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Straight or angled scope

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Old Sunday 14th April 2019, 15:05   #126
Hauksen
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Hi John,

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Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
The "sights" that I have tried were made for the scopes concerned and were slightly below the height of the eyepiece. I agree with your comment about azimuth, though I have not yet needed this so far, so hadn't thought of it.
I'm aware of the Swarovski "toothpick" sight - if that's what you're thinking of, I agree it's not worth the trouble. Sights of the same kind seem to been used by Kowa or possibly Nikon for a brief time, but it appears Swarovski had a patent on the arrangement and intervened.

The sighting notches on dew caps and other rudimentary sighting marks on the body of the scope, regardless wether they're on straight on on angled variants, don't have much actual functionality either, if you ask me.

The azimuth extension is not something you'd use everday, and I certainly wouldn't base my decision on straight vs. angled on that. If it were more important, it probably would have mentioned earlier in this thread :-)

I believe in another thread, a forum member said the azimuth extension was good for observing from cars because you can cover a greater field of view, but personally I think I'd prefer a straight scope in that situation anyway, as it's more convenient in the middle of the field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
If angled suits you better then that's fine I am just baffled as to why birders like them - I don't.
I'd say the main reason is that with a straight scope, you have to adust the height very accurately to the eye height for convenient viewing, while you have considerable freedom with an angled scope, which also makes the sharing of a scope easier.

When my girlfriend and I tried to share her straight scope, we were re-setting the tripod so often it was not funny any more. With an angled scope, I just have to make sure I don't set the initial height too high, and then I can always bend down to use it at an eye height that works for her, too. I wouldn't want to use that height for prolonged observing, but when you're sharing, you're not hogging the eyepiece anyway :-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Sunday 14th April 2019, 16:26   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
I have edited my previous post as it was very badly worded - I hope it makes more sense now.

The "sights" that I have tried were made for the scopes concerned and were slightly below the height of the eyepiece. I agree with your comment about azimuth, though I have not yet needed this so far, so hadn't thought of it.

I do have both types but my angled scope is very rarely used due to having to aim the scope at about 45 degrees from where my head is pointing and the faffing about that that involves.

Your experiences (and it seems many others) differ from mine, but I can get used scopes cheaper, aim them quicker and get more comfortable viewing so I am happy. If angled suits you better then that's fine I am just baffled as to why birders like them - I don't.
Agreed, and in addition straight scope often:

-many times offer better optics because angled scopes require extra prisms and coatings that can have an effect on letting slightly less light reaching the eyepiece

- slightly better in foul weather without rain, snow, etc. landing on eyepiece

- better body posture for some of those with bad back pain

- easier to look downward if you are on top of canyon, cliff, or bay
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 07:30   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd61999 View Post
Agreed, and in addition straight scope often:

-many times offer better optics because angled scopes require extra prisms and coatings that can have an effect on letting slightly less light reaching the eyepiece

- slightly better in foul weather without rain, snow, etc. landing on eyepiece

- better body posture for some of those with bad back pain

- easier to look downward if you are on top of canyon, cliff, or bay
I totally agree about body posture.
I don't like bending down, especially if there's someone behind me More seriously, I don't personnaly find it confortable.

I bought a straight scope to go to the Mountains, for the reason mentionned by 61999 above, that it is easier to look down, from a high point.

Another benefit of a straight scope, is like almost everyone buy an angled scope, the straight ones are difficult to be sold, so you can find them with a generous rebate from retailers.

Like someone else said earlier, a negative side of straight scopes, is when your partner is with you, and that you're sharing the scope and that you have to adjust the height of the central column of your tripod.
We did find a solution to that, my girlfriend is now taking a foldable plastic thingie made for gardening with her to climb on, whenever she wants to look through the scope.

And I agree, there's an optical difference between the straight scope and the angled (seen on Kowa's scopes).

Another good thing, but this is more about my use while hiking, is sometimes, I want to look at what something is, and without having to set up the tripod and all (in the case my 15x binos don't help).

I bought a cheap plastic handle made for video with DSLR.
I just get my scope, lock the handle and I can have a quick look at something, without having to spend 5minutes setting up my tripod.
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 08:35   #129
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Hi Rob,

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Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
I totally agree about body posture.
I don't like bending down, especially if there's someone behind me More seriously, I don't personnaly find it confortable.
You don't actually need to bend down if you're using an angled scope. A slight forward tilt of the head is all it takes.

It is possible to compensate for a lower eyepiece height quite easily by bending down, and there's a fairly wide height range in which this can be comfortably done. In even wider range, you can get a good view for a shorter period, like when you're sharing with someone markedly shorter than you.

However, there's nothing to keep you from setting up an angled scope for viewing in an upright stance, which I'd consider the standard approach anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
Another benefit of a straight scope, is like almost everyone buy an angled scope, the straight ones are difficult to be sold, so you can find them with a generous rebate from retailers.
That's a bonus if you are sure a straight scope is your thing, but for everyone else, it's also a warning: This price differential shows that there are more people switching from straight scopes to angled ones than vice versa, and the re-sale value of a straight scope, should you discover it's not your thing, is going to be lower than that of an angled one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobMorane View Post
We did find a solution to that, my girlfriend is now taking a foldable plastic thingie made for gardening with her to climb on, whenever she wants to look through the scope.
That's creative out-of-the-box thinking! :-) It wouldn't work so well in my typical application of birding from the sloped flank of a sea dyke, but if the ground is level and firm, it sounds like this could be a very useful gadget.

It will actually work with an angled scope as well, and there are some hides which my girlfriend doesn't enjoy because the view ports are too high for her liking ... I probably should get her such a step too!

Regards,

Henning
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 21:51   #130
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Well spotted Henning! Yes the "Sights" I tried were Swaros.

The bottom line is that we are all different and what suits one will not necessarily suit another. Personally I find angled scopes to be a bad choice for birding but only the individual can decide.

Having said that I am still baffled by birders using angled scopes as are some of them when they try my gear.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 08:40   #131
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Showing my age now but having had Swift Telemaster, Bausch and Lomb Discoverer and Optolyth 30x75, all straights used on a rifle stock or tripod, it was a relief to get an old angled Diascope and use it on a shorter, less wind-shake prone tripod. My main place of use of scopes is in the west of Scotland and there is always wind (which keeps away the dreaded midges) so this is a major factor in my choice of angled.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 12:49   #132
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Hi John,

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
The bottom line is that we are all different and what suits one will not necessarily suit another. Personally I find angled scopes to be a bad choice for birding but only the individual can decide.
In my opinion, it would be more accurate to say that while angled scopes are the preferred choice of the majority of birders, they are not automatically guaranteed to be best choice for everyone, or for every situation :-)

Maybe for the beginner, it's actually a good idea to start off with a cheap scope of the general size and format one believes that might suit one, and commit the serious amount of money a quality scope costs only after trying the cheap one out in practice.

Usually, with a bit of actual in-the-field experience, one has a much clearer idea of what best suits one personally.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 20:58   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauksen View Post
Hi John,



In my opinion, it would be more accurate to say that while angled scopes are the preferred choice of the majority of birders, they are not automatically guaranteed to be best choice for everyone, or for every situation :-)

Maybe for the beginner, it's actually a good idea to start off with a cheap scope of the general size and format one believes that might suit one, and commit the serious amount of money a quality scope costs only after trying the cheap one out in practice.

Usually, with a bit of actual in-the-field experience, one has a much clearer idea of what best suits one personally.

Regards,

Henning
Wise words there, well said.

My first scope was a small angled Opticron (which I still have) and it performs very well especially for the price. Yes it was a bit inconvenient for some things (birding) but I was very pleased. A couple of years later I was offered a Kowa TSN-4 for an idiotically low price, 100 brand new! What a difference! I am not talking about image quality, that would not be fair. This "Straight" scope is just so much easier to use and much more comfortable for my neck too - hence my preference for this format.

Naturally straight scopes need tripods with a little more height, I already had them for my photography, so not an issue for me - but something to be considered.
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Old Yesterday, 15:35   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd61999 View Post
Agreed, and in addition straight scope often:

-many times offer better optics because angled scopes require extra prisms and coatings that can have an effect on letting slightly less light reaching the eyepiece

- slightly better in foul weather without rain, snow, etc. landing on eyepiece

- better body posture for some of those with bad back pain

- easier to look downward if you are on top of canyon, cliff, or bay
From all I know, the first point is wrong and prisms in angled scopes are actually simpler (thus less glass) than in straight scopes. Perhaps someone with good optics knowledge can comment, but I guess those people avoid this thread since long time

2. is correct.

3rd is not correct, as already commented by others.

4th is correct. But for looking up (Sky, Canopy, Mountains) it's the other way round, and for many (e.g. me) this is by far the commoner scenario.
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Old Yesterday, 17:14   #135
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From all I know, the first point is wrong and prisms in angled scopes are actually simpler (thus less glass) than in straight scopes. Perhaps someone with good optics knowledge can comment, but I guess those people avoid this thread since long time

2. is correct.

3rd is not correct, as already commented by others.

4th is correct. But for looking up (Sky, Canopy, Mountains) it's the other way round, and for many (e.g. me) this is by far the commoner scenario.
1. https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=45476

2. Agreed

3. Angle often requires use of muscle. The longer you use your muscles, the more you strain and you experience shakes in your image

4.depends on user. Many hunters know you can find much more wildlife from the highest vantage point rather then the lowest vantage point. It’s a common guideline for glassing.

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Old Yesterday, 18:07   #136
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Not many angled scopes still use the combination of Porro followed by semi-pentaprism mentioned in the 2005 thread link above. That design is now mostly confined to inexpensive scopes. Nearly all current high end angled scopes use Schmidt roof prisms, while some straight scopes have unfortunately adopted Schmidt-Pechan prisms, the least optically desirable choice. Nikon continues to use what I think is the best prism for an angled scope in its Monarch EDs: an offset Schmidt big enough to place the roof edge outside the objective lens light cone.

I almost forgot about the unique rotated Porro system used by Meopta in the angled S2 scope: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=368983

Last edited by henry link : Today at 00:30.
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Old Today, 08:24   #137
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Nearly all current high end angled scopes use Schmidt roof prisms, while some straight scopes have unfortunately adopted Schmidt-Pechan prisms, the least optically desirable choice.
Thanks Henry, that's what I recalled.

Quote:
3. Angle often requires use of muscle. The longer you use your muscles, the more you strain and you experience shakes in your image

4.depends on user. Many hunters know you can find much more wildlife from the highest vantage point rather then the lowest vantage point. It’s a common guideline for glassing.
3. I guess this is personal, and perhaps indeed some people find angled scopes more tiring to use. Most find it comfortable though, including myself. It's the same head postion as if reading a book, and I had never any muscle issues when doing that for hours.

Also, I have never experienced problems with shaking image in the scope due to tired muscles, shake always comes from wind or unnecessarily touching the scope/tripod. If its very windy, I usually push down the central column of my tripod. A bit less comfy to view then, but very effective in reducing shake. Not so easy to do with a straight scope, a lower postion is much more uncomfortable then.

4. I don't know about "common guidelines" for scope use for hunting and I doubt they apply much for birding. Personally I have rearely had situations looking downwords with a scope, but looking up happens every time I'm out.
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Old Today, 09:06   #138
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Hi Dalat,

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Originally Posted by dalat View Post
3. I guess this is personal, and perhaps indeed some people find angled scopes more tiring to use. Most find it comfortable though, including myself. It's the same head postion as if reading a book, and I had never any muscle issues when doing that for hours.
In my opinion, the "muscle" issue is a red herring entirely. The head never rests passively on the spine like the capital rests on a greek column ... unless you bed your head on a pillow, it's always held up by muscle tension.

That this is not normally tiring is because not only the muscles involved are fairly strong, but also because you're always slightly varying the position of your head even when you're holding an apparently constant position for hours, such as when reading a book (or when working at a computer).

Angled scopes actually have a systematic advantage over straight scopes in this regard as they allow more variation in the user stance while positioning one's eye in the correct viewing position.

That's the same advantage that, at a larger scale, makes sharing an angled scope between people of different heights so convenient ... at the small scale, you're basically sharing the scope with subtle variations of yourself ;-)

Regards,

Henning
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