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Thread: Binoculars buying - new or quality old ?

  1. #101
    Master johnbaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Been following this thread closely. I canít say I know much about binoculars but il echo the above about not looking through a decent pair as it will be a slippery slope...
    This was my journey into binocular ownership going back about 5 years...

    This was my first pair of binoculars, bought via recommendation via my late uncle and what I thought was a perfectly acceptable image..

    Pentax 10x25 ucfx11 (circa £100)





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    Hi Yeti

    I have a similar Pentax binocular to yours but mine is a zoom model, , I bought them second hand for just £25, I leave them in the car in case ever needed!!



    I also have a Sunagor 15-70x27, They're absolute tat as can be imagined!!




    John

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbaz View Post
    Hi Yeti

    I have a similar Pentax binocular to yours but mine is a zoom model, , I bought them second hand for just £25, I leave them in the car in case ever needed!!

    I also have a Sunagor 15-70x27, They're absolute tat as can be imagined!!

    John
    Like cameras, the best binoculars are the ones you have with you at the time.

    Absolute tat they may be, but better to have them than not!

  3. #103
    Yes, those vintage, WWI Zeiss (London), are way cool!

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  4. #104
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Most certainly … even relatively old high-end binos are a pleasure to use. When binocular astro observing with my local group one regular observer wanting to see a wide angle view (compared to his telescope) usually asked , "May I have a look through your Zeiss Night Owl 7x45 binoculars?" Zeiss Night Owl models date from the early 1990s so are now over 25 years old … that's a quarter of a century … but their imaging characteristics are regarded by many observers as unsurpassed compared to modern Zeiss optics. They were the top end Zeiss models in their day and still command a premium price. However, they are not everyone's cuppa because of their weight .. being made with lead glass they are heavier than modern equivalents. And the whole image is much more than just sharpness:

    http://www.oregonphotos.com/Astro-bi...eviews-BJ.html … the last comment speaks volumes

    dunk

    If you have the £££ and strong arms LCE is listing a Night Owl 8x56 https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Zeis...ed_275584.html price is bit on the high side but maybe £negotiable in current climate

    … read above Oregon Photos review … these are very scarce and seldom listed for sale .

    But please bear in mind for many observers these binoculars might not be suitable … the binos have a 7mm exit pupil which likely larger than he average middle-aged observer's eye pupil.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20506961

    However, for low light observing if your eyes have decent sized pupils they would be excellent.

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 9th April 2020 at 15:17.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" Ö Samuel Pepys

  5. #105
    I have an old pair of German army Zeiss Hensoldt 8x30ís the rubber eye covers have perished and fallen off but the image quality is great and the only real downside is having to adjust each eyepiece but I find I can do it by feel and guesswork while looking through them and wanting to focus closer/further away.

    Think they were only just over £100 but this was years ago now, they seem to go for a lot more now.

  6. #106
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    Folks just to resurrect this one.

    On paper Iím down to Leica Ultravid.

    Just interested to hear views on the 8x20 vs the 10x25

    Unfortunately in these difficult times Iím not able to get my eyes behind a set. For general use, carrying whilst walking, nothing really specific would one be better the other in any particular respect

  7. #107
    I would say 8x. A few years ago I bought 10x Nikons and have been shocked that in being those few years older how shakey I have become under magnifacation and I slightly regret that choice.



    If you are under 40 it wont bother you....well, depending on cafine, alcohol, exhaustion......

  8. #108
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtons99 View Post
    Folks just to resurrect this one.

    On paper I’m down to Leica Ultravid.

    Just interested to hear views on the 8x20 vs the 10x25

    Unfortunately in these difficult times I’m not able to get my eyes behind a set. For general use, carrying whilst walking, nothing really specific would one be better the other in any particular respect
    You're taking a risk buying any compact binocular i.e. 20mm and 25mm diameter objectives without trying them first ... especially if buying an Ultravid

    Compact binoculars are not everyone's cuppa. The 2.5mm exit pupils in such a small binocular could compromise low light observing. And when pulled out of your pocket they require more setting up / adjustment to optimise the inter-ocular distance, and the eyecup settings (to optimise the FOV), than a larger binocular. Compact size might appeal ... but the ergonomics could be deal breaker. A friend bought a Leica compact binocular and he struggles with its ergonomics .. but he keeps it just because it's a Leica ... he's nuts!

    But if you buy s/h e.g.

    https://www.aceoptics.co.uk/secondha...nufacturer=190

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Leic...11_270856.html ... but these need double checking to make sure that are Leica and not the older Leitz model … I wonder why the dealer has not shown actual logos :( ? Dealers often describe 'Leitz' binos as as 'Leica' … there is big difference in coating technologies between the two models

    ... you can send 'em back if not suitable

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 24th April 2020 at 09:31.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" Ö Samuel Pepys

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    You're taking a risk buying any compact binocular i.e. 20mm and 25mm diameter objectives without trying them first ... especially if buying an Ultravid

    Compact binoculars are not everyone's cuppa. The 2.5mm exit pupils in such a small binocular could compromise low light observing. And when pulled out of your pocket they require more setting up / adjustment to optimise the inter-ocular distance, and the eyecup settings (to optimise the FOV), than a larger binocular. Compact size might appeal ... but the ergonomics could be deal breaker. A friend bought a Leica compact binocular and he struggles with its ergonomics .. but he keeps it just because it's a Leica ... he's nuts!

    But if you buy s/h e.g.

    https://www.aceoptics.co.uk/secondha...nufacturer=190

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Leic...11_270856.html ... but these need double checking to make sure that are Leica and not the older Leitz model Ö I wonder why the dealer has not shown actual logos :( ? Dealers often describe 'Leitz' binos as as 'Leica' Ö there is big difference in coating technologies between the two models

    ... you can send 'em back if not suitable

    dunk
    Thanks again Dunk
    The dilemma I have is that I want the best(within reason) ones I can get that I can just stick in my bum bag when Iím out biking, walking etc. Once objective lenses get up to 35-40mm the size of the binos are just a bit more than I want.

    I think I may be getting to the point now where Iím thinking it may be worthwhile just holding off spending any money until I can actually try the ones Iím interested in. Is it the case that compact models will always compromise optical performance

  10. #110
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Binoculars buying - new or quality old ?

    I have some Leica BCA Trinovid 10x25, their 80ís/90ís version, got them off SC for £150 I think.

    The only thing is there is a tiny chip in the left eye piece which doesnít seem to affect the view, I have been tempted to send these to Leica for a service which would sort this out but I heard servicing costs are quite high and would probably make it unreasonable for the overall value of binocular.

    Saying that they are great little binos for walking or picking up at home when I see birds on the feeder, very clear and sharp going to the edges of view with good contrast, big difference taking these on a walk and a pair of 40mm bins.

    If your out in normal daylight going into dusk high quality 25mm objectives are fine, 8x will give you a bit more light and steady the view, donít expect wide field views but thatís not really what compact binos are for, wide field flat views, sharp to the edge, great contrast and build quality all add up to big money in binoculars.
    Last edited by murkeywaters; 25th April 2020 at 07:12.

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtons99 View Post
    Thanks again Dunk
    The dilemma I have is that I want the best(within reason) ones I can get that I can just stick in my bum bag when Iím out biking, walking etc. Once objective lenses get up to 35-40mm the size of the binos are just a bit more than I want.

    I think I may be getting to the point now where Iím thinking it may be worthwhile just holding off spending any money until I can actually try the ones Iím interested in. Is it the case that compact models will always compromise optical performance
    Follow Dunk's advice and try the compacts first, as the ergonomics are quite different compared to a full size set.

    In terms of overall performance they are a compromise. The image is still super sharp, and depending on the coatings the contrast and colour rendition can be excellent, but they are more fiddly to use and suffer in poor light. Personally I prefer the Leica monocular over the compact binoculars, though that may just be me, though I also find the compacts a tad more difficult to set up in terms of inter-ocular distance.

    That said, they are super convenient to carry and - compared to cheaper compact binos - I love the quality of the Leicas. Keep in mind, though, that like Dunk's friend I have a thing about Leica, though in my case it's because my father used their cameras professionally.

    If you were closer you'd be very welcome to borrow them and see how they work for you.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    You're taking a risk buying any compact binocular i.e. 20mm and 25mm diameter objectives without trying them first ... especially if buying an Ultravid

    Compact binoculars are not everyone's cuppa. The 2.5mm exit pupils in such a small binocular could compromise low light observing. And when pulled out of your pocket they require more setting up / adjustment to optimise the inter-ocular distance, and the eyecup settings (to optimise the FOV), than a larger binocular. Compact size might appeal ... but the ergonomics could be deal breaker. A friend bought a Leica compact binocular and he struggles with its ergonomics .. but he keeps it just because it's a Leica ... he's nuts!

    But if you buy s/h e.g.

    https://www.aceoptics.co.uk/secondha...nufacturer=190

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Leic...11_270856.html ... but these need double checking to make sure that are Leica and not the older Leitz model … I wonder why the dealer has not shown actual logos :( ? Dealers often describe 'Leitz' binos as as 'Leica' … there is big difference in coating technologies between the two models

    ... you can send 'em back if not suitable

    dunk
    Totally agree, as I said previously, trying yourself before committing is vital. I do have the 10x25 ultravids but must say they are the most difficult binoculars of my 3 pairs to use. This is especially so if you want to bring to the eye and focus quickly. However, for the intended application they are a superb high quality instrument.


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  13. #113
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    Thanks very much all of you. I think it may be worth me holding off until I can actually get hold of the various ones

  14. #114
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtons99 View Post
    Thanks again Dunk
    The dilemma I have is that I want the best(within reason) ones I can get that I can just stick in my bum bag when Iím out biking, walking etc. Once objective lenses get up to 35-40mm the size of the binos are just a bit more than I want.

    I think I may be getting to the point now where Iím thinking it may be worthwhile just holding off spending any money until I can actually try the ones Iím interested in. Is it the case that compact models will always compromise optical performance
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtons99 View Post
    Thanks very much all of you. I think it may be worth me holding off until I can actually get hold of the various ones
    Have you considered using a proper binocular harness? They are available in various sizes and store the binocular close to your chest without any 'flopping around'. More secure than a 'bum bag' ... especially on a bike. And used by thousands of observers ... because they improve the whole system's ergonomics. A binocular harness would enable carrying e.g. an 8x30 or 8x32 in comfort ... and with instant readiness.

    dunk
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" Ö Samuel Pepys

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Have you considered using a proper binocular harness? They are available in various sizes and store the binocular close to your chest without any 'flopping around'. More secure than a 'bum bag' ... especially on a bike. And used by thousands of observers ... because they improve the whole system's ergonomics. A binocular harness would enable carrying e.g. an 8x30 or 8x32 in comfort ... and with instant readiness.

    dunk
    I havenít heard of one of those. I will look into it but given the amount I am looking to spend Iím going to sit tight and wait until I can actually try the ones Iím interested in.

  16. #116
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Further to my above post about quality small binoculars, these Leica 10x25 BCA Trinovidís are super sharp, bright and clear, yes there is an advantage to bigger objectives but there is also a big advantage to having binos with you when you need them..




  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Further to my above post about quality small binoculars, these Leica 10x25 BCA Trinovidís are super sharp, bright and clear, yes there is an advantage to bigger objectives but there is also a big advantage to having binos with you when you need them..



    My intention is to go and compare back to back the Leica Ultravid 8x20 vs the 10x25...I think 🤔

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