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Midnight_lightning

WHich Binoculars will be right for me?

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Hi,

I have been imaging with an 80/400 telescope for a couple of years with some success and on warmer nights I like to sit next to my scope and watch the sky. It's only just occurred to me that I could see more with some binoculars and have been scouring the internet to see what to buy and ended up more confused than ever.

My telescope has an eyepiece but I have never used it and am used to seeing images composed of 5 to 20 minutes exposures so I suspect anything I see directly will be much less well defined, but it would be great to be able to see some of the larger galaxies and nebulas if that is possible - but can binoculars show these and for example would I be able to see colour in the nebulas?

Ideally I would like something that can be handheld and taken abroad but I'm not opposed to using a chest/monopod.

Can anyone suggest what "size" I should consider and any models - my research is pointing me to 15x70 but I have also seen some people suggesting less powerful wider fov

I don't know what I want to pay, it will depend on what I get for it but up to £100 is no problem and if it was worth the extra I could run to perhaps £200-£300 - but only if it made a significant difference to what I could see and the quality of the image. I'm in my fifties now and wear glasses which I think also makes a difference with choice(?)

Thanks

Jon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Midnight_lightning said:

my research is pointing me to 15x70

Hi Jon,

15x70s are big...too bulky to hold steady and probably not the best choice for a first pair of binos (I'm happy to be corrected here).

I would go for something more manageable. I really love my 10x50 Nikon Aculon binos. I'm sure there are better binos out there but they are solid and work great for astronomy and terrestrial activities (bird watching and hiking).

Dan :happy7:

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Thanks Dan, I've just been reading through the links on the sticky and have come to the same conclusion, 10x50 sound about right or perhaps even 8x40.

I will take a look at the Nikons - I have always used Nikon DSLRs and been very happy with the optics.

Has anyone used image stabilisation binoculars, they sound very interesting - I use this on long lenses with my DSLR and it makes a huge difference to hand held shots?

Jon

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No problem Jon,

The 10x50 and 8x40 sizes are the most popular and easiest to use. For me the 10x50 are the biggest I can handle comfortably while observing, 8x40s will be very easy to hold for extended periods. Make sure to have a look at FLOs binocular site (the Opticron Adventurer 10x50s are well regarded, cheaper then the Nikons and they are fully multicoated!).

Both 10x50s and 8x40s will give very pleasant wide views of the sky, large targets like M31, M42, M45 and double cluster in Perseus and the Moon will fit nicely into the field of view. I think the best thing to do is to visit a telescope/camera shop (if there are any left in business!) and try out a few different models (10x50s/8x40s/7x40s/Porros/Roofs...etc) for yourself. There is a wide range of personal preference when it comes to binos and my choice may not be the best for you.

Unfortunately I am totally ignorant about IS binos, I heard they can make you sea sick! Hopefully someone else can fill you in on those.

Good luck! Dan :happy7:

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Vortex also makes some good binos with very reasonable pricing and an excellent warrantee.  I have a set of 8x40 binos from them that I bought for terrestrial use, but I now I never leave them behind when I am headed out observing.  I love the ease of use, and also the lower magnification than the telescope makes searching the sky so much easier.  I'd definitely recommend getting a pair of 8x40 or 10x50.  Both are very comfortable for sitting back in a chair with.

 

You aren't going to see any color on deep sky objects, but you can certainly see a good number of the objects.  I would recommend M81+82 as well as M44.  I was observing the Coma Star Cluster with binos this morning and really enjoyed that view as well.

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I use 15x70 and even 16x80 regularly without support, but not everyone is able to do that with comfort. Before turning to the bigger bins, I found 10x50 worked well for me

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Thanks that's very helpful, I will check out Vortex and the FLO site and also try and find a local retailer. I usually just buy online but it would be good to at least compare size and how they feel in the hand.

Having done a bit more digging I have come up with a shortlist and would be interested in any thoughts on the following:

Revelation 10x42 SF (£69) - eye relief less than some at 14mm but good reviews and light -  I wear glasses.

Nikon Aculon A211 10 x 50 (£93) - lowest eye relief of the list at 11.8mm but otherwise seems ok.

Helios Stellar-II 10x50 £139 - I'm routing for this one, seems to tick al the boxes

Opticron Adventurer 10x50 (£79) (or MKII version with roof prism and nitrogen for £109) - Also seems to tick most boxes.

Vortex Diamondback 10x50 (£199)  - excellent on paper and light - but are roof prisms good enough at this price?

It seems to me that within this sort of price range the Helios Stellar II would be a good choice but would be great to hear any views, are the cheaper ones as good, is it worth paying a bit more for something else?

 

Thanks

 

Jon

PS. Michael your post came in whilst was writing the above so will also think about the 15x70 again, although the 10x50s should be a bit easier to pack away for holidays.

 

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I also quite like to gaze up with my binos while the scope is tied up imaging.  I have some 10x50s (opticrons) which I very much like using.  I can only just hold them steady enough.  even then, I keep thinking about getting a tripod adapter.

 

Compared to viewing through my 150PDS, the views are disappointing but nevertheless, the binos are much easier to just pop outside with and they can come away on hols very easily too.

 

Andromeda is just a smudge (bortle 5 skies here) and I've yet to see Triangulum.  Open Clusters are fun to try and find though.  If nothing else, it's a good way to get to know the constellations.

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Mikey, you hit one of the bigger nails on the head there, a key reason for me wanting some bins is to get to know the constellations and where everything is. I have found imaging so intense that all of my meagre brain cells have been focussed on just getting everything to work and I haven't taken much in outside of the targets I've been aiming for. My scope came with an eyepiece which has never been out of the box - imaging time is so precious that I cant bring myself to "squander" a clear night just viewing. So hopefully the bins will help address this,

Despite my shortlist above I finally went for the Helios LightQuest 10x50 from FLO, should arrive early next week - hope I made the right choice its more than I wanted to spend but if I use them for 10-15 years I should get a good return.

Jon

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I have a cheap pair of Revelation 15x70s which give great views, BUT.... they are fairly bulky/heavy and difficult to hold steady without additional support. I find the best way to use them hand held is laying on a sunlounger (in the summer) to look at the Milky Way overhead as using them like that in a closer to vertical plane the weight is supported by my head and much more stable to use. When looking at something in a more horizonal plane like M42 they are best used mounted on a tripod. If I was buying again I think I'd opt for no more than 10x50s for hand held use....

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Posted (edited)

15X70, and for one reason only more light gathering.

Best views I ever had where with a 15X70, laying in a chair will sure help to keep them steady.

Above 30 degrees I find all bino's not pleasent for the neck when standing up hand held.

Edited by Eastman

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