Roger Vineyard has another review- the NL 8x42.
I'll stick with my SLCs. I would never give them up. I was tempted with the the NLs, but I don't see the point in getting another pair of 8x42s (hands too Shaky for 10x). My next purchase will be the SLC 8x56 for low light viewing."If you’re a keen birder you’ll be wanting to know if these are now the finest birding binoculars in the world. Yes. Yes, they are. They are an evolution of the ELs, but better in almost every way, equal to or better than the previous best (Zeiss SFs) by a noticeable margin in every area except weight. And unlike the SFs, build is properly premium and flawless."
That say's it all doesn't it!
You almost certainly won’t see a brighter image with 8X56 vs. 8X42, maybe even 8X32 if you have “old eyes” as you describe. High light transmission is what you might pursue instead such as 95% with Zeiss HT’s.My next purchase will be the SLC 8x56 for low light viewing.
I have tried all the NLs at a pre launch event and they are indeed very fine binoculars, but to my old eyes, I could not see much difference between them and my SLCs
If your eye dilate to 6.8 mm you are in the top 5% of your age group and are definitely not representative of a normal birder in that age group. Most birders in your age group are not going to realize any advantage of a 8x56 over even an 8x42. As dwever says above the transmission of a binocular is more important as you get older because the cone of light from a binocular like the Habicht 7x42 even though it is smaller in diameter than the 8x56 would seem brighter to somebody in their sixties due to the higher transmission which is almost 96%. I am in my sixties and when I had the SLC 8x56 and the Habicht 7x42 the Habicht appeared to have more apparent brightness than the SLC. In fact in most lighting situations the little Habicht 8x30 was as bright as the big SLC 8x56 to my eyes. So take heed seniors not only will a 8x56 give you a backache your not going to see much more with it than a good 8x42.Hello,
sorry that's too general for me ...
Yes, it is true, the pupils do not dilate as large in many older people, but there are also quite a few in whom I do not!
I'm almost 60 years old and my pupils widen to 6.8mm (measured by the ophthalmologist) when the pupils are still well over 6mm. an 8x56 is still worth opening!
I had several astro colleagues, many over 60 years of age, whose pupils were also over 6mm. went, there are 80 year olds who still run marathons and are fit as a 40 year old, why shouldn't that be the case with the eyes?
You just have to try it out or have it checked.
Well thanks for this. I never realised this is the case. I know as we all get older we do not see as well but I was not aware of the points you have raised. I was hoping to use the 8x56 for late evening viewing of owls, badgers etc. However, I would have trialed them first and if, as you state, I will see no perceivable difference, I'd save myself some money and not get them.You almost certainly won’t see a brighter image with 8X56 vs. 8X42, maybe even 8X32 if you have “old eyes” as you describe. High light transmission is what you might pursue instead such as 95% with Zeiss HT’s.
Your pupils need to open like a thirty-year-olds in order to take in the extra low-light delivered by a 8X56mm. The mean difference in pupil size between age 20 to 29 and 70 to 79 is a whopping 2.6 mm.* The 8X56 will do nothing more in low light for someone with 5.0 low-light pupils as the older pupils are only letting a center portion of the light pass in equal to the size of the dilated pupils.
This is because the passage of time significantly weakens the tiny muscles that control pupil size. The pupil becomes smaller and far less responsive to changes in light. That’s why people in their 60s need 3X more light for comfortable reading than those in their 20: the sixty year old can no longer gather the light they need via a large aperture eye pupil, so he needs more intense light to pass through his shrunken pupil aperture.
If the 56mm bins gives you a beam of low-light that is 7mm around at the pupil, but your aged pupil’s circumference in the same conditions is 4.8mm (well within range for people in their 70’s) you can’t take quite take advantage of an 8X42, and certainly not an 8X56 as so much light is falling outside of the pupil opening. This is why you don’t like to drive at night too; just can’t get the needed amount of light through while the 20 year old has all he needs through his 7.5mm low-light aperture.
*Eye surgeons have charts broken out by decade as the low-light-adapted pupil diameter is an important clinical variable when planning refractive surgery.
Gray:Well thanks for this. I never realised this is the case. I know as we all get older we do not see as well but I was not aware of the points you have raised. I was hoping to use the 8x56 for late evening viewing of owls, badgers etc. However, I would have trialed them first and if, as you state, I will see no perceivable difference, I'd save myself some money and not get them.
I disagree with the above post by Dwever, I have used some larger objective binoculars in lower light, the extra brightness is obvious
and for most all to see, when directly comparing to a similar quality 42.
I would go for it, I am certain you will enjoy what you would see.