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The advantage of 8x42 binoculars in front of 10x, 12x, 15x ... binoculars (1 Viewer)

bockos

Well-known member
@ bockos: would be fun to know your experience when trying a 7x compared to 8x and higher. You might be in for another surprise (steadiness, depth of view)!

It is possible..as an alternative to Swarovski NL8x42 ... Come to think of it, a person is born with two normal eyes ... without any magnification.10x ... 15x ... No! Why are we so organized? Apparently 7x..and 8x..are closer to our vision. Just as we were born into this world ... Yes Surprise. And also this: no matter how much I move .. our vision is always stable and wide and great ..
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
Why 8x42s-why not?

All binoculars are compromises involving size, weight, light gathering, FOV, magnification , and many other factors. Increasing one value may decrease another. 8x42s seem to be the most favored all around by many today. 7x50s and 7x35s have been in the past.

My 8.5x42 is, at least for me, my best all-around pair of binoculars; but I have many others that are better for specific purposes.

edj
 

bockos

Well-known member
Why 8x42s-why not?

All binoculars are compromises involving size, weight, light gathering, FOV, magnification , and many other factors. Increasing one value may decrease another. 8x42s seem to be the most favored all around by many today. 7x50s and 7x35s have been in the past.

My 8.5x42 is, at least for me, my best all-around pair of binoculars; but I have many others that are better for specific purposes.

edj

Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, all binoculars are compromises. I agree. I admit that I am tempted by FOV 159m / 1000m. of the new 8x42NL ... and output beam 5.25 ... and colors and contrast and everything ...
 
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Binastro

Well-known member
I use different magnification binoculars from 2x to 30x depending on what I am looking at, and what is the best magnification for a particular purpose.

Up to 20x is hand held but braced as necessary on whatever is to hand.

I have no trouble free handing 12x45, 12x50 and 12x56 non IS binoculars so long as the binocular is well balanced.

Each person will have a choice depending on what they like best for any particular purpose.

B.
 

bockos

Well-known member
I use different magnification binoculars from 2x to 30x depending on what I am looking at, and what is the best magnification for a particular purpose.

Up to 20x is hand held but braced as necessary on whatever is to hand.

I have no trouble free handing 12x45, 12x50 and 12x56 non IS binoculars so long as the binocular is well balanced.

Each person will have a choice depending on what they like best for any particular purpose.

B.

Thanks for the interesting comment. Do you have a favorite binoculars of all? And which binoculars do you use the most. from everyone; 95% of the time?
 

mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Thanks for the interesting comment. Do you have a favorite binoculars of all? And which binoculars do you use the most. from everyone; 95% of the time?
Not 95%, but from my balcony (where I'm mostly looking at things out to quite a distance) I'd use my Nikon 10x35 EIIs about 80% of the time, and most of the rest of my time there I'd use my 8x30 EIIs. For star-gazing I often supplement this with my 10x56FLs - sometimes on a tripod.

Away from the house (bushwalking, travelling, bird-watching, general observation) I mostly use my 8x32FLs. When specifically setting out to photograph birds (especially in close country), I often use my 6x30 Mavens, though sometimes I use my FLs for that as well.

And sometimes I just use whatever I feel like using - just because I feel like it!

...Mike
 

bockos

Well-known member
Not 95%, but from my balcony (where I'm mostly looking at things out to quite a distance) I'd use my Nikon 10x35 EIIs about 80% of the time, and most of the rest of my time there I'd use my 8x30 EIIs. For star-gazing I often supplement this with my 10x56FLs - sometimes on a tripod.

Away from the house (bushwalking, travelling, bird-watching, general observation) I mostly use my 8x32FLs. When specifically setting out to photograph birds (especially in close country), I often use my 6x30 Mavens, though sometimes I use my FLs for that as well.

And sometimes I just use whatever I feel like using - just because I feel like it!

...Mike
Very nice photos. Thanks. Yes ..binoculars 8x ... 10x ... 7x ... are the most commonly used ..
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi bockos,
I have no favourite binocular.
I use whatever is needed.

But generally Swift HR/5 8.5x44.
Leica 8x32 BA
Bausch and Lomb 10x42 Elite
Canon 18x50 IS
Foton 5x25
Dowling and Rowe 4x22
Papillio 6.5x21
Yukon 30x50
3x coated opera glass.
Docter 10x25.

Russian 12x45 for ten years but not lately.
Minolta Standard MK EWA 10x50 used for ten years but not lately.
Special Russian 20x60 for 15 years but not lately.
Canon 10x30 IS in the past.

Nipole 7x23 Micro was my only binocular for many years. It travelled everywhere with me.

In the past a Japanese Celestron 20x80 was often used hand held for 15 years.

Reversed 7x50 for estimates of eclipsed Moon brightness.

I am basically a telescope user who switched to binoculars when older.

Regards,
B.
 
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tenex

reality-based
Thanks for the interesting comment. Do you have a favorite binoculars of all? And which binoculars do you use the most. from everyone; 95% of the time?
Our favorite and most used binos are the Leica 10x32 UVHD+ or Trinovid BN, and SLC 15x56 to complement them when birding around open areas like lakes. The others (10x42, 10x56) get less use though we still like them very much. Beautiful views of Great Blue Heron (adult and juvenile), Belted Kingfisher, Eastern and Mountain Bluebirds, numerous ducks etc today. (The 15x can of course be a challenge to get on moving birds but it's great when it works...)
 

bockos

Well-known member
Our favorite and most used binos are the Leica 10x32 UVHD+ or Trinovid BN, and SLC 15x56 to complement them when birding around open areas like lakes. The others (10x42, 10x56) get less use though we still like them very much. Beautiful views of Great Blue Heron (adult and juvenile), Belted Kingfisher, Eastern and Mountain Bluebirds, numerous ducks etc today. (The 15x can of course be a challenge to get on moving birds but it's great when it works...)

Thanks. Interesting comment. You use more binoculars 10x32 than 10x42 .... every day. You hold 15x56SLC by hand and do not use 8x32 binoculars ... This is very interesting.
 

bockos

Well-known member
Hi bockos,
I have no favourite binocular.
I use whatever is needed.

But generally Swift HR/5 8.5x44.
Leica 8x32 BA
Bausch and Lomb 10x42 Elite
Canon 18x50 IS
Foton 5x25
Dowling and Rowe 4x22
Papillio 6.5x21
Yukon 30x50
3x coated opera glass.
Docter 10x25.

Russian 12x45 for ten years but not lately.
Minolta Standard MK EWA 10x50 used for ten years but not lately.
Special Russian 20x60 for 15 years but not lately.
Canon 10x30 IS in the past.

Nipole 7x23 Micro was my only binocular for many years. It travelled everywhere with me.

In the past a Japanese Celestron 20x80 was often used hand held for 15 years.

Reversed 7x50 for estimates of eclipsed Moon brightness.

I am basically a telescope user who switched to binoculars when older.

Regards,
B.
Thanks. In the past for 10 years and more you used the Russian 12x45 and 20x60 and Minolta10x50 ... And today you use more binoculars 8x32, 8.5x44 and 10x42..As far as I understand these are lighter and more wide-binoculars. More comfortable by hand.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Why would anyone choose binoculars with 8x magnification over 10x and 12x ...? What are the advantages of 8x 42 over 10x and 12x? Thanks for any comment. Why would one choose 8x42 over 10x .. What is your experience with binoculars in the past? I remember that one of my first binoculars were Pentax 18x56 and the Russian 20x60, and I thought I would see more with 18x .. and 20x..but by hand they were not good ... then I took Nikon SE 12x50. ... Swarovski SLC15c56 .... but by hand it's not good .... then I took Swarovski 10x50fieldpro .... it was the best I've seen ... But soon at the end of August I compared it to 8x42NL and 10x42NL ... and I definitely liked 8x42NL the most ... this lightness and relaxation of viewing..width and output beam 5.25 ... for me 8x42NL is a pleasure ... I wonder why I didn't look for 8x42 binoculars at the beginning .. .and I went at 6pm ... and 8pm ... I was stupid ..I had no experience ... I'm talking about binoculars held by hand and carried with me ..
Up until the release of the Swarovski 10x42 NL with its 133m Fov, I have always found that 10x didn't have enough Fov for what I wanted - particularly pairs of close circling raptors - it becomes very annoying (and easier to lose track of them) to only to be able to see one at a time. I even found this somewhat with the extra wide field (120m) Nikon MHG 10x42, and the Zeiss SF 10x42. I was expecting these AFov's to Wow me - but they don't really - not like I expected.

Even though the Swarovski 10x50 SV only has a 115m Fov I find it to be a bit of a Wow view. The combination of ease of view, 5mm EP, sharpness to the edge, an unexpectedly nice 3-D effect, and great ergonomics combine to make this an exceptionally nice view. I would have liked more Fov as explained, but the biggest drawback for me is that I like to walk around a lot, and really didn't want to lump 1 kg of bin. I will look forward to giving the new 10x42 NL a go, but expect I would prefer a harness for that walking for any length of time.

My 8x43 has 140m Fov which is nice, I wouldn't want to lose very much at all from that. The biggest benefits are 3/4 kg weight (really I would like 2/3 kg or less) , 5.3mm EP, fast (1 turn) focus, enough Fov to see both circling raptors, 'goldilocks' Dof which shows a definite focus point, but doesn't require chasing focus all over the sky when tracking erratic fast moving raptors, and the best ergonomics I have ever tried.

I think a combination of these factors translates into a nice ease of view in practice. I think the 8x shines in snap woodland viewing - enabling an off-axis id from a momentary, or fleeting glance. This is largely due to the EP, Dof, and Fov. I wear glasses so need appropriate ER too - it rules out a few of the older style bins, and is a real drawback in that kind of random viewing. I don't go in much for the lower powers as they don't really offer any extra Fov, or the larger image size I prefer, and I find I can get a bit lost with the best focus point sometimes.

I find even with these fantastic ergonomics that I notice shake when tackling difficult targets like the moons of Jupiter, hand held. It's not nearly so noticeable when bird watching. I can hold the 10x50 SV equally as steady. Interestingly the 12x50 SV doesn't seem as pleasant to use for me - being a bit more jittery at times.

At times I wish for both more Fov AND magnification than my 8x.

I think something like a 148m 9x45 weighing 2/3 kg is my personal holy grail :)

I would be interested on your thoughts of the 8x42 NL vs the 10x42 NL, and whether you think the 10x42 NL can cut it as a generalist one binocular solution to cover just about everything ...... ? :cat:







Chosun :gh:
 

bockos

Well-known member
Up until the release of the Swarovski 10x42 NL with its 133m Fov, I have always found that 10x didn't have enough Fov for what I wanted - particularly pairs of close circling raptors - it becomes very annoying (and easier to lose track of them) to only to be able to see one at a time. I even found this somewhat with the extra wide field (120m) Nikon MHG 10x42, and the Zeiss SF 10x42. I was expecting these AFov's to Wow me - but they don't really - not like I expected.

Even though the Swarovski 10x50 SV only has a 115m Fov I find it to be a bit of a Wow view. The combination of ease of view, 5mm EP, sharpness to the edge, an unexpectedly nice 3-D effect, and great ergonomics combine to make this an exceptionally nice view. I would have liked more Fov as explained, but the biggest drawback for me is that I like to walk around a lot, and really didn't want to lump 1 kg of bin. I will look forward to giving the new 10x42 NL a go, but expect I would prefer a harness for that walking for any length of time.

My 8x43 has 140m Fov which is nice, I wouldn't want to lose very much at all from that. The biggest benefits are 3/4 kg weight (really I would like 2/3 kg or less) , 5.3mm EP, fast (1 turn) focus, enough Fov to see both circling raptors, 'goldilocks' Dof which shows a definite focus point, but doesn't require chasing focus all over the sky when tracking erratic fast moving raptors, and the best ergonomics I have ever tried.

I think a combination of these factors translates into a nice ease of view in practice. I think the 8x shines in snap woodland viewing - enabling an off-axis id from a momentary, or fleeting glance. This is largely due to the EP, Dof, and Fov. I wear glasses so need appropriate ER too - it rules out a few of the older style bins, and is a real drawback in that kind of random viewing. I don't go in much for the lower powers as they don't really offer any extra Fov, or the larger image size I prefer, and I find I can get a bit lost with the best focus point sometimes.

I find even with these fantastic ergonomics that I notice shake when tackling difficult targets like the moons of Jupiter, hand held. It's not nearly so noticeable when bird watching. I can hold the 10x50 SV equally as steady. Interestingly the 12x50 SV doesn't seem as pleasant to use for me - being a bit more jittery at times.

At times I wish for both more Fov AND magnification than my 8x.

I think something like a 148m 9x45 weighing 2/3 kg is my personal holy grail :)

I would be interested on your thoughts of the 8x42 NL vs the 10x42 NL, and whether you think the 10x42 NL can cut it as a generalist one binocular solution to cover just about everything ...... ? :cat:







Chosun :gh:

Thanks for the interesting comment. You always write good things about binoculars. I personally learned from you about Swarovski 10x50SV and Zeiss HT 8x42 ... so in 2017 I bought the magnificent Swarovski 10x50 fieldpro .... (but at the end of 2019 some people stole it from me ... the police are looking for them, but that's another topic) .. at the end of August I had the opportunity to see the caravan of Swarovski optic ... and in a few hours to look at the three NL Pure ... and compare them with all models EL and SLC .... it was a sunny day..I had just a few hours. Now I raise money to buy both NL: 8x42NL and 10x42NL with two FRP ...Now that you think about it, the two NL: 8x42 and 10x42 are very similar ... both are very wide Fov ..133m. and 159m ... both binoculars are stable with very nice colors and contrast .. For me they are a romantic tale. Really transparent and beautiful pictures when I looked through them ... Magic! .. Other: 10x50fieldpro is hard to beat optically, but 10x42NL would complement it with its 133m and 850g. Also 12x42NL is also very nice. Maybe in a year or two I can add it too ... but it is more specialized 12x (with 113m and 840g). Thanks again for the nice articles and comments you post here. They are very useful for me.
 

bockos

Well-known member
Few people can use high-power binoculars like the SLC 15x56 without a tripod. My experience is that 12x is the max power I can use without a tripod and still see more details than with 10x or 8x. I own the Swaro SV 10x50 and 12x50 and love them. I compared the SV 10x50 and the NL 10x42 and found the SV to be significantly better (for me). I was surprised to read that many have sold their SVs 10x50 and replaced them with the NLs, everybody is different. I will receive an NL 8x42 in a couple of days and I will be able to see for myself if they are as good as you (and others) said they are.

10x42NL has more color and contrast than and EL ... it is lighter than 10x50EL ..850g. 133m FOV ... 10x 50 is better in the Output beam 5, but it is heavier ...
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Thanks for the interesting comment. You always write good things about binoculars. I personally learned from you about Swarovski 10x50SV and Zeiss HT 8x42 ... so in 2017 I bought the magnificent Swarovski 10x50 fieldpro .... (but at the end of 2019 some people stole it from me ... the police are looking for them, but that's another topic) .. at the end of August I had the opportunity to see the caravan of Swarovski optic ... and in a few hours to look at the three NL Pure ... and compare them with all models EL and SLC .... it was a sunny day..I had just a few hours. Now I raise money to buy both NL: 8x42NL and 10x42NL with two FRP ...Now that you think about it, the two NL: 8x42 and 10x42 are very similar ... both are very wide Fov ..133m. and 159m ... both binoculars are stable with very nice colors and contrast .. For me they are a romantic tale. Really transparent and beautiful pictures when I looked through them ... Magic! .. Other: 10x50fieldpro is hard to beat optically, but 10x42NL would complement it with its 133m and 850g. Also 12x42NL is also very nice. Maybe in a year or two I can add it too ... but it is more specialized 12x (with 113m and 840g). Thanks again for the nice articles and comments you post here. They are very useful for me.
Thank you for the kind words. Binoculars are very subjective devices - I try and stick to something about the engineering, and opinions that other eyeglass wearers like me might find useful, without all the hyperbole of some ! :) You have had some really outstanding bins - I do hope that you get your 10x50 SV FP back. :t:

A cautionary tale perhaps for everyone here that might consider buying a pre-owned optic. If the providence doesn't check out legitimately and you can find out the serial number - report it to Swarovski to see if it may have been stolen at some point in it's life ....




Chosun :gh:
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Why would anyone choose binoculars with 8x magnification over 10x and 12x ...? What are the advantages of 8x 42 over 10x and 12x? Thanks for any comment. Why would one choose 8x42 over 10x .. What is your experience with binoculars in the past?

... I wonder why I didn't look for 8x42 binoculars at the beginning .. .and I went at 6pm ... and 8pm ... I was stupid ..I had no experience ... I'm talking about binoculars held by hand and carried with me ..

Don't feel hard on yourself. The reason why most of us first picked up binoculars was to get a larger view of things that are too small to be seen well with the naked eye. Given that, the attraction of high magnification can be really seductive. I well remember the first few times I moved from what was then my usual viewing distance to another spot that offered a better vantage point. The birds that had already looked pretty small 300 yards away seemed absolutely tiny at twice that distance in the binoculars I was using at the time (8x and 10x) and I thought hard about getting a 12x, but didn't (mainly due to the expense). I got used to the distance, but later on I did get a 12x for observing over much greater distances, and find it very valuable for that job.

There's also no doubt that if you get a really good view of a close-up bird in 10x or 12x it's a wonderful sight. I well remember once seeing the brilliant tiny red flash of a crimson sunbird landing up only a few yards away from me in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I got onto the bird quickly with the 10x40 Dialyt (the only binocular I'd brought on that visit) and for several seconds just drank in the sight of this gorgeous little creature. It was amazing - and I'm sure would have been amazing even in lower magnification but in 10x it was almost like having the bird in your hand.

So those are the attractions of high magnification. But for many birding situations 8x is simply more practical. The wider field that most 8x binoculars have over 10x can be a great help in finding birds. 8x is steadier (more mag = more shake). And in many cases 8x is more than enough magnification to see and identify birds.

So much depends on the job that you need your binoculars to do - and I did notice that in your questions asking about the different binoculars you were interested in, you asked about their optical qualities (clarity, sharpness, contrast etc etc etc) but never said much about what you were actually planning to use them for. Yet before thinking about choosing a binocular it's so important to know, or at least have an idea, what you are going to use it for. There are some jobs for which the binoculars you used to own (which seem to be all quality binoculars - I didn't see you asking about 280x50 binoculars, or night vision binoculars, or zooms...) would be preferable to an 8x42, but for using every day and in all kinds of situations a quality 8x42 is very hard to beat. You've arrived at a superb 8x42 now, maybe via a more expensive and circuitous route than you might have liked, but now you do know what suits you - so congratulations and I wish you many enjoyable hours with your new binocular.
 

bockos

Well-known member
Don't feel hard on yourself. The reason why most of us first picked up binoculars was to get a larger view of things that are too small to be seen well with the naked eye. Given that, the attraction of high magnification can be really seductive. I well remember the first few times I moved from what was then my usual viewing distance to another spot that offered a better vantage point. The birds that had already looked pretty small 300 yards away seemed absolutely tiny at twice that distance in the binoculars I was using at the time (8x and 10x) and I thought hard about getting a 12x, but didn't (mainly due to the expense). I got used to the distance, but later on I did get a 12x for observing over much greater distances, and find it very valuable for that job.

There's also no doubt that if you get a really good view of a close-up bird in 10x or 12x it's a wonderful sight. I well remember once seeing the brilliant tiny red flash of a crimson sunbird landing up only a few yards away from me in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I got onto the bird quickly with the 10x40 Dialyt (the only binocular I'd brought on that visit) and for several seconds just drank in the sight of this gorgeous little creature. It was amazing - and I'm sure would have been amazing even in lower magnification but in 10x it was almost like having the bird in your hand.

So those are the attractions of high magnification. But for many birding situations 8x is simply more practical. The wider field that most 8x binoculars have over 10x can be a great help in finding birds. 8x is steadier (more mag = more shake). And in many cases 8x is more than enough magnification to see and identify birds.

So much depends on the job that you need your binoculars to do - and I did notice that in your questions asking about the different binoculars you were interested in, you asked about their optical qualities (clarity, sharpness, contrast etc etc etc) but never said much about what you were actually planning to use them for. Yet before thinking about choosing a binocular it's so important to know, or at least have an idea, what you are going to use it for. There are some jobs for which the binoculars you used to own (which seem to be all quality binoculars - I didn't see you asking about 280x50 binoculars, or night vision binoculars, or zooms...) would be preferable to an 8x42, but for using every day and in all kinds of situations a quality 8x42 is very hard to beat. You've arrived at a superb 8x42 now, maybe via a more expensive and circuitous route than you might have liked, but now you do know what suits you - so congratulations and I wish you many enjoyable hours with your new binocular.
You tell a very interesting story .. Thank you. In fact, I make plans to buy both 8x42NL and 10x42 NL.. They really are very fine binoculars ... and just think (133m for 10x in 850g.) And (159m for 8x42 ..840g.) And all the positive qualities of these binoculars .... I will use them for everything. Common use in the forest, on the river, on the sea, on the mountain .. for animals and birds and dolphins on the Black Sea..For the moon and the stars, for everything in nature. I like the colors and the contrast and the transparency .. and this width .. Obviously the quality picture is important to me. She is very beautiful.
 
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bockos

Well-known member
8x42 have a lot of advantages over 10x, 12x and 15x. They are easier to hold steady, they have a greater DOF, they have a bigger FOV, they are brighter, and they have easier eye placement due to the bigger exit pupil. The only advantage of 10x, 12x or 15x is you can see more detail IF you can hold them steady enough to see it. A lot of the advantage of the higher magnification in seeing detail is negated by the fact that you will notice shaking and vibration more unless you have IS or the binocular is mounted on a tripod. In my experience 8x is about the limit for hand holding and even 8x can benefit from IS or a tripod with probably at least a 20% increase in resolution. 8x42 is my favorite format handheld. For 10x or higher I want IS or a tripod, but we all are different in how steady we can hold the binoculars above 8x. Some people can but most can't.

The detail with binoculars 10x..12x..15x is a good thing ... But I notice trembling and loss of detail by hand. Do not get me wrong. When I put on a tripod 10x50 or 12x50 or 15x 56 .. I can clearly see what I lose from the detail by holding them by hand. This discourages me. And it makes me think that I paid so much money in vain for binoculars that are not effective by hand. (But only by a tripod.) useful ... probably 8x42..8x32..is the limit ... And if I want 15x ... it must be a good IS without artifacts and softening ... or to wear tripods ... but that's how everything becomes more complicated .. ..or to put up with the fact that 10x50 or 10x42 will lose detail by hand. Laws of physics ..
 

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