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Relaxing with 7x binoculars

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#1 MT4

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:44 PM

I have a range of binoculars from 2x to 50x.  When I just want to relax with my binoculars, my 7x pairs are typically the ones I'd grab first.  There's something special about the 7x power.  It's high enough to see a satisfying level of details and yet low enough to allow for steady views without any additional support.  Steady views are exactly what I look for when I just want to relax with my binoculars.

 

When I don't have any work to do and nowhere in particular to go, I could sit for hours on end on my balcony relaxing with my 7x binos.  I'd watch the birds chirping happily in the trees across from my balcony.  Or the butterflies floating around doing whatever they do.   Or the lazy dragonflies that seem to be always sleeping on the twigs wasting the day away as if they had no care at all in the world.  Nature, with its rich and diverse beauties, always has a wonderfully calming effect on me.

 

Among the 7x binos I have, my favorites are:

    7x42  Nikon EDGE          (8-deg TFOV,       785g)      <-- Super-generous eye relief
    7x35  Kowa                     (10-deg TFOV,     870g)      <-- Enough eye relief to see the full 10 degs with my glasses on
    7x35  UNITED (JB-146)   (12.5-deg TFOV,  890g)      <-- Short eye relief, so need to use without glasses

 

Of the three, if I had to pick one as my most favorite it'd be the 7x42 Nikon EDGE.   It's stunningly sharp from edge to edge (well, it's got "EDGE" in the name), and it has the best stray-light control among all the binoculars in my collection making it an exceptional instrument for daytime use.

 

What are your favorite low-powered binos?   What do you mostly use them for?

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#2 MrZoomZoom2017

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 11:23 PM

Oh yes - and I use these when I want a good bicep workout as well:

 

med_gallery_341584_17780_111576.jpg

 

Ooops - forgot to answer your questions...

 

7x50 B&L MK 41 Wide Field 10° - "Hey buddy, did you see a real bright light?" - you really have to experience a pair of these at some point in your life

7x50 Tasco 124 Extra Wide Angle 578 ft (11°) - most frequently used for a nice wide view of the night sky

7x35 Sears 6287-A or Cardinal 287 Super Wide Angle 657 ft (12.5°) - for even wider views

 

I am a sucker for wide views - just in case that isn't obvious!

 

waytogo.gif

 

Cheers,

Tim


Edited by MrZoomZoom2017, 24 September 2021 - 11:48 PM.

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#3 gwlee

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 11:38 PM

I use a Fujinon 7x50 FMT-SX for for astronomy and long range terrestrial viewing. For me, the 7mm exit pupil, 23mm eye relief, 7.5* FOV, and 7x magnification make it a very comfortable binocular to use, especially for long observing sessions. 


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#4 sevenofnine

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 11:40 PM

These old German binoculars date around 1920 or so. They are Galilean design so extremely narrow FOV. Remarkably clear for their age and the leather is still good. They are about 4x with 40mm objectives and no coatings or prisms. I got them in Ludwigsburg when I was 10 years old. My very first binocular watching.gif

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#5 SMark

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:17 AM

Oh yes - and I use these when I want a good bicep workout as well:

 

med_gallery_341584_17780_111576.jpg

 

Ooops - forgot to answer your questions...

 

7x50 B&L MK 41 Wide Field 10° - "Hey buddy, did you see a real bright light?" - you really have to experience a pair of these at some point in your life

7x50 Tasco 124 Extra Wide Angle 578 ft (11°) - most frequently used for a nice wide view of the night sky

7x35 Sears 6287-A or Cardinal 287 Super Wide Angle 657 ft (12.5°) - for even wider views

 

I am a sucker for wide views - just in case that isn't obvious!

 

waytogo.gif

 

Cheers,

Tim

Okay, I'll see yours and raise you one. I'm as much a sucker as you.

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#6 Charleybird

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:26 AM

Sometimes it can be tricky choosing a favourite and this is one of those times.  I have an Opticron 6x32 Traveller MG, Leica UV+ 7x42 and Zeiss 7x42 Victory FL.

I use the 6x32 most as it is currently my carry-nearly-everywhere pocket binocular,  

 

However the others are better and both enjoyable to use. 

The FL gives instant pleasure through the sharpness of the centre, their brightness, the wide field of view, and are so easy on the eyes.  Yet the UV+ is slightly more relaxing after a while, a tad easier to hold & operate, with notable richer colour.  There are times when I prefer the richer Leica colour, times when I prefer the pastel Zeiss colour. 

In darker conditions I pick up the FL, though note this is only for their larger field of view.

I use 7x mostly in the garden and when walking through local woods, probably carrying the smaller Leica a little more often.

 

How to choose one?  If the house were on fire I'd grab the FL

Then would go buy a replacement Leica


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#7 MrZoomZoom2017

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:27 AM

Very nice Mark!  Are those the ones you were sending off to Cory for an attitude adjustment?

 

Cheers,

Tim


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#8 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 01:01 AM

Okay, I'll see yours and raise you one. I'm as much a sucker as you.

 

SMark & MrZoomZoom2017 - I could relax for hours on end looking at those.   Wouldn't even need to look through them smile.gif


Edited by MT4, 25 September 2021 - 01:02 AM.


#9 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 01:09 AM

Sometimes it can be tricky choosing a favourite and this is one of those times.  I have an Opticron 6x32 Traveller MG, Leica UV+ 7x42 and Zeiss 7x42 Victory FL.

I use the 6x32 most as it is currently my carry-nearly-everywhere pocket binocular,  

 

However the others are better and both enjoyable to use. 

The FL gives instant pleasure through the sharpness of the centre, their brightness, the wide field of view, and are so easy on the eyes.  Yet the UV+ is slightly more relaxing after a while, a tad easier to hold & operate, with notable richer colour.  There are times when I prefer the richer Leica colour, times when I prefer the pastel Zeiss colour. 

In darker conditions I pick up the FL, though note this is only for their larger field of view.

I use 7x mostly in the garden and when walking through local woods, probably carrying the smaller Leica a little more often.

 

How to choose one?  If the house were on fire I'd grab the FL

Then would go buy a replacement Leica

 

I am with you that it's very hard to choose an absolute favorite.  Sometimes I like my Nikon EDG 7x42 more than my Nikon Ell 8x30, and sometimes it's the other way around.  Between these two, I can never decide which is the better one.  (This may be a common symptom among those infected with binoholism smile.gif)


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#10 SMark

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 01:26 AM

Very nice Mark!  Are those the ones you were sending off to Cory for an attitude adjustment?

 

Cheers,

Tim

Indeed. Hopefully next week. I'm still unpacking from my move. It just never ends... confused1.gif


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#11 Swedpat

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 04:38 AM

I also appreciate low powered binos. I have two 6x models and one 5x model(you can see in the signature).

The 6x models are great with eyeglasses while the 5x model not. Yes, there are occasions when higher power is desirable, but sometimes I don't need the most possible details but just want to come closer to the action in a relaxed way. And at the same time get a wide true field of view.

Usually I want to use the binocular with eyeglasses. That's because I want the possibility to directly aim the binocular to the eyes without the extra procedure to repeatedly take the eyeglasses on and of. With the 5x25 bino with ~14 deg TFOV it's often not even necessary, though, because the massive overview with that wide TFOV. And with eyeglasses it only provides around half the FOV so it would take away the purpose with the model anyway.


Edited by Swedpat, 25 September 2021 - 04:38 AM.

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#12 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 07:50 AM

I also appreciate low powered binos. I have two 6x models and one 5x model(you can see in the signature).

The 6x models are great with eyeglasses while the 5x model not. Yes, there are occasions when higher power is desirable, but sometimes I don't need the most possible details but just want to come closer to the action in a relaxed way. And at the same time get a wide true field of view.

Usually I want to use the binocular with eyeglasses. That's because I want the possibility to directly aim the binocular to the eyes without the extra procedure to repeatedly take the eyeglasses on and of. With the 5x25 bino with ~14 deg TFOV it's often not even necessary, though, because the massive overview with that wide TFOV. And with eyeglasses it only provides around half the FOV so it would take away the purpose with the model anyway.

I hear you on observing with glasses.   It’s just too inefficient to put the glasses down, grab the bino and try to locate the target without being able to see it naked eye.

 

I had an experience a little while ago while I was just chilling on my balcony.  I saw a fast-moving helicopter flying by.  Grabbed my Canon 24x50 IS* (w/ 1.6x boosters), pointed it in the direction of the helicopter and a couple of seconds later got it in the view.  There was no way I could have achieved the feat without my glasses.  


Edited by MT4, 25 September 2021 - 07:53 AM.

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#13 Fiske

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 09:37 AM

I am with you that it's very hard to choose an absolute favorite.  Sometimes I like my Nikon EDG 7x42 more than my Nikon Ell 8x30, and sometimes it's the other way around.  Between these two, I can never decide which is the better one.  (This may be a common symptom among those infected with binoholism smile.gif)

You think??

 

lol.gif


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#14 Fiske

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 09:48 AM

I find more and more that I am observing wearing glasses with binoculars, just adapting to it due to improvements from astigmatism correction and convenience in locating objects. It is possible to switch back and forth with hand held binoculars, but a nuisance. Less of an issue when binoculars are on a p-gram mount -- get them generally pointed with glasses on and then tuck your glasses into a shirt pocket, set them on the tripod tray, whatever.

 

I have several nice 7x50s -- Nikon SP and APM ED MS, as well as a Steiner 8x56 ShadowQuest, but find myself generally using 10x50s when observing from my driveway, despite the additional "liveliness" in the view. They just have a lot more reach under bright skies. For daytime use I am almost always observing with a Monarch 8x42 HG. I also have a 10x42 HG, which my girlfriend carries when we go hiking. I definitely prefer the 8x for daytime use because it is more relaxing and most of the birds we are seeing are fairly close.

 

I'll spend more time with the 7x50s and the Steiner doing astronomy from my yard to get more perspective on the 7x versus 10x choice. Also, the skies are less hazy now than they have been the past few months, which makes a significant difference for lower magnification night sky views.

 

Fiske


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#15 Swedpat

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 10:12 AM

I hear you on observing with glasses.   It’s just too inefficient to put the glasses down, grab the bino and try to locate the target without being able to see it naked eye.

 

I had an experience a little while ago while I was just chilling on my balcony.  I saw a fast-moving helicopter flying by.  Grabbed my Canon 24x50 IS* (w/ 1.6x boosters), pointed it in the direction of the helicopter and a couple of seconds later got it in the view.  There was no way I could have achieved the feat without my glasses.  

 

Exactly! I have experienced that the object I wanted to observe gets lost during the process to take of the eyeglasses. And even when stargazing, taking of the eyeglasses can make it more difficult. Apart from that, I need to either hold the eyeglasses in the hand or put them somewhere when using the binocular. It can work if observing not moving objects and when having a table by my side, but out in the field I find it just too impractical.


Edited by Swedpat, 25 September 2021 - 10:18 AM.

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#16 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 10:59 AM

I find more and more that I am observing wearing glasses with binoculars, just adapting to it due to improvements from astigmatism correction and convenience in locating objects. It is possible to switch back and forth with hand held binoculars, but a nuisance. Less of an issue when binoculars are on a p-gram mount -- get them generally pointed with glasses on and then tuck your glasses into a shirt pocket, set them on the tripod tray, whatever.

 

I have several nice 7x50s -- Nikon SP and APM ED MS, as well as a Steiner 8x56 ShadowQuest, but find myself generally using 10x50s when observing from my driveway, despite the additional "liveliness" in the view. They just have a lot more reach under bright skies. For daytime use I am almost always observing with a Monarch 8x42 HG. I also have a 10x42 HG, which my girlfriend carries when we go hiking. I definitely prefer the 8x for daytime use because it is more relaxing and most of the birds we are seeing are fairly close.

 

I'll spend more time with the 7x50s and the Steiner doing astronomy from my yard to get more perspective on the 7x versus 10x choice. Also, the skies are less hazy now than they have been the past few months, which makes a significant difference for lower magnification night sky views.

 

Fiske

For my Bortle-9 skies, the difference in reach between a 7x and a 10x, all factors other than mag being roughly the same, isn’t that great because they don’t really show much.   In fact, I’ve been using my 7x, 8x, and 10x at night (except the Fujinon FMT-SX 10x50) as “lowly” finders.  My real binos for the night sky start at 15x.

For daytime use, I generally prefer my 7x binos to 10x, though my Nikon MHG 10x42 also gets used quite a bit for when I want to get a bit closer to the action.  
 

I’ve recently devised  better light shields and can now get SQM readings of 18 and sometimes even 18.5.  These are much better than the 17 or so that was the norm previously.  When the sky is clear again, I’ll also reevaluate 7x vs 10x and see if my 10x can now be elevated to bino status at night.   


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#17 gwlee

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 11:15 AM

I am with you that it's very hard to choose an absolute favorite.  Sometimes I like my Nikon EDG 7x42 more than my Nikon Ell 8x30, and sometimes it's the other way around.  Between these two, I can never decide which is the better one.  (This may be a common symptom among those infected with binoholism smile.gif)

Owning fewer binoculars is making it easier to identifying my favorites among the survivors, and more it difficult identify the next candidate to release. 



#18 LU1AR

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:15 PM

My dear Nikon Trophy; who have been with me for half a century. Much better with the protective light tubes.
Edgardo

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#19 Knucklehead

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:47 PM

My favorite binocular (daytime use) by far is the Nikon 8x30 Monarch 7. Sufficiently sharp and lightweight, I can hang them around my neck for a few hours at a time without feeling burdened. For pure sharpness I get out the Vixen 7x50 WP's or the Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG. The HG's have the best contrast and color I've experienced with a bino. The Vixen and HG's are much heavier than the 8x30's though, which is why the 8x30s are the ones I grab first, as long as it's still light out, anyway. Under dark skies the Vixen rules.


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#20 WALL.E

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 02:01 PM

Most relaxing, comfortable....

 

For me it's probably my Empire model 250 7X50 10*.

 

Great images.

 

Just nice and easy.

 

I've previously written some glowing things about this binocular.

 

(At top in photo).

 

Eric

 

001_opt (2).jpg


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#21 Patowl

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 02:16 PM

I don't own a 7x binocular but it may change. I had one pair of cheap 7x50 porros more than a decade ago then quickly went to a 10x50 supposed to be more "astro friendly".
For years I totally ignored the 7x50 formula supposing they weren't performing well at night. When I choose a handheld pair I went for 8x40 porro.
Recently I had the opportunity to have access at work to several 7x50, and finally took them under a decent Bortle 4 sky.
I have been not that pleased by the narrow field of a Bushnell Marine, but amazed by the brightness, the wide field and the sharpness to the edges of the Steiner Navigator Pro. It is also compact and lightweight so a pleasure to hand hold. Sure the 7x magnification granted a really steady view, noticeably better than my 8x.
One more thing interesting, these good 7x50 allowed me to share beautiful sights with friends, all of them were easily able to spot M31 for the first time and were amazed, what makes me think there should be something special with a good 7x binocular.
By myself I found the 7x very steady and the 7mm exit pupil not an issue at all under a dark sky.
I now consider a 7x50 or a lighter roof 7x42 as an alternative to my handheld dedicated 8x40.
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#22 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 10:10 PM

I don't own a 7x binocular but it may change. I had one pair of cheap 7x50 porros more than a decade ago then quickly went to a 10x50 supposed to be more "astro friendly".
For years I totally ignored the 7x50 formula supposing they weren't performing well at night. When I choose a handheld pair I went for 8x40 porro.
Recently I had the opportunity to have access at work to several 7x50, and finally took them under a decent Bortle 4 sky.
I have been not that pleased by the narrow field of a Bushnell Marine, but amazed by the brightness, the wide field and the sharpness to the edges of the Steiner Navigator Pro. It is also compact and lightweight so a pleasure to hand hold. Sure the 7x magnification granted a really steady view, noticeably better than my 8x.
One more thing interesting, these good 7x50 allowed me to share beautiful sights with friends, all of them were easily able to spot M31 for the first time and were amazed, what makes me think there should be something special with a good 7x binocular.
By myself I found the 7x very steady and the 7mm exit pupil not an issue at all under a dark sky.
I now consider a 7x50 or a lighter roof 7x42 as an alternative to my handheld dedicated 8x40.

 

I picked up this pearl of wisdom on CN early this year right before buying my Nikon EDG 7x42:   "Everybody needs a good 7x."    

 

Having owned my Nikon EDG 7x42 for 8 months, I readily agree and would like to add a bit of a qualifier to the wisdom:  "Everybody needs a good 7x with an exit pupil of 6mm or more."


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#23 MT4

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 10:13 PM

Owning fewer binoculars is making it easier to identifying my favorites among the survivors, and more it difficult identify the next candidate to release. 

 

I am afraid it's a bit too late/hard for me to thin the herd.

 

I can't decide if my Nikon EDGE 7x42 is absolutely better than my Nikon Ell 8x30, so need to have both smile.gif

 

I can't decide if my Nikon 18x70 is absolutely better than my Maven B5 15x56, so need to have both smile.gif

 

And on and on it goes....


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#24 Grimnir

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:40 AM

 

I can't decide if my Nikon EDGE 7x42 is absolutely better than my Nikon Ell 8x30, so need to have both smile.gif

 

 

I had the same dilemma with my 7x42 Dialyt and Nikon 8x30 EII. I eventually concluded they are sufficiently different to merit the retention of both.

 

Graham


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#25 Swedpat

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:09 AM

This topic makes me thinking about the so often wrong thinking when it comes to magnification.
We know that magnification is a selling argument to ignorant people. The best example of that is probably these superzoom binos like 20-140x70 and similar. Such a configuration is pretty meaningless even with high quality optics, even more with junk optics.
I have been interested in binoculars and telescopes since I was a small kid. The first binocular was a christmas gift and it was a toy model. I still remember how fun it was despite a very bad plastic galilean design with plastic lenses and extremely narrow AFOV. But I could actually see more details than the naked eye.

Next optics was a 15x30 extendable handheld telescope. It was fun but the brightness was only sufficient for daytime use. And even if it was useable for moon and stargazing the shakiness was of course extreme.

 

To my 12-years birthday I wished a 10x50 binocular, which I also received. Within the same series there were also 7x50 and 8x40, but 10x was of course best. Still not as good as the 15 telescope...
The small dissatisfaction about the lower magnification was soon forgotten when I tried the 10x50. What a wide field! 70deg AFOV. And so bright! I could see details better than the naked eye even in dim conditions.
Before that a classmate to me had got the 8x40 in the same series. I proudly called him and told him I had got the 10x50...

In school there were 7x35 binos available to be used by the pupils at birdwatching sessions. I remember it was fun to get up early in the morning to birdwatch with the classmates and the teacher. Especially when I had got a 10x50, better than 7x35...

Such ignorant reasoning I had as a child.

 

Several years later when I had got my own income I started to learn more about binoculars, and visited opticians and watchmakers to try binoculars. The 10x50 was pretty big and I wanted a more compact model as a complement to be easier to carry around. At that time I actually had become aware of that the 10x50 was tiring with shaky image, so I aimed against lower magnification.

There were two binoculars that were interesting and that I had a bit hard to choose from: Zeiss Jenoptem 8x30 and Nikon 7x20. The 8x30 is brighter but the 7x20 is more compact...
I chose the 7x20. Which I really loved. It was so sharp, much sharper than my 10x50. And I actually perceived I could see more details than with the 10x50. That because of the better sharpness combined with more stable image. The ER of the 10x50 is < 10mm and I could hardly support the binocular to the face but had to hold it away from the face a bit, when it has no eyecup to support unto. With the 7x20 the eyecups allowed me to support the binocular unto the face.

 

The time went, and 30 years later I appreciate moderate magnifications with the stable view and wide FOV. It's interesting that I now, with much better ability to handhold binoculars steady than when I was a kid appreciate low magnifications like 6x, and even 5x.
The 10x50 for me as a 12 years ~40kg tiny boy,  maybe corresponds to handhold a 15x70 today.
And if I had more knowledge when I was 12 year, I would choose the 7x50 instead. Both because of the more stable view and that I at that age really could make use of the 7mm exit pupil for even better image in real low light conditions.
But: the perfect binocular for me when I was 12 truly had been Vortex Viper HD 6X32!


Edited by Swedpat, 26 September 2021 - 05:08 PM.

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