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Low mag Binocs

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#1 rhophi

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

I am looking for a low magnification binoculars, but with wide FOV. It will be mainly used to locate faint constellation stars (stars that are part of the constellation pattern, but difficult to see from light polluted skies). I was thinking about 6 x 30, but cannot find a good model designed for astronomy.
Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

Clear skies!

#2 BillC

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

Hi rhophi:

A bino is what it is what it is; very few are “designed” for astronomy, in that is a tiny niche of the market (read no profit for the manufacture.)

In larger sizes, there are some models that have been designed with that niche in mind, but often as an afterthought. Also, as a rule, a low magnification, by its nature, indicates a wide field of view.

Thus, putting a lot of emphasis on designed for “astronomy,” may take away from your time under the stars.

My recommendation would be to seek out an 7x35, 8x30 or 32 or an 8x40 or 42 or 10x40 or 42. Plan to spend >$250 if you spend a reasonable amount of time under the stars, or if your instrument will also be used for day-time nature study.

Also, while lower powers WILL give you prettier vistas, in light polluted areas, it may be advisable to use HIGHER magnifications. The stars won’t be any bigger, but “skyfog” will be lessened—creating a more contrasty images.

And, whatever you do . . . have fun!

Finally, since I haven’t seen you post before, welcome to Cloudy Nights.

Cheers, :jump:

BillC

#3 rhophi

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi BillC,

Thanks for your recommendation.

Sorry for the confusion, when I mentioned that I am looking for binoculars designed for Astronomy, I mean that it is a proven Binocular under the night sky, no false color (CA) on bright objects.

I am looking for a bino that is enough to enhance my naked vision, so I can see 3 - 4 magnitude stars in Capricornus without getting far too deep in to the deep sky. (I can still see a great part of the constellation).

Clear skies!

#4 BillC

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

Hi Again:

If you wait for a "no CA" bino, you will die of old age while waiting; you just need to keep it good for the magnification and your budget. If I were still at Captain's, I'd test some for you. However, I need to leave you with those more in tune with today's models; many of which are yesterday's models, with a new look and price tag. But, I'm not in a position to know which is which.

Recently we've had a thread on Nikon Action vs Action Extreme. I've looked through, and sold, hundreds of each. However, unless a customer asked me to do so, I didn't go "A" type on the project--sorry.

Never fear, there are some very knowledgeable observers on Cloudy Nights!

BillC

#5 The Ardent

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Consider something like this Swaro.

Small, lightweight, and the highest quality. Good for day or night use.

Or the small Canon IS.
The IS will allow you to see fainter stars, but are not much wider than what you have now.

Good Luck

#6 dan_h

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Hi BillC,

Thanks for your recommendation.

Sorry for the confusion, when I mentioned that I am looking for binoculars designed for Astronomy, I mean that it is a proven Binocular under the night sky, no false color (CA) on bright objects.

I am looking for a bino that is enough to enhance my naked vision, so I can see 3 - 4 magnitude stars in Capricornus without getting far too deep in to the deep sky. (I can still see a great part of the constellation).

Clear skies!


It has been my experience that a bino has to be pretty poor to show false color on stars at the very low powers used for hand held instruments.

As far as enhancing naked eye views, in my suburban backyard yard I find my 10X50s are a reasonable match to a Mag 8.5 star atlas that I use. A 7X35 will provide a much wider view but won't go quite so deep. The 7X35s are also a lot easier for hand holding and freely sweeping the sky.

dan

#7 rhophi

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

Consider something like this Swaro.

Small, lightweight, and the highest quality. Good for day or night use.

Or the small Canon IS.
The IS will allow you to see fainter stars, but are not much wider than what you have now.

Good Luck


Hi Ray,

Thanks for the links, the Swarovski 8x30 CL look very interesting, but $$ beyond my budget.
In regards to the Canon 10 x 30 IS, I am seriously considering those, however I think the 10X may be way too much magnification for what I want to achieve.

Thanks!

#8 rhophi

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Hi BillC,

Thanks for your recommendation.

Sorry for the confusion, when I mentioned that I am looking for binoculars designed for Astronomy, I mean that it is a proven Binocular under the night sky, no false color (CA) on bright objects.

I am looking for a bino that is enough to enhance my naked vision, so I can see 3 - 4 magnitude stars in Capricornus without getting far too deep in to the deep sky. (I can still see a great part of the constellation).

Clear skies!


It has been my experience that a bino has to be pretty poor to show false color on stars at the very low powers used for hand held instruments.

As far as enhancing naked eye views, in my suburban backyard yard I find my 10X50s are a reasonable match to a Mag 8.5 star atlas that I use. A 7X35 will provide a much wider view but won't go quite so deep. The 7X35s are also a lot easier for hand holding and freely sweeping the sky.

dan


Hi Dan,

Thanks for yor input.
A 7 x 35 may do the trick, and there are plenty available out there. But I am almost certain that 6X or lower will work best.
About my concern with CA is that I may want to look at Sirius, Vega or Venus once in a while, and it would be annoying for me to see false color on these bright objects.

Clear skies!

#9 ronharper

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:31 AM

This came up in a recent discussion.
Chinese 6x24

Neither I, nor probably nobody else here, has any experience with this model. But I like the looks of it, and the look of the coatings as can be seen from the photo, and the wide field, which with the small aperture fits your purpose to a tee. The individual focusing could almost qualify it as "for astronomy"! To tell the truth, if I was after a 6x binocular, I'd buy one of these.
Ron

#10 Grimnir

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:59 AM

Also, as a rule, a low magnification, by its nature, indicates a wide field of view.


Except when combined with a large exit pupil.


Try to test:

Kowa (or Leupold or Opticron or Vortex) 6x30
Nikon 8 x 30 EII (wide field of view)
Canon 10 x 30 IS

I have all three and regard the Canons as the best of them for astronomy.


Regards,

Graham

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:57 AM

I haven't seen any 7x or 8x porro binocular show detectable CA on bright stars. You'll much sooner be bothered by other aberrations that prevent the stars from showing as pinpoint dots.

#12 RichD

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:42 AM

A good 8x30/32 is quite nice for astro use. 7.5 deg field and moderate exit pupil for good contrast. If you are willing to spend the $$$ then the Fuji 8x30 FMTR-SX is very good, I use mine as a spotter when out with the scope but it's fun in it's own right. but there are many others.

#13 Tony Flanders

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:13 AM


Also, as a rule, a low magnification, by its nature, indicates a wide field of view.


Except when combined with a large exit pupil.


Eh, what? I don't see any connection at all between exit pupil and field of view.

I love my Canon IS 10x30s, but I would never call them widefield binoculars. There are plenty of fields that I prefer to view in my decades-old 7x35s.

#14 Binojunky

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:47 AM

Good can come at a very low price, Leupold Yosemite 6x30, very light and a FOV of 8 degrees,cost? around $100,DA.

#15 REC

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

I have many pairs of bino's that I have collected over the years and different styles.

I would advise a Roof Prism type over a Porro prism style. They are easier for me to hold and my favorite is an old Russian pair of 7x35....tack sharp and good contrast.

Ckeck out the Nikon line for under $200.

Bob

#16 Grimnir

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

Tony,

Assuming we are discussing binos without unacceptable aberrations, simultaneously increasing the exit pupil and the FoV requires increased ocular size and this requires significantly increased prism size.

So the bino designer can choose at most two from:

1. Manageable prism size
2. Wide FoV
3. Large exit pupil

So there's a tradeoff in bino design, the designer can choose any two but not all three.

In reality designers reject large prism designs as they're too bulky so if the designer wants an exit pupil of 7mm then he has to accept a significantly smaller FoV, relative to its magnification, than for, say, a 5mm exit pupil on an otherwise identical instrument. This is why, for example, high quality binos like the Nikon Prostar 7x50 and the Zeiss 7x50 GA T*, despite their low magnification, have a relatively narrow FoV.

The Nikon 8x30 EII are 8.8* and the Canon 10x30 IS 6.0* according to their specs. These are roughly right though I have not checked them in earnest against detailed starcharts. Neither show CA on (e.g.) Sirius. I agree that the Canons are not wide angle but the OP mentioned that he was seriously considering them so I thought it worthwhile to mention that, for astronomy, I prefer them to my Nikon EII 8x30. The Canons are by far the most-used of my binos and they're very handy so I always take them with me when I'm away. I also have a pair of Jason Statesman 186 7x35 12.7* claimed though I have not tested this claim.


Graham

#17 cloud_cover

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

I'd recommend a Nikon Action Ex 10x50. It has wide angle eyepieces so your FOV is about 6 deg. Its (relatively) cheap, very well balanced so its less straining to hold it up.
Its also waterproof so you don't have to worry about dew.
I use it personally as a spotter bino or sometimes when I'm working late and just want something to use when I step out.
2 downsides are that being a fast, wide field bino, it has field curvature and some CA but personally I don't find these objectionable at all. YMMV
I see its currently $150 on Amazon.

#18 Plan9

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

rhophi,

Have you seen these: Vortex 6x32

(not promoting Eagle, they just have that bin on sale, although my experience with them has been good).

Bill

#19 Rich V.

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:02 AM


Also, as a rule, a low magnification, by its nature, indicates a wide field of view.


Except when combined with a large exit pupil.


Eh, what? I don't see any connection at all between exit pupil and field of view.

I love my Canon IS 10x30s, but I would never call them widefield binoculars. There are plenty of fields that I prefer to view in my decades-old 7x35s.


It seems to me Graham's statement is generally based in fact. Binoculars with a large exit pupil DO tend to have smaller AFOVs; this in turn obviously makes their FOVs on the smaller side as well.

Cases in point with binos with 7mm exit pupils:

Nikon Action EX 7x50---44.9° AFOV
Steiner Police 7x50---47.3°
Swift Sea Wolf 7x50---52.5°
Vixen Geoma 7x50--46.3°
Zeiss 8x56---55°
Vortex 8x56---50°
Swaro 8x56---52.7°
Celestron 8x56---46.25°

Even the little Leupold 6x30 with its 8° FOV only provides a 48° AFOV. Certainly not "wide field" when compared to an 8x30 like the Nikon EII that provides an 8.8° FOV with a 70° AFOV, for instance.

I wouldn't call any of the above listed binos "wide field" instruments except in the context of their relatively low magnification.

Rich

#20 Fomalhaut

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

- The new Swarovision EL-8x32 (with 4 mm pupil) has got 423 ft from 1000 yds which translates to 61 deg AFOV and 8 deg TFOV according to Swarovskis own specifications.
- The EL-8.5x42 (5 mm pupil): 60 deg / 7.6 deg accordingly.
- My Zeiss 7x42 P*T (6mm pupil) had also 60 deg AFOV.

The two Swarovskis deliver pinpoint stars to the edge.

These binoculars IMO come very close to the ideal wide FOV instrument, but they do so at a proud price.

Chris

#21 Binojunky

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

Hekova difference in price between the Yosemite and the Swarovskis or the Nikon E11 for that matter,Zeiss make a couple of 8x30 models but again at a premium price, to be honest most times when grabbing a bino for a look at the sky a 8x40 does the job very well, either a roof or prism,DA.

#22 Pinewood

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:31 PM

Hello all,

Regarding RhoPhi's original request for a 6x30. Fujinon may still sell a 6x30, the AR-SX, which is better than any old military 6x30. It uses independent focussing, is waterproof, and has modern coatings. I recall one cold night in New York City, when it revealed one one of Jupiter's moons, which I thought was pretty good for a 6x30.
Unlike other posters, I personally could not use an 8x40, handheld, on the night sky, for anything except the horizon, but I am nearing Medicare age.

Clear skies,
Arthur Pinewood

#23 Andresin150

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

I think that a wide angle experience relates a lot more with the AFOV and barely with the TFOV.
With that in mind, I wouldnt consider any binocular below 65 deg Afov a wide angle.
If we rely only in TFOV, any system at 2x would be a wide angle even if it feels like looking trough a pipe. And, for example, the Docters at 40x provide an ultra wide 2.2 deg of TFov, which is a lot for 40x....

#24 oldtimer

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

A strong 2nd for the 6X30 Leupold Yosemites. ADORAMA has them fr $79.95 +. The nice thing about 6X is that one can actually hold them relatively steady without any support.

#25 rhophi

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for all the inputs,

I checked the web for all recommended options, I was able to find most of them. Far more options than what I originally thought. These are the options that I believe could give me the results I am looking for:

1. Fijinon 6x30 FMTR-SX is no longer in the market, but can be purchased second hand for about $400.00

2. Kowa YF 6x30 < $100.00

3. Leupold BX 1 Yosemite 6x30 < $100.00

4. Nikon 7x35 Action EX Extreme ABT < $150.00

5. Vortex Raptor 6.5 x 32 < $125.00

6. Vortex Viper 6 x 32 < $275.00

7. Meopta MeoPro 6.5 x 32 < $300.00

I read multiple reviews, mostly (bird watching) and seems like the Vortex Viper, Leupold Yosemite, and the Nikon Action EX are pretty popular and highly ranked.
I also read a couple of reviews noting negative inputs on the Vortex as not being sharp close to the edges. Some people complained about the Leupold Yosemite for not offering good low light performance (cloudy days or sunset), not sure what would that mean for astronomy?

I am not sure if the 7x35 Nikon will do the work (it may go deeper than what I want).
So it leaves me with two popular options, the Vortex Viper 6x32 and the Leupold Yosemite.

Any inputs?

Thank you all for your feedback.

Clear skies!






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