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Hi, I'd like to have some compact binos, so decided to get 8x25 roof prism, I found these on FLO:

Hawke endurance ED 8x25 - specs say they have magnesium alloy body, this should be more durable than plastic? I won't be throwing them around, but would like them to be able to take some normal handling... I like being relaxed with things :) 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/compact-binoculars/hawke-endurance-ed-25mm-compact-binoculars.html

Also I like the concept of Pentax Papilio II, but they seem so gentle, I've never seen them live....

My friend wants a monocular to carry around and he has a small boat so would use them there too. We'll probably order together. These seem nice:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/vortex-optics-solo-25mm-monoculars.html
 

Please give some advice if you have some experience with these (or similar products), or any other recommendation...

Thanks

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I can't recommend a particular model (too many of them to try them all) but be sure you really want a 25mm, a 30mm or 32mm will be seriously brighter, 44% and 64%, respectively. Yes, aperture rules even in sub-compact optics, and 30/32mm won't be much bigger or much more expensive, they might even cost less in that frame size.

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Have you used compacts before and are aware of the advantages and disadvantages compared to full size binos?

 

I have handled a few a pairs of compact/ pocket    binos recently. Zeiss Terra 8x25, Swarovski CL 8x25, Zeiss Victory 8x25 and an old pair of Nikon 7x20. The optical performance of both Zeiss and the Swarovski were outstanding for their form factor and matched full size 8x32 and 8x42 for day time use.

What I found is that what you gain in size and weight, you can lose in ergonomics. I would be particularly concerned with 8x compact bino on a boat.

 

Anyway, I’m not sure what your budget is but if you can stretch to £250 then the Zeiss Terra 8x25 are great! Also, read the bird forum those guys know their stuff when it comes to binoculars!

 

Edited by Icesheet
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I have a pair of bigger binos and 250£ is way off my budget... These Hawke ED seem good and they are at the absolute limit I'd spend on a binocular. I am tempted to get something even cheaper like the Nikon pictured by Mark up...

I have carried (borrowed) Olympus porros 8x21 (or similar) on a trip once and the great thing about them was that you can carry them casually. If I were to carry bigger binos I'd feel almost obliged to look through them and these super compact you can just keep in the backpack or in your pocket and use or not...

As for the friends monocular I don't think he needs them for serious marine exploration, but I'll suggest him to take maybe 32mm...

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The Papillio are great, as they give a really close focus; literally, you can focus them on your fingertips.

Optically, they're what you'd expect from Pentax, with great collimation across the full range from infinity to close up.

We got our pair for about £70 on eBay. 

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I have a Celestron 10x25 monocular and it is great. Small and light and easy to use. It can go anywhere easily.

You are on to the right track though going for 8x. If I bought anything knowing what I know now I'd go for 8x not 10x.

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I have 12x40 binos and although they are very sharp, the image is unstable, so it's a nit tiring over longer use. So I think I'll like the 8x

And Papilios close focus is sooo tempting, what puts me off a bit is that they look a bit gentle to me on pictures, I'd like to see them live... Also Hawkes warranty seems very good, I'd like to be relaxed knowing that someone will repair them for me if I drop them or something... And I think Hawke are smaller. 

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