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emadmoussa

Frustration with bins...

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While I wait for my scope(s) to arrive, I've been using my Revelation 25x70 binoculars. I only had 2 nights in the past two weeks where I actually managed to see the sky clear of clouds. 

However, I find it extremely hard to see anything interesting with bins. I used them on a small camera mount, then I later realised that my hands were a lot sturdier. That didn't get me any further.

The silly question is, how do you even enjoy binoculars astronomy? Based on the one or two sessions  I had, well, I wasn't impressed. In fact, I was completely turned off. It's either I need a sturdier mount, or I don't have a clue how to use bins, or simply my sky is rubbish (which I doubt)?  

Insight, please! 

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Oh dear, that is a pretty damning report on the use of binoculars for things astronomic! I happened to be out with a pair of binoculars last night and had a particularly wonderful view of Brocchi's Cluster, aka the Coathanger. I used a sturdy bracket on a decent tripod. What have you been trying to view?

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Why would that be 'damning'? It's just what I experienced and I wouldn't call myself knowledgeable about bins astronomy. :)

To be honest, I was mainly trying to gauge the sky quality, before I went for a scan. Yes, I could see clusters, but were kind of anti-climatic in bins. Probably bins astronomy isn't for everyone? 

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Damning - I would say so, you didn't paint a very positive picture of astronomy with binoculars! It wasn't meant to be offensive or anything. Anyway, I'm very sorry that you had a frustrating experience with the binoculars. They can be the best instrument for some objects. There is a very bright waxing Moon at the moment, which won't help the brightness and contrast of things. It is best to look as far from the Moon as possible, or at the Moon, which is itself full of interest. What kind of sky quality do you have? Are you in a town / city or out in the countryside? What were you hoping to see?

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I wasn't offended, just challenged the use of certain terminology. That's subjective as you know.. Not a biggie! 

I'd say I have reasonable skies. My town is at the foot of the Peak District. So the North, South, and East are fairly dark. Manchester in the West produces a small orange dome. Not sure how to measure the levels of light pollution here. Only two clear-ish nights since I moved here two weeks ago. It's a small town and, to the best of my knowledge, no relevant statistics are available. And, yes, as you say, the moon was out last night and the sky was somewhat illuminated. 

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Bins will never show anything close to what a scope will. It's the limited magnification. Even 25x bins won't be as good. Binocular astronomy is something you love or hate. I used bins firstly, for about 30 yrs, so my love of bins is well installed in me. 

With 25x bins you will need a solid tripod. 

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5 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Bins will never show anything close to what a scope will. It's the limited magnification. Even 25x bins won't be as good. Binocular astronomy is something you love or hate. I used bins firstly, for about 30 yrs, so my love of bins is well installed in me. 

With 25x bins you will need a solid tripod. 

I did like them when I didn't have a choice but to use them and nothing else. Large aperture has definitely spoilt me. 

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12 minutes ago, emadmoussa said:

I did like them when I didn't have a choice but to use them and nothing else. Large aperture has definitely spoilt me. 

I can understand that. Unless you started out with bins and nothing else, it's hard to go back to them once you've used a scope. 

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Posted (edited)

I prefer wide field views, so bins deliver. My 2.1x42 bins are brilliant. 

Omegon-2-1x42-wide-field-binoculars-for-star-field-observing.jpg

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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2 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I prefer wide field views, so bins deliver. My 2x42 bins are brilliant. 

Well, I'm a fuzzies aficionado, ergo, bins will always fail to deliver. 

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1 hour ago, emadmoussa said:

While I wait for my scope(s) to arrive, I've been using my Revelation 25x70 binoculars. I only had 2 nights in the past two weeks where I actually managed to see the sky clear of clouds. 

However, I find it extremely hard to see anything interesting with bins. I used them on a small camera mount, then I later realised that my hands were a lot sturdier. That didn't get me any further.

The silly question is, how do you even enjoy binoculars astronomy? Based on the one or two sessions  I had, well, I wasn't impressed. In fact, I was completely turned off. It's either I need a sturdier mount, or I don't have a clue how to use bins, or simply my sky is rubbish (which I doubt)?  

Insight, please! 

Pretty much in line with my experiences, to be honest.

Lying flat on your back on a trampoline helps!

I can see plenty through mine but I find them soooo tiring.

That's why birdwatchers have hides with shelves to put their elbows on.

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8 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Pretty much in line with my experiences, to be honest.

Lying flat on your back on a trampoline helps!

I can see plenty through mine but I find them soooo tiring.

That's why birdwatchers have hides with shelves to put their elbows on.

My neck still feels stiff from last night ;) 

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I guess you could ask a fisherman why he casts a line out and then sits and waits for a bite hour after hour... 

Binocular astronomy for me is the same sort of thing, no your not going to see anything as well as you would through a telescope but the challenge of trying is enough . I also look at them for what they are - another astronomy tool - and its great fun to see what they are capable of...

TEAM BINOCULAR😁

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33 minutes ago, mark81 said:

Binocular astronomy for me is the same sort of thing, no your not going to see anything as well as you would through a telescope but the challenge of trying is enough . I also look at them for what they are - another astronomy tool - and its great fun to see what they are capale of...

I too find binoculars for astronomy a bit of a chore. However with a comet, they certainly give it the 3D effect.

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I think too much magnification is the problem with 25x70 binoculars, it doesn't do as much as a telescope and is more than necessary for comfortable wide angle views that a binocular is popular for.    😁

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I struggle to use both eyes at the same time. I go all squinty and headachy and end up using one eye. Every bins I used, small and big, was like that, so I doubt it's an issue of collimation. 

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1 hour ago, mark81 said:

I guess you could ask a fisherman why he casts a line out and then sits and waits for a bite hour after hour... 

Binocular astronomy for me is the same sort of thing, no your not going to see anything as well as you would through a telescope but the challenge of trying is enough . I also look at them for what they are - another astronomy tool - and its great fun to see what they are capable of...

TEAM BINOCULAR😁

I don't the the issue is what you can see through them, it's that some of us find them physically uncomfortable to use.

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With 25x70 you don't get much of a field and the brightness will be rather low on extended objects.  A good support is definitely necessary for binoculars over 10x.

Why did you choose 25x70 rather than 15x70? 

Your last remark about not being able to use both eyes may indicate poor collimation. It really is important that binoculars are properly collimated.

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Cripes 25x70s! No wonder you have a sore neck.

I find my 8x40s hard going.

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I prefer wide field views, so bins deliver. My 2.1x42 bins are brilliant. 

Omegon-2-1x42-wide-field-binoculars-for-star-field-observing.jpg

I hope I'm not veering too far OT, but is there a cheaper alternative to the Vixens?  I really like the idea of them, but they're a bit pricey just to try out!

For me, binocular observing is about the simplicity and the according relaxation.  I get out my scope when I want to see detail, but far more often I get out my bins just to "tour the skies".  For anyone who is into their Amateur Radio I think binocular astronomy has a similar appeal to QRP (low output power) operating with simple, lightweight equipment.   The views don't stun you like a scope, but there is still much beauty to be found and a real sense of achievement for many objects.  You learn to love different things too - wringing the last drop out of fuzzies is replaced by seeking asterisms and splitting doubles (though personally I really enjoy fuzzies in binoculars too!).  You can also be up and running in under a minute flat, with no polar alignment to do - good for dodging the clouds so typical of the UK.

To each his own though - whatever it is in the hobby that makes you happy, that's what you should be doing.

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4 minutes ago, daveintheshire said:

is there a cheaper alternative to the Vixens?

Opera glasses.

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Posted (edited)

@daveintheshire

The Vixens are opera glasses, just like these, which (last time I checked) cost €135: http://www.aokswiss.ch/d/tel/bino/gucky/gucky.html You can also get them from brands like Kasai and Owl(?).

With opera glasses there is no exit pupil, there's just an entrance pupil, and that's your own. The size of the front lens determines the field of view. There is a magnitude gain of around 1.8.

There's a review that compares both (kasai widebino vs vixen, it's on a Japanese site, I forget where).

---

Edit: I found the review: 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.geocities.jp%2Fojisan987654321%2Ftoumegane%2Fseiza-bino-01.htm&sandbox=1

This illustrates how the front lens determines the Tfov (true field of view). 
The light beam is condensed, which causes the 1.8 magnitude brightening.
You must place your eye right on top of the eye lens to see the full Tfov
No exit pupil is formed and eye relief is zero, unless you don't mind losing some of the Tfov

post-38669-0-22601500-1449086990.gif

Edited by Ruud
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Sorry OP, I really have steered us OT here......

Astronomy With An Opera Glass by Garrett P Serviss is said to be an inspirational read, though I confess I have not yet read it.  It is available on freely on archive.org here:

https://archive.org/details/astronomywithope00servuoft

and Project Gutenberg here:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36741

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