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Waterproofness and your use of binoculars (2 Viewers)

Waterproof bins are pretty essential here in the UK. Even if it starts out sunny you'll inevitably get caught out in a torrential downpour at some point.

Interesting then that I've settled on the merely 'splashproof' Retrovid 7x35 as my main bin and will just put up with the inconvenience of having to frequently take it in and out from under under my jacket and be fumbling about with the rainguard rather than take any number of high quality waterproof bins instead, such is the unique appeal of the 7x35 Retrovid.

I sense a gap in the market, binocular manufacturers take note. Fat chance!
 
I too wondered why people make such a big deal out of waterproof, ........................

There are situations in which the binoculars may need to be rinsed under water. Dusty areas, storms or long periods of observation at sea (salt water) may require cleaning under running water. Even visits to mountain stations where the density and temperature of the air changes can cause the inside of the glass to fog up when going downhill. This is often the case on my travels.
In addition, sealed glass prevents fogging from the inside. This in turn prevents the risk of residue on the internal optical surfaces in the long term. This prevents the formation of plaque and fungus.
I also observe in the rain, for me that is important. However, the user should not overestimate this property. But it feels like good insurance and that's reassuring.
 
There are situations in which the binoculars may need to be rinsed under water. Dusty areas, storms or long periods of observation at sea (salt water) may require cleaning under running water. Even visits to mountain stations where the density and temperature of the air changes can cause the inside of the glass to fog up when going downhill. This is often the case on my travels.
In addition, sealed glass prevents fogging from the inside. This in turn prevents the risk of residue on the internal optical surfaces in the long term. This prevents the formation of plaque and fungus.
I also observe in the rain, for me that is important. However, the user should not overestimate this property. But it feels like good insurance and that's reassuring.
The ability to clean and rinse your binoculars under the kitchen faucet is a cool and helpful bonus. I do it with my Ultravids all the time. I miss that feature when I’m cleaning my SEs and Retrovids.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for less waterproofing being better, I’d love it if my SEs or Retrovids were waterproof like ELs or Ultravids. I’m just saying, that for me, where I live and the way I use them, lack of waterproofing isn’t a deal breaker. Especially since I have a pair of very good Ultravids to take if it is raining.

Please forgive my kind of isolation in a dry place compared to most of you. I had no idea that it rained so much in a lot of the rest of the world. I’ve, of course, read about the Amazon rainforest, the wet Pacific Northwest, parts of Asia and their monsoon season, but it appears to rain a lot elsewhere too.
 
Any fans of a some kind of a binogurard here around? Sometimes I go out when it is drizzling. I don't really like using a rainguard (the rainguard of my SLC goes easily off). My SLC is my "rough conditions pair of binos". So when it's drizzling I mostly take this one with me. I am thinking about buying this binoguard, but when I am seeing this movie I see it takes some time having a nice view putting this binoguard out of the way.


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Any fans of a some kind of a binogurard here around?

Oddly enough, I sold one yesterday!!!
I got it as an unexpected gift when buying a pair of binoculars. After trying it, I found it was too bulky and not very convenient (at all), but that's just my experience, I'm sure it has its audience. As a background, I hardly do any forest, and probably I see this more aimed at someone how is regularly walking in thick forest or through thick bush, where the flap could offer some extra protection against abrasion and rubbing of branches, etc. Other than that, I found it cumbersome to use. Take a look at the video and how he has to do a double movement to enable use: first lift it, then tuck it under the binos and keep it there with the hands to prevent it from being in the middle (but losing a proper grip in doing so). Maybe I don't understand the concept, but I've tried to use it and honestly to me it makes no sense.

As usual with Swarovski, the item itself oozes quality, the fabric and plastic parts are simply top notch (there is a little pocket on the inside to carry a cleaning cloth).
 
Can someone explain to me what the problem of "not waterproof" binoculars is? There is no electronics in binoculars, it doesn't matter if they get wet ...
 
Can someone explain to me what the problem of "not waterproof" binoculars is? There is no electronics in binoculars, it doesn't matter if they get wet ...
Are you joking?
Internal fogging and misting whilst in use, rendering them useless.
Possible fungus growth as a result from combination of dampness, warmth and egress of spores.
Degradation of surface coatings.
 
Maybe I haven't seen the right rain, but I have never seen this being a problem. Fungus growth is a bit of a scarecrow, I have been abusing optics for decades and it does not really happen. I have only seen fungus in very old optics that was kept in a damp garage or such. I wouldn't really dramatize it that much.
 
Maybe I haven't seen the right rain, but I have never seen this being a problem. Fungus growth is a bit of a scarecrow, I have been abusing optics for decades and it does not really happen. I have only seen fungus in very old optics that was kept in a damp garage or such. I wouldn't really dramatize it that much.
You've been very fortunate. I have had many porro prisms develop issues through the 60s and 70s, as well as early Kowa scopes. Leitz Trinovid 10 x 40B with internal fungus issues. A Leica 8 x 42 BA that fogged up during a damp onshore seashore. But thankfully nothing else since the mid 90s. Whilst some premium combined binocular/ rangefinders do indeed have sophisticated internal electronics......Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski, hence their sealed, pressurised inert gas units.
Image stabilising units, Canon.
 
Maybe I haven't seen the right rain, but I have never seen this being a problem. Fungus growth is a bit of a scarecrow, I have been abusing optics for decades and it does not really happen. I have only seen fungus in very old optics that was kept in a damp garage or such. I wouldn't really dramatize it that much.
Based on my personal experience (50 + years, hundreds of binoculars, mainly central Europe, including alpine climatic conditions), I agree that the issue seems to get sometimes dramatized a bit. Why has - just as an example - neither my Nikon E II nor my Dialyt 8x56, both of which are not fully waterproof and which I have been using many times in rainy weather, never fogged up or gotten misty inside (ironically, the ones I had to send in over the years to have internal „mist“ removed were waterproof nitrogen purged models)?
 
I’m with Canip here: I don’t worry about the lack of sealed optics on my two most-used field instruments: the Nikon EII 8 x 30 and 10 x 35. I’ve used the former almost everyday for nearly two years in all kinds of Scottish weather. Since I started using a dry Tupperware box filled with desiccant to store these instruments at room temperature, they have never fogged up internally and their bone dry interiors effectively prevent fungal growth. I use them just like any sealed and gas purged roof.

Regards,

Neil
 

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Water resistance is really an advantage. I thought I could clean my Bushnell X-wide 5x25 by gently putting it under running water. That was a mistake. Water got in through the objectives and damaged the binocular.
And as mentioned above another problem can be fungus. My Garret optical 11x56 LW(same as Oberwerk) has got Fungus on the prisms. This despite it has been in dry room in room temperature all the time.
 
Interesting point.
Can a few hot months a year with 70-90% humidity to be favorable to fungus formation?

why only in summer? The relative humidity that promotes mold in glass is 70% relative humidity and at temperatures between 10°C and 35°C. The absolute water content xg/m³ is crucial. You also have this condition in other weather conditions and air pressure conditions. For example, if it rains and you observe 20°C in the spring, you have a relative humidity of 100%! The air is completely saturated with water, otherwise it wouldn't rain :)
Fungus also needs little light, ideally darkness. Because UV rays can kill fungi. Air movement also prevents the growth of mold. Because when the air flushes the interior of the binoculars, like a chimney, and this air is drier, it removes the moisture in the binoculars because it is less saturated and can absorb the moisture. So if the glass is fogged up on the inside, don't store it in the dark and put it in a bag.

Take a cable car from a warm environment to the top of a cold mountain. If the glass has reached the temperature on the mountain and you go back down, a Porro glass will most likely be foggy on the inside. The warmer air in the valley has more water in it because the density is lower and can hold more water. This will cool down on the cold inner surface of the glass, the density will change and the water will be excreted - then the inside will fog up.
Sorry for my English
 
If the air were more dense on top of a “cold mountain” wouldn’t folks be able to climb big mountains without supplemental oxygen? (Everest, K-2, etc)

According to an online calculator, if the pressure at sea level is 30.00 in of Hg, at 8,000 meters, with a temperature of -25°C, the pressure is roughly 10” of Hg. (unless the calculator is wrong, or I entered something incorrectly)

There is nothing wrong with your English, it is better than that of a significant number of my countrymen.
 
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Fungus also needs little light, ideally darkness. Because UV rays can kill fungi.
Most optical glass has very poor transmission of UV light and there's very little UV light in an indoor environment.
Or does anyone store their binoculars without covers outdoors? ;)
 
The warmer air in the valley has more water in it because the density is lower and can hold more water.
That's wrong, it's true, the air density in the valley is greater, hence the higher ability to absorb more water. The oxygen saturation level is higher, always in relation to the temperature. Breathing on a mountain is therefore deeper in order to be able to absorb more air mass and more oxygen. Sorry, prescribed.
Than´s Maljunulo
 
Depends on how you are using them, I suppose.
For outdoors, they need to be weatherproof, even if you leave your house with nice weather, it can change during your trip, at least in most areas.
If you are active, they need to be waterproof.
I used my bins on a kayak recently, then on a boat, you can't prevent spray to drop on them, it also protects them from dust, sand, etc..
 

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