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Manok101

Don't know the first thing about astronomy binoculars.

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My grandfather had a pair of 10x50s that were a favorite of mine to use while stargazing when I didn't have a telescope, I was hoping now though to have a pair of my own for when I didn't have the energy to get the telescope out and just wanted to spend a few minutes looking up without all the hassle. What do I look for in astronomy binoculars? I want to be able to hold them of course, and maybe use them for other things, like at the beach watching the wildlife, that sort of thing. Any suggestions, or at the very least suggestions on where I could look for my answers?

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My grandfather had a pair of 10x50s that were a favorite of mine to use while stargazing when I didn't have a telescope, I was hoping now though to have a pair of my own for when I didn't have the energy to get the telescope out and just wanted to spend a few minutes looking up without all the hassle. What do I look for in astronomy binoculars? I want to be able to hold them of course, and maybe use them for other things, like at the beach watching the wildlife, that sort of thing. Any suggestions, or at the very least suggestions on where I could look for my answers?

This is a very useful resource:

www.binocularsky.com

and this is an excellent place to get advice and buy from:

http://www.thebinocularshop.com/?utm_source=flo&utm_medium=menu_banner&utm_content=banner_v1&utm_campaign=FLO

For handholding, I think a pair of 7x50 or 8x42 are well worth considering. 10x50 may be a little harder to hold steady, and once you get up to 15x70 although the light gathering power is higher, they really benefit from a tripod I believe.

Stu

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You have been given a great link to binocular sky.

For multi purpose use we have a pair of 8x42 and are very happy with the size and weight. As these are also used daytime Î didn't want higher magnification birds are hard to identify if the image is shaking.

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Will any of the brigher nebulae be visible in binoculars? I realize that may be asking a lot, but I'd at least like to gaze at Orions nebula once in awhile, but that may be for my telescope instead.

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Orion is easily visible through binoculars, along with a few others. Dumbbell, Helix and Tarantula are also visible under dark skies. Andromeda and other bright galaxies are also visible. Star clusters, both open and globular, are ideal binocular targets.

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My grandfather had a pair of 10x50s that were a favorite of mine to use while stargazing when I didn't have a telescope, I was hoping now though to have a pair of my own for when I didn't have the energy to get the telescope out and just wanted to spend a few minutes looking up without all the hassle. What do I look for in astronomy binoculars? I want to be able to hold them of course, and maybe use them for other things, like at the beach watching the wildlife, that sort of thing. Any suggestions, or at the very least suggestions on where I could look for my answers?

This is a question I have been shy of asking so thanks for raising it.  You have been given what looks like excellent links to find out more.  I've just spent a very interesting hour reading up on Steve Tonkin's site.  The Zenith bins he recommends as a second-hand buy are available on ebay uk for pocket money while the Strathspey 10 x 50 Marine can be had for £50.  Christmas is coming.  I know what's on my list!  Thanks to all.

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Will any of the brigher nebulae be visible in binoculars? I realize that may be asking a lot, but I'd at least like to gaze at Orions nebula once in awhile, but that may be for my telescope instead.

If you look in the Object Search of my website, you can put in your latitude and filter the objects by, amongst other things, binocular size. Assuming Greenville is about 35*N and it's not worth observing objects within 10* of the horizon, the search for stuff visible in 10x50 binos returns 128 objects (and the database is incomplete - probably always will be). That's enough to keep you going for a while. :grin:

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If you look in the Object Search of my website, you can put in your latitude and filter the objects by, amongst other things, binocular size. Assuming Greenville is about 35*N and it's not worth observing objects within 10* of the horizon, the search for stuff visible in 10x50 binos returns 128 objects (and the database is incomplete - probably always will be). That's enough to keep you going for a while. :grin:

Hey Steve. As always great advice. Something of a newbie question; why are the charts that your object search produces mirrored when bins always produce erect images?

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If you look in the Object Search of my website, you can put in your latitude and filter the objects by, amongst other things, binocular size. Assuming Greenville is about 35*N and it's not worth observing objects within 10* of the horizon, the search for stuff visible in 10x50 binos returns 128 objects (and the database is incomplete - probably always will be). That's enough to keep you going for a while. :grin:

That is such a useful tool.  Being retired I'm able to split my time between south-west France and south-east England.  If I had clear skies and the right binoculars your tool tells me I could have been looking at about 120 objects from the comfort of a lounger!  Not sure I can wait for Christmas!  Many thanks.

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Probably the best astronomy binocs in that price range. They are Orion-branded BA8s, sold in the UK branded "Helios Apollo", if you want to read about them on this forum. I use mine a lot.

They need mounting - monopod and trigger-grip head is ideal.

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Probably the best astronomy binocs in that price range. They are Orion-branded BA8s, sold in the UK branded "Helios Apollo", if you want to read about them on this forum. I use mine a lot.

They need mounting - monopod and trigger-grip head is ideal.

I find myself still undecided.  Having been convinced from your earlier posts that 10 x 50 is the way to go I find myself drawn to the Celestron Skymaster 15 x 70.  They seem to get excellent reviews and cost little more than the Strathspey Marine 10 x 50.  With a tripod mount, also suitable for a monopod, they do look good value.  I would appreciate your opinion.

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I find myself still undecided.  Having been convinced from your earlier posts that 10 x 50 is the way to go I find myself drawn to the Celestron Skymaster 15 x 70.  They seem to get excellent reviews and cost little more than the Strathspey Marine 10 x 50.  With a tripod mount, also suitable for a monopod, they do look good value.  I would appreciate your opinion.

On one hand it is remarkable that a 15x70 can be produced so cheaply, but consider this: The Skymaster 15x70 costs about the same as a half-way decent astronomical eyepiece.  A binocular has two eyepieces, two objectives, two different focusing mechanisms, prisms and housing, and other bits of tubing: realistically, what sort of quality (and quality control) is it reasonable to expect? If you get one that arrives properly collimated and has the right eyepiece dioptre correctly set, all well and good (at least until you knock it and it goes out of collimation), but often they aen't. I also don't like the yellowish colour cast that the ones I have looked through have had. They are internally stopped so that the effective aperture is about 62mm, so you are really getting a 15(ish)x62.

If you are a casual binocular user and are happy with that, no problem, but if you use binos a lot for observing, I suspect that you would soon become dissatisfied.

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why are the charts that your object search produces mirrored when bins always produce erect images?

???

They aren't. They are all "North up" (because a zenith up view changes according to latitude and time), but they are not reversed/inverted.

Are you perhaps being misled that with N up, E is left? This is because we are looking at a map of the sky above us, not the Earth below us.

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On one hand it is remarkable that a 15x70 can be produced so cheaply, but consider this: The Skymaster 15x70 costs about the same as a half-way decent astronomical eyepiece.  A binocular has two eyepieces, two objectives, two different focusing mechanisms, prisms and housing, and other bits of tubing: realistically, what sort of quality (and quality control) is it reasonable to expect? If you get one that arrives properly collimated and has the right eyepiece dioptre correctly set, all well and good (at least until you knock it and it goes out of collimation), but often they aen't. I also don't like the yellowish colour cast that the ones I have looked through have had. They are internally stopped so that the effective aperture is about 62mm, so you are really getting a 15(ish)x62.

If you are a casual binocular user and are happy with that, no problem, but if you use binos a lot for observing, I suspect that you would soon become dissatisfied.

Thanks, Steve.  On the question of comparative cost against a decent eyepiece I guess the same argument might apply to any binocular costing less than £60.  With a decent pair I would expect to be a regular user, especially under summer night skies in south-west France alongside a telescope.  Now that Celestron is owned by Synta of Taiwan, who also own Sky-Watcher and make products for Orion I would have expected quality control to be high on Synta's priority list if they are to maintain or increase market share.  As ever in this fascinating pastime the more you look the more difficult it is to decide on anything but I truly value your response.

Peter

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