Enter the 10x56s, my decision admittedly swayed by a 15% discount at Sport Optics. As Erik has written previously, these are truly beautiful binoculars, solid and weighty but comfortable to hold. Horizontally, much of the weight rests naturally on your palms just below your pinky fingers, which in turn makes you assume an elbows-in posture to steady the shakes. Looking overhead, your fingers fall naturally onto the wide bridge with your thumbs in the deep cutouts. I found that the overhead grip allows for a surprising amount of balanced fine motor control of the aim. There is enough eye relief to see the entire field with my glasses, although the strong prescription in my right eye induces occasional blackouts because it's at a slightly different distance from the eyepiece than my left eye.
I'm an amateur a little over a year in this hobby, but it's easy to see that optically these are very, very good. In daylight, the clarity and sharpness is outstanding, and the wide field and good eye relief make for very comfortable viewing. In low light, the large objectives do make for a bright view, which in turn makes it easier to focus. Although these are a bit brighter in daylight and low light than my Canon 10x30s, I have to say that the Canons are not very far behind in revealing fine detail with the IS turned on. Color saturation is discernibly better with the 10x56s versus the 10x30s. Red berries poking through green arborvitae branches in sunlight match the colors my unaided eyes see, whereas the 10x30s are tinted very slightly toward the orange.
Under night skies, scanning and panning for targets above 75 degrees elevation, the 10x56s are a lot of fun. Handheld, their larger objectives reach deeper as you would expect and star colors are vivid. Lying back in a zero-gravity chair, they are easy to keep steady. Stars don't distort until right at the edge of the field stop. The larger objectives provide a "rich field" experience. Swapping back and forth with my OB 15x70s the 10x56s don't give up very much in the view. In fact, asthetically I found myself drawn to the wider, richer FOV of the 10x56s. You can easily pick out the open clusters in Auriga and the very faint red nebular tint. The star clouds around the Double Cluster are easily visible as well. The 15x70s can see those clouds of course, but in my opinion the view isn't as nice. And what of the 10x30s? They can see those star clouds also, but you have to work at it and the colors aren't as nice. Not bad, though, for 30mm versus 56mm. I'd like to report on more observations and comparisons, but of course the sky began to haze up and cloud over. Session time, 15 minutes.