Spitzer and Chris, this is some excellent information and thanks for posting it. I hope everyone will take some time and read this as it will answer alot of questions.
A few comments from
The writer is a zeiss product specialist and seems to be pushing ziess but gives some great and accurate information.
The comments about the Schmidt Pecan vs. Abbe Konig prism was interesting. I have never liked the Abbe Konig design primarily because it makes the binos too long. I much prefer a more compact design. He also explains that with recent advances in di-electric coatings by applying as much as 70 coatings to the prisms, Schmidt Pecans can equal and even exceed the efficiency of Abbe Konig or Porro. Leica is claiming that they have further improved their di-electric coatings.
The Truth about Contrast section:
The most interesting topic is that the writer seems to give an interesting explanation of why Zeiss appears to have less contrast than Leica. This is one thing that I have always noticed and have commented on several times in the past. He provides interesting photos, and seems to spin the information to show that the Zeiss FL has more dynamic range and more colors, and appears brighter with less contrast, even though technically it has more contrast.
I found this to be a very interesting arguement and I think he very well may be right in his explanation. The photo he provides is a photo similation in photoshop showing the what zeiss (top photo) should look like and what leica (bottom photo) should look like. It seems very accurate to what I have seen with my eyes comparing these binoculars.
What I disagree with him on is which image looks better. He comments that the top image (zeiss) has more dynamic range with more shades of gray, appears brighter and appears to have less contrast but acutally has more (technically or numerically) and claims that there is no loss of detail. He claims that zeiss accomplishs this by adjusting their lens coatings to provide "full natural contrast range".
To me the second image looks noticably better. He comments that the first is brighter. To me it looks a little washed out, like a photo that is barely over exposed. He may be correct that there are more shades of gray but to me it loses contrast. He claims that there is a loss of detail in the second. I don't see how he can make that statement, to me there is more detail in the second photo.
Look for yourself at the second photo. The green is greener, the white is whiter. Making the bird stand out from the background. The colors are more vibrant. Look at the brown and white stripes on the back. Then just below that at the brown patch. And then look to the left where the brown meets the light feathers. The colors are much more vibrant with more contrast and it is noticably more detail in the second photo to me.
I have always said that Leica provided a more brilliant image to my eyes and this is a good example of that. He claims quote " We could adjust our coatings and glass types to produce the "high apparent contrast image" but why would we do that. Why would we sacrifice image detail in the dark and light areas of the image and brightness overall to achieve an increase in contrast that is only apparent".
I'll tell you why, cause it looks better! I wish everyone would read that section and look for themselves. His information seems to be accurate, but he is spinning it in a riduculous way.