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Binoviewer Moon


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Hi all

With the first quarter moon calling, I got out the 127mm Mak and set out for an observing session.  I am completing the Astronomy League's Lunar II list and when I had ticked out my targets I got out the William Optics binoviewers and set out on part two of the evenings observations.  I am a new convert to binoviewing and let me start off by saying, I will never go back to mono viewing again.  There is so much that binoviewing has to offer, the 3-D effect is stunning, more details are visible, smaller features come into view and when using two eyes there is no eyestrain or tiredness.  There is a terrific sense of flying over the lunar surface and when viewing the terminator, I get the sensation of looking straight down on the craters and plains.  The highlight for me was when I was looking down, it really does fell like that, on the crater Alphonsus, the central peak facing the rising sun was a brilliant white, the shadow of the peak was a long needle of black that ran across the floor to pierce the western wall, magical.

I believe that the greatest asset of the binoviewers is the sense of relaxation, you just put your eyes to the eyepieces and let the view wash over you.  Because I am using both eyes, we are designed to use both eyes, the view is immersive and it is so easy to get lost.

I cannot recommend binoviewing enough, the moon will never look the same.  I have to try them on the planets next.

 

Paul

Edited by pbyrne
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Hi all With the first quarter moon calling, I got out the 127mm Mak and set out for an observing session.  I am completing the Astronomy League's Lunar II list and when I had ticked out my target

Had a fantastic time so far! Had to take a break as my wife shouted across the garden "I'm starving!" - trust me she isn't! - but its my turn to cook, so I've ordered an Indian! I've spent a coup

The mighty Atom is ready and prepped with binoviewer for a night of lunar exploration. Even now at 18.15 BST with a blue sky and low contrast, the fine dark rille cutting across the width of the Alpin

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Great report. I have to agree on binoviewing for the moon! I am a relatively recent convert to binoviewing, I’ve tried it a number of timeswith different kit, unsuccessfully, but have now finally found a setup which works well for me. The views can be astounding at high power with good seeing.

Thanks for the post.

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Yes the best kept secret or not , when you finally discover Binoviewing?

If nothing else , Binoviewing the moon really does IMO show Binoviewing at its best. Just stunningly beautiful and relaxing observation.

And the best part it does does not have to cost a fortune to get going. A reasonable pair of binoviewers and some half decent Ortho or plossl.

 

 

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....or a nice widefield Newtonian.

I always assumed the view of say the 'Double Cluster' would be best through a 21 Ethos os similar.

I once looked through a 21E and 14" F5 Dob, and the Double Cluster looked remarkable.

 

But my own 12" F4 with Newt bino with the low power arm in place (1.2x) bettered it IMO.

It also convinced me i didn't need to spend any more £££ on big widefield glass.

I have a 31N but don't use it much, certainly not in my F4 scope.

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I have yet to get them in my 8" f5 newtonian, I have read that they will not focus in all newts, did you have any trouble with focusing in your 12", Tubby Bear?

 

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You either need the 1.7x (Newt) GPC for the Baader systems, or,

go down the American route with a Denkmeier / Earthwin system.

I recommend the latter as they will focus in all scopes, and the 3 magnification 'Powerswitch' is a much cheaper option than buying lots of different power eyepieces.

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The mighty Atom is ready and prepped with binoviewer for a night of lunar exploration. Even now at 18.15 BST with a blue sky and low contrast, the fine dark rille cutting across the width of the Alpine Valley, about half way along its length, is easily visible in the 100mm F7.4 at X197. :icon_biggrin:

I love my binoviewers! :icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin:

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Edited by mikeDnight
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Had a fantastic time so far! Had to take a break as my wife shouted across the garden "I'm starving!" - trust me she isn't! - but its my turn to cook, so I've ordered an Indian!

I've spent a couple of hours scouting around the moon using my binoviewer and various eyepieces. I've seen hints of the central rille along the Alpine Valley and made yet another observational sketch of Werner. I also spent some time playing with mono viewing using TV plossls, Vixen LV's and a few ortho's. Even with the binoviewer I observed using a pair of TV 15mm plossls and 15mm LV's, taking time to try and assess the advantages of one over another. Both were very nice, but is one better than the other? It was very very close on sharpness and contrast. The TV plossls were definitely warmer while the LV's were slightly more comfortable to use in bino use. After observing with mono viewing for some time and trying out quite a number of different eyepieces and makes, I returned to the binoviewer. What a difference! The Appenines jumped out of the image in spectacular stark relief, and fine detail that was invisible in mono was easily seen in the bino's. The best views of the night so far however, were not delivered by either the TV's or the LV's, but by the cheapest eyepieces in my collection - a pair of 16.8mm Abb@ e ortho's. WOW!!

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Edited by mikeDnight
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4 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

The best views of the night so far however, were not delivered by either the TV's or the LV's, but by the cheapest eyepieces in my collection - a pair of 16.8mm Abbe ortho's. WOW!!

So come on Mike, what do they do so much better than the supposedly better eyepieces? I know that binoviewers seem somehow to be less demanding on eyepieces than cyclops viewing but surely a better eyepiece is still a better eyepiece? 

How do they perform whilst cyclops viewing with them?

One thing I note with binoviewing is that I tend to focus my attention on axis and just absorb the rest of the via with peripheral vision ie I don’t go searching around the fov as you might with a single wide afov eyepiece for example.

Might give these cheapos a try!

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7 hours ago, Stu said:

So come on Mike, what do they do so much better than the supposedly better eyepieces? I know that binoviewers seem somehow to be less demanding on eyepieces than cyclops viewing but surely a better eyepiece is still a better eyepiece? 

How do they perform whilst cyclops viewing with them?

One thing I note with binoviewing is that I tend to focus my attention on axis and just absorb the rest of the via with peripheral vision ie I don’t go searching around the fov as you might with a single wide afov eyepiece for example.

Might give these cheapos a try!

Hi Stu,

I really don't know why these cheap ortho's work so well in a binoviewer, because they are not so good as mono eyepieces. They are not well suited for short scopes but in the binoviewer, with a barlow attached, they really do give great views of the Moon and planets. Sharp across the entire field! In mono use my TV plossls and LV's knock the socks off them, but all that seems to change once they are in the BV.

I did use a pair of 18mm Tak LE's for a while a year or two back and they were really nice in the BV, but the 16.8 ortho's revealed more detail more easily on Jupiter. Then last year, a friend came to take a look through my FC100 and brought along with him a 5mm TMB Super monocentric and a couple of Naglers. The seeing was first class and the super mono gave a truly superb view of the Moon at X148. The mono was so good in fact that I was wondering what I could offer him in exchange for it. It even crossed my mind to offer £500 for that one eyepiece. Then sober minded paulastro insisted we put the binoviewer in the scope with the 16.8 ortho's in it. The view quickly brought me back down to earth, as the orthos in the BV were just so much better. Perhaps it's the slight increase in magnification / image scale or the comfortable eye relief,  or the fact that using both eyes reveals more detail, I really don't know! Astroshop Europe sell them, as do 365 Astronomy and Optic Star. They appear under different brand names such as Kson or Ascension, but they also appear to be generic Super Abbe Orthoscopics that range from around £39 at 365 Astronomy down to £24.99 at Optic Star. So for as little as £50 you could get a pair to try. I think you'll like them even if you use them for nothing but the Moon.

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The reason cheap eyepieces work better in a binoviewer than a top quality single eyepiece actually has nothing to do with the reasons you suggest as far as I understand it Mike. The reason is the way the brain works, it integrates the images received from each eye and produces a much better one.  The same affect as combining frames and filtering out the bad bits using soft works.  This is rather a simplistic explanation how the process works, but there are fuller explanations available online as to how the brain does this.  And not a computer in sight! :smile: 

 

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19 minutes ago, paulastro said:

The reason cheap eyepieces work better in a binoviewer than a top quality single eyepiece actually has nothing to do with the reasons you suggest as far as I understand it Mike. The reason is the way the brain works, it integrates the images received from each eye and produces a much better one.  The same affect as combining frames and filtering out the bad bits using soft works.  This is rather a simplistic explanation how the process works, but there are fuller explanations available online as to how the brain does this.  And not a computer in sight! :smile: 

 

I get that part Paul, but surely a pair of supposedly better eyepieces eg 15mm plossls or 18mm BGO would be even better in the BVs than the cheaper orthos, but it seems this is not the case?

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I'd like to try a pair of 16mm Super Monocentrics as I bet they would be stunning! Perhaps the 16.8 Abbe ortho's work so well in the FC because they give just the right magnification for lunar observing, in relation to the average seeing conditions? And perhaps the 15mm TV plossls and 15mm LV's are just touching the power limit for the conditions? It just seems the 16.8's work well on nearly every occasion. 

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I think there's something in what you say Stu.  I have always maintained that just about any pair in a binovewer will outperform any single eyepiece.  I don't believe that any pair in a binoviewer will be the same as any other pair.  I also use a pair of 16.8 Orthos, and find the view better than using two Baader zooms at the same setting in terms of contrast and sharpness.

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I had a short session early evening yesterday with the 16" SCT, before shutting down, on a whim, I popped my Denk binoviewer in with a pair of WO 20mm eyepieces. Although I should know better by now I was astonished by the difference in the view, it was like the difference between real life and just a picture, amazing contrast and 3D effect. @ MikeDnight, couldn't see the Alpine Valley central rille, I really must get one of these small Taks as an extra finder.  :grin:  

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It was cloudy here last night so still haven't had first light with my Tak.

I've only seen the rille once in my 12" Dob, have tried and failed with 120ed, 150pl, 127mak and omc140. Agree with Moonshane about the phase being just right.

 

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20 minutes ago, Moonshane said:

I was looking for the rille last night and failed again with the 120 Equinox. Maybe one day! I suspect the phase needs to be just right.

I tried with the 120 equinox as well and failed. Also with the etx 125 with binoviewers and failed. Did glimpse fresnel rilles with the frac and also the hadley rille and Bradley rille near rage Apennine Mountains. Got the 200 dob out as well and still didn't get the rille through the alpine valley ?

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5 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

couldn't see the Alpine Valley central rille, I really must get one of these small Taks as an extra finder.  :grin:

Sounds fabulous Peter. I have seen parts of the Alpine Valley central rille (!) using my Tak Finder with binoviewers ;), you should try one!

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