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Bird Watching magazine reviews

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Old Tuesday 13th January 2004, 21:02   #26
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Quote:
...(Who would have thought that a Leica instrument could be described as a bargain?)
The Opticron ES80 is the real bargain at £550-00. The Leica is a somewhat older design and, despite being brilliant optically, is quite bulky compared to its competition. The Nikon ED82 is as compact in length as the Swaro 65 yet has far larger light-gathering power (I think the Zeiss 85* is also very compact).

The Swaro 80 is, undoubtedly, very expensive for the improvement in weight it offers; but for many it is aspirational and to me, it looks superb. Optically there surely cannot be much of any practical consequence between any of the top ED scopes - Kowa, Leica, Zeiss, Nikon or Swarovski.
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Old Tuesday 13th January 2004, 21:35   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif
On the issue of scopes, I think the real advantage of the Swaro 80mm scope over the Leica is the light weight.
Well, that was exactly the sole reason my brother changed from his Leica to the Swarovski. In this way he was able to avoid buying an extra leightweight travel scope while still having one that can be used in low light. From that point of view, the extra cost still makes a lot of sense. My own strategy is based on the dual scope route as I already have both. Thus, getting a better zoom for the Nikon ED III was the (hopefully) most cost effective option. That new zoom arrived today, but I have not yet been able to test it.

As for the Leica's supposed color fringing: I have never noticed any, but I'll check on that. If there should be any, it would hardly be a major problem, though, or I would have noticed long ago.

The different color casts of the various optics have a lot to do with the type of coating. Apparently, there is none that is completely neutral.

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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 08:51   #28
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One magazine in its review stated;
"A very slight blue cast adds to the overall brightness, but softens the overall colour and reduces contrast. A very slight yellow cast increased overall brightness, but softens the contrast slightly".
Surely it should be;
"Blue cast increases the overall colour (but softens contrast). Yellow cast increases contrast, but softens brightness and colour".
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 11:11   #29
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Quote: Posted by Swissboy - Tuesday 13th January 2004 at 16:35
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Thus, getting a better zoom for the Nikon ED III was the (hopefully) most cost effective option. That new zoom arrived today, but I have not yet been able to test it."

It would be appreciated if you would post your impression of the new Nikon zoom. I've been using the 20x60x zoom on a Fieldscope III ED 60 mm for several years ( I assume the zoom is still current) and am impressed with its optical sharpness, contrast and find that to my eyes compared to the previous Swarovski ED scope/zoom it is more color neutral and pleasing. Am not impressed with its eye relief at the higher powers.

I originally used Nikons Wide Angle eyepieces in 24x, 40x and 60x and although they offer the advantage of more eye relief and a wider field of view, I seldom use them on the Nikon scope any more. They are used on an astro scope.


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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 14:30   #30
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Although I use the newer Nikon ED82 scope, I have found myself using their 30xW perhaps half of the time. The zoom is as good as you describe but the wide angle is such a genuine beauty of a lens that I find myself just enjoying the relaxed and comfortable view it provides - almost as if there is no scope between you and the bird. The same cannot be said for any current zoom lens on the market, in my view, owing to their inherently narrower field of view.
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 14:51   #31
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Hi Steve

agree totally
even the new zooms are still like looking down a tunnel
give me a wide angle any day
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 14:57   #32
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It's odd really because my main motivation to change my scope was because my son has the Swarovski with zoom and I thought how useful it seemed. He's now thinking of buying a 30x wide, too!

There are times when the zoom is worthwhile, of course. We were viewing some peregrines a week or two back and, with them bathed in evening sunlight, even though a great distance away, the zoom picked out their amazing plumage detail.
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2004, 19:06   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob D
It would be appreciated if you would post your impression of the new Nikon zoom. I've been using the 20x60x zoom on a Fieldscope III ED 60 mm for several years ( I assume the zoom is still current) and am impressed with its optical sharpness, contrast and find that to my eyes compared to the previous Swarovski ED scope/zoom it is more color neutral and pleasing. Am not impressed with its eye relief at the higher powers.Bob
Well, I could not resist a first try this morning. Results are a mixed first impression.
I compared it with my (usually) well serving Leica APO 77 Televid. Light conditions were on the dull side (overcast). Allowing for the smaller objective diameter the picture was bright and sharp. But when I compared the two scopes, the overall ease of viewing was decidedly better in the Leica. It is this hard to describe something that made the difference. Viewing through the Leica scope there was a kind of instant response of the eye to the picture, whereas looking through the Nikon seemed to put a strain on the eye first before the good viewing really started. And that seems to have happened time and time again.
Also, because the new zoom is heavier than the old one, the balance of the scope is off more than it was. It is now decidedly rear-heavy. I assume that the Nikon 82mm type does better in this respect.
OK, this is just a first impression, I only had about 20 minutes time. Eye relief is definitely not good for me as soon as we get above about 25x!
Now don't think that I am prejudiced against the Nikon; this morning the opposite should have been the case. I had my wide angle 32x on the Leica scope at first, and when I tried to take it off to replace it by the zoom, I had trouble with the bayonet mount. And in the end I had the whole fixture of the eyepiece unscrewed!! I was able to get it screwed on again, but I am worried that it will not be watertight any more at that point, as it is no longer adjusted the same way it was before.

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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 11:31   #34
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RE: Comments by Swissboy on the Nikon Zoom

If you compared the Leica Zoom with the Nikon 20x60 zoom I would not be surprised that the overall viewing was better with the Leica. It is kind of a wide open effect, somewhat like one obtains with a wide angle eyepiece, even though the field of view is not as wide. It is hard to describe.

I used a Leica zoom on an TeleVue 85 for a while for terrestrial viewing at seashores & astro purposes. When the new Nikon 20x60 zoom became available I purchased it under the agreement that I could return the Leica Zoom for full credit (my Leica zoom had the lubricant problem and after three long months at Leica for repair they finally replaced it with a new zoom and provided a full warranty).

I spent considerable time comparing the Nikon zoom to Leica's at powers above 60X and could find no difference in sharpness/resolution. It however felt more constrained. I returned the Leica zoom because the Nikon zoom would serve both on my TV85 and my Fieldscope.

As others have said, the wide angle eyepieces provide a wonderful view. Before I purchased the Nikon zoom I routinely kept the 40X wide angle eyepiece on the scope as its field of view was almost that of a zooms 20X. Used my 24x WA primarily for scanning shorebirds and hawkwatching.

I have just become wed to the versatility of the zoom.

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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 15:01   #35
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I think the Leica zoom does give a slightly wider field of view than the Nikon - but the Nikon is absolutely pin sharp across the whole field right to the edges - perhaps more so than the Leica and certainly more so than the Zeiss (which is very wide for a zoom).

Also, except on a 60mm scope the Nikon is 25-75x and this must be weighed against the 20-60x Leica (15-45x on the 62mm).
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 16:35   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
I think the Leica zoom does give a slightly wider field of view than the Nikon - but the Nikon is absolutely pin sharp across the whole field right to the edges - perhaps more so than the Leica and certainly more so than the Zeiss (which is very wide for a zoom).

Also, except on a 60mm scope the Nikon is 25-75x and this must be weighed against the 20-60x Leica (15-45x on the 62mm).

You are correct, Steve, but in my case they are both 20-60x, so that's what counts for me. As for being sharp right to the edge, I agree! (Always a far as my test has been able to go.) Have not had a chance to continue. Also, I never really use that very edge, anyway, as that is usually hindered by my wearing glasses.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 16:40   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
I think the Leica zoom does give a slightly wider field of view than the Nikon - but the Nikon is absolutely pin sharp across the whole field right to the edges - perhaps more so than the Leica and certainly more so than the Zeiss (which is very wide for a zoom).

Also, except on a 60mm scope the Nikon is 25-75x and this must be weighed against the 20-60x Leica (15-45x on the 62mm).
I believe that there is 20-60x on the 62mm Leica but that Leica recommend the 16-48x. That is the implication of reading some of the reviews on the warehouse express site. I accept they are paid to write the reviews but I presume they are acurate techincally.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 17:38   #38
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That might be but there wasn't a while back - that's why my son went for the Swaro. Apparently the focal length of the Leica 62 is the cause of the reduced magnification. The zoom is 20-60x on their 77mm scope.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 17:50   #39
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You may be right Steve. I'm just quoting the review. It seems that the likes of Oddie and Nick Baker are using the 20-60x eyepiece from there 77's (well both get given both I imagine). The implication is that this is a totally different lens than the 16-48. Oddly though you can't order a 20-60 thru W/Express with 62....... any experts out there?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:18   #40
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Not an expert,but to clarify,Scampo is correct in that the same (ostensibly 20-60)zoom eyepiece fits the 62 and 77 scopes,but the effective magnification on the 62 is only 16-48. The e/p is actually marked to that effect.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:23   #41
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Not an expert,but to clarify,Scampo is correct in that the same (ostensibly 20-60)zoom eyepiece fits the 62 and 77 scopes,but the effective magnification on the 62 is only 16-48. The e/p is actually marked to that effect.
Ta Grousey. Seems the W/express review is wrong.

Will someone be so kind as to check just to prove (TO ME) I'm not imagining it.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:26   #42
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How do you find these reviews on Warehouse Express, by the way?

Also - doesn't the zoom eyepiece look ENORMOUS on the smaller scope?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:34   #43
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Originally Posted by scampo
How do you find these reviews on Warehouse Express, by the way?

Also - doesn't the zoom eyepiece look ENORMOUS on the smaller scope?
Actually it doesn't and works very well;I'd say it 'looks' smaller than the 30xWA(26x on 62)eyepiece.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:39   #44
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Originally Posted by scampo
How do you find these reviews on Warehouse Express, by the way?

Also - doesn't the zoom eyepiece look ENORMOUS on the smaller scope?
As someone considering upgrading to a posh scope, I have to say that the Warehouse Express scope reviews are not very informative. Too little detail. Too much "Cor".
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 19:18   #45
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Actually it doesn't and works very well;I'd say it 'looks' smaller than the 30xWA(26x on 62)eyepiece.
It looks a big'un in this picture (might not be the zoom, though - but that has to be even larger, surely?). Lovely bit of kit, though - to me the large eyepiece makes it look very impressive and worth the money!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 20:08   #46
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How do you find these reviews on Warehouse Express, by the way?

Also - doesn't the zoom eyepiece look ENORMOUS on the smaller scope?
find the APO 62 and there are reviews by Oddie and Nick Baker just before the product file
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 20:52   #47
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Not an expert,but to clarify,Scampo is correct in that the same (ostensibly 20-60)zoom eyepiece fits the 62 and 77 scopes,but the effective magnification on the 62 is only 16-48. The e/p is actually marked to that effect.
Yes, this is correct! The same goes with the fixed-focus eyepieces, the new ones have two markings on them.
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Old Friday 16th January 2004, 14:55   #48
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Different focal lengths between the 77 & 62 no doubt, which would explain the difference in magnification.
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