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Unboxing brand new Canon 18x50IS

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#1 Astronoob76

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:03 AM

Hi guys and gals,

just received my Canon 18x50IS and I thought I'd share a few pics (I downsized them, so I hope it won't slow down loading times too much wink.gif).

The bino comes in a rather minimalistic box:

08k0t.jpg

Who needs a manual anyway?

1cj11.jpg

 

The bag is also rather cheapo for such an expensive product, but I already bought an aluminium foam-lined case for it in advance anyway and with the lense hoods it won't fit in the bag anymore. The strange pattern comes from the camera in combination with reducing the pic size it seems. It doesn't look as psychedelic in real life laugh.gif.

f4jq2.jpg

 

But I didn't buy this thing for the bag or the box:

22jhr.jpg

ajj9o.jpg

 

A bit of a bummer -- it's no longer made in Japan but in Taiwan:

49kab.jpg

 

Lense hoods attached -- 58mm will fit.

e9jx9.jpg

 

After unboxing it immediately fogged up because of the temperature difference. So the first look was like: "Whaaat?! They sent me a defective one!!"

But it cleared up fast enough.

obks0.jpg

 

Of course it's cloudy here for weeks already -- it even snowed today. So all I could do, was watch the nearby marina. And pressing the button -- oh yes, the magic does happen! It does make a small "click" then it's all silent. And even while standing the image was very steady. I guess that might change for astronomy but I intend to use a zero gravity chair anyway.

 

Some first thoughts:

-- the eyecups are not as horrible as I expected but that might be my anatomy -- they fit okay for me -- the real problem is that they are too long and you can't get the full FoV -- it seems that the two major companies making IS-binos, Zeiss and Canon, don't seem to see the necessity of upgrading the overall design of their binos -- probably because they lack competition

-- the brick-shape feels actually comfy and secure in my hands. I have large hands so that might help -- my hands wrap nicely around it and the fingers touch on the top and the thumbs on the bottom. Feels like it's made for my hands.

-- Can't say much about the weight yet and wether it will pose a problem -- I'll have to wait till pointing it up at the night sky for longer periods

-- it does however feel much more "solid" than I had anticipated. Not "plasticky" or cheap at all.

-- the eyecups might be a dust-magnet however

-- the strap is as cheap as the bag but that's fine with me, seems solid enough to securely hold it around my neck and it does have some padding

-- focus wheel is smooth and easy to turn

-- even with fast panning I couldn't produce much if any lag

-- the depth of focus is rather shallow but a small turn of the focusser "pops" the view into focus very nicely

-- it didn't need "settling time" for the IS to do the magic, the effect was instant, no going in and out of focus -- at least not for terrestrial view as far as I could tell so far

-- optical quality seems top notch but I can't wait to compare it to the DDoptics "Pirschler" 15x56 with Abbe-Koenig-prisms that I ordered and that should arrive tomorrow -- it was on sale so the decicion was easy and I still got slightly mixed feelings about electronics in binoculars -- however, I am 45 years old and if they last 20 years, that is good enough for me. I was just not ready to splunge out the really big bucks for the Zeiss 20x60S.

 

So that was just the first impressions after unboxing and using it for maybe 10 minutes. As soon as the skies clear up, I will update this thread with my impressions.

Thanks for reading and CLEAR SKIES!


Edited by Astronoob76, 30 November 2021 - 02:40 PM.

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#2 Cali

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:18 AM

~$1,400.00, yes?


Edited by Cali, 30 November 2021 - 11:19 AM.


#3 Astronoob76

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:54 AM

They are on sale in Germany for 1,100 € which would be around 1,243 US$ currently :).

#4 chakel

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:23 PM

That seems to be a fair price.  I’ve had mine since 2003 and they still perform as new.


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#5 garret

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:23 PM

 

They are on sale in Germany for 1,100 € which would be around 1,243 US$ currently smile.gif.

 

1100,=  including 20% tax?  (MwSt) 



#6 Astronoob76

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:47 PM

Yes, including tax.

#7 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 08:19 AM

-- optical quality seems top notch but I can't wait to compare it to the DDoptics "Pirschler" 15x56 with Abbe-Koenig-prisms that I ordered and that should arrive tomorrow -- it was on sale so the decicion was easy and I still got slightly mixed feelings about electronics in binoculars -- however, I am 45 years old and if they last 20 years, that is good enough for me. I was just not ready to splunge out the really big bucks for the Zeiss 20x60S.

Hi there!

 

Do you plan on hand-holding your Pirschler 15x56s? This might make a big difference when comparing with the Canon IS. I'm curious for your reviews!


Edited by GateauxEtVelos, 02 December 2021 - 08:19 AM.


#8 Astronoob76

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 09:15 AM

I had a small window of clear skies yesterday night. But it was only maybe an hour or so. So that was basically "first light" at least first star light for the Canon. And the Pirschler arrived, too.

The IS-button is just amazing. Especially since I don't have one really good observation spot. For different targets I need to go to different locations in the garden depending on the hour of course. So yesterday -- M31 was at the zenith. Amazing view with the Canon. Same for M42 -- for which I had to go to another spot in the garden. Using the IS feature while standing will of course still be miles better than without the IS but it's not the optimum compared to using a zero gravity chair. The IS works no matter where you point the bino. Watching planes in flight was also quite impressive. I could see the lighted windows of the plane passing over me. A detail I had never seen before.

I hope there will at least be some opportunity to use them tonight.

The Pirschler was also fairly impressive. I think it actually shows slightly more stars than the Canon due to the larger aperture and the 92 % transmission rate. But it's hard to tell. I need to mount the Pirschler to really compare the optical quality to the Canon.

I think, I also should start another thread about the Pirschler. Seems very nice so far. Very bright and sharp and nicely balanced in the hands. So it does work to some extent without a tripod or monopod.


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#9 dave3006

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:11 PM

I love my Canon 10x42L and I would buy the 18x50s today regardless of price if they didn't have the worst eye cups ever put on a pair of binoculars.  The person that designed these and the person that approved the design should be fired immediately from Canon and put in forced labor. 

 

They are horrible. 


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#10 Astronoob76

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:41 PM

I just fold them down to use the maximum FoV. They'll probably break at some point but I already ordered a bino bandit for it.
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#11 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 05:46 AM

Thank you for the quick review of both binoculars ! Those Canon IS seem very exciting, I look forward to trying them one day!



#12 Astronoob76

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 05:57 AM

It's my pleasure. Unfortunately still no clear skies. So at the moment all my binos are used for a little birding or watching river cruise ships go by. Watching birds in flight is great with the IS activated. I think it also compensates for the narrow FoV.
And the Pirschler definitely deserves a proper review. Seems really great so far. Unfortunately I don't own any "alphas" to compare. I guess I need to visit that one friend of mine who recently bought a Swaro. But that's an older model.
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#13 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 08:24 AM

It's my pleasure. Unfortunately still no clear skies. So at the moment all my binos are used for a little birding or watching river cruise ships go by. Watching birds in flight is great with the IS activated. I think it also compensates for the narrow FoV.
And the Pirschler definitely deserves a proper review. Seems really great so far. Unfortunately I don't own any "alphas" to compare. I guess I need to visit that one friend of mine who recently bought a Swaro. But that's an older model.

Wishing you clear skies soon! I'm also expecting the same Pirschler binoculars next week. It'll be exciting to compared day and night viewing with them on the monopod



#14 Astronoob76

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 08:35 AM

Nice! I'll be very interested in your impressions once you get the Pirschler.

#15 Escape Pod

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 04:45 PM

Following as well! I’ll be interested to learn whether/how image stabilization impacts viewing in zero gravity. Even more of a spacewalk, I imagine.



#16 Astronoob76

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 06:00 AM

Still no clear skies but at least I was able to do a little bird watching out of the kitchen window (not ideal because of the 50 yrs old windows) - there was a group of 5 geese on a field and there was some snow over night - perfect for testing chromatic abberation. I'm glad to report - there is almost none. Not even off axis. The Canon even wiped the floor with the Pirschler and its fancy AK prisms (unfortunately). They did show some green fringing. The view through the Canon was excellent. So the ED glass (AFAIK they have one ED lense in each barrel while the 10x42L has two) in combination with the porro prisms in the Canon seem to do a very good job in suppressing CA.

#17 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 05:41 PM

How impressive of the Canons! Does this IS model also have a flat field of view? I would see that as essential at the high price point. Do you also confirm how uncomfortable the eyecups are to use?

 

It's a little sad to hear that the Abbe–Koenig prisms of the Pirschlers don't further suppress CA, but here's me hoping that the system mostly helps to create a bright image at that magnification. I have heard that IPD is critical with these Pirschlers in order to totally eliminate CA, but that requires some testing to prove



#18 Astronoob76

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 04:22 AM

Yes, the Canon does have 2 field flattener lenses in each tube.
Each tube consists of
Objective: 4 lenses in 3 groups (including one ED element)
Eyepiece: 7 lenses in 5 groups (including 2 field flatteners)
I think someone on this forum wrote that they are basically alpha level optics with the IS as sugar on top. But AFAIK only the 15x50,18x50 and 10x42L (which is optically even more high-end) have ED glass.
The eyecups are not horrible, they are simply too long so you cannot see the whole FoV. But my bino bandit arrived yesterday, so I just keep the eyecups folded down.
One word about the Pirschler - I love it so far. Aside from the chromatic abberation (which IMO is not that bad - it is just more visible than on the Canon but the Canon costs twice as much - 3 times as much when paying full retail price and it's made of plastic) the quality is top notch. It's very bright, edge to edge sharpness is excellent. And it's a joy to use. I even consider getting another DDoptics bino - the 8x56 "Nachtfalke" GEN 2.
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#19 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 05:43 PM

I was able to thoroughly test out the 15 x 56 Pirschlers today and wanted to share some first impressions with you! This is also my first time reviewing binoculars, I'll make a separate post after a few hours of getting comfortable with these

 

I was out bird-watching until Dusk before being able to observe the moon and Jupiter. The weather was a mix of clear skies and partially cloudy.

  • Eye relief is terrific. Using eyeglasses with the binoculars was not an issue. Without glasses, the eyecups feel incredibly solid (metal with rubber coating). The eyecups even withstood the stresses of hosting a phone adapter without flex or dents after use. All of this really feels premium.
  • I can confirm that chromatic aberration is present. It's a whole lot less visible than I had anticipated, especially given the magnification, but you have to look for the CA in order to find it. I found that adjusting my IPD as well as the position of my eyes around the eyecups gave varying levels of CA. During the day, focusing on branches with a bright but cloudy background gave the most CA yet it still felt very minimal. At night, CA was not visible on the Moon but gave a slight purple tint to Jupiter. For night time use, these binoculars compare well to my Pentax Papillio II x8,5 in their ability to limit CA. What truly makes the CA so easy to detect in some scenarios is the fact that the purple and green hues of the abberation contrast stronger with a bright grey or blue sky than the usual blue and red hues found in traditional lens coatings. This also means that the very same purple and green hues are much harder to detect when looking through bushes and other greenery. I can see this being particularly useful for the marketed hunting crowd as well as birdwatchers.
  • Image: I'm genuinely impressed at how this 15x56 format, coatings and AK prisms come together to create an image that doesn't get dimmer despite the high magnification.
  • The metal dioptre ring feels incredibly solid. Adjusting it felt smooth between -2 and +4 but between -4 and -2 you can feel the mechanism connected to the ring at work. This did not affect its ability to be adjusted easily and precisely but it does make a faint noise of gears connecting. The main focusing knob suffers the same issue when trying to focus very fast
  • The focus knob feels decent! It has that necessary resistance so that you don't overset and cause more eyestrain trying to refocus. It could do with being a little looser though as the metal focus knob feels rough on the fingers after a few hours of daytime use. Ideal for gloves though! The strange DDoptics "Smart Focus" feature states that when focusing at 100m distance, the focus knob's silver line is more or less facing vertical and "the eye automatically adjusts itself to a distance of 50m or more without refocusing". Other than the silver line being upright when focused at 100m, I have yet to see the rest of this feature appear when in use. I was only able to refocus with my eyes from a range of 80-100m. Further testing required, I'd love your input on this!
  • Edge Sharpness: When viewing the night sky, stars in the outer 20% are a little out of focus (focus is closer on outer edge). For day use, I barely noticed this! Impressive. These definitely don't have a flat image but for fast panning on birds in the forest, this was far from distracting. Definitely impressive considering the FOV from these! At night the curved edge was less noticeable, albeit clearly out of focus as mentioned for the brightest stars.
  • Tripod Adapter Thread: I have been having a real struggle with this, which is a shame considering how essential this adapter thread is for use with a monopod. The dual-bridge design of the Pirschler means that, like many roof binoculars, we're stuck with an adapter thread right at the front. I settled for an Opticron L-shaped "roof-type" adapter which feels very solid and allows a slightly more balanced placement of the binoculars on the quick release base of my monopod. Only issue: the binoculars rotate themselves free and sag. After a lot of trial and error, I traded the included plastic washer for a rubber alternative that holds up a lot better. The fix means that I can now adjust the IPD without having to re-tighten the adapter screw.
  • Dual bridge design: I'm actually impressed how useful this has been! The binoculars genuinely feel great in the hand and I can expect the lower magnification models to be very fun for most people. The main bridge being thinner on a dual-bridge design means that when not in use, you can hold these binoculars firmly with one hand: your index finger rests on the focus knob while your middle/ring/little fingers support together the weight of the binoculars. It feels comfortable! Sadly all of these benefits don't see much use on such a high magnification model, since these spend most of their time on a monopod or fixed to a superclamp for stargazing.

Edited by GateauxEtVelos, 08 December 2021 - 05:48 PM.

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#20 Astronoob76

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for your impressions! We really need to start a new thread on these, I guess :D. Nobody's gonna find the info in here :lol:.

I agree about the tripod adapter. I already knew, I'd never attache that anyway so I got one of those cheapo velcro thingies from a brand called "Gosky".

https://www.amazon.d...39068067&sr=8-4

The smart focus works not as advertised -- I guess, Henry was right about that. For me it works from about 20 meters out for maybe 2 kilometers (looked it up on google maps) but definitely not to infinity. And the marking on the focus wheel is not in the position where the smart focus works for me. So the whole advertising about being able to feel the raised marking in the dark so you can easily use the smart focus would not work. I'm pretty certain it will work for the lower magnification versions however, like the 8x56.


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#21 GateauxEtVelos

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 12:05 PM

I'll definitely get round to making a thread about these after some further testing grin.gif

Your "platform" tripod adapter definitely makes more sense in general for these binoculars. In my case, the whole monopod + binoculars setup needs to be as light and portable as possible (I regularly do 25-60 kilometres of cycling with my equipment to reach ideal birding spots). I will be persistent in finding a solid solution for the tripod adapter thread. Currently the adapter doesn't come loose. I next need it to not sag at all.

 

Regarding the smart focus: what a great point that the feature was likely optimised for the 8x magnification model! Hopefully we can have confirmation from an 8x user soon


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#22 Astronoob76

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 12:33 PM

Regarding the smart focus: what a great point that the feature was likely optimised for the 8x magnification model! Hopefully we can have confirmation from an 8x user soon

Supposedly the Kite Cervus HD 8x56 which got in today is technically the same as the Pirschler 8x56 in a different body (that is info from binocular.ch). And indeed -- on the Kite it works that way and also on my Porst Ultra 9x63. The focus on those is more or less "set and forget". I focussed the Porst on a power line in about 2 km distance and it was sharp between 15 m and infinity. It seems that feature only works on lower magnifications as Henry pointed out in another thread. My vintage 7x35 Kamakura works the same. Only for real close-up views do I ever need to touch the focus wheel on that one.


Edited by Astronoob76, 09 December 2021 - 12:38 PM.


#23 Masonry00

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 07:58 PM

Hi guys and gals,

just received my Canon 18x50IS and I thought I'd share a few pics (I downsized them, so I hope it won't slow down loading times too much wink.gif).

The bino comes in a rather minimalistic box:

 

Who needs a manual anyway?

 

 

The bag is also rather cheapo for such an expensive product, but I already bought an aluminium foam-lined case for it in advance anyway and with the lense hoods it won't fit in the bag anymore. The strange pattern comes from the camera in combination with reducing the pic size it seems. It doesn't look as psychedelic in real life laugh.gif.

 

 

But I didn't buy this thing for the bag or the box:

 

 

 

A bit of a bummer -- it's no longer made in Japan but in Taiwan:

 

 

Lense hoods attached -- 58mm will fit.

 

 

After unboxing it immediately fogged up because of the temperature difference. So the first look was like: "Whaaat?! They sent me a defective one!!"

But it cleared up fast enough.

 

 

Of course it's cloudy here for weeks already -- it even snowed today. So all I could do, was watch the nearby marina. And pressing the button -- oh yes, the magic does happen! It does make a small "click" then it's all silent. And even while standing the image was very steady. I guess that might change for astronomy but I intend to use a zero gravity chair anyway.

 

Some first thoughts:

-- the eyecups are not as horrible as I expected but that might be my anatomy -- they fit okay for me -- the real problem is that they are too long and you can't get the full FoV -- it seems that the two major companies making IS-binos, Zeiss and Canon, don't seem to see the necessity of upgrading the overall design of their binos -- probably because they lack competition

-- the brick-shape feels actually comfy and secure in my hands. I have large hands so that might help -- my hands wrap nicely around it and the fingers touch on the top and the thumbs on the bottom. Feels like it's made for my hands.

-- Can't say much about the weight yet and wether it will pose a problem -- I'll have to wait till pointing it up at the night sky for longer periods

-- it does however feel much more "solid" than I had anticipated. Not "plasticky" or cheap at all.

-- the eyecups might be a dust-magnet however

-- the strap is as cheap as the bag but that's fine with me, seems solid enough to securely hold it around my neck and it does have some padding

-- focus wheel is smooth and easy to turn

-- even with fast panning I couldn't produce much if any lag

-- the depth of focus is rather shallow but a small turn of the focusser "pops" the view into focus very nicely

-- it didn't need "settling time" for the IS to do the magic, the effect was instant, no going in and out of focus -- at least not for terrestrial view as far as I could tell so far

-- optical quality seems top notch but I can't wait to compare it to the DDoptics "Pirschler" 15x56 with Abbe-Koenig-prisms that I ordered and that should arrive tomorrow -- it was on sale so the decicion was easy and I still got slightly mixed feelings about electronics in binoculars -- however, I am 45 years old and if they last 20 years, that is good enough for me. I was just not ready to splunge out the really big bucks for the Zeiss 20x60S.

 

So that was just the first impressions after unboxing and using it for maybe 10 minutes. As soon as the skies clear up, I will update this thread with my impressions.

Thanks for reading and CLEAR SKIES!

Thanks for your impressions!

 

I received mine Wednesday and agree with all of your observations except mine seems to have an issue with the focuser. And they did come with a manual booklet.

 

The focus wheel turns smoothly and with a nice medium-light pressure. However, there is 18 degrees of free play with no pressure when changing focus direction. I determined it was 18 degrees by noticing there are 20 ribs around the focus wheel and I can turn the focuser one entire rib in each direction with no pressure and without changing the focus. 360 degree/20 = 18 degrees. That is a HUGE amount of free play, high quality instruments generally have no detectable play and even the cheapest binoculars generally won't have anything near this.

 

Optically they are perfect as far as I can tell so far so I'm hoping I can repair them myself and get rid of the focus free

play. I'm pretty good at working on precision and/or delicate things but I have very little experience/knowledge of binoculars in particular.


Edited by Masonry00, 10 December 2021 - 08:18 PM.

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#24 Masonry00

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 08:17 PM

It was raining and grey when my new 18x50 IS arrived. But I unboxed them, installed batteries, noticed the disappointing amount of play in the focus wheel and checked the grey, rainy scene out for a few minutes through a window from the warm dryness inside. With the last light of the grey, wet day fading, I set them aside and walked outside to get my mail. Looking south, I saw a hole in the clouds and a half moon with Jupiter shining brightly a few degrees to the right. 

 

I quickly retrieved the binoculars and was rewarded with a rather spectacular view of the half moon, with no detectable CA and Jupiter looming rather large for a hand-held view with three moons, sharp and bright. The view was awesome and could not have been replicated without a tripod or image stabilization.

 

Nice!


Edited by Masonry00, 10 December 2021 - 08:19 PM.

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#25 Astronoob76

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 11:46 PM

@masonry00
Congrats on getting one of these! I have to check mine now for that focus play. Will let you know...
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