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Siebert Elite 45's versus Baader Mark V's w/ 24mm

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#1 Bob S.

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

I had been promising i Denis a shootout one day when I had a bit of time, between my newly acquired 2" Siebert Elite 45 BV's and my Baader Mark V's. Instrument used was a TEC 160FL f/7 apochromatic refractor with a AP Maxbright diagonal with the Sieberts and a Baader mirrored diagonal for the Mark V's. The eyepieces used were a pair of 24mm Panoptics. The magnifications for the Siebert's were with his proprietary 1.3x and 2x OCA and Baader's 1.25x and 1.7x Glaspath correctors in the respective binoviewers. The only two targets of the night were the half Moon and Jupiter for a brief time. Both objects were tested with both BV's at both mags. The Moon had two rounds of A/B assessment at both mags with both binoviewers and Jupiter just had one round of A/B comparison at both mags in both BV's.

The transparency was about 8.5/10 and seeing seemed to be about 7.5/10. I must mention that I have senile cortical spoke cataracts that will be removed in January. However, as recently as 6 weeks ago, I was able to see the G and I stars in the Trapezium of M42 with a monocular ep and a 16.5" Newtonian so the sclerosis in my lenses is not filtering out too much information to perform the mini shootout. The comparo took a bit over 2.5 hours tonight.

First of all, if I could have only one pair of binoviewers, either pair would keep me happy for the rest of my life. These two BV's are at the top of their game. The Siebert has the advantage of larger prisms and the ability to use 2" ep's but tonight, both BV's were populated by a pair of TeleVue 24mm Panoptics.

First object was the Moon. The Siebert's showed a slightly darker surrounding field to the Moon than the Mark V's. The Panoptics in the Mark V's showed significantly more chromatic abberation around the disk of the Moon but not at the Terminator. The Siebert's showed a slight bit of CA but almost none compared to the Mark V's. While looking at the Moon, I could see the field stops in the Panoptics with the Sieberts but could not make out the field stops easily in the Mark V's. It seems that the Moon was brighter with the Siebert's than the Mark V's. The CA in the Mark V's was less pronounced when in the 1.25x mode but the Siebert's very slightly, and I mean SLIGHTLY, edged out the Mark V's for the above-mentioned reasons in the 1.25x vs. 1.3x modes. On Jupiter, I could easily see the field stop in the Mark V's that previously had mostly eluded me on the Moon and the Siebert's showed about the same amount of light on the edges of the FOV as when looking at the Moon.

The same phenomena occured on Jupiter. The Siebert's showed slightly darker background and a bit more detail on the planet at the two different mags. With my sclerotic right eye lens, the Mark V's for some reaons slightly accentuated a prismatic effect that I have been experiencing where the Siebert's did also but to a slightly lesser extent. Another noteworthy phenomena was that eye placement with the Mark V's was much more critical with the 24mm Pans than when they were in the Siebert's.

Now that I have finally had a chance to compare the BV's, I must say that they are both very impressive instruments. I can't think of a more fun 2.5+ hours gazing primarily at the Moon with a couple of sweet binoviewers, a pair of 24mm Pans and a wonderful 6.3" Apo refractor. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think we astronomers have a lot to be thankful for. Especially our ability to play with fun equipment and see God's handiwork. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bob Schilling

#2 sopticals

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:24 AM

Thanks Bob :bow: for the detailed write up. Much :jump: appreciated.

Stephen (44deg.S.)

#3 denis0007dl

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:45 AM

I had been promising i Denis a shootout one day when I had a bit of time, between my newly acquired 2" Siebert Elite 45 BV's and my Baader Mark V's. Instrument used was a TEC 160FL f/7 apochromatic refractor with a AP Maxbright diagonal with the Sieberts and a Baader mirrored diagonal for the Mark V's. The eyepieces used were a pair of 24mm Panoptics. The magnifications for the Siebert's were with his proprietary 1.3x and 2x OCA and Baader's 1.25x and 1.7x Glaspath correctors in the respective binoviewers. The only two targets of the night were the half Moon and Jupiter for a brief time. Both objects were tested with both BV's at both mags. The Moon had two rounds of A/B assessment at both mags with both binoviewers and Jupiter just had one round of A/B comparison at both mags in both BV's.

The transparency was about 8.5/10 and seeing seemed to be about 7.5/10. I must mention that I have senile cortical spoke cataracts that will be removed in January. However, as recently as 6 weeks ago, I was able to see the G and I stars in the Trapezium of M42 with a monocular ep and a 16.5" Newtonian so the sclerosis in my lenses is not filtering out too much information to perform the mini shootout. The comparo took a bit over 2.5 hours tonight.

First of all, if I could have only one pair of binoviewers, either pair would keep me happy for the rest of my life. These two BV's are at the top of their game. The Siebert has the advantage of larger prisms and the ability to use 2" ep's but tonight, both BV's were populated by a pair of TeleVue 24mm Panoptics.

First object was the Moon. The Siebert's showed a slightly darker surrounding field to the Moon than the Mark V's. The Panoptics in the Mark V's showed significantly more chromatic abberation around the disk of the Moon but not at the Terminator. The Siebert's showed a slight bit of CA but almost none compared to the Mark V's. While looking at the Moon, I could see the field stops in the Panoptics with the Sieberts but could not make out the field stops easily in the Mark V's. It seems that the Moon was brighter with the Siebert's than the Mark V's. The CA in the Mark V's was less pronounced when in the 1.25x mode but the Siebert's very slightly, and I mean SLIGHTLY, edged out the Mark V's for the above-mentioned reasons in the 1.25x vs. 1.3x modes. On Jupiter, I could easily see the field stop in the Mark V's that previously had mostly eluded me on the Moon and the Siebert's showed about the same amount of light on the edges of the FOV as when looking at the Moon.

The same phenomena occured on Jupiter. The Siebert's showed slightly darker background and a bit more detail on the planet at the two different mags. With my sclerotic right eye lens, the Mark V's for some reaons slightly accentuated a prismatic effect that I have been experiencing where the Siebert's did also but to a slightly lesser extent. Another noteworthy phenomena was that eye placement with the Mark V's was much more critical with the 24mm Pans than when they were in the Siebert's.

Now that I have finally had a chance to compare the BV's, I must say that they are both very impressive instruments. I can't think of a more fun 2.5+ hours gazing primarily at the Moon with a couple of sweet binoviewers, a pair of 24mm Pans and a wonderful 6.3" Apo refractor. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think we astronomers have a lot to be thankful for. Especially our ability to play with fun equipment and see God's handiwork. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bob Schilling


Finally :)

I was waiting for a long time for this review!

Now stays only one thing to compare: objects on limited scale of visibility at given time!!!

Please do it!!!

#4 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

I had been promising i Denis a shootout one day when I had a bit of time, between my newly acquired 2" Siebert Elite 45 BV's and my Baader Mark V's. Instrument used was a TEC 160FL f/7 apochromatic refractor with a AP Maxbright diagonal with the Sieberts and a Baader mirrored diagonal for the Mark V's. The eyepieces used were a pair of 24mm Panoptics. The magnifications for the Siebert's were with his proprietary 1.3x and 2x OCA and Baader's 1.25x and 1.7x Glaspath correctors in the respective binoviewers. The only two targets of the night were the half Moon and Jupiter for a brief time. Both objects were tested with both BV's at both mags. The Moon had two rounds of A/B assessment at both mags with both binoviewers and Jupiter just had one round of A/B comparison at both mags in both BV's.

The transparency was about 8.5/10 and seeing seemed to be about 7.5/10. I must mention that I have senile cortical spoke cataracts that will be removed in January. However, as recently as 6 weeks ago, I was able to see the G and I stars in the Trapezium of M42 with a monocular ep and a 16.5" Newtonian so the sclerosis in my lenses is not filtering out too much information to perform the mini shootout. The comparo took a bit over 2.5 hours tonight.

First of all, if I could have only one pair of binoviewers, either pair would keep me happy for the rest of my life. These two BV's are at the top of their game. The Siebert has the advantage of larger prisms and the ability to use 2" ep's but tonight, both BV's were populated by a pair of TeleVue 24mm Panoptics.

First object was the Moon. The Siebert's showed a slightly darker surrounding field to the Moon than the Mark V's. The Panoptics in the Mark V's showed significantly more chromatic abberation around the disk of the Moon but not at the Terminator. The Siebert's showed a slight bit of CA but almost none compared to the Mark V's. While looking at the Moon, I could see the field stops in the Panoptics with the Sieberts but could not make out the field stops easily in the Mark V's. It seems that the Moon was brighter with the Siebert's than the Mark V's. The CA in the Mark V's was less pronounced when in the 1.25x mode but the Siebert's very slightly, and I mean SLIGHTLY, edged out the Mark V's for the above-mentioned reasons in the 1.25x vs. 1.3x modes. On Jupiter, I could easily see the field stop in the Mark V's that previously had mostly eluded me on the Moon and the Siebert's showed about the same amount of light on the edges of the FOV as when looking at the Moon.

The same phenomena occured on Jupiter. The Siebert's showed slightly darker background and a bit more detail on the planet at the two different mags. With my sclerotic right eye lens, the Mark V's for some reaons slightly accentuated a prismatic effect that I have been experiencing where the Siebert's did also but to a slightly lesser extent. Another noteworthy phenomena was that eye placement with the Mark V's was much more critical with the 24mm Pans than when they were in the Siebert's.

Now that I have finally had a chance to compare the BV's, I must say that they are both very impressive instruments. I can't think of a more fun 2.5+ hours gazing primarily at the Moon with a couple of sweet binoviewers, a pair of 24mm Pans and a wonderful 6.3" Apo refractor. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think we astronomers have a lot to be thankful for. Especially our ability to play with fun equipment and see God's handiwork. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bob Schilling


Finally :)

I was waiting for a long time for this review!

Now stays only one thing to compare: objects on limited scale of visibility at given time!!!

Please do it!!!


Really don't need to wait for the results. The Siebert's will win hands down due to the larger prisms and increased light throughput. Also, the ability to use 2" eyepieces such as TV 20mm Nagler Type 5's or 22mm Nagler Type 4's. The Siebert's have the advantage when it comes to dim/large nebula/galaxies just by the physics of the situation. Bob

#5 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:33 AM

I thought hard about reporting these results because in some ways, the Siebert Elites are almost unobtainiuum. Harry handmakes these binoviewers and only is able to find enough time to make about 4 pair a year. He remarked that with the exception of the screws, he makes just about everthing on them and they are very labor intensive. I was very fortunate to get this 2009 pair from the second owner who wanted to use his astro bucks for something else.

Harry has remarked that the real benefits of the Elites over other BV's is their ability to use 2" ep's such as his 36mm Observatory Grade ep's, 22mm Naglers for those with wider IPD's or 20mm Nagler Type 5's for folks like myself with narrow IPD's.

Harry had remarked in conversation that he thought that the Elites and the Mark V's would likely be comparable with something like 24mm Pans. Surprisingly, last night did not confirm this and gave the nod to the Elites. Someone who owns a Mark V asked if the Elites were worth changing from their Mark V's. I told this person that the wait is long (generlly 2+ years of a wait list) and they are substantially larger but not necessarily heavier BV's. The CA issues experienced last night with the Mark V's along with the less critical need for eye placement with the Elites has definetly won me over. I can see that both BV's will have application specific roles and both are very treasured in the lineup.

#6 RAKing

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:27 AM

Bob,

Good review and I'll take your word on the results. I have a prism diagonal with my Mark V and I'm not sure that would make any difference. I also have eye issues with my right eye and this is the major reason I blow hot and cold with my BVs. As much as I would love to try a pair of Sieberts, it's probably not going to happen. Those who have them should be thankful indeed. :)

Thanks again and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Ron

#7 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:32 AM

Bob,

Good review and I'll take your word on the results. I have a prism diagonal with my Mark V and I'm not sure that would make any difference. I also have eye issues with my right eye and this is the major reason I blow hot and cold with my BVs. As much as I would love to try a pair of Sieberts, it's probably not going to happen. Those who have them should be thankful indeed. :)

Thanks again and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Ron


Ron, I talked with Bob Luffel of Alpine Astro about the differences between the prism diagonal and the mirror diagonal and he said that the prism adds a few percent in terms of resolving capability over the mirrored diagonal. Bob

#8 RCMann

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:47 AM

Hey Bob,

Do your Mk Vs use a prism or mirror diagonal? You may have mentioned it but if so I missed it, sorry. I was also thinking about pulling the trigger on those 45s but decided not to since my Mk Vs with the prism are just so good with the Pan 24s. Thanks for the review! Rod

#9 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hey Bob,

Do your Mk Vs use a prism or mirror diagonal? You may have mentioned it but if so I missed it, sorry. I was also thinking about pulling the trigger on those 45s but decided not to since my Mk Vs with the prism are just so good with the Pan 24s. Thanks for the review! Rod


Rod I use the mirror diagonal on the Mark V's but am very tempted to get the prism diagnonal to tease out that last few percent of view.

#10 denis0007dl

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

I assume that many people want to see your Siebert 45mm bino ans MkV if you have them close to take some pictures :)

#11 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

Picture 1 of 4. The Siebert's weigh the SAME as the Baader's. Both about 2 pounds on my home scale. The Sieberts are about 180mm in total length and the Baader's are about 155mm.

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#12 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

Pic 2

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#13 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

Pic 3 BV's on their back.

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#14 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Pic 4 Glatter 2"-1.25" Parallizers that are used in the self centering Siebert 2" ep holders and also accurately center 1.25" ep's. Harry was made aware of this upgrade I did to the 1.25" adapters over the delrin adapters he supplies with the BV's. He said he may end up buying these and passing along the small added cost because they work so well.

i Denis, This is the end of show-and-tell :lol: If you want more information, go buy a pair and play with them. I am glad you pushed me to do this comparo. I was frankly surprised at how well the Siebert's performed against the Baader's. However, I have other projects that are begging to be attended to and will now shift my short attention span. Bob

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#15 eastwd

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

Bob, thanks very much for this writeup. I've been on Harry's wait list for the Siebert Elite 45s since October 2011 and am looking forward to doing my own comparison with my Mark Vs using my APO. Thanks for the photos. A photo of your Elite bino with the Multi-Mag installed would really be welcome.

In the discussion above, you guys talk about using a prism diagonal with the Mark Vs. I'm curious about using a prism diagonal with the Siebert 45s. Based on the photos on Harry's website, I don't see how the Elite 45s could work with a prism diagonal, as it would seem the long Multi-Mag would bang against the flat piece of glass that's on the eyepiece side in front of the prism before you could get the OCA assembly screwed in. See Pics 11 and 12 on this link to Harry's website to see what I'm talking about:

Link to Siebert website

I'm very curious about this, because a prism diagonal could help reduce the required backfocus for the Siebert 45s that can be an issue with some scopes and maybe improve resolution a little. I have a 2" Baader prism diagonal but don't know that it would be useable with the Siebert 45. Bob, how long is the OCA with the 1.3x element installed?

Larry

#16 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

Larry, The 1.3x-2.7x OCA in the refractor mode adds 50mm to the length of the system in the 2x mode and would add a couple of more millimeters in the 2.7x mode. I do not see how you could use a prism because the OCA is designed in part to go into a conventional mirror diagonal.

The very neat thing about Siebert's OCA is that it works for both refractors and reflectors. Harry being the brilliant optician that he is, built in coma correction when the OCA is in the reflector configuration and a couple of weeks ago, I tested the Siebert's in a 30" f/3.66 reflector for most of an entire night up against a pair of TV BinoVues and the Siebert's with the Siebert 36mm Observatory ep's showed star fields that were essentially pinpoint to the edge without the use of an additional coma corrector. I have a pair of 20mm Nagler Type 5's headed my way that Harry suggested will work well for a pinhead like myself (he didn't actually use that perjorative self-described term). Larry, BTW, you are a very lucky person to be on the short list for these. The wait will prove to be worth it. Harry builds in some safeguards that keep the prisms extremely secure in the BV and the BV's reportedly do not go out of alignment. Harry of course offers free lifetime collimation of any of his BV's if you pay roundtrip shipping which is extraordinary customer service and not matched by any other binoviewer manufacturer that I know of? Especially when you buy them used as I have done.

#17 eastwd

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

I think you're right, Bob. I also see that I was confused about the photos on that web page. :p I was thinking the OCA stayed screwed onto the Siebert BV as shown in Pic B near the top of the page, and that the whole massive thing, binoviewer with OCS sticking out the bottom, somehow fit into the diagonal. A closer look at Pic 11 in the link above shows the OCA screwing into the scope end of the diagonal. I suppose if you had oodles of backfocus to work with, you could screw a 2" extension ring onto the scope side of a prism diagonal to keep the OCA from contacting the glass on the scope side of the diagonal. Anyway, I've taken this thread far enough into the weeds. Thanks again, Bob. Great review! Can't wait to have my own someday.

#18 denis0007dl

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

Pic 4 Glatter 2"-1.25" Parallizers that are used in the self centering Siebert 2" ep holders and also accurately center 1.25" ep's. Harry was made aware of this upgrade I did to the 1.25" adapters over the delrin adapters he supplies with the BV's. He said he may end up buying these and passing along the small added cost because they work so well.

i Denis, This is the end of show-and-tell :lol: If you want more information, go buy a pair and play with them. I am glad you pushed me to do this comparo. I was frankly surprised at how well the Siebert's performed against the Baader's. However, I have other projects that are begging to be attended to and will now shift my short attention span. Bob


Thanxs, this is not just answer for me, but also other people which dont have time to ask, compare...and peoples in future that will read this thread!

#19 winterprillan

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

Hi Bob, Great thread! I have actually thought about order the elite 45 one day in the future.
I just wondering if you know how large the front optic is of the oca you using. If it´s small, won´t the aperture be wasted in a fast scope like F3,6 because the lightcone from the sec would vignette. Wouldn´t it be better to use the denks with the 45mm ocs?

#20 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:29 PM

Larry, One last shot of the BV's with the OCA in the 2x refractor mode. Winter, Harry and I had a discussion about that exact same thing. It turns out that optically, Harry advised that 28mm for the OCA is the optimum diameter from a raytrace standpoint and that if you go wider, you reportedly introduce a bunch of abberations of which kind I am not sure? Harry advised that the compromise is necessary to get the cleanest results and the proof is in the views. He did advise that some vignetting is going to occur due to the physical limitations of the light's path.

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#21 Scott99

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

Great report! and good luck with your upcoming surgery.

I got to use a friend's 2-inch Siebert BV when they first came out and I liked it right away. I like the way he builds things lightweight, and the views with the 36mm Observatory ep's were amazing. Many great 3-D views of the large galaxies and other big DSO's. The bottom-line review on these is (IMO of course), if you think you'd enjoy 2-inch BV views, go for it. This is a very high quality optical item.

I decided to go with Mark V's for myself, mainly because I only BV for high-powered planetary, I have no need for 2-inch.

#22 Bob S.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:50 PM

Astro Buds, Not trusting my initial impressions, I had to go out tonight with a bit better seeing and see if I got different results with the Siebert's and the Baader's. The answer is that there was no significant difference in findings tonight from last night. However, when I put the Baader's in my 12.5" f/5 Newtonian with a 1.7x GPC coupled with a Baader 1.7x Newtonian Coma Corrector, the CA was significantly less on the limb of the Moon and things appeared to have a somewhat darker background. I don't know if the mirror diagonal of the Baaders is inducing some kind of chromatic abberations but I could definetly see it more in my refractor than my reflector where the Baader diagonal was not utilized. I do not know much about optical theory and cannot hazard a guess as to why the Baaders are performing differently with and without the Baader diagonal? Anyway, more fine views of the Moon and now Jupiter and the GRS and multiple ovals that came into view about 1.5 hours ago. Jupiter has been fun to look at with both BV's in two different kinds of scopes.

#23 RAKing

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

If I had to hazard a guess, I would look at that 1.7x Newtonian Coma Corrector for some of your extra correction. I used to own one and it worked great with my Mark V binos - but I am more of a double star/DSO guy and I avoid looking at the moon as much as possible. :)

Owning one set of super binos is great; owning two must be even better. :bow:

Cheers,

Ron

#24 Bob S.

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

Hooray, I got my 2" TV 20mm Nagler Type 5's in today and Harry Siebert was right on the money. No problems with IPD issues and they are so narrow that you can fully close the split between the BV pairs that makes it 55mm. I tried them just looking through the glass in the BV's and I only have about 1.5mm of extra IPD that I can play with. I now have every ep I will ever need for any project I can think of... and then some :o

#25 faackanders2

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

I wonder if 20mm 100 AFOV explore scientifics would work in 2" binoviewers? Just curious since I don't have them, but the eyepieces are at their lowest $299 sale yet.






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