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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Newbie - Scope or Binoculars (1 Viewer)

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I was a bit harsh in my rant about scopes, they are sadly pretty essential for sea watches, birding in open country or any time one needs a real close up, such as reading rings.
That said, they are hugely less user friendly than binoculars, because they need to be set up. Admittedly there is a social benefit, the view can then be shared, which is impossible with binoculars. The offset is that setting up takes time and the appropriate gear, a distraction from actually birding.
I've wondered whether image stabilization could resolve the issue, providing a hand held 20-40x view without needing a tripod.
I'd buy that in a heartbeat.
 
Tried the Swarovski SLC 10x56 today along with EL 12x50. The EL felt lighter in the hands and more ergonomically friendly whilst viewing with the SLC was a little heavier, both very clear and bright though. The extra FOV was nice on the 56 albeit I was only looking out of a shop doorway and out along a narrow high sided side street. I suppose when gazing out to sea and along cliff tops the usefulness of 56 against 50 FOV would be negligible at those sort of ranges

I was interested in the 15x56 SLC (not available) but after holding the 10x56 over sustained periods guessing the 15x56 would be quite heavy over prolonged gazing and walking. I'm basically looking at a compromise of a multi tasking option for walking/gazing and also inside the caravan to mount on a tripod for prolonged viewing of sea life and boating activities. Do you think the EL 12x50 could accommodate and fulfil these needs
 

paddyluke

Well-known member
Wales
Something else to consider is that a scope can be social: one person can point it at something interesting and others can take a look. Often much better than trying to describe where the thing of interest is so others can find it in their bins...
when i make a decision what to buy then i buy what suited me best not what would suit others,most of the time when you are out birding you would probably be out on your own ;) , bino's would be my first purchase (y)
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Tried the Swarovski SLC 10x56 today along with EL 12x50. The EL felt lighter in the hands and more ergonomically friendly whilst viewing with the SLC was a little heavier, both very clear and bright though. The extra FOV was nice on the 56 albeit I was only looking out of a shop doorway and out along a narrow high sided side street. I suppose when gazing out to sea and along cliff tops the usefulness of 56 against 50 FOV would be negligible at those sort of ranges

I was interested in the 15x56 SLC (not available) but after holding the 10x56 over sustained periods guessing the 15x56 would be quite heavy over prolonged gazing and walking. I'm basically looking at a compromise of a multi tasking option for walking/gazing and also inside the caravan to mount on a tripod for prolonged viewing of sea life and boating activities. Do you think the EL 12x50 could accommodate and fulfil these needs
Hi,

Maybe it might make sense for you to buy an inexpensive pair of binoculars as "format simulators" first and try them out in practice before committing to buying a premium pair.

The thing is, once you take up birding, you will discover new things to do and develop new ideas of what's most enjoyable for you, so your requirements for optics will change, inevitably ... and normally the "format" (such as 12x56 roof prism etc.) will be affected primarily.

So it's quite possible to overthink it here ... your stated requirements above are very likely to change as you gain experience.

Of course, shopping in itself can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience ... ;-)

Regards,

Henning
 
Thanks guys, bit the bullet and have some EL 12x50's coming tomorrow πŸ₯³ also managed a bit of discount so really happy so guess the slippery slope may have just begun
 
Good choice, perfect for your scenario. Enjoy.
Thanks, the guy I spoke to was explaining the +/- of EL 12x50 vs NL12x42, he said that the EL was slightly better at low light early/late daylight which is typically the environment I'll be viewing, also get many a dull day when weather turns so hopefully they will benefit the EL, plus I've saved a few quid 😁

Just need to think of a tripod now for some viewing from indoors - anyone any ideas
 
EL’s arrived today, nicely boxed and presented. Very impressed with the quality, I did test albeit outside the shop doorway the other day however out in the field they felt lovely. Gazing for about 30 minutes and not too heavy or too much shake, nice bright and clear viewing, well made up

I did a like for like with my B&Lamb 10x42 in some low light this evening and much better, I know I’m comparing with a 12x50 but focusing was much sharper and snappier and more light from those 50 objectives, can’t wait till the weekend and a decent venture out 😁
 

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Aotus

Well-known member
United States
congrats on the purchase! I have the smaller EL 8x32, developed a real love for them quickly as they transformed my viewing experience and made me more excited about getting into the woods. I expect you'll have the same experience, though I am curious how you make out with the weight and magnification - I'm not a physically weak person at all but have trouble keeping a 10x bino stable enough to enjoy a long viewing of birds that are at moderate distances, so eventually I gave up and went with an 8x and have been very pleased. I look with envy at the 12x but know I would need some kind of support to really benefit from them (and don't have the cash to experiment with the NL+forehead mount). If you don't need support on your walks, I suspect you'll get more pleasure out of using a tripod rather than a monopod, but I believe there are some very lightweight monopods out there that can double as walking sticks if you want that extra support on the walk. Good luck with it, I will be interested to see what your final configuration is.
 
Thanks Aotus

They feel ever so slightly heavier than the 10x42's I have but like you say, a walk in the woods for the afternoon will certainly be a good test. When I was in the shop the other week I tried the NL Pures and headrest on some 12x42's and it felt great but sadly its not available for the EL range and also couldn't justify the extra outlay (certainly not for my 1st high-end pair), also need some pennies to invest in some sort of stabilisation for when viewing from the caravan 😁
 

Royfinn

Well-known member
Quick question regarding monopods, is there still an element of binocular shake experienced whilst using these type of support

You should get a "finnstick" (google it!). Nearly every serious birder here in Finland uses one. It will stabilize 12x bins nicely and prevent fatique.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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