8x32's - real hunting experience?

Yukondog

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So, I think I have talked myself into 8x32 binos. My hunting so far in life has been 90% at or below treeline. I do have the Nikon ED 50 (13x-30x) spotter that is used when closer looks are needed and it can be used, which is not that often at all. One day I will draw my goat and sheep tag and that is when I may regret not having the 10x42's.

Went to a optic shop today and looked at Zeiss FL 8x42 and Swaro EL SV 8.5x42. For my eye the Swaro was noticeably brighter, sharper and felt better in my hands. This was at 10am, so low light conditions where not tested. I have not put my hands on the 8x32's yet as the shop does not carry them. They are ordering them for me to look at. I will go back in October when it is low light conditions around 6pm when they close to get a better feel for low light glassing.

The 32's have grabbed my attention because of their physical size. Inch smaller and 8oz lighter than 42's. FOV is greater in the 32's as well.

Who has hunting experience using 8x32 glass? Do you feel under powered or really wish you had 10x42's? Do you find that the 32 glass is great for the majority of glassing duty? My thought is since I have the spotter I don't need anything more powerful around my neck.

Would love to hear some real life hunting experiences with 8x32 glass. I can't duplicate it in the parking lot of a store.

Thanks for your input!

Matt
 

Lawnboi

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im curious on this as well as im toying around the idea getting smaller glass becuase i will always have a spotter with me.
 

swat8888

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My passion is sheep, the white kind, so keep that in mind. I run Nikon 8x42's and have no intentions of changing. They suit my needs 90% of the time. 8% are satisfied by my spotter, which, like others, I always have. Not that hard to spot white things on a hill, but they have also served me well spotting caribou, bears, and other critters. If I was hunting any animal lower 48 when low light conditions are more of an issue I would probably buy new 8x42's that perform better at low light.
 
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Yukondog

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I have thought about the 8x42's. Though they are the same size as 10x binos. I read on a birding forum that the difference in low light glassing between the 32's and 42's is maybe 5 minutes. That 5 minutes includes both first light and last light glassing. As anyone had the same experience?

Matt
 

Becca

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Luke and I upgraded our spotter and each of our binos this year, and I have been using the Zeiss Victory FLs in 8x32 (after previously having used 10x32's from Leupold, Minox, and Nikon). Part of the reason for going to 8x32's this season was to offset the increased weight of our new spotter, and I love how small and lightweight my new glass is. I have not noticed any major difference in how much I see, or how easy it is to spot critters. Luke went with the Victory FLs in 10x32 this season, and we pass glass back and forth on trips...after looking thru both I don't have a major preference of one over the other, so for the weight savings I actually prefer the smaller, lighter pair. Both sets have superior light gathering ability over any glass I have primarily used before (Luke previously had swaros that gathered light extremely well, but he has said he thinks his new zeiss glass is at least as good if not better).

That being said, with both sets of our binoculars, we typically glass with our binos, and then bring the "big eye" spotter in once we locate something of interest so we can get a better look.
 

CrzyTrekker

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I've used Swarovski 8x32 Els for a couple years and never feel under-glassed. I mostly hunt for meat (cow elk) on public land and I have no problem finding elk from a few miles away. I have no need for a spotting scope. I also have Zeiss 8x20 but the Swaro's are an excellent choice if you want something that can be easily carried all day and still have good glass.
 

Ridgerunner

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I have used swarovski 8x32 while scouting this year and have been impressed, they will definitely get more use during hunting season.
 

hodgeman

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Good quality x32s are fine...low quality x32s are terrible. In the smaller objective the difference in quality glass is more noticeable. You can buy serviceable low grade 10x50s, not 10x32s.

I prefer a smaller bino when I have a spotter as well.
 

chippewawarrior

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I use 8x32 Swarovski EL's, and for me they are a great all around choice. I too spend 90% of the time hunting in timber for whitetails in Wisconsin. When I did use them for Caribou in northern Manitoba, moose in BC, and Elk out west I did not feel under glassed. In fact, I usually glass up animals before my dad and he's using Leupod 8x42's!
 
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Yukondog

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Last night I got to test the 8.5 x42 EL Swarovision along side the older 8x32model EL's without the newer swarovision. I sat down at 7:40 and glassed out to 800 yards until 8:15. The light gathering was very close with the edge going to the 8.5x42 with swarovision. I did notice the swarovision glass was crisper with the colors being more vibrant. Perhaps what I experienced was the addition of the swarovision vs the straight EL's. I have not been able to find a store in town that has both the 8.5x42 and the 8x32 with swarovision to get a good test between the two same glass in the two different configurations.

The 8x32's are a awesome little package. Half pound lighter, inch shorter and at my eye spacing the where 3/4 of a inch thinner. I hope I can find the smaller bino with swarovision so I can get a good test between it and the 42's.

Has anyone been able to test the two swarovision glass next to each other at last light? What are your thoughts?

Matt
 

OutdoorAg

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Bumping this to see if anyone has put the 8x32 next to the 8x42 swarovision binos next to each other. Good thread here.
 

MattB

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I have a pair of the 8x30 SLC's (1990's vintage) and they leave a lot to be desired in terms of light gathering relative to my 10x42 EL's (original). Where I used to hunt elk I could glass elk in meadows by moonlight with the 10's but not with the 8's. As a result, the 8's mostly sit in the safe these days. The decision is really going to come down to use: what you hunt, where and when. For those who hunt animals that aren't so much a first light/last light proposition (i.e. sheep), it probably would not matter. But for deer and elk hunters, my personal opinion is that the allure of losing 8 oz. and 1" could very well be GIF material.

Edit: I just looked at the Swarovski website and the twilight factor for the 8.5x42 is 18.9 and the 8x32 is 16, about an 18% difference in resolution in low light conditions.
 
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oct71

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I use 8x33 steiners and have yet to feel handicapped here in Wyoming. I feel I can hold 8 power glass steadier for all day glassing. Good luck on your decision
 

5MilesBack

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I have the 8x32 and 10x42 Kahles binos. For elk archery hunting I take the 8x32's for weight savings and lower power for hunting timber. When hunting anything else or lots of timberline hunting I take the 10's. I absolutely love the 10x42's for everything except close-in timber hunting. Low light has never been an issue with these as I can glass until dark. One year my buddy and I were glassing right at dusk and he had his 10x50 Leupolds or Nikons (can't remember which one now). He lowers them and says "well, I guess it's time to go". I asked why and he replied "cause it's too dark to see squat out here". I chuckled and handed him my 10x42's. His exact response was "holy crap!". Then I looked through his 10x50's........yep, couldn't see squat. Quality of the glass, prisms, and coatings makes a world of difference.
 

WRO

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I hunt with the 8x32 EL swarovision almost exclusively and have no complaints. I have used them side by side with the 10x42 el swarovisions and didn't notice any difference at dusk.

Mattb
The twilight factor is pretty arbitrary and basically deals with magnification.
 

MattB

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Mattb
The twilight factor is pretty arbitrary and basically deals with magnification.
The impact of twilight factor *can* be arbitrary if you are dealing with cheap optics versus top quality optics (as an example), but when you are comparing binoculars from the same manufacturer with the same coatings but different magnification and objective lense size twilight factor is quite relevant.
 

WRO

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Matt,

Not really, for low light transmission, the diapoter size is much more important than "twilight factor" I.E. A set of 8x56 SLC NEU has a twilight factor of 21, where as a set of 15x56's have a twilight factor of 28. The difference is that the 8's have a diapoter of 7 and the 15's 3.7 roughly. In low light conditions, (dawn and dusk) your eyes open up more to let in more light. The smaller exit pupil sizes (below 4) don't let enough light in to fully process images at low light.

I have sat with a set of 10x42 els and 8x32 els at dusk and both of them stopped working at the exact same time..

It's a myth and shouldn't be considered as a factor in binocular purchases, even among the same brand/model range.

Below is a little bit about how the twilight factor calculated..

"Twilight factor is a measurement of viewing sharpness and image detail in low light conditions. The larger the twilight factor, the more efficient the low light performance. This indication has some limitations. To calculate the twilight factor, take the square root of the power multiplied by the objective lens diameter.
Example on a 7X42 binocular.
TWILIGHT FACTOR 7x42 = 294 (square root) = 17.14 = twilight factor
This formula takes magnifications more into account than the relative brightness index and is a better indication for the quality of brightness. When observing in greater detail a distant object you will seek to obtain a higher contrast and therefore will have to compromise between the magnification and the objective lens diameter."
 

MattB

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I believe you are confusing the two concepts in your analysis above. Exit pupil/diopter speaks to light gathering, and a higher value may allow you to glass effectively earlier in the morning or later in the evening. It is not surprising that the 10x42 and 8x32 binoculars ran out of light at the same time (with EP's of 4.2 and 4.0, respectively - 5% difference). Twilight factor, as your citation indicates, speaks to the resolving ability under given light conditions, and allows you to see more detail under a given light condition. To put some context around your comment above, a higher twilight factor (all else equal) wouldn't mean that a binocular should work longer into the evening, but rather that you would be able to see more detail with the binocular with the higher value at the end of glassing light.

Have a great weekend!
 

Jeff Martin

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I own and LOVE the 8x32 Swarovsion Swaros. I used Leica 10x42 for years and years and like you, was faced with this decision. So, I bought them and used them side by side with my Leicas before I was willing to lose the 10xs.

IMO, no comparison. The FOV and clarity is not even close. The flatter lenses just do it for me, I can see every detail that a 10x can and I have a huge FOV. I have now hunted over 100 days in the field with my 8xs, and I am so happy with my decision.

I was hunting in Montana this year with a buddy running the 10x zeiss. I spotted to song dogs hunting mice (about 400 yards away) that took me 10 minutes to get my buddy on them. He asked me to look through my glass and he was very impressed. THat is not just the glass, that is the hunter as well, but you get my point. I am not under gunned running 8xs.
 
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WRO

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I believe you are confusing the two concepts in your analysis above. Exit pupil/diopter speaks to light gathering, and a higher value may allow you to glass effectively earlier in the morning or later in the evening. It is not surprising that the 10x42 and 8x32 binoculars ran out of light at the same time (with EP's of 4.2 and 4.0, respectively - 5% difference). Twilight factor, as your citation indicates, speaks to the resolving ability under given light conditions, and allows you to see more detail under a given light condition. To put some context around your comment above, a higher twilight factor (all else equal) wouldn't mean that a binocular should work longer into the evening, but rather that you would be able to see more detail with the binocular with the higher value at the end of glassing light.

Have a great weekend!
I understand what the number means, my point is that it shouldn't be a factor in choosing binoculars because it it's arbitrary and doesn't take in the factors that are important to hunters. (Light gathering, fov, weight, or lense quality) it's like judging and car on displacement alone and not hp, weight, vehicle performance etc..
 
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