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Upgrading from 8x40


DRT
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I recently acquired a pair of 8x40 bins and used them last night in a very enjoyable session. I also have a pair of 20x70s which are unusable without a tripod or monopod, which I don't really want to use.

Looking at all the advice here and elsewhere it seems that 10x50 is the sweet spot for hand-held observing, which raises two questions that I would appreciate advice on...

1. Will an upgrade from 8x40 to 10x50 show me an appreciable difference in viewing experience?

2. Would 12x50 start to become too wobbly for hand-held observation?

I am most likely to go for the Pentax PCF WP II for either 10x or 12x as I really like the feel and build quality of the ones I already have.

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Most of what you gain in aperture, you will lose in shake. Unless you are going to at least a decent 70mm and mounting it, the only upgrade worth doing from 8x42 is better glass. Whilst I still think a decent 10x50 is a good all-round astro bino, there really is little advantage over a 8x40-ish of similar quality.

Thanks, Steve, that is just the sort of advice I need to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Out of interest, how would you rate the Pentax PCF WP II in terms of glass quality? If I wanted to improve on those what should I be looking for?

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From my experience with a friend's 10x50 WPII, I would rate it as good mid-quality glass. Streets ahead of the budget stuff, but (obviously) not as good as the stuff that you pay 10x as much for. If I'd already owned a 10x50 WPII, I probably wouldn't have bothered getting my Oberwerk Ultra 10x50.

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Thanks, Steve, I think you just saved me a lot of money! :smile:

"good-mid quality glass" is more than enough for my needs as I will spend at least 90% of my observing time looking through a scope.

Edited by DRT
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Final thought: If you think something might be an improvement, try somebody else's first!

(But don't try what you cannot afford with this in mind! I once tried a friend's £1800 Swarovski 10x50, and have regretted it ever since :grin: )

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"good-mid quality glass" is more than enough for my needs as I will spend at least 90% of my observing time looking through a scope.

I have several Pentax PCF WP binoculars.

If you are observing from light polluted skies, the 12x does better with pulling out fainter stars.

The best way to use either 10x or 12x is from a comfortable sitting position.

Some people also use a monopod with a pistol grip head.

Stan

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