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Audubon 10x50 vs Newport MkII 10x50

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Old Thursday 17th November 2016, 20:10   #1
Martin123
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Audubon 10x50 vs Newport MkII 10x50

Evening All,
I'd be very interested in your opinions of the relative performance of the Audubon 10x50 vs the Newport MkII 10x50.
I have a pair of 1989 Audubon 8.5x42 and I'm very impressed with them. So much so that I fancy getting a pair of 10x50. Many others seem to have the same idea as they seem to be rare and expensive. The Newports are more common and as I understand have a 5 piece ocular and a wider field of view and seem to be commoner on the ground. Would I be missing out on much by going for the Newports rather than waiting on an Audubon to come around?
Cheers
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Old Thursday 17th November 2016, 21:53   #2
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Martin,

The Swift Newport 10x50 was a fully-coated Type 3 "large body" model that Pyser issued from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. To my knowledge they did not have multi-coating and probably suffer from vignetting due to using BK7 glass prisms. Although a well made instrument, I wouldn't recommend it for general use or birding. Possibly useful for astronomy, but I don't know.

The Audubon (Kestrel) 10x50 is a much better instrument — being the "big brother" to the Audubon. If you already have the Audubon, however, I say you wouldn't be gaining much by also getting the Kestrel.

Just my opinion, of course.

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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 13:47   #3
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Hi Martin,
From memory the Swift Newport Mk II, and the Hoya EWA are similar for astronomy. Japanese.
They initially looked the same, but they are not identical.
Same cases from memory. One stamped Swift the other Hoya.
I'll have to look up my notes, or actually try them again. I think mine have no multicoating?

I prefer the Minolta 10x50 Standard MK. 7.8 degree marked field, but 7.65 degree fully usable. Maybe not as robust as the other two but an easy view for me.
They all have poor edges, but I don't notice this in normal viewing.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 14:28   #4
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My notes.

Swift Newport Mk II 8.02 deg claimed. 7.90 measured. Some haze.
Hoya 7.5 deg marked 7.55 deg measured,
Hoya good eye relief for an EWA binocular. But I don't wear glasses with binoculars.
Minolta 7.8 deg marked 7.8 deg measured.

All three good for astronomy.

Minolta shows much fainter stars than the other two, although Swift has some internal haze.

Minolta exit pupils round, other two squared off.

I didn't bother getting Swift cleaned, as I prefer the Minolta.

If someone wears glasses with binoculars the full field of EWA may not be seen.

I also have a Russian EWA 10x50 Wide field but but mechanically it is poorly made.
Also a 1960s or 1970s Korean one that is even worse. Poor optical quality, shoddy build.

The Minolta 7x35 Standard MK has a measured field of 11.05 deg.
The 8x40 Minolta Standard MK. Marked 9.5 degrees, measured field 9.4 degrees, but I think that it may be actually 8.1x40.

Swift HR/5. 8.5x44. 8.26 deg measured.

Swift Condor SPWA 9x,42 Extra wide angle 140m at 1000m. Multi coated optics (Not FMC). Round exit pupils.
1990 Japan.
Similar to 8.5x44 HR/5.
The Condor is nice, fairly light weight. I can't remember what the measured field was.
(Measured field of 9x42 Condor 7.72 deg compared to claimed 8.02 deg).

I think that the Swift Audubon 10x50 has a 7.0 degree field?

Last edited by Binastro : Friday 18th November 2016 at 17:58.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 18:06   #5
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Hi Elkcub and Binastro,
Thanks to you both for your very informative replies . There's some good authority there which is very useful. I use the Audubon 8.5x42 primarily for general use and birding but I fancy getting the bigger 10x50 for astronomy and the wide FOV of the Newports would seem to be a bonus. In your opinions would the fact that the Newports are not multi coated have a big impact on astronomical observing compared with a multicoated binocular?
Best wishes
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 18:47   #6
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Hi Martin.
The coatings on the Newport 10x50 Mk II may be quite poor. I'll have to look.
I have not seen a 10x50 Audubon.

More importantly is to get a very clean binocular. Even skilled uses may not realise if there is a film on old optics.
And of course a binocular in good alignment.
The Newports may vary in quality between individual samples.

I use the 8.5x44 HR/5 quite a lot for general use. Some Swift 8.5x44s have bigger fields but are heavier.

If you don't wear glasses then many EWA binoculars can be useful for astronomy.

For birdwatching I would think that a 10x50 Audubon may be considerably better than a Newport MK II.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 19:32   #7
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HR/5 Audubons are marked 430' or 8.21 deg., giving an apparent field of 69.75 deg. If they were 8.26 deg. the apparent field would be 70.21 deg. (i.e., 0.46 deg larger).

HR/5 Audubon-Kestrels 10x50 are marked 367' or 7.0 deg., giving an apparent field of 70.00 deg.

These calculations assume that the advertized magnifications are accurate and don't take distortion into account. So, in practical terms the two instruments have the same apparent fields.

Martin, — to be more specific about the Model 825 Newport we would need to know the first two digits of the s/n (which is the date of manufacture). There were at least two Newport models made, the first by Kutuba/Katsuma and the second by Hiyoshi Kogaku. The first had a FOV of 367' and the second a FOV of 420 deg., which are quite different. The latter would have a whopping apparent field of 80.01.

David, — out of curiosity, what is the s/n on your Newport?

Ed
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 19:57   #8
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A fully multicoated, including prisms, Minolta Activa 12x50 shows stars 0.5 magnitude fainter than a partly coated typical 12x50. But the AFOV is smaller than a Minolta Standard MK.

More important is the darkness of the sky at an observing site.
From a city one might see stars of about magnitude 3.5 with unaided eyes.
Suburban sites better, countryside better still and the darkest sites amazingly better.
Dark sites might show 6.5 magnitude stars. But truly dark sites magnitude 7.0 even 7.5.
Each magnitude is 2.5x.
So 4 magnitudes different is 40x fainter.
This is applicable to binocular viewing also.

I haven't seen the Milky Way in many years. Some youngsters have never seen it.

It is sky darkness that is all important, not the binocular.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 20:55   #9
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Ed.
Dug out Newport 10x50 Mk II in blue letters.
Swift Blue diagonal band. Left rear plate.
10x,50 in white.
Extra wide field in red.
420ft at 1000 yds in white.

Serial number 7519xx Japan
JB 56
Worn white sticker.
Binocular good condition.

Quick look as hands not good.

Some MULTICOATING, some uncoated lens surfaces.
Prisms uncoated I think.
Have to find tungsten bulb.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 21:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Ed.
Dug out Newport 10x50 Mk II in blue letters.
Swift Blue diagonal band. Left rear plate.
10x,50 in white.
Extra wide field in red.
420ft at 1000 yds in white.

Serial number 7519xx Japan
JB 56
Worn white sticker.
Binocular good condition.

Quick look as hands not good.

Some MULTICOATING, some uncoated lens surfaces.
Prisms uncoated I think.
Have to find tungsten bulb.
Ok, your optics were distributed by Swift-Pyser for the European market.

The Newport was made by Hiyoshi Kogaku with 420' real field in 1975. That's pretty early for multi-coatings, but remotely possible. Some Pyser-sold Storm Kings of that era were marked "Fully Multicoated Optics," although they only had "Fully Coated" optics on the American market. Very strange. If your instrument is marked either "Multi-coated Optics" or "Fully Multi-Coated" then it might be credible. If not, then some other form of evidence is needed. My database, however, only shows C/FC for that model, — again with BK7 prisms.

Ed
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 21:47   #11
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Ed.
I'll look later, but coatings amber maybe, definitely not blue coated.

Approx weights without straps.

Newport Mk II 10x50 1,085g

Minolta 10x50 Standard MK 985g.

Will check later.
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Old Friday 18th November 2016, 22:04   #12
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If the 'amber' coatings are single coatings or multicoatings how would they differ?

Particularly if looking at an angle how would the colour change?

Minolta used achromatic coatings, maybe two layer, on camera lenses, 1960s I think.

Taylor Hobson from about 1955 three layer multicoating with a tunable middle coating to provide for best results at an angle.

Multicoating in industrial quantities from Liechtenstein from 1950.

But how do I differentiate whether single, double, triple or more layer coatings?
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Old Saturday 19th November 2016, 01:43   #13
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David,

Are your binoculars marked multi-coated in any way?

Here are photos of a 1978 7x50 Commodore MkII with a 525' FOV. (That computes to an apparent field of 70.13 deg.) Great Type 2 binocular. Probably the same class as the 10x50 under discussion.

Note that "Fully Coated Optics" are on the left cover plate (from user's point of view), and "Amber Coated Optics" is marked on the objective, as well as "U.V. Coating." There is no mention of multi-coatings, and I wouldn't expect there to be any or it would have been marked "Multi-coated Optics" or "Fully Multi-Coated." These are single layer, although different single layers may be on each air/glass surface. The amber coating is probably on the front surface for durability. Frankly, I don't know which surface has the UV coating. Other brand binoculars of the period I know little about.

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Old Saturday 19th November 2016, 07:59   #14
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Ed,
There is no mention of coatings at all on the binocular.

Using tungsten bulbs.
The 10x50 Newport Mk II has amber coatings on the objectives, one bright amber, one medium amber.
There is a faint white colour from the cemented surfaces.

The eyepieces have one medium amber coating.

All other lens surfaces may be uncoated, or some possibly have coats?
The prisms are uncoated.
There is slight haze on the prisms and possibly elsewhere that most would not notice.

The amber coatings are similar to the amber coatings on your photo of the Commodore.

There are no UV coatings. There is no writing on the front of the objectives.

Streetlight within field.
Newport ghosting bad. Maybe not helped by slight haze.

Condor much better, but still considerable ghosting.

Minolta better than Condor. Some ghosting.
The Condor is later than the Minolta and has better coatings, yet the Minolta is better re. ghosting. Maybe better design and/or better glass. Also I noted that Minolta showed fainter stars than Newport or Hoya. All 10x50.

Newport Mk II large eyepieces. Approx. 19mm fl.

There are no blue coatings on the Newport.

The coatings are the same in both sides, unlike some Russian coatings.

I don't know if the Newport amber coatings are single, double or multicoatings.

From your post above this post it would seem that the amber coatings are single layer coatings, not multicoating as I first thought.
Could they be double or achromat coatings?

Fluorescent tube lighting, as in your Commodore photos, gives the same result as tungsten for the Newport.

Feather weight the Newport ain't.

Frost on house and car roofs. 32F approx. visibility 30 km few clouds 19,000ft.

Last edited by Binastro : Saturday 19th November 2016 at 08:20.
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Old Saturday 19th November 2016, 18:32   #15
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Martin,

I have the Adubon 8.5x and the Newport MK11, the Audubon is noticeably better than the Newport, so I would be surprised if you found a Newport to be any kind of an improvement on what you already have. Just my thoughts.
I did read some time ago, someone replaced the BAK7 prisms and Ocular lenses on a nice 10x Newport, with the BAK4 prisms and ocular lenses from an old Audubon 8.5x, it seems they will fit, focal length is same so it is still 10x, he was pretty impressed with the modification, that suggests the Audubon prisms and oculars are noticeably superior, although the Newport I have is by no means bad.
Good luck..
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Old Sunday 20th November 2016, 16:30   #16
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Hi Bencw,
Thanks for your reply and it's very useful that you have experience of both binoculars. From your and Ed and Binastros replies I understand that the Newport doesn't benefit from multi coating and Bak4 prisms. What I'm looking for is a binocular for astronomy with a wide field and a little more magnification than my 8.5's. I'd be interested in your opinion and those of others as to what effect the simpler coating and prism would have on stargazing?
Cheers and thanks for your input.
Martin
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Old Sunday 20th November 2016, 17:07   #17
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Hi Martin,
It depends on your budget to some degree, but a Nikon Aculon or Action VII 10x50 is pefectly adequate for astronomy. 6.5 degrees. Pentax 10x50 XCF low price option.
Similar 12x50s 5.5 degrees.

I have used, for astronomy, a selected Russian 12x45 5.5 deg about for 10 years, A Minolta 10x50 Standard MK 7.8 deg also for ten years.
A Minolta Activa 12x50.
Celestron 20x80 Japan 1970s best of three. A handmade special Soviet 20x60.
Canon 10x30 IS. The Mk II stabilizer is excellent.
Canon 12x36 Mk III should be good, but expensive.
Well collimated Revelation 15x70, but they are not robust.
Barr and Stroud 12x56 ED Savannah. Very nice if one gets a good one.

If you can get a perfectly clean HR/5 10x50 Audubon Kestrel that would be nice.
The needs of astronomy are different to birdwatching.

Your 8.5x44 HR/5 is also good.

The main factor is light pollution and how to minimise it.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 20th November 2016 at 18:43.
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Old Sunday 20th November 2016, 18:09   #18
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Talking to a professional about coatings.
If properly applied the brighter amber relection and the medium reflection will be because of the different index glasses used on the Swift Newport Mk II.
Magnesium fluoride will produce amber thinner coatings as well as slightly thicker blue coatings. I think that is what I was told. With consumer products like binoculars it was probably more cosmetic than anything.
With high index glass a well applied single coating can be almost as good as multicoating, although I didn't get into details.

Kershaw apparently made some really good binoculars and were the main British supplier for cinema projectors.
They closed about 1980 to 1982.

The Swift Audubon 10x50 is well regarded.

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Old Sunday 20th November 2016, 19:42   #19
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For those interested, the attached article should be quite helpful in gaining a basic understanding of AR coatings, and how multi-coatings improve on single-coatings. I'd suggest reading the entire article to the end, because as far as I can tell every question/speculation on this thread is concisely addressed.

Enjoy,
Ed
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Old Sunday 20th November 2016, 20:22   #20
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Hi Ed,
Thanks for that.
A nice read of things that I had forgotten.

It doesn't get into the question of what materials are used in multicoating lenses.
Also how rays at an angle are dealt with.

P.S.
It also does not say how can one can judge with certainty, from visual observation, whether a surface is multicoated or not.
Also does a moisture film or haze affect the appearance or colour seen visually on a single coated or multicoated surface?
How do single coated and multicoated surfaces change in appearance when looked at at increasing angles?

A wikipedia article confirms that a single coating on high index glass can reduce the light loss to less than 1%.

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Old Monday 21st November 2016, 08:08   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Hi Ed,
Thanks for that.
A nice read of things that I had forgotten.

It doesn't get into the question of what materials are used in multicoating lenses.
Also how rays at an angle are dealt with.

P.S.
It also does not say how can one can judge with certainty, from visual observation, whether a surface is multicoated or not.
Also does a moisture film or haze affect the appearance or colour seen visually on a single coated or multicoated surface?
How do single coated and multicoated surfaces change in appearance when looked at at increasing angles?

A wikipedia article confirms that a single coating on high index glass can reduce the light loss to less than 1%.
Hi David,

Unless the article is incorrect in some fundamental way, it addresses most things that I would be curious about. Of course, that's only me, — but it is consistent with what your friend mentioned.

Specific coating materials vary between manufacturers, as well as the optical designs. The details are invariably proprietary, and as the article indicates, not all multi-coatings even have the same number of layers. At the end of the article the author does mention brightness differences between single- and multi- coated lenses, but those aren't diagnostic judgments that could be made with "certainty" IMO.

Certainty, I'm afraid, is reserved for death and taxes.

Ed
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Old Monday 21st November 2016, 12:49   #22
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And nurses.
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