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How important is FOV?

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#1 BobinKy

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:38 PM

Field of View (FOV) is usually mentioned as one of the make-or-break features for binoculars, along with resolution, chromatic aberration, weight, eye relief, etc.

How important is FOV to you?

#2 aa5te

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:12 PM

This may be overly obvious, but, if I can't get a significantly wider FOV in a bino of a given objective size than I can a telescope of the same size, I wouldn't buy it.

#3 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:19 PM

This will be the interesting post. Lets see what other says.

I like to have atlest 2.0 FOV for my scope and that is why I do not use telescope more often then my binocular.
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Jawaid

#4 Simon S

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:14 AM

Very. I get far more enjoyment from a wide FOV, than a narrow one. Wide angle is perfect for bird watching. Wide FOV always impresses people more than say a narrow 7x50

#5 Richard McC

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 03:45 AM

I'm with Simon, a wide apparent (and decent real) field of view is very important to me. I usually much prefer binoculars with >=60° apparent field of view, e.g., the Nikon SE (60°) and EII (70°) series, Fujinon FMT-SX 10x50 (65°) or Swift Audubon (70°). The only non wide field binocular I use semi regularly that I really like is a Fujinon FMT-SX 10x70 (53° apparent field of view). I don't know why the bigger Fujinon still attracts me but it does :shrug:

#6 KennyJ

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:02 AM

Most of my comments refer to TERRESTRIAL use , but to a lesser extent , they also applies to astro use .

The only field of view that I consider important is the TRUE field of view .

Beyond that , optical quality is what I consider most important .

For me it's of little use having a 12 degree TFOV if the instrument is not perfectly aligned , the image blurry , the eye relief next to non - existent or the build and mechanical aspects of the binoculars sub standard .

Hence I enjoying the use of the Zeiss 7 x 42 with it's 8.6 degree TFOV , the Captain's Helmsman 7 x 50 with it's 7 degree TFOV , the Swift Kestrel 10 x 50 with it's 7 degree TFOV and the Nikon 10 x 42 SE with it's 6 degree TFOV far more than the Helios 15 x 70 with 4 degree or Strathspey 20 x 90 with 3 degree TFOV.

This would hold true even if all the binoculars had to be mounted at all times .

The 50 degree AFOV of the 7 x 50 does not give me as much a sense of restriction as does the 60 degree AFOV of the Helios or Strathspey , but the 60 degree AFOV of the Zeiss 7 x 42 provides a far more spacious / picture window impression than the 70 degree AFOV of the Swift 10 x 50 .

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#7 EdZ

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:00 AM

I like to have a wider fov if I can, and I put more emphasis on the true fov rather than the apparent fov. To me Afov is simply the means to get to the Tfov. All that said, I'm also an avid telescope user and have long been accustomed to using many and varied fov down to even fractions of a degree if that so suits the power I need. So I wouldn't say fov is my deciding criteria, unless of course my goal is to observe a particularly wide area of sky all at once.

In a 10x binocular, I'd rather have a 6.5° than a 5° and the options to have that are at my disposal so I choose accordingly.

edz

#8 daniel_h

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:12 AM

narrow doesn't bother me - i just move the binos around

#9 edwincjones

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:43 AM

wider FOV just makes it easier to find the object desired, be it bird or DSO,
but once found, the more narrow FOV with higher mag gives more details

FOV in my binocular collection ranges from 1.7 to 13 degrees

edj

#10 richtea

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:12 AM

Hi Bob

I also tend to prefer wider angled binoculars as the viewing often feels more comfortable
However i concur to a degree (no pun intended) with Kenny and Edz on the tfov thing
Funnily enough after a very recent and noble gesture i have a pair of Canon 12 x 36mk11 IS bins with a 5 degree fov
I would have perhaps considered these on the border of where i was comfortable with fov v magnification but somehow because the edge performance is very good the fov feels fine
Interested in Kenny J's comment on the 7 x 42 Zeiss v Swift Kestrel
Those Zeiss must give an enormous picture feel

#11 RichD

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:50 AM

FOV is important to me and I think these days I agree with Kenny's point of view.

I like at least a 7 degree TFOV by day, and a 7x50 or 8x30 is good for this. The narrow ish AFOV of the 7x50 is slightly cramped when I use it directly after the 8x30 (60 deg AFOV), but I find I become accustomed to it quite quickly. My 10x50 has a 6.7 deg TFOV and 70 ish deg AFOV but I don't use it that often by day.

I don't like high power, narrow fields by day. By high power and narrow fields I mean 4 or 5 deg or less and 12x power or more. By night, higher power and narrow fields don't bother me at all.

#12 EdZ

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:50 AM

surfing and found this. It relates.

the question here is how important is fov

the poll in this link allows our readers to choose the 5 most important factors for selecting you binocular
Poll: What matters most when you choose a binocular

interesting to see the variety in over 600 replies

edz

#13 Rich V.

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:44 AM

Given the choice, I prefer the binocular that provides the widest FOV for the magnification, i.e. the greatest AFOV.

I have two very similar Nikon Porro binoculars (35mm E and E2) that have very similar FOVs (7.5° vs. 7.3°) but the first is at 7x and the second is 10x. I choose the 10x nearly every time unless I specifically need the larger exit pupil of the 7x which is rare. I can see fainter stars in the 10x and the immersive AFOV gives me much more Wow factor than the 7x.

My larger astro binoculars- the Fujinons and Miyauchis have 64° and 66° AFOVs respectively, which for me is a good compromise for binoculars. 60° AFOV would be what I consider my minimum for astronomy. I like to see an object/starfield with as much context of the nearby area as possible; the wider AFOVs provide that context for me.

Once again, it's a personal preference and I'm only speaking of mine........

Rich V

#14 skypilgrim

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 03:37 PM

I'm still pretty much a newbie in the binocular world but I agree with Kenny and EdZ regarding the TFOV.

I still feel that gulp of astonishment taking in large splendors such as the Alpha Persei cluster (Collinder 39) and Orion's belt cluster (Collinder 70) in the 6.6deg 8x40's. :shocked:

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#15 hallelujah

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:27 PM

How important is FOV to you?


I cannot recall ever purchasing a binocular based entirely upon its FOV.

I did, however, take that into 'consideration' when I purchased the Leupold Katmai 6x32mm for my wife.

#16 RichD

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:32 PM

I can!

Torn between a fuji FMT 10x50 (6.5 deg TFOV and measured as 6.7 by EdZ) and a Nikon 12x50 SE (5 deg TFOV) I went for the fuji based very strongly on the FOV specs.

#17 orbitaljump

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:38 PM

Im a big fan of a Wide Aparent FOV. I dont like looking through the tunnel cramp-o-vision.

A couple of notes.

My peripheral vision isnt so good, in fact my cone of focus often is limited within wide angle binos. However I like spaciousness in the eyepiece, and you can move your eye around to see more stuff available to you....useful for detecting movement when animal viewing for example.

Furthermore, for terrestrial use, when looking at some bushes or at the tree line or in among the tree branches, having a smaller field but sharp and flat to the edge is not important....as not everything is in the same plane anyways. (Depth of field is important too.)

That being said, there comes a point where the eye relief gets reduced to unpleasantness, and becomes a negative.

I like 55 to 70 degrees...AFOV


Lets take an example of 2 common vintage porro configs.

7x35 standard FOV or 7 degrees TFOV or so...50 degrees AFOV.
9x35 FOV of 7 degrees or so....70 degrees AFOV or so.

The difference is in the eyepiece. The 7x35 with the Kellners is starting to feel cramped. With the 9x35 Erfles, I have higher power (but not to powerful to be difficult to hand hold) plus wider Aparent FOV, spacious in the eyepiece, while maintaining the same True FOV or thereabouts.

The 9x35 blows the 7x35 Standard FOV out of the water, for me.

Now you can make a 7x35 with a wider anngle FOV, and those are nice too, but tend to be bulkier, with much larger prisms and some variation of an Erfle eyepiece, usually...sometimes 4 elements. And I like them too, but just discussing the topic. Ive seen some 7x35's with FOVs around 8 degrees which are really pleasant....not bulky like the 10 degree wide angles, however the AFOV increases pleasantly, and you get a glimpse of a bit more real estate in the eyepiece.

My 2 cents.

#18 KennyJ

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:40 PM

I think the extensive poll that EdZ carried out more or less confirmed that probably NO contributor picked TRUE FIELD Of VIEW as THE number one consideration , but that does not mean it is not a VERY important consideration for all concerned .

I wouldn't mind betting that if , for example , a premium 10 x 42 model from any of the leading manufacturers had only a 2.5 degree TFOV , there would be very few buyers .

I'm sure there will have been people who have bought certain binoculars , such as the Orion Expanse 7 x 32 ONLY because of it's advertised TFOV .

Similarly , very few who have forked out $500 and the rest for a TV ETHOS eyepiece would not have done so had it not been for the 100 degree AFOV .

Kenny

#19 Roadbike

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:58 PM

I think most of us enjoy a wide Apparent Field of View as long as the images delivered are relatively free from edge distortion. Many of the ultrawide (11 degree afov+) binoculars deliver an eyepopping field but suffer from significant image deterioration beyond cnter image. I'm one that enjoys well made wide field binoculars and get a lot of viewing pleasure with Nikon EII 8x30, Vixen 8x32 Ultima, etc. That said I also enjoy nighttime views with a Celestron 9.5x44 ED that is not a wide field glass.

#20 StarStuff1

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:07 PM

AFOV IS important to me. At least for astronomy. While 50° roofies that are sharp to the edge are OK for daytime w-i-d-e-r afovs are much more desirable for astro use. For hand holding I love my 7x35 (11° advertised) Fuji 2000s and of course the Swift Audobon 8.5x44s are just fantastic for wide sweeps of the sky.

As long as the center and out to about 2/3rds is sharp I am a happy camper...err...binocularist...under the stars.

#21 hallelujah

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:19 PM

Torn between a fuji FMT 10x50 (6.5 deg TFOV and measured as 6.7 by EdZ) and a Nikon 12x50 SE (5 deg TFOV) I went for the fuji based very strongly on the FOV specs.


Rich,

I would have went with the 12x and the center focus. ;)

#22 RichD

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:02 PM

And sometimes I wish I had too!

But only sometimes ;)

#23 Albie

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:16 PM

As much AFOV as possible.Bring it on.

#24 Tony Flanders

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:40 AM

I think the extensive poll that EdZ carried out more or less confirmed that probably NO contributor picked TRUE FIELD Of VIEW as THE number one consideration , but that does not mean it is not a VERY important consideration for all concerned.


I wouldn't list true field of view first for the simple reason that I don't think that way. When selecting binos -- i.e. when chosing between two pairs -- I think first of magnification, second of aperture, and last (and definitely least) apparent field of view.

True field of view never enters into the equation explicitly -- but it was lurking behind all the other choices. When selecting the magnification, a true field of view was implicit in that choice.

Moreover, if it comes down to why I'm using binoculars at all, true field of view is absolutely at the top of the list. If I didn't care about field of view, why would I be using binoculars rather than a telescope?

#25 rookie

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:48 AM

Bob, Very nice topic of discussion.

Different fov are helpful for different purposes. For astronomy, I find wider views are helpful for star hopping, star pattern discovery and memorization, framing open clusters and many asterism views. Narrowing the fov is only helpful for me if I also increase magnification.

Would you prefer to look through a empty cardboard tube or look at the sky unrestricted? Sometimes a tube might be useful to eliminate periphral light, but not a preference for most people.

How important is FOV you to you, Bob?


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