Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Review of Orion Binoviewer

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12482
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2003
  • Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W

Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

Review of Orion Binoviewer

By Tom Fowler

#2 Ed D

Ed D


  • *****
  • Posts: 3667
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

Tom, thanks for the review of the Orion BVs, which are typical of the good lower cost units available. I have an older Orion I picked up in the CN classifieds, and my friend Bill has a current production William Optic he got from Agena. There's no way I could ever go back to planetary and lunar observing in cyclops mode after using BVs for an extended period. Many times I have compared the views mono to bino and every time the bino view bests the single eyepiece in observed subtle detail.

Another plus to BVs is that observing the moon is no longer blinding. Now it is not only enjoyable, but I can see so much more detail. Also, for those of us that observe in urban or suburban settings the street and neighbor's lights can be a problem. I find that with the BV the problem is mostly history. Placing both eyes to the eyecups works wonders most of the time.

I only use Plossl eyepieces and don't really see any need for anything with a wider field of view. It's amazing how big the FOV seems when using both eyes. In mono mode planets seem to fly through the FOV fast at high mags. With Plossls at the same mags in the BV it sometimes seems like the planet just hangs in the center of the eyepiece as if the scope was tracking. It really has to be experienced to be believed.

I don't use the aluminum storage case that came with my BV. I found it to be a real PITA having to adjust my IPD and diopter adjustment every time because it shifted when putting the BV in the case. Instead, I bought a small tool box from Home Depot for $5 where I keep my BV, Plossls, barlows and filters.

Binoviewing, like everything else in this hobby, doesn't have to be so expensive. I'm sure your review answers a lot of questions and will help many who are thinking about getting into binovieweing.

Ed D

#3 Doc Willie

Doc Willie


  • *****
  • Posts: 2023
  • Joined: 31 Mar 2010
  • Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA

Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

I have one and added Siebert's eyepiece holders. He does several other upgrades on the binoculars, increasing the aperture, and collimating them, etc.

#4 jimandlaura26


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 260
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Northern VA

Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:01 PM


Great post! I agree with many of your observations, especially the benefit of two eyes on lunar & planetary objects (great on solar H-Alpha and white-light scopes too); the benefit of even modest quality and filed-of-view eyepieces; and the effectiveness of these and similar pedigree binoviewers. I have a pair of similar Stellarvue (slightly modified) binoviewers that do a great job. :jump: Thanks for writing the article.

#5 timmbottoni


    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1850
  • Joined: 25 Aug 2005
  • Loc: W Chicago suburbs, IL USA

Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:32 PM

Thanks for the review and pictures! It was very informative, and its good to know that these are a decent product for the money. I like seeing reviews of products that aren't the ultra high end, super expensive things the most.


#6 Rachal


    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2009
  • Loc: Alexandria LA

Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:49 PM

Tom, Are these binoviewers perfectly collimated? It's my understanding that the Chinese binoviewers are not able to be collimated by the user.

#7 David Knisely

David Knisely


  • *****
  • Posts: 16576
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2004
  • Loc: southeastern Nebraska

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:13 AM

It appears that Orion is no longer offering the binoviewer for sale.

#8 Doug Michel

Doug Michel

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 273
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Lincoln, NE

Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

Yes I went to several retailers to see how much these cost and I could not find any for sale. Binoviewers are on the top of my wish list (along with the necessary copies of my eyepieces)

#9 jgraham



  • *****
  • Posts: 15667
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:40 PM

Few binoviewers are designed to be collimated by the user and these are no exception... unless you are brave. I once knocked my Orion binoviewers out of alignment when I dropped them onto concrete. I opened them up to find the that the prisms are held in place with a set of screws that hold the edge faces. They were aligned at the factory, and then locked in place with a ceramic cement. I was able to carefully nudge the prism that I had knocked out of place back into position and set it with a dab of hot-melt glue. Voila! Good as new.

These were the best investment I've made. They completely eliminate eye strain. To keep the cost and weight down on mine I bought pairs of Orion Explorer II eyepieces. They work great!

Thanks for the review!

#10 orion61


    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6424
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk

Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:29 PM

Great review..
if they dont offer them any longer the Celestrons or Arcturus (which I have) should be about the same i'm happy with mine and a buddy is happy with his Celestrons..
try the trick of useing different color filters in each eyepiece to really make the 3D effect POP, I use a lighter and yellow/green combo, or 80A and 38-A
thanks for the review

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics