For me that 8x32 that rules them all is the now discontinued Zeiss FL 8x32: wide field of view, light, no chromatic aberration, robust, great eyecups, etc. But, it is now discontinued.Hello everyone! Lately I've had a lumbago acuta that has prevented me from going surfski paddling, so revitalising the birding seems the obvious route to go.
My youngest son left college for university in another city, so there's a new world of freedom to explore. Maybe 2023 will be my Big Year.
As you may know, I nowadays only do eco-birding, which, in my interpretation, means staying clear from any motors including public transportation. There's not many more species I've only seen while moving about with a car. Four are so rare that it's not feasible to expect to see them anymore in my life, only two are left. Then, obviously, I have quite a few species that I must blush when admitting they're not yet on my list.
Anyhow, days are getting shorter rapidly here in the north and we're approaching the autumnal equinox. Since I work until 6 pm, I need to get out immediately after work to get a couple of hours of light. The idea of storing a birding backpack at work is old, and I'm reviving it but thinking of what to actually put in it.
Tonight, it was the Meostar 8x32 and the Zen-Ray 7x43 along with the Nikon ED50A 27x and a monopod.
This is, by the way, my current collection: Revisiting BF - Current binocular collection
The sun got further and further towards the horizon and I swapped between the two binoculars, unable to find any brightness difference. I rode the bike home and continued the test with the same result. Just after the sun was down, I thought I may have seen a tiny advantage for the 7x43.
Looking at my current collection, there's no 10x in it. Many years ago, I found that there was no practical difference in detail rendition between the 10x32 FL and the Nikon 8x30 E II, which turned my world around. All 10x left my house, including my old man's Classic Dialyt 10x40 that I left to my older son.
The 12x50 is another beast. The step up is sufficient to justify owning and carrying two classes of binoculars: 7/8x and 12x. The Meostar is actually easy to hold steady.
So, here goes: Earlier I found out that a 10x made no sense. Now it seems that exit pupils above 4 or maybe 5 millimeters also make no sense for me. I won't sell the EDG 7x42, arguably the world's best binocular, but it appears to be redundant.
All this leaves me in a strange situation where I was prepared to buy a 10x42 or 10x50 for my store-at-work backpack, but might very well just go with the little Meostar, and, if planning succeeds, sometimes also the big Meostar. There won't be a 10x, and I can't afford the NL Pure 12x42 especially as the big Meostar is so good.
But... [honoring the thread title]
Neither of my three 8x30/8x32 is perfect The E II has the most exquisite image, The Kite Lynx is quite close but a lot more handy, and the Meostar is very rugged and has that strange thing I call big PFOV (actual FOV less than either of the two 8x30, but it almost disappears when eyecups are down, and it's the only one I can use with glasses), but the image hue isn't quite satisfactory.
I'd be willing to spend a fair amount of money on one fantastic 8x3x that combines the treats of these three (although the wonderful porro 3D must be sacrificed). But I can't seem to find the 8x3x to rule them all. The Monarch HG and the CL Companion don't seem to offer enough qualities above, say, the Kite, to justify spending about €1000.
Obviously, this a first world problem. I'd probably not throw out one of my current midsizers anyway, even if I found the Grail. So, as so often before, this is only a constructed problem and faked agony. Unless someone points out the best-ever midsizer that mysteriously went under my radar, I actually gravitate towards the updated Meostar. Everything else being the same, but it had the hue corrected, I'd not look back. Looking forward to see your replies and debate.
The Leica UV HD+ 8x32 is great and even lighter. It is even (very slightly) better than the FL regarding its superb resistance to flare and contrast. Focusing is also easier (the image snaps more into focus, due to less astigmatism at the periphery), the sweet spot very large. The field of view is however slightly smaller (which does not matter much to me), and the eye relief is shorter, so that it might be a little hard to use with glasses -- you need to try.
The Zeiss SF 8x32 is supposedly absolutely great, except that it's physically larger, which would be an issue for me, but seems to be fine with most people. I don't have it so I cannot offer my personal comparison.
I would take a look at those two, and decide whether to live with slightly short eye relief of the Leica UV, or put up with the longer form factor of the Zeiss SF. My vote, of course, would be for the Leica UV, also because they are smaller and lighter for traveling and packing; they not only "rule" other 8x32 but made obsolete also my 8x25s, except when mountain biking, as I do not find much consequential difference in weight and size between packing an 8x25 or the Leica UV 8x32.