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michael.h.f.wilkinson

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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xtreemchaos    9,851
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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Coco    357
Posted (edited)
On 15/06/2017 at 09:13, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

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.

Great report thanks

 

Edited by Coco

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Chinapig    126

Michael - curious to know how you're getting on with the Opticrons and, in particular, what kind of improvements or benefits you're seeing, compared to your Apollo 15x70s.

Cheers

Simon

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On 9/10/2017 at 18:12, Chinapig said:

Michael - curious to know how you're getting on with the Opticrons and, in particular, what kind of improvements or benefits you're seeing, compared to your Apollo 15x70s.

Cheers

Simon

Haven't had that much time, but the overall impression remains that they are optically on a par with the Helios Apollo 15x70, or perhaps a touch better, but the brightness of the image is clearly greater. I might get a session coming Saturday night. Will let you know if anything stands out.

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Chinapig    126
4 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Haven't had that much time, but the overall impression remains that they are optically on a par with the Helios Apollo 15x70, or perhaps a touch better, but the brightness of the image is clearly greater. I might get a session coming Saturday night. Will let you know if anything stands out.

Many thanks Michael, appreciate your comments.  I have some Apollo 15x70s, which I love, but was considering a slight upgrade, probably to a 16x80 format - perhaps the new Helios LightQuest 16x80, which I imagine would be close to the Opticrons (sadly no longer available).   Just wondered what the subjective differences might be, compared to the Apollos.

Cheers

Simon

PS: Congrats, by the way, on the success of your Ghostly Sun image.  Great stuff!

Edited by Chinapig
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