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still looking for a good 8x42 allrounder

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#1 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:56 AM

I am still looking for a good 8x42 all round binocular with emphasis on stargazing. I am not a birder but like to take my Bino's with me on walks so light weight is certainly a plus.
Unfortunately my nearest shop is not well stocked so I try to decide on a short list and will then order online.
After I had trouble getting on with Leica Trinovid (I felt sea sick and someone suggested it might have collimating issues) I got a Opticron WP HR 8x42.
The positive reports I read are certainly true. After comparing it to my Leica over serveral days and nights I could not see a difference between them in the middle of the fov. If anything I found the opticron ever so slightly brighter on M31.
Now I could be happy with the Opticron but feel that only the middle 50% are sharp,leaving me to look for another bino with the same resolution and brightness but a bigger area with pin point stars.
My budget is up to 800£ and I had a look at the following models but could not single out a clear winner for me

Vortex Viper HD - 430£ (people seem to love them but some place them considerable below the new Zeiss conquest plus it seems to have a moderate sweet spot)
Meopta Meostar 8x42 - 590£ (seems like a good bino with wide views but slightly heavier)
Minox HG 8x42 - 600£ (difficult to find a consensus, some love it and some place it below similar priced offerings)
Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 - 680£ (had some problems with black outs in the beginning but liked the views. Can't remember how big the area with pin pout stars wars. Not so keen about the rubber coating)

Kowa Genisis 8.5x44 and Nikon HG L 8x42 heavy and slightly above budget

Nikon SE 10x42 -670£ (probably best choice but despite the low weigh I doubt that I can hold it steady. One reason to sell my old Dekarem 10x50 were the shaky views)

I would gratefully about comments about the listed models and other suggestions. I must admit I have a slight preference for supposedly Japanese or German made Bino's.

#2 JustaBoy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:44 AM

Hi,

These look good to me, but I don't know if you can get them in the UK?

http://www.zen-ray.c.../41/category/4/

Pay no attention to that price because everyone else is selling them for $609.

http://agenaastro.co...-prism-coati...

Good reviews...
-Chuck

#3 Lou3

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:40 AM

Have you looked at the Nikon Monarch 7 8x42? I'm not sure if it's made in Japan, but it gets good reviews.

#4 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:44 AM

Hi,

These look good to me, but I don't know if you can get them in the UK?

http://www.zen-ray.c.../41/category/4/

Pay no attention to that price because everyone else is selling them for $609.

http://agenaastro.co...-prism-coati...

Good reviews...
-Chuck


Sounds interesting, they would be roughly 540£ with tax and no way of returning them. They would have been really good for that :)

#5 DarkDisplay

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:59 AM

The more I use my new Vanguard Endeavor 8x42ED the more I'm impressed with it. The views challenge those of much higher priced binos. Very solid build, too. By the way, still on sale at Eagle Optics plus the rebate.

Best wishes,
Frank

#6 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:23 AM

The Monarch 7 sound good as well. With 450£ they fit in between the Meopta and the Viper HD.
To be fair I like Nikon cameras and my lenses are from Thailand and china with no complains

#7 PowellAstro

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:43 AM

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

#8 Chris Greene

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:45 AM

If you can, you might check out the Canon IS bins. I have the fairly inexpensive 10x30's but, apparently, the real jewel are the 10x42's.

But what I'm grabbing most often these days are the Conquest HD 8x42's. There's too much eye relief relative to the extension of the eye cups and there is another issue (mechanical) with the eye cups which Zeiss is working on (new cups) but the views, once you get how to hold them are sublime. BTW, if you wear glasses and keep the cups rotated in or mostly in, these are about perfect.

#9 KennyJ

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:08 AM

Hello Ebbisham,

Does it HAVE to be a 42mm model?

I was thinking Nikon 8x32 SE might be just fine.

Kenny

#10 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:36 PM

Hi Kenny
The 8x32 is a great binocular but collects 60 % less light than a 42mm bino. I never tried a bino that size so not sure how this is reflected in reality.
I use my Bino's primarily when I don't have enough time to get the scope out or when we visit the family in the south if France (very dark there :) ) and I can't take my scope on the train.
Shame Nikon never produced a 8x42

#11 WOBentley

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:58 PM

I own the Vortex Viper but and love them. Great views, great from the weight standpoint and I am very happy with my purchase...however I don't have any experience with the other models you mention so I can't offer a comparative opinion. Is there a way to get the binocular you think you like best with an option to return if you can't get to somewhere that has some of these in stock?

#12 Stacy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:23 PM

I own the Vortex Viper but and love them. Great views, great from the weight standpoint and I am very happy with my purchase...however I don't have any experience with the other models you mention so I can't offer a comparative opinion. Is there a way to get the binocular you think you like best with an option to return if you can't get to somewhere that has some of these in stock?


Is the "Viper But" a new model? I have not heard of that one yet. :)

#13 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:35 PM

Dave, Stacy- I mean the HD version, what is the percentage of field in yours were stars stay pinpoint.
I am certainly looking to order from a reputable dealer in the UK and you have with any online shop under a EU directive (one of the things they got right ;) ) the right to return within 7 days without any reason.
Problem is that there are only so many well stocked dealer and I already returned a few Bino's I wasn't to sure about.
The Conquest was one of them. I don't wear glasses so have to wait for the upcoming upgrade to see if the kidney beaning goes away.

#14 Stacy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

Agena ships to the UK by the way....

#15 Stacy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:51 PM

Dave, Stacy- I mean the HD version, what is the percentage of field in yours were stars stay pinpoint.
I am certainly looking to order from a reputable dealer in the UK and you have with any online shop under a EU directive (one of the things they got right ;) ) the right to return within 7 days without any reason.
Problem is that there are only so many well stocked dealer and I already returned a few Bino's I wasn't to sure about.
The Conquest was one of them. I don't wear glasses so have to wait for the upcoming upgrade to see if the kidney beaning goes away.


Yes, better to deal local if you can. On the other hand, if that is going to limit your selection too severely you might do better on-line. Then there is the used market. Save hundreds and for the most part get a known good sample. Is there a resource in the UK for good, used optics?

#16 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

Stacy, I know, I bought my Antares Barlow from them. But shipping back will be a problem if I have problems with kidney beaning etc.
Unfortunately it seems that unlike telescope stuff it is far more difficult to find used binos, or maybe I am just frequenting the wrong forums.

#17 Stacy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:09 PM

Stacy, I know, I bought my Antares Barlow from them. But shipping back will be a problem if I have problems with kidney beaning etc.
Unfortunately it seems that unlike telescope stuff it is far more difficult to find used binos, or maybe I am just frequenting the wrong forums.


Birders and hunters are a great source for used binos, with the caveat that hunters tend to "test the build quality" a bit more than astronomers. :)

#18 Ebyl

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:19 PM

Can you get Zen-Ray binoculars in the UK? They have a 10x42 in the Prime HD, and while they're not the smallest or lightest, they are optically superb without having to pay the full price of an alpha bin. If someone is willing to spend close to the price they run at, which it looks like you might be, I'd recommend at least glancing at them.

After a quick look around, there is a European distributor called Lanius Books or something? Not sure. Anyway, here's the Zen-Ray page for the 10x42 HD's.

http://www.zen-ray.c...me-hd-1042.html

You could always contact them directly and ask about UK distribution or shipping, they have a reputation for being extremely helpful.

#19 KennyJ

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:21 PM

Again, slightly different from the stated requirement, but there is a used Swarovski 7x42 SLC available here for within your stated budget price.

http://www.at-infocu...dequipment.html

Kenny

#20 Ebbisham

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

I had a quick look at Lanuis website, he is based in Poland and charges the same as a self import cost, I will read a bit more about the Zen's they seem to get good feedback. Would be interesting how they compare to Meopta.
Don't know why but somehow I like what I read about them but I think I have to order one to see for myself

#21 KennyJ

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:43 PM

There is a thread here about the Swarovski 7x42 SLC with some interesting comments.

I tried some of these when the "neu/ mark 2" model that is for sale, first hit the market, and was VERY impressed.

http://www.birdforum...ead.php?t=75127

Kenny

#22 wavecloud

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:57 PM

I have a Vortex Viper HD, compared it side by side with the famous Swarovski binoculars, it the optics arealmost as sharp but have a flatter field, and they are MUCH more comfortable to use.

#23 WOBentley

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:17 PM

Stacy the "Viper but" is not a new model, though clearly I need new model fingers or proof readers... Of course I could edit it...but it is funny! :)
As an answer to the OP's question...I honestly don't remember how far out stars were pinpoint. I did not find it objectionable, but our tolerance levels may be different. If the remnants of the Typhoon ever pass by I will take a look and post!
You may find this post to be helpful.

#24 NDfarmer

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:32 PM

Hello Ebbisham,

Does it HAVE to be a 42mm model?

I was thinking Nikon 8x32 SE might be just fine.

Kenny


I agree with Kenny, the SE will be able to perform as
well as the others you have listed. The other one to
try out is the Zeiss Conquest 8x42 HD, it is also very
good, and those 2 are the best choices so far mentioned.

Jerry

#25 Ebbisham

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 02:21 AM

The report for the Viper HD sounds rather encouraging. 80% sweet spot would be good enough for me.
I think I will try both the conquest HD and the Viper HD and see how they compare.
I would have to try the Meopta as well but would have to order them from Germany, making a return a bit more expensive.
But then the Meopta fov is 7.8 vs the Vipers 6.6 . It's not easy :)






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