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What is the Noctivid about?

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Old Thursday 29th August 2019, 21:17   #26
F88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
Ah, but how to prevent the rolling ball illusion and still have a flat field is also a known design criterion, and there are several examples, including Canon 10x42 L IS that do this successfully for most users.

--AP
A prime example of this for me is the Nikon EDG.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2019, 21:31   #27
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Thanks Alexis, thats good to know, but how does that Canon compare to the Leica Swarovski and Zeiss alpha bins?
Optically as good or better, plus has image stabilization as an option, but isn't nearly as good ergonomically.

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Old Thursday 29th August 2019, 21:44   #28
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OK, yes, practically speaking a large part of the Noctivid's purpose is competition with (or imitation of) other brands, notably Swaro, not just their own UV line. But I'm interested in what the NV actually delivers.

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Originally Posted by mwhogue View Post
Tenex, speaking subjectively, while other binoculars surpass in various objective measurements, for me currently no binocular delivers a more emotionally satisfying optical experience than the HD+ 10x50.
...Another area of possible improvement -- increasing the AFOV in some models without excessive compromise in other areas if possible. Example, the now discontinued EDG 7x42 is IMO an outstanding binocular except it has a relatively narrow AFOV, while the HD+ 7x42, closely comparable in most respects, has a better AFOV (but less eye relief which may be the trade off).Mike
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Originally Posted by wdc View Post
From my experience, a lot of the binoculars I've tried do not fit me, due to ER and IPD accommodation, so I'm always interested when I can find one that does. I was lucky with the Noctivid. The 10x 42's combination of eye relief and AFOV gives me one of the most immersive views I've had to date.
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Originally Posted by PeterPS View Post
Regarding longer ER, without any doubt that's a welcome change for those of us wearing glasses, but for the rest of us the long ER might lead to blackouts----for me the blackout issue, especially of the NV 8x42, was a deal breaker.
This sense of immersion matters a lot to some people, including me. Somehow I've never seen the 50mm UVs, and should try them. I'll also keep it in mind next time I have a chance to try the NV. My own general impression is that the more manufacturers increase ER for spectacle wearers -- we're up to 20mm now, how much could be considered enough? -- the less AFOV there seems to be to enjoy, and the more often I find eyecup depth inadequate. (Is this what Peter meant by blackouts?) Field flatteners also seem to decrease AFOV, independently, so AFOV is taking a double hit lately. (Technical corrections or explanations welcome here.)
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Old Thursday 29th August 2019, 23:45   #29
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Disclaimer: I've never used a BA/BN and have very limited experience with the HD+ so most of my remarks are in comparison/contrast to the other two top alphas. I've tried a 10x42 owned by a birding acquaintance and a couple of 8x42 demos, and found both excellent, very much in the same ball park as the SF and SV. At that level they are all, frankly, outstanding, but as others have observed, each of the three designs has its own strong point - wide field of view for the SF and sharpness to the edge for the SV. The Noctivid's great quality to me is the beauty of its image (very subjective I know) - I just love the way in which brighter colours stand out. Presumably Leica's background in photography leans them towards more saturated colours. The sweet spot is large and the baffling/stray light control excellent, although from what I gather that was a strongpoint of the old BA/BN series too.

I've often thought that I would probably choose one of the other two alphas myself, as they better suit the birding I do, but if I knew I'd be seeing something of great beauty - some exotic pheasant or sunbird perhaps, or even something like a spectacular sunset - and had the choice of the three to view it with, I would, with very little hesitation, first pick up the Noctivid.
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 00:14   #30
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So I was about to restate two so far unanswered questions:
* I asked, does the NV have a larger sweet spot than the UV?
* Alexis asked, does it have higher contrast?

Patudo just mentioned a "large sweet spot", suggesting perhaps yes to the first? And also "brighter/saturated colors", which could suggest higher contrast?
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 00:19   #31
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Originally Posted by tenex View Post
This sense of immersion matters a lot to some people, including me. Somehow I've never seen the 50mm UVs, and should try them. I'll also keep it in mind next time I have a chance to try the NV. My own general impression is that the more manufacturers increase ER for spectacle wearers -- we're up to 20mm now, how much could be considered enough? -- the less AFOV there seems to be to enjoy, and the more often I find eyecup depth inadequate. (Is this what Peter meant by blackouts?) Field flatteners also seem to decrease AFOV, independently, so AFOV is taking a double hit lately. (Technical corrections or explanations welcome here.)
Tenex,
Interesting observations.
I went through a list of binoculars, where I can see the entire field with my glasses on, and checked their afov using this online calculator:
https://astronomy.tools/calculators/binoculars
I used the ISO standard method.

As might be expected, the LESS IMMERSIVE ones have a smaller AFOV:
Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 53.31 AFOV
Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 54
Leica Ultravid BR 7x42 52
Leica Trinovid HD 8x32 52.6

in other words, more of a 'pipe' style of view, however beguiling it might be.

The MOST IMMERSIVE ones have the largest AFOV:
Swaro EL WB 8x32 58.6
Leica Noctivid 10x42 58
Zeiss Victory SF 8x42 61

Eye relief on these vary between 17 (Trinovid HD) to 20 (Swaro EL)
The correlation between eye relief and its impact on FOV isn't quite
apparent to me yet, as one of the wider true fields (8x32 Swaro) also has the most eye relief. Also the Victory SF has the widest true field, a flat field, and the widest AFOV of all the ones listed, plus 18mm of ER..

Perceptually 'narrow' AFOV, for me, lies below 54, and immersive is
happening at 58 and beyond.

Granted, immersion is another subjective impression, characterized by me as the widest possible view I can see, where the field stop is still visible, yet it is close to the periphery of my vision.

So, I'm not convinced that long eye relief is necessarily to blame for impacting true field or apparent field of view, at least within the range of binoculars I listed. It may require more complex, and heavier, eye piece designs though.

-Bill

Last edited by wdc : Friday 30th August 2019 at 15:30.
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 00:24   #32
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Leica seems to have a solid lock with 3rd place in the so-called European alpha sports optics category.

They will remain there, no real reason to go any farther, they don't have the ability or desire.

Jerry
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 01:47   #33
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Significantly the NVD upped the game with industrial design and build quality, the value of which may not be fully appreciated. The durability and construction of the focusing seems greatly improved in the NVD as I previously had two focusing issues with two UVHD+. During my days in state law enforcement my first pair of Steiner’s literally came apart from daily use while a subsequent pair of regularly dashboard dropped Zeiss Marines were virtually indestructible that optically somehow remain in just about original condition.

The 7X42 UVHD+ and Zeiss Victory HD 8X42’s were the most pleasing images I have come across in any alphas, with the 7X42 UVHD+ nudging the win with it’s Kodachrome leaning colors; and the NVD 8X42 at least matches that 7x UVHD+ while besting it in clarity and contrast.

To me up here where the NVD’s live on the passenger side floor of a work SUV often in arctic weather, I think this has been a total package and worth the extra coin, and the NVD’s are in a space other alphas might struggle to occupy.

I somewhat recently picked up Zeiss Victory Ranging bins, which are HD’s with electronics, and they are excellent, but not as robust as the NVD’s with or without the electronics.

NVD’s left pic w/dog in January 2018, Alaska, far right pic around 2016 or 17 when I was comparing the NVD’s with the UVHD+
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 04:29   #34
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Originally Posted by dwever View Post
Significantly the NVD upped the game with industrial design and build quality, the value of which may not be fully appreciated. The durability and construction of the focusing seems greatly improved in the NVD as I previously had two focusing issues with two UVHD+. During my days in state law enforcement my first pair of Steiner’s literally came apart from daily use while a subsequent pair of regularly dashboard dropped Zeiss Marines were virtually indestructible that optically somehow remain in just about original condition.

The 7X42 UVHD+ and Zeiss Victory HD 8X42’s were the most pleasing images I have come across in any alphas, with the 7X42 UVHD+ nudging the win with it’s Kodachrome leaning colors; and the NVD 8X42 at least matches that 7x UVHD+ while besting it in clarity.

To me up here where the NVD’s live on the passenger side floor of a work SUV, I think this has been a total package and worth the extra coin, and the NVD’s are in a space other alphas like Zeiss SF’s could not occupy.

I somewhat recently picked up Zeiss Victory Ranging bins, which are HD’s with electronics, and they are excellent, but not as robust as the NVD’s with or without the electronics.
Thanks for sharing a body of real world experience. Good read and information.

-Bill

Last edited by wdc : Friday 30th August 2019 at 04:38.
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 14:28   #35
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So yesterday I went birding practically all day. Planned on looking for returning migrants for the day but got a notice of a couple of phalaropes about 35 miles from here so of course I had to go. I did use the NV 8X42 mostly and the Silverline 8X42.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenex View Post
So I was about to restate two so far unanswered questions:
* I asked, does the NV have a larger sweet spot than the UV?
* Alexis asked, does it have higher contrast?

Patudo just mentioned a "large sweet spot", suggesting perhaps yes to the first? And also "brighter/saturated colors", which could suggest higher contrast?
I asked, does the NV have a larger sweet spot than the UV?

I would say SLIGHTLY. Probably the amount of the increased FOV. Neither of which rolls off as fast as an HT/FL.

Alexis asked, does it have higher contrast?

If we are talking about higher than an UV, I'd prob have to say yes. I went birding practically all day yesterday and used the NV and Silverline(BR) back to back. To be clear the Silverline is basically an UV, not a UVHD+. Contrast is one area I believe I could see a difference. I compared several times, pretty sure I could see a difference.

For sure there is little difference in the anti-reflection coatings...

For certain I'd be happy if I cleared out all my binoculars but Leica's. I wouldn't feel like I was showing up with anything less than the best. I'd want to keep the SV 8X32 and 12X50 but the rest...I wouldn't have any issue with that whatsoever.
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 22:29   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdc View Post
I went through a list of binoculars, where I can see the entire field with my glasses on, and checked their afov using this online calculator:
https://astronomy.tools/calculators/binoculars
I used the ISO standard method...
The correlation between eye relief and its impact on FOV isn't quite apparent to me yet...
Of course that formula assumes that AFOV is only a function of magnification and true field, denying that ER matters in principle! And you're only listing binos with 17-20mm ER that work well with your eyeglasses, which isn't much of a range, whereas my impression has always been that those with 13-15mm ER (like my UVHD+ 10x32) tend to give me a more immersive experience. So can someone answer this question of the effect of ER on AFOV? I don't see how to measure my subjective impression of it.
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Old Saturday 31st August 2019, 00:22   #37
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Originally Posted by tenex View Post
Of course that formula assumes that AFOV is only a function of magnification and true field, denying that ER matters in principle! And you're only listing binos with 17-20mm ER that work well with your eyeglasses, which isn't much of a range, whereas my impression has always been that those with 13-15mm ER (like my UVHD+ 10x32) tend to give me a more immersive experience. So can someone answer this question of the effect of ER on AFOV? I don't see how to measure my subjective impression of it.
I agree that eye relief matters in principle, especially now that you point it out.

I was trying to show that a selection of binoculars with long ER could also have a wide AFOV, which I think missed your point.

If you're getting blackouts when you're too close to the eyepiece, and have to back away BECAUSE of long ER, then I expect the entire image perceptually begins to shrink. Is that your experience?

If so, I can see how that could become objectionable.

-Bill
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Old Saturday 31st August 2019, 20:21   #38
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Bill, the blackouts you describe are the problem I have when eyecups aren't deep enough for the ER, but not the immersion issue I'm trying to understand.

The problem may be that "AFOV" seems to be defined by the equation in question, which only involves magnification and RFOV. Whereas my impression of immersion, how much of my visual field the view occupies vs the black space around it, seems to depend also on other aspects of eyepiece design like ER and field flatteners. I've even read that the ISO formula for AFOV gives a more accurate (and smaller) result for flat-field binos whereas the simple approximation is appropriate for conventional curved fields, which seems to suggest that FF does make a difference to AFOV.

I keep having this confusion in threads where I try to describe these effects on "AFOV", but should perhaps be using another term instead. What should one call this perceived width of the view... "PFOV"? To me then, the PFOV seems to be reduced both by excessive ER and by field flatteners, producing more of a tunnel impression. Am I mistaken somehow, or is there a good explanation for this?
.

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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 15:56   #39
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Originally Posted by tenex View Post

I keep having this confusion in threads where I try to describe these effects on "AFOV", but should perhaps be using another term instead. What should one call this perceived width of the view... "PFOV"? To me then, the PFOV seems to be reduced both by excessive ER and by field flatteners, producing more of a tunnel impression. Am I mistaken somehow, or is there a good explanation for this?
.
Sounds like a question worthy of a separate thread. Maybe some of the more scientifically inclined will offer their perceptions on the issue.

-Bill
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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 16:19   #40
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Bill, the blackouts you describe are the problem I have when eyecups aren't deep enough for the ER, but not the immersion issue I'm trying to understand.

The problem may be that "AFOV" seems to be defined by the equation in question, which only involves magnification and RFOV. Whereas my impression of immersion, how much of my visual field the view occupies vs the black space around it, seems to depend also on other aspects of eyepiece design like ER and field flatteners. I've even read that the ISO formula for AFOV gives a more accurate (and smaller) result for flat-field binos whereas the simple approximation is appropriate for conventional curved fields, which seems to suggest that FF does make a difference to AFOV.

I keep having this confusion in threads where I try to describe these effects on "AFOV", but should perhaps be using another term instead. What should one call this perceived width of the view... "PFOV"? To me then, the PFOV seems to be reduced both by excessive ER and by field flatteners, producing more of a tunnel impression. Am I mistaken somehow, or is there a good explanation for this?
.
That is probably true, eye relief should be sufficient for the individual observer, not too much nor too little.

Personally I prefer to use bins with the eye cups down even without glasses. The "starring into a black tube" effect seems less that way. But I guess that might not work for all with any bin.

Also too much AFOV (in combination with too short (effective) ER) might be problematic for some (with glasses). To me it was quite apparent with the new Zeiss Harpia scope, ver large AFOV and FOV but I couldn't see much of the latter, even though the ER is stated to around 18mm I think.

I guess eye pieces are more down to personal preferences and eye/cranial features than you might think at first. One does not fit all.

That's why my recommendation always is try before buy.

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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 21:33   #41
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After using the NV 8X42 for a week now,(I do not wear glasses so during the day the eye-cups are all the way out, under lower light, they can be lowered one tier) I do like them, same approximate weight as the EL SV 8.5X42, so a bit heavy for a 8X42, comparatively.
Additionally I could see where the eye relief/eyecups could be problem for some. Overall in general regarding optics only, (I still feel the EDG 8X42 is my favorite 8X42 esp. based on the ergonomics), I would have to say the statement below by Peter is on point. Both also handle glare extremely well.

"Concerning the flat field (or lack thereof), if I was asked to describe in a single short sentence the view thru the NV I'd say that it's quite similar to that thru the EDG but with more field curvature".

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 22:55   #42
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Tenex, Alexis,

Contrast. Asked for opininions by the both of you, repeatedly. And righly so, I'd say.

So, does the Noctivid offer superb contrast? Yes, I strongly believe it does. But not in the way that it displays more contrast than others, or even better contrast. I have looked hard for it, over and over, again and again, I've searched for exceptionally deep blacks and remarkably bright whites set against each other, I've tried to become aware of highlights popping up in the image like in no other binocular. And after all this my simple conclusion is that it's just not there. At least not like this, not in this spectacular way.

I think that the Noctivid, like all alpha binoculars, is an instrument of very subtle complexity, and so its contrast is necessarily a subtle phenomenon. I guess many among us have at one time fiddled with the TV set to adjust brightness, color and contrast in a satisfying way. Or have worked with Photoshop to optimize photo's. Took some time didn't it? ou've probably learned, like I did, that cranking up contrast is often not for the better. Why? Because artificially adding contrast (and that's what our beloved binocular coatings do) has the tendency to go to the expense of fine detail. See the pictures added from Wikipedia where contrast is lowered or added, the upper left one being the original.

So what I mean to say is that when discussing contrast we should not speak about more or less, great or small, but about balancing factors (contrast, color, brightness). And most of all we should turn our attention to resolution, because that's where it counts, in the way small detail is transmitted to our eyes and brain.

I think that my Noctivid is absolutely exceptional in retrieving the finest detail. I am well aware that there are other binoculars that could be just as good, but I don't own them as they don't suit my taste, at least not quite. The Ultravid HD+ is among these contenders but when I look hard and long I know why the Noctivid is Leica's flagship. It's so easy on the eyes, so subtle in its presentation, it's a damn good binocular (Bill said).

Renze
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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 01:10   #43
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I guess the left 3 are all Swaro's......
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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 01:21   #44
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James,

That was funny...

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 01:47   #45
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Hello,

Leitz had made a point of emphasizing contrast in their photographic lens designs. This may have been to distinguish its products from those of competitors.

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Old Monday 2nd September 2019, 22:59   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renze de Vries View Post
So what I mean to say is that when discussing contrast we should not speak about more or less, great or small, but about balancing factors (contrast, color, brightness). And most of all we should turn our attention to resolution, because that's where it counts, in the way small detail is transmitted to our eyes and brain.
That's an interesting perspective, and brings up the question no one has asked Alexis: how is it that you find contrast crucial and would be excited by more in the NV (my guess would be color saturation?)... and potentially at the expense of what?

Edit: The digital manipulations in that photo look quite extreme compared to variations between binos. And the usual tradeoff I've seen and heard discussed is between contrast and brightness, rather than detail (resolution). Think of the dark but saturated look of Nikon EDGs or SEs.

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Old Tuesday 3rd September 2019, 01:36   #47
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Perhaps Chosen can chime in with discussion of the green ham...we have had discussions ad nausea regarding color...contrast....brightness? (what is that anyway). All of it is subjective.
I will put this way, Renze is right the NV is a great 8X42 which provides great resolution. IMHO Leica along with Nikon provides great color in their glass, some like the warm enrichment and some hate it...and prefer the colder tones, it is a matter preference and taste.

Andy W.
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Old Tuesday 3rd September 2019, 02:32   #48
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Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
....All of it is subjective.
..... it is a matter preference and taste.

Andy W.

Andy,
So sorry to crunch your remarks down to these salient points, but I think they help actually prove one issue, which is that, at a certain level, the optical distinctions are subtle, and the personal aesthetics/preferences become the prevailing factor.


And to that I would add, whether an optical device literally 'fits' one or not, which I think has more to do with 'objective' issues like IPD, ER, and AFOV, and how those factors integrate with one's default visual 'measurements' for lack of a better description.

I am a big fan of the Noctivids. Now in my 9th month of regular weekend birding use.


-Bill

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Old Tuesday 3rd September 2019, 04:36   #49
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Originally Posted by tenex View Post
Bill, the blackouts you describe are the problem I have when eyecups aren't deep enough for the ER, but not the immersion issue I'm trying to understand.

The problem may be that "AFOV" seems to be defined by the equation in question, which only involves magnification and RFOV. Whereas my impression of immersion, how much of my visual field the view occupies vs the black space around it, seems to depend also on other aspects of eyepiece design like ER and field flatteners. I've even read that the ISO formula for AFOV gives a more accurate (and smaller) result for flat-field binos whereas the simple approximation is appropriate for conventional curved fields, which seems to suggest that FF does make a difference to AFOV.

I keep having this confusion in threads where I try to describe these effects on "AFOV", but should perhaps be using another term instead. What should one call this perceived width of the view... "PFOV"? To me then, the PFOV seems to be reduced both by excessive ER and by field flatteners, producing more of a tunnel impression. Am I mistaken somehow, or is there a good explanation for this?
.
I am not sure if this is germane or not, but perceived field of view may have some relevance here. I once read an article from an outdoors writer that stated one should leave the eye cups down because that gave a wider field of view. I more or less blew it off as nonsense. It did pique my curiosity however. So I grabbed a few binoculars and proceeded to compare the fields of view at the available eye cup settings. Much to my surprise, the field did indeed seem wider at the retracted setting. It varied with the binocular, and one or two did not seem to show the effect. So I then proceeded to actually measure the field at several settings. The measured field did not change, even though in some cases a viewer would have sworn the field widened as the eye cup setting was retracted. After some tinkering I came to the conclusion that what caused the effect was the retracted setting showed a much thinner black outer border around the image than when extended. Obviously there was a point where blackouts became too bothersome, on some, but not all, binoculars for me. I think that different binocular ergonomics, different facial construction, and different user perspectives and/or perceptions were the factors in play. But it is pretty easy to see where a definition of perceived field of view may well be useful. Since then when measuring actual fov against specific fov, I always use a tripod and use all available eye cup settings. The measured fov does not change.
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Old Tuesday 3rd September 2019, 12:39   #50
Renze de Vries
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The impression of wider vs. smaller field of view in relation to eye relief, eye piece construction, eye lens width, using spectacles or not etc. and along with that the concepts of Apparent Field of View and Perceived Field of View, have been discussed extensively by BF members like looksharp65, elkcub and Henri Link.

See this link https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=220415. Note that in post #1 looksharp65 mentions yet an earlier thread.

I do remember taking part in the discussion with some pictures of a couple of vintage binoculars of unusual construction. Here they are again. Note that the Ross (middle and right) is called Spectacle Solaross!

Renze
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