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CA On The Noctivid

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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 14:03   #151
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Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
Evidently, the degree of CA on the Noctivid was not acceptable for you?

I wonder whether there aren't feasible methods for OBJECTIVELY evaluating chromatic aberrations on binoculars, as there are clear-cut methods for determining image resolution or light transmission?
I first looked through a Noctivid in a Leica store under very unchallenging conditions, and the view was phenomenal, compared to a pair of Celestron Trailseekers (one would hope so--although these bins are pretty good when they are working correctly). Reading the marketing material about them and some comments on this forum, they seemed like a good pick for me, because I am very interested in a pleasant image, and it seemed like Leica had prioritized this in their lens design.

I can't explain it, but I've seen in action--certain lenses just create appealing images straight out of the camera. These lenses fetch a high dollar for this characteristic. Examples of this I've come across in photography: Pick any of the L-class primes in Canon's line up--the 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and some extent even the 135mm macro. They all have certain characteristics about them, and it has something to do with the whole package, rather than some particular optical measurement. Anyways, being interested in image aesthetics as much or even more than a slight edge on bird ID, I was fairly confident I would enjoy the Leicas greatly if I could convince myself that CA was not an issue.

While I was not able to directly compare the Leica NVs to the other 'alpha glass,' I was able to try some Maven binoculars, which came very highly recommended, I immediately noticed some CA in those. I also bought a pair of Zeiss Terra 8x25 during the EO sale, which had a splendid image to my eyes, given their size and price, and came to the following conclusions:

- I notice CA very easily, and it is highly distracting to me.
- Some CA I was noticing may be due to imperfect placement of the binoculars.

After that, I did some research, and it became pretty clear to be that the Leicas objectively have a relatively high amount of CA compared to most other high quality binoculars. This is a measurable phenomenon, and one I would notice. I decided that this would be a shortcoming I'd have to deal with if I bought these bins, and decided to try the Zeiss an Swaro in a store to see what I thought of them--particularly what I thought of any color cast or rollerball effects. After all, presence of RB comes at a trade off--more RB, more FOV.

The store I went to had both the Zeiss 10x42 and the famous 8.5x42 Swaros. I looked through them both and I was quite simply stunned by the Zeiss view. Comparatively, the Swaros made my dizzy with RB (and my wife too). Pair that with:
- My good experience with the smaller Zeiss bins,
- This binocular's good reputation for CA control,
- Wide FOV and a natural-feeling amount of RB (distortion),
- Very nice balance and weight, compared to even the Swaros, and
- No problems with color cast that I could notice.

I decided to just stop hemming and hawing and buy that copy right in the store. Haven't regretted it, and don't plan to.
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 16:43   #152
Mike F
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Location: Finland
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Originally Posted by b3rd View Post
I decided to just stop hemming and hawing and buy that copy right in the store. Haven't regretted it, and don't plan to.
Good for you! Buying a pair that you've actually tried is the best thing to do by all accounts.

Now, just DON'T try a Noctivid!
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