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Binoviewer help


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Hi everyone I am going to get the Williams optics binoviewer from FLO  I know it comes with 20mm eyepieces , so I need to pair up some more , I have celestron omni eyepieces 40, 32, 15, 9 mm 

I read that you can't use anything over 20mm so shall I get  15 mm and 9 mm  or is there another size I need to get

Telescope is a refractor 127 mm 1200 mm 

Kind regards Neil

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The 20s are nice, and perhaps get the 15s as well.

Alot depends on what focus travel you have and how much backfocus range you have at your disposal.

For now, i'd just try things out, do some experimentation and enjoy the views.

Good luck !

 

Edit :  rather than 15mm eyepieces or anything else, perhaps get the 2x multiplier that WO sell (only £37 on FLO)

The unit comes with a 1.6x lens in the kit so if you get the 2x as well that will give you 3 different magnifications possibly -  60x   96x and 120x

You may need to use the 1.6x to be able to reach focus, maybe, maybe not.

Edited by Space Hopper
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Don't buy any eyepieces until you have found barlow/gpc solutions that allow you to focus your telescope with the binoviewer. Once you have a combination that works you can use drift timing to calculate the actual multiplier that the barlow is working at, and from that calculate what eyepieces you will need to buy to get your preferred magnifications. 

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From my experience short FL eyepieces are tricky to use in binoviewers: any small miscollimation of the prisms inside becomes more apparent and the two images may be hard to combine. I prefer to use Barlows of various powers with the original EPs in the binoviewer.

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2 hours ago, Space Hopper said:

perhaps get the 2x multiplier that WO sell (only £37 on FLO)

Ah - didn't know you could get this. Does it make much difference to the in-focus distance when compared to the 1.6x one?

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It will make some difference i would think. Probably 10-15mm or so ? Not totally sure.

As an example i use the Baader multipliers ; the 1.25x  1.7x (closer to 1.5x so it seems) and the 2.6x

The focusing range with no gpc* to using the 2.6x gpc multiplier for higher powers takes up around 66mm of focuser travel.

 

*Theres not too many off the shelf refractors that will focus a binoviewer without a gpc (glass path compensator, multiplier, optical corrector system ; call it what you like)  but some will :

usually a refractor that is optimised for imaging and has a large focusing range and a lot of back focus to work with cameras, filter-wheels etc.

 

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On 13/06/2022 at 21:02, Nik271 said:

From my experience short FL eyepieces are tricky to use in binoviewers: any small miscollimation of the prisms inside becomes more apparent and the two images may be hard to combine. I prefer to use Barlows of various powers with the original EPs in the binoviewer.

That’s exactly my experience. I use 25mm ‘Orthos’ (converted Zeiss microscope eyepieces) in my binoviewer for sole and lunar observing, and Barlow the living daylights out of them to get the power. This often means a x1.7 GPC plus an AP Barcon, sometimes with w tension tubes to take it up to x4 ish. Works well, and is comfortable to merge images.

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On 13/06/2022 at 21:02, Nik271 said:

From my experience short FL eyepieces are tricky to use in binoviewers: any small miscollimation of the prisms inside becomes more apparent and the two images may be hard to combine. I prefer to use Barlows of various powers with the original EPs in the binoviewer.

I found the same when I had WO binoviewers , anything under 7 mm focal length I found to be  tricky.

Edited by Saganite
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You might find this advice from Roland Christen helpful - his remarks appear towards the bottom of the page: http://www.darksights.com/Binoviewers.htm

He’s saying, I think, that using a Barlow/GPC ahead of the binoviewer is not only convenient in terms of allowing the use of more comfortable eyepieces but strongly advisable to reduce the (small) amount of colour inevitably introduced by the binoviewer prisms.

I have the Zeiss binoviewer and typically use it with the Televue 2” x2 Powermate ahead of it.  The Baader GPCs, designed by RC to match the Zeiss, also, of course, work well.  I do change eyepieces rather than the Barlow or GPC because it’s a lot less fuss - swapping the GPCs involves disassembling the set-up and they’re quite small and fiddly. FWIW, when I do use the GPCs, it’s nearly always the 1.7, which, reportedly, actually yields about x1.5.

I use the Tak orthos mainly for lunar and planetary in 18(LE), 12.5, 9 and (despite RC’s advice) 6mm. I also have a pair of the 28mm Edmund RKEs.  All of these work very well. The Zeiss is very robust and well-collimated and I think it’s correct that if there are problems in the collimation and orthogonality of any aspect of a bino, shorter eps will make them all too obvious. If I had to choose just two eyepiece pairs  it would be the 18mm Tak LEs and the 9mm orthos.  If just one pair, probably the 18mm LEs with the option to swap GPCs. This has nothing to do with the quality of performance in the bino - they all work great - it’s just that, with the things I like to look at, they allow most options to be covered and give the  best match.

Finally, I do urge anyone to persist with binoviewers and work through any issues - they absolutely bring an extra dimension to the viewing experience, not just on Moon and planets but on many DSOs as well.

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I also have the WO binoviewer and my own experience supports much of what has been said already:

  • The 20mm eyepieces that come with it are an excellent match. Use these for a while before deciding whether you really need more eyepiece pairs (I decided I didn't). The binoviewer is quite a lump and so any eyepieces you use with it need to be light in weight and short in length.
  • Changing eyepieces is fiddly as there are two of them and they will need the dioptre adjusting. Barlow's are much easier to use, and better value in that they can be used with single eyepieces too.
  • Unless you are using a Mak or SCT, back focus will limit what you can do. With my refractor with the diagonal fitted I can only achieve focus using a x2.25 Badder Barlow (and not with the WO x1.6 Barlow). Without the diagonal I can achieve focus with no Barlow and with the x1.6 Barlow (and not with the x2.25 Barlow). With my Newtonian I can achieve focus with the x1.6 Barlow and the x2.25 Barlow.

This sounds like a lot of faff, and it is! But on the right target (bright and with some detail) the view through the binoviewer will blow your socks off!! I love looking at the Moon with mine and had some great views of M42 as well (before it disappeared).

 

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My experience is the same as the above really. I started with the WO binoviewer and found the supplied eyepieces very comfortable to use but I needed a TAL shorty 2x Barlow to reach focus.

I now use a pair of the original Baader Maxbrite binoviewers with the Baader 1.25" T2 prism, which gives a really short lightpath, but I still need the 1.7x GPC to reach focus.

I tend to use either a pair of Vixen NPL 30mm eyepieces or a pair of BCO 18mm eyepieces. I do have shorter eyepiece pairs but those two pairs are most comfortable and if I need more mag then I'll swap the GPC for a 2.6x.

I love binoviewers for lunar, solar and planetary but can't get on with them for DSOs so go back to Cyclops for that.

Find out what you need to do to reach focus and use the supplied eyepieces for a while then think about different eyepieces if you feel that you need them.

Ade

Edited by AdeKing
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I’ve also got the WO binoviewer and love it. The supplied eyepieces work well, and I found the following when using with my 102ED F7 refractor:

  • It cannot quite reach focus with the supplied 1.6x GPC attached to the BV nosepiece
  • With the 1.6x GPC attached to the nosepiece of a 1.25” prism diagonal, it WILL reach focus and gives approximately 2x (so if you can do this you will not need to buy a 2x GPC) 
  • With the lens element of my Baader classic Barlow screwed onto to the nosepiece of the BV I get 5x magnification - the equivalent of 4mm eyepieces but without the problems described in the posts above. I use this arrangement for planetary and lunar viewing and it works perfectly. I believe other Barlows can also work this way with BVs although the magnifications will be different. 

My SCT was much more flexible due to the long focus range. So basically I have not needed new eyepieces and I would definitely echo the advice above to experiment with what you have first. 

Enjoy your BVs! 🙂

 

Edited by RobertI
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Has anyone looked at the new Stella Lyra binoviewer at FLO? Apparently they never need a barlow! They state that if you can focus the eyepiece, then the binoviewer will focus with no additional Barlow.

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Yeah I looked at them, the same as the Orion , so do Orion make them for Stella lyra or stella make them for Orion , still feel WO are better starter kit as they have a good 20mm eyepieces the eyepieces alone are £74 each 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-Premium-Linear-BinoViewer-Telescopes/dp/B07CG8GBL8/ref=sr_1_4?crid=W5BGFPP8U25X&keywords=binoviewer&qid=1655669120&sprefix=Binov%2Caps%2C476&sr=8-4

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2 minutes ago, Neil H said:

Yeah I looked at them, the same as the Orion , so do Orion make them for Stella lyra or stella make them for Orion , still feel WO are better starter kit as they have a good 20mm eyepieces the eyepieces alone are £74 each 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-Premium-Linear-BinoViewer-Telescopes/dp/B07CG8GBL8/ref=sr_1_4?crid=W5BGFPP8U25X&keywords=binoviewer&qid=1655669120&sprefix=Binov%2Caps%2C476&sr=8-4

I’m sure it’s neither. Orion and StellaLyra are brand names, and they will source them from a Chinese factory but I’m not sure who that factory is owned by. Sure someone will know.

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1 hour ago, Neil H said:

Yeah I looked at them, the same as the Orion , so do Orion make them for Stella lyra or stella make them for Orion , still feel WO are better starter kit as they have a good 20mm eyepieces the eyepieces alone are £74 each 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-Premium-Linear-BinoViewer-Telescopes/dp/B07CG8GBL8/ref=sr_1_4?crid=W5BGFPP8U25X&keywords=binoviewer&qid=1655669120&sprefix=Binov%2Caps%2C476&sr=8-4

Available from Bresser as well, although both Stellalyra and Orion versions are cheaper. They all look exactly the same unless there is some difference in quality of the mirrors.

https://www.bresseruk.com/Astronomy/Accessories/Eyepieces/BRESSER-BinoViewer-Deluxe-1-25.html?listtype=search&searchparam=binoview

 

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On 18/06/2022 at 01:09, bosun21 said:

Has anyone looked at the new Stella Lyra binoviewer at FLO? Apparently they never need a barlow! They state that if you can focus the eyepiece, then the binoviewer will focus with no additional Barlow.

If they really do focus at the same point as an eyepiece then that is quite a big advantage. I think their price with a couple of suitable eyepieces would still make me choose the WO binoviewer though. They look quite bulky too. Even the WO binoviewer with its diminutive 20mm eyepieces is quite a lump to have hanging out of the side of a Newtonian!

I treat my binoviewer like a special purpose eyepiece and as such consider it to be worth roughly the same cost as say a good zoom.

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1 hour ago, PeterC65 said:

If they really do focus at the same point as an eyepiece then that is quite a big advantage. I think their price with a couple of suitable eyepieces would still make me choose the WO binoviewer though. They look quite bulky too. Even the WO binoviewer with its diminutive 20mm eyepieces is quite a lump to have hanging out of the side of a Newtonian!

I treat my binoviewer like a special purpose eyepiece and as such consider it to be worth roughly the same cost as say a good zoom.

How do you find the WO binoviewer with your Maksutov?, and can you reach focus with your Newtonian? Thanks Peter 👍

           Ian 

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7 hours ago, bosun21 said:

How do you find the WO binoviewer with your Maksutov?, and can you reach focus with your Newtonian? Thanks Peter 👍

           Ian 

The binoviewer works fine with the Mak. The wide focus range means that it can achieve focus with any combination of kit fitted to the visual back (Barlows, filter wheels), although if you extend the optical pathway significantly then that does increase the scopes FL (FL increases by x3.75 the physical extension of the optical path length). So with my (short) Baader diagonal fitted and no filter wheel the FL is about 1918mm with the binoviewer!

With the Explorer 150PDS Newtonian (the slightly shorter version) I can achieve focus with the included WO x1.6 GPC (focus is at 11mm) and with the Baader x2.25 (Hyperion Zoom) Barlow (focus is at 36mm), but not without a Barlow. That's with a 1.25" adapter (10mm optical path length ) fitted to the 2" focuser.

I've mainly used the binoviewer with the Mak and my refractor and not so much with the Newtonian as that's a new scope to me. As I mentioned earlier, I consider the binoviewer to be just another eyepiece, to be used on appropriate targets (those that are bright and present obvious detail). The Moon is the target I use the binoviewer with most, but I've also had good results with M42. The planets haven't been visible for me since I bought the binoviewer but I'm hopeful they will also be a suitable target.

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20 hours ago, Neil H said:

Yeah I looked at them, the same as the Orion , so do Orion make them for Stella lyra or stella make them for Orion , still feel WO are better starter kit as they have a good 20mm eyepieces the eyepieces alone are £74 each 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-Premium-Linear-BinoViewer-Telescopes/dp/B07CG8GBL8/ref=sr_1_4?crid=W5BGFPP8U25X&keywords=binoviewer&qid=1655669120&sprefix=Binov%2Caps%2C476&sr=8-4

 

20 hours ago, Stu said:

I’m sure it’s neither. Orion and StellaLyra are brand names, and they will source them from a Chinese factory but I’m not sure who that factory is owned by. Sure someone will know.

They're made by Long Perng (Taiwan company, perhaps with mainland suppliers).

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The WO binoviewer I think on a tight budget comes in on top it  can get me started as it is a complete package if I go the other way I still need to get one of two eyepieces so I can use it so cost jumps up 

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9 hours ago, PeterC65 said:

The planets haven't been visible for me since I bought the binoviewer but I'm hopeful they will also be a suitable target.

You will be amazed when you see the planets through your binoviewers Peter. Shadow transits across Jupiter in 3D!

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1 hour ago, Neil H said:

Hi a pair of Astro engineering binos have come up for sale are they any good , or stick with buying the WO binoviewer

I saw them on eBay as well. There are no eyepieces or barlow with them though. I think it’s got a single Celestron 6mm plossl that he threw in. They have been on eBay for ages and have reduced in price twice.

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