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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

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There are plenty of people who don't want to have anything to do with binoculars that need batteries for the stabilizer. Funnily all of those people presumably also use cellphones and plenty of other gadgets that depend on batteries ... ;)
yep, and it’s annoying having to charge my cellphone and buying, replacing batteries in other gadgets. I may have less gadgets than the average person especially young people. I prefer having the least amount of electronics I can possibly get away with in this age. I have no home pc/notebook/tablet so I use my cell for internet, banking, work notifications and more. Unfortunately, it has become a necessity at this point. I find the cell phone very useful but a burden at the same time.

I like that my binocular has no electronics and prefer to keep it that way. It’s for my hobby, for fun. I appreciate and enjoy using it. I don’t want to mess that up by switching to a bulky electronic device. These are just my preferences. Others can do what they prefer.
 
yep, and it’s annoying having to charge my cellphone and buying, replacing batteries in other gadgets. I may have less gadgets than the average person especially young people. I prefer having the least amount of electronics I can possibly get away with in this age. I have no home pc/notebook/tablet so I use my cell for internet, banking, work notifications and more. Unfortunately, it has become a necessity at this point. I find the cell phone very useful but a burden at the same time.

I like that my binocular has no electronics and prefer to keep it that way. It’s for my hobby, for fun. I appreciate and enjoy using it. I don’t want to mess that up by switching to a bulky electronic device. These are just my preferences. Others can do what they prefer.
Wireless charging is on its way. Right now the technology is 10 to 20 feet from the base. In a few years this probably will be an every store and the range will increase over 100 feet. Your cell phone and or other devices will constantly charge as you’re walking around the house, a store or a mall. Never to be plugged in again. Charging ports on electronics will go the way of the buggy whip. 😲
 
I could agree that on the 30’s , don’t have the 840. I still seem to prefer the little Leica‘s for that color saturation. Two incredibly different binoculars that are both incredibly enjoyable to use.

Paul
Yes, i agree: the Leica beats the Habicht regarding color saturation. Love them both for what they are. Leica’s are also really compact, more so than the Habicht.
 
I may be wrong because of my ignorance when it comes to image stabilization but I am guessing that if you mount both IS and "so called alphas" to tripods , the alphas would win .
 
I like that my binocular has no electronics and prefer to keep it that way.
Same here. Even though I do have a Canon 18x50IS. Bought it for astronomy and I use it sometimes for ship spotting when I wanna have a closer look. But most of the time I prefer a low magnification, "low tech" bino like a 6x30, 7x35 or 8x30 which are my most used sizes. It's not just the batteries, also the fact that electronics degrade. It's nothing that can be done against it. While my vintage 50 year old porros will be just as good in another 50 years (when I'm dead and gone) as they are now, unless something like balsam separation happens, which can be easily fixed without a degree in electronics engineering.
That being said. The Zomz mechanically stabilized 16x50 does look interesting. And a Zeiss 20x60 would be nice, too, if it wasn't such a beast and so insanely expensive. Even a used one is around 3,000 €.
 
I may be wrong because of my ignorance when it comes to image stabilization but I am guessing that if you mount both IS and "so called alphas" to tripods , the alphas would win .
May be. But the point is, you normally don't mount your binocular when birding the "mobile way". That's why the IS bins win.
 
I may be wrong because of my ignorance when it comes to image stabilization but I am guessing that if you mount both IS and "so called alphas" to tripods , the alphas would win .
Well, you are wrong. The Canon 10x42 IS is optically an alpha, even without the stabiliser. So why should a "so called alpha" win when you put both on a tripod (which is, incidentally, a lot easier with the Canon because it has got a tripod bush)?

You've got pretty strong opinions for someone who's quite obviously never used a Canon 10x42 IS.

What was that about opinions?

Hermann
 
But most of the time I prefer a low magnification, "low tech" bino like a 6x30, 7x35 or 8x30 which are my most used sizes.
Fair enough. You do know you lose about 35% of the detail even at 8x magnification though? There are plenty of studies that show that.
It's not just the batteries, also the fact that electronics degrade. It's nothing that can be done against it. While my vintage 50 year old porros will be just as good in another 50 years (when I'm dead and gone) as they are now, unless something like balsam separation happens, which can be easily fixed without a degree in electronics engineering.
This leads to an interesting question: Are you more into bino collecting or more into birding? Your nick suggests the former. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with bino collecting and these old instruments (I'm partial to Zeiss West porros myself and have got several), but that's a different hobby. If you want to get as much detail on a bird as possible, stabilisation helps. A lot. And if a binocular dies after, say, 10 years, so what? You'll have enjoyed it for thousands of hours in the field by then, and identified plenty of birds. Including quite a few you wouldn't have identified with a conventional binocular.
That being said. The Zomz mechanically stabilized 16x50 does look interesting. And a Zeiss 20x60 would be nice, too, if it wasn't such a beast and so insanely expensive. Even a used one is around 3,000 €.
The Zomz ... Well, the one I handled was pretty horrible. The Zeiss is another matter. I've got the Zeiss Mono 20x60S, and I can assure you these optics need to be handled with extreme care. These mechanical stabilizers don't like any rough treatment. I personally believe the Canons, especially the 10x42 IS, are probably more robust than the Zeiss.

Hermann
 
Well, you are wrong. The Canon 10x42 IS is optically an alpha, even without the stabiliser. So why should a "so called alpha" win when you put both on a tripod (which is, incidentally, a lot easier with the Canon because it has got a tripod bush)?


You've got pretty strong opinions for someone who's quite obviously never used a Canon 10x42 IS.

What was that about opinions?

Hermann
Was being a little sarcastic. But no canon IS (non L) I’ve used ever came close to an SF, NL Ultravid etc. so far.

I’ll revisit on the L when I’ve had time with them. And if my opinion agrees there premium, I’ll humbly post that finding. ✌🏼

Paul
 
... But most of the time I prefer a low magnification, "low tech" bino like a 6x30, 7x35 or 8x30 which are my most used sizes. It's not just the batteries, also the fact that electronics degrade. It's nothing that can be done against it. While my vintage 50 year old porros will be just as good in another 50 years (when I'm dead and gone) as they are now, unless something like balsam separation happens, which can be easily fixed without a degree in electronics engineering.
...
Hello Binocollector,

Yes, electronics have limited lifetimes. I have a three year old air conditioner which can be set with an app, from anywhere in the world, but its digital workings have become scrambled. The useful lifetime of my Zeiss 8x32FL is probably more than twenty years, enough time for some important improvements to happen.
I have used a Canon 10x42L just once. Its optics were fine.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 
You've got pretty strong opinions for someone who's quite obviously never used a Canon 10x42 IS.

This thread seems to be a re-spin of an earlier one "Why is Alpha better than high grade".

@Paultricounty got rather 'cheeky' when one did not agree with his view.

I have read many many posts and reviews on Canon IS bins and the consensus I have found is that IS bins "destroy" all non-IS bins for actually seeing detail.

I now have 3 sets - 12x36 iii, 18x50, 10x42L, after choosing to buy these instead of big name (fanboy) brands. I am confident that these fit my use cases better and show much more than any other non-IS/ non-mounted bins.

Will they last 200 years ........ probably not, but neither will I and my kids are getting enough anyway :rolleyes: .

Everyone to their own.....I WILL call Canon IS bins "Alpha" as they perform their purpose better than anything else available.
 
This thread seems to be a re-spin of an earlier one "Why is Alpha better than high grade".

@Paultricounty got rather 'cheeky' when one did not agree with his view.

I have read many many posts and reviews on Canon IS bins and the consensus I have found is that IS bins "destroy" all non-IS bins for actually seeing detail.

I now have 3 sets - 12x36 iii, 18x50, 10x42L, after choosing to buy these instead of big name (fanboy) brands. I am confident that these fit my use cases better and show much more than any other non-IS/ non-mounted bins.

Will they last 200 years ........ probably not, but neither will I and my kids are getting enough anyway :rolleyes: .

Everyone to their own.....I WILL call Canon IS bins "Alpha" as they perform their purpose better than anything else available.
Lol, and I’m the opinionated one.
 
I have read many many posts and reviews on Canon IS bins and the consensus I have found is that IS bins "destroy" all non-IS bins for actually seeing detail.
I find this really interesting, and a game-changer when it comes to assessing binoculars, and one reason why IS binoculars simply "break the rules" of what was traditionally used to assess binoculars. When trying binoculars, you usually assess their qualities: sharpness, contrast, brightness, behaviour in difficult light situations. Since there are binoculars for very different purposes, you cannot state that this or that feature is THE ultimate, because maybe for a certain application that won't be the case. However, some of the most important features of binoculars, actually their first and foremost goal, deal with showing closer what is far away, so that you can appreciate what it is. Usually, the better (and higher on the price ladder) a bino is, the better sharpness it will have, the more resolution it will show, and the more detail it will allow you to see. This increase goes usually hand in hand with price and usually with an improvement in other (but not all) features. Usually a top of the range model will have better sharpness, contrast, etc. than an entry level one. But then you get IS hand held devices, and some of the above does not prove true. Some cheaper IS show a less contrasty image than top level (even upper tier) non-IS binos, they show more CA and an overall less "refined" image. However, they simply show more.

Coming back to exup's comment, I agree with the above quote. I've experienced it several times, my 500 € Canon IS 8x20 shows more detail than my 1600 € Swarovski EL 8x32, and probably than any non-IS 8x (I haven't tried NL or SF, but I don't think they'll add a lot of detail to the EL). I understand this is an ugly truth and a bitter pill to swallow. Yes, the EL does A LOT of things better, and as such I'd say is a "superior" (whatever that means) binocular. But if I want to observe detail, like to ID a bird, or simply appreciating features of a known species, non-IS binoculars simply lag behind. What IS does with plummage details simply has to be experienced to be believed: with non-IS you can see a bird, but with IS you can study it and immerse in the details in a way you simply can't with non-IS (a similar things happens if you mount your non-IS on a tripod). Yes, certainly many IS lag behind in other areas. My 10x30 IS II show more detail than any non-IS hand held 10x... and yet they show way more CA than a 1000 € non-IS and the image is not as nice, they are not as sturdy, etc. But if you go back to the first and foremost goal of binoculars, IS are simply in a higher level: they show you more. It's a pretty stunning revelation.

No, I'm not a IS fanboy, I have several nice binoculars, both IS and non-IS, Porro, SP, AK, you name it. I simply acknowledge something that seems to be forgotten in this kind of threads when talking about quality binoculars. Yes, you buy an upper tier or top of the line bino for many reasons beyond image quality: comfort, ease of use, reliability and durability being some of them, FOV probably being another, and so on and so forth, but it's simply astonishing to know that, whatever alphabetadeltagammaomega you buy, the guy next to you using a cheaper and dodgy IS bino will simply see more than you in many circumstances. I really can't get over this, it is quite something. I haven't tried the Canon 10x42 L, but by most accounts it's a combination of top of the line optical performance and IS (which simply puts it in a league of its own), the cost being weight and bulk. But then each and every single device is a sum of compromises and one has to choose his/her own: these are subjective and personal choices: the level of detail offered by IS is not.

If I was forced (or personally chose) to have a single unit, THE one and only bino. I'd probably chose a non-IS 8x32 like the EL. But since I can have more than one, my second unit to complement it will undoubtedly be an IS, 10x or 12x. As a matter of fact, that has been my very choice over the last year... and I'd say the Canon IS 12x36 II have seen no less than 75 % of my bino-time, the EL 8x32 maybe 15 % and the rest of the time has been occupied by other binos I have for other purposes (8x56, 7x42, 7x35, 6.5x21).

So, coming back to the title of this thread. While I have a premium (alpha), last year "my list" has been lead by a less-than-beta IS because in some areas it offers more than any alpha. ;)
 
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Since there are binoculars for very different purposes, you cannot state that this or that feature is THE ultimate, because maybe for a certain application that won't be the case.
I agree. Not owing an IS binocular and having really serious doubts about electronics in binoculars as i posted before BUT: after reading some more posts and arguments pro IS im really curious about them and eg if i had a boat i would have already bought one for in the cabin. Saw a (stupid) serie about crab (?) fishers some years ago and one of the captains used an IS binocular in rough sea. I really think they can be complementary to a collection. Also i can see use for a tough armored IS 15+ monocular for hiking, with 10 year guarantee on the electronics.
 
.... really serious doubts about electronics .....

Yes, electronics could be a weak link for longevity of the instrument .....

However, in my lifetime, as an Engineer, I have witnessed major technological revolutions:-

Modern fighter aircraft can't be flown without an 'active' flight control system ...... humans are the weakness.

Similar with jet engine control systems - FADEC is about the same age as IS bins and use slower and 'safe' processors ..... similar to NASA in many of their deployed missions.

Cars, supercars, motorcycles, etc. have many active systems e.g. active suspension that changes preload/compression and rebound damping, intake and exhaust controls that vary geometry to tune the unsteady gas dynamics for load/revs/emissions,

Virtually everything today has an active electronic element ...... this is not by mistake, but by design to improve performance of the system.
Engineers use the technology that is available to deliver a system. Modern space telescopes need electronics to deliver the best image, why should 'cheap' commercial binoculars be any different?

As touched on by @yarrelli, IS bins address a very big failing of normal bins, namely human inability to hold the optics steady.
So, brilliant glass, modern coatings and dialectic/phase treatments are all very good, but the ability to deliver a detailed image to the human brain is seriously compromised by the guaranteed movement of the human mount. A magic IS button, is a stepped change ..... arguably a larger image improvement that dielectric coatings or ED glass.

It would seem that Canon have generally got a big head-start on most of the other optics manufactures. They have used their expertise to deliver a product suite that deliver an image to the human brain that contains more detail than optics alone.

As long as people keep buying £3000 bins from the big optics makers, then they are 'on a pigs back', as their profit margins are likely huge..... with little need to invest in trying to break into modern electronics and design of systems that they have minimal experience. Simple optics bins are little changed in a hundred years, except for glass and coatings. They have been evolved and optimised, with likely few future stepped changes to come.

Could we have NL/SLC/EL,SF, HG, xxxxxxxx bins with active electronics similar to or better to Canon (or Fuji/Opticron/xxxx); absolutely and they would likely be better than todays Canon IS bins.

However, could/would/will Swaro, Zeiss, Leica do it today?

I have ~30 pairs of bins, the 'best' non-IS are Celestron Regal FF EDs ........ to me these are good enough (90% of 'Alpha'?), given the inherent shake compromise when in use. When I want to see most detail, I use IS bins or a mounted spotting scope, both of which are a major step up from handheld normal non-IS bins.
 
own.....I WILL call Canon IS bins "Alpha" as they perform their purpose better than anything else available.

Hmm ….. so since the purpose of a car is to transport people and/or things from one place to another, a truck is necessarily a premium car since you can load more and therefore it performs it‘s purpose better than regular cars? 🤔
Not sure I follow.

By the way: there are areas where most IS binoculars, with few exceptions, suck. Consider e.g. applications where a very wide field of view is advantageous or even required (following rapid birds of prey; spotting birds when a large sector has to be covered rapidly). I find only the Canon 10x42 halfway useful in such situations.

I have more than half a dozen IS binoculars, and I used them regularly where they excel - seeing detail images. But otherwise, other binoculars sometimes offer more practical advantages. Whether they are „alpha“ or not does not depend on whether they have IS or not.
 
Hmm ….. so since the purpose of a car is to transport people and/or things from one place to another, a truck is necessarily a premium car since you can load more and therefore it performs it‘s purpose better than regular cars?
The design specification for a passenger car and a truck are significantly different.

Every sub-division of "car" will have a different design goal = an Audi R8 supercar is significantly different than a Fiat 500!

I do agree that there are occasions when different bins are more suitable, hence I have more than IS bins.
However, it is my view that IS bins can normally deliver an image that handheld non-IS bins can't.
 
The only Canon IS bino that I have recommended to my friends is the 12x36 (II or III). The 10x42 has better optics and a wider AFoV as well as waterproofing, but it has the body of a toaster and eyecups made for klingons. The 12x36 has quite a bit of CA, a modest FoV of 5*, it's prone to glare, it's not waterproof and has a long close focus of about 6m (not ideal for birding), BUT indeed it shows more details than any hand-held alpha binos of power 12x or less. I have owned several Canon 12x36's (at different times) and like yarrellii I was using them more often than my alpha binos from Swaro, Zeiss, Leica or Nikon, for the simple reason that quite obviously I was seeing more details with the 12x36. My other binos of course were not happy with this situation, conspired against the 12x36 and convinced me that I was making too many compromises for the "more details" offered by the IS. So I replaced the 12x36 with the Swaro 12x50, which maybe shows me slightly less detail but does not have any of the drawbacks of the 12x36 (see above).
Regarding the question whether any of the Canon binos is an alpha, imo that's for the user to decide---Canon 10x42 offers someting extra ("more details") compared with the 10x binos in the accepted alpha class (Swaro SV/FP/NL, Zeiss SF, Leica NV, Nikon EDG etc), and if that aspect is very important to a user then Canon is an alpha for that user. If Canon was dominated by a bino in the alpha class wrt to any important technical feature (optics, mechanics, ergonomics etc) they it could not be an alpha bino.
 
@PeterPS

What you say is reasonable.

It is for each individual to choose their route in the binocular world.

When deciding to spend more cash, I choose to add x10, x12, x18 IS bins with 'magic' buttons and flat fields ........ instead of marginally better coatings and glass.
 
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