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.
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.
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Binoculars with Abbe Koenig prisms: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/binoculars/shopby/prism_type-roof_abbe_koenig.html
Binoculars with Schmidt Pechan prisms: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/binoculars/shopby/prism_type-roof_schmidt_pechan.html