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Damo636

Helios Apollo 15x70 (Unboxing & First Light

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A package was sat on the floor in the porch when I arrived home yesterday evening, the Apollo had landed :grin:

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The bins come as standard in a nice foam and velvet carry case...

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Having never owned anything other than 10x50 bins I was surprised by the size and weight! My recently acquired Olympus DSP-1 look and feel small by comparison...

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Build quality is very high and these things really do feel like they are built to last. I plan to use these mostly on the monopod with a modified reclining lounger. When I say modified, I mean I have big hole cut in it right between my legs to allow the monopod to fit through :grin:

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Unbelievably the skies were clear last night, really clear in fact, the first time in about 3 weeks! I got myself comfortable on the lounger, pointed the bins at the Pleiades & "WOW" :shocked: This is easily the nicest view of this beautiful cluster I have ever had! The sharpness and contrast of these bins is fabulous. Next up was M42. This is my favourite target in the night sky and the view through the apollo was just jaw dropping. The nebula really popped against the lovely black background, stunning! Although not an ideal planetary instrument, I couldn't resist a look at Jupiter. The planet focused as a perfect disc with the Galileon moons easily visible. Next up I thought I'd test the resolving power with some galaxy hunting. M31 was the obvious first target and it certainly didn't disappoint. The 4.4* fov of the Apollo framed it beautifully with room to spare, lovely! I headed back over in the direction of Ursa Major and bagged M81, M82, M109 (just about) & amazingly M51! I forgot to try for M101 :rolleyes2: I spent the rest of the session scanning aimlessly through the heavens, taking in various large clusters and just utterly enjoying the views these amazing bins serve up. All in all I consider these bins as money well spent, they will see a lot of use :smiley:

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Awsome indeed Michael, should've have done this ages ago, I have definitely been missing out!

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Good on you Damo! Those Helios are on my 'must have' list to replace my current Celestron 15x70's- when I have the 'spare' cash. I get the impression that the contrast is much better with the Helios (along with just about every other performance measure- Lol!). Thanks for the review,and also the pic of the monopod/ballhead set up,which we have Steve to thank for pointing both of us to! I'd recommend that set up to any would be bino Astronomer.

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Mine are on the way, ordered from FLO last night. I am going the monopod route as well. May get a tripod later to use them for birding.

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So pleased you like it. Just goes to show that the Chinese can make cracking kit when it's made up to a specification, not down to a price! Try Kemble's Cascade when you get a chance -- perfectly framed in the FoV.

I get the impression that the contrast is much better with the Helios (along with just about every other performance measure- Lol!).
Sums it up. The contrast is better because the coatings are better, the baffling is better.... And you have a 70mm effective aperture, not the"pretend" 70mm (that is actually 62mm( that you get with the budget ones.
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Yep, I'm completely chuffed with them Steve, the whole set up in fact! Kembles Cascade is definitely on my to do list but typically the weather has now turned for the worse, again :-(

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Got them today. Wow, is the only thing I can say!! Look forward to using them, of course, 10m visibility fog now I have new kit :(

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Nice one!!, they are really nice aren't they :smiley:

Fabulous. But not got monopod sorted yet so not doing much in the way of observing yet - even if the weather permitted it!

I was surprised at the per eye focuser as opposed to the "in the middle" focuser. I bet that takes some getting used to? Not a problem, just found it strange!

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The individual eye focusing did seem a little odd at first as I have only ever had centre focusing binos. Its perfect for astro though, as once they are focused, they don't have to be touched again.

I took delivery of a Horizon 8115 tripod yesterday and tried the Apollo out on it last night. The tripod and head is pretty decent considering the price, and the Apollo is very happy on it. It gives me another mounting option but I see it getting more use for terrestrial obs if I'm honest.

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Good to hear yet another confirmation of the quality of these bins. Your test on Jupiter is my bino benchmark. I've never known the 'cheap and cheerfuls' give anything resembling a clean disk. This kind of aperture and wide field makes for a lovely night out. I get something similar in my little Pronto and Nagler 26. So much to enjoy.

Olly

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Regarding tripod that's something I am investigating too. A primary use of the bins is for me to use them whilst imaging rig is up and going. A quality manfrotto tripod and head could pay dividends.

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Individual focusing means I only focus once, and after that I just grab the bins and look. Brilliant!

I have used these "big guns" for birding in the Alps as well, and you soon get used to it. Centre focusing is better for birding, however.

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I am thinking of getting the Helios 15x70mm Apollo Binoculars and will see if I can go for the 25x100 ones and would like to ask are these ideal for Satellite and Asteroid hunting and also is there a lot of difference between the Helios ones and the Celestron Skymaster 15x70mm ones. Thanks

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I am thinking of getting the Helios 15x70mm Apollo Binoculars ... and also is there a lot of difference between the Helios ones and the Celestron Skymaster 15x70mm ones.
Yes. Enormous difference. The only possible advantages the Skymaster has are that it is lighter and cheaper; in all other respects the Helios Apollo is significantly better.
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The Helios.......... much heavier but , as Steve says, much better views......... if you can mount them securely.

Be prepared to spend around £150-200 on a decent mount.

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I was thinking of going for the Helios Quantum 25x100 Binoculars or the Helios Apollo 15x70mm and which are the better out of the 2, Also I have an Orion Optics Deluxe Alt Azimuth Mount for the Binoculars but I will need a L-Bracket for them. Are these binoculars generally good for the ISS and satellite spotting and Asteroid Spotting as well as some deep sky. Thanks :grin:

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Matt

Its a tough call between those two. Although the 15x70 Apollo will be of a higher quality overall, the 25x100 Quantum 4 with its increased resolution/magnification will generally show you more. The trade off as already mentioned is that the 100mm binocular will need a pretty hefty mount. (I'm not familiar with the Orion Optics mount, so you may well be ok in this regard) Something else to consider is that the larger binocular will have a smaller true fov, 2.5° vs 4°. I have to admit though, I would like to add a 100mm bino to the stall at some point! Good luck with your decision :-)

Ps. Either of the two will be good for satellite/ISS spotting. As far as deep sky, asteroids/comet spotting goes, the larger binocular will be capable of resolving fainter objects.

Edited by Damo636

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Be prepared to spend around £150-200 on a decent mount.
You can certainly spend that much (or more) on a decent mount, but I usually use mine on a monopod and trigger-grip ball-head -- this combo cost me a mere £55 (after I'd upgraded the monopod -- £33 with the cheap one -- but the trigger-grips have gone up a tenner or so since). Details at http://binocularsky.com/binoc_mount.php

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You can certainly spend that much (or more) on a decent mount, but I usually use mine on a monopod and trigger-grip ball-head -- this combo cost me a mere £55 (after I'd upgraded the monopod -- £33 with the cheap one -- but the trigger-grips have gone up a tenner or so since). Details at http://binocularsky....binoc_mount.php

I use the monopod and trigger grip with the 15x70s, as recommended by Steve,and it's great but if you go with 25x100s you'll need some thing more substantial.

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Looks like I commented on the unedited version :smiley:

I use the monopod and trigger grip with the 15x70s, as recommended by Steve,and it's great but if you go with 25x100s you'll need some thing more substantial.

Indeed so. Edited by BinocularSky

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Hi as any one used these binoculars while wearing glasses? I just received mine last week from FLO and I had a lot of difficulty with huge amounts of stray light blocking what appears to be a superb clear image. I contacted Steve from FLO and as is usual with a first class company they are on the problem. It would be interesting to hear from anyone else who wears glasses while viewing through these binoculars, this does not appear to happen when looking through any other pair of binoculars so I am hoping there is a flaw with this particular pair. Steve.

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