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Docter Optics 80mm high-magnification binos

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#1 Glassthrower

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 12:35 PM

Has anyone had a chance to look through a pair of these yet?

http://www.docteropt...m/aspectrum.php

I read about them over in the Yahoo Bino-astro group and they look pretty dang enticing...of course, the price tag is a bit astronomical in and of itself.

MikeG

#2 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 01:48 PM

With a price of $4,417.59 for the 20-50x -80mm model I don't think too many here have a pair. :smirk:

#3 Joad

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 02:26 PM

Prices look ridiculous to me, and there's no information about the optics except for a claim of multiple lens elements. Those lens elements can be in the oculars (an ordinary erfle ocular can have five): how many are in the objectives? Are they triplets? ED? Flourite? Where are they made? The description focuses on daytime uses which, at least in my experience, are far less demanding than astronomical ones. I suspect a lot of hype here, and for that money you're getting close to the cheaper 25X150 Fuji, which, I think we can all agree, is the best there is.

#4 Erik D

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:08 PM

for $4k one can get the 82mm Kowa Highlander flourite with 45 deg Angled EP. Rated by Phil Harrington, Markus Ludes and our own Milt to have the best qualtiy optics currently available.

The slightly smaller Miyachii 22X71mm Saturn offers f8 optics, angled EPs and optional 40X and 115X EPs at about 1/4 the cost of the Docter 80mm.....

http://bigbinoculars.com/m2271.htm

Erik D

#5 gatorengineer

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:15 PM

Similar pair went on ebay not too long ago, I think it brought a little over 2k....

#6 edwincjones

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:20 PM

So, what do we really know about the Doctor binoculars? Who makes them, who has them, how do they compare to the Kowas, Miyauchis, Fujinons in the same price range?
Do not forget the Nikon 20x120s at $6k with mount.

I had the same questions about the Kowa Highlanders when they first came out, but the test of time makes them winners now.

Ed Jones

#7 Glassthrower

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:55 PM

What raised a flag for me, besides the astronomical price, was the lack of coatings - or they failed to mention them. I don't remember reading anything about coatings. Who buys this kind of stuff?

So, what do we really know about the Doctor binoculars? Who makes them, who has them, how do they compare to the Kowas, Miyauchis, Fujinons in the same price range?
Do not forget the Nikon 20x120s at $6k with mount.


Yeah, at least the ones you mentioned have a proven track record of quality. Who the heck is Doctor/Docter?

MikeG

#8 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:07 PM

Who the heck is Doctor/Docter?


Doctor makes some premium eyepieces in Germany.

#9 John F

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:15 PM

Doctor Optics is a small German company that took over the old Carl Zeiss Jena binocular line after East and West Germany reunified. Their Nobilem and Aspectum binoculars are old CZJ models that date back to the 1980s. The Noblimens are very good and their 8x50 and 12x50 porro prism models were popular with astronomers around 15 years ago. At that time there was no one else had a serious 12x50 to compete with them. And their wide field 8x50 porro prism binocular has not had any serious competition since then either. At one time I had their 8x50s, 12x50s and 15x60s and the overall optical quality of their binoculars was nearly as good as the best from the West German Zeiss firm. I now have the 15x60 West German Zeiss B/GAT binoculars and those are a little better than the 15 x 60 Doctor (Zeiss Jena) Nobilems, but not but much. And on a few objects (e.g., M31), the 15x60 Nobilems gave me the best binocular views I've ever had of those objects with any binocular under 80mm in aperture.

The Aspectum line consists on both spotting scopes and binoculars. In fact, the binoculars are two spotting scopes joined together (like the Kowa Highlanders are).
Insofar as Doctor has had any success marketing these in the United States it has been to hunters. Their 30x80 and 40x80 models are phenomenal for long distance terrestrial viewing. The 30x80 Aspectum uses CZJ 16.5mm eyepieces with 60 degree apparent fields and the 40x80 model uses the CZJ 12.5mm eyepiece with 90 degree apparent fields. Unfortunately, when using in binocular mode you can't see the full 90 degree so they function more like binoculars that have 70 degree apparent fields. Of their two models I'd recommend the 30x80 because they have longer eye relief and are less jittery when used on a mount.

The prices listed on your website that you provided a link to are very high. There are several other vendors selling them today for around $2500 a pair. As recently as two years ago when the dollar was much higher than the Euro you could purchase a pair of 30x80 for around $1650 and the 40x80 for around $1750.

I ordered a pair of the 40x80 and they arrived very well packaged from Germany, but unfortunately, the pair I received was out of alignment so instead of just sending them back for repair I decided to just return them and get a refund. However, when I looked through either one of the two barrels separately the optics were superb. I'm not aware of any other 80mm binocular other than the Kowa Highlanders that would likely surpass them.

One of the other reasons why I finally decided against getting them was their size and weight (i.e., the Kowa Highlander size/weight class). To use the Aspectems effectively I'd need another larger/heavier binocular mount and I just don't want to have to deal with that in addition to the mounts and telescope that I already have.

If I were in the market today for a high quality 80mm glass but still didn't want to spend $4500 for the Fluorite Kowa Highlanders, then I might get the regular Kowa Highlanders. A nice thing about the Kowas is that they can be used at 3 different magnification (i.e., 21x, 32x & 50x).

Many years ago high power/high quality binoculars like the 80mm Aspectums and the Kowa Highlanders strongly appealed to me. However, today I can use my NP-127 telescope with a binoviewer at various low powers ranging from 26x to 55x, so for me it no longer makes sense to get a pair of the Aspectums or the Highlanders.

John Finnan

#10 Carsten Doehring

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 05:10 AM

Just for the record, the German price is in the region of 2350 Euro (incl. VAT of 16%) for the variable power model.
The KOWA Highlanders are approx. 3 times the price in Europe...

If the prices of the Docter Aspectems is so close to the Kowas in the US, then I would go for the Kowas - I did anyway.

Carsten

#11 Carsten Doehring

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 05:11 AM

But it is Docter Optics, not Doctor...
They are well known in Germany, and produce some very nice binoculars. Not up there with ZEISS / LEICA / SWAROVSKI / NIKON, as far as I can tell from the reports.
Their Porro prism binoculars are supposed to be fabulous though.

Carsten

#12 Carsten Doehring

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 05:16 AM

I had the same questions..., but the test of time makes them winners now.

Ed Jones


The Docter Aspectem are by no means new on the market.

Carsten

#13 edwincjones

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 05:20 AM

Thanks for the information-one can learn a lot on Cloudy Nights.

Ed Jones

#14 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 08:07 AM

Just for the record, the German price is in the region of 2350 Euro (incl. VAT of 16%) for the variable power model.
The KOWA Highlanders are approx. 3 times the price in Europe...

If the prices of the Docter Aspectems is so close to the Kowas in the US, then I would go for the Kowas - I did anyway.

Carsten

This site is showing a price of $1,618,$1,928 and $2,054 for the 30.3x,40x and 20-50x versions for export only.

Joe


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