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First impressions Canon 10x32 IS (1 Viewer)

Peewee

Well-known member
I’ve been away from this forum for many years. Main reason was that I got the binoculars I wanted and had not much to desire. My main bins for the last 12 years were the canon 12x36 II (good advice Sancho). I’ve also got a pair of Hawke 8x43 frontier ED for rainy days. Also a Nikon 8x32 SE that will be up for sale soon because I have hardly used them despite their great optics. I don’t think I will use them much in the future. (no IS, not waterproof). Because this site is such a great resource for good advice I thought it would be good to return the favor. You never know who might find this usefull ;)

My Canon 12x36 have reached their end of life. The rubber coating has become so sticky that for the last 5 years or so I needed duct tape to cover this. On top of that they sometimes seem to jam inside when I use the focus wheel. Of coarse it is a shame that the bins are deteriorating so fast but I’ve not for a single moment regretted buying these. They have been a joy to use. The IS feature is really great. So I decided to buy a new pair of IS binoculars. I have been looking at the 10x32 but these were so incredibly expensive that I was thinking that maybe I should buy the 10x30. The problem with these is that they also seem to suffer from sticky rubber coatings. And close focus should be better. Last black friday offer on the 10x32 (euro 749) was good enough to go to the shop and try them. I knew the eyecups could be a big issue but it was not big enough not to buy them. (more on this later). One week later they were selling at euro 699. :C One phone call was enough to get the 50 euro back.

Build quality
The coating is different from the 12x36 and that hopefully means that these will not get sticky after some years. The material feels better. The overall quality feels good. A little heavier but better than the 12x36 II.

Optics
I’m far from an optics expert so I do not think I have much to add to Henry Links great review. To me the optics seem really great. Brighter then my 12 year old 12x36 and also better edge sharpness although to me that is not really that important. Overall images is just very good. I guess my Nikon 8x32 SE wins but not by that much.

Close focus
This feature is just great. It is something I missed with the 12x36. To my eyes it is less then the 2 meters that is advertised which is just great. Although the butterflies are gone now I am already looking forward to viewing these next spring/summer.

IS buttons
The great improvement over the 12x36 is that you can press once and then keep viewing for 5 minutes until it automatically stops the IS feature. I have not tried this out because 5 minutes is quite a period. If you forget to press again in order to stop the IS feature fthis is not a problem because the IS will stop after 10 seconds when the binoculars are held in a vertical position like hanging around your neck.The position of the buttons is not great. It is too far to the right for my right index finger to be comfortable. The button on the 12x36 was in a better position. Luckily you only have to press once. If I had to press continuously ( like on the 12x36) this would really be a problem.This bins have 2 IS buttons but I still have not figured out what the difference is in real life. They seem to do the same thing (engage IS/stop IS) and they do this very well. I guess I have to experiment a little more to see the difference.


Why 10x32 and not 12x32 or 14 x32
My birding is mainly in woodland, parks, gardens and every now and then the Dutch polders so there really is no need for higher magnifications. Over the years I also found out that a wider FOV and DOF was more important to me than more magnification. I understand that IS is appreciated more when magnification increases but that is no reason for me go give up on FOV and DOF requirements.Lucky for me, the Canon marketing department seems to think that lower magnification justifies a lower price ;) . It is a shame they don’t sell 8x32.

Strap with ends on the outside instead of inside
The manual shows you how to apply the neck strap to the bins. The problem I am having is that I like my bins to hang rather high. This means that the ends of the strap (hanging on the inside) are blocking the eye piece every now and then. So I just reversed this so the end of the strap hangs on the outside. See picture. Alternatively you can just cut the ends off but I hate to cut things of because it is mostly irreversible.

Eyecups
Although the eyecups were not so bad not the buy these bins, I can understand all the criticism they’ve had. As others have stated it also puzzles me why a big company like Canon can not produce proper eyecups for these. The ones I had on my 12x36 were just fine for me so how can it be that they can not fit proper ones on more expensive bins. It is just a piece of rubber.

My problems (as a non eyeglass wearer) were this:

When unfolded the field of view does not seem to be as large as it should be. The edge of the eyecups rims just irritate on my nose. The eye cups are just way too wide and have a sharp rim.
When folded down I get some vignetting and find it hard to hold them exactly in a position to get a perfect view. So I I’ve searched this forum (and others) to see what solutions people have come up with. This is what I found (in order of reversibility/mutilation)

1.Nothing
Some people seem to be fine with the eye cups folded up (non glasses wearers) or folded down (with eye glasses)

2.Half way folded position
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/586499-canon-launch-3-new-is-binos/page-4#entry8686172
I tried this and it sure is a great improvement. The only problem is that they seem to fold back quite often.

3.Add BinoBlocker
Henry Link wrote about these.
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3820499&postcount=42
I tried them. They do a great job but still I was not 100% satisfied. When the rubber is folded down the bino blocker really adds to the viewing experience but I’m still having difficulty placing and holding the bins in a proper position. I think that I will keep the bino blockers on any way because they keep stray light out.

4.Cut the rim off
This seems to be a relatively safe solution. If you do this precisely there is not much to lose I guess. Although this link is for the 15x50 this seams to be the same kind of eye cups. Doug wrote about this on birdforem and on cloudy nights.
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/614469-canon-15x50-is-eyecups/#entry8518178

5.Cut them to your liking
Also this is for the 18x50 but the eye cups seem similar.
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/534258-canon-18x50-is-eyecup-help/#entry7166938


My solution
So far I’ve come up with a variant on option 2. I’ve added 2 (reusable) tie wraps so that the half way folded eyecups do not fold back. I still have to see how this works in the long run. If I am not satisfied I might try option 4. If that result would be close to what I had on the 12x36 this would be just fine for me.


Cheers
Peter
 

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Peewee

Well-known member
The tie wraps don't work so well. Or maybe I just did not tighten enough. I've come up with a new modification. This time I use bicycle inner tube to hold the eye cups in a folded position. If you cut the inner tube wide enough it will also prevent the diopter from moving. So far so good.
 

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Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Goodness, Peewee, has it really been 12 years? Congrats on your purchase. I abandoned IS binos about a decade ago, then more recently decided to get another 12x36. I liked it so much, I got a 10x42 (my second in maybe 12 years). I now realise that Kimmo was right all along...to really 'see' and study the bird, IS is king, and the 10x42 is unbeatable optically. One can dislike the bulk, the eyecups, the electronics, the 'wooziness' when panning....but to really view a bird, nothing comes close. It makes a revelation from a 'normal' bird. Today I watched a woodpigeon for ten minutes from my bedroom window. Every feather detail, every tiny play of winter light on the green and purple sheen on its neck, was something to marvel at. And none of this was obvious through my (excellent) Zeiss FL, because of the tiny tremors we don't really notice, before we try IS. I also wish there were a Canon IS 8x32. Meanwhile I've never seen the 10x32.
 

Peewee

Well-known member
Yes Sancho it’s realy been 12 years ago that I bought the Canon 12x36 II. When I told the wife it was about 12 years ago I decided to look it up and then I found this post.
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=1023763#post1023763

After that the canons were my main pair. I’ve bought several non IS bins but non of them delivered as good as the Canons. So when my 12x36 needed replacement the 10x32 seemed a logical choice. And to justify choosing an IS pair I did a little test. I put a open book on the table at 5 meters away from me. I tried reading with the Nikon 8x32 SE, which I think has better optics, but could hardly read this. It took some time to find out what the first sentence was. Then I tried the Canon 10x32 IS and I could read with no problem at all. OK not a scientific test but it was clear to me that I made a right choice. And the test was not at all necessary because I knew Kimmo was right all along. It was just done to give me a feel good moment ;)

So this leaves me thinking… how did you survive so long without an IS bin?
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Yes Sancho it’s realy been 12 years ago that I bought the Canon 12x36 II. When I told the wife it was about 12 years ago I decided to look it up and then I found this post.
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=1023763#post1023763
.............

So this leaves me thinking… how did you survive so long without an IS bin?
Oh, by obsessing, looking for the 'perfect' bino, spending too much money and burrowing around in tbe rabbit hole;). I had IS binos of various magnifications, along with non-IS too. The 8x25, the 10x30, and 15x50. Probably had each for two years or thereabouts. I've also had various SE 8x32 (and a 10x42) over the years, and like you, admired their excellent optics but didn't use them much. I suppose a lot depends on the type of birding one does; IS binos are an odd shape, don't really lend themselves to the rough-and-tumble of rarity-chasing or birding over rough terrain and long days in the field. But I don't do much of that anymore. The new IS 10x32_look a bit more 'ergonomic' in photos, but I'm surprised by the weight, 749g without batteries. I think the 10x42 weighs about kilo. Do you find the 10x32 a bit heavy?
 

Peewee

Well-known member
My10x32 IS weighs 883 gram including batteries, neck strap, bino bandit and 2 pieces of inner tube. That is just a little more than the 12x36 that weigh 764 grams including strap, batteries, eye cup cover and additional duct tape ;). To me there is not much difference between the 2 as far carrying is concerned. I am a function over form kinda person so the fact that IS bins look strange does not bother me. The fact that I know I have a better view than my fellow birders gives me enough satisfaction ;) I must say that I like the looks of the 10x32 better than the 12x36. And that is even before the 12x36 had duct tape all over. The 10x32 look a little more rugged than the 12x36 but only time will tell if that is true.

If you have the chance to try the new x32 IS series I think you will not be tempted to buy them. You already have the 10x42 IS. Unless weight is a big issue. And if you do get the chance let us know what you think of them.

Cheers
Peter
 

Hermann

Well-known member
Peter: Interesting stuff. And I agree, the 10x32 is the one binocular among the 32mm Canons I'd be interested in. My problem with the new 32mm Canons is that they still have that old, narrow dioptre correction range, otherwise I would have got a Canon IS years ago because the advantages the stabiliser has in the field are too obvious to ignore.

The only Canon IS binoculars with a larger correction range are the two new 20mm Canons, the 8x20 and the 10x20. Both of them have exit pupils that are just too small for my liking unfortunately. They're also not even showerproof.

I personally just don't understand why other manufacturers don't make stabilised binoculars. I'd buy a nice waterproof or at least showerproof 10x30 or 10x35 in a heartbeat. Provided it has an adequate diopter correction range of at least +/- 4.5 diopters and doesn't weigh more than ~800 gr.

Hermann
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I personally just don't understand why other manufacturers don't make stabilised binoculars. I'd buy a nice waterproof or at least showerproof 10x30 or 10x35 in a heartbeat. Provided it has an adequate diopter correction range of at least +/- 4.5 diopters and doesn't weigh more than ~800 gr.

Hermann

The problem is that binoculars is a very small revenue segment, so investment is minimal. Also, the various alpha shops all have issues.
Zeiss has been reorganizing the Sports Optics effort, shifting production and laying off employees, so strategic developments are on hold.
Nikon could certainly do an IS glass on their own, but is selling repackaged Fuji gear by appearances, while focused on retooling their cameras for the mirrorless world.
Leica should really lean on its partner Panasonic to launch an IS Noctivid, but again is too poor to fund the effort, even though it would do more for the business than any number of Retrovids.
Swaro afaik does not have a heavyweight electronically competent partner, so the IS redevelopment would be on their own dime and from scratch. Perhaps they could team with Samsung or a Chinese firm and leapfrog the competition, but this is a cautious firm reluctant to jeopardize its hard won reputation for long term reliability and service with novel electronics.
So the coast is clear for a Chinese breakthrough product. Certainly there is nothing so technically novel about IS at this stage that it would be infeasible.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
The apertures are often smaller to save weight on a heavier package.
However, the 15x50 IS and 18x50 IS are quite large aperture.

Panasonic are seriously cutting costs because of economic pressures.

The Chinese IS binoculars at the moment are seemingly not good enough.

Canon IS binoculars have seriously good optics.

B.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
The apertures are often smaller to save weight on a heavier package.

Panasonic are seriously cutting costs because of economic pressures.

The Chinese IS binoculars at the moment are seemingly not good enough.

B.
Totally true. Plus people forget that big apertures are not essential for good daytime viewing, so save weight and improve handling by staying small.

Think you are quite right about Panasonic, they recently sold their camera sensor business for a pittance to a Taiwanese shop, so they are cutting costs hard.

Had not known of any Chinese IS binoculars as yet. Is there a link?
Perhaps Holger Merlitz would know about them and might give us a read.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi Etudiant,

I think that the stabilized Bushnell 10x35 was either Russian or Chinese, but am not sure.
I'll have a look, but I doubt it says where it was made.

I think that some of the new small IS binoculars and monoculars are perhaps Chinese, Taiwan or maybe also Japanese.
The optics don't seem to be very good on any of them.

The Canon 8x20 IS is apparently Taiwan, but the optical elements could be Japanese to reach the high quality necessary.
One can get away with less good optics on hand held unstabilized binoculars.
Some of the current unstabilized binoculars seem to be made to rather low standards.

The Fujinon 14x40 has very good optics but a jiggling stabilizer. Probably Japanese.

Regards,
B.
 

SO8

New member
Think you are quite right about Panasonic, they recently sold their camera sensor business for a pittance to a Taiwanese shop, so they are cutting costs hard.

1st post here ... but wife works for Panasonic re cameras as a professional adviser. I don't think your comment quite says how Panny are working with sensors. Their S1R camera is stunning and not a cheap sensor.

They are under pressure but are a very good company who have good ethics and look to get the best for their customer.

I should add I actually like the Canon 5D3 and L lenses ( and have extensively used professionally) + their IS binoculars so don't think I am just brainwashed to Panny stuff as I am not. I just know their stuff is still quality !
 
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jremmons

Wildlife Biologist
I still use my 10x32 quite often for my backyard birding and short walks, even though it isn't too incredibly user friendly for me with my eyeglasses. The difference in detail is incredible when compared to a non-IS 10x.
I wish I'd have bought one of the 10x42 IS models when they were one sale a couple of years ago, but oh well...
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
I still use my 10x32 quite often for my backyard birding and short walks, even though it isn't too incredibly user friendly for me with my eyeglasses. The difference in detail is incredible when compared to a non-IS 10x.
I wish I'd have bought one of the 10x42 IS models when they were one sale a couple of years ago, but oh well...
Someone in Dublin is selling a 'mint' pair on a local website, adverts.ie. Asking 800 euro. Which is funny...I bought mine 2nd hand from a kind seller in the USA, for about the same price, but got badly stiffed by Irish customs. I think if you buy (from within USA) a 2nd hand pair from outside the USA, you don't get charged duty.
 

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