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In praise of tiny binocs.

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#1 Darto501

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:14 PM

Mine are Pentax 8x21 UCF reverse porros. These were $140 MSRP (list price) back in the 80's. They are not  the same as the 8x21 Pentax makes today which are cheaper in cost and in performance. Mine weigh 7.5 ounces. My next size up are Leopold Yosemite 6x30 which weigh 17.5 ounces.

 

In terms of handiness the little binocular of these two is I would say fifty times more handy.

 

Everybody in my opinion needs at least one really really tiny binocular. Even the case and strap will be less cumbersome because even a shoestring for a strap will not irritate your neck when the device weighs under 8 ounces. That's all the strap you need. A shirt pocket that button downs can serve as the case.

 

The only advantage of the 8 power Yosemites are wider field and brighter images. The image is actually better on the tiny 6 power Pentax and being so very tiny in weight the 'shake' is less when viewing stars than on the lower power Yosemite. But remember brightness is way reduced, to say the least.

 

Larger binocs might fit the hand better, but when something is really, really, lightweight, it is going to be more comfortable and shake free despite not fitting the hand as well as a bigger binoc.

 

Just my opinion. Today, I would recommend trying the Pentax Papilio 6.5x21, although I haven't actually looked through one of those.


Edited by Darto501, 15 February 2019 - 10:15 PM.

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#2 Rich V.

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:22 PM

Nothing wrong with a handy compact bino.  Try a Papilio if you get a chance; they're amazing if you're a nature lover and want to do some serious close-up viewing.  A lot of members here are Papilio fans.  They go cross-eyed up close so you don't have to.   wink.gif

 

Can't imagine life without a Papilio; my wife and I each have one...   

 

Rich


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#3 rowdy388

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:48 PM

I gifted myself a tiny pair for Christmas, the 2.3X40 Kasai Trading binoculars. I got the optional

headgear that holds it up to your eyes, no hands necessary. I'm undecided how I like them. There

is more astigmatism than premium but once they're strapped to your face, you're in a different world.

They increase your naked eye vision by about one magnitude and are wide enough to fit the entirety

of Orion or Ursa Major. I learned not to walk around with them strapped on because you lose perspective

and stumble around. Also find myself reaching for doorknobs that are out of reach. 

 

I still prefer my next smallest binoculars, the 8X42 3D's. Light enough to hold for longer periods than most

and I'm a sucker for the 3D.



#4 hallelujah

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:05 PM

Years ago I found a small Celestron 8x25 reverse Porro binocular at a yard sale.

It was incredibly sharp.

I had a lot of fun with it, even for stargazing.
 

My biggest issue with tiny binoculars is the fact that they are almost always too

small for my XL hands.

 

I have in my collection a Leupold 6x32 Katmai roof prism binocular which

I purchased for my wife's smaller hands.

Funny thing, she has always seemed to prefer hand holding larger Porro binoculars.

 

The discontinued Katmai 6x32 is an expensive roof prism with BaK-4 prisms.

It has a close focus of around five feet, waterproof, fogproof, etc.

It is fun to use, but, at 6x, neither myself nor my wife really cared for the low power,

especially for daytime bird watching.

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 16 February 2019 - 12:33 PM.

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:05 PM

I have the Zeiss 8x20 and 10x25, which are absolutely wonderful! Thay are my most-used... and can, literally, tuck into a shirt pocket!    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 10 Toms Zeiss Compact Binos.jpg

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#6 jaraxx

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:05 AM

I'm killing time in a Cabella's, futzing my way through the discount section. I spot a pair of Vortex Viper 6x32s. I make the mistake of picking them up, even tho a 12X is what I plan to purchase next (I think). I'm presented with a crisp, clear, warm view on an 8 degree field. They have a close focus of 3 feet! They will fit in my cargo pocket or clip on my belt. I'm smitten, and I buy them on the spot. (And that, my friends, is how one acquires enough binoculars that some people think you're a bit odd...)

They offer a fine view of a dark sky, are decent at twilight, are very handy to have in a museum, are excellent for birding in brush, and have a special power of close focus. Last summer I watched a praying mantis ambush a cricket at 6x from about 6 feet away. What a world!


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#7 Astroman007

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:08 AM

I am planning on getting these once I have my next guitar picked out and paid off (perhaps by summer): https://oberwerk.com...port-ed-series/


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#8 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 01:20 AM

I agree with Rich, nothing wrong with having a small, carry-anywhere bino.

 

While planning for a trip to Florida (land of high humidity and afternoon thunderstorms), I remembered that my Canon 10x30s aren't waterproof and I probably should pick up something small for travel, something I wouldn't have to worry about if it was lost, stolen, or run over (boy is this hobby habit-forming).  I looked at a lot of "compact" style binos, but my strong, asymmetric eyeglasses prescription makes eye relief a priority and I've found that smaller exit pupils can be very sensitive to eye placement.

 

A lot of research later, I decided on an Oberwerk Sport 8x32 HD, which arrived today.  First impressions out of the box are good, but I've only had a few daytime views.  I'll try to do a mini-review soon.


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#9 Alan French

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 09:41 AM

I thought a pair of compact binoculars would be nice to have, until Zeiss was at NEAF and I got to try all their offerings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of them, but I discovered their light weight made them impossible to hold steady. It seems I need a bit more mass to resist a slight hand tremor. The 8x32s were much more agreeable. 

 

So, as always, try before you buy if possible. Otherwise make sure there's an agreeable return policy.

 

Clear skies, Alan 


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#10 Tyson M

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:39 AM

Nothing wrong with a handy compact bino.  Try a Papilio if you get a chance; they're amazing if you're a nature lover and want to do some serious close-up viewing.  A lot of members here are Papilio fans.  They go cross-eyed up close so you don't have to.   wink.gif

 

Can't imagine life without a Papilio; my wife and I each have one...   

 

Rich

These binoculars are fascinating. Such close focus, good for bugs and flower and such! 



#11 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:47 PM

I thought a pair of compact binoculars would be nice to have, until Zeiss was at NEAF and I got to try all their offerings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of them, but I discovered their light weight made them impossible to hold steady. It seems I need a bit more mass to resist a slight hand tremor. The 8x32s were much more agreeable. 

 

So, as always, try before you buy if possible. Otherwise make sure there's an agreeable return policy.

 

Clear skies, Alan 

 

My mileage varies on this. I have the Zeiss Victory 8x25's and I can hold them just as steadily as any of my other binoculars (including my 10x32's). Now some of it is that I wear glasses when using anything but my big rig and I brace the little Zeiss against my glasses. In addition I have them on and RYO elastic harness which adds a little tension as well.

 

As this thread suggests the convenience of high quality little binoculars is amazing. Although I bought them for birding I am amazed at what pleasant views they can give of many objects in the night sky in a pinch. I often go birding with these and my spotting skope together. They are so small and light that I pretty much don't even notice that I am carrying them.


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#12 paulsky

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:13 PM

Hello,
Fortunately I have had some good experience with these little pocket binoculars, it was with a tiny Leica Trinovid 8x20 pocket binoculars, it seemed impossible that with only 20mm of lens could provide such beautiful images and that could capture that amount of light from the night sky, part of the aesthetics of the images, its contrast and sharpness seemed amazing to me for its size ... although I have to say that its field of vision seemed rather narrow ..
I imagine that those Zeiss Victory or Swarovski 8x25 would be even better!
regards
Pail


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#13 Seadog83

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:49 PM

I too love the tiny guys. One of my problems is I'm cheap, so I'm relegated to finding high quality optics at thrift stores and yard sales.

I came across these little 8x22 Minoltas, 8.2 deg FoV, pretty decent image, in perfect collimation, and for all of $5.

Minolta-8x22-82-Wide-angle-binocular-made-in.jpg


I haven't been able to find much about them aside from coming up on auction sites, and listing for between $15 and $150. Have tried to find out what the MSRP was, but have come up empty. They are absolutely perfect for chucking in a backpack when I'm about to head out hiking. 

I think they're from the 80s/90s, and made in Japan, which I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not since as I understand it, Japan was the China of 25+ years ago.



#14 Mark9473

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:19 PM

I thought a pair of compact binoculars would be nice to have, until Zeiss was at NEAF and I got to try all their offerings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of them, but I discovered their light weight made them impossible to hold steady. It seems I need a bit more mass to resist a slight hand tremor.

I hold my little Leica 8x20 such that my hands are resting against my eyebrows. You might try if that works for you  


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#15 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:51 PM

Hello,
Fortunately I have had some good experience with these little pocket binoculars, it was with a tiny Leica Trinovid 8x20 pocket binoculars, it seemed impossible that with only 20mm of lens could provide such beautiful images and that could capture that amount of light from the night sky, part of the aesthetics of the images, its contrast and sharpness seemed amazing to me for its size ... although I have to say that its field of vision seemed rather narrow ..
I imagine that those Zeiss Victory or Swarovski 8x25 would be even better!
regards
Pail

 

The FOV on the Zeiss are about 7.5°, The Swarovski are about 6.8. The little Swaro's are superb but I ended up with the Zeiss because of the larger FOV and the single versus double hinge design.


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#16 TOMDEY

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:57 PM

When I noticed that my little Zeisses fit my shirt pocket, I theorized that ALL Zeiss Binos fit all shirt pockets. I then applied the Scientific Experimental Method, to test my theory. Alas, not all Zeiss fit my shirt pocket. Theory has been overthrown. Next, I will try the APM 100mm binos.    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 11 55 Toms Zeiss Compact Binos Shirt Pocket.jpg
  • 11 55 Toms Zeiss 7x42 Binos Dont Fit Shirt Pocket.jpg
  • 11 55 Toms Zeiss 20x60 I Binos Dont Fit.jpg

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#17 range88

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:09 AM

My fav. little guy..

175537tdnvp5pgy56oze8p.jpg


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#18 shredder1656

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 09:48 AM

Still relatively very new to astronomy, and quality optics.  Most of my experience is with classic scopes, but binoculars have grabbed my attention lately.  I purchased my first pair of decent binoculars, Steiner Merlin Pro 10x42s, for hunting off of WOOT.com around 6-8 years ago, but really did not know what I was buying (still don't, lol).  I have learned barely enough to not go cross-eyed.  

 

I saw this thread, and was perusing it a day or so ago.  Yesterday I happened to jump on CL.  I punched in "binoculars", which is something I don't think I have done before.  I found an ad for a pair of Nikon Venturer II 8x23s.  I don't know if they are well-loved by those "in the know", but for $20, I figured I would check them out.  

 

They were as sharp as other binos I have looked through, AND tiny.  I gave him 4 $5s, and now they are mine.  They seem like they are somewhat praise-worthy.  I wanted something of decent optical quality for my pocket, and I think these will do...until I get carried away with "I need..." syndrome.  

 

I like them so far, and on-axis they are pretty sharp.  Don't want to digress from the thread, but since they say they were made in Japan, any clue if they are new or what year they would have to have been made?

 

20190217_091647.jpg

 

20190217_091933.jpg

 

20190217_091819.jpg


Edited by shredder1656, 17 February 2019 - 09:49 AM.

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#19 Carlos Flores

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:34 AM

Still relatively very new to astronomy, and quality optics.  Most of my experience is with classic scopes, but binoculars have grabbed my attention lately.  I purchased my first pair of decent binoculars, Steiner Merlin Pro 10x42s, for hunting off of WOOT.com around 6-8 years ago, but really did not know what I was buying (still don't, lol).  I have learned barely enough to not go cross-eyed.  

 

I saw this thread, and was perusing it a day or so ago.  Yesterday I happened to jump on CL.  I punched in "binoculars", which is something I don't think I have done before.  I found an ad for a pair of Nikon Venturer II 8x23s.  I don't know if they are well-loved by those "in the know", but for $20, I figured I would check them out.  

 

They were as sharp as other binos I have looked through, AND tiny.  I gave him 4 $5s, and now they are mine.  They seem like they are somewhat praise-worthy.  I wanted something of decent optical quality for my pocket, and I think these will do...until I get carried away with "I need..." syndrome.  

 

I like them so far, and on-axis they are pretty sharp.  Don't want to digress from the thread, but since they say they were made in Japan, any clue if they are new or what year they would have to have been made?

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091647.jpg

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091933.jpg

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091819.jpg

Wall-E spare parts?


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#20 Carlos Flores

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:44 AM

My fav. little guy..

attachicon.gif 175537tdnvp5pgy56oze8p.jpg

Does anybody mentioned "tiny", "Zeiss" and "classic" smile.gif ?

 

I just acquired last month these small Zeiss 8x20B for a low price in a clearance sale. Good condition and i am very happy. They fit the pocket and are perfect for events, city trips and EDC and still usable with my glasses.  I agree that tiny quality binos make a difference. During years i used cheap pocket binoculars until i got the Zeiss...i was not aware that small binos could be so bright !!!

 

Carlos 

Attached Thumbnails

  • zeiss_west3.gif

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#21 jcj380

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:55 AM

I gifted myself a tiny pair for Christmas, the 2.3X40 Kasai Trading binoculars. I got the optional

headgear that holds it up to your eyes, no hands necessary. I'm undecided how I like them. There

is more astigmatism than premium but once they're strapped to your face, you're in a different world.

They increase your naked eye vision by about one magnitude and are wide enough to fit the entirety

of Orion or Ursa Major. I learned not to walk around with them strapped on because you lose perspective

and stumble around. Also find myself reaching for doorknobs that are out of reach. 

I've been curious about those.  Unfortunately one mag wouldn't get me much in my LP - maybe Cancer would be visible.  LOL.

 

Probably be great at a darker site though.



#22 TOMDEY

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 12:08 PM

Does anybody mentioned "tiny", "Zeiss" and "classic" smile.gif ?

I just acquired last month these small Zeiss 8x20B for a low price in a clearance sale. Good condition and i am very happy. They fit the pocket and are perfect for events, city trips and EDC and still usable with my glasses.  I agree that tiny quality binos make a difference. During years i used cheap pocket binoculars until i got the Zeiss...i was not aware that small binos could be so bright !!!

Carlos 

Yep! That's what I have... and they are indeed my ~most used~ binos!    Tom


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#23 paulsky

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 01:06 PM

Hello,
For many years I have used small pocket binoculars, both to observe birds and the night sky, these pocket binoculars "complied" with the birds but not with the stars ..., certainly until I tried these Leica 8x20 I did not know what that it was image quality in such a tiny format.
regards
Paul


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#24 skoro

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 01:26 PM

I keep my vintage Bushnell Custom 7x26 compact in the console of my vehicle.

 

Very light, easy to stow and surprisingly clear.



#25 davidmcgo

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 03:56 PM

I have those, bought them new in the early 1990s for $80 or so.  Very sharp but some issues wth stray light and ghosting.  I used them a lot for hiking and still bring them to the zoo and places like that.  They started getting a chalky powdery film on the vinyl recently, can get rid of it for a while with Bick’s leather conditioner which I tried when nothing else worked.

 

I keep meaning to get something nicer but they still work.

 

Dave

Still relatively very new to astronomy, and quality optics.  Most of my experience is with classic scopes, but binoculars have grabbed my attention lately.  I purchased my first pair of decent binoculars, Steiner Merlin Pro 10x42s, for hunting off of WOOT.com around 6-8 years ago, but really did not know what I was buying (still don't, lol).  I have learned barely enough to not go cross-eyed.  

 

I saw this thread, and was perusing it a day or so ago.  Yesterday I happened to jump on CL.  I punched in "binoculars", which is something I don't think I have done before.  I found an ad for a pair of Nikon Venturer II 8x23s.  I don't know if they are well-loved by those "in the know", but for $20, I figured I would check them out.  

 

They were as sharp as other binos I have looked through, AND tiny.  I gave him 4 $5s, and now they are mine.  They seem like they are somewhat praise-worthy.  I wanted something of decent optical quality for my pocket, and I think these will do...until I get carried away with "I need..." syndrome.  

 

I like them so far, and on-axis they are pretty sharp.  Don't want to digress from the thread, but since they say they were made in Japan, any clue if they are new or what year they would have to have been made?

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091647.jpg

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091933.jpg

 

attachicon.gif 20190217_091819.jpg


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