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Latest Optics not floating my boat ... (1 Viewer)

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Let's have a crack for the third time shall we ..... (after 1 thread was locked, and the other was unceremoniously 'disappeared')

I am finding myself uninspired by the latest optics offerings .... does this mean that I lose my bino nutter membership card ? Be banished from the optics forum ? Be forced to undergo hand contortion medical procedures ? Stump up for a Nikon MHG that offers no discernible optical or ergonomic performance increase over the mighty Zen-Ray ED3, start wearing an exoskeleton to help with the weight ? commission custom binoculars ? or wot ? Surely not give up and shuffle off to die with a 32/30mm bin ?! (too physically small for my comfort really).

I have even found myself leaving the bins in the car altogether frequently, as even the 3/4 kilo Zen is a drag around my neck, and the hubabaloo and jiggerypoo of a harness just doesn't appeal. Lately I have even noticed an increase in attunement of other senses ...

Where will I get my GAS fix ??

While I very much welcome the wide angle sharp to the edge advancements .... it's the extraneous and contrived ergonomics, and increasing weights which are - ahhhr - not so much ....

Advice ???

Without wading through the copious posts on all the new bins to see if it has been discussed, can anyone tell me what the weight of just all the glass in the optical train of the Swarovski 8x42 NL is ..... ?

(nice xray images here):-


Chosun πŸ‘§
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi CJ,

Well that is an interesting question - and somewhat surprisingly, an approximate answer is available!
Swarovski’s 2016 Sustainability Report, includes images showing the percentages of materials used in four products . . .

Of most interest is that the EL SV 8.5x42 is 36% glass. Since it's listed at 835 g/ 29.5 oz, then roughly 300 g/ 10.6 oz is glass.
The figures are probably similar for the 840 g/ 29.5 oz NL 8x42, since the basic optical design remains the same.

- - - -
I checked Google Patents yesterday, and four patents for various aspects of the NL design have recently been added.
As the patents are Austrian ones the text is in German, though the images are still informative.

One obvious point is that while the focus mechanism may not be as complex as that of the earlier EL and EL SV designs,
it is certainly not a simple one (see one example).

There are also two patents for the dG Monocular. As these are US patents the text is in English.


John
 

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adhoc

Well-known member
Hello Chosun. You have requested "advice", so here is something like it.

But pl. explain: (a) Paragraph 1: What were those threads? (b) GAS: gear acquisition syndrome?

"Mighty Zen-Ray ED3". Have noted before your preference for this model. You know that is subjective (I had one, but gave it away). Cannot work out exactly what exalts it (sorry if you have explained and I have forgotten) and difficult to suggest an alternative/s without knowing your priority/ies.

"Shuffle off...with a 32/30mm bin?" Why the dejection? Unless the 42 diam. is essential. But for what? Dim light? If so, then, you have (most recently) deliberated and chosen 42 in the brightness vs weight tradeoff. If the 42s of the real world are too heavy then you have to stop down. Ease of eye placement? This is being continuously improved for smaller objectives (by the top-tier manufrs. and maybe also unseen deities in Japan and China). The Zeiss Victory Pocket is amazing in this regard at 25 (the 8x).

"Contrived ergonomics". Thought they always were (since before the word became well-known)! I too very much like light weight but for the great majority of binocular users, worldwide, of varying strength and physical stature, it just does not matter much.

Would guess that (unless I have forgotten some special situation/s with you already described in the forum, in which case sorry) you will be happy with that Zeiss. 290 grams!

The new Celestron TrailSeeker-ED 8x42 is the same weight as the Nikon MHG (and a bit shorter), and, from what I gather, has excellent optical performance, at < 1/3 its price.

Good luck in your quest.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
OK this is a legitimate bino discussion. So what would float your boat would be bigger than a 32mm but not have the weight of a 42mm? Well you could consider Zeiss's SF 8x32 which is larger than the average 32 but weighs a whopping 166g less than Zen Ray ED3. But then I guess you would complain about 'contrived ergonomics' which kind of glosses over the contrived nature of binoculars since binoculars were invented.

I have recently downsized my binos to 32s as I need to carry less weight due to my lung disease and for my purposes 32s work just fine. You might take a look at Opticrons lightweight Traveller ED 8x32 which has an uncomplicated but elegant design and over which hands can roam to easily find a comfortable grip.

As to viewing without binos, this is a vital part of using binos! We find that although there is pleasure in roaming over the full extent of a habitat and observing the wildlife in all its corners, it is often the case that sitting quietly and observing with the naked eye can allow a different selection of birds and animals to appear and with care binos can then be used if desired but quite often this may not be necessary.

Lee
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hello Chosun. You have requested "advice", so here is something like it.

But pl. explain: (a) Paragraph 1: What were those threads? (b) GAS: gear acquisition syndrome?
The last 2 threads I started in the binocular forum - the first one was locked, the 2nd was 'diasappeared' ...

Yep - Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
The itch is there, but not just for the sake of it, and if it requires further compromises. The whole idea should be to design, produce, and get something better 😊

"Mighty Zen-Ray ED3". Have noted before your preference for this model. You know that is subjective (I had one, but gave it away). Cannot work out exactly what exalts it (sorry if you have explained and I have forgotten) and difficult to suggest an alternative/s without knowing your priority/lies.
Well, the ED3's best feature is it's ergonomics - best fit for my hands that I have ever found. (though the Nikon MHG and Swarovski 10x50 SV are right up there too). I like the fast focus and large knurled metal focusing wheel too.
It also has excellent CA handling and good sharpness in the centre 1/3, and a wide Fov.
The wild pincushion I have adjusted too, even giving something of a quasi 3-D effect.

I would prefer it to be 600-650grams, sharper, across an even wider field, have better transmission and colours at the extremes, with better ER, and glare handling - so quite a lot could be improved !

"Shuffle off...with a 32/30mm bin?" Why the dejection? Unless the 42 diam. is essential. But for what? Dim light? If so, then, you have (most recently) deliberated and chosen 42 in the brightness vs weight tradeoff. If the 42s of the real world are too heavy then you have to stop down. Ease of eye placement? This is being continuously improved for smaller objectives (by the top-tier manufrs. and maybe also unseen deities in Japan and China). The Zeiss Victory Pocket is amazing in this regard at 25 (the 8x).

Well, yep - me holding the Swaro x32 SV for example, feels like a Praying Mantis trying to peel a grain of rice !

Also, wearing glasses means that eye placement is critical in snap viewing. The Swarovski 8x32 SV can remarkably cut the mustard in this regard - but there are those other druthers. Other 32's don't even get that far .... so that rules that out, let alone anything smaller.

"Contrived ergonomics". Thought they always were (since before the word became well-known)! I too very much like light weight but for the great majority of binocular users, worldwide, of varying strength and physical stature, it just does not matter much.
Would guess that (unless I have forgotten some special situation/s with you already described in the forum, in which case sorry) you will be happy with that Zeiss. 290 grams!

The new Celestron TrailSeeker-ED 8x42 is the same weight as the Nikon MHG (and a bit shorter), and, from what I gather, has excellent optical performance, at < 1/3 its price.

Good luck in your quest.
Oh, yes - I do mean contrived - the 'fake' c of g improvements by forcing the hand position forward - very unnatural.

The best lightweight alternatives seem to be the Nikon MHG, and the Minox HG APO. Neither of which offers any clear optical improvement over the Zens to justify the substantial (Australian pesos) extra outlay .....

I guess I am disappointed that the NL etc didn't manage to hit lower weights while improving their Fov's .....


Chosun πŸ‘§
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
.... So what would float your boat would be bigger than a 32mm but not have the weight of a 42mm? .....

Lee

Glad the 32's are working for you Lee, but they are too small for me, and the extra finickitiness in eye placement for me is just an unwanted annoyance. Anything heavier than the 580grams of the Swarovski SV in a 32mm is a hard no.

Disappointed that Zeiss chose some sort of corporate family resemblence for the 32SF rather than just offer something lighter with more usable real estate in the same or smaller package, that just works. Ditto the Swaro 32NL.

It looks like what I want doesn't yet exist, and may not for quite a while unless I have it specially made ....


Chosun πŸ™…
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Oh, yes - I do mean contrived - the 'fake' c of g improvements by forcing the hand position forward - very unnatural.


Chosun πŸ‘§

I suggest that since binoculars are manufactured products with shapes as varied as Porros and folding binos and regular roof prism binos that there are no 'natural' hand positions at all, just positions we like or dislike.

Next time you visit a bino store, take a ruler with you, pick up an SF32 and measure its length. Divide this by 2 to find the halfway point and using the ruler find this halfway point on the bino and slip the ruler underneath the bino with one edge on the counter and one edge pointing up underneath the halfway point as a fulcrum. Now watch which end of the bino tips down to the counter. No hand grip involved.

Lee
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Glad the 32's are working for you Lee, but they are too small for me, and the extra finickitiness in eye placement for me is just an unwanted annoyance. Anything heavier than the 580grams of the Swarovski SV in a 32mm is a hard no.

Disappointed that Zeiss chose some sort of corporate family resemblence for the 32SF rather than just offer something lighter with more usable real estate in the same or smaller package, that just works. Ditto the Swaro 32NL.

It looks like what I want doesn't yet exist, and may not for quite a while unless I have it specially made ....


Chosun πŸ™…
Opticron's Traveller 8x32 is only 450g. I actually don't find eye placement an irritation with 32s at all and I wear spectacles so don't have eye sockets to help with placement. Unfortunately I can't think of 42 that is 580g or less. If I spot one I will PM you.

Lee
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
Hi Chosun,

I don`t have anything to offer about binoculars as I know how well informed you are, but I`d just like to mention a strap you may not be aware of, the Simplr F1, I often use this on my SF in the summer when I don`t like a strap around my neck so much, you can easily adjust it with one hand from a sling over the shoulder which I find very comfortable, quickly shortening it to a conventional neck strap and even to a wrist loop if you wish.


I really like them.

John.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Chosun,

I don`t have anything to offer about binoculars as I know how well informed you are, but I`d just like to mention a strap you may not be aware of, the Simplr F1, I often use this on my SF in the summer when I don`t like a strap around my neck so much, you can easily adjust it with one hand from a sling over the shoulder which I find very comfortable, quickly shortening it to a conventional neck strap and even to a wrist loop if you wish.


I really like them.

John.
John, thanks for that heads up. I had toyed with the notion of a side slung sling type arrangement - but I'm a little bit reluctant to apply any moments due to off centre forces. Have had a bit of a rollercoaster journey coming off a back injury - managed to upset the apple cart last week when unplugging my mobile phone charger from a wall socket ! grrr ! So it's slowly slowly catchy monkey - I'm sure I'm just a bit grizzly because of that and not being able to leap through the air like I want, etc.

Maybe that is something to consider down the track ... ?


Chosun πŸ™†
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I suggest that since binoculars are manufactured products with shapes as varied as Porros and folding binos and regular roof prism binos that there are no 'natural' hand positions at all, just positions we like or dislike.

Next time you visit a bino store, take a ruler with you, pick up an SF32 and measure its length. Divide this by 2 to find the halfway point and using the ruler find this halfway point on the bino and slip the ruler underneath the bino with one edge on the counter and one edge pointing up underneath the halfway point as a fulcrum. Now watch which end of the bino tips down to the counter. No hand grip involved.

Lee
Lee, I would suggest that the 'natural hand hold' position is related to our physiology. Try it without bins - you'll see what I mean after a while.

This whole trend on contrived hands forward positioning to place them closer too, or in front of the c of g is a bit of smoke and mirrors in my book.

The engineering calculations involved are only moderately complex, but I'm not impressed by reduced or negative moments of inertia due to forced artificial deviations from the 'natural' hand hold position ... not to mention all the extra uneccessary weight and ergonomic fallout from a superfluous number of bridges.

I think for at least mid-quality bins, the mid-low 600's of the 42mm Nikon MHG and Minox HG APO are about as low as they go .....

Chosun πŸ™†
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi CJ,

Well that is an interesting question - and somewhat surprisingly, an approximate answer is available!
Swarovski’s 2016 Sustainability Report, includes images showing the percentages of materials used in four products . . .

Of most interest is that the EL SV 8.5x42 is 36% glass. Since it's listed at 835 g/ 29.5 oz, then roughly 300 g/ 10.6 oz is glass.
The figures are probably similar for the 840 g/ 29.5 oz NL 8x42, since the basic optical design remains the same.

- - - -
I checked Google Patents yesterday, and four patents for various aspects of the NL design have recently been added.
As the patents are Austrian ones the text is in German, though the images are still informative.

One obvious point is that while the focus mechanism may not be as complex as that of the earlier EL and EL SV designs,
it is certainly not a simple one (see one example).

There are also two patents for the dG Monocular. As these are US patents the text is in English.


John
Hi John - thanks for the thorough research and well presented information as usual ! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š (if someone hasn't given you a gem of bf award yet, then it is long overdue !)

My own (admittedly rough as guts !) back of the envelope calculations had the glass weight of the NL at around ~350grams (175grams per tube) - so within the ballpark.

This leaves a suprsing amount of weight in the chassis, armour, and other mechanical guff (near ~1/2 a kilo). Some equally as rough calcs involving the substitution of some unobtanium, shows that just getting into the 600's grams even with a sophisticated optical train like the NL's should be doable. Certainly for the price they charge my question would be why not ?!

Here is some information that I have dug up about the 42mm Zeiss SF optical train weight (I know this eminated from primary source data, but I don't have the time to dig it up, and may not even get back to this thread for a month or so). It shows the optical train weight (sans prisms I think ? - not sure) at 280 grams - so again, within that ballpark .... (unless I'm out by an order of magnitude ?!)


The cogs are definitely turning ! 😁

Thanks for the info on the focus mechanism too - I'm still undecided if that long focus shaft changes length. It would seem highly unlikely unless there is a high precision screw drive or something in there that I'm missing ? I take it that the short outer shaft housing midway might be some sort of reinforcing, or even a slider guide perhaps to stop any buckling force deviations and imprecision .... ?? Not sure and don't have the time to sit with it and delve - sorry.

P.S. I'm pretty sure someone with the time and inclination, could blow that NL xray diagram up to scale size (using the objective diameter as a reference point) and print on standard 1mm grid paper - allocate different glass types and densities, and then graphically integrate each of the different volumes of the element types, and sum to reasonably accurately get the total optical train weight .... 😊


Chosun πŸ‘§
 
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Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
This whole trend on contrived hands forward positioning to place them closer too, or in front of the c of g is a bit of smoke and mirrors in my book.

I'm not impressed by reduced or negative moments of inertia due to forced artificial deviations from the 'natural' hand hold position

Chosun πŸ™†
Next time you visit a bino store, take a ruler with you, pick up an SF32 and measure its length. Divide this by 2 to find the halfway point and using the ruler find this halfway point on the bino and slip the ruler underneath the bino with one edge on the counter and one edge pointing up underneath the halfway point as a fulcrum. Now watch which end of the bino tips down to the counter.

No hand grip involved. No need for smoke. No need for mirrors.

Lee
 

Binastro

Well-known member
12x40 Optolyth Osiris 462 grams.

Hensoldt 8x40s from the 1950s may be similar or lighter weight.

So a 42mm at 500 grams is not difficult.

Regards,
B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Beecher Mirage 7x30 binocular specified weight is 3 oz.
About 90 grams.

Unfortunately I don't have one to check the weight.

Regards,
B.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Next time you visit a bino store, take a ruler with you, pick up an SF32 and measure its length. Divide this by 2 to find the halfway point and using the ruler find this halfway point on the bino and slip the ruler underneath the bino with one edge on the counter and one edge pointing up underneath the halfway point as a fulcrum. Now watch which end of the bino tips down to the counter.

No hand grip involved. No need for smoke. No need for mirrors.

Lee
Lee, the c of g of the binocular is relatively fixed (changes due to mechanism movements from focusing notwithstanding).

The 'contrived' part of it comes from where the hands are forced to be positioned, the moments of inertia that this generates, and the biomechanical fallout from that where this position differs from the 'natural' hand position - generating further moments of inertia and reactive loads pivoting on the elbow joint and also on the centerline of the spine. All sorts of deep back and core muscles then have to be activated to counteract that. Use of a forehead rest a 'la the Swarovski NL can aleviate some of that - though at unknown acupuncture pressure point and chi flow costs .... as well as looking pretty darned silly !



Chosun πŸ™…
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Lee, the c of g of the binocular is relatively fixed (changes due to mechanism movements from focusing notwithstanding).

The 'contrived' part of it comes from where the hands are forced to be positioned, the moments of inertia that this generates, and the biomechanical fallout from that where this position differs from the 'natural' hand position - generating further moments of inertia and reactive loads pivoting on the elbow joint and also on the centerline of the spine. All sorts of deep back and core muscles then have to be activated to counteract that. Use of a forehead rest a 'la the Swarovski NL can aleviate some of that - though at unknown acupuncture pressure point and chi flow costs .... as well as looking pretty darned silly !



Chosun πŸ™…
I remember you have shoulder and back pain so I am sorry you can't enjoy the contrived comfort and steadiness that I experience.

Lee

IMG_4361.JPG
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Yes, the comfort of use ( ergonomics and weight ) to counteract those painful physical effects you mention - out of interest. how does that differ from using a modern bridge camera .... when raising it and holding it for a while next to the eye or panning above the horizontal? One of the reasons I use a Zeiss FL32. ( Still my preference even with a nearby SF42! )

Edit..... something like a Nikon P950 looks more of a bigger and weightier lump ( 2lb 3.5 oz), than say an SF 32.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I remember you have shoulder and back pain so I am sorry you can't enjoy the contrived comfort and steadiness that I experience.

Lee

View attachment 1385587
Lee, I think that's a great demonstration of everything I have said about the SF32 - it's a great sawmiller's or butcher's bin ..... ie. those blokes walking around with no more than 8&1/2 fingers ! coz there's no room for any more in there !

Any sort of a forward tilt is hard to manage at the moment - looking up is better. The shoulder still has issues - but compared to the back it's perfect enough not to think about !


Chosun πŸ™†
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Yes, the comfort of use ( ergonomics and weight ) to counteract those painful physical effects you mention - out of interest. how does that differ from using a modern bridge camera .... when raising it and holding it for a while next to the eye or panning above the horizontal? One of the reasons I use a Zeiss FL32. ( Still my preference even with a nearby SF42! )

Edit..... something like a Nikon P950 looks more of a bigger and weightier lump ( 2lb 3.5 oz), than say an SF 32.
Pyrtle, I suppose it depends on what gives you more trouble. The further loads are away from the body the more difficult they become. Looking up, above the shoulder line can reduce stress on the back, though if the shoulders are an issue, might have it's own difficulties.

My ~6lb DSLR rig has sat in the cupboard for a while now - it's one outing in the recent(ish) past, turned out not to be a good idea ! (and that was even considering the use of a sling to brace with - I carried it in a backpack, which was not the usual previous MO.)



Chosun πŸ™†
 

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