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New Garrett RA 70mm's

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#1 Wes James

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:49 PM

I just purchased a pair of the Garrett 20/25x70mm RA bino's from Zach at Garrett, as always- a pleasure to do business with. It was, however- a week before I could get the out to try to see if I wanted to keep them. Finally last night, I got them out- but just for a very short period of time. It was a hot evening, humid as could be- I took the bino's out in their case over an hour before dark, opened the case 1/2 hour before setting them up to view- to try to let them acclimate to the warmer air outside from the A/C inside environment they'd been in. Obviously I didn't allow enough time, as when I got them set up, the right eyepiece especially clouded up almost immediately, the result of the bino's colder temp maintained in the warmer, more humid environment. Just had enough time to determine that they come to pinpoint focus on stars, focus across the FOV will be acceptable, and on the moon, false color was not bad enough to be an issue. Collimation was fine. The exit pupils- Zach had sent me pictures of before I got the bino's when he was testing them- they are, indeed round. Haven't measured the exit pupil yet, but I will. This was with the 20x eyepieces, probably the only ones these bino's will see use with. One other owner of these Garrett's isn't too happy with the 25x eyepieces- and may try toe Orion's 16x eyepieces. I hadn't thought of that.
I've got mine mounted on an Oberwerk surveyors tripod- topped with an 8" Helix alt-az mount. It was a tiny bit too small to fit the bino's- so I ended up having to make some aluminum spacers to widen out the width of the mount about .125": even so, I still have to remove the cover caps over the side mounted threaded inserts for the mount to fit!
I either need to provide some heat to these bino's- to keep them from dewing up so badly- or allow more time for them to acclimate to the heat and humidity. Either that, or they'll be winter bino's!
I am in the process of having a bracket machined that will allow me to mount a laser pen in place of the handle- which will be handy for pointing the bino's. Will post a picture of that when I get it back from the machinist.
Anyway, I know that there have been some unhappiness in some of the RA bino's, at least I was able to determine these will be keepers- a fact which will make Zenith viewing much more enjoyable than it has been to date.
The sliding dewshields have a snug, smooth feel to them- the metal objective caps are a snug fit that requires a bit of care to put on or take off, but have a quality feel to them- much better than some of the junk out there- and caps are provided for the focusers- open when no eyepieces are installed- and for both ends of both pairs of eyepieces. The quality and fit of all the caps are appreciated. They come in a white bag- with a pair of white gloves... not sure of the need for them?!?! If the bino's were black, mebbe...
Anyway- I'm satisfied with these so far, and cannot wait to check them out further when I don't get "dewed-out".

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#2 Wes James

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:49 PM

Another view-

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#3 Wes James

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:51 PM

The aluminum filler strips- to sllightly widen the mount- 4 required, to on the base- and 2 on the saddle.

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#4 Wes James

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:52 PM

Even so, they're a snug fit in the saddle of the Helix mount.

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#5 viperbob

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:14 PM

Wes, best of luck with your new setup. Lets us know how they work out when all is well. Jupiter this time of the year would be an excellent target.
Enjoy!!
VB

#6 Wes James

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:25 PM

Thanks, VB! I'm leaving them on the tripod so they'll be ready to go... Think these will get a lot of use! Now, if they were only, say... 100mm...
or, better yet- 110mm- with the optical quality of the 110mm Garretts! Whooooo- DOGGIE , that'd be AWESOME! :jump:
Wes
(you listening, Zach??? :grin: )

#7 Nick Lloyd

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 09:15 PM

I assume you can't use regular 1.25" eyepieces with this?

#8 rookie

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 09:59 PM

Nice binoculars & mount, You just need a hair dryer! :imawake:

#9 Wes James

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:27 AM

I assume you can't use regular 1.25" eyepieces with this?



No, unfortunately- it uses proprietary eyepieces held in place with o-rings. Slightly on the loose side, but not bad- and a nice, smooth feel sliding into the helical focusers. Everything about these binoculars feels pretty good. FYI, the eyepieces measure 1.335" in diameter. The velvety smooth way they fit- they almost feel like they're held in by vacuum pressure.
Agree on the hairdryer!
Wes

#10 GlenM

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:54 AM

Wes,
thanks for the quick report on the new 70's 90°
I have been looking at this pair since they appeared on Zach's website.

Someone else(amys) who's got these said the same thing about the 16 eyepieces. Looking forward to another review when weather allows.

Thanks Wes.

#11 steveoid

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:08 AM

Wes, I have the 100mm binoculars and have found them to be really good and very easy to use. You can observe overhead for hours if necessary you never get neck ache. Mine came with the x20, x30 and x37 and all fit nice and tight. You should see both exit pupils to be both round and just watch the finish on the binoculars when you come to mount them don’t catch the sides on the fork mount. I also got a pair of white gloves and a white bag the bag can be useful but watch the handling if you wear the gloves, the binoculars have an extremely smooth finish and they can slip. The overall view is pretty good and collimation for mine was also spot on, and like you said the colour aberration is not bad at all. These are definitely keepers for me and would recommend them to anyone who does binocular astronomy.

#12 Wes James

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:18 AM

Hi, Stevoid-
Yes, I would love to have a pair of the 100's... I recently learned they were made by the same factory producing these, however they're not being imported into the US. Spoke to Zach about them, apparently they're not happy enough with the quality of them to take that line on. Sure would love to have a good pair, though... or- as I said- I have the 20x110's- consider the optical quality of them to be very, very good... would love to have those optics in a RA bino! Viewing Nirvana!
Have already realized the finish will be delicate- especially as snug a fit as they are on the mount I have... but once on, the match is wonderful, as the Helix mount is really smooth and solid. I think, for me- the answer is to leave everything together on the tripod- cover it with a towel, so when I want to use it- it's ready to go. Yes- the gloves- on the glass smooth finish- BAD COMBINATION!! :shocked:
Yes- Amy's the one who turned me on to the 16x eyepieces at Orion... think I'll order a pair. The dimensions are the same, as I'm sure the bino's are (only with Garrett's better QA process), so I'm sure they'll be a welcome addition. The case even comes with 3 sets of holes for eyepieces... so obviously they planned on 3 sets at the factory.
Wes

#13 steveoid

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

Wes the shop where I bought them from do a 100mm, 88mm and a 70mm pair. I went for the bigger objectives after trying the 88mm and 70mm because there didnt seem to be any difference in quality..

#14 DeepSpace67

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:16 AM

Congrat's Wes!

Also out last night with the cousin 88's enjoying Jupiter, Moon, and sights in Sagittarius.

#15 Mike Conley

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:05 PM

I have the Apogee RA 88's. I'm betting those EP's from Orion will fit mine. May try a pair of the 16x.

Mike

#16 Wes James

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 03:37 PM

I just ordered the 16x from Orion today. Think they'll be a good choice in these.
Wes

#17 hallelujah

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 03:51 PM

You just need a hair dryer!


Shirley,

What color do you recommend? :lol:

#18 steveoid

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 05:16 PM

Wes, here is the photograph of the 100mm 90 degree bins.Steve

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#19 Wes James

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 05:58 PM

Wes, here is the photograph of the 100mm 90 degree bins.Steve


DADDY!!! :jump:
Looked them up online, equivalent of about $1600.00 USD... Not very heavy, though- I was surprised. Ace listed the weight as only 13 lbs. Not to mention how much they'd cost to get over here.... Oh, well, nice to think about... thanks for the pic!
Wes

#20 KennyJ

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 06:23 PM

Steve / Wes / Glen / and all other night shifters ,

I considered those 100mm Helios Quantum 6 too -- but since 92.675% of my bino activity is carried out in the daytime , looking mainly in horizontal directions , and because I get backache just as a result of standing over a sink for any longer than 7.324 seconds , I decided against it !

The price probably does appear a bit on the steep side in the eyes of our north American friends , but in the UK , two pairs of Leica 25mm compacts can set us back more than that ! :-)

Kenny

#21 Wes James

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:07 PM

Hi, Kenny~
Thanks for popping in! Yeah, these would certainly not be binoculars for horizontal viewing. Kind of like trying to look straight up with conventional binoculars- only opposite! Even with a P-mount, I find overhead viewing uncomfortable... and, darn it- it seems like that's where I'm wanting to view a great deal of the time!
I know, Kenny- prices for optics there are really tough... I priced out a telescope one time from Orion UK, and decided it was just too expensive to get it over here. It's too bad there's not some means of fair world commerce- Whoops, :foreheadslap: I think I'd better shut my mouth before I open a can of worms!
Wes

#22 rookie

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:03 PM

You just need a hair dryer!


Shirley,

What color do you recommend? :lol:


Good one Stan, always have the nack for thinking out of the box. But do you mean the hair or the hair dryer? :troll:

#23 hallelujah

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:36 PM

Hair dryer. :grin:

My apologies, I seem to get silly, once a month, around the time of a full moon.

#24 steveoid

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:47 AM

Kenny, I think you took the right decision on that one you would probably end up with a walking frame. They are great for astronomy but not for daytime use plus with no central focussing mechanism birding and other such activities are a definite nono. The view through them is spectacular but they still tail of wards the periphery which for the price it is to be expected. I looked at albiero last night and the two colours were spot on with the yellow and blue showing up very well. M27 was easily seen even in my light polluted neck of the woods. Wes I know you will get loads of enjoyment from your 90 degree bins just from the fact you won’t come a way feeling the need for a neck brace. I think these are a good pair of binoculars, not the best in the world by any means but for the price and comfort they confer to the user then for me they are definite keepers. Steve

#25 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:19 PM

In the 88mm aperture version, which I'm pretty certain use identical prism assemblies, the relatively smallish rear prism aperture imposes a limit on the widest true field. Moreover, the focal position is only a quite small distance behind the rear prism aperture, which exacerbates this. And another consequence is that dust can be seen almost in focus during daytime observation.

For the 88's, the 20X eyepiece set has field stops as large as can be used before prism aperture-induced vignetting rears its ugly head. (In fact, the 32X oculars, with their wider AFoV, have true fields not too much smaller than the 20X jobs.)

You might find that the 16X oculars in the 70's, like the 20X for the 88's (with an AFoV of ~52 deg.), offer the lowest usable power if ridiculously small AFoV's are to be avoided.

==============

It is possible to use 1.25" telescope eyepieces with this series of RA bino if:

1) the field stop lies at or quite close to the bottom of the barrel,
2) the barrel is long enough place the field stop just about up against the rear prism aperture, and
3) you make a "shim" to widen the barrel. Even tape will do.






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