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Habicht for birdwatching? (1 Viewer)

I agree with most of the posts here about the Habicht not being the best binoculars for birding. I think similarly like Yarrellii, that many binoculars can fall into , not the best dedicated birding binocular category. Some could say and do , that any binocular with a small objective size, not water proof, a slow focuser , even a focuser that’s to fast (Nikon gold ring comes to mind) all would or could fall into the not the best birding binoculars category. And of course what’s best for one individual is not best for another, which brings me back to the Habicht’s. I think we leave best birding binocular out of the conversation because of how individual of a choice that is.

Let’s take a look at an example given in the small porro category. The E2 is mentioned many times when the Habicht’s are brought up , and in certain ways does check a few more boxes , larger FOV (although I never felt the 8x30 Habicht was small) and a lighter focuser, but then lacks the water proofing and really falls a little short with optical pop, imo. Water proofing is another interesting conversation, we could could go into that for a few hundred posts in another discussion.

Here’s my take on the Habicht’s for birding, if chosen for that purpose , it would be the the 8x30 and the 10x40. The 7x42 can be used, and in some ways (DOF) can aid with a slow tight focuser , but the FOV is it’s achilles’ heel for birding , imo. I’d choose the 30 because the DOF which requires less focusing, and I’m more of an 7 and 8 guy in general. So if I were to say that the Habicht’s are superior to the E2, in snap, crackle pop, then the focuser is the only thing that prevents it from being an excellent birding tool.

Now I know that there are a lot of people that don’t want to buy a $1200-$1500 Binocular , and be OCD enough to send it in to have it tweaked , but some are, I did on my 7x42 and it’s marvelous, not quite as light as the E2 ,but close . I wouldn’t necessarily do it the day it shows up at the door, because it does lighten up after some use, but not to the point where most would be satisfied. That being said we have a lot of people who are not happy with their Meopro focusers and quite a few people feel that way about their Swaro SLC’s , I’ve used a few that were not to good. Users send those in all the time be smoothed out. So I would say if the only thing that is holding somebody back from buying one of these little jewels, is a stiff focuser, then buy it, see if you really like everything else about it, and the only thing you don’t like is the focuser, then that’s an easy fix.

Paul.
 
You should probably also add in the Oberwerk 8x32 SE if you're interested in quality porros and don't mind the slower focuser. The 12x50 SE that I have is very good optically (especially for such a low price), the only reason I am thinking of replacing it is that I have now realised that I can follow birds quite easily handheld or on a homemade Finn-stick with a 12x and the focus is too slow for me with the decreased DOF of a 12x.
Be wary of the huge, uncomfortable eye cups on the Oberwerk SE's. I tried them all and unless you have a very flat face you won't like them.
 
Hi Reinier.

I've owned both the 7x42 ga and currently the 8x30 if ga (as if I haven't mentioned it enough already!).

I also have the Nikon e2 which I now use as my main bino - the habicht is getting used a lot at the moment due to the new toy factor but eventually it will be just for kayaking and rough weather/use.

Habichts are fine for birding but the e2 with the wider field of view, better more secure hold, wider field of view, better sized eye cups and smoother focuser is for me a much more effective instrument providing you treat it well and keep it reasonably shielded from the rain. The mechanics are probably just as robust as a habicht - remember it has most of the mechanics of the much praised Nikon se 8x30 so it's really just the dont get it too wet or bang it on a rock factor that you need to be aware of!

Will
"Habichts are fine for birding but the e2 with the wider field of view, better more secure hold, wider field of view, better sized eye cups and smoother focuser is for me a much more effective instrument providing you treat it well and keep it reasonably shielded from the rain."

All that is true but if your priority is the view the Habicht's are brighter and have a cleaner more transparent view. The Habicht without a doubt has better optics than the EII. Swarovski put their very best coatings on the Habicht and that is where the difference lies. Once you are used to the Habicht it is hard to go back to an EII. It seems dead compared to the bright image of the Habicht.
 
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I would have to agree there..... just very thick and very uncomfortable.... a strange design I've not experienced elsewhere.

I think they're fine! I just wish they would hold their ER position a bit better but O-rings solve that. I'm mostly using them with glasses though.
 
I think they're fine! I just wish they would hold their ER position a bit better but O-rings solve that. I'm mostly using them with glasses though.
Yeah... that aswell.... it's not difficult to sort that looseness out, I'm surpirised Oberwerk let that slip through the net. The rest of the bino feels well made, but those eyecups really cheapen the feel.... shame really, as the optics are very good for the money, if not exactly Habicht neck of the woods, as some would have you believe.... Sure the Habicht is way more cost, but it is far superior, as it should be.
I got carried away with Neil English's report, but I think he is a tad off the mark... just my opinion.
But... 'for the money'.... yeah, those Oberwerks are very good.
 
I love Swarovski binos and porros in general but smooth, velvety focuser is a top priority with me, so I have not been tempted by the Habicht. The 10x35 Nikon E2 is less than half the price and has wonderful smooth focuser action, along with upgraded eyepiece design that works great. It's pretty much the perfect bird-watching porro binocular for me, and it was only $600 which is astonishing compared to Habicht and Leica Retrovid prices.

My Swaro money was better spent on the 10x56 SLC - excellent value on those IMO. When I bought them, the retail price was $2300 versus like $1500 on the 10x40 habicht I think?
 
I love Swarovski binos and porros in general but smooth, velvety focuser is a top priority with me, so I have not been tempted by the Habicht. The 10x35 Nikon E2 is less than half the price and has wonderful smooth focuser action, along with upgraded eyepiece design that works great. It's pretty much the perfect bird-watching porro binocular for me, and it was only $600 which is astonishing compared to Habicht and Leica Retrovid prices.

My Swaro money was better spent on the 10x56 SLC - excellent value on those IMO. When I bought them, the retail price was $2300 versus like $1500 on the 10x40 habicht I think?
The focusers on the Habicht’s are smooth, they’re just tight. After a little tweaking they feel as good ,if not better than the E2. Imo it’s hard to find anything much better price wise than an E2. But you do pay for what you get and they fall a little short of the SE’s and Habicht’s, imo.

The 10x56 SLC and 10x40 Habicht’s are both phenomenal glass. There’s two binoculars are worlds apart , yet optically so very close.

Paul
 
I love Swarovski binos and porros in general but smooth, velvety focuser is a top priority with me, so I have not been tempted by the Habicht. The 10x35 Nikon E2 is less than half the price and has wonderful smooth focuser action, along with upgraded eyepiece design that works great. It's pretty much the perfect bird-watching porro binocular for me, and it was only $600 which is astonishing compared to Habicht and Leica Retrovid prices.

My Swaro money was better spent on the 10x56 SLC - excellent value on those IMO. When I bought them, the retail price was $2300 versus like $1500 on the 10x40 habicht I think?
I must admit that the focus wheel on my Habicht 7x42's was a tad stiff at first. Smooth though, and it has progressively loosened over time. Now it is perfect.

My 8x30's were smooth from the gitgo, precise and beautifully weighted with just the right 'feel'.

I bought the Nikon E ii's from Amazon and returned them as they were delivered in a box that had been used as a football and the grey glue on the prisms just annoyed me. But the focus wheel was buttery smooth, the FOV was superb and handling wise they fitted me perfectly. Cracking bit of kit and I can see why they are so highly regarded. I haven't tried the 10x35's but I am sure they are crackers too.

Had they been delivered properly I might have kept the Nikon's. But their lack of dust and water resistance was the deal breaker for me as I live in Wales which has one sunny day a year, and even then it rains out of sheer spite.

Lovely bino's the Nikon's but sadly not robust enough for the climatic variations I experience whilst my Rottweiler Archie graciously allows me to accompany him on his morning and evening walk in the valley..
 
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You just gotta get on and use whatever you got.... there's a problem with every binocular, a reason to sell it, whatever...
I would gladly mooch about with a Habicht if that's all I had.... but I watch nature, more than just birds.
My Ultravid 8x20's are just fine, sure they got their issues, being so small, but I can see all I need with them.
 
Also try a Nikon E II, if possible side by side. Unless you need waterproofness or are obsessed with ultimate sharpness, you'll find that it offers similarly lovely qualities, while also giving a wider view and silky focusing. It actually does make a nice birding glass.
How about the 8x32 SE? I’m not really a birdwatcher, but I own both the 8x32 and 10x24 SEs and love them both, especially the silky smooth focusers. That said, they stiffen up In below freezing weather, but still usable.
 
Thanks for all your reactions! It didn't really bring me further. ;) Habicht is not made for birdwatching I see.
I think I will temper my habicht/porro desire a bit for a while... Maybe/probably it will pop up in the future again. First I want to have sorted my 5 binoculars line up and after that I will see what configuration will fill a gap the most: 8x30, 7x42 or 10x42.
First the 7x42 was a no brainer for me. But now I see why people like them: less focusing and very good for use at night...
 
Thanks for all your reactions! It didn't really bring me further. ;) Habicht is not made for birdwatching I see.
I think I will temper my habicht/porro desire a bit for a while... Maybe/probably it will pop up in the future again. First I want to have sorted my 5 binoculars line up and after that I will see what configuration will fill a gap the most: 8x30, 7x42 or 10x42.
First the 7x42 was a no brainer for me. But now I see why people like them: less focusing and very good for use at night...
7x42 has a sublime view if the narrow fov doesn't concern you.
I guess you just get used to it, and accept that the simplistic design which gives those amazing optics, also has it's draw backs.
It's a great bin.... when I pull the Habicht trigger, I have no idea which one it'll be.
They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are all optically stunning.
 
I have the 10x42SE but if I lived in Wales, Ireland, the north of England or Scotland I think I'd have to get a fully sealed binocular. I'm sure the SE will survive being rained on, it's the focus action sucking damp air into the binocular I don't like (and I'm not focusing anywhere near as much as most other birders). I don't use mine when it's rainy (luckily not good conditions for raptors) or very damp, nor would I bring it to a tropical location (though my Dialyt 10x40, also rated as only splashproof, has made at least three or four trips to Singapore for weeks at a time with no apparent ill effects). Very good performer but IMO needs to be treated more carefully than something like a Dialyt or a Leica BA/BN (or a GA Habicht).
 
So... who actually uses an Habicht for birdwatching? Most use it for landscape viewing, night viewing or just want to have them in his collection.
But who actually bird with them?
 
I used my Habicht 10x40 GA with great pleasure as a rather lightweight birding binocular on hikes in Crete to watch raptors and vultures.
And now that i think about it, i also took my Habicht 8x30 GA with me to Nepal an used it as my main binocular. The main use was not birding but the little Habicht was also very usable for everything after 50 m or so. I think usability of binoculars in general depends very much of the kind of birding you do.
 
I can imagine that! Watching birds of prey on the wing. Very useful for that. Small stuff just in front of you... I don't think an Habicht is really suitable for that. Maybe the 7x42...
 
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