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The ( not so ) Old "Goggles" trick

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#1 KennyJ


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Posted 12 July 2005 - 03:18 PM

Friends ,

A little while ago on this forum , one of our fellow members whose posts to this and other forums I've always found of particular interest , Big Brock Pronto , came up with the great little suggestion of using a pair of mildly butchered common or garden " plastic safety goggles " to block out extraneous light from around the eyepieces.

His suggestion was to remove the plastic eyeshield ( which pops out quite easily as a whole piece in most types I've seen ) then to either tape over with black tape , or black -out with matte - black paint or marker pen , all that remains of the frame of the goggles.

My first attempts at putting this into practice led to some mild discomfort and slight breathing difficulties , due to my over -enthusiasm with the taping over of the section cut -out to fit under a " standard nose ".

Not having apparantly been the " first in the queue " when noses were being handed out , nor indeed when perfect symmetry was in the process of being bestowed upon facial features , I improved " my model " greatly in terms of comfort by simply cutting away the " nose section " completely , leaving a slightly " floppy front " section to the underside of the nostrils , which has since proved to be satisfactory apart from in gale force winds , when the flapping of these two dangling ends causes minor bruising to that most delicate area where nose becomes cheek.

Earlier today , during a separate experiment to test the effectiveness of such a "mask" in bright sunlight , it occured to me that a very good way of checking the "efficiency" of such a contraption is to try looking through your binoculars in bright sunlight with the objective caps still in situ ( as most members will realise , in the majority of cases this necessitates holding the binocular at least horizontal , to avoid the blessed items falling prey to the force of gravity ).

The blacked -out objectives concentrate the eyes on the areas of stray - light entering the binocular through the eyepieces , which with a face as oddly contoured as my own , amounts to far more than one might expect to see.

Although some of this light I discovered was entering from the area under the nose , most of it was getting in from above the eyes , parallel to the forehead.

It is thus a case of " back to the drawing board " with my own particular " mask " , whereas others , including from memory , bino - chair guru Craig Simmons , may have already overcome this potential problem by using " welder's goggles " as opposed to standard safety goggles , the former having in -built "outer blackened lenses" which fold -upwards and over , to form a ready -made extra shield.

I wonder how many others have tried this yet ?

Judging by my impression of the number of people who actually PREFER winged eyecups , I would guess at very few.

I continue to be surprised how many binocular enthusiasts tend to overlook this simple aspect of our hobby , which can make a tremendous difference to the overall view.

Regards , Kenny

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 04:32 PM

I know I perfer winged eyecups. That is a great feature to have on bins. My first BIG bins, 22x100 obies, had them. I was impressed how such a simple design could be so helpful.

#3 pcad



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Posted 12 July 2005 - 06:49 PM

A few other ideas.

I use the the "accordion" style eyecups with my binoviewer when observing the sun with my PST. This really blocks the ambient light. The drawback is that you can't have a small IPD. My IPD is 63mm, any less and your nose won't fit. Sorry Kenny. Also stray light will get in if you observe with glasses.

How about the glacier glasses with the little blinders on each side. These are probably available as safety sheilds and can be darkened by various means.

Use a baseball style cap with a visor (or just a tennis style visor).

Drape a cloth over your head and eyepieces.

An alternative to the safety goggles that would have more stability would be a modified face/scuba mask. Remove the glass and many masks will still have a stiff metal/plastic rim. Cut out the nosepiece, unless your a mouth breather, and your done. I feel this would be only slightly more embarrassing than the safety goggles.

I can only vouch for the first suggestion. Try the others at your own risk.


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