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2113 : A Binocular Space Odyssey

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#1 ChiroCop

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:52 AM

As we finish up yet another year, I wonder where binoculars will be in 100 years ? Will they look anything like the ones we have today, or will they evolve into something we would not recognize ? They are already implementing image stabilization and range finding capabilities. Binocular manufacturing and optics continues to get more complex. However, at the end of the day, they are no more than just glass and metal. No computer chips......and nothing to plug in. This is what I love about them. But what happens when we reach perfection ? .......do we begin adding computer chips and a power supply ?

#2 brentwood

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:30 AM

Whether they still have a glass lens or some kind of grating to refract the light, the resolution will still be limited by the size of the objective. 100x per inch of diameter will still be a limit, and that would be sufficient for almost anything. I think though that we would be viewing a screen rather than through an eyepiece and therefore the light gathering capability would be enormous considering the amount of progress we could expect over the next 100 years.
Stabilisation would be automatic on the object initially viewed and it would have to zoom in (Yes Bill, that would be standard by then) so you could manually override it, if you were say, observing the Jovian moons.
Range finding capabilities would be built in for terrestrial use and delux models would have some spectral analysis features.
Oh, and leather straps would NOT be available!

#3 smart

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:42 AM

I don't think it will take 100 years for image stabilization & digital zoom to be commonplace on binoculars. In about 10 years, with the continual miniaturization of electronics, binoculars will most likely be powered by a solar cell with a myriad of capabilites. But, just as a 1968 Ferrari 275GTB is still a blast to drive now, so too will a high grade year 2012 binocular be a joy to use in the year 2022 and onward. Harold in Oregon

#4 RichD

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:03 AM

I suspect there will be digital technology involved in producing the image somehow. A digital recreation of a live scene, if you like.

#5 teelgul

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:23 AM

It would be great if the bino continues to be manual,metal,mechanical with the best optics possible .just a,beautiful precise optical instrument simple to use .no chips,chargers ,cords or cards . :grin:

#6 daniel_h

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:05 AM

I think it will be like video astronomy, you will look thu a bino box like the Fuji techno-stabi.. & get a scanned img of 4-10 sec to enhance detail, effectively looking at a short time delay. IS will be a given

#7 edwincjones

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

My Guess is
-"plain" glass binoculars have evolved about as much as they will go
-some better glass
-better coatings
-cheaper optics will continue
-enhanced/digitial will continue to improve
but mainly internet astronomy will take the place of actual observing and only a few of us will remain outside under the night sky

edj

#8 edwincjones

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

It would be great if the bino continues to be manual,metal,mechanical with the best optics possible .just a,beautiful precise optical instrument simple to use .no chips,chargers ,cords or cards . :grin:


I agree, but this will be limited to a few of our old fogy great, great, great, great grandchildren

edj

#9 Andresin150

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

I don't know if those would be binoculars, but I imagine that the use of our two eyes should be mandatory and observing would be like standing or sitting in a device, imagine like sitting in the center of a planetarium, and then zooming in into any object, but still seeing everything without any edges (AFOV bigger than you can take; something like 200 deg, so no edges), like regular viewing (imagine zooming in in a digital planetarium) but all, of course, in real time.

#10 brentwood

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

It's funny that you should say that as a few years ago, you could actually look through the 72" that they have at our local observatory. My wife just could not get over that you still had to look through a small eyepiece with one eye. She was sure that with a scope of that size, you would be looking with both eyes at an eyepiece the size of a TV.
As it happens when we went back there a few years later, the scope was not set up to view visually & we did view it through a TV monitor!

#11 faackanders2

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Wider AFOV (and corresponding TFOV).

Lighter larger stabilized binos.

#12 marcelof

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

It would be great if the bino continues to be manual,metal,mechanical with the best optics possible .just a,beautiful precise optical instrument simple to use .no chips,chargers ,cords or cards . :grin:

I like this idea!

#13 plyscope

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

I like that idea too!

And this idea is very appealing.

calling for a new wide angle binocular

#14 ronharper

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:23 AM

In 100 years, the Nikon SE will have screw-adjustable eyecups, ED objectives, and waterproofing.
Ron

#15 ChiroCop

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

Well, I often watch the History Channel. I see black/white WWII clips showing German Field Marshalls and American Generals walking around with binoculars. I realize this footage is 70 years old and ponder the quality of their binoculars in comparison to today's binoculars. Other than the introduction of roof prizms and better glass, have we seen a GIANT LEAP in their evolution? Those of you who collect military binoculars from WWI and WWII may be better at answering this.

#16 Tony Flanders

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:06 AM

Other than the introduction of roof prisms and better glass, have we seen a GIANT LEAP in ... binoculars since World War II.


Actually, I don't think that better glass is much of an issue. First of all, there were already plenty of fancy glasses back then. Second of all, binoculars don't need fancy glass; they do just fine with old-fasioned crown and flint.

Probably the biggest change is improved air-to-glass coatings. That really adds up considering how many air-to-glass surfaces binoculars have.

And of course image stabilization is a radical change. But that's not an optical issue, and it has no effect when binocular are tripod-mounted.

#17 RichD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:17 AM

A big change has been the uniformity of the glass used. Old binos from the 30s and 40s often had bubbles, striations and inclusions in the prisms.

#18 SMark

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

I like that idea too!

And this idea is very appealing.

calling for a new wide angle binocular


+1 on that idea!

We have some amazing ultra wide angle telescope eyepiece designs now. Adapting one of these to a FMC 8x42 porro prism design for a >75° AFOV with ED glass would give me my utlimate hand-held binocular.

Or make it 12x42 and add IS to it as well. It would be worth saving my money for...

#19 Mr. Bill

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

....but mainly internet astronomy will take the place of actual observing and only a few of us will remain outside under the night sky edj



There may not be a night sky in 100 years if the current increase in light pollution and global warming continue.

:bawling:

#20 edwincjones

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

....but mainly internet astronomy will take the place of actual observing and only a few of us will remain outside under the night sky edj



There may not be a night sky in 100 years if the current increase in light pollution and global warming continue.

:bawling:


I hate it when my negative views are outdone,
especially when they are accurate

#21 teelgul

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

our eyes are the best cameras, our brains the best recorder . binos are the tele lens which enhance our viewing
capability.
bettter the optics, ,more the joy.
the pioneers galileo,messier saw a lot with a round peices of shaped glass and tube . the tubes and glass are now much better.
nothing like seeing a total solar eclipse with our own eyes.
long live simple,,colour free,flatfield, visual astro!!

#22 Philip Levine

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

Well, this is an interesting thread. I too hope there will continue to be good quality optics and mechanical build.
But as pointed out, light pollution, man-made atmospheric smog, etc, will degrade the traditional viewing experience.
So perhaps there will be movement to utilize a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, perhaps infra-red or other wavelengths will be in vogue.
A.K.A. Geordi LaForge wrap-around wide field bino-visors.
Phil

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