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Very Close Focus

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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 14:03   #1
Nick-on
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Very Close Focus

Quick question about close focus views:-

I was at the Bath Camera and Optics event last Saturday and after buying a new lens (or two) felt a bit guilty and decided to treat the wife to some new bins, she has been using my cast off Nikon 8x32HG's and they are a bit on the heavy side plus getting a bit long in the tooth now. Tried a few pairs here and there and while chatting with the very nice lady at the Hawke stand, mentioned that one of the uses would be looking at butterflies and therefore close focus was important. She then steered me away from the more expensive Frontier ED-X models that I had tried elsewhere and liked a lot, in favour of the Endurance ED 8x32. She claimed that they had a close focus of about 1 metre! Surely not, the literature on Hawke's own website states 2.0m or 6.6ft. but actually yes, they do focus to approx 1.0m. However at that distance they do not form one circle but two overlapping circles although the subject is still singular and sharp.
What I want to know is, is this normal? The 2 circles bit I mean. Must admit it was a bit disconcerting at first, as soon as the subject distance increased beyond about 5ft the 2 circles merged and became one.
Any info/thoughts/views appreciated.

Nick

PS bought them anyway as the wife liked them and they came with a free trailcam for me to play with, win win situation.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 14:15   #2
Troubador
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Nick it is perfectly normal. When you look at close subjects with your unaided eyes you go cross-eyed don't you? Binos can't pull off this trick so the two fields of view from the two separate optical tubes that are merged at longer distances remain partly separated up close. Some folks find this lack of full overlap disturbing and reduce it by closing the bino hinge a bit, thus reducing the distance between the tubes and in effect making the binos slight cross-eyed. This does reduce the effect but over the years I have gradually preferred to leave the IPD of the binos unchanged and just concentrate on the subject in the middle of the field of view. I have mentioned on here before that while I can do this very comfortably now, it might be to other people like the trick of looking through scopes with both eyes open is for me, I can't always do it.

Anyway rest assured that this is normal for binos and when your wife gets into using binos to look at things close by she will find a whole new world opens up: look at flowers and fungi and lichens and stuff in pools and rivers and rock pools next to the sea. Looking through binos at nearby stuff might seem odd but believe me it delivers views that your naked eyes can't match and more conveniently too.

Binos are fantastic pieces of kit: get the most out of them that you can and you get more value for your money.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 14:21   #3
black crow
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Some binoculars seem to be worse at that effect than others so it pays to choose wisely if you want close focus.

If you really want something for constant close focus I recommend the Pentax Papilio 6.5x25. They focus with a nice round circle and no eye strain at 18 inches and give fantastic close up views of insects and flowers etc. They also come in an 8.5x but I found them darker and with a restrictive fov compared to the other size. They are a unique design of reverse porro if I remember correctly and they are a little gem and easily carried in a belt case along with other binoculars. I use mine a lot in the spring. They are also inexpensive.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 14:22   #4
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Nick it is perfectly normal. When you look at close subjects with your unaided eyes you go cross-eyed don't you? Binos can't pull off this trick so the two fields of view from the two separate optical tubes that are merged at longer distances remain partly separated up close. Some folks find this lack of full overlap disturbing and reduce it by closing the bino hinge a bit, thus reducing the distance between the tubes and in effect making the binos slight cross-eyed. This does reduce the effect but over the years I have gradually preferred to leave the IPD of the binos unchanged and just concentrate on the subject in the middle of the field of view. I have mentioned on here before that while I can do this very comfortably now, it might be to other people like the trick of looking through scopes with both eyes open is for me, I can't always do it.

Anyway rest assured that this is normal for binos and when your wife gets into using binos to look at things close by she will find a whole new world opens up: look at flowers and fungi and lichens and stuff in pools and rivers and rock pools next to the sea. Looking through binos at nearby stuff might seem odd but believe me it delivers views that your naked eyes can't match and more conveniently too.

Binos are fantastic pieces of kit: get the most out of them that you can and you get more value for your money.

Lee
Hi Lee,

Thanks for the info. Did think it would be something along those lines but nice to have it confirmed and explained nicely.
On a different tack, I find it very surprising that Hawke don't push this extremely close focus as a selling point, I seem to remember the Pentax Papilio sold in droves, mainly because or its very close focus.

Nick
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 14:26   #5
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Some binoculars seem to be worse at that effect than others so it pays to choose wisely if you want close focus.

If you really want something for constant close focus I recommend the Pentax Papilio 6.5x25. They focus with a nice round circle and no eye strain at 18 inches and give fantastic close up views of insects and flowers etc. They also come in an 8.5x but I found them darker and with a restrictive fov compared to the other size. They are a unique design of reverse porro if I remember correctly and they are a little gem and easily carried in a belt case along with other binoculars. I use mine a lot in the spring.
Thanks for that BC, posted my reply to Lee just as you were posting your reply. The Papilio does sound easier to use however the erroneous statement on Hawke's website is still a bit mystifying.

Nick
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 15:22   #6
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Most binoculars with very close focus have that double circle thing which I don't enjoy that much. I adjust my IPD and try to get rid of most of it which works at times but I'd much rather use the Pentax for close viewing. In fact I no longer consider a really close focus to be something that makes much difference in my choice of binoculars like it has in the past. If I'm within 6 feet I just look lol. I have a much better fov that way. Outside of that I'll use binoculars.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 15:26   #7
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Nick there is some variation in all aspects of individual pairs of binos like all manufactured products and many makers quote close focus distances that are rather conservative on the basis that if individual customers find their unit does better than this they might be surprised but also delighted.

Papilios are a delightful model for anyone wanting to specialise in close-up viewing. An 8x32 is a more versatile instrument and more convenient if you only want to carry one pair of binos.

Hope your wife enjoys them. For this type of viewing I use a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 and which I love to bits.


Lee
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 16:27   #8
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The Hawke Endurance is a roof prism binocular, whereas the Pentax Papilio is a reversed porro and that yields a different performance at ultra short distances. The Hawke delivers two separated images as described and the Papilio does not
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 16:38   #9
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The Papilio has the objectives move axially on a curved track, and the objectives move sideways and back and forth as they close focus.

There was I think a Minolta patent where the objectives also tilted, but as far as I recall the Papilio objectives don't tilt.

The close focus distance depends on a person's eye prescription.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 17:21   #10
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I am waiting for some lenses from surplus shed to make my papilio seven closer focus. Adding a camera macro conversion lens to the front didn’t work very nicely.

Peter
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