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

Premium (Alpha) vs Image stabilized (1 Viewer)

Oh, I can tell the difference no trouble, but the Canon is good enough optically plus has the IS, which transforms the experience imho.
I've not been bothered by the focus delay or the image shift aspects, they are momentary and I fiddle with the focus constantly in any case, something that the Canon's very slow (3 3/4 turns lock to lock) focus encourages.
If Swaro or Zeiss were to offer an NL or an SF with IS, I'd be the first to buy that, but they don't. I don't know why, they certainly both have the needed technical chops. I assume the issue is system longevity and perhaps packaging. .
Meanwhile, IS remains a massive enhancement for birding and Canon's 10x42ISL is the best IS glass I've been able to find.
Trouble with the Canon 10x42 IS-L is, it keeps falling farther and farther behind the alphas in optics because Canon has not made any improvements to it either optically, mechanically and especially ergonomically. Binoculars are not Canon's bread and butter, cameras are. I think most would agree that even the older Swarovski EL had the edge optically over the Canon, and now with the NL the gap in optics is getting wider and wider, with the NL having a much bigger FOV and much better transparency and immersivity than the Canon. The Canon's puny 6.5 degree FOV is miniscule compare to the huge 7.6 degree FOV of the NL. The Canon 10x42 IS-L is more of a replaceable consumer appliance, like a toaster. Swarovski and Zeiss will never make an IS binocular like the Canon because they are dedicated to making the very best optics and with today's technology you will never make an IS binocular that will match an NL in absolute optical performance. If you want a rock steady NL, you put it on a tripod. Then it will blow a Canon 10x42 IS-L all the way back to Japan.
 
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Everybody in Yellowstone National Park uses Swarovski Spotters on a tripod to look across the huge expanses of the Lamar Valley. A lot of people rent them at the local hardware store. They will sit by their RV in a lawn chair from early morning till evening, spotting wolves and eagles. It is amazing what you can see in a good spotter compared to binoculars. I could barely make out the tree some Bald Eagles were in miles away and through the spotter I could see the baby eagles in their nests.
No argument there. And if you want to take it a step further, try the Swarovski spotter with bino attachments, amazing.
 
I saw my first ever (!) Canon IS in the field today at a popular birding area, some midsized model, couldn't tell whether 42 L or 32 much less what magnification. I wonder whether this was someone who found IS superior as some say here, or just felt he has shaky hands. I doubt there's any local shop where one could try them.
 
Trouble with the Canon 10x42 IS-L is, it keeps falling farther and farther behind the alphas in optics because Canon has not made any improvements to it either optically, mechanically and especially ergonomically. Binoculars are not Canon's bread and butter, cameras are. I think most would agree that even the older Swarovski EL had the edge optically over the Canon, and now with the NL the gap in optics is getting wider and wider, with the NL having a much bigger FOV and much better transparency and immersivity than the Canon. The Canon's puny 6.5 degree FOV is miniscule compare to the huge 7.6 degree FOV of the NL. The Canon 10x42 IS-L is more of a replaceable consumer appliance, like a toaster. Swarovski and Zeiss will never make an IS binocular like the Canon because they are dedicated to making the very best optics and with today's technology you will never make an IS binocular that will match an NL in absolute optical performance. If you want a rock steady NL, you put it on a tripod. Then it will blow a Canon 10x42 IS-L all the way back to Japan.
Not disputing that the NL is a nicer glass, although the difference is relatively modest imho. I'd rate the Canon optically as Leica BN vintage, still quite adequate. Also agree that IS is not a substitute for a spotter, unless perhaps Canon comes out with a dual power 10x/20x variant.
The Canon IS shines when looking at small birds in trees and shrubs or birds further away. It is dramatically easier to get on and follow such individuals when the glass is hand held and yet the view is stable.
 
I saw my first ever (!) Canon IS in the field today at a popular birding area, some midsized model, couldn't tell whether 42 L or 32 much less what magnification. I wonder whether this was someone who found IS superior as some say here, or just felt he has shaky hands. I doubt there's any local shop where one could try them.
I have NEVER seen a Canon IS in the field! Never. All Swarovski and Zeiss, mostly.
 
No argument there. And if you want to take it a step further, try the Swarovski spotter with bino attachments, amazing.
I know. The Swarovski Spotters are so expensive, people rent them for their trip. But I have NEVER seen anything up there except a Swarovski Spotter. Even the guides all use Swarovski Spotters and expensive ones. I saw a guide van, and they must have had 20 Swarovski Spotters in there for all the tourist. They don't mess around with anything else. The professionals obviously think they are the best.
 
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Not disputing that the NL is a nicer glass, although the difference is relatively modest imho. I'd rate the Canon optically as Leica BN vintage, still quite adequate. Also agree that IS is not a substitute for a spotter, unless perhaps Canon comes out with a dual power 10x/20x variant.
The Canon IS shines when looking at small birds in trees and shrubs or birds further away. It is dramatically easier to get on and follow such individuals when the glass is hand held and yet the view is stable.
They need to update the Canon 10x42 IS-L. You think they would update their flagship IS binocular. They make a gazillion different models of IS binoculars. Improve the optics and ergonomics just a little, and I bet a lot more birders would try them. Get rid of those big hard eye cups for a starter.
 
That is why, e.g., we never met, and never won't. Not personally, not in our opinion about IS binos.
I think the Canon IS are fine, and they do have the advantage of a steady view. I just have never seen one in the field, even in places where there are a lot of tourist types, not just birding haunts.
 
Oh, I can tell the difference no trouble, but the Canon is good enough optically plus has the IS, which transforms the experience imho.
I've not been bothered by the focus delay or the image shift aspects, they are momentary and I fiddle with the focus constantly in any case, something that the Canon's very slow (3 3/4 turns lock to lock) focus encourages.
If Swaro or Zeiss were to offer an NL or an SF with IS, I'd be the first to buy that, but they don't. I don't know why, they certainly both have the needed technical chops. I assume the issue is system longevity and perhaps packaging. .
Meanwhile, IS remains a massive enhancement for birding and Canon's 10x42ISL is the best IS glass I've been able to find.
Hmm...I don't have this issue. I certainly enjoy panning with the IS way more than a regular bin (RB). In fact, I can watch a bird in flight for a long time with a perfect image in a way I could never do with a RB.
I honestly think it must come down to how stable your hands are, and I have to suspect mine must be on the unstable end of the curve (although this is just guessing, because I can't rationalize how others don't have a similar experience any other way). For me the IS difference trumps all of these other arguments by a zillion fold. The 10x42 is a fine optical instrument and the IS is rock solid - no fluttering or delay whatsoever that I can perceive. I got back into birding in the pandemic and got Zeiss Conquest RBs (retail about $1,000). I feel like I wasted 2 years of my birding life before getting the Canons, that's how much better the experience is for me.
Well, that's about all I have to say. I certainly want people to use whatever they like - my point to anyone who hasn't tried a Canon is to do so, especially the 10x42, before you move up with your next purchase. You might just be blown away too.
 
my point to anyone who hasn't tried a Canon is to do so, especially the 10x42, before you move up with your next purchase. You might just be blown away too.
I have had my 10x42 for number of years and agree with you that optically and with the stabilization, I get blown away by the great, bright, sharp image, but I personally find them ergonomically (eyecups, body shape, etc) so bad that they don‘t get much use anymore. I have said before (and was criticized for it) that if Canon were to pack their 10x42 optics and IS into a SFL - like body, they would own the entire binocular market.
 
I have had my 10x42 for number of years and agree with you that optically and with the stabilization, I get blown away by the great, bright, sharp image, but I personally find them ergonomically (eyecups, body shape, etc) so bad that they don‘t get much use anymore. I have said before (and was criticized for it) that if Canon were to pack their 10x42 optics and IS into a SFL - like body, they would own the entire binocular market.
I think that would be really difficult to do with all the mechanics inside the Canon 10x42 IS-L with current technology. I have seen cut aways of the Canon, and it is just packed liked sardines in a can with lenses and mechanics. If Canon could build the 10x42 IS-L the size and weight of the NL with the same ergonomics, a lot more birders would use them. The ergonomics and optical artifacts of the IS system are the major downfalls of IS binoculars that keep them from becoming more popular in the birding market.
 
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I have never struggled with the weight ergonomics or any of problems mentioned above regarding the 10x42 canons.

They are quite simply the best binoculars I have ever owned or likely to own I love everything about them.

I'm a happy camper lol 😆

Cheers Stu
 
... I have said before (and was criticized for it) that if Canon were to pack their 10x42 optics and IS into a SFL - like body, they would own the entire binocular market.
I find this really interesting (like many things Canip says), and I wonder why it isn't so. Why doesn't Canon make a bold move and leaves everyone in awe with a 10x42 L IS PLUS with improved ergonomics and weight/size. I'm sure Canon has a complex product development process, a pipeline where many actors are involved, and it is not unlikely that they read criticisms here and there (or carry out product satisfaction surveys of some sort). And yet, for example, their new 32 mm line up has grown bigger and heavier than their predecessor, and hasn't done much to address ergonomics (yes it has an improved IS interface, where you don't need to constantly press the IS, but it hasn't improved on eyecups, haptics, etc.).

On the other hand, I'm sure someone in the "big 3" knows what a 10x42 L IS is capable of, and the idea of putting some electronics on a piece of optics is nothing new to Z/L/S (they all have binoculars with range finders and other increasingly complex devices needing batteries). I guess developing something like what Canip says would take an awful lot of money where the return would not probably justify the investment in the first place. But, for example, take the Nikon 10x25 Stabilized. I have not seen it "in the flesh", let alone used it, but from pictures it looks almost just like your regular binoculars with central hinge, twist-up eyecups, etc. A proof that something can be done (better than what Canon has to offer on the ergonomics/usability department).

Said all that. I bought my first IS back in 2021. And, answering the title of this post, in these two years it has been (by far) my most used binoculars, and I've had at my disposal some very nice "premium (alpha)" (albeit from the previous generation), like EL-SV, UV-HD, FL, etc. Whenever I'm carrying an "alpha", I miss the mind-blowing power of my IS; whenever I carry my IS, I miss the alpha optical quality and ergonomics. However, from these two scenarios, 99 % of the times I choose to get the IS with its lesser optical quality and poorer ergonomics (probably the 10x42 L IS is a mix of both worlds, but I'm afraid I'm not attracted to the 10x42 because of weight/size).
 
I find this really interesting (like many things Canip says), and I wonder why it isn't so. Why doesn't Canon make a bold move and leaves everyone in awe with a 10x42 L IS PLUS with improved ergonomics and weight/size. I'm sure Canon has a complex product development process, a pipeline where many actors are involved, and it is not unlikely that they read criticisms here and there (or carry out product satisfaction surveys of some sort). And yet, for example, their new 32 mm line up has grown bigger and heavier than their predecessor, and hasn't done much to address ergonomics (yes it has an improved IS interface, where you don't need to constantly press the IS, but it hasn't improved on eyecups, haptics, etc.).

On the other hand, I'm sure someone in the "big 3" knows what a 10x42 L IS is capable of, and the idea of putting some electronics on a piece of optics is nothing new to Z/L/S (they all have binoculars with range finders and other increasingly complex devices needing batteries). I guess developing something like what Canip says would take an awful lot of money where the return would not probably justify the investment in the first place. But, for example, take the Nikon 10x25 Stabilized. I have not seen it "in the flesh", let alone used it, but from pictures it looks almost just like your regular binoculars with central hinge, twist-up eyecups, etc. A proof that something can be done (better than what Canon has to offer on the ergonomics/usability department).

Said all that. I bought my first IS back in 2021. And, answering the title of this post, in these two years it has been (by far) my most used binoculars, and I've had at my disposal some very nice "premium (alpha)" (albeit from the previous generation), like EL-SV, UV-HD, FL, etc. Whenever I'm carrying an "alpha", I miss the mind-blowing power of my IS; whenever I carry my IS, I miss the alpha optical quality and ergonomics. However, from these two scenarios, 99 % of the times I choose to get the IS with its lesser optical quality and poorer ergonomics (probably the 10x42 L IS is a mix of both worlds, but I'm afraid I'm not attracted to the 10x42 because of weight/size).
The Nikon 10x25 IS is kind of like the Canon 10x42 IS-L in that it doesn't compare optically with the alpha compacts like the Zeiss Victory 10x25. I think you are correct in that it would not be worth the investment for Canon or anybody else to develop an improved 10x42 IS-L. Swaorsvki controls the market with their traditional binoculars, and they don't need an IS binocular. The IS market is too small to spend the money on R&D to develop an improved one. very few people use the Canon's IS for birding now, despite they work pretty well.
 
The alphas are great if you put them on a tripod. But, the so-called inferior Canon 10X42L blows any alpha out of the water handheld. It is not even close. It is the difference between a black and white TV and an 8K HDTV.

The question is - how do you actually use your binoculars? I don't use a tripod. So, Canon wins.
 
The question is - how do you actually use your binoculars? I don't use a tripod. So, Canon wins.
Not necessarily, it depends on the observation possibilities.
I generally don't like standing up watching that much, regardless of IS or not.
In the best case you can find places where you can sit down, it can be a bench, a tree trunk or a meadow.
If the lower body is stabilized then a lot of wobble falls away, if you then support your arms it is practically IS.

IS is very good for people who mostly watch standing, for people like me it doesn't make sense.

Andreas
 

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