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Following on from 70mm "Shootout", Part 1: Daylight...

Well, this is going to be a whole lot shorter :grin:  . Sky wasn't brilliant, but it at least permitted comparisons.

A reminder:

LE = Lunt Engineering 16x70

HA = Helios Apollo 15x70

S2 = Helios Stellar II 15x70

Strath = Strathspey 15x70

Dark space visible between members of δ Cep (40 arsec, mags +4.1, +6.1):

LE: starts to deteriorate at 80%, still visible at 90% of FoV

HA: starts to deteriorate at 50%, still visible at 75% of FoV

S2: starts to deteriorate at 40%, still visible at 50% of FoV

Strath: starts to deteriorate at 25%, still visible at: 30% of FoV

Faintest star seen NGC 1981:

LE: +9.7

HA: +9.6

S2: +9.3

Strath: +8.9

Trapezium stars seen:

LE: 3 (fleeting)

HA: 2
S2: 2 (fleeting)

Strath: not split.

Impression of M42:

LE: Clear and detailed

HA: Slightly less crisp than LE

S2: Similar to HA, but not quite as bright

Strath: Comparatively washed out.

Jupiter-Io, 28 arcsec separation:

Could resolve Io in LE, not in others (washed out by planet glare)

Glare from Moon just outside edge of field:

LE: None

HA: Perceptible

S2: Obtrusive

Strath: Very obtrusive

Colour rendition:

LE: "vibrant"

HA: good - colours of μ,ζ,λ,δ Cephei easily distinguished

S2: as HA

Strath: Washed out, ζ and δ look very similar

Chromatic aberrration:

LE: V. good on axis, noticeable but not obtrusive on Venus and lunar off-axis, none on first magnitude stars (but colour of Betelgeuse seemed to change slightly towards the edge of field). Very sensitive to correct eye positioning!

HA: Good on axis, noticeable on Venus and the lunar limb even slightly off-axis, noticeable on first magnitude stars near the edge of the field of view.

S2: as HA

Strath: Halos on 1st mag stars on axis. Noticeable off axis.

Contrast:

LE > HA > S2 > Strath

The LE did not "feel" brighter than the HA, but it was the increased contrast that enabled slightly fainter stars to be seen. It is also probably what made M42 seem so much crisper.

Verdicts on the "new" ones:

LE: Really nice binocular. Lighter and crisper than the HA. I got one. :grin:

S2. Mixed bag. Probably the least expensive "true" 70mm around, but optical quality (especially contrast and control of stray light) not as good as the Pentax 20x60, which is the same price at TBS.

Full reviews on both of these now posted on my Reviews Page.

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Following on from 70mm "Shootout", Part 1: Daylight... Well, this is going to be a whole lot shorter   . Sky wasn't brilliant, but it at least permitted comparisons. A reminder: LE = Lunt Engineering

I make that a saving of 110 pounds on the usual price, or in other words ,a very reasonable jump of 100 pounds over the Helios Apollo. 

Very interesting report Steve, the Lunt  16x70 seems a well thought through binocular in respect of optical, mechanical and ergonomic parameters. Although relatively expensive, what price can you put

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Steve that is a great review especially considering the lack of clear skies. The Lunt binos appear to be a fantastic buy. I thought the Helios Apollo was a great improvement over my Celestron 15x70 but these new Lunt do appear to be something special.

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Very interesting report Steve, the Lunt  16x70 seems a well thought through binocular in respect of optical, mechanical and ergonomic parameters. Although relatively expensive, what price can you put on a potential lifetime of user pleasure!?   :smiley:

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Great review. I guess I will be on the lookout for a pair of Lunts

I really liked them. If only they had tethered objective caps and twist-up eye-cups... Yeah, I know, asking for the Moon... :smiley:

The Lunt binos appear to be a fantastic buy. I thought the Helios Apollo was a great improvement over my Celestron 15x70 but these new Lunt do appear to be something special.

They are clearly a (small) step up from the Apollos - that doesn't make the Apollo a bad bino, though. From memory, the HA is brighter on axis than the  Fujinon 16x70, but less good off-axis (Fuji has a flatter field).

Very interesting report Steve, the Lunt  16x70 seems a well thought through binocular in respect of optical, mechanical and ergonomic parameters. Although relatively expensive, what price can you put on a potential lifetime of user pleasure!?   :smiley:

I suspect that it's aimed at the "Fujinon crowd" - and compared to the Fujinon (& the Celstron Echelon), it is not that expensive. It's the "pleasure" thing that got me hooked; when I had all four binos out, I kept reaching for the Lunt.

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The only alternative I might investigate are the Vixen Arc 16x80 (which are a bit lighter than the Helios Apollo 15x70). The eye relief also seems sufficient in those. The BA-8 types have these weird, deeply recessed eye lenses which robs them of effective eye relief. Real shame, that. The Vixen Arc has also appeared in Opticron livery

http://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/binoculars/binoculars-90mm-aperture/opticron-wp-observation-porro-prism-binocular-16x80.html

Their FOV is slightly wider than the Lunt.

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The only alternative I might investigate are the Vixen Arc 16x80 (which are a bit lighter than the Helios Apollo 15x70).[snip] The Vixen Arc has also appeared in Opticron livery

Same price as the 16x70 in the UK. I know Steve at FLO/TBS rates tehm very highly. Twist-up eye-cups ara a plus. But not nearly as light as the Lunt... :-)

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Thanks for a great review Steve.The Lunts certainly seem to tick all the right boxes. This review and the 15x70 shoot out that came with it were clearly not that easy given the weather and the knowledge that many folks here were waiting here with baited breath! Now having the Lunts in your own stable seems only right and fitting.

The problem now is, is it bad manners to write a Santa letter in January .... dear Santa I WILL be a very very good boy.... no probably not. Oh well, best get saving.

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Same price as the 16x70 in the UK. I know Steve at FLO/TBS rates tehm very highly. Twist-up eye-cups ara a plus. But not nearly as light as the Lunt... :-)

True, but I can lift the Helios Apollo 15x70 easily, and usually use it freehand. I even used the 20x80 Vixen Arc freehand in Italy some years back. Not ideal, but OK for short periods. They would require a slight rebuild of the P-mount. The Opticron is 50 euro cheaper in Germany. The extra 10mm aperture is appealing too, but I am not sure they are optically as good as what you see in the Lunt. My short comparison of the Helios Apollo 15x70 vs Vixen Arc 20x80 puts them roughly at a level pegging, not a small but significant step ahead.

And please don't tell me I should get both! The 15x85 BA-8 in the classified is bad enough as it is, so don't tempt me!

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 The eye relief also seems sufficient in those. The BA-8 types have these weird, deeply recessed eye lenses which robs them of effective eye relief.

 That is probably allied to the threading for 1.25" eyepiece filters.

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Impressive review Steve, I found it really interesting reading :) I think this will a be a very good resource to point folk towards who are asking about 70mm (or 62mm cough cough) binos. In that respect literally the only thing it leaves me wondering is how the Celestron/Revelation BA1's compare to the Strath's in terms of the above tests? 

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And please don't tell me I should get both! The 15x85 BA-8 in the classified is bad enough as it is, so don't tempt me!

Tempations now gone Michael, the lady in the post office managed to prise the parcel containing the 15x85's out my hand earlier today, so the're off to their new and very lucky owner to enjoy :)

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Thank you Steve, wonderful report. I assume your verdict comment 'I got one' means you kept a pair of Lunt and indicates they really are Binocular Sky recommended, to the point that you now use them personally?

Shame I can only justify a single pair of 15x70 and, what's more, my most recent pair of HA seem better built than the previous two HAs (FLO replaced, because the hinges had a problem and couldn't support their own weigh, meaning the IPD kept reducing of their own volition. Thanks again to FLO for arranging. Besides, the Helios Naturesport Plus 10x50 keep coming out too often, plus I'm saving for a wide field EP for the Big Dob. No that there's been much in the way of clear skies in Cornwall this winter. Happy New Year all!

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I'm so glad I didn't read this two years ago, otherwise I'd have had to have weighed up whether the additional £200 was worth it or not. Fortunately I already own the Apollo's so the decision is made. And it seems for the money it competes very well. Just not quite "as well"....

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 In that respect literally the only thing it leaves me wondering is how the Celestron/Revelation BA1's compare to the Strath's in terms of the above tests? 

The variation within the BA1s is enormous, initially dependent upon what is specified by the brander, then by how Unitied Optics implement that specification, and lastly by what very loosely tries to pass itself off as "quality control".

Of the ones I have seen, the Strath is better than either the Revs or the Celestron Skywatchers; the version of the latter that I looked through had a horrid yellow cast to the colour.

 I assume your verdict comment 'I got one' means you kept a pair of Lunt and indicates they really are Binocular Sky recommended, to the point that you now use them personally?

Exactly so. :grin:

And it seems for the money it competes very well. Just not quite "as well"....

Indeed so. The HA is, I think, exceptional value for money and, as the Lunt shows, you have to pay a lot more for relatively little improvement.

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I do really wonder where the Lunt leaves the Fujinon and the Celestron Echelon 16 x 70s. The Lunt is half the price of these two and the Helios was already snapping at their heels, so the Lunt should be VERY close indeed. The Fujinons have an established following, which might give them enough air, but the relatively new Celestron Echelons may well be in for a rough ride

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I do really wonder where the Lunt leaves the Fujinon and the Celestron Echelon 16 x 70s.

A problem with direct comparisons is that nobody is likely to own all three, so it probably means trying to arrange a co-incidence of three different people and the rare gaps in the UK cloud.

As regards the Echelons, I reviewed these for Sky@Night Mag in July. One thing I noted was that the effective aperture is 65mm. Other than that, they were nice, lightweight 16x70s, with very good eye relief (and a darned nice case!).

I have just done a search on Lunt/Fujinon comparisons. It threw up this and this on CN.

...none of which leads me to think that I was foolish to buy the Lunts.

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A problem with direct comparisons is that nobody is likely to own all three, so it probably means trying to arrange a co-incidence of three different people and the rare gaps in the UK cloud.

As regards the Echelons, I reviewed these for Sky@Night Mag in July. One thing I noted was that the effective aperture is 65mm. Other than that, they were nice, lightweight 16x70s, with very good eye relief (and a darned nice case!).

I have just done a search on Lunt/Fujinon comparisons. It threw up this and this on CN.

...none of which leads me to think that I was foolish to buy the Lunts.

Thanks for those links. I would really like to test the Lunt 16x70 and Opticron 16x80 side by side before making my decision. The Fuji is now definitely out of the picture

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The Lunts sound like excellent binoculars. Not financially feasible for me right now, having just bought an APO refractor recently..

This might be of interest to someone who is able to purchase a pair now though.. http://www.bresser.de/en/Sale/Display-Items/0113116.html

Display product which sounds like a good buy when converted to sterling?

Dave

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The Lunts sound like excellent binoculars. Not financially feasible for me right now, having just bought an APO refractor recently..

This might be of interest to someone who is able to purchase a pair now though.. http://www.bresser.de/en/Sale/Display-Items/0113116.html

Display product which sounds like a good buy when converted to sterling?

Dave

I make that a saving of 110 pounds on the usual price, or in other words ,a very reasonable jump of 100 pounds over the Helios Apollo. 

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