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Hi I am after some new binoculars mainly for birdwatching but also Astro work being looking at Optricron Zeiss and Leica 8x40/42 ed glass price from £350-£850 any ideas

 

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Zeiss Leica, no doubt about the quality of the brand,  but check these out  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/helios-naturesport-plus-8x40-wa-binoculars.html These are my favoured optics for astronomy, nice wide field of view, 8.3°, and  great views when observing the Milky Way, and their  advertised for birdwatching, and nature/sport, hence the brand name.
I would suggest give them a try, if they fail to provide, send them back and try the dearer optics, whats to lose, nothing,  and about £280 GBP to save/gain ?

Don't get me wrong, I know there's some quality items out there, I bought some TeleVue Delos EP's thinking these will be much better, but not so, so I sold them on.  Im' still trying to obtain a 'better' 15x70' to replace my present 15x70, but I have a budget at present that I'm not willing to raise.

At the end of the day, you really must try for yourself, in order to better realise what you want, need then acquire on that basis. They dont have to be expensive, but then have to satisfy, and for me the Helios Natursport+ is a joy to use.

 

Edited by Charic
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13 minutes ago, Charic said:

Zeiss Leica, no doubt about the quality of the brand,  but check these out  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/helios-naturesport-plus-8x40-wa-binoculars.html These are my favoured optics for astronomy, nice wide field of view, 8.3°, and  great views when observing the Milky Way, and their  advertised for birdwatching, and nature/sport, hence the brand name.
I would suggest give them a try, if they fail to provide, send them back and try the dearer optics, whats to lose, nothing,  and about £280 GBP to save/gain ?

Don't get me wrong, I know there's some quality items out there, I bought some TeleVue Delos EP's thinking these will be much better, but not so, so I sold them on.  Im' still trying to obtain a 'better' 15x70' to replace my present 15x70, but I have a budget at present that I'm not willing to raise.

At the end of the day, you really must try for yourself, in order to better realise what you want, need then acquire on that basis. They dont have to be expensive, but then have to satisfy, and for me the Helios Natursport+ is a joy to use.

 

Hi thanks for the replies I have being looking at the Helios range on Rother valley optics web site and it’s only about 35/40 mins drive I might have a look

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Could be worth your while. 

Have you a partner?  they would thank you for the Naturesports if you found them in anyway, underperforming.

Do compare them with the best and most expensive optics they have to offer, see/feel the differences. You don't have to buy any first time round, but having a few pairs on the table does make a huge difference when it comes to testing and selecting binoculars. They need to be comfortable, useable, manageable and cost effective. anything else is a plus, even brand name.  

At the end of the day, only you can decide whats best for you. Some folk are stunned by the performance they get from the  Lidl/Aldi specials, often Bresser's, for not much more than £15, but check a few in stock and take the best looking one ( referring to the view ).

I bought some 7x50 Bresser Hunter binoculars back  in the 80's and have loved them even to this day, but my favourites right now are the 8x40's. There might be and will be better optics, but not found/tried them  just yet.

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You could try these - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vanguard-Endeavor-ED-II-8x42/dp/B00XWEHOUU, these Vanguards are apparently fantastic value for money and you have to spend a small fortune to get a noticeable difference. Some reviews here to back this up - https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/Vanguard8x42EndeavorEDII-138.htm and - https://www.allbinos.com/278-binoculars_review-Vanguard_Endeavor_ED_II_8x42.html If I would have known about these earlier I woudln't have bothered picking up my current Zeiss ED Conquests (8x32) and got these instead.

Edited by Mr_Simnock
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If you are mainly going to be using them for bird watching then one essential feature is that the bins must be waterproof. Some of the Astro bins suggested are fine for star gazing but you do not stargaze in the rain.

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I have a dozen Opticron Adventurer T WP 8x42 for an outreach project. They are waterproof (we don't stargaze in the rain, but we can be subjected to very heavy dew). I like them a lot. I'll get around to reviewing them in the next few weeks, but they are not substantially different from the 10x50 version (review here). A couple of points: they do not appear to be internally stopped, and all dozen of them arrived properly collimated. Close focus is slightly less than the specified 5m.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello All, another newbie here with a similar question.  I have the option of two different pairs of bino's.  They will be used for terrestrial, birding, and astro.  I realize that at the end of all this it will come down to personal preference but I will present the relevant specs for both pairs and ask that from your "veteran" viewpoints you can list out some of the pros and cons for each pair to help me make a suitable choice.

The first pair is Celestron Outland 8x42.  Waterproof, multi-coated, roof prism, 5.25mm exit pupil, 22 ounces.  ME: like the low weight but wish they were brighter/better light gathering.

The second pair is Wingspan (Polaris) 8x56.  Waterproof, fully multi-coated, 7mm exit pupil, 36 ounces.  ME: light gathering is much better compared to the 8x42's but having trouble deciding if it is worhth the weight.  Also, these are fully multi-coated although I'm not sure if that makes much difference.

One last thing - I'm 60 with very good eyes and my IPD is ~56mm.  The IPD of the Celestrons is 56mm.  That of the Wingspans is ~57-57.5.  With the large(7mm) exit pupil I think these are still in the running.  When I look through them I am not getting black areas or hazing.

So with all these information what advice may anyone be able to offer?  Thanks in advance.

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5 hours ago, AJR091458 said:

ME: light gathering is much better compared to the 8x42's but having trouble deciding if it is worhth the weight. 

The light gathering might just be  a little better, but if your eyes can't take in  the  full 7mm exit pupil,  then your own eyes will effectively reduce that 56mm aperture to something  closer/similar to that of the 42mm, and the 42mm's are lighter.

My favourites are my Helios Naturesport+ 8x40's.   The 8x magnification will not provide close-up detailed  astronomy images, but their field of view is great for my needs. Great for birding too.

I often mount my 8x40's on a trigger grip for stability, the views are stunning.

Edited by Charic
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Thanks Charic.   The way I understand it is that if my pupils don't open to 7mm any extra light gathering will be "wasted".  On the other hand, what I see when comparing the 42's to the 56's is that the 56's are significantly brighter and I can see additional lower magnitude stars.  Also, I had my IPD checked today and at 56.5-57mm they would be ever so slightly off center in the 56's.  That being said I suppose it's just a matter of "Do I want to carry the extra weight?"  Might be a good trade off for the brightness.

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reading your post it seems you have been trying both sets out and the ipd in the 56's doesnt appear to be a problem to you?

personally i would go for the bins with the brighter image if the ipd is ok for you

also if you mount the bins on a tripod or mono pod you wont notice the extra weight

only time the extra weight will be noticed is when hand holding them

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Thanks Alan.  My thoughts as well.  I mean we're only talking about a 14 ounce difference.  Plus, the 56's are FMC whilst the 42's are only MC.  Yes, after getting my IPD checked the large (7mm) exit pupils on the 56's leave enough wiggle room since their IPD is 57-57.5mm.  It does not appear that the IPD is an issue because I am not getting the dark spots in any portion of the view nor do I get the hazy look at any edge so long as I position the bin's properly on my face.  I am leaning strongly toward the 56's and will probably return the 42's.  Always nice talking with people who know and understand.

Edited by AJR091458
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9 hours ago, AJR091458 said:

Thanks Charic.   The way I understand it is that if my pupils don't open to 7mm any extra light gathering will be "wasted".  

Not necessarily wasted! you will have a bright image from your 56 mm binoculars (down to the physics) proven visually, by your own experience.
 However, if your pupils don't closely match that of the exit pupil, you could be wasting, or merely not getting the best  available from the exit pupils.

That said, your gut feeling  favours the 56mm so whats holding you back?

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In your price range you can choose from a few of the canon IS range.

10x30 £409 (light, good for general use and astronomy but you have to hold down the IS button)

12x36 £629 (bit more bulkier and heavier but gives you that extra detail)

15x50 £879 (more heavy and bulky when compared to the other two but has the better optics and of course that extra mag! Press the IS button and it stays on for 5 minutes)

I would really recommend trying one of these before you make a decision. I own the 15x50 and it is by far the best binocular I have ever used. I have tried several non-IS binoculars while owning the 15x50 and I've now admitted defeat and will buy another IS binocular soon to go with my 15x50.

Oli

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Charic, you're right.  What am I waiting for?  The 42's go back.  I am now the owner of a pair of Wingspan Optics Panorama 8X56.  The stated IPD is a bit misleading.  If the objective covers are completely removed the bins close to ~57-57.5mm.  Stars and birds...Happy, Happy!  {BTW: good price, $87 on Amazon.}

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I think you'l be glad getting the 56's over the 42's because from what you posted you wouldn't have been completely happy and it probably would have niggled if you'd gone with the 42's

at least you had a chance to try them side by side and pick what 1's you liked best

If you go down mono pod/tripod route for them then i would go for a trigger type head  i use an amazon basic tripod  (same as ravelli) really nice tripod for money

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adjustable-Trigger-Ravelli-APGL4-Professional/dp/B003SQEAY0/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537307072&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=monopod+trigger+tilt+head

Enjoy using em mate :)

Edited by Stormbringer
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