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New Leica HD Ultravid PLUS

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 15:05   #51
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Originally Posted by Mac308 View Post
However, were I in the market for a new 42mm binocular, I'd still buy an Ultravid HD or the new Ultravid PL over the Zeiss FL,HT,SF or Swarovski SV.
I said the same until now. But the significantly wider field of the SF would seriously tempt me.

So for any potential Ultravid succesor, I hope Leica aims on wide fields as well. And I'm pretty sure they will try to keep them as compact as they are now, this is still the UVs greatest distinction compared to Swaro and Zeiss.

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 15:41   #52
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I must say a Ultravid Plus was a unexpected move by Leica.

I assumed a "New Ultravid" would be released with a open bridge and flat field...

It seems a peculiar thing to do to enhance just the optics in the old Ultravid body, I assume there goin stick with same pincushion optical design as well....
Who knows, might be some cunning marketing strategy???

Cheers Tim
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 17:19   #53
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Maybe a two-tiered line-up is in the works like SV and SLC? SF and HT? If so, I'd hate to see the price on the twin-bridge flat field. Brock's magic number of $3k is mighty close it seems.

Here's what Leica says about the new coatings and HT glass:

"The significantly increased light transmission, particularly in the blue-violet band, ensures not only higher image brightness, but also better colour transmission and considerably improved twilight vision."

Almost sounds like that mellow Leica view, which I and others have always liked just fine, might be imperiled.
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 17:54   #54
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Maybe a two-tiered line-up is in the works like SV and SLC? SF and HT? If so, I'd hate to see the price on the twin-bridge flat field. Brock's magic number of $3k is mighty close it seems.

Here's what Leica says about the new coatings and HT glass:

"The significantly increased light transmission, particularly in the blue-violet band, ensures not only higher image brightness, but also better colour transmission and considerably improved twilight vision."

Almost sounds like that mellow Leica view, which I and others have always liked just fine, might be imperiled.
I've spoken to the Leica rep and he told me that the transmission is now 92%, which was 83 and 86% at 500 and 550nm with the HD model.
Let's wait and see!!!

Jan
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 18:06   #55
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As Jimmy used to say... now just....just....just....just hold on a minute, there. When I suggested that Zeiss's announcement about new products this year could include a 32mm HT, a well known optics expert chimed in and said that couldn't happen because HT glass could only be used in Abbe-Konig prisms and NOT Schmidt–Pechan prisms, and A-K prisms would be too bulky for a Zeiss HT since the 32FLs compactness, as someone mentioned above, was one of its biggest selling points.

There's a .001% chance that I misremembered what he said, but if true, and I see no reference to an A-K prism update in Leica's PR, just a follow-the-leader HT glass upgrade, which means that HT glass can be used to make S-P prisms. There's some 'splainin' someone needs to do. And if true, where the heck is the 8x32/10x32 Zeiss HT already????

Zeiss has come out with two different lines of bins - the 56 Conquest HDs and the 54 HTs - while neglecting to update their 32mm FLs, which surely would lead in sales vs. the oversized HDs and HTs.

Well, at least the Leica UV HT is not supposed to cost much more than the UV HT, otherwise, we'd be looking at more increasing price$ for incremental change$. I'm also glad to see that Leica has not dropped the 7x42 model from its new "UV Plus" line-up.

Users and reviewers have been moaning about the UV's light transmission being behind the other top bananas, so this might quell those complaints. Thanks for that update, Pier.

Brock

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 18:46   #56
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Hardly anyone in the Uk stocks Leica bins anymore,,,,,,so the Plus is goin be a difficult cookie to get ur hands on for testing
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 19:14   #57
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Jan

What do your sources say about an open bridge, flat field "New Ultravid."???

Spoke to Nanette Roland at birdfair and she confirmed it.


Cheers Tim
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 19:27   #58
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wow! quite a revolution, ten years ago...
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 19:32   #59
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Brock,

I once said about what you just did, thinking that the only prism quality glass made in HT version was BK-7, which is appropriate for AKs, but not refractive enough for SPs. But Henry Link corrected me, and indeed the Zeiss glass chart shows BAK-4, the common SP glass, in an HT version. Not that this whopping claimed transmission increase comes mostly from that--that has to be the coatings.

There might really be a niche for the new Leica if 92% pans out. Leica was never one to falsely tout their transmission. Is should come almost imperceptibly close to the transmission of the Zeiss HT, deliver similar field correction with some motion-calming pincushion distortion, in the small sweet Leica package. The edge sharpness will probably look better than the HT's to some eyes, as in my experience Leica's edge is more dominated by field curvature than astigmatism, which young observers' eyesight can deal with quite well through focus accommodation.

I try to resist speculation but there I go.

Ron
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 20:32   #60
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Tim,

The Dutch rep was given the "workbook" for the Photokina which contained about 120 pages, of which 119 contained novelties in the camera field and only one page involving optics about the HD plus.

No news what so ever about any new model in 2015.
This sunday I'll be on the Photokina myself and will ask them and I am sure a deadly silence will be coming my way.

Jan
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 20:56   #61
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There's a .001% chance that I misremembered what he said, but if true, and I see no reference to an A-K prism update in Leica's PR, just a follow-the-leader HT glass upgrade, which means that HT glass can be used to make S-P prisms. There's some 'splainin' someone needs to do.
Nobody said that HT *can't* be used for SP prisms. Only that it doesn't make much sense.

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Zeiss has come out with two different lines of bins - the 56 Conquest HDs and the 54 HTs - while neglecting to update their 32mm FLs, which surely would lead in sales vs. the oversized HDs and HTs.
No, it wouldn't lead in sales vs. the large HDs and HTs. You underestimate the market for 56mm and 54mm bins in Europe. Most hunters here go for the big boys.

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Users and reviewers have been moaning about the UV's light transmission being behind the other top bananas, so this might quell those complaints.
Perhaps. But on the other hand, it might not, now that so many people seem to find sharpness at the edge important.

Hermann
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:06   #62
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wow! quite a revolution, ten years ago...
Yeah, the Nikon EDG I.

Johnny Come Lately

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:07   #63
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Hermann,
I think that customers will be attracted to a fairly large increase in brightness as a consequence of the higher light transmission and edge sharpness in the Leica's was not so much a problem I think. It will of course if compared with binoculars having flatfield lenses. I am curious how customers will receive the new Leica's.
Gijs
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:18   #64
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Brock,

As Hermann said, BAK-4 HT can be substituted for BAK-4 in a Schmidt-Pechan prism. It just doesn't increase the light transmission very much.

The Schott transmission chart below shows no difference at all in the catalogue curves between BAK-4 and Bak-4 HT at wavelengths longer than 400nm and only about 0.4% (for a 25mm glass thickness) at wavelengths shorter than 400nm. The prisms in the Leicas probably have a total internal light path of 75mm or less, so the gain in throughput would be no more than about 1.2%, and that confined entirely to blue and violet.

Henry
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:21   #65
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Holger Merlitz wrote something similar as well, he guessed about 1 % increase with HT glass alone in SP-prisms. So if Leica really get's to 92%, there are probably more improvements... But why shouldn't they manage to do that, if Zeiss can do it with the SF and Swaro with SLC and SV...
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:31   #66
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Nobody said that HT *can't* be used for SP prisms. Only that it doesn't make much sense.
Ron said it, See above, and he told two friends, and they told two friends, and pretty soon the rumor mill was that's why Zeiss hadn't made a 32mm HT. Now that that myth has been debunked, I'm wondering why they haven't upgraded the 32 FL? Is the HT body design too difficult to "mini-me?"

Quote:
No, it wouldn't lead in sales vs. the large HDs and HTs. You underestimate the market for 56mm and 54mm bins in Europe. Most hunters here go for the big boys.
Not in Europe, but I think a 32 HT would outsell the overized models in the U.S. The 8x32 FL is very popular with birders, and Swaro won't even sell the 8x56 SLC in the US for lack of buyers.

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Perhaps. But on the other hand, it might not, now that so many people seem to find sharpness at the edge important.

Hermann
True, it's all the rage, but it would look a bit embarrassing for Leica to follow Nikon, Swaro and Zeiss in making a premium open bridge roof at this point. As Vasputin suggested above with his remark about "a revolution in the making, 10 years late"....unless it was a Perger prism open bridge roof. That would be just different enough to be distinctive. I and others have suggested this, but the consensus seems to be they would be too bulky and heavy, and Leica bins are known for their compactness.

However, after seeing the GIANT SF, you have to wonder if Zeiss would make an alpha plus for giants, why not Leica (aside from the fact that they usurped my term -- "plus" -- for the top range of alphas in the $2,500+ bracket and used it for their current top of the line). They could keep the UV + as their HT, as someone suggested, and then add a higher priced, more "bells and whistles" model like Swaro and Zeiss.

Even then, where would the customers come from? After the SF is released, will there be any open bridge fans with deep pockets left who do not already own an EDG or SV EL or SF? Those are hard acts to follow.

By coming last, Leica has to do something truly out of the box to attract buyers other than the usual Leica fanboys. With their experience in digital cameras, perhaps they will be the first alpha company to go digital with sports optics. Though I have a feeling they will be run over by the other Big Three by the time they get it out the door.

Brock
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:41   #67
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Wasn't the conventional thinking here that the Ultravid still had silver-coated prisms? - that's why they lagged so far behind the Zeiss and Swaro.

No way just HT glass would boost transmission 5 - 8 %, without further improvements in prism design etc.
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 21:52   #68
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....Ron said it, See above, and he told two friends, and they told two friends, and pretty soon the rumor mill was that's why Zeiss hadn't made a 32mm HT. Now that that myth has been debunked, I'm wondering why they haven't upgraded the 32 FL? Is the HT body design too difficult to "mini-me?"....
Whoa! Hold up there boys .... not everyone said HT glass in S-P prisms was a no go .....

It is a real goer, and the concomitant benefits make it quadruply so! In fact if you'll remember correctly, that's exactly what I said waaaaaaaaaaaaay back when !

Just remember - you heard it Down Under first !! .....

No need for a "mini-me" HT body --- just shove the glass in the existing FL body along with the other changes I suggested and get on with it already !

Now if the bean counters at Wetzlar World would kindly make the cheque payable to Ms. C. Juan ........



Chosun
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 22:04   #69
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Wasn't the conventional thinking here that the Ultravid still had silver-coated prisms?...
The Ultravid have always been dielectric coated. Their brightness was competitive with the Swarovski EL, Zeiss Classic, and Zeiss Victory of the time, and was quite a bit better than the silver-coated Nikon LX/HG and the (silver coated) Trinovid BN predecessors.

--AP
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 22:46   #70
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The Ultravid have always been dielectric coated. Their brightness was competitive with the Swarovski EL, Zeiss Classic, and Zeiss Victory of the time, and was quite a bit better than the silver-coated Nikon LX/HG and the (silver coated) Trinovid BN predecessors.

--AP

Gijs graphs show the HD's to be as much as 10% below the FL, SV, HT's.....
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 23:32   #71
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Brock,

As Hermann said, BAK-4 HT can be substituted for BAK-4 in a Schmidt-Pechan prism. It just doesn't increase the light transmission very much.

The Schott transmission chart below shows no difference at all in the catalogue curves between BAK-4 and Bak-4 HT at wavelengths longer than 400nm and only about 0.4% (for a 25mm glass thickness) at wavelengths shorter than 400nm. The prisms in the Leicas probably have a total internal light path of 75mm or less, so the gain in throughput would be no more than about 1.2%, and that confined entirely to blue and violet.

Henry
Henry,

I missed your original reply to Ron, so I'm only getting half the story here. I was wondering where he got the idea that HT glass wouldn't (but apparently not "couldn't") be used in the 32mm model?

By showing the small gain in using HT glass in SP prisms, are you implying that HT glass works better (that is, boosts transmission more) in A/K prisms than in SP prisms, and therefore, it wouldn't be worth using HT glass in a new 32 mm Zeiss model because the gain is so small, and only in the violet and blue?

If that's true, then Zeiss would need to use A/K prisms in a new 32 model, and that would make them too bulky. I think that was the gist of the conservation about this, wasn't it? Tried looking for the thread, but couldn't find it.

Since the gain in transmission is so small, this implies that using HT glass in the UV Plus is more of a marketing ploy than anything else since no-one is going to notice a 1.2% difference in the blue and violet. True?

The lion's share of boosted light transmission in the UV Plus is coming from the "high-temperature plasma" coatings and not the glass type. From the press release, you get the impression a significant portion of the light transmission boost is from the HT glass used in the prisms.

"In addition to this (new coatings), the prisms of the new binoculars are manufactured from glass SCHOTT HT special formulation, with exceptional characteristics of light transmission. The significant improvement of the transmission of light, especially in the blue-violet band, not only ensures a brighter image, but also a perfect color balance."

A bit of slight of hand?

Brock

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 23:39   #72
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FWIW the HDs came out in 2007.

The following info is from Allbinos review of it in May 2012, 5 years after it was introduced.

"Leica Ultravid 8x42 HD

The Ultravid HD binoculars’ series was launched in 2007 substituting the Ultravid devices. It consists of roof prism binoculars with the objective lens’s diameter from 20 to 50 mm. All the binoculars from this series feature the Schmidt-Pechan prisms. To ensure high transmission they were covered by dielectric HighLux (HLS) coatings and, additionally, P40 phase coatings.

Compared to the previous version, the producer used some fluorite glass in the objective lenses and better antireflection coatings which are supposed to assure the transmission level higher by 3%. What’s more, the outer optical surfaces were covered by AquaDura coatings which task is to make the water roll off very quickly. These coatings also make the cleaning of optical elements easier – the traces of damp, mud or fingerprints are supposed to be very easy to remove."

The transmission graph in the review shows 92% transmission level in most of the 600 to 700 range after sloping evenly upward starting at below 80% at 400 and going up to 90% at 599.
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Old Saturday 20th September 2014, 00:27   #73
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Henry,

I missed your original reply to Ron, so I'm only getting half the story here. I was wondering where he got the idea that HT glass wouldn't (but apparently not "couldn't") be used in the 32mm model?

By showing the small gain in using HT glass in SP prisms, are you implying that HT glass works better (that is, boosts transmission more) in A/K prisms than in SP prisms, and therefore, it wouldn't be worth using HT glass in a new 32 mm Zeiss model because the gain is so small, and only in the violet and blue?

If that's true, then Zeiss would need to use A/K prisms in a new 32 model, and that would make them too bulky. I think that was the gist of the conservation about this, wasn't it? Tried looking for the thread, but couldn't find it.

Since the gain in transmission is so small, this implies that using HT glass in the UV Plus is more of a marketing ploy than anything else since no-one is going to notice a 1.2% difference in the blue and violet. True?

The lion's share of boosted light transmission in the UV Plus is coming from the "high-temperature plasma" coatings and not the glass type. From the press release, you get the impression a significant portion of the light transmission boost is from the HT glass used in the prisms.

"In addition to this (new coatings), the prisms of the new binoculars are manufactured from glass SCHOTT HT special formulation, with exceptional characteristics of light transmission. The significant improvement of the transmission of light, especially in the blue-violet band, not only ensures a brighter image, but also a perfect color balance."

A bit of slight of hand?

Brock
No Brock!

Listen to the gospel from Down Under
(you may need to run it through google translate, as you don't seem to get it :)

The original discussion was in the HT thread .....

Yes, HT glass shows more gains with AK prisms, and No, that does not mean it is of no value in S-P prisms ..... ~1.2%+ is ~1.2%+ ! Who's gonna notice that? a new owner that's who!

Apart from increased transmission, a whole host of other benefits are detailed in concert with indexing the coatings (your penance for being so recalcitrant is to dig them up in the original thread! :) ..... upshot is a visibly detectable better image !!

Your suggestion that the Zeiss 32 needs to go to A-K prisms is an oxymoron .... The transmission according to Allbino's is already at 94.6%, and shoving whacking great A-K prisms in there would thoroughly ruin the one thing the little FL has going for it - it's size !

Making the other changes I suggested would at least allow it to compete both ways against the SV at one end, and the UVHD+ at the other. Will the Zeiss32mmHT be perfect? No. But it will be a pretty damn fine compact 32mm. It would also buy valuable time until the monstrously bigger 32mm SF can be developed into a real SV slayer ....... Thus Zeiss can have a two pronged 32mm approach - a proper littlie FL->HT, and a larger top dawg flat field SF ......

Amen


Chosun

PS. Mike - still waiting on that cheque ......
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Old Saturday 20th September 2014, 04:11   #74
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No Brock!

Listen to the gospel from Down Under
(you may need to run it through google translate, as you don't seem to get it :)

The original discussion was in the HT thread .....

Yes, HT glass shows more gains with AK prisms, and No, that does not mean it is of no value in S-P prisms ..... ~1.2%+ is ~1.2%+ ! Who's gonna notice that? a new owner that's who!

Apart from increased transmission, a whole host of other benefits are detailed in concert with indexing the coatings (your penance for being so recalcitrant is to dig them up in the original thread! :) ..... upshot is a visibly detectable better image !!

Your suggestion that the Zeiss 32 needs to go to A-K prisms is an oxymoron .... The transmission according to Allbino's is already at 94.6%, and shoving whacking great A-K prisms in there would thoroughly ruin the one thing the little FL has going for it - it's size !

Making the other changes I suggested would at least allow it to compete both ways against the SV at one end, and the UVHD+ at the other. Will the Zeiss32mmHT be perfect? No. But it will be a pretty damn fine compact 32mm. It would also buy valuable time until the monstrously bigger 32mm SF can be developed into a real SV slayer ....... Thus Zeiss can have a two pronged 32mm approach - a proper littlie FL->HT, and a larger top dawg flat field SF ......

Amen


Chosun

PS. Mike - still waiting on that cheque ......
In your case, I would drop the "oxy."

Most people can't detect a difference of less than 3% brightness, so 1.2% is invisible except perhaps to nocturnal animals. My point was that if Leica hadn't also boosted transmission with its new coatings, the UV would only have a 1.2% difference, which nobody would even see, but reading the language of the press release, you're led to believe that the HT glass contributes a "significant" amount of boost to the light transmission, which according to Henry's post, it does not. Only 1.2%, which is less than the "margin of error" in most of allbino's light transmission numbers!

I did not suggest that Zeiss shove A/K prisms in the FL, only that in order to bring up the light transmission to that of what Zeiss claims (not Arek, he hasn't reviewed the HT yet) for the HT (95%), the 32mm HT would need a boost in light transmission. Capeesh?

But is that number even meaningful? Would anyone be able to see the difference of 1.2%? And more importantly, is it worth paying $300-$600 or whatever Zeiss might charge extra for the difference?

Zeiss would have to come up with some newfangled, hi-tech coatings like Leica said it did to boost transmission to "95% or better" in a new 8x32 model if it can't make it to that number w/out the A/K prisms. But why bother, if Arek's numbers are correct for the 8x32 FL, it's already close enough.

OTOH, I can see why Leica would want to come up to at least 90% to catch up with Zeiss (Swaro and Nikon still lag below 90% by comparison, using the same yardstick you did - allbinos - but not by much).

But is all this squabbling and fervor over a few percentage points really matter? The proper question to ask is HOW MUCH LIGHT TRANSMISSION DOES ONE REALLY NEED IN A BIRDING BIN????

85% 90%? 92%? 95% And that overall figure is then broken down into day and evening values.

Are the Big Three trying to get people fired up over something that is inconsequential? Apparently, you think not, since you say you can see a 1.2% difference in brightness. If your eyes are truly that good and you can open your pupils to 7mm, then forget about small format bins, buy a Doctor 8x56 Porro, which according to allbinos, has a whopping 98% light transmission! You can study birds by moonlight!

Seriously, I would like someone to address the question -- HOW MUCH light transmission is enough for most birding situations? Only then will we be able to tell the difference between marketing mumbo jumbo and meaningful specs.

Brock

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Old Saturday 20th September 2014, 04:53   #75
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Seriously, I would like someone to address the question -- HOW MUCH light transmission is enough for most birding situations? Only then will we be able to tell the difference between marketing mumbo jumbo and meaningful specs.

Brock
I can't answer your question Brock as I'm not a birder, however, as an avid hunter I can throw in my 2c worth. I can see no tangible difference in light gathering going from an HT 10x42 to an 8x32 SV. I'm sure there is a measurable difference but my eyes can't detect it.
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