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Have 8x32, 7x42. Worth having 10x(42 or 32)? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
United States
I usually go birding with my Leica 8x32 UV HD+, and sometimes with my Leica 7x42 UV HD+. My typical outing involves a hike between 4 and 8 Km, just because I like hiking. The UV 8x32 are fantastic, and the 7x42 give me an easier view. I don't perceive very much the difference in magnification; what I perceive is the difference in weight, and the fact that the 7x42 have easier eye placement, and are easier to use with sunglasses, which sometimes I have to do due to high glare/UV in the sky (US west...). Both are optically superb.

In many situations, I bird in semi-open places, where I end up carefully focusing my 8x32 and try to glean as much detail as possible from a not-so-close (>20m) bird to make an ID. This is often necessary, as many birds are not easily approached, and others are highly mobile, so if I spot them on a far away tree, I better get an ID immediately. Of late, I have been wondering whether I should also own a pair of 10x42. I would likely lean towards the Leica UV 10x42: still fairly compact, I like the ergonomics, I like the traditional-style eyepiece and objective covers, etc.

My main question is: would this be a useful upgrade? When carefully trying to get an ID for a bird not on this tree, but on that tree over there (picture yourself a tree 20-50m away), would a 10x really be better than my lighter 8x? Is the tradeoff -- marginally more magnification, marginally more shake -- useful or not?

Some of you might remember I have also stabilized Kite 16x42. I like them... but... the image quality is not up to par, and I find it's often very important for me to be quick in getting an ID. I cannot switch from 8x to those 16x, often the bird has gotten away, and it's much easier to explore and find birds with an 8x. So when I carry both, I use the 8x32 98% of the time, and typically in an outing there are at most 1-2 birds I can identify with the 16x42 but I was not able with the 8x; often the bird has gotten away by the time I can use the 16x.

So I am looking for a binocular I can use as the single binocular I take with me.

I have read various threads in which some of you mentioned having Leicas 8x32, 7x42, and 10x42. I already know that if I were to get 10x42, the ones I want would be the Leicas. My question is more whether having a 10x is worth it, or -- for the same exit pupil size -- I should just enjoy my 8x32 and their light weight.

Your opinion is much appreciated!
I didn’t read all the responses so I apologize if I overlapped. In my opinion a 10x does help a little bit with identification and aids as a tool for this purpose.

I agree about the weight and shake of the 10x when considering a 42 (heavy if you like 32’s) and shake when it comes to the magnification of most 10x binoculars.
The game changer for me with 10’s, is the Swaro NL’s. With almost 400ft at 1000yrds (that’s bigger than an 842 UVHD) and the head rest makes the 10x about as good as an 8x in stability. The large FOV and head rest is the formula here.



Well-known member
I own UV 7x42s (HD+) and 10x42s (HD), and do not own but am very familiar with the 8x32s (HD+). The 42s are quite different from one another despite wearing the same outfit. They are both wonderful and useful in their own ways. I am not sure that I see any more with the 10s than I do with the 7s. What I do see is different though.
The 10s provide more detail at the expense of field of view and depth of field. Perhaps exactly what you are looking for. Something to note: I've found the eye relief a tiny bit short on the 10s when wearing sunglasses - I am not sure if that was improved when Leica upgraded from the HD to the HD+ version.
Currently, I use the 7s more often. I'm kind of settling into a big exit pupil / low magnification phase in my birding after a few years of chasing higher magnification.


Happy User
I have settled on going with Leica UV 7x42 HD+, which work very well even when I am wearing sunglasses (which I have to do in these days of very strong sun in California), plus Fuji Techno-Stabi 12x28 for far-away bird ID. I will write a review of these shortly, but in brief: they have very good eye relief (as easy as use with glasses as the Leica above), excellent stabilization, good sharpness, and are very light, so they are a very good companion pair of binoculars for distant bird ID. I would not use them as my main or sole binocular, as they are difficult to use for fast-moving birds, or for finding birds in the first place.

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