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Nikon SE binoculars and ED lens

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Old Tuesday 9th February 2010, 19:51   #26
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I'll probably regret bringing this up.

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Bla, bla, bla ...

Ed
You're making me smile Ed.
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Old Tuesday 9th February 2010, 20:16   #27
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No, the SE doesn't have ED glass, but the answer to the question if ED glass would make it "better" would largely depend on your sensitivity to chromatic aberration.
No, any design that successfully reduces CA makes for a better binocular, regardless of whether the user is aware of CA, because CA reduces resolution.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 9th February 2010, 20:33   #28
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Brock,

Although I am a retired experimental psychologist, I'm really not too keen on the illusions and disorientations associated with binocular use/misuse. My reason for bringing up the vection example was simply to point out that there are several illusions that result from body or image motion. (Very little is known about the added effects of magnification on these, incidentally). The globe effect is quite real (if illusions can be real) and can be minimized by a pinch of pincushion. Holger worked out the pinch size quite nicely. More than a necessary pinch of pincushion is readily apparent and objectionable (to me) on a static basis. No need for motion. Less than that, as with the new Swaro, is probably an issue under task conditions that mimic the checkerboard environment that triggers the perception. I'm still not completely convinced that similar panning phenomena might not be induced by eye movements given the right visual pattern motion, i.e., unrelated to distortion.

I don't quite follow the need to defend the observation that the 10x SE has barrel distortion, and that it induces/enhances the globe effect. I haven't questioned it. But, while we're on the subject, it might be worth noting that there really has not been a great cry of anguish from (other) users, and some accept it as a fault only reluctantly. The reason, I believe, is that the globe effect, like many others, is task specific. Most users probably learn to avoid such situations without even realizing it.

Anyway, thanks for the lesson about redundancy.
Ed
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Old Tuesday 9th February 2010, 22:56   #29
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Sheesh. You're starting to think maybe you actually understand just one teeny little thing, and somebody comes along and says "Oh, no, it's really VASTLY more complicated than that!" That alone is enough to make my head spin.

Thanks though, sort of, Ed.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 01:09   #30
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No, any design that successfully reduces CA makes for a better binocular, regardless of whether the user is aware of CA, because CA reduces resolution.
To be really picky CA reduces apparent sharpness (or makes for a worse MTF with reduced contrast in white light). ED bins really do look sharper.

Resolution is generally measured at a single wavelength whereas sharpness is amore a of perceptual measurement but you could measure white light MTF and quantify it: how the contrast ratio of black and white lines changes as the lines get closer together. This is where resolution and contrast get coupled together.

The problem with the "astronomical idea" of resolution (the smallest separation of points of light you can split) is not the best for terrestrial use where images have lower (and varying and information carrying) contrast. MTF measurements are much better but not actually possible for an amateur on a budget.

BTW, I don't see any barrel distortion in my SEs. Flat field yes but not barrel distortion.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 01:46   #31
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No, any design that successfully reduces CA makes for a better binocular, regardless of whether the user is aware of CA, because CA reduces resolution.

--AP
Hello Alexis,

Absolutely! That is why CA is important in black and white photography. However, those purple or green bands are seen by some and not seen by others.


Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 02:42   #32
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Brock,

Although I am a retired experimental psychologist, I'm really not too keen on the illusions and disorientations associated with binocular use/misuse. My reason for bringing up the vection example was simply to point out that there are several illusions that result from body or image motion. (Very little is known about the added effects of magnification on these, incidentally). The globe effect is quite real (if illusions can be real) and can be minimized by a pinch of pincushion. Holger worked out the pinch size quite nicely. More than a necessary pinch of pincushion is readily apparent and objectionable (to me) on a static basis. No need for motion. Less than that, as with the new Swaro, is probably an issue under task conditions that mimic the checkerboard environment that triggers the perception. I'm still not completely convinced that similar panning phenomena might not be induced by eye movements given the right visual pattern motion, i.e., unrelated to distortion.

I don't quite follow the need to defend the observation that the 10x SE has barrel distortion, and that it induces/enhances the globe effect. I haven't questioned it. But, while we're on the subject, it might be worth noting that there really has not been a great cry of anguish from (other) users, and some accept it as a fault only reluctantly. The reason, I believe, is that the globe effect, like many others, is task specific. Most users probably learn to avoid such situations without even realizing it.

Anyway, thanks for the lesson about redundancy.
Ed
Ed,

It's partly "task specific". For example, I do a lot of panning since I "bird" mostly in deep woods and at close to medium range, and often need to move the bins quickly to catch up to my target.

When I'm "out and about" and looking a longer distances and panning much more slowly, the effects of pincushion and "rolling ball" are less bothersome.

However, you should question the "barrel distortion" in the 10x42 SE, because there isn't much. The bin I was referring to my previous post was 10x42 LX.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 04:50   #33
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LX — gotcha!

Instead of task specific, think sub-task specific. Birding is a sequence of sub-tasks. Right?
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 05:10   #34
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LX — gotcha!

Instead of task specific, think sub-task specific. Birding is a sequence of sub-tasks. Right?
With the 10x42 LX and especially the 10x42 LX L, I prefer the term "recursive subroutine," because every time I thought about spending so much money on a bin with so much "rolling ball," I'd curse and curse again! :-)

Birding can also be redundant, particularly in the winter. Sparrow....sparrow....sparrow....sparrow...ah, wait...no, another sparrow.... :-)
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 06:34   #35
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Brock:
Interesting your large list of bins and how they compare in CA. Were you able to test these all at the same time in order to maintain some control? It seems some people are very sensitive to CA and some are not....

Jerry
Chromatic Aberration Rankings in 12.1 Binoculars

ABSTRACT: The above chromatic aberration binocular tests were conducted over a 10-year-period, from 1999 to 2009, using a power cable to test for vertical CA and the edge of a matte black power transformer to test for later CA. The binoculars were mounted for the test in the same location for all tests. More than one binocular was used for each test, with up to 10 binoculars during one test (since this report is limited to ZR and Nikon binoculars, some of the binoculars were excluded from the sample group). Test results were recorded in a notebook and bins were rated from 1-5 (low to high CA) with + or – when ratings fell in between whole numbers. These tests were not intended to be definitive, scientific, or analytical, but were designed for comparative purposes only. The author is an uncredentialed, unlicensed, self-trained observer, who has spent an average of 6 hours a week looking through binoculars over the past 10 years, as well as reading 10,563 binocular forum posts, numerous binocular reviews, and contributing 543 posts to one binocular forum and 1,951 posts to another. To at least feign scientific legitimacy for naysayers, nitpickers, and nerds, for one session the author used a “double blind” test, but the subjects found it difficult to judge CA whilst looking through the two blindfolds. Readers of this report are asked to take the results cum granis salis, and to conduct their own tests since one’s sensitivity to CA can vary from eye to eye, from brain to brain, and even from “expert” to “expert”.

INTRODUCTION. See Abstract.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. See Abstract.

RESULTS. See post # 6.

DISCUSSION: See this thread.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. The author would like to thank the following individuals for contributing binoculars for testing: Steve (mooreorless), Walter Locke (MIA), Jerry (NDHunter), Ron (Surveyor). Thanks also to Steve for taking photos of these binoculars individually and collectively. Also a shout out to Ed (elkcub) for inspiring this "paper".

LITERATURE CITED: 10,563 posts on Cloudy Nights and Birdforum binocular forums.

APPENDIX. Still intact, though sometimes it's hard to tell with IBS.

DISCLAIMERS: The author does not work for Zen Ray or Nikon, though he wished he did and is available for consulting work at very reasonable rates.

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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 16:15   #36
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Brock - In your post No.23 in reference to the 8x32 SE, you ask the rhetorical question, "I find it a great glass to use with glasses, - or is that redundant?" Of course not, but you have written a good example of alliteration combined with an apt pun.
Nicely done. John
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 18:38   #37
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Actually in #23 Brock admonished my alliteration in #20. Here you have aptly complimented his characterization of redundant, again.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 19:25   #38
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Ed - I was unaware that Brock was using a quotation from your post. Alliteration is the deliberate use of consecutive initial consonants or similar sounds for effect in prose, poetry, and speech. Your quotation was not an example of redundancy, which is the use of superfluous words, e.g., "Department of redundancy department." Yours was a pun which brings similar sounding words possessing different meanings together in speech and writing. "Glass" in your quotation refers to binoculars,- "glasses" refers to eye glasses. Sorry I didn't give you credit for the pun, which was a good one. John
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 20:49   #39
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No problem. Given what we know about the 8x32SE, and its oft discussed 17mm eye relief, do you think it was redundant to say: "I find it a great glass to use with glasses"? You're right, it was a rhetorical question, just like this one perhaps. But, ... I repeat myself.

PS. I tend to use the word redundant in the information theory sense, i.e., a signal devoid of information content. Unfortunately, I'm discovering that much of what I say is like that, so I ask the question before someone points it out.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 21:12   #40
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Well it's official, this thread is now unreadable.
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 22:12   #41
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Nice one, Kevin! (still in a State of Confusion).
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 22:53   #42
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Where is Robert from Seattle when we really need him, and don't tell me he's in Seattle, I'll shoot myself.

John
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 23:04   #43
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Kevin - The thread has meandered as bit since I started it. Sorry. John
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 23:09   #44
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Absolutely! That is why CA is important in black and white photography. However, those purple or green bands are seen by some and not seen by others.
Especially when using panchromatic film and no filters :) As for some folks not seeing CA, I can only think that they are likewise unaware of other detail, and so I can't regard that as a fortunate condition.

Kevin,
I follow your point about resolution, and I thought about it when I wrote my post, but I went with the sloppy usage intentionally because when most folks test bino "resolution" they use line charts with white light illumination, which is the sort of issue/situation to which I wanted to refer. That kind of fine-scale deterioration of sharpness caused by CA is quite different from other contrast-robbing problems (like veiling glare) that play a huge role in determining a bins' overall sharpness (and which, for cheap bins, are usually the bigger issue).

--AP
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Old Wednesday 10th February 2010, 23:19   #45
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
Chromatic Aberration Rankings in 12.1 Binoculars

ABSTRACT: The above chromatic aberration binocular tests were conducted over a 10-year-period, from 1999 to 2009, using a power cable to test for vertical CA and the edge of a matte black power transformer to test for later CA. The binoculars were mounted for the test in the same location for all tests. More than one binocular was used for each test, with up to 10 binoculars during one test (since this report is limited to ZR and Nikon binoculars, some of the binoculars were excluded from the sample group). Test results were recorded in a notebook and bins were rated from 1-5 (low to high CA) with + or – when ratings fell in between whole numbers. These tests were not intended to be definitive, scientific, or analytical, but were designed for comparative purposes only. The author is an uncredentialed, unlicensed, self-trained observer, who has spent an average of 6 hours a week looking through binoculars over the past 10 years, as well as reading 10,563 binocular forum posts, numerous binocular reviews, and contributing 543 posts to one binocular forum and 1,951 posts to another. To at least feign scientific legitimacy for naysayers, nitpickers, and nerds, for one session the author used a “double blind” test, but the subjects found it difficult to judge CA whilst looking through the two blindfolds. Readers of this report are asked to take the results cum granis salis, and to conduct their own tests since one’s sensitivity to CA can vary from eye to eye, from brain to brain, and even from “expert” to “expert”.

INTRODUCTION. See Abstract.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. See Abstract.

RESULTS. See post # 6.

DISCUSSION: See this thread.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. The author would like to thank the following individuals for contributing binoculars for testing: Steve (mooreorless), Walter Locke (MIA), Jerry (NDHunter), Ron (Surveyor). Thanks also to Steve for taking photos of these binoculars individually and collectively. Also a shout out to Ed (elkcub) for inspiring this "paper".

LITERATURE CITED: 10,563 posts on Cloudy Nights and Birdforum binocular forums.

APPENDIX. Still intact, though sometimes it's hard to tell with IBS.

DISCLAIMERS: The author does not work for Zen Ray or Nikon, though he wished he did and is available for consulting work at very reasonable rates.
Brock:

Thanks for the reply to the question of your testing. It seems you've done
a thorough job and have saved some people the dreaded task of looking for
the defect you call "CA".

Your reporting and evaluation is appreciated.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 11th February 2010, 01:53   #46
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Especially when using panchromatic film and no filters :) As for some folks not seeing CA, I can only think that they are likewise unaware of other detail, and so I can't regard that as a fortunate condition.

Kevin,
I follow your point about resolution, and I thought about it when I wrote my post, but I went with the sloppy usage intentionally because when most folks test bino "resolution" they use line charts with white light illumination, which is the sort of issue/situation to which I wanted to refer. That kind of fine-scale deterioration of sharpness caused by CA is quite different from other contrast-robbing problems (like veiling glare) that play a huge role in determining a bins' overall sharpness (and which, for cheap bins, are usually the bigger issue).

--AP
Jerry, Glad you enjoyed my journal article parody. I didn't want to post it yet, because it's still out for peer review with Moe, Larry, and Curly. :-)

I hope it did not offend BF techies who either do this stuff for a living or for the sheer fun of it. I used to edit medical journal articles and turn doctor's technical notes into journal articles, much of which involved turning passive sentences into active ones and eliminating pedantic phrases such as "In point fact".

To address Alex's points:

I have often wondered about the same thing. If a bin user can't see CA, does that mean he can't see subtle shadings of red on a male Cardinal or the goniochromism on a Mourning Dove's neck?

Even though "bench testing" put the 8x32 LX only an element behind the 8x32 SE (or half element, I forget which, Steve recorded the test results), in actual practice in high contrast situations, the LX falls farther behind in resolution of fine details.

Matched against an ED glass bin with a longer FL, the difference becomes even more noticeable.

For example, I compared the 8x42 Promaster Infinity ED to the 8x32 LX at a park on a bleak, winter's day, watching two back lit hawks on a tree branch.

Looking at the park lawn and shrubs and the caretaker's John Deere tractor, the view through the bins looked almost indistinguishable. Both bins not only had similar contrast, color rendition, and color saturation, but while well braced, I could resolve small print equally well on the tractor and the park rules sign.

However, when I trained the bins on the back lit hawks (also while braced), the 8x Promaster "clearly" resolved more detail because the LX's CA created color fringing (on the tree limb and the birds), which diminished the amount of detail I could see on the hawk's talons and feathers.

This is why I take "bench tested" CA resolution results with a grain of salt including my own.

The true test of a bin's CA control is best evaluated "in the field" under adverse conditions. That's where CA and other aberrations are more likely to rear their ugly heads.

Having said that, in fair weather, the views through the 8x32 LX are very impressive.

I get "niggly" about the astigmatism on top of the field, the shallow depth of focus, and the "poor" ergonomics (for my big hands), but these are idiosyncrasies that others will ignore, or in the case of ergonomics, might see as an asset.

Regardless, come winter, I would prefer an ED bin even if it's only "good" rather than "great" bin.

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Old Thursday 11th February 2010, 03:00   #47
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... As for some folks not seeing CA, I can only think that they are likewise unaware of other detail, and so I can't regard that as a fortunate condition.
...
--AP
Quote:
(Brock)... I have often wondered about the same thing. If a bin user can't see CA, does that mean he can't see subtle shadings of red on a male Cardinal or the goniochromism on a Mourning Dove's neck? ...
If you mean that people who are unaware of CA also tend to be unaware of other visual details, AP, I would have to disagree. In general, people suppress their consciousness of (i.e., habituate to) sensory signals that carry no useful information, i.e., redundant information. The negative physical effects of redundant signals, however, doesn't disappear. So, when axial or lateral CA is reduced optically, by using ED glass, for example, all observers benefit equally. The benefit is realized in improved visual discrimination, be it of line separations (acuity), target detection (range), or subtle color gradations. Of course, all these benefits generally work together, so the gestalt is simply "a better view" — the holy grail.

Ed
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Old Thursday 11th February 2010, 05:21   #48
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Following up on Ed's comments, since I'm one of an unknown percentage who doesn't see CA (I see it on photographic reproduction examples, but not when I take my binoculars outside under the conditions cited as CA producing), perhaps this is analogous to the absolute or perfect pitch ability of some people. Some have it, and some don't. I don't. I still enjoy music in spite of my lack of tonal sensitivity. And the same may be true for using binoculars even if my ulitmate acuity can't take advantage of alphas best. The 8x32 SE still (for me) has the best image.

I knew a fellow who used a poorly collimated binocular - so bad that my eyes begain to cross when I looked through it. I told him he needed to get it collimated. Yet he claimed it was OK. It was some time later that I learned he was blind in one eye. John
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Old Thursday 11th February 2010, 13:13   #49
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I am not bothered that much by CA and while not quite up to Alexis P's 20/10 it is close to 20/14[better than 20/15] or some such. I can see excellent detail using binoculars.

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Old Thursday 11th February 2010, 13:24   #50
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Yo Steve!
The blizzard is over! The sun is coming out! Wade out there and test them again and see if you can see it. Be careful about "snow blindness." Consult with Brock first!
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