Zeiss 8×30

binoculars magnification, good or bad?

Are 8x30 magnification any good?

Hi, I do astro for a hobby and some wildlife photography as well and binos are an important part of both.
8x30 is a good size for portability and general viewing.
8x40 will give you a brighter image but are a little bigger.
7x50 or 10x50 are the 'standard' big ones but are bulky.
The best for bright images in low light such as in the forest at dusk are 7x50 and 10x50 , both almost twice the bulk of 8x30 binos.
There are bigger sizes, 9x63, 15x70, 20x80, up to 40 x150 $6 000+ super-binos from Fuji and other companies.

I have over a dozen binos and of them all the Zeiss 8x30 are the ones I take on camping and photography trips most often, plus the 10x50 if I'm planning on doing some astronomy.
If the sharpness and clarity are OK and the eyepieces have a flat enough field for comfortable viewing instead of looking dome-shaped, which you'll soon get tired of, they'll be a good buy.
Curved fields don't show the centre and edge in focus at the same time. If the centre is sharp the edges are a bit fuzzy. Usual thing is just to re-centre what was on the edge and put up with it.
Cheap eyepieces can also show curved lines instead of straight lines of real straight edges away from the centre of the field, getting worse toward the edge of the field of view which can also be tiring.
To get eyepieces totally free of it means spending a lot money, so all buys are a compromise.
If the image quality is good enough to live with and the price is acceptable then you can buy them knowing you have some respectable binoculars with a handy magnification, small enough to be carried easily.

8x30 don't do well compared to 7x50 for brightness but they are still one of the most popular sizes to get for general use.
You only need the high twilight factor and LGP of bigger binos of around equal power if you're doing a lot of low-light observing.
The LGP is the light gathering power, a confusing term since it shows relative brightness, not how much light the binos collect.
Divide the magnification into the diameter and square the result
30 / 8 = 3.75 ...squared = 14
For 7x50
50 /7 = 7...close enough,...squared = 49
3 1/2x brighter in theory. In practice most budget ones are around twice as bright. A lot of cheap 7x50s exist.
The quality matters too, not just the figures.
Those Zeiss 8x30 I carry are excellent. Sharp, clear and surprisingly bright.
I just had to get them.
Below is a long bino answer with the brightness stuff etc. but for larger binos.
http://malaysia.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101021213356AAG4CDu . . . . .
Have a good time.

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