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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2005 at 10:30
Stud Duck View Drop Down
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What type of prisms are found in high end binoculars, i.e. Leica, Swaro, etc.? (I already know what Zeiss uses)

 

Are they BaK 4 prisms? What determines which prisms are better? Is it the coatings applied to the prisms or the prisms themselves? What is a silver enhanced prism? Is there a difference between a phase coated and a phase corrected prism? If so, what seperates the two?

 

Please be as detailed as possible, this may prevent the inevitable follow-up questions.

 

Thanks.........

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2005 at 02:01
tbone1 View Drop Down
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I was really hoping that someone else would respond to this because I have forgotten alot of the technical research that I have done over the years.  But just to sum it up BAK4 refers to the glass in most prisms.  Even $100+ binos usually use BAK4 glass.  As far as I know there is no difference in phase coated vs. phase corrected.  This technique does improve the resolution on roof prism binos.  I believe Leica and Swarovski both use Schmidt-Pecan prisms and Zeiss uses Abbe-Koenig prisms in the Victory and Victory FL 42mm binos and Schmidt-Pecan in the Victory FL 32mm binos.  As far as I remember, Silver enhanced are coatings on the prisms themselves that enhance color, further reduced stray light and improve resolution.  Leica and Swarovski both used this techinique until they both came out with more advanced techiniques with the Swarobright and high Lux system which both use slightly more complicated coatings other than silver coating.  Supposedly Abbe-Koenig prisms don't need a prism coating according to what I have read.

 

At one time I was very good at explaning all this and I really kept up with techinical specs.  But now in my opinon, the techincal specs don't really mean much.  I prefer side by side tests and if I can see the difference with my eyes then that is really what matters.  For example,  I don't think there is a very dramatic difference between the silver coating and the advanced coatings.  I just haven't been able to see a world of difference.  Yes there is a slight improvement but far from dramatic in my opinion.  Phase coatings do make a difference and I would'nt buy a pair of roofs without it.

 

As far as the the prisms themselves, I really don't know what to make of it.  When the Zeiss Victory series came out Zeiss taughted that they were the only ones using Abbe-Koenig prisms instead of Schmidt-Pecan.  They went on and on in the literature and optics reviews saying how much improvement it made.  I believed all that hype until I went to compare a pair of Zeiss Victory against a Swarovski EL and SLC.  Both pair of Swarovski were much sharper than the Victory and I was very dissapointed.  The next day I went to another store and compared a different pair of Victory against a pair of Leica trinovid.  Same result, the Leica were much sharper.  Since then Zeiss improved the Victory series with the Victory IIs which supposedly were better.  Then after a few years they scraped the whole line, went back to the drawing board and developed the Victory FLs which seem to be a completey different and much better bino than the Victorys.  Basically, my point is don't get to caught up in the technical specs and hype and rely more on actual head to head performance instead.  Also many of the reviews that I read on the Victory said they were excellent and the best high end bino.  In fact since then, I have read alot of rave reviews on binos then I tested with my own eyes and found them to be mediocre at best.  So I have quite putting any stock into optics reviews done by hunting or birdwatching magazines and websites.  I hope this helps.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2005 at 13:22
ranburr View Drop Down
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+1

 

 

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2005 at 10:49
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Thanks, you've helped tremendously.

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