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Who is the best binocular maker?

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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 11:35   #51
paddy7
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I suppose there might a degree of semantics in what is actually meant by 'Made in XXXX'. Does this mean commissioned and assembled, or actually 'made' in the manufacturing sense?
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 12:16   #52
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I really agree with you. There needs to be more innovation in the binocular industry. What needs to be done to bring about this innovation? What changes need to be made?
The shift will happen organically, as the technology makes a better electronic glass possible. The lens makers are no longer the technology pace setters.
Rather the emergence of AR headsets is a crucial element imho, as that drives the needed ultra high resolution small displays. This Google headset points the way forward.
https://www.pocket-lint.com/ar-vr/ne...0hz-vr-display
Couple that to a good lens and imager in a reasonably compact package, that is the future. Sony, LG, Canon, possibly Fuji would be the likely leaders,
along perhaps with Samsung or some Chinese house.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 12:23   #53
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The shift will happen organically, as the technology makes a better electronic glass possible. The lens makers are no longer the technology pace setters.
Rather the emergence of AR headsets is a crucial element imho, as that drives the needed ultra high resolution small displays. This Google headset points the way forward.
https://www.pocket-lint.com/ar-vr/ne...0hz-vr-display
Couple that to a good lens and imager in a reasonably compact package, that is the future. Sony, LG, Canon, possibly Fuji would be the likely leaders,
along perhaps with Samsung or some Chinese house.
I really look forward to seeing that progress. I think you are correct in that Sony, LG, Canon, and Fuji would be the leaders.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 14:53   #54
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folks need to accept that the future of optics is no longer in glass and coatings ....and move into the 21rst century....I for one will go kicking and screaming.....
I agree. Why do we need any better than what is already available? We don't need "better binos" anymore than the kids need an iPhoneXXX. What exactly is it we're hoping to see that we can't see clearly already? If you like porros, there's Habicht or EII. If you like roofs, there's a host of top-quality one available. If you like IS, get a Canon. Hasn't bino-innovation reached a point where no more innovation is possible? Personally I don't feel a need for digi-binos, I'd rather not bother if they become available. (OTOH I've spent years and a fortune chasing bino-perfection so I'm not one to talk).
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 15:15   #55
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Some technologies mature. They reach the point that they do what we need them to do. I think that is a moment to celebrate, not mourn.

Fishing tackle reached that point long ago.

I feel like bicycles reached that point by ~1995, and for the most part decades before that.

Laptop computers have done that. In fact, most of my students (college level) don't own a computer. They have no need for a real computer unless they are engaged in research or digital editing. They use tablets or their phones for routine assignments, and only use (campus) computers when they can't get by with those.

Digital cameras too. Most people are fine with their phone camera, and real cameras do most things well beyond even most "serious" photographers' needs.

Typically, after maturity, comes effort to cut cost of production and changes driven by promoting style, fads, and planned obsolescence of standards, with little if any improvement in function. These are the trends that I fear, not stagnation of the technology.

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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 15:37   #56
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Some technologies mature. They reach the point that they do what we need them to do. I think that is a moment to celebrate, not mourn.

Fishing tackle reached that point long ago.

I feel like bicycles reached that point by ~1995, and for the most part decades before that.

Laptop computers have done that. In fact, most of my students (college level) don't own a computer. They have no need for a real computer unless they are engaged in research or digital editing. They use tablets or their phones for routine assignments, and only use (campus) computers when they can't get by with those.

Digital cameras too. Most people are fine with their phone camera, and real cameras do most things well beyond even most "serious" photographers' needs.

Typically, after maturity, comes effort to cut cost of production and changes driven by promoting style, fads, and planned obsolescence of standards, with little if any improvement in function. These are the trends that I fear, not stagnation of the technology.

--AP
This so true.

Way back my photo kit for nature pics included Canon A1, F1n, EOS1 but today both Troubadoris and me are very happy with Canon 100D 'beginners' cameras as we have all the control we need and the sensor size is big enough for our requirements. And very few binos I have tried have been so poor that you couldn't undertake enjoyable nature observations and birding.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 15:50   #57
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I agree. Why do we need any better than what is already available? We don't need "better binos" anymore than the kids need an iPhoneXXX. What exactly is it we're hoping to see that we can't see clearly already? If you like porros, there's Habicht or EII. If you like roofs, there's a host of top-quality one available. If you like IS, get a Canon. Hasn't bino-innovation reached a point where no more innovation is possible? Personally I don't feel a need for digi-binos, I'd rather not bother if they become available. (OTOH I've spent years and a fortune chasing bino-perfection so I'm not one to talk).
There are a lot of inventions through the history that didn't make it because they were to stupid and there was no real need for them. Digital binos is such an "invention". Especially as you can buy a 600-1000mm super-zoom bridge camera for $300 that takes surprisingly good photos and video of birds etc.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 16:32   #58
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There are a lot of inventions through the history that didn't make it because they were to stupid and there was no real need for them. Digital binos is such an "invention". Especially as you can buy a 600-1000mm super-zoom bridge camera for $300 that takes surprisingly good photos and video of birds etc.
One feature a digital binocular might offer is a really good zoom, to scan the area at 2-3x and then get detail views with a stabilized 10-20x. Varying the sensitivity would widen the useful interval to include the twilight time, even without adding IR capability.
The picture taking would be automatic, it is a very low cost feature to include.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 17:53   #59
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One feature a digital binocular might offer is a really good zoom, to scan the area at 2-3x and then get detail views with a stabilized 10-20x. Varying the sensitivity would widen the useful interval to include the twilight time, even without adding IR capability.
The picture taking would be automatic, it is a very low cost feature to include.
Now were talking. Optical binoculars just don't have any good zooms.Your phone will probably become your binoculars. Try this binocular phone app on your phone.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...dglasses&hl=en

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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 17:55   #60
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One feature a digital binocular might offer is a really good zoom, to scan the area at 2-3x and then get detail views with a stabilized 10-20x. Varying the sensitivity would widen the useful interval to include the twilight time, even without adding IR capability.
The picture taking would be automatic, it is a very low cost feature to include.
OR Just snap some photos..

Maybe with the next generation of yota-sensors that have high pixel count and still are very sensitive to light, actually counting every single photon,
current small sensors are not good enough for the small size of optics (slow f-stop) that are manageable handheld.
Battery life will always be an issue.

But I guess there are military grade bins that might do things like that today, at least in the dark.

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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 20:58   #61
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OR Just snap some photos..

Maybe with the next generation of yota-sensors that have high pixel count and still are very sensitive to light, actually counting every single photon,
current small sensors are not good enough for the small size of optics (slow f-stop) that are manageable handheld.
Battery life will always be an issue.

But I guess there are military grade bins that might do things like that today, at least in the dark.
The aim is for us to see, the picture taking is a trivial add on.
The Nikon WX is an illustration that basic optics technology is at a dead end, the added glass needed to achieve extra wide FoV cost dearly in terms of weight, bulk and light transmission.
Electronics will allow us to expand the utility of vision aids much more effectively, but the military are not helping nearly as much as the entertainment industry.
Ideally, there would be a respected award for innovation in this space, perhaps the 'Bird Forum Better Seeing' prize, given annually for the greatest advance in seeing. I'd nominate Stephen Ingraham and Holger Merlitz as members of a jury of perhaps a dozen, along with someone from Canon and from Sony.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 21:55   #62
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I feel like bicycles reached that point by ~1995, and for the most part decades before that.

--AP
Hmm. Dunno. Had a nice Peugeot roadbike about then, but my newer CF Giant roadbike is a different beast entirely. Although I think Di2 shifters and disc-brakes (neither of which interest me) on roadbikes are innovations for their own sake, and merely complicate a machine that has reached perfection. I fear that in a few years, only bikes with Di2, discbrakes and those awful press-fit bottom brackets will be available. Sorry, wrong forum
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 22:10   #63
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The aim is for us to see, the picture taking is a trivial add on.
The Nikon WX is an illustration that basic optics technology is at a dead end, the added glass needed to achieve extra wide FoV cost dearly in terms of weight, bulk and light transmission.
Electronics will allow us to expand the utility of vision aids much more effectively, but the military are not helping nearly as much as the entertainment industry.
Ideally, there would be a respected award for innovation in this space, perhaps the 'Bird Forum Better Seeing' prize, given annually for the greatest advance in seeing. I'd nominate Stephen Ingraham and Holger Merlitz as members of a jury of perhaps a dozen, along with someone from Canon and from Sony.
I think you are right on the Nikon WX. The only way optical designers seem to be able to improve binoculars optics is with increasing complexity. Field flatteners, more complex prisms, and more and more glass in the binocular makes improvements costly to the consumer and out of reach for many people. The new alpha's are approaching $3000.00 and over. It is getting ridiculous.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 22:16   #64
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Hmm. Dunno. Had a nice Peugeot roadbike about then, but my newer CF Giant roadbike is a different beast entirely. Although I think Di2 shifters and disc-brakes (neither of which interest me) on roadbikes are innovations for their own sake, and merely complicate a machine that has reached perfection. I fear that in a few years, only bikes with Di2, discbrakes and those awful press-fit bottom brackets will be available. Sorry, wrong forum
Your right Sancho caliper brakes are history. You use to be able to fix your bike yourself now you have to take it to a technician. You sound like you like to keep things simple in your bike and your binoculars. I see why you still like the porro-prism. They are simple but they work.
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 22:34   #65
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Hmm. Dunno. Had a nice Peugeot roadbike about then, but my newer CF Giant roadbike is a different beast entirely. Although I think Di2 shifters and disc-brakes (neither of which interest me) on roadbikes are innovations for their own sake, and merely complicate a machine that has reached perfection. I fear that in a few years, only bikes with Di2, discbrakes and those awful press-fit bottom brackets will be available. Sorry, wrong forum
I share your fears about electronic shifters, disk brakes (ubiquitous where I am, the epicenter of "gravel grinding"), and press-fit bottom brackets. The tech of the 1990s will be available forever, esp. if you are willing to ride a metal frame, but maybe not the tech in between that and the latest stuff being pushed.

I don't doubt your Peugeot and Giant are different beasts, but how much of that is new tech vs. geometry and set-up? I have several bikes for different purposes, and they are all very different beasts, but they are all old tech frames (steel, titanium) and equipped with (by today's standards) old-tech (yet high end) components. Frames of the ones I use mostly include Columbia cruiser from 1950-60s, Bianchi Project 1991, Electra StreetRod 7 700c ~2001, Litespeed Classic 2004, Surly Crosscheck 2008. They're all very very different frames, with very different components, but I think the differences in handling, stability, assertiveness, etc. come mostly from tire width, bottom bracket drop, head angle, top-tube vs stem length etc. I've tried, but haven't been tempted by CF frames.

No! Not wrong forum. For me, it's like discussing tripods. I use my bikes for birding (sometimes :)

--AP

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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 22:53   #66
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The aim is for us to see, the picture taking is a trivial add on.
The Nikon WX is an illustration that basic optics technology is at a dead end, the added glass needed to achieve extra wide FoV cost dearly in terms of weight, bulk and light transmission.
Electronics will allow us to expand the utility of vision aids much more effectively, but the military are not helping nearly as much as the entertainment industry.
Ideally, there would be a respected award for innovation in this space, perhaps the 'Bird Forum Better Seeing' prize, given annually for the greatest advance in seeing. I'd nominate Stephen Ingraham and Holger Merlitz as members of a jury of perhaps a dozen, along with someone from Canon and from Sony.
Or just enjoy the birds and their song before the earth is covered in electronic debris and batteries and all the other stuff that we don't need.
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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 00:51   #67
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There are a lot of inventions through the history that didn't make it because they were to stupid and there was no real need for them. Digital binos is such an "invention". Especially as you can buy a 600-1000mm super-zoom bridge camera for $300 that takes surprisingly good photos and video of birds etc.
There's no reason that technology like this, and improved iterations, couldn't take an (r)evolutionary fork into a binocular form factor and ergonomics.

I'm not real keen on having my eyeballs bombarded by electrons, and the EVF's are not yet up to snuff in terms of resolution, colour fidelity, and lag time - but I would like to see the Sony DEV - 50 continue to evolve and improve via new model iterations.

The increased low light amplification, improving our acuity would be a worthwhile (if rather electronic representation of the world) function after the sun has set --- provided we would be able to walk out of trails/ride bikes/drive cars afterwards without being paralysed by 'firefly' blindness!



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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 00:53   #68
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....... The new alpha's are approaching $3000.00 and over. It is getting ridiculous.
Jeez ..... you're not going to get much for a lazy $2K then! Lol.



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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 01:01   #69
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Jeez ..... you're not going to get much for a lazy $2K then! Lol.



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I had to settle for a sub-alpha with the $2K but I got a BIG one. A Swarovski SLC HD 8x56. I did extra bench presses at the gym this morning in preparation for it's arrival.SHHH! Don't tell Henry.

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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 02:17   #70
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I had to settle for a sub-alpha with the $2K but I got a BIG one. A Swarovski SLC HD 8x56. I did extra bench presses at the gym this morning in preparation for it's arrival.SHHH! Don't tell Henry.
Interesting choice!

I haven't spent much time with the 8x, but I've had a pretty good look at the 10x on a couple of occasions. The first time it didn't top the 10x50 SV for me, but the second time I noticed a bit more brightness from the A-K SLC and found it a much more pleasing view that time. Both times conditions were very similar - varying dull/ diffuse bright overcast.

One thing is for sure though - I think the primary benefit of the big A-K SLC is that it makes every other bin pale into a lightweight by comparison! Even the 1kg 10X50SV ......

I hope you have enough change left from the $2K to hire some porters!


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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 02:30   #71
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Interesting choice!

I haven't spent much time with the 8x, but I've had a pretty good look at the 10x on a couple of occasions. The first time it didn't top the 10x50 SV for me, but the second time I noticed a bit more brightness from the A-K SLC and found it a much more pleasing view that time. Both times conditions were very similar - varying dull/ diffuse bright overcast.

One thing is for sure though - I think the primary benefit of the big A-K SLC is that it makes every other bin pale into a lightweight by comparison! Even the 1kg 10X50SV ......

I hope you have enough change left from the $2K to hire some porters!


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You forget I am used to carrying the Canon 10x42 IS-L so not much difference in weight. Maybe 3 oz. I won't be hiking much with it. I have smaller binoculars for that. I like to watch the Big Horn Sheep and Elk at dusk so it will be good in the low light.

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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 02:38   #72
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You forget I am used to carrying the Canon 10x42 IS-L so not much difference in weight.
Lol. Let's see if you still think that after a month!
I think you're in for a bit of a surprise .....



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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 03:43   #73
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You forget I am used to carrying the Canon 10x42 IS-L so not much difference in weight. Maybe 3 oz. I won't be hiking much with it. I have smaller binoculars for that. I like to watch the Big Horn Sheep and Elk at dusk so it will be good in the low light.
Sounds like an interesting choice. However, just a reminder from your post of binoculars past .......

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...8&postcount=15

"My back STLL hurts from the short period of time I had a Zeiss 8x56 FL. I went to the chiropractor for 3 months after selling them. Stick with an 8x32. It is the best size all around."

Swaro SLC 8X56 43 oz
Ziess FL 8X56 43 oz

Looks like it will mainly be a vehicle based binocular so you may be ok this time.
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Old Wednesday 14th March 2018, 05:01   #74
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Sounds like an interesting choice. However, just a reminder from your post of binoculars past .......

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...8&postcount=15

"My back STLL hurts from the short period of time I had a Zeiss 8x56 FL. I went to the chiropractor for 3 months after selling them. Stick with an 8x32. It is the best size all around."

Swaro SLC 8X56 43 oz
Ziess FL 8X56 43 oz

Looks like it will mainly be a vehicle based binocular so you may be ok this time.
I am amazed that you can remember those old post because I can't even remember some of them. I am not using the Swarovski SLC HD 8x56 for hiking like I tried with the big FL. It will mainly be a stand and observation binocular and serve some astronomical use also.There are many places in Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone National Park where you can just pull the road and observe big expanses like the Hayden Valley from observation points. I think if I do find the optics that great that I want to hike with it I will just get a nice harness. I walk quite a bit with my Canon 10x42 IS-L which is close in weight to the SLC with just the padded strap and it doesn't bother me too much but if I am going any distance especially with elevation gain I use my Swarovski CL 8x30 or Swarovski CL-P 8x25. From the reviews the SLC handles a lot better than the big FL with better balance some even saying it is like a 42mm on steroids so we will see. I am curious to see if there is really any less optical aberrations with the bigger aperture as discussed in the other thread. I am also curious to see if my pupils open enough to appreciate the bigger exit pupils of the bigger glass in dim light.

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