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Small binoculars : Nikon M7 8*30 vs Zeiss Terra Pocket 8*25... or something else (1 Viewer)

Hello,

I am a newbie in binoculars, and have read a lot on this forum to learn. I would like to use some compact binoculars to look at birds, nature, and sometimes sky. I could spend about 400 € if it is for more than 10 years. I am rather a contemplative guy and like to look at stars with naked eye, and to recognize birds during a forest walk. I have got no binoculars yet. Actually, I tried to buy some a long time ago, they were 8*42 Perl, and I brought them back to the store when I realized that I didn't use them, being too big, stored at the bottom of my backpack.

To make sure I will bring them during walks (and travels and car trips) and use them, I need them small... and appealing. I don't hike with the main goal to look with my binoculars, I just would like to have binoculars when I encounter some birds or landscapes or unexpected thing to see. Something like an efficient tool to enlarge my vision and dream a little more. I don't aim at looking through binoculars for hours, it is rather a matter of minutes (but many times).

Here in France, I can reach an outdoors store with a few binoculars from Nikon, Zeiss, Swarowsky, Perl, Bushnell. I was thinking of the Nikon Monarch 7 8*30 and its nice wide FOV, but in the store I realize that they were not as compact as I figured out (even if they are really compact compared to 8*32 and 8*42). I fear I won't have them in the reach of my hands when I need them, being rather in a bag (under some water bottle, food items and maps). On the other hand, 8*25 could lack of light in cloudy days, according to what I read here (ep 3,1 mm should be smaller than my pupil rather often, I am 34) and look less "serious". Here are my questions :

  • Zeiss Terra Pocket 8*25 (290 €) could be a good deal for me. In what kind of situations will they do less than the Nikon Monarch 7 8*30 (340 €) ? Does the optic quality of the Terra Pocket offset the smaller exit pupil, or are the Monarch 7 optically better and brighter ? For a walk in the woods by overcasted weather, I wonder whether there is a visible difference.
  • Same question with the Zeiss Victory Pocket 8*25 (680 €). Are there situations these Victory Pocket will offer less than the Nikon Monarch 7 8*30 ? If the Victory Pocket has more to offer in each situation, It could be tempting for me, even if it is far from being in my initial budget. By the way, I have not decided yet if it is silly for a beginner to put so much money in tiny binoculars that were not suited for "real observations"...
  • I would be pleased with other solutions you may put forward for what I would like to do !

Thank you for your help,

Girafenaine
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Let me try to help what I think are your questions.
1. Compact / pocket size. These are generally 25mm and under. They will fold down to a very convenient size. Anything with a larger objective is considered a full size and therefore larger and heavier.
2.Light gathering - a compact has reduced light gathering so won't be as " bright" in woodland or on a dark day. Also, they are not considered ideal for star gazing or astronomy.
3. The higher specification materials, optics and coatings ( reflected in the price ) will give better results. As you suggest, the Zeiss is a good example of " better qualty".

It's all about compromise, you need to decide which is most important. I suggest you list 3 requirements....a. Size. b. Cost. c. Primary use

Then visit a store and try out a few pairs to compare. Am not familiar with Perl as a brand. It's quite confusing so try to keep it simple.

Good luck
 
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ceasar

Well-known member
:hi:
Hi Girafenaine,

Welcome to Bird Forum!

Get the binocular you think you will use the most and get the best one you can afford. You are planning to use it for a long time.

Nothing changes faster or more often than the weather so don't worry about how much your pupils expand because if you get the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket or any other 8x25 the cone of light entering your pupils will always be 3.1mm wide. The cone of light from the 8x30s will be 3.75mm.

The wider your pupils get the more room there will be for the light cone so setting your IPD distance correctly won't be as critical as it will be on a bright day.

Bob
 
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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
As a long-time user of many bins at different price points, I'll second the advice to get the bin that works for you and that you can afford. If the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket fits your budget, I'd say that it is the obvious choice for overall optical quality and small size (while still having excellent ergonomics) among those you have listed. The Terra is crap by comparison, in several respects. The only circumstance in which the Nikon would do slightly better (with respect to brightness, and nothing else), is in _very_ low light. Make sure you try before you buy.

--AP
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
It's all about compromise, you need to decide which is most important. I suggest you list 3 requirements....a. Size. b. Cost. c. Primary use

Then visit a store and try out a few pairs to compare. Am not familiar with Perl as a brand. It's quite confusing so try to keep it simple.

Good luck



Go to the outdoors store and try out the binoculars in your size and price range.
How do they feel in your hands, how easy and clear is the view, which do you like better?
There is no right or wrong answer, just which works best for you; and realistically
most will work fine .

edj
 
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14Goudvink

Well-known member
For long walks I carry a small and light 8x32 bandolier-wise (one arm trough the strap so the binocular is under my armpit) and never notice its weight or bulk, while having acces to a very good image when I want one.

I also have a high quality 8x20 but compared to a 8x32 it is not very friendly in use.

One other option is the Bushnell Elite 7x26. Nice large exit pupil for such a compact glass and easy eye placement for a reasonable price.

George
 
Thank you very much for all of your answers, that very nice of you - and useful for me.

I have planned to go to the mentionned outdoors store, but :
1- I have to ask them for getting the binoculars before I go there, because they don't have a lot in the store. They have got the Monarch 7, I have just ask for Terra Pocket and Victory Pocket. I have to wait a week or two for them to gather the 3 binoculars.
2- I cannot use binoculars a lot there, as it is a big store in town, I will have only a few minutes with each binoculars.
3- Without ways to test binos outside and in the nature, it is rather difficult to figure out what it will look like in real conditions. That is where the experience of the the forum birders is interesting for a beginner like me !

Within 2 weeks I should be able to test the 3 binoculars, to see which make me wanting to have a walk with them. I understand that the Victory Pocket is way better than the two others. I would like to see if I feel better with the 8*30 size and eyecups, or with the 8*25's. After that, I should decide about price I can afford or not (Terra Pocket, or Victory Pocket/Swarowsky Pocket)

I saw no Bushnell Elite there, only "Hawkeye" - thanks for the idea, I will have a look on the net.

And I will think about different way to carry a 8*32 for walks and travels, to see if I need the small-ness of a 8*25.

Thanks again, and any piece of advice is welcome,

Girafenaine
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
If you have to have a compact the best most comfortable one is the new Swarovski 8x30 CL. The 8x25's are too finicky IMO. You could also get a smaller 8x32 probably for less money that would be more comfortable and versatile. These Leica Ultravid HD's 8x32 are almost as small as the compacts but will easily out perform them for $1350.00 on Ebay. He said he paid $1995.00 new for them. You would be happier with them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-Ultr...333998?hash=item41ea09056e:g:g-EAAOSwOplbb88J

https://www.swarovskioptik.com/birding/cl-companion-c21010504/cl-companion-8x30-green-p5418295
 
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Hello,

Denco, thanks for these ideas, but they are too pricey for what I planned. I am sure these binoculars will be perfect, but I don't need so much perfection as I don't want to make long birding/stargazing sessions. And I would worry about losing them.

Georges, thank you again for the Bushnell Elite 7*26 suggestion. It sounds interesting, as several websites write they are a good deal with a good FOV and bright picture. I find that the lower magnification is wise for such compact binoculars. But I cannot find a way to try them here (even with amazon, I haven't found them. Only on websites without fine return policy). Does anyone know how they compare to the Zeiss Terra Pocket 8*25, for bright and sharp picture, and for ease of view ?

Girafenaine
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
the bottom line for me with pockets vs 32mms,

pockets win with small size
8x32s win with ease of use

I take 8x25s when I might use
8x32s when I plan on using

edj
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I think if you want something a little smaller and you want don't want to spend a lot for short hikes once in awhile the Nikon M7 8x30 would be a good choice and would perform better that the 8x25 Zeiss Terra. Spending $800.00 for the Zeiss Victory 8x25 is not going to give you that much more and the M7 will be better if you take evening walks as the light diminishes.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
Hello, I've been reviewing 8x32s. I have the Leica Ultravid 8x20 BR and it's fantastically small and light and for a pocket bino, it cannot be beat, I think. But the hinges are loose and it only has 2 diopter stops (in and out) and the small objective means you need to hold it just right and it is not immersive. But it is fantastically small and light (to repeat myself).

I've not tried the Swaro CL 8x25 or the Zeiss Pocket, which others have said good things about.

In the 8x32 range, nothing is going to be small and light like the Leica 8x20. it's a whole different league and form factor. Maybe you could get them in a large coat pocket. In the 8x32, I like the Minox BL 8x33 HD the best, it totally fits around my eyes and gives an immersive view, which I cannot get in the 8x20s. Some 8x32 do not fit like that, and it's like I'm using a large and bulky Leica -- still have the downsides without the upsides.

I have tried the Nikon M7 8x30. I did not like them. Here's part of the review I've beed working on, but not published yet:

I find the Nikon Monarch 7 8×30 marginally useable. I really like the compact size and low weight, and the image quality is good. However, for me, the eye cups do not extend enough and I cannot touch them on the bottom of by eye in addition to the top brow. This reduces the immersive feel. Once I started holding the eye cups further from my face, I found the blackouts about the same as I get from the Leica 8×20 Ultravid BR, except the Leica are only 2/3 the weight and much smaller. Like the Monarch 5 10×42 I have, the ocular cover is loose fitting. It stays on if you make sure to tension it and have the strap through it, but they are rather loose.

The M7s are noticeably dimmer in mixed lighting than the Minox BL 8×33 HD.

Marc
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

welcome to birdforum, first of all.

The best pair of binoculars is the one you have with you, when there is a good view to be had.

If a small and light pair of 8x30 is not portable enough, trying sth smaller is legitimate.
Just don't think you will reach the performance of an 8x30 or larger pair with a compact. The loss of light is not the primary problem, they have a narrow field of view and the small exit pupil makes eye placement quite finicky.

I have a pair of Papilio II 6.5x21 in my backpack for these
occasions and used a Zeiss Conquest Pocket 10x25 before but will take another pair when I expect to use binoculars.

Joachim
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
As an owner of two versions of the B&L 7x26 Custom (= very similar predecessors of the Bushnell Elite), the Leica 8x20 Ultravid, the Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED, as well as a number of top-end 8x32 bins, I'll just say that although I am a fan of all of them for one situation or another, I don't find that any of these x20-x26 bins comes close to the optical or mechanical performance of the Zeiss 8x25 Victory Pocket, which I find so good w/respect to quality and ease of view that it outperforms many 8x32. For example, I've been using the Zeiss 8x25 Victory against the Zeiss 8x32 FL all summer under a wide variety of conditions (to look at distant birds, nearby butterflies, and everything in between) and have found that I prefer the 8x25 Victory to the 8x32 FL in all situations except _very_ low light. If you don't wear glasses, you may find that you have to learn to hold the eyecups against your brow for best performance. Otherwise, I can't imagine anyone not finding the 8x25 Victory almost miraculous. It's like no other bin that I own or have tried when it comes to performance to size ratio. I'm not alone in my assessment. Check out the review thread on it https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=359737

My ranking of these bins, with respect to birding worthiness (optical quality + handling ease) puts the 8x25 Victory far above the others, followed by Leica 8x20 Ultravid, then a tie between the 7x26 and the 8x25 Terra depending on needs (Terra wins for extreme close focus and pack size; 7x26 wins for handling quality and very low light).

--AP
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
of the ones you list.....get the terra 8x25

If you _do_ get the Terra, make sure you try before you buy. The two units that I tried before I got a good one had hinges that were too loose and optical flaws that made them unacceptable for birding use. Even a good unit will be a HUGE step down in optical and mechanical quality and in handling performance from the 8x25 Victory.

--AP
 

14Goudvink

Well-known member
Hello,

Denco, thanks for these ideas, but they are too pricey for what I planned. I am sure these binoculars will be perfect, but I don't need so much perfection as I don't want to make long birding/stargazing sessions. And I would worry about losing them.

Georges, thank you again for the Bushnell Elite 7*26 suggestion. It sounds interesting, as several websites write they are a good deal with a good FOV and bright picture. I find that the lower magnification is wise for such compact binoculars. But I cannot find a way to try them here (even with amazon, I haven't found them. Only on websites without fine return policy). Does anyone know how they compare to the Zeiss Terra Pocket 8*25, for bright and sharp picture, and for ease of view ?

Girafenaine

Hi Girafenaine,

A quick search brought me to this website:
https://www.le-chasseur.com/jumelle-bushnell-elite-7x-26mm-p-2575.html?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=comparateur&source=4&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIusb--bL33AIV1uF3Ch2doQ-yEAkYASABEgJXmPD_BwE
Their price is good and they seem to have the usual return policy.

I tried the Terra 8x25 once and it was a bit finicky to me. For me the 7x26 is a lot easier to use. Both because of its larger exit pupil and also because its body is wider, so it is easier to hold

George
 

tenex

reality-based
Girafenaine: do you have to wear eyeglasses? If so, the 8x25 Zeiss is a top choice. If not, you'll find 30/32mm binos more comfortable to use, simply because larger eyecups fit the face better. Be sure to notice this when you try them out. Good luck!
 
Thanks for your help.

Tenex, I will have that in mind when having a look through the binoculars in the store (I were glasses but am usually more comfortable when looking without them through binoculars, to avoid side light).

Alexis, I understood that the Victory pocket are much brighter and easier. As a beginner I hope I will find cheapier binoculars good enough, but I could go for these expensive ones if I am convinced I will use them more and for a lifetime... after having looked through them.

George, thank you for the help, I will try the 3 binos I can find here (Monarch 7 8*30, Zeiss Terra Pocket and Zeiss Victory Pocket), and I keep the Elite 7*26 idea if I am not convinced with these 3 !

Any more advice about Elite 7*26 compared to Terra Pocket 8*25 ? I guess being more recent, the Terra Pocket should benefit from some better coatings and glasses ?

Girafenaine
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
...Elite 7*26 compared to Terra Pocket 8*25 ? I guess being more recent, the Terra Pocket should benefit from some better coatings and glasses ?...

No, not really. The Bushnell 7x26 Custom Elite is a porro-prism type binocular, so it doesn't need the types of prism coatings (phase correction, dielectric mirror) that have substantially improved recent generations of roof-prism bins. The lens multicoatings of the 7x26, like those of all modern bins, are excellent. I think that the latest generation of this bin has Rainguard coating (helps shed water on the lens), but unlike the other models you are interested in, the 7x26 is not waterproof (i.e. sealed to prevent water entry). To my knowledge, the 7x26 has been discontinued, but you may still find it available in some stores.

--AP
 

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