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Callan

Helios Apollo 15x70 or Lightquest 16x70

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Callan    3

Sorry folks, wrong button touched!

Hi folks. I have Skyliner 10inch Flextube Synscan GoTo Dobsonian. I love it. (Although clear skies  are rare here in west Scotland!) I now want to buy a good pair of Observation binoculars for quick and casual observing when time might be limited to set up my scope. I have done some research and I don’t think I can go far wrong with either the Helios Apollo 15x70 or the newer Lightquest 16x70 bins. I want to be able to hand hold for short periods, but also use them on a monopod and if need be a tripod. I don’t really want to discus the merits of different monopod and tripood mountings just now as this can be a further research once I get the binoculars. There is quite a difference in price at £329 for the Apollos and £420 for the Lightquest. The Apollos are 2.5kg against the 1.93kg of the Lightquest. The Lightquest have a slightly smaller exit pupil at 4.37mm against 4.66mm of the Apollo. (I am a retirement  age and my pupil dilation might be slight less than in the past.) There is next to no difference in the FOV of either. The Apollos 4* and the Lightquests 4.1*. I realise the Apollos have 1.25 thread to attach filters to the eyepieces, albeit with some light reduction. I know most objects will basically be almost monochrome and filters might be a waste of time with the reduced light input. Is there any advance on the image quality of the Lightquests to warrant the extra money? To me the biggest advantage might be the lighter weight of the Lightquests for short periods of hand holding. Looking forward hopefully to opinions and advice.

Edited by Callan
Accidentally sent incomplete topic

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scarp15    2,088

I would go with the 16x70 Lightquest, there is only a very fine margin in performance variation (control of stray light) in Stephen Tonkin's review of these and the Lunt 16x70  http://www.binocularsky.com/reviews/Lunt_16x70.pdf

My Lunt 16x70's are almost identical in weight terms, this makes them easy between choosing to hand hold or monopod mount, refreshingly liberating for spontaneous sessions.

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Trikeflyer    48

I have apollo's and find them great but they are quite heavy for handholding with any steadiness even for short times.  I have found it not easy.  If you can afford it I'd go for the light quest, decision based only on weight saving if you want to hand hold even for a short time, 0.5kg is worth having!.  I have made a parallelogram for mine and I love it, it really works a treat, without the p mount, I'd struggle with holding them still for more than a few seconds (I'm not a weakling!), with the p mount they are rock solid steady. A tripod and monopod will work but is literally a pain in the neck when looking towards the zenith.  Of course, this is just my experience and of course others may have a different view. 

i'm sure you will love the views with whichever ones you choose, just know that they are heavier than you might think. I have an 8 inch dob and really enjoy the combination with the Apollo's. 

Steve

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Callan    3

Thanks for the feedback. I was probably tending towards the Lightquests before I posted. I was also considering the Lunt 16x70 bins but can’t find them on sale in the UK. I’m not too worried about not having filters on, so it looks like the Lightquests for the lighter weight. By the way, I had read Stephen Tonkin’s reviews during my research after finding the link on SGL. I’ll start saving the extra pennies for them. Thanks again.

Callan. x

 

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25585    94

I have Lightquest 11x70s. They are excellent optically, with good eye relief, and have the Baush & Lomb body (one piece) which I prefer. Being 11x they are the limit for hand holding. I too am researching parallelogram mounts. 

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Commanderfish    208

I have the Apollos and use them on a tripod; they are fantastic, clear and crisp with very well controlled CA on the moon (not noticeable on other objects).

I have handheld the Apollos, but I don't think that I would be satisfied with handheld views through any binos at x16, whether 2 kg or 2.5 kg.  I'm 41 and quite fit - e.g. I carry my 25kg Labrador around occasionally, but I still prefer the totally stable views that come from a mounted telescope or bino - you see so much more when it is steady.  For handheld to be acceptable to me I'd need to be down around x8 I think. 

So I guess the question for you is, will you realistically spend any time handholding, given that you are used to the stability of a mounted scope?  If it's not likely that handholding will cut the mustard, then the Apollos are an excellent bino and I'd go for those given the price difference.

PS 16x70 is an excellent all rounder size for binos so i reckon you are on the right path either way...

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Callan    3

Hi Commanderfish. Food for thought again after your recommendation for the Apollos. I shall research the best method for support to suit me as it seems, after general opinion, handheld should only be for very short periods. I realise more to be seen in steady bins. I’m unfortunate in that nowhere in Scotland is either of these models stocked. So in the blind a little so to speak.Thanks.

Callan. x

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scarp15    2,088

I had formerly 10.5x70 Apollos which adopting a suitable posture, were adequate for hand holding for short periods, more so if seated or leaning against something. The extra magnification of the Lunt's is also fine hand held for short periods, in part due to the light body weight and the length of these also assists, by positioning the hands closer to the objective lens, providing stable support. Coupled with a monopod and they are highly versatile. As mentioned the Light Quest and lunts have excellent eye relief. I got my pair from Bresser, Germany.

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spike95609    232

The Apollo's have been a favourite on this forum for many years as you get a lot of quality for a small price, but judging by Steve's review of the LightQuest's they have finally been bettered. Even so the Apollo's will give a superb view so I wouldn't be concerned about losing out very much on that, I think it comes down to whether you're prepared to pay the extra for the LQs to get the lighter weight and better eye relief - this is where the law of diminishing returns starts to kick in. I have tried hand holding my Apollo's by the way, but with that kind of weight and high (ish) magnification you can't help but wobble all over the place, they're so much better when mounted on something. Personally I wouldn't want to hand hold anything over 10x.

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Callan    3

Hi,Spike. Good advice on the hand holding issue. I’ll probably go for the Lightquests and will research the methods of support for them. I will always be tempted to use them handheld on impulse for short periods, so the lighter weight of LQ’s will help. Looks like they will be supported mostly to get the best out of them. Thanks again.

Callan. x

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Rick_It    20
On 8/11/2017 at 22:32, scarp15 said:

I would go with the 16x70 Lightquest, there is only a very fine margin in performance variation (control of stray light) in Stephen Tonkin's review of these and the Lunt 16x70  http://www.binocularsky.com/reviews/Lunt_16x70.pdf

My Lunt 16x70's are almost identical in weight terms, this makes them easy between choosing to hand hold or monopod mount, refreshingly liberating for spontaneous sessions.

Hi Scarp, a quick question. How bad is CA during daytime? Once I bought a pair of Celestron Skymaster PRO 15x70. Beautiful, well made, but during daytime CA was impressive. For example, looking at the branches of a tree (with birds on that), there was a lot of CA (sort of violet halo) expecially for thoose branches out of focus. What about lightquest? In contrast, I have a pair of 8x42 roof achromatic bino (Hawke Frontier PC), where I find CA to be very small and reasonable.

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scarp15    2,088

Hi Rick, I have occasionally used my Lunt's for day time. Whilst intended more for night time use, I took them on a holiday to the Isle of Mull last year where they got used more so for views across the harbour at Tobermory and on a boat trip for observing dolphins, seals, buzzards along the cliffs etc. Certainly a more compact pair would have been perhaps more relevant for nature watching (particularly on a boat), but they were just fine and I do not recall that I had experienced any CA issues, just crisp clean defined images.

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Hi Callan,

A bit late to the debate but I bought the Light Quest a couple of weeks ago and am delighted with them. Optically very good and the light weight makes them very easy to use when mounted on a tripod and even more so on a monopod. I'm comparing them to an Opticron 16x80 which is very good indeed but the 400g weight difference gives a big advantage.

Cheers

Martin

 

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Callan    3

Hi Martin. Thanks for the feedback. Almost certain now to go for the Lightquests. I have a decent monopod and tripod which I have for photography and might experiment with a ballhead and trigger grip on them. 

Callan. x

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25585    94

A tube clamp is a good accessory to have with a monopod. Anchors the mono to anything suitable. Actually a C clamp would too. 

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Callan    3

Decided on Lightquest 16x70 bins. Ordered them today from FLO. Looking forward to getting the best out of them.

Callan. x

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