"The heavens declare the glory of God"...
MarkLeica 8x20; Nikon Action 7x35; Vixen Apex Pro 8x42; Orion 15x63; Docter Nobilem 15x60WO Megrez II 80 FD / APM 107mm f/6.5 / Mewlon 210 on DM-6 + Berlebach Planet
Using 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3mm exit pupil binoculars (from 7x50 to 20x60s), I found that 4mm hits the mark for my skies and eyes. 3mm gives even better background contrast, but at the expense of faint stars.
Quote:Mark (& All), I was finally blessed with another clear sky here in NW Indiana which allowed me to do some tests as far as my Vixen 12x80s edge-of-field sharpness is concerned. As I previously described, seeing conditions (light pollution, sky glow, etc.) in my hometown area leave much to be desired. Still in all, it's a clear night, and somewhat warmer than what we've recently experienced. I first tried my Vixen binos on Aldebaran, the brightest accessible star. I seemed to notice a slight image degradation very near the edge of the FOV. I'm not sure how to calculate this percentage-wise, but I'd estimate it at 5% or so from the edge. A while later I caught the Moon rising. It was still low over the horizon, a little over half-full. The termninator was nearly horizontal, which made for an easy test. Not to exaggerate, but I saw no perceiveable distortion to the edge of the FOV. Nothing that anyone would notice (especially not at 12x). There may have been the tiniest bit of light drop-off, but not enough to notice unless one was looking for it (as in such a test as this). Once again my conclusion regarding these binos is "Wow"! For the size and magnification they are beautiful. My standard by which I judge lower-powered binos is my "classic" pair of Celestron Nova 10x50 EWAs (1984 vintage; 8 degrees @ 1000 yds., etc). These binos are the most satisfying, comfortable-viewing (re the comments about older Japanese binos in the "Classic" thread) binoculars I've ever looked through and probably ever will. The Vixens come very close to this level. Other than the fact that they're not comfortably hand-holdable and that their eye relief is almost excessive, their views are closer to the Celestrons than any other low-powered bino I've tried; i.e., VERY satisfying, with images considerably bigger and brighter than those presented by the Celestron pair.Mike R.
Astrosystems Telekit 10" with F/6 JC Wilkinson mirror