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Found 11 results

  1. Following on from 70mm "Shootout", Part 1: Daylight... Well, this is going to be a whole lot shorter . Sky wasn't brilliant, but it at least permitted comparisons. A reminder: LE = Lunt Engineering 16x70 HA = Helios Apollo 15x70 S2 = Helios Stellar II 15x70 Strath = Strathspey 15x70 Dark space visible between members of δ Cep (40 arsec, mags +4.1, +6.1): LE: starts to deteriorate at 80%, still visible at 90% of FoV HA: starts to deteriorate at 50%, still visible at 75% of FoV S2: starts to deteriorate at 40%, still visible at 50% of FoV Strath: starts to deteriorate at 25%, still visible at: 30% of FoV Faintest star seen NGC 1981: LE: +9.7 HA: +9.6 S2: +9.3 Strath: +8.9 Trapezium stars seen: LE: 3 (fleeting) HA: 2 S2: 2 (fleeting) Strath: not split. Impression of M42: LE: Clear and detailed HA: Slightly less crisp than LE S2: Similar to HA, but not quite as bright Strath: Comparatively washed out. Jupiter-Io, 28 arcsec separation: Could resolve Io in LE, not in others (washed out by planet glare) Glare from Moon just outside edge of field: LE: None HA: Perceptible S2: Obtrusive Strath: Very obtrusive Colour rendition: LE: "vibrant" HA: good - colours of μ,ζ,λ,δ Cephei easily distinguished S2: as HA Strath: Washed out, ζ and δ look very similar Chromatic aberrration: LE: V. good on axis, noticeable but not obtrusive on Venus and lunar off-axis, none on first magnitude stars (but colour of Betelgeuse seemed to change slightly towards the edge of field). Very sensitive to correct eye positioning! HA: Good on axis, noticeable on Venus and the lunar limb even slightly off-axis, noticeable on first magnitude stars near the edge of the field of view. S2: as HA Strath: Halos on 1st mag stars on axis. Noticeable off axis. Contrast: LE > HA > S2 > Strath The LE did not "feel" brighter than the HA, but it was the increased contrast that enabled slightly fainter stars to be seen. It is also probably what made M42 seem so much crisper. Verdicts on the "new" ones: LE: Really nice binocular. Lighter and crisper than the HA. I got one. S2. Mixed bag. Probably the least expensive "true" 70mm around, but optical quality (especially contrast and control of stray light) not as good as the Pentax 20x60, which is the same price at TBS. Full reviews on both of these now posted on my Reviews Page.
  2. Today I received my APM 16x70 ED binos direct from Germany . Here are my unboxing photos... Box as received via UPS Inside the outer box Removed from inner box Contents of binocular case End caps off! Photos down the lens All the bits & bobs... Quick test result... I set the dioptre to match my perscription (-3 both sides) then I focused each eye individually while looking at a distant sign post. I inspected the distant snow covered lakeland fells and they looked superb and clear My wife came for a look, so we just set the dioptre to 0 both sides and she was able to read the distant sign post. The binos are pretty lightweight considering their physical size. Its very hard to keep them still though so I will see how I get on tomorrow when my monopod is due to arrive from Amazon. Looking forward to that! Alan
  3. I have had my APM 16x70 ED binos for a week now and they are proving to be very good. However, the single weakest point are the supplied lens caps, they just love to fall off (its impossible to remove the binos from the case and have the lens caps in place when the binos come out of the bag! ). Having measured the diameter of the lens as 84mm, I have purchased two Keiser 85mm lens caps (as the closest larger size that I could find). I have stuck a layer of trimmed "Gorilla Tape" to the inside edge of the caps and now they are a nice fit, needing significantly more pull to get them off than the originals [Pic shows Keiser 85mm caps with added Gorilla tape around the rim] However, it is still impossible to get the binos out of their supplied bag with both lens caps in place (the bag is too tight!) So, I have fitted some sticky Velcro squares to the binos (two on each lens) and I am using the "other" part of the Velcro as a strap to hold the lens caps on - I can now remove them from the bag and have the Lens Caps in place [Pic shows the Keiser caps on the APM binos + the sticky velcro pads] [Pic shows the velcro securing strips in place] Finally, I have at last received my Amazon Basics tripod "with pistol grip" so I have removed the pistol grip and added it to the end of my Manfrotto Monopod and I am at last good to go... Alan
  4. £350 inc postage. 4 degree field of view. Individual focus eye lenses, each +5 to -5 diopter. Very clean & collimation checked. Flat field, good FOV for 16x magnification. Bright images. With own original case.
  5. 1. DEW SHIELD I've completed a pair of dew shields for my 16x70 binos. I used a 10mm thickness Mountain Warehouse camping mat paired to some 50mm Valcro with additional strong glue to keep them stuck together. For the first one, I used the full 50mm overlap on the Velcro to hold the ends together but they were quite hard to pull apart. So, for the second one, I used 50mm on one side of the Velcro and cut-down to 25mm on the other side of the Velcro. Time will tell which is the best solution, then I can make up a "third one" to be the same as the best of the other two - if needed! 2. FILTER HOLDERS My APM binos have 20mm of eye relief so I hope to make some filter holders from some of this matting. I have some spare old 2" Skywatcher UHC and O3 filters in the loft, so I plan to experiment to see if I can construct something from the camping mat to fit them over the eyepieces of the binos. After removing the rubber eyecups, I am left with a 2" diameter eyepiece which matches the circumference of these 2" filters. So, I am making a 40mm wide & 210mm long camping mat "roll" that will fit exactly around the eyepiece. The ends wont overlap, they should just meet up and i will wrap the whole thing with Gorilla Tape to hold it "in a circle". This circle should then just push down over the eyepiece to hold the filters in place. I will use some folded over gorilla tape segments to make a "rim" that the filter will "sit on" ( at a distance of 10mm from the top ) when pushed inside. As the 2" filter is way more than the 30mm of the bino eyepiece lens, then as long as I dont block the central 30mm of the filter, the view should be unobstructed. The glue is setting at the moment, if successful then I will post up some pics... (Blue Peter would be proud!) Alan
  6. I am taking my first tentative steps into binos for night sky viewing... Having done some research over the past couple of weeks and nearly going for Helios Apollo 15x70, I came across the black Friday sale at APM and went for the 16x70 ED instead. As a glasses wearer, the extra eye relief will be great. I had seen that others had upgraded from Apollo to APM ED and also with a better case for travel and £100 off decided to go for it... i plan to buy a monopod and trigger grip and hope that the 0.5kg weight saving will add up to an easy to use pair of binos. i will need to discover if my choice of binos that do not accept filters was a good one or I may need to knock up some way of holding/fixing filters at the eyepiece? i will also be making up some dew shields for the cold nights. How long should I make the dew shields? I will be taking them to darkest Arizona next year for some Milky Way viewing at new moon so I have a few months to learn how best to use them i will post some pics when they arrive from Germany... Alan
  7. Sky was nice and transparent around 2am, so it would have been rude not to take the binoculars out. As it was going to be a short session, I used the Lunt 16x70 on the monopd and #222 joystick (trigger-grip) head. First stop Jupiter; only two moons. Up to see how easy M65 & 66 were - answer: very and, while I was looking at them, NGC 3628 was also obvious with averted vision. Suitably emboldened I headed over to Melotte 111 (far too big for this binocular's field, but vibrant) to see what I could make of one of my favourite telescopic galaxies, NGC 4565. Put gamma Com at 3 o'clock and, sure enough NGC 4559 was in the middle, obvious with AV and possible with DV. Put 4559 at the top and bingo! Berenice's Hairclip was slap bang in the middle - nice not-so-little streak of light. Spent a long time just enjoying it, then the idea struck me: how many galaxies in the Coma-Virgo cluster could I see and identify? That cued what was both a highly enjoyable and highly frustrating 20 minutes. Starting at Vindemiatrix (boy, I love the colour rendition in the Lunt!) and headed over to M60 just over a field away. Nice and obvious. Then I went over to M87 and the shenanigans began! I reckoned that, with M87 just below centre, I should be able to see 7 or 8 galaxies in the same field. I could see at least a dozen, most of which were in Markarian's Chain but, before going there, I thought I'd have a shufti at M58, which can be an elusive target in 70mm binos from my suburban back garden, "enhanced" as it is by the ghastly "improved" streetlights that Hampshire County Council has, in what it tries to pass off as its wisdom, decreed that I must endure. Popped 58 in the middle, and it disappeared. Used AV on it and there it was again. OK, fine, to be expected, so how many could I see in Markarian's Chain? Again, lots, until I tried to count them, when half of them disappeared. Concentrate on M86 or M84, the others come back again. Look at them, and most of them disappear. Frustrating when trying to count them, but fun just making them come and go at will. So, how many galaxies did I see? I haven't a clue; I gave up trying to count them, but before chilly fingers and common sense sent me crawling back into my pit, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
  8. Isn't it nice to have classy, well-behaved visitors? Permit me to introduce (part of) the family Helios Lightquest, which arrived today courtesy of @FLO/The BinocularShop: The visiting members are (back to front) 25x100, 20x80, 16x70, 10x50. I imagine that what a lot of people will want to know is: "Are these simply re-badged and re-liveried Lunt Magnesiums?" The short answer is, "No, I don't think so but, on a cursory inspection, they do ooze a similar 'premium binocular' class." For any more than that, you'll have to wait until I've put them through their paces. However, if there is any aspect of them that you would like covered that I don't usually put in my independent (as distinct from Sky@Night) reviews, please do ask, and I will consider it. Until then, wish me clear dark skies and watch this space...
  9. Guest

    Hello from SW England

    Getting back into astronomy after many years. Really tasted the thrill as a youngster: eg Jupiter Saturn conj of 1981 viewed through a 4" refractor Splitting the double on the 'tip of the sword' of Cygnus - which as I recall were red and green. Naked eye all night sessions in Spain and New Zealand. For the last couple of weeks I have been getting off to dark skies a few miles from where I live and using 8x32's and I have just bought some used Celestron (Echelon) 16x70's which came a couple of days ago - since which time, in accordance with the Laws of Physics, the skies have been cloudy! I am probably going to get an Orion parallelogram tripod, but there are long waiting times - in the meantime would love to know of any advice people may have on monopods / heads and a mount that will fix to the Echelons.
  10. Date: 8 Jan 2018 Binos: APM 16x70 ED (Monopod) Filters: 1x Castell UHC Last night saw another lovely black sky but the "Helm wind" had kicked up from the Pennines After popping out and back in from 7-30 thru 10-30, I decided that the Dob would not be coming out or more accurately the shed roof would not be opened tonight Not wanting to waste the sky and with my new binos ready and waiting inside, I switched plan and got myself (& the binos) ready. I fitted my new 1.25" Castell UHC filter inside the left eyecup. I added my 2x camping mat dew shields, fitted the monopod & trigger and finally stuck my ipad into into waterproof case. I got all my warm gear on and took everything outside onto the garden table. My plan was to use Sky Safari on the ipad (I had added new "equipment" to cover the binos so it was displaying a target circle to the FOV of the binos) and setup on Orion... Targets M42 - showed as a nice bright cloud, I seemed "bigger" than last time out. I tried switching from one eye to the other to see the UHC difference but I did not find it easy to tell (I was wearing "old" contact lenses as an alternative to my glasses and my eyes have changed in the last 18 months to make close up reading easier without my glasses so this ruined the test). Individual eyepiece focusing definately helps. Rosette - found easily. I recognized the star cluster in the centre as I had spend a long time on this target with the dob the previous night The nebula was faint but visible, it really is a good size! Cone - onto the christmas tree cluster (easy) but no nebula was seen. Seagull neb - I found a definite patch in the right area. Can you see the seagull neb in your binos? M46, 47 - two nice clusters left of sirius. M48 - another good one M67 - easy and bright Beehive - A biggie, stay a while to count the stars... Scanning Leo, there seems to be either regular fuzzies or the fainter stars are appearing as fuzzies. Should I expect to be able to see faint messier galaxies in Leo with binos? Pleiades - Lovely and bright. Getting higher for my neck! Crab M1 - Got it. I failed on this last time out. But bagged it twice tonight. Was it the UHC or just better control of the monopod? California neb = no. nothing. M37,38,36 - trio of clusters. nice as they are all different. There was more stuff in this area (I forgot about the flaming star), need to come back but my neck... M31, 110 & 32 - Onto Andromeda, easy. Big but not as nice as last time out. M110 was much fainter tonight and M32 took some staring to get it. Into Cassiopia ... Double cluster - lovely. shame its so high. There was plenty going on in the vacinity too. Something nice to the lower right? Just "too many things to identify" and my neck... Carolines Rose - Center on CapH and there's Carolines rose in the fov. Onto the Plough... M51 - easy M101 - harder to locate but I found it. Dimmer than M51 Owl neb - Faint but there. Is this the UHC benefit or is it always seen in binos? Overall an enjoyable session. A few misses on my part but you can't get everything unless you make a list before you go out! Quite a few questions above. Would be grateful if anyone can comment on some of them Clear skies, Alan
  11. Forecast was promising so I legged it up to Hyde Common to see if I could bag Comet 45P. I took the Lunt 16x70 and the Amazon basics {aka Ravelli) tripod and joystick head. There were various "tests" on the way: * I knew that I would have no chance with the comet unless I could easily see Neptune. By 17:15 it was easy with direct vision at the centre of an equilateral triangle that had Mars and a couple of 7th mag stars at the apexes (apices?). *Deneb Algiedi (delta Cap) needed to be naked eye visible or I would have no chance with the comet. By 17:25 I could see it. Sky Safari indicated that 45P was shining at mag +7.2 near the 3rd apex of an equilateral triangle made with theta Cap and a 6th mag star. There is a mag +7.3 star just near theta Cap. At 17:25 I could se it (averted vision), but not the comet. By 17:30 ,I suspected the comet, but could not be sure. 5 minutes later, it was apparent with AV, and by 17:45 with DV (only 7° above the horizon). When it was at the limit of AV, it appeared to be in one of two positions - it soon became apparent that one of these was a mag +7.5 star (just above the comet). I'm notoriously rubbish at estimating magnitudes, but I thought the comet was a tad fainter than the star. Mag +7.7 perhaps? 15 minutes later it was getting really tricky in the horizon murk, so I fled home to a warming whisky mac. Worth the effort! If you have a decent SW horizon, give it a go.
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