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RayD

I'm a bino convert!

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Whilst my real catalyst to take up AP was looking at the moon through a loaned pair of very powerful binoculars, I have always been a little sceptical as to just how much extra you can see with them when generally star gazing.  Well, I bought a pair of Celestron 20x80 binoculars last week as the boss enjoys just general visuals as well as terrestrial, so suggested we should invest in a reasonable quality pair, and I'm totally shocked.

Last night we had a period of relatively clear skies, and as my telescope wasn't set up I thought I'd have a little look through the new binoculars, and must confess to being absolutely amazed at just how much more you can see over the naked eye.  I guess historically I've only looked skywards fleetingly with general sports type binoculars, but these ones are clearly very different.

For anyone considering a set just for a quick visual delight, I couldn't promote them enough.  I know that I for sure will be making a lot more use of them, and will be getting a manual tripod/mount just for them :thumbright:

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I couldn't agree more.  

I have 9x63,15x70 and 20x80 binoculars. All of them get loads of use, the only pair That go on a tripod are the largest pair. It is amazing what you can see from a dark sight with well adjusted night vision and binoculars. 

That do seem to be over looked at times in favour of a telescope.  That said I have a couple of scopes as well :icon_biggrin:

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Some of the wider objects are better viewed with bins than with a scope. Viewing the moon with bins was what triggered my interest in taking up astronomy a little more avidly. Good observations Ray. :)

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I love bino astronomy. Its so uncomplicated and not a lot can go wrong. I got my 1st set of bins when i was 6/7 yrs old, and i have owned bins ever since. Ive only been using scopes for about 8 yrs now.

The views i get with my 20x90's are fantastic. I love just casually wandering around the night sky with my set of 10x50's though.

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I prefer M31, at a dark site, with my 15x70 bins to using my scope. I've also spent many nights just scanning around with the bins.

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Even my relatively cheap 15x70's are good.  I prefer my scope for all but the largest objects but the binos are just soo easy!

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Binos are great, glad you have found the joy from them too.

Used my 10x50 late last night.

Pleadies and Orion gave much to smile about, true grab and go.

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It's often recommended that folk should first try some Binoculars before buying a telescope, due to their simplicity, reliability and speed of access and use, once correctly adjusted? (Left eye first, then Right Dioptre for centre focusing Binoculars ) 

For general looking around the night sky I always reach for my 8x40's as they offer me the widest views, My 10x50's by  design will offer more magnification, a narrower field of view and some contrast separation between target and sky. The 15x70's again offer more mag, less field but not sure if the contrast appears to be any better to my eyes. I imagine there are limits to how much contrast separation one can achieve  

Without doubt, looking at the Moon is spectacular with just about any magnification, but beyond, the Planets are just too distant to offer me any detailing with the Binoculars in my collection. 

A couple of Galaxies are just visual to me, from my garden, under certain conditions, but it's no different from advice for owners of a telescope, you will always benefit viewing when your eyes a fully dark adapted, and away from any light pollution.     

If your viewing conditions are perfect,  and your eyes are capable, your image should be  amazing. On a like for like mag/obj comparison, the pair with better light transmission may have the advantage over the final result, when trying to decide on which brand to purchase.

Finally, Just as important to having darker sites, dark eye adaptation, and the right seeing conditions are your Binocular's stability. If the Binocular has a mount then I suggest you use it. It's nigh on impossible to just hold binoculars rock steady. When I'm sat with my telescope, my8x40's are neck mounted, but without the scope at night, they are fully stabilised on my sturdy tripod. The visual  difference is so obvious, and cheaper than image stabilised binoculars. Any mount will do, wall, car roof, upturned broom, just use one. ?

Edited by Charic

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On 18/10/2016 at 12:02, RayD said:

Whilst my real catalyst to take up AP was looking at the moon through a loaned pair of very powerful binoculars, I have always been a little sceptical as to just how much extra you can see with them when generally star gazing.  Well, I bought a pair of Celestron 20x80 binoculars last week as the boss enjoys just general visuals as well as terrestrial, so suggested we should invest in a reasonable quality pair, and I'm totally shocked.

Last night we had a period of relatively clear skies, and as my telescope wasn't set up I thought I'd have a little look through the new binoculars, and must confess to being absolutely amazed at just how much more you can see over the naked eye.  I guess historically I've only looked skywards fleetingly with general sports type binoculars, but these ones are clearly very different.

For anyone considering a set just for a quick visual delight, I couldn't promote them enough.  I know that I for sure will be making a lot more use of them, and will be getting a manual tripod/mount just for them :thumbright:

Brilliant stuff!

When I first became interested in astronomy in 1979/80 I befriended a local amateur, Derek Hartley, who had as his instrument of choice a beautiful pair of Swift 15×70s, which he'd mounted on a concrete pier in a small garden she'd with a fold back roof. Telescopes were not so easy to come by back then and were expensive and many amateurs used binoculars instead. It was exciting times, as every Friday night I would walk the two and a half miles to his house, which was all up hill, and providing it was at least partially clear would observe until well after midnight. Then on my return home i would set up my 12×60s, which id mounted on a home made wooden tripod and fork mount, and run through all the objects Derek had shown me. It was thrilling to find with ease all the Messier objects visible from my location as well as track and plot in my Nortons atlas numerous comets that crossed my path in those early years. I call them my apprenticeship years, as the time I spent using little else but binoculars taught  me not only to find my way around the sky with great ease and confidence, but also how to observe the objects I found. I have great respect for binoculars and those who use them, and consider them very serious instruments. There were no goto mounts back then, so all I had was the computer between my ears and my trusty Norton's Star Atlas, which I still have and whose star charts are littered with pencil lines and notations as I tracked one comet after another. Happy days! One of the great things I like about binoculars is just how quickly I came to automatically memorize star fields, so that I knew what objects to expect to float into the field of view, without even looking at the sky to see which constellation I was in. Anyone today interested in astronomy could really give themselves a great start by uusing binoculars rather than a telescope and staying away from goto, at least for the first year or two.

Mike ☺

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Binoculars really come into their own when mounted solidly so the user can relax and enjoy the view. Attached is the only, rather poor, photo of my home grown bino fork mount. It's design was copied from a mount made by a US amateur in a early 80's edition of S&T, and was made from 3/8" ply. It was the best designed bino mount I've ever used.

Mike

2016-10-31 15.21.21.jpg

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It's odd but over the many years I've been at this hobby, I've owned quite a few pairs of decent astro binoculars (up to 100mm objectives) but I've never really warmed to them. Apart from some nice birding 30mm, 40mm and 50mm bins I currently have a very nice set of Opticron (Japanese) 11x70's but I hardly use them :undecided:

I always prefer a low power scope for astronomy but I do prefer binoculars to a scope for birding - I must be slightly odd ..... :rolleyes2:

I have wondered if a pair of the large bins with 45 or 90 degree mounted eyepieces might be worth a try though ?. Something like these:

 

bins.jpg

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5 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

Anyone today interested in astronomy could really give themselves a great start by uusing binoculars rather than a telescope

If there was on official school for stargazing - thank God there is not! - doing things in that order would be mandatory.

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42 minutes ago, John said:

I have wondered if a pair of the large bins with 45 or 90 degree mounted eyepieces might be worth a try though ?

I have wondered the same, and decided nothing yet, except I wouldn't bother with gear smaller than 88mm. If it's not largely above my 16x70 (or one of the standard 15x70's) I don't see the point.

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Just been looking @ Venus with my 22x80 bins. Just saw it over the

sea & dragged them out. Under a flight path  here , so we get lots

of planes to look @ as well.  They get well used.

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1 hour ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

I have wondered the same, and decided nothing yet, except I wouldn't bother with gear smaller than 88mm. If it's not largely above my 16x70 (or one of the standard 15x70's) I don't see the point.

I agree. I just plucked the photo off the net to show the style of binoculars I was interested in.

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My only astro-bins are a 10x50 Tento. I use it as my grab and go scope and look at planets and the DSO's that are too big for my scopes with narrow field of view. I love looking at M31 or the big cluster in Perseus' chest. When driving around in a dark area, I also use it to look for smaller M objecs. But I do find it a bit challenging to hold it still.

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I received another pair of 15x70's last week to compare against my Revelations 15x70's.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to assess them fully, as there are  two issues I need to sort?  but from the first  quick handheld view,  the image ( M31) seemed brighter, clearer,  but oh-so unsteady due to their weight ( over 5 Lbs) so once properly mounted, aside the Revelations,  under the same conditions, I`ll have a better idea.

In another thread you may have read my pleasure in discovering a decent site that is dark, and  right on my rear doorstep, so to speak.
More importantly, I have mostly, and still rely on my low powered binoculars,  for stunning wide-field views, and  the fact that the wider view allows me to see much more in the field of view,  but when RayD quoted......

On 10/18/2016 at 12:02, RayD said:

absolutely amazed at just how much more you can see

...... I  now have a  slightly different outlook on the ability of the 'Poor' Revelation Astros,  that I own, with regards to what  I was able to see from the darker site! Mainly the DSO's, which to be honest, I don't even see when  my telescope from my garden,  due to the intensity/brightness of the street lighting,  So go,  get out, even with binoculars,  discover what else is up there, viewed from a dark site.
I still don't  rate  my  binoculars for  Planetary detail, except on the Moon, but now, I  just cant wait to see how much better the new Apollos are from the darker site.

Edited by Charic

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