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Big Binoculars for Birding - a Pipe Dream?

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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 13:12   #26
Hauksen
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Hi Joachim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
EDIT: I have ordered one... couldn't resist - usually TS doesn't sell junk.
Looking forward to hear your opinion on the piece! :-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 13:31   #27
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Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
When I considered large bins some time ago, I found the reason not to bother is their unsuitably long close focus. Measured in tens of metres.
A deal killer for me.
Hi,

that is correct - the TS one has 30m or so. If that bothers me, I'll build a parallelogram mount and use it for stargazing in a deck chair...

Quite frankly for birding I like a 45 deg spotting scope because it is 45 deg and has only one eyepiece and thus can be used by a group when something nice is visible.

If you have a pair of straight through big bins you need to adjust the height and the interpupilary distance and that means the bird will not be in the field of view any more for multiple reasons...

Joachim
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 13:32   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
Looking forward to hear your opinion on the piece! :-)
I'll certainly let you know!

Joachim
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 14:27   #29
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Many years ago I was at Park cameras Burgess Hill? and they had 3 Japanese centre focus 30x80 binoculars.
They had a long viewing distance outside the shop and I bought the best of the three after careful testing.
But I could never really use it as the eye relief was almost nil. I could just see the whole approx. 2 degrees field if I pushed the eyecups against my face.
In addition hand holding was almost impossible unless very firmly braced.
It was only about £50.

Also very long minimum focus.

However, the Japanese Celestron 20x80 and Soviet 20x60 were used for years.
I also have a good Japanese 20x70.

My Celestron 25x70 has very poor optics although some report that they are O.K.
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 14:28   #30
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Hi John,



Thinking about it, I wonder if there's a way to circumvent the problem of a non-synchronous drive train by making the drivetrains independent, electronically actuated, and position-sensing. Then, it would only be required to calibrate the position-sensing mechanism - ideally only once after final assembly, but it might be possible to provide a self-calibrating mechanism as well.

That's certainly a non-traditional solution that deviates from the batteries-not-required, milled-from-a-solid block approach that makes high-quality optics so appealing to everyone, and it probably would drive the price up as well since the development cost would have to be paid for by what I'd expect to be fairly few sold examples.

Regards,

Henning
Would it not be simpler to put a binoviewer on a single objective?
At the distances where high power binoculars excel, there is no parallax to speak of anyway and the mechanical issues would be avoided.
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 14:43   #31
Hauksen
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Hi Etudiant,

Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Would it not be simpler to put a binoviewer on a single objective?
At the distances where high power binoculars excel, there is no parallax to speak of anyway and the mechanical issues would be avoided.
The disadvantage of bincoular eyepieces on a single objective is that each eye only gets half the light, so the image is not as bright.

It might well be that this can be compensated for by using a larger single objective while staying in the same weight/bulk class as the bincoulars, but eliminate the technological complexity just as you suggest.

On the other hand, having played around with stereoscopic photography and image viewing a bit, my non-scientific impression is that the eye can actually get a stereoscopic view at longer ranges that usually claimed ...

Regards,

Henning
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 14:46   #32
jring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Would it not be simpler to put a binoviewer on a single objective?
At the distances where high power binoculars excel, there is no parallax to speak of anyway and the mechanical issues would be avoided.
Hi,

that is a valid statement, but having two objectives means you have more area and thus more light (which of course could be reached with one larger objective too) and more crucially, you have two different optical paths, which helps to counteract seeing effects.

Plus of course, getting a high quality binoviewer is also not cheap...

Joachim
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 14:50   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Would it not be simpler to put a binoviewer on a single objective?
At the distances where high power binoculars excel, there is no parallax to speak of anyway and the mechanical issues would be avoided.
I spent some time with the Swarovski BTX and just couldnt get the IPD system to work for me unlike standard binoculars which was a real shame unlike a pair of Kowa Highlander which was outstanding.
Both "alpha" optics but what a difference to me, the user.
P
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 15:21   #34
jring
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On the other hand, having played around with stereoscopic photography and image viewing a bit, my non-scientific impression is that the eye can actually get a stereoscopic view at longer ranges that usually claimed ...
Hi,

I would agree if you call it threedimensional instead of stereoscopic.

Stereopsis really needs two sensors/eyes which are some non-trivial distance as compared to the object distance apart and the larger that distance is, the stronger the 3d effect due to stereopsis is - and thus you can see threedimensionally due to stereopsis at farther distance than normal. See Scherenfernrohr or scissors telescope which does just that.

But there are also ways to see threedimensionally with only one sensor/eye and those are obviously will work up to infinity.

There are astro eyepieces which use some funny distortion tricks to generate a 3d effect at infinity - but that is quite artificial - the perceived depth information depends on where in the field of view a star is situated.

Joachim
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 16:33   #35
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Hi Joachim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
I would agree if you call it threedimensional instead of stereoscopic.
Hm, I now see that my previous post was arranged rather poorly ...

What I meant to say is that I don't necessarily agree that at normal birding distances, there's no stereoscopically useful difference between the pictures from a two-objective binocular telescope.

I didn't mean to address the various secondary ways the human brain uses to derive both true and illusionary depth information, though that would quite an interesting topic in itself! :-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 17:36   #36
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In the spotting scope section, there is a discussion of most useful magnification. Many people responded between 20-30x. Which is consistent with other threads similar to that one.

It got me thinking if that’s the case I might as well use a high power binocular for more comfortable two eyed views without the fatigue you get from spotting scopes. Plus you typically get a wider field of view

With binoculars like the Nikon monarch 5 20x56. They are small and lightweight (realitively speaking). It almost seems like a no brainer. Yeah it requires a tripod, but So does a spotting scope
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 19:00   #37
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Putting aside the weight of 25x75 or 30x75 binoculars as you describe in your first post, and the tripod they'd require, and at the distances these would be best suited for, individual focus isn't so bad. With use one gets pretty fast at focusing IF bins. After all it's not like you'll be tracking warblers from 30' flittering in the reeds.

Here's a method I use that works great for me though at least one other here on BF found it unacceptable:
Focus one EP to a middle distance somewhere and the other EP closer to infinity. You might be surprised at the depth of field and your ability to spot lots of things. Once found, simply fine tune focus and your subject is likely to stay within the depth of field. This takes but a couple of seconds longer than a center focus bin. Also many IF bins have index numbers on the EPs that, once familiar with allows one to focus one EP then simply turn the other EP to the corresponding index number. This can help novices with IF bins.

To sum up, I don't think that IF is the limiting feature of such big bins. Size and weight are significantly more of a hindrance.
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 19:31   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Audrain View Post
Where's this forum that has Holger Merlitz freely opining on optics? I want in!
As you probably know, Holger has his own website with many articles in English.
This https://www.juelich-bonn.com/ is the site with a German forum, where he frequently posts.

John
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 21:14   #39
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Thanks! I wish he'd post about eight times as often, so I'll (try to) follow some of what gets said on that forum with real interest.
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Old Friday 30th November 2018, 21:52   #40
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Big binoculars are not a pipe dream, not sure why that was presented that way. There are many
choices in the realm of quality binoculars in the larger sizes of 15X and higher.

First off I will mention my experience, the cheap astro 15x70 binoculars are just that, cheap,
and often are out of collimation. The Celestron 15x70 Skymaster, should come with instructions
on how to tweak the prism adjusting screws. Those instructions, may be included with purchase.....

Good ones that I have or have had are the Nikon 15x56 and 20x56 Monarch 5 models, they both
deliver a nice view, and tripod mounted of course, for the best use.
The Swarovski 15x56 SLC Neu, Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56, and the Docter Nobilem 15x60 are also great choices.
Your budget will help you in deciding which one is for you. There are many reviews out there, so
no need to explain that here.

Comparing with a spotting scope is natural, and looking with 2 eyes rather than one is a great
advantage for comfort, and ease of view.

Holger Merlitz does post on here, every once in a while. PM him, if you wish and encourage him to post more.
He has his own site, that I look at regularly, he keeps it up, with new reviews, and he has a book that
he wrote a short time ago. When it is printed in English, I will buy one.

Jerry

Last edited by NDhunter : Friday 30th November 2018 at 22:09. Reason: Add on.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2018, 19:55   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
Big binoculars are not a pipe dream, not sure why that was presented that way. There are many
choices in the realm of quality binoculars in the larger sizes of 15X and higher.

First off I will mention my experience, the cheap astro 15x70 binoculars are just that, cheap,
and often are out of collimation. The Celestron 15x70 Skymaster, should come with instructions
on how to tweak the prism adjusting screws. Those instructions, may be included with purchase.....

Good ones that I have or have had are the Nikon 15x56 and 20x56 Monarch 5 models, they both
deliver a nice view, and tripod mounted of course, for the best use.
The Swarovski 15x56 SLC Neu, Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56, and the Docter Nobilem 15x60 are also great choices.
Your budget will help you in deciding which one is for you. There are many reviews out there, so
no need to explain that here.

Comparing with a spotting scope is natural, and looking with 2 eyes rather than one is a great
advantage for comfort, and ease of view.

Holger Merlitz does post on here, every once in a while. PM him, if you wish and encourage him to post more.
He has his own site, that I look at regularly, he keeps it up, with new reviews, and he has a book that
he wrote a short time ago. When it is printed in English, I will buy one.

Jerry
What’s your opinion of the 15x vs 20x monarch 5
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Old Monday 3rd December 2018, 23:39   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd61999 View Post
What’s your opinion of the 15x vs 20x monarch 5
It looks as though your question is directed to Jerry, but if you're interested, here's a short review I did on the 16 x56 Monarch 5s. BTW 15x56 must be a typo.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=358012
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2018, 02:39   #43
Dd61999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Conville View Post
It looks as though your question is directed to Jerry, but if you're interested, here's a short review I did on the 16 x56 Monarch 5s. BTW 15x56 must be a typo.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=358012
Good stuff! Thanks for sharing

But I’m still need help in deciding getting a 15/16x binoculars or 20x
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 19:11   #44
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The other point is that using an Astro scope and eyepieces allows for wider apparent fields making the view more immersive and easier to see where you’re pointing it. Rangemaster and 8x30E2 have spoilt me with binocular views as well. Large apparent field (>70degree) bins with higher power are unobtanium and with bins the field edges tend to be less good than with Astro eyepieces.

My workhorse spotter is a 66mm ED refractor with a 13mm ultrawide eyepiece, nicely convenient on a reasonable tripod. Adding a second eye would seem to mean a decent 20x80 or moving upto one of the new oberwerk/APM 45degree (more convenient) 80mm binoscopes (heavy but “better”). I mostly observe medium distance from hides for prolonged periods, using the smaller bins for closer stuff and when walking about..

PEterW
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Old Friday 21st December 2018, 20:02   #45
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Originally Posted by wllmspd View Post
Large apparent field (>70degree) bins with higher power are unobtanium and with bins the field edges tend to be less good than with Astro eyepiece.
A possible exception is the Docter 40x80 Aspectem with 84° AFOV and 18 mm eye relief. Most ultra wide astro eyepieces, however, are probably too large in diameter to allow practical IPDs in binoculars.

John
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Old Saturday 22nd December 2018, 10:59   #46
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Doctors...£€$¥!! Also not 45degree, which only matters if you even want to look upwards. My type6 nagler is compact and is reckoned to binoview well and the Baader Morpheus advertise themselves as ideal for bino use. Why tolerate looking down a straw?!

PEter
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