Maxbrights or cheaper Chinese?
Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:26 PM
Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:56 PM
Short light path diagonals, almost unlimited adapters and a way to go from native fl to 2.6X (or more) fl, with the shortest light path in the industry. Hard to beat that versatility !
Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:03 PM
First, the quality of the Maxbrights is excellent. I had a pair of Denk Standards, and to me, the Maxbrights were at least as good, and maybe even a bit better. Frankly, I have a pair of Mark Vs now and from an absolute performance standpoint, they seem very close to me.
Not that the less expensive ones may not be as good, but I think the Baaders are what they say that they are, which is an excellent quality binoviewer.
But here is what makes the Baader a bit more expensive but a whole lot better than many of the low cost binos.
The Baader system allows for the shortest possible light path of any binoviewer on the market when used with the Baader T2 Prism diagonal.
Now this might not matter for some scopes, but with SCTs and refractors, keeping the light path as short as possible is indeed very important.
And for refractors, it is perhaps the most important thing you can look for. The shorter the light path, the more likely that a refractor will reach focus with a binoveiwer.
The entire Maxbright/T2 Standard Prism only requires about 160mm of back focus. Some refractors have this, though most don't.
But if it won't reach focus with the Maxbright, it won't reach focus with anything else on the market.
And this is where the Maxbright shines. For most other binos, if you can't reach focus, you will need to use a Barlow, and this will usually add much more than 2x magnification. This is because the magnification of a barlow depends on how far ahead of the focal plane it is placed, and for most binos, this means that it will be at least 140mm or perhaps more in front of the focal plane. This can cause a barlow to work a 3x meaning that you are basically locked into high powers.
But the Maxbright can be ordered with different power Glass Path Adapters, and this allows you to ensure that you can get the lowest power possible out of your telescope.
For example, my 6" refractor could not reach focus even with the Maxbright T2, but with the 1.3x GPC placed in front of the diagonal, (working at about 1.44x) the unit did reach focus. This is a lot better than using a 2X Barlow.
And this is one of the great strengths of the Baader system. The Maxbright with T2 diagonal gives the best chance possible of reaching focus, but if you can't, it will give you the lowest power chance that you are going to get form a standard binoviewer.
For SCTs or MCTs, it is unlikley that you will ever find a situation where you can't reach focus, but the short light path of the Baader/T2 means that you will still have the shorest possible focal length, and once again, this means the lowest possible power.
If you don't intend to use the Baader System (the T2 standard prism) and instead plan on just using it in a regular diagonal, the advantage may not be as great, but just based on quality, I think that the Baaders are clearly in the high end arena. I have been using the Maxbrights for planetary observing for a while now, and they have been truely excellent.
I have become a Maxbright champion, but much of that is based on my perception Baader has a great system that may cost a little more, but delivers superb performance and has a huge variety of potential configurations.
I sold my Maxbrights, but only to move to a Mark V, and it was the Baader system approach that got me there.
My prediction.... Everyone will eventually start to realize that Baader got it right, and will either start offering a Baader Prism Diagonal clone, or an adapter so that their binos will work with the Baader Prism.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:02 PM
Since I have always had issues w/merging bino images, I think that would be the strong suit of the Maxbrights for me--they allow EP adjustments.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:52 PM
Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:45 PM
My recommendation is simple.. Just start a new thread and ask that specific question "Will Maxbright/T2 reach focus in a Lunt scope?"
My guess is that given a week for everyone to see it (the binoviewer forums moves slower than most other forums) you will get your answer.
Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:32 PM
Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:46 PM
And I can say this. I have owned three binos in the last year.. The Denk Standards, the Maxbrights, and now the Mark Vs. I would say that the views in all of them have been quite excellent. If there was any variation in quality, it was not easy to see.
So, among these units, I would say there was no significant difference in the view, which would seem to say that the Maxbrights are built to quality levels similar to these others.
I have not used any of the inexpensive units, but reports tend to usually be quite positive. I would doubt that there would be a significantly better view in the Maxbrights, but that is a very subjective term (Significant, I mean).
Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:55 PM
What about optical quality is it significantly better than the chinese clones or is it in the mechanics and options that it is better?
I had once oportunity and see, test and open at once maxbrights, TS binos and WO binos, and all what I can tell is: all of them have 100% same prisms (24,5mm), all are 100% indenticall optically, and WO looks nicer to me, Maxbrights has best collimation screws system, but eyepieces holders are best on TS (Celestron or Orion) binos
and they are deffinetly BEST value for money!
WO needs less back focus than others, and Maxbrights has more adapters to use!
If I need to chose one of them, it would be TS (Celestron or Orion binos), but now I had Mark V which is optically and mechanically better than any of above!