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Faith_J
Sketcher Extraordinaire


Reged: 11/17/04
Posts: 5830
Loc: South coast of England
Sketching using small binoculars
      #3046627 - 04/16/09 07:26 AM

Has anyone ever tried sketching when observing with just a small pair of binoculars, such as 8x40s? I'm curious as I'm off to Australia next week and, because of air travel restrictions, I'm taking just my 8x42s with me.

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Visual deep sky

18" f4.3 dob
7.9" f/4 Celestron Newtonian
8x42 binos
100% visual observing...


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Jeremy Perez
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/12/04
Posts: 2125
Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3047008 - 04/16/09 12:12 PM

Hi Faith, the smallest I've used for sketching are my crummy 10 x 50s. Some sketches I used a tripod, but others, I just went handheld and shuffled back and forth between holding them and making the drawing. The sketches are here: Binocular Sketches Look for the thumbnails that have the 10x50 below them...that should be the McNaught, SWAN, Virgo Cluster, Gamma Velorum and Conjunction sketches.

For travel, I'd be happy to have any binoculars on hand to make some sketches with or without a tripod.

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Orion SVP 6LT (6" f/8 Newt) || Orion XT8 (8" f/5.9 Dob) || 15x70 Oberwerk Binoculars || Coronado PST
The Belt Of Venus || Sketch Gallery || Sketching Resources || Drawn to the Universe Column


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Faith_J
Sketcher Extraordinaire


Reged: 11/17/04
Posts: 5830
Loc: South coast of England
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Jeremy Perez]
      #3047071 - 04/16/09 01:04 PM

Thanks Jeremy.

--------------------
Visual deep sky

18" f4.3 dob
7.9" f/4 Celestron Newtonian
8x42 binos
100% visual observing...


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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/01/04
Posts: 2166
Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3047094 - 04/16/09 01:19 PM

Hi Faith

I've used my 10X50s for doing a few sketches. I did a small project on how globular clusters appeared in them. I didn't show the whole FOV though, just the small association of stars around them. It was so some people could tell which out of focus dot was the cluster.

If you can take a tripod it will help.


Have fun on your trip.

Bill

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6'' Orion SkyQuest
f/5 12.5" Astrotel truss dob
f/3.3 20" Super FXQ Starmaster
William Optics 80mm ZenithStar ED II

1591/2500
Observing sessions grand total for 2012, 47.
So far in 2013, 7.


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Faith_J
Sketcher Extraordinaire


Reged: 11/17/04
Posts: 5830
Loc: South coast of England
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #3047267 - 04/16/09 02:42 PM

Thanks Bill. At least I now have some idea on how practical they'll be for sketching. I'm not taking a tripod as I'm backpacking and traveling as light as possible. I'll be doing a mixture of birding, photography and astronomy so it's not a dedicated astronomy trip.

--------------------
Visual deep sky

18" f4.3 dob
7.9" f/4 Celestron Newtonian
8x42 binos
100% visual observing...


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rodelaet
Post Laureate


Reged: 04/28/06
Posts: 3185
Loc: 5056' N - 458' E (Belgium)
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3047629 - 04/16/09 05:55 PM

Faith,

I'm confident that your 8x42 will do fine under dark skies.
Enjoy your time in Australia, and bring us some sketches, ok?

--------------------
Rony

'The Casual Sky Observer's Guide.'

My Astronomical Sketches

My Binocular Sketches

Callibrate your Monitor with this little strip.



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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy


Reged: 09/19/08
Posts: 2903
Loc: Utah
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: rodelaet]
      #3047718 - 04/16/09 06:44 PM

No, I haven't used anything other than my 10x50 but I do observe with my 7x35 and on some objects like some of the larger open clusters that might make an interesting project.

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Thanks,

Jay

My Observing Blog

My Sketches

Scopes: XT10, 14" Dobstuff Strut w/Zambuto,
EPs: Pentax XW's, a few ES, a couple of TV's and a few others

"I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit." Andrew Sullivan.


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Special Ed
Postmaster


Reged: 05/18/03
Posts: 6339
Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: JayinUT]
      #3048129 - 04/16/09 11:19 PM

Faith,

You should get some good views of those big southern hemisphere objects with your 8x42's. Bring back a sketch of Omega Centauri. Have a great trip.

--------------------

Michael Rosolina
Celestron CGE Pro 1400 f/11 SCT
1980 Orange Tube C8 f/10 SCT
4.25" f/4.2 Astroscan Reflector
50mm f/10 Galileoscope
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mwedel
Works with Sauropods


Reged: 12/16/07
Posts: 807
Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: JayinUT]
      #3048310 - 04/17/09 01:11 AM

Quote:

No, I haven't used anything other than my 10x50 but I do observe with my 7x35 and on some objects like some of the larger open clusters that might make an interesting project.




I just tried this for the first time last night, for the Astronomical League's Galileo Club. It was surprisingly fun, seeing how many stars I could scoop up with my 10x50s. The Pleiades and Praesepe were great, no surprises there, but I'll bet that under dark skies you could really have some fun. I'm stuck under the LA light dome.

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My club: Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers

My blog: 10 Minute Astronomy

Free logbooks for AL observing clubs

My skies:


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/06/05
Posts: 513
Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: mwedel]
      #3048367 - 04/17/09 02:31 AM

Faith, 10X50's are also the smallest binoculars I have used to sketch. I sketched Comet Holmes through the binoculars every time I also sketched it through my 20-inch dob. Some large objects look better through binos and thus the sketches should too.

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"My God, it's full of stars!"


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markseibold
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/19/08
Posts: 1493
Loc: Portland Oregon
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3048453 - 04/17/09 04:36 AM

Faith

This should be an interesting test for your binoculars. But I bet you will find someone there with a telescope. I have not checked my current charts for the southern skies constellations lately. When I was in Fiji, three trips for nearly over five months stay in late 2003 through late June 2004, I believe the famed Omega Centari globular was due south about 45 ~ 50 degrees on the starry dome at around 10 ~ 11 PM. It should be in the sky a little after midnight now? I took a new 10.1” Dobsonian aside from my h-alpha solar scope, a Nexstar 5i Cassegrain and 7 X 50 BAK4 binoculars and was enthralled. Omega Centari will be higher yet in Australia for you, further southern in latitude than Fiji. If you can see it for the first time through say an 8" or 10" reflector in dark skies, it is overwhelming. It is the angular size of the full moon and appears as if it has dimensional craters or strange voids in the central globular stars patterns. I agree with Special Ed; you should try to sketch the Omega Globular. Try to find the nearest Astronomy club and see this through a medium telescope. The multiple colors of the stars in the Eta Carina and Southern Cross region is something you will never forget; even in low powered binoculars. We see nothing like this in the northern hemisphere. Also the ecliptic will be way north and Saturn will appear as nearly overhead and slightly to the north on the dome. It will seem confusing at first for a northerner, as if the sky is backwards and upside-down. On my first trip below the equator, I had only an antique 5" Celestron Cassegrain. The tracking motor only ran for the northern skies, so the motor was in reverse for below the equator and thus I could not use the tracking. Also, I was not sketching then. My wife and I did meet many Australians and British vacationers as I allowed them to observe the sun through the h-alpha; I provided public sidewalk astronomy and also for schools, day and night.

Also 47 Tucani, in late October 2003 near the meridian at late eves appears with the naked eye as a bright 4th magnitude fuzzy star. It is perhaps the most densely compacted globular cluster in the entire sky and the brightest overall magnitude globular; especially in a telescopic view. I am not sure that it is visible this time of year. *Take a rotating Planisphere with the southern sky charts. They are available at many science shops and book stores. Or if time limits are no avail, find one in Australia.

Good luck on your trip. We will all look forward to your observing discoveries!

Mark

www.markseibold.com

My CN Sketch Gallery


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Faith_J
Sketcher Extraordinaire


Reged: 11/17/04
Posts: 5830
Loc: South coast of England
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: markseibold]
      #3048657 - 04/17/09 08:51 AM

Thanks everyone.

--------------------
Visual deep sky

18" f4.3 dob
7.9" f/4 Celestron Newtonian
8x42 binos
100% visual observing...


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rolandlinda3
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/24/06
Posts: 3140
Loc: Crozet VA 22932
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3050110 - 04/17/09 11:23 PM

Faith, we have done bunch of sketching with little teeny binoculars (down to 8x25s). If the sky is good, your 8x42s will be great. So your hiking....when on a break in the evening, lean up agains something, but a hiking stick at an angle so your feet hold it and your knees give it an angle...then let your binoculars rest on the end. If you have a little cross member at the top or a modified T handle or even a taped stick, then it makes looking within 45 degrees of the horizon much more steady for sketching. Enjoy your time. The outback is a wonderful place to observe. Remember that snakes like warmth...you are warm...Australia has more poisonous snake varieties than most continents. But don't let that stop you from seeing those great southern objects.

Roland

--------------------
Roland
Blog: www.rolandlinda3.wordpress.com
Older sketches in Members Galleries (rolandlinda3)
For other sketches/inspirational stories: contact me via PM for information


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Faith_J
Sketcher Extraordinaire


Reged: 11/17/04
Posts: 5830
Loc: South coast of England
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: rolandlinda3]
      #3050421 - 04/18/09 06:41 AM

Hi Roland,

many thanks for your advice. I'm taking a monopod rather than a tripod with me, to save weight so that should fit the bill.
I'm going to be there in the Austral winter so hopefully all the snakes will be safely underground but that won't stop me keeping an eye out for them. Not only does Australia have more poisonous snakes than anywhere else, it has the most poisonous snakes, too. And spiders, which I can't stand! I didn't seen any snakes on my last visit, in 1997, but saw plenty of spiders...

--------------------
Visual deep sky

18" f4.3 dob
7.9" f/4 Celestron Newtonian
8x42 binos
100% visual observing...


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mwedel
Works with Sauropods


Reged: 12/16/07
Posts: 807
Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: Sketching using small binoculars new [Re: Faith_J]
      #3050809 - 04/18/09 01:12 PM

If your monopod has a 1/4-20 bolt on top, you can make a very sturdy binocular mount for about $2 with an angle bracket, a thumbscrew, and a wingnut. See the picture here. In fact, any small piece of metal bent at a 90 degree angle with a couple of holes will suffice. My later versions of this have used the bent brackets sometimes used for hanging pictures or fixing furniture to the wall in earthquake country. Works like a charm, and makes using binoculars MUCH easier.

--------------------
My club: Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers

My blog: 10 Minute Astronomy

Free logbooks for AL observing clubs

My skies:


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