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Thank You, MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Publin

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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 21:27   #1
WJC
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Thank You, MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Publin

191208

Thanks, Binastro, Andy, Edmund, Steve, Peter, Jack, Richard, 42za, and others very much guys. The following should rightfully be on the thread Publin started.

Although I didn’t know one could OWN a thread on a public forum, he has stated in HIS post #12 that should I offer anything more, he will complain to “menegment” [sic]. As some of you know, I was thrown off this forum for a time because a couple of whiners—who could read much faster than they could reason—felt I didn’t present myself in the manner THEY would like.

I have always found it odd that even those who are so vociferous about some of my contributions are loath find faults with my facts. One might hope they could justify their complaints with solid data; alas, no.

Since it is getting near Christmas, I would like to make a confession before addressing Publin’s comments.

I love—that’s right love—each person who comes to a binocular forum to learn and share! I have always believed that everyone who draws a breath has a responsibility to leave the planet a better place than he or she found it. There are only a couple of areas in which I can do that—one being optics. No, I didn’t set out to be a know-it-all. But you can’t deal with something every day for over 40 years—and being an epistemophiliac—without picking up more experience concerning it than the “average” opinionated forum user, some of whom seem consumed by the need to have their opinion—wrong or not—accepted by members of that forum.

In so many ways, we are ALL ignorant about so many things. That is just part of the human condition. In those situations, I TRY to teach. Quite often, those folks—as we have seen lately—don’t really WANT to be taught. They are steeped in the notion that these forums are for OPINIONS only and that opinions are just as valuable as facts. I choose to disagree and stand my ground—politically correct or not—to keep a touch of clinical realism in the picture. Some who suffer from ego-rosis, get bent out of shape and challenge me ... or worse.

“In matters of style, swim with the stream; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” — Thomas Jefferson

I don’t stand like a rock, and sometimes get abused, for me. I have been away from the bench for 11 years now and my only goal is to help my neighbor when he gets met with error—sometimes cloaked in lunacy and other times cloaked in misunderstood, but popular, “logic.” My books could largely dispel much of these misnomers. However, if I mention them by name, I get my hand smacked.

Why is this so important to me? It absolutely is not! I have more binoculars than I will ever need, I can’t afford—and don’t need—bragging rights, and, not getting caught up in all this upgrade madness, they will be viable long after I’m not.* I just do what I can to temper the thinking of those who make mountains out of costly and non-productive molehills in so many areas of the hobby.

* Although about 10 years ago, I decided I was going to live forever and ... so far, so good!

— Years of hanging out on these forums, and making my more erudite optical friends think I’m nuts, has taught me that while members with average thinking skills can just ignore my bluster, so many errors of the ardent ultracrepidarian can only be scratched by a 50 megaton approach. So, if any of the newer members have ever been offended by the curmudgeon in my alter ego, PLEASE FORGIVE ME; he only lives to stave off the few who feel the need to stress and promote more than they know, often causing the honest truth-seeker to waste his or her time or money and cause undue confusion or frustration.

Of course, this will affect few members of any bino forum. But some of those errors have grown in popularity and been embellished over the years and cannot be effectively addressed with a politically correct, milquetoast approach. If the civilized approach would do the job, the curmudgeon would have never been born. But in the world of bino forums where opinion is often elevated to fact, experience has taught me that it’s necessary.

Publin has offered a huge example of what I’m up against.

— It is plain he doesn’t communicate well in English. I don’t find fault with that at all. Many Americans and Brits are in the same boat, which is why “vintage” is used in ~ 2% of the cases to describe great older binos and in ~98% of the cases used to describe older, optical junk.

After his comment (post #4) about “3% solution of hydrogen peroxide” to clean optics, I had to scratch my head because with decades in the design, manufacture, repair, calibration, and collimation of optics I had NEVER heard of such. In the same post, he states:

“I am not expert technician but opend meny binoculars includ prisms!” (misspellings included as written)

Because he admitted to needing help, I offered him 4 pages from this “expert technician’s” first binocular book. But because he was ill-equipped to understand the humor that most of the forum understood, my sincere offering was labeled as “nonsense” and that was followed by:

“mr. WJC! dont response to my thread's if your answers not offer a solution and attached with nonsense articles. you are not assist to solve or participant dialogue on issues of optics this forum! thanks!”

Excuse me, but didn’t he ASK for some professional help?

My thought was that one should not ask for help if he is only going to malign it and its source when it comes.

The humor was to add a little realism to those who consistently promote some great/over the top formula they have used for years as if all others fall short. Which is why I said:

“When I found it necessary—usually out of a customer need for speed—I might clean a lens or prism over a sink with mild hand soap and dry it off with soft toilet tissue or a scrap of clean, used tee shirt saved for such a duty. Sacrilege? Not really—except for those long on theories but short of practical experience.”

I think those 4 pages—derived from fact and real-world occurrences—are useful. At least for those who don’t already know all there is to know.

— In post #16, Publin states: “I am disappointed that no one in this forum can't advice about collimation problems.”

I have taught the difference between collimation and conditional alignment to the optical Ph.Ds. of SPIE and the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences. But I guess that’s not enough horsepower for Publin.

— Finally, (post # 25) he says: “this sears 10x50 have the setscrew on the barrels [2 in ocular side 2 near the objective lenses] so the fix is more complicated.” (copied from the original)

I don’t see how Publin could say the prism-tilt collimation is “more complicated” when almost 100% of the posts and articles on the Internet deal exclusively with this convention of alignment and was developed as a shortcut to make things faster and LESS COMPLICATED for the techs at the factory.

— Earlier in that post he says: “I have the knowledge how to fix alignment in russian vintage bino'S and I done it with my bino's collection.” (again, errors included)

No, he doesn’t. He seems to be speaking of Zenit, Komz, etc. Porro prism units. This means they are collimated with the MORE COMPLICATED eccentric ring alignment convention. If he doesn’t have the right equipment (which he doesn’t) or know the correct doctrine (which he doesn’t), he has done nothing but made them acceptable to himself. Thus, although the work may be absolutely adequate at one IPD, it is so through conditional alignment-based Panum’s fusional area on his personal IPD and at the risk of forcing the instrument further out of 3-axis collimation or possibly damaging the optics—although to a MUCH smaller extent that with the prism-tilt convention.

The magnitude of our understanding rests with our humble willingness to understand.

Finally, if anyone is communicating with him, please let him know I have neither the time nor inclination to hold grudges and that, should he restrain his ego a bit, and make himself teachable, I would be willing to help him to the best of my ability.

Bill
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Last edited by WJC : Tuesday 10th December 2019 at 01:28.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 22:13   #2
Binastro
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The problem is that most people would, I think, not understand the difference between conditional alignment and collimation, even if quite handy with tools.

So, if a binocular can be made to work for themselves that is fine.

With most people, once the binocular works, there is not much point trying to explain that it is not properly collimated for all IPDs. (the distance between the centres of each eye).

If the initial error is small, then it might be possible to align the binocular for a small range of IPDs.

I have encountered hundreds of misaligned binoculars.
If I see this in a binocular I don't buy it.

If necessary I have sent binoculars to experts or semi experts. Sometimes a proper job has been done, sometimes not.
The number of experts now is very small.

Now, I just don't bother.
If the binocular is misaligned, it stays misaligned, until someone in the future deals with it, or it remains unaligned.

In many cases if an expert can be found, the cost of repair is more than the binocular is worth.
So many binoculars have no commercial value at all.
A collector might buy them just to look at or put in a glass case, even if they don't work.

I also don't buy binoculars with haze, fungus, moisture etc. if I can see it.
Sometimes even experts have let me down, and I just put up with it, or get a rebate.

I am able to examine the star images in both barrels, so I know if the binocular is reasonably close to good alignment.
But I use my own eyes. I don't have a binocular collimator.

Generally, top quality binoculars are well aligned for me when new, so the makers must be doing something right.
It is the lower price and secondhand binoculars where alignment is a big problem.

B.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 22:34   #3
WJC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
The problem is that most people would, I think, not understand the difference between conditional alignment and collimation, even if quite handy with tools.

So, if a binocular can be made to work for themselves that is fine.

With most people, once the binocular works, there is not much point trying to explain that it is not properly collimated for all IPDs. (the distance between the centres of each eye).

If the initial error is small, then it might be possible to align the binocular for a small range of IPDs.

I have encountered hundreds of misaligned binoculars.
If I see this in a binocular I don't buy it.

If necessary I have sent binoculars to experts or semi experts. Sometimes a proper job has been done, sometimes not.
The number of experts now is very small.

Now, I just don't bother.
If the binocular is misaligned, it stays misaligned, until someone in the future deals with it, or it remains unaligned.

In many cases if an expert can be found, the cost of repair is more than the binocular is worth.
So many binoculars have no commercial value at all.
A collector might buy them just to look at or put in a glass case, even if they don't work.

I also don't buy binoculars with haze, fungus, moisture etc. if I can see it.
Sometimes even experts have let me down, and I just put up with it, or get a rebate.

I am able to examine the star images in both barrels, so I know if the binocular is reasonably close to good alignment.
But I use my own eyes. I don't have a binocular collimator.

Generally, top quality binoculars are well aligned for me when new, so the makers must be doing something right.
It is the lower price and secondhand binoculars where alignment is a big problem.

B.
Binastro,

You obviously have neither of my books nor any of my dozens of articles on the topic. I say the same thing. BUT please don’t call a horse a zebra; it’s not. Don’t call a cobra an earthworm; it’s not. Or, a chicken an eagle; it’s not.

I have always made it plain that I have performed a CoAl on binoculars for many of my customers. HOWEVER, AT NO TIME WAS THE OPERATION CALLED COLLIMATION. In addition, I have specified under what conditions good enough is good enough. To call conditional alignment “collimation” is a misleading disservice to the bino user (today and in the future) and the science.

Bill
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Last edited by WJC : Monday 9th December 2019 at 22:41.
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Old Tuesday 10th December 2019, 08:12   #4
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Ladies and Gentlemen we are now in the season of Goodwill.

Lets call an end to this here and welcome in the holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Lee
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