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Eagle Optics Raven, First Impressions

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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 21:50   #26
Steve C
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The extra .5x is noticeable in direct comparison to the Yosemite. The size of the 6.5x's sweet spot is very generous and, agreed, slightly better than the Yosemite. I find the image very easy to look at because of this and because of the larger exit pupil. Field curvature is present but it seems fairly well controlled and only noticeable in the very outer edge of the image.
I wondered if that "extra bit of image size" was just my imagination or not. I am glad to see that you find it noticeable too. I used it quite a bit over the weekend and it likely will stay. I do prefer it to the Yosemite at this point.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 22:16   #27
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I did not go back through the thread to look but did you mention anything about either the eye relief or the click stop adjustment with the eyecups?

I found the eye relief the be very generous on the 6.5x which forced me to actually utilize the first click stop-setting on the eyecups. I noticed there are multiple, gradual click-stop settings on the eyecups...in some ways similar to the superior eyecup design of the Vortex Razor. Very nice.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 22:40   #28
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I did not go back through the thread to look but did you mention anything about either the eye relief or the click stop adjustment with the eye cups?

I found the eye relief the be very generous on the 6.5x which forced me to actually utilize the first click stop-setting on the eye cups. I noticed there are multiple, gradual click-stop settings on the eye cups...in some ways similar to the superior eye cup design of the Vortex Razor. Very nice.
I agree. I found the 6x Yosemite has, at times, too little eye relief, the 8x is about right. There is, I think, one more stop on the Raven, and there is a little more space to the lens with an extended eye cup. I do not think I posted anything about that elsewhere.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 22:44   #29
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Hmm, interesting. I forget, do you where glasses?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a problem with the eye relief on the 6x Yosemite. I can force blackouts if I de-center my eye and press fairly hard onto my brow but it seems generous in the grand scheme of things. The Raven definitely has more though as I "need" to have the eyecup one stop up otherwise I definitely get blackouts.

The 8x Yosemite was borderline on acceptable eye relief IIRC. Kevin has it now so I cannot comment further.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 22:52   #30
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Hmm, interesting. I forget, do you where glasses?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a problem with the eye relief on the 6x Yosemite. I can force blackouts if I de-center my eye and press fairly hard onto my brow but it seems generous in the grand scheme of things. The Raven definitely has more though as I "need" to have the eyecup one stop up otherwise I definitely get blackouts.

The 8x Yosemite was borderline on acceptable eye relief IIRC. Kevin has it now so I cannot comment further.
No glasses with binoculars. I use the eye cup all the way out on everything. So instead of the eye relief comment, I should have said I wish the eye cup would extend maybe a mm or a bit less than it does.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 00:35   #31
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I found the eye relief the be very generous on the 6.5x which forced me to actually utilize the first click stop-setting on the eyecups. I noticed there are multiple, gradual click-stop settings on the eyecups...in some ways similar to the superior eyecup design of the Vortex Razor. Very nice.
Interesting. The Yosemite eyecups would actually do a great job of staying whereever you put them.

But more stops is a good thing ... you can be sure that they stay put. But only one stop in between the two ends I find not quite enough these days especially with an EP with a lot of ER.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 01:34   #32
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However, I do not "dislike" the 8.5x as much as I thought I would. It definitely is not a contender with the Nikon SE but it is very comparable in overall image quality with the Yosemite 8x30.
Now I am not terribly interested anymore! Thanks, Frank. A small savings to me.

Did anybody get the 9x36 Diamnondback, then?
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 02:20   #33
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Tero,

I readily admit to a predetermined bias against smaller exit pupil bins. 4 mm is about all I can handle and even then only with certain bins. Even the Zeiss Conquest 8x30 (despite all of its wonderful optical characteristics) was still less than ideal for me because of its sub-4 mm exit pupil.

Who knows? You might actually like them since you enjoy that 9x-10x range. The image is sharp though not quite as bright or as contrasty as I would like. For a $100-something dollar 32 mm porro though who could complain?
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 12:42   #34
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Yes, well, the trouble is the easy return policy. After the first week of excitement, I am already thinking of returning almost every pair the second week. Been there, done that. Move on.

My general preference is still roofs. So the 9x36 is still on the list of things to try. I wish the local dealers carried Vortex so I could try out any of these.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 21:24   #35
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I have to say that the more I use the 6.5x32 Raven the more enthused I am about it.

The optics are very good in and of themselves. Throw in all of the benefits of the magnification and the porro design. Consider that the edge distortion is more well controlled than the Yosemite. Lastly, I find I like the length of the binocular more than the Yosemite. I know Steve mentioned something earlier about 1/8th of an inch. He may be right but, to me it seems closer to 1/2 of an inch. I will get the ruler out shortly. That extra bit of length does not seem like much but what it does is allow my ring finger and pinky to fully wrap around the barrel.

A very comfortable holding position results. Comfortable to my hands and also providing a much steadier image.

So far so good with the 6.5x32 Raven. Two thumbs up at this point.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 22:45   #36
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Frank (and others), this may sound like a stupid question, but here goes: At 6.5x, what do you/will you use these for? It sounds like a wonderful instrument for the price, but I am so used to 8.5x and 9x optics that I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to see birds up close enough. Is the lower power simply something to get used to? (Yes, my first 15 or so years' worth of binoculars were 7x, so I know "it can be done.")
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 23:32   #37
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Frank (and others), this may sound like a stupid question, but here goes: At 6.5x, what do you/will you use these for? It sounds like a wonderful instrument for the price, but I am so used to 8.5x and 9x optics that I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to see birds up close enough. Is the lower power simply something to get used to? (Yes, my first 15 or so years' worth of binoculars were 7x, so I know "it can be done.")
Well, for my part I do not see a lot of practical difference in 6.5-8x. 6x does seem to start to look a bit smaller, so that seems to be my "too small" threshold. Beyond 8-8.5x, the difference is at pretty long ranges. But most typical reasonably close in birding, for me anyway, it is "not up close enough", but rather it is "what sort of quality is there in the image that you do see". Not necessarily quality in the sense of magnified detail, but color representation, contrast, image shake, image brightness, and so forth.

For quite awhile I used the Swift 7x36 and a Viper 10x42, and that degree of magnification separation seemed about right for a two binocular combination. I can't see any difference in the 6.5 Minox, 6.5 Fury. 6.5 Raven, 7x DB and the 7x EX, or the 7x Swift, or the 7x Leupold in image "size" that makes a difference. Where I really like the 8x43 is in the full size easy grip and large enough fov and enough magnification for really long session viewing.

I tend to think that people tend to think more than they should in terms of image size, and less of the ease of view and finer image characteristics of lower magnification. Less can be more. The Raven is a very inexpensive option to test that bit of philosophy for yourself. I remember a binocular clinic I was at once where everyone attending (well about 75% if I remember correctly) the clinic picked the magnification of an absolutely unmarked new model binocular (the original Brunton Eterna) 7x42 as being 8x, literally nobody picked 7x, including me.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 01:57   #38
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I agree with Steve's comments. It really has to do with one's mindset. If you believe the image is going to be too small then it probably will turn out to be.

Oh, if life were so simple. :-)

Seriously though I do agree that I do not find any problem with using a 6.5 or 7x binocular. They provide a wider true field of view, better depth of field and, in general, a brighter image. They also, assuming the objective size stays constant, provide a larger exit pupil so your eye has more room to "roam around" the image.

A majority of my binocular use is down at relatively close quarters however I think a lower powered binocular can also be very beneficial for certain types of long distance viewing as well. What I am referring to here is hawkwatching. I used 7x almost exclusively for the last three or four years with my hawkwatching excursions. I find the wider field of view coupled with the larger exit pupil (42 mm binoculars) makes long duration viewing sessions much more comfortable.

Now if you were considering using a pair of bins for shorebird or waterfowl identification then more magnification would certainly be useful.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 02:00   #39
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I know Steve mentioned something earlier about 1/8th of an inch. He may be right but, to me it seems closer to 1/2 of an inch. I will get the ruler out shortly. That extra bit of length does not seem like much but what it does is allow my ring finger and pinky to fully wrap around the barrel.

A very comfortable holding position results. Comfortable to my hands and also providing a much steadier image.
Frank is right, the Raven is a bit more than 1/2" longer than the Yosemite.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 02:19   #40
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For a second there Steve I was thinking I might have left the eyecups up on one model and not the other.

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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 02:22   #41
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Well Frank, since you didn't, maybe I did.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 10:15   #42
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I agree with Steve's comments. It really has to do with one's mindset. If you believe the image is going to be too small then it probably will turn out to be.

Oh, if life were so simple. :-)

You mean "if only the manufacturers would make exactly what *I* want!" :-)

I can, um, see where the lower power/wider field would make general landscape sweeping much more enjoyable than the reverse, and birds, etc. that are in close range would still look good and identifiable. Unfortunately I realized that the 6.5 model has an apparent field of view that is much too narrow for my tastes, so for my needs I would consider the 8.5 and be done with it -- as long as it's optically as good as my little Nikon Travelite V.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 13:52   #43
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Unfortunately I realized that the 6.5 model has an apparent field of view that is much too narrow for my tastes,
Interesting point and a good one at that. I do notice the narrower apparent field of view with both the 6x30 Yosemite and the 6.5x32 Raven. Still the image is very natural because of the brightness, depth of field and relatively low level of disturbing edge distortion.

Though it is occasionally commented upon I think many of us (nothing in particular to this thread) forget that it is "easier" to produce a higher performing-lower powered bincoular at this price point. The 6.5x is always going to look better than the 8.5x simply because of the magnification issue.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 15:44   #44
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Frank, I still have the Legend 8x42 porros. How would you compare sharpness etc of the 8.5x Raven to those? The lighter Raven, in my hand, would get a lot more use, if it was anywhere near the quality of the view.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 22:38   #45
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Tero,

I still have my Legend porros as well. I still enjoy the sharpness, brightness and wide, usable field of view of the 8x42s.

A comparison is then fairly simple.

Apparent sharpness is very close between the two. Everything else though, except for weight/size, favors the Legend. The Legend is brighter, more contrasty, has a larger sweet spot and better eye relief. If you are just looking for a lighter weight alternative to the 8x42 Legend then I think the Raven would fit the bill. However, I know you own quite a few other binoculars and some in a very similar configuration to the Raven 8.5x32. Still, it is light and ergonomic based on my preferences.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2009, 00:55   #46
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I don't have but two 8x32s now, Legend and Pentax SP. I decided 28mm was OK for a pocket bino, but no longer much use to me. The Pentax 8x32 would then be the tough competition to the Raven. I like the relatively flat field of the Pentax, they get a lot of use, more than 10x through the summer months.

But weight has been a big issue for me for 6 years, there is the appeal of the Raven and the Yosemite. Somehow I went for the 8x42 instead of the Yosemite last year.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2009, 03:16   #47
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Frank ,
Before I forget..What about the Ultima DX 8x32 and the Raptor...?...How do they compare...The legend is 42mm,so not really fair to compare brightness ,but the Ultimas and Raptor,should be a close call in Image quality....
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Old Thursday 9th July 2009, 06:13   #48
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Mayomayo: A 42mm is only brighter than a 32mm when the entrance pupil of the eye is bigger than the smallest exit pupil of the two bins bin. Otherwise its the transmission of the bin that makes a difference.

So in regular daylight (pretty much until twilight except for some interesting habitats) you can compare 42mm and 32mm 8x bins.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2009, 13:13   #49
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Tero,

Having owned the 8x32 SP but not having one on hand I would said stick with the SP. Yes, it is one of the heavier 32 mm on the market but there is good reason for that. The Raven is lighter but the image quality, specifically because of the eye relief and level of edge distortion, does not make it comparable in my opinion. the 6.5x32 would be more comparable to the 8x32 SP in terms of the overall optical impression that it gives my eyes.

Manuel,

I would give the edge to the Ultima DX as well for much the same reasons I mentioned previously to Tero for the SP. I find the Ultima DX extremely easy to use for an 8x32 because of its particular size and weight. Optically it performs significantly above its price point in my opinion. The closest comparison to the 8.5x32 Raven is the 8x30 Yosemite. Other than slightly better brightness and contrast in the Raven the images are very similar.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2009, 14:10   #50
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Isn't the Ultima DX a bit heavier? Plus, mostly out of stock?
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