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Helios 10x50 - Helios Quantum 10x60 impressions

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#1 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 04:35 PM

Recently those 2 binoculars came in my possession. The Helios 10x 50 I have since August. I kinda like it because it has good contrast, wide fields, easy of use because it is light. Many open clusters, even fainter ones, bright galaxies, globular clusters, bright nebulae, they all show up very well. I bought it because I was so thrilled with it smaller brother the 8 x 40 which gave wide bright fields with excellent contrast and good eye relief. As soon as I owned the 10x 50 I realized it was a bit less sharp then its smaller counterpart but provide still good views. For weeks now It goes out on every observing session.
Recently when the Pleiades come up I tripod mounted the 10x50 and although the view was good I could not really sharpen the stars. I was a bit annoyed by that. But the bino saw deep and I still liked it especially hand hold.
Some weeks ago the Quantum 10 x 60 my attention because It was advertised with a sharp outer field. I soon found out in this forum and CN reports that this was true and although it scored not that high in Edz his report I decided I would buy it anyhow just for the sharp field.

I have it since Saturday and did some short testing and compared it with the Helios 10 x 50.
The Quantum comes in a hard case has black armored rubber and is rather big. It weights 1.470 kg (51,85 oz). It is nitrogen filled. It came also with a 30 % reduction on the price. I got it for 135$(prices are always higher then in the US). At the store I was overwhelmed by the big eye relief that caused black outs but when adapted I soon found out indeed the FOV was almost sharp to the edge, so I bought it.

Tonight I did some star testing on the Pleiades. I soon found out that indeed I could get the stars much sharper even without my glasses (have some astigmatism). I liked the view. But soon I also found out much to my surprise that I kept missing stars in the Helios 10x50 that were easily seen in the Quantum. Those stars were off course those that were not centered in the field. A star about 1/3 from the edge in the Helios 10x50 was missed and yet so easy in the Quantum. More to the edge this effect got bigger and bigger. A fainter star about 10 to 20% from the edge could be seen with averted vision (still quite noticeable) in the Quantum but could simple not be seen in the Helios 10x50. All in all more stars could always be seen in the Quantum except in the centre were all were seen in both bino’s.

I did not really test the stars in the centre. The moon was in the sky and I will wait for a dark night but I think there will be no difference there. I think both go about as deep.

The moon is a nice test object too. In the Helios 10x50 it is a nice sight and very contrasty but you got the keep it centered because if you move it towards the edge soon some ghosting comes apparent. Strokes of light might shoot through the fov. The Quantum has none of that. There was no noticeable ghosting and the view reminded me of the view in the Helios 20x80 stellar which has also no noticeable ghosting.
When you look inside the bino I guess it becomes obvious why. The Helios could be blacker inside. Some parts look rather shiny. The Quantum is darker. The objective tube is dull grey but deeper it becomes a bit more satin like. But all in all is still looks darker inside then the Helios 10 x 50.

So far I am very pleased with both bino’s. The Quantum is definitely more suited for tripod mounted observing. It bigger and heavier then the Helios 10x50 but my tripod can easily cope with it (Manfrotto 390B) and it’s easy to move around. Still it can be used handhold. Actually I found out that I could it handhold it easier then originally thought in spite of the weight. The Quantum seems to be sharper and surely has striking field sharpness and more stars are seen in the FOV. And yes as an observer one tends to get excited over that…

The Quantum seems to be build for harsher environments. The objective lenses are recessed in the barrel about almost an inch (2,3 cm actually). Both objective and eyepiece lenses show dark green coatings and reflect almost no light. Standing before a window I could hardly see my face. It was only visible as a dark silhouette but nothing else could be seen, no features at all. Strange is the fact that no statement is found about the coatings, there is no mention of being coated, multicoated or fully multicoated. Focusing is a bit stiff. I’ve tried to measure the exit pupil with a caliper, as good as it goes. I found it was about 53 of 54 mm at most. There was no sign of a cut off, of some kind. Eye relief is very long, don’t come too close…you will get black outs. But the bino can easily be used with glasses even with the eyecups twisted up

The Helios 10x50 works much smoother has also very nice green coatings. It’s very light (906 gr/31.95 oz) and easy to hand hold. It’s also much smaller then the Quantum. Its rubber coated but not nitrogen filled. The exit pupil shows a small cutt off.I measured that it was about 49mm on its largest. In daylight I noticed the views were a bit brighter compared to the Quantum. I bought the Helios 10 x 50 with a 40% reduction for 93 $ at the current rate.

Both nice bino’s IMO at bargain prices. Not premium outfits but quite usable and both serve their purposes. The Helios is definitely for handhold use, locating and finding targets. The Quantum is more for observing on a tripod. Rich clusters like M45, M44 will put on a nice show in that one….

The Helios 10x 50 is known as the Orion Ultraview in the US but on the Helios states only multicoated.
The Quantum 10x60 is known as the Oberwerk Mariner 10x60
I'll try to post some pictures later

Clear skies everyone

#2 Steph1001

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:29 PM

Hi Freddy, thanks for this interesting post.
I have the Helios 10x50 AM-6 and it has none of the shortcomings of the Naturesport plus.Of course one will argue that it costs 3 times the money but I believe that for only £40 more than the Naturesport Plus the Ultimate HR is also a much better binocular (if you want to stick with porros).So in regards to optical quality the naturesport plus come at least 5th in the Helios 10x50 range behind the following models

Helios AM-6+
Helios AM-6
Helios Ultmiate HR
Helios Aqula HR

Good to know that the two you´ve got perform ok considering their price, this will be helpful to many beginners.
Regards.
Stephane

#3 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:48 PM

Some pictures :

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#4 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:50 PM

and another

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#5 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:51 PM

last one

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#6 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 04:00 PM

Stephane,

Yes the AM series are still much better, they told me in the shop. As for the HR series i don't know. I looked through one and could not really see much difference at the time but that is insignificant, you can't really tell from one look through in the store.Nice bino's though with leatherette finish.
Actually the 8x40 i like the most. Stars are sharper , view is much wider, easy to hand hold, great for wide field stargazing and really contrasty and colored views in daylight. I took it once to an airshow with great succes. The big FOV made it easy to search for the planes and was easy to hold in the FOV even as the planes came in at high speed low level passes over the runway. Staggering action views!

#7 Robert A.

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:53 AM

Freddy,
For the Helios Quantum 4 10x60, do you find your eyes are adequately wide spaced enough for the eye pieces? An Oberwerk mariner 8x40 only closes to 62mm. For my eyes, my inter pupilary distance is seems to be the same at 62. For some reason I keep messing with it like it doesn't feel exactly right, or a little bit too wide for my eyes.
Since your eyes are wide enough, you might not even have this issue....

I once visited the Oberwerk office and I tried the 10x60 Mariner. It did look very nice. I did like the very nice controlled (sharpness in the) view. I had already bought the 11x56, so I did not want the 10x60 Mariner. It did seem better for daytime viewing than my 11x56. The 11x56 is good, but that 10x60 gives something extra for daytime viewing, like what I have found in the Nikon Action Extreme and the Leupold 10x50 Windriver.
Rob.

#8 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

Robert,
I have no problem with the IPD.At about that 62 i feel the eyepieces pressing on my nose just it has to be just a bit wider. No problem there, but that may not be the case for other people.
The big eyerelief is more tedious for me,allthough now i am used to it,OTOH i can use it with my spectacles and still see the whole FOV without any problem. The Helios 10x50 however is much easier for eyerelief
Yes the Mariner/Quantum 10x60 is real great for field sharpness, other specs are less good if you noticed Edz testing. Anyhow the views are still great despite all those perhaps less good figures.Figures are only figures. One has to see for yourself how it performs and how you like it or not like it...
I kinda like it and for the price i paied it i am more then satified with it ...just keep in mind this is a 10x52/53 not a true 10x60.






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