Maybe what I'm searching for doesn't exist, or maybe my problems are self-inflicted (a physiological problem) . Either way, I'd love to hear what the forum has to say.
When I look through binoculars with a wide AFOV (70deg) -or any AFOV for that matter- (the larger AFOV just seems to exacerbate the issue) I "know" the clean field stops are there around the full circle of view, but I can only see it all clearly if I take special care to focus my eyesight dead-center, do not direct my gaze off-axis and take it all in with my "periphery". I find it rather annoying to glance at something in the leftmost 25% of the AFOV, only to find it is blacked out when I look at it. The field stops are clean when not staring at them, but if I inspect them directly (non-peripherally) they dissolve, blur, and darken.
I understand binoculars are made to be used staring dead-on at an object, but is there no binocular spec that allows one to examine the entire AFOV without my eyes playing tricks?
If it is inherent in the design, what would I look for in a pair to minimize this effect? Smaller AFOV? Less magnification? Larger exit pupil?
The main suspect is the NL Pure 10x42; great optically, but this super wide AFOV is becoming bittersweet, offering images in the AFOV that can't be examined unless I point the binocular more directly. I don't know if returning them for an SLC 8x56 (more eye relief, larger exit pupil, smaller AFOV, lower mag) or the NL Pure 8x42 (lower mag, larger exit pupil) would minimize this issue. FWIW I tried out a Vortex Crossfire 8x42 at my local store, and while less bothersome, it was still hard to inspect images in the extremities of the AFOV.
To summarize: Would a larger exit pupil, smaller AFOV or less magnification bring me closer to my goal of having my binocular display a circular image that I can let my eyes follow along the field stop edges without the view deteriorating? For example, If I position my view with an in-focus fence post on the edge, is there any pair of binoculars on the market that allow me to inspect the fence post without moving my binocular to position the fence post front and center? Maybe these super-wide AFOV are just meant to catch peripheral movement but not provide further detail until I reposition my binocular?
My ideal AFOV would be more like a window: providing clear and defined field stops while I hold the binocular steady, that allows my eye to roam around the edges of the AFOV/field stop without parts of the display dissolving.
Maybe what I ask for doesn't exist..
Clear Skies and calm viewing,