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Are porro prisms actually a better value? (1 Viewer)

CO_west

Member
I understand the differences between porro and roof prism binoculars, and I read again and again that you can get equivalent performance out of porro prisms for less money. What I don't know is how specific porro prisms compare to roof prism binoculars.

For example, I see the Nikon Monarch 5 recommended as a good set of binoculars in their price range (about $270). How would the porro prism Nikon Action Extreme binoculars ($130) compare? I would go to the store and try them, but I hardly trust my judgment when it comes to these things - I don't really know how to judge binoculars other than what feels nice.

I'm in the market for 8x42 binoculars (or something similar), and I am willing to spend up to $300. If I can get the same performance for less, and end up saving money, that would be great. I'd just like to know how current porro prism offerings compare to the popular roof prisms.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The answer is yes porro prisms are a better value than roof prisms. My Swarovski Habicht porro prisms which sell for about $700.00 new on Ebay are very comparable to my Swarovski EL FP's which sell for $2500.00. The Habicht porro prisms have better light transmission, are lighter and show much better 3D or stereoscopic view, whereas, the Swarovski EL's have a flatter field with sharper edges and to most people are probably more user friendly with their adjustable eye cups and easier focuser. But both the Habicht and the El are alphas to my eyes the Habicht's having EL glass and coatings in a more efficient porro design. I choose between them based on the type of birding or observing I am going to be doing. At your price point I would definitely recommend a porro because you are going to get a higher quality binocular with better optics for the money. If I were you I would save another $140.00 and get a Nikon 8x30 EII. it is a much better binocular than the Nikon Action EX. You would have a binocular that would compete with $1000.00 roof's optically and quality wise.

https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Binocu...nikon+8x30+e2&qid=1566077996&s=gateway&sr=8-1
 
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Sebzwo

Well-known member
The Nikon EII is some very good advice. I prefer porros as well. Unfortunately there seem to be no more new alphas developed as porros.
Maybe you could check yesterday's alphas and buy some nice second hand top porro?
I have some Docter Nobilem 10x50 bought NOS which is fantastic. About 700 Dollars unused but hard to find these days.
 
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[email protected]

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Supporter
The Nikon EII is some very good advice. I prefer porros as well. Unfortunately there seem to be no more new alphas developed as porros.
Maybe you could check yesterday's alphas and buy some nice second hand top porro?
I have some Docter Nobilem 10x50 bought NOS which is fantastic. About 700 Dollars unused but hard to find these days.
The Docter Nobilem in an 8x56 are ranked 1st place in Allbino's ranking of 8x56's. They say 98% transmission which is high even for a porro. Allbino's says it has the nicest transmission graph EVER recorded by them. Here is a link for a review on Binomania also. Also, a Youtube review.

https://www.allbinos.com/allbinos_ranking-binoculars_ranking-8x56.html
https://www.allbinos.com/58-binoculars_review-Docter_Nobilem_10x50_B_GA.html
http://translate.google.com/transla...binocoli/Docter_Nobilem_8x56/nobilem_8x56.php
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYg5R1Gvf7w
http://www.holgermerlitz.de/fujinon10x50.html
 

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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dennis, post 5,
98% light transmission is in my opinion very unlikely. We have investigated many binoculars and never found values higher than 96%.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

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Dennis, post 5,
98% light transmission is in my opinion very unlikely. We have investigated many binoculars and never found values higher than 96%.
Gijs van Ginkel
Have you ever checked the transmission on the Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50, Docter Nobilem 8x56 B/GA or the Docter Nobilem 10x50 B/GA?
 
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Sebzwo

Well-known member
Mine is a tad on the heavy side and bulky to be fair. Some people might prefer roofs for the handling or storage space or similar. But the optical quality is top notch and weight no problem for me.
 

[email protected]

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Mine is a tad on the heavy side and bulky to be fair. Some people might prefer roofs for the handling or storage space or similar. But the optical quality is top notch and weight no problem for me.
That is the only problem weight. The Docter Nobilem and the Fujinon FMTR-SX are nice optically and have high transmission but the weight is a deal killer for most people. The Fujinon is also individual focus on each eyepiece which is a pain for birding although Allbinos and Holger say the Fujinon is a little better than the Docter with sharper edges and actually cost less. The Docter does have the advantage of central focusing though. The Habicht's have high transmission also and they are much lighter and have a wider FOV.
 
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Sebzwo

Well-known member
The weight makes it admittedly heavier to carry but on the other hand -for me- makes the handling easy. A windy day at the coast and you can still hold it without shaking it.
 

Sebzwo

Well-known member
Porro fans: Here you can get old East German Zeiss Jena porros (7x50 and10x50) for 300 to 350 Euros in "as new" condition from some optical specialist dealer who does repairs as well. Those were mass produced back then (not "Alphas") but are still nice quality. Maybe if somebody wants to try them but not sell the farm.
(German language only, go to "Ferngläser" top left please: http://www.optikservice-schilling.de)
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The weight makes it admittedly heavier to carry but on the other hand -for me- makes the handling easy. A windy day at the coast and you can still hold it without shaking it.
Here is a story about Fujinon's. I once had the Fujinon FMTR-SX 7x50 at the same time I had the Habicht 8x30 W so I compared them a lot in different lighting situations. 95% of the time I could not see a difference in brightness or view between the two and the Fujinon was over twice as heavy and almost twice the size of the little Habicht. I looked at both of them laying on the table and I am thinking WHY would you carry the Fujinon when the Habicht view is just as good and you don't have to lug a MONSTER around. I sold the Fujinon. BUT there is a lot to be said for those big porro's like the Fujinon and Docter with their big oversize prisms and high transmission and simple porro design. They are a LOT of value for the money. It all comes down to the big question that you have to ask yourself. Do I want to carry that much weight all day in the field. Do you? Do you REALLY?
 
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Sebzwo

Well-known member
My answer is clearly yes. The view is worth it.
I carried them on mountain tops, along beaches and through forests and hillsides.

There is nothing like being deep in the forest and then you see some deer and have a full capabilities binocular with you. A weight of a bit over one kilogram is not that heavy to carry around as I have no weapon or ammo to carry.

PS: True story: When I looked around for some binocular, that turned out to be me buying this huge porro, I had seriously started to look at those nice tiny Leica 8x20s or 10x25s. I ended up with the big 10x50 Nobilem. No regrets.

For "ultraportability" use on the sea or during rainstorms I have some recently overhauled east german Zeiss EDF 7x40 and my now almost retired veteran Steiner Commander Military/Marine7x50.
 
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[email protected]

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Supporter
I agree there is no comparison between an 8x20 to a 10x50. When you start getting into the 8x30's and 8x32's the differences between a 10x50 start to become smaller especially in daytime use although there is certainly an advantage at night with the bigger aperture. With the Fujinon or Docter 10x50 you are getting one heck of a binocular bargain if you consider what you would pay for a comparable roof prism like a Swarovski EL 10x50. If the weight doesn't bother you like you said. That is what is good about a porro. You get a lot of optics for your money. It doesn't appear the Nobilem's are made anymore. Too bad. Another good porro bites the dust. I guess the Fujinon would be one option for that size and type of porro prism.
 
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jring

Well-known member
Dennis, post 5,
98% light transmission is in my opinion very unlikely. We have investigated many binoculars and never found values higher than 96%.
Gijs van Ginkel

Hi,

I agree, even with 0.3% reflection loss of modern multicoatings this leaves only a few surfaces... and the Nobilem certainly has not the latest multicoatings.

That being said, a few percent are difficult to notice outside of a lab.

Joachim, who loves his porros - 8x30 E2 and 10x42 SE
 
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Patudo

Well-known member
Hi guys - how good is the Fujinon FMT 10x50 in daytime use? I hear good things about its brightness and edge performance, but have also heard it mentioned that it shows more CA than might be desirable? That it's individual focus isn't a problem in my viewing.

Regards,
patudo
 

Conndomat

United States of Europe
Europe
Hi,

I would not want to use the Fujinon for daytime observation, unless one only observes on "infinite", the single focus is very annoying and not sufficiently fast to accomplish!
In addition, the "sensational" brightness in the glass is around 90% transmission, so not so unusual even if allbino's exaggerated beyond measure!
Nevertheless, that Fujinon is a good glass, a bit much chromatic aberration but very good 3D impression, very nice color rendering, typical Japanese and up to 85% edge sharp,and for a Porro very robust, you can not expect more for the price!
Just a very good marine glass that can also be used for astronomy, but for nature observation? hmm.

Andreas
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Hi,

I would not want to use the Fujinon for daytime observation, unless one only observes on "infinite", the single focus is very annoying and not sufficiently fast to accomplish!
In addition, the "sensational" brightness in the glass is around 90% transmission, so not so unusual even if allbino's exaggerated beyond measure!
Nevertheless, that Fujinon is a good glass, a bit much chromatic aberration but very good 3D impression, very nice color rendering, typical Japanese and up to 85% edge sharp,and for a Porro very robust, you can not expect more for the price!
Just a very good marine glass that can also be used for astronomy, but for nature observation? hmm.

Andreas
Where did you get 90% transmission for the Fujinon's? Give me some scientific proof that your transmission figures are more accurate than Allbino's. Sorry, I don't believe it when somebody just states a fact without concrete evidence. Actually the 10x50 Fujinon's will stay focused out to about 80 feet so they work pretty well for terrestial use. The CA is pretty well controlled and astigmatism, coma and distortion were at the lowest level from all other tested 10x50 binoculars according to Allbino's. Here is how Allbino's measures transmission. They now use a spectrophotometer which is accurate to within 1%. Their older methods of measuring transmission are listed below and they were only 3 to 5% accurate but their new method is quite accurate. How is your method superior?

https://www.allbinos.com/61-binoculars_review-Fujinon_FMTR-SX_10x50.html

TRANSMISSION (15 points) - Currently we use a spectophotometer to obtain the transmission graph in the range of wavelenghts from 380 to 900 nm. This method is very precise one and allows us to minimalize uncertainties to around 1%. In older tests we used three less accurate methods as listed below.

1)We mount a high level digital camera to an eyepiece (ocular lens) and we take a picture of diode. Then after standard procedure of data reduction, we carry out aperture photometry by comparing diode brightnesses (measured by eyepiece + camera configuration). Results depend only on lens diameter (which
we know) and light transmission (which we can count).
2)We mount a high class CCTV video camera and record diverse luminosity star clusters (for example ‘Pleiades’) on a very starlit sky. The differences in range results from different transmission.
3)Another method rests on projecting intensive sunlight onto shaded white screen. A part of this screen is directly sunlit and to shaded part we glue a ruler. The screen is located in a specific distance to line up and cover screen surface brightness with projected image of sunlight surface brightness. Now we take a
picture of this projected image of sun by camera. The ruler let us measure the scale of taken picture. A proportion of measured sun image in relation to actual lens area gives us the transmission.
 

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