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ED worthless on binos?

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ED worthless on binos?

Postby Motts on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:14 am

Joanie,

A rep from an optics company told me that having ED glass on a binoculars is worthless since the objective lens must be at least 62mm to take advantage of ED glass. He said that having ED glass on anything less than 62mm objective lens would show no benefit. Is there any truth to this? I know it makes a big difference, if used correctly, on spotting scopes, but what about binoculars? I'm looking to buy a 10x42 for around $1000 and am wondering if I should be considering something like the Meopta Meostar or Zeiss Conquest ABK which do not use ED glass or if I should only look at the Vortex Razor, Leupold Gold Ring, Pentax DCF-ED which all use ED glass. Is ED glass a must-have in this price range or is it merely a marketing tactic? Thanks so much.
Motts
 

Re: ED worthless on binos?

Postby Jne_K on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:56 am

Hi

It is never that cut and dried. I wish it was; that would make my job much easier. First, for each designation - ED, SD, HD and so on - there is a range of variation in refractive index and other optical properties. ED, SD, HD are really trade terms with more value in marketing than in supplying specific technical information. Further, there is no standardization among lens makers as to when a glass qualifies as ED and so on. In the world of rifle cartridges, it is akin to calling a load a "magnum". In the world of fast food, it's like saying "supersizing". What exactly does it mean? Varies from one fast food chain to the next. In other words, not all ED lenses are the same. Drawing conclusions on performance on the basis of these two letters is questionable, regardless of the what the folks in the marketing department want you to believe. To say that you must have a specific objective size to make these types of lenses work is nonsense. Remember, these same type of lenses are used in microscope objectives and there is no such thing as a 62mm microscope objective.

Let's get down to cases. Does ED make a difference? It can - I have seen an improvement in both contrast and in color correction when comparing to very similar models within the same series, but when you start to make comparisons between models in different brands or even different series, ED, HD and so on dosen't mean much. You can make a crapphy ED lens just as easy as you can make a crappy non-ED lens. In the end, it is lens quality, not the type of glass, that is more important.
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Re: ED worthless on binos?

Postby Motts on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:39 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Joanie.

So, assuming that Vortex does a good job of implementing ED on their Vortex and Leupold has done a good job on their Golden Ring HD binos, would it be wise to go with one of those over the Zeiss Conquest ABK or Meopta Meostar that doesn't use ED glass? Or would other binos such as the Conquest ABK and Meostar still perform just as well at that price point even though they don't use ED? Thanks again.
Motts
 

Re: ED worthless on binos?

Postby Jne_K on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:42 am

Hi

Overall, I don't think ED or HD, of and by itself, is worth using as a decision for choosing a bino. Choose based on other features. Treat it as a package deal. That's what counts. I would have no hesitation about going with one of these others.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

Forum: http://www.opticsplanet.com/msgboard
Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
Store: http://www.opticsplanet.com/

Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
Jne_K
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:09 pm