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Help wanted with shortening my shortlist of 8x32 binoculars for < 300 € (Vanguard, Nikon, Opticron, Bresser) (1 Viewer)

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

thank you for good reviews. By all means try others but I would not be surprised if you came back to the M7 in the end. You are right about the so-so fit and finish, but of course that means Nikon invested in the optics and cut corners elsewhere to keep the price low - which is fine in my opinion...

As for the glare monster - this moniker has been used on this forum for quite a lot of binoculars, and very expensive ones too... looking at you, Swaro Habicht 8x30 or EL 8x32...

So it must be taken with a grain of salt. It is partly due to the 8x30 format, small binoculars have short tubes which make it easier for stray light to enter in the first place and also have less space for baffles to reduce it...

Also of course the amount of time one actually has to observe close to the sun so glare is bad is not huge for most uses...

Joachim
 

dries1

Member
I often wonder what folks look at to induce glare, and I have been using the SV 8X32 and have not had any instances of glare out of the ordinary. I off course really do not view close the sun, only occasionally, if tracking flight of the occasional raptor who happens to migrate in that direction.
 

BKoh

Well-known member
Singapore
I often wonder what folks look at to induce glare, and I have been using the SV 8X32 and have not had any instances of glare out of the ordinary. I off course really do not view close the sun, only occasionally, if tracking flight of the occasional raptor who happens to migrate in that direction.
I get glare with my EL SV 8x32 if I look too close to the sun. At my usual observing site the lookout point faces west. In the morning the sun is behind me, and the birds look fabulous. In the evening the sun is in front of me and I get glare, not across the whole FOV but in the lower half.

Fortunately, in the evening the birds are often flying around, so I can look in different directions eg north or south, and here there is no glare and the birds look wonderful. A few days ago I spent several delightful minutes following a blue tailed bee eater as it glided around, the colours were amazing.

My other 8x32 binocular, an Opticron Discovery WP PC, suffers from even worse glare. My 8x42 Celestron Trailseeker also has some glare. Before I started birding at sunset I never saw glare in any of them. So it definitely depends on the viewing conditions.
 

funsan

Member
Singapore
I live in Singapore and ordered Opticron binoculars from their UK website. Good pricing and came quickly. I think the days of little value add, high priced in country distributors are shortening unless you can try them in and out of store.

I know they don’t have a good review but I have an old pair of a Nikon ATB Monarch 8x36 - love the extra size on the objective lens but really no bigger case - is there a better quality bin in this size - more light is always good?

My Monarch M7 10x42 armour is terrible. Have had bike tyres that have lasted better. Nikon (Japan) has re-done them once and they are still awful. From you earlier comments about sustainability I would not get M7 from a longevity perspective.



QUOTE="follerma, post: 4226012, member: 163730"]
Thanks Ratal for the input! Actually, as per


I had the Traveller on my list even before the Explorer, but unfortunately I can only get them for 429,- € here in Germany, which is simply beyond my budget. Do you (or does anybody here) know, how the Travellers compare to the Explorers? On paper they don't seem to be THAT much different.
[/QUOTE]
 

follerma

Member
Germany
Sooo ... my quest has come to a close. Surprisingly (even for myself), I have not settled on a compact 8x32 but on a 10x42, the Vanguard Endeavour ED II 10x42, to be exact. Here are my thoughts on this sweetie.

Height and weight
Of course, I knew beforehand that these binoculars were bigger and heavier than the small 32 mm glass from Carson. With a re-measured 780 grams (including lens and eyepiece covers), the Vanguard glass is so heavy that I initially had doubts about how many occasions I would really take it with me or whether I wouldn't rather keep going back to my lighter Carson glass.

Build quality and handling
There isn't much to complain about in terms of workmanship. Thanks to the open bridge, the binoculars sit comfortably in the hand and look and feel very solid, partly due to their weight.

The rubber armoring is comparatively hard and smooth, which I like a lot. There are subtle indentations for the thumbs on the underside, which further supports the ergonomic design. In short: it feels really good in the hands.

The focus wheel can be turned with rather little resistance, but absolutely smoothly and without play or the like. It is very quick, i.e. you only need to turn a little to switch from very close to far away. I already know that from my Carson glass and that's basically how I like it. However, especially at a distance, you need a LOT of sensitivity with the Vanguard glass. So if you are a bit concerned about that, you should perhaps use another model with a less aggressive focus mechanism.

As with practically all binoculars in this and lower price range, the ring for adjusting the dioptre setting is located on the right eyepiece and can be locked. A nice little extra that you won't find with other models in this price range.

The twist-up eyecups turn rather stiffly at first and not as crisp as I usually prefer. The snap-in points are also rather shorter "plateaus" in the thread, at the end of which the eyecups move a little bit back towards the body, if that makes sense. The eyecups are not "held on to" as much as I know from other models. However, this construction offers the advantage that even after a long time of use there is not so much the risk of the eyecups being inadvertently screwed in when they are pressed against the face or the glasses. In the meantime, after some months of use, the eyecups can be twisted in and out with very little resistance, which might cause problems for some. But as I have to keep my glasses on I have them twisted all the way down anyway, so no problem for me here.

The bridge can only be adjusted with a certain amount of force, which I find rather positive, because the interpupillary distance does not easily get out of alignment inadvertently.

As is common in this price range, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is waterproof and filled with nitrogen to prevent moisture inside the binoculars (and consequential damage such as mold).

Image quality
The edge sharpness of these bins is particularly impressive. With my Carson glass, it always annoyed me (and still annoys me) that the image is not sharp over the entire field of view, but that the sharpness drops off considerably after about two thirds on the way to the edge of the field of view. For the "static" observation of birds, this is not a problem, but panning, for example to scan a group of shorebirds, is anything but a pleasure. Here the binoculars from Vanguard definitely score with sharpness over the entire field of view. I have now noticed that I can look through these binoculars for much longer and look around within the field of vision in a much more relaxed and fatigue-free manner.

Most of the other parameters of the image quality are also very good: the short close focus also allows the observation of insects at the wayside and the field of view is pleasantly large for this configuration. The long eye relief makes the binoculars also suitable for people who wear glasses, who, like me, do not take off their glasses when looking through the binoculars. I even had to turn the eyecups out a notch so as not to get this annoying "flying" shadow on the edge of the picture. With a little practice, however, I can now keep the eyecups fully twisted down.

Oh yes, and there is hardly any glare in the image - I'm so relieved!

What you can complain about is a slightly yellowish color cast. In most situations it is not really noticeable, but e.g. the color of the blue sky does not seem to be that pure.

Chromatic aberrations are also not controlled quite as well as I had expected, given the use of ED glass and the manufacturer's advertising claims ("practically eliminates chromatic aberration"). But again: in the vast majority of everyday situations, chromatic aberrations are not really annoying or even noticeable.

Equipment and accessories
The equipment can be described as average for this price range.

A nylon storage and transport bag and a neck strap are supplied with the binoculars. The positive thing about the bag is the zipper, which promises to be quieter and more durable than a Velcro fastener that is often found here. The (unfortunately somewhat short) shoulder strap of the bag can be connected to the shoulder strap for the binoculars via snap connectors and thus extended. In my opinion, however, it would have been better to equip both the bag and the binoculars with a long strap instead of always having to change one strap back and forth. On the positive side, the binoculars fit into the pocket even with the neck strap attached. It gets a bit tight and you first have to get the hang of how and where to fold the neck strap, but it works, and that is quite something.

There really is nothing negative to say about the neck strap in this price range. It is well padded and wide enough and comfortable to wear.

The equipment also includes a thread on the front of the front bridge to which a tripod adapter can be screwed. It is positive that the thread of the protective cap is made of metal.

A lens cleaning cloth is also included, but I would consider this to be something only to be used in cases of emergency. Better use a lens cleaning kit for regular care.

Conclusion
The bottom line is that there are two small bullets to bite with these binoculars: the focus mechanism, which is a bit too aggressive even for my taste, and the slightly yellowish color cast. And to make a pair of binoculars for this price without any further things to complain about is a reamarkable achievement. I haven't found anything better for less than 300 euros and therefore kept the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42. With the high edge sharpness, completely different types of observations are suddenly possible. Searching through groups of birds on the water or on the shore through the binoculars was simply not comfortable enough for me with my previous binoculars. With these binoculars this is no longer a problem at all. It is probably no coincidence that since I call these binoculars my own, I have become much more interested in ducks, grebes, etc. than ever before. But in all other situations, too, the view through these binoculars is so much more relaxed and overall better that my previous Carson binoculars, that -- contrary to what I had originally intended -- I don't use these Vanguards as an addition to but rather as a replacement for my Carsons. I gladly accept the significantly higher weight even for occasional observations and may daily walks with the dog.
 

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