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Countdown to NL Parity? (1 Viewer)

Whiterain

Well-known member
For those who've followed the industry longer than I have, curious how long you think it will take for one of the Japanese (or even other Euro-) manufacturers to skirt around relevant design patents and release a relatively comparable model at half the price?

My W.A.G. : 6-8 mos.

Any takers?
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
In which particular area - the nipped in waist on the barrels, the extra wide FOV, the headrest or the lens/ prisms layout?
 
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Mask of Porro

Active member
They could if they used Porro prisms. Imagine a modernized Habicht. Mmm, wet dreams.


But hey, people fall over each other to spend huge on the latest bling so why would they make something optically as good for half the price?
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
They could if they used Porro prisms. Imagine a modernized Habicht. Mmm, wet dreams.


But hey, people fall over each other to spend huge on the latest bling so why would they make something optically as good for half the price?

OK, but what is there to modernize on a Habicht.
Ever seen its transmissions curve?
I am sure of the fact that if Swaro (or Leica and Zeiss) would see a commercial success in a Porro model they would have launched it yesterday.
Sounds like the 7x versions. Everybody wishes one and just a very few buy one.

Jan
 

GLOBETROTTER

Well-known member
The only factor that limits dreams is the customer and the price they are willing to pay.
If people are willing to pay € 8,000 for a bag, € 30,000 for a mechanical watch, even € 3,000 for a liter of authentic Modena vinegar, it is really difficult for € 2,500 or € 3,000 to get a dream instrument with all the complexities that involves designing a binocular.
In photography the client is more used to paying for the good stuff big money,One Leica summicron, a basic lens with 7 elements already costs 3,000 euros, an 8-element Noctilux is worth 10,000 euros.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
...... how long you think it will take for ..... a relatively comparable model at half the price?

NL quality for 1/2 price..........??

Mmmm, sweet dreams:smoke::smoke:

Jan

While I think it is possible ..... the question perhaps is why would you ? ie. for the capital and effort invested, the returns would be on the slim side, and their are lots of other s3XI3R industries and opportunities. I think "half the price" is a very big hurdle to jump, but you may be able to get close - particularly in these times of reduced demand and excess manufacturing capacity.

It would require a dedicated business model (the key features of which I shan't give away for free) ;)
However with 'Alpha' performance for something towards half the price, and all boxes ticked, you could bank on stealing sales from the similar performing but much more expensive 'real' 'Alphas' AND the lesser performing (not by much in some areas though) but similarly priced mid-tier offerings.






Chosun :gh:
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
I don't think anybody will copy the NL for 1/2 the price anytime soon. The EL has been out for at least 5 years and nobody has ever copied it, so I don't see it happening with the NL. Some of the technology may be copied but it will never be an NL.

Nearer to at least 20 years surely, and there have been dozens of cosmetically physical copies of that range, most noticably the open frame double hinging design, green rubber armouring, larger focus wheels - primarily from Chinese manufacturing. I recall an early Hawke Endurance model that was a doppelganger until you looked through it. Interestingly Hawke no longer offer an open bridge design!

I doubt Nikon* will attempt to copy, Zeiss SF has quite a few years to run yet. Leica - who knows, still waiting for a baby Noctivid.

* https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2617325&postcount=4

Awaiting Whiterain's clarification as to which aspects could / will be cloned.
 
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Xlr8n

Well-known member
Nearer to at least 20 years surely, and there have been dozens of cosmetically physical copies of that range, most noticably the open frame double hinging design, green rubber armouring, larger focus wheels - primarily from Chinese manufacturing. I recall an early Hawke model that was a doppelganger until you looked through it. I doubt Nikon* will attempt to copy, Zeiss SF has quite a few years to run yet.

* https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2617325&postcount=4

Yep. Plenty of copies of the EL:

-The Gen 2 dual hinge Vortex Razor along with their China made Talon were made to emulate the EL. There were also rumors they were both ditched simultaneously by Vortex due patent infringement claims from Swaro.

-The Zen Ray ED4 was also a total EL copycat and similar legal claims may have sunk the Zen Ray company as they struggled to bring it to market.

-Bushnell quickly scrapped their largely successful dual hinge Legend M for reasons unknown.

-Meopro Air will be the latest EL look-a-like.
 
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wdc

Well-known member
OK, but what is there to modernize on a Habicht.
Ever seen its transmissions curve?
I am sure of the fact that if Swaro (or Leica and Zeiss) would see a commercial success in a Porro model they would have launched it yesterday.
Sounds like the 7x versions. Everybody wishes one and just a very few buy one.

Jan

I guess the justification to keep these in production is that all their development costs were covered decades ago, so they are the true vintage device, albeit with modern coatings... what many hoped the Leica Retrovids would be. Swarovski's been there the whole time! The Nikon 'anniversary' E2 is pretty much the same. The Ford Crown Victoria of binoculars..

What frustrates me is the same thing I complain about all the time:
Lousy eye relief. The entire Habicht line has E/R from 12-15 mm.
How hard would it be to improve that?

A porro like the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 has 18.5 mm of E/R. Its clearly not impossible for a porro in this day and age to be re-engineered enough to accommodate a larger population of potential users. I brought a Carton Adlerblick 7x50 from Orion back in the early 90's that had something like 20mm of eye relief. (Close focus was over 20', if I recall ;-) )

Bring on the Habicht 'Neu'...

-Bill
 

Loddar

Well-known member
OK, but what is there to modernize on a Habicht.
Ever seen its transmissions curve?
I am sure of the fact that if Swaro (or Leica and Zeiss) would see a commercial success in a Porro model they would have launched it yesterday.
Sounds like the 7x versions. Everybody wishes one and just a very few buy one.

Jan

What is to modernize on a Habicht?
There are indeed some things
A much better glare control/ Control of stray light
A smoother focus
Better/ modern eyecups
More eyerelief e.g.
 

PeterPS

MEMBER
Yep. Plenty of copies of the EL:

-The Gen 2 dual hinge Vortex Razor along with their China made Talon were made to emulate the EL. There were also rumors they were both ditched simultaneously by Vortex due patent infringement claims from Swaro.

-The Zen Ray ED4 was also a total EL copycat and similar legal claims may have sunk the Zen Ray company as they struggled to bring it to market.

-Bushnell quickly scrapped their largely successful dual hinge Legend M for reasons unknown.

-Meopro Air will be the latest EL look-a-like.

The following two binos
Pentax 9x32
Sightron blue sky 8x30
have sometimes been called the poor-man's Swaro EL.
 

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PeterPS

MEMBER
Yep. Plenty of copies of the EL:

-The Gen 2 dual hinge Vortex Razor along with their China made Talon were made to emulate the EL. There were also rumors they were both ditched simultaneously by Vortex due patent infringement claims from Swaro.

-The Zen Ray ED4 was also a total EL copycat and similar legal claims may have sunk the Zen Ray company as they struggled to bring it to market.

-Bushnell quickly scrapped their largely successful dual hinge Legend M for reasons unknown.

-Meopro Air will be the latest EL look-a-like.
We should not forget the EDG I, which had the same fate as the Razor and Talon mentioned above.
 

Hermann

Well-known member
What is to modernize on a Habicht?
There are indeed some things
A much better glare control/ Control of stray light

Much better glare control? Yes, but only in the 8x30. The 10x40 is pretty decent, and the 7x42 is better than almost all roofs.

Hermann
 

Whiterain

Well-known member
Why? Reverse engineering is typically much faster than innovation and R&D, and the Chinese already havr ripping peoples designs off as a rule. Its easier to patent something as a product improvement than make something worth protecting. Ditch the narrow waist, make a massive FOV, compact bino with near alpha glass, then say $1700 (hell, 2300 even) Impossible? Unlikely? Seems probable to me...
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Why? Reverse engineering is typically much faster than innovation and R&D, and the Chinese already havr ripping peoples designs off as a rule. Its easier to patent something as a product improvement than make something worth protecting. Ditch the narrow waist, make a massive FOV, compact bino with near alpha glass, then say $1700 (hell, 2300 even) Impossible? Unlikely? Seems probable to me...

Massive FOV in a compact bin.......

OKB :)

Jan
 

bkdc

Well-known member
One of my favorite companies is Rohloff, a German company that makes one product, an internally geared bicycle hub called the Speedhub which is nearly indestructible. The patent for it expired years ago. The inner workings are public information. No competitor tries to copy it. Why? Because nobody can build it as well for less money. Everyone is focused on lower cost products but all of these break far too easily and don’t last and cannot withstand the abuse and torque of the impressively engineered Speedhub.

Can a competitor build an NL for less? You’ll probably be disappointed when you actually use it.

Massive FOV is already available in the Zeiss SF 8x32 and 10x32 which are probably easier to “knock off” but I wouldn’t call the 32mm Zeiss SF compact.

Near - alpha optics have gotten impressive over the years but the 8x42 Kamakuras fall behind by a lot on FOV which seems to be the latest differentiator in the competition for top dog. Kamakura 10x42s are more competitive on FOV with most alphas.
 
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dries1

Member
"Reverse engineering is typically much faster than innovation and R&D, and the Chinese already havr ripping peoples designs off as a rule".

So true,

Andy W.
 

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