A sweet Optics Article by Matt Cashell(Bitterroot Bulls)

dotman

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Great and very informative article, thanks BB (I can't call ya Matt now :) )
 

Matt Cashell

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Thanks guys. It is a technical subject, but it seems like the Rokslide Members are the kind of folks that want to dive in deep on understanding their equipment choices, much deeper than the general hunting public.

Exit pupil size is a very important aspect to consider when choosing optics, and it is often overlooked.
 

cmeier117

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Thanks BB!! I was curious for a mid range optic, what do you think of the Vortex Talon HD's?
 

Matt Cashell

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Thanks BB!! I was curious for a mid range optic, what do you think of the Vortex Talon HD's?
I like them a lot. I have seen them at the local Bob Mart (Bob Wards and Sons - Montanans know what it is). They look, feel, and perform very similarly to the Zen Ray ED2 (a 10X43 model of which I currently own). They also have the same specs and are priced similarly. That is a lot of coincidences. I like the Talon better than the Viper, due to the wider field of view, even though the Viper has a sharper edge, the Talon still has more useable field of view. Centerfield performance is extremely similar between these two.

I like Vortex as a company and love their Warranty and Customer Service.
 

sk1

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absolutely a sweet article, very informative for us guys like myself that don't spend too much time on the technical aspects of optics.

bitterroot - on the talon vs viper subject...i read an article (obviously their opinion) that the sharpness of the viper lead to about 87% of the optic having a good view vs. about 80% of the talon, now i didn't do the math assuming that's even remotely correct....you don't feel like the sharpness of the viper makes up for the lack of fov at all? only reason i ask is i can get a good deal on the vipers and had chosen those over the talons....do you feel that FOV and clarity is the only major difference between the two? or do you think the viper would be better in low light conditions based on your experience....thanks!
 

Matt Cashell

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sk1,

I don't know what article you are referencing, but I take it they meant that 87% of the Field of View (FOV) was sharp (high resolution) in the Vipers while about 80% of the FOV was sharp in the Talons. When we calculate it out in the 10x models then the Viper has a 319 foot FOV at 1000 yards. That means that about 277.5 feet (87% of 319)of the FOV is sharp. Then we take the Talons and consider that with their monster 348 feet/1000 yards FOV they have about 278 feet (80% of 348) of sharp FOV. So the Talon shows slightly more "Sweet Spot" than the Viper. Of course those calculations are based on the numbers you provided.

Then we need to consider that past that 80% the FOV isn't useless, it just isn't as perfect as the center of the FOV, so when scanning, you can see something out at the edge, and then move it to the center of the field to evaluate it. This is how we naturally look at things. Our natural FOV is sharpest at the center, and loses sharpness at the edge (peripheral vision). When we see something with our peripheral vision, we then look directly at it for maximum detail. this is a natural way to glass too, and makes me wonder why so many people get obsessed with edge performance in optics. Do we really spend a lot of time staring at the edge?

As far as the differences between the two: The FOV is a pretty big one, and as I mentioned in my article "clarity" can mean different things to different people. Both binoculars have really similar views in regards to centerfield resolution and contrast. I don't remember a big difference in color bias either. The biggest difference i can think of is build design. The Talons are an open bridge design, while the Vipers are a piano hinge style. Also the build quality of the Viper is a notch higher, IMO, with a really solid feel and good fit and finish. That is not to say that the Talons I have seen are poorly built; they are not. The other big difference is price. I have not tested them side by side in low light, but they are constructed of similar materials and technologies, and have similar exit pupils, so they should perform similarly in low light.

I hope that helps.
 

sk1

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sk1,

I don't know what article you are referencing, but I take it they meant that 87% of the Field of View (FOV) was sharp (high resolution) in the Vipers while about 80% of the FOV was sharp in the Talons. When we calculate it out in the 10x models then the Viper has a 319 foot FOV at 1000 yards. That means that about 277.5 feet (87% of 319)of the FOV is sharp. Then we take the Talons and consider that with their monster 348 feet/1000 yards FOV they have about 278 feet (80% of 348) of sharp FOV. So the Talon shows slightly more "Sweet Spot" than the Viper. Of course those calculations are based on the numbers you provided.

Then we need to consider that past that 80% the FOV isn't useless, it just isn't as perfect as the center of the FOV, so when scanning, you can see something out at the edge, and then move it to the center of the field to evaluate it. This is how we naturally look at things. Our natural FOV is sharpest at the center, and loses sharpness at the edge (peripheral vision). When we see something with our peripheral vision, we then look directly at it for maximum detail. this is a natural way to glass too, and makes me wonder why so many people get obsessed with edge performance in optics. Do we really spend a lot of time staring at the edge?

As far as the differences between the two: The FOV is a pretty big one, and as I mentioned in my article "clarity" can mean different things to different people. Both binoculars have really similar views in regards to centerfield resolution and contrast. I don't remember a big difference in color bias either. The biggest difference i can think of is build design. The Talons are an open bridge design, while the Vipers are a piano hinge style. Also the build quality of the Viper is a notch higher, IMO, with a really solid feel and good fit and finish. That is not to say that the Talons I have seen are poorly built; they are not. The other big difference is price. I have not tested them side by side in low light, but they are constructed of similar materials and technologies, and have similar exit pupils, so they should perform similarly in low light.

I hope that helps.
like i said, i didn't take the time to do the math that you did as i was too busy at the moment.....so even if their opinion is accurate, the talon still hands down has a fov advantage.....all they said was the percentage of clarity with the viper cut down on the talons significant advantage a little bit.

i was just checking because i was set on the vipers....dont want to go as high priced as the razors and want the best for my money, so it feels wierd dropping down to the talon, but it sounds like that might be the best way to go.

if you were curious, here is the article i read comparing the talon vs viper vs razor http://www.opticsreviewer.com/talon-hd-vs-viper-hd.html
 

sk1

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by the way, didn't mean to highjack the thread....it was supposed to be about your article...my bad i saw the talon comment and went with it
 

Matt Cashell

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if you were curious, here is the article i read comparing the talon vs viper vs razor http://www.opticsreviewer.com/talon-hd-vs-viper-hd.html
sk1,

I like that article a lot. It seems like a pretty thorough review, and they know what to look for. The stray light comments are in line with my experiences, as the Talon design is susceptable to it, although it isn't too much of a problem, usually.

I disagree with their chromatic aberration notes however. They say they could not push the Viper to show CA. I actually thought it showed CA fairly readily, although it was slight and not too objectionable. The Talon seemed to control CA very well, on the other hand.

They also noted how they liked the wide field of the Talon, even though it was outside the sweet spot.

I think the Talon is the better value, and gives up little to nothing in performance to the Viper.
 

sk1

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good to know, always love to hear your opinions on optics as i am obviously not as technical, i guess that frees up a few more dollars in the budget, ill most likely be going with the talon instead
 

Umpqua Hunter

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Great article Matt, that was the first time I really understood the exit pupil issues. I am thinking very seriously of the Talon binoculars for my sons graduation. With the warranty, he should have a great pair of binoculars for years.
 

Kevin Root

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I noticed that Vortex has a new Razor HD 10x42 Binocular out now in looking at some of the sites like B&H. In looking at the specs I see Premium High-Density lens elements on the Razor and the regular High-Density on the Talon. There is a big difference in price between the Talon and the Razor. Eye Relief Talon 16mm and the Razor 18mm. I have not compared looking at them yet in person. Has anybody checked out the new Razor HD binocular yet and looked through it? Just wondering if the value will be worth double the cost between a Talon HD and the Razor HD.
 

Matt Cashell

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Kevin,

The FOV on the 8X42 Razor (2012) is kind of narrow. The FOV on the 10X42 is pretty good. I don't think they are available yet, but rumor has it that the new Razor has a field flattener lens like the Swarovision. I am interested to see one myself.
 

Kevin Root

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Kevin,

The FOV on the 8X42 Razor (2012) is kind of narrow. The FOV on the 10X42 is pretty good. I don't think they are available yet, but rumor has it that the new Razor has a field flattener lens like the Swarovision. I am interested to see one myself.
Thanks Bitterroot Bulls. I saw this pop up on the B&H site. The model or Mfr number looks like the same one on the Vortex site but Vortex was saying "out this summer". I guess it is getting close to summer but I did not know if it was out yet. I'm wanting to check it out as well in person.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/852113-REG/Vortex_RZB_2102_Razor_HD_10x42_Binocular.html
 
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