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Revelation 15x70 binoculars


Demonperformer
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I got a pair of these from FLO last week and tonight was my first opportunity to give them a test run. So here are my thoughts.

My first minor irritation with them is the cap that covers the eyepieces. This is (to my mind) extremely loose and is liable to fall off at the least provocation. OK, minor irritation, but irritation none the less.

The tripod I was using was a standard (quite old) camera tripod, with a pan/tilt head and an L-mount onto which the binoculars were screwed. I was also seated during this test.

My first target was Jupiter. OK, fairly low down in the west, but with the planet near the bottom of the image, I had constant and extreme colour 'blotches', no matter how much I tried to adjust them. However, when I moved the planet into the centre of the field the view was much better, although there were still red/blue fringes. I could see two of the satellites ‘below’ the planet (CdC confirmed that all four satellites were visible; three ‘below’ and one ‘above’).

My next thought was an open cluster. M45 was riding nice and high in the sky. Unfortunately, it was so high that I could not get the binoculars high enough to view the cluster. I was now beginning to think that this purchase had been a terrible mistake.

However, things were about to take a turn for the better. I swung them round onto the moon and the image was crystal clear, although there were still colour fringes around some of the edges. Checking what I saw with the Virtual Moon Atlas, I was observing features that are quoted as requiring a 100mm scope to see them (eg the Montes Tenerife range), so not bad for a pair of 70mm binos. And this really was a case of the longer I was looking, the more I saw. I was particularly pleased to see some of the edge craters from about 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock, rising above the edge of the moon (or dipping into it, depending on your point of view).

I then tried a hand-held test, and found I could not hold them steady enough for any useful observing. I was clearly losing a lot of the detail I had been able to see on the moon when they were on the tripod. I did get my glimpse of M45, but the stars were dancing around leaving bright ‘after-image trails’, so that didn’t last long. I am used to a pair of 7x50 binoculars, which are no problem to handhold. Maybe with practice I would be able to manage these.

The final icing on the cake for me (and I should have been expecting this, I suppose) was that after 30 minutes outside with them, the front lenses dewed-up.

So, all in all, what is my overall opinion of these binoculars? They seem to fall in a gap between the 7x50s, which I have always found a delight to use, and my telescopes, which generally give better views. From my moon observations, I would have to say that I think there could be considerable potential in these binoculars. The trouble is that I am not sure this gap needs filling. The price was very reasonable and in the past I have spent considerably more on astronomical equipment that has just ended up staying in its box, unused. I have a horrible feeling that this is going to be the fate of these binoculars, although I would be pleased if time were to prove me wrong.

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I have found mine to be great although these are my first 'decent' bins and the only thing I have ever used to look up at the night sky except of course my naked eye. I hand hold these at the moment so my views are limited to how long/if I can hold them steady. I did look at Jupiter on Sunday night and could make out 4 moons. 3 at the 10 o'clock and 1 at the 4 o'clock. A check on Stellarium confirmed this was correct. I also looked at Saturn at about 2.30 this morning and could make out the 'ears' caused by the rings. Other than this they have also been used for looking at the moon and M43. Both very nice.

A tripod will be the next purchase but everytime I look through these I am chuffed that I bought them.

Regarding the eyepiece cover I tend to roll the rubber down before putting the cover on which makes it a bit of a better fit.

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Its amazing how much the small things annoy. The cap that fits over my Strathspey 20x90's EP's falls off if i say BOO to it and the caps that go on the objectives also fall off if i say BOO much quieter.. I dont mind the cap on the EP's coming off easily but when trying to pack them away in their case it is a real pain when the caps on the objectives fall off.

Maybe i should store them in the case with the objectives pointing upwards?

Yes i often say "BOO" to my bins.

They perform great though so i forgive them.

I have only ever noticed the slightest CA with my bins while observing the Moon. With my eyes concentrating on the centre of FOV it really isnt even an issue.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Well mine have just arrived,being quiet at work im playing with them,i am in the photographic trade and sell binoculars and have plenty of experience with them,but i can honestly say i cant believe these cost £50,the optics are wonderfull for the money,nice clear and relaxed view,no sign of miscollimation,nice green coatings on front objectives,no play in focusser.

Daytime experience was excellent,great for the aviation ethusiast too i imagine.

Tonight first light,again i have to say these are very good,internal reflections were minimal and i did have to look for them,collimation was spot on,jupiter shown a very nice disc indeed and much better than some much more expensive binoculars ive used,no flare and clean edges,chromatic abberation is very minimal and again better than some more expensive ones ive used.Certainly not obtrusive at all.

Orion nebula although washed out by the moon a wee bit it was stunning and a pleasure to view.

These are i have to say very easy on the eye,and im sure i could look for long periods through these without any fatigue or strain.

I dont know how they vary from set to set but with steve @ flo checking these out before sending i reckon they all must be pretty good.

Flo have done me proud,and these i know are going to get lots of use.

Thanks Steve and Martin.

And if you are pondering,just get some,i pondered as i thought for the money they cant be that good,they are..go get em boys,and men of cause,ladies too :)

Gaz

Edited by stafford_stargazer
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I have had my binoculars for quite a few months now, they are Celestron 15x70's that FLO were promoting way back in August and I believe they are exactly the same underneath from the words of the nice guys at FLO.

The end cap really is poorly designed and does have a tendency to fall of every now and again, the objective covers in contrast aren't that bad and do their best to stay attached when pulling the binoculars in and out of their carry bag. I agree about the price, for £50 they were and still are a real bargain and views I get through are surprising. I mainly use them for grab and go sessions when I can't be bothered to set up the dob or if there is a high possibility of cloud and I need something to get quick views in during the breaks. Their compact size makes them ideal travel companions, I took them on a camping trip to Wales in November and on the one clear night we had I got some amazing views of the late summer Milky Way and a few of the brighter Messier Objects.

The weight is a bit on the high side which does make hand holding them quite difficult at times, hand steadiness is not my strong point so I get a lot of the shaking-induced star trailing that DP talks about. Nothing much I can do about that ATM as I don't have a tripod to put them on so I might try some dampening tricks to steady myself a bit. I have found though that lying or sitting down whilst observing helps to dramatically reduce the amount of shakiness, it doesn't eliminate it entirely but it makes viewing more pleasurable.

Neck strain is an ever present issue with any binoculars, unless you get something like a Sky Window, so I tend to try and avoid viewing close to zenith or anywhere above 50 degrees for comfort. If I have parallelogram mount and recliner I could go where I want but I don't have those to hand so the Zenith remains out of bounds.

I think I made a good choice in purchasing these binoculars, they excel in what they were designed for (widefield, grab and go) and they complement a full-sized telescope very well :)

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M31 stood out like sore thumb,even with the very bright moonlit sky.

Ngc 869 and 884 double cluster was a nice spectacle.

M42 orion nebula superb.

Cant wait for darker skies.

Gaz :)

I have found with my 20X90 bins that a full moon really does not hamper my views of M31,the Perseus double or M42.

Under a full moon i have even spotted a couple of galaxies in Leo.

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Sunbeds are useful for binoviewing (& meteor showers).

I was amazed to see M51 the whirlpool galaxy overhead, with my helios 15 X 70's plus M81 & 82 although I dont's think I could see the Leo pair M65 &66. Binos are nice for getting to know your galactic 'hood', and for relaxed viewing if you can find a comfortable position that is.

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  • 1 year later...

Totally love my Revelation 15x70's. I am no bino expert but for the £50 price tag I find it hard to find fault really, as you say the eyepiece cap is a bit useless and the nylon case just as bad. Collimation seems perfect right out of the box. I get slight colour fringes when looking at Jupiter , not so much as to spoil the view. The moon looks crisp right to the very edge. Put side by side with my Meade 10x50 I like both equally, but at a push I would pick up the 10x50 first, but only because I don't own a tripod.

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Agreed. Love mine too, but I find they're much easier to use lying down or sitting so I can comfortably support them. Otherwise I prefer to have some sort of additional support for the bins. I have a tripod on my list of things to make, but I've not got that far yet.

James

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  • 5 years later...

Ive had mine for a while now, they were recommended to purchase due to their low cost, and their not that bad considering what you could pay for something similar, and I still have them, despite not seeing much from my garden at night, due to the glare from the local street lighting. I can see M31 on a good night, visible above, but I've not found any other galaxy straight up or around Ursa Major unless I use them at a darker site. The tree lined  football pitch behind the house, on a good night has allowed me to just make out  M81/M82.

They get most use now during the day for observing airliners at altitude, or on the headland looking out to Sea, preferring my wide angle 8x40's for astro work.

I agree the eye cap guard is fairly loose, whilst in use for non spectacle wearers? but not losable, due to its attachment to the strap, and in stowage, the rubber eye guards when folded down, make for a better snug fit, which is probably the reason the cap is the size that it is.  In use the eye guard easily drops into place without  issue so you could eat/drink without fear of filling the eyepieces with any crud?

What I did discover though, for astronomical use, like many astro optics, they do work better from a darker site with good seeing conditions.
I also wanted to purchase  'better' 15x70 thinking these optics were not that good, but even this week, I noted some issues?   I might need to wear my glasses with these optics in order to get the best view? It's probably my own eyes that are failing, although on small targets like Jupiter, I can make out four Moons clearly, but Jupiter will have some flare!  If better optics produced a sharper Jupiter.........?

The better optics were of BA8 design, namely the Helios Apollo, but the variant I bought  developed a problem that could not be easily resolved so they Kindly refunded. I'm still considering similar, but I do like the look of the Oberwerk Ultra 15x70's.

My Revelations were mounted outside whilst writing this text, pity the high level cloud has interfered with proceedings!

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