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I have $2K burning a hole in my pocket what binocular should I buy?

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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 15:47   #126
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Dennis: please describe what you mean by aberration free axial image? Where or how is that apparent?

And please, are you referring to doing the comparison with a 10x56 SLC Swaro to the 8x56, or another 10x56?
Aberration free axial image was a term Henry Link used to describe the image he get's through his Zeiss 8x56 FL binoculars. Here is a link where he explains what he means. My review is based on the 8x56 SLC which I own. The linked review is a 10x56 SLC which will be similar in performance.

https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...95&postcount=1

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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 16:08   #127
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Dennis's bino world comes full circle, for the 10th time...
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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 19:32   #128
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Well Dennis, I am glad you found them excellent.

My wife and I had some fun sitting on the picnic table looking across the river after sunset one evening with the 10x42Canon turning the IS on and off, watching a heron fishing minnows. To me, the IS on brightened the picture--which of course, it did not. I suspected then the detail recognized when the IS popped on, gave what is left of my brain that impression. It was interesting.

I imagine if I had enough time with the 8x56, I could learn to see what Henry appreciates about the FLs. But it takes me quite a while doing side by side comparisons with peer-type binos to detect the usually minor differences. And I don't have an 8x56 SLC...

We do have a 10x56 which is easier for me to hold steady than some smaller stuff we have. Would guess the 8x56 is going to continue to give you very satisfying views.
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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 21:06   #129
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Well Dennis, I am glad you found them excellent.

My wife and I had some fun sitting on the picnic table looking across the river after sunset one evening with the 10x42Canon turning the IS on and off, watching a heron fishing minnows. To me, the IS on brightened the picture--which of course, it did not. I suspected then the detail recognized when the IS popped on, gave what is left of my brain that impression. It was interesting.

I imagine if I had enough time with the 8x56, I could learn to see what Henry appreciates about the FLs. But it takes me quite a while doing side by side comparisons with peer-type binos to detect the usually minor differences. And I don't have an 8x56 SLC...

We do have a 10x56 which is easier for me to hold steady than some smaller stuff we have. Would guess the 8x56 is going to continue to give you very satisfying views.
I am starting to see what Henry appreciates about the 8x56's. It is simply the lack of aberrations that the smaller apertures tend to have. That big objective lens just gives you an effortless clear sharp view. You really notice the difference when you drop back to a 30mm objective. Here is a Youtube video on the 10x56 HD SLC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1L1BJxMd68
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=matEQLDHTnw

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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 21:37   #130
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HI VB

I don't get the effect as described by Dennis although when surveying for signs of Water Voles and comparing the views of river underbank overhangs through FLs (impenetrable black) with HTs, with the latter I could just make out vague shapes of roots and stones. I put this down to the higher light transmission of HT. But I needed the 8x for this. And I can imagine that with the magnification bringing details out that the naked eye can't see this could be interpreted as brighter than the naked eye. But this can't actually be the case can it?
Light is lost through the bino while the naked eye receives light from a hugely wider angle of reception than the relatively small sample of light captured by the bino.
I did try an FL 8x56 at Bird Fair a few years back and it was on dull and raining day and the brightness was impressive compared with 42s but I wouldn't have said it was brighter than the naked eye.

Lee
This was from the review on Swarovski 10x56 SLC. Same thing I was seeing.

"With 93% transmission, 56mm objectives and a 5.6mm exit pupil you would expect the 10x56 SLCs to have outstanding dusk performance and they do. These allow you to pull detail out of shadows that have already become black and featureless with night drawing in. Looking at the copse across the fields, the ground under the trees still looks like daytime when all is impenetrable darkness with my naked eyes."
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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 22:11   #131
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Out of curiosity, do you see any strong distortion in the 8x56? (Holger reported a k-parameter less than 0.5 for the SLC 8x56, which would imply a potentially strong RBo effect).
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Old Friday 16th March 2018, 23:39   #132
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Out of curiosity, do you see any strong distortion in the 8x56? (Holger reported a k-parameter less than 0.5 for the SLC 8x56, which would imply a potentially strong RBo effect).
No, I don't see any RBo(Rolling Bowl) in the 8x56 SLC.

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 00:38   #133
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My question was about the RBo (Rolling Bowl) effect, which is caused by a strong (pincushion) distortion, like the one that affects the ZenRay ED2 7x36.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 06:14   #134
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Dennis, I'm glad you're loving your 8x56, the one SLC I haven't seen. I'm thrilled with my 10x56, the brightest bino I've ever used also. But I admit I'm curious about the "lack of aberrations" report, apart from CA which I agree is negligible. What do you see that leads you to conclude that other aberrations are better controlled than in top quality binos of more moderate aperture, or that this relates to objective size? Without using test charts, I couldn't say that myself. I do love the view though.

Lee, regarding brightness, I don't understand your argument here. In low light (which Dennis was talking about) any binocular I've ever used is "brighter" than the naked eye, comparing the same field of view. How much light there is in the entire scene strikes me as a different sort of question.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 07:38   #135
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..In low light (which Dennis was talking about) any binocular I've ever used is "brighter" than the naked eye, comparing the same field of view...
Agree...Providing there is some residual light (artificial, fading sky, moon, etc.) left in the scene I'm viewing. Even though my POI looks pitch black to my unaided eyes, I find all of my optics enhance the brightness of the FOV and brings out shape, details and resolution that otherwise I can't discern in the darkness.

In extreme low light conditions, the bigger the objective, the brighter the view!

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 09:36   #136
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If I don't spend the money on a binocular my wife will spend it on jewelry. I have to decide fast too. She knows I have it.
Shoes and boots as well.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 12:24   #137
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Dennis, I'm glad you're loving your 8x56, the one SLC I haven't seen. I'm thrilled with my 10x56, the brightest bino I've ever used also. But I admit I'm curious about the "lack of aberrations" report, apart from CA which I agree is negligible. What do you see that leads you to conclude that other aberrations are better controlled than in top quality binos of more moderate aperture, or that this relates to objective size? Without using test charts, I couldn't say that myself. I do love the view though.

Lee, regarding brightness, I don't understand your argument here. In low light (which Dennis was talking about) any binocular I've ever used is "brighter" than the naked eye, comparing the same field of view. How much light there is in the entire scene strikes me as a different sort of question.
At this point Dennis hasn't established whether his 10x56 SLC actually has low aberrations in daylight. That would require a high magnification star-test with the aperture reduced to to around 20mm.

Binoculars are not brighter than the naked eye in low light conditions. An object in an 8x binocular will look about as bright (minus transmission losses) as the same object looks to the naked eye IF the naked eye is moved 7/8 of the distance closer to the object, so that the object appears to be the same size as it appears through the binocular. Try it.

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 13:31   #138
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Dennis, I'm glad you're loving your 8x56, the one SLC I haven't seen. I'm thrilled with my 10x56, the brightest bino I've ever used also. But I admit I'm curious about the "lack of aberrations" report, apart from CA which I agree is negligible. What do you see that leads you to conclude that other aberrations are better controlled than in top quality binos of more moderate aperture, or that this relates to objective size? Without using test charts, I couldn't say that myself. I do love the view though.

Lee, regarding brightness, I don't understand your argument here. In low light (which Dennis was talking about) any binocular I've ever used is "brighter" than the naked eye, comparing the same field of view. How much light there is in the entire scene strikes me as a different sort of question.
I haven't star tested my 8x56 SLC yet as Henry pointed out but I can sure see a difference in the image when I go back and forth the from the 8x56 SLC and my 8x30 CL. The bigger glass to my eyes seems to have a cleaner more perfect image even though the little 8x30 is very good. The clean sharp image of the 8x56 could be partly attributed to the lack of CA. It is almost apochromatic in that respect. The big glass spoils you. The SLC is the best binocular I have ever used for flare control and CA and low light which makes it a very versatile binocular for different conditions. You can get right next to the sun with no flare. Really it is not that hard to hold the extra weight either of the 8x56. It is so well balanced.

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 14:12   #139
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...Binoculars are not brighter than the naked eye in low light conditions. An object in an 8x binocular will look about as bright (minus transmission losses) as the same object looks to the naked eye IF the naked eye is moved 7/8 of the distance closer to the object, so that the object appears to be the same size as it appears through the binocular. Try it.
Great explanation, Henry. Optics simply make our FOV perspective equal to (minus instrument losses) standing at the scene with unaided eye sight!

Glad I got em, much easier than running up to each bird or scenic view!!

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 20:27   #140
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Three remarkable things about the Swarovski SLC HD 8x56 are the flare control, CA control and the low light performance. You have to watch that you don't look directly into the sun because you have no warning you are getting close to it because you see no flare at all. They must really have good baffling or is it partly due to the big objective lens? I think a lot of the axial clarity and sharpness are due to it's complete absence of CA. I am still dumbfounded by how good it is in low light. I never realized the big eye binoculars were that good at dusk because I have never had one.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 20:38   #141
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An object in an 8x binocular will look about as bright (minus transmission losses) as the same object looks to the naked eye IF the naked eye is moved 7/8 of the distance closer to the object, so that the object appears to be the same size as it appears through the binocular. Try it.
Thanks, Henry. This is so basic I figured it had to be just a difference in the use of words. I'll still say binos are brighter in low light, meaning brighter from where one stands to use them, without imagining something else that probably isn't going to happen. Actually, I'm realizing that I need a break from worrying about questions like this. Good viewing to all!
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 20:45   #142
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Three remarkable things about the Swarovski SLC HD 8x56 are the flare control, CA control and the low light performance. You have to watch that you don't look directly into the sun because you have no warning you are getting close to it because you see no flare at all. They must really have good baffling or is it partly due to the big objective lens? I think a lot of the axial clarity and sharpness are due to it's complete absence of CA. I am still dumbfounded by how good it is in low light. I never realized the big eye binoculars were that good at dusk because I have never had one.
Both probably, the large exit pupil helps in glare control it seems. The margins to the baffles are more generous. It's probably like stopping down a camera lens; the image gets sharper.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 21:45   #143
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Three remarkable things about the Swarovski SLC HD 8x56 are the flare control, CA control and the low light performance. You have to watch that you don't look directly into the sun because you have no warning you are getting close to it because you see no flare at all. They must really have good baffling or is it partly due to the big objective lens? I think a lot of the axial clarity and sharpness are due to it's complete absence of CA. I am still dumbfounded by how good it is in low light. I never realized the big eye binoculars were that good at dusk because I have never had one.
lol, you had the 8x56 FL for some time, or was it all a dream?

And you said you needed a chiropractor after hauling all that weight around - and said for the umpteenth time ''never again.''
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 21:46   #144
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Both probably, the large exit pupil helps in glare control it seems. The margins to the baffles are more generous. It's probably like stopping down a camera lens; the image gets sharper.
Surprised me how much better the bigger aperture is in a lot of different areas. It makes the binocular a lot more versatile under different conditions.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 21:53   #145
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lol, you had the 8x56 FL for some time, or was it all a dream?

And you said you needed a chiropractor after hauling all that weight around - and said for the umpteenth time ''never again.''
The new Swarovski HD SLC 8x56 is a different animal ergonomically than the Zeiss 8x56 FL. The older design of the Zeiss was front heavy and wasn't nearly as well balanced. You could really feel the weight. This new SLC does not feel like a 56mm binocular it is so well balanced. Here is a good comparison review from Cloudy Night's by Erik Baker and some quotes from it.

"The first thing you notice when you compare the 56mm Victory FL and SLC is how different they feel. Different materials on the outside, different shape of the barrels and different balance.
Compared to the Zeiss FL's, Swarovski has made a quantum leap forward in the ergonomics of 56mm binoculars with their SLC's. Where the 56 Victory FL's feel more like a shrunken 70mm bino, the 56 SLC's feel like a 42mm pair on steroids. Their compact feel of the SLC's is in no small part due to the cut-out thumb-rests. These also make the Swaro much easier to grasp and adjust the focussing wheel with your index finger. And where the Zeiss feel front-heavy, the Swaro's feel very well balanced. So in the ergonomics department, the new Swaro SLC 56mm's win with their refined, sleek well-balanced design."

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4...victory-fl-56/

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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 21:55   #146
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The new Swarovski HD SLC 8x56 is a different animal ergonomically than the Zeiss 8x56 FL. The older design of the Zeiss was front heavy and wasn't nearly as balanced. You could really feel the weight. This new SLC doesn not feel like a 56mm binocular it is so well balanced. Read this comparison review.


https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4...victory-fl-56/
You said you never had a ''big eye'' bin, but you did - and the difference in weight is an ounce - call the chiropractor! Balance will have no effect on the weight on your neck and back, it's still 42 ounces hanging straight down.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 22:14   #147
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You said you never had a ''big eye'' bin, but you did - and the difference in weight is an ounce - call the chiropractor! Balance will have no effect on the weight on your neck and back, it's still 42 ounces hanging straight down.
Not if you use a harness. I never really kept the big Zeiss long enough to realize the advantages of the big aperture especially the low light performance. If I do much hiking with this one it might be time to get a harness to distribute the weight. This one I will use mostly in a static situation, whereas, I was trying to hike with the Zeiss and just a neck strap hiking. If I am hiking a long ways I will use my smaller Swarovski CL 8x30 or Swarovski CL-P 8x25.

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