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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 13:36   #51
Maljunulo
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I would like a thread where people list instances where they know or think an "alpha" helped them in a bird ID over a lesser binocular.
I was making a general statement, and cannot cite any specific incident(s) to support my entirely subjective "view".
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 14:11   #52
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I should imagine it's impossible unless you're carrying both an 'alpha' and a 'non' at the same time, and keep alternating when a difficult bird throws in an appearance.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 14:24   #53
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Maljunulo, I hope you saw that it was a straight statement and I was not being skeptical.

One knows of, hears or reads (here in this forum for example) stories of, crack nature observers regularly making difficult IDs with binoculars many people on here would be appalled to use (as regards model and/or condition)! Lee, above in another post than the one I quoted, gives a valuable explanation of this:

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It depends on the person.//Some of the worse binos I have seen have been in the hands of a tour leader...But he could identify birds and animals in an instant...he would describe what he was seeing in terms of behaviour and plumage details and it was clear he simply saw past his bino's imperfections and just perceived the subjects.
So I would really like to see that list!
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 14:28   #54
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Egrets I., not quite, you can compare experiences with the one and the other over a long run in each case.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 14:50   #55
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Just for shites n grins I took the Vortex Viper 8.5x50 & the stripped down Oberwerk 20x80 to the back deck. I focus on the clouds und scan until finding soaring birds. I cannot see them w/o glass. After locating some w/obie I put it down picking up the Viper.

No doubt the viper view is way more steady affording more contrast. But, the bird isn't even postage stamp size. Even following contrails to the source provides only a silver dash. For me 2.5X closer, lacking solid contrast, provides the ability to glean more.
[ETA: 2.35-2.59x depending on 20x80 or 22x80 though evah so roughly 2.5X]

As always YMMV ...
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 15:13   #56
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Maljunulo, I hope you saw that it was a straight statement and I was not being skeptical.
I understood that, but thanks for the explanation anyway.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 15:20   #57
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Egrets I., not quite, you can compare experiences with the one and the other over a long run in each case.
I think I'd struggle, but that's just me
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 16:53   #58
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About a month ago Ceasar started another thread (in a parallel universe) about the same F&S test:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ghlight=Stream
This proves without a doubt that the BF is a multiverse.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 17:46   #59
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I suppose I should C&P me posts und jaunt over there ...
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 20:58   #60
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...One knows of, hears or reads (here in this forum for example) stories of, crack nature observers regularly making difficult IDs with binoculars many people on here would be appalled to use (as regards model and/or condition)!...
When leading fieldtrips for beginners, I often use an old low-end Bushnell or other binocular so that novice birders aren't intimidated or get the impression that bird ID is only possible after spending $$$$$$. I have no trouble identifying birds, even without the binoculars, because I know the context so well. Knowing the species pool and the favored haunts or perches of those species in the area makes ID quite a different and much easier task than if one were making the ID of a random draw from the universe.
--AP
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 21:07   #61
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One of the top birders in my county used a garbage Tasco 10x fold up...probably cost about $25 or so. He was better at ID than most.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 00:14   #62
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A birder/researcher I know uses Swarovskis. Always sceptical, I asked if he thought they were worth the money. He said he’d happily pay double for them.

One comment I heard (elsewhere) was that despite not being that much better for id, alpha binoculars are less tiring for all day observing for research.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 10:11   #63
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A birder/researcher I know uses Swarovskis. Always sceptical, I asked if he thought they were worth the money. He said hed happily pay double for them.

One comment I heard (elsewhere) was that despite not being that much better for id, alpha binoculars are less tiring for all day observing for research.
I like alphas...no, honestly, I do. In a world of make it quick, make it cheap, we need quality. I also understand people who buy alphas, (1000 for a season ticket at Chelsea is ludicrous UNLESS you're a blue to the bone supporter who gets a knee buckling belt of adrenalin to see them bang the winner past Arsenal on a Saturday afternoon), so yes, for people obsessed with birds, buy the best, and who am I to judge a decent man spending decent cash on something harmless.
Anyway, I'd saved up for a complete revamp of gear -Bins, scope, tripod, and went along to the Birdfair to checkout my shortlist. I had no intention of buying an alpha but, all the same, I noticed folk buzzing like flies round the Leica stand and, well, decided to take a peek. So there I am poised, my fingers caressing the luxurious tactility of a brand new pair of Noctivids, I raise them to my eyes, tilt, and...well not much actually. I mean they were lovely, but? I think I was more relieved than disappointed.
Roll on a couple of weeks, and my gear turns up, Nikon MHG (nice sharp view) Opticron HR80 GA ED + SDLv2 eyepiece (nice sharp view) Manfrotto 500 head (smooth op), and 055 tripod (sturdy). Not top of the shop, but more than enough for me. So I'm happy right? Then I get the bill come up on my bank statement -1945 (ok I'd shopped around for the best deals) and it suddenly dawned that I'd got all this stuff for the same price as 1xNoctivid. That's when my condition began -the Binocular Doubt I mentioned in an earlier post. I thought I'd missed something, hadn't given the Leicas a fair chance, was too quick to tick the 'ok I suppose' box. After all, when I nail my first Hawfinch (I'm sure they don't exist) I want to be punched between the eyes with those gorgeous markings not left with an anti-climax.
Thanks to the tablets prescribed by Dr Chill4x4 and Dr Troubadour, I think I'm over the worse. Certainly the nightmares aren't so frequent (the last one involved me coming home unexpectedly to find Mrs Egrets in bed with a pair of 8.5x42ELs), and nurse assures me that one day I'll be able to look through a pair of binoculars and smile at the same time.
It's just that price leap from 800 (MHG) to 1900 (Noctivid), I just feel I've...NURSE! MY BEDPAN PLEASE!!!......too late.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 12:24   #64
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It's just that price leap from 800 (MHG) to 1900 (Noctivid), I just feel I've...NURSE! MY BEDPAN PLEASE!!!......too late.
They've come down somewhat in price then...... Time to snap a pair up before the exchange rate nose dives after *you*know*what*......
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 09:10   #65
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I just thought I'd throw in this story about my search for better binoculars. I became convinced my old low end Bushnells were out of alignment. I'd always struggled with their stiff focusing, and visited several shops to try as many top end ones as possible. Zeiss and Leica seemed ok, but not right. Swarovskis felt really nice, my eyes just relaxed as I looked through them. The difference was so obvious that I decided I should save up for those.

Later at home, I tried to work out just how out of alignment my Bushnells were, and discovered that MY GLASSES WERE TWISTED. I straightened them, and the binoculars were fine again. Not out of alignment.

That explains why the Zeiss and Leicas were uncomfortable. But what was going on with the Swarovskis that they worked great with twisted spectacles?

For the record, still fairly happy with my Monarchs after 7 years, and if I busted them, the current plan is to just get another pair. I think I'd have to use alpha binoculars for a whole day of birding to convince myself they're worth it. No amount of looking out of shop windows at pigeons is going to do it.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 10:14   #66
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One of the top birders in my county used a garbage Tasco 10x fold up...probably cost about $25 or so. He was better at ID than most.
Gilmore Girl, if it worked as you describe then (even allowing for Lee's explanation) it is anything but garbage!

Last edited by adhoc : Saturday 14th October 2017 at 15:22.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 10:16   #67
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Pshute, In a thread titled "Tell me about the difference between low and high end" last month I responded:
Quote:
Also, it seems to me that somehow "alpha" models make up more than the lesser ones for problems in the viewer's vision, like weaker acuity or astigmatism. I say somehow because I have, either, not seen the explanation or not been able to understand it from relevant text that I may have read.
So now we add twisted spectacles to that list of problems.
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 11:23   #68
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For the record, still fairly happy with my Monarchs after 7 years, and if I busted them, the current plan is to just get another pair.
I think you've whacked the nail on the head there pshute. After all the debating and the agonising, if you lost your bins but received the full cost of them in cash, would you buy the same again or would you look round for an alternative. Me? Early days for the MHG, but they feel comfy, (sort of 'for me').
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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 18:00   #69
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I tried a Nikon Monarch MHG 8x42. Overall it is a nice binocular for under $1000.00. The total package is very nice. It is very light for a 42mm and compact. The ergonomics are very good and the focus wheel is typical Nikon smooth. The case and especially the objective covers are really nice the way they attach and become part of the binocular. The eyecups are smooth and the really lock into place tightly and the diopter can be locked which is nice. They are very bright and have a huge FOV. But as Chill 4x4 said they are no Zeiss SF or Swarovski SV when it comes to a flat field and sharp edges. I am surprised Nikon advertises them as having sharp edges because in my opinion they do not. So it takes away from any WOW factor. There is quite a bit of fall off in sharpness at the edges unlike the SV, SF or Canon 10x42 IS-L which are tack sharp to the edge. Flare control is very good. Right up there with the best. CA is about average with a tiny bit on-axis and a little above average on the edge. I can see why some complained about CA. They are fine but the CA may bother some people that are sensitive to it. If you are used to an SF of SV these are going to disappoint. They are not up to that level. Comparing sharpness to my Canon's 10x42 IS-L's the Canon's seemed quite a bit sharper on-axis and especially at the edges. The thing that was a deal killer for me was that the eye relief was longer than the eye cups for my eye socket depth. I seem to do best with about 15mm of eye relief. The 17mm on the MHG's made the eye relief too long and I had to hold the binoculars almost a little ways about .5mm from the eye cups to avoid blackouts and I can not tolerate that. I want to put the binoculars firmly into the eyes and not have any blackouts. I would say these are very nice binoculars for $1000.00 but if you want flat field and sharp edges and you can pop for the extra on an SF or SV you will be happier but your bank account may not be.

Last edited by denco@comcast.n : Wednesday 25th October 2017 at 18:13.
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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 19:19   #70
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I tried a Nikon Monarch MHG 8x42. Overall it is a nice binocular for under $1000.00. The total package is very nice. It is very light for a 42mm and compact. The ergonomics are very good and the focus wheel is typical Nikon smooth. The case and especially the objective covers are really nice the way they attach and become part of the binocular. The eyecups are smooth and the really lock into place tightly and the diopter can be locked which is nice. They are very bright and have a huge FOV. But as Chill 4x4 said they are no Zeiss SF or Swarovski SV when it comes to a flat field and sharp edges. I am surprised Nikon advertises them as having sharp edges because in my opinion they do not. So it takes away from any WOW factor. There is quite a bit of fall off in sharpness at the edges unlike the SV, SF or Canon 10x42 IS-L which are tack sharp to the edge. Flare control is very good. Right up there with the best. CA is about average with a tiny bit on-axis and a little above average on the edge. I can see why some complained about CA. They are fine but the CA may bother some people that are sensitive to it. If you are used to an SF of SV these are going to disappoint. They are not up to that level. Comparing sharpness to my Canon's 10x42 IS-L's the Canon's seemed quite a bit sharper on-axis and especially at the edges. The thing that was a deal killer for me was that the eye relief was longer than the eye cups for my eye socket depth. I seem to do best with about 15mm of eye relief. The 17mm on the MHG's made the eye relief too long and I had to hold the binoculars almost a little ways about .5mm from the eye cups to avoid blackouts and I can not tolerate that. I want to put the binoculars firmly into the eyes and not have any blackouts. I would say these are very nice binoculars for $1000.00 but if you want flat field and sharp edges and you can pop for the extra on an SF or SV you will be happier but your bank account may not be.
This is certainly better than the usual "almost as good as an Alpha" type of review that one sees so frequently.
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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 19:24   #71
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This is certainly better than the usual "almost as good as an Alpha" type of review that one sees so frequently.
I will agree if you want a BIG, flat FOV with sharp edges. SF , SV or Canon 10x42 IS-L are the only game in town.

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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 21:27   #72
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There are excellent binoculars all over the world. But, only on binocular forums will you find (drum roll, please) ... alphas.

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Old Wednesday 25th October 2017, 23:49   #73
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The thing that was a deal killer for me was that the eye relief was longer than the eye cups for my eye socket depth. I seem to do best with about 15mm of eye relief. The 17mm on the MHG's made the eye relief too long and I had to hold the binoculars almost a little ways about .5mm from the eye cups to avoid blackouts and I can not tolerate that. I want to put the binoculars firmly into the eyes and not have any blackouts.
If anyone finds this is all that detracts from what are a decent pair of bins, the rubber eyecups from the Kowa Prominar 8.5x44 fit very snugly over the MHG 8x42 eyecups and thus fitted cut out the blackouts. I can understand those who say 'why should I pay for improvements'...but still, they work.
I agree the MHGs aren't sharp to the very edges but let's face it, if they were then at 1000 more, Zeiss would really be struggling with sales of the SF.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 00:19   #74
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If anyone finds this is all that detracts from what are a decent pair of bins, the rubber eyecups from the Kowa Prominar 8.5x44 fit very snugly over the MHG 8x42 eyecups and thus fitted cut out the blackouts. I can understand those who say 'why should I pay for improvements'...but still, they work.
I agree the MHGs aren't sharp to the very edges but let's face it, if they were then at 1000 more, Zeiss would really be struggling with sales of the SF.
I don't usually modify my binoculars. There are too many other binoculars that work without changing them. It takes a lot of lenses especially in the eyepiece to correct a flat wide FOV so they are sharp right to the edge hence they are expensive to manufacture like the SF. The only binocular that has an AFOV of 65 degrees and is flat and sharp to the edge and is under $1000.00 is the Canon 10x42 IS-L. The other two I can think of but they are over $2000.00 are the Swarovski 10x50 SV and the Zeiss 8x42 and 10x42 SF. For this reason these four binoculars are my biggest WOW binoculars. Any binocular with an AFOV bigger than 65 degrees with a perfectly corrected flat field and sharp edges is going to be a WOW binocular because it is like peering into a window that is big and real because it is sharp to the edge.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 00:23   #75
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There are excellent binoculars all over the world. But, only on binocular forums will you find (drum roll, please) ... alphas.

Bill
Here is a binocular company called alphaoptics.

http://www.alphaopticsinc.com/binoculars.html
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