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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 01:40   #26
NDhunter
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David:

I find this ability of yours simply amazing.
Spending a few minutes at a stand at Birdfair, and being able to score binoculars. That is normal, I suppose we would all do the same. That
is a good time to see what we prefer.

In many ways, you could take the pricetag of your list and do the same.

I own and have used some of the binoculars that you show the scores of.

I know those binoculars well, several years, in all lighting situations, so that is real experience and at another level. I don't rate the resolution or sharpness, I have 20:20 vision, and I do know what looks good, and can tell the difference. What is important to me is an acceptable level of performance, light handling, CA, size of sweet spot, and that is how I judge binoculars.

You should know many of the site will try a binocular for a time, maybe weeks
before giving a review. That is only correct, to allow time for varying light
conditions, time to compare with other examples, etc.

You seem fixated on one thing only and that is just fine. But, as I mentioned above, a binocular is a sum of all of its parts. Those all have important scores. I am aware that you are not able to perform those tasks.

I just want to make sure those watching, don't fixate on one variable in scoring
a binocular.

Jerry
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 02:41   #27
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I wrote this in a year back (extracts here, underscoring added now). Sorry to pester but I think this is crucially important and deserves its own thread (there may have been such before).
>
The difference, sometimes even polarization, of opinion about some model of binocular in this forum has long puzzled me. A few times it has kept me from buying some model that was initially rated very highly here (I use this forum for guidance)....

...there are several factors...visual acuity; cataract, or glaucoma, in whatever degree; astigmatism (in the observer's vision), RG color blindness in whatever degree, max. pupil diameter in low light, and other, possibly age-related, conditions (that I am not familiar with). Some people do not like mentioning these matters in relation to themselves, another such being age. (This may be for two opposite reasons, modesty being one!)

I would think that if they are set out in each review or report, in some manner, where the reviewer does not mind doing so, a good deal...of this variation will be explained...and a...reader will be able to make a better assessment. Otherwise there will...be argument arising from dialog at cross purposes.

Most people do not even know what their visual acuity is or their pupil dilation. These are not usually found in reports by opticians. (They cannot be altered by glasses etc.) Of course, the reader who assesses has also to know these things about him/herself!
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 02:46   #28
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David, thank you very much, that was long overdue (not the interrogation though!)

PS. I do not know the level of accuracy in your testing. But I suspect that more will reveal the Noctivid to be significantly ahead of the rest. My reasoning has to do with its mystical depth of field. We argued about the matter in private correspondence some time back (pre-Noctivid), but you were never able to educate me. The Noctivid might also be explained, though, by unprecedented contrast.

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 06:08   #29
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David,

Thank you very much for relaying your real world testing experience, and providing rankings on that - I'm sure the forum appreciates it greatly. It's encouraging that I have detected differences in line with a lot of your feedback. I hope you get to do some further resolution testing on the MHG (particularly the 10x ! ) - I would be very interested in the results. Hopefully they come out a bit better than what you have seen so far ......

Just out of interest, and for reference, what Typo score would your Zen-Ray Prime HD 10x42 get? , and do you have resolution numbers for it as well? Thanks.



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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 07:15   #30
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Jerry,

I mostly use binoculars for birdwatching and being able to discern every last detail in seconds is important (specially with my level of skills ). So yes, if one binocular can give me more detail or more distance it's my first consideration. Of course with 20:20 eyesight it's relatively unimportant to you. Your eyesight will be the limiting factor. You won't see any more detail with a Leica Noctivid than you would with that $25 I mentioned. Sure, other parameters are going to be more important to you than resolution. When I write a review I spend at least a couple of weeks checking out that stuff too because it's important to me too, just less important.

20:20 is the threshold for normal vison, but the large majority of visitors to the forum will have better eyesight than that and will be increasingly demanding on effective resolution. For those my comments on the topic may be valuable. Sorry to be blunt about it Jerry, yours will not.


I don't know if your 20/20 acuity is an accurate measurement or not but I took it at face value. Here's a little tale to think about. I started to need reading glasses in my mid forties which increasingly included a astigmatism correction. I complained to my optician that my distance vision was deteriorating as well and he told me I didn't "need" glasses as my eyesight was still 20:20 (well 6:6, we are metric) but he could improve it if I wanted. It pretty much doubled my acuity. I thought wearing glasses was a price worth paying. For sure, not everyone would get that kind of benefit but it might be worth asking the question?

David
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 13:05   #31
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I think we have to be careful to not compare carrots to cauliflowers here. David's methods of testing resolution have been witnessed by me 'live' and as far as i'm concerned, he's bang-on with it. We were using different sized shingle on a Suffolk beach to compare an FL 8x32 and the Kite Bonelli, with the latter victorious - to my surprise!
However, that does not - in my opinion - make the Bonelli a better 'birding bin', as all the other factors mentioned by Jerry come into play. I would still go out with the FL for too many reasons to mention. Resolution is just one factor, in a balance of ingredients determined by the manufacturer's priorities and of course, the price. A $25 high-resolving bin may be saddled with other problems that would stop you buying it.
I think David made a valid point in the original post, and this was regarding resolving power, particularly at the centre of view. You don't need to own them for a month to see that. However, in 'normal use' this may be of little consequence in the field.
Personally, i see plenty of CA in most Leica bins, and could make the point that - at that price point - i would find that disappointing. That doesn't discredit Leica, or make the combination of benefits they offer less than completely suitable for someone else, who may not see it like i do, or find it off-putting.
Another thing about resolution though, is that it is a physical property, and thus is comparable and testable (particularly if using the same set of eyes); with the use of a test chart (USAF or similar) anyone can do it. The units of difference we are talking about however are unlikely to affect anyone's enjoyment of the bins in the field, if everything else works for them.
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 15:18   #32
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Re Post #31: Is the contrast of the objects used for testing and comparing two or more binocular's sharpness taken into consideration?

My question is based on the comparison test made from ... ."different sized shingle on a Suffolk beach......"

Bob

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 15:45   #33
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I have come to the conclusion that I am only interested in what looks good to me - my eyes - and the rest [all the back and forth] is just clutter. So, although I rarely chime in much anymore, I still find the discussion interesting but in no way influential as I have found what works perfectly for my needs.

If some one tells us that a model isn't sharp but it is to me, there is no point in discussing farther as there can be no consensus. And that seems to be the bulk of discussion - differences of opinion as a result of so many out-of-control-factors and variables that the discussion just goes round and round.

Jerry and David obviously differ in their opinions on sharpness on different models. I find it very unlikely that David or Jerry will convince the other that what they are seeing is really not what they are seeing....same with this whole forum and most of the talks we have here.
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 17:19   #34
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...I think there have been at least 4 versions of the ELSV 8.5x42, and this was when the second, and to my mind the worst version was around...
Would you please say more on how these differ, or provide a link to such.

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 19:23   #35
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David,
.......
Just out of interest, and for reference, what Typo score would your Zen-Ray Prime HD 10x42 get? , and do you have resolution numbers for it as well? Thanks.

Chosun
CJ ..... I found this in note #23 from David that looks to answer part of your question.

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.........
If go to Birdfair or a retailer I'll normally take my ZenRay Prime 10x42 or Vanguard EDII 8x42 for reference. I would score those as an 8 and 8.5 respectively though I need a tripod for the decimal points. These were very good for the money when I got them, but the market is improving all the time and I would certainly look for better with newer, more expensive models (if I had the money).
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 19:56   #36
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Jerry,

I mostly use binoculars for birdwatching and being able to discern every last detail in seconds is important (specially with my level of skills ). So yes, if one binocular can give me more detail or more distance it's my first consideration. Of course with 20:20 eyesight it's relatively unimportant to you. Your eyesight will be the limiting factor. You won't see any more detail with a Leica Noctivid than you would with that $25 I mentioned. Sure, other parameters are going to be more important to you than resolution. When I write a review I spend at least a couple of weeks checking out that stuff too because it's important to me too, just less important.

20:20 is the threshold for normal vison, but the large majority of visitors to the forum will have better eyesight than that and will be increasingly demanding on effective resolution. For those my comments on the topic may be valuable. Sorry to be blunt about it Jerry, yours will not.


I don't know if your 20/20 acuity is an accurate measurement or not but I took it at face value. Here's a little tale to think about. I started to need reading glasses in my mid forties which increasingly included a astigmatism correction. I complained to my optician that my distance vision was deteriorating as well and he told me I didn't "need" glasses as my eyesight was still 20:20 (well 6:6, we are metric) but he could improve it if I wanted. It pretty much doubled my acuity. I thought wearing glasses was a price worth paying. For sure, not everyone would get that kind of benefit but it might be worth asking the question?

David
David: Your arrogance and ignorance is on full display here.

Trying to tell me what I can see, and at what level I cannot find differences.
And $25.00 binoculars really takes the cake.

You are very wrong and your methods and scoring leave much to be
questioned. All subjective, show me the numbers.

As mentioned above, I and others on here, know what we like and can easily compare optics.

And a large majority of viewers here have better than 20:20 vision, is
another farcical statement of your imagination. How in the world could you
come up with that ?

Jerry

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 20:14   #37
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Re Post #31: Is the contrast of the objects used for testing and comparing two or more binocular's sharpness taken into consideration?

My question is based on the comparison test made from ... ."different sized shingle on a Suffolk beach......"

Bob
Bob,

Not a straight forward question to answer. Resolution and sharpness are two different binocular properties that are related by contrast at different spatial frequencies. Resolution is perhaps the more straight forward to pin down. Not to get too tecnical it's the last readable line on the opticians chart or the USAF line chart and is roughly when the pattern contrast falls to 5%. Once you know what to look for it's quite staight forward to find natural targets which will tell you if a binocular is better or worse than another.

Sharpness is more to do with the level of contrast at the spacial frequencies the brain processes most efficiently. The angles subtended by the bands of different sized shingle were just a fairly persuasive demonstration of the sharpness advantage the Bonelli had over my ZR Prime and Paddy's FL. It's a property that shouldn't, in theory, go hand in hand with resolution but those other binoculars I scored as 10 were very sharp as well.

David
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 20:25   #38
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Jerry,

How many days or weeks do you spend in the optometrist's chair deciding which lens is sharpest? ;-)

Just want to point out a little morsel of information that might put things in perspective. The ISO resolution standard that all the major players work by is 240/D. I'll skip the maths, but if that level or resolution was uniform acoss the objective it would translate effectivelyas 20/16 acuity cut off. Fortunately most come out a bit better than that, but not every sample, or every model.

I've resolution tested about 30 binoculars that I either own, or have had for at least a couple of weeks to review. The stopped down values (20mm for an 8x) range from an amazing 5.8" to the pretty miserable 14.5". That approximates to 20/7.7 and 20/19. That will give you a pretty good idea if a binocular will look soft for your eyesight. Even that $25 roof have sufficient resolution for those with 20/20 vision but differences in microcontrast or sharpness with better binoculars might still be evident. You will have to take my word for it that I can see such differences in resolution, but it was easier a couple of years ago when my acuity was 20/11or 20/9 with two eyes... on a good day!


To keep things simple, rather than use arcsecond or VA values I'll just use a 'Typo score' of 1 to 10 for the rest of this post and roughly cover the arcsecond equivalent of equivalent of 20/20 to 20/8, so even 1 will be quite acceptable for some. These are visual estimates in most cases are based on comparison with my own binoculars and others available when the light is close to optimal for visual acuity. I don't rate resolution in poor light. If go to Birdfair or a retailer I'll normally take my ZenRay Prime 10x42 or Vanguard EDII 8x42 for reference. I would score those as an 8 and 8.5 respectively though I need a tripod for the decimal points. These were very good for the money when I got them, but the market is improving all the time and I would certainly look for better with newer, more expensive models (if I had the money). What follows are some memorable comparisons.

UK launch day for the Zeiss Terra.
Terra
S1: 3
S2: 6
S3: 5
S4: 9
Conquest HD
S1: 8
S1: 7
S3: 7
S4: 8
HT 8X42:
S1: 9
S2: 9+
S3: 8+
HT 8x54: 5

About 4 or 5 years ago on the Swarovski stand. I think there have been at least 4 versions of the ELSV 8.5x42, and this was when the second, and to my mind the worst version was around.
CL
S1: 3
S2: 3
S3: 3
S4: 4
ELSV 8x32
S1: 9
S2: 9
ELSV 8.5x42
S1: 7
S2: 7
SLC
S1: 9
S2: 8

Vortex Razor HD
8x42: 8
10x42: 8
10x50: 9+

Meopta Meostar
8x42: 8
10x42HD: 9
12x42HD: 10

Kowa Genesis 8.544: 10
KITE Bonelli 2.0: 10
Nikon EDG: 9+
Nikon Monarch HG: 7
Opticron DBA VHD: 7

The following is acompilations from different occations
Leica
UV: 8
UV: plus 9
Noctivid: 10
Trinovid HD: 8
Trinovid: 6

I think this illustrates that not only is there variation between models there is variation between samples. That is particularly evident at lower price points as the Terra samples show. I've seen samples of amongst the cheaper models from Vortex, Kowa, Opticron, Kowa, Minox, Celestron, Hawke and Nikon that would score 8 or occasionally 9, but that wouldn't represent the model as a whole. The Fujinon KF 8x32W, a Sightron clone I reviewed, scored a 10 (confirmed by testing) but I would be very surprised if that was representative of the model. I now have measured results of '10' for the Meostar HD12x50 and Kite Bonelli 2.0 as well.

I've now tried 4 samples of the Monarch HD on three separate occasion and I'd score them all a 7 for apparent resolution. I've said twice already I like the ergonomics and other characteristics, so I find that a disappointment. It's no surprise to me, as I have explained that others might judge it differently

Now Jerry, over to you. What's your acuity, and what are your resolution scores for those models? Obviously we need them backed up by resolution testing, "you should have the skills". In arcseconds please, I can take it.

David
All seems quite subjective - like what are the differences between ''9'' and ''9.5'' [measurable] and is a 10 at a level that cannot be bettered?

What are your units of measure that would define the difference in a ''6'' as opposed to an ''8''? You say these are ''visual estimates'' but, by using a numerical scale you are imposing your own inherent subjective opinions into the score - what looks sharp to you.
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 21:19   #39
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All seems quite subjective - like what are the differences between ''9'' and ''9.5'' [measurable] and is a 10 at a level that cannot be bettered?

What are your units of measure that would define the difference in a ''6'' as opposed to an ''8''? You say these are ''visual estimates'' but, by using a numerical scale you are imposing your own inherent subjective opinions into the score - what looks sharp to you.
"If you do not use a booster, you are inroducing a non-duplicatable variable in the form of your eyes. Unless you happen to have visual acuity about 2.5-3 times better than normal 20/20 vision, or visus 1.0, any good binocular will have a significantly higher resolution than you are able to see. Also, the performance of your eyes varies over time and from minute to minute as well."

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...5&postcount=10

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 21:23   #40
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And a large majority of viewers here have better than 20:20 vision, is
another farcical statement of your imagination. How in the world could you
come up with that ?

Jerry
Jerry,

It isn't me that's being ignorant. The internet, and indeed the forum, is full of information on the topic. Don't take my word for it, just Google it!

Back in the 19th century someone arbitrarily decided that the ability to resolve a spacial frequency of 1/60th of a degree (one arcminute) or better would be called normal vision. On a regular test chart that line underlined in red, is calbrated for feature difference of one arc minute at 20ft or 6m. The range of normal vision is usually described as between 20/20 and 20/10 which is exactly two fold better. That range will accout for the majority of visitors to the forum. 20/20 would put you in the bottom quartile of 20 to 60 year olds. It also means that would be totally scientifically impossible for you to resolve any more detail with any binocular at any price than that $25 binocular of mine. Those are the facts. Don't blame me if they are inconvenient.

David

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 22:11   #41
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All seems quite subjective - like what are the differences between ''9'' and ''9.5'' [measurable] and is a 10 at a level that cannot be bettered?

What are your units of measure that would define the difference in a ''6'' as opposed to an ''8''? You say these are ''visual estimates'' but, by using a numerical scale you are imposing your own inherent subjective opinions into the score - what looks sharp to you.
James,

My visual estimates are derived from my stopped down (20mm) resolution measurements on about 30 binoculars and a couple of reference binoculars I usually take with me. It's only something I do when I think my eyes a firing on all cylinders. The top values are tricky to be confident about. All I can tell you is a 1 and a 10 is pretty obvious when I see it. Thenin between numbers need comparisons.

It's not a linear scale. Numbers 1 to 5 cover 15" down 8" and then 6 is about 7.5" through to 10 for a value better than 6". (The Dawes value, 116/D, would be 5.8" for a 20mm stopped down objective). It's just a personal thing I do, put I was pushed into sharing it.

David
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 22:27   #42
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"If you do not use a booster, you are inroducing a non-duplicatable variable in the form of your eyes. Unless you happen to have visual acuity about 2.5-3 times better than normal 20/20 vision, or visus 1.0, any good binocular will have a significantly higher resolution than you are able to see. Also, the performance of your eyes varies over time and from minute to minute as well."

http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...5&postcount=10
I know Kimmo would revise that statement now.as it it doesn't account for the role of eye's pupil in dictating the effective resolution. I started out on this rather geeky exercise when I bought a mid priced binocular which was quite clearly optically limiting. Someone on the forum told me that was impossible but It turned out it had an effective resolution limit about 30% worse than my eyesight.

David
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 22:46   #43
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Just out of interest, and for reference, what Typo score would your Zen-Ray Prime HD 10x42 get? , and do you have resolution numbers for it as well? Thanks.
Cj,

Sorry, missed that earlier. It's the Prime 10x42 I own. I've resolution tested it several times. Just for comparison I'll just mention the stopped down values or 20mm. The right side is 6.8" and the left 6.5". In spite of the magnification difference, on a tripod, I would rate it marginally behind my Vanguard EDII with 6.5" for both barrels. I can't see the difference hand held and I find the Prime a nicer binocular overall. Obviously I don't know how representative mine is.

David
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 22:46   #44
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Jerry,

It isn't me that's being ignorant. The internet, and indeed the forum, is full of information on the topic. Don't take my word for it, just Google it!

Back in the 19th century someone arbitrarily decided that the ability to resolve a spacial frequency of 1/60th of a degree (one arcminute) or better would be called normal vision. On a regular test chart that line underlined in red, is calbrated for feature difference of one arc minute at 20ft or 6m. The range of normal vision is usually described as between 20/20 and 20/10 which is exactly two fold better. That range will accout for the majority of visitors to the forum. 20/20 would put you in the bottom quartile of 20 to 60 year olds. It also means that would be totally scientifically impossible for you to resolve any more detail with any binocular at any price than that $25 binocular of mine. Those are the facts. Don't blame me if they are inconvenient.

David
David:

Since you are a know-it-all, I could use a reference
of a good $25.00 binocular.

You also come off like you have X-ray vision, and are able
to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

This will be my last response to your wonderful attempt at trying to
show off your super skills.

Jerry
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 22:55   #45
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Just out of interest, and for reference, what Typo score would your Zen-Ray Prime HD 10x42 get? , and do you have resolution numbers for it as well? Thanks.
CJ,

Sorry, missed that earlier. It's the Prime 10x42 I own. I've resolution tested it several times. Just for comparison I'll just mention the stopped down values for 20mm. The right side is 6.8" and the left 6.5". In spite of the magnification difference, on a tripod, I would rate it marginally, very marginally, behind my Vanguard EDII with 6.5" for both barrels. I can't see the difference hand held and I find the Prime a nicer binocular overall. Obviously I don't know how representative mine is.

David

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 23:16   #46
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...I have 20:20 vision...
Are you sure you have only 20/20 vision? Some optometrists tell clients that they have "perfect 20/20 vision" so long as that standard is met, when in fact many have better vision than that. Last I knew, my vision was ~20/12.

--AP
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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 23:17   #47
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David:

Since you are a know-it-all, I could use a reference
of a good $25.00 binocular.

Jerry
Sorry Jerry, I would have happily sent you mine, but I gave it away to to friends a couple of months ago who had Missel Thrush nesting in their apple tree.

With reference to your post #22.
https://www.usingenglish.com/referen...+wish+for.html

Be happy,

David

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Old Friday 4th August 2017, 23:50   #48
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I know Kimmo would revise that statement now.as it it doesn't account for the role of eye's pupil in dictating the effective resolution. I started out on this rather geeky exercise when I bought a mid priced binocular which was quite clearly optically limiting. Someone on the forum told me that was impossible but It turned out it had an effective resolution limit about 30% worse than my eyesight.

David
The quote says "any good binocular". Bad samples is another question.
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Old Saturday 5th August 2017, 00:09   #49
typo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
The quote says "any good binocular". Bad samples is another question.
It would have scored about the same as the Swarovkski CL.

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Old Saturday 5th August 2017, 00:09   #50
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It must be wonderful to have natural 20/20 vision.
Sadly, 300/400 with astigmatism does not correct well enough to permit useful personal contributions to this somewhat peripheral discussion.

However, I do think it is obvious that the alpha glass makers are under increasing pressure from technically comparable Asian producers. To retain alpha status, they will need to differentiate themselves better than they do presently, at least imho. A meaningfully tightened set of technical standards to ensure better product uniformity might be one aspect of such an initiative.

Perhaps Nikon has decided that alpha status is unrewarding under these circumstances. Their marketing strategy now appears to emphasize the Monarch line, all resolutely beta offerings sold at modest premiums, with only the WX line to maintain Nikon's status as a premier technology binocular supplier. So they meet the spec at minimum cost, while the halo product ensures that Nikon remains a name to be reckoned with.
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