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June 14, 2017: Quick first light with Opticron 16x80

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As luck would have it, the skies were reasonably clear yesterday, despite the arrival of my new (second-hand) Opticron 16x80 Observation binoculars. Though not the best conditions to compare them to my trusty Helios Apollo 15x70 HDs, I set up the P-mount, and had a look at several targets. I got a bit of a shock when the left image seemed to show astigmatism across the field, but looking through that side with my (dominant) right eye the view was fine, so that just means the cylindrical astigmatism in my left eye has changed, and I should get new glasses. Looking through the Helios I had exactly the same issue. Once I had optimized the diopter setting of the Opticrons (nicely at zero, with my glasses on), the image was good (thanks to my dominant eye). Jupiter showed as a nice disk, but no more than that, so I soon moved to some deep sky targets. M3 showed up nicely, as did M13, and M92. Even M51 could just be made out in the astronomical twilight. I also had a look at Lyra, but could not really make out the Ring (needs more magnification). What struck me when comparing the two binoculars is that the stars seems to be in slightly better shape over a wider part of the FOV than in the Helios Apollo. The latter is very good indeed, but the Opticrons have a definite edge, in my mind. The brightness of the image is also clearly greater. Of course, the larger exit pupil of the Opticrons means that it should really come into its own under truly dark skies, but the first views are very encouraging. The Opticrons are lighter than the Helios Apollos, and given that the magnification is near identical, I can hand-hold them for shorter periods of time.


This morning I spotted the moon over the trees, and that also showed up very nicely in the Opticron bins. I think I am going to enjoy these.

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Posted (edited)

great report mate, I was clouded out from 9pm was hoping to catch a few clusters and have a look at Saturn again, I must say the fieldmasters 25x100 I got for  Christmas off my kids are great for the short sessions we get on these summer nights, must look into getting some filters for planets and moon as Saturn was a tad bright when viewed Tuesday night, but as you say thay will perform better when the nights get darker on DS targets, I did view the great orion neb a lot when I first got them and the sharpness was amazing, thay really are like 2 fracs strapped together. glad you like your new bins. charl.

Edited by xtreemchaos

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