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My brand new GO 20x110 SS has arrived

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#1 Jitou


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Posted 14 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

Hi everyone,

I've just received my new 20x110 from Garrett's. After taking into account all costs including the expensive custom taxes of my country I paid an extra 40 euros compared to what I could have had from an European dealer. I choose Garrett because I wanted to make sure to receive a "good pair", built upon GO standards and tested thoroughly prior shipping as Zach assured it to me. They arrived in excellent condition thanks to the careful packaging. They look so sturdy probably bullet proof as well or maybe not. From Rick M. misadvendure (see Dropped my GO 20x110s) we know that they won't decollimate if dropped. I've just had time to look through them during last evening. I was surprised with how bright they are almost as if it was around noon with a bright sun! I planned to bring them at my parent's in south of France for this weekend. Unfortunately the rain is announced for the next few days so it seems that I won't have any more opportunities to use them any time soon.

By the way why did I choose this model?

I used a 10x50 no name cheap bino for 15 years. I think and I've always dreamed of a very large aperture binocular. In deep sky observing bigger is better indeed. Chinese binocular model are very tempting especially for their low price compared to other famous and costlier Japanese brands. I was also interested by interchangeable EP model but they were much more expensive, too much for my budget. It took me nearly half a year to decide between the 20x110 and the 28x110. What a dilemma!

Thanks to wise CN members report I managed to see clearly and I've finally made my decision.

First of all here are the main reasons why I picked up the 20x model:

- Most objects should fit nicely the 2.7 degree FOV because I should be able to actually see the object AND enough surrounding that I can recognize which is a radically different viewing experience from a telescope especially a powerful one like my dad's C14.

- I can use them during day time as well and still have a very well corrected FOV (CM=75 according to Piergiovanni Salimbeni). Added to that, from my first check there was no color fringing that my eyes could notice.

- ER is rightly honest and I can have my folks to look through it whether they are 3 years old (my daughter) or in the 60s (my parents) ...

- Exit pupil is ultra wide (5.5 mm) and for that reason eye placement is more forgiving for inexperienced viewers.

- Edge sharpness should be very good if not excellent compared to my other binocular. In my 10x50 I've always seen stars at the 30% from the edge like comets or milky hazy patches! That is particularly very confusing when I am looking for a faint cluster because I can see so many around the edge...

- Faint objects usually difficult for smaller sized binocular should appear very bright in them so that they are easier to spot on using direct vision.

- Later on I wish to acquire a Chinese achromat refractor, 100 mm or 150 mm for higher magnification observations so that my bino could complement and not overlap that future acquisition.

What I loose compared to the 28x model ?

- As Edz always stated, less magnification means less visible stars in the same FOV, less resolution while observing clusters or nebulous objects.

- The "dark" background of the sky should not be that dark since I live in a city.

- Planetary observation may be less enjoyable I guess but I know that much higher magnification is required for these distant colored balls.

- Some double stars may be impossible to split and some planetary nebula may be hard to spot.

So like every decision we make in life is a trade-off and choosing the right instrument means making priorities like I did.

In the meantime I have finished to build a fork mount but still I am looking for the precious Kodak stud to attach my bino (yes I've just realized that the center post thread was made according to American standards!).

I'll keep you posted whenever I can have a decent night of deepsky observing to write my first light report.


#2 KennyJ


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Posted 14 May 2009 - 04:12 PM

Thank you Jean - Gael for sharing your exciting news and interesting reasons for choosing that model .

Perhaps the oculars ( IPD ) will not adjust close enough together for a 3 year old , but she could always look through just one eyepiece for now ! , but anyway the consideration of other family members using the binoculars is a very thoughtful one .

Good luck and keep us posted when the curse of bad weather has cleared !


#3 daniel_h



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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:32 PM

What have you got to mount them on?

#4 Jitou


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Posted 14 May 2009 - 06:05 PM

Like I said I have built a custom fork mount. I bought a cheap but nonetheless heavy duty contractor's tripod usually found on building site. Then I have built a fork made of wood to support the bino. It took me one afternoon to make and assemble all parts and there it is. I know that's not a very sexy mount compared to what some of you have but I hope it'll do the job. I'll post a photo as soon as I can find a kodak stud.

#5 BobinKy



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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:02 PM


What a wonderful report! I appreciate the way you led us through your decision between the GO SS 20x110 and 28x110. It was also good to hear your comments about the high standards of Garrett Optical. We look forward to more reports from you as you explore the night sky with this amazing binocular.

#6 Jitou


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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:13 AM

I finally had a chance to get out and point my new GO 20x110 toward the night sky! The sky dome was a partly cloudy from time to time and breezy at the end of the session. The seeing was good enough, at least for 20x mag and the transparency was fair (6 on the Bortle scale). First impressions, with whose binos I can see a lot more stars than I am used to!

Here are the objects I've seen so far:


- M57 (Ring Nebula): I could spot it at 30° above the horizon. I was able to see it using direct vision and sometimes between the small atmospheric turbulence burst I could glimpse the hole in the ring. I bet that higher in the sky and under better sky condition the ring can be even more rewarding.

- M56: this GC is located half way between Gamma Lyra and Albireo.

- M27 (Dumbell Nebula): following the Gamma Lyra and Albireo alignment further south there it is, very bright and large, having this very recognizable shape seen on photos.

The Lyra constellation has so many doubles but one caught my attention, Eta Lyra / STF 2487 (mag: 4.5 / 8.6 sep: 28 arcsec). Another remarkable sight: "The Coathanger". I stumbled upon this famous asterism by accident I immediately recognized it from the many photos I've seen before.


Both Hercules GC (M92 / M13) are seen quite bright. M13 was very impressive and extraordinary bright in the FOV.


I am not very familiar with this part of the sky but I was able to spot strings of galaxies of different shapes. I will take a good map with me next time in order to put a name on them. I know that these binos are not designed for planetary observations but by pointing them on Saturn I could guess the short extension of the thin rings on each side of the disk ! Added to that Titan (8.9) and Rea (10.2) can be readily seen. I hope to see Dione as well when at maximum elongation.

[Ursa Major]

This constellation is very high in the sky and quite inaccessible using a fork mount. Anyway I could split Mizar A/B (14.4 arcsec) with some difficulty though (my neck was under painful strain). The best surprise of the night was the couple of DSO M97 / M108 that could be seen in the same FOV! I could actually see that M108 has an elongated shape and M97 is almost perfect round patch of faint light.


The head of the Scorpion was rising during the night (30° above horizon through a slight hazy atmosphere). I managed to spot M80 and the bright M4 without any difficulties. The double Beta Scorpii (14 arcsec) can only be guessed at the separation limit for my instrument for this low elevation.

Later on in the morning after sunrise I found Venus crescent (31 arcsec) not so far away from the waning moon crescent.

My first real night of observation was far from being optimal due to the sky condition but I am more than satisfied of the capacities of my new instrument. I did use my custom made fork mount with success. However a parallelogram mount will be mandatory to reach more comfortably higher sky areas and my next objective is to finish the one I am building.

Just few words about the technical performance of the GO 20x110:

A bit of flaring is seen on bright stars and planet that can be eliminated by shifting slightly my eye position. If I pay attention CA can be noticed as well on very bright objects. The actual FOV seem to be a bit smaller than the 2.7 degree announced (I will try to measure it next time). The stars look pinpoint or at least not like comets from 20% from the edge to the center which is a world of difference compared with my old 10x50 binos. Eye relief on this model is a treat (22 mm), I don't have to touch the eyecups most of the time (I don't wear glasses) which provide my setup with very stable views. I won't say that star hopping is easy but it can be learnt and with practice I can manage to find my way between the stars (I had to redraw new lines on my maps in order to match my FOV however). All in all I think this binos really excels at DSO detection and this is their main purpose and I believe no other binocular in the same price range can beat them at all.

#7 Man in a Tub

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:43 PM

Thank you for an excellent report.

[Ursa Major]
This constellation is very high in the sky and quite inaccessible using a fork mount. Anyway I could split Mizar A/B (14.4 arcsec) with some difficulty though (my neck was under painful strain). . .

Without a doubt, it was the strain on your neck. Splitting Mizar A/B is no problem with my Oberwerk 20x80 Standard mounted on my budget-conscious, but serviceable, Orion Paragon Plus Mount/XHD Tripod. (Garrett sells this setup and aptly describes it as "entry-level.") However, I do have increasing trouble when aiming to altitudes greater than 60°.

Have you considered getting or building a "genuine" parallelogram for these hefty binoculars? I'm sure you can get plans from some CNers here.

More Clear Skies To You!


#8 dbx


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Posted 22 May 2009 - 01:33 AM

I notice more flaring on my left barrel than I do my right on my 15x85 Signatures. Glad to know I am not alone.

#9 OpalescentNebula


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 12:07 AM

I also have a bit more flaring on one side than the other. For the price of the 20x110's I'm quite satisfied. The flaring is minimal.

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