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Barry's Choice

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#1 KennyJ

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:55 PM

Barry,

I enjoyed reading your refined "A" list , which because it has become a major diversion from the original thread of where Pentax binoculars are made , I thought I would split from that thread.

Apart from all else , it also goes some way to explaining why it is that "bino freaks" like us would never be satisfied with having just ONE binocular.

However , since there was more than a touch of hypothesis surrounding the situation which led to your culling , I'm sure you wouldn't mind stretching your imagination a little further --- to the situation whereby you could only take ONE of these seven pair along with you ( and no tripod or mount ) to a desert island for the next five years ( food , water , medical supplies and partner of choice included of course )

Which one would you take along -- and why ?

Regards , Kenny.

#2 BarrySimon615

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:16 PM

Why is it always the desert island scenario? I tend to favor the mountains personally. Anyway, given Kenny's scenario, I would do the following:

As I could bring no tripod or mount, I might consider making one out of locally available lumber (does coconut make good tripod legs?) and hardware borrowed from the medical supplies. Even with a rudimentary tripod, I would eliminate the 20x100 Miyauchi because they are not waterproof, sandproof or salt spray proof. Unfortunately this would affect everything else except for the 10x50 Fujinons and the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 ED (one of the main reasons why I took the 8.5x44's on a Mediterranean cruise last summer). As my strength would probably be depleted living on rations, foraging and keeping a partner of choice happy, I would probably opt for the lighter 8.5x44 Swift Audubon.

By the time 5 years were up and I was reintegrated into society, I would find that many new binocular models were available. Naturally I would start building a collection again.

Barry Simon

#3 KennyJ

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:26 PM

Barry,

You must ahve been waiting "in the boat" with laptop at the ready to answer my last post !

I was intrigued as to why you apparantly classified the Fujinon FMT SX 16 x 70 as neither waterproof , sandproof , or sea-salt proof.

I thought it was ALL those things ?

Regards , Kenny.

#4 lighttrap

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 03:43 PM

I'll play this game, and my answer might surprise you. I'd pick the Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70, simply because it's the most bomb proof, fool proof binocular that I own, and I'd be using it mostly to look for ships at sea to signal to come rescue my sorry *bleep*. For short durations, that HUGE bino can be handheld. Keep in mind that this binos original mission was specifically nautical, and often handheld at that. But more than all that, I feel that I could keep myself entertained at night (when not playing with spec'd partner of choice) by laying back on the beach and surveiling the heavens with these, more than any other binocular likely to be picked for this journey. But, really, it all gets down to how big is the island, and how often would I wish for a handheld unit for standard daylight usage? For that matter, how dark are the skies? If it's that remote, I suppose I could easily be happy with lots less magnification.

OK, you don't like that choice? Or maybe the island is big enough to support continued daytime, terrestrial observation? Then how 'bout these slightly saner choices? The mythical Fujinon FMT-SX 10x50 or the infamous Zeiss Jena "Checkpoint Charlie" DF 7x40 military binocs with integral rangefinder. Or how about the wonderful Nikon Sports Marine 7x50s with builtin compass? Or for that matter, why not the very well proven Fujinon FMT-SX 7x50? All are waterproof, armored, spec'd for harsh environments and battle worthy. I could be pretty much happy with any of these.

#5 BarrySimon615

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 04:26 PM

Kenny,

I didn't pick the Fujinon 16x70 because I ultimately felt that a rudimentary tripod would not be sufficient for best use, not because of any issues related to it's environmental worthiness. As LightTrap says the size of the island (and it's features) all have a bearing on the decision too. Remember islands could vary from a Greenland size de facto continent to something the size of a golf course sandtrap.

The gutcheck question would be - "Ok, one pair of binoculars, the rest of your life, choose wisely, because this is it. If support material is needed (tripods, pan heads etc.) you can have that too. What will it be?

And the answer is (choosing among binoculars I have used or are quite familiar with) -

Astronomy only - Miyauchi 20x100 with Bogen 516 pan head and a suitable tripod.

Astronomy and Terrestrial viewing (handheld only) - Swift Audubon 8.5x44 ED

Terrestrial Only - Nikon 8x32 Superior E

My opinion only, I am sure others will disagree. Let's hear what others would select.

Barry Simon

#6 lighttrap

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:07 PM

You know, the more I think about this question the more I start to solidify my answer for the Fujinon FMT-SX 7x50. Normally, I don't favor 7mm exit pupil binos for astronomy, but that's because I observe from a light polluted subdivision. The desert island, or for that matter, remote mountaintop scenarios would not have that to take into account. But more importantly, the Fujinon FMT-SX series is the most rugged series of binoculars that I know of. Steiner gets all the print praise in this area, but after owning 4 Steiner optics, I can say that they aren't even in the same league of rugged durability as the Fujinon FMT-SX series. Not even close, and I don't care what their ad copy says to the contrary. The EBC coatings on the Fujinons would probably survive a direct impact into sand with a salt water rinse off. They are amongst the hardest coatings in the industry, and also amongst those that pass the most light. This would be a stupendous low light terrestrial game observing binocular. And it would be quite durable. In fact, I'm hard pressed to come up with too many other examples of binoculars that I'd pick to survive 5 or more years worth of total abuse. At something like 50oz. these are RIDICULOUSLY heavy, but that could work in one's favor by being more steading, and they are the most robust binos that I can think of. If I were to pick a binocular that I'd literally strap to my body while snorkeling or searching in shallow waters for edible sealife, that I would then expect to be fully functional when scaling volcanic mountain remants, the Fujinon FMT-SX 7x50 would be IT!

That said, I don't own a set, and consider them both too expensive, and too limited in what they can provide for the average backyard astro or field birder.

#7 ngc6475

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:39 PM

I might opt for the Nikon 12x50 Superior E binos as a compromise between power and size. I would think these are a reasonable choice under desert island conditions.

#8 KennyJ

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:53 PM

Barry,

I just HAD to laugh at the following ! :

You started by writing:

"Ok, one pair of binoculars, the rest of your life, choose wisely, because this is it. If support material is needed (tripods, pan heads etc.) you can have that too. What will it be? "

You then immediately went on to list not ONE but THREE completely different units for three different applications!

It reminded me of the times I've sat down to attempt to complile my all -time favourite "top 10" rock or pop songs , or soccer players or cricketers , or books or films.

It ALWAYS ends up with not 10 but a figure higher , from which I just cannot further cut down to 10 without thinking , perhaps a fews later , that I need to re -think my list.

It's all good fun all the same , and in THIS instance , coming from such well respected folks who have actually spent much time comparing so many different binoculars, very interesting indeed.

As for me , I just wish I'd had the pleasure of actually trying out some of these models.

The Fujinon FMT SX and Nikon Superior E( especially 12 x 50 which I felt almost certain Mike would select incidentally , in spite of it's lack of waterproofing )
are almost as mythical where I live as the Fuji 10 x 50 is in the US at the moment.

That is to say , not a single person I know personally actually owns any of them , and I've had to go out of my way to try out the Nikon SE 8 x 32 and 10 x 42s.

As alternatives to Barry's lower -powered selections , from what I've seen , heard and actually looked through , I would certainly be giving serious consideration to the Swarovski EL 8.5 x 42 and 8 x 32.

As for the HIGHER powered out and out ASTRO bino ---well to be honest , I've never looked through even ONE binocular with over 15x magnification that I've considered good enough to actually buy !

Regards , Kenny.

#9 lighttrap

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 06:19 PM

This is getting quite funny, actually. As some of you know, I've got a set of Nikon SE 12x50s in the cupboard. They are my most prized binocular of all time. Yet, I didn't select them for this mission, simply because I'd rather have something more robust. They are the ideal of power and size in between 7x50s and 16x70s, and are both reasonably handholdable and high enough powered to make matters interesting. Yet, despite all that, I think given the desert island scenario, I'd opt for rugged enough to fall off a cliff Fujinon FMT-SX 7x50s. Draw your own conclusions. (Either about my choices or sanity.)

#10 BarrySimon615

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 06:39 PM

I have to agree with Mike (aka - LightTrap) about the 7x50 Fujinon. They are great binoculars, in spite of the fact that they are 7 mm exit pupil, in spite of the fact that they are heavy, in spite of the fact that they are individual focus. They do have pretty sharp to the edge optics with a 7.5 degree true field. In spite of the 7 mm exit pupil, they are contrasty and the background does not seem overly bright. The reasons I did not pick mine for the desert island scenario is because of the large exit pupil, the weight and the individual focus. I think they would truly be more waterproof than the Swift Audubon and more durable.

All of this is kind of like asking - "Ok, you can only play a round of golf with one club the rest of your life, what is it going to be?" You can probably find a good comromise club to keep your score under 120, but it is not like playing with the proper equipment. Same thing with selecting the right binocular for the particular use for which it is best suited.

By the way, as I contribute my share of posts on this thread I am battling with Yahoo. It seems like for some reason my Yahoo Name and password did not automatically get me into various Yahoo Groups that I belong to and own and/or moderate including BinocularAstronomy, UnitronTelescopes and several others. I have tried everything, but no luck. So if some of you don't see me contributing to these groups for awhile (hopefully not too long) this is the reason why.

Barry Simon

#11 Tom L

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 07:04 PM

7-iron

#12 lighttrap

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 07:12 PM

All of this is kind of like asking - "Ok, you can only play a round of golf with one club the rest of your life, what is it going to be?" You can probably find a good comromise club to keep your score under 120, but it is not like playing with the proper equipment. Same thing with selecting the right binocular for the particular use for which it is best suited.


This has the ring of partial truth to it. On one hand, I wouldn't know a portion of it, since I've never played a round of golf in my life. (Despite the fact that I've set up camera towers for "The Legends of Golf" and have been around quite a few golf courses in various capacities. (Never as a member or player.) But, what strikes me is that golf is seldom a matter of survival. Optics often have been. There are numerous examples of military spec optics. I'm aware of no mil-spec golf clubs (though, honestly, if you told me that such a waste of tax payer monies exist, I'd not be terribly surprised). Anyway, my point is just this, there are any number of military units that have done quite extensive, and often quite expensive research into what works in terms of optics in a survival situation. It's kind of remarkable how often very divergent organizations have concluded that indiv. eyepiece focus, and a totally sealed, low power intrument of heavier than average weight, and of better than normal armoring, is THE tool for the job. There was an awful lot of money spent developing such things as the Zeis-Jena "Checkpoint Charlie" 7x40s. By civilian standards, these things are just plain nuts. By military or survival standards, I can kind of, sort of, appreciate them. Same with the very robust Fujinon FMT-SX series, which were originally for maritime use.

#13 ngc6475

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 08:18 PM

"By the way, as I contribute my share of posts on this thread I am battling with Yahoo. It seems like for some reason my Yahoo Name and password did not automatically get me into various Yahoo Groups that I belong to and own and/or moderate including BinocularAstronomy, UnitronTelescopes and several others. I have tried everything, but no luck. So if some of you don't see me contributing to these groups for awhile (hopefully not too long) this is the reason why."

Everybody's talking about you while you've been gone, Barry! :lol:

#14 BillC

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 09:07 PM

In another thread, I mentioned I sometimes get dinged for talking about collimation, because folks think I am trying to drum up business.

Well, let me drum up business for Cory Suddarth (former OM1) in Henrietta, Oklahoma. Cory can build a 747 with a sharp rock and a bent nail, and can collimate better by the seat of his pants than most guys with an optics shingle can with a collimator.

Those of you who are talking about the ruggedness of the MT / FMT series Fujinons are right on . . . almost. Keep in mind that many legends come from myths. And, as a guy who has 9 Fujis on his desk at this very moment, I can tell you that NO bino is shock proof.

Yes, the military, merchant marine, tuggers, and commercial fishermen I deal with are MUCH more harsh on binos than amateur astronomers. However, gravity works just as well under astronomers as commercial fishermen.

Whatever you do, don’t think you are going to collimate these things with a jeweler’s screwdriver and good intentions. These beasts deserve MUCH better attention and collimation via a collimator. This is especially true since almost all alignment issues on the MT / FMT units require at least two prisms to be removed, aligned to each other, re-cementing in the correct position, and the removal of dozens of shards of that brittle gray glue the manufacturer uses on the corners of the prisms.

So, please, consider saving the tinkering for tinkering quality binos, and send Cory anything that needs serious attention.

Cheers,

Bill

#15 sftonkin

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 12:58 AM

Re Bill's comments on collimation, does anyone know of a "Cory Suddarth equivalent" on this (east) side of the pond?

#16 KennyJ

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 01:37 AM

<Re Bill's comments on collimation, does anyone know of a "Cory Suddarth equivalent" on this (east) side of the pond


Well if there IS one Stephen , it certainly ain't ME :-)

Kenny.

#17 BillC

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 11:23 AM

Re Bill's comments on collimation, does anyone know of a "Cory Suddarth equivalent" on this (east) side of the pond?


I'm afraid I don't. And, I only know of 3 over here--of which, your not so humble servant is one.

That is really a shame, too. The only thing that has taken us to the top of the heap is . . . repitition! 'not very glamorous, huh!?

Sometime this week, I will try to contact Harrie Rutten in Holland and Walter Mergen at Zeiss to see if I can get their input. When I do, I will report back.

Real collimation is VERY different from what most amateurs call collimation. However, it is NOT "rocket science." It is just that too many people are too lazy to do any research and get sucked into too many urban legends.

I most certainly will not have the time to address the issue thoroughly in the near future. But, sometime I might post on the whole concept and execution.

Cheers,

Bill

#18 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 11:44 AM

Being that binos are NOT really shock proof, as we all know, I hate the idea of sending anything to Cory to be perfectly collimated and then having the binos shipped 1400 miles back to me via a not-so-smooth transport. Simply said, it would be nice to drop and pick-up in person, but the shipping could mess up that perfect collimation. But, that scenario would still be better if your binos needed "serious" attention to begin with I guess.

#19 BillC

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 03:41 PM

Being that binos are NOT really shock proof, as we all know, I hate the idea of sending anything to Cory to be perfectly collimated and then having the binos shipped 1400 miles back to me via a not-so-smooth transport.


If your binos are good solid units, that is NOT an issue. Double box; wrap well; life is good.

And so that I don't start an urban legend, there is no such thing as perfect collimation. To me, perfect collimation is dead on at 68mm IPD and deviating no more than than 2 minutes at any position of the swing.

I would like to point out that that is WAY an over-kill! Cory and I were taught to do it that tight because we were repairing military binos. If the standards are REALLY tight, then it takes more of an impact to disable them. If they are on the edge of collimation, Well . . .

While I'm at it, how about some standards for a 7x50:

U.S. Navy:

Dipvergence (Step): 2 mins
Divergence (Spread): 4 mins
Convergence: 2 mins

JTII:

Dipvergence (Step): 4 mins
Divergence (Spread): 10 mins
Convergence: 6 mins

Average Mfg:

Dipvergence (Step): 5 mins
Divergence (Spread): 12 mins
Convergence: 7.5 mins

Some Mfgs.:

Dipvergence (Step): 10 mins
Divergence (Spread): 20 mins
Convergence: 15 mins

Finally, if JTII standards have changed, I would be pleased to know.

KIndest Regards,

Bill

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 04:00 PM

The reason why this is particularly on my mind is that at 63x it seems that anything less the "perfect" collimation, or as close as it can be according to you (and I agree), will absolutely show up to some degree. So I guess it boils down to how much one can stand. Right now with my BT100 at 63x and I'm trying to determine just how much I can stand.

As a prior EM3/SS I never dealt with optics, military or otherwise, until lately. The boat had one 'scope...the periscope.

Thanks for your input.

#21 sftonkin

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 02:35 AM

Bill wrote:
>
>Real collimation is VERY different from what most amateurs call
>collimation. However, it is NOT "rocket science." It is just that too many
>people are too lazy to do any research and get sucked into too many
>urban legends.


Working from the (my) assumption that I'm still not too old to learn new
tricks and from the fact that I'd much rather do something myself if I
possibly can, I'd like to see if I can do the requisite research and avoid the
inevitable ULs. Any hints as to a good place to start on the former and any
obvious examples of the latter?

#22 sftonkin

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 03:29 AM

Terminology question:

I assume that when you use, e.g. "divergence", you mean that (effectively) the images are diverging so that the eyes can correct for it by converging? The reason I ask is that I have seen what appears to me both "convergence" and "divergence" used for the same thing. (At least, I assume that's what it is given that the eyes converge a darned sight more easily than they diverge, so presumably the tolerance for eye-convergence/image-divergence is greater -- sometimes the convergence tolerance is stated as a lesser value than the divergence tolerance, sometimes it is a greater value).

Is there an "industry-standard" terminology for which is which, or are we now well and truly at the mercy of teh target of your excellent http://www.telescope...sages/130.shtml ?

Also, ISTR that there used to be a sign convention for dipvergence (+ when LH image higher than RH image -- or do I have it exactly wrong?) -- does this still hold?

#23 BillC

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 12:29 PM

Terminology question:

I assume that when you use, e.g. "divergence", you mean that (effectively) the images are diverging so that the eyes can correct for it by converging?


Hi Stephen:

I will get back to you when I can. Today, I am in a daze. You have known me long enough to have heard more than you would like to about some of the goings on with my sons. Well, last night my youngest dropped yet another bomb on me.

It seems that he has a database of everything Debbie and I hold honorable, spiritual, and dear and set out 8 years ago to see how many of those values he can soil before my heart finally stops. Well, even on medication, I stay 30 points OVER high on the blood pressure gauge. I have been there for three years. So, maybe he won't have long before he realizes maximum effect.

I'll get back to you soon, my friend.

Cheers,

Bill

PS What are "ULs"?

#24 sftonkin

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:11 AM

Hi Bill,

[...]
>Well, last night my youngest dropped yet another bomb on me.

Oh heck! I hope you are able to find some sort of (re)solution. Give it
priority (I'm sure you will) -- I don't need to tell you that real life deserves
more attention than does this hobby.


>PS What are "ULs"?

Urban Legends.


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