Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 00:48   #1
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Binocular Evaluations

I think that basically I know a good set of binoculars when I look through them but honestly I've never really thought about it until I joined this forum in December. I joined because I got excited about bird watching and the optical end of that. I've always carried compact binoculars but in November bought my first pair of full sized optics. I didn't really know about more than a half dozen companies and did my initial research on those. I had a low end budget but wanted something really good for my money. I knew from the inexpensive Nikon compacts I've owned that it could be done. I've owned maybe five pair of Nikons and one pair of Swift compacts in my life. I knew how good the Nikons were so I was biased for sure. Where I live it's kind of hard to put your hands on a lot of binocs so I went mostly on reviews. I ended up with the new Nikon Monarch 3 8x42. I think I did ok but now know I could have done better for that $200. That's my binocular history up to now so you get some idea of where I'm coming from.

When I got here I got swept up in the optical excitement. No one I know personally cares about optics like I do. So like a kid in a candy store I jumped in with both feet and within the next week (waiting for deliveries) I will own nine pairs of binoculars.

Better late than never I'm realizing I don't know enough about evaluating these optics to know which ones to keep and which to let go of. I do understand some of the basics of course but I hear terms here that mean almost nothing to me.

So I would like to ask for some help here.

Would some of you be willing to make a list of the most important things to look for when evaluating and testing these optics? Many of these binocs will be close optically but there well be other things that I will not know to look for to separate the good from the great. Or if there is a link to a thread here that already covers this subject. I'd greatly appreciate the help. And if you can briefly describe how to make the tests to determine these different mysterious things.

Help out a newb dudes. Pretty please. I'd like to be able to make some reasonably worthwhile evaluations to share with you all.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 01:57   #2
FrankD
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,368
Black Crow,

I am not sure if we have any threads specifically listing all of the things to look for when evaluating an optic. Star testing a binocular helps a bit. Do a little search in the binocular forum and you will find enough results for that. Beyond that it can often come down to individual preference for many issue. Edge performance that bothers one person might not bother another.

I know you have read through the Sightron thread I posted. I am fairly certain I hit most of the major areas. Optical characteristics to consider when evaluating an optic, at least for me, would include apparent sharpness (in the center of the field of view and on the edges...ie, size of sweet spot), apparent contrast, color representation (neutral, warm cold), color fringing control, field of view, eye relief, apparent brightness, etc....

Physically you should consider how well the binoculars fit in your hand. Are they ergonomic? Does your index finger comfortably reach the focusing knob? Are the strap lugs in the way? Is the binocular well balanced? How smooth is the focusing mechanism? Does it have good tension and speed? How about the rubber armor? How does it feel to you? Slick, sticky?

Just some things to consider. I am sure the others can come up with more.
__________________
Digiscoped videos via the Iphone 5S and either of my two spotting scopes can be found at.......

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAf...1LMvsLF0DExoog
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 02:10   #3
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Can you briefly explain color fringing?
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 02:38   #4
WilsonsWarbler
Registered User
 
WilsonsWarbler's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 130
I believe he means Chromatic Aberration (which I most fear... :). Basically, if you look at something with high contrast, such as a (black) crow or tree limb against an overcast sky, there can be a yellowish or blueish outline around the crow, etc. This so called CA can often be more noticeable off center of the field of view as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration

Frank or others might have more info yet.

Last edited by WilsonsWarbler : Saturday 7th January 2012 at 02:46.
WilsonsWarbler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 02:54   #5
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
OK I've seen that. Is it supposed to be completely absent or is there degrees to look for?
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 02:58   #6
WilsonsWarbler
Registered User
 
WilsonsWarbler's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 130
It depends... It normally is less on center, but some bins have a larger area that is mostly free of it versus others. Although I've read a few reviews where the was CA on center, but not off center. No idea how that happens. Also, 10x often (but not always!) have more than 7 or 8x.

From my experience with the worst case scenarios (crow, or tree branches with winter sky) I'd say only the a few binoculars show little to no CA, even in center.

From what I have looked through, that seems to be Zen Ray ED2 or ED3, Zeiss FL and Cabela's Euro HD. My point is that even with some of the best these days, it's hard to eliminate CA completely, even in center.

Last edited by WilsonsWarbler : Saturday 7th January 2012 at 03:01.
WilsonsWarbler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 03:15   #7
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
OK, thanks.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 03:29   #8
lilcrazy2
Registered User
 
lilcrazy2's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Delaware
Posts: 973
BC
you can go to www.allbinos.com and read "How we test binoculars" and look at some of the test results to get an idea. You can also read the many reviews posted throught this forum for ideas.

Nikon puts out some good info here you may find useful- just click the links:
http://www.nikon.com/products/sporto...ologies_08.htm
lilcrazy2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 03:33   #9
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Hey thanks. I'll check that all out tomorrow.

I should be full of it by evening.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 04:01   #10
brocknroller
confessed porromaniac

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Borscht Belt
Posts: 4,597
He who looks for "rolling ball" gathers no moss.
brocknroller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 05:48   #11
denco@comcast.n
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver,CO
Posts: 4,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by black crow View Post
I think that basically I know a good set of binoculars when I look through them but honestly I've never really thought about it until I joined this forum in December. I joined because I got excited about bird watching and the optical end of that. I've always carried compact binoculars but in November bought my first pair of full sized optics. I didn't really know about more than a half dozen companies and did my initial research on those. I had a low end budget but wanted something really good for my money. I knew from the inexpensive Nikon compacts I've owned that it could be done. I've owned maybe five pair of Nikons and one pair of Swift compacts in my life. I knew how good the Nikons were so I was biased for sure. Where I live it's kind of hard to put your hands on a lot of binocs so I went mostly on reviews. I ended up with the new Nikon Monarch 3 8x42. I think I did ok but now know I could have done better for that $200. That's my binocular history up to now so you get some idea of where I'm coming from.

When I got here I got swept up in the optical excitement. No one I know personally cares about optics like I do. So like a kid in a candy store I jumped in with both feet and within the next week (waiting for deliveries) I will own nine pairs of binoculars.

Better late than never I'm realizing I don't know enough about evaluating these optics to know which ones to keep and which to let go of. I do understand some of the basics of course but I hear terms here that mean almost nothing to me.

So I would like to ask for some help here.

Would some of you be willing to make a list of the most important things to look for when evaluating and testing these optics? Many of these binocs will be close optically but there well be other things that I will not know to look for to separate the good from the great. Or if there is a link to a thread here that already covers this subject. I'd greatly appreciate the help. And if you can briefly describe how to make the tests to determine these different mysterious things.

Help out a newb dudes. Pretty please. I'd like to be able to make some reasonably worthwhile evaluations to share with you all.
It is basically very easy to evaluate binoculars. Experience is the best teacher. You don't really need to know all the technical jargon that is used on this website. Go to a store like Cabellas that has alot of different binoculars and look through these binoculars. A Swarovski Swarovision 8.5x42, Zeiss 8x42 FL and a Nikon 8x42 EDG. Now remember as well as you can what they looked like. Now look through a Nikon 8x42 Monarch. Again remember what it looks like. Now look through any 8x42 binocular that cost less than $100.00. Remember again what it looks like. Now you have a baseline of what the best, the good and the poor look like. When you move from the poor to the best you will probably go. WOW! These Swarovisions or Zeiss FL or EDG's are AWESOME. If you haven't looked through alpha glass much that will most likely be your response. You don't have to know anything about CA or ER or resolution or coatings or anything about optical theory. When you look through an alpha glass your EYES will tell you you are looking through something special. The trouble is once you have used alpha glass for awhile it is "Hard to go Backa" (A term I coined in the famous thread I started entitled "Once you have Alpha you can't go Backa"). Once your eyes become accustomed to fine optics it hard to go back to lesser ones. The more experience you have the better you will become at judging binoculars. Of course your memory fades so it is always good to revisit different binoculars to refresh it.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 10:26   #12
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by denco@comcast.n View Post
It is basically very easy to evaluate binoculars. Experience is the best teacher. You don't really need to know all the technical jargon that is used on this website. Go to a store like Cabellas that has alot of different binoculars and look through these binoculars. A Swarovski Swarovision 8.5x42, Zeiss 8x42 FL and a Nikon 8x42 EDG. Now remember as well as you can what they looked like. Now look through a Nikon 8x42 Monarch. Again remember what it looks like. Now look through any 8x42 binocular that cost less than $100.00. Remember again what it looks like. Now you have a baseline of what the best, the good and the poor look like. When you move from the poor to the best you will probably go. WOW! These Swarovisions or Zeiss FL or EDG's are AWESOME. If you haven't looked through alpha glass much that will most likely be your response. You don't have to know anything about CA or ER or resolution or coatings or anything about optical theory. When you look through an alpha glass your EYES will tell you you are looking through something special. The trouble is once you have used alpha glass for awhile it is "Hard to go Backa" (A term I coined in the famous thread I started entitled "Once you have Alpha you can't go Backa"). Once your eyes become accustomed to fine optics it hard to go back to lesser ones. The more experience you have the better you will become at judging binoculars. Of course your memory fades so it is always good to revisit different binoculars to refresh it.
First off did you read where I mentioned the Closest Cabellas like binoc store is like a four hour drive?

But there are others things besides the wow effect of optics viewing that one needs to look for. I don't want to get on your case here but I mentioned that many good binocs can under easy viewing conditions compare with some of the best binocs. For instance I have managed to get a peep through upper end Kowa binocs and even had my Monarch 3s in hand for a comparison at the store's outside birdfeeders on an overcast day. There was all these beatuiful yellow finches at the feeders and Kowas won but not by much. They had more of what I called at the time a sense of "being there" with what you were looking at. But I certainly couldn't justify the difference in price. But I'll bet if I had them both in the field for a day and knew about stray light (is this the correct term?) problems or fringing and how to look for it I would have come away not thinking they were so close. Later when I got my Eagle's in the mail I noticed that same wow factor optically over the Nikons. In the field I really noticed it. I think they would have really compared favorably with the Kowa's and I might have said hey for $800 bucks less I'm getting the same binoc. And maybe I am. But there may well be things I'm missing.

I'm not convinced at all that the upper priced binocs are worth that money anyway and that really doesn't help me much in evaluation of the binocs I have at hand. I'm really happy with those Eagles so far. And so is my pocket book. I got em on sale at $179 and can't believe my good fortune. Like you mentioned I'm satisfied with less than you are. (for which o lord I am grateful) In the mean time I want to learn how to evaluate the optics I am interested in.

Best bang for the buck and all that. (I just said that to irritate you)
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 12:33   #13
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilcrazy2 View Post
BC
you can go to www.allbinos.com and read "How we test binoculars" and look at some of the test results to get an idea. You can also read the many reviews posted throught this forum for ideas.

Nikon puts out some good info here you may find useful- just click the links:
http://www.nikon.com/products/sporto...ologies_08.htm
Hi Tom, I have never seen that Nikon link before, thanks for posting it! I think I might be one of the lucky ones, my brain/ eyes adapt to some of the aberrations, positive/negative distortion, the dreaded rolling ball. That link has an excellent image showing CA. I can't adjust to CA though. Astigmatism and SA if high enough is a real view killer.

BC you can check how sharp the field of view from center out to edge is real fast at night looking at stars.
__________________
Regards,Steve

Last edited by mooreorless : Saturday 7th January 2012 at 12:44.
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 12:37   #14
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Can you explain "rolling ball" to me?
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 13:05   #15
mooreorless
Registered User
 
mooreorless's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntingdon,Pa.
Posts: 3,019
I would not look for it.
__________________
Regards,Steve
mooreorless is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 13:38   #16
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Knowledge is a double edged sword but as Don Juan sez, It is our destiny to learn and be hurled into inconceivable worlds.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 14:27   #17
bh46118
Registered User
 
bh46118's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,056
If you don't do a direct A-B comparison, then I don't think you can tell for sure which optic is best. The memory is not reliable on fine details. That being said, your eyes are your reference. If a particular binocular is very decent, or very bad, your eyes will tell you based on what you see in everyday life. To judge two great binoculars against one another, you need to see them both together, or A-B them against a known reference. After you find the the optic that best suits you, you will find that it won't be best for everyone else. It depends on which set of compromises or strengths are important to the individual. Just my opinion for what that's worth.

Bruce
bh46118 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 14:28   #18
Stet
Registered User
 
Stet's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 327
Hey Black Crow,

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you and I am interested in the responses you'll get from this thread. Which by the way I think is a great idea and I wish I would have thought of it 4 months ago. I am new to this binocular game also and have been comparing alot of binoculars over the past 4 months. Although my advice is not exactly what you are looking for, I can offer some hints I have gleaned through my experiences that I hope would be helpful to you in sorting out your comparisions.

Recently I've been thoroughly comparing 5 sets of binoculars over the last month and a half. Lord, I can't imagine doing nine at one time! You certainly have to have your ducks in a row to pull that off effectively. Even with just five pairs, it can get quite confusing sometimes. Especially during the analytical stage of comparison. Each pair will be strong in certain areas and weak in other areas. The hard part is deciding which strong points add the most to YOUR viewing pleasure. Sometimes the technical winner is not always the one that gives you the most viewing pleasure. There seems to always be some sort of compromise involved.

You'll definetly be spending alot of time analyzing technical details through A/B comparisons on static objects, something that won't run away. Where you'll be comparing how sharp the image is, how well it is resolving the fine details, how easily did it snap into focus, the contrast, color representation, sweet spot size, edge sharpness, etc etc. After all this work I find it equally important to take the binoculars out to compare on some live subjects that really interest you. It being winter, I'm finding the best way for me is to lay out the bins on the front seat of my car and drive around the farm lands in search of wildlife. Crows are abundant, along with turkey, deer, hawks and various other birds. I find when I'm viewing a live animal that interest me, my attention shifts from the technical view of the binocular to the animal itself and the binoculars strong points and weak points become readily apparent. I also find trying to ID a bird in a far off tree is a good test of a binoculars ability to resolve fine details. Driving around this way also lets me use the binoculars in a varity of situations and varying light.

Another thing I've found useful is, after all the A/B comparisons, is to spend some alone time with each binocular, where there is no A/B comparisons. Say, one day with just one binocular. This helps me get a truer feel of how a binocular is going to fit into my daily uses and lets me really just enjoy the binocular. Instead of fretting over if this or that quality is better on this bin or that bin.

Hope this helps in some way and I'm looking forward to hearing the results of your comparisons.

John
Stet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 14:48   #19
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
is to spend some alone time with each binocular,
This sounds a little too kinky for me man.



Thanks for the advice and I'll take it. I won't be comparing all nine binoc directly against each other. The compacts won't go against the full sized in any major evaluation. It will come down to evaluation of maybe three to four binocs against each other. Fortunately I took an early retirement so I have lots of time and I do spend at least two hours most days glassing in the hills around my home. Nice to know I'm not the only one with these questions. We'll have to compare notes when I get my evaluations done. I should have all the binocs by the end of next week. The set I really want to evaluate against each other is the

VORTEX TIMERLINE 7X36
VORTEX FURY 6.5X32
EAGLE OPTICS RANGER SRT 6X32

another comparison I'm very interested in is the

NIKON MONARCH 3 8X42
SIGHTRON SIIBL 8X32
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.

Last edited by black crow : Saturday 7th January 2012 at 14:52.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 15:27   #20
denco@comcast.n
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver,CO
Posts: 4,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by black crow View Post
First off did you read where I mentioned the Closest Cabellas like binoc store is like a four hour drive?

But there are others things besides the wow effect of optics viewing that one needs to look for. I don't want to get on your case here but I mentioned that many good binocs can under easy viewing conditions compare with some of the best binocs. For instance I have managed to get a peep through upper end Kowa binocs and even had my Monarch 3s in hand for a comparison at the store's outside birdfeeders on an overcast day. There was all these beatuiful yellow finches at the feeders and Kowas won but not by much. They had more of what I called at the time a sense of "being there" with what you were looking at. But I certainly couldn't justify the difference in price. But I'll bet if I had them both in the field for a day and knew about stray light (is this the correct term?) problems or fringing and how to look for it I would have come away not thinking they were so close. Later when I got my Eagle's in the mail I noticed that same wow factor optically over the Nikons. In the field I really noticed it. I think they would have really compared favorably with the Kowa's and I might have said hey for $800 bucks less I'm getting the same binoc. And maybe I am. But there may well be things I'm missing.

I'm not convinced at all that the upper priced binocs are worth that money anyway and that really doesn't help me much in evaluation of the binocs I have at hand. I'm really happy with those Eagles so far. And so is my pocket book. I got em on sale at $179 and can't believe my good fortune. Like you mentioned I'm satisfied with less than you are. (for which o lord I am grateful) In the mean time I want to learn how to evaluate the optics I am interested in.

Best bang for the buck and all that. (I just said that to irritate you)
If you think the less expensive binoculars ar as good as the alpha's then good for you. You just saved alot of money! To my eyes they are not. I think once you have more time with an alpha observing under different lighting conditions and viewing different birds you will come to realize there is a difference and that difference is worth the extra money. An extra $1k averaged over a lifetime of use is not that much. Maybe $30.00 a year? I think once you are more experienced with optics you will come to appreciate the top glass. To me that little bit of extra money is well worth it. You know all you have to do is give up a Starbucks coffee once in awhile to enjoy a Zeiss FL or a Swarovski Swarovision.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 15:31   #21
denco@comcast.n
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver,CO
Posts: 4,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by bh46118 View Post
If you don't do a direct A-B comparison, then I don't think you can tell for sure which optic is best. The memory is not reliable on fine details. That being said, your eyes are your reference. If a particular binocular is very decent, or very bad, your eyes will tell you based on what you see in everyday life. To judge two great binoculars against one another, you need to see them both together, or A-B them against a known reference. After you find the the optic that best suits you, you will find that it won't be best for everyone else. It depends on which set of compromises or strengths are important to the individual. Just my opinion for what that's worth.

Bruce
Once you have done ALOT of comparisons you remember what was best when you compared them though. I have compared alot of alphas side by side and decided waht I liked best. My results seem to compare with all the major reviews so I think I am in the ballpark. When I get a new glass I compare it to what I know is the best and arrive at a ranking for them.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 15:51   #22
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
If you think the less expensive binoculars ar as good as the alpha's then good for you. You just saved alot of money! To my eyes they are not. I think once you have more time with an alpha observing under different lighting conditions and viewing different birds you will come to realize there is a difference and that difference is worth the extra money. An extra $1k averaged over a lifetime of use is not that much. Maybe $30.00 a year? I think once you are more experienced with optics you will come to appreciate the top glass. To me that little bit of extra money is well worth it. You know all you have to do is give up a Starbucks coffee once in awhile to enjoy a Zeiss FL or a Swarovski Swarovision.
I hear that and maybe it's even true. One thing I've learned about myself however is that working my way up is a learning experience and also fun. Right now I'm thrilled with the optics I'm looking at and learning a lot about optics in the process. When I feel knowledgeable I can then seriously evaluate all the optics choices I have in the marketplace. Like I said before money is not an obstacle for me.

Value however is a ethical consideration for me. If I bought the alphas and then realized that for the money they were not the best value I'd feel like a sap. Not a feeling I like especially when it could have been avoided with time and patience.

And it's not like I feel deprived in any way. Like I said I'm thrilled. I don't use that world lightly here. I'm in love with the experience I'm having right now. I'm in love with the optical quality I've discovered with my own effort and using my best judgments about value. I'm thrilled that I've found good people to socialize with and learn from and share with about a passion that has had no outlet with others up until now. You have no idea how much fun and value I've gotten from my few weeks here. And all for a few hundred bucks. I'm winning dude.

Now down the road and as a very natural process I may well find myself in a place where those alpha optics will become available for my inspection. When that happens I will know a lot more and be in a very good position to evaluate them and decide if I want or need them. I seem to remember you mentioning you used a lot of the mid range optics at one time. You didn't head straight for the top based on a strangers say so did you? You figured it out for yourself in your own way. That's what I'm doing.

So if you're right I will likely find that out at some point and I'll have no problem letting you and everyone else here know that. Right now the majority here seem to think value wise these mid range binocs are the best for the $$. I'm listening.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.

Last edited by black crow : Saturday 7th January 2012 at 15:54.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 16:37   #23
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Here's a concrete example of things I want to know before I would ever consider a $2000 binocular. What size aperture do I really need, and more importantly what is the best power for my comfort and enjoyment. If I don't have the experience I need it's very likely I'll end up with something I'm going to want to sell. Or god forbid have to consider a second pair.
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 17:45   #24
black crow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: ashland oregon
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by black crow View Post
Can you explain "rolling ball" to me?
Anyone?
__________________
Beneath the civilized veneer, man remains the supreme predator. Cursed with what he believes is understanding, his true soul blossoms godlike in the heart of the nuclear inferno.
black crow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th January 2012, 17:51   #25
eitanaltman
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,156
it is important to "spend some alone time" with each bin though as some things that crop up in A/B comparos may not be as relevant with extended use, and of course you don't really know how the ergonomics and ease of use will hold up over a couple hours of use in the field.

for example, just from my own experience, in direct comparison with a very neutral bin like the Zen ED3 the Vortex Fury has an obvious warm/yellowish color cast. But if you were just using the Fury in the field for a couple of hours, you would never even think about it. The ED3 is obviously better at controlling color fringing, but if color fringing doesn't really bother you in "real world" use does it matter?

that said, it's good to find a few "control" targets for certain tests, because as noted above sensory memory is quite imperfect and your recollection of sharpness of a given pair may have been more due to light conditions or other factors. That's when A/B tests are very useful. So for example, when judging sharpness on axis find a good target (e.g. trying to read the nutritional information on a cereal box from 30ft away :p) and use the binoculars back to back to try and read them. When judging color fringing find a good static target (e.g. a white sign down the street on a sunny day) and try each binocular in turn, panning side-to-side and seeing where the fringing starts and how far off center does it get really bad.

but bottom line is that among many bins in a similar price class, the optical quality is so close that non-optical factors (ergonomics, how "relaxed" you feel using them) may override the differences.
eitanaltman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can a Non-Fluorite lens binocular compete with a Fluorite lens binocular? denco@comcast.n Binoculars 50 Wednesday 16th April 2014 17:15
Zen Ray ED2 8x42 and 10x42 evaluations and review Kevin Purcell Zen Ray 122 Wednesday 28th April 2010 20:25
Zen Ray ED2 7x36 evaluations and review Kevin Purcell Zen Ray 229 Thursday 3rd December 2009 15:43
Conversion of a 7x50 binocular to an 18x90 binocular birdbrain8 Binoculars 1 Saturday 31st January 2009 15:47
PF-65 ED eyepiece evaluations Humboldt Jim Pentax 0 Sunday 24th April 2005 21:55

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.24824309 seconds with 36 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 10:15.