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Canon 18x50 IS anomaly

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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 18:10   #1
Binastro
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Canon 18x50 IS anomaly

There was a strange small box on the wall 40m away, and someone was doing something with it. The second time this mystery box had a visitor.
Alien communicator perhaps?

Being interested, I looked at the box with 10x42 Elite but was none the wiser.
The Canon 18x50 IS provided 3x better resolution hand held.
I could see that there was small writing on the open flap, perhaps 4 lines of instructions but impossible to read.

I probably needed a good scope at 60x or 100x to read it but didn't bother to set one up.

This was a rushed observation and I left the 18x50 on the table.
Normally I put it away after checking close to my ear that it is switched off.

2 3/4 hours later I noticed the green light was on and the IS still active although at rest. It usually switches off after 5 or 6 minutes.

Occasionally I have had anomalies with the 18x50 usually I think from low voltage as the batteries fade.

However, later I switched it on and after 5 minutes I heard it click off resting on the table, the green light off.

I could change the batteries, but I'll just see how it behaves now.
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 19:46   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
There was a strange small box on the wall 40m away, and someone was doing something with it. The second time this mystery box had a visitor.
Alien communicator perhaps?

Being interested, I looked at the box with 10x42 Elite but was none the wiser.
The Canon 18x50 IS provided 3x better resolution hand held.
I could see that there was small writing on the open flap, perhaps 4 lines of instructions but impossible to read.

I probably needed a good scope at 60x or 100x to read it but didn't bother to set one up.

This was a rushed observation and I left the 18x50 on the table.
Normally I put it away after checking close to my ear that it is switched off.

2 3/4 hours later I noticed the green light was on and the IS still active although at rest. It usually switches off after 5 or 6 minutes.

Occasionally I have had anomalies with the 18x50 usually I think from low voltage as the batteries fade.

However, later I switched it on and after 5 minutes I heard it click off resting on the table, the green light off.

I could change the batteries, but I'll just see how it behaves now.
Was it resting flat or vertical?

Stan
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 20:03   #3
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Hi Stan,
Flat on top of the soft case. I am surprised I noticed the green light in daylight.
The observation was very brief, perhaps a minute. I realised I needed much more magnification to read the hidden message. Perhaps a touchpad was involved inside the box.

There was ice outside just below freezing but I was inside fairly cozy.
Central heating on most of the day.

The IS works fine, although when looking at the mystery box there was some one sided colour due to prisms off centre I think, and I did not switch off and back on to correct.
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 23:02   #4
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Afaik, the IS will stay on when held horizontally until the glass is let down to hang.
So your glass is fine, but your batteries may want replacing.
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 12:47   #5
Stanbo
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Afaik, the IS will stay on when held horizontally until the glass is let down to hang.
So your glass is fine, but your batteries may want replacing.
lf the 18x50 is left switched on in a horizontal or vertical position it should switch off after about 5 mins - mine does in both cases. I think the 15x50 is the same.

Only the 10x42 L switches off automatically a short time after being let to hang vertically. That is unless you hold the button down then it switches off when you release the button like the 8x25, 10x30 and 12x36.

Stan
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 14:38   #6
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Woke up late to a white world.
The 18x50 image stabilizer worked well on the chimney 120m away and the falling snowflakes looked fine at about that distance. The DOF isn't great so one can focus on snowflakes at different distances.

1/250 second doesn't 'freeze' snowflakes, it probably needs 1/500 or 1/1000sec.
Nice photos of an Iceland delivery van and snowballs.
Missed the photo of a man driving I think a Boxster with the roof down, completely open with the snow falling into his car. I suppose it takes all sorts.
Strange weather as warmer in Jersey and coastal areas with gusts up to 51 knots and more.

There is some CA in the 18x50 off centre, but O.K. centrally.
Stan is correct, at least that is how it usually works.
Don't know about the new 32mm Canon IS binoculars.
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 15:34   #7
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Hi Binastro and Stanbo,

I have the 15x50's in my collection and they stay on for approximately 5 minutes if left in any position. Unlike the 10x42's they do not switch off after 10 seconds if hung vertically. You can of course switch them off at anytime during the 5 minutes. There is also the previously noted on/off feature if you hold the button down.

Regarding the new 32mm series, it seems that either no one has yet purchased a pair or read the manual. I just downloaded the manual from the Canon web site. For all three new models, the 'normal' IS button can be pressed down and held or can be pressed down and released and the IS will stay on for 5 minutes. It will also switch off if the binos are held vertically for 10 seconds similar to my 10x42's. The 'powered' IS button will also stay on or off in a similar manner. It can be used in conjunction with the regular IS button to give you that additional powered IS feature when you need it. It can also be used on its own. Without handling a pair, I cannot quite determine or fathom out what the actual differences in the two IS functions are. The normal IS button is for 'wide views' and the powered IS button is for when looking at 'one point' whatever this means. I would have thought that the image would have to be steady regardless of what you were looking at. The binoculars would not know if you were looking at a tree or the woods !!!

As with my 10x30 II and 12x36 III binos, the manual for the new 32's says not to use lithium batteries due to the chance of over heating and catching fire. I have been using the lithiums in my two new pairs and in the 15x50's with no issues. I think the lithium issue came up with Canon when someone used a mixture of lithiums and re-chargeables in a Canon flash unit.

Cheers,

Doug.......

Last edited by doug el10x32 : Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 03:51.
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Old Tuesday 12th December 2017, 12:12   #8
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The 'powered' IS button will also stay on or off in a similar manner. It can be used in conjunction with the regular IS button to give you that additional powered IS feature when you need it. It can also be used on its own. Without handling a pair, I cannot quite determine or fathom out what the actual differences in the two IS functions are. The normal IS button is for 'wide views' and the powered IS button is for when looking at 'one point' whatever this means. I would have thought that the image would have to be steady regardless of what you were looking at. The binoculars would not know if you were looking at a tree or the woods !!!

Doug.......
Perhaps the IS intervenes less enthusiastically when set to the 'wide' view on the basis that you can't see fine detail anyway, and this probably saves battery life. I am not an IS bino user and this is just a guess.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 12th December 2017, 15:54   #9
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Hi Lee,

Interesting thought you have there. I have been using IS binoculars pretty much exclusively for over 10 years now for nature, birds and astronomy etc and regardless of the subject, close up or distant views, you still want the most stable image possible. Hopefully, this is not Canon's way of extending the battery life in the new 32mm models !!

Doug.......
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2017, 11:51   #10
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I think it means horizontal panning. See Canon lenses with 2 IS modes
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2017, 13:49   #11
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It would appear that the there is a standard mode on all new x32 models which probably acts in the same way as the current models. There is also a power mode for panning which switches off the the horizontal IS but leaves the vertical IS operational.

Stan
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2017, 15:57   #12
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Hi Stan,

In the manual that I downloaded it indicates that the 'powered' IS is for 'point views' which I would have presumed was for looking at a specific object rather than panning. Do you have a pair ? Unfortunately, my local camera shop does not have a pair in stock yet to actually see what these two different IS functions achieve.

Doug.......
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Old Wednesday 13th December 2017, 20:14   #13
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Hi Stan,

In the manual that I downloaded it indicates that the 'powered' IS is for 'point views' which I would have presumed was for looking at a specific object rather than panning. Do you have a pair ? Unfortunately, my local camera shop does not have a pair in stock yet to actually see what these two different IS functions achieve.

Doug.......
Hi Doug,

I don't have any of the new models and its unlikely at the moment that l would buy a new model at twice the price that doesn't seem to have any significant advantage over the current model. This is based on Canon's total inability to to describe what the advantages are, as you have already seen in the section of the manual concerning IS.

Having read all I can from many sites on the internet l still can't understand what the difference is between standard IS and powered IS modes. What l wrote previously was the best description l could find, but maybe the person who wrote it was as confused as we are.

Looking at the difference as described in the manual it suggests the standard version is for a wide view and powered for a point view. As the field of view is fixed then a wide view and a point view will cover the same area. If that's the case what does the powered mode do? If its for increasing sharpness for the particuar point that is being viewed then the whole of the wide field will be sharpened as well. There must be more to it than that.

Now for the possibilites.

The 2 modes could provide different levels of IS which could mean geater battery drain on the powered mode but this wouldn't be used all of the time so lessen the potential power drain. Unlikely?

Assume the point being viewed in the powered mode is moving and being followed by panning the binos. On my current models there is a slight lag before the IS stabalises when panning stops. If its possible to remove that lag by altering the stabilisation characteristics (as l suggested in my last post) then that would be a distinct advantage when following birds.

Any more suggestions would be welcome.

Stan

Last edited by Stanbo : Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 20:34.
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Old Thursday 14th December 2017, 03:50   #14
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Hi Stan,

It seems that I have gone through the identical thought processes !! Its amazing that in this information overloaded day and age that we live in, you would think that a company such as Canon would avoid vague terms and would provide a bit more information on the technology. At the price point they are selling for, you would think that they would want to provide this type of information as it would be the basis upon which many purchasers would make a decision to spend this much money. I re-read the info on the Canon camera lenses and it seems that they have the two distinct vertical and horizontal modes. Although the new 32mm binos are based upon the same 'moving lens' technology, the info in the binos manual does not seem to discuss 'vertical and horizontal' IS control, just 'wide area' and 'aiming at one point'.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I did consider the 32mm"s when I first heard about them. This lack of information, in part led me to not wait and so acquired a 10x30 II to add to my previously acquired 12x36 III and as it turned out, both pairs cost the same as one of the 32mm models. I guess Canon got my money in the end anyway !!

To me, IS is IS and varying degrees of it I am a bit unsure of. Either the image is stable or it's not. I have never experienced a problem with IS in any of my IS binos whether being held stationary or panning across the sky looking at a wedge of migrating Snow Geese. The images are stable either way.

Hopefully, we will come to understand how well the new 32mm's actually perform using the dual IS system and its benefits over the VAP system.

Doug........
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Old Sunday 17th December 2017, 14:51   #15
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This morning there was a third visitor to the small mystery box.

I photographed the open flap with a Canon SX510 HS.
At 30x optical 4x digital I can just make out some words. I had to apply minus 2 stops as it was initially overexposed. A lot of CA at the edges of the white flap.

It is surprising to me that a small camera can show more detail than the Canon 18x50 IS.

The MM2 52mm scope at 37x handheld showed better detail than the camera, but not readable because of hand movement.
A tripod cannot be used as it is at a very difficult angle with a tree in between.

A good scope at 60x should show readable text. But without a tripod it won't work. A good IS scope is needed. Perhaps the military already have this.

An additional problem is the writing is vertical.

I just went out in the rain but the small box is closed.

Someone left a very good balanced Continental tyre, fairly large size, and 5 bolthole wheel just at the side of the road..
Why leave a 100 tyre and wheel there?
We once came out to our Saab 99 and it wouldn't drive away.
Someone had left it on bricks with 4 wheels and tyres missing.
We got locking nuts after that, but good mechanics can defeat those also.

The Nikon P610 should reveal all with the mystery box.
At least the words are not in Klingon.
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Old Saturday 23rd December 2017, 17:12   #16
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Mystery solved.

Another visitor to the small box and I grabbed the Turist 10-40 x60 scope. This is a bizarre scope in a strange gold mottled finish with poor performance also. It was not good enough.
I managed to find a position where a tripod could be used and looked through a large gap in the tree branches.

I then tried an old 60x77 scope on the Slik 88 tripod.

Unfortunately the central heating was on and the image drifted quickly in and out of focus, due to air currents, and mixed warm and cold air.

I also had to tilt my head as the writing is vertical.

It took a minute to read the five lines of text.
However, one word left me baffled for a while. I thought it might be '100%' but was actually 'tool',

It is a keyless door system with instructions for reprogramming.
I think ordinary keys are better.

I did not need Google translate from Klingon as the writing is in english.

An astro scope at 100x would have made the task very easy, especially with the central heating off.

The double glazing easily copes with 60x as long as the scope is not larger than 100mm aperture. And also selected good parts easily take 100x.

A person with better eyes than mine could probably read the writing at 40x.
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Old Sunday 14th January 2018, 14:38   #17
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I had a chance to read the mystery writing close up.

I need to check the size of the letters again.
There are 6 lines in 3 sizes.
The smallest letters in the line of text all capital letters, the middle 4 lines mixed, the 6th line Bold all capitals.
That is why I had difficulty with some words.

The smallest all capitals are about 1.4mm high.

Number plate letters are 79mm high and at 20 metres 20/50 vision, so 50 metres gives 20/20 vision.
I think this means that with 20/20 vision the letters are 326 arcseconds high, but they are all Bold on a car number plate.

I think the letters on the mystery text are about 7.5 arcseconds high from my viewing point, not bold.
All the letters on the 6 lines are black on white.
So one needs 43x magnification to equal 20/20 vision with a good steady scope.
But the letters are not Bold on the text.

But I will check all this to see if I have made mistakes.

If this is correct it explains the difficulty using the Canon 18x50 IS and why I needed a good scope.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 14th January 2018 at 14:44.
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Old Sunday 4th February 2018, 13:06   #18
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This morning the plastic instruction tab was left exposed and I was able to take images with the Nikon P610, from the same position as the 60x77 scope and the Canon 18x50 IS binocular used earlier.

Of 28 images only 3 matched the resolution of the 60x77 scope used earlier.
In several images there is a purple one sided fringe to the white tab. Most images don't have a purple fringe.
Many images show movement because of hand holding.
Generally the images are a bit soft.
The images were at full 60x zoom, and some with 2x and 4x digital zoom.

I expected the camera with its hocus pocus digital magic to beat the scope but it didn't.
However, it was overcast.
The exposures were 1/200 second at f/6.5 at ISO 400 on Program.

The aperture of the camera lens is about 46mm compared to 76mm for the scope.

It would be fairer to mount the camera on a tripod, but that is not how I use it.

The sticking point was the word 'tool' which looks like '100%' both visually in the scope and with the best P610 images.
The difference with this test and standard test charts is that one knows what test charts contain.
The same with Snellen charts. We know these are letters. But I would construct a 'Snellen' chart with several non-letters that looked like letters to confuse people, who would still read these as letters.
This is the difference between discovery resolution and chart resolution. Quite different tests.

I think that someone with better than 20/15 vision would see more with the 60x77 scope tripod mounted than is shown on the camera images.
Also using 100x and 120x on the tripod mounted scope would reveal more detail with 20/20 vision than is shown in the camera images.

What is almost certain is that the Nikon P610 will always beat the Canon 18x50 IS, but the camera field is very limited.

The Nikon P900 would be interesting but is much heavier.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 4th February 2018 at 13:25.
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Old Sunday 4th February 2018, 21:35   #19
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Binastro, what do you think of this video ? Ignore the silly title, it's a 400mm lens with stacked teleconverters and then a digital zoom in and crop...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCfDMU92JqI

Last edited by maico : Sunday 4th February 2018 at 21:44.
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Old Sunday 4th February 2018, 22:50   #20
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Hi maico,
Thanks for that. It actually worked on my old computer.

The Leica 400m f/2.8, I didn't know there was one, is basically a 6 inch aperture scope.

The video images are good with quite good Seeing with the moon probably fairly high.
The resolution is good but not spectacular.

I have on my wall a framed A4 B and W print of a Moon crater taken by my friend, I think with a Celestron 14.
I paid him modestly for 4 astro prints, all spectacular really.

It is very much better than anything in the video.

However, these images by world class astrophotographers are stacks of maybe thousands, sometimes R,G and B frames.

Even Hubble images are I think sometimes using skills developed by amateurs and the Mars U.S. orbiter also uses stacked images to obtain incredible resolution on Mars.

Digital skills are very advanced now and even modest equipment can show images which were unavailable with film.

But caution, as even the world's best make mistakes by presenting false detail as real by believing their overprocessed images.

I think the problem with the Nikon P610 is the small sensor.
I find the Sony A7S and Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens very impressive at 102,000 ISO and I think the A7S II is better and has body stabilisation.

Top movies are still made on film stock.

But cameras like the P610 and P900 are pretty amazing for the money and I think made in Nikon's Chinese plant.

It has to be realised that Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are the angular size of a large Moon crater, and the video that I just watched doesn't even begin to match the images planetary photographers routinely get. Sometimes they travel with their equipment nearer the equator to get the planets high in the sky.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 4th February 2018 at 23:00.
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 14:26   #21
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World's sharpest tele lens, whatever that means.

They would have got a lot more detail with the Leitz 3400mm f/8 tele lens made c.1940, instead of the relatively tiny Leica 400mm f/2.8 lens.

Or the U.S. 144 inch (3650mm) f/8 refracting lens.

There is a modern Zeiss lens about 16 or 18 inch aperture that is much more capable.

My planetary photos were taken with a native 4,650mm lens, used at 23,000mm f/72.
It's bigger brother is a native 7,000mm.

My friend's lunar crater photo shows at least 6 times smaller detail than the best shown in the video, which is pretty good but nothing special.
One could get equal or better results with a cheaper Celestron 8 or Celestron 9.25.

There was a U.S. lens about 34 inch aperture that surfaced in a Finnish magazine, but went back to being classified.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 15:26   #22
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This morning in bright sunshine I took 26 images with the Nikon P610.
14 images are sharp and I can read all the words and letters on the white instruction flap. 12 are too poor to read everything.
All are 100 ISO.
Exposures at 1/800 second at f/6.5 are best.
Generally those at 1/500 second at are f/6.5 poorer.

The best images are better than I saw with the 60x77 scope, but I did not set up the scope today in these very good conditions to try them side by side.

It is clear that one needs to hold the camera very steadily to get the best images even at 1/800 second.

I think that if I had 100x and 120x eyepieces for the spotting scope it would do well and probably always does better in cloudy conditions.

Today the light was maybe 10 to 16 times brighter than with the earlier photos.

One must use 100 ISO with the P610 to get best quality.

So the P610 shows much more than the Canon 18x50 IS and can equal or better a good 60x77 scope in bright sunshine.

I suspect a good astro scope at 100x or higher would always beat the camera, even with the camera on a tripod in bright sunshine.

09.50 UT wind 270 17 knots visibility 40km cloud few 3000ft 5C TDP -1C 1003.5 hPa.
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