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best binocular for viewing milky way

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#1 ThomasM

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 06:53 AM

What is the best binocular for viewing the milky way, the overall structure with star and dark clouds from a dark site ( 21.5 mag/arcsec^2) ?

I am presently considering the Nikon Action EX 7x35 with 9.3 degree FOV or 8x40 with 8 degree FOV, the Kowa 6x30 with 8 degree FOV seems to be to narrow (48 degree AFOV).

with many thanks in advance

Thomas

#2 Erik Bakker

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:05 AM

Both Nikons should do fine, but you may find the 9.3 degrees of the 7x easier for the larger objects.

I use 7x42's with an 8.6 degree field for Milky Way cruising and find it much better than the 8x binos I also had. With the 9,3 degrees you will be able to see context and asterisms much better than with the 8 degree field. Anything bigger than ca. 8.5 degrees will do very well for your intended viewing.

#3 bumm

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:13 AM

I picked up a pair of Nikon's Aculon 7x35's with the 9.3 degree FOV. Very good for the money, and GREAT for wide field views of the Milky Way!
Marty

#4 KennyJ

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

For me it's definitely a case of a preference for seeing the woods rather than the trees, but not at the expense of poor edge performance ruining the experience.

My most enjoyable views have been through Zeiss 7x42 with 8.6 degree TFOV, laying flat on a poolside lounger for a couple of hours either side of midnight in the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Kenny

#5 hallelujah

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:27 AM

I am presently considering the Nikon Action EX 7x35 with 9.3 degree FOV...

Thomas


I'd cast my vote for the Nikon AE 7x35 9.3* FOV. :like:

Stan

#6 TomCorbett

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:15 PM

Nikon 7x35


#7 Simon S

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:42 PM

A wide 8x40. May I suggest a Swift Saratoga MkII

#8 Erik Bakker

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

Kenny,

Some of your past endorsements for your 7x42 Dialyts contributed to me embarking on the same route. Absolutely wonderful experience cruising the Milky Way with my Zeiss FL 7x42's. Tried to find a nice pair of the Dialyt version but did not succeed, so settled on the new Victory FL's after a few months. Delightful binos. Such an involving, bright relaxing view. Unsurpassed for the MilkyWay!

#9 Mark9473

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:23 PM

I have a pair of those Nikon 7x35 but they're not my first choice for viewing the Milky Way's bright and dark nebulosity. Of the binoculars I have, I actually get the best views with my 15x60. More detail, better contrast, you get the picture.

If I had regular access to pristine skies I would own a pair of 10.5x70 for this particular purpose. I had a 7x50 in the past and for viewing dark nebulosity, the large exit pupil does deliver quality views. I would not go both to a smaller exit pupil and to a smaller aperture.

#10 faackanders2

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:58 PM

What is the best binocular for viewing the milky way, the overall structure with star and dark clouds from a dark site ( 21.5 mag/arcsec^2) ?

I am presently considering the Nikon Action EX 7x35 with 9.3 degree FOV or 8x40 with 8 degree FOV, the Kowa 6x30 with 8 degree FOV seems to be to narrow (48 degree AFOV).

with many thanks in advance

Thomas


For panning the milkyway in general I like the blue planet 2.3x40 Galilean opera glasses (advertised 28 deg TFOV and near zero eye relief). 2nd choice 7x40 Orion UW 14 deg FOV. Neither are made in the US anymore. Vixen Ascot 8x50mm UW are pretty god too for handholding.

#11 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

What is the best binocular for viewing the milky way, the overall structure with star and dark clouds from a dark site ( 21.5 mag/arcsec^2) ?

I am presently considering the Nikon Action EX 7x35 with 9.3 degree FOV or 8x40 with 8 degree FOV, the Kowa 6x30 with 8 degree FOV seems to be to narrow (48 degree AFOV).

with many thanks in advance

Thomas


For panning the milkyway in general I like the blue planet 2.3x40 Galilean opera glasses (advertised 28 deg TFOV and near zero eye relief). 2nd choice 7x40 Orion UW 14 deg FOV. Neither are made in the US anymore. Vixen Ascot 8x50mm UW are pretty god too for handholding.

I have the 7x32 Orion Expanse with 14 deg FOV but did not know there was a 7x40 version made in the US . When were they made in the US ?

#12 davidmcgo

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 04:39 PM

I agree with Mark, a really great view with a 10x70! I have the Nikon 10x70 6.5 degree field and it is absolutely immersive for sweeping the Milky Way and a lot of dark nebula like Barnard's "E" near Altair just pop in these and the area just off the spout of Sagittarius' teapot is amazingly textured.

Way more impressive than my 9.3 degree Nikon 7x35 or Celestron 7x50 Nova.

Dave

#13 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

As can be divined, there is no one perfect binocular. For any task. Ask 10 people and you'll get at least 9 different recommendations. And any one person's tastes are almost guaranteed to evolve, too!

For the Milky Way, the widest field at the selected magnification is desirable. You must first decide what magnification and exit pupil you like. The aperture follows.

For a first bino for this task, 7-8X will serve well. Personally, I'm quite happy to suffer soft imagery toward the field edge if it buys me more field of view. My argument? If for a wide angle bino the central 50 degrees is as good as that for a narrower field bino, that extra outer field, even if aberrated, is a bonus! After all, with a hand held instrument you have no need to gaze toward the field edge. Let your lower resolution, highly sensitive outer retina utilize the outer field.

For such a vast object as the milky way, you'll appreciate a large apparent field.

#14 bumm

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 06:24 PM

I have a pair of those Nikon 7x35 but they're not my first choice for viewing the Milky Way's bright and dark nebulosity. Of the binoculars I have, I actually get the best views with my 15x60. More detail, better contrast, you get the picture.

If I had regular access to pristine skies I would own a pair of 10.5x70 for this particular purpose. I had a 7x50 in the past and for viewing dark nebulosity, the large exit pupil does deliver quality views. I would not go both to a smaller exit pupil and to a smaller aperture.


I have a pair of 11x80's that are by far the best binocs I have for deep sky viewing, but for wide field views of the Milky Way, my little Nikon 7x35's do better. Different tools for different jobs...
Marty

#15 SMark

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

For the Milky Way, the widest field at the selected magnification is desirable. You must first decide what magnification and exit pupil you like. The aperture follows.

For a first bino for this task, 7-8X will serve well. Personally, I'm quite happy to suffer soft imagery toward the field edge if it buys me more field of view. My argument? If for a wide angle bino the central 50 degrees is as good as that for a narrower field bino, that extra outer field, even if aberrated, is a bonus! After all, with a hand held instrument you have no need to gaze toward the field edge. Let your lower resolution, highly sensitive outer retina utilize the outer field.

For such a vast object as the milky way, you'll appreciate a large apparent field.


:waytogo:

I couldn't agree more. Though I'm still looking for the "perfect night sky scanning" binocular. I've always been partial to my Super-Wide 7x35s, but recently I've purchased 3 Super-Wide angle 7x50s just to see what they might do for me (other than add weight!)

#16 Grimnir

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:09 AM

Glenn,

If for a wide angle bino the central 50 degrees is as good as that for a narrower field bino, that extra outer field, even if aberrated, is a bonus!

For such a vast object as the milky way, you'll appreciate a large apparent field.


I completely agree and I don't understand how anyone can disagree.

An aberrated field is better than none at all.

It's a complete no-brainer.

Graham

#17 KennyJ

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:26 AM

If an aberrations of the outer field were preferable to no field at all, then why do manufacturers even bother to do anything about rectifying them?

One would that thought a great portion of the considerable price of the more exotic eyepieces from TeleVue was precisely due to the minimisation of such.

Kenny

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:12 AM

I completely agree and I don't understand how anyone can disagree.

An aberrated field is better than none at all.

It's a complete no-brainer.

Graham



But.. smaller, fewer aberrations are better than bigger, greater aberrations.

My own thinking is that there is no one best binocular, best scope, for viewing the Milky Way. The Milky Way has many scales, there are large scale details that may not be visible in a 1.6 degree TFoV but there are somewhat smaller scale details that will be visible in that 12 inch scope with the 1.6 degree TFoV but not seen in a pair of binoculars with a 9 degree TFoV.

For a given true field of view, the highest magnification, largest exit pupil is best... This translates into the largest aperture with the widest AFoV. Mel Bartel's 13 inch scope is F/3.3 and with a Paracorr and a 21mm Ethos provides a 1.9 degree TFoV.

Jon

#19 Grimnir

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:27 AM

Kenny,

If an aberrations of the outer field were preferable to no field at all, then why do manufacturers even bother to do anything about rectifying them?


Because it's better to have an aberration-free outer field than an aberrated outer field.

Given the choice of an aberrated outer field or no outer field at all I would take the aberrated outer field every time. Wouldn't you?

Graham

#20 JustaBoy

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:36 AM

No - I think that it's really Ugly.
-Chuck

#21 edwincjones

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 06:45 AM

there is no" best" for the milky way

I prefer naked eye for seeing the forest instead of the trees,
my 13 degree 5x32 miyauchis come next
for the trees bigger is better

depends on the whole item or individual DSOs

edj

#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:41 AM

Given the choice of an aberrated outer field or no outer field at all I would take the aberrated outer field every time. Wouldn't you?

Graham



Graham:

Not really.. there is a point at which the edge aberrations become distracting, when a bright star is such a mess that it bears no resemblance to a round point or dot, when a brighter field star is obviously astigmatic and a dim field star disappears.

These extreme widefields are the result of short focal length objectives and most often simple eyepiece designs pushed to the limit so in the outer field you have the combination of astigmatism from the eyepiece and field curvature from the objective.

My calculation for the field curvature at the edge of a pair of 7x35s with a 10 degree TFoV is 1.6mm, that's based on an F/4 objective. At F/4 this means the blur is 0.4mm at the focal plane and will be magnified 7x... And we are not using Naglers here to handle the astigmatism.

There is a point where I find a narrower field of view is preferable. In this situation, since the aperture and field of view are open, I generally choose a somewhat larger binocular that is better corrected, probably due to a smaller amount of field curvature over an ulta wide field design.

The larger binocular can have the same generous AFoV but reduced aberrations.

Jon

#23 bumm

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:54 AM

I simply couldn't afford extremely wide angle binos with a perfectly flat field. Given that reality, I love my cheaper wide angle 7x35's. Would a perfectly flat field be better? Sure, but the SLIGHTLY distorted field is much better than nothing.
Marty

#24 John_G

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:34 AM

What is the best binocular for viewing the milky way, the overall structure with star and dark clouds from a dark site ( 21.5 mag/arcsec^2) ?

with many thanks in advance

Thomas


For scanning activities from a very dark site I like my 8x40s to see structure. The variety of shades and patterns of dark and bright nebula seem to really stand out. They feel good in the hand, they're a comfortable weight and give me a nice and steady view.

#25 Andresin150

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:49 AM

I like "perfect" images and really wide AFovs. Regardless magnification, my three preferred binoculars give me that, the Docters giving considerably more Afov at the expense of aperture...
Mounted not very portable: Fujinon 40x150ED
Mounted but portable: Docter Aspectem 40x80ED
Handheld: Swarovision 8x32 and SW 10x42EL

For what I've read, the Kowa Prominar 32x82 softness in the edge is not distracting, so they may well be also in the second cathegory (soon), but really distorted edges are unacceptable to me... I'm in the smaller group that would choose a near perfect edge/small Afov over the opposite.






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