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What is your opinion of Orion's "Explorer" 25X100

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#1 tomcat141

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hello, Newbie here, although I have had a Zhumell 10" dob for a while now. I now have in my possesion a pair of Orion 25X100 "Explorer" binoculars. I understand these have been replaced by the "Giant view" 25 X100's.

I think these Explorers are a steal, but want to know how they compare to the newer Giant view series offered now. I would also like to know how they compare to other offerings of current models of Garrett, Oberwerk and others in the $300 range.

These appear to be in good condition and come with the Orion Paragon tripod and the hard case for the binos. I have only looked through them at terrestrial objects thus far, and the views appear sharp to my old eyes. I am able to view while using my glasses if I press them against the folded eyepiece cup.

Any thoughts, experiences or opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Tom

#2 Man in a Tub

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:53 PM

Littlegreenman is a member who is very knowledgeable and experienced with older giant binoculars. If he doesn't catch your post, I recommend that you send him a private message.

Clear skies to you,

#3 tomcat141

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:59 PM

Thank you Todd. I am hoping to see some relatively clear skies tonight for a first light test, but living in Ohio it is iffy at best :(

#4 tomcat141

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

Well, as I expected, last night was not a good night for observing. I did try out the binos for an hour or so. The views of the moon were good. Everything looked sharp to me. There was no alignment problems between the two barrels and both seemed to focus equally well. The glass is clean, with no signs of fungus. There are a few cosmetic marks on the rubberized coating of the barrels where they have contacted the quick release plate when the IPD was adjusted to minimum.

I was able to use my eyeglasses while observing and everything was visible up to the field stop (if that is correct terminology).

There was some slight color fringing at the edges of the moon (some green showed), but again not excessive IMO.

When observing stars, I was pleasantly able to get pinpoint focus on the central 60-70% of the field. After that, things got progressively worse, although I did not find it bothersome for the most part. Views were still enjoyable to my inexperienced eyes.

I found the Paragon Plus tripod to be a little short when looking near the zenith, and I am not tall (5'8"). Today, I made a riser to add to the center column and also changed out the Orion head with a Manfrotto fluid head left over from my camcorder days many moons ago. :D

Bottom line, I am happy :jump: :jump: with the intended purchase from my friend who has owned the binos for a few years and not used them. I am still amazed at the size of the binos, and am still getting used to handling them. They are heavy :shocked:.

Thanks for looking.

#5 Jarrod

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:55 AM

Be careful with the center column on the Paragon tripod. It has a tendency to fall down if you lose your grip on the hand crank while the column is unlocked. Especially with a 10lb load. That's my only complaint about an otherwise adequate unit. My D&S Provista18 is better in this and just about every other regard, so the Paragon is reserved for holding the matching parallelogram unit (which is not appropriate for 25x100s - those are way too heavy).

I have the Zhumell 25x100 which is essentially the same bino as the Orion. My experience has been about like you describe. I'm happy with the views, and they are sharp out to 60%. I don't see a lot of CA, even when viewing the full moon. However, treat them with kid gloves because if the prism mounts on the Orions are the same as the ones on the Zhumell, they are prone to being knocked out of alignment. Pretty easy to adjust, but inconvenient. You have been warned!

#6 tomcat141

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:43 PM

Thanks Jarrod. I am aware of the center column on the Paragon tripod. You can increase the drag on the center column, which might slow the fall, by turning the outer tube of the center column. Not sure if all were made that way or not.

I would like very much to find information on adjusting the prisms should the need arrive. I have not yet searched for anything repair related. Is there a link you could share telling how to adjust the prisms or barrel alignment?

My pair is approx 8 yrs old according to my friend from whom I am purchasing them.

#7 Jarrod

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:44 PM

Thanks for the tip on the elevator friction on the paragon tripod. I hadn't noticed that and it does help.

This appears to be the most authoritative article on aligning binocular images with adjustments to the prism mounts:
http://www.cloudynig...php?item_id=416

My experience with the Zhumell is documented here:
http://www.cloudynig...d=binoculars...

#8 tomcat141

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:20 AM

Hi Jarrod. Thank you for the links on collimating binoculars. I feel like an expert already :lol: :lol:. I have an old cheap pair of 10X50's to experiment with, and they do have problems. I found the collimating screws and am curious to try my hand.

Happy to help with the friction adjustment tip.






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