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Helios Nirvana 8x42's or Apollo 15x70's... or your alternatives?


Crebles
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Hi folks. Your thoughts and help v. welcome.

I find - to my surprise - that I really love binocular astronomy. It turns out that some of the most fun nights stargazing I have from my light-polluted garden on a 'school-night' is with my bins and a star map, maybe getting out my ST80+EQ1 or 200p Dob if its a really clear night and no work the next day.

I've a pair of Barr & Stroud Sahara 10x50's (lovely enough), but I've got an itch for some better bins. I'm starting to realise bins are quite a personal thing, but I'd really like to hear you thoughts and advice on whether I go small and high quality (eg 8x42 Helios Nirvana) or larger and high good quality + tripod (eg Helios Apollo 15x70)? I have a L-bracket and a nice Benbo photo tripod. I reckon I could justify up to about £250 for the right pair of bins. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

Regards, Simon

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  • 2 months later...

I have seen some amazing things with the Helios Apollo 15x70s like the Andromeda Galaxy, Double Cluster in Perseus and Orion Nebula and the Pleiades and Hyades and many other deep sky objects and amazing crisp views of the moon. Good luck with your new purchase! :)

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Hi Simon,

As you mention binoculars are personal things. I have a pair of 10x50 Opticron's and Helios Apollo 15x70's and I am finding that I use the Apollo's much more. A working combination of the Apollo's, a heavy duty tripod and combined red dot finder and mounting bracket  http://www.scopesnskies.com/prod/binocular/red-dot/tripod-bracket2.html have served me well this year.  Best of luck with your decisions (Christmas too isn't far away).

Cheers,

Steve

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@ Crebles, I have a pair of Helios Apollo 15x70s and they are amazing binoculars and have them on an Orion Paragon-Plus BinoMount & Tripod. Would recommend one of these mounts if your looking for one. http://www.scsastro.co.uk/catalogue/orion-paragon-plus-binomount-and-tripod.htm

Funnily enough I was looking at that particular mount on the same website just yesterday. A bit beyond budget at the moment, so my Cloudy Saturday plans include seeing if i can work out how to make a paralleogram mount from bits from the garage. Long bits of wood [check], tripod and base unit from EQ1 [check], any idea how to mount the bins so they move [nope]. 

Thanks to you all for showing interest. Marvellous hobby isn't it ?!

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Good luck with making the parelleogram mount and hope you can post photos once it's done, I was using a white Orion Optics Deluxe Alt Azimuth mount which I use for my Skywatcher 127mm Maksutov Scope for the Helios Apollo 15x70s which I have a picture which I use as my Avatar on here but its OK for viewing objects that are above the horizon but not so good for objects over head and high up cause you get neck cramp and strain and the way the mount is constructed is really only designed for observing objects just above the horizon rather than anything that is high up as I was finding that I was getting neck strain. My new mount from Scs Astro is great but only got it a few days ago and the sky has been cloudy so will wait and see how I get on with it. :) 

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Thanks for the encouragement Matt. I reckon I'm about half way through now. Have made a chunky wood platfrom that bolts to the EQ1 tripod, and made the parallelogram, but that needs reducing in 'height' a bit, and I've a come up with a nifty arrangement of brackets and hinges from the local hardware shop (think Arkwrights) for the business end where the bins sit. Now to connect em all up and make a platform for the bins..... I'll try to remember to take some snaps.

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