the trick is to use your fingers/hands to fixate the binocular with as much contact points to the face as possible.
Wow, brilliant. Think I might use my 8x32s more than my 8x20s now. How have I not thought about my grip before!!
 
Hi Jafriten, i will try to explain.
Note that the 10x25 have longer tubes, also i have small hands.

Eyepieces placed onder the eyebrows and eyepieces extracted.

Left hand: little finger and ring finger on objective part of the tube under the bridge, middle finger and index finger on the bridge and thumb under the bridge
Right hand: little finger on objective part close to the bridge, ringfinger between the ringfinger and middlefinger of my left hand on the bridge and the middle finger on top of the middlefinger of my left hand, index finger partly on the focus knob and partly against my forehead/face and the thumb partly against my nose and face.

With the eyepieces not extracted to get maximum FOV:
The eyepieces don't touch my face my two index fingers touch my forehead and i focus with my middle finger.

I hope this makes sense to you....the trick is to use your fingers/hands to fixate the binocular with as much contact points to the face as possible.
Sorry for the late reply and thank you for the detailed description. Unfortunately, your technique doesn't quite work for me because the 8x20 seems a bit small for that.

I also rest the eyecups against my brows. But I put my pinkies on the upper rim of the objective ends. My right thumb supports the left barrel and my left thumb the right barrel.

I sometimes don't pull out the eyecups. With the eyecups not pulled out I use my index fingers the way you do.

Generally, the most effective way to prevent shake is for me to sit down rather than to stand. This reduces body shake which is more of a problem to me than hand tremor. This is particularly effective with heavier bins.

Regards
 
Sorry for the late reply and thank you for the detailed description. Unfortunately, your technique doesn't quite work for me because the 8x20 seems a bit small for that.
Yes the 10x25 is longer so you have adjust your grip.
I also rest the eyecups against my brows. But I put my pinkies on the upper rim of the objective ends. My right thumb supports the left barrel and my left thumb the right barrel.

I sometimes don't pull out the eyecups. With the eyecups not pulled out I use my index fingers the way you do.
Nice! It’s inspiring to read the techniques other members use.
Generally, the most effective way to prevent shake is for me to sit down rather than to stand. This reduces body shake which is more of a problem to me than hand tremor. This is particularly effective with heavier bins.
I agree, i also like to look through my bins sitting, preferably in a armchair or with my elbows on a table to fixate the bins better. If standing i use a wall or tree as much as possible for this purpose.
 
I like my combo of 10x42 and 8x32. Living in Montana the 10s come in handy a lot for long range wildlife viewing and the 8s are great for closer range birding, hiking and travel.
 
Right now I have a 10x42 MHG, 8x32 Cabelas Guide Series aka Leupold Mojave BX-3 (Amazing made in Japan gem with locking diopter that I bought on closeout for $98!) and a 8x30 MHG 8x30.
 
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