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Quantum 6.2 binoculars 20/25/37 x 100


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As a long-time binocular fan there is nothing better in my opinion than observing with both eyes in complete comfort. It is only possible to really take the time to study deep sky objects and pick out subtle tenuous features when you’re comfortable and using both eyes. While I have a pair of 15x50 binoculars that I use on a mirror mount and a 100mm refractor with a binoviewer, I wanted something that had serious aperture, right angled eyepieces for maximum viewing comfort and the ability to change magnifications by swapping over eyepieces.

Having reviewed numerous websites and even considered making my own by modifying two 6-inch TAL reflectors, I settled on the Quantum 6.2. These binoculars appeared to fit my requirements with two 100mm f5 scopes (semi-apo) and more importantly my budget (compare these to a pair of Mayauchi or Fujinon binoculars).

I ordered my pair from MC2 in Frome, Somerset and collected them at the end of April. Having enjoyed a prolonged period of clear weather, it was typically unsettled and cloudy as I drove to pick them up.

The binos come in a sturdy aluminium case with all parts included – and even two soft gloves to stop leaving finger prints on the body! First impressions are that they are heavy – much heavier than I anticipated. My no-brand camera tripod was seriously challenged although it withstood the test it certainly would not be capable of regular usage. A sturdy tripod is a must for these heavyweights. The optics were clean, good green tint and 1.25” eyepieces of reasonable size. There is a handle for ease of carriage but no finder.

I placed them on a borrowed Horizon 8115 camera tripod – which carried the load quite acceptably - and looked at the nearly full moon. Although I could bring the right hand eyepiece to focus, the left hand eyepiece could not achieve a sharp image. It went from mushy through to mushy without a sharp, focussed image in between. There was also a minor green/yellow fringe to the moon’s edge in the right eyepiece that was horrendous in the left eyepiece – the chromatic aberration was awful.

I swung over to Arcturus which was appearing through the dusk sky. A star test showed a fan of light in the left eye that was never a pin point star – the right hand image was fine. This was noticed with all supplied eyepieces, my two William Optics 20mm WA which came with the binoviewer and a pair of Celestron zooms.

Despite this, the binos are semi-usable as my right eye is dominant so I enjoyed viewing a waxing moon and, the Beehive cluster with adjacent Mars but the low cloud and bright moon really prevented serious usage. First impressions are that these binos will be quite a powerful tool: 100mm apertures, wide field of views, comfortable to observe through and variable magnification depending on what I wanted to study – from lunar surface to Beehive cluster.

After discussing the focus issue with Charles at MC2, he sought a replacement that arrived out of collimation. Not a happy state of affairs. The next replacement is due at the end of May so Charles has given me free loan of a pair of fringe killer filters to sharpen the image in the binos while we await the replacement pair. I must highlight that I was very satisfied with this customer service. My problem was being rectified as expeditiously as possible, supplier QA not withstanding.

Another issue is the lack of a finder. Although it is possible to find objects at low power, these binos would certainly benefit from having a finder fitted. The finder shoe though is where the handle fits so you can’t fit both. Why?

Finally the objective dust caps are rubbish as they simple fall off the dew shields. It seems strange that Helios have gone through the complex design, development and manufacture of seriously large binoculars and then muck up the design of the dust caps.

May 6 Test

After nipping to the polling station on Thursday, I noticed that it was going to be clear so I set the binos up on my shaky tripod. Firstly, I compared the supplied eyepieces against my William Optics 20mm WA giving 25x100 (with fringe killers in an attempt to rectify poor focus). The field of view in WO eyepieces is much larger and crisper so I used them throughout this session.

Saturn was not particularly clear (due to focusing issues above) but the rings were visible along with Titan and maybe 1 more closer in. Mars likewise also suffered. They appear to not perform so well on the planets – and obviously don’t have the magnification to make a detailed study.

As the sky darkened at 11-ish, I found the Leo triplet but the fainter NGC galaxy was not visible, probably due to some thin cirrus cloud high above. Both galaxies showed their form but at these low powers not a tremendous detail visible.

Next up, globular M3 in Can Van. Wow, these optics give a lovely field of view. The cluster was a granular structure with the outer stars semi-resolved. Unfortunately cloud was now covering half the sky so I hurried onto M13 in Hercules. Again at low power the cluster was stunning and more impressive than its neighbour. It was lovely to see the globular cluster set against a bright star field. Alas, the view was slowly clouding over as the cloud spread over the sky. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the views through the binoculars: bright stars, good field of view and no neck strain. Well recommended. These will complement my 4-inch refractor and binoviewer – I’ll prolly combine the two and use the refractor as a lunar and planetary scope and the binos for deep sky and variable stars.

I am looking forward to enjoying observing with these when the good pair finally arrive. Next up will be the many galaxies and summer milky way objects – weather permitting obviously.

Likes

  • Wide field of view – especially with WO eyepieces
  • Comfortable right angled eyepieces
  • Interchangeable eyepieces
  • Price
  • Case
  • MC2’s customer service
  • Good on moon and DSO

Dislikes

  • Quality Control: Unacceptable focus on first pair and mis-collimation on second pair
  • Lack of finder
  • Having to use the handle to mount a finder
  • Dust caps are rubbish
  • Not so good on planets

Be Aware Of

  • Need for sturdy mount
  • Weight
  • Binos benefit from higher quality eyepieces – as is true of any telescope
  • Need for two of each eyepiece!
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Excellent report GP.

These binos look so promising in the brochure, perhaps they had a bumpy ride from China?

Personally, I wouldn't have expected great planetary views, but the issues over focusing etc. are bad news indeed.

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I bought the Quantum 6.3 which have 20,30 and 37X eyepieces. Mine came with a yoke mount that is superb for viewing but you have to pay extra for that. The case handle can be a bit dodgy so use the strap when carrying as it can break loose and send your case crashing to the ground. Sorry to hear that the binoculars were out of collimation but at least the dealer is helping out which is good news. The binoculars will work really well, and when the good pair arrives they will be spectacular under dark skies. What I like about mine is you can spend hours viewing and walk away without having a crinked neck. Good luck with the new pair and I am sure things will turn out ok for you. Steve

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Good report. However i will be more interested to hear the comment when the 'good' bino arrives. An eyepiece that can not be focussed is indeed unacceptable.Probably a misalignment error.

Angled binos do interest me and eventually i might buy one in the far future IF the quality is good enough. For now i guess i am a bit spoiled by my excellent 22x85 straight though bino. But who knows perhaps an angled BA8 series will show up in the future..

The BT100 is allready a fine angled bino but i find it unacceptable heavy. The Quantum series do sound promising and are not too heavy but seems to have some quality issues.

On CN i've read about a 100 mm chinese bino that provided fair views but was compromised in aperture. It seems there is still some developing to be done...

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Agreed, the binos are great to look through. I too await the third pair to see if my nirvana of affordable binos with right angled interchangeable eyepieces at an affordable price is achievable.

Now i await clear skies.

Mark

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thanks for the nice report. I have often wondered whether I should buy a bigger pair of binoculars (15x70 or 20x80) and then aperture fever sets in, so you look at 100mm monsters like this one.

I do have one question: Much as I like using binos, I do wonder at this large size why I should not buy a single, larger aperture refractor (like the much cheaper skywatcher 120mm F/5 or even the Robtics superachromat 152mm F/5.9 (Robtics | Robtics 152 mm Superachromaat F5,9), which costs about the same) for wide field observing. Two eyes is more immersive, but I would only need to buy just the one ultra wide field EP. With a Nagler 31 I would have 29x magnification and 2.82 deg FOV with the latter monster. I can use the latter on my other scope as well.

Is the binocular view really worth that much, in your opinion?

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Well, IMHO the one eye view does not match at all the 3D effect of the double eye views. A cluster and a planet on a binoviewer beats a 31mm Nagler anyday on those targets. I have both Nagler 31mm & Binos) and tried both on an 18" Dob. The Binos blew me away....

Now the binocs ha the wide view result and so will a fast APO...but whe it comes to aperture two 100mm wide lenses match a refractor of about 150mm when it comes to light grabbing. I don't think one would get the same DSO quality with a 120mm APO as with a double 100mm semi apo Quantum 6. ...just my 2 cents...

cheers

Paulo

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But let me say that my favorite DSO's...nebulas...are all cyclops for me. Binos loose a lot of light for those and for galaxies. The perfect solution is an medium big SCT with binos on full moon, crescent and...(Idon't know the name). And a big dob on new moon with 56mm TV Plossll, 40mm Meade 4000 SW, 31mm Nagler, 21mm Ethos, 13mm Ethos...and the ocasional planet with a 10mm Radian...this is my current Cyclops EP setup.

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I have APM semi apo 20/40 x 100 45 deg binos on a manfroto mount and fluid head. IMHO nothing beats 2 eyed viewing of clusters and starfields and even the view through a high end apo does not come close. Looking through binos minute after minute the eyes relax so much you just see more and more and more stars. Also, the moon is wonderful. Having said that, my binos are not much good for planets and obviously don't have the light grasp of a big dob so it's really horses for courses.

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I have had a set of these for a while now. I mounted mine in a fork mount from a 10" Meade LX200. (goto binos) :D

I found that they are great on the moon and deep sky wide field views (some of the best views i have had). They also went down a treat at SGL5 for those interested in looking through them.

As with every optical unit, it has it's up's and down's.....

As i always say "When used within its capabilities and acceptable expectations" these binos are fantastic.... There is a learning curve involved in using these....

The biggest downside i can see for this type of optical unit is that you have to allow anyone that you want to use them to fully adjust the ocular distance and refocus both eyepieces.....As when you want to look through them you have to readjust and re focus.......What a bummer...:D

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Pmesquita, I was surprised to read that you find the views through binos is dimmer than through a telescope. I find the reverse is true: the views with both eyes is considerably brighter and more detailed than through a telescope. I concur with kniclander when he says that the comfort allows you to spend more time at the eyepiece thereby further increasing the powers of observation.

My own personal experience, and yours will vary, is with Hyperions and an Ethos through 4" f9 Skywatcher ED refractor and a homemade 8.5" f5 newtonian.

I bought a WO binoviewer to use with the scopes but found that the view does dim compared to the cyclops mode. Obviously this is less of a detriment when observing the moon and planets but I find it unacceptable with deep sky objects where every photon counts.

Obviously the larger light grasp with your set up will exceed the 100mm binos by some margin thereby allowing you to pull in fainter detail.

It's interesting how tastes and preferences vary within the hobby isn't it?

Mark

PS Replacement binos are due in August now, I've still got the old ones but have put my observing on the back burner until the nights start getting longer. Luckily the better weather has allowed some good soaring in the glider so all is not lost!

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Thanks for the feedback

Regarding the light grasp of 2 100mm matching one 152mm: this is not quite right, unless you stick a binoviewer behind the 152 (there's a thought)

I think I will settle for the much more affordable 20x80 semi-apo I have seen. Travels better and leavs money in the bank to save up for a 12"

There's just too much good stuff out there !!!!

Choices, choices.

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I have had a set of these for a while now. I mounted mine in a fork mount from a 10" Meade LX200. (goto binos) :D

I found that they are great on the moon and deep sky wide field views (some of the best views i have had). They also went down a treat at SGL5 for those interested in looking through them.

As with every optical unit, it has it's up's and down's.....

As i always say "When used within its capabilities and acceptable expectations" these binos are fantastic.... There is a learning curve involved in using these....

The biggest downside i can see for this type of optical unit is that you have to allow anyone that you want to use them to fully adjust the ocular distance and refocus both eyepieces.....As when you want to look through them you have to readjust and re focus.......What a bummer...:D

Jamie, a very interesting post. The LX200 fork mount idea is brilliant. Using the Meade GOTO with the binocs must be great. May I ask what adaptations were needed, or was the Quantum 6 the right measure?

I'm taking the opportunity to ask you one thing that is very difficult to find answers to: What EP's are best with it besides the three original pairs that come with the binocs? I would like to work with Pans, Radains on TV Plossls for one simple reason: I like the TV Dioptrx (hate looking with my glasses on). And can you tell us if you have tested higher magnifications and what the results were. I suspect that with much higher magnifications one starts to notice miscollimations and image aberrations more...

I also see your point with the downside of readjusting the binocs. Even on my 18" Dob or the C11 I use my 31mm Nagler, both my Ethos -21 &13 - and the Meade 40mm 4000 SW with the Dioptrx. When I show the sky I either have to constantly take the Dioptrx on and off or, if there are a lot of viewers - which happens a lot with the Dob,...I simple give up on the Dioptrx and become the guy with the worst views thanks to my astigmatism and stubborrness in not vieweing with glasses on...:)

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Mark. Please don't forget that since I'm not English and a rookie (16 months into this hobby)... I might have some trouble explaining myself...:D.

I'd rather explain the tests I've done, but before I do let me tell you that I started off with a 31mm Nagler, a 22mm Nagler and two Ethos - 13mm and 10mm. Once I tried a WO bino on the 18" Dobson I was so stunned with the 3D effect on the major clusters, Moon and planets...that I sold all my EP's (except the 31mm Nag) and went straight for a Denk II Bino, two 24mm Pans, two 19mm Pans and a two 13mm Naglers. Wow...wonderful...I thought. Until, ON THE SAME SCOPE, I went off with the binos to view my favorite DSO's: Nebulas!!! What a loss of light and contrast. OK the 3D effect was there, but...the richness of the Swan, Veil, Tryphid, Lagoon, Crab, Ring, etc...all gone. And if I added my OMEGA NPB 2" filter on the Bino nose,... even less light. (and believe me, the 31mm, the NPB and the 18" dob pointing at the Veil -East or West- for instance, on a New Moon night will kick your socks off)

So there I was, totally disappointed with the DSO results. I had a DSO scope (18" + F4.4), the best bino setup and it was like mixing olive oil and water...

...sold the Denk II (I think to Madjohn here on SGL)...sold all the EP's and went back the cyclops formula 56mm TV Plossl, 40mmm Meade 4000 SWA, 31mm Nagler, 21mm Ethos, 13mm Ethos and for the occasional planet on the Dob the best Planetary EP on the market ...IMHO... a TV Radian...the 10mm...(I've had and tested all 9 radians)

Btw,try M42 with 14mm Radian against a 13mm Ethos and a 14mm 100º ES...you'll be in for a surprise...:)

So to close this boring testament, I do agree with you that the two eye 3D effect is awesome. yes, I agree with you, they do in fact compensate the loss of light through the binos with the fact that the brain graps more detail. But that edge only happens with very bright objects. Not DSO's Galaxies (which I forgot to mention above but the quality loss with the binos was similar to the one with the nebulas.

I did go back to a simple but great WO Binoviewer for my 7" Intes Micro but now that I went for the C11 I decided to go for a Denk I (cheaper and good enough for planets, moon and clusters with the C11.). I'm also curious to see how it will behave with the 60mLunt I have on the way.

One thing for you all to laugh about: I'm a zero with math(fortunately my 4 kids are brilliant with it) so with all my binos... I never figured out the exact magnification I was getting. With the Denks I had things more or less well calculated for the Dob. But nou with the C11 and the Denks again...I'm lost...:D

BTW...I meant light loss with Binos - binoviewers - and not with Binocs - Binoculars. With the latter I have almost no experience.

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