Age old debate - 10s vs 8s

Racethesunset

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This year, how many of you are changing from 8 power to 10 power or visa versa for around the neck binoculars?

What are your reasons for switching? Magnification? Light gathering? Weight? What's the trend looking like these days?
 

HellsCanyon

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I swapped from 10s to 12s and think I'm going to like the change. More magnification and an overall higher quality glass is goin to serve me well. Spent to much time glassing next to my partner who had a set of 12x binos and was always frustrated at how much better he could see than me. He was always the one confirming that branch was indeed NOT an antler fork... :)

Mike
 

Ridgerunner

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I am trying to go from 10's to 8's this year. Country I am hunting isn't as "big" so the hopeful the lighter weight will pay off!
 

luke moffat

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Went from 10X42s Swaro ELs in 2011 to 10X32 Zeiss Victories in 2012 to 12X50 Vortex Razor HDs for 2013. So I'm all over the place. Honestly, none so far have left me wanting really, just trying out new stuff. Plus now I have 12X50 Razor HDs or Becca's 8X32 Zeiss Victories to choose from depending on the hunt. We'll see how the 12X50s treat me being that they weigh as much as my Swaro EL 10X42s did. All of these binos are great glass and have/will spend a LOT of time behind each set, but they all are so different its hard to compare really. I do think the 12X Razors will be brighter than the 10X Victories though simply due to the larger objective even though they have more power so that could be nice I guess.
 

Travis Bertrand

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I switched from 10x43 to 15x56's but I guess it all depends on terrain you are hunting. I am in the market for a pair of compacts or pocket binos for stalking though
 

larryschwartz

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I do think the 12X Razors will be brighter than the 10X Victories though simply due to the larger objective even though they have more power so that could be nice I guess.

Luke,

Brightness is based on the size of the exit pupil, the disc of light entering your eye.
The exit pupil is equal to the size of the objective lense divided by the maginification
Therefore,
ModelObjectiveMagnificationExit Pupil
Zeiss Victory32103.2
Swaro Els42104.2
Vortex Razor HD50124.2
Of course, this calculation is based on having the same quality glass in each
pair of binoculars, so the "brightness" may be different in some of them.
For decent visibility in dusk and dawn conditions, most people recommend
an exit pupil of at least a 4.0. The bigger objective lense only gives you more light
if you don't up the magnification much.
 

Whisky

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Went from 8x to 10x last year and won't be going back to 8x anytime soon!!
 
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Racethesunset

Racethesunset

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Luke,

Brightness is based on the size of the exit pupil, the disc of light entering your eye.
The exit pupil is equal to the size of the objective lense divided by the maginification
Therefore,
ModelObjectiveMagnificationExit Pupil
Zeiss Victory32103.2
Swaro Els42104.2
Vortex Razor HD50124.2
Of course, this calculation is based on having the same quality glass in each
pair of binoculars, so the "brightness" may be different in some of them.
For decent visibility in dusk and dawn conditions, most people recommend
an exit pupil of at least a 4.0. The bigger objective lense only gives you more light
if you don't up the magnification much.

Brightness is a factor or light and color transmission as well.

This is apparent across brands of the same exit pupil size, but also models, eg SLC 10x42 vs EL 10x42.
 

Matt Cashell

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Luke,

Brightness is based on the size of the exit pupil, the disc of light entering your eye.
The exit pupil is equal to the size of the objective lense divided by the maginification
Therefore,
ModelObjectiveMagnificationExit Pupil
Zeiss Victory32103.2
Swaro Els42104.2
Vortex Razor HD50124.2
Of course, this calculation is based on having the same quality glass in each
pair of binoculars, so the "brightness" may be different in some of them.
For decent visibility in dusk and dawn conditions, most people recommend
an exit pupil of at least a 4.0. The bigger objective lense only gives you more light
if you don't up the magnification much.

I think Luke was comparing the exit pupils of the 12X50 and 10X32, Larry, and so should have an exit pupil/apparent brightness advantage.

One thing to remember is exit pupil is determined by the true objective size, which in many binoculars is internally "stopped down" by some design element. So sometimes there is a "50mm" objective binocular with objective lenses that measure that size. but the objective is limited internally and the exit pupil ends up restricted.

Objective size also affects the resolution capability of the system.

I have used and liked 8x and 10x bins often. I like the 8X32 and 10X42 configurations the best. 10x is the most magnification I can hold steady by hand for extended glassing. The 8x is easier, especially in a lighter binocular.

My favorite is the 10s on the tripod. I have considered 12s for those hunts where the vast majority of the glassing is off the tripod.
 
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Racethesunset

Racethesunset

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For color, not getting techy, take a binocular with a yellow cast, next to one with neutral hues, and color rendition will effect perceived brightness, especially highlights. I can see this with my 1970s Habicht vs 2013 Habicht 8x30s very clearly, where the resolution is similar in the center but the coloration causes it to feel dim even though it is not. I have seen this across 10x42 SLC generations as well.

It is my understanding that Swarovski designed the bew SLC to be a couple % points brighter than the EL given the same exit pupil. Coatings, lens placement, and other factors that the optics gurus know about and I don't have a clue contribute to it.
 
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Racethesunset

Racethesunset

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My favorite is the 10s on the tripod. I have considered 12s for those hunts where the vast majority of the glassing is off the tripod.

I agree. I have been thrilled with the performance of 10s on a tripod, and can hang with my buddies' big eyes in Arizona open country this way. The stability adds resolution. After glassing for a few years with 10s on a tripod, I am a little disappointed at their image hand held, which is why the 8 seems enticing to me. The weight is also factor. That said, the EL 12s will remain in my pack, until something better comes along.
 

Matt Cashell

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Oh I see.

Yeah color bias can give the impression of a brighter image to some viewers.

Brightness among models of the same configuration is determined by the amount of light lost. The biggest factor here is the quality of coatings. I haven't heard that the SLC HD is brighter than the EL, but that is plausable, because the EL has the addition of a field-flattener lens (Swarovision), and more lenses means more surfaces to lose light.

I have found "light gathering" a curious misnomer in optics, given optics don't "gather" light, but rather transmit it. The brightest designs are those that lose the least amount.

If brightness was the top priority, a traditional porro-prism binocular would be the best choice, since they use so many fewer lens surfaces in the design. The high end porros from Nikon and Fujinon, in particular, are impressively bright. But then you have to put up with their bulky ergonomics, and individual focus eyepieces in some designs.
 

larryschwartz

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I have found "light gathering" a curious misnomer in optics, given optics don't "gather" light, but rather transmit it. The brightest designs are those that lose the least amount.

I think that the term "light gathering" refers to how a pair of binos will take the light coming into the objective lense and in effect concentrate it when it comes to your eye, thus making things relatively brighter. I probably said that poorly, but I do know from experience hunting and in the military that I will see things with binos at dusk or dawn that I don't with a naked eye. For example, I knew a friend was walking down a sendero in TX while we were hunting javies but could not see him. I put my binos up and they made it "bright" enough, or "gathered" enough light, for me to easily see him walking down the road.
 

larryschwartz

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I think Luke was comparing the exit pupils of the 12X50 and 10X32, Larry, and so should have an exit pupil/apparent brightness advantage.
BB, you are right. I just wanted to point out that just because the objective lense is bigger doesn't mean that the image will be brighter. For example, if the Zeiss Victories were 7x32s instead of 10x32s they would have been "brighter" than the 12x50s.
 
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Racethesunset

Racethesunset

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I think Luke was comparing the exit pupils of the 12X50 and 10X32, Larry, and so should have an exit pupil/apparent brightness advantage.
BB, you are right. I just wanted to point out that just because the objective lense is bigger doesn't mean that the image will be brighter. For example, if the Zeiss Victories were 7x32s instead of 10x32s they would have been "brighter" than the 12x50s.

All things being equal, yes, and there is also the ability of the binocular to transmit light to take into account. Bitterroot clarified this above - the number of lenses, type of lenses, and I will add coatings affect light transmission.

In other words an 8x32 porro prism with 98% light transmission will be brighter than a 7x32 roof prism with 91% light transmission, and potentially some 8x42s that have fallen behind.

I have not seen this statistic published by many binocular manufacturers, so we have to dig for it. It would be like publishing horse power and not miles per gallon for a car manufacturer.
 

Matt Cashell

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I think that the term "light gathering" refers to how a pair of binos will take the light coming into the objective lense and in effect concentrate it when it comes to your eye, thus making things relatively brighter. I probably said that poorly, but I do know from experience hunting and in the military that I will see things with binos at dusk or dawn that I don't with a naked eye. For example, I knew a friend was walking down a sendero in TX while we were hunting javies but could not see him. I put my binos up and they made it "bright" enough, or "gathered" enough light, for me to easily see him walking down the road.

Larry, I have experienced the same thing. It seems brighter, because you can see something at a distance through the optic that you can't see with the naked eye. This is due to the image being magnified, not brightened, however. So your friend at 100 yards through 10x bins looks 10 yards away. If you compared that magnified image to something that is actually 10 yards away under the same light with a naked eye, the object with the naked eye will be brighter than the image through the optic.
 
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