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Which binoculars?

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I am wondering,

Do you use binoculars for astro?

What are they?

Do you rate them?

Thanks :)

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I'll start the ball rolling:

I use a pair of Chinese made Dowling & Rowe 8x45 porroprisms.

I find them great for scanning the sky while the telescope cools; wonderful three-dimensional wide-field views 8)

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I have an old pair of Greenkat 12x50's. However i aspire to a nice pair of canon IS, the bank manager (read the missus) wont let me though

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Binoculars have a few pairs ,but the ones i use are 10x50 plus 16x70 both fujinon  on a manfrotto tripod with the 141rc manfrotto head,was out last night looking at jupiter and vega,how do these binoculars preform BRILLIANT

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Thanks chaps :)

Gordon, try reminding your 'higher authority' that those Greenkats must be twenty+ years old :)

Steve, top drawer bins those Fujinon porros 8)

Weren't you building a binocular mirror mount?

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I've got a pair of Statespey 15x70s and Swift 8x40s that were my first astro kit 30 years ago.

The Statespeys are good binos for the money at around £70.

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Thats interesting (to me at least),

We habitually change our scopes ... but not our binocular(?).

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For me, to have a half decent pair is "good enough". Does that make sense?

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My bins are Olympus 10x50's.

Great for astro use and not too powerful that you can't use them hand held.

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Hi Steve have made the binocular mirror but cannot get use to things the wrongway round ,so put fujinon bins back on the manfrotto tripod,may try later to get use to the mirror.The best thing would be to mount them on a star chair like this one i found in the astronomy mag.www.bigha.com/starseeker :)

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i think 20x50's would be far too much for me. My hands are not steady even before i've had a drink....

I know what you mean Gordon. I have a pair of Helios 11x80 - good bins, but difficult to hold steady for more than a minute. My camera tripod is too low to use comfortably with the bins (unless I also take up limbo dancing). The bins live in the boot of the car and come out when I drive to a dark sky site, then they get used whilst my eyes get used to the dark and the 'scope cools down.

Tom

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Has anyone got an idiots guide to how the image stabilisers work and why I can't get one for my 10" Newt?

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I wrote an article on this a while back.

In short, two giro sensors detect movement in pitch and yaw. The measurements are relayed to micro-motors which adjust a Vari Angle Prism set in the light path. A VAP is essentially two filters with an optical gel between them. Think of a double-glazed window filled with optical gel, when the two panes are parallel, there is no effect on the light path but once you start moving one pane in relation to another, the window acts as a prism which bends the light path.

The VAP, adjusted at high frequency, keeps the object steady in the FOV.

A similar system is used in large observatory telescopes to counter movement - but thats another story and not practical for a 10" Newt.

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It wasn't a web article. I wrote it as part of a 'Choosing and using binoculars' article for Watercraft magazine (Issue 25: January/February 2001) . If I find the original Word file (on a back-up disk somewhere) I'll post it in full. I might also find a review of the Canon 18X50IS binoculars written for a later issue of the same mag, where I went into more detail.

http://www.watercraft.co.uk/backs.htm

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