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A need for a " One -Stop" bino spec. list ?

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#1 KennyJ

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 04:58 PM

I've been considering this suggestion for a while , but held back mainly out of consideration for our moderator EdZ at the time , as he was already over stretched with the admirable job of turning my "best of" and " mini -reviews" ideas into wonderful reality.

THIS idea is to collect , from as many members as possible , a BASIC list of available binoculars in all sizes and magnifications , so as to include perhaps just the following specs , or one or two others if anyone thinks it might improve the basic suggestion:

Manufacturer
Model Name
Porro / Roof etc.
Magnification
Objective Size
True Field of View
Weight
Eye Relief
2004 PRICE NEW ( in whatever country )

The idea is so that everyone of us can use this as a "quick -reference" check point.

Even I tend to forget such details of many models , even if at some point in the past I have used , written about , or recommended such a model !

Such a data base could be simply presented in alphabetical order only -- and updated as new models come out --BUT it would be even better if it was constructed in such a way as to be "multi -accessible" -- e.g by way of magnification or eye - relief.

By this last paragraph I mean , for example , if someone is looking for a 8x bino , by just tytping in 8x bino -- the full list of 8x binos is accessed in alphabetical order.

If someone types in "bino eye -relief" -- the full list , starting with the LONGEST eye -relief and down to the shortest is presented.

Being slightly naive about the logistics of actually making this available I will include that all -important aspect into the bigger question , which is :

Does anyone else agree this might be useful ?

Regards , Kenny.

#2 777Guy

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 06:17 PM

The more information available the easier it is to evaluate your options. But what is the difference between what you are are suggesting and a mini-review complete with all the technical data plus observer opinions and comments? Your idea is a good one if you can somehow link it to a review.
Jim

#3 Dave LoPresti

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 06:40 PM

Kenny, I have Canon 18x50 IS binos.

I DELETED the copy and paste bino specs. :confused:

Price in US around $1,000

Hope this is helpful.

#4 rboe

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 11:00 PM

Kenny;

That is a great idea. But for sorting on each field (or the major ones) you are talking a linked database - which can be done - but there is work involved. More than just an Excel spread sheet.

So we need some young whipper snapper to volunteer that doesn't realize just how much work it will be! :)

#5 KennyJ

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 01:16 AM

Dave,

Although I've used the "copy and paste" method you clearly used to transfer the 18 x 50 info to this site , I'm no longer sure if such a simple method is considered "acceptable" according to the set of "suggested guidelines" discussed a few weeks ago.

Personally I see no reason why NOT to employ the method for this kind of information transfer , but I got the impression that one or two site moderators felt otherwise.

Jim,

I take your point about this being potentially covered by "mini-reviews" , but writing and posting a review is a far more time -consuming and potentially "daunting" task than simply passing over such basic information as I'm suggesting.

If you notice , there has hardly been a single new "mini-review" posted for about a month now.

The latter statistic I find quite dissapointing , given the knowledge and selection of instruments readily available at the hands of some of our more capable fellow members.

This perhaps suggests a "reluctance" to enter the spirit of the "mini -review" concept , reasons for which I can only guess as suggested above.

There has certainly been an encouraging number of "visits" to the "best of" and " mini - reviews" sections , so maybe people are more comfortable reading than writing ?

Regards , Kenny.

#6 EdZ

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 07:40 AM

Kenny,

I'd agree the multitudes are much more comfortable reading than writing. It is usually the work of the few that supports the needs of the many.

The quick facts list is a good idea.

Manufacturers data is not the proper data to populate the list. eye relief, field of view, coatings and several other specs are usually different than manf. spec.

A simple list would not be sortable as would a database. A database would require off-site (off CN) placement and one person only data entry. It would require the development of a standardized data entry form. The DB would not reside here, but could be linkerd from here.

Getting it started is a lot of work. Keeping it going isn't.

edz

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:53 PM

Hey guys..

I might be that "naieve" young guy you are talking about. I'd be happy to do a searchable database, and host it on my server.. I am a pretty good php/mysql coder, and could probably have this up soon. I would think the best way to run it would be as follows:

each binocular has an entry, with whatever information we deem useful (size, weight, mag, etc...). The first person to enter something for that particular model, would be required to enter all of the info they knew. They would also be able to post a review/impressions of the binoculars. Subsequent users, could then fill in the missing blanks, and enter their own reviews. It would then be searchable, etc..

If y'all want me to throw something together, lets do a list of what info we want in this database.

-Mark

#8 Tom L

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 01:05 PM

Wow! Get this database going and expand it to eyepieces!

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 01:08 PM

humm.. that is a good idea.. Once the binocular one is up and running, it would be very easy to add an eyepiece version as well..

#10 KennyJ

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 03:35 PM

Great News Nero ,

You're a potential star !

I think it very important that as a group we discuss and decide WHAT we need and what we DON'T need in this database
BEFORE anything is started.

For example , I personally see no need to complicate this feature with actual reviews , which are invariably subjective.

Thanks again for the offer Nero.

I hope something comes of this.

I am still uncertain about the moral / legal grounds of directly copying and pasting a typical set of specs. from manufacturer's / retailers web sites.

These COULD be subject to copyright ?

I am NOT as concerned as Ed is about the inaccuracies of stated eye-relief and field of view , so long as the points are highlighted as being "as per manufacturer "
ACTUAL figures could be added as and when testers have measured them , whether differing from "official figures" or otherwise.

Looking forward to the opinions of others.

Regards , Kenny.

#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 03:44 PM

Great News Nero ,

You're a potential star !

I think it very important that as a group we discuss and decide WHAT we need and what we DON'T need in this database
BEFORE anything is started.

For example , I personally see no need to complicate this feature with actual reviews , which are invariably subjective.

Thanks again for the offer Nero.

I hope something comes of this.

I am still uncertain about the moral / legal grounds of directly copying and pasting a typical set of specs. from manufacturer's / retailers web sites.

These COULD be subject to copyright ?

I am NOT as concerned as Ed is about the inaccuracies of stated eye-relief and field of view , so long as the points are highlighted as being "as per manufacturer "
ACTUAL figures could be added as and when testers have measured them , whether differing from "official figures" or otherwise.

Looking forward to the opinions of others.

Regards , Kenny.


I agree 100% (in getting all the fields decided before starting) as it is MUCH easier to do it right the first time. As for copying and pasting, I dont see how that can be a copyright violation- as these are simply properties of an object.

As for the reviews- I know one thing I would find very useful, is some sort of "prior experience" database. Being new to the world of binoculars, I have no idea what is a good pair, what is a good value, etc.. I agree that full on reviews might be a bit much, but how about a rating system, where users who own a particular binocular, can give say a 0-5 star rating for a few categories- say value, fit and feel, and optical quality. That way, at a glance, users of the db could see what bincoulars are a good value under say $200.00.. etc.. Just an idea.

#12 BarrySimon615

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 04:23 PM

Why not just use the Excelsis reviews website and the listing there as a foundation? Anything not covered can be added by someone with a particular model. While the effort would be commendable, why duplicate what already exists?

Certainly there are new models being introduced all the time, and there are older, discountinued models which are virtually impossible to find. I bet that the book "How to Choose Binoculars" by Alan R. Hale, 1991, has few binoculars currently still in production among the many hundreds of models it lists. (For those interested it does list, in tabular form, binoculars from 26 different companies including many which are still mainstream binocular manufacturers, or labelers.) Information included in the tables includes - manufacturer, size, series, model, fov, RA (rubber armor -y/n), eye relief, prisms used, coatings, near focus, type of focus, waterproof - y/n, case - y/n, straps - y/n, caps - y/n, tripod adaptable - y/n, weight, and suggested list price.

Other things could be included including height and type of exterior covering (as nowadays there is a lot more than rubber armored and leatherette) should anyone really want to compile a list.

Barry Simon

#13 KennyJ

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 03:29 AM

Mark,

Although your suggested "points" system is a good one in theory , a similar system utilised in the aforementioned Excelsis review sites brings up some quite ridiculous and therefore almost meaningless statistics.

For example ,some users , who through no fault of their own have never actually looked through GREAT binoculars , tend to award points such as 9.8 out of 10 for what is in reality , a quite mediocre model.

Regards , Kenny.

#14 Dave LoPresti

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 04:23 AM

Kenny, I deleted the copy/paste info from my earlier post (better safe than sorry i guess) but I saw no harm in my method.
I'm still trying to figure out why manufacturer specs are not wanted? I don't doubt some binos fail to measure up to what their marketing material may say but what are we supposed to use? Is a benchmark in the works here? What are the consistencies between manufactureres numbers if there are any?
I liked your original plan for a "quick reference" collection. To me, that means statistics and specs, not opinions, even if they are well conceived. I'm nowhere near the ability or passion that the rest of you have for binos but I'd still like to help out those seeking it if I can. :shrug:

#15 EdZ

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 06:16 AM

I got a couple of opinions here, FWIW.

If your not going to take the time to measure/check the properties, you are doing nothing but rehashing inconsistent manufacturers data.

Your talking about building an off-site database here. Another website of info.

Any effort to add brief reviews, no matter how short, takes away from any effort that might exist to gather info to this site.

It's hard enough to get people to use and keep up a resource that's been developed, let alone fragment a piece and keep/use that too.

I wouldn't support the direction this is going.

edz

#16 KennyJ

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 06:32 AM

Our ( only active ) forum moderator EdZ ( and therefore the main man) says :

< I wouldn't support the direction this is going >

Ed, with respect , both this statement and much of your last post left me in some doubt about which , if any , direction you WOULD support this idea to be going in ?

Your original reply included the statement :

< The quick facts list is a good idea >

So , presuming you are still of this opinion ( admittedly that WAS 23 hours ago now ), I would appreciate confirmation of any POSITIVE guides of direction, if any , as opposed to lists of negatives.

Are we now thinking along the lines of the following :

1. VERY basic lists ONLY ?
2. ON -SITE ( CN ) info ONLY ?
3. ACCURATE facts / specs ONLY ?

The above sounds O.K to me , BUT -- I'm not sure every member of this forum ( self included ) is capable of accurately measuring the crucial factors of eye -relief or field of view.

Regards , Kenny.

#17 KennyJ

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 06:44 AM

A good example of what can be achieved can be seen at
Kevin Bs Big Binocular site.

This of course , is a wonderfully simple "at a glance" effort by Kevin to present the comparitive specs.

http://www.oberwerk....asp?sortby=size

A similar set of "charts" for ALL known binoculars would be a most useful reference point as far as I'm concerned , with any "real -life" observed differences added by members.

This , to me , would be a model far closer to my original concept than the info as presented at Excelsis.com , as Barry suggested.

Regards, Kenny.

#18 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 08:17 AM

Mark,

Although your suggested "points" system is a good one in theory , a similar system utilised in the aforementioned Excelsis review sites brings up some quite ridiculous and therefore almost meaningless statistics.

For example ,some users , who through no fault of their own have never actually looked through GREAT binoculars , tend to award points such as 9.8 out of 10 for what is in reality , a quite mediocre model.

Regards , Kenny.


Kenny-

Totally understood, and now I am seeing the point of this DB a little more. Simply a place for the information, no biased opinions or made up reviews- simply the specs. Sounds good to me! :)

Edz-

I'm not sure if it was some of my suggestions that got you concerned. I was simply throwing a couple of ideas out there, which turned out to be more of "good in theory" type ideas. As far as I am concerned, this project has yet to have a definite "direction." My thought was that the purpose of this thread, was for this community to come come together, and decide on what type of tool is needed/wanted. Now, you cant please everyone, but at least my feeling is that all ideas are welcome to be brought to the table at this point.. (some may end up on the cutting room floor like my review ideas, but thats how it goes! :) )

-Mark

#19 EdZ

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 08:56 AM

I have spent 20 years of developing and working with datbases. My experience is this. One person needs to be responsible for the data. Soon after that responsibility is distributed, the information becomes corrupted. You then spend more time checking data and re-entering corrected information than had one individual done it in the first place. As the database grows larger, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and check new data if you are not controlling the data entry.

I would not recommend any database that does not control the data entry. Even a data entry form may allow room for variation in the way the data is input by different individuals. I suppose it would be possible to make it foolproof.

It certainly would be a worthwhile venture for someone to undertake. It's not one I would want.

What your asking for would be very similar to the list in the back of Phil Harrington's book "StarWare". He has listed these manf. specs for at least a hundred different binoculars.

edz

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 09:05 AM

It certainly would be a worthwhile venture for someone to undertake. It's not one I would want.


:D Nor would I!! ;) I think that making it totally closed (such that only one person is allowed to enter data) may be a bit extreme in this case though. It is my opinion that we have some very experienced and knowledgable binocular users in this forum. I wonder if we could find 5 or 10 people, who know what they are doing, who would each be willing to resesarch the specs on, say 10-15 pairs of binocs, and enter the data in a standardized format we all would agree on in advance. To assist with this, I think that many of the form entries, could be pull down menus to, like you said, make it somewhat foolproof. Again, just another idea thrown out there.

#21 nemo

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 12:11 PM

Although I recognize that this is not what is being talked about what about a "Bino Book for Dummies "or "Bino's for Bozo's" in which the basic performance characteristics, build designs, and applications for binoculars are discussed. This would of course be a reference of a more general nature but would not require as much constant updating but still provide the basic tools one would need to make hopefully an intelligent choice. One could still have some sort of matrix in which the individual wants and needs could be presented in relationship to the binocular characteristics necessary to accomplish them. Most people can read the side of a box or owners manual to determine the rest. Although given the nature of many folks today who really do not want to do any looking on their own(immediate gratification) I am sure a book that gives specific recommendations in terms of actual brands and models would do well. Sounds like a fun project but like many things worth while a lot of work.
R/S,
Dan


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