• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Need help picking binocular! (1 Viewer)

swiego

Member
Hi! I am most definitely a newbie here. I've done some reading,
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/winter2005/Age_Binos.html
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/sports_and_leisure/binoculars/fullstory.html#intro
http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/midsizedbins2005_reviews.html
And some of this forum in hope of narrowing in on a binocular choice.

I am looking for a high quality general purpose binocular pair. Small enough that it wouldn't get left behind on trips, bright enough with amazing image quality that I wouldn't be too prone to wanting to upgrade it, durable and warrantied so that I could depend on having it in the family for many years to come. Price... I think I'm willing to go to $1,000 but would prefer not to go too far north of it. Lastly I'm making a trip to Hawaii soon and am hoping to put this binocular to the test during that trip... so it's something I'd like to have in my hand in the next few weeks! It would be a very general purpose bino--occasional bird watching and other sightseeing by myself or my GF, when on the upper deck at ballgames, when hiking, etc. Probably not too much nighttime use. Low weight would be a huge plus. Neither of us wears glasses.

Based on the above I am leaning toward an 8x32 binocular, specifically the Victory T* FL in that size. The price is a little higher than what I'd like to pay, at least from B&H, though I could squeeze it in I suppose. My questions are,

- what else should I be considering? It sure seems like all the reviews on the net focus on 8x40 and 10x40 sizes. There isn't nearly as much on the 30mm and 32mm binoculars. I feel like for me, the 40+mm pairs would tend to get left at home a little too much for comfort, whereas the 30-32mm pairs seem to be a nice balance. Where does Nikon fit into the picture at this size? What about Leika? (The latter seems to expensive... even the Zeiss is slowly breaking the bank.)

- for general purpose casual use, am I on the right track with a 8x32 pair? I realize this is a bit subjective... I guess what I was wondering was, how do ya'll tend to regard 8x20 binoculars? It seems like there are a few good ones on the market, they're small, light, and half the cost! Would I find myself regretting something this compact? If you could only own one, which would you choose?

- I love Canon's image-stabilized SLR lens (own a few) and therefore have long been tempted by their offerings as well as some of the Nikon stabilized binoculars. What's the story here? It seems like, for the same price, Canon/Nikon gives you stabilized 14x magnification, but poorer quality optics, is that a fair assessment? Are these taken seriously? They get the same glowing reviews as the Leica and Zeiss binoculars I've seen, however I'm not sure if these glowing reviews are all coming from the same crowd, or from two separate crowds with different priorities.

Sorry for the long post... any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

ceasar

Well-known member
Yeah, you are on the right track in considering 8 x 32's. They are the most user friendly in a number of respects such as weight, field of view, eye relief and price. There are alot of them to chose from too. If you want the best optics you should consider Nikon's 8 x 32 Superior E Porro Prisms. At $600.00 they are also the best buy of all the top of the line bins but they aren't water proof. Nikon also makes a first rate Roof Prism, the 8 x 32 LXL. They sell for about $850.00. I have one and I'm very pleased with it. At 23 ounces it is the heaviest of the 8 x 32's but it has a bright, clean, expansive view. it is waterproof and built like a tank and comes with a 25 year guarantee (as does the SE above.) The Leica's, Swarovski's and Zeiss's best will cost from $1000.00 to $1500.00 and they are among the best made. Minox and Kahles and Zeiss make more moderatly priced bins in the $600.00 range. It will be a tough choice. Try to find a dealer who has a variety of them to choose from and try them out and pick the one you like best. Finally, I have a Leica 8 x 20 which is a great little bin, but with it's double hinges and small exit pupil and narrow FOV, it's not nearly as user friendly as any 8 x 32 bin.
Good Luck,
Bob
PS: welcome to Bird Forum!!
 
Last edited:

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
You are definitely on the right track. A top-end 8x32 sacrifices gives up nothing to full-sized binos when it comes to optics, can be nearly as compact as (though will be heavier than) a reverse-porro compact, and are optically and ergonomically far superior to any 8x20 or other pocket-roof model.

Given your description of what you are looking for, I don't recommend a porro-prism model--they are gangly/awkward/bulky, both when hanging around your neck and when packed in your bag, in comparison to their roof-prism counterparts. The Nikon 8x32 LXL is excellent optically and nicely priced--you should try it out--but it is as heavy as some full-sized models. The Swarovski 8x32 has wonderful ergonomics, but is expensive and longer than the others, so it takes up as much room when packed as full-sized binos.

As for the models you are currently leaning toward, the Zeiss 8x32 FL has a wide field of view, excellent eye-relief, is exceptionally bright, has very little chromatic abberation, superb close-focus, nice smooth focus, and very tight minimum interpupillary (52 mm) for kids or adults with close-set eyes, but I don't like the amount of off-axis astigmatism this model has, and it isn't ergonomically a perfect fit for me. It is a great binocular, and I use it regularly, but it is not flawless--try before you buy! As for Leica, there are two choices with practically identical optics, the 8x32 Ultravid (slightly brighter, lighter, and more compact) and the 8x32 BN Ultra/Trinovid. I like both of these equally, and more than the Zeiss FL. I'll confess to being partial to the 8x32 BN as a travel bino--for me, the ergonomics are perfect, the build is awesomely solid and beautiful, the optics superb (one of my favorites for some reason, though I have many optically excellent binos), the rainguard for the oculars is the only design that I've ever liked on any bino that I've ever tried (so I actually use it), and the tight-fitting leather case adds almost no bulk, protects against scuffs when packed, yet has enough room for a strategicallyly folded full-size neoprene strap to fit inside. I actually bought another Leica 8x32BN case for my Zeiss 8x32 because the case that comes with the Zeiss is extremely bulky!
--AP
 

Rich N

Well-known member
swiego said:
Hi! I am most definitely a newbie here. I've done some reading,
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/winter2005/Age_Binos.html
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/sports_and_leisure/binoculars/fullstory.html#intro
http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/midsizedbins2005_reviews.html
And some of this forum in hope of narrowing in on a binocular choice.

I am looking for a high quality general purpose binocular pair. Small enough that it wouldn't get left behind on trips, bright enough with amazing image quality that I wouldn't be too prone to wanting to upgrade it, durable and warrantied so that I could depend on having it in the family for many years to come. Price... I think I'm willing to go to $1,000 but would prefer not to go too far north of it. Lastly I'm making a trip to Hawaii soon and am hoping to put this binocular to the test during that trip... so it's something I'd like to have in my hand in the next few weeks! It would be a very general purpose bino--occasional bird watching and other sightseeing by myself or my GF, when on the upper deck at ballgames, when hiking, etc. Probably not too much nighttime use. Low weight would be a huge plus. Neither of us wears glasses.

Based on the above I am leaning toward an 8x32 binocular, specifically the Victory T* FL in that size. The price is a little higher than what I'd like to pay, at least from B&H, though I could squeeze it in I suppose. My questions are,

- what else should I be considering? It sure seems like all the reviews on the net focus on 8x40 and 10x40 sizes. There isn't nearly as much on the 30mm and 32mm binoculars. I feel like for me, the 40+mm pairs would tend to get left at home a little too much for comfort, whereas the 30-32mm pairs seem to be a nice balance. Where does Nikon fit into the picture at this size? What about Leika? (The latter seems to expensive... even the Zeiss is slowly breaking the bank.)

- for general purpose casual use, am I on the right track with a 8x32 pair? I realize this is a bit subjective... I guess what I was wondering was, how do ya'll tend to regard 8x20 binoculars? It seems like there are a few good ones on the market, they're small, light, and half the cost! Would I find myself regretting something this compact? If you could only own one, which would you choose?

- I love Canon's image-stabilized SLR lens (own a few) and therefore have long been tempted by their offerings as well as some of the Nikon stabilized binoculars. What's the story here? It seems like, for the same price, Canon/Nikon gives you stabilized 14x magnification, but poorer quality optics, is that a fair assessment? Are these taken seriously? They get the same glowing reviews as the Leica and Zeiss binoculars I've seen, however I'm not sure if these glowing reviews are all coming from the same crowd, or from two separate crowds with different priorities.

Sorry for the long post... any thoughts would be appreciated!


With the research you've done I'm sure you realize the FLs are at least $300 more than your $1k max. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my time discussing FLs with you. Even the 32mm FLs.

I strongly suggest that rather than asking others for their opinions you take the time and expense to travel to stores with Zeiss FLs, Canon IS and what ever other brand and model you are find interesting and try them with your own hands and eyes.

There are quite a few binoculars in the $300 to $500 USD range that work very nicely. However, if you want the high end binculars why are you putting your spending limit at $1k when you know they are more than $1k?

If you want us to comment on Canon IS why not put that in the subject line?

Rich
 
Last edited:

swiego

Member
caesar and Alexis - thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. I guess I was looking for a little validation that 8x32 was a reasonable middle-ground that I hoped it would be. Unfortunately where I live, it's not easy to see any of these models, so I'm buying "blind" to a degree. I will give the Nikon 8x32 due consideration, it seems like a popular choice. Zeiss still seems like a very acceptable bet. I'm probably going to skip the 8x20 compacts for the time being, and but keep an eye out for a cheap, used one.

Again I appreciate the advice and will reply again after purchase with the decision & how it worked out after a few days of use. Honestly this may be settled by coin toss!

RichN - wow, are you okay? By tone of your post, it's like you've been irritated by a spinter in your toe all afternoon. Yikes! If you feel you are wasting your time replying, perhaps you should consider skipping this topic next time. It would help with that sunny disposition! Anyway, I did not set a spending limit, please read my post *very* carefully. I'm willing to go to $1k but prefer to not go too far north of that. The $1500+tax 10x40 and 10x50 binoculars are definitely out of my price range. The 8x32 Zeiss at $1250 is getting uncomfortably expensive but I could swallow it.
 
Last edited:

swiego

Member
As for the IS, my general question at Zeiss FL T* owners is in a nutshell, given the considerable investment you've made, how do you feel about IS technologies? I would imagine that I'm not the only person who eventually bought the Zeiss but wondered about the stabilized units during the decision making process... for these people I'd be interested in your thought processes. Mine is that the stabilized units seem very heavy versus the Zeiss FL T* and that's a big differentiating factor.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
swiego said:
As for the IS, my general question at Zeiss FL T* owners is in a nutshell, given the considerable investment you've made, how do you feel about IS technologies? I would imagine that I'm not the only person who eventually bought the Zeiss but wondered about the stabilized units during the decision making process... for these people I'd be interested in your thought processes. Mine is that the stabilized units seem very heavy versus the Zeiss FL T* and that's a big differentiating factor.

My feeling about image stabilized binos is (1) I don't like to spend that kind of money on a product that is, because of its electronic parts, destined to have a much shorter life than a traditional bino; I enjoy the combination of precision and mechnical simplicity that characterizes most optics (2) I can generally stabilize my binos against a tree or by sitting/standing with my elbows against something if necessary (3) I use a scope when I anticipate doing much long-distance viewing (4) the higher power stabilized binos (10x and above), like all high-power binos, have a narrow field of view and depth of field and thus are not so useful for most of the birding that I do. If you do alot of water/seabird watching or equivalent, they'd be great, but not for sparrows, warblers, and other brush and forest birding.
--AP
 

gr8fuldoug

Camera Land / Supporting Vendor
swiego said:
Hi! I am most definitely a newbie here. I've done some reading,
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/LivingBird/winter2005/Age_Binos.html
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/sports_and_leisure/binoculars/fullstory.html#intro
http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/midsizedbins2005_reviews.html
And some of this forum in hope of narrowing in on a binocular choice.

I am looking for a high quality general purpose binocular pair. Small enough that it wouldn't get left behind on trips, bright enough with amazing image quality that I wouldn't be too prone to wanting to upgrade it, durable and warrantied so that I could depend on having it in the family for many years to come. Price... I think I'm willing to go to $1,000 but would prefer not to go too far north of it. Lastly I'm making a trip to Hawaii soon and am hoping to put this binocular to the test during that trip... so it's something I'd like to have in my hand in the next few weeks! It would be a very general purpose bino--occasional bird watching and other sightseeing by myself or my GF, when on the upper deck at ballgames, when hiking, etc. Probably not too much nighttime use. Low weight would be a huge plus. Neither of us wears glasses.

Based on the above I am leaning toward an 8x32 binocular, specifically the Victory T* FL in that size. The price is a little higher than what I'd like to pay, at least from B&H, though I could squeeze it in I suppose. My questions are,

- what else should I be considering? It sure seems like all the reviews on the net focus on 8x40 and 10x40 sizes. There isn't nearly as much on the 30mm and 32mm binoculars. I feel like for me, the 40+mm pairs would tend to get left at home a little too much for comfort, whereas the 30-32mm pairs seem to be a nice balance. Where does Nikon fit into the picture at this size? What about Leika? (The latter seems to expensive... even the Zeiss is slowly breaking the bank.)

- for general purpose casual use, am I on the right track with a 8x32 pair? I realize this is a bit subjective... I guess what I was wondering was, how do ya'll tend to regard 8x20 binoculars? It seems like there are a few good ones on the market, they're small, light, and half the cost! Would I find myself regretting something this compact? If you could only own one, which would you choose?

- I love Canon's image-stabilized SLR lens (own a few) and therefore have long been tempted by their offerings as well as some of the Nikon stabilized binoculars. What's the story here? It seems like, for the same price, Canon/Nikon gives you stabilized 14x magnification, but poorer quality optics, is that a fair assessment? Are these taken seriously? They get the same glowing reviews as the Leica and Zeiss binoculars I've seen, however I'm not sure if these glowing reviews are all coming from the same crowd, or from two separate crowds with different priorities.

Sorry for the long post... any thoughts would be appreciated!

With the higher quality optics available today there are many choices that fall under $1000.00 for you to consider.
Keeping this in mind, stay away from IS binoculars. you will notice that the higher quality binocular companies (Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, etc.) do not offer IS binoculars. They offer the best quality glass, but no IS. In an 8 power IS is not needed.

I would suggest a few options to you that are less than the $1000.00 price range & are very fine binoculars:
Minox BD 8x32 BR ASPH
Leica Trinovid 8x32
Pentax 8x32 DCF SP (The 8x43 DCF SP is not much larger in size)
Zeiss Conquest 8x30
Kahles 8x32

Just some food for thought.
 

Blackstart

Saxophonus pinus
Rich N said:
With the research you've done I'm sure you realize the FLs are at least $300 more than your $1k max. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my time discussing FLs with you. Even the 32mm FLs.

I strongly suggest that rather than asking others for their opinions you take the time and expense to travel to stores with Zeiss FLs, Canon IS and what ever other brand and model you are find interesting and try them with your own hands and eyes.

There are quite a few binoculars in the $300 to $500 USD range that work very nicely. However, if you want the high end binculars why are you putting your spending limit at $1k when you know they are more than $1k?

If you want us to comment on Canon IS why not put that in the subject line?

Rich
Yeah, I mean, if you can't afford the same binoculars as Rich, why even bother asking about them? Obviously only warm and friendly people use them anyway.

Adam

P.S. Take a serious look at the upper-end Nikon roofs. Great glass. Zero snob quotient.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
I would tend to agree with the others. With a $1000 price limit I would opt for the 8x32 Nikon LXLs without even second guessing myself. They offer the same image quality as the other 8x32 high end models but at a significantly less expensive price.
 

gr8fuldoug

Camera Land / Supporting Vendor
FrankD said:
I would tend to agree with the others. With a $1000 price limit I would opt for the 8x32 Nikon LXLs without even second guessing myself. They offer the same image quality as the other 8x32 high end models but at a significantly less expensive price.
Frank,
I absent mindedly left that off of the list I put up. Yes, those are a great option and in that price range.
 

dozercsx

Active member
Dear Swiego,

If I may, I'd like to try something a little different for you than the above train of thought - perhaps something more holistic ,steeped in the experience and love of birding and binocular use, especially considering your statement that you are a "newbie":

Do not buy a thousand dollar binocular for your first pair.

It is very easy to be drawn in by the discussions and reviews of supremely experienced binocular users and birders - they do have a wealth of experience and observations to share (which they do sincerely and gladly) which has shaped their experienced voices.

That is the point.

You must try to keep in mind that practically NONE of these people started with a thousand dollar pair of binos - most (all?) started with humble beginnings, then, as they began to appreciate what they were seeing, and learning from their own experiences, they began to cultivate their own opinions of what makes a good binocular, for them.

Imagine buying a Ferrari F40 for your first car, at 16. At first glance, it would be cool, but then you would begin to realize that (1) it's an awful lot of money to start out with, and (2) many/most of the subtleties of it simply elude you. Even worse, if at the end of the day, you decided you did NOT enjoy driving as much as you thought, you'd have an awfully expensive lesson in your garage.

Binoculars (and birding) are similar experiences.

In addition, never before has there been a finer time to own $200-$500 binoculars - phase coatings for roof prisms, ED glasses for porro prisms, water/fog proofing, nitrogen purging - tremendous technology has trickled down for a fraction of what you would have paid just a few years ago.

So give yourself a chance to grow into the love of birding, and the appreciation of fine binoculars. Start from there. I'm 100% certain that your first purchase of binoculars will NOT be your last, especially if you fall in love with birding - so for an emminently reasonable amount (I'd honestly recommend no more than $300 to start), you can get extremely high quality binoculars, and still have money left over to get what you REALLY consider better/best once you've grown in your own experience, your own view of what's better/best/most important.

Think about this - for $500, you could buy a superb porro prism (ex. Swift Ultralite), from any number of reputable manufacturers AND a superb roof prism (ex. Nikon Monarch), and still have a wad left over once you begin forming your own opinions!

I promise you, if you are new you won't feel "cheated" by a mid-price binocular - almost any of them are the equal of anything produced just a few years ago.

Please think about this as you consider - remember, the best binocular is one you will USE, and all birding will be better for it if you learn to enjoy it, perhaps without the burden of monthly payments hanging over your head. Time enough for that later.

Wishing you only the best, warmest welcome to birding and binos...
 

trashbird

Well-known member
Good advice, Dozercsx.

Two more models to recommend for under a $500. The Pentax DCF SP 8x32 and 8x43.

I think the top-of-the-line Pentaxes are a cut above the other mid-priced bins.

You could also get a nice Pentax spotting scope with the 8x32 that would fit in under your $1000 budget. But perhaps a scope should be saved for later -- after you have seen what you can see with binoculars and you understand their strengths and shortcomings.

(I see Doug has already mentioned the Pentaxes.)
 

Rich N

Well-known member
swiego said:
caesar and Alexis - thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. I guess I was looking for a little validation that 8x32 was a reasonable middle-ground that I hoped it would be. Unfortunately where I live, it's not easy to see any of these models, so I'm buying "blind" to a degree. I will give the Nikon 8x32 due consideration, it seems like a popular choice. Zeiss still seems like a very acceptable bet. I'm probably going to skip the 8x20 compacts for the time being, and but keep an eye out for a cheap, used one.

Again I appreciate the advice and will reply again after purchase with the decision & how it worked out after a few days of use. Honestly this may be settled by coin toss!

RichN - wow, are you okay? By tone of your post, it's like you've been irritated by a spinter in your toe all afternoon. Yikes! If you feel you are wasting your time replying, perhaps you should consider skipping this topic next time. It would help with that sunny disposition! Anyway, I did not set a spending limit, please read my post *very* carefully. I'm willing to go to $1k but prefer to not go too far north of that. The $1500+tax 10x40 and 10x50 binoculars are definitely out of my price range. The 8x32 Zeiss at $1250 is getting uncomfortably expensive but I could swallow it.

I'm fine and so is my toe.

Read my first post again. It isn't as bad as you think.

No matter how much a binocular costs or how many other people like it... try before you buy. Binoculars are like shoes. They have to be right, for you. The Zeiss 8x32FL ia a fine binocular but you may or may not like it.

The BVD website had the Nikon 10x42 SE as their standard for an outstanding birding binocular. It's a fine binocular. I bought one without trying it first because no stores in my area had them. After using it I found out I don't like it for birding. The focuser is too stiff, your position behind the eyepiece is too critical and there is some annoying color fringing on bright sunny days. It is, however, a very nice astronomy binocular.

Rich
 
Last edited:

Rich N

Well-known member
Blackstart said:
Yeah, I mean, if you can't afford the same binoculars as Rich, why even bother asking about them? Obviously only warm and friendly people use them anyway.

Adam

P.S. Take a serious look at the upper-end Nikon roofs. Great glass. Zero snob quotient.


Hey, I'm warm and friendly. Just ask my cat. We both love birds.

Rich
 

gr8fuldoug

Camera Land / Supporting Vendor
dozercsx said:
Dear Swiego,

If I may, I'd like to try something a little different for you than the above train of thought - perhaps something more holistic ,steeped in the experience and love of birding and binocular use, especially considering your statement that you are a "newbie":

Do not buy a thousand dollar binocular for your first pair.


You must try to keep in mind that practically NONE of these people started with a thousand dollar pair of binos - most (all?) started with humble beginnings, then, as they began to appreciate what they were seeing, and learning from their own experiences, they began to cultivate their own opinions of what makes a good binocular, for them.

.

Very wise words.
The Pentax DCF SP series or the Minox ASPH series of binoculars are excellent and will not empty the wallet.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
Frank,
I absent mindedly left that off of the list I put up. Yes, those are a great option and in that price range.

Sorry Doug, even though my post followed yours I wasn't necessarily trying to point out one you missed or disagreeing with you. The binoculars you mentioned are excellent as well. I loved my Conquests, for example, if they just had a larger percentage of the image in focus..ie a flatter field.
 

swiego

Member
Interesting ride...

As promised, a decision and a purchase were made and it was a roller coaster ride for sure.

I finally found a place that carried quite a stock, though admittedly it was a bit of a drive!

Probably the greatest lesson I learned: with binoculars, the models that you think might work out great for you, can in fact turn out to be rather awkward. And the ones that on paper seem perfect, may not feel all that special afterward. And other times, guesses turn out to be spot on! On paper, I was attracted to the Nikon Premier binoculars in 8x32 as seemingly having all the right specs at the right price. Zeiss was the premium binocular that I would be comparing against, Swaroski and Leica were just not my style, Canon IS was a ridiculous idea, and so forth.

Reality (for me) - I just loved the Nikon LX 8x32 but my goodness, it was heavy. The 8x42 seemed no heavier! But the view was fantastic and the extremely narrow depth of field lended these things an amazing "3D" effect. The price was great. Focus mechanism was my favorite. My goodness.

Canon - another example of just being floored. I knew right away that I probably wouldn't buy one, but the IS sure is effective. I own several IS camera lenses and am familiar with and a fan of the concept, and the execution across all their binoculars was just as good. I only wish the design was on par with some of their SLR lenses.

Swaroski - didn't work for me. Expensive. Ergonomics were awkward, hands felt cramped somehow, like they were too small for me. View wasn't great... haven't checked the specs but it was like the pupil exit diameter (?) was very small... just felt constrained. Took fifteen seconds to know I wouldn't be considering it at all.

Zeiss - what I was leaning toward. Ditto to the above. View was great. But not necessarily greater than the Nikons at a much lower price. Ergonomics were nice... but again, "nice" seemed like a weak word to resort to at this price point. View was good, but again no better than the Nikon. I was comparing both the 8x32 and 8x42s to the Nikons and felt the same in both cases... Zeiss quickly wound up back in the display case. Guess what I thought would be the answer, wasn't the answer at all.

Leica - I tried the Ultravid 8x32 and again, it just seemed like a ho-hum entry versus the extremely affordable Nikon. Definitely somewhat sharper, perhaps a bit brighter, but the focus wasn't as good and the ergonomics were feeling cramped to me. I was struggling. Then... I happened to ask to try the 8x42 just for perspective.... and it was like one of those impulse-purchase-of-a-lifetime-that-you'll-never-regret moments. Bright. Sharp. Light. Fits hands perfectly. Matches my eyes perfectly. Did I say sharp? Colors perfect. A joy to use. Something I'd keep for a lifetime. I wasn't showing it, but I felt it. The "BL" leather model wasn't working for me, but the rubber model did. Love at first sight.

The shop I went to is not exactly the biggest one out there and I doubt they have a great deal of volume. As it turned out they had four new Ultravid 8x42s (plus the display model) and I can't imagine they sell many of them. They were $1375. Ouch. But from my web surfing I knew that was a rather good deal, though sales tax added some bite.

I got the Ultravid 8x42 BR in black, and I'm officially calling it a day. It was a splurge but I guess we all have a few of those in life. I figure that one of two things is going to happen. One, this thing is going to get a heck of a lot of use from us over the next twenty years, and for that, it's worth the cost and the smart choice. Or, a year and a half from now, I'm going to sell it, lose some cash, but live and learn and hopefully make the smarter choice next time. Besides, my last love-at-first-sight impulse purchase was a car, and in comparison this isn't risky at all!

Thanks all for the help & I definitely will continue to lurk here from time to time. What an informative site for something I previously considered an esoteric topic: binocular shopping advice. I love the Internet.
 

hinnark

Well-known member
Swiego,

that´s the way one have to choose a binocular!
BTW: the focus mechnism of the Leica is one of the best available IMHO. What some people call 'smooth' is just when a manufactorer use too much and too cheap lubricant. You´ll feel the difference when you use the Leica and for example the Nikon LX in the cold. The Leica will work als always while the Nikon would get stiffer.

Steve
 

swiego

Member
Interestingly enough, the display model Leica 8x42 BR's focus knob felt a little wrong... it wasn't smooth at all but jumpy, almost as though it was catching on something. The pair I took home, though, was perfect. As smooth as the Nikon. There's the tiniest bit of play in it, but it's not a big deal. I used it extensively last night and was outright stunned at how good it is at outdoors nighttime viewing - everything is at least as bright and sharp as I would expect with the naked eye... actually in some ways, more so.

I'm happy with the purchase, although as I mentioned in separate "hello" thread in the Leica forum, I am wondering whether the 7x42 (which I didn't try) would have been a safer buy. The Canon IS really impressed me and only wish I could have it for free (no weight, design, style or size penalty) on the Leica, then I'd have the *perfect* binocular as far as I'm concerned!
 
Warning! This thread is more than 16 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top