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10x42 swrarovision rolling ball and eye cups

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Old Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 15:09   #1
pimpelmees
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10x42 swrarovision rolling ball and eye cups

what about the rolling ball effect that some reported, is it a real problem ( and) or can you get used to it so that after a time you don't noticed it anymore ?
And i have heard about eye cups that are not strong enough ?
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Old Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 17:32   #2
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I think you'll have to try one out yourself. Some see it, others don't, so it's a personal concern. I hope you will not notice it.

Best regards,

Ronald
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Old Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 18:04   #3
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Ronald is right, I think. You should try them for yourself. Here's my take on it, FWIW. I am certainly aware of the fact that the SV is not acting like many other binoculars at the edges, but I don't find it distracting, just different. Static views don't look out of the ordinary much at all, but when panning I'm aware of the fact that the SV is doing something different out there at the edges.

But I find myself saying, who cares? The view is utterly sublime. I'm set for life.

Mark
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Old Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 21:57   #4
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I agree with Mark. RB is a non-issue. If I look for it when panning, I can see it. It's kind of cute. But usually when panning, I'm concentrating on the bird. Actually, now I've learned what RB is, I can find it in all roofs, to a greater or lesser extent. I even think I can find it in my spectacles, but that might be down to pure boredom. Panning my head around to see if my specs produce RB is a sign that I need to fill those empty moments with something more productive.
As regards the eyecups, I'm not sure what you (OP) mean. They're very sturdy, lots of positions, loads of ER, no problem. My SV's are now my "default" binoculars, and have led me to sell off most of my "collection". Use them in the field and you'll see what I mean.
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2011, 09:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
As regards the eyecups, I'm not sure what you (OP) mean. They're very sturdy, lots of positions, loads of ER, no problem. My SV's are now my "default" binoculars, and have led me to sell off most of my "collection". Use them in the field and you'll see what I mean.
The eye cups have different positions, but the positions are very loose and by accident you can change them quikly i think ?
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2011, 11:31   #6
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Interestingly, I find that the cups hold their intermediate positions (between the 3 click positions) reasonably well. Like Sancho, I wear glasses and prefer the cups a couple mm out from the minimum. I get fewer kidney beans that way. Normally, I would put o-rings in there to hold them, but surprisingly they hold quite well, not from friction but from stiction. Stiction is pretty much what it sounds like: things stick together and require extra initial force to get them to move. It takes maybe 30 seconds for the stiction to set up. I find I can put the rainguard on repeatedly and still the position holds. For now, I'll skip the o-rings. Whether this was intentional or not I don't know. Whether it will continue to behave this way I don't know.

That said, Swaro could definitely have given the SV more stops, and more positively engaged stops. They feel loose, but as I said they seem to hold pretty well.

Ultimately, I'll look for o-rings that fit inside the cups so that they can't be seen. Haven't had time to find the correct size, though.

Mark
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2011, 22:02   #7
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Originally Posted by Kammerdiner View Post
Ronald is right, I think. You should try them for yourself. Here's my take on it, FWIW. I am certainly aware of the fact that the SV is not acting like many other binoculars at the edges, but I don't find it distracting, just different. Static views don't look out of the ordinary much at all, but when panning I'm aware of the fact that the SV is doing something different out there at the edges.
That's exactly it.

The "rolling ball" isn't like normal "rolling ball" its more like the edges "roll" or as Kammerdiner more accurately says "does something different out there at the edges". It isn't quite a roll its just a bit of odd motion distortion that stops when the bins stop.

Most of the time now I find I don't even notice it (accommodation like progressive lenses, perhaps? odd is the new normal for my vision system).
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Old Thursday 5th May 2011, 00:37   #8
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pimplemess,

Some people who see "rolling ball" can and do adapt to it or see it but simply think it is "cute" (first time I heard that description of "rolling ball"!).

However, for others who are susceptible to the "rolling ball effect" (or "globe effect" as Holger calls it) and can't adapt to it and don't think it's "cute" can find it annoying, distracting, and absolutely, unequivocally, preternatural.

To me, the best view is the one that looks the most natural, the most like my eyes see but 7x or 8x or 10x closer. Obviously, the image is going to be compressed some so it will never look completely natural, but as close to what my eyes see as possible, which for me means a wide field of view, usually a porro prism binocular since it does the best job of preserving the 3-D effect, the right balance of pincushion and barrel distortion, and a very ample sweet spot with gradual fall off at the edges.

The fact that the distortion in the SV ELs isn't typical "rolling ball" but exhibits a range of levels of distortion over the FOV makes it's a real crap shoot even for someone who is usually okay with "rolling ball".

So if you plan to fork out a small fortune to buy an SV EL, make sure the store in "a" has a long return period, because some people take as long as a week to adapt, if they adapt.

Brock
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Old Thursday 5th May 2011, 10:43   #9
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I'm not even sure it's a question of adapting, because I doubt I will adapt to it. But when I compare the SV to the Zen 8x43 ED2 I become instantly aware that the Zen has A LOT of pincushion. Is that somehow more "natural." I don't think so. In fact, I find the SV much more "natural" looking than the Zen.

Pincushion may eliminate rolling ball, but if you actually look at the view you may be surprised how unnatural it looks. And as edges get sharper, that pincushion distortion becomes more exaggerated. The whole thing is a trade off, but I'll take the SV any day.

I think you need to really use the SV before you understand what it's doing. It's not a rolling ball in any sense that I can see.

Mark
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Old Thursday 5th May 2011, 18:17   #10
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I haven't seen the 10x42, but I have photographed the distortion of the 8.5x42 SV. It isn't "normal" in that the angular magnification distortion that causes "rolling globe" doesn't develop gradually is it would in the total absence of pincushion distortion. Instead, linear distortion begins as pincushion over the center half of the field, then curves back on itself from the introduction of compensating barrel distortion in the outer half. I recently noticed this referred to as "mustache" distortion in a Wikepedia article because in an extreme example lines resemble a handlebar mustache when the barrel distortion is superimposed over the pincushion. The panning effect of this kind of distortion is more like pulling a tablecloth across a round table with a sudden drop toward the edge rather than a smoothly rolling globe.

The photos I made are on this thread:

http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=175077

Last edited by henry link : Thursday 5th May 2011 at 18:25.
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Old Thursday 5th May 2011, 19:06   #11
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
Some people who see "rolling ball" can and do adapt to it or see it but simply think it is "cute" (first time I heard that description of "rolling ball"!).

Brock
Okay Brockster, you win. "Cute" is the wrong word - but if I can't change the world, all I can do is change my perception of it...
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Old Thursday 5th May 2011, 21:30   #12
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Originally Posted by Kammerdiner View Post
I'm not even sure it's a question of adapting, because I doubt I will adapt to it. But when I compare the SV to the Zen 8x43 ED2 I become instantly aware that the Zen has A LOT of pincushion. Is that somehow more "natural." I don't think so. In fact, I find the SV much more "natural" looking than the Zen.

Pincushion may eliminate rolling ball, but if you actually look at the view you may be surprised how unnatural it looks. And as edges get sharper, that pincushion distortion becomes more exaggerated. The whole thing is a trade off, but I'll take the SV any day.

I think you need to really use the SV before you understand what it's doing. It's not a rolling ball in any sense that I can see.

Mark
Yes, too much pincushion can be produce as much of an unnatural view as barrel distortion. When you look at the graphic grids they both create, you see they are mirror opposites.

In barrel distortion, you are looking at the positively curved top of the ball, in pincushion, you are looking inside at the negatively curved bottom. The third graphic on the wikipedia page is what Henry described, the "mustache distortion" in the SV EL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distortion_%28optics%29

However, the ZR ED2 is not typical of all bins that use pincushion. The Nikon SE series uses pincushion, but at a milder level that produces smooth panning. The Nikon EII series, particularly the 8x, shows more pincushion, that produces a bit of negative rolling ball as I pan the landscape. When I'm birding close-in, I'm not as aware of this effect as when I'm panning over an open landscape with a tree line.

So pincushion in the right proportion can, in fact, produce a more natural looking view while panning with the binoculars.

It puzzles me why Swaro configured the SV ELs the way they did and why Nikon didn't add any pincushion to the full sized HGs but did to the SEs and EDGs, both of which have smooth panning.

A reason bandied about was that pincushion couldn't be added due because of the field flatteners, but all three model Nikons have field flatteners,and the SV EL has some pincushion. So that can't be the reason.

Another reason given was that it was a "design choice". True enough, but why?

Why would optical designers of binoculars for terrestrial use purposely not put in pincushion when it can be used with field flatteners?

Even if the designer(s) were not sensitive to the "rolling ball effect," they must have passed around the prototypes to others and someone in that group was bound to see it.

Did anyone ask a Swaro rep why their designers chose the mustache distortion pattern for the SV EL?

Brock
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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 12:25   #13
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The best way to envision what the SV is doing requires thinking off the grid. What it does, primarily, is radial compression at the edges. There's a tiny bit of pincushion, but that's almost irrelevant to what it does at the edges, which is what you'll notice in use.

So instead of a grid, think of concentric circles. At the edge, quite suddenly, the circles get closer together, things get radially compressed. I'm not sure if an overlayed grid would look like a mustache or not, but it won't look like the one on that wikipedia page which shows barrel distortion.

I looked at a distant utility line against sky, slowly moving it to the edge, both horizontally and vertically, and saw no evidence of a mustache. The line remained almost perfectly straight, with the exception of that small amount of pincushion.

But as Brock says, the "why" is the question of the hour.

Mark
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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 14:21   #14
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Mark,
That is interesting! Did you try it against the straight vertical or horizontal edges of a brightly lit building? My 10 x 32 EDG has quite little--very small--pincushion distortion but it can be seen under these conditions.
Bob
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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 15:16   #15
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Originally Posted by Kammerdiner View Post
The best way to envision what the SV is doing requires thinking off the grid. What it does, primarily, is radial compression at the edges. There's a tiny bit of pincushion, but that's almost irrelevant to what it does at the edges, which is what you'll notice in use.

So instead of a grid, think of concentric circles. At the edge, quite suddenly, the circles get closer together, things get radially compressed. I'm not sure if an overlayed grid would look like a mustache or not, but it won't look like the one on that wikipedia page which shows barrel distortion.

I looked at a distant utility line against sky, slowly moving it to the edge, both horizontally and vertically, and saw no evidence of a mustache. The line remained almost perfectly straight, with the exception of that small amount of pincushion.

But as Brock says, the "why" is the question of the hour.

Mark
Mark,

How you describe the SV EL's edges is how I see the edges of the full sized Nikon HGs - "things get radially compressed". This is especially noticeable while looking at stars near the edges. As you move closer to the horizontal edges, the apparent distance between stars compresses until right at the very edge they are squished into the accretion disk of a black hole. That's classic barrel distortion.

At the center the image in the full sized HGs is larger than at the edges. This disparity is what causes the image to "roll".

Wikipedia is an open source. If you can draw a graphic that better represents the SV EL's distortion pattern, you can add that as a fourth example.

From the way Henry described it, I thought the SV EL's distortion pattern looked like this:

http://bigtopfive.com.s120608.gridse...he-232x300.jpg

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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 16:01   #16
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Brock,

The only problem is that, for my eyes, there never is any barrel distortion. I can't induce it no matter what. The tiny amount of pincushion seems to hold right to the edge and straight lines stay darn straight. As such, I really don't experience any rolling ball, just something different.

We may have entered the realm of individual perceptual idiosyncrasy but that's the view from my eye/brain interface. Curious stuff, I'll say that much.

Mark
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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 17:42   #17
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The shape of the linear distortion in the SV is most apparent in the second line from the center in my photos, especially the stretched version. You can clearly see the reversal of direction in the lines toward the top and bottom. The mustache pattern is not there in lines close to the edge because those lines are very short in a circular field, cut off by the fieldstop. The short edge lines are pretty straight because the combined barrel and pincushion distortions have mostly cancelled each other in the center parts of the lines. In a rectangular photograghic field the lines at the edge would be as long as the center lines and would show the double curve easily.

Radial compression of shapes toward the edge is caused by angular magnification distortion. It's unavoidable unless enough pincushion is applied to maintain a constant radial magnification across the field. Angular magnification distortion is really pronounced in the presence of barrel distortion, but actually begins when there isn't quite enough pincushion to maintain constant radial magnification to the edge. It's quite obvious when there is zero linear distortion (no barrel or pincushion with lines staying perfectly straight to the edge). The designer can't avoid one form of distortion or another in a wide field. He has to choose, not eliminate.

Last edited by henry link : Friday 6th May 2011 at 18:32.
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Old Friday 6th May 2011, 23:54   #18
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The shape of the linear distortion in the SV is most apparent in the second line from the center in my photos, especially the stretched version. You can clearly see the reversal of direction in the lines toward the top and bottom. The mustache pattern is not there in lines close to the edge because those lines are very short in a circular field, cut off by the fieldstop. The short edge lines are pretty straight because the combined barrel and pincushion distortions have mostly cancelled each other in the center parts of the lines. In a rectangular photograghic field the lines at the edge would be as long as the center lines and would show the double curve easily.

Radial compression of shapes toward the edge is caused by angular magnification distortion. It's unavoidable unless enough pincushion is applied to maintain a constant radial magnification across the field. Angular magnification distortion is really pronounced in the presence of barrel distortion, but actually begins when there isn't quite enough pincushion to maintain constant radial magnification to the edge. It's quite obvious when there is zero linear distortion (no barrel or pincushion with lines staying perfectly straight to the edge). The designer can't avoid one form of distortion or another in a wide field. He has to choose, not eliminate.
OK. So there you go. I think I can follow. You can't see the mustache because it's not there to see, blocked by the field stop. Good enough.

Ergo, you can't see the rolling ball, because it's not there to see. The reversal sees to that. Good enough.

But you can see that it is different. Fair enough. All I know is that I had the best views ever of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks and Black-Throated Blue Warblers today. I can live with that!

Mark
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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 00:13   #19
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That's not quite the way it works. A form of "globe effect" is present in the SV because of the angular magnification distortion, which is characterized by the straight lines and the radial compression of objects toward the edge of the field that you noticed. It just takes a somewhat different form in the SV compared to conventional rolling globe which comes from a straightforward lack of pincushion across the entire field. In the SV a little pincushion begins to form as you move out from then center but then dissipates toward the field edge to be replaced by angular magnification distortion. The "quietest" panning for most people results from the application of just enough pincushion to tame the angular magnification distortion near the edge, but unavoidably that comes at the cost of increased rectilinear distortion in the form of bowed lines.

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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 11:30   #20
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That's not quite the way it works. A form of "globe effect" is present in the SV because of the angular magnification distortion, which is characterized by the straight lines and the radial compression of objects toward the edge of the field that you noticed. It just takes a somewhat different form in the SV compared to conventional rolling globe which comes from a straightforward lack of pincushion across the entire field. In the SV a little pincushion begins to form as you move out from then center but then dissipates toward the field edge to be replaced by angular magnification distortion. The "quietest" panning for most people results from the application of just enough pincushion to tame the angular magnification distortion near the edge, but unavoidably that comes at the cost of increased rectilinear distortion in the form of bowed lines.
Thanks, Henry. I may never quite understand all this without some remedial work, but the "angular magnification distortion" makes sense to me. The idea of "quietist" panning is intriguing, because the SV isn't entirely quiet. It's not rolling ball either, at least not for me. And on the other hand, once you become aware of pincushion, that doesn't seem entirely quiet either. As you say, it's a trade-off.

I'll say this, though, the SV is the finest birding binocular I've ever used, and I suspect that, for birding, the issue is pretty much moot. Neither the SV's minimal rolling ball nor pincushion has ever been intrusive in the field. All things considered, I think I'll take the SV. It's like all the birds I've been seeing for years have suddenly been turned up to 11.

Mark
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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 12:51   #21
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I led a Dawn Chorus walk today on an old country estate and ancestral home beside where I live. (I don't live in an ancestral home nextdoor, I live in a suburban housing estate built on lands formerly belonging to it).
I brought my SV's and my ED50, so that participants without binos could have a look at the birds we found. We had 27 species on a grey, dull slightly drizzly morning, including Little Grebes swimming to-and-fro across a lake. About ten people used my SV's to see the Grebes, panning left and right. All commented on the birds, most commented favourably on the view through the binos, and none noticed RB. I'm not suggesting it isn't there, it is, but I can only see it if I want to. I daresay I would never have noticed it had I not learned of it on BF.
This is entirely in contrast to a feature like CA. Long ago, as a kid using cheap binoculars, I could see CA. I didn't know it had a name, and I didn't know it varied in different models of binocular. Now I know what it is, and what causes it (thanks to BF contributors), I avoid binoculars that have too much of it.
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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 13:28   #22
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Sancho I didn't realize you still had an ED50, I thought you had sold it. So this is how you were able to let go of the ED50 you still had at least one.
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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 17:22   #23
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Sancho I didn't realize you still had an ED50, I thought you had sold it. So this is how you were able to let go of the ED50 you still had at least one.
Long story of obsession and regret, Steve - missed the one I sold, got a great deal from BF and Astroforum members on both 2nd-hand ED50 body and a 20x ep, these ones I keep! (I think)
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Old Saturday 7th May 2011, 21:51   #24
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I understand why you regret, better keep this one.:) I haven't been anywhere to try the new Swarovisions yet, I know I will love them.

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