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Thread: Binocular reviews/ advice..

  1. #1

    Binocular reviews/ advice..


    I am very much a new boy to stalking and I would like to treat myself ( Christmas and all that ) to a pair of Binos.

    I have been considering Swarovski 10x42 BA or a pair of Leica 10x42 Trinovids, both used.

    Here is the question...

    What is the stalking optimum 8x42 or 10x42 or other, I am being told that its all about the low light gathering ability and therefore I assume that 42 or 50 is the light gathering bit the 8 or 10 is the distance, is it that simple or am I wide of the mark..... ?

    Which are the better Swaros or Leica, they seem to be about the same price used, is one better that the other ?

    Any help would be appreciated or it may just be they are both as good as each other and then its down to price.



  2. #2
    best to go and have a look through them as everyone eyes are different I have Zeiss but find Swarovski are better for my eyes,as to 8 or 10 x they say the filed of view is better with the 8s but again its all dowm to the individual,which ever make you buy you wont go wrong

  3. #3
    Hmmm, clearly in need of a few words of explanation here.

    When you see 10x42 what it means is the magnification is 10 power and the objective lens is 42mm (that's the lens at the front that lets in light).

    What really matters is the pupil aspect size (think that's the right term??) which should be as close to a value of 7 as you can get it - the reason being that the human eye has a pupil that typically dilates to 7mm across so the closer you can get to that the more light you see through your eyes in any given light condition.

    To calculate the aspect size you divide the objective diameter by the magnification so for 10x42 the answer is 4.2 which is a bit iffy unless you have got some really good glass. For 8x42 it is 5.2 which is getting better and for 8x56 it is 7 which is perfect. Any number above 7 is wasted as the limitation is the size of your pupil.

    Having explained all that there are other issues such as field of view which is how much you can see from one side to the other at a given distance. This is not always related to magnification as the size and construction of the binos can affect it, so check it on manufacturers websites, but generally speaking the higher the magnification the less you will see at the given range.

    Personally I use an old pair of Zeiss Dialyt rubber armoured 10x42 T* as they are just the right combination for me, they're light, aren't too high magnification and allow sufficient light in for me to see what's about just before I can see the same through my scope in the morning. Whilst they're old they do not let themselves down and the service and back up from the Zeiss sporting optics guys in Milton Keynes(?) has always been excellent and there is not much they can't do to service these old binos.

    At the end of the day though the choice is yours and you should go with what you feel works best for you. One word of advice though, try and compare the different offerings at the same time and in a location and at a time when you will really notice the difference, i.e. at dusk, so you can be sure which is best.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Thanks for that, having searched the internet last night I found a site which did a comparison of the Leicas and Swaros, and it listed a twilight factor, so in a roundabout way similar to the factor calculation you have mentioned.
    I really appreciate this help, I did not know that's what you calculate, now I know..
    I don't think having now looked at the comparison that there is much difference between the Leicas and the Swaros, I have added a pair of 10x50 Leicas to my watch list which although heavier do have a better light grabbing capacity, based on these calculations/ twilight factor.
    I had earmarked 500 to spend, so long as they stay around that price I might be tempted.

    Thanks again


  5. #5
    I suggest you look through some before you buy. Minnox are highly rated, to me Swarvs are brighter than Leicas but I have a pair of Leicas. I find Leicas are more ergonomic than Zeiss so thats why I purchased them. Leicas are pretty well bomb proof and very reliable.

    Swarvs have by far the best customer services, however its v rare for a pair of leicas to need repair.

    As for size, 10x40 is about right, 50 mm is getting big and too heavy, remember you are going to be using them all the time so weight, comfort and ergonomics are very important.

    Also if you get top end bins you need a top end scope, nothing worse than seeing your quarry in the bins but not the scope.


  6. #6
    I think it depends on your stalking ground. In woodland stalking the 8x mag will probably enable you to scan and areas more quickly because of the larger field of view. Where as the 10x are more useful when you have large expanses of more open ground. Weight is a factor to consider especially if you intend to be out for long periods.

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