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Excursion with a 41 year old companion


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Some cloud gaps this morning prompted me to take out my trusty Wachter Gigant 14x100 binocular, bought in 1979. Mounted on a tripod with geared center column and a new Manfrotto fluid head, it was a joy to scan the rising winter targets. The Pleiades were nicely framed within the 3.1° field of view; no nebulae visible due to the sub-average 5.0 NELM skies. Over to Davis' Dog; the Hyades; followed by the Auriga Messiers. oc NGC 1907 close to M 38 was distinct, as was  the oc 1892 SE of the "Flying Minnow", with it's unmistakable three-armed shape. From  M 36 to M 37; then to M 35 - just joyful sweeping. Orion had risen, so to M 42, that filled almost a third of the field of view with it's bat wings. A short star hop from T Lep to Hind's Crimson Star R Leporis, appearing to me this night in a deep orange hue. The Double Cluster, almost at zenith, and finally  M 33, M81/82 ended the session - still enriched by the nightly fragrant flowers (no frost here up to now!)-, after an hour of relaxed sweeping at 02.45 CEST.

In former years, I've observed many comets with the 14x100, then the biggest binocular available on the German market. Produced by a renowned German manufactury, it is still (despite it's simple blue coating, and the short eye relief), a very capable instrument, that resided for many years in the shadow of the two big Dobsonians. Now, easier to use with the very comfortable fluid head, I will give it more opportunities and explore the southern parts of the Winter Milky Way.

Ageless instrument, ageless awe and joy under timeless skies.

Thanks for reading

Stephan

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Fantastic....

I have always wanted to have an old pair of 14x100...

Some of the best binocular targets you looked at there, as I did last night with a pair of 10x50s - I imagine your 100mm showed just a bit more detail..😀

If you have a chance, it'd be great to see a picture of them

Mark

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Hello, Mark and Peter,

attached two pictures showing the Wachter Gigant - a straight-through binocular (no angled binos available then - the first ones were the Miyauchis). With a pupil diameter of 6/6.5 mm (age 68!), I can still use it's huge exit pupils with only a slight loss of light (equivalent to a 14x84 approx.).The front lenses were never cleaned. Still rewarding under SQM-L 21+/Bortle 4 skies. M 31 fills the field of view.DSC_0103.thumb.JPG.4a595e4c0ed595ce6545e2b1ef680a8c.JPGDSC_0104.thumb.JPG.159b0360ce5ddb8ee77f382bf3d46f8f.JPG

Stephan

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