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Have You Gone Fully BINO (& Any Regrets?)


bond19
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This is likely the first of several posts to help me get to where I need to be (is that even achievable with this hobby!)
 

Being solely a visual observer, I have decided using two eyes is a much more pleasurable viewing experience and I am considering moving solely over to Bino. I enjoy looking at the moon and brighter planets along with star clusters, globulars and the brighter Messier stuff, plus general Milky Way sweeping. I am seriously thinking of selling my limited collection of TV eyepieces in order help fund the move over.  With this in mind here is my current set up:


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TV 102 (f8.6)

OOUK 12" (f4)

Optricron 20x80 (3.5 degree FOV)

Swaroski 85x42 (7.6 degree FOV)

WO Binoviewer (with a pair of 20mm eyepieces, plus x1.6 & x2.0 GPC)

TV 41mm Panoptic

SW 28mm Nirvana

TV 13mm Ethos

TV 8mm Ethos

TV x2 PowerMate

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I would like to simplify my set up as much as possible. The end goal would be to keep Dob for going deep when desired. Plus add a high end pair of ED BT’s into the mix (say APM 100’s) and keep the TV 102 for the moon & planets (or sell the TV and replace it with a 150mm Mak)

So I guess my first couple of questions are have you moved over to purely Bino viewing? If so is there anything you miss and what is your current set up like?

I know there is a lot to unpick here. But any advice from real world experience is most welcome.

 

Edited by bond19
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  • bond19 changed the title to Have You Gone Fully BINO (& Any Regrets?)

Nice setup, you have some very nice equipment there. I am a long time observer but a recent convert to BVs for solar system observing. I have briefly tried the BVs for doubles and clusters and I must say I didn't find the experience quite so good as cyclops viewing, so I didn't explore further. For example, I didn't find doubles at high magnifications were as sharp and well resolved. But I have to confess I have not tried low power views of DSOs, so cannot say. I imagine there is a fair amount of light loss throught the prisms though? I'm very interested see what others have to say.

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I use binoviewers  50/50 on planets and stellar objects but exclusively for solar observation.  I have several binoviewers  ranging from inexpensive  to expensive, my feeling is that the collimation of the binoviewer is the most important feature, I find little performance difference between them when the collimation is good.    🙂

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I found myself making the transition to binoviewing without really noticing. I simply see more and more easily using both eyes. My main instrument is a 100mm refractor, yet never fail to be amazed at the detail it shows me with the binoviewer attached. I cant honestly call myself a sole bino user, as I enjoy hunting fuzzies using mono viewing, and I also use some single very short focal length high power eyepieces when observing double stars. For lunar and planetary though I almost always use my scope with a binoviewer.

 

IMG_7746.JPG

Edited by mikeDnight
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I really enjoy binoviewers but could not use them exclusively. It took me a long time, and a lot of pairs (about seven to date!) to get used to them. I think I had to retrain my brain to be able to process the images properly to get the best out of them.

My favourite and most frequent use is for solar, both white light and Ha. I suffer from floaters in my main observing eye, and the binoviewers do reduce these to a large degree. I feel I see more using them, and it is certainly more relaxed. Pretty much the same applies to Lunar observing, binoviewers are my preferred option.

For deep sky observing and doubles I am firmly in the cyclops camp. I just prefer the views either in low and mid power widefield eyepieces for DSOs, or a single high power eyepiece for doubles. I find the stars are just that little bit crisper with a single eyepiece.

Planetary observing is where I am quite conflicted. My floaters are quite annoying when observing at high power with small exit pupils. Binoviewers certainly reduce the impact of my floaters, but I feel like the very fine detail   is somehow smoothed out. With cyclops I see the detail but have to look around the floaters, so there is no ideal solution, it just depends how I’m feeling. Last night for instance I tried a number of options on Jupiter, but ended up just using a Leica zoom in preference to binoviewers.

Actually there IS an alternative, and that is to use a larger aperture to give larger exit pupils at the same magnification, that’s where my 8” f8 comes into play.

So for me binoviewers are a useful addition to my observing kit but are not a panacea.

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I really like binoviewers for planets and the full (or near full) moon.  It evens out the brightness between my eyes allowing me to make out fine details easier.  It also helps reduce the visibility of my floaters.

These are non-issues for DSOs, and I enjoy the much wider fields of view available in mono-viewing for star field sweeping; so I don't binoview them.

I find I can see much more planetary detail in my 8" Dob than in my 90mm triplet APO, so I tend to use the latter for wide star fields.  The stars appear as much tighter pinpoints than in the Dob which is aesthetically pleasing to me.

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I use binoviewers on my refractors (80mm up to 140mm) when viewing solar system objects as this is where their strengh lies. You can pick up FAR more detail on the moon for instance due to the effect of 'binocular summation' and prolonged viewing is extremely relaxing compared to squinting one eyed. As noted above white light solar is also greatly enhanced with binoviewers, and the planets gain a more 3D apparance. The bino benefit is more complicated than just using both eyes - the effect of summation adds considerably to the experience.

On deep sky however I revert to mono as the binoviewers do reduce the brighntness of DSO's too much, unless you are viewing something bright like a globular or brighter planetary nebula, so the advantage of summation is generally lost in the overall dimming. Having said that I have not bino viewed through a large  reflector, so the extra light grasp may help - I know someone who bino-views DSO's with an 11inch SCT and that seems to work. If I do bino-view DSO's I use a pair of 24mm Panoptics and keep the mag low.

So - fully bino for Solar Systen and selectively for everyting else.

Of course, you will need a bigger eyepiece box..............................................

 

 

 

 

Edited by Barry Fitz-Gerald
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I think you can see from the above that few, if any, observers have gone totally over to binoviewing, myself included. 

You have some great equipment there, and I see no need to sell much of it to fund a high end binoviewers..I had some of my best binoviewer observing with a modest pair of Revelation binos..as Peter said, collimation is all, and neither do you need expensive eyepieces..often very modest units will be excellent in a well collimated bv.

I also agree that bvs are by far the most effective on Moon and planets (I don't do solar, so can't comment on that), and cyclops is best on close doubles and clusters.

One final point..someone mentioned "squinting" while cyclops viewing..I do agree that is a pain, but I easily solved the problem by buying a black eye patch..I have both eyes open, so no squinting, but simply observe via a single eye. Simples!!😊

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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I’m not a great planetary observer, but some of my best views of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been with binoviewers in 4 or 5 inch fracs. I find them more relaxing to observe that way, probably due to my lack of planetary experience . But I don’t binoview that often as it’s a bit of a faff changing the binoviewers in and out, balancing etc . If I know if going to concentrate on planets for an evening, then it’s worth it.

DS and wide field (nearly) always cyclops.

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10 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I’m not a great planetary observer, but some of my best views of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been with binoviewers in 4 or 5 inch fracs.

What eyepieces do you use for that specific observing Jeremy?  :)

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, callisto said:

What eyepieces do you use for that specific observing Jeremy?  :)

 

Mark

I’ve recently changed my binoviewers and configuration on my Tak TSA 120. I operate the OTA at 1350 fl. In addition I use a 1.7 x GOc, bringing to fl to 2300 mm. I’ve been using Tak LE 18’s and 12.5’s so far, but still experimenting 

Edited by JeremyS
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9 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I’ve recently changed my binoviewers and configuration on my Tak TSA. I operate the OTA at 1350 fl. In addition I use a 1.7 x GOc, bringing to fl to 2300 mm. I’ve been using Tak LE 18’s and 12.5’s so far, but still experimenting 

Thanks :thumbsup:

I have a single Tak LE 18mm and a single Tak Abbe Orth 12.5mm....think I'll have to start doubling up on some eyepieces 😉

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I've used a binoviewer for years for planetary, solar and lunar observing, with scopes from 70mm upwards.

For me, they give a far more relaxed and pleasureable viewing experience.  More importantly they ALWAYS show more detail.  Far cheaper than 'upgrading your telescope to get a better view.

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

But I don’t binoview that often as it’s a bit of a faff changing the binoviewers in and out, balancing etc .

Good point about balance...............I do use some of the Delos range for binoviewing - but with the diagonal, binoviewer and then a couple of long, heavy EP's you can end up with a bit of an unwieldy monster at the end of the focuser.  And if you have a diagonal with a screw in nose piece, you may have the embarrassing experience of the whole weighty contraption swiveling round with the EP's ending up facing down  or even, horror of horrors falling out!  Of course, this has never happened to me (!) Smaller EP's such as the Delie range or Tak's are much more sensible from the point of view of weight and length of the optical train. Also if you have a generously proportioned nose wider EP''s like the Delos can be a bother.......but if you have a hawk's beak for a schnozzle you should be OK.  Having said that the 17.3 Delos are spectacular as a BV pairing.

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18 hours ago, bond19 said:

Plus add a high end pair of ED BT’s into the mix (say APM 100’s)

I will hopefully get something similar next year

Just recently I have brought Orion Giant View 25x100's with an Orion Monster Parallelogram Mount, which can bet setup in about three minutes, but to be able to change eyepieces would be amazing.

I also use WO binoviewer's with Celestron 8se and really enjoy them, but the ease of setup using the Orion Monster Parallelogram Mount setup is more convenient most of the time here in the U.K

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Agree with previous comments and find my WO BV's work best on bright objects like the moon & planets, I've tried it on double stars & fuzzies but not as good as mono viewing through a quality eyepiece.

As Dave @F15Rules says you don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy the experience and looking at your very nice setup I would say you are just about there, maybe add some plossls? 

The 20mm WO eyepieces that come with the WO BV's are very good but I wanted to experiment so I doubled up on my 15mm TV plossl, 18mm BCO & bought a pair of 26mm celestron plossls.

On my last few BV sessions I've been using my 15mm TV plossls and x2.5 TV power mate with excellent results. 

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WO Bino’s are great. I had a pair for a few years - could never go back to mono after these but there was a sweet spot in terms of magnification. The stock 20mm provided were very good but hit or miss for anything stronger plus a faff to change. I moved on to and can highly recommend any denkmeier binoviewer with the powerswitch for moon/planets. I’ve also bought a number of eyepiece pairs for these over the years (D14, BST, RKE 28mm) but always ended up going back to the 24mm panoptics. I can get 3 very good magnifications using the OCS45 and a further 3 lower powered if you take the OCS out (only discovered the latter trick afew weeks ago). So that’s the equivalent to x6 TV eyepiece sets! Great for grab and go views in a Mak127. Sensational in a C11. I also purchased a Denk x2 Barlow but have struggled with this. I do though have an FC100 Tak itch to scratch and wonder if the Barlow will come in handy for that to get up to higher mags.

Edited by Trentend
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I did a few experiments this evening bino vs cyclops viewing of Jupiter. Trying to get similar mags. Seeing coming and going. I can seen just about as much detail in both but it’s much easier to hold that detail in binoview. Thus more comfortable and less strained. With binoview it find I can let the details come to me, if that makes sense. But in cyclops I need to work at it a bit more.

Nice views of GRS and Europa’s shadow playing tag team

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14 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

Interested to know have you’ve got on with the LE’s, a buy? 

Yes, I’m pleased with the Tak LE 18’s and 12.5’s

There is one problem though: I could do with LE 14’s. And they don’t exist.

Seeing tonight wasn’t really good enough for the 12.5s…

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On 22/09/2021 at 09:57, F15Rules said:

One final point..someone mentioned "squinting" while cyclops viewing..I do agree that is a pain, but I easily solved the problem by buying a black eye patch..I have both eyes open, so no squinting, but simply observe via a single eye. Simples!!😊

Dave

I think I need to try that because I often find myself squinting and it quickly gets uncomfortable.

Just the one question, is the wooden leg and parrot included or do you have to buy them separately? 😄

Edited by Andrew_B
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