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

Want to buy my son a gift. I am clueless (1 Viewer)

Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

Pocket bins come with many compromises like narrow field of view, tiny exit pupil (objective diameter divided by maginfication) makes the image dark in less than ideal light plus difficult eye placement and finicky handling due to the tiny size (unless you are a kid).
Can they be used for birding? Sure, like any handheld pair of bins, they are a lot better than no pair. But due to the reasons above, most birders prefer sth larger like 8x42 (not compact at all) or 8x32 (can be kinda compact).

The smallest regular pair of pocket bins in current production would be the Leica Trinovid 8x20 very closely followed by its more upmarket brother Ultravid 8x20. Both are out of budget to different degrees.
Then there are quite a few options in 8x25 - double hinge (like the Leicas above) fold smaller than single hinge, which is most important for shirt pockets. In a suit pocket, you might want to trade area for flatness and put them in hinge(s) fully opened - then single hinge models are equal.
As for magnification, please forget about 10x... it is the limit of what most people can hold steady enough to use and that is for full size pairs which have some mass to counteract the invetable microtremors of your hands an can be easily rested on your eyesockets (unless you wear glasses). I personally find 10x not worth it for more than a quick look at some distant wader or raptor when I don't have a spotting scope...

As for actual models, the Terra ED pocket series are more well regarded than the bigger ones from the series and if you can find it in budget in a sale or are willing to stretch this would be my recommendation. It also has the famous blue logo if the recipicient is into that...

The GPO 8x26 mentioned above is also nice if it can be found in budget or in a pinch, the Kowa BD 8x25 (is available in budget with some room for shipping from bhphotovideo.com).

Joachim
 
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Wow, a lot of users find 42s much bulkier than I do. I think that 42s are pretty tidy and compact. I've walked many miles with a pair of 8x42s in my hand. No matter, it sounds to me like Helpingmyson is looking for something quite small. Helpingmyson seemed particularly interested in pockets with an emphasis on being able to carry them in a suit pocket for the opera.
 
Thank you for taking the time to educate me on this. This makes a lot more sense. So since he will be throwing them in a suit I would like to stay under 32. He likes to go hiking, but is a minimalist so that is my conundrum. Anything you recommend between a 25mm-32mm that can be ok for indoor/outdoor or am I looking for a unicorn? I saw the Zeiss Terra TL 10x25, Nikon 8x25 trailblazer, vortex diamondback HD...
...
thanks so much again

Based on everything you have said I recommend the Zeiss Terra TL 8x25. I have often seen the TL version on for sale at $199. No different than the standard model apart from the nice green colored armor and they do not include a case but come with a cloth pouch which would be more useful than a case for discrete carry in a jacket pocket at the opera. IMO they are a very good pocket for the money even up to say $300 if that is the current price.

Mike
 
Based on everything you have said I recommend the Zeiss Terra TL 8x25. I have often seen the TL version on for sale at $199.

Thanks for the pointer to this cheapo package deal... seems to be mainly a Zeiss US thing, over here it's only available on Amazon and at 320€ more expensive than other new offers for the normal model...

Joachim
 
When attending opera, I take a pocket binocular. Since people with me usually want try the binocular but have little binocular experience, an 8x25 works better than an 8x20 for lining up the image to their eyes.

A Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 folds up conveniently for suit coat opera wear and has wide enough field of view to keep operatic surrounding context in view while looking at a detail. An 8x25 also would be great in hikes.

Opera glasses used to have magnifications around a power of 3. For opera, I prefer more magnification, say 6 to 8. But for outdoors, I want at least 7.

A 7x21 or 8x25 would give good use in opera and hikes. The size of these also are convenient to carry, encouraging more use. Both these sizes have similar ease to view and enjoyable wide field of view. Going to a 10 power will narrow the field of view, be harder to hold image steady, and will lose staging context at opera due to narrower field of view.
Thank you!! I was looking at the Zeiss and the others only good 7x21 I see is the curio and I just can’t affford that with him in college haha.
 
Based on everything you have said I recommend the Zeiss Terra TL 8x25. I have often seen the TL version on for sale at $199. No different than the standard model apart from the nice green colored armor and they do not include a case but come with a cloth pouch which would be more useful than a case for discrete carry in a jacket pocket at the opera. IMO they are a very good pocket for the money even up to say $300 if that is the current price.

Mike
I’m purchasing them! Thanks Mike. You all are awesome here. What a huge help!!
 
Based on everything you have said I recommend the Zeiss Terra TL 8x25. I have often seen the TL version on for sale at $199. No different than the standard model apart from the nice green colored armor and they do not include a case but come with a cloth pouch which would be more useful than a case for discrete carry in a jacket pocket at the opera. IMO they are a very good pocket for the money even up to say $300 if that is the current price.

Mike
Mike quick question the TL looks like the 10x25… I think. The 8x25 is the ED. No idea what those mean. Is the 8x25 the one you suggest?
 
Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

Pocket bins come with many compromises like narrow field of view, tiny exit pupil (objective diameter divided by maginfication) makes the image dark in less than ideal light plus difficult eye placement and finicky handling due to the tiny size (unless you are a kid).
Can they be used for birding? Sure, like any handheld pair of bins, they are a lot better than no pair. But due to the reasons above, most birders prefer sth larger like 8x42 (not compact at all) or 8x32 (can be kinda compact).

The smallest regular pair of pocket bins in current production would be the Leica Trinovid 8x20 very closely followed by its more upmarket brother Ultravid 8x20. Both are out of budget to different degrees.
Then there are quite a few options in 8x25 - double hinge (like the Leicas above) fold smaller than single hinge, which is most important for shirt pockets. In a suit pocket, you might want to trade area for flatness and put them in hinge(s) fully opened - then single hinge models are equal.
As for magnification, please forget about 10x... it is the limit of what most people can hold steady enough to use and that is for full size pairs which have some mass to counteract the invetable microtremors of your hands an can be easily rested on your eyesockets (unless you wear glasses). I personally find 10x not worth it for more than a quick look at some distant wader or raptor when I don't have a spotting scope...

As for actual models, the Terra ED pocket series are more well regarded than the bigger ones from the series and if you can find it in budget in a sale or are willing to stretch this would be my recommendation. It also has the famous blue logo if the recipicient is into that...

The GPO 8x26 mentioned above is also nice if it can be found in budget or in a pinch, the Kowa BD 8x25 (is available in budget with some room for shipping from bhphotovideo.com).

Joachim
You are amazing!!! I’m going to show all these helpful comments. You all make me want to get into this now. It’s really so interesting. The time you took is so appreciated. It sounds like I’m definitely getting 8/25. I saw the Leica Trinovid and it’s 8/20 with great reviews but quite expensive and not sure if it’s something he’d need for his use. any thoughts?
 
Mike quick question the TL looks like the 10x25… I think. The 8x25 is the ED. No idea what those mean. Is the 8x25 the one you suggest?
Yes the TL comes in both 8x25 and 10x25 but both versions may not always be available, and in pockets the 10x versions more often go on sale than the 8x version because the 10x is more difficult to use as others here advise. There is no difference in the optical performance of the ED versus the TL models as reported by others elsewhere on the forum who have directly compared the two in hand.

So definitely get the TL 8x not the 10x.

Mike
 
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Yes the TL comes in both 8x25 and 10x25 but both versions may not always be available, and in pockets the 10x versions more often go on sale than the 8x version because the 10x is more difficult to use as others here advise. There is no difference in the optical performance of the ED versus the TL models as reported by others elsewhere on the forum who have directly compared the two in hand.

So definitely get the TL 8x not the 10x.

Mike
Awesome. Thanks! Off to hunt
 
A minimalist pocket binocular under $300 that is equally suitable for slipping into a suit pocket or a casual walk around the lake, and also boxes up nicely as a sweet little gift from Dad?

I would look no further than the Mikron. I have both the 6x and 7x and would recommend the 6x, as it is a little brighter and, for my taste, a lot more comfortable and easier to look through than the 7x. The 6x is available in the US through the grey market on Amazon or EBay.

Nikon Mikron
 
A minimalist pocket binocular under $300 that is equally suitable for slipping into a suit pocket or a casual walk around the lake, and also boxes up nicely as a sweet little gift from Dad?

I would look no further than the Mikron. I have both the 6x and 7x and would recommend the 6x, as it is a little brighter and, for my taste, a lot more comfortable and easier to look through than the 7x. The 6x is available in the US through the grey market on Amazon or EBay.

Nikon Mikron
wow that is interesting looking too. I will review these. Thank you for your advice!
 
A minimalist pocket binocular under $300 that is equally suitable for slipping into a suit pocket or a casual walk around the lake, and also boxes up nicely as a sweet little gift from Dad?

I would look no further than the Mikron. I have both the 6x and 7x and would recommend the 6x, as it is a little brighter and, for my taste, a lot more comfortable and easier to look through than the 7x. The 6x is available in the US through the grey market on Amazon or EBay.

Nikon Mikron

6x would be about as much magnification as I would want for opera/theatre - a good suggestion.
 
6x would be about as much magnification as I would want for opera/theatre - a good suggestion.
Yes, 6x is really nice for the theater, and I'm using it tonight for just that purpose! I see people there with small and full-size binos and while there's nothing wrong with that, the Mikron is the only modern bino I know of that truly has the form factor of an "opera glass." I slip the loop of the lanyard over my ring finger and hold it in the palm of my hand and it's completely unobtrusive that way. And the construction is all metal, which I appreciate.
 
Yes, 6x is really nice for the theater, and I'm using it tonight for just that purpose! I see people there with small and full-size binos and while there's nothing wrong with that, the Mikron is the only modern bino I know of that truly has the form factor of an "opera glass." I slip the loop of the lanyard over my ring finger and hold it in the palm of my hand and it's completely unobtrusive that way. And the construction is all metal, which I appreciate.
I love the idea of this. thanks so much and have a great night at the opera!
 
A minimalist pocket binocular under $300 that is equally suitable for slipping into a suit pocket or a casual walk around the lake, and also boxes up nicely as a sweet little gift from Dad?

I would look no further than the Mikron. I have both the 6x and 7x and would recommend the 6x, as it is a little brighter and, for my taste, a lot more comfortable and easier to look through than the 7x. The 6x is available in the US through the grey market on Amazon or EBay.

Nikon Mikron

Another good option. Especially for use at the opera the 6x would be better than the 7x. They are TINY so may well take some practice and finding best method of holding. 6x also has great CF for such a small bin. Neither is really suitable for use with glasses however.

Mike
 
Both 6x and 7x work ok for me with glasses. I was surprised at how much better the 6x worked than the 7x and since Nikon's specs show a difference of only .1(!) mm difference in eye relief between the two, I've got to throw up my hands and say: your mileage may vary!

I guess a touch more brightness, depth of field, stability, and field of view in the 6x all go together to improve my overall perception, who knows? The eyecups are miniscule, so that does allow you to use almost all of that 10mm eye relief, FWIW.
 
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