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Quality has its price !

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:06 am
by Bill Bentley
I have long wanted to upgrade my bino's, of particular interest was to be their ability to see well in poor light conditions. There are any number of so called 'Hunter Bino's' which range from 20 quid up to thousands of pounds !

My old knowledge was that a magnification of x 7 or x 8 was optimal, with the limit on hand held bino's being x 10. This is because the higher the magnification the smaller is the field of view. If the field of view is too small it is hard to locate your target. To increase the field of view you need an ever larger front lens ... which makes the bino's too heavy and bulky to carry or hold steadily for any period of time.

After hours of studying I uncovered a new factor: The size of the front lens divided by the magnification gives a value, so a 10 x 50 gives the value of 5. An 8 x 20 gives the value of 2.5. The point being that the higher this value is, the better is the ability of the bino's to see in poor light ! The highest value in hand held bino's is 7. So usually an 8 x 56 = 7 is an optimal field glass.

Other important factors (which increase the price) are that ALL lenses must have been repeatedly coated. This reduces the loss of light within the bino's. Also the bino's should be 'gas filled' to prevent internal condensation, caused by temperature changes, this of course means that they also have to be air tight. Then of course a good quality rubber outer finish makes for easy, none slip, handling and affords some shock protection.

Not having thousands of pounds to give out, I searched and searched for an affordable compromise. I was delighted to find what should be a very good pair of bino's: The Celestron Skymaster 9 x 63 which boasts all of the required features at the price of 205,- €. (about 165 pounds). That's more than I wanted to give out, but after hours of studying and searching and knowing that 'quality don't come cheap', I have ordered myself a pair.

If anybody is interested I shall be happy to give an update report on their performance in due course.

Bill Bentley 07.01.2015
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Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:41 am
by Ian Neilson
Bill, interesting article.
I had a good pair once that was stolen from my car. Let us know how you go on.
Ian.

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:49 am
by Bob_H
While in East Berlin I bought a pair of Karl Zeiss 10 x 50. Although they served me well I always thought that what I'd purchased were 'seconds' - The clarity always disappointed me.
If anybody is interested I shall be happy to give an update report on their performance in due course.
I don't now have them so I'll look forward to that Bill.
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Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:55 pm
by Bill Bentley
Thanks for the comments,

Arnie,
what is the sky like at your end of the globe ?
Same question on you Ian, living at the opposite end of the globe ?
Here in Europe there is too much air pollution and un-natural light, at night, to get any really good sky-viewings.

Arnie
Your new glasses, with their 10cm front lens must be too heavy to hold steadily for any amount of time. Having just read the pitch of the producer, I found no actual weight mentioned, but there was a reference to 'designed for tripod use' !
When used at the x 10 magnification they must be pretty good for viewing animals etc. in poor-light conditions: 100 -:- 10 is a value of 10.
But when you increase the magnification to x 25 you only have a value of 4 (100 -:- 25 is a value of 4) this is ok for the daylight viewing of animals, but as light fails ... very quickly useless.
If you increase the magnification to x 50, you will need bright sunlight to see much at all, 100 -:- 50 is a value of 2), then again you have more than enough sunshine down under.

It is of course a very different thing viewing a bright star, or the moon, in a black sky. It's all a question of what you want the glasses for.

Regarding the price:
Although the lenses in your glasses are multi coated, I found no mention of the glasses having had the air removed from inside. Air always has moisture in it !
Some glasses advertise 'purged by gas', others 'filled with gas', both will remove the air and so the moisture from inside.
Picking at the words I read purged to mean 'cleaned out - removed', but there is no mention of 'prevention of moisture re-entering the glasses'. Whereas 'gas filled' implies 'locked in' and so 'sealed' and this is very important as it should prevent air-moisture from re-entering the glasses. Of course each of these improvements cost ever more money, but each step will improve the useful longevity of the glasses and that's what you pay for.

If there is air in your glasses and the temperature changes, the air (and or gas) will shrink and expand. In the case of air the moisture will condense on the inside of the lenses. As there is no moisture in the gas used this can not happen. The moisture will of course evaporate again when warmed, but it will leave a thin film of dirt on the lenses INSIDE of the glasses! Every time this happens the layer of dirt gets ever thicker. So it seems to be all a question of 'the quality of the the seals' which must be able to withstand positive and negative pressures. This is why extreme heat and cold risk bursting the seals (expansion and contraction of the gas inside) and so should be avoided !

Bob, maybe this was the problem with your C.Z. glasses.

My glasses have just arrived, outside it is just above zero and as soon as the packet was opened the glasses fogged up - on the outside ! First impression is that they are BIG and weigh 1,2 kg. That said, I find holding them in front of the main-body, on the tube, quite comfortable and well balanced. Comparing them to my old 8 x 20 pocket glasses it's, well, like day and night, there is no comparison, I can now see details, whereas before I could see the animal, I can now look it in the eye ! That's a chicken at 50m and with my eyes, which have not been very good for years, a great improvement. Looking through the scrub and beyond, across the fields, the forest is no longer a dark strip on the horizon, I can see the individual tree-trunks at about 1,500 metres. I'm looking forward to dusk when I shall see just how good they are in the dark.
It has not taken long to notice that I can see the shake in my hands, perhaps the 8 x 56, (lighter, compacter and cheaper) with all of the other features, would have been better as a field glass. That said I do most of my observation from the comfort of home, from my verandah and so I can support my arms on the table if needed.

I used to have a telescope and spent many hours moon gazing, but as ever the pressures of other things to do ... I'm still very much in to using the moon calendar for much of my garden work.

I've mentioned this before but do check out the site 'spaceweather.com' it keeps you up to date on what is happening in outer-space today, a bit like the TV Times for the galaxy and they show a great many stunning pictures which the profi's have managed to take with their special equipment.

I'll post more in due course.

Bill

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:43 pm
by Bob_H
Arnie - it appears that I may inadvertently removed one of your posts whilst trying to solve a problem that Bill experienced. Apologies - please re-post it.

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:27 pm
by Bill Bentley
Arnie,
I was having real problems trying to post my previous reply, so I contacted Bob and he did some testing and somehow your mail got erased. He has asked me to relay his apologies, it was not at all intentional ! It seems that the computer could not accept an equals sign in the manner that I had posted it. (I have had to write the word and not use the sign because it has again refused to accept the sign). Most odd but that's high-tech for you. Sorry from me too !

As dusk crept in, I went out several times to test my new binos and I must say I am most impressed.

While I can easily see the neighbours barn about 60 metres away, through my bino's I can still count the bricks in the wall ! The light magnification is amazing. It is a miserable foggy evening with rain and not much residual light, but I can still clearly see details on my bee hives between 20 and 50 metres away. Without the bino's I can barely make out their silhouette. Also in the rabbit pens I can easily see the huts and were there any rabbits in there (they're all in the deep freeze at this time of year) I am certain that I would be able to see them and they're about 70 metres away.

This is exactly what I had hoped for ! In total darkness of course there is no visibility, so I'm keen to have the next hunters moon and see how that goes.

We now have wolves as well as foxes, boar, deer, raccoons and weasels to contend with and without the glasses it's been impossible to identify exactly why the dogs have been alerted. Now I have a far better chance of identifying and dealing with the culprit.

I had previously tried one of those cheap night vision sights but they are nothing like what we knew as the IWS. For that quality you have to lay down thousands.

At the next opportunity I shall do some star gazing and report back again in due course.
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Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:02 am
by Arnie
Hi Bill,

condensation in Western Australia is minimal, except in the winter (June July and August).

I had some C Z binos when I was a Private Investigator (1980s - 90s) They were great for seeing if anyone was lurking in shadows and such, and for seeing house and vehicle numbers at a distance. Also for identifying the subject at night, there is nothing worse than following the wrong person.

Bill I will look up that site you mentioned and see if it helps in the Southern Hemisphere. When I get the right software I can start photography. It seems you don't watch the sky through the eyepiece of the telescope or the camera eyepiece, but through the laptop. Take about 400 shots in 30 minutes (automatic and the computer in the telescope tracks the star or galaxy you are taking) and then this software helps you produce those wonderful multi-coloured shots you see of the sky taken by NASA or the Hubble (scaled down somewhat as my budget don't run to the sort they have).

I look forward to some interesting, and sometimes frustrating nights. Its a good job I have an understanding wife.

Hi Bob,
It seems Bill saw my post before a certain vandal removed it. Long live the certain vandal, keep up the good work.


Arnie :D :D :D :D :D (P.S. Bob don't delete)

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:02 am
by Bob_H
Hi Bob,
It seems Bill saw my post before a certain vandal removed it. Long live the certain vandal, keep up the good work.
Arnie :D :D :D :D :D (P.S. Bob don't delete)
I hereby promise :)

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:40 am
by Bill Bentley
Arnie,

are you telling me that one does not actually see those incredible pictures that get 'produced', their being more computer images than what the eye can see ?

I have had similar effects with a normal camera (paper pictures not digital images): That looks good, snap, snap. Then when the photo's get developed they look very different to what I saw at the time, sometimes better, sometimes not as good as I remembered.

Is it that our eyes are inferior to the eye of the camera / computer, or are they decieving us into thinking there is 'more than meets the eye' ?

I find it hard to understand why, I can see thé super photo or computer image, but couldn't see what they saw at the time of taking. I am aware that the brain can trick us into seeing 'expected images' when we see something 'unexpected' or something we have never seen before ... but that's another story.

That you of all people want to get involved with bloody computer imaging of the stars ... me thinks you just want to do a recce of your next posting ... no, no, don't kick me so hard Sgt-major :lol:

Love to Bren, you are a lucky old boy !


PS: Just for anyone who can't follow my drift, check out the following web-site:

http://brainden.com/optical-illusions.htm

that will keep you busy for a while !
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Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:54 am
by Phil(Quassie)Baldwin
Norris on Coranation St has a Tablet that does that

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:36 pm
by Arnie
Bill,

go on to Google and type in "Forrest Tanaka". Have a look at his 3 short videos on astrophotography. The system is called 'stacking'. Quite interesting.

If you want to see computer trickery in practice have a look on Youtube. Type in "9/11 No Planes Watch proof Docus".

Must get back to the TV have been fascinated by whats happening in France at the moment.

Arnie :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:37 pm
by Bill Bentley
Arnie,

I did as you advised and searched for "Forrest Tanaka" - but I used our own Noah's Arc search machine and got it first time. All I can say is, I wish I had had such a good teacher as this guy when I was in school. Everything he says is absolutly understandable, but after 10 mins and after reaching the telescopes I switched him off. My rather simple little world just does not have the room or time in it to start a new hobby. Interesting, fascinating but literally out of my world ! It was sort of cool though that he recommended 'Celestron', the manufacturer of my bino's, makes me feel confident that I made the right choice.

I'm glad for you that you have found a new interest in life, that's the advantage of having moved into a small flat with no other concerns. As you know we have built our own retirement home and it is perfect and we have just so many animals and have committed ourselves to producing almost all of our own food so that there is little chance or will to do anything else.

Each to his own eh !

I shall be content to star-gaze with my new bino's and try and elimanate a fox or two and anything else that might ever manage to get past my fences etc..

Stay safe !
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Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:45 pm
by Bill Bentley
Well, who would have thought ? We have been having a fairly heavy wind/ rain storm for a few days now and tonight, as if to order, a star-lit sky. I was out in a flash, just finished my roast spuds and lamb with red cabbage and sauce, delicious ! A half a glass of good red wine still waiting for me inside but I had to go out. I stayed out until the lazy wind drove me back inside. (A wind that goes right through you is too lazy to go around you !) I can only say I am most impressed. I can identify several star groups for the purpose of navigation anyway, but I have never seen so many stars beyond what the naked eye can see. My binos are brilliant, better than my old telescope !

Whether the extra 7mm on the front lens and the magnification of 'one more' than the 8x56, makes them that much better I can't say. The 9 x 63 are slightly heavy in my hands and I'm no weakling, so for normal imortals I would recommend the 8x56 with all of the other features mentioned throughout this thread. Now I'm going to finish off my glass of wine, get into my wind tight clobber and go star-gazing, if mother nature allows that is.

The End.

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:24 pm
by Bill Bentley
Simply got to add this as it's as infectious as an itch.

Many people don't realise that the first bright object that we can usually see in the sky (AT NIGHT !) is in fact the planet Venus and not a star at all. She is very bright and currently almost due west of us, just over the horizon, in the early evening sky. What is special at the moment is, Mars is passing just above her. Last nigtht I could see both with the naked eye, which is remarkable with my eyesight. Through my new bino's Venus appeared to have rings around her (Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light) and I could identify the red hint (more orange) of Mars. This is only happening for another couple of day, so if the sky is clear go outside and fire up your fantasy. If anyone sees any 'green objects' try drinking Brandy instead of Absinthe: "la fée verte" :lol: :lol: !

More details on: spaceweather.com

My bino's have also proved their worth as a night viewing sight, much better than a cheap so called 'night sight'. With very little remaining light I can see quite well into the darkest corners, it's almost spooky what one can see ! Remove the bino's and one can't see a thing, look through the binos and it's like looking at a black and white photo, perfect for my purpose !

Re: Quality has its price !

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:50 am
by Ged Preston
Now just to add to the confusion has anyone thought of fitting them with IR.