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

Alpen Wings ED 10x42 - Alignment/collimation correction? (1 Viewer)

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
My wife bought a pair of Alpen Wings ED 10x42 a number of years ago. She hasn't used them much. I looked through them a couple of times over the years and could never achieve what I thought was a comfortable image. She didn't seem to mind them, but she doesn't have good eyesight and she didn't use them much.

After looking through them not long ago, and realizing how bad the view was, I gave her a two pair of Conquest HD, 8x32 and 10x42. She definitely likes these!

But, back to the Alpen Wings ED... I recently read about how to check collimation, so I decided to check that on the Alpen Wings. Left and right side alignment of a horizontal straight line is way off. Stair step down from left to right side. No wonder I could never get a decent view with them!

These are, of course, very inexpensive binoculars, but the optical quality is pretty good and if properly aligned, these would make a perfectly serviceable pair of bins - for someone.

Being far out of warranty, is there any point in trying to have the collimation fixed? Or, would the cost of that be throwing good money after bad? I would hate to just toss these in the trash, but using them as they are is something I would not wish on anyone.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
i've just read that the Alpen Wings ED 10x42 came with lifetime warranty whatever that means?
Alpen Optics' original owner closed his business around 2019, I believe. Subsequently, Alpen Optics branding and product names were acquired by another company, since we bought these. The new company, Explore Scientific, is producing Alpen Wings branded binoculars at present. I have reached out to personnel at Explore Scientific to inquire whether they can be of help with this issue. They may be stand up and honor the warranty, or? ...we shall see. If they don't stand up to square this away, perhaps it might be worth it to have the collimation corrected - depending on price.

I have been told by two binocular repair businesses that at their price point, Alpen Wings ED binoculars are considered to be quite respectable bins.
 
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gcole

Well-known member
Alpen Optics' original owner closed his business around 2019, I believe. Subsequently, Alpen Optics branding and product names were acquired by another company, since we bought these. The new company, Explore Scientific, is producing Alpen Wings branded binoculars at present. I have reached out to personnel at Explore Scientific to inquire whether they can be of help with this issue. They may be stand up and honor the warranty, or? ...we shall see. If they don't stand up to square this away, perhaps it might be worth it to have the collimation corrected - depending on price.

I have been told by two binocular repair businesses that at their price point, Alpen Wings ED binoculars are considered to be quite respectable bins.
I once owned a Alpen Wings ED 8x42 in Black . They were amazingly sharp/bright and now wished I never had sold them. Really compact and had really good eye relief. Not soon after I came to my senses and tried to purchase another pair but were discontinued. I have yet to handle or own any other 8x42 that even came close to their small size having such great optical/eye relief capabilities for the price of $179. on sale at that time.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I once owned a Alpen Wings ED 8x42 in Black . They were amazingly sharp/bright and now wished I never had sold them. Really compact and had really good eye relief. Not soon after I came to my senses and tried to purchase another pair but were discontinued. I have yet to handle or own any other 8x42 that even came close to their small size having such great optical/eye relief capabilities for the price of $179. on sale at that time.
Agree. They are exceptionally nice bins, especially at their price point. Apparently, they were under-rated by the market. Very bright, very sharp, excellent focuser action. Fully multi-coated, nitrogen filled, ED optical system. An excellent binocular - once properly collimated.

The current equivalent product, Alpen Apex ED, are around $430. I don't know if the current Alpen Apex ED are as good as the earlier Wings ED product was.

I get the impression from the customer service manager at Explore Scientific that they are going to make good on this. My guess is to either correct the collimation, or replace the bins with current equivalent. I should find out soon, as I just sent them all the information that they requested to process my service "ticket". If I wind up keeping these, in uncollimated condition, I will send them off for service by a third party binocular repair shop - they're well worth doing so.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Explore Scientific is issuing an RMA. The will collimate for me. Nice, lifetime warranty!

It will be great to experience the optical quality of these bins with properly collimated tubes!
 

WJC

Well-known member
My wife bought a pair of Alpen Wings ED 10x42 a number of years ago. She hasn't used them much. I looked through them a couple of times over the years and could never achieve what I thought was a comfortable image. She didn't seem to mind them, but she doesn't have good eyesight and she didn't use them much.

After looking through them not long ago, and realizing how bad the view was, I gave her a two pair of Conquest HD, 8x32 and 10x42. She definitely likes these!

But, back to the Alpen Wings ED... I recently read about how to check collimation, so I decided to check that on the Alpen Wings. Left and right side alignment of a horizontal straight line is way off. Stair step down from left to right side. No wonder I could never get a decent view with them!

These are, of course, very inexpensive binoculars, but the optical quality is pretty good and if properly aligned, these would make a perfectly serviceable pair of bins - for someone.

Being far out of warranty, is there any point in trying to have the collimation fixed? Or, would the cost of that be throwing good money after bad? I would hate to just toss these in the trash, but using them as they are is something I would not wish on anyone.
210830

Hi Don,

First things, first.

I have always prided myself on getting IMMEDIATELY back to those needing to contact me for any reason. However, there has been a lot going on in my household. Please forgive me. I thank you so very much for thinking of me. However, upon losing $700 in the first month of Collimation Plus, I decided it was just a pipe dream that I could not—at my age—afford.

I recommend my best friend, Cory Suddarth of S.R.O (Suddarth Optical Repair) of Henryetta, Oklahoma. He worked with me in optics in the Navy and for me for 7 years at Seattle’s

Captain’s Nautical Supplies. With Cory being out of the business for 10 years or so, my 12,000 binocular repair and collimation jobs were a good bragging point. However, while I have turned to writing about optics, Cory has all the skills I have and the tech trappings I now lack. Not only that, he an honest and knowledgeable tech.

As of this moment, 100% of the “collimation tips” on the Internet are wrong, and most of the techs who claim to collimate binoculars, really are selling “conditional alignment” as collimation, as they expect the user’s “spatial accommodation” to do the rest of the job for them. With Cory or me, you would get the scientifically correct thing.

Please give him a call. (918) 652-3386

Cheers,

Bill

PS Alpen has been out of business for some time.
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Hi Bill... thanks for the reply.

I have found that shortly after Alpen decided to close up, Explore Scientific acquired the Alpen name, branding, model names, etc. Explore Scientific have continued on with production of Alpen binoculars - and they also honor the lifetime warranty of the previous ownership's products. I contacted them and they have given me an RMA. I'm hoping that they can properly correct what seems to me to be a collimation issue.

I'm going to give it a go. If they fail to correct the issue, they may (?) supply a replacement pair of bins - or I may need to get in touch with Cory. Hopefully Explore Scientific doesn't simply do conditional alignments.

Thanks again and, my best wishes to you!

Don
 

WJC

Well-known member
Hi Bill... thanks for the reply.

I have found that shortly after Alpen decided to close up, Explore Scientific acquired the Alpen name, branding, model names, etc. Explore Scientific have continued on with production of Alpen binoculars - and they also honor the lifetime warranty of the previous ownership's products. I contacted them and they have given me an RMA. I'm hoping that they can properly correct what seems to me to be a collimation issue.

I'm going to give it a go. If they fail to correct the issue, they may (?) supply a replacement pair of bins - or I may need to get in touch with Cory. Hopefully Explore Scientific doesn't simply do conditional alignments.

Thanks again and, my best wishes to you!

Don
Well, if it's at Orion, I KNOW they have a NAVY Mk 5 collimator because I sold it to Tim Geisler when he owned the company.
 

WJC

Well-known member
That could be. I don't find anything referring to Orion products or Orion affiliation on their website though.
Because something ONCE WAS, it does not follow that it STILL IS! Captain's lasted 123 years before the new owner took over.
 

WJC

Well-known member
Good to see you back, Bill.
Hi, Richard, I'm not back.


210831

I only appeared on BirdForum recently due to a request for help in collimating an Alpen binocular that came to my email address. But, in order to answer the fellow, had to do it by coming onto BirdForum. While there, and from private email messages, I see that some people have inquired concerning my health, how Collimation Plus is going, and why they no longer see me on the forum. So, to save time, I offer this letter to my friends.

My Health

Artifacts from the stroke are just a little worse, but I am awfully tired quite a bit. I think that’s just an “old guy” thing.

Not so for Debbie. She has a number of medical problems. In the most recent; this month she has had a basal cell carcinoma removed from her face, has had several eye surgeries, has a second oral surgery and tooth removal coming up, received a prognosis of osteoporosis in the spine, and hasn’t eaten solid food in 6 years, and now, this. And married to me for 43 years! ‘Poor lady can’t get a break.

Collimation Plus

I had high hopes for getting back to the bench. But when I lost $700 the first month, I was forced to reevaluate. When I was with the late Captain’s Nautical Supplies in Seattle, I had a huge “bone yard” and many corporate optical connections. I have a Mk 5 collimator in my garage, but no longer have many of the resources that were once at my fingertips. I do thank Lee very much for his kind interview, which has caused a number of people to contact me.

So, What Happened?

I give a reasonable quote on collimating a bino that ONLY needs collimation, only find out upon arrival that it looks like it has been through a tornado, train wreck, and house fire! Then the owner wants to argue about the condition. I don’t need those headaches, anymore.

But the straw that broke the Camel’s back came working with a fellow from Texas. He has a Zeiss 8x30 that, while 50 years old, looked brand new. At the end of the day, I put it on the collimator to start work first thing the next morning.

The next morning, there was a small pile of leatherette that had fallen from the bino onto the collimator bench! … from a like-new ZEISS binocular. I didn’t have the wherewithal to correct that without incurring debt that was not my fault, but would the customer understand I had NOTHING to do with it?

Fortunately, he did! He contacted several people who said that was a common problem with the manufacturing date for that binocular and was a gentleman through the whole process.

That was too close for my comfort, and I decided just to work on binos that I would occasionally try to sell on ebay. Thus, Collimation Plus had a short lifespan. Cory is the man!

Leaving BirdForum

I was thrown off BirdForum a few months ago, undoubtedly for my last barrage of puffery. My Puffery kept getting heavier in hopes that a certain BirdForum member—with zero credentials and extremely little practical experience—would stop spreading his AUTHORITATIVE—but usually wrong or misleading information. But, as they say, “No good deed will go unpunished.” But it’s okay; I was tired of kissing that snake on the lips, anyway.

When I started my crusade to right optical wrongs—the best I could—I had planned on offering 20 years. But I came to realize there are so many non-credentialled optical Ph.Ds. out there that my 51 years in professional optics would not allow me to compete. So, within moments of my expulsion, I had blown off 5 icons for websites that had directed me to binocular forums. Eighteen and a half had to be enough.

I have to worry about the clarinet, guitar, genealogy, mountains of correspondence, things around the house, and yard and dozens of tubes of acrylic paint before my expiration date. Besides:

“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an Idiot.” — Mark Twain

The Last Issue

To do what was often needed to make a given point, I was becoming the person I disdain. Even without all I have on my plate, it just wasn’t worth it. Most of my time on BirdForum was pleasant and I met many wonderful people. Many I will always remember.

But as Chad Stuart* wrote, “They say that all good things must end someday.”

Chad Stuart of Chad and Jeremy (born David Stuart Chadwick) lived in the States for the last few years, most recently Just north of me at Hailey. He passed, at 79, Last December.

Cheers & Blessings

Bill

[email protected]
 

ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Bill, as a relative newcomer here (since 2014, but not often), I don't have the benefit of your extensive contributions here and to the optics industry in general. Though I do recognize that you have a considerable history of experience and contributions to the optical industry!

I appreciate you replying to my inquiry about collimating my wife's Alpen Wings ED 10x42s. And for your referral to Cory.

Having owned and operated a commercial photography studio for decades, I learned early on that not EVERY customer is a customer that you should choose or wish to work with. Some customers need to be turned away for the sake of personal peace. Anyone who has dealt with the public, in a business setting, knows this quite well. Some people are gems and some are you know what. It takes a steely fortitude to deal with (some of) the public, on an ongoing basis.

I am thankful to learn more about you, through this thread! About your business, your forum experiences, and your health challenges. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, and those of your wife.

As for forum participation, I'm a well-seasoned forum veteran (of MANY different forums, for decades). I know well that there will ALWAYS be conflicts with other forum members who dislike or disagree, for any and all reasons. When people are involved, there will most certainly be problems! You deal with them as you are able and let the chips fall where they may. Forum membership and participation is but a folly in the grand scheme of life! Not a big deal!

Though we don't know each other, aside from this interaction, my appreciation goes to you for your efforts in the industry and my heart goes out to you for what you and your wife are going through in these, OUR elder years.

I am a philosophical individual. Ultimately, not one of us will have to cope with the trials of living on this planet for ever! Life is often great (sometimes amazing) but eternity waits. And it is forever. My best wishes to you.
 
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WJC

Well-known member
Bill, as a relative newcomer here (since 2014, but not often), I don't have the benefit of your extensive contributions here and to the optics industry in general. Though I do recognize that you have a considerable history of experience and contributions to the optical industry!

I appreciate you replying to my inquiry about collimating my wife's Alpen Wings ED 10x42s. And for your referral to Cory.

Having owned and operated a commercial photography studio for decades, I learned early on that not EVERY customer is a customer that you should choose or wish to work with. Some customers need to be turned away for the sake of personal peace. Anyone who has dealt with the public, in a business setting, knows this quite well. Some people are gems and some are you know what. It takes a steely fortitude to deal with (some of) the public, on an ongoing basis.

I am thankful to learn more about you, through this thread! About your business, your forum experiences, and your health challenges. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, and those of your wife.

As for forum participation, I'm a well-seasoned forum veteran (of MANY different forums, for decades). I know well that there will ALWAYS be conflicts with other forum members who dislike or disagree, for any and all reasons. When people are involved, there will most certainly be problems! You deal with them as you are able and let the chips fall where they may. Forum membership and participation is but a folly in the grand scheme of life! Not a big deal!

Though we don't know each other, aside from this interaction, my appreciation goes to you for your efforts in the industry and my heart goes out to you for what you and your wife are going through in these, OUR elder years.

I am a philosophical individual. Ultimately, not one of us will have to cope with the trials of living on this planet for ever! Life is often great (sometimes amazing) but eternity waits. And it is forever. My best wishes to you.
Yes, eternity is a very long time ........... Especially near the end!

And for those who have tarred and feathered me:

"Experience is often seen as arrogance when viewed from beneath." — Nietzsche ... I think

Please keep my email. Your welcome, anytime.
 
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ZDHart

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
I neglected to close this topic.

Explore Scientific honored the Alpen lifetime warranty. They successfully collimated the binoculars, at no charge to me, and returned them to me. I checked the collimation and it is now GOOD.

So, I now have a pair of bins that I won't worry about at all - like having a pair of bins you don't mind other people using (loaner). These have very good image and mechanical quality. Surprisingly good, as I compare them to my much more expensive bins.

All's well that ends well. Thanks to Explore Scientific.
 
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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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