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HELP !!! Which binocular to choose???????

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#1 sam.clearsky

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Hi All,

I am new to astronomy and I have decided to buy my first set of binoculars', after much research I have narrowed down to the the below list.

1. Oberwerk 8x56
OR
2. Oberwerk 9x60
OR
3. Oberwerk/Garret 15x70

Can anyone suggest which one should I go for?

And is there any major difference b/w 8x56 and 9x60 wrt to viewing and overall experience??

I stay in a city which is heavily light polluted.

Purpose:
1. Lunar and Planetary observation,
2. Wanna get used to night sky observation
3. Cluster viewing and Nebulae viewing too.

Thanks, :rimshot:
Sam

#2 festa_freak

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

I bought Celestron 15x70 last year for $50 at a big sale. I was looking into slightly higher quality binoculars at the time as well but you cannot argue with $50. They were my first binoculars so I have nothing to compare them with.

I bought a tripod which is needed for the bigger 15x70's and I also had to buy a mounting bracket because the included plastic one was junk (allowd binos to move in wind).

I greatly enjoy my 15x70's. I have viewed orion nebula, andromeda, clusters and the planets and the moon. All you see with planets are little points of light but you can see the moons of jupiter (smaller points of light).

It is amazing how much light the binos pull in. During the summer and even now, just scan the milky way slowly and be blown away. So many stars, more so from a dark site. I see you are in a city, even there the stars it pulls in are crazy!

So I vote 15x70 but that is all I know, but they have served me well.

BTW, I got a bogen 3046 tripod with a fluid head off Ebay for I think 179.99 plus shipping. It was expensive but it is mostly all metal and built like a tank. I was considering a monopod as well but tripod won out.

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

I can't speak to those specific binos... but based on your criteria of what you want to observe, I think the 15x70s would be best. You'll want to mount them somehow for the most part.

While lower magnification binos are good for handholding (though I rather have image stablization or tripods myself), lunar and planetary observing is much better at 15x. I also think 15x70s are great on the Orion Nebula and Pleiades.

Also, there are just plain cool since they are so large ;)

At some point you may want some lower mag ones also. I actually like my image stablized 10x30s more than using handheld 10x50s.

At some point I'd really like to get some right angle binos...but I just can't afford to do that right now.

#4 Maverick199

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hi Sam, the "Binocular forum" will get you the best option. I use 15 x 70 Celestron and 10 x 50 Nikon CF. Both are great and inexpensive.

#5 JLovell

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

If you go any above 10X in whatever you choose, get a tripod adapter and a really solid tripod. Even at 10X, you'll be able to see a lot more stars with them on a tripod than handheld. Also look at making or buying a simple parallelogram mount. That lets you move the binos off the center of the tripod, so you aren't tripping over the legs, and lets you easily share the views with people taller or shorter than you. It also lets you view near the zenith much easier.

An option is to get a lounge type chair, or at least a camping foam mat that you'd sleep on, and lie on your back, letting the bulk of the weight of the binos sit on the bridge of your nose.

I think, really, especially for a beginner, any binos of large aperture for the magnification will be just fine. As long as they are well made and well collimated, the difference between the best and the cheapest is relatively small in what you see compared to what you pay.

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

Binoculars are very individual.. The 15x70s will show you more. In terms of planetary observation, there is not a lot to see in binoculars, the moons of Jupiter, the moon, some non-symmetrical shape to Saturn.

As far as the Celestron 15x70s go, they are a mixed bag, price wise they are a bargain but they have well documented collimation problems, their effective aperture is only 63mm so that's another problem.

I would go with the Oberworks, the increased magnification is a big help in seeing more detail... But as others have said, a tripod will be needed to get the most out of them, hand holding them for longer periods will be tiring.

If you really want to see significant planetary detail, a telescope is almost essential because of the magnifications needed.

Jon

#7 Tony Flanders

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

If you've never used binoculars before, I'd strongly recommend the 8X or 9X models.

15X binoculars are great devices. But if I had to trim down my binocular collection, they would be the first to go. They show luscious views of individual objects, but they're not nearly as good for sweeping the sky as lower powered models. And they're challenging to hand-hold, which definitely limits their usefulness.

#8 Dennis_S253

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

Welcome Sam, a tripod or a layback lounge chair will be needed. As far as which bino's?

#9 Maverick199

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

If you've never used binoculars before, I'd strongly recommend the 8X or 9X models.

15X binoculars are great devices. But if I had to trim down my binocular collection, they would be the first to go. They show luscious views of individual objects, but they're not nearly as good for sweeping the sky as lower powered models. And they're challenging to hand-hold, which definitely limits their usefulness.


Which is why I went for the 10 x 50 as using the 15 x 70 handheld was becoming increasingly frustrating. Now the 15 x 70 hardly gets any use.

#10 Paco_Grande

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

If you're going to hold by hand, for most people 10x is about the max, hard to hold still. And, the larger aperture's get heavy.

I have three binos, 8x40 Minolta, 10x50 6.6degree (wide field) Nikon Action EX's, and Orion's 9x63 Mini Giants, all used without a tripod. All have nice eye relief and nice field width, and not too heavy.

Of your choices, only the 15x70 will likely demand a tripod. Otherwise, I've never looked thru that brand, no idea about the other important specs, ie. eye relief, field size, weight, etc..

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

Everybody should own a hand-held binocular with 7x to 10x magnification. Whether you additionally get a 15x70 is a matter of preference, but just realize that they are not suitable for planetary observation and really only hint at what can be seen on the Moon. You'd be better off with a 8x40-ish binocular and a small telescope capable of magnifying at least 50x, preferably 100x.

#12 coopman

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

I like my Canon 10 x 30IS binos better than my Garrett 10 x 50's. The image stabilization works very good to minimize the jitters from your hands and helps to make up for the aperture decrease. Still, they are not going to show you very much detail on planets or the moon.

#13 *skyguy*

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:12 PM

Hi Sam,

Binocular are not the ideal instrument to observe the moon and planets. Most binoculars ... meaning affordable ... will show color fringing around the moon and most likely have problems with glare. Also, the planets will demand much greater magnification ... to resolve detail ... than most binoculars will provide.

For the type of observing and price range you are describing, I would purchase an 80mm - 90mm achromatic refactor on an alt-az mount.

Jim

#14 panhard

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

I bought a tripod which is needed for the bigger 15x70's and I also had to buy a mounting bracket because the included plastic one was junk (allowd binos to move in wind).

Filling the cavity with epoxy helps to stiffen up that adapter.

#15 GaryJCarter

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

If you get the 15x70's (I did) then add one of these!

http://www.cloudynig...php?item_id=609
http://www.whiteoaks...p2001/pg10.html

#16 Keith

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:30 AM

in light polluted skies, avoid 7mm exit pupil binoculars (8x56, 9x60/63, 7x50 etc...), something with a 4-5mm exit pupil will give better contrast with less emphasis on the background skyglow. 7x35, 8x40, 10x50, 10x42 and bigger 12x60, 15x70, 16x80 and 20x80 are good choices for a tripod.

Save the 7x50, 8x56 and 9x60 for dark sky excursions. Also note, that the majority of 7mm exit pupil binos tend to have narrower fields like looking down a soda straw. Most 7x50's tend to show the same 6-7deg as comparitive 10x50's, but with a 40-45deg apprarent field, vs 65-70deg apparent field. This is usually due to longer focal length eypieces needed to get the power low.

There are exceptions on both sides of course, marine or military 7x50's tend to be wideangle, and there are plenty of cheap 10x50's out there with only 5deg fields as well.

When I first got back into astronomy, I got a pair of 15x70 barska for cheap at a local sporting goods store. They served me well for a while. They are the same make as the celestron skymasters and the oberwerks, and others as well, except they were base models without multicoatings. The armor finally deteriorated and got sticky, and I am not sure what to do with them.

I have some cheapie Zhumell 20x80's that pretty much took their place anyway.

When I invested in a pair of quality binoculars, I chose the 8x40 Nikon action extreme, and am still happy with that purchase several years later. I had tried many pairs of cheap meade binoculars to get my feel of which size and power was best for me, and 8x42 just seemed the best compromise, so I sunk my $ into the 8x40's, and eventually added the Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 for daytime/travel/concert use.



#17 BigC

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

In my opinion,you are expecting too much of those binoculars.In addition to the binoculars you will want a telescope of 80mm or larger size.

i find 15x about the most that can be handheld and then only briefly,and that just won't get the details you seem to want.It certainly isn't enough to do more than identify the planets.

Binoculars are great for scanning the sky,and the brighter clusters look good,the Moon will show the major features but for any hope of seeing the rings of Saturn,the bands of Jupiter, the markings of Mars, or striking views of nebulae you simply need higher magnification.

You need a telescope for much of what you wish to see.An 80mm f11 is a good size;not too expensive yet I saw the ice cap and major marking on Mars last spring using such a scope.A 90mm or larger Maksutov is an alternative giving practically the same "reach" in a smaller package.(The short 80mm/400mm focal length refractors have a bit too much unwanted color at higher powers needed for planetary views in my experience.)Even a 60mm f15 on a good mounting will do better on planets than 15x binoculars.

#18 galexand

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

I got Garrett 10x50s to complement my 6" reflector telescope.

First, the bad. 10x is enough that hand-holding is a little sketchy (too much shaking). And 10x is nowhere near enough to show any sort of detail on planets or DSOs.

Now for the good! They don't take any set up (no cool down or assembly), so I use them more frequently than my telescope. They have enough magnification that even with haze/light pollution I can see a ton of stars (*many* more than naked eye). The real thing binoculars gave me is a totally different perspective on the sky than my telescope. My telescope shows about 2 degrees of sky, but my binocs are more like 6 degrees. Star hopping becomes a *completely* different experience. It really helps you learn the sky. I learned one asterism I could recognize reliably (a part of cassiopeia), and then I would just start there and wander off. Every few seconds, I would jump back to cassiopeia. It's so easy to learn the sky this way with binoculars, it is really a fantastic tool. After playing with binocs for a few minutes, I can often use the telescope without the finder, just kind of point it in the right direction and look through the EP and I'm like "oh, I've seen that shape, I know where I'm at."

So my advice is to get something between 8x40 and 10x50 (unless you live at a dark sky site, they say the diameter shouldn't be more than 5 times the magnification, I don't honestly understand it though). You can use it hand-held, and it will show you a lot of stuff you probably didn't know was up there. And if you realize you want to see detail in the planets or DSOs, go ahead and take the plunge and get a telescope (if you don't already have one).

My personal feeling is that if you start with 15x or above, it is like getting a gimpy telescope. You have to get a tripod to really get the most out of them, and then they still don't really give you any detail. I feel like they're more of a specialty tool for people who already have an optical collection.

But even if you get something that isn't quite "ideal", it'll probably still be a great experience to use them so don't fret too much about it!

#19 sam.clearsky

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:51 AM

I think I will go for 15x70, can anyone suggest me a good tripod under $100.?

thanks,
Sam

#20 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:26 AM

I think I will go for 15x70, can anyone suggest me a good tripod under $100.?


You will have to look on the used market to find a tripod tall enough and sturdy enough to hold 15x70 binoculars steady while you're standing. And even then, you will need some luck.

To get a really good tripod new, including center crank and video head, I would expect to pay about $250.

#21 JLovell

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:22 AM

Here's a really good one that I have for $159, including head, with free shipping. It doesn't have a crank on the center column, but I find those tend to strip, and this one is very easy to unlock and just push where you want it, and re-lock. The mount screw is 6'2" off the ground extended all the way up.

http://www.amazon.co...d/dp/B000EDNOFG






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