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RobertI

Bino-viewer conundrum

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I'm looking to get a bino-viewer as many seem to recommend them. Having done some research it seems like the budget options are pretty good to get started, so I have boiled it down to two options of about the same price:

  • Option 1: A William Optics binoviewer which includes two 20mm 66 degree eyepieces. I have read mixed reviews about the WO eyepieces, some people say they excessivley dim the image and others say they add chromatic abberation, so an alternative option is.....
  • Option 2: An OVL binoviewer, which does not include eyepieces so I would buy an additional Hyperion 21mm 68 degree eyepiece.

My understanding is that the two binoviewers are the same under the skin (although the WO has a nicer exterior finish), both come with an optical glass path corrector and both options come out at a similar price.

So really it boils down to - are the WO eyepieces that bad, and would I get better views through the Hyperions? 

Any help appreciated.

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Hi Rob,

I used  the WO binoviewers for several years and they are very good, as are the 66 deg 20mm eyepieces supplied with them. I know nothing about the OVL or Baader Hyperions, never having used either, but I heartily recommend the WO .

Edited by Saganite
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I have a set of WO binoviewers and have been pleased with them and the supplied eyepieces.    😀

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Well that's two pretty firm votes for the WO - thanks both. They're in stock at FLO too. :)

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I don’t know how they compare to the Hyperions, but I’ve been very happy with the supplied WO eyepieces when used in an f10 SCT. 

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Another vote for the WO and supplied eyepieces.

I've been very happy with mine but tend to use a pair of Mk I Baader Maxbrights now as the T-2 connection works better with my solar setups.

The supplied eyepieces are very good and nice and comfortable to view with.

Edited by AdeKing
Correcting errant autocorrect.
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1 hour ago, AstroTim said:

when used in an f10 SCT

I probably should have mentioned that I expect to use the binoviewer in my C8 and my 102ED-R.

The WO seems to be a no brainer - finger hovering on buy button. :icon_bounce:

I am guessing that with the supplied 1.6x barlow and my Baader 2.25x barlow (which can also be used at 1.3x), I should be able to get 1.3x, 1.6x and 2.25x? Seems like it might be easier to have a selection of barlows than a selection of eyepieces?

 

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Except that you're going to want collets (OVL) to keep the eyepieces centered and better aligned than is possible with a single thumb screw (WO).

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6 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Except that you're going to want collets (OVL) to keep the eyepieces centered and better aligned than is possible with a single thumb screw (WO).

Thanks Louis, yes I did read about that, and the issues with compression rings and undercuts. Odd that the apparently cheaper finished OVLs have the better eyepiece holders. A lot of people seem to be happy with the WOs though. My biggest concern tbh is whether my eyes will be able to converge the image - my eyes seeme to be a bit sensitive to bino collimation.

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Eyepiece tip-tilt is still a concern with the OVL style collets because they're not that deep.  I have the Arcturus version, and eyepieces without undercuts work much better than those with them.  I have to jam eyepieces with undercuts into the holders while tightening them to prevent them from tilting.  At first, I thought my binoviewers were out of collimation until I realized I could rotate the diopter adjuster and bring them back into closer collimation.  I then noticed that the eyepieces weren't seated all the way into their holders.

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2 hours ago, RobertI said:

Seems like it might be easier to have a selection of barlows than a selection of eyepieces?

I think it’s certainly worth trying the Binoviewer out with your existing barlows (and single eyepieces) before shelling out on additional eyepiece pairs. With an SCT, the Binoviewer has an effect on the final magnification so you will get a different magnification than when using the same eyepiece and barlow in cyclops mode. Swapping a barlow out is a little quicker than two eyepieces. You can also add extensions to tweak the magnification a little. I’ve have used a standard barlow with the lens cell removed in order to give a little more magnification (and to fit any filters to in order to save swapping them between nosepiece / eyepieces).

 

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6 hours ago, AstroTim said:

I’ve have used a standard barlow with the lens cell removed in order to give a little more magnification (and to fit any filters to in order to save swapping them between nosepiece / eyepieces).

Thanks for the suggestions Tim, also hadn’t thought of using a Barlow in that way. 👍

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8 hours ago, RobertI said:

Thanks Louis, yes I did read about that, and the issues with compression rings and undercuts. Odd that the apparently cheaper finished OVLs have the better eyepiece holders. A lot of people seem to be happy with the WOs though. My biggest concern tbh is whether my eyes will be able to converge the image - my eyes seeme to be a bit sensitive to bino collimation.

I had a pair of WO binoviewers as my first set and struggled with merging the images. I didn’t get on with the original Maxbrights either, found the eyepiece alignment too fiddly and difficult to keep aligned.

I’ve had several pairs of the OVL type clones, TS and Antares and I really like the self centring eyepiece holders. They are much easier to use. I have found that there is some wiggle in the diopter adjustment though so tend to keep this screwed right down tight so everything stays aligned. My eyepieces have diopter adjustment on them so that helps.

The exception to the ‘single set screw’ rule from my perspective are my Baader Zeiss Mark IVs. The tolerance on the eyepiece holders is so tight that some eyepieces just don’t fit! That said, my Zeiss orthos do, very snuggly and are held in perfect alignment by the set screws.

I must say the new Baader Maxbrights look VERY nice, I would be very tempted by a pair of those.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I had a pair of WO binoviewers as my first set and struggled with merging the images. I didn’t get on with the original Maxbrights either, found the eyepiece alignment too fiddly and difficult to keep aligned.

I’ve had several pairs of the OVL type clones, TS and Antares and I really like the self centring eyepiece holders. They are much easier to use. I have found that there is some wiggle in the diopter adjustment though so tend to keep this screwed right down tight so everything stays aligned. My eyepieces have diopter adjustment on them so that helps.

The exception to the ‘single set screw’ rule from my perspective are my Baader Zeiss Mark IVs. The tolerance on the eyepiece holders is so tight that some eyepieces just don’t fit! That said, my Zeiss orthos do, very snuggly and are held in perfect alignment by the set screws.

I must say the new Baader Maxbrights look VERY nice, I would be very tempted by a pair of those.

Thanks for sharing your experiences Stu. It's a difficult one, I initially started looking at the Baader Maxbright II as it does look superb, but concluded perhaps I should start with something more budget and actually see if I get on with Binoviewers (the Baaders also seem to be out of stock and unavailable for some time). I figured if I bought them from FLO I would be able to return them if they didn't suit. Will probably decide by the end of the day as I would like to be able to have a squint at Mars while it's still decent.

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