| etc wrote:|
Why do you want a compact?
A full size 8x42 is much easier to use.
Technically, the 32mm objective binos are considered "mid size." I personally find a high quality 8X32 to be a very appealing configuration. The high-end 8X32's with good ED/FL glass and the latest dielectric prism coatings and broadband multicoatings are only slightly behind the 8X42's in low light performance, actually outperforming some lower quality 8X42's. In addition, the 32mm objective binoculars almost always have wider FOV than their 42mm siblings. All the reviews I've read of the high-end 8X32's such as the SLC and Ultravid (as well as Zeiss FL) the OP is considering have unanimously stated that they provide resolution, contrast, and edge to edge sharpness very close or equal to their 42mm counterparts. The smaller objective 32's may have slightly more pronounced aberrations, especially closer to the edges of the field, but the tradeoff is a much more compact, handier bino that can be very user-friendly and convenient when you're carrying them around your neck for long periods of time. I haven't found the really good 32mm bins to be any less critical on eye relief or viewing ease. The only significant sacrifices I see with the smaller 32mm binoculars vs. the full-size 42mm models is a slight loss of low light performance that may only translate to a few minutes in the early morning / late evening, and they may be harder for some to steady in the hands due to the smaller physical size and lighter weight. Overall, I think sacrificing a little bit of light transmission in some cases is a worthwhile tradeoff for lighter weight, more compact size, and wider FOV.
Edited by RifleDude - April/14/2008 at 17:39