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Nikon WX testing

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#26 edwincjones

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:52 AM

............. I've decided I would probably feel to be in some kind of heaven with nothing more than one of these 10x50 WX binos fixed to my 501 head and Manfrotto 028 tripod.......

 

Kenny

 

 

waytogo.gif waytogo.gif



#27 Eric.TB

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:46 AM

What I think is important to note is, you can't really put a price tag on something that pushes the technological envelope in a new direction never seen.

 

The arguments against the price of the Nikon WX is no different than what existed for:

 

The McLaren F1 supercar ($815,000)

The First HDTV ($8000 plus)

The First DVD players ($1K plus)

 

Point being, the big sticker on the Nikon WX is hardly nothing new. There will always be a big price to pay for the bleeding edge of tech, always have always will be.


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#28 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:59 AM

After Glenn has completed round two of his tests, an "hypothetical scenario" I'm sure many others would share my curiosity about would be this:

 

IF given the choice of "FREE GIFTS" between either ONE of these Nikon 10x50 WX  models or both of the most recent versions of a Swarovski 8.5x42 EL and 15x56, to use for the rest of his life, which of those two "free gifts" would he feel most likely to accept, and why? 

 

Kenny

Kenny,

No Round 2 required (which will commence shortly.) Nor an examination of the 15X56, if its AFoV does not exceed 75 degrees. The panoramic, highly corrected 85 degree AFoV vista at 10X would be amply satisfying for a life bino. From among your two choices.

 

Now, an equally well corrected 15X56 with an AFoV of 80 degrees would swing me over for certain; the 8.5X42 would be a bonus. (Now I'm going to have to check the 15X56's AFoV, out of curiosity.) ;)

 

As if anyone who's slummed around here in the Bino Forum for a while didn't already know, a large AFoV is for me a prized quality in any optical instrument.


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#29 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:16 AM

Nikon states eye relief of 17.7mm and 15.3mm for the 7X and 10X, respectively. I presume this to be referenced to the center of the concave eye lens. As I noted yesterday, with the eye cups retracted I estimate a roughly 4mm depth of the central eye lens below the exposed surface of the eye cup.

 

I'll obtain the 'actual' eye relief distance from the eye cup surface...



#30 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:18 AM

Glenn, many, many thanks for the review! I was going to say that these sound like they are worth there weight in gold but then that would make them worth more then $100,000 so I guess that would count as a slight over exaggeration grin.gif

 

I definitely envy you smile.gif and hope I get a chance to look though these someday. Setting all the talk (complaining) about the price aside. It sounds like Nikon have created the binocular against which others will be measured. That is good for the industry and also for us as consumers!... and have I mentioned how much I envy you? waytogo.gif

Envy? How about pity. I'm a starving man who can but look at a banquet! ;)


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#31 Henry Link

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 01:00 PM

 

After Glenn has completed round two of his tests, an "hypothetical scenario" I'm sure many others would share my curiosity about would be this:

 

IF given the choice of "FREE GIFTS" between either ONE of these Nikon 10x50 WX  models or both of the most recent versions of a Swarovski 8.5x42 EL and 15x56, to use for the rest of his life, which of those two "free gifts" would he feel most likely to accept, and why? 

 

Kenny

Kenny,

No Round 2 required (which will commence shortly.) Nor an examination of the 15X56, if its AFoV does not exceed 75 degrees. The panoramic, highly corrected 85 degree AFoV vista at 10X would be amply satisfying for a life bino. From among your two choices.

 

Now, an equally well corrected 15X56 with an AFoV of 80 degrees would swing me over for certain; the 8.5X42 would be a bonus. (Now I'm going to have to check the 15X56's AFoV, out of curiosity.) wink.gif

 

As if anyone who's slummed around here in the Bino Forum for a while didn't already know, a large AFoV is for me a prized quality in any optical instrument.

 

Glenn,

 

According to Swarovski's specs the 15x56 SLC has an AFOV of 62º. Swarovski and Zeiss appear to me to actually measure the AFOV for their specs now. Nikon still uses the ISO method, which as you know, will virtually always underestimate the true AFOV.

 

BTW, there are also 8x56 and 10x56 SLCs, curiously not available in North America. Their AFOVs are 60º, so even less your cup of tea. Also the SLCs don't have the flat field eyepiece of the EL-SVs, but they are said to have very good edge sharpness for a conventional eyepiece design.

 

Enjoy yourself! I'd love to get a crack at the 10x50. It would be nice if one of those photo equipment rental outfits would rent the WXs for maybe $50 per day. I'd sign up for a long weekend.

 

Henry


Edited by Henry Link, 09 June 2017 - 01:09 PM.

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#32 JCB

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:13 PM

I did take a pic of the exit pupil as seen from the point off axis where the field stop is just about to clip the pupil. I'd estimate illumination here to be at least 75% of that on axis, based on pupil area alone. How transmission may vary with field angle through the varying lens curvatures is too difficult to assess visually. If I can cook up a suitable meter around my SQM, I could look at this.


I was only referring to the area of the pupil. A figure of 75% with an 85° field is extremely impressive! It's certainly related to the use of huge prims, which cause the high weight.

 

Rectilinear distortion is very low, with what appears to be a small amount of pincushion. In casual sweeping, straight lines are sensibly straight enough throughout the FoV. This is why an 85 degree AFoV can 'squeeze' in 9 degrees at 10X. Naively one might suppose an AFoV of 90 degrees based on magnification and TFoV multiplied.


I thought about that more carefully. For the 10x50 model:

If there were no rectilinear distortion, the AFOV would be 76.4° (it's the ISO method)
If there were no angular magnification distortion (hence no rolling effect), the AFOV would be 90°.

So with an AFOV of 85°, the Nikon WX are slightly closer to the latter condition.
If I refer to the study made by Holger Merlitz (http://www.holgermer.../newk/newk.html), the distortion parameter k for the Nikon WX 10x50 is 0.55 (and 0.64 for the 7x50).

According to the graphic, it's still in the "moderate distortion" region, but close to the "strong distortion" region. It's interesting to note that you found the distortion not objectionable. The pincushion distortion is quite pronounced in the Zeiss 15x60 BGAT for example. Here again, we can suppose that Nikon made the right choice.

Perhaps the distortion is not uniform across the field of view, and increases towards the edges, were it is less noticeable because straight lines are shortened by the field stop?


By the way, Holger Merlitz is also testing these binoculars:
http://www.holgermer.../nikon_wx2.html

Jean-Charles

Edited by JCB, 09 June 2017 - 06:14 PM.

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#33 JCB

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:28 PM

Nikon states eye relief of 17.7mm and 15.3mm for the 7X and 10X, respectively. I presume this to be referenced to the center of the concave eye lens. As I noted yesterday, with the eye cups retracted I estimate a roughly 4mm depth of the central eye lens below the exposed surface of the eye cup.


Yes, The ISO standard defines the eye relief as "the distance of the exit pupil from the vertex of the last optical surface of the eyepiece". Which is quite irrelevant in actual use…

Jean-Charles

#34 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:05 PM

I was examining and comparing more closely the distortion characteristics. My previous considerable experience of the marked pincushion distortion exhibited by Nagler and Ethos eyepieces (which have near zero angular magnification distortion) lead to the impression of very slight pincushion in the 10X bino. Well, it is more than "very slight", but much less pronounced than in a Nagler eyepiece. The 7X bino exhibits essentially no rectilinear distortion, with straight lines remaining pretty straight everywhere.

 

I measured the 'effective' eye relief from the rear surface of the rubber eye guard:

7X50, ~16.5mm

10X50, ~14mm

 

These figures are strangely on the large side, being only roughly 1.5mm less than the published eye relief by Nikon, which presumably is referenced to the center of the concave eye lenses. As noted previously the center of the concave eye lens is depressed a good 4mm (possibly more; I wasn't about to contact the glass) below the eye cup's rear surface.

 

The eye cups rotate to extend, with 5 click stops, reaching a maximum extent of 12mm beyond the innermost position.

 

If one were desperate to achieve larger eye relief, 2mm or so could be gained by removing the rubber portion of the eye cups. NOTE! This *may* involve more than simply slipping off!

 

With my reading glasses on, I crudely assessed the accessible AFoV, with the eye cups fully retracted, and permitting the glasses to contact the eye cups:

7X50, ~66 degrees of the 71.

10X50, ~70 degrees of the 85.

 

This *will* vary from person to person. If one's glasses can be pressed very close to one's eyes, it's possible to obtain nearer to full-field coverage.

 

An artificial star employing a neutral white LED was set up in the store's darkened basement, permitted testing at full eye iris aperture. Only the 10X50 was examined.

 

The lateral color described earlier was dimly seen, as expected. But the *vast* bulk of the energy was confined to a tight white point; my own eye aberrations were the limiting factor here. Moreover, there was NO detectable astigmatism! Nor any coma or de-focus. Aside from the lateral color, wherever I placed the 'star' in the FoV it was as sensibly symmetrical as my own eye aberrations permitted.

 

The lateral chromatic aberration--essentially the only aberration to my eyes--has the spilled energy lying outside the principal, intense point amounting to just a couple per cent, or a few at most. And it's only noticeable, really, in the outer roughly 20% of the FoV.

 

A brilliant LED flashlight of compact source was used to assess roof line diffraction, as well as internal reflections and ghosts off optical surfaces. Again, just the 10X50 was examined.

 

When the light intensity was estimated to be about equal to that of Venus, faint diffraction spikes became visible. With increasing intensity, they took on a notable blue hue over their inner portion of about 1/3 the field radius, becoming colorless thereafter. A quite bright source has these spikes extending to the field edge. Each is tilted with respect to the other, in the form of a tall, thin 'X' pattern when both eyes are open.

 

Reflections and ghosts are *remarkably* well controlled, being of quite low intensity. The light was *brilliant*, and the ghosts were still fairly subtle. The concave eye lens causes a large, dim ghost that dances around as one's eyes move, but this is a common occurrence for similarly concave eye lenses.

 

Out in the direct sunlight, I aimed the bino over a wide range with respect to the angle of sunlight spilling inside so as to illuminate the innards. Even at its worst, when the bino was pointing to within about 10 degrees of the Sun, the illuminated interior that was seen to surround the exit pupil was both of *very* small extent and of not so bright intensity. Most excellent baffling!

 

In summary, this bino is truly an optical wonder. What it does over such a large angular field, both apparent and true, with such a comparatively fast objective, is a marvel. I hope that sales exceed Nikon's expectations and inspire continued production--with a drop in cost/price, one can wish!


Edited by GlennLeDrew, 09 June 2017 - 09:21 PM.

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#35 CAAD9

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:42 PM

Fascinating and excellent reports.  Thank you Glenn for that and for answering all our questions.

 

Your efforts are very much appreciated.


Edited by CAAD9, 09 June 2017 - 10:43 PM.


#36 Mad Matt

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:07 AM

Wow! Again, many thanks! Now let's just hope there are some people in Germany and Austria who are now saying "Ve kan do zis even better" 😁
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#37 trener

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:38 AM

"Mein Gott! Hans, rollen out zee guns! Japs sink zey are better! Let's make zee Bundesrepublik Deutschland proud again!"


Edited by trener, 10 June 2017 - 03:37 AM.


#38 KennyJ

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:22 AM

Thanks again Glenn for this following report.

 

It's fantastic to know the equally brilliant Dr. Holger Merlitz is also carrying out tests elsewhere, with the advantage in his case of having specimens of both models kindly loaned to him for a period of time that such enable more comprehensive conclusions.

 

Early signs are certainly most promising. 

 

With the additional "insurance" of Henry Link and Jean Charles also keeping both eyes on the subject ( no pun intended ) it's almost impossible to imagine a single stone remaining unturned as regards the thoroughness of technical matters being revealed within a week or so!

 

Kenny


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#39 trener

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:44 AM

I would like to see same test for Swarovski 10x50 EL SV, especially AFOV  and illumination across the field measurements.


Edited by trener, 10 June 2017 - 03:45 AM.

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#40 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 04:42 AM

With the additional "insurance" of Henry Link and Jean Charles also keeping both eyes on the subject ( no pun intended ) it's almost impossible to imagine a single stone remaining unturned as regards the thoroughness of technical matters being revealed within a week or so!

 

 I am certainly glad Glenn is doing this and not me..   Jon:  "These look pretty good to me, nice wide field, well corrected."

 

The one measurement I would perform:  Weigh the darn things.  There's a lot good about these binoculars but they are heavy.. 

 

Jon


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#41 edwincjones

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 05:52 AM

I would like to see same test for Swarovski 10x50 EL SV, especially AFOV  and illumination across the field measurements.

I would like to see how it compares to the more traditional fuji 10x70s.

In the field with its weight, it probably will be tripod mounted,

and used as an alternative to the 70mm binoculars.

 

Superior optics vs greater light grasp-- question.gif

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 10 June 2017 - 09:24 AM.


#42 Mad Matt

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 06:23 AM

Looking at the pictures on Holger's website shows just how big - or should I say humongous - these really are. Having said that I still do wish I had the expendable income to consider these 😁 It sounds like they really are living up to the expectations of those who have seen them.
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#43 garret

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

 

I would like to see same test for Swarovski 10x50 EL SV, especially AFOV  and illumination across the field measurements

Here are the exit pupils of the EL 10x50

 

Left image: the exit pupil is on the edge of the fieldstop and is vignetted by 'something' (a fieldstop?) incoming from the left.

Right image: exit pupil is normal and vignetted by the size of the prism and eyepiece lenses, the exit pupil is slightly away from the fieldstop (a few %).

 

btw the eye guard is in position 2, not fully in.

 

 

Garret

Attached Thumbnails

  • Vignetting EL 10x50 100%.jpg

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#44 SandyHouTex

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:24 AM

 

Glenn,

 

I understand you did not make a direct compareson, but based on memory, how do you feel the overall resolution (on-axis off axis) was compared to the Swarovski EL you mentioned using the other day?

Based on my memory of the Swarovski EL, I'd characterize the two as being essentially similar in most respects as regards perceived image quality, more so on axis. Near each's field edge, the WX has somewhat worse lateral color, as might be expected for the wider AFoV, but might have a tad less astigmatism, in spite of the wider AFoV. I should remember to do a side by side...

 

Thanks for taking the time Glenn to analyze these binoculars.  It's nice to have actual test results to talk about and not supposition.

 

Greatly appreciated.


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#45 edwincjones

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:27 AM

But regardless of how good they are,

they are still just 7x50s & 10x50s

If one needs a tripod why not a larger binocular?

 

edj

 

I guess I am asking for a WX70


Edited by edwincjones, 10 June 2017 - 09:29 AM.

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#46 theo98

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:49 AM

But regardless of how good they are,

they are still just 7x50s & 10x50s

If one needs a tripod why not a larger binocular?

 

edj

 

I guess I am asking for a WX70

Wow EJ, now we'd be in business...probably just 7+ lbs (3175g) and $8k+ (7.1K Euro)...(I'll need to start saving and Working out ASAP)!!   smirk.gif    waytogo.gif

 

Ted


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#47 range88

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 10:33 AM

But regardless of how good they are,

they are still just 7x50s & 10x50s

If one needs a tripod why not a larger binocular?

 

edj

 

I guess I am asking for a WX70

APM 70+ Ethos 13/HW 12.5 will outperform anything in its class.



#48 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 11:07 AM

One item I forgot to mention.

 

I rigged up a quick 'n dirty 'spot meter' using my SQM (Sky Quality Meter), the original lensless version which has a characteristic sensing angle of about 80 degrees. I made up a light-tight, form-fitting box of black construction paper that's taped to the front of the SQM. It extends just about 60mm forward, with a clean-edged hole defined by a washer (~2.5mm I.D.) located directly in front of the sensor. This greatly constricts the sensing angle, and the fixed diameter and distance ensured repeatable measurements. Note that the hole is rather smaller than the exit pupil under test.

 

Because the display is on the front face of the meter, or the same side as the sensor itself, in order to read the result I had to peer into the hole, scanning across so as to read the digits almost one by one. wink.gif But that posed no difficulty. One thing I wished for was the ability to extinguish the display on demand, so as to speed up the frequency of measurements.

 

This reduced sensing angle permits to use normally lit walls in daytime as a test target without exceeding the device's upper brightness limit. It turns out that readings are in the 15 MPSAS range, which is just about ideal.

 

I tested only the 7X50, its larger exit pupil providing more leeway for imprecise centering of the 'spot meter' aperture. And I figure the transmission efficiency of both binos is similar to the point of not reliably discriminating under the less than ideal conditions I was working under.

 

The combination of varying sunlight as clouds came and went and street traffic out front resulted in significant interior illumination fluctuation throughout most of the store. I had to retreat to the rear, where I could find a wall whose lighting was pretty near only from the overhead fluorescent fixtures. I took *many* readings of the point on the wall the bino was pointed at and axially through the bino's eyepiece. The meter reads to 0.01 magnitude, which is a 1% difference. I did NOT record every measurement and examine statistically. I was in a bit of a hurry due to not wanting to tie up the bino; folks were stopping by to see these things.

 

Out of the many magnitude deltas I got, I'd characterize the transmission loss as between 0.11 to 0.15 magnitude. This is close enough to 11-15%, meaning a transmission of 85-89%. For the time being we might assign a loss of 0.13 magnitude, for a transmission efficiency of 87%. I must stress again the less than ideal conditions. There was still some lighting variation occurring, the fluorescent source could be questionable in conjunction with the meter's own spectral response, I was hand holding the meter behind the bino, the wall illumination had a bit of a gradient, and there might have been other variables not accounted for. In other words, this test protocol could use tighter controls. So take this as *provisional.*

 

In any event, a ~13% loss bothers me not in the slightest. To put it this way; I'd rather a diminution of 50% than a contrast reduction of 10%. The eye's huge dynamic range accommodates dimming very well. But the presence of unwanted light of any perceptible amount is detrimental, and can quickly become ruinous. Contrast is king, and this bino warrants the crown.


Edited by GlennLeDrew, 10 June 2017 - 04:03 PM.

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#49 karstenkoch

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 04:10 PM

But regardless of how good they are,
they are still just 7x50s & 10x50s
If one needs a tripod why not a larger binocular?

edj

I guess I am asking for a WX70

With money and weight nothing to be concerned about by those would would buy the WX50, the only thing different in the WX70 would be a narrower field of view (and magnification of course). However, higher mag and narrower FOV is something you could get binoviewing. So the WX50 really are breaking new ground in a field (ho ho) of few competitors. The WX70 less so.

Edited by karstenkoch, 10 June 2017 - 04:40 PM.

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#50 Mr. Bill

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 04:43 PM

No doubt the WX's unique attributes will show up in more affordable versions from other manufacturers before long....cool.gif




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