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ED-50 brilliant but a little dim with the 27x

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Old Monday 15th October 2007, 18:36   #1
Wolf Bjelke
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ED-50 brilliant but a little dim with the 27x

I recently bought the ED-50 with a 27x w (MC) eyepiece. I love it but now that winter is approaching i think it is a little too dim on cloudy days. Im considering buying the zoom or the 20x. From the specs i understand that the zoom is brighter than the 27x on its widest setting, but I wonder on which setting is it equally bright as the 27x?

I understand that some here at BF has both eyepieces, do you know about this? Do you find the 27x a little dim too?

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Old Monday 15th October 2007, 19:45   #2
michaelboustead
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I looked through the Zoom eyepiece before I purchase the 50ED and settled on the 27x. I don't recall the Zoom being brighter, and frankly preferred the 27x by a wide margin. I wear glasses and had a problem with the change in eye relief as power changed when using the zoom.



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Old Monday 15th October 2007, 19:52   #3
Wolf Bjelke
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No, at 27x the fixed eyepiece should be brighter. I'm curious whether the zoom is brigher at 20x, if so it could be used at this setting on overcast days.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2007, 06:39   #4
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The zoom will be just as bright at 27x and brighter at magnifications below this. The only fixed eyepiece in the Nikon range of wideangles which has equally good light transmission to the zoom is the lowest magnification one (20x/24x/30x). However, the zoom might seem less bright because the field of view is so much narrower. With a wider field of view, more light falls on the retina spread out over a larger area, but the light intensity from any given object within the field is no greater. In practice all the Nikon Fieldscope eyepieces (including the zoom) have such a high light transmission that only the magnification (i.e. exit pupil) influences image brightness.

Kimmo

Last edited by kabsetz : Tuesday 16th October 2007 at 10:15. Reason: correction of data
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2007, 10:05   #5
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I have been using the zoom on my ED50 for digiscoping and general viewing. I decided to get a fixed eyepiece as well, mainly for digiscoping and the longer eye relief.

I bought a 27x wide MC but when I tried it at home it was quite a bit darker than the zoom at its minimum magnification. It also seemed a bit fussy about camera placement so I exchanged it for the 20x wide MC. This is a nice, bright eyepiece and works well with the camera. The longer eye relief is better if you wear glasses but occasionally I have wished I had the extra reach of the zoom, even if it does darken slightly at the 40x setting.

Personally, I think the zoom is a very good lens. It is very bright at the lower magnifications and the only draw backs are the shortish eye relief and slightly narrow field of view. At about 27x magnification I don't think it would be any brighter than the 27x fixed eyepiece though. The only real answer is to try one and see what you think.

Ron

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Old Tuesday 16th October 2007, 12:58   #6
Wolf Bjelke
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Thanks for the info. Very informative. I will either try to get used to the darker view during winter months or buy a zoom and use it with a lower magnification.

Maybe I should add that Im used to bird with a big Leica APO Televid, but sold it due to its bulky size (especially with the tripod). So Im a little spoiled with bright views... Don't regret the switch, though.

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Old Thursday 18th October 2007, 17:07   #7
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Ive got the 20x, the 27x, and I had the zoom too till I lost it searching for my errant dog. (Long story). After getting the fixed eps, I found I used the zoom very little...in fact, not at all. The brightness wasnt an issue, but the narrow FOV in the zoom was. I wouldnt bother replacing the lost zoom unless Nikon were to bring out something wider. The 20x is very bright, a delight to use. Over marshes, etc., the 27x gives great kick for the size of the scope, and is also bright IMHO. Try them all. Best of Luck.

Last edited by Sancho : Thursday 18th October 2007 at 18:04.
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Old Thursday 18th October 2007, 21:10   #8
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Is the concensus that the 27x is the best overall ocular for the Nikon 50mm and better than the 13-30x zoom lens? This looks like a great light 16.6 oz! scope.
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Old Thursday 18th October 2007, 22:01   #9
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Originally Posted by Phaethon View Post
Is the concensus that the 27x is the best overall ocular for the Nikon 50mm and better than the 13-30x zoom lens? This looks like a great light 16.6 oz! scope.
Ah, Phaethon, "consensus"....youre asking for a lot! I generally leave the 27x on mine as an all-rounder. The 20x is an "extra", which doubles as a 38x on my ED82A. On this, the all-rounder is the 30x. So I get pretty much the same mag from my ED82A as I do from my ED50. The larger scope stays at home most of the time, IMHO the ED50 really is that good. But its a personal thing....I like to avoid lugging around a big scope and tripod, and only use these for seawatching. Do try before you buy, and consider what youll be most using your scope for.
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Old Friday 19th October 2007, 02:09   #10
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Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
Ah, Phaethon, "consensus"....youre asking for a lot!
Indeed! I picked the 20x over the 27x for my ED50, as to me it gave a slightly better image, and its brightness and field of view outweighed the magnification. I like the 13-40x zoom, and find it easier to use as a spectacle-wearer [everyone's different lol] It lives on my ED82 as the reach 75x gives me is more useful in the situations I use the big scope [wildfowl, waders, and seabirds, mostly]. The 20x lets me use the ED50 handheld or with a shoulderpod, I only use the zoom when I know I'm likely to a need long reach, as getting on birds with the smaller field of view is even trickier [I've still not mastered it with the 20x on erratically flying pipits etc...]. I think a consensus is possible on Sancho's last point - try them out and buy the one that works best for your eye, and what you want to use the scope for.
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Old Saturday 20th October 2007, 18:29   #11
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I do find, though, that the 20x works ok on a shoulder-pod, or a monopod, but I really need a lightweight tripod for the 27x.
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Old Saturday 20th October 2007, 20:31   #12
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I have an ED 50 with a 27x being shipped to me. This will be my first scope. With your experience, which would be your choice for a 2nd eyepiece, the 20x fixed or the 13-40x zoom?
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Old Sunday 21st October 2007, 14:33   #13
The Kerreran
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Originally Posted by Bandmaster View Post
I have an ED 50 with a 27x being shipped to me. This will be my first scope. With your experience, which would be your choice for a 2nd eyepiece, the 20x fixed or the 13-40x zoom?
Firstly, let me welcome you to the Nikon club!
You're going to be using it with a tripod? If so then I'd definitely recommend the 13-40x - the 20x can do pretty much what the 27x can, the differences between them are a trade in slightly better magnification vs. slightly better brightness and field of view. The zoom is a different animal, very flexible, though you lose brightness at high magnification and it has a narrower field of view than the wide angle eyepieces. Some people also cannot get on with it - not me personally, I love mine - but enough to make the advice "Try before you buy" worth heeding. Also, there are rumours Nikon may bring out a wide angle zoom 'soon', if so it'll be worth waiting for! My advice would be to get to know your new scope, have fun with it [easy with this one!], and only after a while try out different eyepieces. Getting used to using a scope takes a while, so don't worry about second eyepieces too much until you've got the hang of the thing, know how you use it, and so what you need.
Hope I've helped!
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Old Sunday 21st October 2007, 15:29   #14
stuart C smith
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i tried all the eyepieces fixed and zoom on the e.d. 50 in a hide before i bought them , for me 20x is the best with the back up of a 27x. i think some people are expecting miracles from just 50mm . i have now sold my kowa 663 and tripod , to heavy to carry now , so now its small and light for me with no regrets.
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Old Sunday 21st October 2007, 18:16   #15
Sancho
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Originally Posted by Bandmaster View Post
I have an ED 50 with a 27x being shipped to me. This will be my first scope. With your experience, which would be your choice for a 2nd eyepiece, the 20x fixed or the 13-40x zoom?
Id heed The Kerrerans advice, there...20x and 27x are really too close to each other in function to warrant both (Ive got the ED82A as well, thats why I have extra eyepieces....also I have no sense, least of all financial). Im waiting a year to see if Nikon really are bringing out a new wider angle zoom. To be honest, I think youll find the 27x covers 99% of requirements! Congratulations on your new scope, have many happy years of birding with it!
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Old Sunday 21st October 2007, 19:07   #16
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Originally Posted by Bandmaster View Post
I have an ED 50 with a 27x being shipped to me. This will be my first scope. With your experience, which would be your choice for a 2nd eyepiece, the 20x fixed or the 13-40x zoom?
Use your scope with the 27x for long enough to know how well it meets your needs. If there is a use for which it consistently lets you down, then consider what you might buy to add the desired functionality (if physically possible and available).

Personally, I don't see much point to using any eyepiece other than the 27x on the 50 mm ED if you are using for looking at birds rather than digiscoping, and you are using it on a tripod. The 20x is somewhat brighter, the 40x somewhat more powerful, but these differences are of little practical significance in my experience. If the 27x doesn't do it for you, you probably need another or different (larger) scope.

--AP
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 15:35   #17
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Thank you all for the great advice. Since I made my original entry the ED50 deal fell through for the time being but found a great deal on a Nikon reconditioned 82mm ED straight. Wanted the angled but at 1/3 rd the price of a new one, couldn't pass it up. My question now is "Does this change any of the advice given above now that the scope is larger? Keep in mind that the eyepiece is 27mm.
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 19:14   #18
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Originally Posted by Bandmaster View Post
Thank you all for the great advice. Since I made my original entry the ED50 deal fell through for the time being but found a great deal on a Nikon reconditioned 82mm ED straight. Wanted the angled but at 1/3 rd the price of a new one, couldn't pass it up. My question now is "Does this change any of the advice given above now that the scope is larger? Keep in mind that the eyepiece is 27mm.
The eyepiece that gives 27x on an ED50, gives 50x on the ED82. Thats just too much for normal use, and the DOF is very tight, requiring constant fiddly focussing. The 20x eyepiece on the ED50 gives 38x on the ED82, which is lovely, a lot of BF people with far more experience than I swear by it. On my ED82, however, I prefer to use a 30x as standard (this eyepiece gives, I think, 16x on the ED50). I then use the 20x/38x as back-up on the ED82.
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 19:23   #19
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Just come in from watching a red tail hawk on a utility pole about 400 yds away with the 82 ed & x 38 ep .The view was great .
Also watched him thru my Vixen 80 BT binos at x60 .
The view was even better .
They are not very portable tho unfortunately.
Brian.
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 20:53   #20
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Yes, it changes my advice a bit. Rumor has it that Nikon may come out with a new (wider field? longer eye-relief?) zoom in the near future. If by some miracle it fits the current scopes, it might be worth waiting for and getting. A zoom eyepiece is a slightly more attractive option with the big scope because it goes to 75x. The 40x max of the zoom on the little scope just isn't different enough from 27x for me to I consider it worthwhile on that one.

As Sancho pointed out, the 27x for the 50mm scope gives 50x on the 82mm. I used to use that eyepiece on those rare occasions when I wanted more power than the 30x that I use over 95% of the time (get the 30x for sure!). For high power, I like the 50x better than the zoom because it has a much wider FOV and better eye-relief (I wear glasses). However, now that the 50x lives on my 50mm ED as a 27x, I've taken to carrying the 25-75x zoom (I bought it a while back but never used it much) with the big scope for those rare instances when I want higher power. It's more convenient to bring it along than switch the 50x back and forth, and I use higher powers than 30x so rarely that its deficiencies are tolerable, and the availability of 75x compensates a bit for the loss of FOV and eye-relief.

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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 01:09   #21
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should I buy an ED50 for hiking (age 67)

Wow! I just received my ED 82 straight from my mailman today with the 27x EP or I should say 50x on my ED82. Wouldn't you know it's been raining all day, so I targeted the top of a spruce tree probably two houses away through one of my windows for a trial run to check it out. You guys were right; shallow Depth of field and I was fidgeting around trying to focus it. However, while I was going through this exercise a small hawk landed on the branch. Cool! I noticed though that he went in and out of focus in his movement.
This 27x will work better on an ED50 right?

The ED 82 is a beautiful scope but is huge and an ED50 will be better for hiking. I got a great buy on it but I'll keep it for local use. There are also bird blinds in Wild Life Refuges locally that I can drive right up to. I've got a line on an ED50 angled (which I prefer) that I will probably order tomorrow that the 27x EP will work better with. What I am concerned about though is that the ED50 I want to purchase comes with a 13-30 zoom. I am unsure about this since a better choice according to the advice in this thread, would probably be a 13-40 zoom; but, I don't think I have a choice unless I purchase an ED50 body only and then buy the 13-40 zoom EP separately. (more money) Do you think I will regret the 13-30 zoom (heard rumors) even though the scope is a good buy?

Last edited by Bandmaster : Thursday 25th October 2007 at 02:41. Reason: concern over the rumors about the 13-30 zoom
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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 15:03   #22
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The 13-30 isnt that bad .I Have 2 of them that came with scopes i bought.
I have the 13-40 now but took the smaller one to Europe this year as it takes up less room & the whole thing will go in my pocket .
It really is quite good i think.
Brian.
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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 15:10   #23
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Nikon's figures for the two eyepieces are identical apart from the eye relief which is 12.9 for the 13-30 and 14.1 for the 13-40.

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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 17:38   #24
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BANDMASTER wrote:
Sounds like the 13-30 zoom might be a better choice for traveling and hiking...It would probably be good for me to use with my 82mm too since...right now the mag of the 27 confuses me a bit.
_______________________________________________________________________________
My reply:

Since you already own the 27x--actually, it is a 50x on your 82mm, I'd strongly recommend keeping that (if it can't be returned) and then getting the eyepiece that yields an actual 30x on the 82mm to use as your regular eyepiece. The field of view of the 30x is MUCH greater than is the zoom, even when the zoom is set to its widest (that is 25x, since the 13-30x is actually a 25-56x on the 82mm scope) and I think you will enjoy the view much more.

For those occasions when you want higher power, attach the 50x that you already own. You've already experienced the difficulties of viewing at high power--narrow depth of field, darker image, and narrower field of view (though the 50x FOV is almost the same as the zoom when the zoom is set at 25x, just to show you how restricted the view of the zoom is by comparison). By the way, if you were looking at the falcon through a glass pane window, it may have severely degraded the view to the extent that achieving the sharp focus that this eyepiece is capable of was impossible.

If you get a 50mm ED in the future, the 50x will work as a very nice wide field 27x on that scope, very comparable in viewing comfort and quality to the 30x on your 82mm. But then, since you haven't tried the 30x yet on your 82mm (or your 27x on a 50 mm) you haven't experienced the view that is optimal for this system. Get the 30x (the one that is 24x on the 60mm scope and 30x on the 82mm) and forget the zoom for now!

--AP

PS. Hey, what happened Bandmaster, I wrote this as a reply to your recent post but you must have deleted it!

Last edited by Alexis Powell : Thursday 25th October 2007 at 17:47. Reason: add the PS line
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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 17:39   #25
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Now Ron, at least I am beginning know what you are talking about when you say eye relief, so let me see if I remember what you told me about this. So, the higher the number the better because you have more room and don't have to squeeze your eye against the eyepiece? That means that the 13-40 eyepiece gives you more room, right? --- and is 12.9 for the 13-30 adequate for being comfortable?

Wow Brian, are the two eyepieces that much bigger in size that one fits nicely in your pocket and the other is a bulge? Thanks for that tip. Sounds like the 13-30 zoom might be a better choice for traveling and hiking and better for the time being on my pocket book. I would like to fly military standby to Europe in the next year, a good choice for that trip, right? No wonder the 13-40 costs so much. The 13-30 probably is better for a novice anyway like myself just starting out and all? It would probably be good for me to use with my 82mm too since I am in training and right now the mag of the 27 confuses me a bit. The 13-30 sounds like a better choice for me right now.
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