Best Buys In Binoculars
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In addition, the global marketplace has ensured that virtually nothing is made in one factory, or even one country. I've already mentioned that some Japanese vehicles are made in the U.S. Well, some of the parts in those vehicles might be made in Mexico, China or Portugal. The same thing occurs in optics. Once it becomes too expensive to manufacture any product in one factory, companies find out where else it can be made for less money. This is why some top "European" optics are now assembled from parts made all over the world. The popular Zeiss Conquest line of riflescopes, for instance, only includes one major component (the erector assembly) made in Germany. The rest are made in the Czech Republic, including the glass - and final assembly is done in the U.S. One "American" scope, the Burris Fullfield II, is made in the Philippines - on machines designed and built in the U.S., by workers trained and supervised by U.S. workers.
The reason for all this is simple: Zeiss Conquests and Burris Fullfield II’s could not be made at competitive prices in Germany or the U.S. Are they inferior products? No — or at least that is the consensus of vast numbers of satisfied customers. So we have to throw some prejudices out the window when evaluating optics, and get with the 21st century.
Unlike riflescopes, binoculars are strictly designed to help us see. While they should also be rugged enough to last a long time, no binocular is indestructible, and even the toughest in the world are useless if they don’t help us perceive detail. And detail is the binocular bottom line.
While magnification is important, it can be proven that a good 8x42 transmits more detail to our eyes than a good 10x32. This is because sharpness (known to optical engineers as “resolution”) is not just a matter of magnification, but several factors, one the relative size of the objective lens. A larger objective (front lens) allows more light to go where its directed, so we end up seeing more detail through an 8x42 than through a 10x32, everything else being equal.