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8x or 10x?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2014 at 11:11
mellis12 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I want to get my hubby a pair of binoculars for Christmas but am not sure whether I should get 8x or 10x. We are more animal watchers than bird watchers and our primary use would be trips to Yellowstone. We're often animal watching at dusk or dawn and I know that's a consideration. But if we're looking at far off hills for grizzlies, would 10x be better?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2014 at 19:29
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10x for things that move slow 8x for things that move faster like football games race cars etc.
Zen-Ray 10x43 Zen ED3 Binocular
Zen-Ray 10x43 Zen ED3 Binocular
Stock # - ZENED310X43
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
  • ED Glass
  • Second Generation VividBrite Ultra High Reflectivity Dielectric Prism Coating
$440.00
This is fairly moderately priced and seems a good quality to value.  Binoculars - you get what you pay for unfortunately I tend to break them so I might go Vortex due to warranty.
Vortex 10x50 Viper HD Binocular
Vortex 10x50 Viper HD Binocular
Stock # - VORVPR5010HD
  • Green
  • Roof Prism
  • HD Glass
  • XR Multi-Layer Coating
  • Phase Corrected
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
$649.95

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2014 at 19:32
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IOR Valdada uses German Shott glass - nice
IOR 10x42 B/GA Valdada TRX ED Binocular
IOR 10x42 B/GA Valdada TRX ED Binocular
Stock # - IOR104280
  • Black
  • Roof Prism
$450.00
IOR 10x50 B/GA Binocular
IOR 10x50 B/GA Binocular
Stock # - 105000
  • Rubber Armored
  • Roof Prism
$899.00
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2014 at 19:34
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Zeiss and Swarovski are kind of the Holy Grail.
Zeiss 10x32 Victory FL Binocular
Zeiss 10x32 Victory FL Binocular
Stock # - ZEI523231
  • Black
  • Roof Prism
$1,999.95
Swarovski 10x42 EL Binocular
Swarovski 10x42 EL Binocular
Stock # - SWA34110
  • Green
  • Roof Prism
  • Swarovision
  • Supplied with:
    • Snap Shot Adapter
    • Field Bag
    • Eyepiece Cover
    • Objective Lens Cover
    • Lift Carrying Strap
$2,579.00
Swarovski 10x50 EL Binocular
Swarovski 10x50 EL Binocular
Stock # - SWA35010
  • Green
  • Roof Prism
  • Swarovision
  • Supplied with:
    • Snap Shot Adapter
    • Field Bag
    • Eyepiece Cover
    • Objective Lens Cover
    • Lift Carrying Strap
$2,769.00
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2014 at 21:27
RifleDude View Drop Down
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10X gives you slightly more detail IF you're able to hold steady enough to realize the benefit. The negative tradeoff to the additional 2X is you have a shallower depth of field, a narrower field of view, and 10X requires larger objective lenses than 8X for optimal performance.

Although 8X gives up some fine detail resolution vs 10X, its greater depth of field means you have to refocus less when viewing objects at varying distances and that coupled with its greater field of view means you can scan your surroundings and cover more ground a bit faster.

Either will get the job done; it depends on what is most important to you. If you get good binoculars, then it just becomes a decision on whether you prefer a bit more detail or a bit wider and "deeper" view. If you buy lower priced binos, increased magnification also magnifies any optical flaws.

I'm personally an 8X fan. I think it presents a more ideal compromise between just enough magnification while still optimizing FOV and DOF, and you can get a more compact binocular without adversely affecting optical performance as much. This is why I really like a good 8X32 binocular -- small in size, but very close to full size performance. 8X42s and 10X50s will provide better low light performance than 8X32s, but not enough for me to warrant the extra weight and bulk. 10X is too much magnification for 32mm objectives in my opinion, because the exit pupil is too small and low light viewing suffers.

Despite my preference for 8X, I could be perfectly happy with a good 10X42 as an all-around bino, if that's all I had available. 

There is no right answer to the 8X vs. 10X question; it's personal preference. You have to decide what optical characteristic is most important to you and which tradeoffs you're most willing to accept.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2014 at 06:59
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Melissa,

The best thing to do is to go to your local Sporting Goods store & look through some 8x & 10x binoculars.

If you like the higher magnification of a 10x, but not the shakiness, there is also the Canon line of 

Image Stabilizer binoculars.


Stan



Edited by Bird Watcher - November/12/2014 at 07:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2014 at 07:19
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I'm not a big binocular fan, but fully agree with the comments on Image Stabilized binocular.  Excellent.  My wife used to get a headache from a binocular, since I got the Canon Image Stabilized, she uses it all the time...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2014 at 07:20
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All good advice so far.

Once you decide I would take a look at the sample list. That would be a good way to extend your dollar with a better pair of binoculars for less money.

http://www.samplelist.com/Binoculars-C3392.aspx
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2014 at 06:25
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Originally posted by mellis12 mellis12 wrote:

  8x or 10x ... at dusk or dawn 


A carefully chosen 8.5x45 should give you the best of both worlds, 8.5x magnification for that little extra 'reach', a 45mm objective for greater light gathering when it matters most without the often excessive weight of a 50mm or 56mm lens.

This is an incomplete list of current and recently discontinued models, some would be good choices (**), others less so.

Bino weights are in grams, field of view in metres at a grand.

One or two of these are available on closeout if you are shopping on a budget.

Weaver Grand Slam 8.5x45, 700g, 104m

Bushnell Infinity 8.5x45, 708g, 104m

Delta Optical Titanium 8.5x45, 850g, 105m

Nikon Monarch X 8.5x45, 720g, 110m **

Vanguard Endeavor ED 8.5x45, 770g, 114m

Leupold Northfork 8.5x45, 765g, 115m

Bresser Montana ED 8.5x45, 885g, 115m **

Eschenbach Farlux Selector D 8.5x45, 880g, 117m

Weaver Super Slam ED 8.5x45, 885g, 122m **

Vixen Artes ED 8.5x45, 907g, 122m

Kowa Genesis Prominar XD 8.5x44, 940g, 122m **

Swarovski EL SV 8.5x42, 835g, 133m


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2014 at 10:12
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mellis12, welcome to the OT. This is my personal preference and experience talking. I've spent many days in Yellowstone and surrounding areas in both summer and winter. On occasion, I've looked through high-magnification spotting scopes (some really good, others so-so) in places like the Lamar Valley and much more often, through binoculars. In most cases, a pair of 8X binoculars with the best glass affordable would be my choice. Other than those wide-open areas most viewing opportunities are going to be under 500 yards and few beyond 1000 yards. Also, as mentioned, low-light viewing is actually harder to achieve at higher magnifications unless you increase the weight of the binoculars by putting bigger objective glass in. A window mount can help, but what if you're out walking?

I can say with both comfort and security in mind that even our set of 8X Nikon ATBs I keep in the car are good for viewing a male grizzly 300 yards away on Dunraven Pass! One thing to keep in mind is, unless it's smokey, skies in that area are often vividly bright. Better glass that avoids CA (chromatic aberration) and fringing will make viewing more pleasant. It's noticeably annoying when a skyline has a bright purplish band along it.

One thing that has worked great for us is to always carry along a 30X optical zoom camera. In our case, a Canon SX700, which was about $300. Then you can glass easily with binoculars, especially animals in motion, while also taking pictures that will capture some pretty amazing detail.

In short, a really good set of 8X bins will go a long way.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2014 at 15:34
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On a bear hunting trip, I had a chance to compare my 8x30 Zeiss binoculars against newer but comparable 10x Zeiss binoculars.  There wasn't a lot of difference in what I could see with either pair.  The 8x30's were easier to hold steady, though.
If you plan to "borrow" or share the binoculars, you might like to know that my wife definitely found the 8x easier to use and friendlier than the 10x when we compared new sets by Zeiss in a sporting good store. 
 
You can't go wrong with either, but the 8x is the better choice for general use in my opinion.  Get the very best quality you can afford.  My 30+year-old "top of the line" Zeiss binoculars are great, and will still be great when we pass them down to our kids.
 
UrimaginaryFrnd is right...you will be frustrated and annoyed if you try to watch a football game with 10x binoculars.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/16/2014 at 09:57
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Melissa,

First off welcome to Optics talk Big Smile.  You have asked one of the several eternally recurring and unanswerable questions in the realm of optics.  Nobody who has posted, and that certainly includes me, can answer that for you.  Your husband is the only person who can do that.  I'll deal with this aspect in a minute.

The thing is, when people know what they are looking at when they pick it up and even before they look through it, a set of preconceived notions or expectations WILL kick in.  I don't care who you are, and again that includes me too.  Some years ago, I was at a large show where a dealer was introducing a binocular line with a 42 mm objective.  Part of their display and presentations at this show was letting people look through unmarked binoculars, just an ID number, of the same binocular in 7, 8, 9 and 10x magnifications.  Take a look through each one, fill out a simple form and mark which one you liked best.  Over two thirds of folks picked 7x.  Many were so astounded at their choice their disbelief was palpable.  But that outfit had already decided to  introduce the 7x42 based on a lot of results like what we saw here, and they sold a pile at that show.  However nobody (at least those who did not know they really liked 7x) bought the 7x in the real world because everybody knows 7x is too weak, so they sold a lot of 10x (which very few picked as their preference).  They wound up ditching the widely preferred 7x for an 8x model.

I suggest you do a couple of things.  One, let us know what your budget is.  There are many truly amazing binoculars for as little as $200 while on the other end of the spectrum you can easily spend over $2,000.

The other thing is to do a little test on your husband.  Get both an 8x and a 10x of the same model from a good dealer with a good return policy (for some odd reason SWFA pops to mind here Big Smile ).  You will need to carefully open both and use some masking tape, or some sort of tape to mask over ANYTHING on the binocular that shows the magnification.  Just mark them #1 and #2.  Tell him not to worry about what magnification either one is.  Trust me, that will probably be his first question.  I've done this before with samples of both 8x and 10x binoculars of the same make and model of binoculars I've received to do reviews on.  Tell him all he needs to know is which one he likes best.  They have to suit him, not me or somebody else, just him.  When he makes his choice take the tape off.  Very carefully use the two binoculars for the rest of the return policy period.  Send whichever one back for the refund.  Some people really did pick 10x, maybe your husband is one of those.

I suggest you wrap the empty boxes of each.  when you need to let him know what's up, just hand him the two binoculars.  That way he can't think he has it figured out which is which.  In, like "I know you put the 8x in the 10x box" or whatever.

I'm in line with Ted's comments.  I prefer 8x, but 10x is fine.  So, the thing is either one works.  Don't be surprised if there is not a winner between the two.  One magnification is not better than the other.  Each one is just different from the other, maybe not different enough to matter to him.


Edited by Klamath - November/16/2014 at 10:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2014 at 11:47
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LOL...wow the next time I ask a question I'm going to sign on as a girl.... Gal
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2014 at 11:48
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BTW...  Welcome to the OT Melissa
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2014 at 17:04
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

LOL...wow the next time I ask a question I'm going to sign on as a girl.... Gal

a minor lifestyle change for you… eh, Bud???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2014 at 11:04
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Thank you all soooo much! You've been a great help. I love the friendly attitude of your forum!! After reading all of your comments, I'm going to go with an 8x with a good return policy. That way he'll have something to open Christmas morning, but if he wants the 10x, we can exchange. Though, from all of your comments, 8x sounds like it's going to be perfect for his needs anyway. :)

Thank you!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2014 at 16:53
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That will be a very nice, thoughtful Christmas gift, Melissa!
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