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Vixen Foresta 7x50 porro (1 Viewer)

Steve, Henry,

Thank you for the info. I read Henry's link previously but will check out yours Steve. I would be interested in hearing further discussion on this point since there seems to be some discrepancy here.

Mercedes,

Which 7x50 do you have? I commented on your link to the Visionkings in the other thread. I was considering the 7x50 Visionking considering the price and list of features.
 
Hello Frank

My 7x50 is the Nikon Prostar which I use solely at night. Picked it up secondhand at a very good price... It really is a fine binocular and I cannot fault it apart from the individual focusing but that's how it comes! If I didn't have the Nikon, I would seriously think about the Vixen, especially as it has centre-focusing.

Thanks for the comments in the other thread.

Andrew
 
As many of you are aware I have been collecting and posting about various vintage/classic 7x35 porro prism models over the last few months. Though my enthusiasm for them is still great my purchasing of these models has slowed quite a bit. I feel as if I have a fairly good handle on performance for many of the various sub designs of these models. Still, I am keeping an eye out for anything unusual that may pop up on “the bay”.

The porro prism design itself, though vastly underrated by the current market, is still something that holds a great deal of interest on my part. My curiosity around the design has led me to look for current production units that might begin to approach some of the performance levels of many of these classic porros. I have owned many of the highly regarded current/semi-current porro prism models such as the Nikon E, EII and SE. I have yet to lay my hands on one of the ED Swift Audubons but hope to eventually.

So, what then is left to try for current porros? Sure, I would love to put my eyes up to the oculars of a Swarovski Habicht but they are out of my price range and not really available anywhere locally for me just to look through. What else is out there that deserves some attention? That was the question I was left with recently. Yes, there are many low price range porro prism models out there…Nikon Action/Action EX, Orion Ultraview, Pentax WP II, Bushnell Legend, etc… I have owned them all at one time or another and have found them to certainly be worth their price and then some. They are excellent performers at their respective price point. The problem though is that it seems as if there aren’t many upper-low to mid-priced models currently available that offer enough of a performance increase over these lower price models. The day of having a high quality $200-$400 just doesn’t seem to have arrived…or has it?

Well, about a month ago I received a tip from another forum member about a screaming deal on a current porro model that falls into this price range, the Vixen Foresta 8x42. I ordered one and received it in short order (gotta love Amazon Prime). This configuration isn’t what this post is about though. Even though I found the 8x42 very impressive optically and ergonomically my fascination with 7x models led me to eventually purchase the highly regarded 7x50.

I say “highly regarded” simply because, although it has never really been discussed in detail here on BF, it has been rated very highly over on Cloudy Nights. The honorable “EdZ” gave it some extremely high marks when he reviewed it several years ago and two forum members (one being our Bob/Ky) have offered up similar favorable comments.

Why hasn’t it caught on more? Well, I am left to believe that it is because of two reasons. For one it is a 50 mm model. 50 mm models tend to be large binoculars and most birders tend to prefer relatively compact models (8x32, 8x42, 10x42, etc...) in the grand scheme of things. Second, since it is a modern 7x50 porro its apparent field of view is fairly narrow…7.1 degrees (advertised and verified). That only equates to about 370 or so feet and/or a 50 degree apparent field of view. Considering my recent fascination with extra wide angle 7x’s (10 or 11 degree apparent) you would think that something this “narrow” wouldn’t interest me. So did I but after receiving it I can honestly say that I was wrong. I have a few ideas why this is the case and will elaborate on them below. So, without further preamble here are my thoughts on this model...

Optical Performance:

Everyone always loves to cut right to the chase so why bother posting about the accessories or other items initially? I always scan through reviews until I see words like “brightness, sharpness, CA control, etc…". So let’s start here. Optically this binocular is extraordinary. Its object performance is among the very best binoculars I have had the privilege to own or use. Apparent brightness, apparent contrast and apparent sharpness are all excellent and have to be considered comparable to anything else currently on the market. How could you not expect that from a fully multicoated porro prism model with a triplet 50 mm objective costing at/around $300? Oh, I did forget to mention that. ;) This particular configuration is the only one within the Foresta product line that offers a triplet objective. This helps to produce an image that is practically free of chromatic aberration (color fringing on high contrast objects) throughout most of the entire field of view. I say “most” because CA is very well controlled within the sweet spot of image in focus and relatively free of distortion. Which brings us to another area of optical performance…the size of the sweet spot?

The “Sweet spot” on this model is huge. Without moving the binoculars and just letting your eyes scan around the huge 7+ mm exit pupil it almost appears as if the sweet spot covers the entire field of view. Truly sharp from edge to edge. When panning up and down though you begin to notice a slight loss of image sharpness in the outer 5-10% of the field of view. It is very subtle though and not objectionable in the least. It is in this area of slightly out of focus image that you can also readily detect color fringing. It is moderate in degree but certainly noticeable especially in comparison to the rest of the image.

It is a combination of the size of the sweet spot and the excellent apparent depth of field that make one almost forget about the narrowish field of view.

I have to admit that this is one of only a handful of binoculars that I am never disappointed with when I place them up to my eyes. The image almost feels as if it “assaults” my eyes with it brightness, contrast and sharpness. Because of the porro design’s pronounced 3D effect and because of the 7x magnification these, for me, are almost a “focus it and forget it” type of design. Focusing on an object 25 feet away I am able to view everything from that distance all the way out to infinity without having to touch the focusing knob. I do realize that a bit part of this is the flexibility of my 39 year old eyes but some credit also has to be given to the binocular itself. When you also consider the huge exit pupil and all of the other optical performance areas that this binocular excels at then you end up with a truly comfortable and relaxing image.

Antireflective coating reflections on both the objectives and eyepieces are a deep green. I have an extremely difficult time seeing my reflection in the objectives.

Ergonomics:

As mentioned previously, this is a 50 mm porro prism binocular so don’t expect to find something “cute and cuddly” like a Nikon SE 8x32. I will post a picture or two below with the 7x50 Foresta in comparison to a smaller 7x35 Vintage porro below. It is about 7 inches long and 7 inches wide and weighs a little over 31 oz. Not a small or compact binocular at all. Still, from my experience with other current models, and many classic 7x50s, it is a fairly lightweight 7x50 model.

In terms of handling I find nothing objectionable about it when you consider my comments above. I do find that I can hold it steadier by gripping it along objective barrels instead of having my hands around the prism housings. This is to be expected considering the length of the binocular and the weight distribution. This is fine if I am focusing on objects beyond 25 feet because of what I mentioned previously. For situations that might warrant constant refocusing I tend to prefer to keep one hand on the objective barrel and the other around the prism housing. This allows me to obtain almost as steady of an image and still be able to focus effortlessly.

Mechanics/fit and finish:

I rate this binocular very highly in terms of fit and finish. The rubber, pebbled armoring is very comfortable to hold and yet provides enough purchase for my hands not to slip off of the barrels or prism housing. It is fully armored except for the central hinge itself.

Focusing tension and speed are certainly to my liking. It takes 1.25 turns to go from a close focus of about 12 feet (notably under the advertised spec of 19 feet) to infinity. Focusing tension is very smooth and precise. There is no play or backlash in the focusing mechanism. Focusing is clockwise from close focus to infinity.

The rotating rubber eyecups have two intermediate stops between fully collapsed and fully extended. Advertised eye relief is 21 mm but you lose 3-4 mm because of how recessed the ocular lens surface is in comparison to the edge of the eyecup. I have no problem seeing the fieldstop completely around the outer edge of the image.

Central hinge tension on this particular unit is perfect for my tastes. Stiff enough so that it does not move inadvertently.

The strap lugs are recessed into the prism housing on the bottom/ocular corner of the prism housings. The binoculars hang flat on my chest when in use.

Summary:

I make no attempt to hide that these are not your “average birding binoculars”. They aren’t your average birding binoculars because of their size and weight. They also aren’t your average birding binoculars because the optical performance in almost every area besides field of view is among the very best I have had the privilege of using. If size isn’t an issue for you and you want the best optical performance and are on a relatively tight budget then I highly recommend this binocular. Its optical performance level is only equaled by the value it offers.

So you ran out of old 7x35s to try, eh? :)

Glad you finally "cut to the chase" 632 words into your review. :) But look who's talking!

Better to be long and thorough than to be too terse and confusing. A friend of mine who writes one liners taught me that. :)

I do like your Socratic method of Q & A and your use of subheads. Your style is distinct, and even before looking at the avatar next to one of your reviews on Optics Talk, I knew it was you by that Q & A and the phrase "a big brown van pulled up in front of the house yesterday..." :)

Despite my penchant for run-on sentences, I find myself "mooreorless" longing for terseness these days - at least in reviews - rather than wading through colorful introductions, disclaimers and asides before getting down to the meat. Just an ironic quirk I've developed, not a criticism of your review. The subheads help get you to where you want to go if you start nodding off 500 words in...which at 12:30 a.m. tends to happen :)

Didn't the Big Professor have an issue with full illumination of the exit pupil or something and back off from his initial rave review of this bin? I think he recanted on the full illumination of the exit pupil thang altogether. But there was something he had second thoughts about with this bin. I will have to do some digging over on the dark side when I have the time.

What's a shame about 7x50s is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Most 7x50s have narrowish FsOV, 7-7.5*. The Miyauchi Binons are notable exceptions, but then you lose the edge sharpness. But boy, they sure are purdy.

Pretty in Pink

It would be nice to be 39 again, and again, and again...(born on Feb. 29th :), but alas my uber-39 exit pupils can only open to 5mm, so with a 7x50 I only get a 7x35's worth of light to my eyes but a 7x50's worth of weight in my hands, and I end up making a large sacrifice in FOV by scaling up in aperture.

While this particular 7x50 seems like a good bang for the buck with its triplet objectives and good edges, and I'm glad you brought it to our attention on the Day Side, the trade offs only seem worth it if you can take full advantage of the exit pupils and aperture, and if whatever you are observing doesn't require a WF view (which, for me, leaves out birding). Got to be some target that doesn't move fast like the stars.

What I find interesting is that despite your recently discovered interest in EWA bins (I blame/credit your EWA mania for my recent purchase of a Celestron 10x50 Nova), you have a high tolerance for narrowish "pipe views".

You also liked the Leupold 8x42 Cascades porro (all five of them :) despite their narrowish FOV, which I found claustrophobic. In fact, I had to run out into the middle of an open field after looking thru the Cascades to shake that "fenced in" feeling.

Like the French tight wire walker used to say in that old TV commercial: Wider is Bedder.

Speaking of France, word on the street in Paris has it that the 8x42 Foresta self destructs in 3 years (goes out of collimation, I think, Bablefish was a bit obscure on some words). The European warranty is 2 years, so French birders are foaming at the mustache about this. Which makes me wonder if the 7x50 also discombobulates in 3 years. Well, if you have them that long, we'll find out.

Thanks for the review of this "sleeper" and for the photos. Even if the FOV were wider, the eyecups look too wide for my de Gaulle nose, a common problem I have with twist-up eyecup porros.

With eyecups, Wider is NOT Bedder. :)

Brock
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Thanks to Henry for enriching our understanding once more. Link is so much easier to spell than Ruuten and Van Venroij (I misspelled it, see?) that I will continue to call it the Link effect with discretion, among friends you know. The idea of small-prism vignetting, indeed any vignetting, increasing off axis sharpness is interesting.

What's bad about 7x50, in its traditional use as a stargazing binocular, is that it asks that the outer portion of your eye's nighttime pupil be as perfect as the 2mm central daytime area. It is bunk, the idea that vision is less acute at night. Stars activate the cones just fine, and if your eyes are not up to it, 7x50 will not be your cuppa. The last time I had used my 7x50 for stars, 2 nights ago, my views were so sharp, I was so happy, I could live like that. But today at work, I stood on my feet for most of 10 hours, tiptapping on a laptop at shoulder height and reading numbers off an oscilloscope too far away for my reading glasses and too close for my distance vision. These things just happen sometimes. Tonight my eyes were blubber. Welcome back to 61 year old reality, and to my trusty 8x30.
Ron
 
Brock,

What I find interesting about writing styles is that it often reflects the thought process of the writer....a reflection of the mind as it were. I try to type what/how I think. What I found through my regular job is that many people share the same thought processes hence the part about skipping comments about accessories and rehashing all of the manufacturer's infomercial babble of why to buy "this bin" over any others.

Depending on the prism style and configuration of a given binocular I look for certain "things" not only in the description of the product but also in the pictures of the bins themselves. I realize others do the same thing. When I look for a porro I often find myself looking to find out what coating level is on it and what prism type (though I have found the latter to not always be a strong indicator of optical performance). I also look at field of view and physical weight. I do look at the eyecup/ocular design as well since I typically prefer wider ocular lenses as a rule of thumb. (See my post above about looking at the various Opticron IF 7x50s).

..and if I am not mistaken I think that "...big brown truck...." comment was in the beginning of my review for the original Zen ED 8x43. ;)

...and just out of curiosity, how long are you and Steve going to swap those "mooreorless" witticisms? :-O

I read through several threads about the full illumination of the exit pupil and have read, on here, about how he recanted that theory but don't recall actually reading his posts to that affect.

I do agree that, all else being equal, I would prefer a wider field of view in modern 7x50 porros. That is one reason I picked up several extra wide angle 7x50s (10-11 degrees). They are impressive in their own right. If they only had modern coatings.....

But then that is the story for most binoculars I try. I always find myself wishing for that one feature that they don't have. Isn't that true of most of us though? If you picked any given model then I bet I could probably pick out the one feature that it is "lacking" to make it perfect. Still, life is about compromises and we still come to love our "favorite" models even despite their faults.

With that thought in mind I do agree that a wider field in this model would be very nice. My justification for still finding this model desirable, at least in my own mind, despite the narrower field of view is its wonderful combination of other characteristics. The sweet spot is huge, the image is bright with great contrast and apparent sharpness plus the depth perception (perceived depth of field) is practically unmatched. These make them very comfortable and easy to use. Though none of them truly take the place of a wider field of view they do make it very convenient to use for birding. You have to also consider the fairly quick focus and excellent focusing tension. 1.25 turns from close focus to infinity...not too fast and certainly not slow...plus the butter smooth feel of the focusing knob. The latter isn't easy to pull off in an external focus waterproof porro.

The Cascades, all of them ;), are impressive in their own way. Their unique combination of handling, internal focus and optical performance makes them have their own "flavor". Yes, the field of view, true and apparent, is very narrow for not only an 8x42 but a porro 8x42 to boot. Still, compared to roofs of equivalent specs and price they do excel optically. On that line of thinking check out the Opticron HR WP thread and recent comments from a poster that just "upgraded" from a Nikon Monarch to an Opticron HR WP (same model as the Leupold Cascade).

You and I also share another common characteristic. Our noses. Mine is fairly large but also wide right at the spot where binoculars typically need to be to have your eyes centered in the exit pupil. As a result I need binoculars with plenty of eye relief unless the eyecup diameter is fairly narrow (which is one of the reasons that I can use compact models despite their short eye relief). Interestingly enough though, despite your large-ish nose you never commented on having any problems with the Nikon E II 8x30. With this particular bin I need to completely remove the rubber eyecups in order to not only see the full field of view but also to get full convergence. If I leave the rubber eyecups up on that model then I end up with tunnel vision because my eyes are placed so far away from ocular surface (not enough eye relief). If I fold the rubber eyecups down then my eyes don't center in the exit pupil and I end up with poor convergence. I am surprised that isn't the case for you with this particular model considering the references to the size of your nose. I am guessing my nose is just wider at that specific spot.

I don't think you would have a problem with the eyecups and your nose on this Foresta porro. The eye relief is extremely generous despite loosing a few millimeters to the ocular lens recession.


So you ran out of old 7x35s to try, eh? :)

Glad you finally "cut to the chase" 632 words into your review. :) But look who's talking!

Better to be long and thorough than to be too terse and confusing. A friend of mine who writes one liners taught me that. :)

I do like your Socratic method of Q & A and your use of subheads. Your style is distinct, and even before looking at the avatar next to one of your reviews on Optics Talk, I knew it was you by that Q & A and the phrase "a big brown van pulled up in front of the house yesterday..." :)

Despite my penchant for run-on sentences, I find myself "mooreorless" longing for terseness these days - at least in reviews - rather than wading through colorful introductions, disclaimers and asides before getting down to the meat. Just an ironic quirk I've developed, not a criticism of your review. The subheads help get you to where you want to go if you start nodding off 500 words in...which at 12:30 a.m. tends to happen :)

Didn't the Big Professor have an issue with full illumination of the exit pupil or something and back off from his initial rave review of this bin? I think he recanted on the full illumination of the exit pupil thang altogether. But there was something he had second thoughts about with this bin. I will have to do some digging over on the dark side when I have the time.

What's a shame about 7x50s is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Most 7x50s have narrowish FsOV, 7-7.5*. The Miyauchi Binons are notable exceptions, but then you lose the edge sharpness. But boy, they sure are purdy.

Pretty in Pink

It would be nice to be 39 again, and again, and again...(born on Feb. 29th :), but alas my uber-39 exit pupils can only open to 5mm, so with a 7x50 I only get a 7x35's worth of light to my eyes but a 7x50's worth of weight in my hands, and I end up making a large sacrifice in FOV by scaling up in aperture.

While this particular 7x50 seems like a good bang for the buck with its triplet objectives and good edges, and I'm glad you brought it to our attention on the Day Side, the trade offs only seem worth it if you can take full advantage of the exit pupils and aperture, and if whatever you are observing doesn't require a WF view (which, for me, leaves out birding). Got to be some target that doesn't move fast like the stars.

What I find interesting is that despite your recently discovered interest in EWA bins (I blame/credit your EWA mania for my recent purchase of a Celestron 10x50 Nova), you have a high tolerance for narrowish "pipe views".

You also liked the Leupold 8x42 Cascades porro (all five of them :) despite their narrowish FOV, which I found claustrophobic. In fact, I had to run out into the middle of an open field after looking thru the Cascades to shake that "fenced in" feeling.

Like the French tight wire walker used to say in that old TV commercial: Wider is Bedder.

Speaking of France, word on the street in Paris has it that the 8x42 Foresta self destructs in 3 years (goes out of collimation, I think, Bablefish was a bit obscure on some words). The European warranty is 2 years, so French birders are foaming at the mustache about this. Which makes me wonder if the 7x50 also discombobulates in 3 years. Well, if you have them that long, we'll find out.

Thanks for the review of this "sleeper" and for the photos. Even if the FOV were wider, the eyecups look too wide for my de Gaulle nose, a common problem I have with twist-up eyecup porros.

With eyecups, Wider is NOT Bedder. :)

Brock
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I read through several threads about the full illumination of the exit pupil and have read, on here, about how he recanted that theory but don't recall actually reading his posts to that affect.

Frank,

The moment of truth is about half way down page 7 of this thread:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthre...page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/7/vc/1

In response to Kimmo Absetz, Edz makes this statement: "there is a careless use of terms on my part. I should stop using the term exit pupil here and exclusively refer to illumination across the field of view."

I would call that pleading guilty to a lesser charge since the whole "illumination of the exit pupil" notion was a misconception, not just a "careless use of terms". It caused quite a lot of confusion as people struggled to understand the un-understandable. It probably still causes confusion since the old posts are still there.

Henry
 
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Brock,
....
But then that is the story for most binoculars I try. I always find myself wishing for that one feature that they don't have. Isn't that true of most of us though? If you picked any given model then I bet I could probably pick out the one feature that it is "lacking" to make it perfect. Still, life is about compromises and we still come to love our "favorite" models even despite their faults.

.....
You and I also share another common characteristic. Our noses. Mine is fairly large but also wide right at the spot where binoculars typically need to be to have your eyes centered in the exit pupil. As a result I need binoculars with plenty of eye relief unless the eyecup diameter is fairly narrow (which is one of the reasons that I can use compact models despite their short eye relief). Interestingly enough though, despite your large-ish nose you never commented on having any problems with the Nikon E II 8x30. With this particular bin I need to completely remove the rubber eyecups in order to not only see the full field of view but also to get full convergence. If I leave the rubber eyecups up on that model then I end up with tunnel vision because my eyes are placed so far away from ocular surface (not enough eye relief). If I fold the rubber eyecups down then my eyes don't center in the exit pupil and I end up with poor convergence. I am surprised that isn't the case for you with this particular model considering the references to the size of your nose. I am guessing my nose is just wider at that specific spot.

I don't think you would have a problem with the eyecups and your nose on this Foresta porro. The eye relief is extremely generous despite loosing a few millimeters to the ocular lens recession.

Frank,

That one feature that they don't have, I call the "fatal flaw". A term I stole from literature where a character in a novel or play has a fatal flaw that makes him/her a tragic figure.

For me, the flaw is often "poor nose fit". That's what happened with the Celestron 10x50 Nova. The EPs are huge because of the 8* FOV, but the ER is short. So to see the "full illumination of the field" (of view), you need to get your eyes close to the EPs.

With the 8x32 SE, I accomplished this feat by scrunching my nose into the long eyecups (I used to have rub marks on the sides of the bridge of my nose, which looked like I wore eyeglasses).

With the Novas, the eyecups are short so the bridge of my nose hits the ocular housings instead of the eyecups, which prevents me from seeing the entire FOV or making a perfect circle.

This issue is less noticeable on the night sky where I can't see the edges that well and where the parallax effect is not a factor, but for daytime use, I get the double circle movie view of binoculars because I can't get the IPD close enough (and I'm talking 68* here, which is by no means narrow).

Wide bridge nose + wide IPD + wide EPs + short ER = nose discomfort and inability to see the entire FOV

This is a "fatal flaw" because otherwise, the bins are quite nice, in fact, better than I expected from reading fan tao's review in which he criticized the bin for having "poor edges" and "noticeable pincushion at the edges" (I'm paraphrasing rather than actually quoting because fan tao's Website is down again). I might have to use the Way Back Machine.

When I click on my bookmark to his Website I get: "Due to declining traffic and revenue, and non-payment from our largest sponsors, 0000free.com free hosting is coming to an end."

Hope he finds a new host.

The edges of the 10x50 Nova are very good for an EWA bin, particularly for daytime use where I have to move my target to the edge of the 8* FOV before it blurs. I can see a little "rolling bowl" but it's minor compared to my 8x EII.

Reading his review is what put me off toward buying a 10x50 Nova for years. Turns out what he sees through this bin and what I see doesn't agree.

I will try to write a review when I get a chance. "Yesterday, a big brown van pulled up in front of my house..." :) Actually, I asked him ship the bins USPS Priority Mail - safer and cheaper.

As far as the 8x EII, it's the shorter but not too short eye relief and corresponding shorter eyecups that make it comfortable for me to use vis-à-vis the 8x SE. Here the deep set eyes comes into play more than the high bridge nose.

Brock, member, Jimmy Durante Fan Club
 
Brock,

I understand what you are referring to with the Nova. I have run into the same issue with a few other EWA classic porros I own...particularly both 7x50 Sears models. My remedy to the issue was the remove the eyecup completely, not just the screw-off top but the entire eyecup. You can get away with this with some models as there still is a small retaining ring holding the eyepice assembly in place. In other models the eyepiece assembly simply slides out when the eyecups are fully removed.

Once completed removed though the view is very impressive. I will see if I can take a pic of this modification on the Sears Discoverer and post it later today.
 
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Brock,

I understand what you are referring to with the Nova. I have run into the same issue with a few other EWA classic porros I own...particularly both 7x50 Sears models. My remedy to the issue was the remove the eyecup completely, not just the screw-off top but the entire eyecup. You can get away with this with some models as there still is a small retaining ring holding the eyepice assembly in place. In other models the eyepiece assembly simply slides out when the eyecups are fully removed.

Once completed removed though the view is very impressive. I will see if I can take a pic of this modification on the Sears Discoverer and post it later today.

Frank,

Thanks for those tips. I compared the Nova with the 10x EII at lunchtime, and the FOV I can see is about the same - 7*. So I'm losing a whole degree.

I took off the rubber eyecups and now I can see about 7.7*. The last .3* is vignetted unless I tilt the bins slightly.

The housing under the eyecups is indented, which helps with more nose room, but the top of the housing has a thin, sharp edge. I'm going to wrap the top and the exposed part of the EP housing with electrical tape so the bin is more comfortable to rest on my monopod nose.

The 10x50 Nova is not a "Featherweight". Fortunately, the bridge of my nose is probably the strongest bone in my body.

If this "fix" works, they might be keepers.

One of things you worry about with old porros is what if the eyecups wear over time? Won't have that worry.

I don't want to go further and start taking the EP housing apart. Except for a couple of minor rub marks on the body, the NOVAs look brand new, inside and out. Cleanest pair of old porros I've ever seen.

Brock
 
Steve, Henry,

Thank you for the info. I read Henry's link previously but will check out yours Steve. I would be interested in hearing further discussion on this point since there seems to be some discrepancy here.


Hi Frank, Sorry I missed this. I was just replying to Henry's post about Edz. My thoughts are that you thought this 7x50 is an excellent binocular, I don't read between the lines.;) I have a hard enough time reading Brock's very long posts of pages after pages.I get rolling eyeball with astigmatism;) I guess that answers your other ? He started it.:eek!: I think.;)
 
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Steve,

Thanks for clarifying. I do feel this is an excellent binocular. After trying a few more conventional field of view 7x50s I would agree that my description of the Vixen's optical performance certainly does match other 7x50s in terms of the size of the sweet spot and/or the amount and severity of edge distortion. However I do feel that the Vixen does very well in terms of apparent brightness, contrast and apparent sharpness. It certainly is comparable in these areas with the Zen Ray 7x43 ED3 and appears ever so slightly better in apparent brightness under all conditions. That would be expected considering the notable difference in objective diameters (sorry but my eyes tell me something different from what conventional/scientific wisdom states for daylight conditions).

Further, after comparing them with several other bins I would note that they do offer an ever so slight warm color bias to that of the more neutral Zen Ray. This is a bit contrary to what I posted originally. The warm bias is very, very subtle and not even at the level of the Sightron but it is there.

I really had a great time with them yesterday afternoon/early evening. I am getting very good numbers of geese migrating through myneck of the woods right now and enjoyed counting flock after flock of the "specks" flying through until well after sundown.
 
To my eyes there is a brilliance in high light transmission binoculars that lifts a veil from the image. It's hard to explain, but I can see it when I compare my Minox Porro to the Roof's I own. If the Minox, Leupold, or Opticron IF Porro's had bigger FOV and less CA, they would be the true Alpha killer.



Steve,


However I do feel that the Vixen does very well in terms of apparent brightness, contrast and apparent sharpness. It certainly is comparable in these areas with the Zen Ray 7x43 ED3 and appears ever so slightly better in apparent brightness under all conditions. That would be expected considering the notable difference in objective diameters (sorry but my eyes tell me something different from what conventional/scientific wisdom states for daylight conditions).



.
 
"The view through a good porro is hard to beat."

To my eyes there is a brilliance in high light transmission binoculars that lifts a veil from the image. It's hard to explain, but I can see it when I compare my Minox Porro to the Roof's I own. If the Minox, Leupold, or Opticron IF Porro's had bigger FOV and less CA, they would be the true Alpha killer.

bh,

As a reformed shock jock once told me:

"The view through a good porro is hard to beat."

I would not forget the "bang for the buck" factor. Premium roofs cost egad$ more than premium porros.

Nikon 8x32 SE: $625 (oops, just went up to $679, B&H is catching on)

Swaro 8x32 SV EL: $2,000

I'm surprised to hear about the CA since the FsOV are so moderate on the porros you mentioned. All other things equal, I usually see more CA in WF bins since CA in a non-ED bin gets progressively worse the farther you get from the center.

I wonder if the internal focusers have anything to do with the CA as Henry once suggested?

I don't remember if the Cascades were made in China or Japan, but they had QC issues, particularly with the focusers, which varied in terms of smoothness. So QC would also need to be improved to compete with alphas.

According to Henry, Leica made a WF internal focus porro back in Antediluvian times. So it can be done, but I suppose it must be costly if Minox, Leupold and Opticron all chose to limit the FOV.

bp
 
I received today a pair of Nikon action vii 10x50.
They are the best quality/price i ever watched through.
They are simply amazing, the sweet spot is surprisingly large, i don't know if it is normal or not, like 70% of sweet spot (tried by day, no stargazing yet).
A bit of CA but it's better controled than in the Minox.
Ghost images by night are very low and not disturbing, the Habicht is much worse for this application.
Surprisingly good...
Must be the best 90€ i ever spent on a pair of bins.
 
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