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Which 'budget' binoviewers?


tooth_dr
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Personally I prefer the (compression) screw systems in general to the self centering type. I always found a slight turn on a thumb a lot easier than wondering if the self centering tension is correct - I find the former a lot easier to gauge. Others will naturally disagree though. Many swear by the accuracy of the self centering units though and some swap from the thumbscrew ones to get it. I chose the Baader Maxbrights I have for other reasons though as stated.

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My reasons for avoiding the single screw versions versus self centring are that I have struggled more with merging the images with the former.

Shane doesn't have any problems so it obviously varies between people or tolerance on the binoviewers or probably both!

Both pairs of the TS variants have been fine, very good performance now sold but ironically given what I've just said, my remaining pair of Baader Mark IVs are the single screw type. They do however have very tight tolerance on the eyepiece holders, so tight that some eyepieces don't fit! My lovely Zeiss 25mm do though so that's all I'm bothered about.

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Thanks for your replies. I blew my £300 budget for BVs on a dob but now I still want BVs so here I am.

My choices are revelation BVs £125 with screws versus Skywatcher BVs £159 compression fit plus Barlow.

Im notoriously bad at making decisions so please feel free to help me out here.

In addition im getting stuff from Harry Siebert to make it all work with my Lunt. 

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I think either would be great. I do bang on about the T2 connectivity of the Baader Maxbrights and these go used with a GPC generally for about the same sort of money. I'm told from various sources that there's no difference in quality in the cheaper end binos (inc the Maxbrights in this) and even the bigger ones, don't vary in quality just size of aperture / field available.

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14 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Hi guys. Is there any benefit to the eyepieces being held with screws as opposed to the rotating locks?

It's possible that the locking screw can push the eyepiece slightly off axis which makes it near impossible to merge the images, where as the rotating lock type, at least in theory, will centre the eyepiece more effectively. 

If the screw type I used it may be wise to try different screw holes in the eyepiece holder (There are usually three in each), to enable true image mergance. Or, you could use three locking screws in each holder to secure each eyepiece on axis. 

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Thanks for all the advice.  Skywatcher binoviewers with self-centering mechanisms, just purchased off Harrison Telescopes Ltd.

 

Looking forward to a more comfortable viewing experience.

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2 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Thanks for all the advice.  Skywatcher binoviewers with self-centering mechanisms, just purchased off Harrison Telescopes Ltd.

 

Looking forward to a more comfortable viewing experience.

Just beware of undercuts.  I have to mash down some eyepieces with undercuts while tightening the locking collet to keep them from popping up at odd angles.  Until I discovered this, I thought my Arcturus binoviewers were out of collimation.  Smooth barrels are awesome for fast eyepiece changes because I don't have to be super careful while tightening them down.

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1 minute ago, Louis D said:

Just beware of undercuts.  I have to mash down some eyepieces with undercuts while tightening the locking collet to keep them from popping up at odd angles.  Until I discovered this, I thought my Arcturus binoviewers were out of collimation.  Smooth barrels are awesome for fast eyepiece changes because I don't have to be super careful while tightening them down.

None of my matched pairs have undercuts - Meade 4000 series!  But thanks for the heads up.

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Unfortunately these arrived damaged today.  How likely are they to be knocked out of alignment?  I've never used BVs before so will it be obvious if it's user error or the product at fault?

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Unfortunately these arrived damaged today.  How likely are they to be knocked out of alignment?  I've never used BVs before so will it be obvious if it's user error or the product at fault?

I would alert the vendor you ordered them from and request an exchange.  Clearly, not packaged well enough to survive shipping.  Make sure to photograph the outside box showing where the impact occurred.  I'm assuming it was purchased new and not used.  If new, it should arrive in new condition.  This wouldn't even be acceptable in the used market except with a severely discounted price and the condition clearly noted in the ad.

I doubt aligment suffered.  Mine took a plunge to cement once (2" adapter took the brunt of it), and there were no noticeable alignment issues.  However, that's not the issue here.  The issue is you paid for a new item and it should arrive in new condition.

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Just now, Louis D said:

I would alert the vendor you ordered them from and request an exchange.  Clearly, not packaged well enough to survive shipping.  Make sure to photograph the outside box showing where the impact occurred.  I'm assuming it was purchased new and not used.  If new, it should arrive in new condition.  This wouldn't even be acceptable in the used market except with a severely discounted price and the condition clearly noted in the ad.

I doubt aligment suffered.  Mine took a plunge to cement once (2" adapter took the brunt of it), and there were no noticeable alignment issues.  However, that's not the issue here.  The issue is you paid for a new item and it should arrive in new condition.

Thank- you Louis.  The vendor was extremely cooperative, and has offered an exchange.  I said I would try them first and if I noticed problems I would contact them.  There was insufficient rigidity with the box, and no foam above or below it.

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Just now, tooth_dr said:

Thank- you Louis.  The vendor was extremely cooperative, and has offered an exchange.  I said I would try them first and if I noticed problems I would contact them.  There was insufficient rigidity with the box, and no foam above or below it.

If you decide to keep them, demand a huge discount because that level of damage absolutely kills its resale value in the secondary market.

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Just now, Louis D said:

If you decide to keep them, demand a huge discount because that level of damage absolutely kills its resale value in the secondary market.

I agree, I was planning on getting a new box off them, just I'm heading off on holiday soon, and dont want to risk not having them.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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Well the good news is on my Lunt, I get a lovely full disc view with a 2x Barlow (included) and a pair of (mismatched) 26mm plössls with 2cm to spare. It won't focus without a Barlow using any combo of eyepieces.

I'll try it on my other scopes this evening but the lunt was my primary concern.

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Pleased to hear that the BV's seem to be ok. Strange about the packaging box, I can't fathom out how an impact heavy enough to cause so much damage to the case would not have penetrated the outer box. I would certainly hold out for a replacement case in due course. :icon_biggrin:

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17 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

I'm delighted that they work out of the box. I've always been struggling with single eye viewing so I hope this sparks an interest in observational astronomy. 

You'll find binoviewers are great for solar system objects in particular.  They also work well on bright clusters.  Where they tend to come up short is in producing wide fields of view and detecting faint objects.  Make sure to use them from a seated position.  It's hard enough to keep one eye centered on one eyepiece standing.  Double this, and you're going to be exhausted very quickly.

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9 minutes ago, Louis D said:

You'll find binoviewers are great for solar system objects in particular.  They also work well on bright clusters.  Where they tend to come up short is in producing wide fields of view and detecting faint objects.  Make sure to use them from a seated position.  It's hard enough to keep one eye centered on one eyepiece standing.  Double this, and you're going to be exhausted very quickly.

I had a really quick look at Saturn last night using 26mm EPs and a 3x Barlow. It looked much better through both eyes despite being so low.  The 10" scope was on my pier, and it was nicely at standing height but I can see how it would tire very quickly. I'm not sure how I would sit using my scopes?

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  • 5 months later...
On 05/06/2017 at 11:06, Racey said:

Adam

I have a 70mm INED Carbon Refractor, SW ED80, SW 350 FlexTube, 8" EdgeHD and the Lunt LS50. I also have the WO Binoviewers. So I've faced the same question and have practical experience...

 It provided quite a challenge to get them to work with our scopes. It isn't a case of what arrives in the box working easily...

Your issue is going to be inward focus. In addition to the supplied 1.6x Barlow I bought the WO 2x and a 2.6x Barlow from Teleskop Express to make things work in some setups. But be aware of the effect the Binoviewers have on magnification. Ours increase the power of each Barlow used by a factor of roughly 2x...

My conclusions thus far:

ED80 and 70mm INED: I had to press an old 1.25" Celestron Star Diagonal into service as the light path in that is less than our 1.25" WO Durabright Diagonal. And this then has to be combined with the supplied 1.6x Barlow. And you can forget about using a 2" diagonal. If you don't have a cheap short path 1.25" Diagonal you'll have to use the 2x Barlow.

Lunt LS50 with B600 Blocking Filter: After a long exchange with Harry Siebert we decided the only feasible solution was disproportionately expensive given costs of his parts and import duties etc. May work with LS60 and a B1200 filter. But cost is still the same...

350 Flextube: Gets really tight on inward focus but with some jiggling with either the 1.6 Barlow and certain eyepieces focus can just be achieved. But the magnification becomes a significant factor. As stated earlier using no barlow gives roughly 2x the usual magnification of any eyepiece, a 1.6x barlow gives roughly 3.2x and a 2x barlow gives 4... 

If you can find a solution, I find the magnification and views best in the refractors and the SCT to be honest. And once you get them working the effect, for me and @Mrs Racey, is brilliant.

Hope you find a solution. I hadn't realised it was going to be as thought provoking to get them to work when i bought them... 

PM me if you want more detail on exact solutions and eyepieces... By the way, the WO solution provides a great pair of 20mm that might work to plug a gap in your range.

At the moment we use 40mm Plossls, 32mm Plossls, 20mm Plossls and occasionally 12mm. The less powerful the eyepieces the better given the multiplication factor of the barlow and viewers...

Simon

 

Didn't you manage to get your LS50 to work with your William Optics Binoviewer? If so, which eyepieces did you manage to reach focus with, and what barlow did you use to do so?

I also have a Lunt 50 with B600 BF and I am trying to find a binoviewer that is compatible. I found this one so far ;-

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/500093-lunt-ls50-h-alpha-scope-and-siebert-black-night-binoviewers/#entry6585466

Regards,

Alistair G.

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On 05/06/2017 at 17:19, alanjgreen said:

+1 baader maxbrights.

I need to use a x1.7 GPC with my Baader MarkV binos on my lunt60. So be prepared to price in some GPCs (glass path compensator) or barlows to achieve focus in refractors & dobs.

The pair of 26mm will work well in the lunt60 with a x1.7 GPC (or barlow). My most used in the bino setup with the lunt are pairs of 24 & 19mm. The side effect of using barlow or GPC is that you need eyepieces of longer focal length.

You can get a baader connector ( Baader heavy duty T2 quick changer )  that screws directly onto the lunt blocking filter (removes the need for the eyepiece holder) and therefore shortens the back focus needed. I'll add a link to a pic of mysetup that I posted in another thread... (see page 3)

 

 

I notice that Baader do a 1.25x GPC for your Mark V ;-

http://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/optical-accessories/barlow-lenses-coma-and-glaspathcorrectors/glaspathcorrectorr-1125-for-baader-mark-v-großfeld-binocular.html

...as well as one for the MaxBright binoviewer. Have you tried or thought of trying this to reduce the magnification with your LS60? I wonder if it would allow eyepieces to come to focus with a Mark V or MaxBright in my smaller Lunt 50 ?

Regards,

Alistair G.

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