Hi all! Doing a brief touchdown again as proof-of-life. Many events in my life converged to the point where spending all my leisure here became unnecessary.
Three of these stand out: My exhaustion syndrome, the need for better balance in my life and the fact that I became basically satisfied with what I own in binoculars. A few of you have tried to keep in touch with me, for which I'm thankful although my response not quite reflected this. This post is a one-off and I will not return to being a frequent poster here.
I moved to an apartment on 10th floor on a hill, so I can see lighthouses as far away as 40 kilometers, in fact also 54 kilometers at times, which means I see the slightly remote Danish island Anholt in the middle of Kattegat, Sweden/Denmark. The lighthouse has a red stripe or belt around its circumference, and when conditions are perfect, I can confirm the red colour when using my Nikon ED82A.
The image shows my current collection and an attempt to arrange them in order of image quality (more upon that soon)
The left porro is a Meopta 6x30 Antireflex which is plenty sharp, but dim, with very short eye relief and a small FOV. Mostly a collector's item for decoration.
A significantly better view is offered in the Mamiya 7x28 roof, which is also sharp, has a cool and fairly dim view probably because of Al prism coatings. It has a respectable FOV of 155 m. Its worst shortcoming is the almost ridiculous field curvature.
Third is the Nikon CF 6x15 reverse porro modern version with multicoating. Apart from fiddly eye placement and confusing ergonomics, it has an outstanding view for its size and exit pupil.
Then we get to the usable binoculars.
The Meostar B1 8x32 has a yellowish hue, but it is rugged, easy to use with spectacles and delivers highly usable views.
The three next aren't easy to decide how to rate because their views and use are so markedly different. Image quality is really close.
The Nikon E II 8x30 delivers a sublime view a roof binocular hardly could compete with. When tested in daylight today, bright but overcast weather, I found it slightly dim. The same goes for the Meostar HD 12x50, which is an indispensable item at the height and distance I look from on my balcony.
Surprisingly, I also found the Nikon EDG 7x42 slightly dim. Granted, these are not the conditions you'd use it in. In dusk or darkness, its transmission rate and big exit pupil beats the big Meopta despite the latter's premium twilight number.
Last one, and the one I bring the most often as a go-to bin, is the Kite Lynx HD 8x30. It has a superior perceived brightness a day like this, visibly brighter than each of the Nikons or the big Meopta. Since I usually use contact lenses, the shortish eye relief is a non-issue.
My once so beloved Fury 6,5x32 is on long-term lend to a friend and I can't say I miss it too much. The Lynx does a great deal of what I admired with the Fury. Maybe a Kowa 6,5x32 would fit a small niche. My Z-R 7x43 lost one of its eyecups and I'll have to fix it. Its view is remarkably similar to the EDG apart from edge sharpness, but the build is a mess.
It's no wonder the new breed of compact, sub 500 g 30 mm roofs have replaced many birder's heavier stuff. For the most discerning users, the Teutonic Three bigger 32 mm variants would probably do it all.
As for myself, I needn't change anything, but the Nikon Monarch HG 8x30 or 10x30 should be a slight improvement.
Thanks for reading, take care!