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Old Tuesday 21st May 2019, 19:18   #26
justabirdwatcher
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Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
What binoculars (8x or 10x) has the most EASY and stress free view? Any opinions?
To my eyes, of the 30+ pairs I've owned over the years, these three offer the easiest and most stress-free view:

1) Nikon LX-L

2) Zeiss Conquest HD

3) Sightron Blue Sky II 8x32

I've literally spent hours behind all three of these with zero eye strain, headaches and essentially no adjustment period between looking through the bins and looking without them. My eyes prefer a slightly warmer image as it tends to be the easiest on my eyes.

If I had to pick only one, it would be the Nikon LX-L
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Old Tuesday 21st May 2019, 23:52   #27
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Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
To my eyes, of the 30+ pairs I've owned over the years, these three offer the easiest and most stress-free view:

1) Nikon LX-L

2) Zeiss Conquest HD

3) Sightron Blue Sky II 8x32

I've literally spent hours behind all three of these with zero eye strain, headaches and essentially no adjustment period between looking through the bins and looking without them. My eyes prefer a slightly warmer image as it tends to be the easiest on my eyes.

If I had to pick only one, it would be the Nikon LX-L
If you like a warmer image I am curious why you liked the Zeiss Conquest HD. I would describe that one as a more neutral color bias. The other two are certainly warmer with a definite red bias.

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Old Wednesday 22nd May 2019, 15:13   #28
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In my experience the optically "easiest" view requires that nearly every item on the list of criteria below be present in the same binocular, which is rare. The list is arranged roughly in order of importance.

1) very low axial aberrations and defects in daylight when eyesight is good enough to notice their effects.

2) very large exit pupil for uncritical pupil position, 6-7mm

3) low enough magnification for wide DOF, 8x or less

4) large enough sweet spot for comfortable pupil roaming, about 25º AFOV minimum

5) low veiling glare

6) at least moderately wide true AFOV, about 58º minimum

7) low enough spherical aberration of the exit pupil to avoid kidney-beaning

8) objective spacing narrow enough to avoid large parallax effects at close distances, maximum not much wider than eye spacing

9) distortion managed for moderate pincushion and low angular magnification

The only binocular in my collection that meets all these requirements (some just barely) is the Zeiss 8x56 FL, which I've used as a primary birding binocular for the last 12 years. I imagine there are a few others that are just as good or maybe a little better, like the Swarovski 8x56 SLC, but I've found no smaller binocular that equals it for a totally relaxed, easy and transparent view. Certainly nothing in the 30-32mm class comes even close (I own the 8x30 Swarovski Habicht, Nikon 8x30EII and 8x32 SE and have fully evaluated the Swarovski 8x32 SV). Unfortunately every large exit pupil binocular is not equal. The Zeiss 8x54 HT I tried completely failed the first item in the list.

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Old Wednesday 22nd May 2019, 16:05   #29
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Henry,

Why is 8 necessary? (all other criteria are pretty obvious).
It eliminates all porros I.

Peter

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Old Wednesday 22nd May 2019, 17:16   #30
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Henry,

Why is 8 necessary? (all other criteria are pretty obvious).
It eliminates all porros I.

Peter
The parallax from widely spaced objectives forces the eyes to view centered objects at close range too far off-axis for comfort or good alignment with the optical axes of the binocular telescopes. For me that does eliminate all Porros with widely spaced objectives from being "relaxed" at distances below about 6-7m and unacceptable below about 3-4m.

Henry
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Old Wednesday 22nd May 2019, 20:01   #31
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The parallax from widely spaced objectives forces the eyes to view centered objects at close range too far off-axis for comfort or good alignment with the optical axes of the binocular telescopes. For me that does eliminate all Porros with widely spaced objectives from being "relaxed" at distances below about 6-7m and unacceptable below about 3-4m.

Henry
For objects at such a close range there is no question that porros are far from ideal. But for more distant objects have you found any porros that satisfy the remaining criteria?
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 18:23   #32
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For objects at such a close range there is no question that porros are far from ideal. But for more distant objects have you found any porros that satisfy the remaining criteria?
One of the bugbears of binocular use is that if the fields don’t perfectly overlap, there must be a problem with collimation. But as Aristotle was prone to say ... “BULL!” That’s just one of the many diehard urban legends created by those not at home with stereopsis.

Many times, when looking at an object close-up, those fields (formed at the field stop, not at the objective) will appear to be in separate counties. Yet, if one concentrates on the object, it may appear precisely formed with no double image, indicating there is really no problem with collimation. There has always been a misunderstanding between the words “collimation” and “parallax,” which should not be used interchangeably. Is it affect or effect, bare or bear, born or borne? Physics 10; urban legend 0.

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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 19:35   #33
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Many times, when looking at an object close-up, those fields (formed at the field stop, not at the objective) will appear to be in separate counties. Yet, if one concentrates on the object, it may appear precisely formed with no double image, indicating there is really no problem with collimation.
Bill
Bill is right.

Assuming your binos haven't been knocked out of collimation, when looking at objects very near close one eye and look through one tube of your binos. Your subject looks good! Close the other eye and look at your subject through the other tube. This looks good too!

Look through both sides and the figure of 8 view (laying on its side) with the two circles of view only overlapping a little looks disconcerting. Remind yourself that these are two perfectly acceptable views but now viewed simultaneously, and concentrate on the subject and most of the time you will find that you can enjoy your close look at what your subject is.

Lee
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Old Sunday 26th May 2019, 16:09   #34
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2. Focus by STARING and let the bino’s focus mechanism do its job.
I've heard you say this before, but it must apply more to lower magnifications with plenty of DOF (7x, maybe 8x max) than to 10x+, where I just don't find that it works.

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I have some lovely ocean-front property just northwest of Wichita on which I could make you such a deal!
Wow, you must go back further than I thought (Cretaceous). But have you taken a good look in that direction recently?
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Old Monday 27th May 2019, 01:18   #35
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I have a very nice cathedral for sale in Paris, needs a new roof so fair price.

Edmund
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Old Monday 27th May 2019, 06:37   #36
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I have a very nice cathedral for sale in Paris, needs a new roof so fair price.

Edmund
LOL. Edmund if you throw in that unfinished Eiffel Tower, which is still only steel scaffolding after all these years, then we might be able to come to a deal!

Lee
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 02:50   #37
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I've heard you say this before, but it must apply more to lower magnifications with plenty of DOF (7x, maybe 8x max) than to 10x+, where I just don't find that it works.


Wow, you must go back further than I thought (Cretaceous). But have you taken a good look in that direction recently?
Hi, Tenex:

‘Sorry, but no cigar, this time.

You’ve also heard me say that unfounded opinions—even those that have been around for decades—will never trump the laws of physics or physiological realities. Yet, I rarely say anything of value on a binocular forum without someone coming along right behind me to challenge or circumvent something I’ve tried to teach, either from years of experience or proven scientific notation. Example: Last week, in post #4—relating to the “focus drift” thread—on Cloudy Nights (attached), I had a friend post something from my book, dealing with that very issue. But by post #6, someone who refused to read the blurb, take the time to think it through, or simply knew better, chose to evade the realities of the matter and posit that all the binos he’s used must continually be refocused. He concluded, “It’s the eyes.”

The eye has the capacity, depending on age and other factors, to accommodate dioptric and spatial disparities. Thus, STARING, and letting the focus mechanism do its job is incredibly important, whether the observer wants to believe it or not. The blurb attached thoroughly explains the problem and solution. In the vast majority of cases, the problem lies not with the eyes but with the brain and its too rapid instructions to the ciliary muscles.

The bottom line? The observer can either learn to stare and enjoy a good image—refocusing only for a new distance—or he can spend the rest of his life fiddling constantly with the focus and enjoy a less than pleasant image all the while.

More often than not, our understanding rests with the magnitude of our humble willingness to understand.

Finally, okay, okay, so it’s a little dry there, now. A few thousand hard rains and the area could be oceanfront, again. Look at the Mississippi flood plain of 1929.

Bill
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 13:08   #38
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Hi, Tenex:

‘Sorry, but no cigar, this time.

You’ve also heard me say that unfounded opinions—even those that have been around for decades—will never trump the laws of physics or physiological realities. Yet, I rarely say anything of value on a binocular forum without someone coming along right behind me to challenge or circumvent something I’ve tried to teach, either from years of experience or proven scientific notation. Example: Last week, in post #4—relating to the “focus drift” thread—on Cloudy Nights (attached), I had a friend post something from my book, dealing with that very issue. But by post #6, someone who refused to read the blurb, take the time to think it through, or simply knew better, chose to evade the realities of the matter and posit that all the binos he’s used must continually be refocused. He concluded, “It’s the eyes.”

The eye has the capacity, depending on age and other factors, to accommodate dioptric and spatial disparities. Thus, STARING, and letting the focus mechanism do its job is incredibly important, whether the observer wants to believe it or not. The blurb attached thoroughly explains the problem and solution. In the vast majority of cases, the problem lies not with the eyes but with the brain and its too rapid instructions to the ciliary muscles.

The bottom line? The observer can either learn to stare and enjoy a good image—refocusing only for a new distance—or he can spend the rest of his life fiddling constantly with the focus and enjoy a less than pleasant image all the while.

More often than not, our understanding rests with the magnitude of our humble willingness to understand.

Finally, okay, okay, so it’s a little dry there, now. A few thousand hard rains and the area could be oceanfront, again. Look at the Mississippi flood plain of 1929.

Bill
Bill,


I think subjective focus and sharpness are a function of the optics transfer functions, contrast at various scales, false color, glare, sharpness across the field and a bunch of other factors, and also of the ability of each binocular to maintain sharpness when focused closer than infinity, which is not an obvious property.

An interesting side effect of buying binoculars, for me, has been a huge improvement in my ability to discriminate detail at a distance. My eyes got trained within a few weeks, to the point where now I see little reason to use the binoculars most of the time!

I know that as an engineer I shouldn't say such things, but usually with these high-end psychophysiological instruments - binoculars, camera optics, loudspeakers, headphones pianos, computer screens and TVs- the user feeling becomes as important to the customer-base as the tech performance and is hard to quantify.

By accident, I tested a bunch of alphas on some crows at about 500m, and had no problem focusing with any of them, static or in flight, Zeiss, Swaro or Leica.

It's quite possible that some people get something out of fiddling with the focus knob, and also that field curvature on some binoculars has something to do with it. I know that birds are always no-problem sharp on my Ultravid HD, and so is infinity, but roof lines never "snap" and drive me crazy when I try to "feel" the texture of stones and chimneys. I would be delighted on a comment about this, it's my main "official" use of my binoculars and what they do least well in fact. I can see very car and pedestrian a mile away, but the statues on cathedrals and inscriptions on monuments simply don't "pop".

Edmund

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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 13:23   #39
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The easy view for me is 7x

You put 7x binoculars on a monopod and “stillness in view” is shockingly almost tripod like
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 14:34   #40
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Bill,


roof lines never "snap" and drive me crazy when I try to "feel" the texture of stones and chimneys. I would be delighted on a comment about this, it's my main "official" use of my binoculars and what they do least well in fact. I can see very car and pedestrian a mile away, but the statues on cathedrals and inscriptions on monuments simply don't "pop".

Edmund
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It seems likely to me that these subjects don't snap or pop into focus because they lack contrast. When a subject has highly contrasting parts, especially the 'edges' between different features, even small ones, and they come into focus together, the impression of immediate sharpness can be very powerful. Without these contrasting parts your eyes and brain are struggling to find those 'edges' that give form and shape to the subject and it hard to be sure when the best focus has been achieved.

Thinking about roof lines, I would expect the line between dark roof and pale sky to come into focus easily enough but if the roof itself lacks features that have contrasting parts, then you might be unconvinced that the image is in focus.

Even complex buildings like the Sacre Coeur Basilica is more or less all the same colour, but I remember there are buildings mainly of brownish stone that nevertheless have balconies with black-painted railings and black roofs and these details ought to help these buildings to easily come into focus.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2019, 16:45   #41
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Bill,


I think subjective focus and sharpness are a function of the optics transfer functions, contrast at various scales, false color, glare, sharpness across the field and a bunch of other factors, and also of the ability of each binocular to maintain sharpness when focused closer than infinity, which is not an obvious property.

An interesting side effect of buying binoculars, for me, has been a huge improvement in my ability to discriminate detail at a distance. My eyes got trained within a few weeks, to the point where now I see little reason to use the binoculars most of the time!

I know that as an engineer I shouldn't say such things, but usually with these high-end psychophysiological instruments - binoculars, camera optics, loudspeakers, headphones pianos, computer screens and TVs- the user feeling becomes as important to the customer-base as the tech performance and is hard to quantify.

By accident, I tested a bunch of alphas on some crows at about 500m, and had no problem focusing with any of them, static or in flight, Zeiss, Swaro or Leica.

It's quite possible that some people get something out of fiddling with the focus knob, and also that field curvature on some binoculars has something to do with it. I know that birds are always no-problem sharp on my Ultravid HD, and so is infinity, but roof lines never "snap" and drive me crazy when I try to "feel" the texture of stones and chimneys. I would be delighted on a comment about this, it's my main "official" use of my binoculars and what they do least well in fact. I can see very car and pedestrian a mile away, but the statues on cathedrals and inscriptions on monuments simply don't "pop".

Edmund

190528

Hi, Edmund:

You said, “It's quite possible that some people get something out of fiddling with the focus knob ...”

That comment was RIGHT ON!

I knew a fellow who, each time he would speak in church, would incessantly shift the microphone like a racecar driver. Once in a 12-minute talk, he moved it more than 60 times. Did his height change? It did not. Did the podium change its height? It did not. Did any of those 60+ settings alter the content of what he had to say or the volume thereof ... substantially, anyway? It did not. Obviously, the useless exercise provided some unknown something for him.

As far as “snapping” into focus, Lee has the basics of an answer for you. To push it a little farther, let’s look at those statues. From top to bottom they are made of bright and dim promontories, recesses, and flat areas, separated, sometimes by only inches. Your brain is doing the best it can to quantify things for you, but you are just being too hard on it. Looking through an “ALPHA” is not going to change the physiological realities of you not being Superman.

This is the kind of topic that can be talked about and speculated to death. My original comment concerning “staring” I KNOW to be true. I have proven it through conversations with many customers, using binoculars ranging from ALPHAS to OMEGAS. I didn’t set out to conduct scientific testing. However, over time, the database builds. I wanted so badly to become an optical engineer. But I didn’t have the mathematical sense to become one. Thus, I have had to satisfy myself with having devised some of the routines in some of the best optimization programs and knowing that when seasoned engineers flounder with the nuts and bolts of the technology, they often call on me. That most certainly is not to say that my seat-of-the-pants engineering (Zemax-EE) is on par with even the dumbest engineer out there. But when you have dealt with certain facets of the technology every day for years, you can’t escape learning something.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 19:40   #42
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Sorry, but no cigar, this time...
[snip, snip]
Last week, in post #4—relating to the “focus drift” thread—on Cloudy Nights (attached), I had a friend post something from my book, dealing with that very issue...
[snip, snip]
That's OK, I don't smoke.

Now I see that the problem was that you don't explain what you mean by "Focus by STARING and let the bino’s focus mechanism do its job". Once the context is provided (in that attachment) it becomes clear that you're talking about some strange problem with focusing itself that I've never had (and how many have?), which is why I missed your point and imagined that you were suggesting something else (that refocusing wasn't always necessary). Trying to preemptively correct misunderstandings that people aren't suffering from is unnecessary and can even create misunderstanding. Perhaps a simpler approach without negative preconceptions would cause less trouble, unless you actually enjoy feeling misunderstood.

Nice to have connected better on the Inland Sea, though.
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 23:26   #43
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I've experienced focus drift before, though fortunately only on only two binoculars. Some binoculars with an external focusing mechanism (like most porros have - although not all porros are susceptible to focus drift) can have the focuser move slightly if the binocular is pressed too hard against one's face. The flimsier and less precisely built the bridge assembly is, the more likely it is to happen. A well-made binocular can sometimes be put right by a competent technician (as I've seen with a 7x42 Dialyt that had a minor case of focus drift); but if the binocular in question is less well designed or built, as the PRC-made 15x70 in the Cloudynights thread may be, the issue may be much harder to remedy.

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...let's say you have an accommodation range of 4 diopters and stop focusing the instant you have an adequate image. As time goes on, observing may become problematic because your natural (relaxed at that distance) focus setting should be -1.5 diopters. That means being in a hurry has placed your focus at an accommodatable, but strained, setting.
With regard to the passage above... if you find yourself in the situation described, you can STARE all you wish, and try to make the image you're seeing improve itself by force of will, or you can move - fiddle with, if you want to call it that - the focus wheel and tweak it to perfect sharpness. With today's fast focusers only a very tiny adjustment may be required - I actually prefer a slower focuser for what I do because it gives more leeway.

Ease of view - as others have mentioned, larger exit pupil helps, and for me, the so-called field flatteners also help, making for easier eye placement and reducing fatigue when observing for long periods. I think a large field of view can help, but some of my porros with large fields of view are also on the fiddly side. Viewing conditions can make a huge difference too - most binoculars are easy to use on a nice sunny day. As far as specific models I've tried are concerned, the 10x50 WX had the most fantastically fatigue-free, effortless view I've ever seen, but requires your elbows to be well braced, or ideally mounted on a tripod. The lower magnification of an 8x makes for an easier view in itself (hence the praise on this thread for 7x42). I don't, alas, have extensive experience of as many quality 8x class binoculars as I'd like to, but I have a goodly number of hours behind a 8.5x42 Swarovski field pro and that most certainly offers an effortless, as well as superbly sharp and detailed view. I have also briefly tried the 8x56 SLC which was large and bulky but outstandingly good in all respects including ease of view.
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Old Thursday 30th May 2019, 00:40   #44
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That's OK, I don't smoke.

Now I see that the problem was that you don't explain what you mean by "Focus by STARING and let the bino’s focus mechanism do its job". Once the context is provided (in that attachment) it becomes clear that you're talking about some strange problem with focusing itself that I've never had (and how many have?), which is why I missed your point and imagined that you were suggesting something else (that refocusing wasn't always necessary). Trying to preemptively correct misunderstandings that people aren't suffering from is unnecessary and can even create misunderstanding. Perhaps a simpler approach without negative preconceptions would cause less trouble, unless you actually enjoy feeling misunderstood.

Nice to have connected better on the Inland Sea, though.
Hi, Tenex

It was a figure of speech; I have never smoked, either. I don’t even like the word “cigarette.”

I’m glad you don’t have problems with “focus drift.” But I can assure you that far more than you realize ... DO! And that’s why the comment was appropriate. So many suffer unnecessarily with the problem because they have convinced themselves, (like the non-reading CN member) “it’s the eyes,” when, in fact, it IS NOT! But although you can’t save some people from themselves, I do try. Having cared about the science and working everyday with repair and retail customers gives one a perspective not shared with the average bino user.

Bill
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Old Thursday 30th May 2019, 01:35   #45
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I've experienced focus drift before, though fortunately only on only two binoculars. Some binoculars with an external focusing mechanism (like most porros have - although not all porros are susceptible to focus drift) can have the focuser move slightly if the binocular is pressed too hard against one's face. The flimsier and less precisely built the bridge assembly is, the more likely it is to happen. A well-made binocular can sometimes be put right by a competent technician (as I've seen with a 7x42 Dialyt that had a minor case of focus drift); but if the binocular in question is less well designed or built, as the PRC-made 15x70 in the Cloudynights thread may be, the issue may be much harder to remedy.



With regard to the passage above... if you find yourself in the situation described, you can STARE all you wish, and try to make the image you're seeing improve itself by force of will, or you can move - fiddle with, if you want to call it that - the focus wheel and tweak it to perfect sharpness. With today's fast focusers only a very tiny adjustment may be required - I actually prefer a slower focuser for what I do because it gives more leeway.

Ease of view - as others have mentioned, larger exit pupil helps, and for me, the so-called field flatteners also help, making for easier eye placement and reducing fatigue when observing for long periods. I think a large field of view can help, but some of my porros with large fields of view are also on the fiddly side. Viewing conditions can make a huge difference too - most binoculars are easy to use on a nice sunny day. As far as specific models I've tried are concerned, the 10x50 WX had the most fantastically fatigue-free, effortless view I've ever seen, but requires your elbows to be well braced, or ideally mounted on a tripod. The lower magnification of an 8x makes for an easier view in itself (hence the praise on this thread for 7x42). I don't, alas, have extensive experience of as many quality 8x class binoculars as I'd like to, but I have a goodly number of hours behind a 8.5x42 Swarovski field pro and that most certainly offers an effortless, as well as superbly sharp and detailed view. I have also briefly tried the 8x56 SLC which was large and bulky but outstandingly good in all respects including ease of view.
Hi, Patudo:

You, too, missed the point. You are speaking of a mechanical “Focus Drift,” not the more common physiological “focus drift.” I have covered the mechanical version at length. One of the attached is a snippet from my first bino book and the second is a graphic from one of my monographs.

Tenex has pointed out that I may not have explained adequately in my forum post. I can accept that. But please understand, that sometimes pages could be offered on a simple topic and there would be those who still didn’t get it. And if I offered enough information for people of all persuasions and levels of understanding to “get it,” you may rest assured I would be viewed as verbose, arrogant, condescending, and worse. ‘Been there; done that; have the tee shirt. Sometimes, a guy can't win for losing.

Wasn’t it Aristotle who said, “Confidence is often seen as arrogance when viewed from below.”

In the particular instance above, I am not speaking of Aristotle P. Snodgrass from Bugtussle, Kentucky but that real old Greek feller.

Bill
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Old Sunday 2nd June 2019, 21:36   #46
eronald
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Hi, Tenex

It was a figure of speech; I have never smoked, either. I don’t even like the word “cigarette.”

I’m glad you don’t have problems with “focus drift.” But I can assure you that far more than you realize ... DO! And that’s why the comment was appropriate. So many suffer unnecessarily with the problem because they have convinced themselves, (like the non-reading CN member) “it’s the eyes,” when, in fact, it IS NOT! But although you can’t save some people from themselves, I do try. Having cared about the science and working everyday with repair and retail customers gives one a perspective not shared with the average bino user.

Bill
I think that Bill is both right and not right. I was watching gulls this weekend whenever I saw them, on vacation. Most of the time, I could pick up the binos frpm the table, no focus necessary, keep the finger away from that knob, enjoy the view. But for scenery near infinity tiny adjustments really help, and the same goes for the gull perched 20 yards away.

Edmund
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 05:23   #47
WJC
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I think that Bill is both right and not right. I was watching gulls this weekend whenever I saw them, on vacation. Most of the time, I could pick up the binos frpm the table, no focus necessary, keep the finger away from that knob, enjoy the view. But for scenery near infinity tiny adjustments really help, and the same goes for the gull perched 20 yards away.

Edmund
That means your spatial accommodation focussed your eye lens for you. That is how Steiner made a bazillion dollars ... convincing people who were easily convinced that what was impossible was commonplace in THEIR binoculars. The verbal explanation in post 45 explains it all.

Bill
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 18:15   #48
CharleyBird
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Easy view, preferred format, most used...some interesting threads here lately.
The easiest view may be my preferred format, but it is not my most used, because of ergonomic tolerance.


Eventually failing strength and worsening arthritis will mean I'll be squinting and using an 8x30 porro
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Old Tuesday 4th June 2019, 01:32   #49
eronald
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That means your spatial accommodation focussed your eye lens for you. That is how Steiner made a bazillion dollars ... convincing people who were easily convinced that what was impossible was commonplace in THEIR binoculars. The verbal explanation in post 45 explains it all.

Bill
Yes, yes, you are undoubtedly right. But the $$$$ question is how much an optical design can compress the depth of field to where eye accomodation can then allow one to view stuff sharply.

It's not obvious that the depth of field is the same for all binos.

Edmund
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Old Tuesday 4th June 2019, 04:06   #50
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Yes, yes, you are undoubtedly right. But the $$$$ question is how much an optical design can compress the depth of field to where eye accomodation can then allow one to view stuff sharply.

It's not obvious that the depth of field is the same for all binos.

Edmund


I think it is the same for all 6x's; all 7x's; all 8x's, all 10x's and on up the line.

Bob
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