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Have You Gone Fully BINO (& Any Regrets?)


bond19
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Good luck in your observing adventures.  Give both cyclops and binoviewing a try on all object types to find out what works best for you.

We haven't even discussed EEVA preferences.  Many folks with deep enough pockets do most of their nebula observing with high end night vision gear nowadays.  I have seen the difference it makes at a star party, and it is dramatic.

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I can only echo everyone else’s comments.
I use them pretty much 100% now for solar Ha and perhaps 75% white light, 75% lunar, and 25% for planets. I think dedicated single planetary eyepieces at high magnifications are preferable for planetary detail than barlowed binoviewers though. Agree with the comment about collimation - suspect quite a lot of pairs out there may not perfectly collimated, and as a result might not allow for easy merging, or for long sessions without eye strain. Although the use of binoviewers is very much down to personal preferences, and everyone’s unique physical capacity for two-eyed viewing, it seems we all use them for very similar reasons on equally similar targets. 

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False binoviewer collimation issues crop up from eyepieces tipping in the holders thanks to undercuts, and from diopter correctors not remaining concentric while being spun upward.  Most binoviewers come very well collimated from the factory, so look at everything else if merging is an issue.

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21 hours ago, Louis D said:

False binoviewer collimation issues crop up from eyepieces tipping in the holders thanks to undercuts, and from diopter correctors not remaining concentric while being spun upward.  Most binoviewers come very well collimated from the factory, so look at everything else if merging is an issue.

Good point Louis, often the problem is with eyepiece centering. Though gradually more BVs that address this are coming into the market.

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I'm an occasional BV user and am mostly in agreement with what has been written so far. The one point I would add for the OP (and he may well have discovered it for himself from the initial post), is that whilst I find Cyclops viewing best for most DSO- the brighter/larger globs are a major exception to this. I use mine in a 14" dob and the views of M13, M3, M92 etc etc are just stunning. But I definitely wouldn't want to use them for everything.

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Agreed on GCs and BVs.  I had very relaxing views of M22 last Friday night.  I don't know that I could make out any more stars across the core in bino vs mono mode, but the steadiness of the view improved with two eyes such that I could study it more easily.

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On 24/09/2021 at 11:04, bond19 said:

Great to hear all your opinions. It seems the consensus is that bino viewing is best suited to solar system. Whilst DSO are the realm of cyclops observing. I really appreciate everyones input. 

 

On 24/09/2021 at 11:04, bond19 said:

It seems the consensus is that bino viewing is best suited to solar system. Whilst DSO are the realm of cyclops observing

I don’t feel it’s quite that cut and dried.  Absolutely, imv as many others’,  hugely advantageous for lunar and planetary.  But I’ve had some wonderful views of brighter nebulae, especially M42 with binos through both my TEC and more especially, thanks to the aperture, a C11 I used to own.  Without question more immersive than mono. Globulars are also a great binoviewing target. Again, to my eye, improving on mono, thanks to that illusion of depth and 3-dimensionality.

The 18mm Tak LEs have been mentioned a couple of times - fwiw these are one of my absolute favourite binoviewing eyepiece pairs. Another thing to consider is that you don’t need pairs of expensive eyepieces.  I use the Tak orthos; the BCOs and lots of others should also work pretty well I think.  
 

There’s probably a little bit of a knack about using binos but in terms of viewing technique I honestly don’t feel it’s much different from using ‘ordinary’ binoculars.  What is different is that there’s a lot more system to be collimated and kept orthogonal, starting from the scope, through the bino and all associated prisms etc and ending with the eyepieces and the accuracy and security of their seating.  And potentially at high mags where errors too are magnified. I don’t have any real evidence for this but I’m convinced that it’s this kind of thing that’s at work when people find binoviewers ‘difficult to get on with’ but are happy sweeping around with their 10x50s. Anyway, some food for thought 🙂

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9 minutes ago, JTEC said:

but are happy sweeping around with their 10x50s

This reminded me of something which I think is a key difference between cyclops and binoviewer observing. With cyclops, particularly for low power/widefield observing, I think it is common to ‘look around’ the field of view to take it all in. If you try this with binoviewers (and binoculars) you tend to experience blackouts of one eye or the other and it is quite awkward, so it is better to focus mainly on axis, taking in the outer field peripherally, and panning the scope around if you want to look directly at something. It’s quite a different way of observing I think, which is one reason why I prefer cyclops for deep sky.

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1 hour ago, JTEC said:

There’s probably a little bit of a knack about using binos but in terms of viewing technique I honestly don’t feel it’s much different from using ‘ordinary’ binoculars.

Well, except for the fact that BVs are firmly attached to a large object making eye/BV alignment a much bigger challenge than with handheld binoculars.  With cyclops viewing, it doesn't matter at what angle you come in at the eyepiece or even if your face is square on with it.  All this matters immensely with BVs.  As such, I have to get my observing chair "just so" in front of the BV so I can comfortably align my head and eyes to the BV.  I can rotate the BV in the focuser, but I can't tip them up/down or swing them left/right because, again, they're attached to a large object, the OTA.  As such, I have to be really motivated to get them out.  Things like planetary oppositions and such motivate me.  For casual panning about the skies, I prefer monovision.

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Agreed, Louis. It is an extra bit of faff.  Like you - and I guess this is my answer to the OP’s question - I don’t use them all the time. I was referring to being able to coordinate the view from two eyes.  If something is skewiff in the system it won’t be possible, regardless of the skill of the observer, and in the BV optical and mechanical train there are quite a lot opportunities for wonkiness. 

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11 minutes ago, M40 said:

I would be interested to know, has anybody used zoom eyepieces with binoviewers? 

Absolutely, lots of folks including me.  It's probably one of the best uses for them because swapping two eyepieces and making sure they're not tipped is a royal pain.  Matching magnification is relative simple.  I just rotate the zoom collar on both until my dominant eye sees the best image, and then I fine tune the other zoom's magnification to match.  Your brain instinctively knows when they match and you stop zooming then.  At that point, you have clear binovision again.

They give you the ability to quickly find the optimal magnification for the current seeing conditions relative to the object being viewed.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I like binoculars more than telescopes. I have Orions BT-82 and a Sky Watcher 100ED.  I just ordered the Oberwerk BT-100ED. I decided that telescopes are to difficult for me to aim and find things. So I’m going to sell the SW & the BT-82. I will lose a little magnification that the SW offers but gain a little magnification and light capturing that the BT-100 offers over the BT-82. For me it’s a trade off and I’ll sort of have the best of both worlds in one instrument. I like the elimination of CA the ED glass has and at this point, high magnification isn’t as important. 
 

The biggest problem, and I know it’s just me, is I struggle to aim the long tube of a telescope. With the binocular-telescope I find objects immediately whereas the telescope frustrates me with the tube length and narrow FOV. So in answer ti the OP’s question I am going fully Bino. In the end I will have 10x50 and a 15x63 binos in addition to my new Oberwerk 100ED binocular/telescope. 

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3 hours ago, Doasqa said:

I decided that telescopes are to difficult for me to aim and find things.

Hi Doasqa,

I have NexStar 8se with Starsense which is goto so its easy for me to find things, my main problem is the getting it all set up, cooling down only to find the clouds have rolled in 😉. the 25x100 binoculars on my Parallelogram mount is all setup in a couple of minutes, so great even for just a quick view.

Good luck with your Oberwerk 100ED's.

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