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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2005 at 10:14
Redfish View Drop Down
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Would like some input.  I am currently hunting with Steiner 8x30 marine binocs.  I would like to upgrade to a better/brighter roof prism binoc. Have been thinking about:

 

Pentax DCF SP  8x30, 8x43

Zeiss Conquest 8x30, 8x40, 10x40

Swarovski SC 8x30

 

Is a jump in occular size from 8x30 to 40mm worth it?

 

Would I end up with a better pair of glasses if I went with the Swaro 8x30, or should I go with the 8x40 zeiss? 

Or would the Pentax 8x43 compare to these two binocs?

 

I have looked through swaros in the field, have looked at zeiss in the store, and have never been able to handle pentax. 

 

Would appriciate any opinions out there.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2005 at 10:38
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http://betterviewdesired.com/Pentax04/index.html

 

Good info here.

 

The Conquest, at least to the Internet crowd, has been a bust.

Not my opinion, but it seems every review I have read about them has been rather unremarkable.

 

Welcome aboard, friend. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2005 at 13:13
lucznik View Drop Down
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The jump from a 30ish to a 40ish mm objective lens might be significant, depending on the conditions in which you use your binocular.  If you do a lot of low light viewing (nightime, early dawn, late dusk, heavily forested, etc.) the difference could be between seeing or not seeing your chosen quarry or perhaps in seeing the animal as opposed to being able to accurately judge its trophy qualities. In such cases, you will definately want the larger OL. If on the other hand, you do mostly daytime viewing, you just might prefer the smaller size of the binocular with the 3*mm OL.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2005 at 18:49
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Would a highend 8x30(Swaro) perform better than a mid end 8x40 (Pentax, Zeiss Conquest), in low light conditions?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2005 at 10:48
lucznik View Drop Down
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I cannot speak definitively about this as I don't know of anyone who has ever put this question to a decently semi-scientific test, but my suspicion would be that no they would not.

 

Certainly I would take even a mini  high end glass (say 10X25 Nikon Premier, Zeiss ClassiC, Swarovski, etc.)over many (if not all)  of the low end full size glasses as I truly think you could get better performance with them.  This is because the low end has so many things (inferior glass, lack of quality lens coatings, fewer coatings, poor build quality, lack of build precision, etc,) that work against any light gathering ability of the larger objective lenses they might sport.

 

The mid range glass however, is something totally different. The mid range glass by Pentax, Zeiss, Kahles, Minox, etc. have become so good that in many aspects they truly give the high-end glass of equal dimensions a run for their money. Thus dropping to the lower OL in the high-end glass cannot be expected to perform to the same level. There are some limitations that smaller objective lenses encounter relating to the amount of light they are physically capable of "capturing"  that simply cannot be overcome with lens coatings.   

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2005 at 11:44
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As for the Zeis Conquest series... I've used the 8x40's on a birdwalk with one of my Audubon friends.  I lent him my Kahles 8x42 and I used his Conquests and we were out before sunup trying to catch glimpses of short ear owls in a fish and wildlife area.

 

The Conquest certainly seemed brighter than my Kahles but not so much that identification was any easier.  The available skyline light and background lighting among trees seemed brighter which also made the shadow areas seem darker.  In other words, I got brighter bright area than I was accustomed to seeing with my Kahles, but the end result was that the shadow areas 'seemed' darker by contrast.

 

The Conquest also felt considerably lighter than my Kahles, but I'm a guy who likes to exchange a few ounces of weight for ruggedness--I'm tough on binoculars.

 

I wouldn't trade my Kahles for the Conquest, BUT, the Zeiss did seem to capture the dim light and appear brighter.  I'm just not sure that it made identification of owls any easier.  It made the outline of the owl more distinguished and better defined, but I couldn't tell an appreciable gain in detail for identification purposes.

 

As for the difference between a good 40mm and a great 30mm... if I'm working in dusk or dawn, give me the 40mm (from a good manufacturer like the ones you've listed) any day.  I love 32mm binoculars.  They're handy and serve a distinct purpose in my collection.  I just don't use them in low light if I've got a bigger option of comparable manufacturer quality.  It hasn't been my experience that I could see better with smaller so long as I had a 'good' pair of bigger...

 

Just my two cents.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2005 at 13:00
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Thanks everbody for the info and opinions! Your input has helped get me off on the right foot for selecting my next pair of glasses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2005 at 12:40
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I disagree with most of the opinions here.  First of all, I don't like compact binos (25mm) of any kind.  I have yet to see any perform like the size of a larger bino in low light.  However I love mid-sized binos and have owned Minox, Pentax, and Leica.  I currently use a Leica 8x32 trinovid and 10x42 trinovid.  The 42mm, even though have a similar exit pupil, do have an advantage in low light.  However the Leica 8x32s have great low light performance (superior to my uncles Pentax 10x42 WP and my Pentax PCF 10x50s) and blow them both away in clarity, resolution and color in all other times of the day.  I personally feel that there is no substitute for top in glass.  I would go with the a 30mm Swaro over a 40mm mid quality glass.  The Swaros might have equal low light performance to the mid grade 40mm glasses but will have better resolution and color in all other hours of the day.  Buy the best glass you can afford.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2005 at 14:31
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tbone1,

 

You make a reasonable argument for your case and I would imagine that (since individual perception is so much a integral part of any optical assessment) we might never come to a complete consensus (Thank heaven there are choices to satisfy all of our preferences.) But, I do wonder a bit about the scientific validity of your comparison.  After all, you are comparing an 8X glass to a 10X glass and making statements as to low light superiority. In almost every forum I have ever seen it discussed, it is almost universally accepted that you can't make valid comparisons between glass of different magnifications (unless of course, your comparison is specifically dealing with that magnification difference.) 

To address the question in a scientifically valid manner you would have to be comparing your 8X32 trinovid with a mid range 8X binocular of larger OL size. For example, we could compare your 8X32 mm Leica with an 8X42 Pentax DCF SP.  Again, I don't claim to know the final answer for, as I already stated, I know of noone who has made a scientifically valid, direct comparison of such things, but I suspect that in terms of the low-light performance (which was the focus of the original question,) the smaller OL of the Leica would not equal (let alone surpass) that of the mid range glass. (Of course, a Leica with an equal size OL would almost certainly surpass any mid-range glass, though probably not by a whole lot.)

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2005 at 09:41
tbone1 View Drop Down
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Lucznik,

 

You are right, I understand what you are saying and maybe I should be more clear.  I was not trying to make a scientific arguement.  I was trying to give my opinion of real world experiences.  I have done many (scientific comparisons) comparing 10x42s of different brands and also 8x42x vs.10x42 from the same brand.  I have done many low light comparisons with binos as well as riflescopes.  One thing really stands out to me is that "exit pupil", although important, doesn't make a big difference like people think that it does, at least to my eyes.  I compared a similar quality riflescopes, one of 42mm and one of 56mm, and the difference was so minimal that it really suprised me.  I compared a Leica 10x42 against a Swarovski 10x50 and could tell no detectable difference at all in fading light.  In both of these test, I was using various objects to look at in fading light including a resolution test chart placed about 60 yards away and conducted the test into darkness.  I know that in this test it would have been better to have either both Leica or both Swarovski instead of one of each since there was no control, but I did learn from this test.  As I said before the one thing that is consistent and surprises me every time is how little difference "exit pupil" makes.  Scientifically I agree with you.  Every optic related article that I have read in a magazine for the last 5 years always starts off by explaining how to calculate exit pupil and how to choose your bino and scope based on this.  However I have come to believe through my experiences that exit pupil is only one factor of several to consider such as twighlight factor, glass quality, ect. 

 

I believe exit pupil is a good way to explain why a compact bino (8x20, 10x25) with and exit pupil of 2.5 will not perform as well as larger bino with an exit pupil of 4-6mm regardless of glass quality.  This is very true.  But exit pupil alone does a poor job comparing binos with different but close exit pupils.  In my opinion any exit pupil above 4mm is sufficient to use is fading light.  Of course 5mm scientifically would be better but only by a small amount and anything over about 5.5-6 is not necessary and usually goes to waste.

 

Most 8x fans always argue that they are brighter than 10x in fading light.  This may be technically true but, that doesn't mean that you can actually see better with 8x.  Even in low light the 10x will be able to resolve details better over longer distance.  I have noticed this in the field.  When I compared my 8x32 vs. 10x42s vs. Swarovski 10x50s, technically the 8x32s should be equally as bright as the 10x42s due to the very similar exit pupil and the 10x50s should have been much brighter due to the larger exit pupil.  But with the 10x42, I could judge game in darkness slightly better than the 8x32s (probably due to the higher mag. and twightlight factor), and could not detect any noticable improvement with the 10x50s.  This is just some of my real world experiences.  So I personally would buy the top quality glass rather than trying to get a larger bino of lesser quality to compensate. 

 

Kahles, Minox, Pentax, are all good binos.  I bought a pair of Minox 8x32s and was unhappy with them.  I bought a pair of Leica 8x32s and compared them before I sold the Minox.  The Leica were a whole lot sharper, had noticable better glass and were built much better.  I have owned 2 pair of Pentax 10x50 PCFs and 10x42 WPs.  To me there was a huge improvement is sharpness, color, and clarity of the Leicas.  I have not had any experience with the Kahles, Conquest, the new Minox ALT glass or Pentax SPs.  This is just my opinion and I hope this clarifies.  Take care. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2005 at 13:38
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Seems like there is a measure called relative index, or something like that.  For an 8X and a 10X with the same objective diameter and all other things equal, the 10X will provide better low light performance.  So, you're irght.  Exit pupil isn't everything.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/14/2005 at 19:38
Redfish View Drop Down
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Well, I finally decided on some binoculars after much thought. Thanks to everyone for the opinions and thoughts.  I ended up going with the Leica Trinovoid 8X50 BA afer much research on the forum.  Thank goodness for ye ole christmas bonus , and the sample list.
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