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10x42, a good compromise?

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#1 paulsky

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 02:32 AM

Hello,
Lately I have become quite fond of bird watching, long walks, nature in general but when the night comes I also continue with my passion, observational astronomy, I have several prisms but sometimes they weigh me a lot, 10x50 for example, or have a little diameter ..I'm looking for some model that I think can be good for both hobbies, a 10x42.With enough lens and magnification, not to weigh too much, comfortable for walks.and good for casual astronomy ...
I would be happy to recommend some, I do not know if roof or Porro.
Thank you
Paul



#2 sg6

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 03:28 AM

I would suggest the 8x42's simply as they "bounce" around less. For the bird and nature aspect this seems to apprear to be reduced at the eye (daylight use?) but for looking around the sky the extra magnification of the 10x begins to have an effect. Even the 8x42's bounce the view a little.

 

Quite a few people for astro use go searching out 7x and 6x binocular offerings. If I could find 6x42's in the better set I have then I would have a set.

 

In general the lesser magnification makes little difference, everything is still small. My description is binoculars are for looking around, a scope is fro looking at.

 

Porro or roof? I have used and have both and my preference is roof. Reason is or seems that all porro's I have had lose colimation and at some time require readjustment. The design is such that adjustment is simple and I often wonder if that also means loss of collimation is easier. Might just be cheap binoculars of course. lol.gif

 

Present sets are both Bushnell roof's- Natureview and H2O's. Optically the Natureviews are the best. They are also fairly light in weight, or I suppose appear light in weight. I have seen quoted weights as less, more and same as the H2O's. So take your choice.

 

Best I have used are Leica's, supurb but they cost shocked.gif shocked.gif shocked.gif . Lesser cost but good were Minox (I think) they did a "strange" 8.5x42's. After that several like Vortex. Never had good results from Nikon and Swarovski for some reason, found I could be viewing one good then one poor in each make.

 

If holding stable is a concern the Canon stabilised, not the highest mag as I found they were a bit too high for the system, so 10x or 12x - cannot recall if 15x is max or 18x.


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#3 Erik Bakker

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 04:17 AM

For stable hand held views, lower magnifications work better for details actually seen.

 

Aperture wise, 42mm is a good compromise.

 

So 7x42 or 8x42 would be my suggestion. Quality and durability are related to their cost new.

 

Around US$ 1000 will get you a very fine roof or porro, depending on your personal preferences.

 

Most people would be pleasantly surprised by how much they can see hand held in the rare 7x42 binoculars of good quality. Or the 8x42, though a bit less steady views hand held. 10x is bit much, especially when walking.


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#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 06:02 AM

For stable hand held views, lower magnifications work better for details actually seen.

That is not my experience. When I actually take the time to compare the views feature by feature, I find that 10X instruments invariably show more details than 8X or 7X instruments. And 15X instruments show even more.

 

However, the subjective experience is a whole 'nother matter. Hand-shake is much more obvious at 10X than at 7X or 8X, and overwhelming at 15X. And all things being equal, the true field of view shrinks as the magnification increases. The net result is that for casual hand-held views from a standing position, lower magnifications often yield much more pleasing views.

 

A lot depends on how solidly you can plant yourself, and how well you can hold the instrument.


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#5 Corona Non Grata

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 06:26 AM

I would say before you decide on a particular model you should should spend time with it in hand to determine if the 10x vs 8x is bothersome to you. I have owned a handful of 10x binoculars that are as seemingly steady to me as my lower powered units and passed on many, many others wherein the image bounced and juggled too much for my liking. Size, balance, your hands and form all make a difference.

 

I will also say this, 10x is a little more 'work' to use than 7x/8x. The depth of focus is shallower so the amount of time and attention tuning the focus wheel is higher, especially as ranges get closer.

 

Intended use can help you decide if the little extra work is a good tradeoff for a closer image. I tend to use my bins for identification more than observation so my time on the eye is lower than a typical birder and I don't tend to scan landscapes unless distances are large. Or, after scrambling up a peak I wouldn't be able to steady even a 6x, so I relax and use my pair of 1x eyes.


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#6 CAAD9

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 07:15 AM

At 1.1-1.2 kg the Canon 10x42L image stabilised maybe getting a bit on the porky side for hiking, but I find the 10x42 format perfect in this package.  Reasonably wide fov, totally stable view and distortion free edge to edge.  Not everyone cup of chai latte, but it’s pretty good in my book.  :)

 

The thing I really like about it for birding and nature observing is the colours you see and all the detail that a stable view gives you compared to a normal binocular.  Even compared to a 7x50 or 8x42 which are meant to suffer less from shaking. It really is no comparison to a stable view. We have this dragonfly in Australia that shares it’s colour scheme with that of a bee!  I had never heard of such a thing but low and behold there it was in our local park and I would have never noticed it it without the IS function.

 

But try before you buy, if possible. 

 

Good luck.


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

That is not my experience. When I actually take the time to compare the views feature by feature, I find that 10X instruments invariably show more details than 8X or 7X instruments. And 15X instruments show even more.

 

However, the subjective experience is a whole 'nother matter. Hand-shake is much more obvious at 10X than at 7X or 8X, and overwhelming at 15X. And all things being equal, the true field of view shrinks as the magnification increases. The net result is that for casual hand-held views from a standing position, lower magnifications often yield much more pleasing views.

 

A lot depends on how solidly you can plant yourself, and how well you can hold the instrument.

 

waytogo.gif

 

I agree with Tony. I have a nice pair of 10x42 Eagle Optics Platinum Rangers as well as 7x42s and 8x50s. For birding, I prefer the 10 x and under the night sky, the 10x roofs definitely show more stars in clusters and more detail in nebulae.

 

I am sure part of the equation is one's ability to hold the binos steady and that is something that varies from person to person. I have no actual data here but my intuition is that physical build is an important factor.  

 

Jon


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#8 rogan

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:02 AM

10x42 tends to be my go-to for both birding and astro. Hand shake is not an issue for me. 10x adds significant extra detail and when I’m using 8x (as much as I enjoy 8x) I really miss it. While the wider field of 8x is useful I find the typical 10x field of 6.5 degrees more than adequate. For astro the added magnification of 10x more than makes up for the smaller field and less light gathering.
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#9 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 09:49 AM

Weight, the feel in your hands, and comfort at the eyepiece should factor into your decision and you can assess those only by trying the units yourself.  I have an 8x32 (1.13 lbs.) and an 8x56 (2.50 lbs.), but it's easy to guess which one I'd take on a hike.  For extended hiking, a binocular harness can be used instead of a neck strap regardless of which model you select; that reduces strain but makes it harder to share views.  Generally, 8x models provide a bit more eye relief than 10x units, but a lot depends on the specific model.

 

I recently bought a Nikon HG 10x42 and almost returned it because of the "shake factor" at 10x.  But after a couple of weeks I learned to hold it more steadily and to look for something nearby to rest an elbow or forearm on.  During the day, the extra magnification brings out some extra details for birding, but I agree that 8x overall is easier to use for panning over the landscape.

 

The Canon 10x30 IS is lightweight (about 1.5 lbs.), easy to handle, and greatly reduces the shakes through the stabilization feature.  It's good for "dry" hikes as it's not waterproof.  At night, the 10x30 is surprisingly close to the 10x42 in what you perceive, but after a year my unit has developed the in-focus/out-of-focus issue that is often discussed here on CN.  It's not a big deal in daylight, but at night, especially when looking at the moon, it can be a distraction.


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#10 paulsky

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:04 AM

But maybe 1 kg-1.2 kg can "weigh" too much in a long walk during the day, at night maybe not as problematic as it is a more static activity, also could be used with monopod or lightweight tripod, I think that maybe a 10x42 lightweight ...? Maybe it would weigh less a Roof model than a Porro model?


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#11 Cajundaddy

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:09 AM

As per usual, it depends. smile.gif

 

I like both the 8x42 (wifes) and 10x50 for different reasons.  I also have a pair of 8x56 that tend to be my goto astro binos.  Try both 8x42 and 10x42 and decide which you prefer.  No wrong answers here.  For all around observing of birds, wildlife, and stars the 42mm objective is a winner.


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#12 gene 4181

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:14 AM

 Maybe it would weigh less Roof versus porro ?,   they are. 


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#13 Antonio R.G

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:19 AM

I prefer 7x or 8x for all use. I think there is not much difference in sight between 8x and 10x (and the image seems more stable). I like a little more 10x and 12x for astronomy (with some support for the arms or a tripod) although I also enjoy a lot with a good quality 7x50 for its ease and comfort of use ...


Edited by Antonio R.G, 21 March 2019 - 11:24 AM.

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#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:29 PM

10x42, a good compromise?

 

Yes, especially if they're Canon 10x42 IS!

 

Mike


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#15 edwincjones

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:42 PM

As per usual, it depends. smile.gif

 

waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

my favorite hand held is a zeiss (old model newly built) dialyt 8x56

but any of the above are good compromises

 

your favorite  question.gif

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 21 March 2019 - 01:44 PM.

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#16 ButterFly

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 05:43 PM

Both 8x42s and 10x42s are fine for both. The 10x always has a smaller field of view for a given model, and that's why most birders prefer 8x.  Think of how quick chickadees and warblers are.  That extra 2 degrees will help reduce the number of times you have to take the glass off your face and look for the bird again.  The 10x gives you more detail per second, but if you have to stop looking to find it again, it's less overall integrated detail.

 

For astronomy, the 10x will reduce the light pollution from the sky.  If you are already in a dark area, certainly 8x.  If there is light pollution, maybe 10x if you can live with the smaller field of view.  That's the real decision.  If your heavy binos still let you track those quick birds, 10x may not be a problem for you.

 

To help with the shake at both 8x and 10x, do a "something" search for finnstick.  Not keeping your arms up greatly reduces tiredness and strain.  This lets you look longer and more stably.  A monopod with a tilt head is much better that any homemade finnstick and lets you extend a leg if something really pretty comes along.  This will help with your current heavier things and your intended lighter things.  They are pretty easy to make at home for a tryout.


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#17 Corona Non Grata

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 05:53 PM

Higher weight isn't the only answer for stability. I could not use my Swift 804 8.5x for astronomy, not steady enough even though they weighed a full 28oz, about 1/2 lb more than the 10x36 ATB and 10x32 Terra ED that were and are my main carry binoculars respectively. Both of those 10s have proven more steady in my particular hands. I assume the fact that they are both about as long as my hands are wide makes a difference for me, the big Swift porros were ungainly in my hands.


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#18 dries1

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 07:13 PM

If you were to have one glass to use for terrestrial observation and then point them at them at the night sky - 10X42 would be my choice over the 8X42, if and only if one can hold it steady enough. Otherwise 8X42. It may well be decided on which which you do more, daytime observation VS astro also.

 

Most of the time I carry two glass with me when viewing in the day, hiking etc, an 8X32 or 42 and a 10X50 in a back pack. I proved to myself that 10X can be handheld and provide steady views, practice, practice, practice. 

I also tend to prefer 10X50 to 10X42 for my viewing purposes, but YMMV.

 

Andy W.


Edited by dries1, 21 March 2019 - 07:13 PM.

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#19 Matt78

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 06:49 PM

I had an interesting thought on the topic of whether 10x are more difficult to hold steady than 8x. I own a pair of 10x40 Nikons, and I have used them attached to a REI hiking staff that doubles as a monopod. What I did at first was sit in a reclining chair, and adjust the length of the staff so that it would rest on the ground at an angle (my bino-tripod adapter doesn't tilt). That worked OK, but I found that if I collapsed the tripod, and used it as a big handle, it's so much more stable than just holding the binos. It made quite a big difference. 

 

I thought of this, paulsky, because you mention long walks outdoors, and I figured you might appreciate a hiking staff, and if you're watching distant birds you don't have to actively chase with the binos, like seaducks, it would be a handy rest. The one I got is this:

 

https://www.rei.com/...ck-staff-single

 

There are certainly other monopod staffs, but I'll say I like this one quite a bit. It's very light, comfortable, and it's pretty sturdy. 


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#20 Mad Matt

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 01:56 AM

I tried the 10x42 route and although with concentrated viewing I could resolve better with 10x42 then 8x42 (USAF Chart testing), because it takes more concentration to do so, the fun factor was greatly compromised. Now I have settled on 8 to 8.5x as my maximum hand held magnification and I can live with that.

As always YMMV, just don’t forget to account for the fun factor as well

Edited by Mad Matt, 26 March 2019 - 02:08 AM.

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#21 paulsky

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 09:22 AM

But for large open áreas.. maybe the 10x factor is more useful  than the 8x magnification? and for the long walks outdoors can be one Roof model best than the more classic 10x42 Porro prism model ? minor weight..



#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 10:19 AM

But for large open áreas.. maybe the 10x factor is more useful  than the 8x magnification? and for the long walks outdoors can be one Roof model best than the more classic 10x42 Porro prism model ? minor weight..

 

I like 10x binos and can hold them plenty steady enough so they show me more than 8x binos and win out on the fun factor.

 

For terrestrial, generally an advantage of roofs is their close focus. Porros tend to be 15 feet or more, decent roofs are around 6-8 feet.  That close focus is nice for viewing birds in a bush or insects.

 

Jon


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#23 Corona Non Grata

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 04:06 PM

But for large open áreas.. maybe the 10x factor is more useful  than the 8x magnification? and for the long walks outdoors can be one Roof model best than the more classic 10x42 Porro prism model ? minor weight..

A good quality 10x midsize has been my solution to this. I've gone from a 10x35 porro to a 10x36 roof to a 10x32 roof.

 

Some models may balance better than others for you.


Edited by Corona Non Grata, 26 March 2019 - 04:06 PM.

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