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Help me decide: EL 8.5x42 vs. EL 10x50 (1 Viewer)

Samolot

Well-known member
Good evening everyone,

For the past few months, I have been looking for the perfect "alpha" complement to my binocular collection. And by collection I mean solely the Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. The Meostar's were a birthday gift so I have an emotional connection to them; plus their optical qualities certainly deliver so I feel like I have my high power binocular set (especially on a tripod!).

I have been visiting numerous optics stores testing out different alpha binoculars. I am looking for a nice 8x-10x to complement the 12x's. I tried them all and have gripes with each one... except the EL's. I wont dwell on this further (unless someone would like me to) and simply get to the point, I am looking to decide between the 8.5x42 and the 10x50. I love hiking with binoculars and observing daytime wildlife, but love to look up at the stars as well at night. I have read Roger Vines reviews with great interest and understand that the 10x50's should be perfect for me. Having said that, I am leaning towards the 42's because I need something lighter to carry with me that offers more handheld stability which you get with slightly lower power. I tried them outdoors and didn't want to give them back.

My question is, because both have similar exit pupils, is there a visible difference in low light conditions between the two in regards to brightness? Because if not, I will go for the portability of the 42's, but if there is something seriously lacking in them, I will go for the 50's (I tried the 10x50's once in a store without windows so I can't really test them properly... thanks B&H Photo...). Another thing I prioritize is depth of field, or 3D effect (I was spoiled by the Nikon EII 8x30's in the very recent past) so if there is a serious difference between the two, I would love to know!

I have been a long time lurker in these forums and appreciate everyone's thoughtful commentary based on real-world experiences. I am looking forward to learning more from experienced enthusiasts!

Sincerely,

Samolot
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
I would recommend the 8.5x42 EL, as it is a great size, 8.5 X offers some nice advantages.

It has long been considered the "universal distance viewer", and you mention you prefer a lighter
binocular.

It seems you already have a quality 50mm binocular, now is the time for a top 42mm.

I hope this helps.

Jerry
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Good evening everyone,

For the past few months, I have been looking for the perfect "alpha" complement to my binocular collection. And by collection I mean solely the Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. The Meostar's were a birthday gift so I have an emotional connection to them; plus their optical qualities certainly deliver so I feel like I have my high power binocular set (especially on a tripod!).

I have been visiting numerous optics stores testing out different alpha binoculars. I am looking for a nice 8x-10x to complement the 12x's. I tried them all and have gripes with each one... except the EL's. I wont dwell on this further (unless someone would like me to) and simply get to the point, I am looking to decide between the 8.5x42 and the 10x50. I love hiking with binoculars and observing daytime wildlife, but love to look up at the stars as well at night. I have read Roger Vines reviews with great interest and understand that the 10x50's should be perfect for me. Having said that, I am leaning towards the 42's because I need something lighter to carry with me that offers more handheld stability which you get with slightly lower power. I tried them outdoors and didn't want to give them back.

My question is, because both have similar exit pupils, is there a visible difference in low light conditions between the two in regards to brightness? Because if not, I will go for the portability of the 42's, but if there is something seriously lacking in them, I will go for the 50's (I tried the 10x50's once in a store without windows so I can't really test them properly... thanks B&H Photo...). Another thing I prioritize is depth of field, or 3D effect (I was spoiled by the Nikon EII 8x30's in the very recent past) so if there is a serious difference between the two, I would love to know!

I have been a long time lurker in these forums and appreciate everyone's thoughtful commentary based on real-world experiences. I am looking forward to learning more from experienced enthusiasts!

Sincerely,

Samolot
I have and use both.
The 10X50 does have shallower DOF and it's noticeable in the amount of focusing I do...old age has its effects.

The 8.5X42 SV is the better all-purpose bin, especially since you have the Meopta for stargazing and you want less weight in the field.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
You already have your astronomy binocular in your Meopta Meostar 12x50 HD. Get the 8.5x42 SV. It is a better all around binoculars than the 10x50 SV with better DOF and easier to hold steady and as Pileatus says lighter in the field.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Between THOSE two....I'd EASILY pick the 8.5X42 since you all ready have a nice 12X. Depending on your birding terrain/enviroment, I might even go SLC 8X42.
 

Samolot

Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Yeah, I think the 8.5x will better complement the 12x's. Regarding the SLC vs. EL, I don't have much experience with the SLC line as not a lot of stores carry them. I do like the compactness of the SLC's.

From what I gather, they are not as sharp on the edges as the EL. On the flip side, I believe they have AK prisms for higher light transmission; therefore would they offer a brighter image early the morning or later in the afternoon?

Finally, I am a huge fan of large eyepieces (personal preference). The EL certainly delivers with a 25 mm eyepiece. Is the SLC similar? I can't find good pictures online (I am still absolutely fascinated by the eyepieces on the 8x56 SLC... what a beauty).
 

RobMorane

Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Yeah, I think the 8.5x will better complement the 12x's. Regarding the SLC vs. EL, I don't have much experience with the SLC line as not a lot of stores carry them. I do like the compactness of the SLC's.

From what I gather, they are not as sharp on the edges as the EL. On the flip side, I believe they have AK prisms for higher light transmission; therefore would they offer a brighter image early the morning or later in the afternoon?

The SLC 56 are the only one to have AK prisms in the SLC serie, the 42 have SP prisms.
 

Samolot

Well-known member
So for the last few months, I have been going to different birding stores to play with Leica, Zeiss and Swaro optics. Unfortunately, because it is not a popular size, none of them carried the EL 10x50. Well because I am visiting family in NYC, I had a change to go back to BH Photo and try the 10x50's again, this time looking for specific features I have grown to love. In short, despite the fine recommendations by you all, I am fully invested in acquiring the 10x50's. While the brightness and clarity was the same between the 10x50 and 8.5x42, what was unique to the 10x50's was the 3D image I have come to love after trying the EII 8x30's. This binocular truly has everything I am looking for. Ergonomically, it handles wonderfully, providing a surprisingly steady image. I won't sit here and list all the other things I like about it, but I am just glad to have found the one. What a day...
 

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Elmer Fudd

Well-known member
Congrats on the SV 10X50!



For a 50mm....it is. Same basic size as a SF 8X42.


Most recently I entered a gun store during noon break just asking for some ammo. But I also was attracted by the binos on display there. And I first couln't believe what I saw: an 8.5x42 and a 10x50 SV in company. There was almost no difference in size. But I could resist the temptation to handle both.........
 

Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
So for the last few months, I have been going to different birding stores to play with Leica, Zeiss and Swaro optics. Unfortunately, because it is not a popular size, none of them carried the EL 10x50. Well because I am visiting family in NYC, I had a change to go back to BH Photo and try the 10x50's again, this time looking for specific features I have grown to love. In short, despite the fine recommendations by you all, I am fully invested in acquiring the 10x50's. While the brightness and clarity was the same between the 10x50 and 8.5x42, what was unique to the 10x50's was the 3D image I have come to love after trying the EII 8x30's. This binocular truly has everything I am looking for. Ergonomically, it handles wonderfully, providing a surprisingly steady image. I won't sit here and list all the other things I like about it, but I am just glad to have found the one. What a day...

Samolot,

Although the EL 10X50 SV has SP prisms, the +9mm wider objective spacing (relative to their IPD setting) Does Provide a very pleasing sense of spacial 3D stereopsis that I also find very desirable. In direct comparison between the ELSV 8X, 10X and 12X, I felt the 10X offered a definitive advantage with their Step-in-window-FOV! Using the 8.5X42 for 10 days in Austria, loved their versatility, but did not find they possess the enhanced stereopsis of the EL 10X50 SV.

Now, Have to get back to my post em. surgery left eye retinal tear repair "336 hour laying on my right side Positioning" for hopefully, a successful post recovery...Very Boring, but necessary! :-C

Ted
 
Last edited:

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Now, Have to get back to my post em. surgery left eye retinal tear repair "336 hour laying on my right side Positioning" for hopefully, a successful post recovery...Very Boring, but necessary! :-C

Ted

Ted
First good luck with your recovery and second, I really, really hope that the 336 hours to which you refer is a typo and should read 36 hours.

Lee
 

BruceH

Avatar: Harris Hawk
The EL 10X50 looks small. ........ (Flat view).

Andy W.

The Swaro 10X50 may look small in the context of the above photos, but that is not how it impresses me in use. There is a lot of binocular to fill the hand and to heft around.

As compared to the 42 mm Zeiss SF, the Swaro 50 mm is similar in size in length only, otherwise they are not that close. The Swaro is noticeably larger in feel with the larger diameter and heavier (approx. 35 oz vs 27.5 oz or 999 g vs 780 g) with a much more forward weight balance.

Here is a photo that I think I posted in another thread a couple of years ago that shows some of the difference.

IMG_2140_1 Downsized.jpg


Ted: Sorry to hear about your surgery. Hang in there for now so you get a great long term outcome!
 

BruceH

Avatar: Harris Hawk
Dennis,

Do you still have the SLC 8X56 or have you traded it for the 8.5X42.

Andy W.

Also, what was the reason for selling off the new Swaro Companion CL so soon? It sounded like it was your ideal binocular.
 

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