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Monocular to pocket binocular migration fail (1 Viewer)

Eric222

Member
United Kingdom
It is over 10 years since my Opticron binoculars were stolen. Since then, almost all my assisted viewing has been done with one eye. Whatever jacket I am wearing, I slip a second hand 7x24 Leica rangefinder into the pocket and that has been fantastic, not bad glass and always there.

I came across this forum a couple of months ago after my wife suggested I treat myself to some compact binoculars. The Zeiss victory pocket 8x25 seems to be well liked by many, so I borrowed a pristine pair using the excellent TryZeiss scheme. They are not much larger than the rangefinder and with a different case, I could easily carry them with me every day.
After a couple of minutes of adjustment I sat down to (unfairly at the price) compare them with my wife's Vortex diamondback 8x32. A wagtail stalking insects quickly showed how much easier it was with the Zeiss to follow it's antics as it lurched up and down the lawn, only the lightest of touches required to keep it sharply focused. With the diamondback an overhead power line faded away in the distance as a single line, swapping over I could clearly make out 3 separate cables. Although small, these Zeiss are clearly in a completely different league, it was time to take them for a walkabout.

The day was cloudy yet quite bright, with unusually strong westerly winds that buffeted me as I walked across a recently cleared hay field. I had to brace myself against a gate post as I took the Zeiss pockets out of their definitely-not-pocket sized case and paused to look across my neighbours fields. What a superb wide, sharp view from such a tiny device ! No time to linger though, I was far too eager to try and see what may be in two fields further on.

The thing about nature that I'm sure attracts us all is that it is never the same and often unpredictable. Even so, I was hoping to be able to field test these binoculars with one of my favourite birds and this just happened to be a time of year when I have the best chance. In summer a small number of lapwing often spend part of their day on our pasture. They appeared later than normal this year, last week I saw only 3, twice this week I have seen a dozen or more. Lapwing can be easy to get close to on open ground when in a tractor, however the glass surrounding my cab is not exactly up to the optical quality required for a fair bino test, so if any were around, I would have to approach these sometimes fickle birds on foot. I usually try to keep well away and not disturb them, today I would risk getting a little closer. A walk over to the largest pond would not be wasted anyway, as coot always seem eager to oblige when nothing else is around.

With fingers crossed I walked slowly over the brow of the hill, looking down onto the 3 acre pond. My approach was stealthy enough not to startle the swans (actually that was no great feat - all 4 had their heads underwater). A dozen Graylag to my right were far more observant, they started to flap and complain, although that noise was nothing compared to a handful of Canada geese that were most indignant at me spoiling their snooze on the bankside below. Surely this would spook whatever may be resting out of sight? Oh well, nothing to loose now, I took the binoculars out of the huge case and edged forward. By eye alone I could just make out, on a gentle sloping piece of ground at the bottom of the hill, exactly what I had been hoping for. The dinky little 8x25's confirmed it all in an instant, adult and juvenille lapwings, 26 in all.

As I sat down the geese fell silent and for several minutes I was able to watch as the lapwing took it in turn to stand and take a few paces to show me their beautiful plumage. Then all too soon the Grelags took off, unsettling the lapwings and within seconds they were also in the air with their usual hesitant flapping, as if lacking in confidence in their ability to fly at all, let alone as a group. They climbed up until they were just above my head height and performed several complete circuits of the pond before passing over the railway and down into my neighbour's field. What a sight, it would have been good with one eye through my Leica, with those miniature Zeiss pockets it was stupendous.
 

Eric222

Member
United Kingdom
Just as I was thinking watching birds doesn't get any better than this... it didn't. A feeling of nausea came over me and my eyes felt terrible. The binoculars had to go back into the case. I felt as sick as when I attempt to read in a car.

Something is not right. I do not doubt for a minute the problem is with me and not the binoculars. I am fairly certain I set the dioptre correctly, the ideal position for me has an indent, which I checked was still in the same position. With that single hinge, the inter pupil distance had been easy to set to give a single round circle of light, although in the excitement, I suppose it is possible I altered that without realising. Could I be simply be having a bad day, or is it something to do with not using binoculars for so long ? The day has ended with some disappointment, but mostly I still feel elated at getting such a vivid view of lapwings at their very best.

I will have another try with the binoculars tomorrow. They are on loan for several more days, I would much appreciate it if anyone has any other suggestions on where I may be going wrong.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Just as I was thinking watching birds doesn't get any better than this... it didn't. A feeling of nausea came over me and my eyes felt terrible. The binoculars had to go back into the case. I felt as sick as when I attempt to read in a car.

Something is not right. I do not doubt for a minute the problem is with me and not the binoculars. I am fairly certain I set the dioptre correctly, the ideal position for me has an indent, which I checked was still in the same position. With that single hinge, the inter pupil distance had been easy to set to give a single round circle of light, although in the excitement, I suppose it is possible I altered that without realising. Could I be simply be having a bad day, or is it something to do with not using binoculars for so long ? The day has ended with some disappointment, but mostly I still feel elated at getting such a vivid view of lapwings at their very best.

I will have another try with the binoculars tomorrow. They are on loan for several more days, I would much appreciate it if anyone has any other suggestions on where I may be going wrong.

Eric,

Pending more expert relevant input, I experienced a similar bout of nausea a year or so ago under different circumstances. I was comparing several different models/magnifications for their panning behavior, DOF, focus speed, rolling ball, black beans, et. cet. To do this I was panning, scanning and adjusting focus all more extensively and rapidly than normal. After @ 20 minutes, I became somewhat dizzy and nauseous, although I don't recall any eye discomfort.

If in your excitement with the outstanding VP 8x25 and the various viewing opportunities you were using them more "aggressively" (as above) that may explain your experience as well. And/or since you have used your monocular almost exclusively over the last decade, you may need some time to re adjust to using bins.

A tip of the cap to your wife for her enlightened suggestion BTW and hope this may help.

Mike
 

Eric222

Member
United Kingdom
Eric,

Pending more expert relevant input, I experienced a similar bout of nausea a year or so ago under different circumstances. I was comparing several different models/magnifications for their panning behavior, DOF, focus speed, rolling ball, black beans, et. cet. To do this I was panning, scanning and adjusting focus all more extensively and rapidly than normal. After @ 20 minutes, I became somewhat dizzy and nauseous, although I don't recall any eye discomfort.

If in your excitement with the outstanding VP 8x25 and the various viewing opportunities you were using them more "aggressively" (as above) that may explain your experience as well. And/or since you have used your monocular almost exclusively over the last decade, you may need some time to re adjust to using bins.

A tip of the cap to your wife for her enlightened suggestion BTW and hope this may help.

Mike

Mike, thanks for the encouragement. I think you are right, lapwings in flight may have been a bad choice for me.

I am about to go out with the VP again and should have no problem finding something less exciting this time.
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
I agree with the previous suggestion. If you slow down your movements a bit, and try to use the glasses to look, not so much to search or follow, you may fair better.

My mother became sick trying a small pair of cheaper bins I sent her. Turns out she didn’t remember to extend the eye cups but I think that made the situation worse, didn’t wholly create the problem. I suspect that even the best “pocket” bins present some challenges that have the potential to cause nausea.

My last thought, I get myself a little sick when I get a new pair and really want to spend some time “in” them. In the process of trying to see everything about the glasses I somehow do something bad, and different than when I take my regular pair out to see the world (not the glass).

I enjoyed your first write up (before you got to the part about feeling ill) and I hope you’ll work out your issue and write some more. good luck.
 

eronald

Well-known member
For context: I own a VP 8x25, and I'm rather unpleasant :)

My experience with the VP is that it's superb for a glance but VERY tiring after a minute or so. When observing animals in a field, horses, cows, crows, herons I often put it down out of fatigue and observe with the naked eye. I can use my 7x42 for a half hour with pleasure.

You may find it useful to try a larger binocular.



Edmund
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Some people find the highly-corrected lens-flattener binoculars have a distressing “rolling ball” effect when panning, but the VP 8x25 do not use any flattened AFAIK. You might want to try the Nikon Monarch HG 8x42, which does, is reasonably compact and a terrific value.
 

Eric222

Member
United Kingdom
As good as the Zeiss Victory pockets are, I had to admit defeat in the end, even though TryZeiss kindly extended the trial period for several extra days.

Thanks for all the suggestions. Alas larger binoculars are not really suitable for walking the fields each morning, watching nature always has to take second place to livestock duties which is best with both hands free and nothing dangling around my neck.

Probably I should now instead be looking at getting a better monocular (any recommendations much appreciated) - or bigger pockets :)
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
I, personally, don’t care for binoculars “dangling” from my neck either. I eventually gave in to the popular songs here about the young harness and now I move freely without being bother by my 8x32s, tucked to one side above my waist a bit like a purse. If you want to stay with the tiny glass, never mind then, but if the “dangling” is your chief concern I’d suggest you investigate workaround to that. Last thought - the zeiss “pocket” binos you were trying are not really much (any?) smaller than a lot of 8x32s and 8x30s, so there are more user friendly binos in that size class available - I think the leica 8x32s are about the same size!

check out the size comparisons in the posts linked below:


Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 vs Kowa Genesis 8x33 ??


Cheers.
 
Last edited:

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm not a big fan of "pocket" bins, personally. I know that they can give a very crisp, sharp view, but 32mm seems to just be a better fit for me.

Perhaps try the Leiva UVHD+ 8x32. They are amazing, beautiful quality binoculars!
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
Lots of bino cases have an attachment to put your trouser belt through, so you don't have to dangle it around your neck. If you have a bit smaller size as a 32mm that's comfortable enough.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
I, personally, don’t care for binoculars “dangling” from my neck either. I eventually gave in to the popular songs here about the young harness and now I move freely without being bother by my 8x32s, tucked to one side above my waist a bit like a purse. If you want to stay with the tiny glass, never mind then, but if the “dangling” is your chief concern I’d suggest you investigate workaround to that. Last thought - the zeiss “pocket” binos you were trying are not really much (any?) smaller than a lot of 8x32s and 8x30s, so there are more user friendly binos in that size class available - I think the leica 8x32s are about the same size!

check out the size comparisons in the posts linked below:


Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 vs Kowa Genesis 8x33 ??


Cheers.

Aotus,

Nice, helpful input and links.

Speaking strictly as a pocket/compact nerd, IMO 20, 25, 30 and the smaller 32mm bins are each separate categories really. The comparison pictures are enjoyable and helpful but tend to under represent the 3d size differences and of course weight between them. E.G. the VP is significantly smaller and lighter than the 32 UV and the UV 20 is significantly smaller than the VP 25 as they appear to me in the photos.

I prefer harnesses to straps as well, even on pocket bins and the Rick Young harness works perfectly on 25 to 32's especially for hiking, biking, or on the water although most would probably consider it overkill for more casual use.

Mike
 

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