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Olli

Binoculars advice/help

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

After discussing a while back about my old 7x50 binoculars if I should upgrade or not I think I’ve decided that I would like a new pair. But I was wondering what and how do you use your binos ? do you use them on a tripod or hands only? I wouldn’t mind using them on a tripod but I would like to just sit down on the sun bed and have a relaxing session with a pair. I also wanted to know what type of targets can you observe with binoculars I’m leaning to getting some that show a good wide field of view but not sure yet ( I guess all binos do this) . What would be a good step up from a pair? I can probably spend about 150-£200 on a pair or less if they are good value for money. I’d like to know what the types of things you can see with the different types of magnification as well.

I don’t really know that much about binoculars so any help is welcome. I have got the book observing the night sky with binoculars which I haven’t read yet.

Many Thanks.

Edited by Dinoco

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The binoculars I use most are my 8x42s. They are light weight, good for nature and the sky. The field of view is 8.1°. I prefer to use them on a monopod because I actually see more with them that way. They're not cheap, but I use them a lot.

Check out birding forums, binocularsky.com and allbinos.com. Buy the best you can afford. If at all possible, try before you buy.

 

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19 minutes ago, Ruud said:

The binoculars I use most are my 8x42s. They are light weight, good for nature and the sky. The field of view is 8.1°. I prefer to use them on a monopod because I actually see more with them that way. They're not cheap, but I use them a lot.

Check out birding forums, binocularsky.com and allbinos.com. Buy the best you can afford. If at all possible, try before you buy.

 

Thanks Ruud, will look at those forums. And aslo those that you’ve mentioned. I think I’m going to probably use them for astronomy only.

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By the way, Olli, with 'the best you can afford' I don't mean you should buy the most expensive that you can afford. I had €500 as my budget but ended up spending €325. I looked through more expensive binoculars, but those were simply not better.

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2 hours ago, Dinoco said:

Hello,

After discussing a while back about my old 7x50 binoculars if I should upgrade or not I think I’ve decided that I would like a new pair. But I was wondering what and how do you use your binos ? do you use them on a tripod or hands only? I wouldn’t mind using them on a tripod but I would like to just sit down on the sun bed and have a relaxing session with a pair. I also wanted to know what type of targets can you observe with binoculars I’m leaning to getting some that show a good wide field of view but not sure yet ( I guess all binos do this) . What would be a good step up from a pair? I can probably spend about 150-£200 on a pair or less if they are good value for money. I’d like to know what the types of things you can see with the different types of magnification as well.

I don’t really know that much about binoculars so any help is welcome. I have got the book observing the night sky with binoculars which I haven’t read yet.

Many Thanks.

I think the consensus on SGL is that low powered binoculars are best for locating DSOs , i.e. 8x40 , 8x42 , 7x50 , 10x50

You can get a perfectly good pair of Olympus binoculars for £50 , their DPS 8x40 range or 10x50 

With the £150 left over you could get a pair of binoviewers for the 130P - Now that would be one seriously powerful set of bins :bino2:

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Like Ruud I like my 8x42s but a little either side of that wouldn't be a big deal. I now find 10x less steady and prefer the lower magnification. Higher power binos are also great but it becomes a different activity once you introduce assorted stands and mounts. I'm a 'lounge chair and hand held fan' because I have scopes for the rest. I don't so much observe 'objects' in the 8x42s as 'regions.' I enjoy seeing the objects, which are often just smudges, in the wider starry context. I'm most active with binoculars in the summer with the Milky Way on view.

Porro are cheaper to make than roof prism so, on a budget, the standard advice is to go for that design. This might easily be over-ruled by a particular bargain, though. Steve at FLO is very good on binoculars and gives sound advice.

Olly

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I used to use 10x50 binoculars as my main astro binoculars, but then I got aperture fever and switched to 15x70 (first cheap, later the very highly esteemed Helios Apollo 15x70 HD), which were just awesome. Finding DSOs is very easy with them, and most objects start to reveal more detail. The views of the Magellanic Clouds from South Africa with even cheap 15x70s were breathtaking. I can handle them for shorter sessions without support, but a monopod with pistol grip is better.

IMAG1178.thumb.jpg.e69dae9c0a0f8e08c45509d7aa6b3303.jpg

I now have the Helios LightQuest 16x80s, which are about the same weight as my excellent Helios Apollo 15x70 HDs, but provide 30% more light, at the same magnification (and even better optical quality). For longer sessions, and for outreach, I place them on my P-mount (possibly my best DIY project ever)

IMG_20171209_134249.thumb.jpg.5c7f1e761554eceeaa60270c5dcd8619.jpg

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57 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Like Ruud I like my 8x42s but a little either side of that wouldn't be a big deal. I now find 10x less steady and prefer the lower magnification. Higher power binos are also great but it becomes a different activity once you introduce assorted stands and mounts. I'm a 'lounge chair and hand held fan' because I have scopes for the rest. I don't so much observe 'objects' in the 8x42s as 'regions.' I enjoy seeing the objects, which are often just smudges, in the wider starry context. I'm most active with binoculars in the summer with the Milky Way on view.

Porro are cheaper to make than roof prism so, on a budget, the standard advice is to go for that design. This might easily be over-ruled by a particular bargain, though. Steve at FLO is very good on binoculars and gives sound advice.

Olly

Thanks Olly, I’ll try and contact FLO when funds allow me to spend. Like you i wanted some that would be used for more relaxed observing and can use my scope for the more serious stuff. 8x42 seems to be a popular choice on here but I’ll see about others. I’d probably go for a slightly more lightweight pair as the ones I’ve got are fairly heavy and can only use them for a short amount of time. 

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11 hours ago, Red Dwarfer said:

I think the consensus on SGL is that low powered binoculars are best for locating DSOs , i.e. 8x40 , 8x42 , 7x50 , 10x50

You can get a perfectly good pair of Olympus binoculars for £50 , their DPS 8x40 range or 10x50 

With the £150 left over you could get a pair of binoviewers for the 130P - Now that would be one seriously powerful set of bins :bino2:

I’ll have a look at Olympus as I’ve said don’t really know that much about binos so thanks, regarding the bino viewers I was going to get a pair but I’m going to wait till I get my mak later on in the year as I want lunar/planet scope and heard that bino viewers are best for this as it’s more relaxing 

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47 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I used to use 10x50 binoculars as my main astro binoculars, but then I got aperture fever and switched to 15x70 (first cheap, later the very highly esteemed Helios Apollo 15x70 HD), which were just awesome. Finding DSOs is very easy with them, and most objects start to reveal more detail. The views of the Magellanic Clouds from South Africa with even cheap 15x70s were breathtaking. I can handle them for shorter sessions without support, but a monopod with pistol grip is better.

IMAG1178.thumb.jpg.e69dae9c0a0f8e08c45509d7aa6b3303.jpg

I now have the Helios LightQuest 16x80s, which are about the same weight as my excellent Helios Apollo 15x70 HDs, but provide 30% more light, at the same magnification (and even better optical quality). For longer sessions, and for outreach, I place them on my P-mount (possibly my best DIY project ever)

IMG_20171209_134249.thumb.jpg.5c7f1e761554eceeaa60270c5dcd8619.jpg

Many thanks Micheal that’s one impressive mount. I’m worried about getting apeture  fever. I haven’t got it yet with my scope. But I know I will soon. But with binos I don’t think I’ll be that bothered I’ll probably use them for low powered observing and wide field stuff when I don’t feel like taking my scope out. A few people seem to have the Apollo binoculars in their sig. did you build that observing chair next to the tripod? Looks impressive.

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31 minutes ago, Dinoco said:

Many thanks Micheal that’s one impressive mount. I’m worried about getting apeture  fever. I haven’t got it yet with my scope. But I know I will soon. But with binos I don’t think I’ll be that bothered I’ll probably use them for low powered observing and wide field stuff when I don’t feel like taking my scope out. A few people seem to have the Apollo binoculars in their sig. did you build that observing chair next to the tripod? Looks impressive.

Helios Apollos are very popular indeed, and for good reason. You might be able to pick up good second hand deals, now that some even better binoculars in the same size class have begun to appear. I did indeed build the observing chair as well. Very handy

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12 hours ago, Ruud said:

By the way, Olli, with 'the best you can afford' I don't mean you should buy the most expensive that you can afford. I had €500 as my budget but ended up spending €325. I looked through more expensive binoculars, but those were simply not better.

I knew what you meant no worries :) 

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Posted (edited)

The Helios Apollo are very good for astronomy, but they don't have central focusing and they are plenty heavy (1.6 kg for the 7x50).

If you also want to do nature observing, central focussing and light weight are a big advantage. For different targets at varying distances, or single moving targets, having to refocus each eye separately is very inconvenient.

For astronomy and horizon scanning the Apollos are very good though, if you have something to support their weight. They are very strongly built military spec binos. If soldiers run out of options they'll throw them at the enemy to disable them.

Edited by Ruud
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