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Old Wednesday 7th December 2011, 23:21   #26
ceasar
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Omid,
I don't think that the new Nikon EDG line was intended to replace the HG L line. The EDG is a completely new binocular. It looks nothing like the HGL/Premier line did. It has different prism coatings, ED glass, a new diopter mechanism, longer eye relief, wider oculars, improved eye cups and unique winged eye cups that are both substantial and easy on, easy off. And it has better edges, at least to my eyes. I have both the 10 x 32 EDG and 10 x 32 LX L and have compared them both numerous times.

The 8 x 42 and 10 x 42 EDG versions have wider FOV's than the Premiers and there is a brand new 7 x 42 EDG in the line up. Nikon never had a 7 x 42 Roof Prism before and this one was designed to compete with Leica and Zeiss. Swarovski has dropped theirs.

The old HGL/Premier fills a niche between the EDG and the Monarch X in quality and price. The old 10 x 32 HG L is discontinued but the popular 8 x 32 remains as a Premier with all it's previous excellence but (based on recent sales) at a price well under $1000.00.

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Old Thursday 8th December 2011, 03:44   #27
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Omid,
I don't think that the new Nikon EDG line was intended to replace the HG L line. The EDG is a completely new binocular. It looks nothing like the HGL/Premier line did. It has different prism coatings, ED glass, a new diopter mechanism, longer eye relief, wider oculars, improved eye cups and unique winged eye cups that are both substantial and easy on, easy off. And it has better edges, at least to my eyes. I have both the 10 x 32 EDG and 10 x 32 LX L and have compared them both numerous times.

The 8 x 42 and 10 x 42 EDG versions have wider FOV's than the Premiers and there is a brand new 7 x 42 EDG in the line up. Nikon never had a 7 x 42 Roof Prism before and this one was designed to compete with Leica and Zeiss. Swarovski has dropped theirs.

The old HGL/Premier fills a niche between the EDG and the Monarch X in quality and price. The old 10 x 32 HG L is discontinued but the popular 8 x 32 remains as a Premier with all it's previous excellence but (based on recent sales) at a price well under $1000.00.

Bob
Agreed, the HGL and EDG are different breeds, however, the EL and SLC-HD are close to the same price point and same quality standard. Not alpha and beta like the EDG and HGL.

Swaro used to be a two-tier company, ELs on the top shelf and SLCs on the second shelf.

It makes me wonder if the CL series will be expanded in the future to include full sized "Lite" models. If not, where will the 7x42 SLC and 10x42 SLC owners go if they can't afford or don't want to spend WHY2K? on SLC-HDs or ELs?

Swaro's "lateral move" probably has an even greater impact on hunters, but I guess Swaro figures, as the rep stated, hunters will migrate to the heavier, larger aperture 8x and 10x56 SLCs, which Swaro apparently intends to keep making.

However, Swaro SLC birders will either have to move up a shelf to the $2Kers or move down in aperture to the midsized 8x30 or 10x30 CL.

At the next bird count, I'll ask the bird club member who owns an SLC what she plans to do.

Brock
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Old Thursday 8th December 2011, 12:31   #28
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I checked out Vanderpoels blog, and it is very interesting, flying here and there to pick
up a few rare ones as the end of December nears.
It very much reminds me of the recent birding movie "The Big Year". It was discussed here and was entertaining.

Jerry
Jerry,

Yeah, when the movie came out I started following his blog. I hope he breaks the record but geez that will be tough with just over three weeks to go.

Brock,

My guess is that SLC owner, when asked what she plans to do, will say: "Nothing." Most birders I know just aren't equipment hounds like us geeks. Instead they find something they like and stick with it. Very sensible when you think about it.

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Old Thursday 8th December 2011, 19:55   #29
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Omid,
I don't think that the new Nikon EDG line was intended to replace the HG L line. The EDG is a completely new binocular. It looks nothing like the HGL/Premier line did. It has different prism coatings, ED glass, a new diopter mechanism, longer eye relief, wider oculars, improved eye cups and unique winged eye cups that are both substantial and easy on, easy off. And it has better edges, at least to my eyes. I have both the 10 x 32 EDG and 10 x 32 LX L and have compared them both numerous times.
Thanks for your explanation. OK, I take my statement on Nikon EDG and HG models back. But the issue with Swarovski EL SV and SLC HD models still holds.
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Old Friday 9th December 2011, 23:52   #30
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As some posters mentioned earlier, I'd much rather see Leica compete with Swarovski on warranty and customer service.

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Old Wednesday 14th December 2011, 19:29   #31
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........Once a certain level of optics is attained, handling, ergonomics, ease of view, quick focus, and je ne sais quoi mean far more that that last .2% of whatever view you'd want to argue about.

Again, wondering how others bird, these instruments are held in our hands! I for one do not have tripod stability and that infinitesimal "improvement" in the view through your $2.4K glasses doesn't account for much in real world conditions over, say, a lowly pair of Trinovids... most of the time anyway.
Even before reaching the .2% level, it may not make sense any more. As we get older, we can first try to compensate for our diminishing vision with better optics, like selecting brighter models. But there comes a point where our eyes deteriorate to a point that does no longer allow us to make full use of the optical performance of an alpha model. But then, many people buy stuff that does not make sense. And they often are the ones with the most money to spend. So manufacturers particularly cater to that clienele by issuing "more advanced" products.
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Old Thursday 15th December 2011, 19:37   #32
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Some great points here. I confess to having had "issues" finding contentment with Binoculars. Kevin's comment is spot on for me...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...and a voice of reason. Your thoughts greatly mirror my own about this crush towards flat field optics, for BIRDING. Who cares? I don't. You've found something in the SLC that's more important. I've found things in other bins that, to me, are more important.

I've often wondered to myself What kind of birding are these people doing? to place such import on the things they're talking about. To paraphrase something I once wrote on these pages somewhere: Once a certain level of optics is attained, handling, ergonomics, ease of view, quick focus, and je ne sais quoi mean far more that that last .2% of whatever view you'd want to argue about."

The key for me is obtaining a natural instantly satisfying view of a bird in all situations.

I confess to trading in my 8x32 Trinovids due to a chance peep through a pair of 7x42 Ultravid HD's. The latter are indeed VERY fine bins but after a while I found the focus "bite" hard to find? I managed to find a pair of "Trinnies" on eBay and I am content once again. The natural view...
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Old Thursday 15th December 2011, 19:55   #33
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Even before reaching the .2% level, it may not make sense any more. As we get older, we can first try to compensate for our diminishing vision with better optics, like selecting brighter models. But there comes a point where our eyes deteriorate to a point that does no longer allow us to make full use of the optical performance of an alpha model. But then, many people buy stuff that does not make sense. And they often are the ones with the most money to spend. So manufacturers particularly cater to that clienele by issuing "more advanced" products.
Oh, boy, you're on the Alpha Defense League's black list now. :-) Well said!

As long as that clientele keeps digging deeper, the incremental change$ will keep rolling out. However, as the Optics Consumer Index Poll thread seems to indicate, at some price point there will be enough middle class dropouts that alpha makers will be forced to change their business model by either becoming a specialty product company for professionals and the upper crust or by offering an new line of optics at a lower price point.

Zeiss and Swaro have opted for a two-tier business model. It remains to be seen if Leica will adopt the money-is-no-object approach it did to its camera division or follow suit with a CL/Conquest class of instruments.

Brock
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 01:31   #34
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Not a problem. The ADL is censored by the mods.

Have fun.

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 01:46   #35
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Oh, boy, you're on the Alpha Defense League's black list now. :-) Well said!

As long as that clientele keeps digging deeper, the incremental change$ will keep rolling out. However, as the Optics Consumer Index Poll thread seems to indicate, at some price point there will be enough middle class dropouts that alpha makers will be forced to change their business model by either becoming a specialty product company for professionals and the upper crust or by offering an new line of optics at a lower price point.

Zeiss and Swaro have opted for a two-tier business model. It remains to be seen if Leica will adopt the money-is-no-object approach it did to its camera division or follow suit with a CL/Conquest class of instruments.

Brock
Brock:

I want to offer another opinion that seems to agree with yours.
Leica should also think about offering another price-point just as Swaro.
and Zeiss do.
I like choices, and many here, have optics of all kinds from top to
mid and lower levels.
How about a nice econo. Trinovid BL, with slim body, and with great
optics. It would be a big seller, offered in 2 sizes, 8x32, and 8x42.
And another thought is the 7x35, as many here do mention as a great all around.
This would be a temptation for many, if priced right.

I am not a big Leica fan, but they do need to hear from those who would buy one.


Jerry

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 04:09   #36
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I will argue for significant upgrades. I can’t wait for significant improvement!

There is no shortage of customers at all levels. The global market is enormous and growing. There is a market for binoculars are all levels. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, birdwatchers contributed with 36 billion USD to the US economy 2006, and one fifth (20%) of all Americans are identified as birdwatchers! Guided bird tours have become a major business with at least 127 companies offering tours worldwide. An average trip to a less-developed country costs $4000 per person. A Consumer who wastes thousands a year on TV subscriptions and $5 coffee should not be underestimated.

The big three binos come out on top of the vast majority of credible reviews and comparisons over and over. Despite some postings to the contrary – they are better. There is no shortage of those who willing to pay for the best based on my current birding activities.

I completely dismiss the geeky notion that a meaningful or measurable number of buyers of the trendy open bridge fad, red spots, and blue squares are “binocular fashionistas”. These are birders calling out the correct bird IDs. Speculation the binocular manufacturers are depending on socially insecure and weak minded buyers to throw the current model in the garbage and run out and purchase the latest and greatest sounds like an idea fueled by antidepressant overuse or a bad case of “you spot it, you got it”. Aspirational marketing and life style pitches are more the stuff of TV ads for autos. You dont go to Hawk Mtn or Cape May to impress the babes with your bins.

For the serious bino junkie. Leica, Swarovski, Nikon and Zeiss are a bargain if purchased first. The serious user will end up at this level anyway because they are the best. Add up your total spend on optics and let me know if it is close to or exceeds $2200! If it does and you still don’t own the best… you may want to jump off baby step merry-go-round.

Other than that we agree!
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 04:52   #37
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tvc15-
I will argue for significant upgrades. I can’t wait for significant improvement!

I suppose this is a judgement call, but I think you'll be waiting a very long time for a "significant" improvement. The current top tier bins are pretty damn good and, uh, not everyone considers a very flat field an improvement in a birding bin.

There is no shortage of customers at all levels. The global market is enormous and growing. There is a market for binoculars are all levels.

No shit? Who or what are you responding to? Fishing for Herring, of the red variety?

The big three binos come out on top of the vast majority of credible reviews and comparisons over and over. Despite some postings to the contrary – they are better.
Uh uh, go on...

I think you missed the part about flat fields and the question of their utility in a birding binocular.


I completely dismiss the geeky notion that a meaningful or measurable number of buyers of the trendy open bridge fad, red spots, and blue squares are “binocular fashionistas”. These are birders calling out the correct bird IDs. Speculation the binocular manufacturers are depending on socially insecure and weak minded buyers to throw the current model in the garbage and run out and purchase the latest and greatest sounds like an idea fueled by antidepressant overuse or a bad case of “you spot it, you got it”. Aspirational marketing and life style pitches are more the stuff of TV ads for autos. You dont go to Hawk Mtn or Cape May to impress the babes with your bins.

You are on a tear, aren't you? I think the gentleman doth protest too much!

For the serious bino junkie. Leica, Swarovski, Nikon and Zeiss are a bargain if purchased first. The serious user will end up at this level anyway because they are the best. Add up your total spend on optics and let me know if it is close to or exceeds $2200! If it does and you still don’t own the best… you may want to jump off baby step merry-go-round.

Again, you seem to be having your own conversation.

Other than the above, I agree with you
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 10:59   #38
Kammerdiner
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Originally Posted by Kevin Conville View Post
tvc15-
I will argue for significant upgrades. I can’t wait for significant improvement!

I suppose this is a judgement call, but I think you'll be waiting a very long time for a "significant" improvement. The current top tier bins are pretty damn good and, uh, not everyone considers a very flat field an improvement in a birding bin.

There is no shortage of customers at all levels. The global market is enormous and growing. There is a market for binoculars are all levels.

No shit? Who or what are you responding to? Fishing for Herring, of the red variety?

The big three binos come out on top of the vast majority of credible reviews and comparisons over and over. Despite some postings to the contrary – they are better.
Uh uh, go on...

I think you missed the part about flat fields and the question of their utility in a birding binocular.


I completely dismiss the geeky notion that a meaningful or measurable number of buyers of the trendy open bridge fad, red spots, and blue squares are “binocular fashionistas”. These are birders calling out the correct bird IDs. Speculation the binocular manufacturers are depending on socially insecure and weak minded buyers to throw the current model in the garbage and run out and purchase the latest and greatest sounds like an idea fueled by antidepressant overuse or a bad case of “you spot it, you got it”. Aspirational marketing and life style pitches are more the stuff of TV ads for autos. You dont go to Hawk Mtn or Cape May to impress the babes with your bins.

You are on a tear, aren't you? I think the gentleman doth protest too much!

For the serious bino junkie. Leica, Swarovski, Nikon and Zeiss are a bargain if purchased first. The serious user will end up at this level anyway because they are the best. Add up your total spend on optics and let me know if it is close to or exceeds $2200! If it does and you still don’t own the best… you may want to jump off baby step merry-go-round.

Again, you seem to be having your own conversation.

Other than the above, I agree with you
tvc15,

Save your breath...er, your keystrokes. The opposition, for whatever obscure reasons, has far more invested in this debate than you do.

Talk about protesting too much. Geez. I honestly don't know why some folks are so obsessed with cost and "incremental improvements." The cost of an SV wouldn't get you a ten-year-old clunker Buick.

M

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 11:36   #39
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Add up your total spend on optics and let me know if it is close to or exceeds $2200! If it does and you still don’t own the best… you may want to jump off baby step merry-go-round.
Guilty as charged....

...getting off the baby-step merry-go-round.....

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 17:03   #40
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The number of people who are serious birders is grossly overestimated in all of these surveys.

Look at the ABA, membership has been declining for years and the organization was near the brink just last year!

Local naturalist clubs are also a dying breed, with membership aging and no new members. I live in a county of about 80,000 people.......there are 5 serious birders in the whole county.
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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 17:23   #41
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Brock:

I want to offer another opinion that seems to agree with yours.
Leica should also think about offering another price-point just as Swaro.
and Zeiss do.
I like choices, and many here, have optics of all kinds from top to
mid and lower levels.
How about a nice econo. Trinovid BL, with slim body, and with great
optics. It would be a big seller, offered in 2 sizes, 8x32, and 8x42.
And another thought is the 7x35, as many here do mention as a great all around.
This would be a temptation for many, if priced right.

I am not a big Leica fan, but they do need to hear from those who would buy one.


Jerry
Jerry,

Despite the protestations by the president and vice president of the Alpha Defense League in the posts below yours and the bogus notion that only alpha owners are calling out correct IDs in the field, I'm with you on the updated Trinnies. In fact, I made this suggestion earlier here or on another thread.

Even Dennis who likes to own "the best" admitted that his tour guide had an older bin and didn't have any trouble IDing the birds since having the "best" optics is less important than the experience, dedication, and talent of the birder. I also saw this first hand at the last bird count I attended where the birder making the most IDs had a $200 Pentax 8x36 NV! The two birders who had alphas (EL and SLC) were way behind him.

People who believe that owning bins that give them a few percentage points or fraction of percentage points better performance is going to make them a better birder have bought into the alpha mystique myth, and that's the "clientele" that was talked about earlier who will chase the "latest and greatest" at any price, rationalizing their purchases by citing people spending thousands in TV subscriptions and double non-fat lattes.

It's not necessary to rationalize one's purchases. If they got the dough and they want to spend $2,500 or more on roofs with what they deem to be "significant improvements" that's their prerogative. They earned the money, they should spend it anyway they wish.

Unfortunately, it's this willingness to pay whatever it cost to eek out a bit better performance at the top that will probably cause Leica go in that direction rather than making a "Volksbinokel" like Zeiss and Swaro.

Making an updated Trinny, which if done well and priced right, I think would be enormously popular; however, the ADL would see it as a step backwards even if Leica updated them with the latest coatings, because they would rationalize that an updated Trinny would not help them make that critical ID that the "latest and greatest" could. Or they would not have the satisfaction of owning "the best".

Fine, let them have their cake and eat it too, but let's also make an effort to tell the top optics companies that the rest of the bozons on the bus would like to have a slice too and at a price that doesn't put a hole in our pockets.

Until which time I find an "unofficial" alpha that fits my needs and budget, I'll stick with my premium porros and un double au lait demi écrémé. :-)

Brock

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 19:45   #42
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I will argue for significant upgrades. I can’t wait for significant improvement!

There is no shortage of customers at all levels. The global market is enormous and growing. There is a market for binoculars are all levels. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, birdwatchers contributed with 36 billion USD to the US economy 2006, and one fifth (20%) of all Americans are identified as birdwatchers! Guided bird tours have become a major business with at least 127 companies offering tours worldwide. An average trip to a less-developed country costs $4000 per person. A Consumer who wastes thousands a year on TV subscriptions and $5 coffee should not be underestimated.

The big three binos come out on top of the vast majority of credible reviews and comparisons over and over. Despite some postings to the contrary – they are better. There is no shortage of those who willing to pay for the best based on my current birding activities.

I completely dismiss the geeky notion that a meaningful or measurable number of buyers of the trendy open bridge fad, red spots, and blue squares are “binocular fashionistas”. These are birders calling out the correct bird IDs. Speculation the binocular manufacturers are depending on socially insecure and weak minded buyers to throw the current model in the garbage and run out and purchase the latest and greatest sounds like an idea fueled by antidepressant overuse or a bad case of “you spot it, you got it”. Aspirational marketing and life style pitches are more the stuff of TV ads for autos. You dont go to Hawk Mtn or Cape May to impress the babes with your bins.

For the serious bino junkie. Leica, Swarovski, Nikon and Zeiss are a bargain if purchased first. The serious user will end up at this level anyway because they are the best. Add up your total spend on optics and let me know if it is close to or exceeds $2200! If it does and you still don’t own the best… you may want to jump off baby step merry-go-round.

Other than that we agree!
On the whole, I agree w/all these points, and I don't think they are misplaced. I do wish, relating to james' comment, that there were more serious birders though.

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Old Friday 16th December 2011, 21:42   #43
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Frank, like so many of us, we can only go to the detox clinic every so often before the lure of good optics calls us back. When someone enjoys optics as much as you do it’s a blessing not a curse. I like your recommendations They match the comfort level of the people seeking help.

Those resistant to change can take comfort knowing it is possible to get a Swaro product that won’t be upgraded http://www.amazon.com/Swarovski-Crys.../dp/B005EDAMTM

I have not seen enough flat field to offer an opinion. I enjoy reading the nuances of the best bins and learning what to look for.

Bring on the new and let’s see who the best picks are (if anyone is still confused who the best brands are at this level). A Leica 10X25 HD would bring me running to the store in record time for a look. An ID can be made with almost any bin. For me a really great bin adds a huge level of enjoyment. My alphas never stop making me say wow every time I use them! Few items I own have delivered so much enjoyment. It was money well spent.

As Alexis has pointed out, when you spend $4000 to go to Belize to search for a Harpy Eagle. Do you really want to put a plastic bag over your head for waterproofness and hope they don’t fog up when the Harpy Eagle appears? Or would you rather just buy a modern waterproof model. This is not a decision most of us spend much time on. Remember the joy you felt when you discovered your first piece of lint on the prism of your unsealed bins? It’s not too late to relive that experience by avoiding sealed bins.

I don’t mind challenging a blowhard who splashes around half baked. ideas.

Sir Rantsalot himself has spent considerable time and money on his endless failed search for satisfaction on incremental half steps which has led to malcontent giving the impression (from what I have read) that all binoculars are bad and a total disrespect and bad treatment for optics companies with a hundred year old history of making the best! At least that is the way it appears to me.

no such problem here. I have been loving my Leica HDs daily. No complaints here! I am happy to recommend then for consideration. Sadly Leica and other top makers can’t please everyone.

Serious binocular upgraders might want to be aware saving up more money and starting at the top of what you can afford may be less expensive than the half steps recommended by critics. Why go through delta and beta when it costs less to go straight for the alpha

Some ideas I find odd (putting it gently) are

1) Chinese makers are crushing the top glass makers with cheap good quality bins and will drive them out of business. Nonsense!
2) The apex was reached there and nothing more can be done. It’s over. Save your money. Vintage poros and foggy unsealed bins with dusty prisms will rise up and smite down the uber bins if enough posts are generated.
3) The public has been hoodwinked by coatings, ED glass, reduced CA, reduced flare, reduced ghosting, better color, better contrast, better back lighting performance, improved material, improved manufacturing, submersible, titanium, magnesium, no grease focus and other “gimmicks”.
4) The uber bins should reduce the quality and dive into lower priced ”here today gone tomorrow” China slug fest. (Total lack of understanding the marketplace).

I could go on but I lack the wind capacity of Sir Rantsalot.

Buy what you like after comparing and dont be fearful of buying the best first if you are the type who will end up there anyway.

Other than that we are in agreement.
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 01:04   #44
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Jerry,

Despite the protestations by the president and vice president of the Alpha Defense League in the posts below yours and the bogus notion that only alpha owners are calling out correct IDs in the field, I'm with you on the updated Trinnies. In fact, I made this suggestion earlier here or on another thread.

Even Dennis who likes to own "the best" admitted that his tour guide had an older bin and didn't have any trouble IDing the birds since having the "best" optics is less important than the experience, dedication, and talent of the birder. I also saw this first hand at the last bird count I attended where the birder making the most IDs had a $200 Pentax 8x36 NV! The two birders who had alphas (EL and SLC) were way behind him.

People who believe that owning bins that give them a few percentage points or fraction of percentage points better performance is going to make them a better birder have bought into the alpha mystique myth, and that's the "clientele" that was talked about earlier who will chase the "latest and greatest" at any price, rationalizing their purchases by citing people spending thousands in TV subscriptions and double non-fat lattes.

It's not necessary to rationalize one's purchases. If they got the dough and they want to spend $2,500 or more on roofs with what they deem to be "significant improvements" that's their prerogative. They earned the money, they should spend it anyway they wish.

Unfortunately, it's this willingness to pay whatever it cost to eek out a bit better performance at the top that will probably cause Leica go in that direction rather than making a "Volksbinokel" like Zeiss and Swaro.

Making an updated Trinny, which if done well and priced right, I think would be enormously popular; however, the ADL would see it as a step backwards even if Leica updated them with the latest coatings, because they would rationalize that an updated Trinny would not help them make that critical ID that the "latest and greatest" could. Or they would not have the satisfaction of owning "the best".

Fine, let them have their cake and eat it too, but let's also make an effort to tell the top optics companies that the rest of the bozons on the bus would like to have a slice too and at a price that doesn't put a hole in our pockets.

Until which time I find an "unofficial" alpha that fits my needs and budget, I'll stick with my premium porros and un double au lait demi écrémé. :-)

Brock
If the lower-priced stuff is so good, then why complain about the price of alphas? Just get a Chinese bin, or an SE, and be done with it.

No argument from me. I've tried 'em all and I agree!

And if the alphas price themselves into oblivion, what's it to you? Why the heck do you CARE so much?

I'm no "alpha snob," buying into the "alpha mystique myth," etc. "Clientele"? Don't make me laugh. Couldn't care less.

I'm not an "alpha snob." "Alpha slob" maybe. The whole debate is tiresome, and as near as I can tell nearly pointless.

Carry on if you must, and it seems you really must, but count me out.

Ah yes, why have I settled on the SV? I like them the best. Pretty simple really.

Mark

Last edited by Kammerdiner : Saturday 17th December 2011 at 01:33.
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 02:47   #45
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Oh Come on Mark,

Be honest you must have purchased this bin so you could flash the logo around pubs. You just want to be part of the binocular glitterati right?

No chance you scrimped and saved to purchase the bin because the view takes your breath away and adds the most enjoyment you could get.

Enjoy your choice. I would expect Swarovski’s latest offering would outperform the retro recommendations and the “not quite alphas” (which are not quite alphas) by a substantial margin.

Try and cope with all that guilt you feel very time you pick it up and have a view that blows away the competition.

Try not to be giddy when the people you bird with can’t tell what color the back lit bird is.
Just tell them gently with no grin.

Enjoy
T
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 03:42   #46
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...As Alexis has pointed out, when you spend $4000 to go to Belize to search for a Harpy Eagle. Do you really want to put a plastic bag over your head for waterproofness and hope they don’t fog up when the Harpy Eagle appears?..
Just for the record, that wasn't me. Might have been Dennis. I like waterproofing, probably take it too much for granted, but I've never thought it was all that essential for most birding.

Brock, am I the vice president of the Alpha Defense League? I hope so. Don't want to miss this chance to add an impressive sounding line to my CV. :)

--AP
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 05:41   #47
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My apologies for inaccurately tagging Alexis with a quote he did not make and the original poster who deserves the credit.

Ok Sir Rantsalot. We both had some fun now let’s get to the meat on the bone.

I am pretty certain based on the information in your 990 lengthy posts, you have wasted more than the $2200 on unsatisfying binoculars. I am having some difficulty understanding your decision process. For all the time and money you have invested I would expect you to have a greater return on your investment. Meaning by now you should have a spectacular view in your hands. But your posts are nonstop complaining about every binocular in production.

My read is your almost happy with the almost alphas when you almost bird. Which makes no sense to me.
In contrast I am happy, with my alphas, when I bird. I hit my goal and it did not take very long zero in on the right hardware.
Why Is your own advice not working for you?

The benefit of owning a binocular that provides a superb view is the enjoyment of the superb view. No one buys any binocular because it l imparts birding skills or substantial advantage in all conditions. In some conditions Leica HDs and the other top bins will provide a substantial advantage. As you get more experience and open up to alphas (which is taking you longer than I ever anticipated) you will learn this first hand. I understand your confusion when you most recent discovery was bird calls are important for birding. You are on the right track. Now if I could just get the train moving.

So, what is the binocular that will make you happy and how come you don’t own it?
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 05:44   #48
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ADL prez wrote:

"I don’t mind challenging a blowhard who splashes around half baked. ideas. Sir Rantsalot himself has spent considerable time and money on his endless failed search for satisfaction on incremental half steps which has led to malcontent giving the impression (from what I have read) that all binoculars are bad and a total disrespect and bad treatment for optics companies with a hundred year old history of making the best! At least that is the way it appears to me."

I never said that "all binoculars are bad". I have said that "all binoculars are a set of compromises," and anyone who has read Henry's reviews and other expert reviews will back me up on that statement.

"and a total disrespect and bad treatment for optics companies with a hundred year old history of making the best!"

How long have p-coatings been around? 20 years? So for 80 years birders have been looking through "the best" roofs with fuzzy, dim images? Egads!

During my "Frank Period" I tried a number of bins, mostly porros, almost all were bought used at rock bottom prices. My aim was to find out if what reviewers were saying matched my own experience. As one who values first hand experience with bins, I'm sure the prez could appreciate that.

And I have continued to try new bins whenever the opportunity presents itself, whether that has been borrowing friend's bins or trying new bins at stores.

But for the past 5 to 7 years, my personal stable of binoculars have consisted mainly of the same series of bins: SEs, EIIs, and 804 Audubons. I have bought samples with different coatings and years of manufacture, and for the most part, "newer is better" because of advances in coatings technology, but not in all cases since I sold the ED and FMC 804s and kept the oldest MC pair, which has the least distortion and best edges.

Relative to what alphas cost these days, I have not spent a lot of money at all, from $250 to $550 per bin. And almost always when I buy a bin, I sell a bin, so there's nothing to very little lost.

Are SEs and EIIs "alphas"? It's a matter of semantics. Certainly not what is usually called "alphas" but I have challenged that definition, and those who hold fast to alphas = Big Three + Nikon EDG are perturbed by the notion that "old technology" porros could be "alphas," as per the discussions on the "Unofficial Alphas" thread.

I do prefer porros, not only for their "better bang for the buck" but for their better 3-D views and apparent depth perception. And also because I find them easier to hold.

So if we were living in Bizarro World where everything was the opposite as it was here, and premium porros cost $2K, I'd be in trouble.

As far as the VP's statement earlier about why "some folks are so obsessed with cost and "incremental improvements." And then on to the rationale that even a 10 year old Buick clunker costs more than an SV EL.

People looking for the best bang for their buck don't drive Buicks! Besides most 10-year-old Buicks' engines were melted down in the cash for clunkers program and their remains were probably crushed into scrap metal.

Plus that's apples and kumquats. One is transportation, a necessity unless you live in a city, the other, binoculars, is for a hobby, something purchased purely for pleasure.

Here we are in agreement. You can't place a price on pleasure (well, except on 11th Ave. in NYC and Vegas :-) or personal satisfaction. So if $2,300 binoculars pleases you, I have no problem with that, particularly in the case of the SV EL, which by most accounts actually is a "significant improvement" (or at least significant change) over the previous model.

So the prez's call for "significant improvements" is one I would agree with. No more sticking consumers with $500-$700 for incremental improvements that only show up at 56x or as a very slight bump on a light transmission test.

That's my beef! Where's the beef? No beef, just pork.

I'm wondering why the VP is not upset about buyers paying more for incremental improvements! I know the discontent has risen among other BF members about this issue since I first brought it up several years ago. They're getting wise to such marketing ploys.

"Significant improvements" -- well, that's a horse of a different color, and one that I think many birders from both sides of the tracks can agree on though they might not agree on what those improvements are worth monetarily. We may also not agree on what constitutes a "significant improvement".

But "change for change's sake" is a waste of resources, both natural and financial. I think that's probably another point of agreement.

I have no disrespect for the Teutonics. They have pioneered sports optics and other companies who came later owe a debt of gratitude to them for the "trickle down" that came from their R&D.

So as I see it, we agree more than we disagree, though that's probably hard to see through the all ad hominems.

And for the record, my ideas are not half baked, but seasoned and placed in a pan for at least four hours at 350* and basted every half hour. :-)

Whatever bin you have, whatever price it cost, enjoy it to the fullest. I think that's more important than bickering over whose bin is the best.

My next door neighbor, whom I've known for 14 years, and who was a few years younger than I, died suddenly two days ago. He left behind lots of gadgets and specialized tools (he had a Ph.D. in Material Science and worked as a university researcher). He also left behind an old two-seater Honda Insight and a Porsche 924.

He only has one living relative, a sister yet to be found. So most of his possessions might be auctioned off by the state.

Lesson learned: Less discussing binoculars and more using them!

Brock
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 08:14   #49
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In some conditions Leica HDs and the other top bins will provide a substantial advantage.
Could you enumerate some of these substantial advantages? I know the list must be endless, but perhaps just several should suffice.

Tom
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Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 14:46   #50
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After reading this whole thread my eyes hurt. I say this without being serious of course. If I had the money I would buy a Swarovski 8.5x Swarovision as soon as possible, not because of cost, not because of the badge, just because I loved it and warranty.
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