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? re: doublers/triplers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 17:09
lucznik View Drop Down
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Have any of you had any first-hand experience with the various doublers/triplers made for binoculars.

 

Swarovski, Zeiss, Bushnell, and etc. all make these little units that attach to the eyepeice end of the binocular and supposedly turn them into fairly usefull little spotting scopes - at least for brief viewing. I don't however, hear much about anyone actually using them.  In fact, I have yet to ever meet anyone who owns one.

 

Anybody here tried one?  What did you think?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 17:25
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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As you probably already know, optics manufacturers have been making doublers/triplers, called barlow lenses, for telescopes for many years.

That is my "only" experience with them, and based upon that experience, as you might already suspect, 2x & 3x gives a degraded image & a much smaller FOV.

On top of that, you will be losing alot of available light & the increased magnification will really magnify the "shakes".

If it has "any" value in a binocular, it certainly must be extremely limited, based upon the above consequences.

I almost forgot, I also experienced 2x doublers when I was into 35mm photography, many years ago. For example, if you have a f8 aperture in a lens, it now becomes a f16, reducing the light transmission significantly.

PERHAPS, in a 7x or an 8x binocular, (which is really quite a "low" power to start with), there is greater flexibility at these lower magnifications.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 17:44
lucznik View Drop Down
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Thanks, Bird Watcher.

 

Yeah, I figured FOV, image quality, and especially light transmission would all be significantly and negatively affected.  However, as a handy little unit for use when space and/or weight don't allow for the carrying of a spotting scope (even a little one) they would seem to have some potential utility. 

 

That's what I'm really asking; are these useful (within the limited context of their intended purpose) or, are they just gimmicks?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 17:49
Bird Watcher View Drop Down
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I have seen them advertised, but, have never seen one in a sporting goods store, to be able to try it out.

Since the BIG BOYS are advertising them, I would "hope" that they are of some useful value, as I suspect they will not be cheap to purchase.

I think "tunnel vision" would be a number one concern, but, that is just a guess on my part.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 11:02
lucznik View Drop Down
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You're dead-on about the prices.

 

The Swarovski 2x runs $350 - basically as much as a good, mid-range, full-size spotter!

 

I've seen the Zeiss 3x for $320 - again as much as much larger, more across-the-board-useful glass.

 

The Bushnell Elite 2.5x costs $160 - better but, still the better part of a couple of C-notes (especially after taxes and/or shipping.)

 

Some off brand 2.5x models - which are advertised as useful on "any" full-size binocular - go for $120 - cheaper but, I'm a bit skeptical of the quality. If I'm going to try these out, I don't want to start off by short-changing myself.

 

I wouldn't need the Swarovski or Zeiss models as I don't own their binoculars.  I have a 10x Bushnell Elite, which would translate into a 25x spotter with this little unit. I'm not crazy enough to believe that this would be a good all-around spotter for regular, full-day use but, it might be cool to have in my daypack so that if I saw something far off, I could get a bit better look before commiting myself to a long hike. It also might be nice to slip in a pocket for when I'm hiking around with my kids and not carrying a full complement of gear to allow us to take a closer look at anything we might see.

 

I already have a Leupold GoldRing 10-20x40 spotting scope that basically serves these same purposes and I like it very much but, (believe it or not) even that little spotter is occasionally to much to carry around.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 11:21
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If you decide to try one I would definitely go with the Bushnell Elite 2.5x, as you can trust Bushnell to "match" their optics as perfectly as is humanly possibly.

After market brands are notorious for cutting corners and having inferior optics & optical coatings.

I would purchase one from a dealer that offers a 30 day 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
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