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BinocularSky

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Everything posted by BinocularSky

  1. The Pentax is lighter and has a much smaller field of view, although the size of the very sharp sweet spot is about the same. The Pentax also has locking focus, which can be useful. Review at https://binocularsky.com/binoc_reviews.php
  2. We're back! After last month's hiatus, the September edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: Two Mira stars near maximum The ice giants are back Nine potential occultations I hope this helps you to enjoy these rapidly lengthening nights with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab, where you can subscribe (also free, of course) to have it emailed each month, and get archived copies.
  3. I reviewed it for S@N last year: https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/reviews/binoculars/bresser-spezial-astro-sf-15x70-binoculars-review/
  4. @ScouseSpaceCadet has mentioned my recommendation of the Opticron T WP - astonishingly good value, and waterproof! However, the Lunt/APM/LightQuest 10x50 is noticeably brighter - but over-budget. Another contender is the Nikon Action Extreme which, I think, just falls within your budget.
  5. I find the easiest way to get it close is to focus on Polaris, then defocus the right eyepiece. This prevents your brain from trying to merge the images, which it can do if they are slightly out, but this can introduce headaches or nausea). (Other brain-fooling methods include anaglyph glasses - or different coloured cellophane sweet wrappers - and crossed Bahtinov masks.) Then tweak the collimation screws until the focused point is in the middle of the defocused blob. Note that (as with the other advice above), this does not result in full collimation, but in conditional alignment, the condition being the interpupllary distance - if you change it, you can introduce a double image again. This is because you are making the optical axes of the tubes parallel, but they will almost certainly not be parallel to the hinge.
  6. Got the PCR result yesterday - negative. (But thanks for the suggestion; always good to find out, I guess )
  7. Nope, very different. Those were the first of the 15x70s, before the Kunming/United Optics lot got in on the act; came out back in the '90s. Retailed for abut £140, if I recall correctly. Were better than the budget Kunming/United stuff (eg the Celestron Skymaster, Oberwerk,, etc). Nicely made. Main downside is that there is almost no "past infinity" focus, so you can't focus out even mild myopia but, if that's not an issue for you, worth a look, but I think £100 is too much to pay.
  8. Thanks, All, very kind of you. Not sure I deserve this fuss - just an exceptionally nasty cold/cough (which initially, after nearly 3 days of almost non-stop coughing weekend before last, I thought might be Covid, but daily LF tests said otherwise). Just feel wiped out and sore (coughing > what feels like a pulled/torn ab muscle). Slept through the last two nights without being woken by a coughing fit, so things are definitely on the up! And I've successfully calibrated a CCD camera this morning, so brain must be semi-functioning, at least. (TL;DR - Atik 414EX Mono has a beautifully linear response)
  9. 31mm unmounted or 1.25" mounted. Must be in excellent condition.
  10. The July edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: Harlow Shapley and the structure of our galaxy Last gasp Vesta First gasp ice giants A Jovian riddle/experiment I hope this helps you to enjoy these short but lengthening nights with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab, where you can subscribe (also free, of course) to have it emailed each month, and get archived copies.
  11. If your optical axes are not aligned with each other AND with the hinge, when you adjust the IPD, the angle between the optical axes will change. Your eyes detect this change, then adjust to merge the images. This strains your eye muscles and can result in headaches or nausea or both. To see the effect for yourself, you need to fool your eyes into "thinking" that they are not looking at the same thing, so will not try to merge the images. Defocus one side so the image of a star is a blurry disc. You should see that the other star does not appear to be in the middle of it, and its position changes when you alter the IPD.
  12. Thanks, Jeremy. ISTR that the AAVSO has a filter code for Sloane filters, but not for Bessel. And I suppose the demise of Baader J-C filters might hasten the change to Sloane.
  13. Another thread-hijack coming in (apols, @daz ) @JeremyS Now that it's clear that Baader have stopped doing Johnson-Cousins photometry filters and are moving over to Sloane DSS production (although this is taking its time!) and the only potentially available Johnson-V are from Astrodon with a delay of around 3 months, in your opinion which would be more useful to get in the long term to get: Sloane DSS UGRIZ or Bessell UVBRI, both of which are available (at a price!), or hang on for the Astrodon?
  14. Not having used the Hawke, I couldn't say.
  15. +1 for Vortex. Extremely good VFM; even the "budget" Crossfire are good; the Diamondback are better, and the Viper (just within your budget) better still.
  16. As others have said, post-WW2 Japanese manufacture. Welby, Nipole, Zenith: All very similar in appearance; all with "triple tested" on the cover-plate. Decent basic binocular; pretty robust. Your case is in better nick than most!
  17. ITYM Opticron Good find; darn good price!
  18. Return them while they're under warranty. Any attempted repair will void any warranty. The defect is probably the reason they ended up in the Warehouse. John never manufactured binoculars; he imported from United Optics in Kunming and had them put the Strathspey brand on them. They were similar to the other UO binoculars that dominate the budget end of the market, although John did specify the top level AR coatings and, if requested, would check collimation before he dispatched.
  19. @Zaphod_Beeblebrox52 If you want to buy, there is always the Astro-devices one, available via eBay. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/164450963062?hash=item264a0a8e76:g:G4YAAOSw8PpfiUmB My review of it is at https://binocularsky.com/binoc_reviews.php I believe that Valentin has tightened up the tolerances, improved the flexibility of the mounting so that longitudinal balance is now possible, and sorted out the shipping (I bought directly from him, not via ebay) in the 3 years since my review. Note that it does not come with counterweights, but is designed to fit the bog-standard Skywatcher/Vixen ones.
  20. I believe it's possible to get the Orion Monster without the tripod. (It certainly is with the smaller Paragon). I'd give you my links, but @Tiny Clanger has beaten me to it
  21. The Vortex Diamondback HDs are very good indeed. I'm told (by the sister of one) that they are favoured by South African game rangers for their optical quality and robustness.
  22. For when, after a bit of use, things start working loose, perhaps.
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