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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 09:59   #1
Sollas
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Thumbs down Leica eye relief ..... or lack of it!!

Hello all,

Just spent yesterday morning testing 8x32 Swaro SV's, Zeiss FL's and lastly the Leica Ultravids and Trinovids. Very nice to be able to view them side by side over open farmland and pasture.

Without excessive havering, which seems a proper sport on here, I have to say how disappointing both of the Leica's were. I don't understand why Leica still produce such quality bins with ER that causes blackouts. I found it almost impossible to get a clear field of view regardless of the positioning of the eye cups. Clearly the build quality is great and they feel nice in the hand but it's a complete joke if you can't see through them.

Compare with the Zeiss FL and the Swarovski SV which in comparison give the most lovely, relaxed field of view. The SV cups fully extended are fabulous and the clarity is in a league of its own.

Surely Leica must be aware that this is a big negative for an Alpha bin which at the very least should meet basic standards. It's a real pity because I so wanted to like them.....but hey ho.

Another slight side line here is the focus wheel. The 3 big boys could really learn a thing or two from Nikon. Anyone whose used an SE will know what I mean. The SV and Zeiss actually feel a bit gritty and unconvincing. The Nikon's by comparison is just so smooth and exact on the focal point.

When you're paying top end cash you should expect the best, yet they are clearly wanting in this department.

Now lastly, I have to test an EDG somewhere. Difficult to find stockists locally. It always strange how these main dealers seem to respond dismissingly when you ask for the Nikons.

So at the moment the SV is in the lead..... but the quest continues....
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 10:58   #2
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Actually, I'm in a different camp. A very different camp.

I don't understand why most manufacturers force people like me who don't wear glasses to pay the extra price for eyepieces with long (or extra long) eye relief. And to carry the extra weight of binoculars equipped with such eyepieces. And to put up with the extra size of such eyepieces. Or with adjustable eyecups that are far more complex (and failure prone) than "normal" rubber eyecups.

I just don't get it. Why do manufacturers have to try to include every single imaginable feature in every single model they produce? In fact, I find extra long eye relief about as useful as an in-built microwave oven. Something like 12 mm (to avoid soling the eyepieces with the eyelashes) is plenty for my needs.

What many people don't understand is that ain't anything like a free lunch in optics. You definitely have to pay for any feature you want in a binocular, and I'm not just talking about the price here. I'm talking also about the size and weight. And the field of view. In the old days there were true wideangle eyepieces thast were small and light - but they definitely weren't useable with glasses. Think of the old Erfle eyepieces. A 10x50 porro, with a field of view of 130m/1000m (AFOV 74 degrees) that was reasonably well corrected up to about 75 percent of the field of view? Such binoculars aren't made anymore. But they did exist in the old times: http://www.holgermerlitz.de/ross10x50.html.

BTW, it's not that the manufacturers didn't know how to make eyepieces with long eye relief. Zeiss knew how to make eyepieces with extra long eye relief (and even a decent field of view) in the late 1930s. The 8x60, made from 1943-1943, had a field of view of about 160m with an ER of more than 20mm. And the edges - while not "sharp" by today's standards - were certainly useable.

Also, what many people don't see is that the shape of their glasses has a lot to do with the field of view they can see through binoculars. For people who use binoculars a lot it may well be worth trying different frames. Smallish, close-fitting glasses always work better than huge big glasses. Even with eyepieces with long eye relief.

As to Leica: Yes, the eyenrelief of the Ultravid series is smaller than that of most other alphas. Especially the Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus has too little eye relief to work for quite a few people who wear glasses. IMO Leica made a conscious decision to go for a range of smallish, light binoculars, even though they may not work for everyone. That's what choice is all about.

One comment on the Swarovski 8x32: Make sure you check whether you can live with the veiling glare of the Swaros. I personally find it unacceptable. Many others are more than happy with their 8x32s.

Hermann

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 12:14   #3
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Was it the UVHD Plus you tried? The Plus:es have more positions for the eye cups, than the older HD. Blackouts are most often due to eye cups being to short (i.e. eye relief is too long..), when used without glasses. The indication for short eye relief is usually that you don't see the whole FOV and the view can feel a bit restricted.

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 14:36   #4
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Herman, don't really get where you're coming from with any of that. You've maybe been drinking too much again. Firstly I don't wear glasses so don't see your relevance. SV... glare!!? Not on any of the ones I've tried. You're splitting hairs there I think.

Vesp, yes it was. Cups are too short and all this peripheral black intrusion regardless of eye cup position. I'm sure it's not just me!! And how the point is that they're just not usable or comparable because of this.
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 15:59   #5
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Herman, don't really get where you're coming from with any of that. You've maybe been drinking too much again. Firstly I don't wear glasses so don't see your relevance. SV... glare!!? Not on any of the ones I've tried. You're splitting hairs there I think.
Drinking too much? Well, too much coffee perhaps. Certainly not alcohol, I don't drink any. I'm not Scottish ...

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 16:42   #6
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I agree totally with Hermann post 2.
Modern long eye relief eyepieces are a pain for me.
And FOVs are usually too small for me.

I drink no coffee and almost no alcohol.
I do drink tea, made with good loose tea not tea bags. Maybe that's the reason.
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 16:47   #7
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SV... glare!!? Not on any of the ones I've tried. You're splitting hairs there I think.
It's there - a lot less pronounced than on the Habicht 8x30 but I tried a fellow birders 10x32 in admittedly tricky lighting looking at geese on a partially flooded field, backlit by a low early spring sun. Didn't work too well but my SE 10x42 were doing fine.

Some degrees to either side fixed the problem...

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 17:24   #8
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Herman, don't really get where you're coming from with any of that. You've maybe been drinking too much again. Firstly I don't wear glasses so don't see your relevance. SV... glare!!? Not on any of the ones I've tried. You're splitting hairs there I think.

Vesp, yes it was. Cups are too short and all this peripheral black intrusion regardless of eye cup position. I'm sure it's not just me!! And how the point is that they're just not usable or comparable because of this.
Not quite sure what you mean about "peripheral black intrusion", but perhaps you like the bigger Apparent FOV of the Swaro better? The view gets more immersive with more eye relief etc. If you want an immersive Leica view, try the Noctivids..

Below is a thread about the glare in the Swaros.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=308250
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 17:41   #9
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Not quite sure what you mean about "peripheral black intrusion", but perhaps you like the bigger Apparent FOV of the Swaro better? The view gets more immersive with more eye relief etc. If you want an immersive Leica view, try the Noctivids..

Below is a thread about the glare in the Swaros.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=308250
I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'more emersive with more eye relief'....personally I've found the opposite, but I'm possibly confusing something.

I have the Noctivids and, as a non spec wearer, would prefer it if their huge eye relief was a little less than it is. Regardless, I've mostly got around it with eye cup adjustment and technique.

Cheers,

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 21:12   #10
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I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'more emersive with more eye relief'....personally I've found the opposite, but I'm possibly confusing something.

I have the Noctivids and, as a non spec wearer, would prefer it if their huge eye relief was a little less than it is. Regardless, I've mostly got around it with eye cup adjustment and technique.

Cheers,

Rathaus
Interesting...
Larger eye pieces, longer eye relief, wider AFOV is usually the formula for a more "immersive" view for more people (with glasses?).

But I think I know what you mean, "Long eye cups" can ruin the immersive view, and create a black tube with an image somewhere at the end.

I always put the eye cups in the lowest possible position, even when using bins without glasses. And let them rest on my neanderthal-like eyebrows... But I guess if you have more "marty feldman"-like eyes (the extreme case) that might not be possible. So facial topology, eye sockets etc. will play a role here.

I know people that prefer the 8x32 UV before the Noctivids because they fit their face better, and of the reason you mentioned.

This is tricky stuff to discuss, objectively,...
Some like short ER some prefer longer.
Leica have models for all different needs
Try before you buy, always.


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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 21:45   #11
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Actually, I'm in a different camp. A very different camp.

I don't understand why most manufacturers force people like me who don't wear glasses to pay the extra price for eyepieces with long (or extra long) eye relief. And to carry the extra weight of binoculars equipped with such eyepieces. And to put up with the extra size of such eyepieces. Or with adjustable eyecups that are far more complex (and failure prone) than "normal" rubber eyecups.

I just don't get it. Why do manufacturers have to try to include every single imaginable feature in every single model they produce? In fact, I find extra long eye relief about as useful as an in-built microwave oven. Something like 12 mm (to avoid soling the eyepieces with the eyelashes) is plenty for my needs.

What many people don't understand is that ain't anything like a free lunch in optics. You definitely have to pay for any feature you want in a binocular, and I'm not just talking about the price here. I'm talking also about the size and weight. And the field of view. In the old days there were true wideangle eyepieces thast were small and light - but they definitely weren't useable with glasses. Think of the old Erfle eyepieces. A 10x50 porro, with a field of view of 130m/1000m (AFOV 74 degrees) that was reasonably well corrected up to about 75 percent of the field of view? Such binoculars aren't made anymore. But they did exist in the old times: http://www.holgermerlitz.de/ross10x50.html.

BTW, it's not that the manufacturers didn't know how to make eyepieces with long eye relief. Zeiss knew how to make eyepieces with extra long eye relief (and even a decent field of view) in the late 1930s. The 8x60, made from 1943-1943, had a field of view of about 160m with an ER of more than 20mm. And the edges - while not "sharp" by today's standards - were certainly useable.

Also, what many people don't see is that the shape of their glasses has a lot to do with the field of view they can see through binoculars. For people who use binoculars a lot it may well be worth trying different frames. Smallish, close-fitting glasses always work better than huge big glasses. Even with eyepieces with long eye relief.

As to Leica: Yes, the eyenrelief of the Ultravid series is smaller than that of most other alphas. Especially the Ultravid 8x32 HD Plus has too little eye relief to work for quite a few people who wear glasses. IMO Leica made a conscious decision to go for a range of smallish, light binoculars, even though they may not work for everyone. That's what choice is all about.

One comment on the Swarovski 8x32: Make sure you check whether you can live with the veiling glare of the Swaros. I personally find it unacceptable. Many others are more than happy with their 8x32s.

Hermann
It's good of you to speak up for the minority, Hermann.

Ed
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 23:45   #12
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Interesting...
Larger eye pieces, longer eye relief, wider AFOV is usually the formula for a more "immersive" view for more people (with glasses?).

But I think I know what you mean, "Long eye cups" can ruin the immersive view, and create a black tube with an image somewhere at the end.

I always put the eye cups in the lowest possible position, even when using bins without glasses. And let them rest on my neanderthal-like eyebrows... But I guess if you have more "marty feldman"-like eyes (the extreme case) that might not be possible. So facial topology, eye sockets etc. will play a role here.

I know people that prefer the 8x32 UV before the Noctivids because they fit their face better, and of the reason you mentioned.

This is tricky stuff to discuss, objectively,...
Some like short ER some prefer longer.
Leica have models for all different needs
Try before you buy, always.



Sounds familiar, especially the Neanderthal eyebrows....mine are probably more simian which is unfortunate, but excellent for locking in heavy, rigid adjustable eyecups.

Actually, yesterday I was left wondering if one of my brow bones doesn't protrude slightly more than the other...which led me to wonder about the impact of this on focusing and diopter settings etc when using different binoulars with hard eyecups. Softer eyecups would allow more natural absorption of brow irregularities.

(...I just read over my post and it would appear that I resemble the missing link...)
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 03:49   #13
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Hello all,

Just spent yesterday morning testing 8x32 Swaro SV's, Zeiss FL's and lastly the Leica Ultravids and Trinovids. Very nice to be able to view them side by side over open farmland and pasture.

Without excessive havering, which seems a proper sport on here, I have to say how disappointing both of the Leica's were. I don't understand why Leica still produce such quality bins with ER that causes blackouts. I found it almost impossible to get a clear field of view regardless of the positioning of the eye cups. Clearly the build quality is great and they feel nice in the hand but it's a complete joke if you can't see through them.

Compare with the Zeiss FL and the Swarovski SV which in comparison give the most lovely, relaxed field of view. The SV cups fully extended are fabulous and the clarity is in a league of its own.

Surely Leica must be aware that this is a big negative for an Alpha bin which at the very least should meet basic standards. It's a real pity because I so wanted to like them.....but hey ho.

Another slight side line here is the focus wheel. The 3 big boys could really learn a thing or two from Nikon. Anyone whose used an SE will know what I mean. The SV and Zeiss actually feel a bit gritty and unconvincing. The Nikon's by comparison is just so smooth and exact on the focal point.

When you're paying top end cash you should expect the best, yet they are clearly wanting in this department.

Now lastly, I have to test an EDG somewhere. Difficult to find stockists locally. It always strange how these main dealers seem to respond dismissingly when you ask for the Nikons.

So at the moment the SV is in the lead..... but the quest continues....
So REALLY you are saying too MUCH eye relief, correct? Eye cups not long enough?

I'm surprised the Leica Ultravid HD 8X32 wasn't suitable.

Good thing is, you have probably all ready looked thru the best 8X32 in the SV 8X32. You could stop your quest right now.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 05:56   #14
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Actually, I'm in a different camp. A very different camp.

I don't understand why most manufacturers force people like me who don't wear glasses to pay the extra price for eyepieces with long (or extra long) eye relief. And to carry the extra weight of binoculars equipped with such eyepieces. And to put up with the extra size of such eyepieces. Or with adjustable eyecups that are far more complex (and failure prone) than "normal" rubber eyecups.
Because they know good binoculars are an investment that should last for decades, and age may be less kind to your vision than you hope.

As for twist-up eye cups, they are uniformly horrendous after the rubber has aged a few years, and they are unacceptable on any but the cheapest of binds.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 09:13   #15
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Hey Chuck, yes you got it one! They are too shallow when fully extended, 8x32 and 10x32. Not the first time this has been brought up. Completely useless for me which is a shame. Impossible to get a full view. Mince!
Didn't try the 8x42s which maybe I should have.

Why are you surprised, this is a well known issue with them?
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 09:16   #16
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What I aslso notice is that some here are not just in a different camp but on a different planet. Either that or they've forgot to take their medications.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 11:40   #17
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They are too shallow when fully extended, 8x32 and 10x32. Not the first time this has been brought up. Completely useless for me which is a shame. Impossible to get a full view. Mince!
You've tried them and found they don't work for you.

I might suggest - if you don't like them, remove these bins from your shopping list.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 13:47   #18
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Hey Chuck, yes you got it one! They are too shallow when fully extended, 8x32 and 10x32. Not the first time this has been brought up. Completely useless for me which is a shame. Impossible to get a full view. Mince!
Didn't try the 8x42s which maybe I should have.

Why are you surprised, this is a well known issue with them?


Where do you place the eyecups when you are looking through the binocular?

Do you push them back into your eye sockets?

When I do that I get blackouts.

I have to brace the eyecups up against my brow ridge on my eyebrows or just under them to get the eye relief I need and keep the blackouts away. Cited eye relief is mostly useless for me although I seem find binoculars with cited long eye relief easier to use. I can use binoculars with 13mm ER all the way up to 20mm in the way I described it above.

Every now and then a binocular manufacturer will screw up and put eye cups on a binocular which are far too short for the eye relief. I remember Vortex doing that with their old and discontinued and inexpensive 8x28 "Hurricanes." I had to hold that binocular away from my eyes to see anything with it. It worked OK if I wore thick sun glasses while using it and placed the eye cups on the glasses.

Bob

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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 15:04   #19
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I don't understand why most manufacturers force people like me who don't wear glasses to pay the extra price for eyepieces with long (or extra long) eye relief.

I just don't get it. Why do manufacturers have to try to include every single imaginable feature in every single model they produce?
Hermann
Hermann

You are surely teasing us as I am sure you know the answer to this. You are really suggesting that each model should be offered in a Spectacle Version and a Non-Spectacled Version, and possibly you might want these both to be offered in a short-distance close-focus and 'normal-distance close-focus' as well.

That would increase the stock (inventory) costs enormously and is enough for any company accountant to say 'you must be joking'. And dealers wouldn't like their stock committment to a brand to be increased by 4xtimes especially when it comes to model upgrade time and they have to put sell-out price stickers on 4 times as many units of old stock.

In more practical terms this would also mean spectacle wearers and non-spectacle wearers in the same family would not be able to share the use of one pair of bins and would have to buy two pairs. It would also mean that folks that bought a pair of non-spectacle binos in their 20's would have to buy a new pair in their 40's as their eyesight changed instead of just changing the position of the eyecups.

Just saying.......

Lee

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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 15:11   #20
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Rat...... such depth of comment.....

Julius.....placing eyecups on eyes is not something one should have to think about. It should just work as it does with most others. I kind of think the diameter of them is too small.....quite obvious actually if you look at them.

Maybe they designed them for kids?
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 15:37   #21
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I am very happy to be living on a different planet. There is not much future for those on the Earth.

I have needed glasses for 30 years, but not when using binoculars.
It is not inevitable that old eyes need glasses when using binoculars.

It would be enough to have a few good EWA binoculars for non eyeglass wearers.
As it is there is a vast choice, but no EWA binoculars.

Why should other family members be able to use my binoculars?

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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 17:31   #22
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Where do you place the eyecups when you are looking through the binocular?

Do you push them back into your eye sockets?

When I do that I get blackouts.

I have to brace the eyecups up against my brow ridge on my eyebrows or just under them to get the eye relief I need and keep the blackouts away. Cited eye relief is mostly useless for me although I seem find binoculars with cited long eye relief easier to use. I can use binoculars with 13mm ER all the way up to 20mm in the way I described it above.

Bob
Perfect explanation. That's what I've always done when not using eye glasses. Very few binoculars are a perfect fit. My "eye relief" can actually change from time to time. By slightly moving in/out with eyecup resting on brow ridge solves the problem. It's also practically instinctive.

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Hermann

You are surely teasing us as I am sure you know the answer to this. You are really suggesting that each model should be offered in a Spectacle Version and a Non-Spectacled Version, and possibly you might want these both to be offered in a short-distance close-focus and 'normal-distance close-focus' as well.

That would increase the stock (inventory) costs enormously and is enough for any company accountant to say 'you must be joking'. And dealers wouldn't like their stock committment to a brand to be increased by 4xtimes especially when it comes to model upgrade time and they have to put sell-out price stickers on 4 times as many units of old stock.

In more practical terms this would also mean spectacle wearers and non-spectacle wearers in the same family would not be able to share the use of one pair of bins and would have to buy two pairs. It would also mean that folks that bought a pair of non-spectacle binos in their 20's would have to buy a new pair in their 40's as their eyesight changed instead of just changing the position of the eyecups.

Just saying.......

Lee
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 21:39   #23
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Just read an old thread.
Why wear glasses when using bins?
3rd April 2006.

It educated me more into understanding birdwatchers problems using glasses.

I suppose that my eyes, at least one of them, is good enough to see birds well enough without glasses to go straight to using a binocular.

I was going to ask what percentage of observers need glasses with binoculars, but it isn't that simple.
Because people don't like continually taking specs off and back on.

I found also via Sky an Telescope, Richard Buchroeder's formula, which I hope I can mention.
Eyeglasses can be removed if astigmatism cylinder correction in diopters D for an exit pupil in millimetres is 1/square root D or smaller. Larger gives more than 1/4 wave of aberration.
But I don't think binoculars meet these standards, as I can use larger exit pupils than the formula suggests.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2017, 23:24   #24
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I have to brace the eyecups up against my brow ridge on my eyebrows or just under them to get the eye relief I need and keep the blackouts away. Cited eye relief is mostly useless for me although I seem find binoculars with cited long eye relief easier to use. I can use binoculars with 13mm ER all the way up to 20mm in the way I described it above.
This is exactly what I do. The contact point for me is tantamount to a firm hinge which I can vary (with associated eye swivelling) depending on eye relief.

...I just felt now, and there appears to be the sharper brow bone itself, and then a mound/strip of brow muscle just above this (Under the skin of the eye brows). I lock/hinge the top of rigid eyepieces into the small nook between the two and adjust the angle of the binocular as necessary. Swivelling my eyes up or down slightly keeps everything sweetly on axis.
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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 20:15   #25
Uhu74
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: De Kempen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermann View Post
One comment on the Swarovski 8x32: Make sure you check whether you can live with the veiling glare of the Swaros. I personally find it unacceptable. Many others are more than happy with their 8x32s.

Hermann
I'm with you on this one Hermann, unfortunately I had to sell my EL8x32sv because I just could not live with the severe veiling glare.
I can only speak for myself, but I found it to be TOO much and totally unacceptable for a top tier bin. (it had been back to Absam 3 times, apparently it met factory specs.) Even our cheap Zeiss Terra "killed" the EL regarding glare resistance.
I've encountered too many occasions that I couldn't see sh!t in difficult light, because the image got very milky......

And yes again, very unfortunate, because for the rest I consider this bino to be the very best in the 8x32 class speaking of image quality.

My EL10x50 O.T.O.H. is a keeper, and doesn't suffer from glare issues.
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