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Helios binoculars


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I can only be of limited use here as I've never used any of these binoculars, but I have had a go with the similar Strathspey giants, and the 15x70 and 22x85 in the Apollo range. The first obvious difference between the Quantum 7.4 and the Apollo's is the price, I reckon you can buy the Apollo's and steadily mount them for half the price of the Quantum's. That said, the mount does need very careful consideration because I bought the pretty beefy Manfrotto 475b tripod and 502ah head for about £350, and while the tripod is fine I think you'd be on the ragged edge of what the head could cope with as the 110 Apollo's are 7kg. Which is fine on the flat, but thanks to gravity and the slightly offset weight, they will be a lot heavier at acute angles. There should be no such problems with the Quantum tripod.

My experience of the giant Strathspey was that they're enormously bulky and heavy, the lack of a carrying handle on the binocular meant that you needed two people to set it up safely, with the result that the owner rarely uses them. The Quantum's have a handle however, so it should be easier, yet they're still very heavy.

I can't say what the view through them is like, but I do seem to remember hearing somewhere that the 110 Apollo's are better. In the Apollo range, the 15x, 22x and 28x use the same eyepiece which means that the sharpness of the 15x starts to degrade a little as you impose higher magnification on them and so emphasise the defects in the lens. The 22x was still nice and sharp but you could sense a drop off, and I can only assume this would be further amplified in the 28s. The 10x, 15x and 20x Apollo's though use a different eyepiece, never used it myself but I've heard the 20s are very sharp.

If it were me I'd go with the Apollo's, and in so doing save money, probably have a superior view, and definitely suffer neck strain at high angles by having straight through eyepieces instead of the comfortable 45° of the Quantums. As to the choice between the 28 and 20s, I'd have to have a long think about that. The 20s should be sharper but the image will be brighter, which is great in dark skies but may be a problem in light pollution. The 28s will be able to resolve more detail in star clusters, but will be less sharp and have tighter eyerelief, though I understand it has a wider field of view, 64 vs 55 of the 20s.

There are pros and cons with all of them, it's just a case of which ones fit you best.

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