Skip to content

Abbe Koenig (Roof) vs. Schmidt Pechan (Roof) Prisms | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to discuss two types of prisms that are used in binoculars.

Abbe Koenig and Schmidt Pechan are the two most common types of roof prisms. Roof prisms are most commonly used in binoculars. Both prisms are named after their inventors.

The first main difference is the physical length. Binoculars with Abbe Koenig prisms are a lot longer than the ones with Schmidt Pechan prisms with the same magnification and objective lens size.

Schmidt Pechan prisms are produced all over the world, while there are only six manufacturers in Europe which produce Abbe Koenig prisms. These are Zeiss, Docter/Noblex, Swarovski, Leupold, Sig Sauer and Optolyth. They’re really hard to produce and that’s why they’re a lot more expensive than the Schmidt and Pechan prisms.

With the higher price of the Abbe Koenig, you gain light transmission. There is a lot less internal light reflections, which translates into a higher light-transition rate.

Most binoculars that have Abbe Koenig lenses are in the configuration of 8×56 or 10×56 with a big objective lens and are meant for low-light. While binoculars with Schmidt Pechan prisms are meant for everyday use and can be produced in a very compact form-factor.

Both of these prisms can be produced at the same resolution, and the same goes for the field of view.

Binoculars with Schmidt Pechan prisms are a lot more common and affordable.

We would like to thank you for your time. In case we did not answer all the questions regarding this topic, please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to us. If you found the video useful, please subscribe to our channel.

Products mentioned:

Binoculars with Abbe Koenig prisms:
Binoculars with Schmidt Pechan prisms:



  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *