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When we will have 4x zooms for scopes?

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Old Saturday 21st July 2007, 23:51   #1
DRodrigues
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When we will have 4x zooms for scopes?

Just noticed that Swarovski sorted a 6x zoom riflescope. This proved that is possible one of my expressed wishes at cr-telescopes on http://pt-ducks.naturlink.pt/: - scopes with 4x or 5x zooms. Who wouldn’t like to have a 60-65mm scope with a 15-60x zoom (do I heard Leica or Zeiss?), a 80-88mm scope with a 20-80x zoom (heard Nikon and Kowa?) or a 100mm scope with 25-100x zooms (this time I heard Optolyth, Opticron and Pentax on my head… ).
I will continuing wishing...
David
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 00:29   #2
Keith Reeder
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A 60x zoom on a 65mm scope would be unusable in all but the very best light, David - as it is, I hardly ever use 45x on my Zeiss 65mm because of the lack of light that reaches my eye at that magnification.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 09:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Reeder View Post
A 60x zoom on a 65mm scope would be unusable in all but the very best light, David - as it is, I hardly ever use 45x on my Zeiss 65mm because of the lack of light that reaches my eye at that magnification.
Next time you get the chance have a look at a Swarovski 65HD, the zoom is useable (and remains very sharp) right up to 60x. I see no reason why some of the big scopes could not go up to 80x (the Nikon ED82 zoom goes to 75x).
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 13:10   #4
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I agree with Keith, who specifically mentioned light, not sharpness, as the problem. But I suppose it might be nice to have it available, even if it is kind of dim.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 14:34   #5
Keith Reeder
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I can only assume you're using the Swaro under floodlights, Peter!

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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 15:43   #6
iporali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRodrigues View Post
Who wouldn’t like to have a 60-65mm scope with a 15-60x zoom (do I heard Leica or Zeiss?), a 80-88mm scope with a 20-80x zoom (heard Nikon and Kowa?) or a 100mm scope with 25-100x zooms
Personally I would very much prefer:
1. Good & constant eye-relief over the zoom range
2. Wider FOV with good edge sharpness
instead of more zoom range.

However, I am afraid that the longer zoom range is going to be easier to design and sell - and that is perhaps what we are going to get next.

Ilkka
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 17:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Reeder View Post
I can only assume you're using the Swaro under floodlights, Peter!

not at all... although the image does get a bit darker at the top of the zoom it's still bright enough for me. The ability of the zoom at 60x has been vital for confirming IDs on a few occassions, it's one of the factors that swung me to the Swarovski when buying a ~60mm scope.
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Old Sunday 22nd July 2007, 21:47   #8
SteveClifton
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I agree with postcardcv, the Swaro zoom at 60x on the 65mm scope is very useable in a wide range of light conditions. A friend has one , and it is only a little less sharp than my 80mm, and even then the difference has to be looked for.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2007, 18:23   #9
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I suspect any of the top manufacturers could expand their zoom range to 4x without serious increases in cost or shortchanging optical quality, but would you really want a 15-60X zoom?

8-)

Roy Harvey
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Old Monday 23rd July 2007, 19:17   #10
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The B&L Discoverer has such a zoom (15-60x) and it degrades significantly above 40x. The optics are pretty limited in that scope at anything above 20x anyway.
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2007, 04:36   #11
postcardcv
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Originally Posted by royharv View Post
I suspect any of the top manufacturers could expand their zoom range to 4x without serious increases in cost or shortchanging optical quality, but would you really want a 15-60X zoom?
I'd love such a zoom. If you look at the Zeiss 65 or the Leica 62 the zooms start below 20x are are great for scanning and panning. The only problem I have with the zooms is the 'low' highest mag. For me a 15-60x on a ~60mm scope or a 20-80x on an ~80mm scope sounds great.
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2007, 07:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postcardcv View Post
I'd love such a zoom. If you look at the Zeiss 65 or the Leica 62 the zooms start below 20x are are great for scanning and panning. The only problem I have with the zooms is the 'low' highest mag. For me a 15-60x on a ~60mm scope or a 20-80x on an ~80mm scope sounds great.
totally agree I'd prefer more power than 16-48 but find the Swaro's fov at 20x constricting.....
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2007, 11:28   #13
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Originally Posted by postcardcv View Post
Next time you get the chance have a look at a Swarovski 65HD, the zoom is useable (and remains very sharp) right up to 60x. I see no reason why some of the big scopes could not go up to 80x (the Nikon ED82 zoom goes to 75x).

I had an Opticron GS665 fitted with the SDL zoom (which gives 16-48x on that scope) but was dissatisfied with both its sharpness and brightness above about 35x. Switching the eyepiece onto a GS665 ED body didn’t seem to give a great improvement, and in a side-by-side comparison, a Swarovski 65HD was better all the way to 60x.

However, I then tried a Kowa TSN-773 with a 20-60, which was possibly sharper than the Swarovski at high magnifications (a subjective assessment based on viewing conditions that day - they’re both exceptionally good). It was also brighter at 60x, which of course wasn’t surprising, given the 77mm objective. Given how bright the image is on the 773 at 60x, perhaps the larger Kowa TSN-883 would gather enough light to achieve similar quality at 80x.
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Old Thursday 26th July 2007, 22:46   #14
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I have a Nikon ED82A, and usually carry the zoom as "back-up" to a fixed 30xw. The 25-75x zoom FOV is a bit tight, but I´m astounded by how usable it is right up to the top in good light, and it has enabled me to exercise my fairly deplorable ID skills on very distant birds. Even in poor light it´s usable through 90% of its range.
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Old Monday 30th July 2007, 12:30   #15
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I think that the publicity of Swarovski to their 6x zoom riflescope translates in the best way the idea of a 4x zoom: - more field of view and more magnifications, for more flexibility...
I know that in Portugal we have sunny weather but I remember to use 126x magnifications at 5 pm during the winter for reading flamingo rings at 400-500 meters and I regularly use 90x on my Optolyth at dusk for cr-birding my marked ducks...
I think that the best example of usability of the 60x range in a zoom is on the Nikon fieldscope III 60mm due to it's reduced diameter in relation to the 62-65 models.
I have few experience with Zeiss scopes but I remembered to notice a "big" light decrease in the 85 model at 60x. I still don't know why but wide angle zooms show more this effect - I had noticed this also when comparing the old zoom with the compact zoom of Optolyth that had wider field at 60/90x (this compact zoom was replaced by a new zoom version with better definition but lower field of view at maximum magnification, that I don't have and still didn't tested it).
Nikon is also an example that 80mm scopes zooms can go to more than 60 magnifications, their zoom also works well in the old 78mm model, and a new zoom 20-80x would be perfect for the 82mm model.
4x zooms can be useful for regular birders, as also for people doing digiscopy and cr-birding. Yes, I think it is also a good commercial idea and hope that the top scopes producers will produce it soon...
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2007, 10:27   #16
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I think it is also a good commercial idea and hope that the top scopes producers will produce it soon...
David
David,

Now that Leica has chosen a different approach to improve their birding eyepieces (by limiting the zoom range) I would like to explain why I think THIS was a very good idea - and hope that it also turns out to be commercially successful. I am not saying that a long zoom range wouldn't be useful - on the contrary, I would be more than happy to see even more options than we have now.

OK, the best 3x zooms have already been extremely good in most purposes - even compared to most fixed eyepieces. Their sharpness, light transmission, eye-relief and apparent FOV at max power, together with the possibility to get wider true FOV at low powers, have made them so versatile that many users don't actually need anything else. However, there have been two downsides of zoom eyepieces:
- narrow AFOV at low end (except the Zeiss) and
- decreasing eye-relief in the middle of the zoom range

These features practically make the zoom a dual-power 20/60x eyepiece (at least for me and many other eyeglass wearers), because short eye-relief reduces FOV and viewing comfort in between the ends. Also, the increase in TFOV comes at the expense of AFOV - making the tube-like effect most disturbing at zoom setting that is probably used the most. Someone has even said that the zoom is actually a great wide-angled, high-power eyepiece with an added possibility to be zoomed down - I would have always liked it to be the other way around. Now the Leica 25-50x looks like a very promising solution: 25x wide-angled view (which shows more TFOV than a 20-60x at 20x) with very good ER (19mm) for general viewing - AND a possibility to be zoomed-in to the powers when atmospherics often destroy the image anyway. OK, admittedly there are cases when more (or less) power would come in handy, but in my experience such conditions are relatively rare.

One solution for the high-power fans to "get the best of both worlds" could be the use of Swarovski's (etc.) 2x booster, which would give the 4x range of 25-100x with all the goodies of low powers and wide angles. I use the 3x12 Zeiss monocular and from a 20x wide-angle I can get a 60x that is very close to the zoom at 60x

Best regards,

Ilkka

Last edited by iporali : Tuesday 21st August 2007 at 10:46.
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Old Saturday 25th August 2007, 09:38   #17
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I would have to disagree with the majority and say that 60x is enough mag. For me the new kowa is as sharp at 60 as it is at 20 and resolves plenty of detail at say 1 mile away. More mag will restrict fov as others have said, my preference is fov and that is why I find 60x adequate over that distance.

The question is to most of us I think is how far do you want to look?

I don't think even the biggest mag zooms could give enough detail of a bird the size of a blue tit 1 mile away to determine if it was a rareity or something else.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2007, 22:46   #18
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Ikka,
Long time since I wanted to reply and I did once but the mobile net crashed...
Well I think the Leica solution is a clever idea for many birders but they still have the 20-60x zoom for the others and a 20-80x zoom would be better for most people... :-)
I found a solution for those who enjoy big fields and also want "power" - I think I can include my self on it... - when looking for a binoviewer for a scope (still didn't give up...) another forum member told me of www.siebertoptics.com/ and in there they have several "Power Mag Wheel", with some models allowing 5 different magnifications with the same eyepiece, that can be a wide angle. For me the 0.6x - 1x - 1.5x - 2x - 2.5x model would be great for using in my old Celestron C5 with a 24mm wide angled eyepiece - it would result on a 4.2 zoom, from 31.25 to 130.2x, always with apparent 65º. The only problem is that I still didn't found a image erector for the C5 that works well over 70x - Siebert optics also have one that I will test soon and, if approved, the next step will be to test this PMW. The problem with the PWM for common birding scopes is, besides the astro 1'1/4 size, that probably most will not reach focus - I would like to know if someone tested any model in a Pentax. It also has 2 other not so good details - it's big and you have to refocus when changing magnifications.
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