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ED50 - Angled or Straight?

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Old Monday 5th November 2007, 21:08   #1
Sancho
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ED50 - Angled or Straight?

Im sure this question has been asked before but I cant find the thread. I have the straight ED50, and I love it, use it all the time. I got straight because thats all the store in Dublin stocks. But I recently got to thinking, as you do if youre tragically obsessive, that maybe the angled version is slightly more stable when using a monopod or shoulder-pod. Now, I imagine only the hopelessly insane would own an angled AND a straight ED50, but has anyone tried both? And of owners of angled version, why did you choose it, and what do you see as its advantages? You can see where Sancho is going with this....sell the straight body and buy an angled version, maybe. I know its nuts, but given that I really use it all the time, and leave the "big" scope at home nowadays, I might as well tweak it till its as near to perfect as I can get.....thanks in advance for your contributions.
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Old Monday 5th November 2007, 23:06   #2
Alexis Powell
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I got the straight because a small scope such as this works nicely on a lightweight window mount, for which purpose I much prefer straight scopes. For the record, I think you should spend your money on something more exciting than a slight variant of what you already have.
--AP
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 00:19   #3
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Angled scopes are good if you plan to share. There is less tripod adjusting.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 00:21   #4
EagleEyed
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Sancho,

I got the angled 50ED and 82ED bodies because I think angled bodies are overall easier to use, and that they are easier to share with others. I haven't tried the straight body but I agree with Alexis that there would be big advantages with a window mount with straight body scopes.

Tragically obsessive birding optics lovers do actually need both though, ha, to get the best of both worlds! But then a tragically obsessive budget would have to be available as well!

EE

Last edited by EagleEyed : Tuesday 6th November 2007 at 00:25.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 00:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post
I got the straight because a small scope such as this works nicely on a lightweight window mount, for which purpose I much prefer straight scopes. For the record, I think you should spend your money on something more exciting than a slight variant of what you already have.
--AP
Great Alexis, now you've got poor Sancho thinking about more than angled ED50s. EE
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 01:28   #6
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If you want a little more help squashing this impulse consider that the angled version of the ED50 will not be quite as bright as the straight version. The angled view is accomplished by adding an extra prism behind the Porro prism which adds two more reflections, one of them mirror coated. Optically, a step down.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 01:35   #7
Chris Oates
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I bought a straight scope and used it intensively for a whole winter - very bad idea - I suffered terribly with neck pain, couldn't look up in trees without kneeling on the ground, always regretted having a short tripod.
The neck pain became a real problem so I got an angled scope - no neck pain, generally much more comfortable viewing, much better viewing when sat really low on a stool or bench.
Downside....unless the scope can be used sideways viewing over tall hedges and from some bird hides can be a problem. also aiming takes longer but you get used to it.
I'd always choose angled but the pain in my neck tells me that's the way to go - might be different for you.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 03:06   #8
horukuru
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hahaha get the angled sancho and use both as it is very light scope and one can be use for vertical and the other one for horizontal right ?
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 06:57   #9
David Caudwell
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If you ever use a shoulder-pod then straight makes the best sense - just point & shoot! Otherwise you need a taller (heavier) tripod to maintain stability and avoid birder's neck!
To echo Henry's comment above, the optical pathway is simpler and therefore brighter in critical light situations with the straight version of this scope. (Though in bright conditions you'd be unlikely to see any difference between the two versions).
I'd stick! ...unless you are going to get one of each, in which case do you carry both...therefore toting the equivalent of one larger scope and ending up where you started?!!

Last edited by David Caudwell : Tuesday 6th November 2007 at 07:31.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 08:46   #10
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I bought the angled scope, mainly because I had heard that they outsold the straight version by about five to one and all those people couldn't possibly be wrong. I didn't even try the straight one.

When I was testing some new eyepieces a little while ago, the dealer set up two ED50s side by side one straight and one angled, since that was what they had available. I found the straight one extremely hard to use, unless the tripod was at exactly the correct height. I was having to bend my knees to avoid black outs through the scope and it was very uncomfortable to use.

I can see that it is much easier finding birds through the straight scope and it might be a bit more convenient in cramped hides but, for me, the angled version is the better all rounder and I am happy with my choice.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 09:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
If you want a little more help squashing this impulse consider that the angled version of the ED50 will not be quite as bright as the straight version. The angled view is accomplished by adding an extra prism behind the Porro prism which adds two more reflections, one of them mirror coated. Optically, a step down.
Henry,
wouldn't you say this generally true for any scope and not just this model, brand or type?

When it comes to optics often less is more.

Comfort I'll leave up to the birder to decide for himself.

SF
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 12:39   #12
henry link
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SF,

I agree in general, but when it comes to angled vs straight spotting scopes the angled versions aren't always more complex. The Porro/semi-pentaprism combination in the ED50 used to be nearly universal in angled versions, but now it's found mainly in inexpensive scopes. Most high end angled spotting scopes these days use Schmidt roof prisms; a single block of glass with four internal reflections, all with angles that allow for total internal reflection like a Porro so no mirror coating is required. The Zeiss Diascope is a curious case. It uses a Schmidt in the angled version and a Schmidt-Pechan roof prism in the straight version (six reflections, one mirror coated). Its angled prism has a considerably less complex light path than the straight prism, just the reverse of the ED50.

IMO the Nikon Fieldscopes have the very best angled prism design. They use an oversized and offset Schmidt that keeps the roof edge out of the light path.

Henry

Last edited by henry link : Tuesday 6th November 2007 at 13:40.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 13:25   #13
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When you come to sell the straight ED50, Sancho, I bet you'll discover that the price you'll get reflects the lack of popularity of straight scopes in general.

I'd stick with it and enjoy its undoubted qualities.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 15:05   #14
Alexis Powell
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Originally Posted by scampo View Post
When you come to sell the straight ED50, Sancho, I bet you'll discover that the price you'll get reflects the lack of popularity of straight scopes in general.
I'd stick with it and enjoy its undoubted qualities.
This is another interesting difference between the optics scenes on each side of the Atlantic. Things have changed a bit in the last few years, but I'll bet straight scopes still sell 10 to 1 over angled scopes in the USA. Several of my friends have bought angled scopes and regret their purchase because of difficulties with using them from their car window ("safari" style being very common birding practice over here) or with using them comfortably at a height sufficient to see over tall grass and weeds (a common feature of many of the places in which we bird).

--AP
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2007, 17:14   #15
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Sincerest thanks, everyone, for your extremely helpful advice and sharing of experiences. There are convincing arguments for and against, Ill let you know what I decide just for the record! Ultimately, as with all my petty optics angst, it really isnt a matter of life and death, and may actually reflect the lack of time Im spending in the field; too much time spent at home...the devil finds optics-obsessions for idle birders to practise! Best Wishes!
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2007, 00:37   #16
EagleEyed
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Don't forget the Cable-Tie Sight!
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2007, 03:55   #17
Mike Penfold
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Sancho,

The lower scope height provided by an angled eyepiece allows you to scan over the scope with binoculars. Some birders comment on the non-dominant open eye being less distracted by light. You need to wear a hat to avoid reflections in the ocular lens, and rain seems to be more of a bother.

The Benro C-057/027n6 tripod with a Bogen/Manfrotto 700RC2 head works well supporting a smaller scope with an angled eyepiece, has a combined weight of under 1800 g (less than 63 oz.), and the price is attractive. The 3 section C-057 has a collapsed length of under 54 cm (21"), fitting crossways in a carry-on bag without the head.

Compared to Bogens/Manfrottos, the Benro tripods have other effective design details: the included stainless steel spiked feet are almost 3 cm long (about 1 1/8"), providing significant added stability when used in permeable ground. The centre column collet is omni-directional -- you don't need to turn the tripod to put an adjustment knob to one side or the other. The non-turning twist lock legs don't collapse, as happens with the Manfrotto's flip lever locks (which require more than infrequent adjustment). Unlike other Benro models, however, the C-057's centre column is not grooved, requiring the collet to be tightened a little extra to prevent turning -- a minor irritation IMO.

The handle of the 700RC2 can be shortened by about 8 cm (~3"), saving a little weight, and more effective with a smaller scope

Mike

Last edited by Mike Penfold : Wednesday 7th November 2007 at 04:55.
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2007, 18:28   #18
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Thanks for the further info, guys. I know I suffer from an obsession, but Im still considering the angled version, cos when I got the ED50 (straight) I thought I was buying a "mini-scope" for travel, back-up and the like. As it turns out, it is so good that it is now my regular scope, and the one I take out on 90% of outings. Hence the desire to make it more comfortable to use, and, I suspect, a little more stable. Perhaps Ill keep on considering all the way up to Christmas and see if Santa Claus can sort something out....
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 02:01   #19
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Sancho,

I think if that's your main scope and you love it, then you could really use both versions, and it really would not be too much of an obsession to have both, but rather a real necessity. If you do get both please make sure to let us know if you think the scopes are equally good or which one you think is better . . .but the difference, if any, could be due to sample variation, so we may never know for sure!

Alas, I love my 82ED angled so much, that my 50ED angled stays home most of the time, but for rugged hiking, or for close in warbler scoping, etc., the 50ED is awesome.

I almost always carry a scope for almost any kind of birding I do, it is so surprising that even for say warbler, kinglet, or sparrow watching, the birds many times do pause long enough to get great scope views of them, especially with the Cable-Tie Sight because you can get on them so fast!

EE

Last edited by EagleEyed : Thursday 8th November 2007 at 02:08.
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 11:44   #20
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[quote]Sancho,

I think if that's your main scope and you love it, then you could really use both versions, and it really would not be too much of an obsession to have both, but rather a real necessity. [quote]


You know, EE, I think I agree. Could you come round to Chez Sancho and explain that to Mrs. Sancho?


Quote:
If you do get both please make sure to let us know if you think the scopes are equally good or which one you think is better
I'm really liking your line of thinking, EE! Buying the angled too would be a piece of genuine research! Okay, wait till Santa sorts me out.
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 15:32   #21
stuart C smith
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[quote=Sancho;1048787][quote]Sancho,

I think if that's your main scope and you love it, then you could really use both versions, and it really would not be too much of an obsession to have both, but rather a real necessity.
Quote:


You know, EE, I think I agree. Could you come round to Chez Sancho and explain that to Mrs. Sancho?



I'm really liking your line of thinking, EE! Buying the angled too would be a piece of genuine research! Okay, wait till Santa sorts me out.
yes, but have you been good ?
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 15:55   #22
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And I only get a tripod head. But I did not wait for Santa, I get it next week. My other head is in fact a Manfrotto too, but I dropped the scope, a porro design, and it survived. Landed flat along its length. The mounting screw was something to keep track of several times a day.
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 22:56   #23
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Sancho,

I think that if Mrs. Sancho really listens closely she will easily see the wisdom of this logic! After all it's only about $400 US as opposed to other scope things which could be horrendously more $$$!

EE
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 23:21   #24
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Here, let me settle this argument once and for all. Angled is better.
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Old Thursday 8th November 2007, 23:39   #25
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Hi Sancho,

In addition to window mounting, a very real advantage to a straight scope is if you ever want to use it attached to a Nikon SLR for "through-the-lens" photography using this attachment:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...at=Brand_Nikon

It's a lot more secure than a digiscope apparatus, and may just be one of those incremental advantages to a straight scope over an angled one.

Very personal, but I like it with my ED60 and ED82 Fieldscopes.

Robert
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