Jump to content

Banner.jpg.692da9ed9af2eace53e1dc94cfc0e912.jpg

What do you use?


Recommended Posts

Hand held binoculars, that is. Either as your preferred choice for observing or as an accompaniment to telescope work. Are you favouring roof prism, porro or monoculars. Bak 7, Bak4  or more traditional designs? I'm trying to make a final decision but with so many types to choose from, I seek your wise opinions. Also I would like to know if anyone can suggest binoculars with a well defined field stop. Lots of questions but I am sure someone has just the right suggestion.

Thanks in advance.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally opt for porro's, Minolta classic sport 10x50WP (6.6 FoV) or Swift Audubon 8.5x44 (8.2 FoV) if I don't feel like lugging a scope out for a short peek before clouds obscure. Have occasionally used the Nikon Micron CF 7x15's if I'm not home and they're all I have with me or the Nikon Sportstar EX 8x25 (DCF roof type), both did very well too, the micron having a 7 degree FoV and the Sportstar 8.2 degrees. Sometimes it's down to what happens to be sat in easy reach if I've been working on a pair so could be anything... 😉 

I have tested for collimation against the stars a number of my collection, mix of porro and roof, Bak4 and BK7 and they've all worked pretty well, tho some roofs don't handle a bright star on/near the roof edge very well. If going for a roof it'd be worth trying to get a chance to test them at night before committing and going for a good known brand as hopefully the roof prisms will be better made. That said my c1945-6 Jagd dialyts do just great even with a small chip at the point of one prism 🙂 

Must admit I've not tried hard to look for the field stop, just looked and enjoyed the view so can't help you there. Choice between porro/roof is how you prefer them to handle, other uses besides stargazing and if you'd need/want to tripod mount them at any stage.

Edited by DaveL59
Link to comment
Share on other sites

60degree apparent field of view of larger gives a more immersive view, but getting nice edges is less common, if that is an issue. With binoculars you should look in the centre of the field and pan the view, rather than your eyes as keeping your pupils lined up with the exit pupils only really works when looking straight ahead. I am a porro user, but no reason that roofs aren’t any different. The type of glass is not really an issue, I’d look at reviews for chromatic aberration, eye relief and the size of the sweet spot (how wide the sharpest part of the view are). Then your personal preferences and budget will find an option. For Astro you’ll want a rock stable view, the pistol grip on monopod than many here use is very good standing or reclining in a chair. 
 

peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I use porro prism binoculars for most astronomical viewing (Helios Apollo LightQuest 16x80s). I usually use them hand-held, and only rarely get out either a mono-pod or P-mount (the latter only really for outreach). Before that I used Helios Apollo 15x70s (superb pair), Omegon 15x70s (cheap and cheerful BA-1s), and Bresser 10x50 porros. Occasionally I get out my birding bins (Zeiss Victory 10x42 SF, seriously good roof-prism bins, but without the massive light grasp of the LightQuest).  Typically, porro prisms are cheaper. For a while I also used Vixen 10x56 roof prism bins, but did not get on with the field curvature. Quite good for birding, but not so much for astronomy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I have a pair of 1976 Zomz 7x50 which are my go to binoculars. Fab optics and views. I also have a pair of Fujinon 16x70 FMT for lovely clear nights when I get the tripod out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nikon Aculon 10x50s.  I wear glasses but have no problem with the eye relief.  I also have a pair of Opticron 8x32s that almost fit in a jacket pocket for quick, low power views.

For more "serious" observing, I use individual focus Orion Giant View 15x70s on a tripod.  I'd not recommend them for handheld.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After trying a few different bins over time I wanted to settle for one pair that was easy to use, high quality, general purpose, good in terms of portability, and fairly robust.

I ended up with the Opticron dba vhd+ 8x42 bins. These have been great, 10x is too much shakes for me, and porros and 50mm objectives make bins too big for my preference.

Edited by Paz
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 for Paz' choice.

Having used many bins over the years as a supplement to my scopes (and also for nature watching), I've settled over the last 2 years on two pairs (just one size won't do it all for the above use IMHO):

- Orion Mini Giant 9x63 made in Japan. Mine are over 20 years old and are great. I can hand hold them for a short session, but the views on a tripod are so much better (I use a "Ravelli" branded trigger grip and tripod, now available under the Amazon Essentials brand, same item).

The Orion's  also came in a 15x63 version. Quite light and great sharp field stop with a very respectable 5 degree fov in my 9x63s (full aperture, no stopping down). I use mine with Bino Bandits which do a great job of keeping out stray light!

- Vixen Apex Pro 8x32 roof bins. Great quality, 7.5 deg fov, very sharp and work well for both nature watching and Astro. No roof related artifacts or spikes, just sharp natural views with very sharp field stop.

No longer available new, but worth seeking out used.

HTH,

Dave

 

Vixen Apex Pro1.jpg

Vixen Apex Pro2.jpg

Vixen Apex Pro4.jpg

Orion Mini Giant1.jpg

0_1680504389_BinoBandit4.jpg.c35b31003a94e282204bd49ca98c57a7.jpg

2_binobandit1.jpg

1_binobandit3.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a lovely pair of Revelation 10x42`s roof  Bak 4 prisms which are a delight to use.  I have a lovely pair of Tento 7x50`s that Steve (Saganite) kindly sent to me as I was after a good pair of old Japanese ones I had bought 5 pairs and everyone was out of collimation these are brilliant on Jupiter.

Edited by wookie1965
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use my Pentax S 20x60WP on a pistol grip tripod and find the optical quality to be great. I also have my cheaper Opticron 15x70, but I have become attached to my little Tasco made in Japan 8x40. They are old but in excellent condition both physically and optically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leica 8x42 BN. Even second hand they were very expensive but they give a lovely natural view. Interesting that you mention the field stop because one of the things I like about them is the clearly defined stop. It's either the view or blackness. I hadn't realized how distracting an ambiguous field stop is till I had a perfect one in the Leicas. They are roof prism and very nice in the hand but I agree with the standard wisdom that it's better to go for roof prisms £ for £.

Olly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 17/09/2022 at 22:31, DrPaul said:

have a pair of 1976 Zomz 7x50 which are my go to binoculars. Fab optics and views. I also have a pair of Fujinon 16x70 FMT for lovely clear nights when I get the tripod out.

How's Fujonon overall price to quality ratio? I've been using ATN X-4k 4-16, but looking to find something a bit better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am pretty new around here and maybe not the right answer, but after a fair amount of research I ordered an Opticron Adventurer WP 10X50. I am well happy with it so far (this is my first bino in years....ok 25 years). I used to use Russian ones in my child and teenagerhood 30 years back.

We just back from an Outer Hebrides trip and we used it a lot ( for planetary was awesome, also managed M31, Seven Sisters, lots of sea birds, dolphins and an otter). The quality looks decent for the price, only "rubbish" stuff on it the very loose rain guards and easily falling off lens protectors. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.