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Old Saturday 28th October 2017, 19:16   #26
Maljunulo
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Omid,

You don't worry: If you manage to produce your idea together with another manufacturer, and it turns out to be useful, then you might find Zeiss, Swaro, Blaser and others being in a battle to take over that company :-)

Good luck,
Holger
That would be funny.

Talk about the "last laugh".
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Old Saturday 28th October 2017, 21:34   #27
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Omid,

Your frustration is understandable, and in fact I have heard similar complaints about the lack of flexibility when it comes to innovations at Zeiss Sport Optics. It seems that the professional section of Zeiss (optics for medical applications, for industrial microchip production and so on) are so much remote from the consumer optics section, that it might be better to separate them entirely and make Sport Optics a separate company. Whether or not they would be able to survive is, of course, a matter of question.

You don't worry: If you manage to produce your idea together with another manufacturer, and it turns out to be useful, then you might find Zeiss, Swaro, Blaser and others being in a battle to take over that company :-)

Good luck,
Holger
Hi Holger!

It is very nice hearing from you! I agree with you in that a likely scenario where I can get Zeiss or Swarovski's attention is to have these inventions made by another company or, even better, create a startup company. After a few years, they will come and want to buy the little new company

I have been investigating the possibility of starting an optics company that can manufacture (or outsource the manufacturing of) some of my ideas. I'll keep you posted. Another thought that I have been entertaining for quite sometime is this: It is very unlikely that large and prestigious optics manufacturers will produce any radical and excitingly new product in the next 10 years (the best they might do is stay in business and not become bankrupt, currently Schmidt and Bender and Leica are near bankruptcy, both for the second time in the past few years. Swarovski is the only one doing OK). But, it is quite possible that knowledgeable enthusiasts such as you could come up with innovative ideas. I mentioned this in a separate post a few days ago and specifically referred to you as someone who is capable of innovating in the field of binoculars. It would be nice if some of us (interested and knowledgeable people here at Birdforum) could form some sort of "optics think tank" and invent some new binocular concepts. Otherwise, in a few years, we have to rename birdforum's binoculars section "binocular history forum".

Sincerely,
-Omid

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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:56   #28
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Hi SBB,

Actually Dr. Dobler went from Swarovski to Leica (which costed Leica a significant amount of money) and was there reponseble for the development of the Magnus riflescope. After that he went to Zeiss and developed the V8 (among other innovating items).
The difference in weight between the Zeiss V6 (30mm tube) and the Zeis V8 (36mm tube for longe range) is just 130 gram.

The Swarovski riflescope DS is indeed an "innovating" piece of work.
For those who don't now: Swarovski brought recently a riflescope on the market which enables to "hit" an animal from a distance up to 1300 metres. The red dot in the scope automatically elevates with the variabel distance. The only thing is does not compensate is the side wind factor.
One could ask him/herself wether a "birding" brand like Swarovski should innovate in such equipment, but that's a quite different story.

Jan.
Hi Jan

Not directed at you, and Just my personal opinion of course (and my addition of the quotation marks to "hit") , but that sounds highly unethical. Unless a living creature can be guaranteed of dying painlessly in 1/10,000th of a second - ie. a brain shot, then the "HunTer" has no business in taking that creatures life IMHO - it's just cruelty and to do it for "fun" or "sport" is macho bullsh*t

There are companies in America that are developing "Expert" systems for long range aiming to be plugged in like an "app" so that any monkey off the street can make "kills" (though not instantaneous) at ridiculous distances of circa 1000yd using tactical sniper type calibers - .338, .416, .50 etc. .... Fantastic ay? It's not 'murder' at all --- just one big video game

Add this to the robotized mobile automatic weapons platforms and we are only one AI slip away from some sort of 'Terminator Skynet' nightmare coming to pass.

I agree with you that the business bottom line must be sustainable - after all, there are not nearly as many mechanical watch and clock makers, and horse and buggy workshops around as there used to be!

With Germany's (lax) product labeling laws and the inevitable march of globalisation, I doubt this move will be such a major upset (except perhaps for some individual families that may not want to move, or have any work to move to).



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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 02:20   #29
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..... "That said, many of my promising, disruptive innovation projects (including the topics with you) ended before the actual evaluation phase as my German bean counters where looking for a ‘guaranteed’ payback of each EURO spent within a year or so. Ridicolous – and not a viable business culture (at least in the consumer market world)." ......
That sounds like a luxury! I have worked for companies where the board works off a zero payback period and goes from there - that's right - immediate profits!

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.....I guess Zeiss is typical of the new management type of companies where they are run by MBA/ bean counters vs technical people ....
Actually, the opposite is true - a good company will closely integrate strategic direction with commercial return and financial sustainability. I have worked for companies with a 100 year strategic plan! If only some countries put as much thought into where they are heading! .....

It is quite normal for a company's governance model and legal compliance framework to include rigorous financial controls ("beancounting"). The first and foremost mandatory responsibility of a board is to ensure that the company is solvent. There are substantial civil penalties, criminal charges, and even personal financial compensation payable by individual directors for insolvent trading.



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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 02:42   #30
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..... That's the sad faith of a prestigious company that is run by bean-counter managers. If Dr. Dobler would have listen to me back in 2010 and maybe adapted one of my inventions into a product, this could have been prevented .....
Hi Omid,

For the casually interested such as myself, and without pointing me to read reams of patents or your life's work, with regard to binoculars, could you simply and concisely list the inventions or innovations that you think are applicable and state their benefits (and drawbacks if any).

For context, I am pretty much only interested in classical optical instruments - not electronic whizzbangery assaulting my eyeballs.

I require wide abberation free fields (70° AFov plus), sufficient eye relief for eyeglasses wearers, light weight (lighter than the 2/3 kg of some of the best 42mm instruments currently available), no increase in size, as good or improved ergonomics and balance, over 96% transmission, and reduction in glare with commensurate ease of eye positioning beyond the best of the best available today, and with perfect resolution exceeding twice say 20/10 vision over the whole field, neutral colour cast (tabletop flat transmission curves), better MTF curves and microcontrast than the best available today, and a large smooth clockwise focuser!

Whaddyagot that will improve on that lot? TIA.



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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 10:11   #31
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Hi Holger!

It is very nice hearing from you! I agree with you in that a likely scenario where I can get Zeiss or Swarovski's attention is to have these inventions made by another company or, even better, create a startup company. After a few years, they will come and want to buy the little new company

I have been investigating the possibility of starting an optics company that can manufacture (or outsource the manufacturing of) some of my ideas. I'll keep you posted. Another thought that I have been entertaining for quite sometime is this: It is very unlikely that large and prestigious optics manufacturers will produce any radical and excitingly new product in the next 10 years (the best they might do is stay in business and not become bankrupt, currently Schmidt and Bender and Leica are near bankruptcy, both for the second time in the past few years. Swarovski is the only one doing OK). But, it is quite possible that knowledgeable enthusiasts such as you could come up with innovative ideas. I mentioned this in a separate post a few days ago and specifically referred to you as someone who is capable of innovating in the field of binoculars. It would be nice if some of us (interested and knowledgeable people here at Birdforum) could form some sort of "optics think tank" and invent some new binocular concepts. Otherwise, in a few years, we have to rename birdforum's binoculars section "binocular history forum".

Sincerely,
-Omid

Hi Omid,

Thanks for your trust regarding my innovative powers :-)

Quite generally, I don't believe that the plain optical parameters of binoculars can be improved significantly: A little bit of extra edge-sharpness, transmission, slightly reduced weight - not much left to improve here. Instead, I see two major directions for further improvements:

1. Image stabilization. This is high tech and could only be achieved with a team of experts and huge investments.

2. The interface between eyepiece and eye. Here, current binoculars are probably less than perfect. A couple of smart ideas may help improving the 'ease of view' and thus the usability of the instrument. This is the area in which people like you and me could possibly contribute most. We shall find some time for discussions about that.

Cheers,
Holger
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 10:17   #32
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Interesting that you mention Blaser, Holger.
They are new in the market, so I wonder whether they will be ready to make a move as you suggest.
Canip
Hi Canip,

Right, Blaser is a new player on the binocular market. But: I heard that Blaser has been selling rifle scopes for quite a few years and has gained (among the hunters) a considerable reputation. I may have misunderstood something, since I am not really interested in the rifle scope market ...

Cheers,
Holger
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 11:32   #33
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Hi Jan

Not directed at you, and Just my personal opinion of course (and my addition of the quotation marks to "hit") , but that sounds highly unethical. Unless a living creature can be guaranteed of dying painlessly in 1/10,000th of a second - ie. a brain shot, then the "HunTer" has no business in taking that creatures life IMHO - it's just cruelty and to do it for "fun" or "sport" is macho bullsh*t

There are companies in America that are developing "Expert" systems for long range aiming to be plugged in like an "app" so that any monkey off the street can make "kills" (though not instantaneous) at ridiculous distances of circa 1000yd using tactical sniper type calibers - .338, .416, .50 etc. .... Fantastic ay? It's not 'murder' at all --- just one big video game

Add this to the robotized mobile automatic weapons platforms and we are only one AI slip away from some sort of 'Terminator Skynet' nightmare coming to pass.

I agree with you that the business bottom line must be sustainable - after all, there are not nearly as many mechanical watch and clock makers, and horse and buggy workshops around as there used to be!

With Germany's (lax) product labeling laws and the inevitable march of globalisation, I doubt this move will be such a major upset (except perhaps for some individual families that may not want to move, or have any work to move to).



Chosun
Hi

Believe me when I say that the Zeiss building in Wetzlar is still shaking upto its fundaments. They are still digesting this reality. The impact is HUGE.

I think you and I are on the same page regarding long range hunting.
Long range is military stuff/sports long distance target shooting (done it, seen it, got the T-shirt) and it should stay there.

Jan

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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 13:08   #34
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Hi Omid...improving the 'ease of view' and thus the usability of the instrument. This is the area in which people like you and me could possibly contribute most...
Good luck, and in your solution/s don't forget us spectacle wearers! From www.allaboutvision.com: "The prevalence of myopia is about 30 to 40 percent among adults in Europe and the United States, and up to 80 percent or higher in the Asian population, especially in China...the incidence and prevalence of myopia are increasing." Minus contact-lens wearers, plus those (few?) who wear glasses for other reasons, the bird and the sky watchers among those billions also await news from you!
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 13:36   #35
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Good luck, and in your solution/s don't forget us spectacle wearers! From www.allaboutvision.com: "The prevalence of myopia is about 30 to 40 percent among adults in Europe and the United States, and up to 80 percent or higher in the Asian population, especially in China...the incidence and prevalence of myopia are increasing." Minus contact-lens wearers, plus those (few?) who wear glasses for other reasons, the bird and the sky watchers among those billions also await news from you!
Maybe I am mis-informed, but I thought that refractive errors (myopia) could be compensated for by focusing the instrument, thus obviating the need for spectacles when using binoculars and such.

Astigmatism is, of course, an entirely different thing.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 13:49   #36
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Maybe I am mis-informed, but I thought that refractive errors (myopia) could be compensated for by focusing the instrument, thus obviating the need for spectacles when using binoculars and such.

Astigmatism is, of course, an entirely different thing.
But how the heck! do you know anything is there to look at when without your glasses everything just becomes a big blur!?

It is a giant hassle to take your glasses off and then back on, then off again all the time. Best just make sure there is some decent ER bins out there, and that the fit is good



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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 14:35   #37
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But how the heck! do you know anything is there to look at when without your glasses everything just becomes a big blur!?

It is a giant hassle to take your glasses off and then back on, then off again all the time. Best just make sure there is some decent ER bins out there, and that the fit is good
Chosun
I see your point.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 14:48   #38
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You fortunate beings! Also (apart from what Chosun Juan says) that can only be done if the diopter compensation (set with the knob/ring for it) is adequate for the user's myopia (short-sighted-ness). Among Zeiss (this being the subforum for that make) models the compensation range is (+4) to -4 in the non-pocket Victorys and the Conquests and (+3) to -3 in the pocket Victorys and the Terras (minus is for myopia). That is what Zeiss state; in reality it seems to stretch at least a bit more. We run up against the limit at the "infinity" end.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 16:41   #39
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currently Schmidt and Bender and Leica are near bankruptcy, both for the second time in the past few years. Swarovski is the only one doing OK).
Just curious: do you have any inside information on Leica? News reports a few months ago talked about a rather healthy situation of Leica, that they are making a decent profit.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 17:26   #40
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But how the heck! do you know anything is there to look at when without your glasses everything just becomes a big blur!?

It is a giant hassle to take your glasses off and then back on, then off again all the time. Best just make sure there is some decent ER bins out there, and that the fit is good



Chosun
No taking them off and on. I just lift or raise them a couple of inches and they rest on the forehead. It only takes a 1/4 of a second and works great for me. I have never been able to get comfortable using binoculars with eye glasses. Luckily I do not have any significant astigmatism to address.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 18:14   #41
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2. The interface between eyepiece and eye. Here, current binoculars are probably less than perfect. A couple of smart ideas may help improving the 'ease of view' and thus the usability of the instrument. This is the area in which people like you and me could possibly contribute most. We shall find some time for discussions about that.

Cheers,
Holger
Hi Holger,

I agree with you completely. This is the most likely area we might be able to make some noticeable improvements. It seems that even in the 3D cinema and head-mounted virtual reality, they don't quite know how to deliver a wide-field stereo image to the eye: http://doc-ok.org/ So, yes, I'll be more than happy to work together and investigate this further. I have your email, I will send you a note.

Cheers
-Omid
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 18:31   #42
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Hi, Believe me when I say that the Zeiss building in Wetzlar is still shaking upto its fundaments. They are still digesting this reality. The impact is HUGE.

I think you and I are on the same page regarding long range hunting.
Long range is military stuff/sports long distance target shooting (done it, seen it, got the T-shirt) and it should stay there.

Jan
Hi Jan,

I agree with your assessment. Zeiss moving out of Wetzlar is no small event. It has far-reaching economic and psychological impacts on the sports optics industry of Germany.

Regarding, long-range shooting and scopes specifically targeted to that market I agree with you there too. Long range "shooting" is a great sport but, to me, there is no such a thing as long range hunting. This forum is dedicated to bird-watching so it's not proper to discuss rifle-scopes here. If you are interested, send me a PM and we can discuss riflescopes offline.

Sincerely,
-Omid
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 00:15   #43
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No taking them off and on. I just lift or raise them a couple of inches and they rest on the forehead. It only takes a 1/4 of a second and works great for me. I have never been able to get comfortable using binoculars with eye glasses. Luckily I do not have any significant astigmatism to address.
Hi Bruce,

I tried that, but didn't find it satisfactory. For one thing your glasses get dirty. Then of course there is the small adjustment period (I have transitions lenses), and the whole hassle of having an extra task for the hands to do (when they are probably occupied carrying the necessary big stick). I found quite often in the time taken to do all this that I would miss a fleeting glance at a geewhizzit or other rarity (such as a powerful owl chick at the extremity of its range in the woodlands, grey falcon scooting along, etc).

In the end I decided to just go with glasses always on as being easier. Great that your solution works for you, and I will grant you that there is quite an adjustment/learning period involved, and "fit" and "ease of view" of bins becomes an important consideration. Now that I am 'schooled' in alignment it has become a natural process that I hardly ever give conscious thought to.

There definitely is room for improvement with the interface along the lines that Omid mentioned though.


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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 15:14   #44
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...

Quite generally, I don't believe that the plain optical parameters of binoculars can be improved significantly: A little bit of extra edge-sharpness, transmission, slightly reduced weight - not much left to improve here. Instead, I see two major directions for further improvements:

1. Image stabilization. This is high tech and could only be achieved with a team of experts and huge investments.

2. The interface between eyepiece and eye.

....
I guess you are right since you know more about binoculars and physics than me, but what keeps me wondering is: why it is so expensive to coat binocular lenses...? When there is not much room for improving the functionality of a product, you often see the focus of R&D departments shifting to cost savings. Does anyone think that progress can be made in the area of lens coating costs?

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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 20:04   #45
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It is simply not true that producing or coating lenses is hugely expensive.
Nor does it cost much to add image stabilization. The evidence is all around us in the form of cheap point and shoot cameras.
Consider that the new Sony RX10 IV offers a 24-600mm zoom, five stops or better image stabilization and 4K video, for $1700 on Amazon, about $1100 less than the Zeiss 8x42 SF.
The Sony lens is a Zeiss design and I'm confident it sports the latest Zeiss coatings. The number of units sold is probably in the same ballpark, as the RX10 IV is a pretty specialized camera.
Yet the main objection indicated by RX10 IV reviewers was the excessively high price. That suggests the alpha binoculars are in pricing bubble. Eventually, that will burst.
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 20:10   #46
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etudiant,
Have you ever seen or used a coating facility?
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 21:09   #47
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Hi Jan,

I agree with your assessment. Zeiss moving out of Wetzlar is no small event. It has far-reaching economic and psychological impacts on the sports optics industry of Germany.

Regarding, long-range shooting and scopes specifically targeted to that market I agree with you there too. Long range "shooting" is a great sport but, to me, there is no such a thing as long range hunting. This forum is dedicated to bird-watching so it's not proper to discuss rifle-scopes here. If you are interested, send me a PM and we can discuss riflescopes offline.

Sincerely,
-Omid
Hi Omid,

And than later on to find my writing on a Forum. No thanks

Second, I have nothing with riflescopes (anymore) so it wouldn't work anyhow.

I do wish you all the best with your enterprise. If it performance the way you say it does..... no worries mate.

Jan
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 01:10   #48
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etudiant,
Have you ever seen or used a coating facility?
Gijs van Ginkel
I've visited several, mostly in the electronics industry.
They are expensive, but they are also hugely productive. For instance, Canon alone has built well over 100 million lenses for its digital cameras, very fine optics with exquisite coatings and glass. Those volumes enable lower unit costs.

Sony produces much less than Canon and hence has fewer economies of scale. That they can engineer and sell their RX10 IV for so relatively little shows the alpha binocular prices are in a bubble. Perhaps Zeiss is moving to lower cost sites because they share that concern.
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 02:28   #49
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I've visited several, mostly in the electronics industry.
They are expensive, but they are also hugely productive. For instance, Canon alone has built well over 100 million lenses for its digital cameras, very fine optics with exquisite coatings and glass. Those volumes enable lower unit costs.

Sony produces much less than Canon and hence has fewer economies of scale. That they can engineer and sell their RX10 IV for so relatively little shows the alpha binocular prices are in a bubble. Perhaps Zeiss is moving to lower cost sites because they share that concern.
But they do sell thousands of the Sony RX cameras, vs god knows how many of high end Swaro/Zeiss/Leica binos. Unfortunately we live in a niche world of optic lovers :( vs mass market semipro photographers where they can make money from volume...

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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 08:09   #50
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It is simply not true that producing or coating lenses is hugely expensive.
......
Consider that the new Sony RX10 IV offers a 24-600mm zoom, five stops or better image stabilization and 4K video, for $1700 on Amazon, about $1100 less than the Zeiss 8x42 SF.
The Sony lens is a Zeiss design and I'm confident it sports the latest Zeiss coatings......
I read on the website of a large Chinese binocular manufacturer that coatings made up for the largest part of their costs. This was a manufacturere where anyone could order large quantities of binoculars made to desired specs. From simple to ED glass with sk15 prisms and super coatings. His claims about costs seems legit to me. Furthermore I am not at all sure that binocular optics can be compared that easily to photographic lenses. For one, the RX10 IV has a 25mm processing sensor and binoculars are usually designed to have 4-5mm exit pupils. I am happy to be educated though
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