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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2008 at 13:34
mwyates View Drop Down
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The other day I got an "optics" catalog from the world's foremost outfitter.  While looking through it, a couple of things struck me.  First, to be the "WFO", their selection is pretty limited (Thank God for SWFA) and second, they seem to think everybody wants 10X, or more.  There were a good many 8X choices, but a lot more higher, and only one 7X, I think, in the whole catalog.  Made me wonder what power binocular is the most popular?  I imagine it's 8X, but how close is 10X?  Chris, you got any stats?
 
Why isn't 7X35 good anymore?  That was the standard for a long time and is just about the perfect balance between, power, size, and weight.  Now you cna't hardly find one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2008 at 22:17
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Mike,

You, more than likely, already KNOW the answer to your 7x35 question.
35mm isn't the 'greatest' for low light, dawn and dusk viewing.

7x50mm is ALOT better, and is being offered by quite a few companies.


Edited by Bird Watcher - August/18/2008 at 22:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:04
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bird Watcher Bird Watcher wrote:

Mike,

You, more than likely, already KNOW the answer to your 7x35 question.
35mm isn't the 'greatest' for low light, dawn and dusk viewing.

7x50mm is ALOT better, and is being offered by quite a few companies.
 
Yeah, but those 7x50s are going to be huge and heavy. 
 
The real problem with marketing a quality 7x35 or so is that almost noone will buy them.  Oh sure, a few optics nuts regularly post on forums that they wish someone would come out with a high-dollar 7x3* because that would be the "truly ideal configuration" but, this is just a very tiny fringe element of the optics buying market - not nearly big enough to make such a binocular profitable. 
 
The real rub is that Swarovski actually did make a 7x30 in their SLC line but, later dropped it. By all acounts it was a fantastic binocular offering an image that would hang with even the best of the big-boys even now. "Why would they do that?" I hear you asking.  Because it didn't sell.  Aparently Swarovski couldn't even get those aforementioned optics loonies to buy them because they are constantly bemoaning the fact that they didn't get one when they were available and if only they could find one now... 
 
I read not too long ago that the most popular/best selling magnification is 10x and that the most popular binoculars are those little $50 10x25s that you see crowding store displays. 
 
I think there is a percieved magic about the number 10.  We refer to perfect performances as scoring a 10, the "perfect" woman are described as being a 10, etc. so; it follows some bit of (twisted) logic that a 10 power binocular must be the all-around best. 
 
Having said that, I should point out that I have been on record for a long time as being a fan of 10x binoculars - though only in higher end models.  Truly, if you are young enough and have stable enough hands to hold a 10x binocular, then there is a lot going for it.  After all, the point of having a binocular in the first place is to allow you to "get closer" to the object of interest.  Assuming equal-quality optics and a stable viewing platform, 10x is going to allow you to see detail that you can't see otherwise. Field of View arguments are often overblown and really amount to "much ado about nothing."
 
The main problem with 10x comes from the fact that it is, by all evidence, more difficult to make a quality 10x than a quality 8x (or 7x, etc.) and  budget-to-mid-priced binoculars tend to show a great deal of sample variation in these higher magnification models, much more so than in their lower magnification siblings.   Thus, unless you are willing to spend say, at least $800 (and preferably more) on your binocular, you really are best off to select an 8x or so. 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 10:18
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What lucznik said. Like the 3-9 riflescope, the 10x bino seems to be the most popular selling power for the masses.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:40
mwyates View Drop Down
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I think my age may have a lot to do with my preference for lower powers.  I was browsing through Leupold's site, looking at the Applications Guide for various binoculars.  One of the parameters is "Decreased Pupillary Dilation Common with Age".  Only their 6X binoculars are recommended in this category.  Maybe that's why my 6X32 Katmais look as good to me as Swarovski EL 8.5's (better, some of the time).  Just another benefit to age, high dollar optics really are a waste of money Yippee  Bur, as I've said before, if Swaro, Leica, Zeiss made a 6X, I'd sure try them. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 18:53
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Personally I'd like to see alot more 7X binos, I believe this is one of the best comprimises for most situations.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 19:39
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lucznik,

Just for GRINS 8>)

Nikon Action Extreme ATB 7x50mm

E.R. 17.1mm

Size>same as the 10x50mm, 12x50mm, & 16x50mm

Weight>35.3 ozs, lighter than all three by an ounce or so



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 19:45
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Originally posted by mwyates mwyates wrote:

I think my age may have a lot to do with my preference for lower powers.  I was browsing through Leupold's site, looking at the Applications Guide for various binoculars.  One of the parameters is "Decreased Pupillary Dilation Common with Age". 


NOT "ANOTHER" NEW DISEASE FOR THE ELDERLY AND THE INFIRM!!! 8>)

I'm 60 years old and my eye pupils were measured at 6mm, when I had my eye exam. So much for malfunctioning eyeballs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/19/2008 at 20:44
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I'm 59, but I've had cataract surgery on both eyes (15 years ago; too much X-ray exposure before we knew it was bad).  Because of that, my color vision is perfect, but my ability to focus, etc. is shot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2008 at 23:52
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Personally, of the available configurations, I like 7x42 as the best allround choice. 

I do not have the steadiest hands in the world and I can not effectively use 10x without support.

I am now experimenting with an 8.5x50 as a "big" binocular (Vortex Razor) and a 6x32 as a "small" binocular (EO Rangers).  I also have 8x32 porro Premier SE binos that are amazing in anything but the dimmest light.  For a long time, my go to allround binoculars were 7x42 Swaro SLC.  The only 7x I currently have is russian military 7x30 BPO porro binocular.  I bought this one because of a crazy complicated eyepiece design which produces amazingly sharp and well resolved images, but suffers a bit in low light.  I will very likely buy Meopta 7x42 binoculars for an allround glass in not too distant future (not that they have improved the eyecups).

If I were to narrow it all down, I would say that if you plan to do a reasonable amount of low light viewing, a quality 7x42 is about as good as it gets.

If extreme low light is not a major priority, a high end 7x32 would be a perfect choice. If my Nikon Premier SE porros were made in a 7x32 configuration I would be absolutely ecstatic.

Why 7x rather than a 6x or an 8x?  My hands are steady enough to comfortably use 8x binoculars.  However, in my experience a similarly configured 7x (let's say 7x42 vs 8x42) while losing a little in terms of ultimate resolution, gains quite a bit of low light performance and, very importantly to me, depth of focus.  Binoculars with smaller objective lenses, such as 8x32 vs 8x42, often have better depth of focus, but I feel that a little too much low light performance is lost there.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2008 at 23:46
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Personally, I have no use for anything under 10x42 in a binocular.  I have not found the field of view of my Geovids to be too small or make me have a hard time looking for something.  In fact, since I have the 10x42, I am looking at my next pair which will be the 15x56.  They will be used primarily off of a tripod but there the field of view and high magnification allows me to pick apart the cover looking for critters at a mile or more.  They are smaller while slightly heavier than my Zeiss spotter and provide 50% larger field of view. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 01:35
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I think much of the deciding factor may come down to where you live, and how you expect to use them. Out here in the plains I use a 10x42, because at some of our long ranges in the wide open a 7x just doesn't get me close enough. If I am glassing a buck, I want to count points, estimate the lengh of tines, and make a decision to shoot. At longer ranges I can't do that with a 7 or 8x. If I lived somewhere with a tree density of more than 5 trees every square mile, it would be a different story. As for everyone else, I dunno.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 11:01
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95% of time it's 8x. 5% of time is 10x. Most times i don't see more detail with a 10x.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 17:28
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Then I would say upgrade the optics.  Going with a high end glass there is a noticable difference.  I just picked up a set of Vortex 12x50 Vultures.  While they are ok, I can see more detail with my 10x42 Leica, but I can get 10 pairs of the Vultures for the price of the Leica. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 19:02
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by hntbambi hntbambi wrote:

Then I would say upgrade the optics.   


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