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A comparison of prism types, and why the Schmidt Pechan seems to have won the premium binoculars (1 Viewer)

The SP prism is the future of modern birding binoculars. Learn to love them, or get a porro prism.
Or buy one of the multiple AK-prism models by other makers than the holy trinity. Which are not too shabby either BTW.
 
Discussing prism types is an interesting subject, but the SP prism has won in the marketplace and all the top birding binoculars all use them, so really the point is mute. Ultimately, the manufacturers know what is best, and I don't see any of them changing back to an AK or some other prism type except for some specialty binocular like the Zeiss HT. The SP prism is the future of modern birding binoculars. Learn to love them, or get a porro prism.

Swarovski still sell three models with AK prisms...
 
Swaro - porro, ak, sp
Nikon - porro, sp, ak, reverse porro
Zeiss - sp, ak, porro
Leica - sp, perger porro
Canon - porro.

I don't think it's a coincidence they all make Porro's of one flavour or other to this day - the most optically efficient format.

Will
 
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Very interesting pattern! Furthermore:

Swaro porro - 3 models of habicht
Swaro AK - 3 models of SLC56
Zeiss porro - 1 model of 20x60
Zeiss AK - 2 models of HT54
Leica perger - full range of geovid pro
Leica uppendahl - 4 models of geovid R
Nikon AK - 2 models of WX

Halo products (bino):
Zeiss - 20x60 mechanically stabilised
Nikon - WX
Leica - Noctivid
Swaro - NL
Canon - 10x42 electronically stabilised

With Nikon being the latest to join the AKtion, makes me wonder if they will be moving the EDG3 line to hybrid AK. The EDG2 line is as good as SP gets I feel.
 
The number of sales doesn't influence me, because it's about marketing and not my experience. The fact that the market is dominated by one type of prism or not, does not mean that the advantages and disadvantages of each type of prism disappear. I have roof binoculars and porro binoculars, but I never thought that there was competition between them, just as there is no competition between a chair and a table
 
All the top mainstream alpha binoculars use SP prisms. The NL, SF, HG and Noctivid all use SP. There are porro prism and AK prism binoculars, but they are specialty binoculars like the HT, WX, Habicht and Canon 10x42 which are a very small part of the market. It would be interesting to know what % of the market is SP prisms, but I bet it is upwards of 90%.
True that the upper-tier makers definitely favor roof prisms (at the moment SP).
But I'd say in the grand scheme of things -- it's probably not 90%. There are still so many cheap to mid-tier porros (and a few with alpha-status) around.
If the NL was also made as a porro -- it would kick behinds. The 3D-effect in a flat-field porro is even more pronounced than in a porro with field-curvature.
Give me a wide angle, flat field porro and I'd take it any day over the same bino in roof-configuration. But the market doesn't seem to favor porros or even still really believe in them.
Too big, too chunky, too heavy.
But I love how a good porro handles.
 
But hard to sell. :)
Probably. And at a larger loss than better glass. But I have no intention to do so.
Edit: I bought all of mine on sale. So, I think the prices were okay.
My favourite would be the 10x45 Pirschler by DDoptics. No visible loss of light gathering compared to a 10x50 but in more of a 10x42 format. And the ergonomics are working great for me. Fastest focuser of all my binos. A half turn from closest focus to infinity.
They work also very nicely for astronomy.
 
Most birders and hunters don't give a darn about what kind of prism is in their binocular. They are buying it for the view they get through it. They look through an NL or SF and see that huge FOV that is sharp to edge, and that is what they buy if they can afford it.
Dennis, there is no shame if people can't "afford it", or think they have better uses for their money so chose to use it their way, not yours. Also, despite your implications, some of us can easily "afford it" but choose not to buy because we do not share your preferences. Just because your preferences differ from mine does not mean You Are Right and I Am Wrong.

The trade-offs between the binoculars you prefer, and those I prefer, mean I would have little actual use for the binoculars you are currently Having An Enthusiasm for.

That I choose not to spend my money on binoculars I have little use for might - has it even occurred to you? - be for some reason other than an inability to pay for them.

Yet you post with great frequency as if you think otherwise. To the point of irritation.

I understand that you are In The Grip Of An Enthusiasm right now, as periodically happens, and that you want to share that enthusiasm. But sometimes you do it without filters. And too much unfiltered output means the grit can grate, at times.

...Mike
 
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The number of sales doesn't influence me, because it's about marketing and not my experience. The fact that the market is dominated by one type of prism or not, does not mean that the advantages and disadvantages of each type of prism disappear. I have roof binoculars and porro binoculars, but I never thought that there was competition between them, just as there is no competition between a chair and a table
I agree. Fun as this has been... Reading off and on it seems lost is the idea we are buying a binocular, not a prism. How many buyers know what prism is in their binocular? Never mind how many understand, the pros and cons of each? The binocular is a package with many attributes, many choices. The prisms are key parts to the optical choices made by the manufacturer but not the only or whole reason all are made, in their endeavor to please buyers.
 
Simulation comparison of Pechan first vs Schmidt first.

Schmidt first, combined with a narrower FOV, allows the rays to not overlap at one of the combo surfaces. This I suppose allows AR coating to be limited to the transmission half, thereby improving the image contrast and brightness. The cost being heavier prism and smaller FOV.

Screen Shot 2023-02-16 at 8.35.06 pm.pngScreen Shot 2023-02-16 at 8.46.29 pm.png


Swaro's prism topology, showing overlaping rays at the pechan prism.

Screen Shot 2022-10-17 at 10.14.29 pm.png
 
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