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First light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 bins

Dave Smith

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A few years ago I owned for a while a pair of Helios 11 x 80 binoculars that I would use from time to time to browse around the sky. I am mainly an imager and when I needed some imaging equipment sold the bins. I have found over time that I regretted selling them and missed them. So having read many of the threads in this section decided to get myself a pair of Helios Apollo 15 x 70 bins that arrived today (Thanks James at FLO).

Just before 6pm today (strictly yesterday) I tried them on the Moon having focused on distant trees and the used the Moon to refine the focus. The Moon was great except not a lot of contrast at that time so I then went in search of Venus being careful not to get the Sun by mistake. I found it quite easily/luckily in spite of a bit of cloud in the area. Using a tripod, I was able to further refine the focus.

The forecast was for clear skies tonight but when I first tried at around 8.30 there was around 70% cloud. Even so I managed to locate M13 and was surprised and delighted as to how well it stood out. I then tried for M92 but failed, I hoped because of the cloud. I did find the coathanger quite easily but not M27.

Later this evening it did clear totally and I the found M92 and M27. M57 was not possible hand held but M31 was brilliant and again I was surprised that M33 was visible from my light polluted sky.

I am going to really enjoy these binoculars and am looking forward to the dark sky at Kelling Heath at the end of the month.

I was pleased that the tripod adapter supplied was a nice metal sturdy one. I find these bins very comfortable with my spectacles off although they are usable with them on. Fortunately my astigmatism isn't too bad.

Thank you for all the advice given in this section and especially Steve and his binocular website.



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Congratulations on your excellent purchase... You will not be disappointed with your new Apollos! I absolutely love mine, and love using them with my monopod and the pistol grip which makes them really stable to use sitting down or standing up. My Apollos are my weapon of choice when travelling to distant shores.They fit in my hand luggage while the monopod and grip slip nicely into my hold case. 

I'm off to see my daughter in Australia again in two weeks and my beauties will be coming with me to observe the wonders of the southern hemisphere again... 

Breathtaking brightness and pin sharp views of 4 degrees are coming your way with your Apollos...

Congratulations once again, it'll be great to hear how you get on with them at Kelling Heath... take a sun lounger lay back and enjoy that dark sky :-)

Clear Skies Dave...


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Yes, lovely binoculars. I owned a pair (unbranded, but optically identical BA8 Kunming built) of the 10.5 x70 version and was very impressed. I did find them much heavier than I expected, so used them on a tripod, but optically they were superb with great contrast. I'd expect the contrast in the higher mag version that you have to be even better.

Enjoy your new toys, good to hear they are bringing you back to REAL, visual astronomy!...:hello2:.

Who knows, you might be actually LOOKING through a scope next:evil4::evil4:

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