Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

Know I've asked about Binoculars before but I have thought a bit more about what I want from these binos I am saving up for, and have narrowed myself down to 4 choices. It will probably take a few more weeks to save up, though, so plenty of time to think!

What I would like from these binoculars:

Good views of the Moon;

Crisp, High Quality Images;

Most Messier Objects and other nice DSO's;

Scanning Star Fields;

Clear Nice Star Colours;

Sturdy and Weatherproof;

Some brighter comers;

Maybe some easily split doubles;

Maybe the moons of Jupiter;

Reasonably Comfortable.

1) Revelation 15x70 with mount from Telescope House. Was convinced I wanted these binos, but I am wondering if I am buying arpeture for the sake of it - as I am worried about the quality control, and TH only gives 7 days to contact if they arn't perfect - sounds a bit short to notice any optical defects to me. Think they are identcal to the Celestron SkyMasters. Special Revelation 15x70 Binoculars and Tripod Deal

2) Opticron Vega II 8x56 from FLO. These look good quality. And with a 5 year gaurantee from Opticron. Bit worried about the low magnification though.

Porroprism - Opticron Vega II

3) Opticron Aespheric (?) 8x40 WA from FLO. Only heard good things about these. Seem a bit small for observing as opposed to scanning, though.

Porroprism - Opticron Aspheric WA ZWCF GA 8x40

4) Save a bit more and go for Helios Naturesport Plus 10x50 from FLO wide angle. Good review from S@N but seem a bit heavy for handheld maybe?

Helios - Helios Naturesport-Plus

2, 3, and 4 would be unmounted untill I had time to either buy a mount or DIY something. Could brace with a garden recliner, though.

I can deal with a bit of weight and 7mm exit pupil would be ok for my eyes.

Happy with all the prices of the above.

Am open to other suggestions, what do you guys think?

Thanking you in advance,

James. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi James

I can't speak for the quality of any of the binos you mentioned, but I can tell you of my own experiences.

I originally owned a pair of Meade 10X50s, and I was extremely happy with them, the focus was a bit loose, but nothing too serious. Then my wife bought me a pair of 10X50 Pentax PCF WPIIs for Christmas, and it was then that I really saw the difference. The views through the Pentax's were simply unbelievable, side by side with my old Meade's the views were brighter, cripser and revealed so much more details on DSOs such as M45, M42 and even M1 was seen.

My advice is to save some more money and get a better quality pair such as Pentax or Nikon. The extra cost is well worth it and if you find you have to sell them at a later date then the re-sale value is far higher.

Just my humble opinion.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi James

I have a set of celestron skymasters 15x70 and cant recommend them highly enough. Friends that looks through them are always amazed how many stars there are, as they have a wide field of view. They are a bit on the weighty side but I manage to hold them still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello James.

Well, looking at your list of binocular "nneds," you seem to be leaning towards going for high magnification pair.

You probably know that buying a pair of binoculars is not simply buying a pair that are of good quality and high magnification. In my experience, they also have to "feel" right when you are holding, and looking through them. So when you do finally choose a particular model, do ensure that you have sufficient time to try them, and that the supplier will take them back for exchange (or refund) if you don't feel comfortable with them.

The bigger the magnification you go for, the greater the need for a tripod to hold them. I had an excellent pair of Russian "Helios" 20x60's some years ago. They could just about be hand held for terrestrial use, but definately had to be mounted on a tripod for astronomical use. They did give excellent views of the Moon, and I could just make out Saturn and it's rings. Also saw deep sky objects such as the Pleides star group, and the Andromeda Galaxy. Split some double stars too. The views were good, but only the Moon was really worth looking at. I soon yearned for bigger magnifications, and brighter views, which led to me buying an 8" scope.

I now use low powered pair binoculars - specifically a pair of Opticron SRGA 8x42's, and more recently a new pair of Opticron "Aspheric" 8x40's. Both give excellent wide field and very bright views of the heavens. (The "Aspherics" giving the widest field of view at 8.2 degrees). As you rightly say though - at 8x their power is of little use to view deep sky objects in any detail at all. I can pick out many deep sky objects with these binoculars, but to me their value is in using them as a quick "grab & go" instrument, and to assist me in finding objects to view with my scope. Also, the added benefit of a small, lightweight and low powered binocular, is that you can use them for terrestrial viewing.

No doubt, others will give you more useful help and advice. (Have you looked on the "Observing with Binoculars" section on SGL?).

Best wishes on whatever you eventually choose.

philsail1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Guys.

Can anyone give me an idea of the Quality control of the revelations from telescopehouse - I'm a bit worried about only having 7 days to work out if they are alright - are they strict about this length of time? It's just that it's going to cost much less if I can get them from there - I am on a tight budget. Anyone know if the Helios will be sutible handheld?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have a pair of garrett [ america ] gemini 11x56 astronomy binoculars in near new condition that i imported from the states. looking for £50.00 inc post in the u.k.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10X50s are easily hand held, personally I think that 15X70s are the limit for hand held binos.

If you can mount the binos then it will greatly improve the views, you'd be amazed how much the image can move when held, resting your elbows on a solid surface will reduce the shakes or you can construct a simple T out of two pieces of wood and use it like a photographers monopod.

Telescopehouse have a good name, call them, they might be flexible about the time.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pair of Zhumell 10x42 bak4 porros. They are waterproof (dew proof) and I am very happy with them. They are light, easy to hold and have great eye relief. Good for bird watching too. Very close focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the Fujinon 7x50 FMTSX 10x70 FMTSX as a good used choice for astro binoculars. Are they well worth the investment? Also don't they come with deep-sky filters?

Edited by rahuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just bought the Opticron 8 x 40 WA for £48 delivered from Camera World and they are very good value for grab and go sweeps of the star fields. The 8.2 degree field allows you to take in a lot of sky, though the view is "soft" at the edge , but they will not give detail views of deep sky other than star clusters. These are well built for the money but are not waterproof. I find these easier to hand hold than 10x50's more because of the lesser magnification than weight difference. Have you thought of getting 2 pairs for your money ? Try something like the 8 x 40's and the 15 x 70's giving a total price of around £100. It is very difficult to get hand held and high enough mag for detail views, I tried it but then went back to 8 x 40's and 20 x 80's on a tripod, a decent compromise on limited budget. One of the most recommended bino's on the web for Astro use is the Nikon 10 x 50 Action Extreme, not tried them myself, but they are well reviewed and are waterproof etc. Dealt with telescope House for a returned item before and they were very good, can also recommend FLO. Look on Cloudy Nights forum for reviews (400 + pairs) but many are not available in this country.

Good luck.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JamesK,

I can vouch for the "Revelation 15x70's" from Telescope House. Very well put together and solid and made like a brick outhouse. They even have the Telescope House name printed on them.

Can be hand held for daytime viewing of terrestrial targets but, unless you have the nervous disposition of an android, must be tripod mounted for astronomy use. Your wrists will get very tired very quickly. They are heavy.

They come with eye covers for both ends and also come with a hard wearing canvas bag and strap.

I've had really good views of our moon. Not too much false colour here around the edge. What little there is I don't notice anymore. Also DSO's eg M13, Andromeda Galaxy, M42. I have taken these bino's to Rhodes Greece on holiday on several ocassions and had amazing views of a lot of DSO objects in the truly darks skies there. A bean bag on a wall taking the place of a tripod.

I also have a pair of 8x42's for widefield viewing, but mostly use the Revelation bins.

Would I buy them again. Definitely. Mine have absolutely no defects. My neighbour has even borrowed them for his camping holiday and wants to buy a pair.

HTH.

Clear skies.

Dave.

BTW the Revelation and Celestron's are clones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. Looks like a 15x70 is what I'll be getting then. Anyone know anything about 'Srathspey' 15x70s? They are going for £75 and heard they are a good name. Are they rebranded 'Oberwerks' - I read that somewhere? Obviously it will cost a bit more than the 'Revelations' to mount and so forth but I've found tripods on amazon that clain to take twice the weight for under £20, and l-brackets don't seem so bad. I'm happy to pay a bit more if they are distinctly better in the long run!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again James.

I don't know that much about Strathspey bins. Only what I learned in doing some research for my TH Revelations. That was about four years ago and have forgotten most of what I learned about the Sspeys. I bought the Revs because of the Telescope House reputation for delivery and integrity.

At the time I paid about as much for the Revs alone as the good offer they have at the moment. I bought the bins angle mount as well, so the deal they have now is a good one. However I don't think the tripod on offer will be up to it. I have tried the Revs on two different camera tripods, it was a peripheral hobby of mine. Both were decent £100ish tripods. Both were adequate, but not very comfortable to use. I bought a cheap "mini GEM" mount for a WO 80ED and for the bins. I probably feel more at home with astronomy mounts and what I bought is overkill but they go together well.

i have just weighed the Revs on the digital kitchen scales and they come out at 1.6kgs. Not very heavy but the c.o.g is about a third down the barrels. With the attachment point being further back you immediately have an unbalanced instrument.

Personally I found with a photo tripod that you could for instance put the moon exactly where you wanted it and tighten down the clutches on the tripod. But when you released the panning handle the weight of the unbalanced bins would take the bins below the moon, then stop about 1 or 2 moon diameters below. This meant putting moon in view then taking it above the moon, tightening and then releasing the handle. It was probably the engineering tolerances on the tripods being adequate for a 1kg camera having all its mass over the tripod bush, but being too loose for a 1.6kg bins with more than half it's mass overhanging its mounting point.

I still think the TH offer is a good one. The tripod will get you by and for the price it is decent glass.

No matter what you decide on please do let us know what you think of your purchase. If it's the Revs I can swap notes and if it's the Sspeys I'd be interested in a new equipment review.

Clear skies.

Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again,

Took the plunge and bought the Revs during the bank holiday sale. Good deal. Thanks for all you advice, you guys are better than a liberary. Just hope they arrive alive. Due to the 7 days , I will need to access them ASAP - any tips? BBC Predicts (dare I say it?) Clear skies round the north-west several nights this week so should get to star test ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.