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

Let's talk PORROS! (1 Viewer)

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I'll take Steiner criticism with a grain of salt as they never really tried to compete in the birder market beyond some average low to mid-priced models.

With their focus on Hunters, Law Enforcement/Military contracts, and sailing, I would be surprised to see a lot of them being used by the typical birder on a forum like this.
 
I purchased the APM APO 12x50 Porro from APM for $500. I bet it will give any of the alpha 12x50 roofs a run for their money. In Allbinos rankings I have the top 7x50 the Fujinon FMTR-SX, the top 8x56 the Steiner Shadowquest and the 2nd 10x50 under the Nikon WX the Fujinon FMTR-SX. The APM APO's are really as good as the Fujinon FMTR-SX if not a little better. They have less CA with the ED glass.
Awesome! I would love to hear how they do on the night sky. If the edges aren't too soft I'll probably get a pair.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Let's see - either

(a) Steiner must have improved this model quite a bit in the last 12 months, or

(b) the person using them has become more evangelical about them...

Which is the more likely, we wonders...
I still agree that these big IF Porro binoculars are more suited for astronomy, boating, observing wildlife from a static position or hunting, but I have found they can be used for certain types of birding. They are interesting though for the sheer quality of view you can get from them at a bargain price compared to roofs. My opinion has changed on the Steiner Shadowquest 8x56 Porro because I have decided I like the Porro view better than a roof prism which is just personal preference. I always felt like most birders that roofs had lot of advantages over Porros, but I have come to really appreciate the 3D realistic view that a Porro gives you versus a roof, so I put up with some of their shortcomings. I really like the fact that you can get a $500 porro that will compete with a $2500 roof optically even if it does weigh 3 pounds. :)
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I'll take Steiner criticism with a grain of salt as they never really tried to compete in the birder market beyond some average low to mid-priced models.

With their focus on Hunters, Law Enforcement/Military contracts, and sailing, I would be surprised to see a lot of them being used by the typical birder on a forum like this.
I agree. I have never even considered them for birding because they don't really market their binoculars for birders, but they do make good binoculars and all their Porros are made in Germany in a huge factory they have there. They have a big variety of binoculars, but I am sure they don't make a lot of the roof prisms. The only reason I tried the Steiner Shadowquest 8x56 was it was ranked 1st in the 8x56 category.
 
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richard866945

Bino repair man
One big difference between porro and roof prisms. Roof prism systems must include a phase correction coating.
So inexpensive porros will always give a better image compared with inexpensive roof prism systems that
don't have phase correction.
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
One big difference between porro and roof prisms. Roof prism systems must include a phase correction coating.
So inexpensive porros will always give a better image compared with inexpensive roof prism systems that
don't have phase correction.
Does anyone make a non phase corrected roof anymore ?
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
Has anyone ever compared the Swaro Habicht 7x42 with a Nikon Action EX 7x35? Just for fun and for possible insights. The difference in objective lens diameters is quite unimportant, both have twilight suitability, the 7x35 has twist-up eyepieces for eyeglass wearers, the 7x35 is at least splash-proof and weighs 800 g with 163 m field of view. The Swaro Habicht without/with rubber armouring weighs 680/760 g and has 114 m field of view. If you now compare the size of the sweet spots and take into account the information content at least for movements and bigger contrast-rich objects of the unsharp area of FoV ... what might come out for overall information content of the images? For the beauty of the images, large field of vision versus tunnel vision? The Swaro Habicht will certainly be more robust, but not everyone is a hardcore birdwatcher or hunter or has a lot of money.
I have that Nikon in a box to be returned. You get what you pay for on those. The extending eye cup close with modest pressure, the field curvature is significant so only the middle 30-50% of the fov is actually in focus. I found the Kowa 6x30 YF ii to be far superior in the image, weight, and ergonomics - a real bargain is ~$100 is what you have to spend.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
I have that Nikon in a box to be returned. You get what you pay for on those. The extending eye cup close with modest pressure, the field curvature is significant so only the middle 30-50% of the fov is actually in focus. I found the Kowa 6x30 YF ii to be far superior in the image, weight, and ergonomics - a real bargain is ~$100 is what you have to spend.

I have a pair of Steiner 8x30's and if they were sold in a 6X with a descent FOV, I'd be all over them for a similar price, in my case, the 8x30's were ~$230USD to my door and a bargain for what I got. They are one of my most used pairs of bins as well. They are bulky by "small" bin standards but, they carry easily and fit into almost any pocket or cubby in my car.
 

Stevenkelby

Well-known member
Australia
Porros are optically superior in all respects aren't they? In a given price and size class, you'll get a objectively better view through a Porto.

Imagine how good the Nikon wx would be if it was a Porro! 😂

The only reason the NL pure is the current "best" is because no one makes a $3k Porro.

Roofs don't show any depth at all the whole fov looks flat, front to back. Porros clearly show which object is in front of which. I believe people call this the 3D effect.
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Porros are optically superior in all respects aren't they? In a given price and size class, you'll get a objectively better view through a Porto.

Imagine how good the Nikon wx would be if it was a Porro! 😂

The only reason the NL pure is the current "best" is because no one makes a $3k Porro.

Roofs don't show any depth at all the whole fov looks flat, front to back. Porros clearly show which object is in front of which. I believe people call this the 3D effect.
OK, just my humble opinion:

Porro's are not per definition in all respects optically superior to roof. They just don't need a phase and diëlectric coating and the Porro prism design is less expensive to make.
After one hundred meters distance the advantage of the so called "3D vision" is no longer there because the angle is almost the same as from a roof.
The Nikon WX would only be cheaper in a Porro design. Not better. Only bulkier.
Roofs without fieldflatteners don't give the same image as FF roofs do. There is a huge different in view between the EL classic and the ELSV.
Jan
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
Porros are optically superior in all respects aren't they? In a given price and size class, you'll get a objectively better view through a Porto.

The only reason the NL pure is the current "best" is because no one makes a $3k Porro.

Roofs don't show any depth at all the whole fov looks flat, front to back. Porros clearly show which object is in front of which. I believe people call this the 3D effect.

Jan's comments re Porros are the way I learned it.

As for 3D, I'm confused by these comments. I remember looking at the ash standing proud of the leaf on Morning Glory vines last summer during the California forest fires that blew stuff hundreds of miles west to downtown Oakland. That those bits were discernible as something sitting on a leaf, through my 1042 Els was super cool. I'm constantly impressed at the depth revealed within these vines that're inches deep, front to back.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
I have that Nikon in a box to be returned. You get what you pay for on those. The extending eye cup close with modest pressure, the field curvature is significant so only the middle 30-50% of the fov is actually in focus. I found the Kowa 6x30 YF ii to be far superior in the image, weight, and ergonomics - a real bargain is ~$100 is what you have to spend.


I'm a little more forgiving of the Nikon 7x35 but agree that the sweet spot is 50% at best. Good beach bin for the price, but relatively big and heavy. I can push down the eyecups on mine with moderate pressure but this never happens to me in actual use. Good ER and very solidly built with good focus function.

That said, I prefer the Opticron WP 6.5x32. It's smaller, lighter and a slightly better FOV. They sometimes go on sale @ $100. They are a bit larger than the EII but with a very similar shape. Good eye relief with good focusing -- may be a bit stiff for some or awkward to reach for smaller hands.

Mike

PS - I have never handled a Kowa 6x30 but have used the 8x30, also a very nice @ $100 porro.
 

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Stevenkelby

Well-known member
Australia
OK, just my humble opinion:

Porro's are not per definition in all respects optically superior to roof. They just don't need a phase and diëlectric coating and the Porro prism design is less expensive to make.
After one hundred meters distance the advantage of the so called "3D vision" is no longer there because the angle is almost the same as from a roof.
The Nikon WX would only be cheaper in a Porro design. Not better. Only bulkier.
Roofs without fieldflatteners don't give the same image as FF roofs do. There is a huge different in view between the EL classic and the ELSV.
Jan
There's no conflict between our comments ☺

Would you agree that a $100 Porro is likely to be optically superior to a $100 roof of the same aperture and magnification?

How about at $500, $2000, etc?

Porro always wins, yes?
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
There's no conflict between our comments ☺

Would you agree that a $100 Porro is likely to be optically superior to a $100 roof of the same aperture and magnification?

How about at $500, $2000, etc?

Porro always wins, yes?
Hi Steven,

Above the price range of 500,00 euro the so called superiority of the Porro disappears optically. This is where the better quality phase and diëlectric coatings on the roofs compensate for the Porro prism advantage who don't need those.
A Porro, in its classic design, has not the close focus the roofs have. 99% of the Porro's with Central Focus are not waterproof where most roofs are. The 3D of the Porro disappears after 100 meters. For a Porro design to have close focus the objective tubes need to be inverted like the Papilio from Pentax but the trade of is loss of the 3D and 99% is in the <30mm objective range.
So I agree with you, in terms of pure optically performance, a Porro design is superior up to a price range of 500,00 euro max.
Their downside is, in that price range they are not waterproof, have no close focus, are bulky, have inferior built quality in regards to prism housing, ocular bridge, eyecups design and very prone to getting out of the correct vision caused by loose prisms and/or objective tubes.

Just my 2c.

Jan
 
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Stevenkelby

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Steven,

Above the price range of 500,00 euro the so called superiority of the Porro disappears optically. This is where the better quality phase and diëlectric coatings on the roofs compensate for the Porro prism advantage who don't need those.
A Porro, in its classic design, has not the close focus the roofs have. 99% of the Porro's with Central Focus are not waterproof where most roofs are. The 3D of the Porro disappears after 100 meters. For a Porro design to have close focus the objective tubes need to be inverted like the Papilio from Pentax but the trade of is loss of the 3D and 99% is in the <30mm objective range.
So I agree with you, in terms of pure optically performance, a Porro design is superior up to a price range of 500,00 euro max.
Their downside is, in that price range they are not waterproof, have no close focus, are bulky, have inferior built quality in regards to prism housing, ocular bridge, eyecups design and very prone to getting out of the correct vision caused by loose prisms and/or objective tubes.

Just my 2c.

Jan
Thanks Jan, maybe I'll learn something ☺

Are you aware of the swarovski Habicht? My 7x42 at around 1000euro outperform any 1000 euro roof I've looked through, imo. Waterproof and tough too!
 
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 Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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