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John

New Helios 2x40 Starfield Binoculars

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These are new to me:

http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/binoculars-helios-theatre-opera_glasses/helios-2x40-star-field-binocular.html

I wonder how they compare to the Vixen 2.1x42mm ones ?. Big difference in price:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/vixen-sg21x42-widefield-binoculars.html

I've not used this type of instrument myself. I've been tempted to get some for travel use but I've been reluctant to shell out £200+

 

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Big difference in price! Interested to hear how you find them John- I’m imagining that they could be quite useful to me with my skies in just being able to identify basic constellations! The other night I struggled to find M13 again as the hazy sky was so bright from lp I couldn’t see Hercules at all! I found it eventually (but it was pants..) vaguely navigating from Vega- which at least i could see 

Looks like you could add arms and a nosepiece and wear them as specs 😂

Theyre less than half the weight of the Vixens 🤔

Edited by markse68
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Crikey those Vixens are expensive! The Helios may be worth a punt for £90, I can't imagine the experience is much different to the Vixens. I have something similar (I made my own from two Nikon tele-extenders) and they work really well and are great fun. It's odd when you first use them to realise that you are getting entire constellation(s) in the field of view. I would say they work at their best in really dark skies though. I'm not sure that I would pay any more than £100 for that experience . 

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I had the Kasai wide binos, need dark skies to make them shine. Otherwise any old binoculars will do more under urban skies by giving more contrast at higher mag.

Under a bright milky way, then game on! 

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51 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

I had the Kasai wide binos, need dark skies to make them shine. Otherwise any old binoculars will do more under urban skies by giving more contrast at higher mag.

Under a bright milky way, then game on! 

yes i suppose you’re right- it’s all about contrast which won’t change much with these. Ordinary bins though don’t have the huge field

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1 hour ago, markse68 said:

yes i suppose you’re right- it’s all about contrast which won’t change much with these. Ordinary bins though don’t have the huge field

I love the concept and you are correct, huge field of view. They do make everything that much easier to see vs naked eye, city or countryside. 

Under £100, I'll wind up getting another pair. When you get to dark skies, these are fun. 

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Look rather like the new Orion 2x54 https://uk.telescope.com/mobileProduct/Orion-2x54-Ultra-Wide-Angle-Binoculars/132438.uts which only have the same 24degree field of view as most of these do. The eye lenses seem longer (and with smaller objectives)  so less likely the objective barrel will dig into your nose (which the Orion is to me) Be interesting to see how sharp they are. There seem to be a lot of options now.

Wonder if the Objective lenses are threaded and so able to take filters with a suitable adapter.

 

Peter

 

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Do you have the Orion version then @PeterW? How are they at edge of field in terms of sharpness and distortion?

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These seem more like it. I was often tempted by the Vixens but it seemed a lot to pay for what could be a novelty. 

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I previously owned the Vixen type which were very good. I often felt I should buy another pair but the cost was too high. I looked at these which were reasonably priced https://www.amazon.co.uk/Omegon-2-1x42-wide-field-binoculars-observing/dp/B01NGTGBWN/ref=asc_df_B01NGTGBWN/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309924713643&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2883094844327619224&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006790&hvtargid=pla-590821328761&psc=1

These Omegon binos have filter threads to allow filters to be used.

Looking at the Helios (very good price) don't appear to have threads when you magnify the image.

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Just ordered one so keep your eyes open for a bargain in the classifieds...or not 😆

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20 minutes ago, markse68 said:

Just ordered one so keep your eyes open for a bargain in the classifieds...or not 😆

Hope you enjoy them, Mark. I have the Vixens and I don't use them often, but when I do (usually when I go on hols to really dark places) they give wonderful views of the Milky way and other star fields.

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1 hour ago, markse68 said:

Just ordered one so keep your eyes open for a bargain in the classifieds...or not 😆

That's what I was hoping for :thumbright:

 

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I have the Orion and a 2x54 homebrew one (essentially the same without focussing). i,ll need to refresh my memory on the edge correction. These devices (like other binoculars) are best used looki get the centre of the e field and then panni my your head and the binocukars, not moving your eyes as you do with monocular eyepieces.
If there are no threads then out comes the 3D printer to make a push fit adapter, make the holes a wee bit too big and use small tabs of duct tape to get the desired friction fit you are after. I used these on a number of optics till I found that filter adapters cost pennies (from the right places), though I still use them on optics that lack common filter adapter threads.

 

peter

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Just compared the homebrew Nikon tce2 2x54 and the new Orion 2x54. Almost exactly the same views. The focussing on the Orion helps (though i need to get the eyecups on right or I can knock the focus off slightly), but then the tapered shape of the Nikon helps (the stepped profile of the Orion tends to dig into the bridge of my nose). I’ve added 3D printed or bike inner tube winged eyecups to them that helps make eye placement comfortable and reduces the nose impact of the Orions.
The field fades to black round the edges and stars get nastier as they reach it. If you deliberately look though these at an angle the stars are so smeared as to vanish. It’s hard to accurately estimate the field of view, easiest is to note two bright stars and with averted vision (looking in the centre) get one close to the field edge and judge how far the other one is to the other edge. They don’t feel that constrained.

However in normal use the field is spacious and with a good size for your eyes to wander about in the middle, the fuzzy edge isn’t too distracting and any edge nastiness isn’t noticable. The centre stars are nice and tiny, thought one was better - then convinced myself the opposite. They really are the same. Just noticed that the orion also has a tripod mount hole on the front. Noticed quite a few of Elon’s little moving stars during their comparison.

Peter

5D197143-464E-4AF4-96F3-ED157315E021.jpeg

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Nice job on the home made ones Peter👌 The orion ones look nice quality too. I didn't realise there were so many of this type binocular. Looking forward to trying them

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  hmm 🤔 not sure about these. I was kind of expecting a huge walk in view but the afov is quite restricted- narrower than my 8x30w bins. Of course the actual field is much bigger but there’s a sort of ring of distortion around the narrower apparent field that makes for very tunnelled vision feeling. Is that normal for this type of bin? I guess the 2x54 must be wider actual view but what about the apparent view? And the Nikon TCs?

The focus seems a bit pointless- the dof is so huge they seem to turn for ages just moving the focussed image in and out getting bigger or smaller before you notice the focus change lol. 

There’s no filter thread as predicted.

I’m not sure if i’ll keep these as they’re a bit underwhelming tbh- will try them tonight if clear before deciding. Shame as i had high hopes. Will keep an eye on ebay for the nikon teleconverters and maybe try them

 

DBB7CB3A-71BB-4B56-8D72-9FC6AA9E0900.jpeg

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Sorry to read this Mark. I also had high hopes and the price looked very good. However, I really wanted threads so I could use my 2" filters.

It will be interesting how you get on viewing the stars.

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What’s the Field of view of these new Helios ones, seems to be the same as the Orion and homebrew ones with 24ish degrees, 

The focus on the Orions is useful and quite sensitive. The homebrew are infinity focussed so you need to use your eyes to get nice stars, so not for people who need glasses. Both need close eye placement to get the full field of view. I agree the field of view is not *super* wide, which I had hoped for, but I don’t find it too claustrophobic.

You might find it hard to find any nikon teleconverers as plenty of us have built these things. If someone can get an accurate measure of the objective diameter then it’ll be easy to 3D print some pushfit filter adapters. The only trouble is hat after measuring a number of 2” filters I find there is some variation in their outer diameter, so adding a bit of duct tape to adjust the fit might be required for different filter models.

 

Peter

 

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:

What’s the Field of view of these new Helios ones, seems to be the same as the Orion and homebrew ones with 24ish degrees,

Peter

 

Are you sure they’re 24 deg Peter? It says 36 on the Orion barrels in images i’ve seen. They are quite a bit bigger than these and are twice the weight so should be wider I’d  have thought?

There”s a few of the Nikon adapters on ebay but they’re quite pricey- I’ll only bother if i can find some cheap

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OK star test. Easily get vega to Deneb (24deg) in one field with OK star shapes and space beyond them. Best field of view width is with the stars at the extreme left and right edges. If you stare carefully in the middle and are very careful in positioning then Vega to Altair (34deg) is at the most extreme range, but you are using the very edges of your peripheral view and the stars are very smeared out and it’s only because they are bright that this is possible. The nikon homebrew and Orion are identical in their fields. So I’ve been a bit hard on the Orions, but the 36degree is optimistic. 
 

peter

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Tried them out under the stars last night and can confirm they are a narrower actual field than yours @PeterW- i could get Vega and Al Fawaris in the same view but not Deneb. 

On a plus note they do do what I hoped they’d do- they lift the stars from the lp background and make less visible/invisible  naked eye stars visible 👍 Focussing did work on the stars though you have to wind the eps out forever- the thread is way too fine, and opposite to normal bins you wind the eps out for distant objects and in for near- which is a pain as you then have to wind them all the way back in again to fit then easily into the storage case- the case is a quite nice semi rigid foam type though. No lens caps supplied- only the case but lens caps on bins are a pain so that’s ok.

They don’t have a tripod thread like the Orions so not so easy to mount to a head rig- they have this weird chrome beauty ring on the hinge that seems to be held on only with a dab of grease!

Eyecups like others are hard cold anodised aluminium so not good for glasses.

But I really don’t like the tunnel vision feel and the bright ring (not really distortion as such like i called it before) around the edge that creates it although once you zone in it’s useable. I wonder if it’s the quite deep rim around the objective that’s causing that bright ring. Would love to take a peak through some 2x54s to compare.

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Vega to al farawis is 14degrees?!

You could glue some thin bits of bike inner tube to protect your glasses from damage. The further your eyes are from the eye lenses the narrower the field, the 2x54 work best with almost eyeball to glass contact.

As I showed I have made winged eyecups out of bike inner tube too. Lying on the ground the eyecups hold the binoculars in place for hands free (as long as you don’t look too far from the zenith).

Mine suffer a bit from bright off axis lights lighting up the side of the field, I did try to make some straylight  shields for my homebrew, but being so wide it’s hard to do much.

I like seeing fields with lots of tiny little stars in, these work nicely, though not taken them to really dark skies yet.

 

Peter

 

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9 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Vega to al farawis is 14degrees?!

Vega to Al Fawaris was comfortable fit with room to spare- not very accurate and that’s inside the brightened halo so probably wider than that in reality- but definitely wouldn’t fit Deneb

Mark

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Field of view is fairly "flexible" with Galilean optics - it depends how close you get your eye to the exit pupil - which, just to complicate matters, is virtual and between the objective and eyepiece.

 

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