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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Kite Optics Lynx HD+ (1 Viewer)

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
Mari55, what a different binocular from the same brand gives one user, won't necessarily be the same for a different configuration from the same brand/model. F.i. Kite Lynx 8x30 gets good reviews. And what one's eyes show, doesn't have to be the same for yours. Beet would be to test them in a store, when you can't wait to be able to do that again, you could buy from a store with a good return policy and try them at home. Browse the forums here, loads of info on similarly priced 8x42s and you can any question you'd like. Don't go one person's opinion, that's all, best to go on your own experience :)
 

Mari55

Member
Netherlands
Mari55, what a different binocular from the same brand gives one user, won't necessarily be the same for a different configuration from the same brand/model. F.i. Kite Lynx 8x30 gets good reviews. And what one's eyes show, doesn't have to be the same for yours. Beet would be to test them in a store, when you can't wait to be able to do that again, you could buy from a store with a good return policy and try them at home. Browse the forums here, loads of info on similarly priced 8x42s and you can any question you'd like. Don't go one person's opinion, that's all, best to go on your own experience :)
Thank you
 

mbb

Well-known member
Both the Kite Lynx HD+ 10x50 and the Kite Stabilized APC 14x42 I had were terrible for glare and had poor build quality. I would not recommend them at all. If you want a 10x50 at the same price as the Kite that is WAY better built and has WAY better optics get the Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50. It even beats the Swarovski EL 10x50 in the Allbinos ranking for 1/3 of the money! It is a big heavy porro with IF focusing but if you're already carrying 2 pounds what is another pound? Lose it off your stomach! You really don't have to focus it that much unless you are using it close up a lot. It is one of the best binoculars I have ever looked through.

Thank you for sharing your experience with those binoculars!
If the Lynx 10x50 is that glare sensitive, it will be a no go for me :( I will try to also have a look at and through it some day.
Ergonomics etc. are really something personal: the weight of the Fuji would be a no-go for me, as would the IF. I find these handling considerations at least as important as optical quality for the use I intend for it (while walking or cycling, at low light). Being a porro is not an issue though: I love the 3D view of my Habicht 8x30 (which I will however probably have to sell to fund binoculars with larger exit pupil for at dusk and dawn).
I guess I should look further for a second hand Leica UV HD(+) 7x42 or Zeiss HT 8x42 or... I’ll have to see (and save and/or sell some other... :sneaky:)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Thank you for sharing your experience with those binoculars!
If the Lynx 10x50 is that glare sensitive, it will be a no go for me :( I will try to also have a look at and through it some day.
Ergonomics etc. are really something personal: the weight of the Fuji would be a no-go for me, as would the IF. I find these handling considerations at least as important as optical quality for the use I intend for it (while walking or cycling, at low light). Being a porro is not an issue though: I love the 3D view of my Habicht 8x30 (which I will however probably have to sell to fund binoculars with larger exit pupil for at dusk and dawn).
I guess I should look further for a second hand Leica UV HD(+) 7x42 or Zeiss HT 8x42 or... I’ll have to see (and save and/or sell some other... :sneaky:)
Try a Habicht 10x40 W or 7x42 for low light if you love the porro 3D view of the Habicht 8x30 W. The Habichts have excellent light transmission and are excellent in low light especially the 7x42. I have the Habicht 10x40 GA and I really like it.
 

mbb

Well-known member
Try a Habicht 10x40 W or 7x42 for low light if you love the porro 3D view of the Habicht 8x30 W. The Habichts have excellent light transmission and are excellent in low light especially the 7x42. I have the Habicht 10x40 GA and I really like it.
I have thought about it and read that those Habicht suffer less from glare/reflections than the 8x30, but the 10x40 is still a 4mm exit pupil (like my 8x32, thus while giving more details probably not much brighter), the rather small AFOV of the 7x42 would probably make it less enjoyable (no place/shop/... to try it out first here) and I fear some external fogging of the Habicht eyepieces when used in cold and wet autumn/winter evenings. (I have experienced the latter with the 8x30, which is less of an issue for a 8x30 than for binoculars I would buy in part especially for such occasions. In the right situation, the 8x30 can really be marvelous though.)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I have thought about it and read that those Habicht suffer less from glare/reflections than the 8x30, but the 10x40 is still a 4mm exit pupil (like my 8x32, thus while giving more details probably not much brighter), the rather small AFOV of the 7x42 would probably make it less enjoyable (no place/shop/... to try it out first here) and I fear some external fogging of the Habicht eyepieces when used in cold and wet autumn/winter evenings. (I have experienced the latter with the 8x30, which is less of an issue for a 8x30 than for binoculars I would buy in part especially for such occasions. In the right situation, the 8x30 can really be marvelous though.)
You do have a couple more mm of eye relief on the Habicht 10x40 W and 7x42 versus the Habicht 8x30 W so that would help with lens fogging. All the Habichts have 96% light transmission so that fact makes them considerably brighter than a roof prism of comparable aperture. Don't let the small AFOV of the Habicht 7x42 totally make you disregard it. It is a very BRIGHT binocular with superb optics. It is one of the brightest binoculars I have used for the 42mm aperture. It is something special!
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
Let's keep this on Kite? The 8x30 is firmly on my want list for coming summer, for dragonflies mainly but also for birding travel abroad. Still a bit in doubt over the larger, more expensive Conquest, see if I can compare them by that time somewhere. Kite's combo of size, weight, fov and focus speed (even a bit faster than conquest) are plusses, as are the reports of transmission and contrast. I'll report when I obtain them.
 

mbb

Well-known member
Let's keep this on Kite? The 8x30 is firmly on my want list for coming summer, for dragonflies mainly but also for birding travel abroad. Still a bit in doubt over the larger, more expensive Conquest, see if I can compare them by that time somewhere. Kite's combo of size, weight, fov and focus speed (even a bit faster than conquest) are plusses, as are the reports of transmission and contrast. I'll report when I obtain them.
You are right about staying on Kite-Lynx-topic.
Sorry!

Kite's Lynx HD 8x30 is for me indeed the ideal combo of size, weight and optic size for comfortable use during daytime nature walks (I mean comfortably useable near 4mm exit pupil, 30mm objective). I even consider it a better balance of weight-holding/viewing comfort than my UV's 8x32 (except for glare, if you consider that 'viewing comfort', but I put that under the other category: 'optical quality'...). That is mainly due to their lower weight and good ergonomics while 30mm vs 32mm is an insignificant difference for me during daytime.
It's FOV is also very good, though I sometimes wonder if it is not a bit overestimated in the specs: I don't really experience a significant difference of FOV compared to my UV's when using them in the field, while the former is reported by Kite as 151m/1000m and the latter as 131m/1000m by Leica. But I haven't done any measurement of FOV with any of them and 131/1000 is not bad already.
I rate them high enough also regarding transmission. (Nothing to envy the UV's regarding brightness, to my opinion. It might even be that they seem a very little bit brighter, but that is all subjective, also impacted by differences in contrast and blackening between these binoculars -see below-.) But of course I haven't measured anything.
Regarding contrast, it is a bit more nuanced. Comparing e.g. to the UV's: I find the UV's have a bit better contrast in general, but the difference of course really becomes bigger in challenging light which can cause glare etc. in the Lynx, impacting contrast, while the UV's are impressively good at managing challenging light while keeping high contrast. (I think this results mainly from tighter baffling in the UV's, without false pupils which are very visible in the Lynx, and probably also some better blackening and coatings. I have even wondered if that might be the reason why the UV's might seem to be a very little bit less bright sometimes: the actual view is surrounded by perfect black, like a perfect frame isolating the picture! :) )
This, and the good Kite service, is why I really think their only real flaw is the latter sub-par baffling or whatever the cause is. If you can live with that, they are a really good offer considering ergonomics, optical quality and price.

But these are all very personal, subjective impressions ;) . I am therefore very curious about your feedback if you get the chance to compare them to the Conquest!

The above is all about the HD, not the HD+ which I don't have, but reports and Kite themselves say that the only optical difference would be a transmission increase of approximately 3%. I cannot report on changed ergonomics from the new housing of the HD+. I love the ergonomics of the HD, with the only exception being the lack of clicks/locks of the eyepieces, but that should have been solved in the HD+.
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
We found the following data in "original' Kite Lynx 8x30 HD (investigated in 2013):
  • Waterproof body, nitrogen filled
  • Weight 463 g (468 g for 10x30)
  • Close focus 1,3m (also for 10x),
  • FOV 151m/1000m (96% sharp), (120m/1000m for 10x30)
  • Diopter range +/-5 D
  • Distance range between both eyes: 54-74 mm
  • Number of rotations close focus to infinity: 1,1 (also for 10x30)
  • Transmission: 500nm= 84,8%, 550 nm=88,3%, for 10x30: 84% at 500nm and 87,6% at 550nm)
  • Eyerelief: 15 mm
  • Eyecups: screw mount for easy cleaning/replacement
  • Image impression: warm/saturated due to slightly higher light transmission in the red spectral region
  • Handling and user comfort: excellent
  • Body armor: hard black rubber.
The newer Kite Lynx is reported to have a slightly increased light transmission, we have not investigated that..
Our conclusion then: attractive binocular : compact, attractive low weight, good optical performance, high level of user comfort for an attractive price (520 euro for 8x30 and 540 euro for 10x30 in 2013).
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
"This, and the good Kite service, is why I really think their only real flaw is the latter sub-par baffling or whatever the cause is. If you can live with that, they are a really good offer considering ergonomics, optical quality and price."

For me with the two Kites I tried that was deal killer! Very poor glare control in both models I tried which were the Kite Lynx HD + 10x50 and the Kite 14x42 Stabilized APC which was terrible for glare! Also, they were lacking in quality control. I would be very cautious about trying anymore. I WAS going to try the Kite Lynx HD 8x30 also but not after my experience with the other two.
 

mbb

Well-known member
We found the following data in "original' Kite Lynx 8x30 HD (investigated in 2013):
  • Waterproof body, nitrogen filled
  • Weight 463 g (468 g for 10x30)
  • Close focus 1,3m (also for 10x),
  • FOV 151m/1000m (96% sharp), (120m/1000m for 10x30)
  • Diopter range +/-5 D
  • Distance range between both eyes: 54-74 mm
  • Number of rotations close focus to infinity: 1,1 (also for 10x30)
  • Transmission: 500nm= 84,8%, 550 nm=88,3%, for 10x30: 84% at 500nm and 87,6% at 550nm)
  • Eyerelief: 15 mm
  • Eyecups: screw mount for easy cleaning/replacement
  • Image impression: warm/saturated due to slightly higher light transmission in the red spectral region
  • Handling and user comfort: excellent
  • Body armor: hard black rubber.
The newer Kite Lynx is reported to have a slightly increased light transmission, we have not investigated that..
Our conclusion then: attractive binocular : compact, attractive low weight, good optical performance, high level of user comfort for an attractive price (520 euro for 8x30 and 540 euro for 10x30 in 2013).
Gijs van Ginkel
Thank you for the info!
I didn’t know you had done measurement on the Lynx HD 8x30 and 10x30. Is it possible the data are not (yet) on any report online (not on the reports on the HouseOfOutdoors-website)? Are there full charts available of measured transmission values, like for other binoculars you have measured?
I am a bit surprised about the 96% sharp FOV, which sounds impressive for such a large FOV, but I have to admit I don’t complain about its sharpness across the FOV. I should compare them to my UV’s again, more specifically regarding FOV and sharpness at the edges. (Though my eyes are only qualitative measurement devices :) ).
Did you measure the real total FOV? (151m is the exact value from the specs.)
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
mbb, post 71,
I did not publish this test, since at the time I tested the Kites it was meant for my colleagues at the Bird Protection Association, where I worked as a volunteer. The 96% sharp FOV was an estimation. The 151m/100m FOV is what the producer provides and I checked it as far as I could as being correct. I saw more tests in my files that are not published.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

mbb

Well-known member
mbb, post 71,
I did not publish this test, since at the time I tested the Kites it was meant for my colleagues at the Bird Protection Association, where I worked as a volunteer. The 96% sharp FOV was an estimation. The 151m/100m FOV is what the producer provides and I checked it as far as I could as being correct. I saw more tests in my files that are not published.
Gijs van Ginkel
It seems you have a treasure of hidden relevant information :)
I don't know how much data on how many binoculars haven't been put online yet, but it would be great if this data would be accessible, not necessarily writing reports on all of them, but just starting from the bare numbers. Not necessarily directly in an online database or via an interface, but e.g. already just in some large Excel-sheet, csv-file, ... For example the data behind the different transmission measurements and charts (beyond the 500 and 550nm values). I don't know if all that data can be made 'open' or if there are any non-disclosure terms impeding it, but if it mainly is a matter of lack of time (which I could perfectly imagine and understand), I would be willing to help out with that (and I guess some other people here too).
Thank you for the many relevant data shared about so many binoculars already!

PS: did you perhaps ever test the old Kite Birder 10,5x45mm binoculars or the Kite SP ED 82mm 25-50x spotting scope (being the same as the Vogelbescherming Havik 82 ED 25-50x, I think)? (For the latter scope, I am also very curious about the difference if used together with Swarovski's 25-50x eyepiece, a combination I have never tested.)
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
mbb, post 73,
I have a number of tests and information still "hidden", also for different Kite models, and a Kite telescope.
I will see to it, when I have time.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
MBB, post 73,
Yesterday we took a 15-20 km walk along the borders of the river Rijn in the middle of our country. It was a nice sunny day and there were plenty of all kind of birds around, so a lot to enjoy. I was supllied with a Kite Ibis 7x42ED lent to me by a friend to try it and it happened that I saw in my files when coming home, that I had investigated it already a couple of years ago.
First some data of the binocular:
  • Open bridge with excellent handling comfort, black armored body, feels nice
  • Weight: 725 g
  • Eyecups with screw mount, 3 steps between fully in-fully out , rims consist of nice soft rubber
  • Type: Kite Ibis 7x42 ED
  • FOV 128 m/1000m
  • Close focus: 1,4m
  • Eyerelief: 19,5 mm
  • Gas-filled, waterproof
  • Light transmission : 90% at 500 nm, 92,3% at 550 nm
  • Colour reproduction is very good
  • Practically the whole FOV is sharp, I did not see remnants of color dispersion
  • Focussing speed: 1,5 turns from CF to infinity, pleasant turning resistance
  • For those who are not vaccinated against it: No glare, flare or other unwanted reflections observed
  • Price given by the dealer: 980 euros

I was very pleasantly surprised by the excellent handling comfort and the optical quality. I think that it can compete with quite a few more expensive 7x42's.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

mbb

Well-known member
MBB, post 73,
Yesterday we took a 15-20 km walk along the borders of the river Rijn in the middle of our country. It was a nice sunny day and there were plenty of all kind of birds around, so a lot to enjoy. I was supllied with a Kite Ibis 7x42ED lent to me by a friend to try it and it happened that I saw in my files when coming home, that I had investigated it already a couple of years ago.
First some data of the binocular:
  • Open bridge with excellent handling comfort, black armored body, feels nice
  • Weight: 725 g
  • Eyecups with screw mount, 3 steps between fully in-fully out , rims consist of nice soft rubber
  • Type: Kite Ibis 7x42 ED
  • FOV 128 m/1000m
  • Close focus: 1,4m
  • Eyerelief: 19,5 mm
  • Gas-filled, waterproof
  • Light transmission : 90% at 500 nm, 92,3% at 550 nm
  • Colour reproduction is very good
  • Practically the whole FOV is sharp, I did not see remnants of color dispersion
  • Focussing speed: 1,5 turns from CF to infinity, pleasant turning resistance
  • For those who are not vaccinated against it: No glare, flare or other unwanted reflections observed
  • Price given by the dealer: 980 euros

I was very pleasantly surprised by the excellent handling comfort and the optical quality. I think that it can compete with quite a few more expensive 7x42's.
Gijs van Ginkel
Thank you for this information!
The transmission figures are impressive. Do you have full charts of them?
I am not vaccinated against glare/flare/reflections (sadly enough ;) ) and thus, if they do hold that well against it, together with those high transmission figures and large exit pupils, they seem like very interesting options for low-light use! The only strange thing is that the FOV of these 7x42 is (almost) identical to the FOV of the 8x42 variant of the Ibis ED. Thus you lose considerable AFOV to gain one extra mm of exit pupil with (supposedly) identical glass/coatings. It is making me wondering if the brightness increase at dusk of the 7x42 compared to the 8x42 would be big enough to choose the 7x42.
Actually, I am very happy with my Ultravid HD 8x32 in daylight, and even often in twilight, but I am looking for something brighter to complement them specifically for low light use, at dusk etc. and I cannot pay for the latest, new alpha-models, all costing €1500 or more. Your information is bringing the Ibis ED 7x42 into the picture! Thank you!
It makes me wonder if these couldn't even be a better option than the 'old' Swarovski SLC Neu 7x42 (occasionally found for a similar price, second hand of course, but with very similar, great aftersale service as Kite). I am not sure if the wider FOV of 140m/1000m of the SLC compared to the 128m/1000m of the Ibis would make a significant difference, while the SLC are heavier at +/- 950g compared to 725g.
I cannot find transmission figures of the SLC Neu 7x42 after the 2007 coating upgrades. I have seen your data on the SLC 7x42 from 2004 (84.5%@500nm, 87%@550nm) thus around 5% below the Ibis ED(!), and am wondering how noticeably the 2007 coatings improved transmission or other optical aspects (not just cleaning?), and than again the 2009 coating update, both separately. I have seen your comparison of three SLC 8x32 versions (black/green/NEU) in your very interesting slides on the history of Swarovski optics, but it is not clear to me if that NEU-version was one from the period 2000-2007 (with the first Swarobright), from 2007-2009 (only improvement being "Swaroclean" and thus no optical quality improvement?), and from 2009-2010 (better anti-reflection, also impacting transmission?), and thus which switch/upgrades were (most) important optically.
Of course, there is much more to binoculars or even optical quality than transmission figures... :) I would love to compare those in the field at dusk...
 

mbb

Well-known member
mbb, post 77,
These were the transmission spectra I have found for the Kite Ibis 7x42ED and the 8x42ED.
Gijs van Ginkel
View attachment 1372497
Very impressive figures for the 7x42! The transmission figures of these Kite 7x42 seem on par with the UV HD+, Zeiss FL or SLC Neu figures you have published, maybe a little bit lower from 625nm onwards, but on par or even higher at lower wavelengths which, if I understand correctly, are the more important at dusk. (The FL having higher values 550nm maybe, but lower below.)
Well, based on numbers, I guess that transmission figures are not the most important discerning factors at this level of quality, with only the Habicht showing a difference that is significant enough to make the balance shift in their advantage, but apparently with its own other quirks. (Or maybe the HT.)
The Kite’s smaller FOV (for a 7x) is a pity. Apart from that, there seems to be little to object to them at first sight. I should try to find a chance to test them. The
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
I've just received the 8x30. Long story short: very pleased.

Short story longer: first I have to get off my chest I don't like the packaging. A box, with slide off lid, with the bin case and accessories loose inside with a lot of room to spare, no padding, compartments, whatever. It proofs these bins are rugged enough to endure shipping via Belgium from Japan like that. But I don't think it looks professional. The binocular case is too large for the bins as well, looks made for the 42mm.

That aside; very handy set of bins! Falls perfect in my not too large hands. Not too lightweight, exactly perfect to keep the feeling there's something there and helpful to keep it steady.

Eyecups twist up with 2 intermediary positions so 4 total. Steps could fix a bit tighter, but it's fine. Eye relief is ample for me, no problems with eye positioning. Hinge tension is perfect, not too stiff not too tight.

Focus wheel is nice grippy and large enough. Quite fast, which I like, and very smooth. It had too loosen a bit the first few turns and then became light but with enough friction to not overshoot focus. Compared to my bit stiff Nikon mhg 8x42 it's fast and light. I very much like that, especially as I will mainly use these on dragon/damselflies so fast closeup focusing.

Optical quality is fantastic for the price. Sure, the Nikon mhg is better, but often not by much! Least good thing is a little bit of CA (purple right, green left, that kind) in high contrast situation (dark object, chimney, against grey clouded sky). In most normal use it seems hardly noticeable, branches don't really show it. For the rest contrast is good, brightness is very good for a 30mm, colour rendition a tad warmer than natural (I like)...What's more to say...Oh field of view is great! It's 151m just a little bit wider than Nikon's 145m and with almost complete edge to edge sharpness (with a little focus adjustment to the edge) it's almost completely usable. Close focus just above a meter with my eyes which means the stated 1.35m is correct for most people.

For just below €600, or even less, this is great quality! Perfect as travel bins, or summer use for birds or other critters like dragonflies. Above par optical quality and very nice handling make a perfect combination. I'm very happy with the purchase. Now please let nice Spring weather come so I can go out and use it, please!
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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