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I'm a believer now


Jeff-Colorado
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I've read reports over the years that bino-viewers enhance the experience of solar system observing, so I finally decided to buy one. I didn't want to spend too much money, so I got the Celestron one for $175 on Amazon and since I already had one Celestron 8-24 EP, I bought a second one. I have an 8 SE scope.

The seeing was below average tonight, but it wasn't cloudy so I pointed my scope at Jupiter, not expecting much. Wow--the detail in the cloud belts was amazing with both eyes. I switched back and forth between bino-viewing and mono and I'm a believer now in bino-viewing (at least for solar system and brighter deep sky). It looks a bit 3D too (as others have said). It is absolutely worth the money (to me). 

I look forward to viewing Mars, the Moon, and globular clusters later this week when I go camping.

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Good stuff Jeff. I’ve been a slow convert to binoviewing but now do nothing else for solar, planetary and lunar observing. Still prefer mono for most deep sky, but binoviewers are great for reducing floaters and showing the detail. Some people don’t get on with them at all so I’m glad you do!

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I tried them recently but despite several evenings using them I cannot get my eyes/brain to combine the image :(

On the upside, I bought a used pair from Steve at ENS and he has now bought them back from me, so I am not out of pocket too much.

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6 minutes ago, cv01jw said:

I tried them recently but despite several evenings using them I cannot get my eyes/brain to combine the image :(

On the upside, I bought a used pair from Steve at ENS and he has now bought them back from me, so I am not out of pocket too much.

It’s not impossible they were out of collimation? I have struggled with binoviewers in the past, and I found certain versions with set screw fixings for the eyepiece could give me issues. That’s why I like the TS style ones with self centring eyepiece holders, they seemed easier for me to view with. The Baader Mark IVs I have only have a single set screw, not even a compression ring but the tolerance on the holder itself is so precise that there is no problem, except that some eyepieces won’t even fit! Luckily the only pair I use do fit perfectly. 

I have had 6 pairs now, and have settled on the Mark IVs and the TS now as suiting me. It has taken a number of years of perseverance to get there, but I’m glad I have because the floaters in my observing eye have worsened and this had been impacting my enjoyment of high power planetary observing. By effectively retraining my brain, I can now get the best out of them and floaters are much less visible. I am really enjoying Jupiter at the moment!

I guess I really just need a 5” or 6” apo frac to give a bigger exit pupil, but that is unlikely at the moment unfortunately.

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I bought some a couple of years ago and after a few tries on Solar System objects just couldn't get along with them, others swear by them, I ended up the opposite so the only thing they're gathering is dust ATM
Occasionally dig them out for another try but I think it must be my eyes or maybe I just need to spend more money.

5 minutes ago, Stu said:

I guess I really just need a 5” or 6” apo frac to give a bigger exit pupil, but that is unlikely at the moment unfortunately.

Got the Tecnosky 6" but I don't think I've ever tried the binoviewer in it, will try on Jupiter to see if it helps, floaters were a problem last night trying to view it in the twilight.

Dave

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20 minutes ago, Stu said:

It’s not impossible they were out of collimation? I have struggled with binoviewers in the past, and I found certain versions with set screw fixings for the eyepiece could give me issues. That’s why I like the TS style ones with self centring eyepiece holders, they seemed easier for me to view with. The Baader Mark IVs I have only have a single set screw, not even a compression ring but the tolerance on the holder itself is so precise that there is no problem, except that some eyepieces won’t even fit! Luckily the only pair I use do fit perfectly. 

I have had 6 pairs now, and have settled on the Mark IVs and the TS now as suiting me. It has taken a number of years of perseverance to get there, but I’m glad I have because the floaters in my observing eye have worsened and this had been impacting my enjoyment of high power planetary observing. By effectively retraining my brain, I can now get the best out of them and floaters are much less visible. I am really enjoying Jupiter at the moment!

I guess I really just need a 5” or 6” apo frac to give a bigger exit pupil, but that is unlikely at the moment unfortunately.

I think it is my eyes, i have pretty severe astigmatism which after research generally means I will struggle to use bino's.  After reading this I went outside and had a go with my trusty binoculars which I have used for years.  I tested looking through them 'normally' and then covering each eye and discovered that I only use them as a monocular!  In fact once I had focussed on something (in this case the church in town) i could not see my wife waving her finger in front of the right lens.  My right eye does nothing, so all my years of using binoculars I have been using one eye.

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I've found with mine that if an eyepiece isn't centred properly (due to catching an undercut) the images won't merge so a miscollimated pair would show the same result. 

Edit: just seen the new posts. I did not know astigmatism could cause issues like that. 

Edited by Ricochet
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9 hours ago, cv01jw said:

I tried them recently but despite several evenings using them I cannot get my eyes/brain to combine the image :(

On the upside, I bought a used pair from Steve at ENS and he has now bought them back from me, so I am not out of pocket too much.

I had that problem initially, but after I rotated/tweaked each one and then adjusted the distance between them, it came into focus as a single image for me. Glad you were able to recoup most of your investment since they didn't work for you.

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8 hours ago, cv01jw said:

I think it is my eyes, i have pretty severe astigmatism which after research generally means I will struggle to use bino's.  After reading this I went outside and had a go with my trusty binoculars which I have used for years.  I tested looking through them 'normally' and then covering each eye and discovered that I only use them as a monocular!  In fact once I had focussed on something (in this case the church in town) i could not see my wife waving her finger in front of the right lens.  My right eye does nothing, so all my years of using binoculars I have been using one eye.

Binoculars are probably a good test for anyone considering a bino-viewer. If you enjoy binoculars, you'll probably love bino-viewing of the solar system and brighter deep sky.

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8 hours ago, cv01jw said:

discovered that I only use them as a monocular!

That is normally down to having the inter occular distance incorrect, I assume you adjusted it? I guess it is possible your eyes are outside the range of adjustment, it does happen.

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"binoviewers are great for reducing floaters". 

Just in the last couple week or so, i have realized that i have more floaters than usual. I also have hay fever for the first time in my life and its mainly effecting my eyes.

Honestly, the next piece of astro gear i want is a binoviewer.  I dont wanna spend a lot. 

BRB, there one (WO) for sale here on SGL with 2 same EPs for about 200 squids.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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By the way, I set both 8-24mm zoom EPs to 18 mm. You get a slight "zoom" from the extra length of the bino-viewer, so my guess is that it was roughly equivalent to a single 15mm on my SE 8. I had no problem focusing with those EPs and Jupiter looked sharp and detailed. On a night with better seeing, I'll zoom in more.

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