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birding bino for < $100?

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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

BTW supposedly none of the Zhumells are phase coated. So please test!



Interesting.. Where did you get this information and how does one test to see if a binocular has been phase coated?

:question:

Jon

#27 hallelujah

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:56 AM

BTW supposedly none of the Zhumells are phase coated. So please test!



Interesting.. Where did you get this information and how does one test to see if a binocular has been phase coated?

:question:

Jon


Why not just fire off a quick email to Zhumell and get the answer directly from the horse's mouth.

http://www.zhumell.com/contact-us/

Stan

#28 Binojunky

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 12:31 PM

Phase correction is not the end all and be all of a good roof prism binocular, I have looked through non phase coated instruments and found them to perform better than those loudly exclaiming they are phase coated.
For example I own a Meade Rain Forest Pro 8x56 roof prism binocular bought NOS about 5 yrs ago, its made in Japan and its views are outstanding and that's what made me buy it after I took a casual look through it at my local optics store, however its not Phase coated, to me its not relevant, would it be even better with Phase coating?, maybe however the technology wasn,t available in its day.
My advise is try the binocular you are interested in if possible and if its what you like, get it, use it, don,t waste the hours procrastenating, "what if, what if". DA.

#29 FrankKD

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:31 PM

The Nova EDs are phase coated. The Short Barrel is not.


Thumbs up on the Zhumell Nova EDs.

Brief comments since I just received them today and am typing on my eye-phone.

-generous sweet spot

-good apparent sharpness

- good CA control

- eyecups are rounded so good face-bin interface

-plenty of eye relief and ocular lens surface is close to eyecup surface level

-no problem with floppy hinge tension

-compact for a 42 mm (see pic)

- excellent focusing tension

Cons

- a bit of a yellow green color bias compared to Sightrons and McKinleys.

-central diopter could be potentially easily bumped

- unusual flared ends around objectives

More to follow but for $91 these ED bins are certainly keepers

#30 SMark

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:34 PM

We know that there are varying levels of non-reflective coatings available (Mag. Fl. Coated, Ultra-Violet Coated, Multi-coated, Fully Multi-Coated...) and there is no doubt varying levels within each of these definitions that will show-up in the performance of a given binocular. Even though it's been used mostly in singular terms... i.e. Phase Coated or NOT Phase Coated... Could it be that there are varying performance levels of Phase Coatings as well?

If this is the case, then we should expect that the cheaper, (and probably) less effective methods will be used on cheaper binoculars, and the best methods would be used on the finest binoculars. This then furthers the line-of-thought that "you get what you pay for," which is more often (though not always) the case with any binocular purchase.


Any insight on this? :question:

#31 FrankKD

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:25 PM

Your reasoning is sound. One thing to keep in mind though is the country of origin in relation to the cost of the instrument.

Case in point, the Meopta Meostar HD is manufactured in the Czech Republic. It's optical performance is comparable to similar models manufactured in Austria, Germany and Japan. Why are similar instruments then twice the cost? Labor rates seems like the likely answer. I have no doubt that the phase coating on the Meoptas is the equivalent of its competitors.

Having said that I am not suggesting that a $225 Chinese made roof has the same quality of phase coating as a $1000 or $2000 model. What I would say is that the performance difference is much closer than one would expect considering the difference in cost.

#32 hallelujah

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:22 PM

Dave,

http://www.opticstal..._topic1739.html

Stan

#33 Stacy

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:43 PM

Dave,

http://www.opticstal..._topic1739.html

Stan


Very interesting. Thanks Stan :waytogo:

#34 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

BTW supposedly none of the Zhumells are phase coated. So please test!



Interesting.. Where did you get this information and how does one test to see if a binocular has been phase coated?

:question:

Jon


Why not just fire off a quick email to Zhumell and get the answer directly from the horse's mouth.

http://www.zhumell.com/contact-us/

Stan


Stan:

I have seen enough errors on the Hayneedle website that I don't trust it. And I am not confident that someone at Hayneedle who answered by Email would actually understand my question and be qualified to answer it rather than just look up what the website said.

This is why I was interested in knowing both the source of the information as well as a test to see if a binocular was phase coated. My understanding of phase coating suggests that it would be a difficult test but the implication was that a test is possible.

A test would be interesting because I could test binoculars that I own.

Jon

#35 Stacy

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

It says "phase coated" right on the focus knob. I also called and talked to someone in the optical department who confirmed they are "phase coated". I am guessing they are phase coated. Anyone who says differently really has no idea what they are talking about.

#36 Stacy

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

- unusual flared ends around objectives



The description on the 10's says they feature a "slightly retro" design, which may account for the unusual flare on the objective end.

#37 MrJones

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:32 PM

Here's an easy test to check for phase coating. You can use polarized sunglasses. link

And yes it certainly does say phase coated all over the ads and on the focus knob! I admit didn't know about this model until now - I was thinking about the short barrel and others from when that one came out.

#38 Stacy

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:02 AM

Interesting that the Nova's are Zhumell's newest bino offering, their only ED choice, and as far as I can tell, their only phase corrected model, yet they are on clearance. When I asked about that, I didn't get a conclusive answer. Maybe they are just trying to get some out in the field? IDK

He did say they are selling very well and have about 70 pair left.

Stacy

#39 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:44 AM

Here's an easy test to check for phase coating. You can use polarized sunglasses.



Thanks for the link. I should be able to do that test with the variable polarizers from a variable moon filter.

Jon

#40 John_G

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:18 PM

Nikon ACULON 7x35 for $56.95. I've never used these but < $100.

Nikon ACULON

#41 Stacy

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:20 PM

I got the Zhumell 8x42 Nova ED's today. While it's an impressive package, even the box is very nice, this pair is being returned. There is some kind of bright metal shard just at the edge of one of the objectives on the inside. Probably some kind of metal shaving that got missed. Curious because it is quite bright while the rest of the insides look nicely blackened.

They offered a call tag, but I opted for just the label so I can just drop them in the outgoing at work. They are sending another pair for the same price and picking up the tab for expidited shipping.

The shard, although annoying, didn't seem to trouble the view, which was quite nice. The whole package is quite impressive. The case and strap are nice. Not a huge fan of the camera style lens caps, that will surly go missing, but the rain guards are the usual style for nicer binoculars. The fit and finish seem on par with other binoculars around the $300 price point. A quick look at a power line revealed what might be a very thin line of red on one side and blue on the other in focus. When I get my new pair I'll do a more in depth review and use a tripod etc.

Stacy

#42 mooreorless

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:48 AM

Here's an easy test to check for phase coating. You can use polarized sunglasses. link

And yes it certainly does say phase coated all over the ads and on the focus knob! I admit didn't know about this model until now - I was thinking about the short barrel and others from when that one came out.


Hi Mr. Jones! I will add to this if I may.

Bushnell Elite and Eagle Optics extenders checking for p-coating

phase and non phase coated binocular

The whole thread

Finally got this "all" right to post. I hope this helps some.

#43 MrJones

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:21 AM

Thanks!

#44 Shneor

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:59 AM

I ordered a pair of the Zhumell 8x42s, which arrived Saturday. I took them with me for an observing night at Shot Rock, 7600 feet altitude and dark sky (typically NELM mag 7+). The Milky Way appeared sandy, stars were sharp almost to the field stop. M31 was beautiful and detailed, M33 was a fuzzy irregular patch and M8 showed some detail. I did not have much time for terrestrial viewing, but I noticed tht the nearer views were very 3-dimensional. But when I panned at longer distances, there appeared to be some pincushion. These are compact and daytime views are very bright, even though the exit pupil is 5.3mm and I'm sure my pupils stop down to 3-4 mm at most in bright daylight. They appear to be quite sturdy and the multicoatings on the field and eye lenses are quite distinct, but not too bright. The 1/4 x 20 for a tripod adapter is covered by a screw top. The 1-page in 6 or 8 languages owners manual is not appropriate for these binoculars, and the instructions for right eye focus won't work on these (there's another fucusing ring for the right eye). There's a comfortable padded strap for the binos, another for the case (which also has a belt loop). I like these binoculars, I think they are an excellent valus (although I noticed that a few days after I ordered the price went up to $95 from $91).
Clears,

#45 MrJones

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for the reports! Any rolling ball effect?

#46 FrankKD

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:17 PM

I posted a few comments of my impressions of the Zhumell Nova ED here:

http://www.birdforum...ad.php?t=263525

#47 Stacy

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:09 AM

My 2nd Pair of Zhumell 8x42 Nova ED binos are going back as well. On this pair, there is some issue with focus. For some reason it seems to switch from eye to eye and it seems I have to adjust the diopter for diferent distances. The first pair workd fine with the diopter at the center position, which usually works for my eyes. This pair also has a close focus of over 9 feet. Over three feet further than the first pair that had some kind of metal shard stuck inside the tube.

I will not try again. I think it's just really the same old story of lack of true QC. Two bad samples are enough for me. I am happy some of you got good samples. Although I fear what is left may be a bunch of rejects, hence the clearence. JMHO.

I am really happy with my Endeavor ED 8x42's so I'll just stick with those. :)

Regards,
Stacy

#48 dpippel

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:50 PM

I ordered a pair of these and sent them back as well. Instead of the 8x42 Novas Hayneedle sent me a pair of 10x42s. Oops.

#49 Huey

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

I had the exact same problem, ordered the 8x42 and was sent the 10x42. Also found when looking through one of the objectives that there is a small fleck of metal stuck to one of the prisms which sounds similar to the issue Stacy had. Have also found that when moving the diopter to the left, there is a reassuring click with every adjustment however this is not the case when adjusting it to the right. Not sure if this is the intended behaviour or not. Unfortunately I am located in Australia and had to use a third party to purchase these so can't send them back for another pair. Won't be doing that with Hayneedle/Zhumell again. Will just have to use them as they are.

#50 Shneor

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:25 AM

Looks like QC may be the reason for the steep price drop, these are listed for about $550 retail, don't know what they actually sold for before the bargain price.






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