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Archives of an email list on the history of binoculars. - page 58 / 150





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His technical skills unmentioned.

It is not new to see a gifted and skilled craftsman, turned into a bad manager.

Michael Simonsen   Mikedenmark@___ele.dk


Subject: Re: A Word on Glass Types

From: "William Cook" <billcook50@___l.com>

A word or two on glass choices for prisms.

Consumer optics can be a cutthroat business. The competition is tough and saving a nickel here and there can add up to millions during the course of a year, or the life expectancy of a given binocular model.

Most consumers think optics are “baked by elves in a hollow tree.” They don’t know any more; they don’t WANT to know any more. Consequently, anything they see in print must be true.

My dear mother was illiterate. However, she was a long way from being stupid. When I was 6-years old, she warned me about “cheats” I would meet in the course of my life. After beating my socks off at a card game, she showed me how she had so thoroughly slaughtered me. Then, she looked me in the eyes and said: “Son, you must always remember that there is often MORE in KEEPING SCORE than there is in PLAYING THE GAME.

Any company that can make the consumer belief their fish are fresher than the competition, will, at least temporarily, have the competitive edge.  People like to have the latest and greatest, even when there is not a spoonful of difference between the latest and greatest and the not so latest and far from greatest.

About 10 years ago, one company tried to make a splash in the American market by offering binos with aspheric lenses. The binoculars even touted “aspheric” in the nomenclature (I thought I would throw that word at ‘ya; it gets the military types all goosebumpy). In theory, the binoculars should have been the best on the market. However, “THEORY” is a massive word, and volumes could be written about things that “should have been”!

The fact of the matter was—and I illustrated this to the rep, personally—the binoculars were no match for even an entry level Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss—with traditional spherical optics. In fact, each sample had dust—and in some cases grease—on some of the internal optics. Thus, for “aspheric” to be of value, it needed to be more than a word.

The same can be true for glass types. Yes, BAK4 is a better glass type for some applications than BK7. However, the ‘ole square box in the eyepiece is—at least in my opinion—WAY over emphasized. During the day, our eyes are constricted to the point that the grayed out portion of the bundle is not entering our eyes. At night, our eyes are most sensitive off axis. Yes, it looks good in print. But, is it better for the reasons most often stated? You decide.

So what is the best type of glass for a binocular prism? Yes, I DO know; and my view is hard to debate.

The best glass for binocular prisms is the glass that was chosen to get the most from the curves, spacings and glass types found in the eyepiece and objectives! Binocular and telescope LIST sorts often see things in terms of prisms and lenses. Lens designers see things in terms of whole

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