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Appeal for Bino Reviews

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#1 KennyJ

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 05:00 PM

Superiors and Friends ,

Compared with the sheer volume of posts that are now accessible in this binocular forum I think the actual Cloudy Night's BINOCULAR REVIEW section is a poor representation of the collective knowledge of "group members" of this forum ,especially when considering how many binoculars have apparantly been quite comprehensively tested for astronomy by group members.

Many of you members have enviable knowledge of binoculars , optics in general and astronomy itself , not to mention writing skills which make reading so many posts such a sheer pleasure to read.

My own lack of technical knowledge of both optics and astronomy is prohibitive in my case , but I am sure this is NOT the case for many other regular contributors.

I remember the only reason I became aware of Cloudy Nights in the first place was a chance finding of the binocular review section via the google search engine when I was thirsting for binocular reviews available on the W.W.W.

To both the experienced / knowledgable, but perhaps "casual outsider passing through " or relative "newbie", it is my opinion that the BINOCULAR REVIEWS section might be seen as a kind of "showcase" for this whole site , and I would REALLY like to see many more entries on it, from many more members , covering a far wider range of binoculars than is presently represented , including smaller models and their undoubted role and usefulness for astro -related purposes.

Even if the review was a "replica" of what reviewers have posted elsewhere , or not necessarily specific to astronomy applications ( perhaps a special CLOUDY DAYS or CLEAR DAYS section could be created especially for the purpose)I just think it would be great to be able to be have all that extra "good and interesting reading" at our disposal at the couple of flicks of our mouse buttons.

In addition to all the wonderful things already on offer on this site I would LOVE it to become THE PLACE for anyone interesting in reading BINOCULAR REVIEWS.

Anyone agree / disagree ?

More importantly -- COME ON -- Let's see some volunteers starting the ball rolling !

Do I have to name NAMES ? :-) ( of course I wouldn't ! )

Regards to all -- Kenny.



#2 Tom L

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 07:22 PM

Your name is first, Kenny...which ones are you going to review? I would gladly review my cheap little Nikon Action 8x40s, but I'm not sure people would consider these true Astronomy binoculars.

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 07:28 PM

I agree that more members of this community should submit reviews if at all possible. I'm working on a comparison of my two Oberwerks, but it's going pretty slowly and it may be a few months before I'm done.

#4 Tom L

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:16 PM

That's alright, Daniel...looking forward to reading them. I will write up a newby review of the Nikons. Kenny???

#5 Chris_H

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:18 PM

I agree there are too few reviews in the binoculars section. Personally I would love to see some reviews on the bigger Oberwerk models (20x80S, 20x90 and 22x100). And I know they are around here! :grin:

Chris

#6 EdZ

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:13 PM

You know I'm always working on something. At any given time I've got at least 10 to 20 pages of draft material that periodically gets compiled into an article. can't really say what my next equipment review will be, but I have several in the wings.

edz

#7 Tom L

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:18 PM

Ed, what kind of things should I cover in a newby review of a moderate pair of binocs? suggestions greatly appreciated!

Also, to anyone reading this thread. I am putting togehter a FAQ for the first CN FAQ. I am pretty thin on binocular terms and definitions. We have lots of normal astro terms and defs...

What is BAK4? Roof binocs? etc...

Don't assume I have any data! I will start thread here...

#8 EdZ

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:45 PM

I know this may appear going overboard, but have a look at this and pick some of the most important features that are important to you. You cannot cover everything in a short review, but if you can see here all the kinds of things there are to cover, maybe you can touch on quite a few briefly and cover a few in a bit more detail.

Comprehensive Comparison of Four 70mm Binoculars

edz



#9 Tom L

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:58 PM

Thanks Ed...I'll take a look

#10 Rusty

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:59 PM

I'm collecting info for a review of the Ober 22x100s; however, I'm reluctant to collate my observations so far because seeing conditions have been wretched.

But so far, for four $ large, they seem to be an exceptional value.

#11 Erik D

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 11:05 PM

Kenny et al,

I have been thinking about this for a while. We have seen many new members of this bino forum post questions about the same models over and over again. Oberwerk 22X100, Apogee/Burgess/Celestron 25X100, 20X80 Std/LW. Fuji 16X70 vs Oberwerk 15X70, Pentax PCF WP 16/20X60. Tak 22X60 Canon 15/18X50 IS ect, ect...

I myself have probably reponded to hundreds of request for info on Yahoo/Astromart during the past few years. I must have posted dozens of times about the 20X80 LW alone. CN binos forum is the most organized of the various bino forums on the web but model specific info still gets buried after a page or two. I have often thought about writing a full length review but usually get side-tracked after a few paragraphs....


I would be very much in favor of having a permanent "Mini Review" section where members can post reviews of their binos starting with initial impressions but be able to go back to the same thread and add comments later. I am thinking along the line of reviews on Excelsis.com but more comprehensive. The moderators can give us guideline/suggestions on the format we should follow and let us give it a try. Some of us do not have the time/dedication to submit full-length reviews the first time out. Mini-reviews will be good training for those who feel intimidated about writing a formal review. Prof.Ed can be a tough act to follow. ;-))

Comments?

Erik D



#12 EdZ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:27 AM

Eric,

Not a bad idea. Similar to Kenny's suggestion that got the "best of" started. Kind of an special extension of that format.

Here's what i will do. In the best of thread I will set up one thread where i will post titles and links to binicular mini reviews. As I see new mini reviews get posted, periodicly I will add a link to them in the "best of" mini review post.

remember that threads are open. Once you post a mini review in the binocular forum, it is open for others to continue posting in. As a moderator, I can lock out a thread so no one else can post to it, if you ask me to. I'm not sure if you have that ability to lock your own posts. You might find it best to have it open so others can post to it.

Anyone posting a mini review should send me a PM and I will soon afterward add a link to the Best Of thread.

I can simply title the thread Binocular Mini Reviews. I can keep adding lines with links in that one thread which will always be at the top. No matter how far back a review thread drifts into oblivion, the link will always be up front.

There are already some posts out there that fit the bill. I'll search for a few to get it going.

Thanks Eric.

edz

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 08:19 AM

I agree with Rusty. I have recently purchased 22x100 obies and I'm having a blast with them however I am interested to hear what other users think of them and what the quality of their observations were. This would allow me to compare my observations with theirs to evaluate the performance of my obies.

Now, I wish I had the optics knowledge that EdZ has (and I read EVERYTHING he types on the subject matter so hopefully I can improve my situation), but I think I could make some contributions to articles concerning the physics, nature, and behavior of light. I admit that most people in the cloudynights community are strong in this particular subject so the need to collate might not be so great.

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 08:46 AM

I had started collecting data for an article on my Tak 22x60s but got side tracked when I decided to add a red dot finder to my p-gram mount. Once the glue dries, and the skies clear, I'll resume the project and be happy to submit a mini report. Oh yes, I am taking a different approach from the normal type of technical/quasi-technical review. If it fits the format y'all establish then good. If it doesn't, then perhaps I will be able to post it in the regular binocular category on CN.

The Tak 22x60s are not, I suspect, at the top of everyone's short list of economy binos. However, I hope to be able to provide valuable information (without any spin or ownership bias).

Kenny, the binos reviews on CN is what brought me to this site as well. I have watched it grow from a very modest forum to it's present state (IMHO not all the additions were for the best, but that's IMHO). At any rate, the equipment reviews appears to be a good idea.

Nick

#15 EdZ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 08:55 AM

This is a forum. I would think we don't need to establish a formal criteria for someone to submit a mini review. Keep it free of slamming any suppliers or manufacturers and you should be all right. get your feet wet. jump in!.

edz

#16 KennyJ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:39 PM

Yes I too would feel under less pressure if were allowed to compose my review in my own ( non -technical ) style.

I think that in many ways , individual styles of writing and presentation are what makes reading binocular reviews s interesting.

That is not say that some BASIC common denomination COULD be included , but if we are oing to go down that road , then it would probably be better to get this straight from the start.

I also suspect there are a few more members who might have some good ideas about this , who may not have seen my appeal post yet.

Perhaps we could work on our own ideas and save them in our own PCs until we are more agreed on a definite ( or indefinite ) format ?

I am certainly encouraged by intial reactions.

Regards --Kenny.

#17 EdZ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:54 PM

I suggest we don't let format prevent another moment of progress towards putting mini-reviews in the binoc forum. Over the next week I'll try to get the Link up and point towards a few posts that I can remember that are already out there. You will see that every one has a different style and content.

Remember it can be quite a bit less structured here on the forums. Add your product to the mix and have a look what others do. This way no one is stiffled and the till will get full.

A little later after we see the natural style and content that comes out of our group, we can comment on whether or not some style or content modifications might be necessary.

I thought Eric's original idea, that of allowing the original writer to go in and add to his work, was a good idea. That way, you need not worry that you didn't cover it all, you have opportunity for revision or addition.

If you haven't caught on by now, I'm trying to eliminate conditions and encourage participation.

Just do it!

edz

#18 EdZ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 01:03 PM

This is my table of contents from a comprehensive article. This is not what you want to try and cover. You wouldn't finish for months. It's a shopping list. Use it to pick things to write about. A mini-review, if well written, might only cover one item and still be very much worth it. Later pick another item and add it to the original post. There are other topics in the Best of threads.

Introduction

Summary of Findings

Manufacturers Specifications - general info, selling points and price

Quality of Build features, hinges, focus, diopter, baffles, coatings, prism cut-off, eye relief, collimation

Hand Held Impressions ergonomics, size, weight, fit, reach, eye relief, glasses, eyecup

Focal Length Fast achromats, how to measure

Importance of Magnification Mask test, vs. Aperture, magnitude, resolution, baseline index

Contrast and Resolution Resolving Fine Detail, Light Gradients,

Binocular Performance Index

Object Finding - Maximum Field of View, examples of Max fov, field measures, AFOV

Sharpness - Useable Field of View Data

Results of Sharpness Test Finding Limit, Detail Viewing Limit

Types of Viewing - Finding Limit, Wide Detail Viewing, Best Detail Viewing, On-axis Viewing

Object Viewing, Wide detail viewing, best detail viewing, on-axis detail

Object Viewing Binocular Observing Report, Viewing List

Attributes- Brightness, Contrast, Resolution, Star Test, Color

Aberrations- Curvature (rectilinear distortion), Spherical, Distortion, Coma, Chromatic Aberration and Astigmatism

Credits



#19 EdZ

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 02:39 PM

Mini reviews are deserving of their own thread. One of the things we are working on behind the scenes is to cut or tag relavant info hidden in old threads and either link to it or move it out into its own.

Barry Simon offered us our first new mini review. he posted it in this thread. I cut it out and move it out on its own, where it rightfully deserves to be.

Please post mini reviews as a new topic.

thanks,

edz

#20 Rusty

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:13 AM

This is my table of contents from a comprehensive article. This is not what you want to try and cover. You wouldn't finish for months. It's a shopping list. Use it to pick things to write about. A mini-review, if well written, might only cover one item and still be very much worth it. Later pick another item and add it to the original post. There are other topics in the Best of threads.....


To this I would add, for ANY review:

Date of the review

Caveats about the reviewer and reviewing/observing conditions

Where the item was purchased as well as other known vendors

Price

Delivery time

#21 rboe

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:37 AM

I would strongly encourage new comers and newbies to toss in their two cents worth of observations on binoculars. They offer a perspective other newbies would appreciate.

Too many times I've read reviews by experienced reviewers that are splitting hairs - which is fine; but my experience is not to that level yet so I would like to hear what I would see at my level of viewing skill. After all, that is were I'm at now.

The more experienced observers still offer a target to shoot for so their input is still very much needed. It's like comparing Physics Review Letters to the daily paper.

#22 KennyJ

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 06:03 PM

EdZ,

Could it be arranged so that a link to these new "mini-reviews" exists from the main page of the CN site under the section heading "BINOCULAR - Articles " ?

Regards -- Kenny.

#23 KennyJ

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 06:20 PM

rboe,

I agree with you entirely in principle.

One potential "problem" I imagine with this is that given the increasing number of members regularly contributing to this fine forum who REALLY seem to know their stuff technically , the prospect of writing a review of any kind could appear all the more "daunting" as a result.

To refer to your analogy , it's a bit like your daily paper writer having her or his "articles designed for casual perusal by a Joe Public with a passing interest in optical instruments" being scrutinised by a mixed panel of scientists and optical designers.

Professional people tend not to buy the tabloids but stick to their broadsheets , and vice versa.

In spite of this , I'm intending to "give it a go" at any rate.

Perhaps I'll require a special section :

"Binoculars for Idiots" or something of that nature :-)

Regards --Kenny.

#24 EdZ

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:42 PM

I think that's stepping outside the bounds of our intent.

We are simply trying to preserve a link within the binocular forum to all the "shorts" written by people that frequent the binocular forum. We are also trying to make it easy for anyone to add to that body of work.

We will prominently display that link as we have already shown, at the top of the binocular forum. I think that's the place to keep it.

We don't need to display ourselves on the front page to make that effort any more worthwhile.

edz

#25 EdZ

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:52 PM

One potential "problem" I imagine with this is that given the increasing number of members regularly contributing to this fine forum who REALLY seem to know their stuff technically , the prospect of writing a review of any kind could appear all the more "daunting" as a result. Regards --Kenny.


Nothing has changed. We are still the same as we were before. Every contribution is considered valuable, whether written by a technical or a beginner. We accept any and all efforts, from all, for all.

You should not expect that any more effort is necessary than what might be required for a well thought out post. If you try to make a masterpiece out of a mini-review, then you might want to consider posting it in the CN reviews pages. Otherwise just do what comes naturally.

edz


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