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First BV experience..

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#1 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:37 PM

At the risk of this being a near duplicate of Edgie's post...Last night was the first clear night I've had since I got the BinoVue and EP to use with it. I dragged the scope out and collimated it just at twilight and turned the fans on. I gave it an hour to equalize. I came out and played around with 32mm EP monoviewing M31 and then turned my attention to Jupiter, and switched out to the BV+19mm Panoptics (about 200x). The first thing I noticed was how much blacker the background was. Jupiter was just outside my FOV but I could see the light streaking in from the side, making it easy to find. Once in the FOV Jupiter had a wide bright X centered on it, like diffraction spikes but much wider and more diffuse. With Jupiter centered in the FOV the X was no longer evident. It was far and away the best view I've had of Jupiter - comparable to stacked pictures. Much more detail apparent. The elimination of eyestrain made possible by having both eyes open was very noticeable also. For planetary viewing I'm completely sold on BV......

#2 Eddgie

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

Yes, I am converted now. Can't wait for my Mark Vs to arrive so that I can get the full field out of my 24mm eyepecies.

It was stagerring how much detail I could see at 165x. Like you said, it was like stacked CCD images. The detials were so sharp and clean that even tiny ovals were detectable, even though seeing was less than perfect. And the color saturation was excellent because of the brightness of the image.

Clouds this weekend, but Monday will be clear and hopefully seeing will be decent. Can't wait.

#3 pftarch

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I put this post in the reflectors forum a while back. Note the part about the view of jupiter.


"I went to a local public outreach and brought my dorky Z10 on it's cheesy $250 tracking platform and had my $50 eyepieces in it. I had my first chance to look through an 18" custom dob (I won't mention the brand) with an ethos eyepiece. I was practically trembling just to get to the eyepiece. It was pointed at Andromeda, and the view was better than mine. However, if I had to put a subjective number to it, it was 25% better than mine, maybe 35% tops. The scope was beautiful, no doubt, and the view was better, no doubt. But I expected to be overwhelmed, and I was only slightly impressed. Later that night, a member of the local club looked through my humble scope with my cheap binoviewers at jupiter, which was low in the sky. He said that it was the BEST view of jupiter that he had ever seen through a telescope. I drove home at 1:00 am with the realization that my modest scope would serve me admirably, and I have since stopped drooling over telescopes that cost 30+ TIMES as much as mine. Was the 18" worth it? I figure that upward aperture moves are going to yield rapidly diminishing returns, and I have a new found love for my beat up "tiny" scope. "

Someone here pointed out that the best high end planetary eyepiece is two cheap eyepieces in a binoviewer.

#4 Ant78

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

I put this post in the reflectors forum a while back. Note the part about the view of jupiter.




Someone here pointed out that the best high end planetary eyepiece is two cheap eyepieces in a binoviewer.


After my first experience bino-viewing the moon I believe you're totally and utterly correct ;)

#5 Eddgie

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

Someone here pointed out that the best high end planetary eyepiece is two cheap eyepieces in a binoviewer.



Well, it was likely me that has been saying something close to this. If you change the "cheap eyepeices" to "decent quality Plossls."

This is though the advice I have been giving on the Eyepiece forum. When I hear people asking about very expensive "Planetary" eyepeices, I have been recommending that rather than by a few very expensive eyepeices, they may do better using a binoviewer and some decent plossls.

And it isn't that I think Plossls are better than anything else... Only that they are avialable from many different manufacturers in many different focal lengths, so it is easy to get a a good quality pair at a decent price.

The Vixen NPLs I mentioned in the review are a good example. The quality is I think quite excellent, and as I recall they were something like $39 each.

So yes, my own recommendation is that a decent binoviewer and a decent pair of plossls can make someone a better planetary observer.

An expensive eyepiece? Maybe.. Maybe not..

Of course my primary advice is that if you want to see more on planets, start with a big telescope.

#6 pftarch

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:26 AM

Of course my primary advice is that if you want to see more on planets, start with a big telescope.


Sorry to somewhat misquote you accidentally. (Please note that the observer that night was looking through Owl "Expanse" clones if memory serves me correct.)

I can only imagine what that 18" star master would have done with a binoviewer in it. I too find that my "bigger" scope does significantly better on the planets (and everything else). Of course for me "bigger" is 10". I just feel that binoviewers make my "moderate" 10" dob outperform it's actual aperture.

#7 Eddgie

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

Actually, I am an advocate of the 10" or 12" reflector as one of the best all around choices for planetary observing.

Even if the mirrors are not excellent, the aperture alone is sufficient to offset some of the lack of super quality.

And for a few hundred dollars, there are companies that can re-figure the mirror and put a super-high transmission coating on them and with a 20% secondary, you can turn them into the equivilent of an 8" APO.

My point though is that someone using a small scope for planets will never get the same level of planetary performance improvement using binoviewers or "Planetary" eyepeices that they would get from upgrading to a 10" Go-to Dob with a re-finished primary mirror.

And my advice would be the same here. If planetary is your goal, my advice would be rather than spend $500 to $2000 on a binoviewer, it would be better to upgrade to a 10" or 12" Go-To dob with refinished mirrors as the first priority.

As much as I have come to enjoy binoviewing, lots of good quality aperture is still my Numero Uno recommendation for getting the best result in planetary viewing.

I just wanted to be clear about that. Binoviewing is expensive, and just like with "Planetary" eyepices, while I have indeed come to belive that binoviewers do improve planetary performance, I still think that the more meaningful difference is to be found with a better telescope.

#8 pftarch

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

I still think that the more meaningful difference is to be found with a better telescope.


At the low end, WO binoviewers at $200, a pair of ok plossls for $100 (plus the 20's that come with the bino viewers), three cheap filter bodies to make a corrector for $25, and a GSO 10" for $500 and you are at $825.

Bump that up to an Earthwin unit at $850 and a pair of "better" eyepieces for $150 and you are at $1500.

Neither of the above is "cheap" by any means, but, wow, you are going to get some INCREDIBLE views with either approach. Considering that the higher of the two above would barely get you a 100 mm ed on anything approaching a reasonable mount and NO eyepieces or a 6 to 8 inch mounted cassegrain and again, no eyepieces, I consider binoviewing a "reasonable" expense. I just couldn't in my own mind put together a more cost effective package for $1500 when it comes to looking at the planets AND deep sky.

Of course, I'm COMPLETELY hooked on binoviewing and therefore can't really be objective about it. But I am completely amazed at how much you can get for your money by going the "economy/mid size" reflector/binoviewer combo.

#9 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:41 PM

.... I just couldn't in my own mind put together a more cost effective package for $1500 when it comes to looking at the planets AND deep sky.
..


I'll take that challenge :) and answer it with this: Two 8" F6 primary mirrors from Discovery (1/20th wave or better - Discovery being the sweet spot between quality and cost), 2 curved spiders with secondaries, 2 2" focusers, 2 sonotubes, 2 2" diagonals, and a doublewide dob base. Let the entire sonotube rotate for IPD adjustment or build rotating secondary cages a la killdabudha. Build it yourself of have one of the custom makers build it for you. Advantages: accepts 2" EP's, no 2x corrector needed to reach focus, more light grasp than a 10", higher quality optics than GSO, true low power widefield capable, seperate focus for each eye.... I came to the conclusion a while back that just in terms of cost, it would be better to have twin OTA's on a custom platform at apertures of 12.5" and under. Once you pass 12.5" the cost of that second (premium) mirror is more than the cost of a binoviewer.....Of course you could go with a couple of used 12" GSO dobs at about $450 each, cobble together a double base for them, add a couple of 2" diagonals, and be binoviewing with around 16inches equivalent light grasp at about your $1500 price point...

#10 mikey cee

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

John.....needless to say I too am "hooked"!! :shocked: I use WO's with cheap OWL and Agena plossls. Instead of the 10" newtonian route I went into the ditch with a 10" refractor! :grin: Mike

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#11 Ira

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

Awesome!!!!

/Ira

#12 killdabuddha

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

.... I just couldn't in my own mind put together a more cost effective package for $1500 when it comes to looking at the planets AND deep sky.
..


I'll take that challenge :) and answer it with this: Two 8" F6 primary mirrors from Discovery (1/20th wave or better - Discovery being the sweet spot between quality and cost), 2 curved spiders with secondaries, 2 2" focusers, 2 sonotubes, 2 2" diagonals, and a doublewide dob base. Let the entire sonotube rotate for IPD adjustment or build rotating secondary cages a la killdabudha. Build it yourself of have one of the custom makers build it for you. Advantages: accepts 2" EP's, no 2x corrector needed to reach focus, more light grasp than a 10", higher quality optics than GSO, true low power widefield capable, seperate focus for each eye.... I came to the conclusion a while back that just in terms of cost, it would be better to have twin OTA's on a custom platform at apertures of 12.5" and under. Once you pass 12.5" the cost of that second (premium) mirror is more than the cost of a binoviewer.....Of course you could go with a couple of used 12" GSO dobs at about $450 each, cobble together a double base for them, add a couple of 2" diagonals, and be binoviewing with around 16inches equivalent light grasp at about your $1500 price point...


That's EXACTLY how it was for us Murph. Uncanny. You also seem to appreciate just how simple it is and to understand the full advantages. Your post hit every consideration that we contemplated (except maybe for what seemed to us the intimidation of the complexity of BVers and the mods needed for them. But let that speak to the relative simplicity of a bino-build). Sounds like yer gonna go ahead, and well you should.

#13 Never2Busy4You

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

Welcome to the Dual Eye Side!
I had never seen any Definite Swirls or Eddies until viewing Jupe with my Denk II's and Panoptic 15's.
Binoviewing opened a whole new experience to me, from observing details to viewing comfort, I'm glad you have found the same.
Enjoy,
Jeffrey G.

#14 pftarch

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

... Build it yourself of have one of the custom makers build it for you. .....Of course you could go with a couple of used 12" GSO dobs.......


Let me clarify where I was headed: It would difficult to purchase (not build) a new (not used) set up for $1500 that would surpass, in my opinion, the arrangement that I mentioned above.

My problem with DIY is one of time and skill. I'd rather pay to have it done because for me, pretty much everytime I have done DIY projects the same thing happens, I get it done, it costs more than I originally thought in parts, and, it just doesn't work as well as the "store bought" version. This has happened to me with electronic drums, astronomy equipment, and DIY TV antennas (and I still don't stop trying). In the end, I would rather spend the time looking through the telescope rather than building it. (I have three little children at home and I barely have time to use my telescopes, let alone build them.)

As for used, that opens up an entirely different discussion, such as, how much is a used 10" GSO dob and used bino's?

If one limits the discussion to new, manufactured (not DIY) items, JMI's 6" bino telescope is 3K and doesn't offer the aperture of a single 10" scope. I am also surprised that you know of a custom builder who would agree to put together an 8" bino scope with rotating cages for under $1500 including parts and labor.

Having sufficiently defended my original premise, I admire your enthusiasm and agree 1000% that an 8" binoscope would offer a tremendous improvement over a bino'd single 10" scope in light grasp, field of view, and general awesomeness, (although portability and ease of use would be better with the single 10".)

I also would LOVE to look through an 8" binoscope, and your buy two GSO dobsonians and join them scenario almost lured me into the DIY morass in the past, but again, I knew I simply didn't have the time to do it justice.

Good luck on your project and enjoy!

Peter T.

#15 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:52 PM


... Build it yourself of have one of the custom makers build it for you. .....Of course you could go with a couple of used 12" GSO dobs.......


Let me clarify where I was headed: It would difficult to purchase (not build) a new (not used) set up for $1500 that would surpass, in my opinion, the arrangement that I mentioned above.

My problem with DIY is one of time and skill. I'd rather pay to have it done because for me, pretty much everytime I have done DIY projects the same thing happens, I get it done, it costs more than I originally thought in parts, and, it just doesn't work as well as the "store bought" version. This has happened to me with electronic drums, astronomy equipment, and DIY TV antennas (and I still don't stop trying). In the end, I would rather spend the time looking through the telescope rather than building it. (I have three little children at home and I barely have time to use my telescopes, let alone build them.)

As for used, that opens up an entirely different discussion, such as, how much is a used 10" GSO dob and used bino's?

If one limits the discussion to new, manufactured (not DIY) items, JMI's 6" bino telescope is 3K and doesn't offer the aperture of a single 10" scope. I am also surprised that you know of a custom builder who would agree to put together an 8" bino scope with rotating cages for under $1500 including parts and labor.

Having sufficiently defended my original premise, I admire your enthusiasm and agree 1000% that an 8" binoscope would offer a tremendous improvement over a bino'd single 10" scope in light grasp, field of view, and general awesomeness, (although portability and ease of use would be better with the single 10".)

I also would LOVE to look through an 8" binoscope, and your buy two GSO dobsonians and join them scenario almost lured me into the DIY morass in the past, but again, I knew I simply didn't have the time to do it justice.

Good luck on your project and enjoy!

Peter T.


Actually Peter, I agree with you on all points. I decided an already built 17.5" + BV would fit the bill for me. I work 5-6 12 hour shifts per week and barely manage to observe, much less ATM. At some point I may decide to dabble in it, at which point the 8" binoscope seems appealling, or maybe find a used twin to my 12.5" Discovery and cobble one together out of that.

The advantages I see to 17.5" + BV over twin 12.5" are: 1) a bit more light grasp than twin 12.5", 2) the option of monoviewing with a single EP fed from the whole 17.5", 3)the intrinsic resolution of the 17.5", 4) portability 5)wait time...

I contemplate a second, shorter set of truss poles to eliminate the 2x corrector.

I'd find it interesting to compare views between 17.5 + BV compared to twin 12.5 at equal mag and then again at equal exit pupil. I submit it'd be too close to call. With a pair of 31NT5 the twin 12.5 does things the 17.5 + BV can't, but then the 17.5 with one EP goes a bit deeper and a bit fainter.

#16 jonheradas

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:00 PM

After years of using simple Nikon 7x35 binoculars for portable sky watching, I decided to spend some reasonable money after some basic research and came up with a TV 76mm APO, TV binovuers and I started with TV 8x24 EP's which I am adding to with a sets of TV 2.5mm Nagler T6's, 11mm NT6's and 22mm panoptics. ( I worked for some time in industry, and education; but, coming from an extended family of autoworkers for 3 generations, I appreciate keeping our jobs at home and supporting optics and accessories made in America, and if possible, Canada...meaning anywhere in NA, I just happen to be a Canuk) Lest I digress too far outa focus.....

I had a 20 minute window of opportunity to aim my rig NE at that bright spot in the sky I knew had to be a planet and called over my wife to inspect Jupiter with its apparent banding and its moon just peeking out of the 2 o'clock position....all done with a modicum of awe and a pleasant adrenal rush... my first light !

Looking forwards to years of healthy, fascination with the night sky - running from clouds and setting up quickly!

I think binos are for me, and it appears from the extent of detailed commentary and equipment-- I have alot to learn and experiment with....I have a little technical savy being a tech math person at college and in metal work/fabrication which I have used in micro machining watch and clocks...Now retired after 38 years and looking to use some skills, advice and direction from whoever and wherever to accomplish this end. Clear Skies !

#17 panhard

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

Welcome to our site John. :band: :band: :band: :grouphug: :grouphug: :flexible: :dob:I am glad to see another Canuck here. We are almost neighbours. I am from downtown Markham. :grin:

#18 George Methvin

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

Hi John welcome to bino-viewing it is really a great way to view the planets. I use my WO bino on my wonderful Meade 10 LX200 SCT classic and the view are great. Some day I would like to move up to a Mark v binoviewers but for now my views through my WO are very very good.






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