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Old 02-01-13, 09:05 AM
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Default 7 x BINS

A member of our group who has quite a few eye problems (don't we all) and has been told the lower magnification/wide angle bins would be best for her and I wondered if many forum users had experience of 7x.I often use a pair of 7 x 35 and while I love the feel of these they are almost 20 years old and a Russian copy of Leitz so maybe not a good example.I know many like 7x50 for the light gathering but they do look a bit cumbersome and the lady in question is only "a slip of a lass".Any advice before the enters the minefield of buying new optics would be welcome as she seems to think I know about these things is she misinformed?)
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Old 02-01-13, 05:24 PM
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I'd recently wanted to try out some 7x bins to see if they were better for fairly close woodland work.
I too have/had a couple of vintage bins in 7x35 porro format but had found their performance poor in one respect or another.

It turns out that a 7x pair of roofs in a manageable size (7x 30/32/35/36/40) are quite rare these days. 7x35 porros are of course quite common but tend to be older models.

A mad week on the auction site where I found too many "bargains" saw me receiving three pairs of 7x bins, with the intention of selling on those I didn't like.

Two of the bins are worth some description, each being a nice representative of its binocular class.

Nikon 7x35 Action VII porro. Surprisingly cheap ~ 50 new!
Bushnell 7x36 Excursion EX roofs ~ 124 to 170 at the moment.

The Nikons are huge and quite heavy, far bigger than any of my vintage 7x35s. The view through them is pretty good, though. Bright with a cold colour, very good central resolution with a good area (sweet-spot) where the image is sharp. The field of view is wide but the outer portion, where the sharpness of the view falls off, degrades very quickly into quite a defocussed and colour fringed area. This may not be of too much concern as the outer part is quite a way out as the FOV is so wide, but I find it distracting.
Otherwise the Nikon Actions are as you might expect of bins from Nikon, a solid quality feel, smooth focus control etc. Perhaps not so good for glasses wearers as the eye-relief given by the fold down eye-cups is more limited. For under 60 they are a steal.

I bought the Bushnell 7x36 Excursion EX as I had been impressed by the its smaller stable mate, the 8x28 Excursion EX (but which I now think a little less of, courtesy of my new 8x porros, but that's a different thread). There are very few 7x32-40 bins in this price range.
This binocular is really quite small and light for its 36mm objective size. The rubber armouring is very thin to allow for this. They are smaller than some 8x32 bins and are fully WP,
Their field of view is also very wide, although a little under the Nikon's. The sweet-spot is also wide, looking at a scene near to me, the general detail of the image is maintained pretty well to around 85% of the diameter of the view. They are not as bright as the Nikons, with a slightly warmer colour, this is no problem. The view is quite sharp, possibly not quite as sharp or as easy to find that focus point as the Nikons, however the outer part of the view degrades gently and so contains far more detail than the Nikon in the outer 15-20%.
I thought that CA was good for a bin in this price range, although it's easy to see in the right conditions.

It might help that I compare these to my 8x42 Nikon Monarch bins, these are really much better than my (now my wife's) Monarchs. Far better CA control, far better FOV, similar brightness, but of course 7x rather than 8x.

I like these roofs, they have a little wow factor as I look through them (probably the wide FOV). A downside, in my example, is that the focus point is reached abruptly rather than progressively. It is easy to go past the point of best focus, although this is becoming less of an annoyance as I get used to them.

The usual advice of trying them before you buy is a little difficult with this type if bin as they tend not to be stocked by local outlets, making it difficult to try a few models side-by-side.

Dave

Last edited by Dave H; 02-01-13 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 02-01-13, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the input Dave,the Bushnell was one that I had suggested to her as the lady in question has fairly small hands.I do not think the cost is a great problem but as she is not a complete birding nut the top 3 or 4 brands may be a bit out of it.My main point to her as the moment is that he needs to try for herself.

Last edited by dales birder; 04-01-13 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 08-01-13, 07:30 PM
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Surprisingly the lady went for the Nikon Action EX 7x35 which is slightly up from the standard Action.Despite it being a little bulky she said it fits in her hands just right and she is dead chuffed with her purchase,reasonably priced I think at just over 115.
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Old 14-01-13, 08:50 PM
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Tried these out last Friday when our friend turned up on a club outing,what a field of view !! a bit like wide screen telly only the programme was better (R.B.Merganser) and the light gathering seemed good only let down I could see was close focussing was not good but might consider a pair myself as the view seemed very easy on the eye.
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Old 15-01-13, 08:54 AM
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It's good that the lady is pleased with her new bins.
As you say, the Action VII (and EX version) are easy to use and give a comfortable view. I tried mine out a few nights ago for stargazing. The low mag, wide view and sharp image was quite enjoyable and gave a steady view.

I found the Action VII for only 54 at Microglobe, the EX is not much more. At that sort of value I'll probably keep mine. At the moment they are kitchen bins but may get out to the woods from time to time.

Dave
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