Jump to content

740427863_Terminatorchallenge.jpg.2f4cb93182b2ce715fac5aa75b0503c8.jpg

beginner need advice on binoculars and planisphere


Recommended Posts

hello. i was wondering what sort of binoculars to get and star chart? i live in the uk, and have been very keen on looking at the stars from a rather young age, but have never took it further than just looking up at the sky, but now i would love to learn more about our universe. i would like to get a rather decent binocular, and i'm not sure what sort of planisphere to get as i live in the uk. i would of got a telescope, but at the moment i just want to walk around outside and concentrate on what i'm actually looking at before buying a telescope. is that a good idea?

thanks guys.

any advice would be very appreciated aswell as i my knowledge at the moment is very low, but am very keen to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

Binoculars is a great way to start thats how I started there are many binoculars and it depends on money 10x50 for quick look around 20x80 on a tripod is what I use so you will see jupiters 4 moons click on to first light optics at the top of this page and have a look round and Steve from first lightis optics is more than willing to help anyone, as the rest on here will tell you good luck any Q&A just ask more then willing to help

Doug

Essex

__________________________________________________________

Meade Telescope LX90 8" ACF

Televue 12mm T4 Nagler

Moonfish 30mm 2"

Meade 5000 uwa 18mm

meade 5000 9mm

32mm meade 4000

ect ect ect

binoculars Oberwerk 10x60

Revelation 20x80

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many factors come in to play here, what is your budget? How dark is the sky where you live? Do you want to use a tripod or use them hand held.

A pair of binos is a good place to start, the size will depend on how you plan to use them either mounted on a tripod or hand held. It is generally accepted that 10x50 is the maximum size that can be hand held. A good book to start with is 'Nightwatch' it has a lot of information about astronomy and also has very good star charts. Also a red LED torch will help protect your night vision.

Pentax DCF WP II, Nikon Action Extreme and Opticron Imagic WP are all available in 10x50 size, come well recommended and are porroprism design which have good low light capabilities. They cost between £110 and £150 but will last a lifetime and are not just for nightime use.

If you go down this route you will soon be hooked and want to see more, I see a scope in your future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use everyday 8x42 birding binoculars and they are fine. I doubt that 10x50 would give little advantage. Really mentioned as a point concerning prices.

One concern in buying a new set of binoculars specifically for astronomy is that if you like the hobby then you will want a scope and so buying a less costly set you can put the money towards a scope in the future. You will soon want more then either 8x, 10x or 15x.

A standard Philips planisphere is for use at 51.5 degrees north. Just check for a latitude of that on the front of one.

Little problem of a planisphere is that, mine at least, does not have things like the majority of Messier objects on it. It has some but is not that extensive.

For general "what's in the sky" I use the monthly sky guide by Ian Ridpath. As it has full maps for each month and a gives detail on one specific constellation for each month. Find a good book shop and go find one that makes sense to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over 10 years ago, i started out with a pair of common 7x35 binoculars and learned a lot with them. The guide i used was a (then) $5 booklet called Peterson First Guides, Astronomy, illustrated by Wil Tirion, world famous stellar cartographer. A planisphere helped me learn a lot too, because it supplied a 'live view' instead of a static chart.

Another publication that's relatively inexpensive and can be used with or without optical aid is the Bright Star Atlas... nice, wide chart views in that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can buy a planisphere from decent sized bookshops. Here's an add for one on Amazon - Philip's Planisphere: Northern 51.5 Degrees - British Isles, Northern Europe Northern USA and Canada Philip's Astronomy: Amazon.co.uk: Books

If you are feeling adventurous, you could make one - Sky Watch How to See the Stars - DiscoverySchool.com

Here's a link to FLO (First Light Optics) binoculars. You should find something there.

Welcome to SGL by the way. :)

Mike

Edited by MikeP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When i started off at the age of 8-9...............the Philips Planisphere was the one my parents bought me along with my first ever 10X50 bins.

I just thought it was the best thing in the world. I'm thinking of buying a new one and pinning it to my wall.....................just for old times sake.

As stated above.......if you want to use bins and Planisphere together outside then a red light torch is also a MUST.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello. thanks for all the advice. i downloaded stellarium, which i found fascinating. at the moment i find it all confusing what stars are what, but i know with experience it'll come to me.

i found these binoculars. what do you think of them. their quite expensive, so if theres better for cheaper then i'm all for that. thankyou.

Nikon 10x50 Action Extreme EX Binoculars Nikon-10 x 50 offers UK £123

thankyou very much for all the advice. i just can't wait to give astronomy a real go, but at the moment with all this rain and clouds, let alone light pollution makes it impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before you go and spend any money on equipment the best thing to do is read read read about that equipment. There are many books on the subject of astronomical observation using all manner of equipment. I personally recommend purchasing NONE of them. You've been paying taxes for years... why not avail yourself of the greatest book shop available... your local library! If they don't have a book they can most likely have a copy brought in from another library.

While your reading up on what to purchase (or DIY) you can start learning the basics of what and where things are using a Planisphere. I just purchased this planisphere:

Amazon.com: Guide to the Stars (9781928771036): Ken Graun: Books

This planisphere can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees north. Most planisphere's I've run across cover a much narrower lattitude and longitude grid.

Finally, you don't need to purchase a red-light torch/flashlight. Just use an old beat up torch/flashlight and put a light coat of red nail varnish over the lens.

Edited by H2IKXF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome lennoxlude!!

Get yourself a planisphere or atlas (Try: http://www.uv.es/coque/Triatlas_2ed_A.pdf for a good basic atlas that you can print off - don't bother with the more advanced ones on this site for the moment - just bung the link in favourites!) and just your eyes as a good way to learn the basic constellations. You can also spot the naked eye planets - Jupiter, Mars and Saturn at the moment. During this time, as suggested above, read as much as you can and use forums like this one to browse for advice - you will find plenty!! Then spend your money wisely! You are probably better off getting a GOOD pair of 10x50 bins for around £30, you really won't notice the difference between these and a £100 pair. Thus saving your pennies towards your first "proper" telescope. When you do get there remember the MOUNT is as, if not more, important as the scope itself!! Also you WILL want to upgrade.

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello. thanks for all the advice. i downloaded stellarium, which i found fascinating. at the moment i find it all confusing what stars are what, but i know with experience it'll come to me.

i found these binoculars. what do you think of them. their quite expensive, so if theres better for cheaper then i'm all for that. thankyou.

Nikon 10x50 Action Extreme EX Binoculars Nikon-10 x 50 offers UK £123

thankyou very much for all the advice. i just can't wait to give astronomy a real go, but at the moment with all this rain and clouds, let alone light pollution makes it impossible.

There are binocular reviews here

Small Binocular Reports: The 10 x 50s - CN Report

The Nikon Action Extreme is reviewed here amongst others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find my 10x42 binoculars hard to hold steady, so have just taken delivery of a pair of Opticron Aspheric 8x40 for £65 from FLO see Porroprism - Opticron Aspheric WA ZWCF GA 8x40

I suggest you give them a call and discuss your requirements. They were extremely helpful to me and even talked me out of a more expensive pair I was thinking of buying!

It's early days, but the Opticrons are very comfortable to hold steady and seem to give a good view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally, you don't need to purchase a red-light torch/flashlight. Just use an old beat up torch/flashlight and put a light coat of red nail varnish over the lens.

Absolutely true. If there is a person in your house (male or female) that used red nail varnish.........just borrow it and put a single thin coating of it on the glass of ANY torch.

Sorry i SHOULD have stated that earlier before i said buy a red LED torch.

Ive also read about glow in the dark planispheres but i really dont know how well they work. I can only think they are as bright as the digits on a watch that also glow in the dark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find my 10x42 binoculars hard to hold steady, so have just taken delivery of a pair of Opticron Aspheric 8x40 for £65 from FLO see Porroprism - Opticron Aspheric WA ZWCF GA 8x40

I suggest you give them a call and discuss your requirements. They were extremely helpful to me and even talked me out of a more expensive pair I was thinking of buying!

It's early days, but the Opticrons are very comfortable to hold steady and seem to give a good view.

i have been reading a few posts around the internet about binoculars.. some are saying you got to have 10x50, and then some are saying they find 10x50 too big and have trouble holding it for a while. i'm really confused. when you say good view, how good of a view does your binoculars give? i got to say £65 is very tempting for me to buy as most being advised are over £100, which really is not what i want to spend if i can help it.:)

thankyou everyone for your advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not the only one confused. I was confused as well. But I learned or rather re-learned that what's good for someone else may just well be the worst thing for you.

Looking back on my beginnings with a pair of binoculars and a planishpere I can only say I wish binocular/telescope shops were like car dealerships where you could 'test-drive' the vehicle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got my first bins yesterday. A pair of 10x50 bins from Argos. Was £44.99 reduced to £19.99. I used them last night and I was able to find M42 very easy. The stars looked pin sharp.

I looked at Mars but I could not resolve it into a disk.

I took a risk in buying cheap bins, but for a first night I can not fault them.

Now to find more challenging targets

Edited by insomnia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not the only one confused. I was confused as well. But I learned or rather re-learned that what's good for someone else may just well be the worst thing for you.

Looking back on my beginnings with a pair of binoculars and a planishpere I can only say I wish binocular/telescope shops were like car dealerships where you could 'test-drive' the vehicle.

First Light Optics made it clear to me that I could have the binoculars 'on approval' and exchange them for something else if they were not suitable

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm really confused. when you say good view, how good of a view does your binoculars give? i got to say £65 is very tempting for me to buy as most being advised are over £100, which really is not what i want to spend if i can help it.:)

thankyou everyone for your advice.

I have only had one opportunity to take them outside at night, and then only very briefly. The view was clear and sharp and gave me a wide field of view (which is what I want). Of course the magnification is less than a 10x pair, but that isn't important to me. I can use the telescope for greater magnification.

Do contact FLO for advice (I have no interest in the company). They will explore your requirements with you and, as I mentioned in another post, will send the binoculars 'on approval'.

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i've been looking around and taking some advice and have came up with these two.

theres the Opticron Aspheric WA ZWCF GA 8x40, which has great reviews with a wider FOV

and then theres the Helios Naturesport Plus 10x50. once again has some great review.

now, what do you thinks more crucial, a wider FOV, or better magnication and a FOV of say 6?

i don't think the weight is a problem, one is at 700 and the other is 790 grams. that's not too heavy is it? but i think these are the two that are reasonable for the price. both under £80

what do you lot think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i've been looking around and taking some advice and have came up with these two.

theres the Opticron Aspheric WA ZWCF GA 8x40, which has great reviews with a wider FOV

and then theres the Helios Naturesport Plus 10x50. once again has some great review.

now, what do you thinks more crucial, a wider FOV, or better magnication and a FOV of say 6?

i don't think the weight is a problem, one is at 700 and the other is 790 grams. that's not too heavy is it? but i think these are the two that are reasonable for the price. both under £80

what do you lot think?

For me, wider FOV and lower magnification is the choice. But each person is different. I would just repeat my suggestion to discuss your choice with FLO and try one of the pairs on approval.

Good luck.

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • 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.