Gas prices and auto manufacturers seem to be in the news a lot lately. Gas prices are rising and auto sales of large gas-guzzling motor vehicles are down as consumers look for a more fuel efficient automobile to offset increased fuel cost. Yet it can be difficult to make the move to a compact car and give up the extras we enjoy in a full size automobile, like leg room, storage capacity, or a smooth ride. Binocular selection can present similar dilemmas when searching for the perfect field of view, close focus, eye relief or comfortable weight. Full size binoculars will be heavier and cost more, yet offer the best light gathering capabilities for many different times of the day. Compact binoculars provide convenience, lighter weight and lower prices, but uses are limited due to less light gathering ability. Increasingly, binocular users are turning to the mid-size 8x32 binocular which provide many of the extras enjoyed with a full size binocular, but offer the benefits of a compact with less weight and a lower price.
The higher end binoculars in the 8x32 size are a great example of saving money and curtailing the binocular weight. In addition to those advantages, they still offer bright views due to their high quality optics. The Swarovski EL 8x32 is a perfect example of this. This 8x32 binocular weighs only 21.5 ounces. The Swarovski EL 8.5x42 weighs in at 28.9 ounces. The 8x32 EL not only weighs 7.8 ounces less, it provides a wider field of view and better close focus than the 8.5x42 EL. Top this off with spending $200 less and I find the 8x32 EL to be a binocular with winning combinations. You will find very similar advantages when comparing the Leica Ultravid 8x32 and the Leica Ultravid 8x42 or the Zeiss Victory FL 8x32 T* and the Zeiss Victory FL 8x42 T*.
Looking at the under $1000 price range, the Nikon Premier LX L 8x32 is an excellent choice. Like the other high-end binoculars, this 8x32 provides a wider field of view, better close focus, lighter weight and a price tag which is $350 less than the Nikon Premier LX L 8x42. If you are a Pentax sport optic fan, take a look at the Pentax DCF ED 8x32. The differences between the 8x32 and the Pentax DCF ED 8x43 are not quite as dramatic as the others but I like the 8x43 performance and would definitely enjoy the 8x32.
If your budget is in the $400 range, look at the Pentax DCF SP 8x32, the Minox BD 8x32 BR and the Steiner Merlin 8x32. In the $200-$400 budget, Eagle Optics carries the Bushnell Legend 8x32 Roof Prism, the Eagle Optics Ranger SRT 8x32, the Leupold Katmai 8x32, and the Minox BL 8x32 BR. Want an 8x32 for under $150? We offer the Bushnell Hemisphere 8x32, the Vortex Lightning 8x32 or the Vortex Spitfire 8.5x32.
When you shop and compare, you will see how the 8x32 binocular offers many advantages for the size and money. The only drawback for this size is the decrease in light gathering ability. Light gathering comes into play while in the deep shade or predawn and late evening hours. If you spend a lot of time birding or hunting in those low light situations, then a full size binocular should be your choice. Having held many of these 8x32 binoculars, I really appreciate the smaller size and lighter weight. I am anxious to see the Leupold Golden Ring 8x32 HD and the Vortex Fury 8x32. These binoculars are not yet available-hopefully soon! So take some time and look at the benefits of the 8x32 versus the 8x42 size. Your next binocular purchase might be something smaller than you ever thought you could use-an 8x32 binocular!
As always, the Eagle Optics Staff is just a phone call away at 1-800-289-1132 and happy to answer any questions!
Eagle Optics Staff