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Why are those dang Habicht's so BRIGHT! (2 Viewers)

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Habicht's aren't the best birding binoculars out there. Far from it. The focuser is too tight, they can have glare issues and the eye cups are too small, at least on the W. The GA or armored version do have bigger eye cups, and you can help the glare and small eye cups on the W with a Bino Bandit. But dang are they BRIGHT! For the aperture size, they are one of the brightest binoculars I have ever looked through. The 8x30, 10x40 and 7x42 all have 95 % transmission, which is more than any binocular I know of. Not even the legendary Nikon E2 8x30 can compete with their transmission numbers, so being a porro might help with that super high transmission, but there must be other reasons they are so bright. I have heard they have the best EL glass and the best updated coatings Swarovski can put on a binocular, so that must be part of it combined with the fact that porros have a simpler optical system and the prism is 100% efficient unlike the best roof prisms which have to be phase and dielectric coated and still can't touch the transmission figures of the Habicht. Probably, the only roof prism that comes close to a Habicht in transmission is the Zeiss HT, and it is only 93% at 500 nm. At wavelength 500 nm Nikon SE 8x32's have 85% transmission, Swarovski NL 8x42's have 92% transmission, Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32's have 89% transmission, Swarovski CL's 8x30 have 90% transmission, Meopta Meostar's 8x32 have 85% transmission and the famous Nikon E2 8x30(New Version) only have 87% transmission. Of the three Habicht's I have found the 7x42 to be generally the brightest because of it's bigger exit pupil, but even the smaller 8x30 is amazingly bright for it's small aperture. The Habicht 7x42 is for the aperture size one of the brightest binocular I have ever looked through. They almost seem like they are self illuminated from within! The weird thing about transmission is it helps more in the daylight than exit pupil, and exit pupil helps more in low light. Higher transmission increases the brightness of the cone of light reaching your eyes, so a higher transmitting binocular can appear brighter even in the day, and it will even create a sparkle to the image which can be addictive. Habicht's sparkle in the daylight like no other binocular I have used and of course they have that 3D porro image which is hard to underestimate what a difference it makes in your view. Again, I am not recommending Habicht's for an all around birding binocular, but for the price and aperture I don't think any binocular will outperform them in the quality of the view. Dang, those Habicht's are bright!

 

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dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
The Habicht series has the highest transmission due to the fact that it has a quality glass and a simple optical formula (few air/ glass surfaces). Besides the simplicity of the porro system, the eyepieces are simplistic too with only 3 lens element reverse Kellner ocular. The price paid for excellent light transmission it is the lack of corrective lenses in the eyepieces, which explains Habicht series has narrow field of view with low edge resolution and short eyerelief. If all this problems would have been solved by adding corrective lenses in the eyepieces surely the light transmission would decrease. It's a compromise game. The strong character of this binoculars is given especially/ only by this excellent transmission!
 
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Rg548

Retired Somewhere
United Kingdom
The Habicht series has the highest transmission due to the fact that it has a quality glass and a simple optical formula (few air/ glass surfaces). Besides the simplicity of the porro system, the eyepieces are simplistic too with only 3 lens element reverse Kellner ocular. The price paid for excellent light transmission it is the lack of corrective lenses in the eyepieces, which explains Habicht series has narrow field of view with low edge resolution and short eyerelief. If all this problems would have been solved by adding corrective lenses in the eyepieces surely the light transmission would decrease. It's a compromise game. The strong character of this binoculars is given especially/ only by this excellent transmission!
Very interesting.

I guess these manufacturers know best, they've been doing optics for a while, and make their choices in design, and we then choose which way to go with our purchases.
I was thinking that my new Meoptas aren't quite as bright as Zeiss, but on the other hand, the colours are way nicer, at least to me eyes. They pull colour from everywhere, including looking into the light. Low morning sun, evening sun etc.
The view is nicer to me.
Is this another compromise by design, slightly less light, but better colours. They do not produce a dull image by any means, but more saturated.

Is this by choice, or manufacturers own limits?
I'm not technical enough to know the answer, but it's interesting.
 

jogresh

Bimble and patch
Interesting stuff. When i was running a busy shop on a nature reserve 15 years ago, i came across the Habicht porros at a retail conference and was blown away, so i started to stock them. We were the only place that i knew of that did, i think i put a price of about £300 on them, incredible when you think of the price of Swaros. Interesting to get some comparative technical info on their performance.
Will porros ever come back in again?..
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Just to clarify in relation to the optics . . .

During the history of Swarovski's Traditional pattern metal bodied Porro prism binoculars *

There’s been four different eyepieces:
a) Standard for the 6x30 and 7x42;
b) Narrow for the 8x30N and 10x40N;
c) Wide for the 8x30W and 10x40W, and;
d) Brille for the 7x42B (B = brillenträgerokular = 'eyeglass ocular’)

And two objectives:
a) The short 30 mm one, and;
b) The long 40/ 42 mm one.

All used the same prisms (with all four being the same size), in the same body.
And in 1984 the air-tight body was introduced, identifiable by the valve caps on the front bridge arms.


* The 6x30 and 7x42 were introduced in 1948 by Swarovski KG, the original crystal company;
and it was not until 1949 that both the company Swarovski Optik KG and the brand Habicht were registered.
Not all of the production since 1949 has been marked Habicht, and for some time just about all the product lines were called Habicht.
So my preference is for Traditional to be all inclusive of the metal bodied Porro prism production since 1948.
- - - -

See two images from Henry:
• the first shows the 10x40W Habicht with an eyepiece of 6 lenses and 3 groups, and
• the second the 7x42 SL with an eyepiece of 3 lenses in 2 groups.

The SL used the Traditional glass in a unique moulded plastic body, with the optical difference being that the two prisms in each barrel
were cemented together. See the details at: Swarovski SL porro models

- - - -
The current choices are:
• for Civilian purchasers the CF versions of the 8x30W, 7x42 and 10x40W; with all three available in a leatherette covering,
and the larger two also in RA, while;

• for Government purchasers the IF RA versions of the 8x30W, 7x42B and 10x40W; with laser filter and reticle options,
see a 2021 catalogue at: https://ezone.idexuae.ae/storage/brochures/oFywNQu80BWsaHlkEx6QIhpxXa1jETE1ufAHTomB.pdf


John
 

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Thotmosis

Well-known member
Netherlands

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Habicht's aren't the best birding binoculars out there. Far from it. The focuser is too tight, they can have glare issues and the eye cups are too small, at least on the W. The GA or armored version do have bigger eye cups, and you can help the glare and small eye cups on the W with a Bino Bandit. But dang are they BRIGHT! For the aperture size, they are one of the brightest binoculars I have ever looked through. The 8x30, 10x40 and 7x42 all have 95 % transmission, which is more than any binocular I know of. Not even the legendary Nikon E2 8x30 can compete with their transmission numbers, so being a porro might help with that super high transmission, but there must be other reasons they are so bright. I have heard they have the best EL glass and the best updated coatings Swarovski can put on a binocular, so that must be part of it combined with the fact that porros have a simpler optical system and the prism is 100% efficient unlike the best roof prisms which have to be phase and dielectric coated and still can't touch the transmission figures of the Habicht. Probably, the only roof prism that comes close to a Habicht in transmission is the Zeiss HT, and it is only 93% at 500 nm. At wavelength 500 nm Nikon SE 8x32's have 85% transmission, Swarovski NL 8x42's have 92% transmission, Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32's have 89% transmission, Swarovski CL's 8x30 have 90% transmission, Meopta Meostar's 8x32 have 85% transmission and the famous Nikon E2 8x30(New Version) only have 87% transmission. Of the three Habicht's I have found the 7x42 to be generally the brightest because of it's bigger exit pupil, but even the smaller 8x30 is amazingly bright for it's small aperture. The Habicht 7x42 is for the aperture size one of the brightest binocular I have ever looked through. They almost seem like they are self illuminated from within! The weird thing about transmission is it helps more in the daylight than exit pupil, and exit pupil helps more in low light. Higher transmission increases the brightness of the cone of light reaching your eyes, so a higher transmitting binocular can appear brighter even in the day, and it will even create a sparkle to the image which can be addictive. Habicht's sparkle in the daylight like no other binocular I have used and of course they have that 3D porro image which is hard to underestimate what a difference it makes in your view. Again, I am not recommending Habicht's for an all around birding binocular, but for the price and aperture I don't think any binocular will outperform them in the quality of the view. Dang, those Habicht's are bright!

Selling it soon Dennis?

Lee
 

Thotmosis

Well-known member
Netherlands
I was thinking that my new Meoptas aren't quite as bright as Zeiss, but on the other hand, the colours are way nicer, at least to me eyes.
I was thinking the same the other day comparing my Habicht 10x40 with my Leica's 8x32 HD and Duovid 8-12x42, the Habicht being brighter but the Leica's have nicer colors at least for my eyes. It's nice to have choices.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Hi Thotmosis (post #11),

I have no idea, but if Dale Forbes of Swarovski reads your post he may choose to clarify the matter.

More generally, even before the air-tight/ waterproof body was introduced in 1984, civilian sales of the IF models were small.
And once there were air-tight CF models, sales would have reduced much more.

Most of the IF models were dropped from the civilian lineup in 1991, with only the RA 7x42B continuing until around 1997
(the B eyepiece was never offered in any other configuration).


Previously there had been sales of a variety of IF models to various militaries, see post #11 and on at:
About The British Military's Binoculars Used In Post War?

Then in 1991 Alpha-Numeric numbering was introduced on all Swarovski product lines, with all the CF Habichts having an A prefix,
and all the IF ones a B prefix.

To give an idea how limited IF sales have been since then, the most recent IF unit for which I’ve observed a serial number
is an 8x30W #B8117 05269. So from April (the 17th week) 2011 (81 + 1930). And it was only the 5,269th unit in 20 years.


Most likely the IF models are produced in batches, but only when there’s a contract for a certain number of units.
Having said that, considering that most of the parts are also used for the CF models, and Swarovski’s flexible production techniques . . . ?


John
 
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dorubird

Well-known member
Romania
Is this by choice, or manufacturers own limits?
I'm not technical enough to know the answer, but it's interesting.
It is clearly a choice and not a limitation! With Habicht Swarovski just wanted to continue on the market this old traditional series for those who are nostalgic for these wonderful porro binoculars without increasing the FOV or eyerelief, but with improvements to the glass and coating, all this for maximum possible light transmission.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
The Habicht series has the highest transmission due to the fact that it has a quality glass and a simple optical formula (few air/ glass surfaces). Besides the simplicity of the porro system, the eyepieces are simplistic too with only 3 lens element reverse Kellner ocular. The price paid for excellent light transmission it is the lack of corrective lenses in the eyepieces, which explains Habicht series has narrow field of view with low edge resolution and short eyerelief. If all this problems would have been solved by adding corrective lenses in the eyepieces surely the light transmission would decrease. It's a compromise game. The strong character of this binoculars is given especially/ only by this excellent transmission!
Very interesting. Good explanation for the high transmission of the Habicht's.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
I was thinking the same the other day comparing my Habicht 10x40 with my Leica's 8x32 HD and Duovid 8-12x42, the Habicht being brighter but the Leica's have nicer colors at least for my eyes. It's nice to have choices.
I agree with that. How does the Leica Duovid 8-12x42 compare with the Leica 8x32 HD for brightness and colors? Habicht's are brighter per aperture size than just about anything.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Selling it soon Dennis?

Lee
I have had Habicht's in the past, but I remember the first time I tried the Habicht 8x30 W, and I was in a parking lot looking around with it, and I was just blown away by the bright, transparent image. I said to myself, wow, these things are superb. I had never seen a binocular as bright or as clear before. It was like there was no glass between you and what you were looking at. It is like you magically moved up closer to the object. I had glare problems with the 8x30 W though and the eye cups were too small for my eye sockets, so I eventually sold them, but I have a renewed interest in them now because I have discovered Bino Bandits. Bino Bandits really help reduce glare and eliminate black-outs by allowing me to rest the binoculars on my forehead and against my eye sockets better.
 
Last edited:

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Just to clarify in relation to the optics . . .

During the history of Swarovski's Traditional pattern metal bodied Porro prism binoculars *

There’s been four different eyepieces:
a) Standard for the 6x30 and 7x42;
b) Narrow for the 8x30N and 10x40N;
c) Wide for the 8x30W and 10x40W, and;
d) Brille for the 7x42B (B = brillenträgerokular = 'eyeglass ocular’)

And two objectives:
a) The short 30 mm one, and;
b) The long 40/ 42 mm one.

All used the same prisms (with all four being the same size), in the same body.
And in 1984 the air-tight body was introduced, identifiable by the valve caps on the front bridge arms.


* The 6x30 and 7x42 were introduced in 1948 by Swarovski KG, the original crystal company;
and it was not until 1949 that both the company Swarovski Optik KG and the brand Habicht were registered.
Not all of the production since 1949 has been marked Habicht, and at one point just about all product lines were also called Habicht.
So my preference is for Traditional to be all inclusive of the metal bodied Porro prism production since 1948.
- - - -

See two images from Henry:
• the first shows the 10x40W Habicht with an eyepiece of 6 lenses and 3 groups, and
• the second the 7x42 SL with an eyepiece of 3 lenses in 2 groups.

The SL used the Traditional glass in a unique moulded plastic body, with the optical difference being that the two prisms in each barrel
were cemented together. See the details at: Swarovski SL porro models

- - - -
The current choices are:
• for Civilian purchasers the CF versions of the 8x30W, 7x42 and 10x40W; with all three available in a leatherette covering,
and the larger two also in RA, while;

• for Government purchasers the IF RA versions of the 8x30W, 7x42B and 10x40W; with laser filter and reticle options,
see a 2021 catalogue at: https://ezone.idexuae.ae/storage/brochures/oFywNQu80BWsaHlkEx6QIhpxXa1jETE1ufAHTomB.pdf


John
Interesting about the government purchasers version. I never realized they sold a government version. Very cool!
 

henry link

Well-known member
I have had Habicht's in the past, but I remember the first time I tried the Habicht 8x30 W, and I was in a parking lot looking around with it, and I was just blown away by the bright, transparent image. I said to myself, wow, these things are superb. I had never seen a binocular as bright or as clear before. It was like there was no glass between you and what you were looking at. It is like you magically moved up closer to the object. I had glare problems with the 8x30 W though and the eye cups were too small for my eye sockets, so I eventually sold them, but I have a renewed interest in them now because I have discovered Bino Bandits. Bino Bandits really help reduce glare and eliminate black-outs by allowing me to rest the binoculars on my forehead and against my eye sockets better.
Once again Dennis, the Bino Bandit doesn't help at all with the internal glare you saw when you looked up at the mountain goats and dumped your first 8x30 Habicht the next day. All binoculars are improved when the space between the eyecup and the viewer's head is sealed against lateral light, but the Habichts have no special problem with that kind of glare, in fact less of a problem than your EIIs and the NLs just because those have wider, more exposed eye lenses. The Bino Bandit is acting to reduce lateral light at the eyepiece end (as it would in any binocular), but the more serious glare in the 8x30 Habicht is still there exactly as it was before. You just haven't looked at the mountain goats yet.

As for the 8x30 Habichts being brighter and clearer than other binoculars, they are undeniably bright, but they have relatively high spherical and longitudinal chromatic aberrations and therefore lower measured resolution and a less sharp image than a good copy of the 8x30 EII and many other good binoculars.
 

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