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Most Important Factors in Binoculars For You (1 Viewer)

Ted Y.

Well-known member
Canada
Seems an assumption, something taken for granted in most of these thoughtful lists, but doesn't magnification have to be number 1? It is why binos exist. Second to that, and methinks doesn't need much qualification, is the quality of that magnified view. What good is one without the other? All the rest are subordinate and subjective....
Sometimes the magnification can be negotiable inside a small domain. I preferred a 10x42 because of much larger FOV compared with the 8x30 I wanted initially.
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Sorry, but no.

As you yourself have said (sort of) bigger isn’t better without additional detail. A bigger blob is no more informative than a smaller blob. There is a thing known as “empty magnification”, but I think binoculars have to be rely awful to exhibit this.

I do not believe I see less with my SF 8X32 than I used to see with my EL SV 10X42 because the image, although smaller, is “better”, for whatever reasons. (detail, contrast, etc, etc.).

The purpose of enhanced optics is to resolve, not to magnify. They are not the same thing.
Grampa didn't actually post that more magnification is better than less, just that the user would surely want to specify which mag they prefer and I would put 8x magnification top of my list because for me this gives the best combination of magnification and depth of field. I swapped from 10x to 8x after using 10x for 26 years after overcoming my magnification 'anxiety' (a feeling I would see less detail if I went down in magnification) and realising that with the greater depth of field of 8x I was seeing more of the view and the objects in it.
After magnification I want quality optics of course, a close focus of 1.5 metres (maybe 2.0m) as I am a nature all-rounder not a bird specialist and finally comfortable handling with a smooth focus action lacking any free-play.

I haven't mention field of view and I admit to being puzzled as to where to put this in my prioritised list. Bigger fields of view certainly help me in the big landscapes and seascapes where we do most of our nature observations but I regularly use a Trinovid HD for its excellent close-focus and it has a modest field of view which means I just have to work a bit harder to (for example) scan large areas of water to find a re-surfacing otter or seal.

Lee
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I sold a high quality binocular because it offered too much contrast in the detriment of detail.
It seems to me there must have been some other factor involved that spoiled the view for you, rather than simply 'too much contrast'. If looking at a subject containing dark details and pale details, as contrast increases, the dark details get darker and the pale details get paler, they don't change shape or leak their darkness or paleness into adjoining details.

Lee
 
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Ted Y.

Well-known member
Canada
If looking at a subject containing dark details and pale details, as contrast increases, the dark details get darker and the pale details get paler, they don't change shape or leak their darkness or paleness into adjoining details.
Agreed.
But also the shades of this pale (or dark) details are less and less disinguishable with the augmentation of contrast, especially in low light. The image was excellent in daylight, no doubt here.
 

MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
I want (in order of importance):
ER - i bino with eyeglasses. not negotiable.
overall IQ - sharp, contrast, high light transmission.
form-factor - light and compact. they need to fit in field bag for travel, and not wear me out after a day's wearing
FOV - a lot of my birding is in deep forest and often small birds. Getting on such a bird can be a challenge with high power/narrow FOV (others may be more skilled).

The above criteria is why the 7x35 Retro is so attractive in my case. A similar, well armored 8x would be very interesting. The 8x42UVHD are superb but I wish they were a little lighter. I'm often lugging a camera/zoom and less around my neck is a good thing.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Agreed.
But also the shades of this pale (or dark) details are less and less disinguishable with the augmentation of contrast, especially in low light. The image was excellent in daylight, no doubt here.
Ted this is really hard to understand. When pale (or dark) details are becoming less and less distinguishable it is because the contrast is reducing not being augmented.

Lee
 

oldfortyfive

Well-known member
Ease of view of which eye relief is a major part of as I wear glasses. Everything else secondary. I tend to favor lower powers like 7x. My most used binos are my old Vortex 6.5x30 Furys, Meopta 7x42 and Swaro EL 8x32.
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
Question: In your experience, what factors did you realize were the most important to you when it comes to binoculars

Two factors:
Do I find them comfortable - to hold & carry & use in the environment?
Are they suitable - for the environment and expected use?

So from a dozen or so optics(see my account/about if you wish) I tend to use:
6x32 in art galleries, 10x32 on holiday, 12x42 for most birding, 7x42 for birding in dark or wooded conditions.
 

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