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Second-Hand Habicht Porro’s To Use (1 Viewer)

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Current production Habicht binoculars offer considerable value for money. They are:
- built to Swarovski’s usual high quality standards
- noted for their on axis resolution, neutral coloured image and bright view (the listed transmission for all models is 96%), and
- waterproof and nitrogen filled, though having a distinctly heavy focuser action
(for a detailed discussion of their attributes and how to maximise their performance, see the thread at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=376504 )

There is a choice of three centre focus models: 8x30W, 7x42 and 10x40W. All are available with a leatherette finish, and the last two are also offered with rubber armour covering

They are considerably cheaper than the other main Swarovski models e.g. while the most expensive Habicht is the rubber armoured 10x40W,
the current SLC 10x42 is around 50% more expensive, and EL FieldPro 10x42 is around twice as expensive


Starting With a Second-Hand Model?
One impediment for those considering a new Habicht is that not many Swarovski dealers keep them in stock, so you may not be able to try before you buy

As such, a second-hand model may be the easiest way to find out if you and a Habicht are a good fit - and depending on the features and price,
it may provide even better value than a new unit
But be warned . . . buying a second-hand unit may lead to further purchases!


The Range Of Choices
Swarovski’s metal bodied Porro prism binoculars have been in continuous production since 1949. In over 70 years around 750,000 have been produced
For more detail, see posts #4 and 5 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=391080

Due to the time and numbers, there are obvious problems for someone wanting a second-hand model to use - as opposed to what would interest a collector
As a starting point, in terms of the variety of models that have been offered see the attached table


Which To Use?
The Habichts that will be of most interest for use, are those that are both centre focus and are multi-coated aka Swarotop

While Swarotop was introduced on most product lines at the start of the 1980’s, it was not introduced on the Habichts until around 1989
But when this was, in relation to the serial numbering of the various models, is unknown

However, in January 1991 Swarovski adopted Alpha-Numeric serial numbering on all its product lines, and this provides a convenient starting point for someone wanting a unit to use
- as every Alpha-Numeric numbered Habicht is multi-coated

Since 1991 around 115,000 Habichts have been produced, and all but a little over 5,000 are centre focus. So there are plenty of possibilities for those interested


Identifying Swarotop Versions
I’ve been able to identify three main versions of Swarotop on the Habichts, and while the images provided by them differ in degree as to colour and brightness,
any would be acceptable to most current users

• Version 1
For our purposes, from the start of 1991 - from #A61 xxxxx on
It has a slightly yellow image (greatly different to the very strongly yellow one of the previous dual layer coated models)

• Version 2
From early 1997 - by #A6706 36307 at the latest
It has a very slightly yellow image, similar to that of many current binoculars

• Version 3
From the start of 2009 - and verified as by #A7908 87433
It has the neutral ‘paper white’ image now associated with Swarovski’s optics

cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
A Special Note - Waterproofing and Focuser Effort
All models since 1984 are both watertight and nitrogen filled - and they are immediately identifiable by the valve cap screws on the front bridge arms

Over time there seems to have been a significant change in relation to the effort required to focus them, see post #15 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=388805
(and others on BF have made similar observations as to the ease of focusing earlier waterproof units)

When the new body was introduced in 1984, it was specified as water resistant to 0.3 bar (4.4 psi), which corresponds to a depth of 3 m
Currently, Habichts are specified to 0.4 bar (5.8 psi) - the same specification as for Swarovski’s other waterproof products

As near as I can tell (by using Wayback to recall pages from earlier versions of the Swarovski website, see: https://archive.org/web/ ),
until at least 2000 the original 0.3 bar specification was used, and by 2003 the new 0.4 bar specification was in use

It’s likely that significantly stronger seals would have been required to increase the pressure resistance by 1/3
If so, this raises the possibility that Swarovski could go back to the former specification and offer an ‘Easy Focus’ version
Since one of the common criticisms of the current Habichts is the effort required to adjust the focuser, this would seem an simple way to increase their popularity

In the meantime, if you want a second hand model with a lighter focuser like most other Porro prism binoculars, it may be worthwhile to only consider production to 2000
- or alternatively, if possible try before buying


Additional Possibilities - Discontinued Swarotop Coated Models
Beside the current models, there are some other multi-coated models no longer made (see the table in the previous post)
Most notable are:
- the leatherette CF 6x30, that was discontinued in 1994, and
- the rubber armoured version of the CF 8x30W, that was discontinued around 2001

While they are now considered desirable by some, towards the end of their production there seems to have been little interest in them,
and so they were only made in small numbers. Consequently, they are rarely seen on sales sites

n.b. In relation to the 8x30W M GA, there also seems to have been some limited production in 2015 - I’ve seen two new units offered on an Iranian sales site!


So as they used to say on the series 12 O’Clock High ‘Good luck and good hunting!’


John
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
PART II)

Clarifying The Choices
While the above provides sufficient information to identify a suitable unit to use, some will be interested in more detail

To make things manageable, it’s useful to consider four broad areas:
A) Mechanical components
B) Optical hardware - the glass
C) Optical firmware - the lens coatings
D) Serial Numbering

It’s C) that will define the choices for a Habicht to use
And D) that will enable you to be sure of what you’re buying



A) Mechanical Components
In general, Habichts have always been produced to the same high standard of mechanical quality
This includes the single coated ‘economy’ versions, usually branded Falke instead of Habicht
And unsurprisingly over the 70 years there have been a number of minor changes, most of which are only of real interest to collectors

However, there have also been three major functional changes:
- the upgraded eyepiece on the 6x30 and 7x42 models from around 1965 (identifiable by: a larger flat 16 mm diameter eye lens verses an 11 mm ‘button’ one;
along with the larger eyepiece housing as used on the other models)

- the rubber armour option progressively introduced from 1971, and

- most significantly, the new airtight body introduced in 1984 (as discussed above)


There have also been some lapses in quality in relation to finishes. Besides the wear that you can expect on older models:
- the leatherette on some units from prior to 1955 has turned brown over time, presumedly due to a defective batch of vulcanite
(though it does give a nice contrast to the black metalwork - see the image from a 2019 listing by dakota_at on eBay)

- the anodising on some units up to the mid-1960’s shows significant deterioration including flaking, presumedly due to inconsistent surface preparation and coating, and

- the rubber armour on early units is frequently perished, most likely due to the limitations of the raw material used at the time


B) Optics
As with the mechanical components, the Habicht optics have also been of consistently high quality over time - at least from the 1960’s on
e.g. see Tobias Mennle’s comments about the resolution of his dual coated 8x30W #813,298 from 1961 compared to his multi-coated 8x30W from 2009
at: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/reviews/swarovski/swarohabicht8x30/habicht8x301961.html

My experience is the same when comparing my 8x30W #815,884 from 1962 to my 8x30W from 2013
Notwithstanding the intensely yellow image of the dual coated unit, it’s high level of resolution is readily apparent in good lighting


cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
C) Lens Coatings
In light of the constancy of the Habicht design over time, the most significant development in terms of optical performance has been due to advances in anti-reflective lens coatings
This has resulted in significant improvements both to transmission and the perceived colour of the image

The complication is that like many manufacturers, Swarovski routinely updates the coatings that it uses, mostly without any announcement


Overview
Swarovski commenced commercial binocular production in 1948, with what would be known from 1949 as the Habicht line of Porro prism binoculars
- while the earliest production in 1948 was uncoated, before the year was out coated binoculars were standard *
- unusually, Swarovski’s binoculars featured dual layer coating, rather than the single layer common to other brands **
- from 1956 to 1968 an alternative single layer coating was offered on what was generally marketed as the Falke line
- and multi-coating aka Swarotop was introduced on most product lines from 1980 on
However, neither the Habicht binoculars nor the metric pattern telescopic sights were multi-coated until the late 1980’s

* though the 6x30 continued to be offered optionally uncoated into the 1960’s!
** the dual layer coating was developed by Optics Balzers AG of Lichtenstein, see: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3803698&postcount=18


DV/ Dual Layer Coating
While the dual layer coating was mainly referred to as DV coating (Doppelvergütung = ‘double coating’),
for both some time in the mid-1950’s and again in the 1980’s, it was referred to as Transmax (Optics Balzers’ original official designation)

Compared to the single coating used on most other binoculars, DV coating provided:
- superior transmission (see the attached graph from p.439 of H.K. Pulker’s ‘Coatings on Glass’)
- greater contrast, though at the cost of a much more yellow image, and
- a ready way for the new company Swarovski Optik to visually distinguish itself from others
i.e. the dark indigo/ violet reflections from the objectives were strikingly different to the lighter mid-blue ones common to much single coating

With DV coating, as lighting levels decrease the yellowness becomes less obvious. And the yellow image acts in the same way as that of yellow tinted spectacles do
- both increase perceived contrast as lighting level decrease

However, while in such circumstance DV coating was:
- superior to single coating, and
- even superior to the earliest versions of Swarotop used on other Swarovski binoculars
it was not superior to the versions of Swarotop used on the Habicht binoculars, especially at lower wavelengths
see ‘Transmission Efficiency’ below


Swarotop/ Multi-Coating - What A User Wants
As indicated, while Swarotop was applied to most products from the start of the 1980’s, the Habichts were an exception

And while Swarovski did publicise the initial introduction of Swarotop on various products, and from then on included the information in advertising,
it did not seem to do the same when the Habichts were eventually updated in the late 1980s

In relation to the start dates for the 3 versions that I’ve identified, the date for:
- the 1st version is somewhat uncertain, so I’ve taken a deliberately conservative approach *
- the 2nd version is narrowly limited by what I’ve been able to observe, and
- the 3rd version is certain

So if anyone has more precise information, especially about the initial start of the use of Swarotop, it would be appreciated


* The main problem is that the 1st version was introduced when the various models each had their own serial number sequence
So without a corresponding set of serial numbers, knowing the exact date of introduction is not all that useful


cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
3 Versions Of Swarotop On Habichts

• Version 1
In relation to the initial use of Swarotop I’ve had to rely on:

- The first hand experience of others, and
- Images from sales listings


- Reports From Others
i) Ted/ Theo98 has commented on his 6x30 Habicht at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3480078&postcount=18
I contacted Ted and the unit is #618,284, and there is a photo of it at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3766637&postcount=8 *

ii) Canip/ Pinac has discussed a 6x30 unit #A6219 08107 (so from May 1992). See the photos and description on his site ‘Binoculars Today’
at: https://binocular.ch/swarovski-habicht-6x30/

ii) SteveF compared an IF 8x30 unit #B6342 01734 (from October 1993) to a CF 8x30 one #A7314 69946 (from April 2003) i.e. one with version 2 coating,
at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=1469369&postcount=7


* The serial number indicates that it dates from 1989 (see table #3 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3777457&postcount=7 )
However, the prism plate covers are consistent with a model from 1996 or later (see ‘Notes On Markings’ below)
The implication is that at some stage it was returned to Absam for servicing


- Images From Listings
The last form of DV coating used on the Habichts which was referred to as Transmax, produced a particularly strongly yellow image
See the image provided by Henry Link, which shows the effect when looking through the objective at a white background,
it’s from post #14 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=130629

In contrast, I have two similar images from early 1991 units:
- an 8x30 from February 1991 (#A61 08088, from a 2017 listing by glcbers on the Italian site Armiusati)
- a RA 7x42 from April 1991 (#A61 15316, from a 2015 listing by joeeastern on eBay)

As can be seen there is significantly less yellow tint to the image

There is also an image from the same period showing the reflections from the objective
- a 10x40 from February 1991 (#A61 08228, from a 2015 listing by gstaadi1 on eBay)
For comparison see the image of my 1962 DV coated unit


So it seems reasonable to conclude on the basis of all of the above, that Swarotop was already on the Habichts from the start of 1991,
when Alpha-Numeric numbering was introduced


- A Definite Dating Point
As a result, for convenience I’ve used the introduction of Alpha-Numeric numbering in January 1991 as a definite starting point
Notwithstanding this fails to include a relatively small number of earlier units, as indicated by Ted’s observations
However, if you can inspect an earlier unit, you should be able to readily determine by the view if it has either Swarotop or the strongly yellow DV coating

cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
• Version 2
The new version was in use by early 1997 at the latest. By my observation of photos of the reflections from objectives, the original coating was used to at least November 1996 (#A6645)
and the new coating was in use by February 1997 (#A6706)

Compared to the v1 unit shown in the previous post, there is a distinct change to the reflections from the objective coatings
See the photo showing the coating on v2 my rubber armoured 8x30 from October 1999 (#A6944), along with the v3 coating on my leatherette 8x30 from June 2013 (#A8324)


• Version 3
In preparation for the introduction of the EL Swarovision line of binoculars, Swarovski updated it’s coating machinery
As a result, from the start of 2009 all product lines use coatings that give a neutral coloured image
See the comments by Dale Forbes of Swarovski at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=1639843&postcount=29

And looking at the images that I’ve collected, the first one from 2009 that clearly shows the objectives, #A7908 from February 2009 shows the new coloured reflections

As can be seen from the image comparing the v2 and v3 objectives, the differences are nowhere near as striking between the v1 and v2 objectives
(the objective coatings on the v3 are a ‘variation on a theme’, in particular the main reflection is green instead of yellow)

However, while the obvious differences between v2 and v3 objective reflections are minor, the combined effect of the updated coatings on all the lenses,
has a significant effect on transmission - see 'Transmission Efficiency' below


cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Performance - Image Colour
As I don’t have access to a Habicht with v1 Swarotop coating, we need to consider from post #5, both:
- the comments of Ted, Canip and Steve above, who all comment on the image as being only either slightly or faintly yellow
- along with the attached images showing the view through the objectives of units from 1991


In contrast, I do have both v2 and v3 coated versions. My v2 rubber armoured 8x30W from November 1999 (#A6944) has a very slightly yellow image that is comparable to both my:
- SLC 8x30 neu from May 2006 (#D7621), and
- more recent Leica Ultravid 7x42 HD

All three are subjectively around half as yellow as my Nikon 8x30 EII #811,134, which was purchased from Japan in 2014
Of course the EII is not generally considered objectionable in terms of the colour of the image - let alone the more neutral image Ultravid HD

While the images of the first three may not be as technically correct as the neutral image of the current Habichts, they may be preferable to some:
- psychologically, a slightly warmer image is generally perceived more favourably than a neutral/ cold one (a common adjustment made in colour photography), and
- a slightly warmer image may be particularly preferable under overcast conditions (where the light tends to be more blue)

And personally I find the v2 image preferable under the intense bleached white light of an Australian summer
(and I could imagine a similar preference in a snow covered landscape in bright sunlight)

- - - -

In contrast the DV coating on my 8x30W #815,884 from 1962 gives an intensely yellow image
- subjectively perhaps 4 times or more as yellow as my Nikon EII!
For further comparison see Tobias Mennle’s comments about his 8x30W #813,298 at: http://www.greatestbinoculars.com/allpages/reviews/swarovski/swarohabicht8x30/habicht8x301961.html


cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Performance - Transmission Efficiency
Thanks to the work of Gijs van Ginkel, we have access to a large amount of data about the transmission values of various binoculars, including considerable information on Swarovskis
See the tests and other papers by Gijs at: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/verrekijkers/verrekijkers-testen-en-vergelijken/

I’ve attached a table that shows information compiled from a number of Gijs’ tests. It contains transmission data for:
a) DV coated Habichts (from 1958 and 1963)
b) Swarotop coated SL’s (from between 1982 and 1998)
c) Swarotop coated Habichts (from 1997 on)
and
d) Swarotop coated x30 SLC’s (from 1985 to 2005) *


I’ve included the values for both 500 nm and 550 nm, which Gijs routinely lists in his test results
These are the wavelengths of optimal sensitivity of the human eye for scotopic/ low light and photopic/ daylight viewing
And I’ve also included in brackets, the values from each end of the recorded spectrum at 450 nm and 675 nm
Usually these are the minimum recorded values (though the 1982 SL shows its highest transmission at the longest wavelength)

I’ve included data for the SL’s as they had essentially the same same optical construction as the Habichts (lenses and groups),
and were Swarotop coated from their introduction in 1980
(they had a minor advantage in transmission due to two less air-to-glass surfaces, as the prisms were cemented together,
see the comments in post #8 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=382302 )
From the images that I’ve seen of the reflections from the objectives of later SL production, they appear to be very similar to that of the 1991 v1 Habicht shown previously

And I primarily included the data for the x30 SLC’s since they were also Swarotop coated from their introduction in 1985, and show several changes over time


* Copies of the graphs used in the table along with comments, can be also be found as follows:
A) and B) at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=371675&page=2 )
C) at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=4017760&postcount=2
D) in posts #7 and 9 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=380550

- - - -

The table makes a number of interesting points:
- In it’s mature form, Swarovski’s dual layer DV coating was surprisingly efficient, especially by 1963 when the performance at the shorter wavelengths had been addressed

- In contrast, the initial form of Swarotop multi-coating (see both the SL and SLC data from the 1980’s) was less efficient than the mature DV coating,
though the Swarotop image would have been less strongly yellow, and the engineers would have been well aware of the potential for significant improvement in transmission

- By the late-1990’s the performance of the now multi-coated v2 Habichts exceeded that of the DV coating - especially at the ends of the visual spectrum
i.e. there is a very flat curve/ very even transmission

- And the Habichts from 2009 on show both extraordinarily high and even transmission


Somewhat reassuringly, the data confirms my subjective impression of the equal brightness of my v2 Habicht 8x30W, and my SLC 8x30 Neu
- or to put it another way, the limitations of the SLC’s roof prism design meant that it was not until 2005 that it’s performance could equal that of the Porro prism Habicht from 1997

While the Habicht and the SLC have a very similar image, it’s achieved by using very different combinations of coatings,
as can be seen in the image showing the reflections from their objectives


cont.
 

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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Other Coatings

Swarodur
Swarodur is a hard external coating applied as the topmost coating on the external surface of the objective and eyepiece lenses. The name was registered in 1995
Again using Wayback to search, by 1999 it’s used on both the EL and SLC binoculars, though there isn’t any mention of its use on the Habichts
And by 2005, a Swarovski catalogue indicates that it is used on the Habicht line


Swaroclean
Swaroclean is a low friction, easy to clean coating applied over the Swarodur coating. It was initially introduced in 2006
See the comments in 2008 by Clay Taylor of SONA (Swarovski Optik North America), confirming its introduction on both the EL and SLC models
at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=1208178&postcount=2

A 2011 catalogue indicates it’s used on EL SV, EL Range and SLC binoculars - but there is no indication in relation to the Habicht (or the original Pocket model or the CL Companion)
And I’ve not found any more recent reference by Swarovski confirming its use on the Habicht line



While I would prefer a unit with Swarodur, the absence of Swarodur (or Swaroclean) wouldn’t be the basis for my decision as whether or not to buy a second hand unit


cont.
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
D) Serial Numbering - Identify What You’re Getting
In January 1991, Swarovski introduced Alpha-Numeric serial numbering across all product lines, and usefully the numbering includes dating components
(previously there was limited use on some other lines from 1985 on, for more details see: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=369004 )

While the introduction of Swarotop coating on the Habichts slightly predates 1991, A-N numbering is convenient for our purposes as:
- every A-N numbered Habicht is multi-coated, and
- the date will indicate which version of Swarotop that a unit has


Two forms of Alpha-Numeric numbering have been used on the Habichts:
• A+7 (in the form of ‘Pyy wwnnn’), from January to mid-August 1991, and

• A+9 (in the form of ‘Pyyww nnnnn’), from mid-August 1991 on

The shared components are:
P - the product line *
yy - the year of production (add 1930)
ww - the week of production (01 to 52)

With the numbering components being:
nnn - the count confined to the week of production
nnnnn - an ongoing count


* With the product lines, the:
- A prefix is used on the CF Habichts - both leatherette and rubber armoured
- B prefix is on the much rarer special order IF models, which also have their own number sequence

And the C prefix was used on the SL binoculars, the D prefix on the original SLC series and the E prefix on the Pocket line


cont.
 
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John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
And Main Markings
The markings on Habichts have changed repeatedly over time. And the changes to markings typically do not correspond to mechanical or optical changes
Also as I indicated above, there are also atypical units where parts have been replaced
- so in terms of working out what you’re looking at in an advertisement, the serial number is the way to go


However for some context, as we’re concerned with models from the early 1990’s on . . .

i) On all leatherette models:
- from 1962 to 1990, the left prism cover is marked Swarovski-Optik Tirol, in a crystal logo
- from 1990 to 1994, the left prism cover is marked Swarovski Optik, in 2 lines right justified

ii) On all RA models:
- from when the first was introduced in 1971 until 1994, the left prism cover is marked Swarovski-Optik Tirol, in a crystal logo

iii) Then on all leatherette and RA centre focus models from early 1994, the current markings are used:
- the left prism cover is marked Habicht
- the axle is marked Swarovski, and
- the Hawk badge is on the left barrel
(though on the earliest leatherette versions to around early 1996, the prism cover markings are reversed - with the Habicht marking on right cover)

In contrast, on the IF models from 1994 on:
- the left prism is marked Swarovski
and there is no marking on either the axle, or on the body

- - - -

Finally, for more detail about the markings on earlier models, see table #2 at: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3777457&postcount=7

And for images of various markings on the prism plates, see from post #21 on at: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=386132


John
 
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mfunnell

Registered Confuser
Wow! What excellent information.

Thanks for what must have been quite a lot of effort, and for sharing it here.

...Mike
 

PHA

Well-known member
Hi John,

Great and useful information, indeed!
As a user of the majority of the described versions, I agree with your comentaries.
Best!

PHA
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Hello John,

Congratulations on a very nice project. I'm really jealous of your endless energy.

In going through these posts I couldn't help but notice the attention given to brightness and color bias, as well as the various informal techniques used to measure or present them. After all these years we are still living with expert judgments, uncalibrated photo demonstrations, and a complete lack of mathematical specificity. A common feature, of course, is the transmission spectrum and so-called day/night brightness figures. But the instrument settings for calculating the spectra are generally not disclosed, nor are the numerical values across the spectrum that would allow additional calculations to be performed. It all ends with a graph, as if that were the end in itself. The reason, I guess, is that the numerical data are either considered proprietary, too nerdy, too complex, or irrelevant.

So the question is: What could be done with the numerical data and instrument settings that isn't already "obvious" from spectral graphs? The answer is Luminosity, Dominant Wavelength, and Excitation Purity, which correspond with the psychological terms of Brightness, Hue, and Saturation, respectively. These can be calculated from the spectral data. I've attached a very nice paper by Turan Urdogan summarizing how to calculate these values, which was consolidated from the 2002 SPIE book entitled Color Vision and Colorimetry by Daniel Malacara. For all intents and purposes a binocular telescope meets the definition of an optical filter when image forming considerations are disregarded.

As you may recall, this harks back to your 2010 thread entitled: Comprehensive 10x42 Tests in German Magazine. My somewhat cautious statement on post #9 was that the dot products of the normalized transmission vector with the photopic and scotopic sensitivity vectors were the correct metrics for Luminosity (Brightness), which is verified in Eq 1 of Urdogan's paper (and elsewhere). Now my challenge to the community is that the remaining calculations be reported from the spectral analysis to allow a fully comprehensive understanding of each binoculars' brightness, hue and saturation.*

Stay well,
Ed

Note: an example of what's available from a standard spectrum analysis is attached. Clearly, all the necessary information is available save for the calculations.
 

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  • Optixxx Swift 8,5x44 ED lin.pdf
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Sollas

Well-known member
Fabulous assessment of the Habicht Porro’s John.

This read makes my dilemma of the Habicht 10x40 WGA vs SLC 10x42 all the more interesting. Can I really justify paying 50% more for the SLC which although a great binocular in its own right possibly comes up short against the Habicht for both view and clarity.

I’m still immensely surprised that such a classic design such as the WGA Porro doesn’t appeal to the “modern” roof clientele. It still makes a lot of sense with the only real minor quibble being the focus wheel.

I’d be interested to hear the argument for the SLC against the classic Habicht.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Fabulous assessment of the Habicht Porro’s John.

This read makes my dilemma of the Habicht 10x40 WGA vs SLC 10x42 all the more interesting. Can I really justify paying 50% more for the SLC which although a great binocular in its own right possibly comes up short against the Habicht for both view and clarity.

I’m still immensely surprised that such a classic design such as the WGA Porro doesn’t appeal to the “modern” roof clientele. It still makes a lot of sense with the only real minor quibble being the focus wheel.

I’d be interested to hear the argument for the SLC against the classic Habicht.

You have an interesting question about comparisons with these 2 binocular models. First off the views are quality between both. They both have their
advantages, and there is no winner.

This leaves ergonomics between the Habicht porro prism design, small focuser knob, some may call stiff, etc. The GA version is very well built to
military specs. a very good thing. The SLC roof prism models are easier to use and handle, and that is not a minor quibble.

There is a place for both in the marketplace, and I think it is great Swarovski continues to make the traditional porro Habicht binoculars. I have experience with all of them, a collector type thing.

Jerry
 

forent

Well-known member
(...) This read makes my dilemma of the Habicht 10x40 WGA vs SLC 10x42 all the more interesting. Can I really justify paying 50% more for the SLC which although a great binocular in its own right possibly comes up short against the Habicht for both view and clarity. (...) I’d be interested to hear the argument for the SLC against the classic Habicht.
As NDhunter already wrote: it depends, and in my case on ergonomics especially. Two years ago I just WANTED to buy a Habicht 10x40 GA for its high optical quality, its brightness, its ruggedness, its affordable price and last not least its classical beauty. But after three days of testing I had to face facts: The eyecups are very inconvenient (to me!), the field of view is okay but the edge sharpness not, the focuser is narrow, hard and stiff (especially below +10°C) and because I am much more short-sighted on my right eye than on my left, the right ocular protrudes quite a bit when adjusted. In short: Nonwithstanding the advantages of the Habicht listed above I don't want to abstain from the many improvements invented in modern binoculars in the last decades. Hence, I sent the Habicht back and after some further trial and testing I decided for a SLC 10x56. Up to now I could not be happier, even considering its weight.
 

Sollas

Well-known member
As NDhunter already wrote: it depends, and in my case on ergonomics especially. Two years ago I just WANTED to buy a Habicht 10x40 GA for its high optical quality, its brightness, its ruggedness, its affordable price and last not least its classical beauty. But after three days of testing I had to face facts: The eyecups are very inconvenient (to me!), the field of view is okay but the edge sharpness not, the focuser is narrow, hard and stiff (especially below +10°C) and because I am much more short-sighted on my right eye than on my left, the right ocular protrudes quite a bit when adjusted. In short: Nonwithstanding the advantages of the Habicht listed above I don't want to abstain from the many improvements invented in modern binoculars in the last decades. Hence, I sent the Habicht back and after some further trial and testing I decided for a SLC 10x56. Up to now I could not be happier, even considering its weight.

Hi Forent
Your reasoning behind the “want” for the 10x40 WGA are very much the same as my own. However, given all the classic advantages of the Habicht you have indeed highlighted my dark concerns over the eye ups and the focus wheel.

My own vision is 20/20 so no problems with that. I was of the impression that the eye cups on the WGA version were much better than the leatherette model but obviously still far from great.

Also, the SLC has been slated in the past for its poor, rough focusing feel, not something I have direct experience with.

Nonetheless, my original query was really whether the SLC is really worth 50% more than the Habicht.

Someone on here said a while back, if they were to have 1 binocular on a desert island It would be the Habicht 10x40 WGA....... praise indeed.
 

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