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Swarovski glare/flare is deliberate by design? A comparison with Leica (3 Viewers)

Scott98

Well-known member
Vanuatu
Yet a wholey plastic body doesn’t get a wimper of complaint when equal priced peers are cnc magnesium.

that is, of course, because Zeiss fanboys see it that way! :D

It's all good fun here, no need to get upset over intimation of being a fanboy, everyone enjoys their stuff differently. For me, critical thinking about a sports team or a hobby product is part of loving it. I want to know all the good and bad and I don't find comfort in denial. I've always liked this quote about 1700's poliltics (and maybe plastic binoculars):

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth…For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention, 23 March, 1775
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Good wisdom sure but your proposition still doesn’t explain my post #2, which was how I came to my conclusion.
 

exup

Well-known member
United Kingdom
As a point of perspective.

I believe we both have the opticron srga 8x32. The level of glare control in that binocular we're both familiar with is not bad at all - which given the un painted interior section, shiny metal parts and visible glue (!) is impressive but the level of glare control in the SLC 8x56 is much better with scarcely any visible until the sun is just about to enter the Fov. So, yes, there may possibly be some glare designed into the optical system of the SLC but it is much less than the unintentional glare induced in the srga (a binocular I really like and use a lot) due to its simpler design and construction to meet it's price point.

I don't want to engage too thoroughly though lest a Paul Vs exup style debate ensue and have tried to stay away from any discussions on glare up till now, I just found Kimmik's analysis interesting as well as everyone else's input.
All products have features and 'defects'.

However, IMHO higher cost products should have more features and/or less defects......i.e. perceived higher 'quality'.

And ..... as Scott98 has rightly said and using software as an example, it is very difficult to eliminate or remove defects after the product has been launched.
There is a good cost committed plot (somewhere) that shows the cost committed Vs the cost expended and timeline of the product lifecycle. This illustrates that the performance of the product is mostly determined at the design stage....when the tooling and production recurring costs have yet to be spent i.e. ~ 10% of the costs expended locks in the 90% of the ongoing lifecycle costs and performance.

A good analogy is the cost for safety critical software is much more than commercial consumer products.....the process employed is frighteningly different.

I am a little surprised than high end consumer optics carry some of the 'defects' they do...... eyepiece issues, glare, etc. Maybe the market is so small, the margins are high and the consumers are happy to buy on brand reputation/ name, rather actual product performance??

Regarding the srga.....yes, not a bad porro indeed, I find some alternatives porros are good too .... Adventure T, new Ultima...... for various reasons.
 

Maljunulo

Well-known member
“Plastic” is a very imprecise term, and is frequently seen as inferior, and “cheap”.

Different polymers have different physical properties, and composites are different yet.

None equal metals (that I know of offhand) in certain properties, but nonetheless can be desirable for some applications.
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I agree that glare coming from the objects being viewed in front of a binocular is part of the "realistic vista", but the same can't be said for reflections that form inside the binocular from the bright edges of internal parts.

By reflections I suppose you are referring to ghost images? Agree it is an undesirable outcome of opening up the 8x32 baffles. Necessary to achieve such a bright full field in a 32mm.

Noctivid 8x42 vs EL 8x32. Dramatic difference.

E1EE2E11-4D20-4128-BC46-F5A60AD19C51.jpeg
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
I particularly like the method Kimmik's unearthed in the SLC to stop you getting too close to the sun without compromising glare in the sun's general direction - the SLC's continue to suprise and delight.

That old personal preference thing again!
Re-reading #1 wasnt it the EL that Kimmik used to unearth getting too close to the sun?

"EL - The clue is found by studying the sources of glare, as you bring a point light source from 90 degrees above, gradually into the FOV.
90degrees - the objective recess stops all glare
60degrees - faint ring of light arises from the objective element edges
30degrees - brighter ring of light arises from the focusing element edges
15degrees - even brighter reflections arise from the first prism element sides
5degrees - this last reflection is very interesting, it is the second prism element sides, and one would expect it to be as bright as the first prism element's sides, but they are distinctly different. The second prism has sides that are far darker than the first, and comparing side by side with the Leica, they look of similar reflectivity, while the first prism sides are distinctly more reflective than Leica."
 

james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
By reflections I suppose you are referring to ghost images? Agree it is an undesirable outcome of opening up the 8x32 baffles. Necessary to achieve such a bright full field in a 32mm.

Noctivid 8x42 vs EL 8x32. Dramatic difference.

View attachment 1480851
I kinda doubt that baffling would have any affect on light throughput or vignetting of the image, but I’d love to hear Henry’s take on this.
 

GrampaTom

Well-known member
United States
And ..... as Scott98 has rightly said and using software as an example, it is very difficult to eliminate or remove defects after the product has been launched.
There is a good cost committed plot (somewhere) that shows the cost committed Vs the cost expended and timeline of the product lifecycle. This illustrates that the performance of the product is mostly determined at the design stage....when the tooling and production recurring costs have yet to be spent i.e. ~ 10% of the costs expended locks in the 90% of the ongoing lifecycle costs and performance.

A good analogy is the cost for safety critical software is much more than commercial consumer products.....the process employed is frighteningly different.
Scott98s using software as an example may not be so relevant. Coming from a manufacturer of both consumer durables and disposables, pre tech and post tech, it is not difficult to eliminate or remove defects after a product is launched. Its done all the time. These are called running changes and are integral to enabling product life cycles to last to the fullest. Its integral to a Total Quality Management system, (the bedrock of "Toyota"/"Just in time"), to continuously evaluate process and products and make changes to continuously improve. In that way the deepest market penetration, lowest cost and highest return, over the whole life cycle can be experienced.

As an example, many here recognize Swarovski's exemplary after sales service reputation. Some comment that's part of the highish prices Swarovski charges. I suggest not. Curiously the competing alpha brands charge about the same, but do not have quite the same after sales service reputation. Point? Liberal customer service operations are in fact part of that TQM system whereby companies fix things that fail or are reported to have failed in consumer's hands, in order to collect information as to what needs fixing within its system. First fix the complaint, then fix the source of the complaint. The source is corrected, the complaint goes away, ongoing costs are lowered, customer satisfaction and reputation grows, enhancing sales.

It would seem there's little doubt the design stage to include Marketing/Product Management, R&D, and Process Engineering provides the majority of momentum to future success. If the thing never got created, there would be no future... Ongoing costs are indeed greater than development costs, in products like these. Keeping things like binoculars going, with the attendant raw materials and parts costs as well as the entire manufacturing facilities/process to maximize the total return on a given product's life cycle requires participation of the whole business entity.

All of these lend credibility to Kimmik's proposition, that someone like Swarovski cant be ignoring the glare reported here among us on Birdforum. And maybe, just maybe its there for a reason. Thats an intriguing thought.

I wish two things:

1. Swarovski would come and tell us just what they were thinking. Why not?
2. I wish we had some way for all who come here read about this thing we call glare, flare, veiling glare, maybe haze, could come to know exactly what it is, what it looks like, under what conditions does it appear, how big a deal is it in reality?
 
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Ted Y.

Forum member
Supporter
Canada
. I wish we had some way for all who come here read about this thing we call glare, flare, veiling glare, maybe haze, could come to know exactly what it is, what it looks like, under what conditions does it appear, how big a deal is it in reality?
(y)
Very practical question.
 

Trinovid

mountain and glacier watcher
United States
“Plastic” is a very imprecise term, and is frequently seen as inferior, and “cheap”.

Different polymers have different physical properties, and composites are different yet.
I think of my ski bindings and boots every time I hear the implication of plastic as being indicative of cheapness and lacking in durability.
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
How is a magnesium body superior to a "plastic" one? Personal preferences are excluded.

Some upsides to metal body:
Compact
Tight tolerances
Ozone and uv resistance
Temperature resistance

Some downsides of metal body:
Can corrode with salt/acid
Costly cnc
Can dent in a drop
Possibly heavier depending on design.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I find this thought bemusing...... A product weakness or arguably even classed as a 'defect' in a high end optical product is spun as a positive selling point..... A very marketing manager way to present this 🙄😁

I would never consider a flame out of an aircraft engine as a viable method to stop a pilot exceeding the airframe max speed rating .... don't think that would be a good argument to the airworthiness authorities.
Well, take a look at the title of this thread: "Swarovski glare/flare is deliberate by design?" It was this to which I was responding and I note that Kimmik, the OP of this thread has 'liked' my post, so I am not having any 'second-thoughts' about it.

Lee
 
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Ted Y.

Forum member
Supporter
Canada
Ozone and uv resistance
Temperature resistance
Generally speaking, I do not disagree.

In the domain of binocular storage temperature and usage (for UV exposure), both seem excellent.
And a 30 years warranty makes me indifferent to any difference magnesium/"plastic".

Even if the magnesium is better at minus 50C or at plus 60C, I will not expose a binocular to such temperatures. One reason from many: probably the glass will have a different expansion coefficient compared to the magnesium/"plastic" and the stress induced can have outcomes ...
 

William Lewis

Wishing birdwatching paid the bills.
United Kingdom
Re-reading #1 wasnt it the EL that Kimmik used to unearth getting too close to the sun?

"EL - The clue is found by studying the sources of glare, as you bring a point light source from 90 degrees above, gradually into the FOV.
90degrees - the objective recess stops all glare
60degrees - faint ring of light arises from the objective element edges
30degrees - brighter ring of light arises from the focusing element edges
15degrees - even brighter reflections arise from the first prism element sides
5degrees - this last reflection is very interesting, it is the second prism element sides, and one would expect it to be as bright as the first prism element's sides, but they are distinctly different. The second prism has sides that are far darker than the first, and comparing side by side with the Leica, they look of similar reflectivity, while the first prism sides are distinctly more reflective than Leica."
Hi Tom

I believe the method he used to investigate was gradual angular positioning of a bright light source followed up with careful analysis using a laser but the method I specifically referred to is the ground glass within the optical plane of the SLC.

Will
 

exup

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Scott98s using software as an example may not be so relevant. Coming from a manufacturer of both consumer durables and disposables, pre tech and post tech, it is not difficult to eliminate or remove defects after a product is launched. Its done all the time
Using software and also considering other products is perfectly valid.

You cite Toyota and TQM/ JIT......
The principles of Concurrent Engineering and delaying decisions to later in the design lifecycle is the issue here. When the design is very mature, it is far far more costly to make changes to the product definition. This applies to software and all complex products. 2 examples come to mind......

1. Aircraft software (FADEC). By the time the software is actually operating in the product and has run the engine, huge sums have been expended and both the Requirements and hardware have been created. A significant change is costly at this point and would most likely kill the aircraft delivery schedule, delay time to market and result in big problems. TQM and JIT are not applicable as they (mostly) focus on the production operations, once the product has moved into scheduled production. The 500 man engineering development team has reduced by 90% at that point.
2. When a car (or aircraft) is produced, the tooling costs are large. Moreover, the leadtime of the press tools ( or composite OML tooling for aircraft) can be very long. So, the tooling release date could be early in the overall vehicle schedule, most likely before detail design stage for individual parts. This dilemma is tricky to manage and often it is a risk management call. A late change is very costly and can scupper a budget and delivery schedule.

Now, with consumer binoculars costing a couple of grand...... instead of $15bn of complex development and $200m each product ....the challenge and risk is less, but the same principles apply.
Perhaps Swaro did make a conscious decision to make NL Pures with high levels of glare :)) ...... and the dedicated followers buy them anyway....who knows, but to me it looks more like a design defect. I do agree that suppressing internal components with black paint is an easy and cheap improvement that could be applied during the production stage.... maybe the defect is more difficult to resolve?
 

kimmik

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Flame out would be equivalent to 0 usable image.

Glare is more like reduced engine power.

Reduced power with overspeed sounds like an excellent idea for safety.

In fact this is used in all engines… when did exup last drive a car 🤦‍♂️
 
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exup

Well-known member
United Kingdom
exup, post 36,
I have now used the NL pures 8x42 and 8x32 for more than half a year and last week under circumstances where one could observe glare: sea, coast, waves, sun over waves, white sandy dunes etc..
Under none of these circumstances I have observed any glare or other unwanted reflections. I do not wear spectacles.
Gijs van Ginkel
So have Swaro fixed them? Glare is/was a known issue when these were originally reviewed.

In my examples .... The Boeing 737 Max required a small software tweak too, but unfortunately the original simple requirements defect had already resulted in a loss of 2 flying aircraft, with huge implications.

If Swaro have fixed them, then that concludes that it was indeed a defect and not a 'design decision ' to have glare in the first place. On this basis, are Swaro replacing all the original pairs that owners have purchased?
 
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exup

Well-known member
United Kingdom
So have Swaro fixed them? Glare is/was a known issue when these were originally reviewed.

In my examples .... The Boeing 737 Max required a small software tweak too, but unfortunately the original simple requirements defect had already resulted in a loss of 2 flying aircraft, with huge implications.

If Swaro have fixed them, then that concludes that it was indeed a defect and not a 'design decision ' to have glare in the first place. On this basis, are Swaro replacing all the original pairs that owners have purchased?
The other option is that it is product variability.....

Using Grandpa Toms TQM thinking regarding production ...... Maybe Swaro do not have their cp/ck processes in control and the product has a large enough variability that some pairs exhibit glare?
 

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