Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scope and porro vs. roof prism binocular questions

From Ron:

I was curious about scanning with both eyes open with a straight scope (advantage) vs. going back and forth between “gun sight” and angle lens of the angular scope trying to find your intended object to view.

Maybe there’s a better way to scan with the angular style which you could explain to me, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

I see in your Tech reviews about the difference between porro and roof prism binos. Could you give me some additional info about the differences and advantages/disadvantages? Why would there be better field of view with the porro? I have people ask me about the practical use advantages/disadvantages of each; but I can’t really find any good answers. Can you provide some?

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Ron: Thanks for your feedback.
In general, people who use scopes and are scanning with their eyes either put their head up and get used to looking back down at an angle with an angled scope, or are using binos to scan, which would require looking up anyway.

Angled scopes are more popular because they can be left lower on the tripod for stability and because people of different heights can share them more easily.
If someone is the main person using the scope, not super tall, and they want to scan easily with their eyes, we would probably recommend a straight scope.

Porro prisms in general have wider fields of view built in. As technology and market demand change, there are fewer and fewer porros available, and wider and wider fields of view are able built into roof prisms.
I would say in terms of practical different at each price point, the main things to think about are 1) someone might prefer the way barrels are set wider in a porro as far as how it feels in their hands, 2) in general, roof prisms are significantly more durable, and 3)porros tend to have farther close focusing, and nowadays, more and more roofs are built with close focusing.

If your bino feels good in your hands and has a good warranty to cover any accidental damage, you're good to go!

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