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Found 80 results

  1. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sir Patrick's DSO catalogue, I've added the available Caldwells to my basic Marathon search sequence. Those interested may be pleasantly surprised by how many of the additional treasures are only a short hop from a given (or en route to the next) Messier. The sequence for 40°N can be found at the SEDS Messier Marathon homepage or at my blog. Peace, Stephen
  2. Having recently acquired some nice Opticron 20x80 binoculars, I of course could not resist the temptation of a larger pair when the opportunity arose. I did buy some 25x100's from AstroBoot but they arrived out of collimation so were returned. Perhaps someone picked them up cheaply to re-align? Anyhow, the Helios Apollos seem to get excellent reviews, so I nabbed these 22x85s when they came up on ABS. They are big, but more manageable than the 25x100s and sit quite nicely on my Trigger grip ball head thingy. Once I had tightened the tension adjustment a little it holds firm even pointing towards the zenith. Not that it's easy to observe up there without significant contortionism! (The smaller binoculars in the image for comparison are B&S 8x56.) These binos have Bak 4 prisms, individual focusing and are described as waterproof; I hope I don't have to test that though. The field of view is three degrees which seems reasonable for this mag, I would rather have a smaller, sharper field than a wider view which suffers from nasty distortions. The exit pupil should be 3.86mm from straight calculation. I have not attempted to measure it, but viewing through the eyepieces shows a nice round disk of light, free of any intrusions which would indicate under-sized prisms. The objective coatings seem good, not that I am any sort of expert, but they appear a deep purple, blue or green colour depending upon the angle of view. Being used, they could do with a bit of a clean but any marks are just dew spots, not coating damage. The central tripod mounting point is solid and holds the binos very firmly, whilst also being adjustable front to back to get the optimum balance point depending upon the type of viewing you are doing. Adjustment of the interpupilliary distance was smooth and easy to set. The focus adjustment on each eyepiece was also smooth, easy to use and seemed to hold position once set. The final nice feature to point out are that the eyepieces are threaded to take 1.25" filters. I splashed out on an ES OIII and UHC filter to put in there for better performance on nebulae. They were a little fiddly to thread in but once engaged they were a good fit. Easier with smaller fingers than me though! So far I have only had a fairly brief first light and am happy with the views. I had no issues with merging the images, collimation seems spot on. I found the separate adjustment of each eyepiece a little fiddly. I am used to adjusting the diopter and then just using the centre focus. I normally tweak the centre focus quite regularly so the concept of setting and leaving is one I am unfamiliar with. When I viewed, I don't think the seeing was particularly good. I was seeing three stars clearly in the Trapezium, but perhaps not as sharply as I expected. I think this may in part be to do with getting used to the focusing though. I must get my eyes checked again soon though, it has been a while and it is possible that I may have developed some astigmatism. Performance on the nebula itself was lovely though. A gentle green glow and plenty of nice detail with averted vision. Under a dark sky I can see these will be amazing. I need to spend more time with these binos but my impression so far is that they seem pretty sharp across most of the field which is very nice. Mizar split with little problem in the centre and if I remember correctly also near the edge but I will confirm this. The field of view is plenty big enough to show M45 framed with enough sky to be taken in in all its glory. That's about all for now, I will update when I have a more extensive session with them, plus get to use the filters. Observing at higher altitudes will probably present a bit of a problem but potentially reclining in a chair with the tripod set widely over them would have a chance of success. If dark enough I may consider lying down too ??
  3. I took advantage of the FSO offer of the Opticron 10X50s for £99, they should arrive tomorrow. I can't wait to start using them! My old pair of 10x50s got knocked out of line a while ago, and I've been using some little rubbish Argos things that are about as much use as looking down a toilet roll tube. I noticed in the Sky at Night magazine, Steven Tonkins does a 'binocular tour' every month. I don't subscribe, (I've always bought Astronomy Now), but I think I may start getting Sky at Night regularly, because his binocular sky maps are pretty fantastic. Cassiopeia is in this month, and there's quite a few objects in there I've put on my 'next clear sky' list. I've ordered a copy of his book on the strength of these charts. Does anyone have it? Does it have maps comparable to the ones in Sky at Night? I've searched my old magazine pile for back-issues of the Sky at Night, and I've found a couple more. Gemini and Cygnus. What maps do you guys use when you're binocular observing?
  4. The August edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * A grazing occultation of a bright star * Moon occulting stars in the Hyades * See both ice giants as well as Vesta * Review of the Celestron EclipSmart 10x25 solar binocular I hope it helps you to get the best out of these late summer 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. You can also subscribe (also free) and have it emailed each month. Warning: Do not attempt to observe the Sun with any optical system that is not specifically designed for the purpose.
  5. Hi all, I've decided to stay in the house tonight with the anticipation of some clear skies later on, and to hopefully get the chance of splitting a few double stars - something that I've never done before. After a while looking through some charts at my desk with a rather nice glass of red, I've come to the conclusion that Cygnus and the Northern Cross seem like a pretty good place to start. My first port of call will definitely be Albireo at the foot of the Cross.. I'm excited about this one as it sounds like a beautiful view through a pair of binoculars, not to mention the easiest to find! I'll then move over to the Cygnus triple all being well and then the three doubles (Mu Cygni, 79 Cygni and 61 Cygni). Now all that's left to do is await the darkness, and hope the clouds disappear! Hope you're all having a great weekend. Cheers, Mark
  6. On the 2nd of July I closed my curtains one night before I went to bed but, before they were shut I noticed a strange multicoloured light flickering low in the sky in the northern celestial hemisphere. I Thought to myself if that is a star it looks amazing. The next night (3rd of July) I decided to take another look at this multicoloured light which was still there, Only this time I used my binoculars, I was seeing blues, greens & reds. We have all seen stars by looking up into the sky but, I have never seen a star create multi colours before. It makes you feel excited inside and you think that no one else can see this until you tell them and share the same experience together. I believe I was looking at the Capella Star which is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga and your not kidding it is bright. I cant wait to have another look tonight to see if the multi colours are still there. I would like to have taken at picture of it but I am not setup to do that just yet as I am very new to star gazing. I wish someone here can confirm what I saw and to post a picture of it would be awesome. Nikon Prostaff 3s 8 x 42
  7. Thought this might be of interest made binocular tripod modification to use my25x100 celestrons. The original tripod was redundent so added £30 of steel and bits and it works well. Bit of refining but may be later!
  8. 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.
  9. Hi, does anybody know if stars differ in color when viewed through different sets of binoculars (ex. 7x35, 10x50, 11x80, 20x80)?
  10. I was observing Jupiter tonight and I saw what appeared to be 3 moons on the left side and 2 on the right side. Is it possible to see 5 moons with 15 x 70 bins? Or, are one of the "moons" a dim star abut the same magnitude as one of the moons?
  11. 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
  12. All Just had an hour with the 12x50 bins following AN magazines November binocular sky feature. Basicly a hunt for M's 36, 37 and 38. Found them fairly quickly Starting from Alnath to HIP25291. Just on the edge of the fov was M36 a sharpish fuzzie. Once located both M37 and M38 could both be located on the edge of fov above and below M36, both appearing as less distinct faint fuzzies. For all 3 M's i had to use averted vision Pleased as punch with that hour and 3 more M's chalked off and my first chance to scan Auriga. I also passed many rich star fields that i havent identified due to the initial hunt for M's
  13. I just came in from a quick and cold viewing. As I was sweeping the sky east of Pollux and Castor, I came across a large open cluster that I estimated to be a bout 2 degrees across. I just looked up large open clusters near Gemini and found out I viewed the Beehive Cluster or M44. It's also known as Praesepe. In all my years of viewing DSOs with my scopes I never saw this. Possibly because it's so large that only about a quarter of it would have fit into my eyepiece FOV.
  14. 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 ?
  15. Hi there, I’ve decided that I want to add a finder capability to my 15x85 Binoculars so I’ve been searching the web for a suitable mechanism to mount something to the central shaft of the bins. Difficult to believe that there isn’t something out there already designed for this purpose. My preference is for using a laser pointer rather than an RDF. Hoping you guys can provide some inspiration? Paul.
  16. For sale my William Optics 10x50 ED for £160 plus £12.98 UK delivery. (Parcel Force signed for 48 hours covered for £100). They are in excellent condition.
  17. Hi all, I've just joined SGL and have a few queries about buying some equipment. I've had a look through quite a few posts but not found completely relevant information, but do point me in the right direction, as I'm sure these are very common queries! So I'm getting into astronomy, although I did own a Celestron First Scope a few years back. Although this was ok, I'm not keen on a table top scope anymore. To put things in context, I live on the outskirts of London, so still a fair amount of light pollution, but not terrible. I have a garden but pretty small (appprox 7x8 metres), with houses on two sides. However, I can get good views of Orion Nebula etc Having read around, I thought it best to get some binoculars i) because they are relatively lightweight (so I can take them to other parts of the country with better visibility) ii) as starting out, seems to make sense rather than having a large telescope I may use less Having tried a few binoculars I'm having slight difficulty telling much difference between them and wondering if this is a common problem?! I've tried the following: Olympus DPS I (10x50 & 8x40); Nikon Actions Ex (10x50 & 12x50); Nikon Aculon 7x50; Pentax SP WP 10x50; Celestron Skymaster 9x63. I really wanted to like the Action EX, Pentax and Skymaster, as prefer waterproof elements. Apart from magnification I've struggled to see much difference at night between all of these. I had big hopes for the Skymaster as it had noticeably richer colours during the day with large aperture, but comparing to others by picking out faint stars at night, they all seemed equally good/bad. In addition, I tried to see a difference in the contrast, but not much difference here either (maybe there would be no difference with light pollution). Unfortunately I sent the lower magnification back before testing some of the other and they did seem brighter from what I recall, but at the expense of detail. As you probably know, the variety in cost for these is large (£50-£200). I'm now wondering if my best bet is to just get a cheaper and lower magnification binocluar (Olympus 8x40) which I can hold by hand and a cheapish telescope (Celestron 130EQ) for the amount I could spend on the most expensive bins on the list? I've been a bit resistant to getting large bins, as was trying to avoid a tripod, but maybe I need to take the plunge, so any suggestions on these appreciated. Ideally I'd still have a slightly better binoculars if there are any recommendations out there, however I feel like I've pretty much exhausted the main options. I may still try the Skymaster 8x56. Any advice or suggestions appreciated on bins, telescopes, and also if there's a better way to test difference between products. Thanks and apologies for the long essay!
  18. Well, miracles do happen, just spent an evening with the bins under my first half decent local clear skies of 2017. Bagged the following objects in two stints M81, M82, M92, M13, M3, M42, M45, M31, then later on between 23:00 and 00:30, Jupiter, M44, M51, Leo triplet (very faint with averted vision), M53, NGC5053 and a whole host of very faint unidentifiable smudges in the coma and Virgo regions. Most pleased about M51 and the Leo triplet, first time I've managed to see these with the 15x85 binoculars?
  19. Picked up some great Pentax 12x50 PCF WP II binoculars off Dobbie today (thanks for meeting up at the services), and unbelievably managed to get some first light with them tonight too! Great view through them as is to be expected from Pentax, but I was pleasantly surprised on how good the views where. The moon looked great with the earthshine, and I even managed to see M81 & M82 with them (with the help of my Orion P binocular mount). M42 was very pleasing, and the open clusters in Auriga where easy (if with a stiff neck at zenith) to spot. All in all very pleased with these binos, and look forward (when clouds allow) to use them to tease out other Messier objects etc!
  20. Hi there, can anyone recommend the optimum length for a pair of dew shields for my 15x85 binoculars. Kind Rebards Paul J.
  21. Needed a tripod so have gone for the sturdy horizon 8115 ,takes my 20x80 binos a treat extends a good length no stooping required , has a quick release plate so can leave set up to the binos will get another plate for my camera,legs are lock and twist type, overall quality look good for price coming in at £80
  22. The Binocular Sky Newsletter for December 2013 is now available. Things have been a tad hectic recently at "BinoSky Central" , so this is a tad shorter than usual but, I hope, will still be useful. What I try to pass off as "normal service" will be resumed as soon as possible... In addition to the usual selection of good DSOs and Solar System objects to observe, in this month's issue we also have: * Comet Lovejoy * Many lunar occultations * A selection of variable stars To grab your (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. I hope you find it useful.
  23. Anyone here familiar with this Vixen binoculars, Vixen Binoculars Ascot ZR 8 x 42WP I can't seem to find any reviews on the net. It costs around £140, about the same as many other low-mid range porro models from top tier brands such as Nikon Action EX. While Vixen refractors (Made in Japan models e.g. ED81S) are known for quality, their binos seem to be very inconsistent according to many reviews (other models). I'd be glad to hear some personal experiences with Vixen binos even if it isn't the model I listed. Many thanks.
  24. Hi all, I have been gifted a pair of Arena Observation 25x100 binoculars and a Slik Pro 700DX tripod. I have trawled the internet, but have been unable to find any information on the binoculars. Could someone kindly provide me with any info on them, they seem pretty damn good. TIA
  25. Hi all , i currently have an old pair of 7x50 Chinon binoculars and I’m looking to up grade them, I’ve been looking around and have found some 15x70 binos which look good value. How much of a difference will I notice with these is it a big difference? If you could recommend me some binos in this price range (<£100) I’d be much appreciated. As I don’t really have a clue what to look for in binos. Mainly used for star gazing of course Thanks for the help
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