• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

I am thinking the new 32 mm alphas from Swarovski and Zeiss are the best birding binoculars you can buy right now. (1 Viewer)

Dr. K

Bad Weather Birder
United States
Just curious as to how it was funny, or is it an inside joke?!?
I meant no offense. Following the post from another that laments finding only a +/- 4 diopter adjustment, I misread yours to be a lighthearted suggestion that surgery is a viable alternative strategy to meet the limitations of our binoculars, i.e., in the same way that cardboard taped to the objective tunes is a way to reduce glare. evidently I misread the tone.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
I meant no offense. Following the post from another that laments finding only a +/- 4 diopter adjustment, I misread yours to be a lighthearted suggestion that surgery is a viable alternative strategy to meet the limitations of our binoculars, i.e., in the same way that cardboard taped to the objective tunes is a way to reduce glare. evidently I misread the tone.
So much lost in the typing of responses sometimes. Maybe not so far off though, but mainly I wanted to balance some of the other views on the procedure, as it's been a positive thing in my life, and seemed at least a bit interesting that the correction I received was about equal to that available on many binoculars.

Now that I look back, I guess it did kind of come across the way you read it!
 

Owlbarred

New member
Hmm. I don't remember seeing too many birders using a Zeiss 20x60s in the field. The Zeiss 20x60s is a perfect example of why IS binoculars have not caught on with birders. It is too big and heavy, and not too many birders are willing to carry that kind of weight, especially if they are hiking for a couple of miles. I know even a binocular over 30 oz. starts getting heavy and that is exactly why I have switched over to a 32 mm. I really don't think Swarovski, Zeiss or Leica are worried about the Chinese. The big three are usually the ones responsible for new innovations, and the Chinese are the ones to copy them. I agree, stabilization makes a huge difference in detail recognition, but the technology is going to have to improve before they replace the existing alpha level binoculars. There are still some optical artifacts in even the best IS binoculars, and the binoculars themselves are too big and heavy if they approach alpha level optics. The Canon 10x42 IS is very good, but it is still not an NL or SF optically, and most birders are unwilling to put up with the ergonomics and the weight. If somebody could make an IS binocular without artifacts and the ergonomics of an NL, then they would appeal to the birding market.
Well said re: advantages of 32 mm for hiking. Admittedly I'm an old fart hiker/birder.
 

Zedster

Well-known member
United States
If you find a 42x10 binocular, let me know. That is just a foolish way to try to discount the Twilight Factor. The Twilight Factor is helpful because many people think exit pupil size is everything when it comes to seeing in low light, and it isn't. Magnification plays a role also. Sometime try reading a license plate in low light with an 8x42 and a 10x42 binocular at 200 yards, and you will change your mind about Twilight Factor! You will go NOW, I see!
I've actually done this and the answer is that the 10x were MUCH worse. Why? BECAUSE OF EP. In darker conditions your pupil dilate to allow in more light. The larger EP of the 8x binocular allows more light to enter the eye so the image is brighter. If this was NOT the case you wouldn't have eyes that dilate. The whole argument that a 10x25 or whatever is brighter in low light than a 8x32 is completely ignoring the biggest factor in the entire equation, your eyes. Taking a photo of the difference is cheating because the camera has MUCH different requirements than an eye does.
 

mfunnell

Registered Confuser
I’ll guarantee you I can see more detail in low light through my 10x56 FLs than I could through an 8x56 instrument. Sure the smaller magnification gives a 7mm EP size - but my 60+yo eyes won’t dilate that much so the extra light is ‘wasted’. Meanwhile, the higher magnification instrument does give me an advantage seeing detail.
 

Zedster

Well-known member
United States
I’ll guarantee you I can see more detail in low light through my 10x56 FLs than I could through an 8x56 instrument. Sure the smaller magnification gives a 7mm EP size - but my 60+yo eyes won’t dilate that much so the extra light is ‘wasted’. Meanwhile, the higher magnification instrument does give me an advantage seeing detail.
I'm not sure that it matters in this case. Comparing the 10x25 to the 8x32 was the original discussion. The 7mm EP is pretty big. A 2.5mm is tiny.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I started this thread over a year ago, but I am still thinking the 32 mm alphas from Zeiss and Swarovski are the best birding binoculars you can buy right now. I kind of lean towards the 8x32 NL, but it depends on how you use them. With the SF or NL in 8x32 or 10x32, you won't go wrong!
 

mfunnell

Registered Confuser
I'm not sure that it matters in this case. Comparing the 10x25 to the 8x32 was the original discussion. The 7mm EP is pretty big. A 2.5mm is tiny.
I was just trying to use a limiting case to show that both magnification and brightness are factors in how much detail can be seen in low light.
 

Zedster

Well-known member
United States
I started this thread over a year ago, but I am still thinking the 32 mm alphas from Zeiss and Swarovski are the best birding binoculars you can buy right now. I kind of lean towards the 8x32 NL, but it depends on how you use them. With the SF or NL in 8x32 or 10x32, you won't go wrong!
Considering the prices I would certainly hope so :)
 

Zedster

Well-known member
United States
I was just trying to use a limiting case to show that both magnification and brightness are factors in how much detail can be seen in low light.
Yes but there are always extremes that can be used to obfuscate a discussion point. The use case under discussion was of limited low light capable binoculars, not something that could be used for astronomy.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I wish the Noctivid would have a 32. Just not going to happen sadly. But wow… even if they did only an 8x32. Oh well….
I guess you will have to settle for the NL and SF 8x32 for now. The Noctivid is a good jump up from the UVHD+ in contrast, on axis resolution and edge sharpness. A Noctivid 8x32 would be a nice binocular if they maintained the contrast, on-axis sharpness and color saturation of the 8x42 but increased the FOV to at least 8.5 degrees and increased the edge sharpness just a little bit from the Noctivid 8x42 to compete with the SF and NL. Sell it for about $2200.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top