Monday, November 08, 2010

Binocular spam

I got some spam by email recently.

The Optic 1050 binoculars, with up to 1000x magnification will allow you to see objects up to 35 miles away! The lightweight, rugged and durable Optic 1050 binoculars are only $19.98 and just $7.95 P&H. These super lightweight binoculars easily adjust to your eyes, are shock resistant with shatterproof lenses and feature wide-angle viewing.

Plus, with each pair of binoculars you order, youll also receive the bonus Pocket Spyscope. Its less than 6 inches long with 24x magnification. Thats a $50 value, yours FREE! You just pay $4.95 to cover shipping and handling. The Pocket Spyscope is lightweight and portable. You can see objects up to 7 miles away and it doubles as a magnifying glass for close up use.

National TV Bargains Power Binoculars...

Ignore the missing single quote in youll. Presumably, when they say 1050 binoculars, they're talking about 10x50 binoculars. Read this as "ten by fifty". But it's 10x - ten times larger than your eyes normally see. The big end of the binoculars are 50 millimeters. That's about two inches.

They say up to 1000x magnification. No. They're 10 times magnification. 1000 times magnification with binoculars that have a 2 inch big end would produce a useless, grainy image. For 1000x magnification, the big end would have to be about 20 inches across. And that would be pushing it. I'd really want the big end to be 40 inches across for 1000x. That's how optics work. Naturally, such an instrument would be more expensive, and less portable.

will allow you to see objects up to 35 miles away! How disappointing. I've seen the Andromeda Galaxy without optical aid. That's about two and a half million light years away. One light year is about 6 trillion miles. So Andromeda is more than 15 quintillion miles away. If i can only see 35 miles with these binoculars, but can see 15 quintillion miles without them, there must be something wrong with them.

shatterproof lenses. They must come from Krypton, like Superman.

feature wide-angle viewing. I suppose anything is relative. They're likely wider angle viewing than my telescope at low power. But they're not very wide compared to naked eye. But notice that they don't say what they're relative to. Nor do they give any measure of how wide an angle you can see with them. Normally, binoculars are sold with such a reference. It might be five degrees or seven degrees.

Pocket Spyscope. Its less than 6 inches long with 24x magnification. The length isn't that important. If this Spyscope has a diameter of less than an inch, then the views through it will be grainy. For 24x magnification, it will likely have to be two inches in diameter to be able to produce any kind of decent image. If it's six inches long, it's unlikely to be even an inch in diameter. This is not a $50 value. It's so mis-designed that $5 is too much.

You can see objects up to 7 miles away. So, it's not even as good as the binoculars? Well, that's the truth.

doubles as a magnifying glass for close up use. I think this says something about the way the optics work. I don't think means anything good for use with distant objects.

I have a pair of 10x50 binoculars. They're really good. However, if i want binoculars for hand held use (no tripod), then I find that 8x, or eight times magnification, is about as much as I can handle. With more magnification, the view isn't as steady. But I have a nice tripod. And my 10x50 binoculars work really well on it. I also have a small scope - much more than 6 inches long, and 2 inches in diameter. And it can magnify to something like 24x. But it is totally useless without a tripod. So, my best guess is that this 24x Spyscope is useless.

$19.98 + $7.95 + $4.95 = $32.88. That's the amount you can save by reading this post.

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