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Let’s talk about eyecups (comfort, dimensions, preferences, etc.) (1 Viewer)

Ich erinnere mich, dass einige Leute erwähnt haben, dass das Zeiss Conquest HD längere Augenmuscheln für Nicht-Brillenträger zur Verfügung hat, daher sind sich die Hersteller bewusst, dass Augenmuscheln ein Problem sein können. Es liegt wahrscheinlich an den Erbsenzählern, sterben die Bereitstellung eines alternativen Satzes von Augenmuscheln genehmigen.

Und die Frage ist dann, wie viele Alternativen man anbieten soll, z. B. Herunterklappen vs. Aufdrehen, größer vs. kleiner Außendurchmesser usw. 2 Auswahlmöglichkeiten würden bereits 4 Kombinationen ergeben, und ich bin sicher, dass die Hersteller sich nicht mit mehr Möglichkeiten befassen wollen. Da es möglich ist, Gummi-Augenmuscheln von Drittanbietern zu kaufen, kümmern sich Fernglashersteller möglicherweise nicht darum. Also vielleicht höchstens Augenmuscheln mit kleinem/großem Außendurchmesser.

Ich persönlich halte nicht die Luft an. Für Zeiss und Leica ist Sportoptik ein kleines Geschäft. Swarovski hat 2 Augenmuscheloptionen für den Habicht, aber dies scheint eher ein glücklicher Zufall als ein bewusstes Design zu sein.
Das ist kein glücklicher Zufall, dass die grünen (gummiarmierten) Augenmuscheln auch beim 8x30-er Habicht passen. Denn diesen hat es ja auch eine Zeit lang als GA-Ausführung gegeben. Da sich der alte Habicht 8x30 von mir nur etwas unruhig halten ließ'. So probierte ich die Augenmuscheln des Habicht 10x40 GA mit den Kunststoffaugenmuscheln des 8x30 zu tauschen. Das 8x30 ließ' sich damit besser stabilisieren und das grüne 10x40-er ließ' sich mit den schwarzen Augenmuscheln ebenso gut ruhig halten, wie vor dem Tausch. Das ganze schaut zwar witzig aus, weil ich auch die Okularabdeckungen mit tauschen musste
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Reinhold hat oben geschrieben:
"It's not just happy coincidence that the green (rubber-armoured) eyecups also fit the 8x30 Habicht, because this was also available as a GA version for a while. Because the old Habicht 8x30 only let me hold it a bit unsteadily, I tried swapping the eyecups of the Habicht 10x40 GA with the plastic eyecups of the 8x30. The 8x30 could be stabilized better with it and the green 10x40 could be held steady with the black eyecups just as well as before the swap. The whole thing looks funny, because I also had to swap the eyepiece covers."
[Beware automatic translation systems when posting on Birdforum]
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Let’s talk about eyecups (comfort, dimensions, preferences, etc.)

When reading binoculars reviews and experiences you hear a lot about the optical performance of a certain device and also about its physical aspect: usually the dimensions and in particular how the focus wheel works (whether it’s fast or slow, soft or grainy, etc.) and also a mention about the eyecups. But I find that mostly eyecups are dealt with in terms of eye relief expressed in mm (which is of course relevant for spectacle wearers). This is all correct. However, I think little attention is put on the design, dimensions and shape of the eyecups, except for the odd case where eyecups are on an extreme (enormous, really clunky, too small, too hard, etc.).

If I was to compare binoculars with bicycles (to give an example helping me make my point), both are devices formed by many parts, but where the user has only a couple of direct contact points with the tool itself. In a bicycle, the saddle is a really important bit of the bike, as it can completely ruin your experience, even if you’re riding a 10.000 € bike. As an avid cyclist, in my personal experience, a similar thing can be said about eyecups. I know many will disagree (and that’s what a forum is all about), while there will probably be some for whom eyecups have never been worth a particular attention. After all, we are all different. I recall reading several times in this forum how a focus wheel that focus counter clockwise to infinity is simply a deal-breaker for some forum members, while for me that’s just a no-problem. I don’t mind which way the focus wheel turns as long as it works properly (soft, no play). But I’m really curious to know the experience, preferences and dislikes of forum members regarding this issue.

Over the course of the last 6 years of so I must have bought/sold/owned/tried more than 100 binoculars and have come to appreciate some of its characteristics and something keeps coming back. Some models that get a great deal of praise (and for good reason) just don’t work for me… and after giving it a thought, in many notable cases it was simply the narrow eyecups. I can think of the Meopta Meostar 8x32, Swarovski Habicht 8x30 (the green ones improved the experience), Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 (new), Leica “Retrovid” 7x35 to name a few. Lately I’ve started the quest to find some nice pocket binoculars and have experienced how finicky eye position is and how little user-friendly some models are, even very good an expensive ones. But, alas, the other day (what finally sparkled this thread) I tried a very compact 7x20 (the old Nikon CF III) where things were different: eye confort was good, and the use, even for extended periods of time, was almost like that of a regular size device. When I measured the eyecups, the mystery was unveiled, they share the same inner diameter dimensions a my much loved Swarovski EL SV 8x32, and on full size binoculars territory, nearly like a 7x42 Zeiss Victory FL. My experience with this 7x20 is that what makes eye position finicky is not that much the 3 mm exit pupil (my 12x36 Canon IS work fine with that), but the narrow eyecups. To add insult to injury, many compact 8x20 - 8x24 with narrow exit pupils also share a dual hinge design and a tiny focus wheel, which makes using them a bit of a chore. So, out of curiosity I’ve measured the eyecups of some binoculars I have at hand (inner diameter; a +- 1 mm error is fully possible). In this list (-) means “probably a tad less” and (+) the opposite.

Inner diameter of the eyecups of some binoculars, measured in mm

Leica Ultravid 8x20: 20 mm (-)
Swarovski Habicht 8x20: 21 mm (+)
Zeiss Terra 8x24: 23 mm
Leica “Retrovid” 7x35: 24 mm
Opticron Traveller BGA ED 8x32: 27+ mm
Kowa YF 8x30: 27 mm
Vixen New Foresta HR 8x56 WP: 29 mm
Swarovski EL SV 8x32: 31 mm
Nikon CF III 7x21: 31 mm
Zeiss Victory FL 7x42*: 32 mm
Nikon A (Gold Sentinel) 7x35: 35 mm
Canon IS III 12x36: 35 mm (+)
Vortex Diamondback HD 8x32: 25/36 mm (they have a "double rim" design)
Nikon EII 8x30: 38 mm

Some interesting surprises. As stated before, the tiny 7x20 Nikon CF III shares the eyecup inner diameter of a Swarovski EL SV 8x32, and nearly that of a full sized Zeiss Victory FL 7x42… and it’s bigger than those of a huge Vixen New Foresta 8x56!
Looking back at some pictures I took of the Leica “Retrovid” 7x35 I discovered that they nearly share the same inner diameter of the pocket 8x25 Zeiss Terra ED, which I found too narrow an uncomfortable for a “big” pocket binocular (with little advantage over some compact 8x32). I'm pretty sure we all have a wide array of facial features, nose size/structure and preferences, so this can be fun. And, well, obviously bigger is not always better, I remember the eyecups of the Vixen Foresta (porro) 8x32 and 7x50, those where so big and chunky that I found them to be just too big (like in "not particularly comfortable).

So, what are your thoughts and experiences? I remember reading some forum members who prefer the old style rubber fold down design, since it is less likely to catch sand/dust/debris in hard conditions, like twist-up can. Some other bulk up their narrow eyecups with tyre rubber, etc... I'm guessing many spectacle wearers won't have as much issues as non-users, because they don't actually have direct contact with the eyecups (if you do comment, it could be interesting to note if you use glasses or not). So many preferences for something that gets less attention than it should.

Why not demanding binoculars with 2 or 3 different sets of eyecups?
A final thought. While using the Swarovski Habicht 8x30 and being frustrated by the narrow eyecups, I remember following the advice of getting the eyecups of the green rubber armoured version, those happened to be wider and screw in perfectly in the faux leatherette black version. So, here’s a thing: as a matter of fact, the Swarovski Habicht has 2 different “sizes” of eyecups, narrow and wide. I find it at least plausible that manufacturers could include (or at least offer as an option) 2 or 3 different sets of eyecups, the same way you get earphones with 3 silicone plugs of different sizes, or the same way some shoe manufacturers offer 2 or 3 different width of the same size. Obviously not in an entry level 150 € pair of binoculars, but I don’t think it’s crazy to demand such a thing in a 1500 - 2500 € top of the line binoculars from brands such as Zeiss, Swarovksi, Leica, etc. that include every known sophistication. Since they all have unscrewable/replaceable eyecups, I think it could be done. After all, the little Habicht shows its possible.

(Sorry for the lengthy post, I think it’s an interesting subject that’s widely overlooked)
Yes, this is spot on, and it's why I find my Zeiss 8x32 FL and Leica 7x42 UVHD+ so nice to use; their eyecups fit my face perfectly. Especially the Zeiss ones.
I’m not altogether sure they are “more difficult to use” but I have trouble remembering which way to turn the wheel to go which way.

I gather that this is not a problem for right-handed folk.
Not entirely true because while most binos require the focus wheel to be turned clockwise to focus further away, some models do this with an anti-clockwise motion of the focus wheel e.g. all the GPO binos I have tried are like this. I find I can adapt to this fairly quickly despite confusion in the early stages but even after lengthy periods of using anti-clock binos in the heat of the moment when something interesting happens very quickly I did sometimes slip back into clockwise mode. I am sure that in the long term this lingering confusion would disappear, but for a time it can be frustrating.

When using glasses - eyecups don't really matter so long as they are firm enough not to move under normal use (and don't mark my glasses, of course). Ideally, I would like to have twist style eyecups fully down - but many of today's designs have long enough eye relief that I need to use them with eyecups raised, making firmness of position critical. Meoptas have the firmest eyecup tension I've seen, I really like them - no chance of pushing them down accidentally even in intermediate settings between the main stops.
There is just one more aspect about eyecups when wearing spectacles and that is there are eyecups that slip more easily than others over the surface of your spectacle lenses. In my experience this hasn't caused problems in normal viewing circumstances but it has when I have had to adopt an unusal posture, for example when leaning to one side to view around a tree or a rock either to remain concealed from the subject or because of the nature of the terrain. In these circumstances I have occasionally been annoyed by eyecups sliding on my spectacle lenses and requiring a firmer grip. This has been a rare occurance but does illustrate that some eyecups are slippier than others.

I wonder if there is an opening here for a quality third party manufacturer to produce eyecups for popular binoculars that better suit those who don't wear glasses - ie. longer, for models such as the Conquest HD, and maybe incorporating a rubber piece like the old Zeiss style eyecups Hermann mentions (which I also agree are the most comfortable and shut out side light best when using binoculars without glasses).
Its a neat idea but I can't imagine it would be practical. I am sure you know that when adjusting the eyecups, a bit too far in one direction you lose some fov, and a bit to far the other way you get blackouts. Then consider the sheer variety of sizes and shapes of folks' eyesockets. Some folks have deeply sunken eyes while others have eyes that seem to be popping out, some have rather open sockets while others are constrained or have heavy over-hanging brows etc etc. I think you would need a very large variety of different eyecups and since they consist of 2 or 3 components that would be a huge investment in the moulds needed to produce them. IMHO.

Great thread, really enjoyed the read.

As someone who wears glasses/sunglasses most of the time, I have the opposite problem.

Small eyecups are my favourite, they serve to protect the lens from damage, but hinder my comfort in use.

So the OP’s least favourite binoculars, are possibly my favourite!
I wonder if there is an opening here for a quality third party manufacturer to produce eyecups for popular binoculars that better suit those who don't wear glasses...
For 10x users, I learned a neat trick from John/Tringa45: get replacement eyecups from the 8x model, if it has deeper ones. This has worked very well for me on 10x56 and now 10x42 SLCs.
I use binoculars with glasses. I generally don't ram them against the glasses as it starts to annoy at the nose pads of the glasses. I need just a little bit of the eye cup to touch my face, hopefully rounded. My skull shape is such that it rests just slightly above the glasses. So it is in fact screwed in but lightly touched my face.
More on eyecup diameter, in case it's of any help.
Lately I've been using... and actually enjoying very much, the Nikon Travelite EX 8x25 (also known as Prostaff ATB). It is such an understated bino. Rugged, waterproof, armoured, and yet very affordable. The only downside for me (as I mentioned here) is that the inner diameter of the eyecups is on the narrow side, so I get the usual eyelash rubbing against the eyecup rim which simply ruins the experience (like in some otherwise very nice binoculars).

The inner diameter is a little more than 25 mm. While not terrible (the Zeiss Terra 8x24 is 23 mm and the Leica “Retrovid” 7x35 is 24 mm) for me it's just too narrow. Playing with it, I've found something puzzling, the last 2 mm or so of rubber on the inner rim are actually thinner and added for some reason (I guess "comfort"??), but are not needed, so I guess they can be cut out with care and the right tool.

While I think of ways of doing that, I've done something very simple. It is dead easy to simply slide the rubber cover of the eyecup downward, so that the narrow bit of the eyecup rim stays on the outer side of the eyecup... thus revealing a lovely 30 mm (nearly 31) of inner diameter, so nearly as much as the Swarovski EL SV 8x32, which has some of my all time favourite eyecups in terms of dimensions and ease of use.


After doing this very simple trick, suddenly you are treated to a completely "normal" viewing experience (like in a full size binocular)... which (to me at least) again comes to show that it's not about exit pupil diameter nor objective size, not even eye lens size; a great deal of the viewing comfort comes down to eyecup size, as I've experienced in other compact/pocket binoculars like the Nikon CF III 7x20, Canon IS 8x20, as I've mentioned above in this thread.

So, with regular sized eyecups the Travelite goes from "hmm, this is nice" to... simply one of my favourite toss-in-the-handlebarbag/pannier/rucksack/pocket binoculars. Inexpensive and compact yet offering a remarkable performance. Today it's a really bright day around here, and at around 14:00 h I've compared the Nikon E2 8x30 and the Travelite for chromatic aberration against powerlines and poles, which is a really demanding task under this blazing Sun. To my surprise, the Travelite have shown less CA than the E2, which is not the worst offender in this area. Quite amazing. Probably the weak point of the Travelite is glare. As a matter of fact, under some circumstances it pays off to use your hand as a "cap" for the sun (like you do when you are blinded by the sun). Because they are so small and light, they're a breeze to single hand, and you can create this sun screen easily. But otherwise (now with wider eyecups) pretty chuffed with this small Nikon.
Eye relief has been a constant source of frustration for me. I can’t understand why some binoculars with short eye relief like the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN with approx 13mm of relief do not give me blackouts but the Leica Ultravid HD-plus with 17mm did give me blackouts. One would think the longer eye relief would perform better regarding blackouts and kidney beaning.
I can’t understand why some binoculars with short eye relief like the Leica Trinovid 8x32 BN with approx 13mm of relief do not give me blackouts but the Leica Ultravid HD-plus with 17mm did give me blackouts. One would think the longer eye relief would perform better regarding blackouts and kidney beaning.
Long eye relief lets you see the full field of view if you put the binoculars further from your eyes (as you must do when wearing glasses/spectacles). But if you don't wear glasses, overly long eye relief can lead to blackouts (which can even happen when wearing glasses, for instance with binoculars with very long eye relief like the Nikon SE porro). If you don't wear glasses, short eye relief binoculars were designed for you, and should work perfectly for you. I have some short eye relief binoculars I have to remove my glasses to use: blackouts have never been a problem with those, although under certain conditions other issues do arise (fogging etc).

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