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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 16:05   #26
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Even if the edges are fuzzy, you can detect movement. Big FoV is not only good for following and finding a bird. It also lets you see other birds that is close by or moving towards the bird you're looking at. With a narrow FoV, maybe, you wouldn't even know you missed the second bird.

Also I think just a wider view is nice, like widescreen vs a 50's TV.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 16:39   #27
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Mark,

In a sense I don't disagree with you. Your comments tend to reflect the purpose for my thread on the different aspects of optical performance (field, object, etc...). What I think manufacturers are currently keying in on is object performance. The manner in which the object in the center of the field of view is represented. Hence the incremental increases in performance in areas that directly impact image representation for objects in the center of the field of view.

One could argue that the most recent issue being given attention by the high end manufacturers, edge performance, goes against this trend to an extent. It does. What good is edge performance when all we are really supposed to be looking at is what is in the center of the field?

I think what manufacturers, and consumers, are starting to realize is that there is more to image representation than just how the object in the center of the field of view is represented. Edge performance is one aspect but certainly so is field of view.

Mark...you made mention that you would call Vop's ideal model fuzzy and wasted. I would disagree. I have a wide angle, 500 foot, 7x35 that certainly meets his requirements. The sweet spot is huge...close to 90% of the field of view. It is an excellent binocular to use and has become one of my favorites. I also have several models that sport fields of view in excess of 500 feet with sweet spots in the 75% range. I wouldn't call the outer 25% wasted in any sense.

I think this goes back to the issue of the area of focused human attention. I have often heard it suggested that the field may be around 11-12 degrees. If it is then this would coincide with what many of the older style extra wide angle models delivered. Furthemore, our normal human vision tends to focus on what is directly in front of us and yet we are aware of, via our peripheral vision, events or objects that occur just outside that small band of focused attention. Those objects aren't in focus as we stare straight ahead and we still are aware of them.

Coudn't much the same be said of a binocular with a 10 degree field of view and a 75% sweet spot?

I think the difference between what I am describing and what so many of us are accustomed to is truly the result of the field of view. Describing an 8 degree binocular with a 75% sweet spot and a 10 or 11 degree model with the same percentage sweet spot are two totally different animals in my experience.

Now, if you want to take this a step forward, and in the direction that I think Holger and Brock were referencing...imagine an 11 degree model with 95% sweet spot and a large enough exit pupil to allow your eye to roam enough around the image to really utilize that 95% of sweetness. Oh, that would be a binocular to behold. One that I would certainly love to have.

Personally, I would prefer the 7x40-ish or 7x35ish format myself but realize that others would prefer an 8x or 10x model. I have one 7x50 model now that comes fairly close to meeting the field of view and sweet spot percentage requirements but which lacks modern coatings and which is also the size and weight of a small bread box.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 16:44   #28
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I tend to think a lot of fov complaints (as in we need more) are artifacts of improper use techniques. Not all certainly, and perhaps even a minority, but I see it pretty often whatever the case.

I tend to agree with Mark (mostly anyway) in his above two posts. He cites having a familiarity with the binocular and its association with finding the bird. That familiarity is I think largely fostered by proper use technique. If you have proper technique it is second nature and yoy don't think at all about it. Whatever the fov, you can use any decent binocular to successfully go birding.

Here is an illustration of what I mean. I have seen quite a few similar examples too. A couple of days ago I went on a drive through the flooded lease grounds just north of the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge. It was a cold, almost obnoxiously bright, sunny day. Where I was, the view was to the south in the middle of the afternoon. I was taking an opportunity to get some side by side time in with some of my new binocular purchases. There was a scene every birder should have opportunity to see. The view could have been seen in similar variations in a dozen places. Just out in front were literally tens of thousands of Tundra Swans, making so much racket you could barely hear yourself think. Lots of other waterfowl, at least a dozen Bald Eagles, some Golden Eagles, scores of Hawks and Ravens. Literally scores of assorted birds in any given binocular fov.

So there I was. A van came down the access road I was on, stopped and discharged a load of primarily healthy, well heeled, active senior citizen type birders. Almost immediately I hear somebody exclaim "...hey look at all those Bald Eagles over there...". Well I was in people watching mode just then, and within a hundred feet or so of the van. So at the shout everybody was grabbing binoculars and going "...OMG where, where?..." and pretty much wildly slapping, mostly high dollar, binoculars to their eyes. I see one fellow sidestepping slowly down the edge of the road, binoculars glued to his eyes expending more energy scanning space with his new SV EL, than I think I have ever seen expended. Getting closer and closer to me all the time. Pretty soon I felt compelled to say something to avoid collision. He about fell down out of fright, he had absolutely no idea where he had gotten to. Anyway he said he was looking for those Eagles but he couldn't find them, had I seen them? I said "which ones, they are all over the place". He smiled and said "any ones will do just fine". So we started chatting for a bit. It turned out he had no idea you were not supposed to not use the binocular every second of observation during a birding outing. So I spent a few minutes with him on some basic observation techniques centered on using his eye balls first and the binocular as a follow up.

Now, as I said earlier, this is not a real common sight, but I have seen it dozens of times. This is kind of a birdwatchers mecca around here during migration and I have seen lots of people doing the exact same thing. Get out, put binoculars to eyes, and proceed to stumble around wondering why they can't see stuff. Trust me here, a common gripe is "I must need to get a binocular with a wider field of vision".

Learning proper use technique cures a lot of ills, from glaringly obvious one like I described, to amy more minor ones.

Having said that, a truly wide, bright, sharp, field is pretty neat. It is necessary only up to a point. That point will vary with different individuals.

No, I am not accusing experienced birders who like wide fov of being guilty of first degree improper binocular use technique.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 18:59   #29
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Would it be possible to achieve a much wider field by sacrificing magnification?
Ideally, something along the lines of the old 6x Leica Amplivid, which had about 12 degrees field of view, but even lower power, with a correspondingly wider field.
For hawk watches, a wide field really helps and magnification is less critical, so 4x or 5x would be fine, ideally with a 15+ degrees field of view.
There is precedent for a 5x glass. Ross produced a large number of 5x air raid spotter binoculars which gave faithful service in WW2.
The closest modern bin to what you're looking for is the Miyuachi 5x32 Binon with 13.2* FOV. Or I should say, it was, since they are discontinued now and were limited in production. But I do see them pop up on the used market from time to time.

Not sharp to the edge, of course, but much of the "fuzz" can be focused out. And unlike their 7x50 big brothers, the 5x32 model has center focus.

http://www.bigbinoculars.com/m532w.htm

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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 20:21   #30
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I'd call it a waste because it will probably be fuzzy and useless. There's the bird, front and center, and then there's all that wasted fuzzy stuff surrounding it.

If a warbler darts off--which is precisely what they love to do--even 1000' isn't going to help you much. You'll have to be a better birder. You'll have to know the birds.

Hunters don't have this problem, which is why they favor 10x and aren't so concerned with FOV. They look at stuff far away and relatively slow. Or else they're hunting stuff fast and close like grouse and pheasant, in which case a binocular is mostly window dressing.

Kammerdiner,

I see how your birding goes: 1. There's a bird in sight. 2. You aim your binoculars on the bird.
Now suppose there's no bird in sight. Because there's only a call or a song. Or because it's beyond your eyes' reach. Or...

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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 20:29   #31
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Just to follow up on this, I've often stood before greenery waiting for a bit of motion to locate a bird. A really wide field would allow the observer to get on the bird quicker and easier in that circumstance, even if the edges are not perfectly in focus.
Similarly, on hawk watches, unless blessed with 10/20 vision as some are, it is very hard to find the small specks in the sky that are the migrating birds.
A wide view glass would really come in handy for most observers as well.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 20:31   #32
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The closest modern bin to what you're looking for is the Miyuachi 5x32 Binon with 13.2* FOV. Or I should say, it was, since they are discontinued now and were limited in production. But I do see them pop up on the used market from time to time.

Not sharp to the edge, of course, but much of the "fuzz" can be focused out. And unlike their 7x50 big brothers, the 5x32 model has center focus.

http://www.bigbinoculars.com/m532w.htm

Brock
Thank you, Brock. That is a nice lead.
These seem like an attractive design, wide angle and very good eye relief.
Wonder why they went out of production.

Separately, Bushnell used to sell their 4x30 Xtra Wide reverse porro, sporting a 900ft@1000yds field of view, about 16 degrees. Unfortunately the eye relief was minimal, about 10mm if memory serves. Has anyone any experience with these?

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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 21:40   #33
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Just to follow up on this, I've often stood before greenery waiting for a bit of motion to locate a bird. A really wide field would allow the observer to get on the bird quicker and easier in that circumstance, even if the edges are not perfectly in focus.
Similarly, on hawk watches, unless blessed with 10/20 vision as some are, it is very hard to find the small specks in the sky that are the migrating birds.
A wide view glass would really come in handy for most observers as well.
Some of the best hawkwatchers in North America use 10X50 SLC's with a FOV of 6.3 degrees (336' at 1000 yds.). Technique and time-on-task make all the difference.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 23:01   #34
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Thank you, Brock. That is a nice lead.
These seem like an attractive design, wide angle and very good eye relief.
Wonder why they went out of production.

Separately, Bushnell used to sell their 4x30 Xtra Wide reverse porro, sporting a 900ft@1000yds field of view, about 16 degrees. Unfortunately the eye relief was minimal, about 10mm if memory serves. Has anyone any experience with these?
The Bushnell uses mirrors to get that xtra wide FOV.

From what I understand, Kevin, the owner of Oberwerk (bigbinoculars.com) persuaded Miyauchi to make the Binons.

The only people I know who actually bought them were members of the Cloudy Nights binoculars forum.

Amateur astronomers are usually obsessive about edge performance. So they wanted a EWF and good edges, but it's like the old NASA joke - faster, better, cheaper - pick two.

The sweet spot in both models is decentered- larger at the bottom than the top. I think for some people that was a bone of contention.

Mechanically, the Binons seem to be superb - an engineering marvel. If I had deeper pockets, I'd own at least one of the models to keep in my lighted curio cabinet and take out on occasion.

Here's a review of the 5x32 Binon:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbarchi...sed/sb/7/o/all

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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 23:31   #35
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Some of the best hawkwatchers in North America use 10X50 SLC's with a FOV of 6.3 degrees (336' at 1000 yds.). Technique and time-on-task make all the difference.
Those are also the guys who can spot hawks in the next time zone.
Us ordinary mortals need something just to help find them.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 00:36   #36
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Discussions of technique etc. are all well and good. But for my money I much prefer a wide immersive FOV to looking through a straw!
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 01:04   #37
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Those are also the guys who can spot hawks in the next time zone.
Us ordinary mortals need something just to help find them.
Jerry Liquori uses a Zeiss 7 x 42 FL. Prior to that he used a Zeiss 7 x 45. He likes a wide field. He says you can use higher power as long as the binocular is top quality. See page 8 of
HAWKS At A Distance.

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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 01:55   #38
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Even if the edges are fuzzy, you can detect movement. Big FoV is not only good for following and finding a bird. It also lets you see other birds that is close by or moving towards the bird you're looking at. With a narrow FoV, maybe, you wouldn't even know you missed the second bird.

Also I think just a wider view is nice, like widescreen vs a 50's TV.
Vop. I think you did graduate from the University. Excellent comment and exactly how I feel. I think once birders got used to a 500 to 600 feet FOV with sharp edges they would not want to go back to 400 feet. Kind of as you said like going from a 50 inch big screen to a 30 inch. I don't buy the comment about only newbies needing a big FOV. Most anybody would enjoy seeing more in a larger FOV. You can take in more information and it makes the view more interesting and likelike and less like looking down a tunnel in my opinion. Just like going to IMAX. Look at all the birders that like the 8x30 EII and it is all about a big FOV as we know.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 01:56   #39
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Discussions of technique etc. are all well and good. But for my money I much prefer a wide immersive FOV to looking through a straw!
Exactly. Give me a Nikon EDG view with a 500 FOV and I would pay $3K for it.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 02:07   #40
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I tend to think a lot of fov complaints (as in we need more) are artifacts of improper use techniques. Not all certainly, and perhaps even a minority, but I see it pretty often whatever the case.

I tend to agree with Mark (mostly anyway) in his above two posts. He cites having a familiarity with the binocular and its association with finding the bird. That familiarity is I think largely fostered by proper use technique. If you have proper technique it is second nature and yoy don't think at all about it. Whatever the fov, you can use any decent binocular to successfully go birding.

Here is an illustration of what I mean. I have seen quite a few similar examples too. A couple of days ago I went on a drive through the flooded lease grounds just north of the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge. It was a cold, almost obnoxiously bright, sunny day. Where I was, the view was to the south in the middle of the afternoon. I was taking an opportunity to get some side by side time in with some of my new binocular purchases. There was a scene every birder should have opportunity to see. The view could have been seen in similar variations in a dozen places. Just out in front were literally tens of thousands of Tundra Swans, making so much racket you could barely hear yourself think. Lots of other waterfowl, at least a dozen Bald Eagles, some Golden Eagles, scores of Hawks and Ravens. Literally scores of assorted birds in any given binocular fov.

So there I was. A van came down the access road I was on, stopped and discharged a load of primarily healthy, well heeled, active senior citizen type birders. Almost immediately I hear somebody exclaim "...hey look at all those Bald Eagles over there...". Well I was in people watching mode just then, and within a hundred feet or so of the van. So at the shout everybody was grabbing binoculars and going "...OMG where, where?..." and pretty much wildly slapping, mostly high dollar, binoculars to their eyes. I see one fellow sidestepping slowly down the edge of the road, binoculars glued to his eyes expending more energy scanning space with his new SV EL, than I think I have ever seen expended. Getting closer and closer to me all the time. Pretty soon I felt compelled to say something to avoid collision. He about fell down out of fright, he had absolutely no idea where he had gotten to. Anyway he said he was looking for those Eagles but he couldn't find them, had I seen them? I said "which ones, they are all over the place". He smiled and said "any ones will do just fine". So we started chatting for a bit. It turned out he had no idea you were not supposed to not use the binocular every second of observation during a birding outing. So I spent a few minutes with him on some basic observation techniques centered on using his eye balls first and the binocular as a follow up.

Now, as I said earlier, this is not a real common sight, but I have seen it dozens of times. This is kind of a birdwatchers mecca around here during migration and I have seen lots of people doing the exact same thing. Get out, put binoculars to eyes, and proceed to stumble around wondering why they can't see stuff. Trust me here, a common gripe is "I must need to get a binocular with a wider field of vision".

Learning proper use technique cures a lot of ills, from glaringly obvious one like I described, to amy more minor ones.

Having said that, a truly wide, bright, sharp, field is pretty neat. It is necessary only up to a point. That point will vary with different individuals.

No, I am not accusing experienced birders who like wide fov of being guilty of first degree improper binocular use technique.
Nice story Steve. I am jealous of your birding location. All those different species in one area . Wow! I agree proper technique is important. I still think it is pretty nice to have a big wide FOV especially on birds in flight because you can follow them easier and keep them in your FOV easier. Too me it is cool to see the bird framed in a big wide FOV with the surrounding scenery also.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 02:59   #41
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Nice story Steve. I am jealous of your birding location. All those different species in one area . Wow! I agree proper technique is important. I still think it is pretty nice to have a big wide FOV especially on birds in flight because you can follow them easier and keep them in your FOV easier. Too me it is cool to see the bird framed in a big wide FOV with the surrounding scenery also.
Well, I did have an 11.5* (604') Tasco International 400 7x35 with darn nice optics as one of the binoculars in my possession. Not alpha, but yes it was impressive.

Was a nice 60* F day today, but we had other things to do, so my original intention to go back today got thwarted. I have time the next couple of days, but the weather does not look too good.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 07:23   #42
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And then we have Superman, he don't even need binoculars!
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 07:30   #43
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Vop. I think you did graduate from the University. Excellent comment and exactly how I feel. I think once birders got used to a 500 to 600 feet FOV with sharp edges they would not want to go back to 400 feet. Kind of as you said like going from a 50 inch big screen to a 30 inch. I don't buy the comment about only newbies needing a big FOV. Most anybody would enjoy seeing more in a larger FOV. You can take in more information and it makes the view more interesting and likelike and less like looking down a tunnel in my opinion. Just like going to IMAX. Look at all the birders that like the 8x30 EII and it is all about a big FOV as we know.
Actually I dropped out... Peace brother!
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 12:31   #44
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Kammerdiner,

I see how your birding goes: 1. There's a bird in sight. 2. You aim your binoculars on the bird.
Now suppose there's no bird in sight. Because there's only a call or a song. Or because it's beyond your eyes' reach. Or...

Renze
Actually I do a lot of my birding by ear, at least to find them. But unless you are really gifted, pinpointing birds by ear, in the woods anyway, ain't easy. My ears always tell me the bird is lower than it actually is. I can compensate, but it still ain't easy. Maybe some people have bat ears or something, but I don't. So rather than just wandering around staring at the trees with binoculars, I generally wait till I see something. Once I see it, the bins are up. FOV is pretty much a non-issue at that point, assuming you know the bins.

In more open habitats, well, there's one tree over there and there's a bird in it. Have a look. FOV won't help much then either, will it?

If you're looking for hawks, etc. far enough away that you can't even see them without binoculars, I still think FOV is probably not that big a deal. You'll find them soon enough. You're just scanning anyway.

As for magnification I just can't get into 7x. 8-8.5x has always been my favorite.

Mark
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 12:56   #45
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Actually I do a lot of my birding by ear, at least to find them. But unless you are really gifted, pinpointing birds by ear, in the woods anyway, ain't easy. My ears always tell me the bird is lower than it actually is. I can compensate, but it still ain't easy. Maybe some people have bat ears or something, but I don't. So rather than just wandering around staring at the trees with binoculars, I generally wait till I see something. Once I see it, the bins are up. FOV is pretty much a non-issue at that point, assuming you know the bins.

In more open habitats, well, there's one tree over there and there's a bird in it. Have a look. FOV won't help much then either, will it?

If you're looking for hawks, etc. far enough away that you can't even see them without binoculars, I still think FOV is probably not that big a deal. You'll find them soon enough. You're just scanning anyway.

As for magnification I just can't get into 7x. 8-8.5x has always been my favorite.

Mark
I agree about magnification. 8x is my favorite also. It takes a little learning but spotting birds by hearing them works good once you learn how to do it. My guide in Costa Rica taught me how to do this. He knew exactly by the sound of the bird it's species and then he knew based on that information WHERE to look for them in the jungle. But of course local knowledge and experience always helps! He knew where the birds usually hung out.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 13:07   #46
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And then we have Superman, he don't even need binoculars!
I thought he just had X-ray vision. Did he have telescopic vision too? That would be great!
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 13:09   #47
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Well, I did have an 11.5* (604') Tasco International 400 7x35 with darn nice optics as one of the binoculars in my possession. Not alpha, but yes it was impressive.

Was a nice 60* F day today, but we had other things to do, so my original intention to go back today got thwarted. I have time the next couple of days, but the weather does not look too good.
I am going to have to buy a pair of these SWA vintage binoculars. What ones do you recommend as the best. The Nikon 7x35 porro's WA 1980 vintage or are the Tasco's better? I'd like something with a 500+ FOV.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 14:12   #48
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I feel pretty certain that most of the posters on this thread intend to be discussing a class of super-wider angle binoculars with apparent fields of around 80 degrees. However, the casual use of real field numbers, without any reference to magnification, is obviously causing some confusion. For instance the thread title refers only to a 600’ FOV with no reference to magnification. A 5x binocular with a 600 ft@1000yds FOV wouldn’t even qualify as “wide angle”, much less “super wide angle”. On the other hand, a 10x binocular with a 600’ FOV would have an AFOV in excess of 110 degrees, wider than any commercially available eyepiece. Some of the binoculars that have been mentioned (like the Binon 5x32) have spectacular sounding real fields, but are just “normal” wide angle binoculars once you take the magnification into account. I think it also might be interesting to actually measure the FOV for some of these old super-wides. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some exaggeration in the specs.

Anyway, if the idea is to discuss binoculars with AFOV about equal to 82 degree Naglers you need to do a little math. First, divide the FOV in ft@1000yds by 52.5. That will give you the real FOV in degrees. Then multiply that by the magnification for an approximation of the apparent field. In the real world the “true” apparent field is almost always different from what’s predicted by this method, but no mathematical formula will accurately derive apparent field from real field (or vice versa) unless a value can be assigned to the varying amounts of pincushion distortion in each binocular. Since the value of the pincushion is generally not known an approximation is the best you can do without making a direct measurement.

Last edited by henry link : Friday 10th February 2012 at 15:45.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 14:26   #49
henry link
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Mark,

Sounds like our birding styles are similar, even down to thinking that singing birds are lower than they really are. I also agree with you that super wide angle binoculars are not particularly useful for birding. I'm just not willing to deal with the unpleasant aberrations and distortions that come with 80 degree fields, even with Nagler eyepieces (really especially with the huge pincushion distortion of Nagler eyepieces). From long experience with many binoculars I know that I'm happy enough once the AFOV reaches about 60 degrees and I don't pine for anything over about 65-70 degrees.

Henry

Last edited by henry link : Friday 10th February 2012 at 14:29.
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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 15:55   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post
I agree about magnification. 8x is my favorite also. It takes a little learning but spotting birds by hearing them works good once you learn how to do it. My guide in Costa Rica taught me how to do this. He knew exactly by the sound of the bird it's species and then he knew based on that information WHERE to look for them in the jungle. But of course local knowledge and experience always helps! He knew where the birds usually hung out.
Absolutely. You don't look for a singing Ovenbird, for instance, up in the treetops. But good luck trying to find that Blackpoll warbler by sound alone!

I birded ten years with an 8x42 that only had 330'. Maybe that's why I don't crave ultra-wide bins. I wouldn't go back, but 400-425' seems just about right. I've used the Zen 7x36 at 477' and for me the extra FOV was not really useful.

Henry, interesting that you hear birds lower too. My wife, who can't remember birdsongs to save her life, can nonetheless locate them better than I. Ear shape, maybe? Or something in the brain?
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