Occluder for non-shooting eye

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Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:33 pm

I've been noticing that if I'm really concentrating on the sights (red dot and steel), occasionally, especially if I'm tired, the view from my other eye shows up just enough to disturb my concentration.  I block it out, but it's always "there", regardless of whether or not I notice it.  That's why I posted a thread some time ago asking what others do to deal with this.

User 'Bakita' from the forum wrote me, telling he had an extra occluder, and asking if I wanted it - to which I wrote back "Sure!!".  I received it, and spent some time trying to figure out what to do with it.  It had a huge opaque plastic shield that more or less blocked out all the information from my left eye.  We wrote back and forth, an he said something that gave me what I think is a good idea.

My goal was only to block out the view from the left eye of my sights.  No reason not to leave everything else alone.  So, I trimmed the occluder so it more or less blocks out the "top" of what's in front of my left eye, but leaves all the bottom view untouched.  I tried it for the first time yesterday, and it worked great!!!!  After a minute or so, I found I could ignore it.  While shooting, all I saw was the view from the right eye - since the left eye just saw "white", it didn't bother anything.

Here's the occluder, after trimming:




And this is what it looks like on my shooting glasses:



And here's how the front part can be flipped up, when not in use:


I might trim some more material off the bottom, but if it doesn't bother me, there's no need to do so.  I found a small plastic box to put it in, so it doesn't get damaged while it's in my shooting bag.

I'm not sure where this particular occluder came from - maybe 'Bakita' can fill me in, and I'll post it here.

I was surprised it felt so "natural".  I thought it might be annoying, or distracting, but none of that happened.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by Jack H on Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:56 pm

All you need is a little block patch like this plastic stick label in just the right spot

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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:14 pm

My eyes are perhaps a little strange because I have some "diplopia", but with both eyes open, I sometimes see the side of the gun, until I force that out of my mind.  With the larger patch, all I see is what's in front of the shooting eye.

(Sometimes I'm curious, and close my right eye, to see the side-on view from my left eye.  Strange.  One of these days I'll actually shoot like that, to see if I can visualize what the gun is doing when it fires.....)
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by rreid on Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:10 am

I clip the occluder on the bill of my cap.  It's farther from my eye and doesn't block as much if it was on my glasses.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by james r chapman on Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:19 am

@rreid wrote:I clip the occluder on the bill of my cap.  It's farther from my eye and doesn't block as much if it was on my glasses.

+1
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by ragged claws on Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:12 pm

@rreid wrote:I clip the occluder on the bill of my cap.  It's farther from my eye and doesn't block as much if it was on my glasses.
I just tried this. Works great!

Thanks,

Kim

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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:53 pm

I went to the range this morning to practice with my old Model-28 S&W revolver, and see how my arm strength is coming along for shooting my High Standard one handed.

Most of my time was spent with the occluder as shown in my first post, but I wanted to try it on the end of my cap, which I figure would be more convenient.

Very first impression - this is excellent, it worked fine for the sight.  This was until I moved my head just a little - ouch.  Nothing I could do would prevent me from seeing the outline of the occluder "in front of my hight eye".  I know it wasn't really there, but it looked like I was shooting through this rounded "opening".  Maybe others wouldn't care - I found it very annoying.  It was like looking through a car windshield with stickers on it, and I couldn't blank it out.

Took it off my cap, and put it back on my glasses, and all was fine again.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:45 pm

I use a piece of removable Scotch tape on my lens.  I fold under the end so there is a flap so it's easy to remove, and there isn't any sticky residue left behind. 
- Dave
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:50 pm

I had three sets of shooting glasses made, with the prescription for the right eye set to 24", 30", and infinity (for two hands, one hand, and red dot).  I asked them to make the prescription for the left eye with sort of a computer prescription, so everything on my workbench including things I need to read are sharp.  It's a lot easier to flip the occluder lens up and back, but the tape would cost nothing.  For me, the tape would be a hassle, and it might get dirt onto the lens leading to scratches.  

Why do olympic shooters (and others) put something in front of their shooting eye??
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:27 pm

I use my shooting glasses (Rudy Project Rydons) only for shooting.  I have prescription lenses that clip on the frame behind the colored lens, and have been using tape for 4 years with no scratches.  At first it took me a few tries to get the tape positioned so all I had to do was slightly tilt my head to see through my spotting scope.

When I shoot trap/skeet/sporting clays I just I swap out the prescription lenses for my shotgun lenses and peel off the tape (I put the tape on the colored lens).

- Dave
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by Slartybartfast on Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:01 pm

@mikemyers wrote:Why do olympic shooters (and others) put something in front of their shooting eye??
I use one of these: https://www.eabco.net/Merit-Eyeglass-Shooting-Aperture_p_13347.html

Kills depth and makes the target nice a crisp along with the front and rear sights. Start with it adjusted as small as possible and then open it up to get the crispest image possible for the lighting conditions.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:35 pm

Hmm, that makes perfect sense, except that is the opposite of what we are trained to do.  Their example picture at the top, of three scenarios, are all wrong - only the front sight is supposed to be clear.

Since I've never tried one, I'm in no position to comment either way, but is this something the "experts" in this forum are already using, or is it a "shortcut" that less capable shooters might expect to give them a quick way of catching up to the experts?

For a person shooting with a sub-6'oclock hold, I can't see any reason to want the target to be much sharper - but I'm all ears.  

(If I were shooting a rifle at a very long distance, I would feel differently about this, but for shooting a bullseye sub-6'oclock hold at 25 or 50 yards, I'm very skeptical.)
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:00 pm

@mikemyers wrote:Hmm, that makes perfect sense, except that is the opposite of what we are trained to do.  Their example picture at the top, of three scenarios, are all wrong - only the front sight is supposed to be clear.
Mike, their examples are not wrong, it is just showing a 6 oclock hold demonstrating that everything is in clear focus when using an aperture.  This is not wrong.  Being able to see everything clearly dosen't mean you don't focus on the front sight.  For some people it's a huge distraction for other much more natural.
- Dave
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:57 pm

@dronning wrote:Mike, their examples are not wrong, it is just showing a 6 oclock hold demonstrating that everything is in clear focus when using an aperture.  This is not wrong.  Being able to see everything clearly dosen't mean you don't focus on the front sight.  For some people it's a huge distraction for other much more natural.
- Dave

Well, what I saw on that page was:



Rear sight sharp, and everything else blurry.
Rear sight sharp, front sight blurry, an target sharp
Everything sharp.

What I've been taught, is to get the front sight sharp, and everything else blurry.
I'd love to try one of these out, but......

Question, Dave - do you use one?
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:03 pm

@mikemyers wrote:
@dronning wrote:Mike, their examples are not wrong, it is just showing a 6 oclock hold demonstrating that everything is in clear focus when using an aperture.  This is not wrong.  Being able to see everything clearly doesn't mean you don't focus on the front sight.  For some people it's a huge distraction for other much more natural.
- Dave

Well, what I saw on that page was:



Rear sight sharp, and everything else blurry.
Rear sight sharp, front sight blurry, an target sharp
Everything sharp.

What I've been taught, is to get the front sight sharp, and everything else blurry.
I'd love to try one of these out, but......

Question, Dave - do you use one?
You are suppose to "concentrate" on the front sight, that doesn't mean you can't have everything in focus!  Without an aperture you force this concentration by making sure the front sight is in "focus".  See the difference.  Having everything in focus makes it very hard for many to concentrate on the front sight but for some having the additional clarity can help with precision.

Many use an iris or aperture when shooting irons or even dots.

I shoot a dot and put my concentration on the target and yes I use a aperture (EyePal) because if I don't the dot looks like a squashed bug and will actually change shape in different light conditions.  When I shoot air pistol I use an adjustable iris on my Knobloch shooting glasses, works great.

Concentrating and "focusing" on the front sight are used to mean the same thing, and it doesn't exclude you from having a bigger depth of field and being able to see everything sharply (in focus), which is what an aperture does for you.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:30 pm

I still have a collection of very tiny drills from my model railroading days.  I guess I'll take a piece of dark plastic, drill a hole, and see how things look with it.  It's only $15 (http://www.eyepalusa.com), so maybe I'll try it - but such a tiny hole ought to result in diffraction, at least with camera lenses.  Take a photo at f/64 and it won't be sharp.  But I'll try it sometime in the near future.  

Do you see a "squashed bug" rather than a round dot because you have astigmatism?  If so, do your shooting glasses have a correction for that?


Back to the occluder, went to the range today to do black powder and one hand practice with High Standard.  No need for occluder today.  It's when I start to get tired that it helps me the most.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by Slartybartfast on Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:21 am

@mikemyers wrote: Take a photo at f/64 and it won't be sharp.
Not much of a photography buff, so have no clue about f-stops. But seems you're thinking wrong. Think pinhole camera. Everything is sharp.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_camera

  • "Pinhole photographs have nearly infinite depth of field, everything appears in focus."

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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by javaduke on Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:06 am

In focus does not necessarily mean sharp. There are several factors at play here - the size of the hole in aperture, the thickness and material of an aperture, the relative position and intensity of sources of light, and in case of an optic, the size of the "sweet spot" and edge distortions of a lens. A photo at f/64 will be sharp in the center but fuzzy at the edges. However, it will have a very large depth of field, so the objects at different distances will be in focus. 
As far as the aperture for shooting, I think the smaller the better. You really wouldn't care much about the edges of the target, all you need is sharp rear sight, sharp front sight and sharp bullseye, which is what a tiny aperture provides. I use the Merit aperture and it works great when I shoot air or free pistol. Also helps seeing the red dot as a dot, not as a starfish. I usually close it down to the smallest opening.

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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:16 pm

@Slartybartfast wrote:
@mikemyers wrote: Take a photo at f/64 and it won't be sharp.
Not much of a photography buff, so have no clue about f-stops. But seems you're thinking wrong. Think pinhole camera. Everything is sharp.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_camera

  • "Pinhole photographs have nearly infinite depth of field, everything appears in focus."


To add to the previous comment, you might want to read about diffraction:

https://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/when-sharp-isnt-sharp-diffraction-and-apertures--photo-9267

I didn't realize this for a long time, and happily used very small f/stops to make everything "sharp".  It worked until the aperture was too small, and then the sharpness went away.

Diffraction is also the reason why you might have a 20 megapixel mobile phone, creating huge images, but you're only getting 2 megapixels of data, as the light that is supposed to hit just one pixel spreads to all the surrounding pixels because of diffraction.

I also wonder about how well people can see the target, when there is so little light reaching the eye.  Eventually, I'll buy one of these devices (or make a pinhole in some thing) to see what it does.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by Slartybartfast on Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:00 pm

@mikemyers wrote:I also wonder about how well people can see the target, when there is so little light reaching the eye.

Look, wonder and argue all you want. I have one and it works as described. Others have told you that they work as described. Every Olympic smallbore rifle competitor uses an aperture peep sight. As for "so little light", that's why they're adjustable. Go as small as you can while still seeing the target well enough.

Like I said, I have little understanding of photography, f-stops, and apertures. But in this case I and others know what I'm talking about. So in directing meto look up diffraction and talking about results in cameras are you seriously suggesting that I should look up diffraction and convince myself that the evidence that I have from actually using the device must be somehow false and I'm imagining the effects?

Regardless of how well informed and knowledgeable you are about photography there's obviously some fact or circumstance about the different uses that you're not taking into account that makes diffraction non-applicable.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:31 pm

@mikemyers wrote:Do you see a "squashed bug" rather than a round dot because you have astigmatism?  If so, do your shooting glasses have a correction for that?

I do have an astigmatism and my glasses adjust for it.  The EyePal was first suggested to me by my optometrist who is also a shooter (rifle).  He had previously suggested I should use an iris for air pistol.  The main reason he suggested it was because it forces you to keep your head position and he was right.  If I start to dip my head it is immediately noticeable.

There is an optimal opening given any light condition.  With the iris I can go quite small in very bright light, the EyePal is a compromise using a larger hole and it works indoors and out. I may try the rifle version with the smaller hole. I've played around with numbered machine drill bits that I heat up and poke through a piece of black electrical tape, they leave a perfect round hole.  I still prefer the EyePal as it doesn't leave any residue

mikemyers wrote:I also wonder about how well people can see the target, when there is so little light reaching the eye.

As far as field of view, with my EyePal using a H1 dot I can see everything in the field of view of the dot which is huge.  Still everything is in "visual focus" BUT all I'm concentrating on is the tiny white spec (X) in the center of the target.  Remember I watch the target not the dot.

Mike you can sit back and speculate all you want but many shooters use them with much success.  Trying to figure out why an iris might not work when so many use them is a total waste of energy and quite honestly a little frustrating.
- Dave
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:42 pm

Dave, and Slartybartfast, noplace did I say they don't work.  A tiny hole gives more depth of field, which is apparently what people are after, to see both the sights and  the target clearly.  I obviously accept that people are happy with them, and that making everything sharp might work very well.  

I also know about pinhole cameras, apertures, and diffraction.  At some point I will try one, so I can see for myself.  Almost everything in life is a compromise.  I don't want to argue with anyone about this.  It would be rather stupid of me to do so, at least until I tried one myself.  

I haven't seen anyone using one at my club - if I do, I can also ask them to let me try it.


I apologize if anything I wrote sounded like an argument - that wasn't the intent.
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by dronning on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:59 pm

Here's a good quick read, granted it's about Olympic air pistol but all the principals are the same.  Not all Olympic shooters use them, just like in Bullseye.
https://www.wired.com/2016/08/olympic-sharpshooters-look-like-cyborgs/
- Dave
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:11 pm

Excellent article, about a lot of things.

I just finished making one of these devices.  I made a 0.069" hole for the first test.  I'll try it out when the sun comes out of hiding.  I can make the hole larger or smaller, as needed.  Will be interesting!
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Re: Occluder for non-shooting eye

Post by mikemyers on Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:05 pm

@Slartybartfast wrote:.......Look, wonder and argue all you want. I have one and it works as described. Others have told you that they work as described. Every Olympic smallbore rifle competitor uses an aperture peep sight. As for "so little light", that's why they're adjustable. Go as small as you can while still seeing the target well enough......
Again, I apologize again for anything I wrote that sounded argumentative.  That wasn't the intent, nor was the intent to say that these devices do or don't work.  It was just me trying to understand something new.

I used a .069 drill bit to make a hole in a piece of aluminum foil that I could put in front of my glasses.  Anyone can easily do this.

Using my shooting glasses without the foil, my front sight was sharp, and distant objects blurry
Using my shooting glasses with the foil, my front was still sharp, and distant object were sharper.
Using my distance glasses, without the foil, the front sight was just a blur, and distant objects were perfectly sharp.

There was no change in brightness, only in the size of the image that I could see through the tiny hole.


One of the people in this forum that I highly respect wrote me that the effect of what I wrote earlier was a poor choice of words.  I will try to do better from now on.  I usually write what I'm thinking, but obviously that can come across as something very different than what I intended.
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