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CHICKENMAN66

Revalation 20x80 v Helios Quantum 20x80

9 posts in this topic

Hi, I am new to Astronomy and want to start out with bins and learn my way round the sky before I progress to a telescope. Can anybody give me some reviews on the bins in the title as the Helios are near £100 more for the same size. Hard to find any up to date reviews. You get what you pay for will not be much help. I need to know about the focusing and clarity of imaging before I buy some. Did read something about flaring in the Revalations. No local shop to go in to to ask.

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Hi Welcome to the forum..

I have moved you post into the Binocular board so that it will be seen by people already using binos...

Peter...

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I may be wrong here but the optics have a good chance to be made by the same company. I came across a Chinese website where they supply large binoculars to most of the big names in astronomy and they showed them with various casings which were similar if not the same to the brand name units. This was not a cheap site selling junk it was a legitimate company who only deal with the 'trade'. I would say get the ones you think would be the best for you regarding style as I think they both have the same optical spec.

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just to complicate things further It's true that they may be made by the same chinese firm but they can be made to different spec according to the price point the commissioning firm wish to put out.

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I think it is fair to say that you get what you pay for so £100 80mm bins will pick up a lot of light compared to a 50mm set but will show some flaring and distortion towards the edge of the FOV but will be very usable on a good solid tripod!

If you pay £250 for an 80mm pair the FOV will show much less distortion.. If you get a FJ paid for £1000+ then you will get perfect star spots accross the whole FOV..

Mark

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You get what you pay for will not be much help.
However, it is true. A half-way decent eyepiece retails in the region of £40-50, a coated 80mm short-focus achromatic lens about £80, prisms retail around a tenner each. A binocular consists of 2 eyepieces, 2 objective lens groups, 4 prisms, two focusing mechanisms, and associated housing/tubing. Now, ask yourself what quality it is reasonable to expect for a 20x80 binocular that retails for less than £85.

It will show you more than you can see with the unaided eye, it will show you more than you can see with a 10x50 or cheap 15x70, but you will not have crisply focused stars, you will have ghosting and flaring, you will have obtrusive aberrations except for the middle 50% of the field of view, and you will need to learn to conditionally align it -- regularly -- because even in the unlikely event that you receive it collimated, the odds are that that it will repeatedly lose collimation because of the way the prisms are mounted.

If you are prepared to live with that, then fine, lots of people choose to do so and profess to be happy with their choice. It is remarkable that a binocular of this size can be made so "affordable", but please don't kid yourself that the quality will be anything to write home about: this binocular is made to a price, not a quality spec, and quality control, by the manufacturer's own admission, is at best minimal (it is, quite simply, cheaper to replace the occasional customer reject than it is to employ QC staff).

Also, please don't assume that all binoculars that look alike are alike. They may differ in (amongst other things) the quality of coatings, the type of eyepiece, the glass used, the way the prisms are mounted and the level of quality control.

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I have a pair of the Revelation 20x80's. They do suffer from significant distortion and flaring on bright objects - Saturn/Venus/Mars are a mess! On the otherhand what you can see of these at 20x is fairly limited.

I find that they are fine for DSO's and binocular doubles. Most of my Messier List has been spotted through these and I still get them out regularly and enjoy the widefield views through them.

As I havn't tried the Helios I cannot comment on them however you generally get what you pay for so If you have the readies available I would go for the higher quality Helios, if funds are short however I have found the Revelations deliver the WOW factor at a very reasonable price and are a good starting point.

You will need to tripod mount both pairs so factor in the cost of a tripod as well and remember that you will need a tall one. Both have a built in Tripod mounting bracket which saves you a £10!

Happy star gazing!

Regards

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I changed my 15x70 Omegon (Revelation clone) to a Helios Apollo HD 15x70 some time back. I got the Omegon for just 89 euro, based on the idea that if I did not take to them, I would not make a big loss if I sold them later. I loved them, despite noting some deficiencies. They were certainly very good value for money. I later got an 80mm APO as wide-field instrument, but still found I was using the 15x70 bins a lot. The traveled with me to Oz and South Africa, and showed me the marvels of the southern skies.

I did note more deficiencies as time went by, in particular lack of stable focus, flaring of bright objects, and chromatic aberrations, especially on the moon. Therefore, when I could get a secondhand pair of Helios Apollo HDs I jumped on that. The difference is considerable. With these I can spot the phase of Venus at the moment (the old ones couldn't ever) and it shows the flattened shape of Saturn. Chromatic errors are much smaller, and the image is brighter overall. Focus (using individual focusing) is rock solid.

So, do I regret buying the Omegon? Absolutely not! They gave me a lot of viewing pleasure for a very modest price. Do I think the Helios is better: Absolutely! But the price is a lot higher.

BTW, I would go for 15x70 rather than 20x80, because the former can still be hand held (just), or simply be used in a reclining chair, or rest your arms on e.g. the roof of a parked car. This reduces set-up time, and means you start observing more quickly. At 20x you must have a tripod.

Edited by michael.h.f.wilkinson

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Hi Chickenman

If you want Binos for getting to know whats where in the sky, I would recommend lower magnification and wider field of view (as Michael's recommendation). I have a pair of Helios 11x80mm bins which I can just about hand hold for limited periods of time and regularly use on a photographic tripod. As I'm getting on a bit the exit pupil is a bit large and therefore I waste a bit of light, otherwise I'm very pleased with them particularly for brighter DSOs. Hope helpful and welcome to SGL from Suffolk

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