| howler wrote:|
I found a site that has a scorecard you type in the info and they rate the bino's for your preferences and the Pentax 10x43 SP's came out on top, It surprised me is there something I am missing?
The O4B scorecard is interesting and perhaps even a good conversation starter but, it suffers from some definite problems:
1. It's too generic. For example, it scores binoculars offering extra-wide fields of view lower because they claim that; "Frequently, truly wide-angle binoculars suffer somewhat in clarity and sharpness because of the optical compromise made in the design in order to provide that panoramic field. Accordingly, we have given the widest field binoculars somewhat lower scores to reflect this tendency." [emphasis added] This tendency may truly exist but, there will be exceptions, especially with high-end models. However their scoring system still punishes any and every binocular that doesn't follow this assumed tendency with a lower score. This flawed/generic scoring bias applies to most of their categories.
2. They score some things that I don't believe are legitimate. The best example is in their "prisms" category. Their top-scoring level is for "Exotic Phase Coatings." Now, I may have missed something but, in all my reading about lens coatings, I've never heard anything about "exotic phase coatings." It is absolutely true that some companies provide better/higher quality coatings (of all types) than do others and O4B might be trying to account for this quality gap but, how and where they are assigning this category is fairly questionable and would be the highly subjective product of much individual bias.
So, in short, if the scorecard gives you something to think about, use it. Just remember that it is only valuable as a generic tool and that it reflects the personal preferences and biases of the individuals who created the scoring system - which may or may not reflect your own preferences. Also keep in mind that it cannot represent the very subjective elements of binocular selection like external ergonomics, color bias, build quality, etc. Finally, it does not measure actual brightness (i.e. light transmission,) resolving capacity, the presence and/or absence of optical abberations, etc., all of which are incredibly important aspects of optic design. Thus although it might be used as a starting point for some interesting generic discussions, it cannot be expected to accurately rate specific/individual units.