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My first pair, help please. (1 Viewer)

AAddict

Member
United Kingdom
Sorry to be 'that guy' but I have gone down the rabbit hole and am completely lost now.

I am a bird photographer and have known for a while that I want/need some binoculars. I often spend prolonged periods sat waiting for birds and really would like some binoculars to use and spot at a distance. As usual for a photographer I don't want anything too heavy or bulky as I have enough gear to lug around but I would also want something with decent optics rather than real entry level.

After much research online and trying some in-store I have decided that a 10x32 would be a good place to start for my first pair. I feel the size and weight is more manageable than a *x42 and as I will be using out across water the 10x will be useful.

I've been looking in the £250-400 area and like the look of the:

GPO Passion ED 10x32
Zeiss Terra ED 10x32
Nikon M7 10x30

Am I looking in the right area of the market? Any others that you feel I should be investigating or real flaws with the 3 in the shortlist?
(I would prefer to buy brand new, and realise I could probably get better quality if I bought used)

Thanks in advance for any help
 
I think 10x32 is a great format, but I would go one step up. I recommend Zeiss Conquest 10x32 or Leica Trinovid 10x32. Both really nice, but more expensive for sure.
 
Welcome to Birdforum! Yes, 10x32 sounds like just the right idea. You haven't mentioned a budget/limit but for ~$500 the Passion is well liked here, Terra less so, M7 probably OK. Closer to $1k you have options like Conquest, Trinovid, MHG, or pre-owned high-end models which are worth considering especially given the quality of service. ("First pair" may not be the best idea, think of buying once and for all.)
 
GPO is better optically and mechanically to other two. It has an elegant look as well as coming with a few different color options to choose including orange. However you have to check the eye relief of it. It might not be sufficient if you wear glasses.
 
The GPO Passion never impressed me. Mediocre optics and typical MIC build quality. I prefer the Nikon M7 10x30 optically and build quality wise. Second hand would be a good way to get some higher quality binoculars in your price range.

You might snag a Leica Trinovid BN 10x32 for close to the top of your price point or a little more, and it would be well worth it down the road. The Made In Germany Trinovids are much higher quality than the MIC stuff and will last you a lifetime for maybe a couple of hundred dollars more.
 
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Okay, I appreciate everyones input. I have just had a conversation with a photographer friend who has offered to give me for free his spare pair. Which is 1: Very generous and great of him & 2: give me some time to decide what I really want after experiencing using some budget binoculars.

He's gifting me a pair of Svbony SV202 8x32, he tells me they were really cheap but work very well so we will soon see :)
 
I’ve acquired quite a few new and used binoculars over the years. Leitz, Leica BAs, Hensoldt Dialyts, Zeiss Dialyts - Victory FLs - Conquest HDs from Germany; Kahles, Swarovski SLCs and ELs from Austria; and Nikon HGs and Vortex UHDs from Japan. I have also bought some used and new Chinese made binoculars at usually very inexpensive prices. A couple of earlier bought Chinese made binoculars have shown some build quality deterioration over time. I’ve got a couple though that I’ve been very impressed with both the optics and build quality, an Athlon 10x50 Midas UHD2 and the Nikon 10x42 Monarch 5. Both of which I bought used. The optical coatings and build quality have improved over time on several of more inexpensive models in some brands. It’s worth checking out reviews at reputable sites. Yeah, the optics might not be quite as crisp and the field of view a little narrower than the most expensive brands but you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy birdwatching.
 
I also do a lot of photography in the field and, despite loving my bigger bins, prefer something that isn’t only light but small enough to be out of the way when I’m negotiating heavy camera, lens(es) and tripod. For me even a 32mm is on the bigger end of what I want in that setting, and a Swarovski 7x21 works very well. Among your choices, I would pick the Nikon because it is very compact and light weight but still very handy (good ergonomics). Many here will advise against it because the optics aren’t stellar but I think they’re great for the price and, that much less the point when you’re there to take pictures (the lens is where the good glass counts).
 
Sorry to be 'that guy' but I have gone down the rabbit hole and am completely lost now.

I am a bird photographer and have known for a while that I want/need some binoculars. I often spend prolonged periods sat waiting for birds and really would like some binoculars to use and spot at a distance. As usual for a photographer I don't want anything too heavy or bulky as I have enough gear to lug around but I would also want something with decent optics rather than real entry level.

After much research online and trying some in-store I have decided that a 10x32 would be a good place to start for my first pair. I feel the size and weight is more manageable than a *x42 and as I will be using out across water the 10x will be useful.

I've been looking in the £250-400 area and like the look of the:

GPO Passion ED 10x32
Zeiss Terra ED 10x32
Nikon M7 10x30

Am I looking in the right area of the market? Any others that you feel I should be investigating or real flaws with the 3 in the shortlist?
(I would prefer to buy brand new, and realise I could probably get better quality if I bought used)

Thanks in advance for any help
If you stretch your budget a bit you could go for the nikon hgl 10x25. Smaller objectives but definitely light and good optics. The exit pupil and the focuser on the front of the bino might not be for everyone though.
 
Hi,

had a quick look for 10x in 32mm and below at the usual suspects for used bins. Cleyspy and Infocus didn't have any, but LCE has a pair Nikon HGL 10x25 for 300 quid, if you really want to go down the pocket route.


I would recommend another store visit before to try a pair of 10x25 yourself - 10x25 is not a very popular format for a reason... dark in anything below bright daylight, really narrow field of view and finicky handling and eye placement due to the small exit pupil. Ask me why I know this... if you happen to like 10x25, you could PM me and we'll work sth out for my very rarely used pair of Zeiss Conquest 10x25...

If you wanna go 10x30, Nikon M7 has a loyal following for a reason - or get the closely related Traveller ED version from Opticron - a bit more aperture, a bit higher quality and a 30 year warranty at the upper limit of your budget.

PS: when you try a pair of 10x25, try to hold them in a way so you can brace your hand against your eyebrows... helps a lot with stability...

Joachim
 
Sorry to be 'that guy' but I have gone down the rabbit hole and am completely lost now.

I am a bird photographer and have known for a while that I want/need some binoculars. I often spend prolonged periods sat waiting for birds and really would like some binoculars to use and spot at a distance. As usual for a photographer I don't want anything too heavy or bulky as I have enough gear to lug around but I would also want something with decent optics rather than real entry level.

After much research online and trying some in-store I have decided that a 10x32 would be a good place to start for my first pair. I feel the size and weight is more manageable than a *x42 and as I will be using out across water the 10x will be useful.

I've been looking in the £250-400 area and like the look of the:

GPO Passion ED 10x32
Zeiss Terra ED 10x32
Nikon M7 10x30

Am I looking in the right area of the market? Any others that you feel I should be investigating or real flaws with the 3 in the shortlist?
(I would prefer to buy brand new, and realise I could probably get better quality if I bought used)

Thanks in advance for any help
No need to be apologetic about being "that guy." This is the best collection of binocular nerds on the internet, so people will be happy to discuss.
I owned the M7 8x42s and loved them. They were my first and only pair of binoculars for five years. I used them everyday. Great binoculars at a very good price. After that five years, I sent them into Nikon for a tune-up and they sent me a brand new pair. I highly recommend M7s.
Terras are nice too. I've never tried the GPOs. Those are all well regarded binoculars from respected manufacturers, so I would say you are very much on the right track.
I'm not at all a 10x30/32 type of a user, so I can't speak to that at all. I know some people really like them.
 
I'd just like to post a follow up after so many of you were helpful with your advice. I've been using the gifted pair of Svbony SV202 8x32 for a week or so. To say I have been impressed is an understatement. I realise that I could get better optics with spending more money (or any money in this case ;) )but these little binoculars have really blown me away. I think I am just going to stick with them for a good while, and obviously if I find myself wanting more I can revisit my options. Just a note to thank you all again for your help. (y)
 
I am an avid wildlife photographer and my favorite binoculars are the 12 ounce Swarovski 10x25 Pocket Mountain. I can hang them off my neck while driving or when walking in the field with my camera in hand. They are compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket or the water bottle sleeve of a fanny pack or backpack.
 

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