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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

~6.5 power binoculars? (1 Viewer)

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
:love: Those look really good assuming they have a close focus.
I suppose if one can find "tons of warblers" in February, using an individual focus binocular is indeed "not a problem at all" ...
Fujinon made an excellent little Porro called the FMTR-SX 6x30. You don't see too many of them around, but they were a very good small Porro.

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/101976-fujinon-6x30-fmtr-sx/ View attachment 1366136 View attachment 1366137
These were mine. I loaned them to Steve Moore (mooreorless), who took the photos. I later sold them, but I wish I had held on to the case, because I knew that someday I would buy another pair since they have the best 3-D effect I've seen in binoculars. After searching for a couple years, I finally found a pair in like new condition and I'm still very impressed with the view--sharp, high constrast, excellent colors, and super 3-D. The Fuji's EB coatings hold up very well against my newer binoculars.

Today was milder than the past couple days, which were cold (below freezing at night), but there was still gusts of wind, and there was mixing of warm and cold air, which made it difficult to get a steady, clear image in the Nikon 8x42 EDG and 8x30 E2, so I took out the 6x30s, and its lower power easily cut through the "bad seeing." So, there's another positive attribute of lower power bins.

As to the close focus, you can find tons of warblers as long as they are at least 48 ft. away. :cool:

Actually, what I do if birds are closer, is pull my eyes back from the EPs, which brings them in focus, though I lose considerable FOV.

I'm still waiting to read a review of the APM 6x30 Magnesium Series Binoculars. gcole posted a thread on this model and said he had ordered one, but he never followed up with a review. I just sent him a PM.
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
I heard back from Gwen (gcole). The 6x30s never arrived due to COVID-19 and manufacturing problems. 2020 was not a good year to launch new products. Hopefully, APM will eventually get back on track, and we'll get to see if the 6x30s are as good to look through as they are to look at.
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
My last email from Markus suggested April/May, but per APM's website the 6x30's are now pushed back to (at least) June... Keen to see these when they're finally available.
 

mhiebl

New member
I find the Papilio 6.5x21 sharp out to about 100 yards, and then it falls off in resolution. It is a big reason I never liked them for general birding. For closeup birding and bugs they are fine. I think it is because the optics are optimized for close up viewing that it is not as sharp at long range. i find almost any small compact better at longer distances than the Papilio. Here is a review from Amazon.com just to show I am not alone.

"3.0 out of 5 stars Poor distance viewing
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2016
Verified Purchase
I must have read the description wrong; I thought it would work for long distance viewing as well; but I could not see detail of a bird flying or in a tree in my neighbor's yard. I had to return the product because it wasn't quite what I wanted; poor distance viewing on the Pentax Papilio ll."
What I've noticed is that the optics of the Papilio II 6.5x21 are great even for distance viewing, and that one has to take into account air turbulence.
For example, now that summer is heating up the ground and buildings, I've seen image degradation just due to looking at something close by over a small patch of dried wheat ready to harvest!!
I suspect that the optics are not - as you suggest - only optimized for close up viewing. This statement doesn't make any sense as far as I've been able to investigate.
For example I use a lot of prime lenses for photography and macro photography and to the best of my knowledge there are no design parameters in play for lens curvatures that depend on distance - in fact, I typically use the same lens for 'infinity' and distances of less than 5cm for macro work, with no resolution loss (easily verified by MFT plots by the way).
So if we take into account the minimum focus distance of 50 cm for the Papilio I have not found any technical resources that lend support to the idea that the left and right eye optic path in these binos are using lens designs that would compromise their resolution as a function of focus distance.
Another fact is that the resolution of a 21 mm diameter objective lens is less than that of a larger lens - this is well-known to astronomers and explains why larger telescopes are used to get better details in images.
Comparing a 21 mm to even a 30 mm objective lens is not a valid comparison - just the physics will limit the resolution of the smaller sized bino.
Summary: in the class of 21 mm diameter objective lens binos, the Papilio II is most likely the most versatile and optically top-end performer available, I would go so far to say that it is technically superior to most roof prism designs in that its average transmission value is 90% over the visible spectrum due to the fully multi-coated lens and fully multi-coated Bak-4 porro prisms. And the 50 cm close focus puts it in a league where it is the champion bar none. (Just try buying that transmission value in a roof prism bino! You can, but add the 50 cm close focus distance and suddenly the supply is down to zero, no matter the budget available.)
TLDR: Papilio has excellent distant viewing, only limited by the physics of small diameter objective lenses. Comparing to 25 mm or larger lenses is a meaningless exercise as Dawes' limit comes into effect. But if you're looking for that WOW! factor every time you discover the 'macro' world and want to see how others experience it too in 3D full stereo vision with excellent color fidelity, bokeh, contrast and detailed resolution this is the kit to do the trick. And it also has the best resolution for distance viewing allowed by physics (also with excellent color fidelity, contrast and all the details possible for 21 mm diameter lenses).
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Post #65.

Lenses are computed for distance to the object.

Using fast prime lenses on full frame at 5cm will need a lot of lens movement or close up lenses.
There will also be changes in distortion.

One way of using fast primes for close up is to use a reversing ring and use the lens backwards and stopped down.

Another is to use a short telephoto and use the prime lens reversed onto the telephoto filter thread.

Macro lenses are usually slow and designed for close up, but work at infinity also.
They are also often simple in design and of low distortion.

Compact digital cameras often have tiny sensors and the macro function works well.

A 30mm binocular will probably resolve better when stopped down to 21mm.

A 6.5x21 does not get down to resolution limits, the magnification is too low.

The Dawes limit applies to equal close double stars of magnitude 6 and high power telescopes.

The 6.5x21 Pentax works well. I have the Mk I and Mk II. The Mk II is better.
However, I expect sample variation to come into play at this price level.

B.
 

Bob A (SD)

Well-known member
I know there has been some discussion of IF binoculars in this thread. Personally I don't have any problems using bins so equipped. I have two IF pairs that see a lot of use. A vintage 1st generation '83-'87 Leupold Gold Ring #52277 9x35 and more to the point of this thread, '05 Minox BD I6.5x32 IF. Works for me. :)
7T6IHxp.jpg
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Just to keep folks up to date - the APM 6x30 are apparently in stock or will be shortly, I had an email from APM a week or two back to advise that they were soon to be (finally) available.

I'm just now leaving for some travel, but will be back in October. Hopefully others will have a chance to have a look at them in the meanwhile. If not, I'll be keen to have a pair in October anyways and will post my thoughts.
 

Blue72

Well-known member
I bought a pair of Kowa 6.5x32, Maven 6x30, and a vintage pair of Nikon 6x20 this summer. I love all of them. Especially the Super wide fields of the Kowa!
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I bought a pair of Kowa 6.5x32, Maven 6x30, and a vintage pair of Nikon 6x20 this summer. I love all of them. Especially the Super wide fields of the Kowa!
I am thinking about the Maven B.3 6x30's and the Kowa XD II 6x32's right now. Maven's run $500 versus the Kowa at $350. Are the Mavens worth $150 more? What are the major differences between the two since you have both in hand at the same time?
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Just to keep folks up to date - the APM 6x30 are apparently in stock or will be shortly, I had an email from APM a week or two back to advise that they were soon to be (finally) available.

I'm just now leaving for some travel, but will be back in October. Hopefully others will have a chance to have a look at them in the meanwhile. If not, I'll be keen to have a pair in October anyways and will post my thoughts.
Looking forward to your review! Getting close to the end of September too! :)

Shipping is 55 Euros on these 164 Euro bins to me in the USA! :mad:

~220 Euro puts the price pretty close to the Kowa's at $350.
 
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Blue72

Well-known member
I am thinking about the Maven B.3 6x30's and the Kowa XD II 6x32's right now. Maven's run $500 versus the Kowa at $350. Are the Mavens worth $150 more? What are the major differences between the two since you have both in hand at the same time?
depends what you want in binoculars

kowa are
  • sharper in the sweet spot, definitely notice it at very long distances
  • better FOV
  • much brighter in dusk
  • better then the maven for astronomy
  • better AFOV
  • the extra .5x magnification is nice.

Maven have

  • the optics are pretty decent to the edge were the Kowa have slight distortion in the outer edge
  • more compact binocular, almost as small as my Nikon monarch 7 8x30
  • slightly better color saturation
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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