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oklahomabill
super member


Reged: 11/27/04
Posts: 148
Loc: Oklahoma
Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new
      #1202168 - 10/17/06 10:07 AM

First light would be M31.

M31 was barely visible naked eye last night. At my house it is usually naked eye visible as a white smudge without averted vision.

Mount: Paragon Plus seems to be a good match for the 15x70s

Thru the new 15x70s M31 looked very good with a bright roundish center and a fainter whispy cloud around it. Oval in shape and fairly well defined. Star field around M31 very rich and almost velvet dark. Good contrast between the background and M31 with it appearing to float deeply in the sky. With averted vision M31 appeared to be slightly pinkish, somewhat like the pink under your fingernail but much fainter. M32 and M110 not visible to me.

The optics on the GO 15x70 look very nice, the coatings appear superb with very little reflection. Exit pupils are very round and the individual focus eyepieces are firm to turn but they operate very smoothly. Eye relief is good for me.

Bottom Line:

I like them. Alot.

--------------------
8" f6 Celestron Starhopper Dob
80mm WO Zenithstar
10x42 Leupold Windriver Cascades
Swift 8.5x44
2 Celestron 8x32 Bins (Japan)
Garrett Optical 15x70 Signature Series Bins
Tasco 210 7x35
Tasco 20x80
Celestron Regal LX 10x42
LXD55 Goto
TeleVue Telepod
CG4 on Vixen Tripod
Paragon Plus Bino mount
Sky Scout


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kwalker
sage


Reged: 08/22/06
Posts: 293
Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: oklahomabill]
      #1202184 - 10/17/06 10:22 AM

Hi Bill, glad to see another OKIE on here. Good report

--------------------
Keith

Zhumell 10" dobsonian with $12 "Push-To"
4mm & 9mm BO/TMB Planetary, 13mm Stratus, 17mm Stratus, 32mm Widefield
Orion shorty plus 2x barlow
Catseye Xl Triple Pro Pack
Glatter Laser
Celestron 15x70



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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks


Reged: 04/07/05
Posts: 17931
Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: kwalker]
      #1202463 - 10/17/06 12:43 PM

Hi Bill,

I have the GO 22x85 "SS" and I like them so far. Of course, a front of clouds and rain came along with them, so I haven't given them a proper first light yet. But, the few peeks I managed through cloud holes were promising. Sharp optics and a robust build. This new line of binos looks like a winner.

Clear dark skies...

MikeG

--------------------
Michael Gilmer - Member of the Meteoritical Society & Collector of Falling Stars.



☄ ⒼⒶⓁⒶⒸⓉⒾⒸ ⓈⓉⓄⓃⒺ ☞ www.galactic-stone.com


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BarrySimon615
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/01/04
Posts: 2126
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #1216345 - 10/25/06 02:19 PM Attachment (211 downloads)

At the just concluded Deep South Regional StarGaze I had the
opportunity to compare the Garrett Optical Signature Series 15x70's to my Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70's. The Garrett 15x70's belong to my friend Kirk Carbo. Kirk had just recently purchased these binoculars as a replacement for his own Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70's which had been sold a year or two before. He felt these were a reasonable price alternative to the Fujinon's. Indeed they are.

Our testing was casual. We were both in reclining lounge chairs and we observed with both Kirk's 15x70 Garrett's and my 16x70 Fujinon's. We interchanged them freely and all testing was hand-held, although the lounge chairs did offer some support.

Targets were pretty much confined to star fields between the Pleiades and Andromeda. My goal was to get a good feel for how these two compared in respect to image quality at field center, how good the image quality was as a bright star was brought toward field edge, contrast, freedom from ghosting, and size of the field. I also considered binocular ergonomics as well as build quality and general
impressions.

Without getting into a lot of detail let me say that I did like the fit and finish of the Garrett's. They are an attractive and well put together pair of binoculars. I did take a couple of comparison photos which I will post soon. Side by side the Fujinon's and Garrett's are the same length and the weight seems to be very close too; the Fujinon's are just a touch heavier. Ergonomically both will have their fans; I like them both.

On the sky they were very close too. At field center both are excellent and both remain excellent for most of the journey toward the field edge. At field edge the Fujinon's do have slightly better image fidelity, not by much, but it is noticeable. On the other hand the Garrett's do have a slightly wider field. The field with the Garrett's is listed at 4.4 degrees true or about 66 degrees apparent. The Fujinon's have a 4 degree field which works out to 64
degrees apparent. Star field measurement reveals that the difference in reality is slightly less than 0.1 degrees with the Fujinon's being a realistic 4 degrees and the Garrett's actually being slightly less than the adverized 4.4 degrees. This field size difference should really be negligible for anyone making a purchase decision based upon field size.

Perhaps more importantly for some, a comparison of the image quality at the field edge, gave the Fujinon's a clear cut advantage for daytime use. For this experiment I looked at the license plate of a car parked across the field, it was about 75 to 80 yards away. I viewed the license with both binoculars and found that I could still read the numbers with the Fujinon's at the field edge, in comparison,
the Garrett's enlarged an image that blurred out at the field edge.

The Garrett's are not unique binoculars. They and their cousins from both Oberwerk and Astro-Physics all come from the same source:

United Optics/Kunnming Optical

http://www.united-optics.com/products/products.htm

Other than slight differences such as the color of the rubber skin, these are the same binocular but with slightly different price tags.

At present the Astro-Physics binouclars are priced at $375 for the 10x model and $385 for the 16x model. The Oberwerk versions are now $349.95 and the Garretts are slightly lower at $339.96 each. Which one you purchase will be decided by current availability and how willing you are to wait for a particular model.

Final impression - the Fujinon is the better binocular. The
differences however are slight, so slight in my mind that I have contemplated selling the Fujinon's to get a pair of Garretts with about $200 or so left over that I could pocket or apply to some other astro goodie!

Barry Simon

Attachment

Edited by BarrySimon615 (10/25/06 02:27 PM)


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks


Reged: 04/07/05
Posts: 17931
Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #1216402 - 10/25/06 02:48 PM

Hi Barry -

I hope you had a great time at the DSRG. I keep telling myself that I am going to attend, but then my schedule keeps me tied home via a short-leash. I couldn't make it this year again.

Yeah, I gotta admit, I'm pretty impressed with what the Chinese are doing now with binoculars. The gap is slowly closing between high-end Chinese optics and Japanese optics. Now just think where the binocular market will be in another 5 years!

Take care and clear dark skies...

MikeG

--------------------
Michael Gilmer - Member of the Meteoritical Society & Collector of Falling Stars.



☄ ⒼⒶⓁⒶⒸⓉⒾⒸ ⓈⓉⓄⓃⒺ ☞ www.galactic-stone.com


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EdZ
Professor EdZ


Reged: 02/15/02
Posts: 18806
Loc: Cumberland, R I , USA42N71.4W
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light [Re: Glassthrower]
      #1216432 - 10/25/06 03:08 PM

Barry,

your findings pretty much parallel my own for visual.

except for weight.
The new 15x70s weigh in at 5#5oz, 1/2# heavier.

edz

--------------------
Teach a kid something today. The feeling you'll get is one of life's greatest rewards.
member#21


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Erik D
Post Laureate


Reged: 04/28/03
Posts: 4066
Loc: Central New Jersey, USA
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: BarrySimon615]
      #1216437 - 10/25/06 03:12 PM

Quote:


.............. The differences however are slight, so slight in my mind that I have contemplated selling the Fujinon's to get a pair of Garretts with about $200 or so left over that I could pocket or apply to some other astro goodie!

Barry Simon




Barry,

Thanks much for that review. I know you have been a big fan of the Fuji 16X70s for many years. I think that statement above says a lot about the quality of these new Chinese "Ultra" 70s.

Now, how about a comparision of the GO 15X70 vs your Miyauchi 20X77 45s? ;-))

Erik D


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Rich V.
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/02/05
Posts: 3143
Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada, USA
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: Erik D]
      #1217177 - 10/25/06 09:56 PM

Bill and Barry, I'm heartened to see such good reports about this new series of binoculars.

Edz's recent CN report covers all the tech bases it seems, the only disappointment appears to be eye relief of only 11 or 12mm actual. This appears to be little improvement over the Fujinons, maybe a couple of mms.

Barry, what were your side-by-side impressions of eye relief between the UOs and the Fujis? The Fujinons are generally panned by eyeglass wearers for their poor eye relief, I hoped for the sake of many that the Series 8 glasses would have shown some improvement. Is the extra mm or two noticeable??

Thanks for posting,

Rich V

--------------------
Binoculars:
33/50/71/150x100 Saturn III, 22x70ED, 16x70 FMT-SX, 10x50 PCF-V, 10x43 DCF-SP, 10x35 EII, 7x35 E, 8x30 EII,
7x26 Custom, 8x23CF AS Diplomat, 6.5x21 Papilio
Scopes:
C9.25, TMB130SS, SV80S-LOMO 80/480
IDA member


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks


Reged: 04/07/05
Posts: 17931
Loc: Oort Cloud 9
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: Rich V.]
      #1217500 - 10/26/06 01:25 AM

Rich,

FWIW, the eye relief on the GO 22x85 is tight, but not restrictive. It feels a couple of mm better than my short-ER 25x100 Skymaster. If I press my glasses firmly against the eps on this new bino, I can just make out the fieldstop, barely. Otherwise, the small area I am missing is of little value, being so close to the extreme edge anyway.

Clear dark skies...

MikeG

--------------------
Michael Gilmer - Member of the Meteoritical Society & Collector of Falling Stars.



☄ ⒼⒶⓁⒶⒸⓉⒾⒸ ⓈⓉⓄⓃⒺ ☞ www.galactic-stone.com


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15x60
member


Reged: 09/19/06
Posts: 74
Loc: Milan, Italy
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: oklahomabill]
      #1217564 - 10/26/06 03:04 AM

Hi Bill,
How is eye relief? You say "eye relief is good for me", but do you use eye glasses to stargaze? I use eye glasses and I'd like to understand if eye relief is good for me too.
Thanks!
Bye,
Fabio

--------------------
Zeiss 15x60 B/GA T*
Carl Zeiss 7x50W Jenoptem
Zeiss Victory 10x56 FL
Miyauchi BJ-100 iC



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oklahomabill
super member


Reged: 11/27/04
Posts: 148
Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: 15x60]
      #1217717 - 10/26/06 08:06 AM

I do not wear Eyeglasses for viewing. The bins eye relief seems rather short to Me compared to my Swift Audobon. I do have to get rather close to take in the entire field. It could be rather tight for eyeglass wearers. I believe the ER measurements given by other are accurate.

--------------------
8" f6 Celestron Starhopper Dob
80mm WO Zenithstar
10x42 Leupold Windriver Cascades
Swift 8.5x44
2 Celestron 8x32 Bins (Japan)
Garrett Optical 15x70 Signature Series Bins
Tasco 210 7x35
Tasco 20x80
Celestron Regal LX 10x42
LXD55 Goto
TeleVue Telepod
CG4 on Vixen Tripod
Paragon Plus Bino mount
Sky Scout


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BarrySimon615
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/01/04
Posts: 2126
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: EdZ]
      #1218094 - 10/26/06 12:02 PM

Ed,

I will defer to you on the weight issue. The binoculars were not put on a scale. Objective assessment beats subjective opinion virtually all the time.

Barry Simon


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BarrySimon615
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/01/04
Posts: 2126
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Garret Optical SS 15x70HD first light new [Re: Rich V.]
      #1218112 - 10/26/06 12:09 PM

Quote:

Barry, what were your side-by-side impressions of eye relief between the UOs and the Fujis? The Fujinons are generally panned by eyeglass wearers for their poor eye relief, I hoped for the sake of many that the Series 8 glasses would have shown some improvement. Is the extra mm or two noticeable??

Thanks for posting,

Rich V




Rich,

The eye relief seemed to be virtually the same to me. I have reached the point where I do wear glasses for most applications, however my distance vision remains very good and I do not have astigmatism, so I do not wear glasses when using either binoculars or a telescope.

Barry


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