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Thread: Stirring the pot 8X vs 10X

  1. #1

    Stirring the pot 8X vs 10X

    Let me preface this with a little of my background.

    I have 5 years experince as an optician (lab and dispensing)

    I was a US navy Opticalman for 4 years went to tech schools in both Great Lakes Il and New london CT. Serviced thousands of pairs of binoculars, hundereds of periscopes, lots and lots of telescopes, numerous navigational instruments.

    4 years experience servicing opthalmic intruments (eye doctors equipments) microscopes, astonomical telescopes, and tons of binoculars.

    2 years experience in laser optics

    As a side note. When I was involved with astonomical telescopes and astronomical optics we had a little joke about newbies just getting into astronomy. The joke was about amateur astronomers obsession with power. Always the question "what power is this" or "what's the most power I can get out of my scope". People who spend their lives working with optics know what I'm talking about. Power is way overrated.

    So here's my question to you all........

    WHY....WHY ....WHY.. do so many of you guys who are obviously pretty damn intelligent carry around 10X binoculars? My guess is that you have fallen prey to a marketing strategy.

    I've got a slew of reasons most hunters (especially bow hunters) should be carrying 7X, 8X, 8.5X, or maybe even 9X binos.



    I've already heard most of the reasons some of you carry 10X. But Let me hear your reason you carry 10X.

    I'll post the reasons lower power (8X)are better suited for 99.5% of hunting (& 3D) situations after I hear from you all.

    By the way if you've got 10X I'm not advocating you throw them away. But if your thinking about getting a new pair or a second pair you might want to rethink or take a closer look at the power.
    Hoyt Alphamax 35, Sword Twilight Hunter, Limbdriver rest, Lil Bitty Goose, Slick Trick BH, B-Stinger Stab

    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane"- Marcus Aurelius


  2. #2
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    For bowhunting I carry 8's. Just to see if I can tell any real difference I am going to carry some 10's this week. They aren't identical; the 10's are larger bino's so I will probably still like the lighter 8's better. At archery ranges 8 is certainly enough magnification to see the animal fine. I have steady hands so shake isn't a noticable problem for me. One thing I learned through research and was confirmed by my doctor was that as we age the exit pupil size we can use decreases. As we approach 60 we can only use an exit pupil of around 3.5 so the argument of an 8 x 42 being brighter than a 10 x 42 goes out the window. For younger hunters and those who are a little less steady the 8's certainly make more sense. I'll bet your experience can provide some interesting technical info.

  3. #3
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    Elk hunting in the wide open west.
    Dan
    "One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted." ~~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

  4. #4
    I have both 8x and 10x

    I like the 8x for FOV and low light and the 10X for a little more magnification.

  5. #5
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    I like my 7x for bowhunting, not to big and plenty of magnification

  6. #6
    I think the 8x is the best all around hunting package. Smaller........lighter.......l ess motion blur

  7. #7
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    I carry 10x for the same reason there's usually a 15-45x spotting scope in my pack. I can pick an antler tip out of the sage, a bedded deers leg out of the oakbrush, and assess horns better with them.

    I'll be the owner of some 15x56s shortly...
    The kill is the satisfying, indeed essential, conclusion to a successful hunt. But, I take no pleasure in the act itself. One does not hunt in order to kill, but kills in order to have hunted. Then why do I hunt? I hunt for the same reason my well-fed cat hunts...because I must, because it is in the blood, because I am the decendent of a thousand generations of hunters. I hunt because I am a hunter.- Finn Aagard

  8. #8
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    I carry 8's...even out here in the West. I like the FOV.

    However, basically every area I hunt those 8's turn pretty useless once an animal is spotted. When it's time to get a good look...it's time for the 60X scope!!!
    "ONLY A MEDIOCRE MAN IS ALWAYS AT HIS BEST"

  9. #9
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    I think location you are hunting plays a BIG part in what magnification makes the most sense.

    I live and do the majority of my hunting in Indiana .... so I bought a pair of 8x43's. I also use them on my once-yearly trip to Colorado for Elk.

    If I lived in Colorado and did most of my hunting there or in another western state I might have chosen differently.
    Bowtech Allegiance
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  10. #10
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    7X or 8X are more than enough and have a better FOV. I most often use my Leica rangefinder which is 8X, and also have a pair of 8X bino's that I use. I do have a bit of hand shake and 8X works better for me.

    However, I also have a pair of 10X Canon Image stabilized bino's that I use when doing serious glassing. The IS feature is great when the power gets higher.



    huntin1
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  11. #11
    I use 10X because the deer here are small and it makes them look bigger.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vichris View Post
    WHY....WHY ....WHY.. do so many of you guys who are obviously pretty damn intelligent carry around 10X binoculars?
    I used to use 8x binos all the time, and they worked fine. But when it comes to seeing more detail and far away spots, my 10x42 Kahles are hands down MUCH more useful for me while elk and muley hunting. Even at 10x, they provide an incredible amount of light even past legal shooting hours here in Colorado. I've tried them side by side with my buddy's 8x Leupolds, and I wouldn't switch back to 8x if someone gave me the binos......unless I was hunting in much tighter cover.

  13. #13
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    10X42 for me. I like them for everything from glassing for Muleys to picking the woods apart for an Elk in Colorado to sitting in my treestand in western NY checking out every movement I see. They do everything I need in a reasonable size and weight to hang around my neck everyday I am in the woods.

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  14. #14
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    I've got some 8's that I use. Got a set of 12's (they were free) not too long ago that seem OK. I am interested to hear why more isn't always better though.

  15. #15
    I was always under the impression it's not JUST the power but also the exit pupil that makes the big difference.

    I think I'd rather have a pair of 10x56's over a a pair of 8x42's simply because the former offers more magnification and will let in more light than the 8x42's.

    For treestand deer hunting a pair of 10x56's is likely overkill. But shooting 3D it will give you a much clearer picture of the scoring rings.

    My understanding is it's not co much JUST the power that is the key. A 10x bino with a very small exit pupil will actually be worse than a lesser power with a higher exit pupil number. The power means nothing if it doesn't let in enough light is the way I understand it.
    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

  16. #16

    ttt

    8X with a larger objective lens say and 8x46. If you divide the power into the objective lens size you will find the exit pupil size so 8 into 30 is a 3.6mm exit pupil. 10 into 42 is 4.2mm exit pupil but 8x46 is a 5.1 mm exit pupil. Bigger is better with an exit pupil. It means 3 things, 1. better light gathering capability 2.better resolution 3. your eyes will see more because the dot of light will cover more of your pupil and you will be able to hold a lower power more steady.

    TM

  17. #17
    I carry 10X42 Swaro EL's, and would not change them for 8X's. I hunt a lot of open farm ground, and the 10X helps me decide if that buck 900 yds away is a shooter I need to go after. I also like that I can watch and classify bucks at longer ranges in the summer. Also, I plan on taking those same binocs out west and buying a good tripod, a swaro doubler, and using them as a stable bino/20X spotter duo. They're perfect for me.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by tmolina View Post
    8X with a larger objective lens say and 8x46. If you divide the power into the objective lens size you will find the exit pupil size so 8 into 30 is a 3.6mm exit pupil. 10 into 42 is 4.2mm exit pupil but 8x46 is a 5.1 mm exit pupil. Bigger is better with an exit pupil. It means 3 things, 1. better light gathering capability 2.better resolution 3. your eyes will see more because the dot of light will cover more of your pupil and you will be able to hold a lower power more steady.

    TM
    That is only true if the manufacturer uses the whole lens. Many don't take the time to grind the edges of the lens, then internally choke down the lense so you cant see the blurry edges. One of the things you pay for with good glass.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch Helical View Post
    I was always under the impression it's not JUST the power but also the exit pupil that makes the big difference.

    I think I'd rather have a pair of 10x56's over a a pair of 8x42's simply because the former offers more magnification and will let in more light than the 8x42's.

    For treestand deer hunting a pair of 10x56's is likely overkill. But shooting 3D it will give you a much clearer picture of the scoring rings.

    My understanding is it's not co much JUST the power that is the key. A 10x bino with a very small exit pupil will actually be worse than a lesser power with a higher exit pupil number. The power means nothing if it doesn't let in enough light is the way I understand it.
    Some very good points here. If you have too small of an exit pupil on a 5X optic it doesn't do much good.
    Hoyt Alphamax 35, Sword Twilight Hunter, Limbdriver rest, Lil Bitty Goose, Slick Trick BH, B-Stinger Stab

    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane"- Marcus Aurelius

  20. #20

    ttt

    Somebody that knows alot more about optics than me said this:
    What alot of hunters don't understand about binos is that bigger isn't always better. I garauntee you that you will be using your binos mostly hand held, and some times with just one hand. What good does it do to magnify something 10 times if your eyes can't resolve the image because there's too much movement. 10 X is right at what the human body and average set of eyes can hold steady enough to see and get any kind of detail. Put them on a tripod or steady them on a tree trunk and you get what you really want.....resolution.

    TM

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by tmolina View Post
    8X with a larger objective lens say and 8x46. If you divide the power into the objective lens size you will find the exit pupil size so 8 into 30 is a 3.6mm exit pupil. 10 into 42 is 4.2mm exit pupil but 8x46 is a 5.1 mm exit pupil. Bigger is better with an exit pupil. It means 3 things, 1. better light gathering capability 2.better resolution 3. your eyes will see more because the dot of light will cover more of your pupil and you will be able to hold a lower power more steady.

    TM
    Along the same lines as the previous............ good points Mr Molina
    Last edited by vichris; November 3rd, 2008 at 04:43 PM. Reason: punctuation
    Hoyt Alphamax 35, Sword Twilight Hunter, Limbdriver rest, Lil Bitty Goose, Slick Trick BH, B-Stinger Stab

    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane"- Marcus Aurelius

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by tmolina View Post
    Somebody that knows alot more about optics than me said this:
    What alot of hunters don't understand about binos is that bigger isn't always better. I garauntee you that you will be using your binos mostly hand held, and some times with just one hand. What good does it do to magnify something 10 times if your eyes can't resolve the image because there's too much movement. 10 X is right at what the human body and average set of eyes can hold steady enough to see and get any kind of detail. Put them on a tripod or steady them on a tree trunk and you get what you really want.....resolution.

    TM
    Also very good........you're starting to sound like me....... Have we talked about this before???
    Hoyt Alphamax 35, Sword Twilight Hunter, Limbdriver rest, Lil Bitty Goose, Slick Trick BH, B-Stinger Stab

    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane"- Marcus Aurelius

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmolina View Post
    8X with a larger objective lens say and 8x46. If you divide the power into the objective lens size you will find the exit pupil size so 8 into 30 is a 3.6mm exit pupil. 10 into 42 is 4.2mm exit pupil but 8x46 is a 5.1 mm exit pupil. Bigger is better with an exit pupil. It means 3 things, 1. better light gathering capability 2.better resolution 3. your eyes will see more because the dot of light will cover more of your pupil and you will be able to hold a lower power more steady.

    TM
    I always thought that as long as the exit pupil was greater than 4 the set of binos was good for hunting. For light transmition and all that. The personal preference was up to U as far as field of view.

    What are the bene's of 8x

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by vichris View Post
    Also very good........you're starting to sound like me....... Have we talked about this before???

    tienes razon vichris. But I cheated a little, went back to my memory banks and remembered a post I read before that I learned alot from, so I posted that info here!!!!!
    TM

  25. #25
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    hell, i switched from 10x to 12x this year. do most of my hunting in the open wyoming prairie. that 12 power has saved me MILES of walking. love em.
    am gonna buy a pair of 8s for other hunting, but cant afford it right now, and i really do at least 90% of my hunting in the open.
    OZONICS- proof that with leased land, and enough technology, even Tom Nelson and Jay Gregory can actually kill something.

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