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My Quest for the Perfect 8x32 (1 Viewer)

mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Yeah, I'm with Chuck. Don't underestimate the Zeiss Conquest HDs. They are awesome. Sharp, beefy, well made, awesome design aesthetics, handle super well. What do you mean due for an update? Classic all the way.
I don't underestimate them in the slightest. They give a very nice viewing experience. But for my search, they were off the list immediately as being too big. I ended up with my Zeiss FLs because they were (just barely) within my size requirements (which were and are very real) and even then I had to give a touch of latitude. One thing I found which seems (?) to be true is that you can make a physically short roof-prism 8x32, or an optically good one(*) - but it seems hard to make one which is both without having to hit a very high price-point.

...Mike

* There is a trade-off here with FOV and ER: it seems possible to make a good, short, roof-prism 8x32 with ER I can't use - or with good ER, but narrow FOV. But physically short, decent ER, wide FOV and optically decent seems to cost $$$ and, even then, seems uncommon.

For example, I'd love to be able to use the Leica 8x32 UVHD+ - but the ER doesn't work for me (I've tried). Zeiss, with their latest 8x32 SFs, seems to have produced excellent binoculars, but their physical length is too long to fit my requirement. Nikon and Swaro don't seem to have tried, and my looks elsewhere before buying my FLs were quite unsuccessful. It might (just might) be that I missed something. For example, the Maven B3 8x30s might work for me. But (a) they came out after I bought my FLs; and (b) their ER is right on the margin for me - they might work, but they might not, so I never went through the overseas ordering rigmarole just to find out.

This "finding a perfect 8x32" thing is a tough problem!

Anyone who manages to solve it has my respect, but is also (IHMO) quite lucky. I've come awfully close with my FLs, but still haven't hit "perfect". They're slightly too large for my liking (but I'll live) and way too expensive (though the pain of that has died down over the years).
 
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wllmspd

Well-known member
If you want to check edge blurring and give yourself a shock, just go out and point your bins at the big sky. See what happens to a reasonably bright star as it approaches the field stop.... ugh!! Now you need to find some better bins! Once seen, never unseen. Takes pretty poor edges to be so obvious in the day. Of course if you mostly look near the centre and use the edges for awareness then thy is isn’t as bad. Properly flat field binoculars do being a smile to the face when you like looking up at night....

Peter
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
I am saddened to think of the time, money, effort I have spent over the years looking for that nonexistent perfect pair of binoculars/optics instead of just using that almost perfect pair I already have.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Yeah, I'm with Chuck. Don't underestimate the Zeiss Conquest HDs. They are awesome. Sharp, beefy, well made, awesome design aesthetics, handle super well. What do you mean due for an update? Classic all the way.

I think they are too bulky as I pick them up...just not the look I was looking for this time around so a personal thing in that sense. Otherwise, the FOV is not good. Looking at the bins coming out now the trend and I think rightfully so to a point is to go with more FOV like the recent NikonHG 430 ft / 131m, the upcoming SF 450/137m, even the Swaro a few years back upped it's FOV to 395/120mbut not enough in my thinking. I see a lot of $400 style bins like the Mavens, Opticron, Hawke etc...all over 400 /122m FOV. The Conquest I believe is still 370 feet /112m. Even 10x power will approach that.

Again...keep in mind, I had to draw the line someplace, right? So based upon the criteria I had, that was one line drawn in the sand.
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hello Imans66,

I agree with Chuck, the Conquest 8x32 is really a great glass, very close to the Victory 8x32, but the case and the mechanics are a bit below the Victory!

Fields of vision are only one aspect off many others, a large field of view is becoming increasingly difficult to construct, image errors occur more often, I also like the Swarovski 8.5x42 better than the SF 8x42, the image is harmonious and something is more immersive.
Binoculars with an AFOV of 60 ° are enough for me, with the size I never have the feeling that it should be more, in addition I have found that binoculars with a large field of view often have a somewhat more nervous insight that the eye is always looking for support.

I think large fields of view are now becoming a hype and the most important aspect of binocular optics, see the discussions about the MHG, here is almost always reflexively referred to the large field of view, so that one tries to cover up the aberration.
Incidentally, topic 8x32, have you already thought about a Nikon EDG, these binoculars are still among the best 8x32 and will continue to be after the introduction of the SF 8x32, because field of view is only one aspect ...

means,
Andreas
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Incidentally, topic 8x32, have you already thought about a Nikon EDG, these binoculars are still among the best 8x32 and will continue to be after the introduction of the SF 8x32, because field of view is only one aspect ...

means,
Andreas
I have thought about the EDG, the upcoming SF, Ultrvid, EL etc...but I wasn't going to go there in terms of price point this time around.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I think they are too bulky as I pick them up...just not the look I was looking for this time around so a personal thing in that sense. Otherwise, the FOV is not good. Looking at the bins coming out now the trend and I think rightfully so to a point is to go with more FOV like the recent NikonHG 430 ft / 131m, the upcoming SF 450/137m, even the Swaro a few years back upped it's FOV to 395/120mbut not enough in my thinking. I see a lot of $400 style bins like the Mavens, Opticron, Hawke etc...all over 400 /122m FOV. The Conquest I believe is still 370 feet /112m. Even 10x power will approach that.

Again...keep in mind, I had to draw the line someplace, right? So based upon the criteria I had, that was one line drawn in the sand.
I agree with you on the Zeiss Conquest HD. Bulky, smallish FOV especially on the 8x42 and although they are bright their contrast is not up there with something like a Swarovski. You can really see it when you side by side the two. It seems that contrast is one thing that set's the higher end more expensive binocular's apart from less expensive binoculars and I think it has to do with the quality of the coating's and probably glass quality.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Hello Imans66,

I agree with Chuck, the Conquest 8x32 is really a great glass, very close to the Victory 8x32, but the case and the mechanics are a bit below the Victory!

Fields of vision are only one aspect off many others, a large field of view is becoming increasingly difficult to construct, image errors occur more often, I also like the Swarovski 8.5x42 better than the SF 8x42, the image is harmonious and something is more immersive.
Binoculars with an AFOV of 60 ° are enough for me, with the size I never have the feeling that it should be more, in addition I have found that binoculars with a large field of view often have a somewhat more nervous insight that the eye is always looking for support.

I think large fields of view are now becoming a hype and the most important aspect of binocular optics, see the discussions about the MHG, here is almost always reflexively referred to the large field of view, so that one tries to cover up the aberration.
Incidentally, topic 8x32, have you already thought about a Nikon EDG, these binoculars are still among the best 8x32 and will continue to be after the introduction of the SF 8x32, because field of view is only one aspect ...

means,
Andreas
Andreas. I really agree with everything you said here. The big FOV on the Nikon HG's come with a cost and that cost is aberration's. Sometime's I think the huge FOV of the Nikon EII 8x30 is almost too much to take in. I would rather have a slightly smaller more optically perfect FOV.
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
I should have mentioned this earlier...

FOV of some common 8X32(30) in ft/1000yds:

SV- 423
CL B- 396
Trinovid HD- 372
Conquest HD- 420
Terra ED- 405
Monarch 7- 435
Monarch HG- 435
Meopta B.1- 416
Passion ED- 410
Maven B.3- 430

Throw out the Trinovid HD and the FOV of the rest is pretty close...within 20ft or so with a few exceptions.

I've never thought to myself that 435ft was too much FOV. Though certainly sufficient, I have thought 370ish ft was not quite as much as I'd like to have though. So having both the 8X42 HG and the 8X30 M7 and used both A LOT I'd certainly come to the conclusion that 435ft is not too much. In fact I really like it. For a birding binocular I find the extra FOV comes in handy locating movement and finding birds...

BTW....OPTICALLY??....I sure don't find the Conquest HD to really take a back seat to anything. Contrast? That thing SMOKES! For sure I get it about ergonomics if it isn't ones cup of tea. It's a pretty dang good binocular.
 

eronald

Well-known member
I’m starting to think there is too much choice here

I should have mentioned this earlier...

FOV of some common 8X32(30) in ft/1000yds:

SV- 423
CL B- 396
Trinovid HD- 372
Conquest HD- 420
Terra ED- 405
Monarch 7- 435
Monarch HG- 435
Meopta B.1- 416
Passion ED- 410
Maven B.3- 430

Throw out the Trinovid HD and the FOV of the rest is pretty close...within 20ft or so with a few exceptions.

I've never thought to myself that 435ft was too much FOV. Though certainly sufficient, I have thought 370ish ft was not quite as much as I'd like to have though. So having both the 8X42 HG and the 8X30 M7 and used both A LOT I'd certainly come to the conclusion that 435ft is not too much. In fact I really like it. For a birding binocular I find the extra FOV comes in handy locating movement and finding birds...

BTW....OPTICALLY??....I sure don't find the Conquest HD to really take a back seat to anything. Contrast? That thing SMOKES! For sure I get it about ergonomics if it isn't ones cup of tea. It's a pretty dang good binocular.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I think they are too bulky as I pick them up...just not the look I was looking for this time around so a personal thing in that sense. Otherwise, the FOV is not good.... The Conquest I believe is still 370 feet /112m. Even 10x power will approach that.

I think you are confusing the 8x42 for the 8x32. The 8x32 Conquest HD has a huge FOV, 8 degree in spec and measured to be slightly wider (closer to 8.1) in reality.

It’s true they are on the bulky side for an 8x32, so not telling you to like them if they don’t need your needs, but just want to make sure you’re using accurate info to make your decisions.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Or maybe you’ve conflated/transposed the Conquest HD with the Trinovid HD? The 8x32 Trinnie HD has a 372’ FOV spec.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Correct on the FOV...I think I have so many numbers in my head now that my eyes are dizzy from it all:). Still the feeling of bulk with the Conquest, the weight etc.... Again, I am not going to keep them all and I made decisions on them as I had them. Although I ordered many of them to my house one at a time and some overlapped, I didn't have the privilege of 'side by side comparison' for all of them. I wish I would have. I also 'hear' what everyone is stating about the Swaro EL, Leica Ultravid, the FL etc but remember, I was looking for that under $1000 price range. I am totally aware that the $2000 or so will get me a better product. I was just not going there this time around.

Bottom line....I haven't yet decided upon a pair for myself yet. Most likely the Meostar is purchased as my wife loves them, and happy wife..... as she does go out birding with me at times and up till now, hasn't had much of a bin to use.

Sometimes I am tempted to wait ..... see what the new Meostar line has to come up with. Perhaps purchase a Maven or GPO or Hawke, Opticron etc...to act as a bridge to better things to come.
 
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Patudo

Well-known member
There's an Arabic, I think, saying that only God can make something truly perfect, and I guess this thread kind of proves it. The perfect, or in this case the search for the perfect, can sometimes be the enemy of the good. For my part, I'm really satisfied with my own 8x32 (Zeiss FL green) - optically excellent in almost every respect from cleanness and sharpness of image to brightness and field of view, light, handles well, and small enough for me (size isn't really critical for me). I'd probably be just as happy with most of the high-end 8x32s though. I'm happy for the most part to adapt to the individual quirks of each binocular and enjoy what they are good at.

To make the 8x32 FL perfect I guess I would first and foremost like the eye placement to be easier when used over long distances (not nearly as important when looking for targets closer in, as I was reminded the last couple days while chasing black redstarts around West London rooftops). Field flatteners/better edge performance (although I have no real quibbles with its edge performance) might help with this, and although I didn't bother looking through any of the 8x32s at the last Birdfair, being quite satisfied with mine, it would certainly be interesting to have a look through something like the 8x32 Swarovision some day, just to see what it's like. Other items in the wish-list might include image stabilization and an (even) wider field of view. The new 8x32 SF would appear to tick two out of three of these boxes, and were I Pinewood's age I'd be tempted to do the same as he has - but right now I'd rather put the £2,000 to more practical purposes.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Jim,

Yours was a quest that should serve as a model. Set your criteria, stick to them, make your choices, evaluate the choices, and make your decision, all based on the criteria you established. From your criteria, and your eyes, it is hard to find fault with your result.

Funny how everybody was telling you to choose something different, but that is the way things work. I've had Leupold Yosemite's in 6x and 8x since they came out. They are good glass for the price, but don't play with what you looked at.

One thing that I agree with that came forth was there is nothing perfect. I tend to look at a binocular in much the same way I look at a friend...nobody is perfect, but the positives outweigh the negatives, and you pretty much know what to expect.
 

dries1

Member
I think the FL 8X32 will still be very popular even after the SF 8X32 arrives in the hands of many. In the coming months there will be more on the market. If you could be patient, save some more $$ and stretch the budget a bit more, say $1,200, you would have a glass for life.

Andy W.
 

mfunnell

Registered Confuser
I am saddened to think of the time, money, effort I have spent over the years looking for that nonexistent perfect pair of binoculars/optics instead of just using that almost perfect pair I already have.
I think the FL 8X32 will still be very popular even after the SF 8X32 arrives in the hands of many. In the coming months there will be more on the market. If you could be patient, save some more $$ and stretch the budget a bit more, say $1,200, you would have a glass for life.
The new 8x32SF may be the "bees knees", but the Swaro 8x32SV will still outsell it 10:1.
All these things are likely true, but the 1st seems truer than the others (at least for me).

I wish @Imans66 well on his difficult quest. I hope it ends for him at least as well as it did for me: I'm happy, now, though I certainly ended up in the "not perfect" box (yet have no intention of trying again).

I'll be greatly interested in his end-result.

...Mike
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I sure don't find the Conquest HD to really take a back seat to anything. Contrast? That thing SMOKES! For sure I get it about ergonomics if it isn't ones cup of tea. It's a pretty dang good binocular.

I agree and although the FL8x32 is undeniably superior I sold mine and kept the Conquest HD 8x32, with which I felt at home the moment I picked it up. I had a lot of respect for the FL but I love the Conquest.

Lee
 

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