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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: SMark]
      #5636813 - 01/22/13 12:37 PM

CuriousOne,

You have already been given most of the advice you need, whch amounts to STAY CLEAR OF ZOOM BINOCULARS, and ESPECIALLY ones that provide maximum magnifications above 15x.

I've tried many, and they are ALL A COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY!!

Even your idea to fix the magnification at a high setting is fraught with danger and probably doomed to disappointment.

For one thing, to do so would do nothing to change the fact that the resulting exit-pupil would be around 0.5mm.

Another thing is it would only provide an acceptable image if the two sides were PERFECTLY aligned ( which they almost certainly WON'T be)

A third proviso is that BOTH sides are set to EXACTLY THE SAME MAGNIFICATION ( see Bill C's wise words about mechanical construction )

Your only hope I can think of within your stated budget would be a fixed focus 30x80, but every one I've tried has been pretty terrible too.
Kenny


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Jae
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/13/06

Loc: New England
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5636867 - 01/22/13 01:00 PM

Probably off topic from original poster of large zooms but.....

I always heard that the one zoom exception is the 8-16x40 XL Nikon zoom. So when I checked one out, I personally found that it was certainly usable and sometimes convenient.

But it's costly and nowhere to be found....

Jae


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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5636868 - 01/22/13 01:01 PM

As I already noted, I DON'T LIKE 30X80. I need at least 40X or 50X zoom. I have used giant fujinon 25x150 binoculars, they are nice, but zoom is not enough!

Regarding the "conversion" I have acces to precise lathe and milling machine, also own light duty 3 axis CNC milling machine which can work with aluminum, brass and other soft metals, so, doing custom parts is not that hard for me.


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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636873 - 01/22/13 01:03 PM

Again, I'm looking into "zoom" category, since they offer 40X and larger zooms. I found no cheap binocular with fixed magnification like 40X or higher.

I don't need zoom function at all.

even simpler: "gimme cheap 40x60, 50x70, 60x80" and so on


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Andresin150
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/14/07

Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636880 - 01/22/13 01:08 PM

As Bill C noted:
"If you still want a zoom instrument, please go ahead; sadly, experience is a far better teacher than I will ever be"
So go ahead, buy, convert and share with us your experience...


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Patrik Iver
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/03

Loc: Kaarina, Finland
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636884 - 01/22/13 01:09 PM

Where in the world are you located? If we knew, we might come up with realistic and available options for you.

Quote:

As I'm aiming mainly for daylight observation, say 15x80 will be less usable for me, than say 25x60.




Are you OK with short eye relief and individual focus? A used Kronos 26x70 might work. It is a Russian porro prism binocular with lightweight construction and fairly decent optical and mechanical quality. Works at full aperture, as opposed to most cheap Chinese alternatives. 65 degrees apparent field.


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Patrik Iver
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/03

Loc: Kaarina, Finland
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636898 - 01/22/13 01:16 PM

So by "zoom" you really mean "high magnification" and not "variable magnification".

I'm afraid the others posters are correct in saying that you can't find a really high magnification binocular in your price range. The high magnification would require large aperture for usable exit pupil sizes, and that raises the cost. Perhaps even more important is that the mechanical quality required to maintain collimation at high powers can't realistically be found/done at the price level you are considering.


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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #5636901 - 01/22/13 01:17 PM

I live in Georgia, not state of U.S., but a small country, between Russia and Turkey. Sure, we have old soviet stock available here, but it's price went so high in last decade, that it now costs same as Leupold or similar brands ! Like used 12x60 binoculars costing around $300.

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Patrik Iver
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/03

Loc: Kaarina, Finland
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636905 - 01/22/13 01:21 PM

I have a feeling that much of the old Soviet stock might actually be of a higher quality and better design and execution than much of the less expensive Asian stuff that is cheaply and easily available.

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BillC
on a new path
*****

Reged: 06/04/04

Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5636915 - 01/22/13 01:30 PM

THANKS EVERYONE FOR WARM WELCOME AND FRIENDLY HINTS. BUT, I'D LIKE TO RETURN TO QUESTION I ASKED IN THE FIRST POST. THE CHEAP BINOCULARS HAVE VERY POORLY MADE FOCUSING SYSTEM. SO I ASKED, WHENEVER SUCH PROBLEM EXISTS IN LARGER ONES?

The silliness of owning zoom binoculars rises exponentially as the aperture increases. Thus, I doubt you will find large zooms made by any company that comes even close to being respectable. And, as KennyJ points out, the exit pupil will be tiny—very, very dim image, especially for “daytime observations.”

REGARDING THE ZOOM BINOCULARS, AS I SAID, I CAN "CONVERT" THEM INTO FIXED ZOOM ONES, BY MECHANICALLY FIXING THE ZOOM COMPONENTS IN PLACE, SO NO MISZOOM WILL OCCUR.

If you’re talented enough to do that, you should already have enough money to buy whatever you want. I’ve been in optics for four decades and, as a Chief Opticalman for the Navy, know how to use a lathe, milling machine and pencil sharpener. I also have a background in optical geekology. Because of that, I wouldn’t touch the project with a ten-foot pole. There are too many variables you don’t know about.

I know that some people actually DO have “simple solutions” to complicated problems. I also know this is not a situation in which the previous sentence applies.

Finally, I could see from your last post, that you think all those who have chimed in to help you are missing the point and, not being one to enjoy peeing up a rope or being mistaken for being negative without provocation, I will just keep my mouth shut for a while. I would recommend that before you get too deep into your project you read a few books on binoculars (zooms in binoculars are 2 magnitudes harder to deal with) and that when you finish, you let us know the results.

BillC

PS When I see you repeatedly speak of ZOOMS with “FIXED” powers, I am told we have somewhat of a language barrier. Zoom binocular are not FIXED power and Fixed power binos can’t ZOOM. Thus, have another chunk of text from that monograph.

*****
1. I WANT THE MOST POWERFUL BINOCULAR YOU’VE GOT!

It is unfortunate that most consumers tend to want “power” (magnification) in a binocular over all other considerations. They throw the word around as if it were of singular importance and a binocular of any size could render any power. And why not? The work of well-meaning, but ill-qualified, freelance writers have given them few meaningful tools for understanding the laws of physics on which binoculars work. Instead, the consumer is met with a constant bombardment of “8x40 means,” or “field of view means,” ad nauseum!

Last year, a co-worker asked me a half dozen times or more what “power” binocular he should buy for hunting. I tried to answer his questions thoroughly and thoughtfully; I got nowhere. He had been too inundated by advertising buzzwords.

Finally, he threw his hands up in front of his face, put finger and thumb of each hand together, then separated his hands by about a foot (mimicking the actions of drawing out a telescoping telescope) and said, “I want something that will let me see far.”
The following day I gave him copies of two of my articles from Sea and Dockside magazines. Then, after giving him three days to digest the material, I asked if they had helped. Again, he duplicated the finger and thumb telescope draw and said, “I want something that will really reach out there.” He hadn’t learned a thing!

I tried to explain that binoculars don’t “reach” anywhere; they simply magnify the image formed from the light that strikes the objective lens — that’s all. However, years of reading poorly-investigated articles and grossly misleading ads overpowered my puny attempt to help his understanding.

The fact is, while “power” is the most talked about feature of any binocular, one should never choose an instrument offering more power than is necessary to do the particular job for which it was selected.

When magnification is increased:

* image brightness is decreased, because available light is spread over a greater area,
* field of view is decreased, making objects harder to find and keep centered,
* problems from body tremors are increased; you may need a tripod,
* atmospheric disturbances are accentuated, and
* imperfections in the objective lenses and prisms are accentuated.

Every week, hundreds of new amateur astronomers buy department store telescopes, advertised as offering 600x (power)! Virtually toys, they usually come in boxes adorned with photographs of celestial objects that the instrument wouldn’t be capable of revealing, should they be on a dark mountaintop . . . with perfect weather! Considering that a good telescope will provide a useful maximum of 60 power per inch of aperture, most of these little units shouldn’t be used at more than 120-power — even on nights of “good seeing”! Like it or not, whether viewing Jupiter, a bird in flight or a deer in the brush, the atmosphere is part of our optical system. Even the Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar, with its 16.6-foot mirror, is rarely used at powers greater than 1000!


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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: BillC]
      #5636932 - 01/22/13 01:40 PM

The old soviet stock suffers from bad storage/handling (fungus, dirt, scratches, etc.) and also from fact that, optical coating was not so popular in soviet union, actually it became widely available only late 80s, when relatively small amount of optics were produced.

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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #5636948 - 01/22/13 01:46 PM

CuriousOne,

Are you SURE you understand the optical realities and practical difficulties inevitably associated with designing and producing,for example a 60x binocular of acceptable quality?

Putting aside that to successfully do so would probably cost around TWENTY TIMES your stated budget of $US200, have you considered that a typical field of view would be around 0.75 degrees ?

Would that REALLY provide the kind of viewing experience you are hoping to enjoy ?

Kenny


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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5636965 - 01/22/13 01:59 PM

I've been at optical glass manufacturing factory at once. I know how glass is made (kron, flint, borosilicate, etc), which kind of optical glass exist, how they "boil" it into large piece, then splice it with minimal tensile deformations and machine the lens then. I also know that optical glass manufacturing is still mainly non-automated process and largerly depends on skilled personnel. But I don't get how all this relates to my initial question, which was like that: "eyepiece is very flimsy on my 10-30x50. Is same, weak construction used on larger ones, say 20-120x80 ?"

For field of view, my targets may be couple of miles away, easilly compensating narrowness of FOV.


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hallelujah
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/14/06

Loc: North Star over Colorado
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636978 - 01/22/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

I found no cheap binocular with fixed magnification like 40X or higher.

even simpler: "gimme cheap 40x60, 50x70, 60x80" and so on




They do not exist.


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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: CuriousOne]
      #5636994 - 01/22/13 02:11 PM

The simple answer to that question is YES, as you ought to have realised if you read what Bill C. wrote in his first reply to you.

From many years experience of long distance daytime terrestrial viewing through spotting scopes ( 48 years to be precise ) I can assure you that a TFOV of 0.75 degrees does NOT often provide satisfying views of wildlife nor much of anything else for that matter.

Kenny


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SMark
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/29/11

Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5637025 - 01/22/13 02:21 PM

I cannot say anything about the quality of this one, but at least it is something for you to consider...

15x to 45x


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Mark9473
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/21/05

Loc: 51°N 4°E
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5637026 - 01/22/13 02:22 PM

There is no cheap but decent solution for the requirements that have been set, it's as simple as that. A BT70 is one option, a telescope with binoviewer is probably going to be even better as it can be had it larger aperture without excessive weight.

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CuriousOne
member


Reged: 01/22/13

Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5637047 - 01/22/13 02:32 PM

Ok. Understood. If zooms are trash, I won't use them.

Since I have two of these 1000mm/F10 reflex lenses, maybe there's some solution to join them together, to form a giant "binoculars?" I tried by using old porro prism binocular with front lens removed, only eyepieces and prisms in place, but distance between tubes was still large to fit on both lenses.


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SMark
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/29/11

Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos new [Re: SMark]
      #5637048 - 01/22/13 02:33 PM

Quote:

I cannot say anything about the quality of this one, but at least it is something for you to consider...

15x to 45x




However...

Also take a look at this one which seems to fit your requirements almost perfectly... And then go down to the bottom of the page and carefully read the 3 reviews of this particular binocular. That should give you an idea of exactly what you might expect from just about any similar binocular...

20-140x80


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BillC
on a new path
*****

Reged: 06/04/04

Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA
Re: Need advice on mechanical quality of zoom binos [Re: Mark9473]
      #5637052 - 01/22/13 02:35 PM

"as you ought to have realised if you read what Bill C. wrote in his first reply to you."

Judging by the artful dance around ALL the experience that has been laid before him. I respectfully submit that our friend is not into reading, but rather, in getting questions that can't be answered . . . answered. It's like the guy who feels that with enough steel wool he can knit a Mercedes.

I'm feeling the ghost of the Curmudgeon coming on, so I'm outta here for a time.

BillC


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