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TheMightyKong

Binocular recommendation

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Hi everybody,

Im a new poster here and I'd like to pick your brains for some advice on new binoculars for astronomy. I have a scope and would really like some nice handheld binos to help find my way around, locate objects and just cruise the skies. My criteria are:

1) HAVE to be handheld, to me, this means less than 1Kg wt and i think the lighter the better, and not too high mag, not sure how high is psooible handheld for me.

2) As good optically as I can get without spending a fortune: as wide a field as I can get to help me starhop + find stuff, with as sharp a field as i can get. I also wear glasses so adequate eyerelief.

3) Not too big exit pupil, I live in London so the skies are a kinda orangey grey from my garden, except at zenith where they're just plain grey.

So far I'm thinking about the William Optics 8x42 APO binos for £180. What do you guys think?Any other suggestions for similar money (or less :D)? My plan is to find try out the ones people recommend here at a dealer.

Thanks in advance,

Kong

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8x24 seems quite nice and small, and WO always brands good stuff. I think you're on to a winner. You might stand a little more aperture but then the weight goes up. The best equipment is the equipment you use and if it's too heavy you will find it a chore. Saying that £180 is quite expensive, non-astro bins are usually just as adequate as astro bins so it pays to shop around at "normal" stores.

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10 x 50 from Scopes n Skies (Astronomy & Nature centre link at the top) or even from Lidl when they have them. Should be less than £50 easily.

You will need to save your pennies as you will need to buy even more kit after using the bins.

8 x 24 is OK for terrestrial stuff, but for the sky you need aperture, so the 10 x 50 will give you four times as much light coming in with only a little more magnification. The Bresser 10 x 50s that I have show no false colour at all when hand held and are better than the 8 x 24s that I got for a fiver with some diesel. The smaller bins don't gather the light as much which is the problem with astro stuff.

Captain Chaos

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Hi Gordon + Cap'n C,

Actually the WO binos are 8x42, not 8x24. My worry about bigger aperture is weight. I havent so far seen reports of larger binos that are lightweight and have good reviews that don't cost a fortune. Do you have any in mind that also have good eyerelief and wide field? £180 is a lot but I am prepared to pay up to that much for something that meets all my requirements, I justify this to myself by figuring that I will spend most time using this than any other kit, so its worth the investment IMHO.

I will also try to get to the SW astro fair on sat, may be there'll be some binos there I can try. Its a long way from London but I'm really keen to go to an astro event!

Cheers

TheMightyKong

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I will also try to get to the SW astro fair on sat, may be there'll be some binos there I can try.

If you find me on the LCE/BC&F stand I will have some binoculars for you to try. Considering your budget & requirements I suggest the Opticron IMAGIC TGA WP Porro Prism binoculars:

image.jpg

They are available as 8x32, 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, 7x50 & 10x50. They are all within your budget and are great for astro :D

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How about the Helios ultimate HRs on this site if you've got money for better quality optics?

http://www.sherwoods-photo.co.uk/helios_binos/helios_bino_fs.htm

I bought a cheaper pair of Helios 10x50 bins for £50 last summer and can see the Andromeda galaxy,

both Hercules clusters (just), orion nebula, nice view of the pleiades, the coathanger and

beehive clusters etc etc. Will always be useful for confirming fainter star configurations near DSOs.

I don't have shares in Helios btw.

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Thanks everyone, so now there are 2 on my shortlist, the WO ( http://www.william-optics.com/wowebs/prod_bino/842apo/specifications.htm ) 8x42 roof

and the opticron ( http://www.opticron.co.uk/ ) 8x42 , which is £30 cheaper but has a slightly narrower field (114m/100m = 6.5 deg i think, versus 129m/100m/7deg).

Does anyone have any experience with both these for a comparative opinion? And any others i should be considering? Thanks.

TMK

PS cheers steve will try the opticron if i can make it tom.

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You need to be careful about Field of View figures; they are no guarantee that the image will be sharp to the field edge. Leica and Zeiss often appear narrow at first until you realise that the entire field is usable.

I have no experience of the WO (though they look remarkably similar to other brands that I do know...) binoculars but, having Roof-Prisms, they are at a a disadvantage. Roof prisms usually have an extra reflecting layer in the light path and a prism block that puts the light out of phase - which must be overcome with phase correcting coatings.

£ for £, everything else being equal, a Porro Prism will win.

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WO have a reputation to rebrand there equipment (i'm not even sure if they actually manufacture anything at all) so it's likely there Bin's are also sold by others under a different name. They might even be cheaper

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Steve,

I know what you mean about FOV sharpness, the WO have phase coatings and are rated highly for FOV sharpness in posts I found trawling the search function on the Cloudy Nights forums. They seem to be made by this company http://www.aoi.com.cn/english/Na1.htm but I don't know of any other resellers. Having said this, I tried another roof prism today and found that i couldn't wrap my hands completely around the barrels because of the bridge, which seemed a bit awkard to me. I'll see what's there tommorow...

tenbyfifty,

I think there was a review of the helios ultimate H|R in a recent astromag - skyatnight i think? will see if i still have it lying around.

adam,

I've held 15x70's and they really are too much for me to handhold for any length of time, and x15 seems like too much, again, for me.

Thanks all for your suggestions + comments and keep em coming!

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