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

Binoculars with long eye cups? (1 Viewer)

nathandyoung

New member
Canada
I am in desperate need of assistance finding a new pair of binoculars. Budget is up to ~$1000. Primary use is birds.

I specifically am looking for something with long eye cups. I like to be able to jam them into my eye sockets so I can hold them more steadily, consistently, and comfortably (for me). Basically firmly making contact with my face (I rarely wear glasses).

I currently have a pair of Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42, and generally like them. I just find myself using them a lot and wanted to upgrade.

I've tried a Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 and a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42. The Nikon was maybe OK - I would make contact on my brow or a little lower down my nose - just not super comfortable and I'd sometimes get blackouts. FOV was great though. The Zeiss ergonomics were awful for me, totally hovering out in front of my face and I don't think even the extended cups they offer would solve my problem.

Anyone have a suggestion I might try? Thanks!
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

As for your problem, I am not quite sure if whether the absolute length of the eyecups is relevant in your case.
What I think is relevant, is the difference of the length of the eyecups and the eye relief. A so called easy view without tendency for kidneybeaning is also good.

If you want rigid twist-up eyecups (as opposed to fold-down rubber ones), the eyecup diameter of your current bins (or a pair you have employed with your technique before) would be helpful.

Joachim
 

Rob from Texas

Well-known member
I've found that if you have a cheapy pair of Binos and steal the eyecup covers off, you can fit them OVER the better pair eyecups. This makes face weld great on about any pair.
 

nathandyoung

New member
Canada
Thanks Joachim, that's a good way of stating the problem, the delta between eye relief and cup length is the key.

What I am looking for is something where the eye relief is closer to the length of the fully twisted up eye cups rather than the eye relief being significantly greater. I suspected the length of the fully raised eye cup varies most between models, as eye reliefs seem to be consistently ~17/18mm. I can measure eye cup distances later today for reference - I have the Vanguards and Zeiss on hand.

Rob, very creative. I may resort to something similar if I can't find something off the shelf that fits my face :)
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
I am in desperate need of assistance finding a new pair of binoculars. Budget is up to ~$1000. Primary use is birds.

I specifically am looking for something with long eye cups. I like to be able to jam them into my eye sockets so I can hold them more steadily, consistently, and comfortably (for me). Basically firmly making contact with my face (I rarely wear glasses).

I currently have a pair of Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42, and generally like them. I just find myself using them a lot and wanted to upgrade.

I've tried a Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 and a Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42. The Nikon was maybe OK - I would make contact on my brow or a little lower down my nose - just not super comfortable and I'd sometimes get blackouts. FOV was great though. The Zeiss ergonomics were awful for me, totally hovering out in front of my face and I don't think even the extended cups they offer would solve my problem.

Anyone have a suggestion I might try? Thanks!
The underlying problem is that you need short eye relief and the Monarch HG and Zeiss Conquest have long eye relief, — 17.8mm and 18mm respectively. You might get get along best with 12-14mm eye relief, which is the domain of Porro Prism binoculars. There are many that fit within your budget including the Nikon 8x30 E2, which is one of the best birding binoculars made.

Ed
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

as for eye relief of binoculars being consistently roughly 17/18mm, I fear, most here will disagree...

If you have a pair of bins that you like except for the described problem, getting creative would be my advice too. I'd visit a bicycle workshop and ask for some punctured inner tubes with different tube thicknesses a little smaller than the diameter of your eyecups.

Cut off a piece with the following length ( length of your eyecups + intended extension + 1mm ) * 2 and clean it up. Then pull one end over your eyecup, grab the other end, wrap it outward and pull it over the eyecup too...

This should give you a fairly sturdy yet still pliable extension with a nice rounded edge. If you want a more rigid version, a piece of some metal tube of the correct length between the two layers of rubber will help, exact diameter is not super important as you can cut it lengthwise to fit - it is invisible after all...

Joachim
 
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Ratal

Well-known member
Opticron.

Look at their new top of the range binocular - Inside your budget and a stellar offering. With LONG eye relief and LOTS of cup length, you'll be in luck,
 

Stephen Prower

Well-known member
Joachim

Sleeving bicycle rubber inner tube over binocular eyecups


Yesterday my cycle group rode out locally to Stanborough Lakes. I piloted them successfully through the back doubles of Welwyn Garden City. I had coffee and apple pie at the café by the lakes out in the sun. A happy day!

I return to my desk today, and find your posts on our other common activity, besides riding bicycles: customising binoculars to fit.

I focus my mind, and write:


1. I have gathered on the Forum that posters who intend to sleeve bicycle inner tube over binocular eyecups sometimes don't know what size of bicycle inner tube to look for.

The sizing of bicycle inner tubes is also a confusing area for cyclists themselves.

I would therefore add to the advice that you give in your post from my own personal experience: Look in the discard bin of the bicycle shop (or wherever you start your search) for starters for an inner tube marked to fit a mountain bike tyre of 2.3 inch or more maximum section.

Tubes to fit a tyre of lower maximum section will usually be too tight a fit on average diameter (say 30-40mm) binocular eyecups.


2. I have unfortunately not yet found a tube in my local bicycle shop to fit a tyre in the useful range of 2.3 - 2.4 inch of more than 2.35 inch maximum section.

There are tubes to fit fat tyres of 3 inch or so maximum section, but below the figure of 3 inch until one reaches the figure of 2.35 inch, certainly in my neck of the woods, there is a gap.

Some inner tubes are thinner than others. I am not sure that they necessarily stretch more (and so are more easy to work with) than a normal thickness tube made out of higher than average hysteresis rubber.

At this point though I am getting out of the limited sphere of both my personal experience, and my technical knowledge.


3. Eitanaltman, as I recall, found the rubber of the inner tube that he used to extend eyecups to be unpleasant to the touch.

In Britain I have never in my circle encountered tubes made out of anything else besides artificial, namely 'Butyl' rubber.

I have only ever used inner tubes made out of Butyl rubber for sleeving over binocular eyecups, and have always found them satisfactory.

But I should say that tubes can be made out of natural, namely 'Latex' rubber. It may perform differently.

Or Butyl rubber may not be as satisfactory a material to use in other climates as it is in the British climate.


4. I mention that Wllmspd got round the bicycle inner tube size problem as follows (Post #15);


'Tyre labelling is a load of hurt, I bought what I thiugh I would fit but failed. So I bought one super ultra huge fat-bike tube and slice bits off as I need. You can then cut it so you have a long strip, then you can use contact adhesive to tune the exact diameter you want. I tried stretching, but the unstretched bit tends to construct the eye lens width. I prefer a light friction fit as sometimes I need to adjust the inter-eye correction or I am using individual focus binoculars and So I want to be able to rotate the cup about. I played about with wing design and some scissors... once I had one I like I just trace round it for other eyepieces. I have custom ones for a range of binoculars and other eyepieces... all for the cost of one fat bike tyre and a tube of glue. The roll down design is helpful if you want to use glasses and get closer.'


Regards


Stephen


PS I've started experimenting with extending the objective barrels of my Opticron 8x32 SR.GA using your method, except that I cut the stiffener from a 'hard' plastic milk bottle.

[The idea was to add a bit of light shielding, but I found out unexpectedly that the shields also, by way of improving the ergonomics, sorted out the balance problem of the Opticron in my hands]

I just managed to do the job with inner tube to fit 2.35 inch maximum section tyres, but it was ultra difficult, and I could easily have damaged the binocular.

I shall probably therefore try Wllmspd's method for the job next time.

Or perhaps duct tape if I can find some that has a matt finish!
 
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qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Other great binoculars in your price range are Vortex Razor HD and Leica Trinovid. I don't know how they would fit your face, you will just have to try them out.
 

nathandyoung

New member
Canada
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm just going to table it for a while and wait till Covid clears up enough to test models in person before buying.

Vortex and Leica are on the radar if I can find them to test.

as for eye relief of binoculars being consistently roughly 17/18mm, I fear, most here will disagree...

Yeah, I'm sure there are lots models I'm unfamiliar with. My quick survey of options found things like this, which is where that 17/18 number came from:
Vortex 8x42 Razor HD Binoculars 17.5mm
Leica 8x42 Trinovid HD Binoculars 17mm
ZEISS 8x42 Conquest HD Binoculars 18mm
Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG Binoculars 17.8mm
Meopta 8x42 MeoStar B1 Plus Binoculars 17mm
Alpen Optics 8x42 Rainier ED HD Binoculars 18mm
Opticron 8x42 DBA VHD+ Binoculars 22mm

The short eye relief suggestion is interesting. I'll keep that in mind.

I don't love the idea of spending $1k on binoculars and still needing to McGyver them a bit, but maybe that's where I'll end up. Thanks again everyone.
 

Stephen Prower

Well-known member
I specifically am looking for something with long eye cups. I like to be able to jam them into my eye sockets so I can hold them more steadily, consistently, and comfortably (for me). Basically firmly making contact with my face (I rarely wear glasses).
Fit to face

I'm sorry to multiply the complexities of your task by adding another two relevant measurements of the binocular that you might consider, namely for fit to face (1) the diameter of the eyecup at the rim (and as applicable, at the point of maximum width), and for comfort (2) the radius of the rim of the eyecup.

I don't wear glasses when using a binocular.

I normally get the best fit to my face, or more specifically, the bridge of the nose, and the soft tissue of the eye sockets, by customising a binocular, as necessary, to increase the diameter of the supplied eyecup at the rim to a figure of 44 to 46mm.

All my Roofs have eyecups of constant diameter.

But in the case of some of my Porros, the eyecups may bulge out a little. And should the eyecups of a Porro fold down, and I fold them down, they may bulge out a little below the rim. In such cases I usually accept the bulge.

I won't go on. I have previously described my method of increasing the diameter of the eyecup in other threads on the Forum: Build up layers of bicycle inner tube around the eyecup.

It may help though if I reattach a photo of a binocular where I have increased both diameter of eyecup, and radius of the rim of the eyecup. I did indeed give the eyecups the 'full McGyver treatment'! The photo was attached to post #5 of the thread:


With regards

Stephen
 

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ZeNiTh-PbArM

Well-known member
Hello,

You can actually get some custom eyecups 3d-printed to suit your face better.
These can be a lot more enjoyable than the average large-diameter rubber-clad twist-up eyecup found on most bins today and which can't get anywhere near enough your eye sockets if your face isn't flat or if you have a prominent nose.

Cheers,
zp*

img.jpg
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
i recently tried a pair of Meade MasterclassPro 8x42 binos. they're blue, and sort of heavy, but at just over $300 they made me feel very uncomfortable about how well they compared with my 8x32 swarovski EL for field of view and edge sharpness... The eye relief on them is really high, 23mm! I found the view and eye placement to be extremely comfortable and really just a joy to use. If you can get over the fact that they're blue, you can't beat the bang for buck, I don't think.

edit - reviewing some of the previous comments i now wonder if i understand the problem... IF you are looking for long eye relief, i stand by my recommendation above.
 

dries1

Member
It appears from my observations many manufacturers provided increased ER for customers who wear glasses, which is a good thing; however they forgot to provide the adequate eye up length for those who do not. It would be best to try before you buy, especially in this case.
 

pat mitchel

Well-known member
Pinac has a list of binoculars ( The PINACOLLECTION – Binoculars Today ) that has measured data on eye relief of particular models and where it is measured from on the eye piece. Might prove useful in narrowing your choice. If you don't wear glasses, the larger amounts of eye relief would potentially be more of a problem than an asset. There's so many variables- shape of the face, nose size, IPD, then there's the diameter of the eyepiece to "plug" into your physical parameters. Heck, even the shape of the edge of the eyepiece has been known to cause irritation to some users.
 
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 Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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