• 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.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

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

I'm on the lookout for a super wide 7x35, just trying to find a model available in good condition. Buying these older second hand models is a minefield unseen, I've had issues before. I may well just stick with the eii, how do you find these older superwides in comparison to the eii?
You find them by doing searches on the auction sites, reading a lot about vintage wide field binos here and on cloudy. Then asking lots of questions, then finding what you want , then asking the sellers the appropriate needed questions. Then pulling the trigger and hoping you get a good one. Most everyone I bought in over a year needed tweaking to collimation even when the seller said they were right on. The other things are mechanicals. If you want some more advice or suggestions PM me.

Im considering selling a beautiful Tasco 110 12.5° BaK4 , one of the premium and very rare desirable super wides.

Paul
 
I really hope that Canon update the 15x or 18x but I very much doubt it. The eye cups are not good and a real let down.
I bought the 12x36iii for astronomy but silly me had the NL pure next to it, not even the stabilizer could trump the NL, I think the 15x is the sweet spot, shame it's a tank. The little Canons x20 sound interesting for day use.
I think I might agree the 15x50 is the sweet spot for more dedicated astronomy. But all around sweet spot in the line is the 10x42L. I didn’t spend enough time at night with the the two when I had them together, but during the day, no contest the L is superior optically.
 
I know youve been challenged here recently on negative seeming thoughts about the SFL and you've clarified by describing your reaction was to do with price/value. That fair?
You have to be so careful choosing words here, some very thin skinned people don’t react well when you say anything less than stellar things about their newly purchased toy. I only pointed out my impressions and opinions of how they compare to the top dogs. And I feel my overall impressions were positive, placing them in their own unique category, which i said I think is ground breaking. Nobody is going to convince me that theyre in the top alpha category as NL’s, SF’s , EL’s and Noctivids. As Andy and Dennis have opined , if they were the same price as an SF or NL, let’s see how opinions would change.
But backwards? Im thinking the SFLs, especially the 40s a more a lateral thing. We all by now I hope, get that every bino is a package of choices the manufacturer (or sub brand/marketer) makes to try and offer different choices for folks with different sensibilities. The SFL seems one of those, offering a different set of performance compromises for folks who value those.
Yes backward in one sense optically, and in one sense into a new category. 40 or 42 doesn’t really equate to me as a lateral anything. I agree with the last part of your last sentence. It’s a great option for people who want or need light binoculars but still want the larger exit pupal of the 42/40 genre, while still getting very good optics. But let us consider this weight savings could also have been with the best optics in a shorter lighter package, a true SF light.
 
You have to be so careful choosing words here, some very thin skinned people don’t react well when you say anything less than stellar things about their newly purchased toy. I only pointed out my impressions and opinions of how they compare to the top dogs. And I feel my overall impressions were positive, placing them in their own unique category, which i said I think is ground breaking. Nobody is going to convince me that theyre in the top alpha category as NL’s, SF’s , EL’s and Noctivids. As Andy and Dennis have opined , if they were the same price as an SF or NL, let’s see how opinions would change.

Yes backward in one sense optically, and in one sense into a new category. 40 or 42 doesn’t really equate to me as a lateral anything. I agree with the last part of your last sentence. It’s a great option for people who want or need light binoculars but still want the larger exit pupal of the 42/40 genre, while still getting very good optics. But let us consider this weight savings could also have been with the best optics in a shorter lighter package, a true SF light.
Re para 1, indeed we do. This place is not about buying or especially, using binoculars. It's about talking about them for whatever that provides.

Para 2, well yes, of course but it would've then been a "true SF light" at true SF pricing. As you wrote and I agreed couple days ago, pricing is a critical, if often not mentioned (for very personal reasons), attribute thats part of the package. I take your point that at 1800 bucks for you the SFL is not that good a value, at least based how you perceive the rest of the package. But not everyone agrees.
 
You find them by doing searches on the auction sites, reading a lot about vintage wide field binos here and on cloudy. Then asking lots of questions, then finding what you want , then asking the sellers the appropriate needed questions. Then pulling the trigger and hoping you get a good one. Most everyone I bought in over a year needed tweaking to collimation even when the seller said they were right on. The other things are mechanicals. If you want some more advice or suggestions PM me.

Im considering selling a beautiful Tasco 110 12.5° BaK4 , one of the premium and very rare desirable super wides.

Paul
Thanks for the info,
You find them by doing searches on the auction sites, reading a lot about vintage wide field binos here and on cloudy. Then asking lots of questions, then finding what you want , then asking the sellers the appropriate needed questions. Then pulling the trigger and hoping you get a good one. Most everyone I bought in over a year needed tweaking to collimation even when the seller said they were right on. The other things are mechanicals. If you want some more advice or suggestions PM me.

Im considering selling a beautiful Tasco 110 12.5° BaK4 , one of the premium and very rare desirable super wides.

Paul
There's no disagreement on the Canons, I've had the 10x and they are optically superb, the problem for me are my eyes, they can be very twitchy with certain alpha glass. I actually found the 18x and 15x more agreeable and was happy with the quality, they all seem to have slight colour fringing apart from the 10x42 of course.
Thanks for the info ref the superwides, definitely not something to be taken lightly, there's some great info on cloudy nights.
I'm based in the UK and these super wides don't come up so often as say in the USA.
The eii is one I regret letting go and is still plentiful available hence why I may just buy another and keep it. I'm wondering how much wider these Superwides are over say the eii or Pure 8x
The eii was superb on the night sky and is at a reasonable cost.
Thanks 👍
 
Thanks for the info,

There's no disagreement on the Canons, I've had the 10x and they are optically superb, the problem for me are my eyes, they can be very twitchy with certain alpha glass. I actually found the 18x and 15x more agreeable and was happy with the quality, they all seem to have slight colour fringing apart from the 10x42 of course.
Thanks for the info ref the superwides, definitely not something to be taken lightly, there's some great info on cloudy nights.
I'm based in the UK and these super wides don't come up so often as say in the USA.
The eii is one I regret letting go and is still plentiful available hence why I may just buy another and keep it
I'm wondering how much wider these Superwides are over say the eii or Pure 8x
Much wider, like night and day. It’s a completely different image experience with 10 to 12° and 7x.
The eii was superb on the night sky and is at a reasonable cost.
Thanks 👍
 
This place is not about buying or especially, using binoculars. It's about talking about them for whatever that provides.

Ain't that the truth...

how do you find these older superwides in comparison to the eii?

I've tried only a few of the 11 degree 7x35 (albeit two of those seem to be quite well rated examples) but can offer some general impressions. They're a bit of a different experience to an 8x30 porro with 150m/1000m (which I have/have tried a few of, and which category best describes the EII). Field of view is indeed noticeably wider, which can be quite impressive the first time you look through it, but you take a step back in terms of magnification - a sacrifice which can be worthwhile when viewing sports events (the box for my Swift 766 has a pic of an American football game on it), but I always found I wanted a little more oomph than 7x when birding. Center sharpness is normally pretty good to very good. I find the sweet spot on mine is substantial when observing over shorter distances, but seems to decrease as the range increases - suspect the individual accommodation of your own eyes may play a very important part in your perception.

Most of these wide field 7x35s have large prisms to achieve that extensive field of view and feel almost like a 7x50 in hand ie. weigh more and are distinctly more bulky than a light 8x30, one of the handiest formats. Compared to a fully multi-coated 8x30 like your EII you may also find them not as bright in other than sunny conditions. You often to have to place your eyes very close to the ocular lenses to see the full field of view, which can make them prone to fogging in winter on cold autumn and spring mornings. There were a couple of different focuser setups than the conventional centre focus (mine has a short metal tube, some have those quick/insta focus abominations and others apparently are individual focus) which are not as handy for close-in birding, although the depth of field 7x gives you partially compensates for that.

In general if you truly need/desire field of view they are great. One of the moments with my 766 that really stands out was observing a peregrine in hot pursuit of a fleeing pigeon and being delighted at how easy it was to capture the twists and turns of both birds in the field of view. But that is also the binocular I use the least nowadays, maybe only a dozen or less trips each year. If other factors are of equal or greater importance another design/format may be the better tool for the job.
 
Ain't that the truth...



I've tried only a few of the 11 degree 7x35 (albeit two of those seem to be quite well rated examples) but can offer some general impressions. They're a bit of a different experience to an 8x30 porro with 150m/1000m (which I have/have tried a few of, and which category best describes the EII). Field of view is indeed noticeably wider, which can be quite impressive the first time you look through it, but you take a step back in terms of magnification - a sacrifice which can be worthwhile when viewing sports events (the box for my Swift 766 has a pic of an American football game on it), but I always found I wanted a little more oomph than 7x when birding. Center sharpness is normally pretty good to very good. I find the sweet spot on mine is substantial when observing over shorter distances, but seems to decrease as the range increases - suspect the individual accommodation of your own eyes may play a very important part in your perception.
Good stuff here. That oomph for more than 7x is always relevant when discussing magnification, just like some would prefer more oomph than 8x. But magnification for this genre (super wides) of binoculars is a whole other conversation. The good super wides have a completely different image effect than an 8x30 E2, not only of the huge FOV sweet spot but the 7x DOF as well. And we can ad the fact that these huge prisms make for very wide separation of the optics train, so there is a very three dimensional image feel that is more than those smaller size yet handy porros. If I’m not mistaken your 766 is a Holiday or Panoramic MKII (Smae bino, different market), Depending on it’s variation , are usually quite good, the older ones seem to be sharper.
Most of these wide field 7x35s have large prisms to achieve that extensive field of view and feel almost like a 7x50 in hand ie. weigh more and are distinctly more bulky than a light 8x30, one of the handiest formats. Compared to a fully multi-coated 8x30 like your EII you may also find them not as bright in other than sunny conditions. You often to have to place your eyes very close to the ocular lenses to see the full field of view, which can make them prone to fogging in winter on cold autumn and spring mornings. There were a couple of different focuser setups than the conventional centre focus (mine has a short metal tube, some have those quick/insta focus abominations and others apparently are individual focus) which are not as handy for close-in birding, although the depth of field 7x gives you partially compensates for that.
No doubt these old vintage 7x35’s are huge heavy beasts. These are not great performers in low light or cloudy conditions. These need bright sunshine to be at their best. And in good conditions these are breathtaking binoculars. There’s just nothing with this image that’s comparable on the market today.
In general if you truly need/desire field of view they are great. One of the moments with my 766 that really stands out was observing a peregrine in hot pursuit of a fleeing pigeon and being delighted at how easy it was to capture the twists and turns of both birds in the field of view. But that is also the binocular I use the least nowadays, maybe only a dozen or less trips each year. If other factors are of equal or greater importance another design/format may be the better tool for the job.
Yes absolutely there are better tools for observing. These are just another one of those best of the best of a by gone era in optics, surpassed in many ways optically and ergonomically. But putting aside all the negative idiosyncrasies, the image and FOV they produce is stunning, even by todays standards. We put aside many similar negative idiosyncrasies of the more modern porro binoculars we use , whether that be lack of waterproofing, not the best ergonomics, or very stiff focusers like Habicht’s.
 
Last edited:
Thanks Paultricounty and Patudo some excellent info regarding these Superwides, they do seem like a binocular id very much enjoy.
I'm still mightily impressed with some old Audubon's I occasionally use and although not wide the older optical qualities are very impressive to me.
I purchased another older Swift but was quickly disappointed with it's view.
I am happy to forgo modern improvements such as lightweight, smooth focus etc to chase that fov.
Unfortunately I think I will have a hard time trying to find a good example where I live and may have to go further afield, I will gather more info and wait for a good opportunity, this cannot be rushed.
Thanks 👍
 
I'm on the lookout for a super wide 7x35, just trying to find a model available in good condition. Buying these older second hand models is a minefield unseen, I've had issues before.
Very true. I bought most of the equipment necessary to at least perform a conditional alignment -- sometimes I am lucky and it works out even at different IPD settings. Sometimes not. About maybe 40% of the binos I bought used were out of alignment. But most were fixable. But of course all were sold as "in working condition".
Rule of thumb for the wide angles -- the models with the one-piece body seem a bit more robust compared to the Zeiss-body models. But even on those I had a prism that had moved on the tray due to the cement cracking. Maybe it was dropped in shipping, who knows.
Edit: about the discussion of 7x vs. 8x -- I have more super wide 8x30s than 7x35s and IMHO a 10° 8x30 is even more impressive than a 11° 7x35. They are also far more common on German ebay, my main hunting ground for optics.
 
Last edited:
Very true. I bought most of the equipment necessary to at least perform a conditional alignment -- sometimes I am lucky and it works out even at different IPD settings. Sometimes not. About maybe 40% of the binos I bought used were out of alignment. But most were fixable. But of course all were sold as "in working condition".
Rule of thumb for the wide angles -- the models with the one-piece body seem a bit more robust compared to the Zeiss-body models. But even on those I had a prism that had moved on the tray due to cement cracking. Maybe it was dropped in shipping, who knows.
Thanks for the info Binocollector, Ive decided a while ago to never take a binocular apart, I've been drained tinkering with cars so I do not need another headache.
 
@Elpha - if you happen to visit Central London on a weekend, you're welcome to try mine. They may not be the best of their kind (but perform well enough that after I tried a fully serviced batwing Rangemaster I felt no desire to acquire one, or seek the supposedly somewhat superior FPO version at five times the cost or more) but will give you a good perspective on the strengths/weaknesses of this type of binocular. They are certainly worth a try, although I suspect better for the more general observer than for birding.

I got mine from the States some years back - that's probably the best place to find them (although more expensive due to today's exchange rate) although I see from Binocollector's posts they were sold in Germany as well. It looks as though prices in Germany may be cheaper, but there is more info available on the manufacturers/models that were sold in the States. Mine was in excellent condition and needed no work done, but I was lucky - I think about 50% of these older porros I've purchased have needed a service.

A well executed 10 degree 8x30 would be pretty impressive - even the 8.5 degree versions with 150m/1000m seem well provided in the FOV department.
 
A well executed 10 degree 8x30 would be pretty impressive - even the 8.5 degree versions with 150m/1000m seem well provided in the FOV department.
The advantage of the 150m/1,000M is less field curvature.
Still one of my most impressive wide angle models is a "Eschenbach" Luna Super with 175m/1,000m -- but the field curvature gets kind of extreme as does the pincushion distortion. So you cannot really "roam the FoV" you gotta move the bino and keep the eyes centered.
I guess that often those 10° might be a bit exaggerated, especially considering that you basically have your eyeballs touch the glass to see the field stop. Still, I like those super wides.
But comparing quite a few of my old porros today -- the ones with the best edge performance and most comfy "eye box" are the old 7x50 porros with about 10°. The only downside -- they are large and heavy. Not as large as a modern Fuji FMTR but still quite a bit bigger than a 8x30.
 
@Elpha - if you happen to visit Central London on a weekend, you're welcome to try mine. They may not be the best of their kind (but perform well enough that after I tried a fully serviced batwing Rangemaster I felt no desire to acquire one, or seek the supposedly somewhat superior FPO version at five times the cost or more) but will give you a good perspective on the strengths/weaknesses of this type of binocular. They are certainly worth a try, although I suspect better for the more general observer than for birding.

I got mine from the States some years back - that's probably the best place to find them (although more expensive due to today's exchange rate) although I see from Binocollector's posts they were sold in Germany as well. It looks as though prices in Germany may be cheaper, but there is more info available on the manufacturers/models that were sold in the States. Mine was in excellent condition and needed no work done, but I was lucky - I think about 50% of these older porros I've purchased have needed a service.

A well executed 10 degree 8x30 would be pretty impressive - even the 8.5 degree versions with 150m/1000m seem well provided in the FOV department.
Thank you Patudo that is a very kind offer and some excellent information you have shared.
These superwides are something I want to take my time with and do my groundwork first, like you say a lot will probably need a service. I can also sense being disappointed quickly with the wrong purchase.
Paultricounty has sent me some excellent info regarding these and there are some great threads on cloudynights I need to browse over.
Has anyone scanned the night sky with these? I dabble in some astronomy and wonder what the viewing experience is like, many thanks all.
 
Has anyone scanned the night sky with these? I dabble in some astronomy and wonder what the viewing experience is like, many thanks all.
I have -- but mainly the EWA 7x50s. My Japanese "Scope" 7x50 EWA (BaK4, ~10°) has in fact sharper stars in the center than the Fuji FMTR. I was quite astonished when using it the first time for stargazing (I wouldn't cally it "astronomy" as most of the time I have no clue -- I can maybe find the most well-known constellations and clusters but that's about where my knowledge ends).
With the 7x50s the aperture or rather exit pupil comes into play so they are not as dim as one might think despite the old coatings. But I also used old EWA 8x30s and 7x35s for stargazing. Not as impressive as the 7x50s but still nice. 7x35 is of course brighter than 8x30.
In my opinion the best old binos for stargazing are the 7x50s or the old 9x63s with AK-prisms but those have a rather narrow FoV. Real nice sparkle to the stars though. Too bad almost nobody makes 9x63s anymore. I think they are the sweetspot for hand-held astro use. An alternative would be a modern 10x70 of course, like Fujinon makes them or Celestron or Kunming United Optical.
 
Thank you, great to hear your experiences. The 9x63 binos sound very interesting actually, it's a shame these configurations have died away.
Sometimes I use a set of old Audubon's for the stars and it offers a very enjoyable view, it was actually these Audubon's that started me thinking about other older bins, they do make me laugh when I look through these beat old boys as to just how good they are.
Never tried a Fujinon, couldn't eat a whole one but definitely on the to do list.
I have a lot of information to wade through, maybe one day I will post what I have bought if it is any good 👍
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top