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Glasses wearers - most comfortable 10x42 you have found? (1 Viewer)

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
These days, I think there are multiple good options for a 10x42 with good eye relief, as others have already listed. In the past, very few were satisfactory, but the Nikon 10x42 HG/HGL High Grade/Venturer/Premier LX/LXL were a stand-out for eye-relief and close focus specifications.

--AP
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
(I spent many years in a professional capacity judging colour - so I'm quite tuned to small differences).
Chosun that's a deadly argument!
I studied classical guitar and saxophone, do you think I can recognize pitches better than some amateur musicians?
None of this, there are people who have perfect pitch and don't know anything about it.
There are predispositions that are just there without us having to do anything about it, other parts are culture-related, that affects music as well as the perception of colors.
The 10x50 SV is a WoW view. It punches above it's Fov with a 3D-like effect, easy eye placement, and 50mm objective light gathering. I also find it very easy to hold steady.
Yes, the EL 10x50 is a great glass, but flatfield designs in particular have pretty much nothing to do with 3D

The Nikon MHG, and Zeiss SF have 120m Fov - that's where a nice 10x view starts for me. The Swaro NL with 133m turns that up to 11.
The FOV of binoculars is just one aspect among many others, the field has to be corrected well, that is unfortunately not the case with the MHG.
And why do you wish for a longer EP distance at the MHG, is it a bit difficult to look into?
Some people like it, some don't. As a complete package I would put the Nikon MHG way in front. In fact, I can't think of what would ever make me pick up a Conquest again - sorry if that disses some people's favourite bin ! 😄
You won't be surprised that I see it the other way around.
Chosun, we can end our disagreement with pleasure, binoculars are very subjective, a dispute is not worthwhile, personal preferences decide, you like the MHG, I like the Conquest, which by the way is not my favorite glasses because I don't have the 10x42 but know well.
By the way, I don't have a favorite binocular, but I prefer binoculars with a large EP, Zeiss FL 10x56, Swarovski 8x56, Leica UV 7x42, EDG 7x42 and so on.

Have fun with the MHG ...;)

Andreas
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
The 10x50 SV is a WoW view. It punches above it's Fov with a 3D-like effect, easy eye placement, and 50mm objective light gathering. I also find it very easy to hold steady.
Yes, the EL 10x50 is a great glass, but flatfield designs in particular have pretty much nothing to do with 3D.
Being a S-P roof prism there is of course no technical reason for this - all I know is that when I look through them it's a bit of a thing. Only a slight thing, but a thing to me nonetheless - just with this one particular bin. The effect of course is not pronounced - more in line with what you would see through a A-K Zeiss FL or HT. Let's call it a slight quasi-3D effect. Definitely not Porro-I like.

I think it's most likely due to a combination of randpupille design, large EP, the 'crystalline' view, good CA control, sensible distortion profile, and the steadiness of the hold.


The Nikon MHG, and Zeiss SF have 120m Fov - that's where a nice 10x view starts for me. The Swaro NL with 133m turns that up to 11.
The FOV of binoculars is just one aspect among many others, the field has to be corrected well, that is unfortunately not the case with the MHG.
And why do you wish for a longer EP distance at the MHG, is it a bit difficult to look into ?
Of course the Fov is just one part of the view, but a pretty important part. I would say that the MHG corrects the field pretty well. Even though it is not sharp to the edge like the SV and NL, the slight amount of blur at the edge of the field is never obtrusive at all. Looking through the MHG, the view is bright, pretty neutral, large sweet spot, good CA control in that, extra wide Fov, good gentle distortion profile, and is just a pleasure to hold. All in all the binocular tends to 'disappear' - especially ergonomically. It is a great package, and I can't think of one better for the price (lighter weight is a big factor for me).

As far as wishing for a mm more ER on the 10x , that is so that I could have lighter pressure on the glasses. Not that it is excessive, it would just offer more latitude.


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 
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Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Morning all...

Thank you very much to everyone for your considered help and recommendations. And crikey, aren't some of you passionate about your subject, as well as knowledgeable and scientifically well informed. You'll just have to forgive my report's simplicity, because I simply don't have your vocabulary when trying to describe what I've felt and seen.

First off, John, terrific to receive such an excellent breakdown of the strengths of the various Swarovski models. I regret not trying to raise the eyecups a notch while testing the 10x42 EL's, because on paper the generous eye relief should equate to me being able to position them easily, with a margin for error to boot. But no, try as I might, I really struggled to position them, and having had the same experience with the 10x32 EL's, have decided Swarovski is not the brand for me (NL's were also tricky for me to position quickly/easily). I didn't really get on with them in the hand either, I found them quite difficult to operate and they just didn't feel comfortable. That said, the view, when set, was extraordinary, in particular the edge to edge focus, the optics are outrageously good (to my eyes, at least)!

But the Zeiss binoculars I tested were a different story altogether, I could have left the shop with some Conquest's or SF's and been perfectly happy. And in truth, even if they were at the same price level, I'd struggle to choose between them, because they are so very different, yet each had qualities which really worked for me. The Conquest's were just so, so easy to use. I liked the size of them, how easily I was able to position them, how quickly I was able to focus in on my subject, the quality of the optics, which I found to be extremely pleasant, just the overall ease of handling. I could see myself taking these bins with me everywhere, without hesitation. So, Andreas and dorubird, thank you for expressing your support for these bins as potentially suitable candidates...they most certainly work for me, and strike the balance I was looking for, in terms of ease of use and quality of optics. Having instantly fallen in love with the Conquest's, I was extremely excited about trying the SF's, but my initial feelings were of slight disappointment. Physically, they are absolute monsters compared to the Conquest's, and I found them initially quite unwieldy. They weren't as easy for me to position, so it took me considerably longer to settle on my subject, but once settled, OMG what a view! I found myself totally immersed in what I was looking at, a quite different experience to looking through the Conquest's, the amount of detail, the nature of how the optics presented that detail, how much lighter the darker more shadowy areas within the field of view appeared. Ok, I'm struggling to put my experience into words, but the SF's were optically on a very different level to the Conquest's, but you all know that, of course, haha! And, once set, the SF's were so very comfortable to hold up to the eyes and fine tune over I period of time, much more so, I felt, than the Conquest's, which didn't feel so comfortable held up to the eyes over long periods of time. I alternated between the two pairs of binoculars many times, and find myself left with a dilemma, because I love the grab and go ease of carrying the Conquest's and how quickly I was able to bring them up to my eyes and settle on a subject, functionally they work perfectly for me, but once settled on my subject, I found myself wishing I was looking through the SF's. The difference, I think, is that as a tool the Conquest's work perfectly for me, but I'm not sure I can resist purchasing a pair of binoculars which offer the extraordinarily immersive experience I got with SF's.

Sorry, I'm on rambling here.

So, to that end, I'm wondering if the Noctivid's might be my holy grail. They are that little bit more compact than the SF's, therefore I'm guessing less unwieldy, so my mission now is to find a pair of demo bins within a reasonable distance to where I live. And, with Chosun so passionate about the Nikon Monarch HG's, I'd like to test a pair of those too, especially as I found the Monarch 7's so nice to handle. My only slight concern there is the eye relief, but I'm finding longer eye relief doesn't always mean a pair of bins will be comfortable (per my experiences with Swarovski instruments).

I do really appreciate all the help and advice I've received on this thread, I now have two candidates, either of which I would love to own and know I'd be happy with, and I'm excited by the prospect of trying the HG's and Noctivid's. And of course, I'm very open to taking on board any other recommendations or advice.

Thank you! 🙂
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
but I'm not sure I can resist purchasing a pair of binoculars which offer the extraordinarily immersive experience I got with SF's.
That immersiveness is certainly a big attraction.

Ultimately it is about the fit and the view that speaks to you the most.

Everybody's experiences here are individual, and as such, their opinions are most valid for them. Sometimes the information presented is useful for extrapolating a potential view, if you have a history of similar requirements, and experiences as certain members here. Other members may have completely opposite requirements.

So no matter what anyone says, what matters is what you see and feel.

It is very important to set up the eyecup position to precisely suit you, and have the IPD set correctly too. Little recognised here is that people's faces aren't exactly symmetrical. With most of the Alpha's offering around 20mm ER, I am backing the eyecups out a bit (~2mm) to get the perfect setting for me. You need to find what is right for you. Each bin will be different.

With the SF and MHG both having 120m Fov - it should be an interesting comparison for you. Look forward to reading about the trials.


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Morning Bentley,

very nice report!

Yes, the SF are just better than the Conquest that is undisputed and if you have the financial means I would rather go there.

The Noctivids also have a lot of ER, for me the insight is very pleasant and all in all they are equal to the SF.
Try to try out as many binoculars as possible, at some point the binoculars will find you.

Andreas
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Yes, SF is more immersive than Conquest without a doubt, with a pronounced "wow" factor view. Even if it is bigger, it seems weighs less then Conquest due to well weight distribution in the hands!
 

Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Well, my search was for a pair of binoculars to replace my quite crude, but very functional (and much enjoyed) Bushnell 8x42's, which I have felt increasingly inadequate for the locations I go to to walk/hike/ramble/chill. I just loved the view through the SF's, but despite their lighter weight, their physical size could potentially put me off carrying them everywhere I go, and that I'd end up still using my old 8x42's on my daily walks, and saving the SF's for 'special occasions'. The Conquest's, on the other hand, I know would go with me every day, everywhere, no question, they would definitely fulfill my criteria as replacements for my 8x42's.

To demonstrate my dilemma between these three pairs of binoculars, my favourite RSPB reserve is Arne in Dorset, in particular the heathland area overlooking an inlet from Poole Harbour, called Coombe Heath. In general, the subjects I'm drawn to are quite distant, waders and raptors in the main, and I've found both the optical quality and magnification of my existing binoculars to be increasingly frustrating, I've wanted better and closer. So, a 10x42 with good/decent optics, I believe, ticks those boxes for whilst I'm walking that area. The Conquest's cover those criteria very adequately. But, there are several hides there, where I will often sit for long periods, and I can see myself, during those periods, wishing I was viewing through the SF's rather than the Conquest's. A few weeks ago I was there when a white-tailed eagle visited from the Isle of Wight, boy was I cursing the quality and magnification of my old 8x42's. I'm now wondering, had I been there with a pair of Conquest's, would I be regretting not buying the SF's...?

That said, my more normal walks are first and foremost for exercise, and viewing nature at the same time an opportunity and a bonus. I have two routes, I walk one or other almost daily, either an 8.5 mile route or a 13 mile route. I'm not sure I'd want to carry the SF's around my neck at a fast walking pace daily for those distances, whereas the Conquest's I know I would, due to their more compact size, despite being heavier (I think someone said they were heavier...?).
 

dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Not heavier, but more dense and compact which makes him feel heavier than SF (both have same 795g). It's your choice! conquest vs sf.jpg
 
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Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
In general, the subjects I'm drawn to are quite distant, waders and raptors in the main, and I've found both the optical quality and magnification of my existing binoculars to be increasingly frustrating, I've wanted better and closer. So, a 10x42 with good/decent optics, I believe, ticks those boxes for whilst I'm walking that area.
Bentley,

Don't overestimate the gains of 10x magnification over 8x. It's not even the theoretical 25% because tremor will be magnified accordingly.
For applications like distant waders there is really no alternative to a scope. Even the better compact scopes will offer useful magnifications above 20x and, although there is some dispute over maximum magnifications for terrestrial use, I think one can conservatively assert that the good larger scopes will offer gains up to 50x or more in still air.

John
 

Mikewander

Well-known member
Scotland
I had the opposite problem recently when looking for a pair of 10x42s. As a non specs wearer i found that most pairs i tried had too much ER. I think that most bins these days are aimed at spec wearers.
 

Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
John, thank you for the warning.

I'm confident a pair of modern 10x42's will fulfill my needs and expectations, I'm very aware of their limitations in that environment. But, that little bit more magnification, together with far better quality optics than I currently have at my disposal, will make a huge difference. And yes, if I wanted to get really close to those distant waders, I'd need a scope for sure.

The Canon instrument is a step too far for me, plus it's even heavier than the heaviest 'traditional' 10x42's. I've heard great things about it though.

Until I can find some MHG's and Noctivids to try, I think my next step will be to try some 10x32's from brands other than Swarovski, to check if maybe it was just a Swarovski issue I was having, rather than a small exit pupil issue. At the start of this quest, I was really after a pair of midsize binoculars, but my experience with the Swarovski 10x32's put me off, so I gave up and concentrated on 10x42's.
 

Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Until I can find some MHG's and Noctivids to try, I think my next step will be to try some 10x32's from brands other than Swarovski, to check if maybe it was just a Swarovski issue I was having, rather than a small exit pupil issue. At the start of this quest, I was really after a pair of midsize binoculars, but my experience with the Swarovski 10x32's put me off, so I gave up and concentrated on 10x42's.
Having slept on these thoughts, I've decided against trying 10x32 options, I've realised I'm actually very settled on buying 10x42's. The idea of something more compact is attractive, but it'll bring compromise in terms of ease of use, which is absolutely what I'm trying to avoid.
 

Bentley03

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Well, despite what I said in my last post, having read Lee's (Troubador) review and experiences using SF 10x32's, I felt I owed it to myself to double check that I really wasn't going to find a 10x32 which was easy enough for me to use as an everyday binocular, so I took myself back to the shop where I'd tested the 10x42 Conquest HD's and SF's, for more testing.

This time, I actually settled on and bought a pair of binoculars, only to return them, subsequently, due to nagging doubts about whether or not I'd made the right decision.

I first tested the 10x32 SF's side by side with the 10x42 SF's, concluding that the rather long compact 10x32's were far too difficult to position, just like the 10x32 EL SV's I had previously bought and returned. I then tried some 10x32 NL's, but they were no easier for me to use, and I didn't find them comfortable in the hand, I guess because of the thin barrels. So, I 'officially' gave up my search for a pair of x32's at that point.

Further side by side testing of the 10x42 Conquest HD's and 10x42 SF's left me with the same dilemma as when I tested them both previously, the Conquest's so easy to use, the SF's with a view to die for, once correctly positioned and I'm immersed in the scene. Really, I was in love with both pairs of bins equally, for different reasons.

And then I spotted that, since my previous visit to the shop, they had taken delivery of some 10x42 Noctivid's which were now on display. So I tested them...

The first thing I noticed was the build quality, so solid, as if hewn from granite. In the hand, that gave me the biggest 'wow' of any of the binoculars I'd handled so far. I then took them outside, adjusted the IDP, snapped them into focus, and there it was, a view the equal in quality of the SF's (at least, warmer and even more pleasant in the central sweet spot), but achieved with even more ease than the Conquest HD's. Bingo, I was holding MY binoculars! Except maybe I wasn't...😉

And that, I thought (excitedly!), was that, my search was at an end. They had a pair of brand new black Noctivid 10x42's in stock which I bought, certain I had made the right decision, only for the doubts to begin to creep in on my way back to the car, and for those doubts to settle in fully as I was driving home.

My doubts were several. Firstly, these bins were similar in use to the Conquest's, and whilst optically at a different level, I didn't get the same feeling I got when settling into a view through the SF's, which I think I can put down to the wider field of view of the SF's. The Noctivid's fulfilled my brief perfectly, but tested side by side with the SF's, the slightly narrower FOV gave the impression of the view to be a bit tunnel like, which I didn't sense when testing the Conquest's side by side with the SF's.

So, I am asking myself if the Noctivid experience is worth almost twice the price of the Conquest HD experience, because they both fulfill my brief of being easy and quick to use, to enable me to settle on a target in as short a time as possible. Then I'm asking myself if I can seriously let go the opportunity to have the absolutely delicious view afforded by the SF's, even if it takes a little longer to achieve, for a not dissimilar price to the Noctivid's. Noctivid's best for targeting, although the Conquest's I found almost as good for around half the price, and SF's, with that wider FOV, an overall more immersive image which would be a delight for longer periods of observation.

For now, the Noctivid's have been returned, and I'm gradually talking myself out of them, I think, although in the end I may well repurchase them, once I've gone round in circles a few more times over which to choose.

What I've found very interesting during this process, is how diverse I've found the various binoculars to be in their nature. In the end, I thought the Noctivid's were exactly what I'd been looking for, but I now 'get' why so many of you have multiple pairs, because even bins of the same magnification have very different characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and one person's strength may be another person's weakness. I'm only in the market for one pair of bins, however.

As an aside, I think my biggest regret is that the new Opticron Aurora's didn't 'fit' me, I would place their optics above the Conquest's, although that really is just opinion, of course, the science probably says otherwise. But, I really loved the Aurora's, the first binoculars I tried and was able to perceive a huge jump in the quality of the optics over the ones I had tested previously. And, I just don't get why I've struggled so badly to get to grips with the Swarovski products...all of them! That said, I'm not too bothered, because even when I have been able to settle into a view, it has been impressive, but I can't say I've really enjoyed it, so it doesn't frustrate me in the least. They are just not for me.

I have now decided to take advantage of the Zeiss 'Try Before You Buy' scheme, and have a pair of SF 10x42's arriving tomorrow, which will be with me until they are picked up again on Monday. If, with practice, I can speed up my targeting with them, and be confident of reliably positioning them every time I lift them up to my eyes, I suspect I'll go ahead with a purchase. If not, I'll probably repurchase the Noctivid's...or buy the Conquest's...or try the HG's as Chosun suggested...or...or...😕
 
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dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
If, with practice, I can speed up my targeting with them, and be confident of reliably positioning them every time I lift them up to my eyes, I suspect I'll go ahead with a purchase.
If the image through SF impresses you the most, it means that this is your binoculars. Just like you said, with a little exercise you will get used to SF because it is not so unfriendly ... you will see. I am also a spectacle wearer and I changed Conquest 10x42 for SF Victory 10x42 and SF now seem for me even more comfortable
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I've only had one pair of 10x42 - the Opticron DCEGA PC. Waterproof. Field 6.0.

I'm really quite happy with them.
 
If by any chance you can get hold of a GPO passion HD 10x42 I think they will impress you with their optical performance and eye relief. Price is also quite competitive.
 
Well, despite what I said in my last post, having read Lee's (Troubador) review and experiences using SF 10x32's, I felt I owed it to myself to double check that I really wasn't going to find a 10x32 which was easy enough for me to use as an everyday binocular, so I took myself back to the shop where I'd tested the 10x42 Conquest HD's and SF's, for more testing.

This time, I actually settled on and bought a pair of binoculars, only to return them, subsequently, due to nagging doubts about whether or not I'd made the right decision.

I first tested the 10x32 SF's side by side with the 10x42 SF's, concluding that the rather long compact 10x32's were far too difficult to position, just like the 10x32 EL SV's I had previously bought and returned. I then tried some 10x32 NL's, but they were no easier for me to use, and I didn't find them comfortable in the hand, I guess because of the thin barrels. So, I 'officially' gave up my search for a pair of x32's at that point.

Further side by side testing of the 10x42 Conquest HD's and 10x42 SF's left me with the same dilemma as when I tested them both previously, the Conquest's so easy to use, the SF's with a view to die for, once correctly positioned and I'm immersed in the scene. Really, I was in love with both pairs of bins equally, for different reasons.

And then I spotted that, since my previous visit to the shop, they had taken delivery of some 10x42 Noctivid's which were now on display. So I tested them...

The first thing I noticed was the build quality, so solid, as if hewn from granite. In the hand, that gave me the biggest 'wow' of any of the binoculars I'd handled so far. I then took them outside, adjusted the IDP, snapped them into focus, and there it was, a view the equal in quality of the SF's (at least, warmer and even more pleasant in the central sweet spot), but achieved with even more ease than the Conquest HD's. Bingo, I was holding MY binoculars! Except maybe I wasn't...😉

And that, I thought (excitedly!), was that, my search was at an end. They had a pair of brand new black Noctivid 10x42's in stock which I bought, certain I had made the right decision, only for the doubts to begin to creep in on my way back to the car, and for those doubts to settle in fully as I was driving home.

My doubts were several. Firstly, these bins were similar in use to the Conquest's, and whilst optically at a different level, I didn't get the same feeling I got when settling into a view through the SF's, which I think I can put down to the wider field of view of the SF's. The Noctivid's fulfilled my brief perfectly, but tested side by side with the SF's, the slightly narrower FOV gave the impression of the view to be a bit tunnel like, which I didn't sense when testing the Conquest's side by side with the SF's.

So, I am asking myself if the Noctivid experience is worth almost twice the price of the Conquest HD experience, because they both fulfill my brief of being easy and quick to use, to enable me to settle on a target in as short a time as possible. Then I'm asking myself if I can seriously let go the opportunity to have the absolutely delicious view afforded by the SF's, even if it takes a little longer to achieve, for a not dissimilar price to the Noctivid's. Noctivid's best for targeting, although the Conquest's I found almost as good for around half the price, and SF's, with that wider FOV, an overall more immersive image which would be a delight for longer periods of observation.

For now, the Noctivid's have been returned, and I'm gradually talking myself out of them, I think, although in the end I may well repurchase them, once I've gone round in circles a few more times over which to choose.

What I've found very interesting during this process, is how diverse I've found the various binoculars to be in their nature. In the end, I thought the Noctivid's were exactly what I'd been looking for, but I now 'get' why so many of you have multiple pairs, because even bins of the same magnification have very different characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and one person's strength may be another person's weakness. I'm only in the market for one pair of bins, however.

As an aside, I think my biggest regret is that the new Opticron Aurora's didn't 'fit' me, I would place their optics above the Conquest's, although that really is just opinion, of course, the science probably says otherwise. But, I really loved the Aurora's, the first binoculars I tried and was able to perceive a huge jump in the quality of the optics over the ones I had tested previously. And, I just don't get why I've struggled so badly to get to grips with the Swarovski products...all of them! That said, I'm not too bothered, because even when I have been able to settle into a view, it has been impressive, but I can't say I've really enjoyed it, so it doesn't frustrate me in the least. They are just not for me.

I have now decided to take advantage of the Zeiss 'Try Before You Buy' scheme, and have a pair of SF 10x42's arriving tomorrow, which will be with me until they are picked up again on Monday. If, with practice, I can speed up my targeting with them, and be confident of reliably positioning them every time I lift them up to my eyes, I suspect I'll go ahead with a purchase. If not, I'll probably repurchase the Noctivid's...or buy the Conquest's...or try the HG's as Chosun suggested...or...or...😕
If by any chance you can get hold of a GPO passion HD 10x42 I think they will impress you with their optical performance and eye relief. Price is also quite competitive.
 

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