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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 15:26   #1
BinoBoy
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Vixen Artes binoculars

Vixen has a new line of two Japanese made open bridge ED bins. There is an 8.5x45 and a 10.5x45. They list for $1000 - $1100. They only places I see listing them on the web are selling them for that price.

http://vixenoptics.com/binoculars/artes.html
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 02:54   #2
james holdsworth
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I would have a bit of doubt about a company that is a division of ''mrstarguy inc.''

Maybe it's just be.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 05:03   #3
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I don't know, but it looks like your finger will slip around on that focusing wheel. Especially if it gets wet.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 05:08   #4
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who would want to drop a grand on a bino with a 5 year warranty???? and at that price they should be argon filled.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 05:58   #5
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I didn't notice the part about the five year warranty. It doesn't make sense. The page above the Artes page says that all Vixen binoculars have a life time warranty. Since the Artes are their most expensive binoculars, they should have the longest warranty.

http://vixenoptics.com/sports.htm

Their parent company with the weird name is odd too. Vixen is a legitimate company. They manufactured the Swift Audubon porros and I believe the Celestron Ultima DX 8x32 also. They still sell an Ascott 8x32 that I think is the Ultima DX. I own an Eagle Optics Raptor 10x42 porro that was made by Vixen. It is pretty nice. I'm assuming that Vixen is the actual manufacturer, not just an importer.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 18:57   #6
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I have known MrStarGuy for a while now...they fixed a Vixen Zoom Eyepiece for me,since they are also the authorized repair center for Vixen in the USA....and they are serious and knowleadgeble..they Are in California,forgot exactly where..They are the distributors of Vixen in the USA,thats all,but Vixen is not a division of MystarGuy...I dont know why thew name of the distributor has be of discredit to either the Brand or themselves.Vixen is a long time serious Optics company...I dont think they Made the Swift Audubon 820,although they use the same body for one of their models,..I recently suggested ,in another thread ,a possible similitud of the Ascot 8x32 with the Ultima DX,but was only a personal Guess(Binoboy, where did You learn that they are the same bino ?,im interested-.)..they Did made the Original Ultima,for celestron,and probably manufacture for many others.and have a very large presence in the Japanese Market...Vixen Japan,actually answered a question about the type of Glass they used in specific spotters ,in a very polite and informative personal email, where most companies just ignore this kind of requests...
I have owned their ED Geoma 80mm and several Eyepieces for Years,and it is an outstanding value,and a great performer.
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 00:55   #7
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I guess I should have said that "I think" Vixen made the bins I mentioned. I don't know for absolute certain about any of them. I read your post about the Ultima DX and I remember other posts speculating about the others.
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 21:15   #8
RJM
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Tele Vue used to be the USA authorized distributor for Vixen Japan. I think it is still even possible to get some leftover inventory if you dig around their website. They had a falling out a few years ago and now the distributorship has passed to the legal enitiy Mr.Starguy. The gentlemen that formed Mr.Starguy are well-know names within the astrogear field being former executives with Meade/Celestron.

As for the Vixen binos, they never made them but sourced them from among several OEMs in Japan and more recently from China. I have not been very impressed with any of the Vixen roofs for some years now. The pick of the porro litter is probably the 7x50 WP triplet. The last decent birding bins they OEMd were the 8/10x44 ED porrosthough you can still get the Swift Audubon 8.5x44ED model 820 direct from their online store in Japan.

Last edited by RJM : Tuesday 7th December 2010 at 21:18.
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 16:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BinoBoy View Post
Vixen has a new line of two Japanese made open bridge ED bins. There is an 8.5x45 and a 10.5x45. They list for $1000 - $1100. They only places I see listing them on the web are selling them for that price.

http://vixenoptics.com/binoculars/artes.html
I've enjoyed Vixen porro binoculars for years in all of their disguises. But $1,100? Wow that's steep...
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 20:06   #10
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Originally Posted by Roadbike View Post
I've enjoyed Vixen porro binoculars for years in all of their disguises. But $1,100? Wow that's steep...
I hardly ever see SK15 prisms featured in bins. Sounds like it could be the next "big deal".
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 20:48   #11
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Originally Posted by lilcrazy2 View Post
who would want to drop a grand on a bino with a 5 year warranty???? and at that price they should be argon filled.
All the alphas are nitrogen filled. AFAIK, Minox is the only manufacturer to use argon, which offers no practical advantages over nitrogen.

John

Last edited by John Russell : Wednesday 8th December 2010 at 20:58.
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 20:57   #12
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I hardly ever see SK15 prisms featured in bins. Sounds like it could be the next "big deal".
It also says they use BaK4 prisms, so what is SK15, a marketing term for dielectric coatings perhaps?

John
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 21:15   #13
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I think I want mine helium filled, so they will be lighter.
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 21:21   #14
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there is only one bino for me and thats the canon 12x36 canon IS, bought the 18x50IS aswell set up plus little leica 10x25s for away days
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 01:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Russell View Post
It also says they use BaK4 prisms, so what is SK15, a marketing term for dielectric coatings perhaps?

John
I really don't know. I just don't see it mentioned much. (Kowa, Eschenbach, Brunton)

Quote:
What are BK-7, BaK-4 and SK15 prisms?


BK-7: Prisms made of boron crown glass. The standard for good image quality.
BaK-4: Selected and carefully machined high-performance prisms of barium crown glass provide even better resolution of details and a brighter image with high colour fidelity.
SK15: Prisms of very high quality SK15 glass are used for the farlux SELECTOR V. They enable minimization of undesirable internal reflections and thus provide a crystal clear image with the best contrast.

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Interestingly, Cabela's website states that Kowa use SK15 glass for the prisms of the Genesis/Prominar XD 44. Here is how that compares to common prism glasses, according to Schott's 2007 optical glass catalogue (PDF file):

Refractive index:
N-BK7 - 1.51680
N-BAK4 - 1.56883
N-SK15 - 1.62296

Abbe number:
N-BK7 - 64.17
N-BAK4 - 55.98
N-SK15 - 58.02

(I think the "N" means the glasses are environmentally friendly replacements for the old leaded versions.)

Cabela's says that the "SK15 roof prisms have a high refractive index". Now, I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not terribly fussy about the refractive index of my prisms! As long as the refractive index is sufficient to cause total internal reflection for all light within the light-cone from the objective, as will be the case in any competently designed binocular, the refractive index doesn't matter. BAK4 glass allows a steeper light cone (i.e. a faster objective, which in turn permits a more compact binocular) than BK7, but otherwise BK7 is superior due to its higher Abbe number (lower dispersion). SK15 seems to strike a decent balance: a higher refractive index than BK7 or even BAK4, permitting a more compact binocular, but lower dispersion than BAK4. I suspect the high Abbe number is why Kowa chose to use it, because the Kowa Prominar XD isn't unusually compact (though compact enough to prevent the use of BK7). I don't know what glass Leica, Swarovski, etc., use in their binocular prisms.
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Last edited by birdazzLED : Thursday 9th December 2010 at 01:48.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 04:46   #16
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I think I want mine helium filled, so they will be lighter.
Yes, that's the way to go. And you could also attach helium balloons to the bins so they'll hoover right in front of the eyes. No hands, NO HANDS!
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 07:05   #17
Martin Fagg
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I've enjoyed Vixen porro binoculars for years in all of their disguises. But $1,100? Wow that's steep...
Hi Roadbike,

what do you think of the Vixen porros? I am interested in the 8x32 and 8x42 Forestas but can't find much in the way of reviews.
Do you know these bins? What sort of view do they have, what would you say they are comparable with?

Apologies for going off topic here.

Best wishes
Martin
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 10:58   #18
John Russell
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I really don't know. I just don't see it mentioned much. (Kowa, Eschenbach, Brunton)
Thanks for that. SK15 is obviously a crown glass then, though I can only find mention of SK14 and SK16 in the Schott catalogue. I suspect SK15 is a special order rather than stock item.
I was amazed at the amount of tests and measurements carried out by Schott and their readiness to supply optical glasses with even tighter tolerances on demand. It opens up speculation on quality differences we had never dreamed of.

John
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 11:49   #19
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If anyone is interested it looks like SK15 might be China Optics ZK21 or Hoya BaCD15
http://www.chinaopticsnet.com/sop/19110000.htm
or Sumita SK15
http://refractiveindex.info/?group=S...aterial=K-SK15

Nor me either! But I did find out that when some cheap bins are labelled BAK7 then they might be Bak4 and not a typo.

David
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 14:53   #20
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Originally Posted by birdazzLED View Post
I hardly ever see SK15 prisms featured in bins. Sounds like it could be the next "big deal".

Interesting, I missed that. In your experience will a SK15 prisms result in a visibly improved image in relatively low powered binoculars like those? Or just enhanced marketing?
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 15:01   #21
Roadbike
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Originally Posted by Martin Fagg View Post
Hi Roadbike,

what do you think of the Vixen porros? I am interested in the 8x32 and 8x42 Forestas but can't find much in the way of reviews.
Do you know these bins? What sort of view do they have, what would you say they are comparable with?

Apologies for going off topic here.

Best wishes
Martin
Hi Martin. My experience has been with the original Vixen Ultima binoculars. I believe some of those models continue under the current Vixen Geoma line. Of the 4 current Geoma models I would recommend the 8x32 for general purpose birding. I've also used it for viewing the night sky. It is light, very compact and delivers bright well focused images. If it is possible for you to purchase both the Foresta and Geoma and return the unwanted one you might try a comparative test. There is a notable difference in the FOV.

Foresta 8x 32 ZWCF 6.4 Degrees
Geoma 8x32 ZWCF 8.3 Degrees

Regards, John

Last edited by Roadbike : Thursday 9th December 2010 at 15:23.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 18:59   #22
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There is a notable difference in the FOV.

Foresta 8x 32 ZWCF 6.4 Degrees
Geoma 8x32 ZWCF 8.3 Degrees
Hi John,

I noticed the Forestas some time ago but was put off by the narrow fov of the 8x32s but they caught my eye again recently because some european stockists have what they are calling the "Foresta ZWCF 8x32 wide" with, apparently, a 7.5* fov like the 8x42.

I liek the fact that they have 20mm e/r. I wear glasses so I think the 15mm e/r of the Geomas wont be enough for me.

Maybe I should try the Foresta ZWCF 8x32 wide and 8x42 and keep one of them if I like them. There's only 80 grams of weight difference between them. 710g and 790g respectively. 710g sounds quite heavy for an 8x32.

Anyway, thanks for the input.

Best wishes
Martin
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 19:11   #23
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Hi John,

I noticed the Forestas some time ago but was put off by the narrow fov of the 8x32s but they caught my eye again recently because some european stockists have what they are calling the "Foresta ZWCF 8x32 wide" with, apparently, a 7.5* fov like the 8x42.

I liek the fact that they have 20mm e/r. I wear glasses so I think the 15mm e/r of the Geomas wont be enough for me.

Maybe I should try the Foresta ZWCF 8x32 wide and 8x42 and keep one of them if I like them. There's only 80 grams of weight difference between them. 710g and 790g respectively. 710g sounds quite heavy for an 8x32.

Anyway, thanks for the input.

Best wishes
Martin
Here's yet another Foresta DCF model with an 8 degree FOV I found on: http://www.vixenoptics.com/binoculars/HRforesta.html

14511 Foresta 8x32 DCF BaK4 8.0 140m 4mm 49.0 3.0m 19.75 oz

Pricing is a bit above the Genoma but still seems reasonable.
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