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Looking for binocular 8 X ? or 10 X ? (1 Viewer)

hardy

Member
Germany
To replace our old 8X32 binocular I´m looking for a new one but am insure
if a 8X32 would do or if I better take a 10X ??

The purpose is using it (only) by hand in our house to grab it quickly from the window shelf
if some bird is hopping in the bushes or trees in our garden and my wife or other person
wants to have a look at them.
So the distance is relatively short but I´d like to have a sharp view.
I guess there are relativel cheap ones in the market but I am a bit suspicious
if prices are below 100€ (or 90£ or 120$)

Maybe someone could give me advice by own experience...

Thanks alot!
 

mummymonkey

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
For garden watching I'd go for the lesser magnification. Minimum focus distance might be important too.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
To replace our old 8X32 binocular I´m looking for a new one but am insure
if a 8X32 would do or if I better take a 10X ??

The purpose is using it (only) by hand in our house to grab it quickly from the window shelf
if some bird is hopping in the bushes or trees in our garden and my wife or other person
wants to have a look at them.
So the distance is relatively short but I´d like to have a sharp view.
I guess there are relativel cheap ones in the market but I am a bit suspicious
if prices are below 100€ (or 90£ or 120$)

Maybe someone could give me advice by own experience...

Thanks alot!
What is your budget, how far away are the birds and do you wear glasses?
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
The optical quality of window glass varies between not very good and really awful.

Just something to keep in mind.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

besides the important questions asked by Denis it would also be interesting what type of 8x32 you have and why do you want to replace it.

In general, roof prism bins with an MSRP of a hundred quid or less are usually best avoided and porro pairs offer better performance.

Merry Christmas,

Joachim
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
If I were in Germany and looking for binoculars like you suggest, I would be seriously tempted to seek out some gently used Swarovski Habicht 7 power binoculars. Just be aware that eyeglass wearers might find eye relief to be a little tight. In the EU, something like this is a lot more budget-friendly than they are here in the USA.

Meopta binoculars would also be attractive for a mid-range cost option.

Jan in the Netherlands has a retail store with some nice used binocular options that would be a great place to start your search. Check "houseofoutdoor.nl" or give them a call on Tuesday. Personally, if I were anywhere close, I would try to visit their store in person. If COVID ever lets me return to Europe, I sure would like to go there myself and see some of their binoculars in person.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
To replace our old 8X32 binocular I´m looking for a new one but am insure
if a 8X32 would do or if I better take a 10X ??

Field of View (FOV) decreases as you go to higher magnification. You also 'dim out' at dusk as you start to lose sunlight and the image becomes too dark. Higher power binoculars could have a close focus distance that is too far away for a clear view at the distances your post suggests.

The purpose is using it (only) by hand in our house to grab it quickly from the window shelf
if some bird is hopping in the bushes or trees in our garden and my wife or other person
wants to have a look at them.
So the distance is relatively short but I´d like to have a sharp view.
I guess there are relativel cheap ones in the market but I am a bit suspicious
if prices are below 100€ (or 90£ or 120$)

For your use, slightly larger and heavier binoculars are a good option for their generally superior views.

A generic 7x42 pair of binoculars will provide better views in challenging light conditions like overcast skies or early dawn and late dusk (sunset). The "sweet spot" in the center of your view will also be larger. This larger good Field of View is REALLY REALLY NICE, even in a backyard or private garden! For moving birds, tracking them will also be easier.

Maybe someone could give me advice by own experience...

My Minox 8.5x43 binoculars compared to my Zeiss FL 8x33 are a huge step up in image quality and ease of use for me. The trade-off is they are bigger and heavier so, the Zeiss 8x33's are more apt to be around my neck or in my backpack. If both are on the same table, or in your case by the window sill, 1000 times out of 1000 times I will grab my Minox 8.5x43's.

If I am doing genral hiking far away from my car, I will take my lighter smaller Zeiss 8x33's. If I am hiking far away from my car to see a specific waterfall, mountain, etc., I will take my larger and heavier Minox 8.5x43's.

For closer views, let's say ~30m, I would be comparing 6 power versus 7 power binoculars. With newer binoculars and their HUGE F.O.V., I would probably opt for a 7x42 pair of binoculars.

8x33 binoculars can be a bit like looking at the world through a 'drink straw' with their tighter FOV and shorter eye reliefs. A 7x42 pair of binoculars will generally have an 'eye box' that is a lot more user friendly.

Best Regards and Merry Christmas,
Sid from Texas (USA)
 
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hardy

Member
Germany
Thank you all for your kind help, and Merry Christmas! 🎄

My budget is depending from what Xmas left over…;)
No, it will be betwenn 100€ and maybe 300€ and even
a tad more, depends on the offers I get or find.

Distances are somewhere between nearby and up to 100 yards (Meters).

My old binocular seems to be a green wrinkled rubber coated "Eschenbacher 8X32 "one.
Those wrinkles don´t irritate me but I guess a bit more enlargement would be fine.

Concerning the window glass in between, I have noticed almost no distortion (in shots with my D800 and different lenses)
though I know from my photographic experience there should be some - maybe only theoretically. ;-)

I have looked into "houseofoutdoor.nl" and found some nice binoculars there but a bit out of
financial reach. A couple of „Zeiss Jena“ are old but interesting. What about their optical quality?

The "Meopta Optika HD 10×42" really seems to be not bad…

Following your posting I found in my price range "Minox X-lite 10x42" and "Minox X-active 10x44".

Difficult for me to decide between those mentioned above.
But I´m not in a hurry so I have enough time to think all over.


Best regards and stay healthy!
 
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Maljunulo

Well-known member
I just went from a 10X42 to an 8X32, and I am delighted with the decreased weight (240 gm) size and the increased field of view.

It is like starting all over again.

(I am old, just to keep things in perspective)
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

as for 10x - while I have a very good 10x42 pair (Nikon SE), it is seldom used due to the smaller field of view and it being more difficult to hold steady for extended periods of time. Exceptions are when I know in advance that only far away birds will be observed... raptors or seabirds maybe.
For a maximum of 100m, I'd really recommend an 8x pair.

As for what - a MeoPro HD is probably not a bad idea in the price range in the absence of Opticron models in germany - if you can get this lightly used 8x42 pair for 200€ or so it will be a very good deal...


Joachim
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
For the upper end of your budget, I think the Swarovski Habicht 7x42 would be a SWEET SPOT, though maybe a touch out of your budget as I seem to recall seeing a pair for 400Euros that looked pristine.


In February when the bills from Christmas come in, and in the USA the April 15th tax deadline looms large, discretionary products like cameras and binoculars seem to come up for sale gently used as long forgotten things in the bottom of a closet come up for sale! I am not familiar with the Meopta options but, their locally made binoculars seem to be highly rated in most forums with most negative comments being things outside of optical quality like weight or the quality of the external paint which is pretty subjective unless you are talking about the really bad stuff out of Asia.

7 Power binoculars will generally be very easy to hold steady. The will also give you a wider Field of View at closer ranges considering where a long sighting is ~100m. Closer in, with the bird moving from branch to branch, you probably would not need to move the binoculars to still have the bird in a good view so, tracking it would be much easier for the inexperienced. Being an experienced photographer with a Nikon D800 though suggest, FOV, magnification, other qualities are well within your knowledge so, it may be really down to issues like steadiness from hand shake with higher magnifications being the real unknown in your choice.

Merry Christmas everyone and, Happy Holidays to those of other faiths!
 

Jessie-66

Germany
The Hawke Frontier EDX (more expensive than the OP's budget) I can recommend mechanically and optically because of my own testing, but the field of view is "only" 131m. (Swarovski CL 8x30 is not better in this respect.) The eyecups are narrow (similar to Meopta Meostar) and might bring shadowing to people with non-deep-set eyes. The Meopta Meopro series (I do not know Optika HD) is also mechanically and optically good, has larger eyecups and is also above the stated budget of the OP. It's a pity.
 

hardy

Member
Germany
Thank you for your answers!

The two linked glasses are definitely very interesting,
the Kenko UltraView EX OP 8x32 DH III and the Hawk Frontier ED 8x32.
The Meopta MeoPro Optika HD 8x42 probably has a bit more brightness because of its larger aperture.
But if I compare my old 8X32 Eschenbach with the ones mentioned, I might have a small difference because of the newer construction,
but not in terms of magnification.
Since I only use the binoculars at home, a slightly higher weight wouldn't really matter.
But I would definitely like a magnification of 10X better than one of 8X.
I just don't know if I'm shaking them more (at my age of 79) though I don't have shaky hands yet, I see that when I play golf ;)
It is definitely a good thing if I look at such telephoto glasses at a retailer's and try them out or have them sent to me. I'll do that at the beginning of the new year.
 

Jessie-66

Germany
Hardy, from the mentioned types/series there are also other formats and magnifications. ;-)

42 mm is not brighter than 32 mm during the day, differences only occur at twilight. And how long does twilight last? You gain maybe 30 min. In the dense forest or when observing in the forest edge, 42 mm binoculars are useful. 42 mm binoculars are more comfortable to put on the eyes because of the larger exit pupil. 32 mm mid-range binoculars are somewhat more likely to exhibit crescent glare at the edge of the field of view, usually correctable by aligning them with respect to the eyes, than 42 mm bins. Whether that outweighs the extra mass is up to you to decide. 10x versus 8x:

Comparing of 8x and 10x bins with view on vegetation (different numbers of sharply visible plants) in my garden was remarkable ... hoped more details with 10x (vs 8x) rather disappointing. Jessie
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Hawke Frontier EDX (more expensive than the OP's budget) I can recommend mechanically and optically because of my own testing, but the field of view is "only" 131m. (Swarovski CL 8x30 is not better in this respect.) The eyecups are narrow (similar to Meopta Meostar) and might bring shadowing to people with non-deep-set eyes. The Meopta Meopro series (I do not know Optika HD) is also mechanically and optically good, has larger eyecups and is also above the stated budget of the OP. It's a pity.
The FOV on the Hawk is 405 feet(135 meters) which is considerably bigger than the Swarovski CL 8x30 which is only 372 feet and the sweet spot is very large. I had no problem with the eye cups being narrow or shadowing on the Hawk, but it depends on how wide and deep your eye sockets are. I have seen the Hawk for around $399.95 which is pretty close to your budget. It is a good value at that price.
 

jring

Well-known member
But I would definitely like a magnification of 10X better than one of 8X.
I just don't know if I'm shaking them more (at my age of 79) though I don't have shaky hands yet, I see that when I play golf ;)
It is definitely a good thing if I look at such telephoto glasses at a retailer's and try them out or have them sent to me. I'll do that at the beginning of the new year.

Hi,

I'm 49 and I start shaking after holding the 10x pair up for more than a few minutes... I don't play golf, but when I last watched it on TV, a golf swing was fairly short...

Trying a few pairs in a store is a really good idea, when this is possible again.

Joachim
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Heavier binoculars tend to have less shake until you get tired. The larger objective talked about also tends to have a larger FOV too. On overcast days (heavy cloud cover) they will also reveal details on birds that would be too dark to see.

I tried a pair of Swarovski NL PURE 8x42's on an overcast day with a middle grey color (not super dark or light) when a flock of ducks flew by. I had really good views of their outlines and edge details but, the bodies were really dark for these dark brown bodied ducks. They were also very easy to track in flight as they flew overhead. With my 8x33's, I wouldn't have had as good an experience with their smaller FOV and lower light level.

On a nice sunny day, the objective size won't matter for light level to your eye but, the FOV 'sweet spot' will still be bigger.

Being 79 also means your cornea is likely yellowed some and your pupils won't dilate as much as a younger person so, you would not see much benefit from a 7x50 pair of binoculars in terms of light levels over 42mm objective or even to a lesser extent 33's.

Personally, I tend to think the 42mm objectives are the best blend of qualities for what you want and unless you do a lot of 100mm bird watching, I would tend to stay with 8 or even 7 power binoculars for their better FOV and performance with dimmer lighting conditions. With birds 100m away, a short walk would negate the loss of magnification but, we don't know if the area you are talking about is open and easy to walk and whether you have any mobility restrictions as suggested by age and watching birds from your window.

In any case, you have a lot of good advice and guidance to find a good set of binoculars that will serve you well.

And, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as appropriate!
 

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