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Do I need a pair of 10x to go with my 8x? What are your thoughts? (1 Viewer)

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I live in Southern California about 30 min from the beach (Seal Beach National Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary) and 45 min from the San Gabriel Mountains. I have not yet gone to either yet but plan to. I have been doing the backyard thing and have gone to a few parks and local arboretums. I like my 8x32 Vortex Diamondbacks and they have been fantastic but was thinking of adding a 10x so I could get a little more detail for the further out birds. Does this help as to one of the reasons I was looking into 10X
If the cost is no problem for you, grab up a pair of 10x32 or 10x42 and enjoy. Nothing odd about having both an 8x and a 10x. Perhaps a pair of Meopta MeoPro 10x42, or if the budget allows, Conquest HD? Try not to go cheap. You can get some very good glass between $500-1000.

The extra reach with 10x, compared to 8x, is noticeable. I think at the beach sanctuary, especially, you'll appreciate the extra magnification with 10x.

 

LucaPCP

Registered User
Supporter
I think his language has always been there to offend, I have seen it for a while now. Is it a crime to own a few or more binoculars?
I don't think so... he's not saying that it's bad to own more than one pair; just that most birders are happy with one good pair. And this is also what I have observed when meeting other birders. They don't normally pay a lot of attention to the binoculars. Then there are people who like binoculars as an instrument per se (like me, and I guess like many others here on the forum). But most birders I meet are not instrument lovers.

I've always liked binoculars, btw, in fact my love much predates birding. So it was handy that I already had a few when I started birding.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
If the cost is no problem for you, grab up a pair of 10x32 or 10x42 and enjoy. Nothing odd about having both an 8x and a 10x. Perhaps a pair of Meopta MeoPro 10x42, or if the budget allows, Conquest HD? Try not to go cheap. You can get some very good glass between $500-1000.

The extra reach with 10x, compared to 8x, is noticeable. I think at the beach sanctuary, especially, you'll appreciate the extra magnification with 10x.

I don't really disagree with this advice, but as I did before, I'd argue for getting a scope instead. A 10x bin gives you only a 20% increase in magnification, and potentially with hand shake. Even a modest scope, say an old Bushnell of 25x60mm configuration, will give you a 300% increase in magnification over your 8x bins, and if it is on a tripod, ideally without shake. You'll find it much more useful. Bare eyes to 8x is a big (800%) step up, 8x to 25x is like half of that big step up, whereas 8x to 10x would be comparatively just a little bump up.

--AP
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I don't really disagree with this advice, but as I did before, I'd argue for getting a scope instead. A 10x bin gives you only a 20% increase in magnification, and potentially with hand shake. Even a modest scope, say an old Bushnell of 25x60mm configuration, will give you a 300% increase in magnification over your 8x bins, and if it is on a tripod, ideally without shake. You'll find it much more useful. Bare eyes to 8x is a big (800%) step up, 8x to 25x is like half of that big step up, whereas 8x to 10x would be comparatively just a little bump up.

--AP
Alexis... no doubt that a scope can provide much more magnification, for much farther reach and greater detail. And for those who don't mind carrying a scope and tripod when they are out and about, I'm sure that they may enjoy that extra reach! Good choice for someone willing to do engage that much hardware.

Carrying a tripod and scope, in addition to binoculars (and possibly a camera) is a very big step, however, for many of the more casual observers. A step that not everyone will want to take. In which case, 10x binoculars can be a sensible approach.

Great thing is that we have so many options with binoculars and scopes, to suit many different styles, preferences, and situations. The OP has much to choose from.
 

wllmspd

Well-known member
Or you could move up to 12x (or so) pair of image stabilised binoculars. More detail and steady, but you lose the wider field of view for finding and keeping up with close to stuff. If you have several kit options you can pick the best one for the type of terrain you’re visiting and what you are hoping to see. A rock steady view really makes a difference and the higher the power the harder it is to handhold.

peter
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I... was thinking of adding a 10x so I could get a little more detail for the further out birds. Does this help as to one of the reasons I was looking into 10X
One more thought, Colt. 10x aren't just for longer distances, nor are they just useful for being able to "identify" distant birds which you otherwise might not be able to identify.

I have some feeders just 12 feet from my patio chairs, which are frequented all-day long by birds I know quite well. I use 10x all the time for enjoying wonderfully close and detailed views of these beautiful birds - feeding just 12 feet from me.

10x is 10x, enjoyable for viewing close-in subjects and at longer distances. I encourage you to go for it, simply because you want to! If you decide to do it, buy the best quality pair you can and you won't be disappointed.

Please let us know what you decide to do!
 
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Brink

Well-known member
I don't really disagree with this advice, but as I did before, I'd argue for getting a scope instead. A 10x bin gives you only a 20% increase in magnification, and potentially with hand shake. Even a modest scope, say an old Bushnell of 25x60mm configuration, will give you a 300% increase in magnification over your 8x bins, and if it is on a tripod, ideally without shake. You'll find it much more useful. Bare eyes to 8x is a big (800%) step up, 8x to 25x is like half of that big step up, whereas 8x to 10x would be comparatively just a little bump up.

--AP
I know a number of birders who carry an 8X and a scope and a number of birders that carry a 10x and a scope. I don't think I know anybody that carries an 8x and a 10x. It is generally a matter of preference between 8x and 10x (or 6-7x), but none of these is a substitute for a scope.
 

wdc

Well-known member
10x can also be more of an aesthetic choice, as well as a strategic one, which is another way of looking at it. In spring, in foliage, 8x, with a wide fov works well. In more wide open spaces, including the beach, a 10 works fine. Thats a basic way I look at it, but you can take a 10x binocular out in spring as well, and do fine. But once you have a scope, 10x seems less meaningful in some respects, as the magnification with a scope can often be 3-6 times what 8x provides.

To each his own, but there are many good suggestions in this thread, even if they somewhat contradict each other.

Just keep on birding, and perhaps check out any local Audubon society in your area for group meetups. If you go out with others, you can learn plenty, and also maybe look through some other binoculars of different makes and magnifications, as well as scopes to get a sense of what they offer.

Enjoy the journey!

-Bill
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I live in Southern California about 30 min from the beach (Seal Beach National Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary) and 45 min from the San Gabriel Mountains. I have not yet gone to either yet but plan to. I have been doing the backyard thing and have gone to a few parks and local arboretums. I like my 8x32 Vortex Diamondbacks and they have been fantastic but was thinking of adding a 10x so I could get a little more detail for the further out birds. Does this help as to one of the reasons I was looking into 10X
I use a 10x on the coastal area of New Jersey.... what I prefer for shorebirds...jim
 

jcnguyen09

Well-known member
In the past, 10x binoculars were not really good and users friendly: narrow FOV, short eye relielf, hard to hold steady, big and heavy, etc....However, in the recently year, competition drives the train that help to make 10x binoculars much more sophisticated and improved. 7-8x was a standard for birders and naturalists....recently I read many people started moving to 10x....I myself prefer the 10x to see more details of the objects.....even at the close distances, with a wide FOV 10x bino, I don't miss anything and still see the glory details with the 10x powers.
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
Since the OP already owns a set of 8x binoculars would suggest actually taking them to Seal Beach and the San Gabriel Mountains and begin getting a sense of how they work out in those environments first. Along the way one is likely to encounter a few birders / nature viewers and see what they use.

Personally, for forested environments I prefer an 8x, for the mountains a 10x, and for the coast / wetlands I’m with Alexis and prefer a spotting scope - it opened up an entire new world - just love being able to study relaxed birds and wildlife at a distance.

Welcome aboard, and enjoy the journey.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Colt3840:

If a scope and a tripod seem like a step you're interested in taking... go for it.

If a scope and a tripod seem like a bit of a step too large, get you a nice pair of 10x bins.

Are you hearing any of these comments? What are your thoughts?
 

Colt3840

Member
United States
Colt3840:

If a scope and a tripod seem like a step you're interested in taking... go for it.

If a scope and a tripod seem like a bit of a step too large, get you a nice pair of 10x bins.

Are you hearing any of these comments? What are your thoughts?
Hey ZDHart,

Yes, I am reading all that everyone is posting and really appreciate all the info. What I have done is gone and purchased a pair of 10x42 to try out. I am taking advantage of Amazon's 30-day return policy and really see if I need them are strictly stay with my 8x32's. I will be going to the local park this weekend and the following week go on a beginner birding walk with my local Audobon as crazy as this will sound I will be taking both out with me to determine if I want to go with 8x or 10x based on comments here. By the way, my wife thinks I am nuts I am trying to convince her to join me which would give me the excuse to keep both LOL.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
Hey ZDHart,

Yes, I am reading all that everyone is posting and really appreciate all the info. What I have done is gone and purchased a pair of 10x42 to try out. I am taking advantage of Amazon's 30-day return policy and really see if I need them are strictly stay with my 8x32's. I will be going to the local park this weekend and the following week go on a beginner birding walk with my local Audobon as crazy as this will sound I will be taking both out with me to determine if I want to go with 8x or 10x based on comments here. By the way, my wife thinks I am nuts I am trying to convince her to join me which would give me the excuse to keep both LOL.
Nice! I think you're going to enjoy the 10x. What bins did you get?

In my view, there's good reason to have an 8x32 and a 10x42. But each to his/her own preferences, of course.
 

Colt3840

Member
United States
Nice! I think you're going to enjoy the 10x. What bins did you get?

In my view, there's good reason to have an 8x32 and a 10x42. But each to his/her own preferences, of course.
I picked up the Vanguard VEO ED 10x42 to try I am also considering the Fujifilm KF 10x32 but having the 8x32 I wanted to see how the x42 faired.
 

jch10400

Member
I also live in Southern California, and my main binocular is the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42. I'm about 15 minutes from the mountains, 2 hours from San Diego, and 1 hour from the desert areas of Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs. When birding the open areas along the coast and in the desert, I noticed that people with 10x binoculars were seeing more detail and identifying more birds than I did. Especially when I attended the San Diego bird festival, which involves lots of longer views across bays and salt flats. When B&H had the 10x42 Viper HD binoculars on sale for a good price I took that as a sign I needed more powerful binoculars and bought them. While I use the 8x42's most of the time, I think it was a good choice to also get 10x for the coastal and desert trips.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I also live in Southern California, and my main binocular is the Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42. I'm about 15 minutes from the mountains, 2 hours from San Diego, and 1 hour from the desert areas of Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs. When birding the open areas along the coast and in the desert, I noticed that people with 10x binoculars were seeing more detail and identifying more birds than I did. Especially when I attended the San Diego bird festival, which involves lots of longer views across bays and salt flats. When B&H had the 10x42 Viper HD binoculars on sale for a good price I took that as a sign I needed more powerful binoculars and bought them. While I use the 8x42's most of the time, I think it was a good choice to also get 10x for the coastal and desert trips.
Yep! Good call, jch. 8x are wonderful and powerful for a great many situations. In other situations, 10x becomes more revealing and enjoyable. Plenty of great situations to support both 8x and 10x binoculars!
 

Colt3840

Member
United States
So, I have made my decision that the Fujifilm KF 10x32 will be a keeper and go to the wife as she now wants to join in on this new hobby with me and she prefers the 10x to the 8x.

Thank You all for your responses and knowledge on this subject matter.
 

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