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How much better is HD glass

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 12:35
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In a similar product such as Swarovski SLC vs SLC HD Binoculars, or Zeiss Conquest riflescopes Vs the HD product about what percentage is gained from HD? I'm talking about comparisons outside of a store.
Thanks,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 13:15
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It isn't a percentage.

Typically HD refers to the inclusion of extra low dispersion lens elements in the objective assembly that reduces chromatic abberation (color fringing). This positively affects many areas of optical performance including apparent resolution and apparent contrast. the HD in the products you listed refers to this type of HD rather than the other Heavy Duty type of HD.

It improves the image quality, if the design is executed properly. If it is worth it or not is an individual preference.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 15:14
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To add to an already excellent definition by Matt,HD is an industry pharse meaning that a certain amount of Florite Crystall coating has been added to enhance color rendition.I beleive the only company that uses an all florite glass on their spotting scope is KOWA on their top of the line TSN 880 series! The reason is that florite is very fragile.
 
Zeiss makes a scope called Victory Diavary FL.which is about as good as it gets for long distance shooting.Hopefully Ilya will jump in and share his wealth of knolwege on the subject.
 
My answer to the original question is the glass difference worth it?When I owned a Zeiss FL ,I thought so till I looked through my now owned Zeiss Heinsoldt.FL glass is about as good as it gets but it does have it's place.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 15:22
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Originally posted by stickbow46 stickbow46 wrote:

To add to an already excellent definition by Matt,HD is an industry pharse meaning that a certain amount of Florite Crystall coating has been added to enhance color rendition.I beleive the only company that uses an all florite glass on their spotting scope is KOWA on their top of the line TSN 880 series! The reason is that florite is very fragile.
 
Zeiss makes a scope called Victory Diavary FL.which is about as good as it gets for long distance shooting.Hopefully Ilya will jump in and share his wealth of knolwege on the subject.
 
My answer to the original question is the glass difference worth it?When I owned a Zeiss FL ,I thought so till I looked through my now owned Zeiss Heinsoldt.FL glass is about as good as it gets but it does have it's place.


You are correct on the Kowa Fluorite Lens Stickbow.

Peddler CoolCoolCool
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 16:02
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Actually,
HD refers to flourite (or another ED ingredient) is in the composition of the actual glass, not a coating. 
 
Kowa does use a flourite crystal in the 88mm Prominar.  Although rumored to be brittle, it seems like Kowa doesn't have much problem with it, from what I gather.  I know some military units are using them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 16:29
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If you're into long range shooting/spotting, or digiscoping with your spotter, HD can help quite a bit.  For general hunting, Im not sure it's necessary, but the views through high end, high mag HD spotters can be phenomenal, particular that Prominar 884.  Remember HD/ED glass is used by companies as a marketing term too, as there are many grades of ED/HD glass out there.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 16:35
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My eyes have been impressed looking through a KOWA spotting scope at 300 yard bullet holes in a target on a warm humid day.

I appreciate you guys sharing your knowledge and expertise.
 
I'm thinking I may update my Conquest scope which seems to have only mediocre glass. I'll probably just keep the Swaro SLC Neu that seems to have an extraordinary view for my 67 year old eyes. Does that sound like a good choice specifically on these two products?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 17:31
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Actually, "HD" is a marketing term that doesn't necessarily mean fluoride lens elements were used anywhere in the design. It simply means "high definition," and rather than specifying specific lens types used, the term simply refers to the result of the combined attributes of the optical design.

Having said that, "HD"-termed optics may indeed employ fluoride (FL) lenses in their design in order to achieve the "high def" distinction, but not necessarily. It may mean the optic has "ED" (extra-low dispersion) glass, which also may or may not include FL glass. Oxides of rare earth elements are often used instead of fluoride in ED glass, for example.

Other terms besides "HD," "ED," and "FL" to denote high def, low dispersion optics also includes "APO" (apochromatic), which refers to multiple elements of different types of glass designed to bring varying wavelengths of light to the same focal point. Further confusing things, sometimes, these terms are used together. However, regardless of the terminology used or the method employed to get there, the intent of these optics is the same: reducing chromatic aberration (CA) so that resolution isn't compromised by these color fringes at the boundaries of high contrast objects being viewed.

The degree to which there is a noticeable difference between HD vs. non-HD versions of the same optic will naturally vary with which optics are being compared, what design elements were used in its construction to justify calling it "HD," the integrity of the company making the claims, the magnifications/ focal lengths being compared, and on and on. It's virtually impossible to say "Company A's" HD optic is "better" than "Company B's" non-HD optic, because the fact is, some brands non-HD stuff is better than other brands so-called "HD" optics. Such is the nature of marketing hype.

When you're comparing the "HD" versions of high-end optics vs. their previous generation "non-HD" versions of the SAME basic optic design, generally the difference is subtle and not immediately apparent to the average person (provided the two optics being compared are of the same basic design generation). For a picky person with really high standards who readily notices CA, the difference may be more significant. Even though it's impossible to quantify the "improvements" in HD/ED/FL/APO optics across the board as a whole category, if I were forced to, I'd say 5% or less, just for the sake of establishing some context. This also assumes you're comparing HD vs. non-HD optics from the same manufacturer, as obviously not everyone's version of "HD" is created equal; not even close. This also assumes you are able to see CA in images; not everyone can.

One thing is for certain: just like with engine horsepower and rifle accuracy, at some price point, getting very slight optical improvements comes at a steep price penalty as the law of diminishing returns rears its ugly head.




Edited by RifleDude - February/05/2013 at 17:36
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 17:42
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Originally posted by MikeT MikeT wrote:

 
I'm thinking I may update my Conquest scope which seems to have only mediocre glass. I'll probably just keep the Swaro SLC Neu that seems to have an extraordinary view for my 67 year old eyes. Does that sound like a good choice specifically on these two products?


Definitely yes on the second part of your question; Swaro SLC Neu is world class.

On the first, if Conquest only has mediocre image quality to you, then you have really high standards, so get ready to spend some serious jingle. To truly see a significant improvement over Conquest-level optics, you're gonna need to get into the $1K + level scopes. If you're prepared to do that, fine, but be forewarned, things start getting really expensive, really fast.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 17:47
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

If you're into long range shooting/spotting, or digiscoping with your spotter, HD can help quite a bit.  For general hunting, Im not sure it's necessary, but the views through high end, high mag HD spotters can be phenomenal, particular that Prominar 884.  Remember HD/ED glass is used by companies as a marketing term too, as there are many grades of ED/HD glass out there.  
 
An optic well-corrected for CA can help in many hunting situations that show a lot of high-contrast areas.  I particularly appreciate low CA when hunting the snowy burns of MT.  Even through high-end non-HD glass, it can look like the burned area is still on fire with CA.  If I only hunted low-contrast areas, I would probably get by just fine without.
 
OP,
 
The SLC neu is one of the best non-HD bins available for CA correction, IMO, but I certainly noticed lower CA levels in the SLC HD.  The Meopta Meostar HD also has excellent CA control, especially in the center of the FOV.  I mention this, because it otherwise has a very similar view to the SLC neu, and is priced under $1000. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 18:04
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I get so excited when all these terms are used...


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 20:38
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"chromatic aberration" ... has a kind of a chewy feel to it... doesn't it...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 20:52
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Here you go... enjoy... this is an excellent "discussion" of chromatic aberration...
It is photography oriented, but photogs are much more demanding than us simple rifle scope users.  Most of us don't really care if it is a little blurry with purple or green "fringe" when the bullet enters...  The target certainly doesn't care...
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 21:40
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That's an excellent discussion of CA.

I can tolerate certain flaws in rifle scope optics (depending on the price paid for the scope, of course), but when it comes to strictly "observational" optics -- binos, spotters -- I'm just as picky as photogs with regards to CA, excessive linear distortions, flare, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 21:41
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Yea, but you're WEIRD...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 22:01
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Actually, "HD" is a marketing term that doesn't necessarily mean fluoride lens elements were used anywhere in the design. It simply means "high definition," and rather than specifying specific lens types used, the term simply refers to the result of the combined attributes of the optical design.

Having said that, "HD"-termed optics may indeed employ fluoride (FL) lenses in their design in order to achieve the "high def" distinction, but not necessarily. It may mean the optic has "ED" (extra-low dispersion) glass, which also may or may not include FL glass. Oxides of rare earth elements are often used instead of fluoride in ED glass, for example.

Other terms besides "HD," "ED," and "FL" to denote high def, low dispersion optics also includes "APO" (apochromatic), which refers to multiple elements of different types of glass designed to bring varying wavelengths of light to the same focal point. Further confusing things, sometimes, these terms are used together. However, regardless of the terminology used or the method employed to get there, the intent of these optics is the same: reducing chromatic aberration (CA) so that resolution isn't compromised by these color fringes at the boundaries of high contrast objects being viewed.

The degree to which there is a noticeable difference between HD vs. non-HD versions of the same optic will naturally vary with which optics are being compared, what design elements were used in its construction to justify calling it "HD," the integrity of the company making the claims, the magnifications/ focal lengths being compared, and on and on. It's virtually impossible to say "Company A's" HD optic is "better" than "Company B's" non-HD optic, because the fact is, some brands non-HD stuff is better than other brands so-called "HD" optics. Such is the nature of marketing hype.

When you're comparing the "HD" versions of high-end optics vs. their previous generation "non-HD" versions of the SAME basic optic design, generally the difference is subtle and not immediately apparent to the average person (provided the two optics being compared are of the same basic design generation). For a picky person with really high standards who readily notices CA, the difference may be more significant. Even though it's impossible to quantify the "improvements" in HD/ED/FL/APO optics across the board as a whole category, if I were forced to, I'd say 5% or less, just for the sake of establishing some context. This also assumes you're comparing HD vs. non-HD optics from the same manufacturer, as obviously not everyone's version of "HD" is created equal; not even close. This also assumes you are able to see CA in images; not everyone can.

One thing is for certain: just like with engine horsepower and rifle accuracy, at some price point, getting very slight optical improvements comes at a steep price penalty as the law of diminishing returns rears its ugly head.



Very good post which leaves very little for me to add.

I do have a comment about "same basic design with HD glass vs non-HD glass": this almost never happens.

It is not like you simply take one lens out and replace it with a different one made out of ED glass.  Changing glass types requires a re-design, so the original question is a non-sequiter for the most part.

Lastly, the presence of an HD moniker in the model name does not guarantee presence of extra-low dispersion glass or anything else really.  It is a marketing term.  A lot of the HD-labeled optics out there do have low dispersion glass, but not all.

Also, I think I saw somewhere earlier in the thread something about "fluroide coatings".  That is a misconception.  No such thing exists.  Some of the low dispersion glass out there is dopes with fluoride ions.  It is not a coating.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 22:32
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Yea, but you're WEIRD...


No doubt!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2013 at 22:52
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


I do have a comment about "same basic design with HD glass vs non-HD glass": this almost never happens.

It is not like you simply take one lens out and replace it with a different one made out of ED glass.  Changing glass types requires a re-design, so the original question is a non-sequiter for the most part.


You're absolutely correct, and that's an excellent point, as, among other things, changing the "glass" types changes the refractive index, which changes focal length.

For clarification, by "same basic design," I was speaking more generically about model series and generation, i.e., SLC vs. SLC HD, Ultravid vs. Ultravid HD, etc made within successive years of each other, and the niche the mfg designed the optic to fill and compete against, so the reader wouldn't think I was attempting to lump, say, a Swaro HD in the same classification as a Bushnell Legend HD.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2013 at 01:41
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


I do have a comment about "same basic design with HD glass vs non-HD glass": this almost never happens.

It is not like you simply take one lens out and replace it with a different one made out of ED glass.  Changing glass types requires a re-design, so the original question is a non-sequiter for the most part.


You're absolutely correct, and that's an excellent point, as, among other things, changing the "glass" types changes the refractive index, which changes focal length.

For clarification, by "same basic design," I was speaking more generically about model series and generation, i.e., SLC vs. SLC HD, Ultravid vs. Ultravid HD, etc made within successive years of each other, and the niche the mfg designed the optic to fill and compete against, so the reader wouldn't think I was attempting to lump, say, a Swaro HD in the same classification as a Bushnell Legend HD.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2013 at 03:07
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It has been written enough about HD marketing labels and glass so I only write about Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 and Conquest 8x40 comparison.


There isn't even single area where the new model would not be better. It offers better color, less CA and crisper image. I also offers higher build quality. I even thing that no other binoculars are a match for it in this price range and only complain I have is that eyepieces could have been better. Vortex Viper HD has better eyepieces and it cost less, however everything else on Conquest HD is really superb for this price range. 

 

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HD means "high definition" the others without "HD" do not. ;)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2013 at 08:20
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Maybe itss thee Irisssh in mee.

Chromaaticc Abbberration.  Roles off thee tongue.


In this discussion nothing can be said of Lenses Regardless of manufacturer that leave nothing to chance and are designed properly.

There is nothing finer than viewing things through a proper lense that controls the CA, and has good contrast and allows for resolving things at great distances so much you get a little giddy.

Conversely nothing worse can be said of a Scope Assembler or Desiger than to make claims that are erroneus or false.

To me HD is one of those terms, a kind of ambiguity that is misleading and is inherently flawed.

ED or low dispersion glass is a clear definition that leaves nothing to wonder.

I would like to see ED glass used in the next build without any over inflated price.  It is BS that we cannot have a higher quality scope that uses ED lenses come out of the awesome and timely efforts and blow all the competition away without the over inflated prices.  Profit is not a dirty word but imagine the hoopla.

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This is exactly the kind of thread that endeared me to this site... and keeps me coming back.  Thanks guys!  Now, I'm going to go play with my tool....er, I mean my optics. Big Grin   two rifle/scopes combos that need sighted-in.  Sure wish I would have bought more ammo before all the dumbasses bought up all the stock!
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