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Which binoculars to combine with a 20x80 for manual use: 10x50 or 8x42?

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#1 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:23 AM

Hello,

I have a Oberwerk 20x80 ED binoculars that I use with the support of a tripod.

 

I would be interested in purchasing a smaller and lighter binoculars to be combined with the 20x80 for astronomical and even naturalistic use (trekking, birdwatching).

 

I would therefore need a good lightweight, easily portable binocular that can be used for manual stargazing.

Which should be combined with a 20x80 for astronomical use, to have a complementary instrumentation? 8x42 or 10x50 (or others combinations like 7x50 and so on)?

 

I guess it would be important to have a good field of view (the 20x80 is a bit narrow), but at the same time i'd like to have a decent aperture.

 

Which binoculars would you recommend, in the range of $ 150, to pair with 20x80 for manual stargazing? (since I already have a tripod, i could use this light binoculars on a stable support - when needed, for a more stable vision - but I would like to use it mainly by hand)


Edited by Yarlan Zei, 19 July 2021 - 05:29 AM.


#2 Cali

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:42 AM

8x40 offer a nice wide field of view.

 

- Cal



#3 Albie

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:48 AM

I will second an 8x40 or 8x42 for a more stable view.

Welcome to Cloudy Nights Yarlan Zei .

Other members for sure will give you lots of advice and hopefully it will help you make a decision .



#4 ngc7319_20

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:50 AM

In similar situation I went with 8x42 and have been very happy. They are very small, light, and can focus very close for nature observation.  I also have 10x50 but they are much larger and heavier, and almost need a tripod -- not as good a compliment to 20x80.


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#5 wrvond

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:31 AM

The 10x50 are a good complement to the 20x80's -but- they are not good for hand held. For your use the 8x40's would be much better.


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#6 Tony Flanders

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:56 AM

Unlike everyone else who has responded here, I find 10x50 binoculars exceedingly easy to hand-hold, so I would choose them in preference to 8x42s if astronomy was the only criterion. I do in fact use my 10x50s quite often in conjunction with my 15x70s; the views are really quite different.

 

But if you add terrestrial use, that would swing my choice toward 8x42s for their greater convenience, lighter weight, and wider fields of view.


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#7 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 07:03 AM

Thanks a lot to everyone for the advice!

 

I suspected that the 8x42 was the best solution, I noticed that they generally weigh a lot less than the 10x50.

Do you have any suggestions for 8x42 bino in the $ 150-200 range?

 

Personally, I had taken a look at some Nikon models, such as the Prostaff 3S.



#8 Echolight

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:18 AM

In the $200 range, the Nikon Prostaff 7s or the Vortex Diamondback come to mind. 



#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:37 AM

Thanks a lot to everyone for the advice!

 

I suspected that the 8x42 was the best solution, I noticed that they generally weigh a lot less than the 10x50.

Do you have any suggestions for 8x42 bino in the $ 150-200 range?

 

Personally, I had taken a look at some Nikon models, such as the Prostaff 3S.

 

Binoculars are very individual, what works for one may not work for another. Like Tony, I find 10x50s easy to hand hold. If weight is an issue, then 10x42 roof prism binos can be a good choice.

 

Jon


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#10 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:50 AM

In the $200 range, the Nikon Prostaff 7s or the Vortex Diamondback come to mind. 

Yes, my attention is on Nikon Prostaff 7, 5 and 3.

 

Considering that manual stargazing will be my primary use (so low illumination conditions), and outdoor/trekking my secondary use, comparing the three binos:

 

Nikon Prostaff 3

FOV: 7,2°

Weight: 565 g

Price: 162 €

 

Nikon Prostaff 5

FOV: 6,3°

Weight: 645 g

Price: 172 €

 

Nikon Prostaff 7

FOV: 6,8°

Weight: 645 g

Price: 225 €

 

So, the Nikon Prostaff 3 has the larger FOV and smaller weight, but optic quality is better for Nikon Prostaff 7 (less chromatic aberration). Considering my needs for this light binoculars (for subjects with high lighting I always have the 20x80 with ED lenses), which model would you recommend?

 

Alternatively, considering I'm in no rush to make this purchase, I might be waiting for a discount on the Nikon Monarch 5 with ED lenses ...

I wonder if the gain in visual quality that can be obtained with ED lenses in 8x42 binoculars is really very significant.


Edited by Yarlan Zei, 19 July 2021 - 09:05 AM.


#11 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:53 AM

Binoculars are very individual, what works for one may not work for another. Like Tony, I find 10x50s easy to hand hold. If weight is an issue, then 10x42 roof prism binos can be a good choice.

 

Jon

Yes, i take in account the 10x42 magnification.

For me, small weight is important, and a large FOV too.

 

Maybe one of the advantages of 8x magnification over 10x is a wider field of view, i guess. Considering that for higher magnifications I always have the 20x80.



#12 Echolight

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:22 AM

Yes, my attention is on Nikon Prostaff 7, 5 and 3.

 

Considering that manual stargazing will be my primary use (so low illumination conditions), and outdoor/trekking my secondary use, comparing the three binos:

 

Nikon Prostaff 3

FOV: 7,2°

Weight: 565 g

Price: 162 €

 

Nikon Prostaff 5

FOV: 6,3°

Weight: 645 g

Price: 172 €

 

Nikon Prostaff 7

FOV: 6,8°

Weight: 645 g

Price: 225 €

 

So, the Nikon Prostaff 3 has the larger FOV and smaller weight, but optic quality is better for Nikon Prostaff 7 (less chromatic aberration). Considering my needs for this light binoculars (for subjects with high lighting I always have the 20x80 with ED lenses), which model would you recommend?

 

Alternatively, considering I'm in no rush to make this purchase, I might be waiting for a discount on the Nikon Monarch 5 with ED lenses ...

I wonder if the gain in visual quality that can be obtained with ED lenses in 8x42 binoculars is really very significant.

The most expensive ones that you are willing to pay for.

 

I do like using a 10x42 in the daytime. It offers more detail and is much better for extremely long distance viewing. But an 8x will have greater depth of field in short and mid range. And I prefer the ease of use of 8x or 8.5x on stars.

 

I can use a 10x at night. And sometimes the 10x is an advantage. But it takes more effort to avoid jittery star images. I need to be seated at least, and thinking about controlling my breathing and remaining still, instead of just enjoying the view like I can with an 8 or 8.5x.

 

Edit: But.... if I were to choose one “all occasion” binocular for “hand held” use, I might pick a 10x50 roof prism.


Edited by Echolight, 19 July 2021 - 09:51 AM.


#13 TheUser

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:37 AM

could you bring more details regarding what purposes you wanna use your instruments for? which objects you gonna work with? what you expect to see?

 

20x80 and 8x42 are different use cases.

 

what you mean "manual stargazing"?

 

describe your observation conditions.



#14 Mike G.

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:58 AM

I have 20x80's tripod mounted and plenty of 8x42's and 10x42's, as well as 10x50's.  if astro only, I always use 10x50's (or similar porros) since I can hold 10x50's without too much shake.  however, for both astro and daylight, I have 10x42's hanging on a hook by my sliding glass door.  they do well for quick looks at the sky at night (to see if I want to bring anything else out) but during the day, the smaller size is handy and the extra magnification works better for wildlife than 8x.  8x42's will give you wider (in most cases in that p[rice range) but 10x42 gets you closer to wildlife.  you probably should have one of each...   grin.gif


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#15 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 10:00 AM

could you bring more details regarding what purposes you wanna use your instruments for? which objects you gonna work with? what you expect to see?

 

20x80 and 8x42 are different use cases.

 

what you mean "manual stargazing"?

 

describe your observation conditions.

Compared to the 20x80 that requires a tripod, from a lightweight binocular I expect the possibility of observing the sky while holding the binoculars in your hands, even for an extended period of time.

 

For astronomical use:

I think of the possibility of lying down, holding the binoculars in your hands and observing the sky with the sensation of "navigating" among the stars, star clusters, constellations. I'd like to appreciate a sense of scale of the night sky, due to a good FOV.

 

Sky conditions: I live in a city with moderate light pollution, but i can easily reach darker skies.

 

For outdoor/naturalistic use:
Field trips, trekking, bike rides. Observation of landscapes with light binoculars that I can easily take with me on the way, birdwatching without too many pretensions.


Edited by Yarlan Zei, 19 July 2021 - 10:04 AM.


#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 10:11 AM

Yes, i take in account the 10x42 magnification.

For me, small weight is important, and a large FOV too.

 

Maybe one of the advantages of 8x magnification over 10x is a wider field of view, i guess. Considering that for higher magnifications I always have the 20x80.

 

I have a pair of Scoopx 10x42 Roof prism binos with a 6.6 degree TFoV. They're noticeably wider than my 10x50 Orion Ultraviews which are rated at 6.5 degrees. You numbers for the 8x42s are in this range.

 

Magnification shows more, you'll see more with 10x42s than 8x42s as long as you can hold them reasonably steady.

 

Jon



#17 Echolight

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 10:13 AM

I will add, that I really enjoy my Vortex Vulture 8x56, which is really an 8.6x55, for general purpose viewing day and night binoculars. It seems ideal for me. Much better for looking through than an 8x42. Although much heavier also, and bulkier. And probably not my choice for carrying on a trail. I do like the 10x42 better than the 8x42 also, I think.

 

Again... if I had to be limited to one hand held, for all occasions, I’d probably pick a compact and lightweight roof prism in 10x50. Because they can be noticeably smaller and a good deal lighter than my 8x56. Many are closer in size and weight to a 42mm roof, while still having the larger aperture advantage. Although the 42’s generally have a small advantage in true field of view.


Edited by Echolight, 19 July 2021 - 10:17 AM.


#18 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 10:28 AM

I have a pair of Scoopx 10x42 Roof prism binos with a 6.6 degree TFoV. They're noticeably wider than my 10x50 Orion Ultraviews which are rated at 6.5 degrees. You numbers for the 8x42s are in this range.

 

Magnification shows more, you'll see more with 10x42s than 8x42s as long as you can hold them reasonably steady.

 

Jon

Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42 offers a 6.2° FOV with the same 645g weight of the 8x42 model.

 

So, is a slightly lower FOV in favor of a slightly higher magnification a good tradeoff, keeping the same weight, for fully manual sky viewing?



#19 TheUser

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 11:48 AM

there's a problem: hand-held and light pollution - these are things that impossible to combine.

you will reach the possibility of comfortable watching by hands but you loose possibility to obtain some celestial object and the opposite is true.

 

for hand held you need light-weight (no more than 500 g) and little magnification (no more than 7);

 

to see celestial objects while light pollution you need big aperture (more than 50).

 

so you decide which of factor you are ready to sacrifice, or where is your balance point between them two.



#20 Echolight

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:06 PM

there's a problem: hand-held and light pollution - these are things that impossible to combine.

you will reach the possibility of comfortable watching by hands but you loose possibility to obtain some celestial object and the opposite is true.

 

for hand held you need light-weight (no more than 500 g) and little magnification (no more than 7);

 

to see celestial objects while light pollution you need big aperture (more than 50).

 

so you decide which of factor you are ready to sacrifice, or where is your balance point between them two.

Just because that is what you prefer doesn’t mean it’s what anyone else needs.

 

I try to never assume that I can absolutely pick what is right for another person in another place. I just try to explain why I would make a certain choice for myself and hope they can use some of my reasoning in deciding for themselves.


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#21 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:07 PM

there's a problem: hand-held and light pollution - these are things that impossible to combine.

you will reach the possibility of comfortable watching by hands but you loose possibility to obtain some celestial object and the opposite is true.

 

for hand held you need light-weight (no more than 500 g) and little magnification (no more than 7);

 

to see celestial objects while light pollution you need big aperture (more than 50).

 

so you decide which of factor you are ready to sacrifice, or where is your balance point between them two.

To observe celestial objects with light pollution, I already own 20x80 binoculars.

 

My desire is to combine the 20x80 binoculars with a complementary binocular, which is light and suitable for completely manual observations.

 

I would use these small and light binoculars especially during trips and excursions, when I can find myself under a darker sky and far from light pollution.



#22 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:18 PM

Is weight a critical factor as a  nikon  action extreme porro would likely offer better performance  at the same price point with a weight penalty of perhaps 30% more weight carried (along  with the larger carry size)? Was going to ask about your age-  advanced age = general increase in shakiness, pushing for lower magnification) and if you wear eye glasses (increased eye relief might be needed) as those factors might change the parameters of the choices. Pat



#23 Echolight

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:40 PM

For me, in hand held binoculars that I might use for the night sky as well as carry on a trail, something between 675 and 825 grams is a decent compromise between use-ability and portability. 
 

Countering what I said earlier, my first choice for a single all-arounder, for astronomy yet small and light enough to carry on a trail, would be an 8.5x50 roof prism. And second, an 8x50 roof prism.
But these are not common. And the ones that I know of are beyond the budget. But there may be something within budget.

Then I defer to my third choice, a 10x50 roof prism. 
Followed by a 10x42 fourth. And an 8x42 fifth.



#24 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:57 PM

Is weight a critical factor as a  nikon  action extreme porro would likely offer better performance  at the same price point with a weight penalty of perhaps 30% more weight carried (along  with the larger carry size)? Was going to ask about your age-  advanced age = general increase in shakiness, pushing for lower magnification) and if you wear eye glasses (increased eye relief might be needed) as those factors might change the parameters of the choices. Pat

Age: 30s

Eye glasses: Yes


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#25 Yarlan Zei

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 01:01 PM

For me, in hand held binoculars that I might use for the night sky as well as carry on a trail, something between 675 and 825 grams is a decent compromise between use-ability and portability. 
 

Countering what I said earlier, my first choice for a single all-arounder, for astronomy yet small and light enough to carry on a trail, would be an 8.5x50 roof prism. And second, an 8x50 roof prism.
But these are not common. And the ones that I know of are beyond the budget. But there may be something within budget.

Then I defer to my third choice, a 10x50 roof prism. 
Followed by a 10x42 fourth. And an 8x42 fifth.

Thanks for your suggestions.

 

I have read good reviews for the Vortex Diamondback HD, it seems to have excellent cost-quality ratio.

 

The 8x42 model has a good FOV (7.5 °) and a fairly light weight (618g)


Edited by Yarlan Zei, 19 July 2021 - 01:02 PM.



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