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What are your 10 favorite binoculars (1 Viewer)

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What are your 10 most favorite binoculars that you own or have owned ranked from number one to number ten and a short explanation of why they are your favorite.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Canon 18x50 IS. 20 years faithful service
Swift 8.5x44 HR/5. Go to binocular
Leica 8x32 BA. Easy
Docter 10x25. Ideal pocket binocular.
Minolta 10x50 Standard MK. Ten years main binocular
Russian 12x45. 10 years main binocular
Soviet special 20x60. Ideal astro binocular for 15 years.
Celestron 20x80 1975. Super astro binocular hand held up to 50 years age.
Canon 10x42 L IS. Very good binocular
Zeiss 10x 42 Conquest HD. Great all rounder
Bausch and Lomb 10x42 Elite. Easy
Canon 12x36 IS c.1999. My first IS binocular, game changer.
Nipole 7x23 micro. My only binocular 1960s.

We aren't decimal here. Back to dozens.
Baker's dozen anyway.

Regards,
B
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
My favorite at any one time vary from day to day, object to object -- in no order

SW 8.5x42 EL - best all around pair and if I were limited to one only this would be my choice,
but the others all exceed the SWs in their nitch.
zeiss terra 8x25 - favorite to carry when I do not plan on using binocuars
kowa 6.5x32 - my newest and most used now due to wide FOV and good optics
zeiss 8x32FL - second best all around and easier to carry than SW
canon 12x36 IS - like the mag and IS but not the FOV
zeiss dialyt 8x56 - coolest pair and favorite for handheld astro
leica 10+15 x 50 - best for raptors, shore birds, solar and lunar eclipses with proper filters
Miyauchi 100mm FLs - favorite when I get serious about deep sky objects
vixen 2.1x42 - just to play around with sky when not so serious
past life
pentax papillio 6.5 and 8.5 - gave to grandchildren
fujinon 10x70 - most practical astro pair
fujinon 25x150MT - wonderful to use but a 120# beast (pair and P-mount) to store and transport

if these were lost or destroyed, I would restock with
a papillio 6.5x21 for my car,
an 8x 32mm for hiking,
and a 8-10 x 42-56mm pair or maybe a spotting scope instead

edj
 
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[email protected]

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Canon 18x50 IS. 20 years faithful service
Swift 8.5x44 HR/5. Go to binocular
Leica 8x32 BA. Easy
Docter 10x25. Ideal pocket binocular.
Minolta 10x50 Standard MK. Ten years main binocular
Russian 12x45. 10 years main binocular
Soviet special 20x60. Ideal astro binocular for 15 years.
Celestron 20x80 1975. Super astro binocular hand held up to 50 years age.
Canon 10x42 L IS. Very good binocular
Zeiss 10x 42 Conquest HD. Great all rounder
Bausch and Lomb 10x42 Elite. Easy
Canon 12x36 IS c.1999. My first IS binocular, game changer.
Nipole 7x23 micro. My only binocular 1960s.

We aren't decimal here. Back to dozens.
Baker's dozen anyway.

Regards,
B
Very eclectic collection! Obviously, you have good taste! A lot of big apertures in there. I like that. How do you like the Minolta 10x50 Standard MK and the Swift 8.5x44 HR/5?
 

[email protected]

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My favorite at any one time vary from day to day, object to object -- in no order

SW 8.5x42 EL - best all around pair and if I were limited to one only this would be my choice,
but the others all exceed the SWs in their nitch.
zeiss terra 8x25 - favorite to carry when I do not plan on using binocuars
kowa 6.5x32 - my newest and most used now due to wide FOV and good optics
zeiss 8x32FL - second best all around and easier to carry than SW
canon 12x36 IS - like the mag and IS but not the FOV
zeiss dialyt 8x56 - coolest pair and favorite for handheld astro
leica 10+15 x 50 - best for raptors, shore birds, solar and lunar eclipses with proper filters
Miyauchi 100mm FLs - favorite when I get serious about deep sky objects
vixen 2.1x42 - just to play around with sky when not so serious
past life
pentax papillio 6.5 and 8.5 - gave to grandchildren
fujinon 10x70 - most practical astro pair
fujinon 25x150MT - wonderful to use but a 120# beast (pair and P-mount) to store and transport

if these were lost or destroyed, I would restock with
a papillio 6.5x21 for my car,
an 8x 32mm for hiking,
and a 8-10 x 42-56mm pair or maybe a spotting scope instead

edj
Big variety there, wow! You have everything covered. Do you have enough dark skies where you are in Arkansas to use that big Fujinon 25x150 MT? How does the Zeiss Dialyt 8x56 compare to the Fujinon 10x70 on the night sky? You can probably hand hold the Zeiss but the Fujinon is tripod only I would imagine.
 

edwincjones

Well-known member
Big variety there, wow! You have everything covered. Do you have enough dark skies where you are in Arkansas to use that big Fujinon 25x150 MT? How does the Zeiss Dialyt 8x56 compare to the Fujinon 10x70 on the night sky? You can probably hand hold the Zeiss but the Fujinon is tripod only I would imagine.
I had the dark sky in 2002 when I got the big fujis, but no longer in my part of the state. I sold due to not using much, duplication with 100mm miyauchis, and difficulty transporting to darker skies.
I did not have the 10x70s and the 8x56s at the same time and hard to compare tripod mounting with handheld. Two different times in my astro binocular life.

edj
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
Denco, first please tell me your 10 favourite binoculars, ranked in terms of comfort (i.e. firstly to hold & manipulate and secondly to look through). No need for explanation.
 

[email protected]

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Denco, first please tell me your 10 favourite binoculars, ranked in terms of comfort (i.e. firstly to hold & manipulate and secondly to look through). No need for explanation.
I don't really care about comfort, so it is not a criterion when I select a binocular. For me, it is all about the view and the optics. Even though I think some porros provide the best view available I don't care for the popular smaller porros like the Nikon E2 or SE because I feel they lack contrast and are less bright than porros like the Habicht or bigger Fujinons. I prefer the Swarovski 8x30 CL B over the E2 and the SE because it has much better contrast than either. The Fujinon porros are better than the Habicht 10x40 GA but a lot of it is due to the 50 mm aperture versus the 40 mm aperture of the Habicht.

1) Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50(Best binocular I have ever looked through)
2) Fujinon FMTR-SX 7x50(2nd best binocular I have ever looked through)
3) Habicht 10x40 GA(Best smaller aperture binocular I have ever looked through)
4) APM APO 7x50(Best big aperture porro for the money that I have ever looked through)
5) Swarovski NL 8x42(Best Roof Prism I have ever looked through but not on the level of the above porros)
6) Swarovski EL 10x50(Best Big Aperture Roof Prism but not on the level of the big aperture porros)
7) Meopta Meostar 15x56(Best Big Aperture Roof Prism for the money but not on the level of the big aperture porros)
8)Swarovski 8x30 CL B(Best Smaller Aperture Roof Prism)
9)Swarovski 8x25 CL-P(Best Compact Roof Prism)
10)Kowa Genesis Prominar HD 8x32(Best Medium Aperture Roof Prism for the money)
 
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John Cantelo

Well-known member
Your 10 most favourite binoculars that you own? That's more than I've owned in almost 60 years of birding. I thought birders were an obsessive lot but binocular aficionados are evidently much worse!
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
I don't really care about comfort, so it is not a criterion when I select a binocular. For me, it is all about the view and the optics. Even though I think some porros provide the best view available I don't care for the popular smaller porros like the Nikon E2 or SE because I feel they lack contrast and are less bright than porros like the Habicht or bigger Fujinons. I prefer the Swarovski 8x30 CL B over the E2 and the SE because it has much better contrast than either. The Fujinon porros are better than the Habicht 10x40 GA but a lot of it is due to the 50 mm aperture versus the 40 mm aperture of the Habicht.

1) Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50(Best binocular I have ever looked through)
2) Fujinon FMTR-SX 7x50(2nd best binocular I have ever looked through)
3) Habicht 10x40 GA(Best smaller aperture binocular I have ever looked through)
4) APM APO 7x50(Best big aperture porro for the money that I have ever looked through)
5) Swarovski NL 8x42(Best Roof Prism I have ever looked through but not on the level of the above porros)
6) Swarovski EL 10x50(Best Big Aperture Roof Prism but not on the level of the big aperture porros)
7) Meopta Meostar 15x56(Best Big Aperture Roof Prism for the money but not on the level of the big aperture porros)
8)Swarovski 8x30 CL B(Best Smaller Aperture Roof Prism)
9)Swarovski 8x25 CL-P(Best Compact Roof Prism)
10)Kowa Genesis Prominar HD 8x32(Best Medium Aperture Roof Prism for the money)

Well then, as being comfortable is not a criterion for you, you appear to have found the best views for you and can now rest contented at the end of your odyssey
😄
 

etudiant

Registered User
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Canon 18x50 IS. 20 years faithful service
Swift 8.5x44 HR/5. Go to binocular
Leica 8x32 BA. Easy
Docter 10x25. Ideal pocket binocular.
Minolta 10x50 Standard MK. Ten years main binocular
Russian 12x45. 10 years main binocular
Soviet special 20x60. Ideal astro binocular for 15 years.
Celestron 20x80 1975. Super astro binocular hand held up to 50 years age.
Canon 10x42 L IS. Very good binocular
Zeiss 10x 42 Conquest HD. Great all rounder
Bausch and Lomb 10x42 Elite. Easy
Canon 12x36 IS c.1999. My first IS binocular, game changer.
Nipole 7x23 micro. My only binocular 1960s.

We aren't decimal here. Back to dozens.
Baker's dozen anyway.

Regards,
B
An admirable list, biased a bit towards the astronomy side.
 

[email protected]

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Your 10 most favorite binoculars that you own? That's more than I've owned in almost 60 years of birding. I thought birders were an obsessive lot, but binocular aficionados are evidently much worse!

"that you own or HAVE owned." I only own 4 binoculars at the moment. Of course that could change at any moment!
 

[email protected]

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Well then, as being comfortable is not a criterion for you, you appear to have found the best views for you and can now rest contented at the end of your odyssey
😄
For now. There are ALWAYS new and better binoculars coming out or waiting to be discovered. I will always continue to search. That is what I like the search!
 

mwhogue

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Zeiss 8x25 VP. Best bin I can most often have with me.
Kowa BDII 6.5x32. Huge FOV and DOF. I'd rather see and track the bird with this than miss it with anything else.
Leica UV 8x20. Great bin I can have with me even more often and more discretely. Binocular jewelry.
Canon 12x36 IS III. So high on the list because it is the most versatile IS bin in my experience.
7x42 in HD+, Zeiss T FL and EDG II. The order of preference tends to rotate.
EDG II 10x32. That focus function, saturated color and 10x in a reasonably compact package.
Leica HD+ 10x50. It introduced me the the "Leica image".
SW SV 8.5x42 (pre fp). How can it not be on the list?

Mike
 

[email protected]

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Zeiss 8x25 VP. Best bin I can most often have with me.
Kowa BDII 6.5x32. Huge FOV and DOF. I'd rather see and track the bird with this than miss it with anything else.
Leica UV 8x20. Great bin I can have with me even more often and more discretely. Binocular jewelry.
Canon 12x36 IS III. So high on the list because it is the most versatile IS bin in my experience.
7x42 in HD+, Zeiss T FL and EDG II. The order of preference tends to rotate.
EDG II 10x32. That focus function, saturated color and 10x in a reasonably compact package.
Leica HD+ 10x50. It introduced me the the "Leica image".
SW SV 8.5x42 (pre fp). How can it not be on the list?

Mike
Nice choices. I have had all those, and they are all great binoculars. I understand why you like 7x42's for their DOF, brightness, big exit pupil, and they are easy to hold steady but have you ever tried a 7x50 porro? I know they are heavy, but they are like a 7x42 on steroids. The 7x50 has all the benefits of the 7x42 but even more so probably pulling in 40% more light and even with a bigger exit pupil. Try one sometime. Most are IF but as you know with 7x you don't have to focus much anyway.

 
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dries1

Member
I think many on this forum have used/owned the heavy 7X50s and 10X50 porro prisms, some from yesteryear. I have an issued M22 Kami tech Fuji 7X50, and a Hensoldt 10X50 while they do not have the upgraded glass, they are fun to pick up once in a while - in a chair or standing stationary. I would bet that the Nikon SE, EII and the Habicht are in the majority of porros that many on this forum have, if they have porros in their possession.

Andy W.
 

[email protected]

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I think many on this forum have used/owned the heavy 7X50s and 10X50 porro prisms, some from yesteryear. I have an issued M22 Kami tech Fuji 7X50, and a Hensoldt 10X50 while they do not have the upgraded glass, they are fun to pick up once in a while - in a chair or standing stationary. I would bet that the Nikon SE, EII and the Habicht are in the majority of porros that many on this forum have, if they have porros in their possession.

Andy W.
" I would bet that the Nikon SE, EII and the Habicht are in the majority of porros that many on this forum have, if they have porros in their possession."
I would agree because of their size and weight. I am kind of thinking out of the box with a 7x50 and 10x50. Not too many birders consider them but they have a lot of advantages as you well know because I know you prefer bigger apertures. You are already carry 2 pounds with a 10x42 why not carry an extra pound and have the extra performance of a 10x50. You can lose a pound off your stomach right? A 10x50 is like a 10x42 on steroids.
 

dries1

Member
Dennis,

I already use a few 10X50 roofs, and I do prefer 10X50/56 over 10X42, just not a Fuji 10X50 IF.

Andy W.
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
Then ten most-favored binos in my collection at the moment, along w/reason(s).

1. 8x20 Leica Ultravid. Best 20mm bino I have ever used.
2. 8x25 Swaro CL-P. Love its build quality and eyecups.
3. 10x25 Leica Ultravid. Love its build quality and handling.
4. 8x32 Swaro EL SV. Best in its class, to my eyes.
5. 10x32 Swaro EL SV. Best in its class, to my eyes.
6. 7x35 Leica Retrovid. Beautiful to look at and look through. The estoteric choice for birding.
7. 7x42 Zeiss Victory FL. Bright, wide, and sharp. Great for short-range under heavy canopy.
8. 8.5x42 Swaro EL FP. My favorite all-round performer.
9. 10x42 Canon IS L-series. Stabilized, of course! Great lenses too.
10. 12x42 Swaro NL. Never considered a 12x in the past as all of the good ones are 50mm, and I don't really care for 50mm binos. Now, I can have my cake and eat it too......
 

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