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Binoviewers vs Cyclops


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I've bounced between Binoviewers and Cyclops for a few months now and never really have found one better than the other. I really love setting up a purely Takahashi optical path (bit of a Tak fanatic), but today I spent an hour and a half observing the sun in white light jumping between all combinations of eyepieces and Binoviewer. I'm afraid I was disappointed to concede that WO Binoviewers plus 1.6 GPC and 10mm Baader classic Ortho was both easier to view and provided better views than my fully Tak light path!

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3 minutes ago, MalcolmM said:

I've bounced between Binoviewers and Cyclops for a few months now and never really have found one better than the other. I really love setting up a purely Takahashi optical path (bit of a Tak fanatic), but today I spent an hour and a half observing the sun in white light jumping between all combinations of eyepieces and Binoviewer. I'm afraid I was disappointed to concede that WO Binoviewers plus 1.6 GPC and 10mm Baader classic Ortho was both easier to view and provided better views than my fully Tak light path!

No shame in that 🤣👍🏻
I used WO binoviewers on my Tak scopes for a few years. Now use Zeiss + Baader diagonal and Baader GPC.

It it works well, use it. 

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I’ve been using BV’s for a year now and find they work better on brighter objects ie moon & planets and cyclops on DSO’s and double stars. So it’s a bit of mix and match for me. 

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48 minutes ago, MalcolmM said:

I've bounced between Binoviewers and Cyclops for a few months now and never really have found one better than the other. I really love setting up a purely Takahashi optical path (bit of a Tak fanatic), but today I spent an hour and a half observing the sun in white light jumping between all combinations of eyepieces and Binoviewer. I'm afraid I was disappointed to concede that WO Binoviewers plus 1.6 GPC and 10mm Baader classic Ortho was both easier to view and provided better views than my fully Tak light path!

I've been using the same old Revelation binoviewer since 2008 and think its an amazing piece of kit. I feel it is arguably the single most impressive game changer, as far as lunar and planetary observing is concerned, of anything I've ever bought, and worth every penny of the £99 I paid for it. I have used other binoviewers alongside my own but have not really noticed much of a difference between them. I've not yet had chance to observe with a Takahashi binoviewer, which I imagine you're referring to when you say "fully Tak light path!"? I think its the 45° angled bino head that put me off buying one.

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3 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I've been using the same old Revelation binoviewer since 2008 and think its an amazing piece of kit. I feel it is arguably the single most impressive game changer, as far as lunar and planetary observing is concerned, of anything I've ever bought, and worth every penny of the £99 I paid for it. I have used other binoviewers alongside my own but have not really noticed much of a difference between them. I've not yet had chance to observe with a Takahashi binoviewer, which I imagine you're referring to when you say "fully Tak light path!"? I think its the 45° angled bino head that put me off buying one.

My fully Tak light path is Tak scope, Tak prism and Tak eyepiece. I wanted it to provide a better view than the (non Tak) Binoviewer and Baader eyepiece but had to concede this time the non Tak combination was better :) I hope your Revelation Binoviewers bring you many more years of service!

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I've discussed binoviewers with some CN folks who have used several different high end binoviewers, and the main differences are in clear aperture size, mechanical construction, and accessories.  Image quality doesn't vary much, so entry level BVs are just fine for planetary viewing.

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5 hours ago, Louis D said:

I've discussed binoviewers with some CN folks who have used several different high end binoviewers, and the main differences are in clear aperture size, mechanical construction, and accessories.  Image quality doesn't vary much, so entry level BVs are just fine for planetary viewing.

That's very interesting and also quite reassuring, the jump from WO level Binoviewers to the next level up seems to be quite a jump in cost!

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6 hours ago, Louis D said:

I've discussed binoviewers with some CN folks who have used several different high end binoviewers, and the main differences are in clear aperture size, mechanical construction, and accessories.  Image quality doesn't vary much, so entry level BVs are just fine for planetary viewing.

The clear aperture is the thing, which limits what EP's you can use. As far as quality the Max Bright II and Mark 5, the main difference is the clear aperture but both are a step up from the WO BV's.

However try buying either new or on the second hand market....

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18 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

The clear aperture is the thing, which limits what EP's you can use. As far as quality the Max Bright II and Mark 5, the main difference is the clear aperture but both are a step up from the WO BV's.

However try buying either new or on the second hand market....

Which binoviewers have you used so far Martin?

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I've found that careful attention to interpupillary setting and individual eyepiece focussing has more affect on the image than outright optical quality.  Binoviewers, along with binoculars are the most difficult visual optical systems with which to provide perfect results.  Both take care and patience to achieve.    🙂

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On 10/10/2021 at 18:31, MalcolmM said:
On 10/10/2021 at 18:31, MalcolmM said:

I'm afraid I was disappointed to concede that WO Binoviewers plus 1.6 GPC and 10mm Baader classic Ortho was both easier to view and provided better views than my fully Tak light path!

 

Why be "afraid to concede.."?? -why not just celebrate the fact that you have found a way to improve even further on already excellent views?

Takahashi are a great company and I really like their products..my main scope is an FS128 and it sits on a Tak EM2 mount.. my "lifetime scope".

But they are not a perfect company, nor do they always seems driven by customers needs, (which to me is a real test of a company's true "aspiration to perfection").

For example, the original Tak 7x50 finder scope that came with my FS128 was optically superb..but it was a literal "pain in the neck" to observe with, and I replaced it with a Skywatcher RACI finder, which for the last 4 years or so has sat in the original Tak finder holder and works very well. I'd rather have a Tak finder but they simply won't offer a RACI one, as the "Japanese way" is straight through viewing -despite hundreds or probably thousands of non-Japanese Tak owners worldwide preferring the RACI design.

In a similar way, Televue steadfastly refuse to do away with the wretched undercuts on their eyepieces, despite a large number (perhaps the majority?) of observers preferring a smooth barrel option. Televue have apparently said that the cost of offering smooth barrel options would not be economically viable..really?? I find it hard to believe that the omission of an undercut could add much, if any additional cost to the manufacturing process, and surely to stock smooth barrels as an aftermarket option would not be too difficult? So, despite their superb product quality, I only own one Televue eyepiece (well, that and their increasingly unaffordable new prices!).

By contrast, (no pun intended!), Baader, for example, offer an incredibly large range of accessory options for their products (and for some of their competitors products, including Takahashi), well engineered, and (in normal, non Covid times),with good availability.

I'm glad you have found your WO binoviewers to work so well in your Tak. For now, my Revelation/Seben pair work well for me, and I hope at some point to get a Baader Maxbright MkII when they reappear on the market😊.

Dave

 

Edited by F15Rules
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4 hours ago, Stu said:

Which binoviewers have you used so far Martin?

I've got the Max Bright II. I asked people on CN the difference between WO, Mark V and Max Bright II, which is where the quote came from.

If fact if you e-mail Bill he would give you a good steer between the two. See his review:

https://www.cloudynights.com/articles/cat/user-reviews/field-test-of-the-baader-maxbright®-ii-binoviewer-r3238

If you e-mail Bill he always gets back quite quickly with a view.

The Mark V are meant to be great, however the cost difference and whether you would see the difference was a constant come back with the owners of both. 

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2 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Why be "afraid to concede.."?? -why not just celebrate the fact that you have found a way to improve even further on already excellent views?

Hi Dave, I should probably have put a smiley face on that sentence as it was really just to poke fun at myself and my blind devotion to Tak equipment :) I enjoy the WO Binoviewers very much but also like the look of the Max Brights. I hope you do not have to wait too long for them to become available so you can treat yourself and then tempt me with an excellent review :)

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7 hours ago, Deadlake said:

The clear aperture is the thing, which limits what EP's you can use.

There is a downside to larger clear aperture, and that is larger prisms (or mirrors) which require more available in-focus due to longer optical path length.

Edited by Louis D
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I’ve had several binoviewers - from WO and OVL to MkV, Zeiss and Maxbright. The most important factor is collimation, making sure all the optics are lined up correctly, including eyepieces obviously. Frankly, the on-axis views are pretty much the same in all models. The Baaders have the advantage of clicklock ep holders, wider fov, GPCs and other T2 accessories. But otherwise, the cheaper units will deliver equally satisfying results. 
I also think familiarity and comfort is a big thing. If you’ve found a pair that you love using, then keep them and enjoy them.

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Thanks Malcolm😊..much appreciated!

I hope my opening comments didn't sound critical..I think it'd just be a shame if you missed out on the great views (for selected targets) that binoviewers can deliver versus cyclops views.. 

I confess I don't know why binoviewers can deliver in some cases better views using cheap eyepieces versus premium ones in cyclops mode..but I can't deny the evidence of my own eyes, and I think it is definitely more natural and comfortable to view with both eyes. In my own case my right eye (previously my main observing eye) has deteriorated significantly in the past few years (age related, I'm told). So I had to train myself to use my better, left eye as my main observing eye..but when I seriously decided to use a binoviewer, I found that on the Moon, planets and some double stars, I really did see better views, often significantly better, using both eyes.

I now have just one binoviewing pair of quite cheap Kson 16.8mm orthos, giving natively about 60x in my FS128. Using a  WO barlow nosepiece (1.6x) and a Baader 2.25x Hyperion zoom barlow, I can get up to between about 180x and 300x+ with just these eyepieces, and the views are often as good or better than those through my premium Morpheus, Nagler T2 and Vixen LV eyepieces (as stated above, on some not all targets).

I hope to get a Maxbright II next spring, if available, when my State Pension kicks in😊😂.

If I do, I will be sure to post a detailed review!

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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9 minutes ago, Louis D said:

There is a downside to larger clear aperture, and that is larger prisms (or mirrors) which require a more available in-focus due to longer optical path length.

I bought my scope with this in mind, it has a large in-focus range to be BV friendly. Good to point out.

Unfortunately Denis BV's are no longer being produced, no need for any GPC's with these...

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13 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

I hope my opening comments didn't sound critical..I think it'd just be a shame if you missed out on the great views (for selected targets) that binoviewers can deliver versus cyclops views.. 

Hi Dave, not critical at all. I'm just getting started in this hobby after a very long hiatus and I think advice like this is invaluable, albeit too late for me having already bought a bunch of Tak eyepieces :) But like I said, I have been bitten by the Tak bug :)

Malcolm

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2 minutes ago, MalcolmM said:

Hi Dave, not critical at all. I'm just getting started in this hobby after a very long hiatus and I think advice like this is invaluable, albeit too late for me having already bought a bunch of Tak eyepieces :) But like I said, I have been bitten by the Tak bug :)

Malcolm

..and of course Tak eyepieces binoview very well!😈😂..

Dave

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49 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

Just a quick one would binos work in my refractors and would I get any benefit please. 

Others more experienced than me can give you the pros and cons and possibilities. All I can tell you is the WO Binoviewers work great in my Tak FS100DC but I had to use a Baader diagonal and a glass path corrector in order to achieve focus. Doing a search on the forum will give you lots of advice on what works/does not work. I'm afraid I don't feel qualified to give you a good answer!

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1 minute ago, F15Rules said:

..and of course Tak eyepieces binoview very well!😈😂..

Dave

I have a pair of Tak Erfles which give a pretty decent wide view and when I win the lottery I'll double up on the others :) No more temptation please :)

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3 hours ago, Deadlake said:

I've got the Max Bright II. I asked people on CN the difference between WO, Mark V and Max Bright II, which is where the quote came from.

If fact if you e-mail Bill he would give you a good steer between the two. See his review:

https://www.cloudynights.com/articles/cat/user-reviews/field-test-of-the-baader-maxbright®-ii-binoviewer-r3238

If you e-mail Bill he always gets back quite quickly with a view.

The Mark V are meant to be great, however the cost difference and whether you would see the difference was a constant come back with the owners of both. 

Yes, I’m quite familiar with that (and other BillP) reviews.

I’m not bothered by larger prisms really, as I use mine at high powers and wider fov is not really a big issue. I am quite happy with my Mark IVs, having tried six pairs (🤪) they are the best I’ve used. I may, at some point buy a pair of Maxbrights IIs to use in my PST Mod, but the TS supercharged ones I currently have do a pretty good job so may not bother.

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On 10/10/2021 at 19:30, mikeDnight said:

I've been using the same old Revelation binoviewer since 2008 and think its an amazing piece of kit. I feel it is arguably the single most impressive game changer, as far as lunar and planetary observing is concerned, of anything I've ever bought, and worth every penny of the £99 I paid for it. I have used other binoviewers alongside my own but have not really noticed much of a difference between them. I've not yet had chance to observe with a Takahashi binoviewer, which I imagine you're referring to when you say "fully Tak light path!"? I think its the 45° angled bino head that put me off buying one.

Mike, I've not seen any Revalation branded binoviewers on sale. Are they the kind of model you see sometimes branded (usually Celestron) but often unbranded on various sites selling bargain Chinese optics?

The ones I've seen usually have an aperture of 22mm, BAK-4 prisms, 54-75mm inter-pupillary distance, what I presume is diopter adjustment, and usually one or two Barlow lenses, which seems remarkably good value for money. Did yours come with a Barlow or do you use a separate high quality one?

Thanks

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