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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Premium (Alpha) vs Image stabilized (2 Viewers)

kabsetz, yarrelli - thanks for your thoughtful posts on this topic. I have proven to my own satisfaction that although I think I have pretty steady hands, even with elbows braced etc I cannot get the image as steady as a Canon IS when switched on. I also found myself nodding when I read the comment (that I have spent the last 30+ minutes trying to find, but cannot) that shake is often the worst aberration/artifact. That said, I still use traditional binoculars, partly because of their simplicity and partly because in most cases I can get them stable enough for my purposes. I'd really like Canon to produce a more ergonomic L class binocular than the 10x42 L though, and either increase optical quality in the non-Ls or introduce a couple more L models. The newer bodies are a more natural fit in my hands and I think there is probably something in Canon's belief that IS means you can get away with a smaller exit pupil. I'd love to try say a 10x36 IS L or a 12x50 IS L.
 
As the 10x ones are no longer tolerated by my hands, I am after an 8x, small manageable, good optically, and mechanically... mid-range... waterproff.and pocket o similar
Is there such a specimen? Can be the Canon IS 8x20 the Best in comparision with the alpha pocket?
greetings
Pepito
 
My wife suffers from a bit of handshake when using either 8x or 10x binoculars so she 'liberated' my Habicht 7x42's which, because of the lower magnification, she found to be so much better. Not completely shake free but a much nicer view.

However, after reading so much about stabilised binoculars I bought her a pair of Canon 10x30 IS II's yesterday from Wex. They are a revelation and her previously shaky view is now rock solid. My wife loves her new Canon's and I have my Habicht's back!....a great result for us both!

We did think of the 8x30 IS Canon's but as they were the same price, and the size and weight were not at the top of the list, the rubber coated body and the use of AA batteries rather than CR132A's of the 8x30 IS bino's were the deciding factors to buy the 10x30's. The grip is much nicer and whilst neither are what you would call robust, the 10x30's feel better and less 'toy' like in the hand.

It comes with a very thin case which offers little protection so a Billingham Galbin 10 is on order.

What has totally suprised me is the optical excellence of the little Canon's. My usual bino is a 10x42 NL Pure fitted with the forehead rest but those Canon's, in the stabilised mode, are not a million miles/kilometres behind it.

Very impressed and thank you to all the posters who recommended the Canon IS bino's.
 
Hi Pat, I presume you mean Canon IS 8x20, not 8x30....because if there is an IS 8x30, I want it, and I want it NOW!;)
Mea Culpa and well spotted!

8x20 it is and my only excuse is jumping out of perfectly serviceable RAF aircraft and landing mostly on my head!๐Ÿ˜€
 
I'm reminded forcefully of the advantage IS gives whenever I've been able to place my non-IS binoculars on a rail or other location and get them totally stable, for the improvement in image quality has always been painfully noticeable. You can quite simply discern more detail - if I'm looking at something I cannot quite figure out, such as whether the peregrine partly blocked by a piece of masonry is still there, I always try to rest my binoculars against something and get them as stable as I can. I suppose I should note that IS is still not as rock solid as a tripod, but it's close - very close indeed I'd say if looking at the 10x42 IS-L.

Another great advantage that stability gives you is in ease of view, including in terms of eye placement, and the ability to observe with far less fatigue. The more difficult the target the more important all these qualities become. If you are one of those who prize the so-called "quiet view", IS delivers the near ultimate in "quiet" - so still it's like everything is holding its breath.

The thing about IS, though, is that in working so well, it shows up poor intrinsic image quality - its stability allows the eye to scrutinise the image it delivers more closely. Softness in the image, CA etc... are all more apparent, and as a consequence more annoying, than they might be otherwise. Because of the stability IS gives, intrinsic image quality needs to be high. Given that it's easier to make a good porro (which all Canons are) than an equivalent roof, Canon ought to up their game in that regard.

IS is an amazing function, with real utility in the field - there's no doubt about it. It's just a shame that the binoculars that have it are less than enjoyable to actually use, and there are questions over weatherproofing for all but the 10x42 IS-L. And I suppose for most birding one can do without it - by experienced observation of field marks the great majority of birds can be identified without needing IS. I'd like to know how much more effective users with long experience of IS think it makes them as birders - do they get say 20% more IDs than they would with "muggle binoculars", for instance? Does the IS device give effectively 20% better reach?

Now I think a stabilized scope of some sort, weatherproof, that doesn't require a tripod - maybe just one of those bendy-legged supports for GoPros and such - that could be interesting...
 
there are questions over weatherproofing for all but the 10x42 IS-L.
The 18x50 for example is splash proof according to JIS 4 and the 10x42 according to JIS 7.
JIS 4: Splashing water from any direction shall have no harmful effect (Splash resistant)
JIS 7: Water shall not enter the enclosure when it is immersed in water under defined conditions (Immersion resistant)

For me JIS 4 is good enough. I think when it gets any wetter -- I'll no longer be outside :D.
 
I'm reminded forcefully of the advantage IS gives whenever I've been able to place my non-IS binoculars on a rail or other location and get them totally stable, for the improvement in image quality has always been painfully noticeable. You can quite simply discern more detail - if I'm looking at something I cannot quite figure out, such as whether the peregrine partly blocked by a piece of masonry is still there, I always try to rest my binoculars against something and get them as stable as I can. I suppose I should note that IS is still not as rock solid as a tripod, but it's close - very close indeed I'd say if looking at the 10x42 IS-L.
True.
Another great advantage that stability gives you is in ease of view, including in terms of eye placement, and the ability to observe with far less fatigue. The more difficult the target the more important all these qualities become. If you are one of those who prize the so-called "quiet view", IS delivers the near ultimate in "quiet" - so still it's like everything is holding its breath.
True.
The thing about IS, though, is that in working so well, it shows up poor intrinsic image quality - its stability allows the eye to scrutinise the image it delivers more closely. Softness in the image, CA etc... are all more apparent, and as a consequence more annoying, than they might be otherwise. Because of the stability IS gives, intrinsic image quality needs to be high. Given that it's easier to make a good porro (which all Canons are) than an equivalent roof, Canon ought to up their game in that regard.
Sure, Canon ought to up their game. No doubt about it. However, all the Canons aren't that bad optically.
IS is an amazing function, with real utility in the field - there's no doubt about it. It's just a shame that the binoculars that have it are less than enjoyable to actually use, and there are questions over weatherproofing for all but the 10x42 IS-L. And I suppose for most birding one can do without it - by experienced observation of field marks the great majority of birds can be identified without needing IS.
Yes. IRL even an IS binocular with less than perfect optics will show you more detail on a bird than a "perfect" muggle binocular.
I'd like to know how much more effective users with long experience of IS think it makes them as birders - do they get say 20% more IDs than they would with "muggle binoculars", for instance? Does the IS device give effectively 20% better reach?
IME yes, it does. I think you get actually more than the additional 20% reach you mentioned. Do you know Kimmo's posting on this topic? Worth reading: Canon 10x42 IS L Tripod vs hand-held vs IS testing
Now I think a stabilized scope of some sort, weatherproof, that doesn't require a tripod - maybe just one of those bendy-legged supports for GoPros and such - that could be interesting...
Well, yes. However, things are a bit more difficult with a scope. Nikon tried that with the EDG scopes with VR years ago. They were too heavy and apparently not really successful on the market, so they disappeared quite quickly. Zeiss also didn't sell enough of their 20x60 S Mono to keep it on the market. Nowadays many people people use a bridge camera with a long zoom for that purpose.

Hermann
 

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