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My review of Vixen BT 125 A

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#1 GLR GROUP

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 03:36 AM

Hi to Everybody.
I've published on my website a long review of Vixen BT 125 A. If you want to read by google translate you can visit this PAGE
Best Regards from Italy

#2 edwincjones

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 06:16 AM

thanks for the very good review
-this fills the empty space between 100mm binoculars which are becoming more common and the 150mm fujis
- with better (?) optics than the Chinese 120mms

but I disagree with the common concept that an exit pupil greater than one's pupil diameter is "wasted". My 62 y/o eyes may not dilate that much, but 5-6mm exit pupils are more comfortable (at least for me)

edj

#3 dOP

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 11:28 AM

this fills the empty space between 100mm binoculars which are becoming more common and the 150mm fujis



Actually, if you're talking about binoculars (not BTs), there's the 120mm Nikon - Mighty good, they say...

How can you forget about that?

;)

#4 Mr. Bill

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:00 PM

Well, this review doesn't inspire me to take the plunge....

Can't see that I'm gaining much with the BT125s over the BT100 45s with 24mm Pan eps....25x, 2.72 degree real fov and 4mm exit pupil.

As I stated in a previous thread considering purchasing the Vixen 125s, the main problem with giant binoculars using the 1 1/4 ep format is the limitations of the field stop of around 27-28mm. This limits the lowest power/ fov/ exit pupil combinations available with today's eps.

:cool:

#5 medinabrit

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:07 PM

Excuse my computer ignorance but could anyone please explain how i get the English translation.
Thanks. Brian.

#6 Erik D

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 01:18 PM

Brian,

I am using an Apple iMac 20 and Safari browser. The translation is done automatically when I click on Pier's link.

dOP,

Based on the reports I have read the Nikon 20X120 have excellent optics. However, I think most people are thinking Binocular Telescopes with angled EPs these days. The new 13.25 lb GT 100 45 deg with 23 and 41X EPs, a nice carrying case is just $995:

http://www.garrettop...-p/gt100-45.htm

IMO, a pair of fixed power 20X binos with straight thru EP, 35 lb OTA and price close to $6,000 have limited appeal. BTW, fork and stand supplied with the Nikon 20X120 is limited to +70 deg views. OTOH, they are waterproof, fog proof, can depress down to -30 degs and have large 6mm exit pupil. They will be great for anti submarine duty on board a Man-of-War. ;-))

http://www.adorama.com/NK20120.html

ERik D

#7 edwincjones

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 01:30 PM

this fills the empty space between 100mm binoculars which are becoming more common and the 150mm fujis



Actually, if you're talking about binoculars (not BTs), there's the 120mm Nikon - Mighty good, they say...

How can you forget about that?

;)


yes, I had forgotten about the nikon 20x120s-but you do not hear much about them anymore.

no, I am not making a distinction between binoculars and BTs ( fixed vs interchangeable eps)-to me they are both binoculars.

edj

#8 dOP

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 01:59 PM

Hi Erik,

I agree those are not for everyone (even not considering the price!) but they surely don't lack appeal, at least to me... In fact I think it's quite the opposite.

The setup you described, however more convenient in some circumstances, does not belong in the same league so we can't really argue about the price.

I haven't heard anything yet indicating that these new models are better value than the old BT-100/45... And I believe they aren't.

#9 Erik D

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:44 AM

dOP,

By "limited appeal"l I don't mean the Nikon 20X120s lack sex appeal. I think the Nikon with it's beige/white OTA and black dew shield looks VERY handsome on their fork mount stand. I mean they have limit appeal as a pair of bino many observers will set up and use on regular basis.

Six years ago I used to dream about owning a pair of Fujinon 25 or 40X 150. After purchasing more than a 1/2 dozen binos from 12X50 to 54X100 my priorities have changed. I know three members of this forum who owned the Fujinon 25X150. One of them sold the big Fujinon in favor of the lighter BT 100/45 with standard 1.25 inch EPs; the other reports he uses his 13 lb 100mm Miyauchi much more frequently. I am not sure if the third still have the Fujinon 150s.

As for myself, I have had a 6 inch APO refractor for quite a few years. OTA weight is just under 30 lbs with rings and mounting plate. It's close to 100 lbs with mount, tripod and counter wts. I have taken the scope out just once in 2008. The chance of me hauling out a 35 lb fixed power binocular is even slimmer.

Value is subjective. I would not mind spending $12 K+ plus for a pair of Miyauchi 141mm binocular if I am going to use them on every clear night, but I know I won't. The Kowa Highlander FL 82 mm is of more value to me. I know I will use the 14 lb pair more often. Oberwerk have been stocking the 120mm 45 deg for some time. Wt is 38 lbs. Price is $2.2 K, in stock for immediate shipment. That's quite a bargain compared to the Vixen BT 125 but I have only heard from one or two people who purchased the BT 120. There have been more reports from owners of the BT 125 despite their limited availability.

The Garrett Optical SS 28X110 is a fixed power giant bino with straight thru EPs. I would not be surprised if they come very close to the Nikon 20X120 in performance at a fraction of the cost. I can probably handle a 16 lb OTA without much more effort than what it takes to mount my 14 lb Miyauchi 100mm F7.5.

The Vixen BT 125 OTA weight is 22 lbs. They are at the upper limit of my Manfrotto 516 fluid head. I'll have to think about that one.

ERik D

#10 EdZ

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 06:49 AM

thanks for the review Pier.

edz

#11 Starlighter

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

Thanks. That's an excellent revue and the English translation worked out well.

I was all set to buy these a couple of weeks ago and would have wrangled a pretty good deal from the vendor, but the false color turned me off. It was pretty obvious during the daytime. Aiming at a flagpole about a three blocks away from the store showed a distinct purplish line to the left and a yellow one to the right. Neighboring palm trees showed this even more. Leaves on trees that were about a quarter of a mile away had so much purple that it was hard to see the detail. What's interesting is the smaller 80mm version showed less false color.

So if I do decide to buy a pair of giant astronomical binoculars and go with the twin telescope design, it'll most likely be the Oberwerk 100-45. I just wish there was a store near me that has a pair on display that I could test before buying. The Oberwerk are advertised as being 'semi-APO' which doesn't mean a thing if they still show as much false color as the Vixen's.

Vixen needs to make an APO version available or at the very least, an ED version. Seeing how the price of ED scopes has dropped recently, I'd think this wouldn't add that much to the price and even if it did kick in an extra amount, we need to remember that these are already hugely expensive to begin with. Very few people can afford them. When you have a product in that category, I always say do it right or don't do it at all.

Thanks again for the enlightening review.

#12 medinabrit

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

I have not had that problem with the Vixen BT 80 or the new Garrett 100 45 in daylight viewing.
Brian.

#13 milt

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:23 PM

This is a very nice review with the most detailed pictures I have seen of a Vixen 125. Thanks very much.

From Erik

I have had a 6 inch APO refractor for quite a few years.....I have taken the scope out just once in 2008.


OUCH! Have you considered an easier-to-set-up mount? I mount my refractor on my DiscMount at least ten times as often as my GEM. Quicker setup, and I love being able to swing it all over the sky at my whim. GEM's are nice for public star parties, though.

#14 Starlighter

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:47 PM

I have not had that problem with the Vixen BT 80 or the new Garrett 100 45 in daylight viewing.
Brian.


That's good to know and confirms what I saw when I compared the 80 Vixen with the 100. The 80 had very little false color during the daytime. About what one can expect with any pair of decent binoculars. On the other hand, false color on the big 125 was quite ugly. Not acceptable as far as I'm concerned. Not when it costs over $4,000.

#15 dOP

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:50 PM

Hi Erik,

I may get to the same conclusion but I think I'll never lose the hyper mega big binoculars bug until I deal with them on a regular basis and/or have some back pain.

But I understand your view, it's a wise one. It's a view from someone who is coming from the place i'm going...


Diogo.

#16 edwincjones

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 07:27 PM

.............................. I know three members of this forum who owned the Fujinon 25X150. ............ the other reports he uses his 13 lb 100mm Miyauchi much more frequently..................

ERik D


correction--I do use my 25x150s more than my 100mm miyauchis because the big fujis are on a fixed mount in my backyard observatory. In the 6-7 years that I have had them, the 120#s of bino and mount have been taken to star parties only 4 times.
I usually take the 13# miyauchi to star parties.
The fujis are used more at home, the miyas more away from home.
If I had to set up, and take down, the 25x150s everytime I used them, I would have sold them or rarely used them.

otherwise, ERicD comments are "right on".

On a more positive note, I probably will be taking the big fujis more to dark sites in the next few years to work on the Astronomical Leagues proposed Dark Nebula program, where the binoculars should be the best instrument for the job.

edj

#17 CESDewar

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 07:51 PM

Six years ago I used to dream about owning a pair of Fujinon 25 or 40X 150. After purchasing more than a 1/2 dozen binos from 12X50 to 54X100 my priorities have changed.


Yes, I concur on that one. I came very close to buying the Miyauchi 141's when they were still available, but decided instead to get the Saturn III's. There's still quite a bit of remorse over not having gotten the bigger one's (especially since they are no longer available), but the truth is that weight is an important factor for me. My Saturn III's are so much lighter and get far more use than those 141's ever would. But even they get fierce competition from my Miya Exceeds. 30x77 at 5lbs on a tripod/mount that only weighs 6lbs makes for an awfully attractive Grab&Go that is half the weight again of the Saturn III's and is outside in seconds and observing.

I still think that 13lb/100mm binoculars are just about ideal for observing. The new Garrett's look very appealing and I would jump on them if I didn't already have the S3's which undoubtedly have finer optics (views at 39/54x are just tack-sharp in the S3's).

When it comes to light-gathering, a pair of 7x50 binoculars outside will gather far more light than a 20" Dob sitting in a closet. :lol:

#18 edwincjones

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:51 AM


When it comes to light-gathering, a pair of 7x50 binoculars outside will gather far more light than a 20" Dob sitting in a closet. :lol:


:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

true wisdom

#19 Mr. Bill

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:25 AM

On a more positive note, I probably will be taking the big fujis more to dark sites in the next few years to work on the Astronomical Leagues proposed Dark Nebula program, where the binoculars should be the best instrument for the job.

edj


The 150 Fujis will be wonderful for this project IF you are observing in the very darkest transparent skies.

One of the advantages of the BT100s over the Fujis is that I can add an internal 1 1/4 inch UHC filter to one or both eps and from my backyard (which is pretty darn good on the best nights) I dramatically improve my recovery of B nebulae as well as Sharpless bright nebulae.

The optional filter that is made for the Fujis attaches to the outside of the ep and this causes problems with reflections between the filter and the eye itself. This is besides the obvious problem with any ambient light.

Also the Fuji filter is only a general broad band filter similar to the Deep Sky filter that Lumicon makes and is not optimized for dark/bright nebulae viewing.

OBTW, I found the best view comes with using one filter placed on the dominate eye ep. This allows unattenuated stars superimposed over the filtered view; a definite advantage over filtered monocular viewing.

:cool:

#20 edwincjones

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 03:35 PM

getting back on thread-somewhat,
the big binoculars (25x150, 125s, 100mms) should all be great on the Dark Nebula.
I had the fuji nebula filters with my 10x70s, and found them a real pain to use, fastened to the eps, so I just held 1 or 2 in front of the ep with better result.

edj






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