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Binoculars: 8x or 10x?

Discussion in 'Brights, Gizmo's & toys' started by Antonymous, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. middlewolf

    middlewolf Member

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    Just exactly what I was going to recommend. After certain magnifications a spotting scope might be better. That's what I did for viewing here in Yellowstone National Park.
     
  2. Somellier

    Somellier Member

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    8x32 are a good choice. 10x is hard to hold still, especially when working hard. 42s may let in more light than 32s (not necessarily a lot though - I'd stake my 8x32s against any 8x42 on the market, except Swarovski) but are heavier and bulkier. 8x32s have a wider field of view than 42s, which is very useful in woodland. From experience, I can recommend the Opticron 8x32 Discovery model, unless you want to go the whole hog and but the Swarovskis!
     
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think Leica and Zeiss are considered better than Swarovski?

    Also, we can not generalize that a certain objective gives a certain width of view.
    The length of the light passage is very important there, so the only way to know it is to check the manufacturers specs, or compare side to side.
     
    #23 Janne, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  4. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    My #11, 42mm is approx 50% better in light gathring area than 32mm and that's got to be an advantage in a gloomy forest.
    The diameter of the exit pupil is important, too.
    I've had the chance to use both Leica and Zeiss under field conditions, I don't recall the size.
    They were amazingly bright when compared with my old 7x50 Pentax. Amazingly expensive, too.
    Image-stabilizing optics (Canon?) react so fast that you can hand-hold 12X, you get what you pay for.
     
  5. Wander

    Wander Nomad

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    If you can't hold a pair of 10x bins steady enough to view the subject then you must have a bad case of the shakes!

    Field of view can be an important consideration, especially in the woods where there may be few (different) reference points for finding the object if it slips out of view. So an 8x may pay off in that regards since it'll give a greater field of view. But at 8x I find you don't get good enough details of the target to make it worthwhile even getting the bins out. 10x will give you details. And 10x can be held steady enough!
     
  6. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I think it's been answered above. Personal choice comes into play. For my preference I'd say 8x is best. I got 10x because they're better right? Can't hold the subject steady. The problem was it was only a 25 or 32mm lens i think. I can't find and hold the subject I'm looking at. useless bins that never get used. My best bins were the ones my parents bought me as a kid. 8x42 i believe. Cheapo ones but they had a decent field of view and i could hold them steady on the subject even track a moving object. That's what you need.

    Of course more knowledgeable people have put their views and experiences forward but I think my views/experience agrees with them. Whatever magnification you get it needs the higher diameter objective lens. If10x is chosen it has to be a high figure. Personally I'd get 8x. BTW the rspb recommends 7x or 8x for birdwatching. If that's your purpose to get a pair then I'd be guided by them. They have a series of pages of binocular advise but i reckon you're no beginner so they would be too basic. They do sell bins though and have sites around the country. Take a visit to one and try some out. They have demo days. Plus buying from them helps to support their work which is kind of worthy i think.
     
  7. Wander

    Wander Nomad

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    If they are to be used in the woods, and solely in the woods, then I agree - 8x would be best.
    This is because ranges are short and field of view will need to be wide due to tracking and trying to locate the subject. And because they are to be used in the woods then light may be an issue so I would go for at least a 42mm lens. A decent set of 50mm roof prism bins would weigh no more than a 42mm porro prism, and would be even better. But they will cost much much more

    My only concern is if the OP will want to use them outside the woods, in more open terrain. In that case I'm not sure 8x will give the detail and viewing experience desired at longer ranges (the RSPB may recommend 8x for birdwatching but that's only because many birdwatchers use the bins for locating/quick ID - many will have the ID skills that a close view will not be required - and then use a higher mag spotting scope for the actual observation. Don't be swayed by what they recommend for a specific use if you intend on using your bins for more general use). If the OP wants a more general use of the binoculars and will possibly be using them at longer ranges (and let's be honest, that's likely) then I would go for a 10x magnification. I think I would still stick at a minimum of a 42mm objective lens, especially if going for 10x - it's not just about the magnification but also about the exit pupil and focal length (example - I have a pair of Hawke 10x25s. Last Christmas I bought my mother a pair of Hawke 8x25s so she can watch the birds and squirrels in her garden. I thought my 10x bins gave a great image. But the 8xs ARE sharper, even if my 10xs show a bigger image, although my 10xs give a better view at range). So the higher the magnification, the higher the exit pupil really needs to be, even more so in shaded areas like woods. A 25mm lens really isn't up to the job unless you are spending lots (100s, if not 1000s) of money.

    The very best advice for the OP is to try some out.
    I would start with looking at 8x42 and 10x42 and deviate from there.
     
  8. Barney Rubble

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    As per above, it's well worth dropping into one of the larger RSPB reserves and taking a look at their binoculars on display in their visitor centres (there are quite a few dotted around the country). They usually have them out for you to try and you'll see straight away which ones work for you. The volunteers are generally also quite knowledgable. The RSPB branded binoculars are very good. I believe they are made by a company called Viking which have a pretty good reputation.
     
  9. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Made FOR a company called Viking.
    There are several optics companies, mainly in China, that manufacture and brand things to a specification. Even major brands have their products made this way.
     
  10. Klenchblaize

    Klenchblaize Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    8x56 is a hell of a package!
    Must be superb in dusk or low light conditions!
     
  12. petrochemicals

    petrochemicals Full Member

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    binoculars at 36 x 8 have roughly the same light gathering capability as 40 x 10. the magnification is how reduced the field of view is.
     
  13. Big G

    Big G Full Member

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    Some good info regarding bino's here.. i'm looking at picking a reasonable priced pair up.

    I've a cheap pair.. that i used for horse racing.. but they falling to bits so need replacing.
     
  14. Barney Rubble

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    I've been using a pair of Nikon Aculon A211 8x42's almost every weekend (watching wildlife) for the past 18 months and have been very happy with them. They only cost £59 but give me a good field of view and are still in excellent condition. They're the older fashioned porro prism style of binocular but I think that is the better option when at the lower end of the price range as they're a tried and tested design.
     
  15. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Google 'B&H' to see a reference list of binoculars. B&H is an Optics House in New York.
    There are 24 pages of 1,369 types of binoculars for you to read about. Just a catalog.

    I bought my Nikon Prostaff 82mm spotting scope from them. Don't use it as much as I thought I would
    but for a serious long range look (mountian sheep across a valley) it sure is nice.
     
  16. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I thought first that these were some new binoculars with stabilisation tech, heck, 36 and 40 times magnification....
     
  17. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    The light gathering is the same as for any camera, related to the area of the front lens element.
    So each analog f-stop is a factor of twice (or 1/2) the light.
    Since the formula uses the square of the radius, 42 is about 50% bigger than 32.
    So 36mm (1017.9 mm^2) and 40mm (1256 mm^2) are approx 20% apart.

    Fujinon makes a 14 x 50 binoc. with Image Stabilization, sure has got my attention (see B&H for details.)
    Fujinon has been making large format camera lenses of excellent resolution (@ f/22) for decades.

    I use a surveyor's tripod with spike feet and a quick release head for my Nikon 82 scope.
    While the mag range is 20X - 60X, in practice in the mountains, 40X really is the working max.
     
  18. Big G

    Big G Full Member

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    Thank's for the heads up mate.. i'm not that clued on what to look for when choosing a decent pair of bino's. But the next pair i buy will be a reputable branded make.

    I'm gonna pop along to my local RSPB Reserve for some sound advice and hopefully test few pairs out.

    I'm just after a reasonable priced pair for general wildlife spotting in day light.
     
  19. woodsorrel

    woodsorrel Settler

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    I just purchased the Nikon Monarch 5 ED 8x42 binoculars. I tried a number of brands and liked the Monarch best. I chose 8x because they give me a wider field of view. This will help me to find birds in wooded areas and pick up wildlife concealed in underbrush.

    There were binoculars with better numbers, but I ended up choosing the Monarch 5. My advice is try before you buy.

    - Woodsorrel
     
  20. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Sometimes you can find ex MOD binos for sale at a good price. They are usually badly beaten up on the outside, but 100% functionable.
     

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