Tasco Sierra 10x42 vs Carson Raven 8x26
Since the Sierra is larger than the Raven but they cost almost the same, does it mean that the Raven will have a better quality build and will be more durable than the Sierra?
If you were to choose only between these two models, which would you choose?
All else equal, yes, a larger objective will get you better performance and you will also find a larger binocular easier and more comfortable to use than a compact. Compacts are very useful if you need that portability, but they do have some drawbacks as far as viewing comfort. See my article, [url=Buy Compact Binoculars (How To Guide)]Buy Compact Binoculars (How To Guide)[/url].
Yes, the fact that you are buying a smaller binocular for the same price suggests that it is of better quality, but in this case, much of that price in the Raven is for the open bridge design, which does cost more to produce than a conventional bridge design, a la the Tasco.
You mentioned "all else equal". Since the Raven is fully multi-coated while the Sierra is only multi-coated, won't that make the Raven just as bright and clear as the Sierra? Is the difference in coatings just not enough to make up for the difference in objective lens size between these two models?
It sure helps being multi-coated, yes, but that won't make up for a smaller objective/exit pupil on the Raven. The Tasco will be the brighter glass when things get a bit dim.
Actually, the greater weight of a full size binocular will aid in steadiness, but even more importantly for steadiness, the larger size of a full size fills the hands better. A full size binocular is always easier to steady than a compact for these reasons.