Jump to content


Photo

Choosing a 20x (minimum) astronomy binocular.

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 dunk1947

dunk1947

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Peterborough UK

Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

After checking various reviews I've almost decided to buy a Kowa High Lander Prominar with 21x and 32x eyepieces. I tried the Kowa at the UK Birdfair 2012 and was impressed. I have checked reviews of alternative 20x optics including Nikon, Zeiss and Myauchi and have ruled out the Fujinon 25x150 because of its bulk. One favourable UK published review is for the Leviathan http://www.monkoptic...100-review.html but I cannot find any reviews of same on Cloudy Nights forums. Is the Leviathan distributed under another brand name in the USA?

Best wishes

dunk

#2 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4122
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada, USA

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

The Monk Leviathan looks a lot like the Oberwerk BT100-45 sold here in the USA.

It's no lightweight at 26 lbs. but it has a number of satisfied users here on CN. It accepts just about any 1-1/4" telescope eyepieces without problems.

If weight is a problem, the Miyauchi-clone Garrett MKII binocular telescope is another option.

Rich

#3 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

You'll hardly find something better than the Kowa. The only competitor is the Docter 40x80ed (I'd rule out the other Docters...).
The pros of the Kowa are the angled interchangeable eps, the Docters pros are the incredible AFov and sharp to the edge optics..
Both have an advantage in portability too.
I've used many binoculars like the Oberwerk 45/100 and the difference in optics is evident altough I have not tried premium eps in those... Those are not really portable setups. You wont regret buying either the Kowa or the Docter and you probably save a lot of money buying many optics to end finally buying one of those...

#4 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

Andresin150...

What model is the 22x85 you have in your signature?

Thanks.

#5 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

A BA8 I imported directly, but the same as the garret or the Apm...
Of that series, and having reviewing 10 units of each one (just the hig mag models), I think that one is the best of them, and curiously the most difficult to sell.
The Docters are simply in another category and in my opinion worth their price...

#6 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

Also, now that I think of it, I dont remember any other line of binoculars with 85mm objectives, and IIRC only the russian a had a 110mm model, but in a very different design...

#7 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

Andresin150...

Thanks. Please show us some more pictures sometime.

#8 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

I will Bob :) not today but I will. ;)

#9 Space Dragon

Space Dragon

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 99
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scotland UK

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

The Monk Optics Leviathan is the same generic Bino as the Oberwerk/Helios Quantum 7.4 [in the UK]......only at a considerably higher price.
They claim to provide a better customer service than other UK distributers but personally I think they're just trying it on.
As said, you probably won't find better than the Kowa or the Docters but I can highly recommend 45º EPs unless you consider putting some straight through bins on a parallelogram mount.
If you get a chance to try out the Helios Quantum 7.4 in the UK, easier said than done, as most places don't keep them in stock, they are up to a standard and the ability to use your own 1.25" EPs is a plus. The 24mm Panoptics go well in these.
Weight and portability may be a consideration as well.
The problem with choosing between these big astro bins is ever getting a chance to compare them side by side under the same sky.
Whichever of these you choose, they will give you some stunning views.
Regards
Duncan

#10 dunk1947

dunk1947

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Peterborough UK

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

Thank you to everyone who has replied; you have given me more food for thought; I would not have considered the Docter 40x80ED because of the 2.0mm exit pupil - but will now check any reviews. The Helios Quantum 7.4 now requires further consideration especially as it is considerably cheaper than the Kowa Prominar. Decisions, decisions.

Best wishes

dunk

#11 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

Dunk,
I was skeptical too because of the 2mm exit pupil, but I was fortunate to test it before buying and my mind changed dramatically, the premium quality of its optics and the amazing EPs work excellent at that configuration.
For example, I wouldn't expect a similar performance of a BA8 at 42x85 if such configuration existed and would not be interested in them, and consider that the BA8 are superior than most giant binoculars in the market.
I've observed in 30x80 budget binoculars, and even that they provide a larger exit pupil than the Docters, the views simply cant be compared, the 30x80's even seem to have too much magnification for the aperture..
The Docters are in a class of their own, probably their only drawback are the straight eps for continuous astro use, if thats your main use the Kowas may be more comfortable but you'll have to give up the Ultra wide Fov and sharpness to the edge (which are amazing things, but not really necessary, at 32x 70deg AFov is still very good, and just forget staring at the edges...)

#12 dunk1947

dunk1947

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Peterborough UK

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

Thank you. I just read the Docter review http://translate.goo...it&ie=UTF-8&... ... thus another binocular requires serious consideration ... and is worthy of a Batman expletive commendation!

"Holy ----!!"

dunk

EDIT: Just spent 45 minutes trying to find Docter binocular stockists/dealers in UK ... only found one and no Docter observation binoculars listed anywhere ... so might have to import.

And there is very little mentioned on the Docter website ... no mention of the ED model. http://www.docter-ge...g-range-opti...

#13 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8886
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:13 AM

Another option is the 22x85 mentioned above. Teleskop Service in Germany still have these in stock: link

They sell the Docter 40x80 too BTW, but don't have it in stock.

APM is another source of the same two binoculars.

#14 dunk1947

dunk1947

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Peterborough UK

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:23 AM

Thank you ... UK dealers are missing out on sales if they do not import the Docter ED binocular.

Best wishes

dunk

#15 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

A couple pictures, AstrOptiKa 22x85 and Docter Aspectem 40x80ED UWA

Attached Files



#16 Andresin150

Andresin150

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:23 PM

Front...

Attached Files








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics