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Eye relief?

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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 15:51   #1
black crow
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Eye relief?

What goes into the decision making process for a binoculars eye relief? I see that the Leica 10x32 Ultravids have a 13.5mm eye relief. That would be restrictive for eyeglass users. Why would they do that knowing it would cut into the number of people who would feel comfortable using them?
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 16:31   #2
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One reason would be weight and bulk. If you increase the eye relief and do nothing else, the fov gets smaller. if you want to increase the eye relief and maintain or increase the field of view you need a bigger diameter eyepiece. Bigger lenses = more cost + more bulk + more weight = higher retail price. This brief explanation comes direct from a product developer at a major optics company. It is probably simplistic and avoids other complications.

Also, no binos and their ER and eyecups will suit every person on earth and their eyeglasses. Optics companies need to decide what sort of percentage of people to aim for. In your example, I think for most company's 10x32 models probably fight with their 7x binos (if they have any) for the position of 'slowest sellers'. Perhaps Leica don't have big sales ambitions/expectations for this model and therefore didn't want to invest much in it.

Lee

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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 16:59   #3
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Hello Black Crow,

I chose the 10x32 Zeiss FL over the then current Leica 10x32 for its longer eye relief, 15.2 mm, wide field and small package see Zeiss specs.
Yes, the 10x32 is not a great seller but it suits my needs, a little extra reach when I need in a fairly compact size.

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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 19:46   #4
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Also, no binos and their ER and eyecups will suit every person on earth and their eyeglasses. Optics companies need to decide what sort of percentage of people to aim for.

Lee
Iím obviously not within the target group of binocular buyers: I wear glasses, and eye relief of both my SV 8x32 and SF 8x42 is 1 or 2 mm too short. I cannot see the whole frame. Too sad.
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 20:20   #5
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Iím obviously not within the target group of binocular buyers: I wear glasses, and eye relief of both my SV 8x32 and SF 8x42 is 1 or 2 mm too short. I cannot see the whole frame. Too sad.
Considering the newer SV 8x32's have 20mm relief you must have some pretty hefty glasses.
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 21:47   #6
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Considering the newer SV 8x32's have 20mm relief you must have some pretty hefty glasses.
Those 20mm are existing only on paper. Usable eye relief is shorter. I suspect that a real ER of 20mm would be just perfect for me. Does anybody know from own experience whether the Noctivid 8x42 would give me these additional one or two millimetres (compared to my current SV 8x32 or SF 8x42)? Your help is appreciated.
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 22:08   #7
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Iím obviously not within the target group of binocular buyers: I wear glasses, and eye relief of both my SV 8x32 and SF 8x42 is 1 or 2 mm too short. I cannot see the whole frame. Too sad.
That is frustrating. I am lucky that both of those pairs fit me, but there are plenty that don't. I'm aware that I need more eye relief than some others on the forum who also wear glasses, but you've got me beat.

I am curious, have you found any bins that will show the entire field?

-Bill
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 22:39   #8
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I think for most companies 10x32 models probably fight with their 7x binos (if they have any) for the position of 'slowest sellers'. Perhaps Leica don't have big sales ambitions/expectations for this model and therefore didn't want to invest much in it.
Actually, the 8x32 UV has no more eye relief than the 10. Neither does the 12x50, and the other UVs have only slightly more, and this has been true for a long time at Leica. The Noctivid is now the first to offer more than 16mm.

I used to think this represented a choice to maintain FOV for the rest of us, but it seems that Swaro and Zeiss can offer the same FOV with more ER, so it really must just be cost-cutting, or possibly a size/weight issue. The 32/42 Leicas do tend to be the smallest, especially with eyecups extended. I guess according to their math, this approach works. I've used one for years now...
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 22:50   #9
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Actually, the 8x32 UV has no more eye relief than the 10. Neither does the 12x50, and the other UVs have only slightly more, and this has been true for a long time at Leica. The Noctivid is now the first to offer more than 16mm.
The original Ultravid 7x42 has 17mm, and so does the Trinovid HD 8x32. I did try out the Ultravid HD+ 8x32 in a shop, and it was like looking through a blurry keyhole with my glasses on. Impossible! I envy folks that can use a bin that small. An ideal travel bin.

-Bill
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 22:51   #10
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Hi,

has anybody with the not enough ER problem tried a pair of Conquest HD 8x42? Those are infamous for offering too much ER for normal sighted people (and Zeiss delivers longer eyecups on request).

Joachim
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Old Monday 30th April 2018, 22:57   #11
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Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
Those 20mm are existing only on paper. Usable eye relief is shorter. I suspect that a real ER of 20mm would be just perfect for me. Does anybody know from own experience whether the Noctivid 8x42 would give me these additional one or two millimetres (compared to my current SV 8x32 or SF 8x42)? Your help is appreciated.
For what its worth, I find that Leica, at 17mm works for me with glasses. Zeiss at 18mm.

Noctivid is 19, so might work for you, as that is 2mm more than I need. There's the possibility it will fit. Get yourself to the nearest dealer and try one. Easiest way to find out.

-Bill

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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 00:37   #12
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Hi,

has anybody with the not enough ER problem tried a pair of Conquest HD 8x42? Those are infamous for offering too much ER for normal sighted people (and Zeiss delivers longer eyecups on request).

Joachim
The Conquest HD 8x42 work fine for me.
-Bill
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 00:39   #13
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Originally Posted by Lightbender View Post
Those 20mm are existing only on paper. Usable eye relief is shorter. I suspect that a real ER of 20mm would be just perfect for me. Does anybody know from own experience whether the Noctivid 8x42 would give me these additional one or two millimetres (compared to my current SV 8x32 or SF 8x42)? Your help is appreciated.
The Noctivid 8X42 has the most ER of any 8X42 I have...certainly more than the SV 8X32 and the SF 8X42 though those ARE good ones. The Noctivid is probably your best option.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 02:57   #14
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
One reason would be weight and bulk. If you increase the eye relief and do nothing else, the fov gets smaller. if you want to increase the eye relief and maintain or increase the field of view you need a bigger diameter eyepiece. Bigger lenses = more cost + more bulk + more weight = higher retail price. This brief explanation comes direct from a product developer at a major optics company. It is probably simplistic and avoids other complications.

Also, no binos and their ER and eyecups will suit every person on earth and their eyeglasses. Optics companies need to decide what sort of percentage of people to aim for. In your example, I think for most companies 10x32 models probably fight with their 7x binos (if they have any) for the position of 'slowest sellers'. Perhaps Leica don't have big sales ambitions/expectations for this model and therefore didn't want to invest much in it.

Lee
Maybe you're right. They are going for the small and lightweight niche. Still it seems like a lot of people wear glasses and that would remove that choice for a lot of people. My eyes will likely be loving it. Let's hope so, they get there in two days. It certainly got some nice reviews by hunters.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 05:16   #15
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There's BIG glasses and small glasses.
How many of you using glasses consider getting a pair to help fit between your eyes and the binoculars?

Though I don't like to wear glasses when using binoculars as I prefer contacts, I can see the full field in my Leicas with my glasses on. 8x32 and 12x50 Trinovids BTW, and we all know what miserable specs for eye relief they have!

So much talk about what manufacturers must be thinking and what they haven't accomplished and so little talk about getting a pair of glasses for birding
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 05:25   #16
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I like the look of those little guys. Great idea. Maybe the shape of your face might be a factor.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 06:01   #17
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As well as your eyeglass prescription.

Swarovski's 8x42 SLC is another one to consider, having 18.5mm eye relief and somewhat lighter weight than the Leica Noctivid. SONA warranty service is also superb.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 06:42   #18
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Originally Posted by Kevin Conville View Post
There's BIG glasses and small glasses.
How many of you using glasses consider getting a pair to help fit between your eyes and the binoculars?

Though I don't like to wear glasses when using binoculars as I prefer contacts, I can see the full field in my Leicas with my glasses on. 8x32 and 12x50 Trinovids BTW, and we all know what miserable specs for eye relief they have!

So much talk about what manufacturers must be thinking and what they haven't accomplished and so little talk about getting a pair of glasses for birding
You are right Kevin. Thought should be given to our glasses.
I usually take a pair of bins to the opticians when choosing my glasses (I have a single vision pair specifically for birding as well as my everyday varifocals).
My glasses are expensive and I donít want to spend all that cash only to find that my bins arenít suited to them.
I also get the best glasses I can. Why have great quality bins if youíre going to put poor quality eye glass lenses behind them?
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 06:47   #19
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I have frameless spectacles fitted with Zeiss Drivesafe Lenses. These must be thinner than previous Zeiss lenses I have had because I now need to unscrew the eyecups up a notch or if there is no convenient clicks-stop I put a 3.5mm rubber o-ring under it. BTW I don't unscew the eyecups and put the o-ring literally underneath I just stretch it over the eyecup and push it down to sit on top of the optical tube under the side-rim of the eyecup. So these lenses have allowed me to access more of the available eye relief. Undoubtedly there must be similarly thin lenses available from other brands.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 07:05   #20
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I also get the best glasses I can. Why have great quality bins if you’re going to put poor quality eye glass lenses behind them?
Indeed. And how many of you have anti reflective coatings on your glasses?

When people review binoculars and write about things like glare and critical positioning of the eye, I wonder if they wear glasses and how they hold the bins.
As has been written about on these pages before, a thumbs up grip will help mask light from entering the oculars from the side. Few use a thumbs up hold, and adding a pair of glasses, often w/o AR coatings, and it gets worse.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 08:51   #21
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I have frameless spectacles fitted with Zeiss Drivesafe Lenses. These must be thinner than previous Zeiss lenses ......

Lee
Lee,

We looked at the Drivesafe option when my wife was waiting for her cataract operation and was particularly having problems with glare. I didn't find much of an explaination for their claims, other than they reflect more light in the blue region of the spectrum. That would increase contrast with modern headlights. There was a slight yellow tinge to the lenses, so they might affect colour discrimination a little.

As for lens thickness, that is firstly down to your prescription and the choice of which refractive index lens. Rimless glasses need a slightly thicker lens for extra strength, so the highest index option is not usually justified. What does make a big difference is how the bridge sits on your nose, and the adjustments they make when fitting. Once you move up the Zeiss range they adjust the prescription for vertex distance. That is the gap between the eye and the lens. I discovered that two pairs of rimless frames from the same company differed in distance by 3mm and could have been adjusted even further. As it was, that made the difference between needing 14mm and 17mm ER. With a wire framed lens and higher index compound, even the 13.2mm of the Ultravid 10x32 should be achievable. At least for those with short eyelashes.

David
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 09:15   #22
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Lee,

We looked at the Drivesafe option when my wife was waiting for her cataract operation and was particularly having problems with glare. I didn't find much of an explaination for their claims, other than they reflect more light in the blue region of the spectrum. That would increase contrast with modern headlights. There was a slight yellow tinge to the lenses, so they might affect colour discrimination a little.

As for lens thickness, that is firstly down to your prescription and the choice of which refractive index lens. Rimless glasses need a slightly thicker lens for extra strength, so the highest index option is not usually justified. What does make a big difference is how the bridge sits on your nose, and the adjustments they make when fitting. Once you move up the Zeiss range they adjust the prescription for vertex distance. That is the gap between the eye and the lens. I discovered that two pairs of rimless frames from the same company differed in distance by 3mm and could have been adjusted even further. As it was, that made the difference between needing 14mm and 17mm ER. With a wire framed lens and higher index compound, even the 13.2mm of the Ultravid 10x32 should be achievable. At least for those with short eyelashes.

David
Thanks for this David and no, I don't see much to justify the 'Drivesafe' brandname either.

When I changed to frameless and the new prescription with the Drivesafe lenses my prescription had only slightly changed so I was surprised to find I suddenly needed slightly extended eyecups on binos where the screwed-down position was fine in the past. However, consulting my notes, I am reminded that my optician recommended having my glasses positioned slightly higher on the bridge of my nose so this must be the reason for the change.

This does hint at the possibility of adjustment using the position of the spectacles to help out with eye relief issues. All eyelash-length dependent of course

Lee
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 20:39   #23
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I like to dart my eyes around, whether using bins or not, so I am partial to aviator or modified aviator type glasses. These have large lenses to provide lots of peripheral coverage, but at least for me, I find it possible to find designs that fit my face closely and that work with bins with modest amounts of eye relief (e.g. as found in many Leica models). I look for frames that (when properly adjusted) cover most of my visual field but do not contact my brow (lest I transfer a gush of sweat to the bins) or my raised cheeks when smiling (again, to avoid transfer of sweat). I wear a sweatband in summer, and I almost always wear a wide-brimmed hat to block lateral light. I don't use coated lenses because I prefer glass lenses for their scratch resistance and (unfortunately) glass are not available (at least in USA) with oleophobic coatings. Conventionally coated glass lenses seem to be especially attractive to oil, require constant cleaning, and end up being much worse (esp. after a bit of real world abuse) than uncoated glass. Incidentally, when it comes to lens thickness, I am told that in USA safety standards require lenses to be thicker than are available in the EU, so it may be more challenging to make some glasses styles work with bins here.

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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 20:52   #24
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Though I don't like to wear glasses when using binoculars as I prefer contacts, I can see the full field in my Leicas with my glasses on. 8x32 and 12x50 Trinovids BTW, and we all know what miserable specs for eye relief they have!
That's very fortunate. A lot must depend on anatomy, depth of eye socket and hence distance from eye to eyeglass lens. I couldn't use my 10x32 Leica with any glasses; I'd see maybe half the field. Fortunately I don't have to.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2018, 21:14   #25
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Alexis,
Does the U.S.A. thickness requirement for lenses apply only to glass or also to plastic lenses?

Can plastic lenses shatter and cause eye injury?

All my glasses are single vision multicoated plastic, except cheap window shopping glasses, which are uncoated glass.
But I don't use glasses with binoculars or scopes.
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