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Found 7 results

  1. I've been looking for a cheapo solution to attach the cheap and ubiquitous red-dot finder to my Celestron 20x80 but didn't like the official clip thing that Celestron sells. Bad reviews complaining of it easily snapping, and to me, overpriced. After much research and counting of pennies, I went for this all steel, no-snap solution, costing a whopping £6.90 (with free shipping). From the top: 1 x 20mm Dovetail to 11mm Rail adapter. £2.69 with free shipping. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/20mm-Dovetail-to-11mm-Rail-Mount-Weaver-Picatinny-Rail-Scope-Mount-Rail-SA089-P15/32800225228.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.b0d14c4dzyuqK1 1 x Picatinny/Weaver 20mm Rail Base Adapter (used to attach scopes to rifle barrels) . £5.11 with free shipping https://www.aliexpress.com/item/20mm-Picatinny-Weaver-Rail-Mount-Base-Adapter-Tactical-Hunting-Rifle-Gun-Scope-Mount-Converter-Laser-Sight/32792605686.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.b0d14c4dzyuqK1 1 x bit of thick plastic to act as a shim. Anything will do.
  2. I had a quick session with my new to me 20x80 Opticron, Japanese made binos tonight. I have them tripod mounted using a trigger grip ball head which works very well. Lovely views of M42, trapezium split nicely and surprisingly a gentle green tint to the nebula. Anyway, the crescent moon was also looking lovely with prominent earthshine. There was a fair amount of CA as is to be expected, but still a nice sharp view along the terminator. Three shots here, all hand held at the binos. I made sure I focused the binos using my glasses first, otherwise the images are obviously out of focus! First one was exposed for the earthshine, the second is converted to mono to get rid of the CA and the third is exposed for the terminator. All tweaked on the phone using PS Express. Quite pleased with the results, given the inappropriateness for imaging of the kit used ?
  3. Hi all, Although I've owned a pair of Celestron Skymaster 20x80s for over six years now, but because they went badly out of collimation, I haven't used them for ages. I sent them back to Celestron, but, apparently, they couldn't be repaired. Amazingly, though, they gave me a brand new pair (!), and these arrived yesterday. Once mounted on the tripod I took a look at the 69% waxing Moon. Absolutely incredible view! Sharp, bright, big, three-dimensional, and only the very slightest hint of chromatic aberration. Kept coming back to this over the course of the evening. Next up M31 and M33. Although quite washed out by the moonlight (as was everything I looked at), I was amazed at the brightness, the size, and the hint of detail in M31. Again, the three-dimensionality was obvious. M33 was only just visible. Open clusters: Double cluster, Owl cluster, Coathanger – all were fantastic, with a variety of star colours obvious, and only a hint of distortion around the edge of the fov (really had to drag my eyes away from the objects in the middle of the fov to experience it). The Coathanger pretty much filled the fov, and was pin sharp and bright. Double stars: Epsilon Lyrae, a very easy split, as was Albireo (again, the different colours were obvious). Mesarthim was just too tight to split. In passing, one of the things that amazed me the most last night was star colour. Mirach, Algol, Vega and many others were all pin sharp, bright, and their colours were very obvious. Globulars: M15 and 92 were small and dense fuzzy balls, M13 bigger, brighter, and with just a hint of granulation to it (like the Moon, I kept coming back to M13). Ring nebula: The ring shape was obvious, even at x20, though small. Being a work night, I was back indoors by about 10, but although just a brief session, it was hugely enjoyable, and a real buzz to be using 20x80 bins again. Cheers, Kev.
  4. I only bought these recently, and was very pleased with them but I got the big bino bug and bought a pair of Apollo 22x85's so these are surplus to requirements. Very good condition, collimation is spot on, Japanese optics. Tripod and trigger grip not included in the sale, but there is a case included which is in good condition. Looking for £130 posted or £120 collected at SGL11. Cheers, Stu
  5. Hi all, Been a while since I have been on the site – work has been really busy these last 18 months, and although it’s still manic, things are slowing down a bit!! Viewing my previous posts, you will see that I was in the market for a new scope to adorn my EQ3-2 mount that I had purchased ages ago now!! Well, things didn’t turn out as expected, and while I am still hoping to get a scope, hopefully at Christmas if Santa is kind to me (I have been a good boy lol!!) I decided to get a pair of Binoculars to fill the gap! Budget was tight, and I did want a pair of larger aperture bins. A lot of reading up on the internet, and I settled on the Celestron Skymaster 20x80’s. I already have a pair of 10x50’s so was after something with a bit more power, and larger objective’s. The skymasters seemed to fit the bill, and the price was right as well! I dropped into Rother Valley Optics with my cash on the off chance they would have a pair in stock – they didn’t, so I left my details, and less than 24 hours later, Adam from the shop called me to say they had a pair in! I drove over to their shop, tried them out outside the shop, as I had read that some pairs are known to have collimation issues. These where perfect, so I parted with my £99 cash and went home with them! First class service from RVO, and I will be using them again when it comes to getting my scope – thanks guys! So, onto the bin’s. They came double boxed up, and within the branded box inside the plain box, the bin’s were securely packed in foam and wrapped in plastic. They come with a basic carry case, which won’t protect them from hard knocks, but will keep the dust off them while not in use. The eye pieces are protected by a one piece cover, while each large objective is covered by its own, separate cover. There is also a basic neck strap, but it appears quite flimsy, and I won’t be using it. The bins have a built in tripod adaptor, on an adjustable slider, meaning they can be securely attached to a tripod and balanced up. Weight wise, they tip the scales at just over 2.6kg. This isn’t hugely heavy, and while I did use a tripod for some observing, when I wanted to look at things nearer the zenith, I hand held them, and did so for quite some time. I didn’t feel they were overly heavy, even after prolonged use. It seems that new scope curse also affects owners of new binoculars, as I had to wait 5 days for clear skies!! I went out at about 10:30pm into the back garden, and while the side of house has a street lamp directly over the hedge, round the back its cut off, and quite dark. I began by finding M31, which at is currently nearly at the Zenith. I could see the central core clearly, and with some averted vision, make out some finer details in the disk. Moving on to M45, the Pleiades, that was just rising over my neighbours fence – what a sight!! Even though it was quite low down, the cluster filled the view, and I could see loads of fainter stars within it. Moving through the Milkyway, the view was filled with thousands of stars and star clusters!! I was really impressed. I intend to go to a dark sky site up in the Peak District, just north of Ashbourne when time and the weather permit, to get some proper dark sky viewing in! I have not yet been able to look at the Moon or any planets through them – the Moon hadn’t risen by the time I turned in, and is now a very small waning crescent. I will have to wait a bit longer, and will update the review once done. Mars was up, but low in the sky, and due to the street lights, swamped with LP. With terrestrial viewing, they provide bright and crisp views. While there is some CA when looking at things with bright edges, general viewing wasn’t affected in any way. I plan to take them to my local nature reserve to test them out on some wild life as well. I am also a bit of a plane fan, and when time permits I park up near East Midlands Airport to watch the aircraft coming and going – these will be great for that, set up on my tripod for easy viewing! Conclusion – the Skymaster 20x80’s are a decent pair of binoculars. While they don’t have the build quality of more expensive ones, treated well I can see no reason why they won’t last for years. They actually come with a 5 year Celestron guarantee anyway! For causal use when you don’t want to set up the main scope I think these fit the bill nicely, and I would recommend them to anyone. Cheers all Nige
  6. In an effort to try to have more, quick but useful sessions, I picked up these nice Japanese made Opticron 20x80 binos recently. They are a very solid piece of kit, the rubber armour seems pretty sturdy and generally they have a good feel to them, despite being somewhere around 10 years old I think. The optics are clear and free of scratches or fungus, they have been well cared for. One reason to try them was my recent acquisition of a 'Trigger grip ball head thingy' which I tried with my Canon 15x50IS and was impressed at the simplicity, so it encouraged me to give these a try. I picked up an L-bracket from FLO, again Opticron and again very solidly made. In practise, they worked nicely on the Trigger mount, but it was struggling to maintain its position when at higher elevations. By that I mean when I released the trigger they dropped a little before holding. I think there may be a tension adjustment which I will play with later. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the binoculars. Collimation is spot on, and focus was easy to set and seems to stay put. They are sharp on axis, but do drop off towards the edges noticeably. Unlike a scope though, you tend to concentrate on the centre, and move the binos when needed so I did not find it that distracting. CA levels seem pretty well controlled too, although the moon was fairly colourful on the limb it was by no means objectionable, and perfectly acceptable on brighter stars such a Rigel and Betelgeuse. I'm no expert by any means on binoculars, but checking them out, the exit pupil appears to be correct at 4mm, but shows a slight intrusion from the prisms which I guess is normal? I didn't view too many targets, but enough to get a flavour. M42 looked amazing. It had a greenish tint to it which I've only seen before in scopes. The trapezium was obviously tiny, but three stars were clear, and the fourth was visible when the seeing allowed. The 'fish's mouth' was clearly visible, and the whole thing quite impressive, particularly with averted vision. Mintaka split nicely, although there was some glare/flaring around the primary star. I also tried for Mizar and again, that split very nicely and the whole system including Alcor was beautifully framed. The x20 mag was noticeable here vs the Canons and the split was easier. M45 was framed well in the 3 degree fov. I couldn't accuse the view of showing pinpoint stars across the field, because it didn't! All in all though, very pleasant to see. I caught M81 and M82 using my normal star hop. Not dramatic under urban skies, but there, and identifiable. I also finally got the Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina myself. I'd seen it once previously, found by another club member in a 12" Meade SCT under pretty poor conditions. It was quite dim, nothing spectacular in the binos but good to see finally. Star hopping is certainly much easier in binos!! In terms of usability, the trigger grip and tripod work pretty well, but objects near the zenith are tricky. I either need to add my pillar extension and stay standing, or sit down which is what I did last night. Looking forward to being able to use these for quick sessions from dark sites, perhaps on weekends away when taking a scope would be frowned upon by SWMBO ?? Dodgy iPhone shot included for reference ? EDIT Yes, I know the neighbours hedge needs cutting!!!! ??
  7. 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...
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