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Do you think an excellent 8x42 can be better than an alpha 8x32 optically? (1 Viewer)

Patudo

Well-known member
Ok, if you did a lot of birding in low light which binocular would you prefer a Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 or a Zeiss 8x32 FL? Which one would perform better? remember the Nikon is pulling in 72% more light.

One thing that, interestingly, no one thought to ask was - when referring to birding in low light, just how dark (or otherwise) are the conditions? I'll bet that what each of us considers "low light" is going to vary from person to person. For some it might be almost darkness, for some it could be the grey light of pre-dawn, for some it could be what's called "civil twilight", for others "nautical twilight". Maybe you could give us some examples, from your experience in the field, of what birding in low light means?

Of course, it could also be asked - how much low light birding (in any kind of low light) do you actually do as a proportion of your birding in total? Or indeed, how much birding do you actually do, full stop?
 
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Ivydwg

Well-known member
United Kingdom
One thing that, interestingly, no one thought to ask was - when referring to birding in low light, just how dark (or otherwise) are the conditions? I'll bet that what each of us considers "low light" is going to vary from person to person. For some it might be almost darkness, for some it could be the grey light of pre-dawn, for some it could be what's called "civil twilight", for others "nautical twilight". Maybe you could give us some examples, from your experience in the field, of what birding in low light means?

Of course, it could also be asked - how much low light birding (in any kind of low light) do you actually do as a proportion of your birding in total? Or indeed, how much birding do you actually do, full stop?
Good question! This is my experience ...

Living in the UK, I am hardly blessed with sunny conditions. Overcast winter days typically create low, poor light conditions, even in the middle of the day (it's often not much better in the summer!). I have been induated with wintering bird surveys early this year and late last year. I can't pick and choose the best and brightest days to survey, otherwise I simply wouldn't fulfil my survey schedule.

Therefore, in my experience, based on my geographical location in the world, I would choose an excellent 8x42 over an alpha 8x32. That additional light gathering makes a significant difference in my experience for more accurate and confident bird ID, particularly under the cold and grey blanket cloud that so often frequents the British Isles.
 

WJC

Well-known member
I must have missed the reply to Bill's question about why it is difficult to make a good 10X32.
Maljunulo said:
“I must have missed the reply to Bill's question about why it is difficult to make a good 10X32.”

Dennis said:
“I think John kind of answered that above. Smaller apertures with higher magnifications especially roofs seem to have to be built to very exacting specifications because any imperfection seems to be more highly magnified by the smaller aperture and higher magnification.

Actually, Richard, he sidestepped this one, too. The fact is that the difficulty in making a “good 10x32” is no more difficult than making a good binocular of any other aperture and magnification. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with a roof or Porro design, arm strength, IPD, size of exit pupil, eye relief, or anything else he may have read in an Allbinos memo. I realize their “enthusiasts” are so much smarter than me because he “agrees with them ... most of the time.”

Perhaps I have aided his thinking in that he seems to have difficulty with things not related to black and white thinking. And while he gives me no more credit than for being a screw-turner, perhaps the attached will get his attention a micron more. I AM primarily a screw turner. But my fingers have been in many more flavors of the optical pie. We were talking about MANUFACTURING. Well, the image in the upper left of the attached may cover that for him.

Lee says everyone is entitled to their opinion. Well, mine is the cloud of optical misinformation from which Dennis seems to get his stream of talking points is so thick, I don’t think Superman could fly through it.

Screen Shot 2021-02-13 at 5.40.54 PM.png
 
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albie...

Well-known member
Bill post #84,

I've been following (not stalking) your informative writing style for years . Mostly over on Cloudy Nights until you left (a shame and still don't know what happened) . Any one that can read and has the ability to filter out the nonsense knows who to take serious and who to use as a source of entertainment/comedy or for just filling up the trash bin . You sir are amongst the few whose info I take seriously. You don't need to prove anything and I find it sad that you seem to feel the need to do so because of certain individuals that will never "get it" .
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Yes.

The rubber has a whitish, rather unattractive discoloration, which doesn't wipe off with a damp cloth.

Mechanically and optically, still like new.

I have promised them to my #2 granddaughter, after giving my non-field-pro 10X42 EL SV to #1 granddaughter. (in transit with UPS as I type this)
Optically did you like the 10x42 LX or 10x42 EL SV better? Those LX had good optics outside of maybe a little CA.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Good question! This is my experience ...

Living in the UK, I am hardly blessed with sunny conditions. Overcast winter days typically create low, poor light conditions, even in the middle of the day (it's often not much better in the summer!). I have been induated with wintering bird surveys early this year and late last year. I can't pick and choose the best and brightest days to survey, otherwise I simply wouldn't fulfil my survey schedule.

Therefore, in my experience, based on my geographical location in the world, I would choose an excellent 8x42 over an alpha 8x32. That additional light gathering makes a significant difference in my experience for more accurate and confident bird ID, particularly under the cold and grey blanket cloud that so often frequents the British Isles.
Your binocular choice does depend on your geographical location, doesn't it? The further north you are the more glare you have and some areas are just less sunny and more overcast all the time where a 8x42 is beneficial.
 

willisoften

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Good question! This is my experience ...

Living in the UK, I am hardly blessed with sunny conditions. Overcast winter days typically create low, poor light conditions, even in the middle of the day (it's often not much better in the summer!). I have been induated with wintering bird surveys early this year and late last year. I can't pick and choose the best and brightest days to survey, otherwise I simply wouldn't fulfil my survey schedule.

Therefore, in my experience, based on my geographical location in the world, I would choose an excellent 8x42 over an alpha 8x32. That additional light gathering makes a significant difference in my experience for more accurate and confident bird ID, particularly under the cold and grey blanket cloud that so often frequents the British Isles.

Same here, there are times here in Belfast when late November through January ,the bad weather makes it seem dark all day. Yet I've always made do with 8x30 I suppose when I started to look at binoculars, when I first made a pay-packet 40 years ago the difference between 30s and 40s was substantial. I do have 10x42 and perhaps because of the magnification they don't seem any better under our grey skies.
A friend of mine was a landscape surveyor for OS he always has 8x56 at hand (Nikons M5 possibly) those definitely make a difference but I would never carry them.

Despite the difference in the area of objectives 30 vs 40 give a few mm either way being massive 700ish vs 1250ish can anybody really say its 40% brighter? 56mm almost doubles the area of a 40mm objective. But they don't seem doubly bright. Anybody know the actual formula?

I don't dispute that all else being equal 56 is brighter than 40 which is brighter than 30 which is brighter than 25 ... Just than given the added weight & bulk etc it doesn't seem proportionate.
 
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