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Old Saturday 15th April 2006, 10:41   #101
trashbird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub
Hi trashbird,

Having started this thread, I took the liberty of veering slightly off track with my rainy day musings (which I can do again today). It's the 43rd day, and truly biblical in scope; Noah only had to stick it out for 40, and he had lots of company. However, I think our discussion is relevant to appreciating the whole Audubon series, not only the 804ED.

"Not Magical" is absoluely a scream! In addition to the other definitions you mentioned, about ED and Fluorite glass, the one on Coatings, antireflection, (incl. multi-coating) is quite good, and clearly conforms with "not magical." More and more I suspect that my "Chinaman's Hat" percept is a result of field curvature. It could also include, or even be, spherical aberration. However, it always flattens out at the edges, which I don't quite comprehend. I'm just looking for an explanation of the phenomenon.

My musing today continues about externalizing our love of the non-magical things inside binoculars, while paying scant attention to the the perceptual magic that occurs inside ourselves. If it looks better viewing through one set of peeper enhancers than another, then they are the better ones no matter what. Well, that's what I'm thinking anyway. BVD means better view desired, after all, and that may not equate completely to lack of aberrations or optical flaws.

How's the weather in Arizona?
Ed
Well, though drier than your locale, the weather here isn't magical, either. Gusty, dusty, warm, and thinly overcast. Cooler weather has set in now, though, and I am hoping for a clear, calm day tomorrow. I would like to survey the heavens and the earth.
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2006, 06:04   #102
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Feedback about 804ED requested

Dear Swift 804ED Users,

As announced on post #91, (some) later 804EDs used a cemented doublet in the objective. It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide information for an update of the article:

1. What is the serial number of your 804ED? The first two digits are the year of manufacture.

2. What are the markings on the two cover plates? It probably would say HR/5 and "Fully Multi-Coated."

3. Was it originally purchased in Europe or the US? Better yet, do you have any documentation saying Swift-Pyser (Europe) or Swift Instruments (USA)?

4. Do you see three or four reflections in the objective from a light source over your shoulder? This is not hard to do. Three reflection would be produced by a cemented doublet. Four reflections would be produced by two air-spaced lenses.

Your response would be greatly appreciated, either by posting on this thread or sending me a personal message. Even one or two responses would be very helpful.

Many thanks in advance,

Ed
PS. If you know anyone with an 804ED please try to obtain this information.

Last edited by elkcub : Saturday 22nd April 2006 at 06:06.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2006, 20:03   #103
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Update

UPDATE

This thread has been inactive for some time, but several people have read our article and made purchase decisions based on its contents. This post will attempt to clarify a few ambiguous matters:

1. The issue concerning cemented doublets in some 804EDs has been explained by an equally qualified Swift technician in the US. According to him, some repair technicians lost or damaged the thin .6mm air-spacing shim and simply cemented the two lens elements. This, of course, would degrade the image.

2. The same expert has assured us that the current 820ED does use air-spaced objectives as well as ED glass, although so far no one has verified that the view is noticeably different than the standard model. Testimonials are encouraged.

3. A previous side-by-side comparison of my Type 4a 804R (ca. 1987) and a Type 4b(1) HR/5 found no difference in coatings or view. They were both marked "Fully-Coated Optics." A more recent comparison of the same two types revealed that there is a coating difference, evidenced by a uniform light green reflection of the newer model (ca. 1995) vs. the 804R, which is pale purple or green depending on orientation. I am now convinced that the 804R, and perhaps the original Type 4b(1) HR/5, only had partial multi-coatings.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to compare the coatings of the more recent Type 4b(1) with my 804ED (ca. 1997) or a Type 4b(2), both of which are marked "Fully Multi-Coated." So, rather than speculate on the number of coating variations used for Type 4a,b,c Audubons, I would simply suggest that the buyer look for light green coatings.

The 10x50 Kestrel (ca. 1998) I own is fairly dark green, but not as dark as the current issue Model 820s. Renze just acquired a somewhat older 10x50 that is actually marked "Audubon," and he may wish to comment on the color of his pair.

4. Some time back someone mentioned that Swift 804s were getting rare on eBay. I poo-poo'd that, but at this point I'd have to agree. Nothing much has showed up in the US for months. I've haven't seen an ED version since I bought mine. :(

5. I purchased a pair of Fully Coated Swift Model 766 7x35 Holiday Mark II (ca. 1978) on eBay to evaluate its 80.15 deg., super-wide 600 ft. FOV. Unfortunately, they were quite dirty inside and in need of collimation, which made the economics a bit iffy. The super-wide FOV is interesting, although frankly I don't know what to make of it. The 1968 catalog said: "The Holiday delivers an incredibly wide field, equal to that of the human eye, without distortion..." This will take some time to understand. In 1971 they sold the same model with a 630 ft. field of view.

Although the 1974 catalog refers to the "... fabulous Mark II features" of Model 766, it turns out that it does not have BaK-4 prisms. Four-sided edge dimming of the exit pupil clearly shows the use of lower cost crown glass. So, unless someone replaced the prisms over the years with different glass, the Mark II quality illusion is shattered. Is nothing sacred? Curiously, this model sold for exactly the same price as the Type 1 and 2 Audubons in their day, but unlike the latter it displays serious prism reflections that are very distracting.

6. Ending on a better note, tethered rubber objective covers for the Type 4 804 and 820 Audubons are made by Eagle Optics and sold by them as well as B&H. They are very similar to Swaro covers and work great!

Regards to all,
ED

Last edited by elkcub : Saturday 30th September 2006 at 19:50.
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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 19:03   #104
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New BF posting procedures no longer allow easy changes to be made to earlier posts. Hence, I will make corrections by underlining or capitalization or brackets.
e.h.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub
UPDATE

This thread has been inactive for some time, but several people have read our article and made purchase decisions based on its contents. This post will attempt to clarify a few ambiguous matters:

1. The issue concerning cemented doublets in some 804EDs has been explained by an equally qualified Swift technician in the US. According to him, some repair technicians lost or damaged the thin .6mm air-spacing shim and simply cemented the two lens elements. This, of course, would degrade the image, since the optical design was based on air-spacing.

2. The same expert has assured us that the current 820ED does NOT use air-spaced objectives ..., although so far no one has verified that the view is noticeably different than the standard model. Testimonials are encouraged.

3. A previous side-by-side comparison of my Type 4a 804R (ca. 1987) and a Type 4b(1) HR/5 found no difference in coatings or view. They were both marked "Fully-Coated Optics." A more recent comparison of the same two types revealed that there is a coating difference, evidenced by a uniform light green reflection of the newer model (ca. 1995) vs. the 804R, which is pale purple or green depending on orientation. I am now convinced that the 804R, and perhaps the original Type 4b(1) HR/5, only had partial multi-coatings.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to compare the coatings of the more recent Type 4b(1) with my 804ED (ca. 1997) or a Type 4b(2), both of which are marked "Fully Multi-Coated." So, rather than speculate on the number of coating variations used for Type 4a,b,c Audubons, I would simply suggest that the buyer look for light green coatings.

There is some evidence that an early Type 4b(1) was sold in Europe by Swift-Pyser, which had the same MC optics as the 804R. It is also possible that cover plates on some 804Rs were changed during repair, which would make it appear that way. Unfortunately, hybridization can never be discounded.

The 10x50 Kestrel (ca. 1998) I own is fairly dark green, but not as dark as the current issue Model 820s. Renze just acquired a somewhat older 10x50 that is actually marked "Audubon," and he may wish to comment on the color of his pair.

4. Some time back someone mentioned that Swift 804s were getting rare on eBay. I poo-poo'd that, but at this point I'd have to agree. Nothing much has showed up in the US for months. I've haven't seen an ED version since I bought mine. :(

As of this date we did purchase a 1994 804ED for Renze on eBay which was overhauled by Nicolas Crista, the chief opticalman for Swift when they were located in Boston. He did a beautiful job, — including installing new cover plates. See what I mean?

5. I purchased a pair of Fully Coated Swift Model 766 7x35 Holiday Mark II (ca. 1978) on eBay to evaluate its 80.15 deg., super-wide 600 ft. FOV. Unfortunately, they were quite dirty inside and in need of collimation, which made the economics a bit iffy. The super-wide FOV is interesting, although frankly I don't know what to make of it. The 1968 catalog said: "The Holiday delivers an incredibly wide field, equal to that of the human eye, without distortion..." This will take some time to understand. In 1971 they sold the same model with a 630 ft. field of view.

Although the 1974 catalog refers to the "... fabulous Mark II features" of Model 766, it turns out that it does not have BaK-4 prisms. Four-sided edge dimming of the exit pupil clearly shows the use of lower cost crown glass. So, unless someone replaced the prisms over the years with different glass, the Mark II quality illusion is shattered. Is nothing sacred? Curiously, this model sold for exactly the same price as the Type 1 and 2 Audubons in their day, but unlike the latter it displays serious prism reflections that are very distracting.

6. Ending on a better note, tethered rubber objective covers for the Type 4 804 and 820 Audubons are made by Eagle Optics and sold by them as well as B&H. They are very similar to Swaro covers and work great!

Regards to all,
ED
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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 23:46   #105
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"2. The same expert has assured us that the current 820ED does NOT use air-spaced objectives ..., although so far no one has verified that the view is noticeably different than the standard model. Testimonials are encouraged."


Ed,

Upon reading the above, I pulled out my Swift Sport Optics catalogue (Fall 2006) where it says the following;

*Added to the patented features and world-renowned optical formula of the original 820 Swift Audubon is an ED (Extra low Dispersion) lens in an air spaced objective system.....

Is the Swift expert in error, or is the catalogue? Is it possible changes where made at some point to include the air spacing in the newest samples?

Ted
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 00:37   #106
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Ted,

Well, that's no doubt the origin of the rumor. Here is the email I received from Mr. Nicolas Crista who was in charge of optical repairs for Swift Optics, Boston. In addition to consulting with Hiyoshi on improvements to the 820, he also holds the US patent for Swift's locking eyecup —found on the most recent 828 HHS Audubon and probably the 820 as well. In addition to his statement, Wim de Boer, our European expert at Technolyt, The Netherlands, tells us the same thing, which is also based on personal observation.

So, unfortunately, the 2006 catalog is incorrect,, as are several ads I've seen on the Internet. But thank you for bringing the error to everyone's attention, since we can definitively stamp out this growing urban legend.

Ed

Quote:
Hello Edward,

The objective lenses*on # 820 ED : is*not*air-spased
The objective lenses on #*804 ED : is air-spased.

This is based on my repair*experience and not based on the manufacturers - Technical Data.-
...
In 2004 I met with Hiyoshi*Optical technical representative*in San Jose, to discuss further improvements for the # 820 # 820ED.
At the present time, I don't know if Hiyoshi Optical Co. is in business or not.

I hope this information is useful to your research.

Regards,
Nicolas
PS. I think it quite unlikely that an air-spaced model would have been introduced without a great deal of fanfare. Basically, it would involve costly manufacturing changes as well as significant differences in the aberration properties of the two models.

Ed

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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 01:07   #107
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Ed,

Thanks for clarifying this for me. While we're on the subject, does anybody have a pulse on just where these 820ED's stand (optically) in comparison to it's predecessors?

Ted

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub
Ted,

Well, that's no doubt the origin of the rumor. Here is the email I received from Mr. Nicolas Crista who was in charge of optical repairs for Swift Optics, Boston. In addition to consulting with Hiyoshi on improvements to the 820, he also holds the US patent for Swift's locking eyecup —found on the most recent 828 HHS Audubon and probably the 820 as well. In addition to his statement, Wim de Boer, our European expert at Technolyt, The Netherlands, tells us the same thing, which is also based on personal observation.

So, unfortunately, the 2006 catalog is incorrect,, as are several ads I've seen on the Internet. But thank you for bringing the error to everyone's attention, since we can definitively stamp out this growing urban legend.

Ed



PS. I think it quite unlikely that an air-spaced model would have been introduced without a great deal of fanfare. Basically, it would involve costly manufacturing changes as well as significant differences in the aberration properties of the two models.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 05:22   #108
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Ted,

When I last talked with Nicolas he expressed the opinions that (a) the ED versions were only subtly different than the standard versions, and (2) that the 820 is somewhat brighter than the 804 due to improved coatings. He also confirmed that the 820 is made by Hiyoshi Optical, so the quality should be on a par with earlier models. Due to the greater use of plastic, however, he felt that the mechanical design 'balance' (i.e., synergy) was not as good.

I don't know about the 820's coatings, or how the ED version differs from the standard. But, I would say that once perceived the 804ED has remarkable qualities that I haven't found in other binoculars. One of these qualities is general sense of brightness. I'm not sure why. I would also expect the two ED versions to be different, simply due to the lack of air spacing in the 820's objective design. This could effect several aberrations simultaneously.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 07:43   #109
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For those who spend spare moments pondering the whys and wherefores of the 804, we currently have an example of a very early Type 4b(1) on eBay (see #300053943218). This obviously well-used binocular marked Multi-Coated Optics (MC), was made in 1986, and shows a gold dot reticule as well as HR/5. It is, however, not marked "Model 804" and, judging by the photo, has the same coatings as the 804R shown on pg. 1 of our article. Renze has concluded, and I agree, that these variants with no model no. printed on them were sold in Europe during the marketing period of the 804R in the US. Their cover plate markings apparently anticipated the gold dot and HR/5 emblems that were used in the US starting about 1990, and which may have received a coating improvement at that time. (See pg. 16 or our article.)

The above is consistent with remarks in post #103, and accounts for my initial impression that Type 4b(1) used the same coatings as the 804R, Type 4a, if it was an early model. If that were true, the question would now be how best to distinguish between European and American markings without redefining everything done so far. My inclination is to refer to the European models with an 'E', in this instance Type 4b(1)E, — but Renze and I have to work it out.

Ed
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Old Monday 4th December 2006, 19:33   #110
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For what it is worth all the swift HR5s I have seen have a gold dot on the RH side and none marked 804r and I have seen a few owning 3 different pairs all made in the 80's so this is fairly unremarkable tho it does come as a suprise that the same model is marked differently in the US.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2006, 00:22   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imac
For what it is worth all the swift HR5s I have seen have a gold dot on the RH side and none marked 804r and I have seen a few owning 3 different pairs all made in the 80's so this is fairly unremarkable tho it does come as a suprise that the same model is marked differently in the US.
Yup, it's become painfully evident that the "HR/5" and "gold dot" emblems were used in Europe half a decade before they were in the US. It would also seem that European Audubon models did not have "model 804" marked on their cover plates as in the US. However, I believe (but can't prove) that the early European HR/5 models, like you had, had the same Multi-Coated Optics as the American 804Rs of that period. I do know (because I own them) that the standard HR/5 Audubon sold later in the US during the mid-1990's had improved coatings that appear to be identical to the HR/5 804ED. However, on mine the former is marked MC optics and the latter FMC. The standard HR/5 sold in the US at the end of the 1990's, was marked FMC, and might or might not be different from mine. Whether the same confusion occurred in Europe during the 90's is beyond me. It's tough being a historian. :( But, thanks for your input. We're trying to figure out how to include all this in a revision of our paper. Say a prayer.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 17th July 2007, 11:11   #112
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Red face Serial Numbers on Audubon 804's - Year of Mfr.

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Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Dear 804 Audubon owners,

In recording the serial numbers of my own Swift 804 Audubon binoculars, it dawned on me that the first two digits may correspond with the year of manufacture. If true, this would be a great way to refine the dates for each model type.

It would be most appreciated if those who own 804 Audubons could post the Type as shown in our paper attached to Post #15 at http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....573#post472573 as well as the first two (or more) digits of the serial number. The results will be summarized and corrections made to the paper accordingly.

Of course, it is possible that the date is not coded into the serial number, but that should become readily apparent after a few responses.

Many thanks for your assistance,
Ed
Ed,
Mine is a 4b(1) (with the HR/5 marking) s/n: 914066.

Underneath, this one is stamped J-B56. In reading your article, I don't think I found this designation mentioned, only JL-B56... might have been a mis-print/typo. Can you clarify?

I couldn't remember how long I've had them... my wife got them for my birthday a good long time ago. (Note: She ordered them from the Woodthrush Shop on a recommendation from our friend, premier birder, naturalist, and birding columnist from Lafayette, LA, Bill Fontenot.) If your theory about the s/n is right, I've had them about 16 years I guess... it's nice to know things like that when you can't count on your memory any more.

-harvey

... 1 hour later... never mind, Ed... I started reviewing the entire thread and found your answer to my J-B56 query on post #35... thanks for you and Renze's great research work and for sharing it!
-harvey

Last edited by harvey.broussard : Tuesday 17th July 2007 at 12:14. Reason: I found the answer in an earlier post
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Old Tuesday 17th July 2007, 19:48   #113
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Ed,
Mine is a 4b(1) (with the HR/5 marking) s/n: 914066.

Underneath, this one is stamped J-B56. In reading your article, I don't think I found this designation mentioned, only JL-B56... might have been a mis-print/typo. Can you clarify?

I couldn't remember how long I've had them... my wife got them for my birthday a good long time ago. (Note: She ordered them from the Woodthrush Shop on a recommendation from our friend, premier birder, naturalist, and birding columnist from Lafayette, LA, Bill Fontenot.) If your theory about the s/n is right, I've had them about 16 years I guess... it's nice to know things like that when you can't count on your memory any more.

-harvey

... 1 hour later... never mind, Ed... I started reviewing the entire thread and found your answer to my J-B56 query on post #35... thanks for you and Renze's great research work and for sharing it!
-harvey
Harvey,

No problem, and thanks for the posts. New information comes in at a uneven pace, but I believe Renze and I will be publishing some very interesting information about Audubons in the near future.

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Sunday 23rd September 2007, 22:43   #114
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FWIW, I have the Mark II 804R, serial number that starts with 86 (I know I bought them new sometime in the early to mid-80's), and the J-B56 inscription inside the left bottom hinge, seen with the binocs held upside down. The focusing is silky smooth, but star images are not good. I can't get a good focus even in the center of the field. (But they're still great for sweeping the skies.) For all terrestrial purposes I really like them, even though they weigh 32 oz. and the outer field isn't all that sharp. They are just so easy to use, and there's no futzing around in an attempt to align them in front of the eyes - just pick them up and look.
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Old Monday 24th September 2007, 01:48   #115
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FWIW, I have the Mark II 804R, serial number that starts with 86 (I know I bought them new sometime in the early to mid-80's), and the J-B56 inscription inside the left bottom hinge, seen with the binocs held upside down. The focusing is silky smooth, but star images are not good. I can't get a good focus even in the center of the field. (But they're still great for sweeping the skies.) For all terrestrial purposes I really like them, even though they weigh 32 oz. and the outer field isn't all that sharp. They are just so easy to use, and there's no futzing around in an attempt to align them in front of the eyes - just pick them up and look.
You should get good images in the center of the field. I just had my 804R s/n 861600 cleaned and re-collimated by Nicolas Crista. Here is his summary of what was needed:

Quote:
Factory cement, that holds the prisms in place,has cracked.
White, grayish powder is visible inside the optics.
This instrument needs to be taken apart, clean all optics, set and cement prisms, lube,collimate. $ 68.00 + $ 15.00 for S/H .
Many folks would not spend that much on a repair, I know, but they are excellent now, and time does have an adverse effect on just about everything.

Let me know if you want Nicolas' address. Yours might not need that much work.

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Monday 24th September 2007, 15:53   #116
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Ed, thank you. Is his address and phone correct at this website?: http://www.nrcoptics.com/


Spending that amount of money on these is worth it to me. Besides, maybe he can spare an eyepiece cap. I lost one long ago. :(

Howard

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Old Monday 24th September 2007, 18:51   #117
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Ed, thank you. Is his address and phone correct at this website?: http://www.nrcoptics.com/


Spending that amount of money on these is worth it to me. Besides, maybe he can spare an eyepiece cap. I lost one long ago. :(

Howard
Howard,

Yes, it is. I didn't know he had a web site, although he did mention that he's doing more than just repairing Swift optics nowadays.

I bought several rainguards from Nicolas for Type 4 Audubons, altho the most recent one is not marked Swift. Incidentally, Eagle Optics sells tethered rubber objective covers that work perfectly with the 804R. If you place an order make sure to mention that it must fit a 56mm outer diameter. For some reason EO doesn't put size marks on these accessories.

I'd be interested to know how it works out. I was using mine last night in twilight. Outstanding!

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Monday 24th September 2007, 19:06   #118
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I'll be sure to post the results. I'll call Nicolas tomorrow morning. I live close to the left coast, so shipping transit time will be a factor in the time it takes for the whole transaction. Thanks for the references for the Eagle tethered objective caps and the rainguard(s) Nicolas sells. But because of the binocular weight, I'll most likely only use them at home, not out in the field. Then again, maybe I'll have a field where my next home will be.
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Old Wednesday 26th September 2007, 02:38   #119
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After further review (as the "head zebra" would say), I decided not to send in my 804R's for repair. I don't think they need it. This afternoon I compared their view with my "benchmark" Nikon 9x25 Travelite V's, and they're just as good, at least on axis. (Translation: I'm very pleased with the view.) Last night I tested the 804R's on the stars and no, stars cannot be brought to focus to a "point." It would appear that what I see is an indication of astigmatism. But I bet no repair is going to fix that. I even held them up to a bright spotlight and found no apparent indication of dirt/dust inside, so they don't appear to need an internal cleaning.... I just need to clean the outside.
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 21:20   #120
elkcub
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Howard,

If you don't feel your specimen needs cleaning or repair, that's a good thing. I wasn't really suggesting it needs service, altho my 804R did. As for not getting a good star field focus even in the center, however, that must be disappointing. I'd like to believe it could be corrected, but it's beyond my expertise and would take someone with the right background. I rely on Mr. Crista. What more can I say?

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Ed
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2007, 14:08   #121
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Ed, rather than spend the money on getting Nicolas to evaluate them, here's my idea for a diagnosis. Understand that I know just enough to be dangerous! Based on the star images, I suspect the optics have some astigmatism (or maybe spherical aberration). But during the day the images are quite sharp and enjoyable to look at. Why? During the day my pupils are closed down such that the effects of the defects are minimal to none, as my smaller pupils are seeing only the central part of the optics' 5.17 mm exit pupil. But at night, when my pupils dilate to at least the size of the exit pupil, I am seeing all of what the optics deliver, including their defects. The defect doesn't really bother me; I just wish the, uh, stellar performance was better. Thanks for your encouragment.

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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2007, 19:05   #122
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Howard, what I know about astro applications could be placed in a small thimble and leave room for my finger. My impression is that a good 804 specimen has a fair amount of SA, which might limit it's off-axis imaging. However, I was thinking of your initial statement "... but star images are not good. I can't get a good focus even in the center of the field." That one got me thinking that an inspection/repair would be in order.

It would be interesting to hear what other 804 users say about star gazing. No point building up unrealistic expectations. I know Arthur Pinewood has a pair.

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2007, 22:23   #123
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Ed, my cheap Nikon Sportstar 8x25 roofs "throw up" better stellar images than these 804R's but the Sportstar daytime images just aren't very clear.

Whatever that means, I have no idea... ;-) Actually, what I was getting at earlier is that I believe the SA/astigmatism/whatever issue is optically related and is therefore not something that can be repaired or adjusted.

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Old Thursday 4th October 2007, 02:04   #124
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Howard,

I'd suggest that you read through these CN threads and look for others. Basically, the 804 Audubon is highly respected for astro applications, and it has a great tripod mounting point built in.

If it were mine I'd at least get Nicolas' opinion. Any number of things could have happened to it in 20 yrs. Round trip mailing cost is only about 20 bucks.

Clear skies,
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea...ev=#Post387187
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea...v=#Post1547970
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 21:05   #125
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Audubon serial numbers

I have a model 804 HR/5 4b(2) FMC purchased in 2000 with serial number 20.....
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