Jump to content


Photo

Sketching using small binoculars

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 FJA

FJA

    Sketcher Extraordinaire

  • *****
  • Posts: 6426
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004
  • Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W

Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:26 AM

Has anyone ever tried sketching when observing with just a small pair of binoculars, such as 8x40s? I'm curious as I'm off to Australia next week and, because of air travel restrictions, I'm taking just my 8x42s with me.

#2 Jeremy Perez

Jeremy Perez

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2004
  • Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:12 AM

Hi Faith, the smallest I've used for sketching are my crummy 10 x 50s. Some sketches I used a tripod, but others, I just went handheld and shuffled back and forth between holding them and making the drawing. The sketches are here: Binocular Sketches Look for the thumbnails that have the 10x50 below them...that should be the McNaught, SWAN, Virgo Cluster, Gamma Velorum and Conjunction sketches.

For travel, I'd be happy to have any binoculars on hand to make some sketches with or without a tripod.

#3 FJA

FJA

    Sketcher Extraordinaire

  • *****
  • Posts: 6426
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004
  • Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W

Posted 16 April 2009 - 12:04 PM

Thanks Jeremy. :)

#4 Bill Weir

Bill Weir

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2536
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada

Posted 16 April 2009 - 12:19 PM

Hi Faith

I've used my 10X50s for doing a few sketches. I did a small project on how globular clusters appeared in them. I didn't show the whole FOV though, just the small association of stars around them. It was so some people could tell which out of focus dot was the cluster.

If you can take a tripod it will help.


Have fun on your trip.

Bill

#5 FJA

FJA

    Sketcher Extraordinaire

  • *****
  • Posts: 6426
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004
  • Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W

Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Bill. At least I now have some idea on how practical they'll be for sketching. I'm not taking a tripod as I'm backpacking and traveling as light as possible. I'll be doing a mixture of birding, photography and astronomy so it's not a dedicated astronomy trip.

#6 rodelaet

rodelaet

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3185
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2006
  • Loc: 50°56' N - 4°58' E (Belgium)

Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:55 PM

Faith,

I'm confident that your 8x42 will do fine under dark skies.
Enjoy your time in Australia, and bring us some sketches, ok?

#7 JayinUT

JayinUT

    I'm not Sleepy

  • *****
  • Posts: 3933
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Utah

Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:44 PM

No, I haven't used anything other than my 10x50 but I do observe with my 7x35 and on some objects like some of the larger open clusters that might make an interesting project.

#8 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7064
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:19 PM

Faith,

You should get some good views of those big southern hemisphere objects with your 8x42's. Bring back a sketch of Omega Centauri. :cool: Have a great trip.

#9 mwedel

mwedel

    Works with Sauropods

  • *****
  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Claremont, CA

Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:11 AM

No, I haven't used anything other than my 10x50 but I do observe with my 7x35 and on some objects like some of the larger open clusters that might make an interesting project.


I just tried this for the first time last night, for the Astronomical League's Galileo Club. It was surprisingly fun, seeing how many stars I could scoop up with my 10x50s. The Pleiades and Praesepe were great, no surprises there, but I'll bet that under dark skies you could really have some fun. I'm stuck under the LA light dome. :bawling:

#10 Unknownastron

Unknownastron

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 658
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2005
  • Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Southern Oklahoma

Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:31 AM

Faith, 10X50's are also the smallest binoculars I have used to sketch. I sketched Comet Holmes through the binoculars every time I also sketched it through my 20-inch dob. Some large objects look better through binos and thus the sketches should too.

#11 markseibold

markseibold

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1573
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:36 AM

Faith

This should be an interesting test for your binoculars. But I bet you will find someone there with a telescope. I have not checked my current charts for the southern skies constellations lately. When I was in Fiji, three trips for nearly over five months stay in late 2003 through late June 2004, I believe the famed Omega Centari globular was due south about 45 ~ 50 degrees on the starry dome at around 10 ~ 11 PM. It should be in the sky a little after midnight now? I took a new 10.1” Dobsonian aside from my h-alpha solar scope, a Nexstar 5i Cassegrain and 7 X 50 BAK4 binoculars and was enthralled. Omega Centari will be higher yet in Australia for you, further southern in latitude than Fiji. If you can see it for the first time through say an 8" or 10" reflector in dark skies, it is overwhelming. It is the angular size of the full moon and appears as if it has dimensional craters or strange voids in the central globular stars patterns. I agree with Special Ed; you should try to sketch the Omega Globular. Try to find the nearest Astronomy club and see this through a medium telescope. The multiple colors of the stars in the Eta Carina and Southern Cross region is something you will never forget; even in low powered binoculars. We see nothing like this in the northern hemisphere. Also the ecliptic will be way north and Saturn will appear as nearly overhead and slightly to the north on the dome. It will seem confusing at first for a northerner, as if the sky is backwards and upside-down. On my first trip below the equator, I had only an antique 5" Celestron Cassegrain. The tracking motor only ran for the northern skies, so the motor was in reverse for below the equator and thus I could not use the tracking. Also, I was not sketching then. My wife and I did meet many Australians and British vacationers as I allowed them to observe the sun through the h-alpha; I provided public sidewalk astronomy and also for schools, day and night.

Also 47 Tucani, in late October 2003 near the meridian at late eves appears with the naked eye as a bright 4th magnitude fuzzy star. It is perhaps the most densely compacted globular cluster in the entire sky and the brightest overall magnitude globular; especially in a telescopic view. I am not sure that it is visible this time of year. *Take a rotating Planisphere with the southern sky charts. They are available at many science shops and book stores. Or if time limits are no avail, find one in Australia.

Good luck on your trip. We will all look forward to your observing discoveries!

Mark

www.markseibold.com

My CN Sketch Gallery

#12 FJA

FJA

    Sketcher Extraordinaire

  • *****
  • Posts: 6426
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004
  • Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W

Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:51 AM

Thanks everyone. :)

#13 rolandlinda3

rolandlinda3

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3415
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Crozet VA 22932

Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:23 PM

Faith, we have done bunch of sketching with little teeny binoculars (down to 8x25s). If the sky is good, your 8x42s will be great. So your hiking....when on a break in the evening, lean up agains something, but a hiking stick at an angle so your feet hold it and your knees give it an angle...then let your binoculars rest on the end. If you have a little cross member at the top or a modified T handle or even a taped stick, then it makes looking within 45 degrees of the horizon much more steady for sketching. Enjoy your time. The outback is a wonderful place to observe. Remember that snakes like warmth...you are warm...Australia has more poisonous snake varieties than most continents. But don't let that stop you from seeing those great southern objects.

Roland

#14 FJA

FJA

    Sketcher Extraordinaire

  • *****
  • Posts: 6426
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2004
  • Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W

Posted 18 April 2009 - 05:41 AM

Hi Roland,

many thanks for your advice. I'm taking a monopod rather than a tripod with me, to save weight so that should fit the bill.
I'm going to be there in the Austral winter so hopefully all the snakes will be safely underground but that won't stop me keeping an eye out for them. Not only does Australia have more poisonous snakes than anywhere else, it has the most poisonous snakes, too. And spiders, which I can't stand! I didn't seen any snakes on my last visit, in 1997, but saw plenty of spiders...

#15 mwedel

mwedel

    Works with Sauropods

  • *****
  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Claremont, CA

Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:12 PM

If your monopod has a 1/4-20 bolt on top, you can make a very sturdy binocular mount for about $2 with an angle bracket, a thumbscrew, and a wingnut. See the picture here. In fact, any small piece of metal bent at a 90 degree angle with a couple of holes will suffice. My later versions of this have used the bent brackets sometimes used for hanging pictures or fixing furniture to the wall in earthquake country. Works like a charm, and makes using binoculars MUCH easier.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics