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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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mv1612
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7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars?
      #5558878 - 12/07/12 09:14 AM

Hello,

I have a 6" dobsonian and now I want to start using binoculars, because I love large fields of view. Then there is my 5 years old daughter who also seems interested in seeing "lots of stars". I will probably buy both small binoculars so that she's able to hold them and also bigger ones on a mount.

I will start with the small ones. Can I use 7x35 binoculars for introducing my daughter to the skies? Will they be reasonably spectacular compared to naked eyes? I don't think there are 7x35 "astronomical binoculars", so I would buy just all purpose binos, is it worth it? Then, they shouldn't be expensive, I wouldn' t go over $70-80 cause maybe I would buy two, so that we can observe simultaneously.

I have also asked this question on another forum, I hope it's not a problem, I just need as many suggestions as possible.

So, can I use a 7x35 binos, to give nice views of the stars?

Thanks, Virgil.


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Mark9473
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5558880 - 12/07/12 09:16 AM

YES to all of your questions!

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StarStuff1
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5558936 - 12/07/12 09:55 AM

7x35s, especially wide angle ones, are excellent for introduction to the starry skies. Flea markets and garage sales are good places to get them cheap. Just be sure to check mechanical functions and alignment before buying.

Lots of good prices on new ones this time of year. I prefer buying "in person" to check them out. What you would pay in sales tax would probably be less than shipping costs unless you got a free shipping deal.


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ronharper
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5559014 - 12/07/12 10:34 AM

These are good, and especially so for children because the eye spacing can be set small.
Yosemite
Between the 6x and 8x I'm not sure. The 8x will show more, but the 6x is easier to use.
Ron


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steve@37n83.9w
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559120 - 12/07/12 11:33 AM

Like Ron I highly recommend the Yosemite. I purchased two pairs (6x30) for my grandsons about three years ago and the binos are holding up well. I would also consider a used 7x35 as mentioned by some of the other posters. I have purchased many vintage 7x35s on ebay including my 7x35 9.3* Nikon WideField which is one of my better binoculars.

Steve


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: steve@37n83.9w]
      #5559231 - 12/07/12 12:37 PM

Hi,

Thanks for your opinions, it seems a small 7x35 will be good for starting. I checked B&H for prices, Amazon and other places for reviews and I ended up with the folowing list of contenders :

Bushnell 7x35 Falcon $24.55 595g
Nikon 7x35 Action VII $64.95 715g
Barska 7x35 Focus Free $29.99 567g
Bushnell 7x35 Powerview $45.77 539g
Eagle Optics 7x35 Triumph $69.95 578g
Leupold Yosemite Binoculars BX-1 6x30 $89.79 482g

The prices are mainly from B&H, an excellent store for me not only because theyíre good professionals but also because they have very good prices for shipping to Canada.

I was recommended the Nikon which unfortunately is heavy for my girl, and Yosemite, which is on the expensive side for me and only 30mm compared to 35mm the others. Bushnell Falcon is very cheap and has excellent reviews everywhereÖ The others, I donít knowÖ

My favorites are the Falcon, because of reviews and price, and the Yosemites, because of your recommandation, reviews and weight (a bit expensive though).

Iím also tempted by Bushnell Powerview which are lighter than the Falcons. I will eliminate the Nikons because theyíre heavy.

Please keep sending your suggestions...

Thanks, Virgil.


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StarStuff1
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559250 - 12/07/12 12:53 PM

Stay away from any fixed focus binocular.

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Rich V.
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559254 - 12/07/12 12:56 PM

Just about any inexpensive binocular would be better than a "focus free" binocular for astronomy, IMO. Astronomy requires that stars be viewed at the best possible focus; anything less will ruin the experience.

I also think the "InstaFocus" mechanism as used in the Bushnells, while it works, is less precise than a standard center focus binocular that uses a wheel instead.

At least, you'd do yourself a favor by dropping the Barska "focus free" model from your list...

Rich


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5559265 - 12/07/12 01:01 PM

OK, so I eliminate the Barska.

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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559267 - 12/07/12 01:03 PM

Bushnell 7x35 Falcon $24.55 595g
Bushnell 7x35 Powerview $45.77 539g
Eagle Optics 7x35 Triumph $69.95 578g
Leupold Yosemite Binoculars BX-1 6x30 $89.79 482g


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Rich V.
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559316 - 12/07/12 01:38 PM

I don't see the EO Triumph listed as a 7x35; only an 8x42. The Triumph shows a minimum IPD setting of 55mm which may be too wide for a five year old.

Bushnell doesn't even list the IPDs of their 7x35s but they do say the prisms are BK7 instead of the preferred BaK4. Do you want to take a chance that they will fit? I doubt they go down to a minimum of 50mm.

Only the Yosemite binos have the 50mm minimum IPD that I think would guarantee a fit for a youngster. They use the premium BaK4 prisms as well. The price is higher but the chances of getting satisfaction from them is higher as well.

Rich


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5559334 - 12/07/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

I don't see the EO Triumph listed as a 7x35; only an 8x42. The Triumph shows a minimum IPD setting of 55mm which may be too wide for a five year old.

Bushnell doesn't even list the IPDs of their 7x35s but they do say the prisms are BK7 instead of the preferred BaK4. Do you want to take a chance that they will fit? I doubt they go down to a minimum of 50mm.

Only the Yosemite binos have the 50mm minimum IPD that I think would guarantee a fit for a youngster. They use the premium BaK4 prisms as well. The price is higher but the chances of getting satisfaction from them is higher as well.

Rich




Thanks. Excellent information! So things all point towards choosing the Yosemites for the girl: weight, IPD, Bak4. For me, I guess the Bushnell Falcon will be good enough.

Time to go shopping


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559367 - 12/07/12 02:04 PM

All seem to agree the Yosemite are well made in 6x30 and 8x30. Binoculars are the sum of a lot of build quality and optical factors, the Yosemite seem to be a good combination of those. A neightbor loaned me a generic Japanse 8x30 when I was in middle school as first astro binocular, it was no slouch, so don't worry about 30mm size.

Check the IPD specs and maybe a Bushnell H2O 8x42 Porro model is another option for $60-$80 for dad if not for daughter.


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5559407 - 12/07/12 02:27 PM

I was just been told that the Yosemite has a narrow field of view... 45 deg... Wouldn't this be kind of tunnel-like?

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ronharper
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559415 - 12/07/12 02:37 PM

Yes. The 8x has a nice wide field.
Ron


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5559423 - 12/07/12 02:41 PM

hmmm.....

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ronharper
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5559514 - 12/07/12 03:48 PM

What I meant was, the 6x is narrow, the 8x is wide! Sorry bout that...
Ron


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Simon S
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5559586 - 12/07/12 04:37 PM

A 7x35 or even an 8x40 makes for good constellation exploration when your finding your way around the stars.
?Bare in mind modern x35's and 8x40's are rare, so if your using an old binocular make sure it's not full of muck.


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ronharper
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Simon S]
      #5559651 - 12/07/12 05:33 PM

A PM from another member has raised another question about my meaning, of the field width of the 8x and 6x30 Yosemites. I'll just answer publicly because I do want to help the OP out.

The true fields of the 6x and 8x are 8 degrees and 7.4 degrees respectively. So in that sense, the 6x is wider.

But, the appearance of "tunnel view" arises from a narrow apparent field. That is, how wide the view looks to am observer. To obtain a good approximation of the apparent field, you multiply the true field width in degrees by the magnification. This gives apparent fields for the 6x and 8x of 48 degrees and 59.2 degrees.

That is a big difference at the eyepiece. A common rule of thumb is that anything less than 50 degrees is unacceptably narrow, and that the minimum that can be considered truly "wide field" is 60 degrees. I think those are pretty good places to draw the arbitrary lines.
Ron


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KennyJ
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5559723 - 12/07/12 06:09 PM

Ron is correct(as usual)about those considerable differences.

Others are correct about the Yosemite probably being the only model with suitably narrow I.P.D for such a young one.

I once bought an aforementioned Bushnell 8 x 42 H2O Porro for one of my ADULT daughters,and it's still going strong after 9 years.Very good value for money,but the minimal I.P.D setting is far too wide for a child.

Kenny


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5559860 - 12/07/12 07:38 PM

I understand the difference between TFOV and AFOV, no problem with that (I'm just in the process of changing the eyepieces for my dob, because I want a larger field of view). I know that I would't use a 48 deg eyepiece on my scope. But I'm not sure if the sensation is equivalent, the same AFOV in the eyepiece of a telescope or on a binocular (I don't have any experience whatsoever with binoculars).

I think I will still buy the 6x Yosemite. The exit pupil on the 8x is too small if it is to be used for the night sky, I think. I will take a decision as soon as possible...

Thanks for your help, it was invaluable.

Virgil.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5560473 - 12/08/12 07:33 AM

Quote:

The exit pupil on the 8x is too small if it is to be used for the night sky, I think.




I don't agree at all. For any given aperture, smaller exit pupils will almost always show you more. 8x30 binoculars will show you much fainter objects and much greater detail in small objects than 6x30s.

Note that with interchangeable-eyepiece telescopes, where there's complete freedom of choice, most people choose exit pupils of 2.5 mm or smaller. In 30-mm binoculars, that would translate to 12x30.

The main reason to prefer lower magnifications (i.e. bigger exit pupils) is true field of view. But that's less true in this particular case than in most.

Also, some people find the less-bright view through a smaller exit pupil less aesthetically appealing. I can't argue with that since it's an entirely subjective judgment.


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Mark9473
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5560541 - 12/08/12 09:02 AM

The point is, Tony, not that 8x30 shows you more than 6x30 - which is true - but that an 8x30 has a rather small exit pupil compared to e.g. 8x40 or 8x50 binoculars.

One of the key attributes of binocular viewing is the way two-eyed viewing reacts to bright colourful images. A 3.75mm exit pupil is borderline for that, if not already too small.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5560570 - 12/08/12 09:32 AM

Quote:

The point is, Tony, not that 8x30 shows you more than 6x30 - which is true - but that an 8x30 has a rather small exit pupil compared to e.g. 8x40 or 8x50 binoculars.

One of the key attributes of binocular viewing is the way two-eyed viewing reacts to bright colourful images. A 3.75mm exit pupil is borderline for that, if not already too small.




I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. If you are repeating my previous point, that some people find the brighter image more aesthetically pleasing, I can't argue with that.

On the other hand, there was a recent thread in this group lamenting the fact that it's so hard to find binoculars with 4-mm exit pupils, which the poster (and many others) felt gave the best possible compromise between field of view, brightness, and optical quality -- the point being that almost everybody's eyes show much sharper images when masked down to 4 mm. Again, that's an aesthetic preference, impossible to argue with.

But if you're saying that the benefit of two-eyed viewing over one-eyed viewing decreases for smaller exit pupils, that's demonstrably incorrect.

As for color, the only things in the night sky that appear colored are stars, the bright planets, the Moon (to a small extent) and a handful of nebulae. All of those will appear more colorful, not less, in 8x30s than in 6x30s.

Are you making your statement based on direct experience or hearsay?

Edited by Tony Flanders (12/08/12 09:37 AM)


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Mark9473
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5560596 - 12/08/12 09:55 AM

My direct personal experience is that star colours are more vivid with larger exit pupils.

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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5560689 - 12/08/12 11:04 AM

I'm not sure I understand. Exit pupil is directly related to the perceveid brightness of the objects you observe. For example, in a telescope, if you're looking at an extended object, the 7mm EP gives you 100% surface brightness and for example a 5mm EP gives 50% and a 3mm EP gives 18% of what is possible with that particular telescope.

Then of course going with a smaller EP gives you more detail and increases the contrast because a darker background sky is achievable (we're not talking here about completely dark places). Based on this I was thinking that a 5mm EP is better than a 3.75 EP, especially for a child that would theoretically be able to achieve 7mm EP.

Let's put it this way. If I look at the Pleiades, the double cluster, or just the Milky Way, which one of these two binoculars would give me more pleasing views? And let's define pleasing: bright, sharp, spectacular, groupings of stars.

If I try Andromeda galaxy: in which one of these two will it be easier to notice something?

Or is the answer entirely subjective?

I also feel kind of guilty trying to use 30-35mm bins for astronomy, I know I'm streching things here, but it's just my situation for the moment... Thanks for understanding.

Virgil.


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5560700 - 12/08/12 11:11 AM

Another question: in which one of these two will I be able to see fainter stars?

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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5560715 - 12/08/12 11:21 AM

A 7x35 and 8x30, if of equal optical quality, are tied as far as limiting magnitude goes. There are a few targets, notably partially resolved open clusters, where the 8x will show a little bit better resolution. The main disadvantage of 7x in my opinion is that on the Moon you'll see noticeably less detail than at 8x.

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Mark9473
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5560720 - 12/08/12 11:24 AM

Quote:

If I look at the Pleiades, the double cluster, or just the Milky Way, which one of these two binoculars would give me more pleasing views? And let's define pleasing: bright, sharp, spectacular, groupings of stars.




Pleiades - tied.
Double Cluster - the 8x30 will be better.
Milky Way - the 7x35 will be better especially since it has a much wider FOV.


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5560729 - 12/08/12 11:28 AM

Sorry for the misunderstanding: I was talking about the two Yosemites: 6x30 versus 8x30. Thanks

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Mark9473
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5560752 - 12/08/12 11:40 AM

Well personally I would not get anything below 7x as it will show virtually no resolution on open clusters and far too little detail on the Moon.

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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5560841 - 12/08/12 12:50 PM

Regarding the Yosemite, the odd bad one gets out so if buying be aware that a good return policy is needed also if like me they had to be returned to Leupold from Canada that you will be on the hook for shipping both ways, that makes an inexpensive binocular not such a great bargain, DA.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5561289 - 12/08/12 06:08 PM

Quote:

My direct personal experience is that star colours are more vivid with larger exit pupils.




Are you holding magnification or aperture constant?

In general, if you hold magnification constant, larger exit pupils always show more, because they increase the aperture. So 10x50s invariably show more of everything than 10x30s of identical optical quality.

But if you hold aperture constant, larger exit pupils decrease the magnification, and therefore show less. So 7x50s show less than 10x50s.

Star colors are generally more saturated in larger apertures. So 10x50s show more colorful stars than 10x30s. That's a function of aperture, not exit pupil.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561290 - 12/08/12 06:11 PM

Quote:

Another question: in which one of these two will I be able to see fainter stars?




8x30s will show considerably fainter stars than 6x30s. My own 10x30s will show even fainter stars than that. By a fair margin.

For showing stars, the Bishop formula is a pretty good approximation -- multiply the aperture by the magnification. So 8x30s show roughly as many stars as 6x40s.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561291 - 12/08/12 06:16 PM

Quote:

Let's put it this way. If I look at the Pleiades, the double cluster, or just the Milky Way, which one of these two binoculars would give me more pleasing views?

If I try Andromeda galaxy: in which one of these two will it be easier to notice something?

Or is the answer entirely subjective?




No, it's not subjective. 8x30s will show considerably more than 6x30s on each and every one of the subjects that you named. The difference will probably be biggest on the Double Cluster, because of its andundant, close-packed stars.

Quote:

I also feel kind of guilty trying to use 30-35mm bins for astronomy.




You shouldn't! Many renowned observers have said that 7x35s were their very favorite instruments of all. My favorite binoculars are my image-stabilized 10x30s.


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SMark
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5561507 - 12/08/12 09:05 PM

You can look at my collection below and know that I will be more often taking a 7x35 with me when I go out under the stars. I especially enjoy wide angle binoculars, and the 7x35 configuration typically has the widest angle choices. Wide angle 7x35 star field images can be quite breathtaking.

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David E
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561520 - 12/08/12 09:14 PM

Quote:


I think I will still buy the 6x Yosemite. The exit pupil on the 8x is too small if it is to be used for the night sky, I think. I will take a decision as soon as possible...

Thanks for your help, it was invaluable.

Virgil.




I like my 6x Yosemite. I'm really impressed with the color accuracy. It has some whoppin' field curvature, but with some creative focusing and positioning of the brightest stars in the star field, you can get some really nice views. Having used the 6x so much I'm tempted to get and try the 8x version. No, the exit pupil will not be too small for astro-work; I use my 12x36 Canon IS binocs (3mm exit pupil) for astro use all the time.


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: David E]
      #5561642 - 12/08/12 10:54 PM

Thanks. Tony, I'm encouraged that the 8x30 shows fainter stars that the 6x30, probably because of a darker background. That's important for me. So I'm leaning towards the 8x30 form factor. Now, in the meantime I've found other binoculars very similar to the Leupolds:

Leupold Yosemite 6x30 8.0deg 482g $80
Leupold Yosemite 8x30 7.4 482 $95
Celestron Nature 8x30 8.2 482 $52
Kowa YF 6x30 8.0 470 $99
Kowa YF 8x30 7.5 473 $105
Vortex Raptor 6.5x32 7.8 490 $120
Vortex Raptor 8.5x32 7.4 490 $130

Why can't I put tabs between those columns? I was trying to show the field of view, weight and price.

All seem to be Bak4 (please correct me if not). Some of them could be clones of another... The Kowa seems to be identical to the Leupold... The Celestron is intriguing, only $55... Probably corners have been cut somewhere, if it's not in the optics I might be tempted. On the other hand, if the Leupolds and Kowas are significantly better than the Celestron, then I'm ready to pay their price. Nice to have alternatives. I try not to fall into "paralysis by analysis", but the reality is that I'm in no rush, it will not be a present for Christmas. Did anyone compare some of these? Thanks...


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5561647 - 12/08/12 10:57 PM

Quote:

Star colors are generally more saturated in larger apertures. So 10x50s show more colorful stars than 10x30s. That's a function of aperture, not exit pupil.




Tony,

The discussions I've seen about this here state that exit pupil determines brightness (so the same exit pupil for any aperture looks equivalent in brightness, although the limiting magnitude will go up with more aperture). Color perception is related to brightness (cone cells are less sensitive - need more flux), so wouldn't it actually be true that exit pupil determines color perception?

You are right, though, in the sense that you will see more stars in the 10x50 than the 10x30, therefore more of the stars that are colorful.

Bill


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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561648 - 12/08/12 10:58 PM

"The whoppin' field curvature" of the 6x30 pushes me also towards the 8x30... Thanks David.

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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561694 - 12/08/12 11:36 PM

A found some surprising comments about the Celestrons here and here

but with big quality control issues unfortunately...

Edited by mv1612 (12/09/12 05:19 AM)


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561889 - 12/09/12 05:17 AM

Yes,not only the usual lottery Q.C issues usually associated with binoculars costing no more than around $20US to produce,but those"8x30" Celestrons turned out to be closer to 7x25 in effective specifications.

Kenny


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5561913 - 12/09/12 06:27 AM

Quote:

"The whoppin' field curvature" of the 6x30 pushes me also towards the 8x30... Thanks David.




I'm sure the 8x30 will have some too. I would think when you get right down to it, at this price range you won't find perfection. I also have the Vortex 8.5x32 listed in an above post. That's also a very nice pair for the money IMHO. Excellent color correction, and close focus make it great for nature viewing in the back yard. It has some field curvature, but can be focused close to the edge of the field with a sharp view. That Vortex is a roof prism design (straight barrels), and I personally prefer, for extended up in the air viewing, the comfort of the porroprism design. It's just a personal thing, I prefer holding porro's, they seem to fit my hands better. But I've used the Vortex for casual night time astronomy and they work well for their design and price range. It's design though, makes it great for close-up viewing of plants and bugs so I mostly use it for that.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: David E]
      #5561949 - 12/09/12 07:39 AM

This is off the OP's original topic, but as an aside to the AFOV/FOV discussions...

I have the Leupold 8x50mm BX-1 Rogue. They were under $150, and, though I did send them back due to a bad focus knob, the optics of the pair I had were sweet, and the 8x50 FOV is gorgeous. Also, Leupold's cust svc is decent, and I'll be rcving the new pair this week.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Plan9]
      #5562148 - 12/09/12 10:26 AM

Quote:

The discussions I've seen about this here state that exit pupil determines brightness.




That is true, but only for one very specific definition of "brightness."

When you are viewing an extended light source, such as a nebula or a galaxy, the intensity of the image cast on your retina depends entirely on the exit pupil of the instrument that you're using.

However, given the same exit pupil, the image seems subjectively brighter when you use a larger aperture. So, for instance, the galaxy M33 seems considerably brighter in 15x70 binoculars than in 6x30 binoculars. That's because your brain trusts that it's seeing a faint object when many adjacent retinal cells "vote" the same way.

So even though any given retinal cell is stimulated the same viewing M33 through 6x30 and 15x70 binoculars, the overall perception is that it's much brighter through the larger instrument.

In any case, this all breaks down for point sources such as stars. There, the image is theoretically infinitely intense but infinitely small. What that means in practice is that a single retinal cell responds to all the light from a given star regardless of how much or little it's magnified.

So for seeing color in stars, what matters is not the intensity of the light but the total amount gathered, which is a function of aperture and independent of magnification.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5562195 - 12/09/12 10:56 AM

Quote:

In any case, this all breaks down for point sources such as stars. There, the image is theoretically infinitely intense but infinitely small. What that means in practice is that a single retinal cell responds to all the light from a given star regardless of how much or little it's magnified.

So for seeing color in stars, what matters is not the intensity of the light but the total amount gathered, which is a function of aperture and independent of magnification.



So if we compare the image of stars in the 6x30 vs 8x30, then:

a) the bright stars will appear equally bright in both (same aperture)
b) I will see fainter stars in the 8x30 because of enhanced contrast with the sky.

Did I understand this correctly?


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5562219 - 12/09/12 11:08 AM

Enhanced contrast will help,but the higher magnification alone,regardless of aperture or exit-pupil,should enable more fainter stars to be seen.

Kenny


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5562488 - 12/09/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

So if we compare the image of stars in the 6x30 vs 8x30, then:

a) the bright stars will appear equally bright in both (same aperture)
b) I will see fainter stars in the 8x30 because of enhanced contrast with the sky.




That's more or less correct. But you may well also perceive the bright stars as being brighter in the 8x30s due to the increased contrast. That's a subjective judgment that could easily vary from one person to another.

However, everyone will see fainter stars. So that's objective, not subjective.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: David E]
      #5562620 - 12/09/12 03:08 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

"The whoppin' field curvature" of the 6x30 pushes me also towards the 8x30... Thanks David.




I'm sure the 8x30 will have some too. I would think when you get right down to it, at this price range you won't find perfection. I also have the Vortex 8.5x32 listed in an above post.




Correction: Mine is the Spitfire, not the Raptor. The Spitfire is a roof prism design and is discontinued.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5562671 - 12/09/12 03:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My direct personal experience is that star colours are more vivid with larger exit pupils.




Are you holding magnification or aperture constant?




Neither.
But perhaps let me express myself differently: I found that star colours are more vivid if the sky background is brighter. And yes that also means in twilight or when the Moon is up.

Of course stars cannot be within a certain margin of the limiting magnitude, else they'd be too faint to show colour. So this is where aperture and magnification enter into the game again.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5562694 - 12/09/12 03:54 PM

Please be careful of falling into over-analysis...

You need a good-value binocular that your daughter can use:

- Yosemite have narrow close IPD, most other binos don't
- Yosemite good mix of build and optics for money (coming from people here who know more than I do)
- true field of view 6x or 8x about the same, 7.5 - 8 degrees makes finding things easy
- 6x might be easier for child to hold steady - think about this factor...

Dad, were you looking for a bino as well? You could try the 8x30 or an 8x40-42 for yourself.

I am content when camping to use 6.5x21 or 6x25 for extended observing, and see all the brighter Messier objects, great views of the moon, Pleiades Hyades Beehive Perseus or Orion are wonderful with these, Jupiter's moons, wider/brighter/colorful double stars (try Omicron Cygni next summer!) and so on. My Dad's WW2 6x42 large binos and my Uncle's old 6x25 compacts both show more lunar detail than you'd think, your daughter can spot a lot of features. Your library may have the old "Exploring the Moon through Binoculars" by Cherrington, and you can use virtual moon atlas VMA without zzoming in much to be a binocular moon map. The milestone 1st version of Binocular Astronomy by Crossen and Tirion (Craig Crossen posts here) said you could see 1/2 the 100's of described objects with 7x35; I bet very close to half can be found with 30mm.

Cabela's may have the Yosemites' for under $80 and free shipping over $99 at the moment. You could get the 6x and 8x and share, that way dad doesn't have a pair of binos that daughter can't use too...

If you live near some sporting / hunting stores, you might be able to try the Yosemites in person

Don't get too caught up in this spec or that spec vs. the overall package, or your objective...


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5562957 - 12/09/12 06:45 PM

>> 6x might be easier for child to hold steady

You're right, never thought about that...

I live in Canada, so free shipping from US doesn't apply, unfortunately...

>> Please be careful of falling into over-analysis...

You're right, I think I have all the elements to decide. Well, almost, I still have one last question. It's about those two Leupolds and two Kowas, both reputable companies... They have identical specifications, probably exactly the same design. Could I assume that optically they are very very close, so that I would decide which one to buy based on other considerations, like whether I can try them or not before buying, or the cost of shipping and taxes to Canada... this kind of stuff ?

Thanks, Virgil.

Edited by mv1612 (12/09/12 07:54 PM)


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5563118 - 12/09/12 08:54 PM

The Y eyecups do not hold adjustment well. I have not used the K, but comparative reviews say their eyecups do. No other significant difference.
Ron


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5563582 - 12/10/12 05:36 AM

Quote:



Tony wrote:

Are you holding magnification or aperture constant?

In general, if you hold magnification constant, larger exit pupils always show more, because they increase the aperture. So 10x50s invariably show more of everything than 10x30s of identical optical quality.

But if you hold aperture constant, larger exit pupils decrease the magnification, and therefore show less. So 7x50s show less than 10x50s.

Star colors are generally more saturated in larger apertures. So 10x50s show more colorful stars than 10x30s. That's a function of aperture, not exit pupil.




Quote:


Mark had written:

The point is, Tony, not that 8x30 shows you more than 6x30 - which is true - but that an 8x30 has a rather small exit pupil compared to e.g. 8x40 or 8x50 binoculars.




Binocular exit pupils are always difficult to evaluate.. in terms of sharpness, one is never seeing the Airy disk so any increase in magnification for a fixed aperture will result in a "sharper view" but with the major assumption that the binocular is rock solid steady.

Jon


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5564068 - 12/10/12 12:21 PM

Since Cabelas came up I thought I would mention that they, too, have their own version of the Yosemite binocular. Not sure what the name of it is/was but they were just on sale for $50 with the regular price being around $80 for the 8x30 configuration.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunting/Optics/Binoculars%7C/pc/104791680/c/10...
The only reason I know is they are on my "wish list" for the future Mrs. for Xmas.

Edited by FrankKD (12/10/12 12:35 PM)


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: FrankKD]
      #5564365 - 12/10/12 03:19 PM

Thanks, good to know...

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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5565002 - 12/10/12 10:17 PM

inexpensive, low power and light weight for kids is best.
Inexpensive, so you don't have a heart attack when they put fingers on lenses, drop, or break them. Simply replace when broken.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5567480 - 12/12/12 12:26 PM

Hello again,

I ordered today the Kowa YF 6x30 et 8x30 from B&H. At $11 shipping and $14 duties and taxes, total for the two, I think it's a good deal. It's just that the 8x30 was not in stock and I told them to ship them together, so I guess I'll have to wait a bit.

Could you tell me what to check when I get them? They are my first binoculars and I want to make sure that I'm able to detect any problems they might have.

Thanks, Virgil.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5567688 - 12/12/12 02:18 PM

Congratulations!

Best of Binocular forum is one of the pinned threads here, there's useful info there.

If you haven't used binoculars a lot, practice with eye placement behind eyelens, the extending eyecups help when set right, and getting IPD just right between eyes.

Defocusing one side with the diopter adjustment allows for a quick alignment check - the sharp star seen by one eye should be centered in the blurry star seen by the other eye.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5568464 - 12/12/12 11:31 PM

Sharing a binocular can drive you nuts. Also, guiding another binocular user through the sky star by star is a wonderful way to share it. Smart move getting two. I hope you'll report how ya'll like the Kowas.
Ron


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5568955 - 12/13/12 10:29 AM

Excellent information in "Best of" section... It's so nice to learn and understand...
Thanks Jay for the suggestion.
Ron, I will report back, of course.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5569006 - 12/13/12 10:52 AM

Quote:

I don't see the EO Triumph listed as a 7x35; only an 8x42.

Rich V





B&H Photo carries the Eagle Optics Triumph 7x35, along with some other cheap 7x35s.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Simon S]
      #5569699 - 12/13/12 06:14 PM

There were many 7 x 35 central focus wide angle binoculars from Japan sold in the 1950's, '60's, .... A few were 8 x 40 wide angle , and some very early ones were individual focus.
The mechanisms of the highest grade Bushnell, Selsi, Tasco, Swift, Mayflower, Sears, ..., from then are, in most, but not all, cases, better than what you have mentioned.

A good, well preserved used 7 x 35 WA, which have been easy to find in recent years, is a good handheld performer in light polluted areas . They are relatively light, and the low magnification and wide field are a bonus for the beginner exploring the sky.

I suppose that a G..gle search would answer questions about IPD in children. I recall being given an introductory book about the constellations to read in a second grade primary classroom . I was not given access to, or did not ask permission for use of, a family WW II Busch IF 10 x 50 marked "Dientstglas" until probably age 12. That was in a rainy, often overcast suburban location.

Thrift stores in the US, Craig's List, local advertising have been sources of those in recent years, probably for actuarial reasons. I bought a few at very low prices, but my sources have dried up when I have occasionally looked recently ( I do not need any more 7 x 35WA). There is a lot of cheapo junk, relatively recently produced .
Caveat emptor.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5582503 - 12/21/12 01:18 PM

I received yesterday the Kowa binoculars. I can only give my first impressions... I cannot try them under the stars, cause there are no stars for the moment... so itís just daylight views. Also, although they were not intended as a Christmas gift, as they arrived so close to Christmas they will be Santaís gift afterall, so I cannot use them a lot because my daughter shouldnít see them before Christmas.

They look solid to me... Of course, I never had expensive binoculars in my hands with whom to compare, but I think they are alright. The focus knob works smoothly, a little tighter on the x8 but itís OK on both. I like the IP scale, itís easy to get a sense of everyoneís size, and changing them between different persons is easier. Me for example, Iím somewhere around 62mm.

I donít get the eyepiece and objective lens caps. They are loose, they could be useful for storage, but not for actual usage in the field, you would lose them.

The twist-up eyecup functions as expected, good quality and easy to use. I didnít have to use the diopter ring, I might try it but for the moment I didnít need to.

The image is wonderfully clear; I suppose this is the most important thing. I found that the most comfortable way of using them is to rest the eyecups below my eyebrows, this results in the best eyerelief for me. I donít wear glasses.

I have a problem though... After adjusting them for my IP distance, the two circular images of the objective lenses are not perfectly superposed. The image itself is perfect, I donít find any fault for the image of the object that is observed, itís clear and crisp. Itís the borders on the left and right that are not perfectly crisp. Both on the left and right edges I can see the normal field stop, coming from the respective objective lens, and the other field stop, soft and much weaker, not perfectly aligned on the first one. I donít know if this makes sense, please understand that itís for the first time that I use binoculars, maybe itís normal and acceptable as long as the image itself of the object that is being observed is very, very clear.

These are my first impressions after very little usage.

Virgil.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5582563 - 12/21/12 02:17 PM

Virgil,
In binoculars at this modest price point, lenses and coatings can be very good as you have noticed, but mechanical tolerances are not. As a result, in making the adjustment for "binocular collimation" ie the two telescopes pointing the same direction, the adjustments of the innards of one or both telescopes must be de-optimized (screwed up), in order to change the effective pointing direction of the optical axis with respect to the mechanical barrel. Misalignment of field edges and unsharp field edges are just part of the deal. "Binocular collimation", however, is crucial for relaxed usage without eyestrain--much more important than the appearance of the edge of the field. If that is set right, you are in as good shape as you can hope for.

FWIW, field edge misalignment is not unknown even in the stratosphere of binoculardom. Some users have reported such effects in the $2500 Swarovski Swarovision. This binocular uses eccentrically mounted eyepieces for collimation, but the field stops are non moving! It wouldn't be so bad, except the optics are so perfect that the edge is razor sharp, so people really tend to look out there carefully. Even though I own one, I gotta laugh.

Scrutinizing the edge is usually a bad idea. Now wrap em back up and pretend this never happened.

Merry Christmas,
Ron


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5582756 - 12/21/12 04:21 PM

Thanks Ron, now I understand. I guess itís a small price to pay for good optics. Iím relieved to see that I shouldnít exchange them for that.

The 3D effect is surprising. When you look with your bare eyes, itís there, naturally, but itís as if you donít notice it because itís so ubiquitous. But through these binoculars (maybe through any binoculars?) itís somehow different and quite spectacular and itís as if you notice it for the first time. Hard to explain... When I focus on something the image just snaps into focus, excellent. I can see that the field of view is a little small but I can live with that... at least the field is sharp, and when I look at something Iím certainly not concerned about the edge of field. I did also notice a slight dimming at the edge of field, but I'm sure this is just normal.

I canít wait to try them on stars...

Merry Christmas!


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5583048 - 12/21/12 07:09 PM

Great that you got these in time for Christmas.

If you were looking at objects in the same yard or even in the same block, rather than just in the same galaxy, some of the field mis-match could be from lack of full overlap which increases at closer distances and results from the spacing between the objectives of each binocualr barrel.

Even if you noticed this looking at something very distant in daytime, the effect will be less noticable at night.

Good luck and lots of clear skies for you and daughter.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5583120 - 12/21/12 07:46 PM

I'm not a technical guy and I haven't read through all the posts but please don't underestimate the 8x40s for astronomy. My first look through me Nikon's was at a a Bortle 1 site (46.982917,-76.481388) and the view was magnificent. Structure. At one moment I stood there on the runway with my 10x50s and scanned the Milky Way from Sgr to Per. I'll never forget seeing the h Per / Chi Per with my 15x70s. I've seen the them many times under more LP, but the view that night with my 15x70s unforgettable. I'll never forget. It was magnificent.

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mv1612
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: John_G]
      #5583376 - 12/21/12 11:23 PM

Quote:

My first look through me Nikon's was at a a Bortle 1 site (46.982917,-76.481388).




Bortle 1 sky... well, what more can be said... I think it's only once in my life that I've seen Bortle 1 skies... I was a kid, 40 years ago, rural Romania, a small village without electricity where my grand parents lived. NO LIGHTS whatsoever... anywhere!! naked eyes of course... Milky Way was just so bright!
Oh well...


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5583514 - 12/22/12 01:54 AM

"The image itself is perfect, I donít find any fault for the image of the object that is observed, itís clear and crisp. Itís the borders on the left and right that are not perfectly crisp."

If the image is fine, but the edges of the field are not, you are looking at a target that is too close or are looking AT those overlapping fields. In either case, when you do, you are crossing your eyes; and what happens when you cross your eyes? Bingo! Look at the image and don't worry about the rest. If it's wrong, it will tell you. Oh, my aching head!

Cheers,

BillC


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: BillC]
      #5600940 - 01/02/13 10:19 AM

Hello,

I tested these binoculars during the night, and they are fine. The Moon for example was beautiful. The problem is that for the moment I cannot use them extensively, nor can I give a detailed report. It is very cold outside, so during the few clear nights that I had, I could only observe for a few minutes. Then there is the light pollution and the constant glow of the snow on the ground that reduces the contrast. And then it is my hand shake. It is my first time using binoculars, I am after years of observing through telescope so I am used with stars staying still so now I'm really frustrated by the shake that I'm experimenting. I will need a mount, but then comfort is really important for me so I don't want to strain my neck on some usual camera tripod, but then what could I do? use a parallelogram mount for a 8x30? So I'm kind of frustrated and in search of solutions...

Virgil.


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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5600995 - 01/02/13 10:46 AM

Relax, give yourself some time to learn how to keep them steady. Can't expect perfection the very first time. I wouldn't easily give up the benefits of free-handed use with small binoculars such as your 8x30.

A good in-between solution is to attach something to the binocular while still holding them in your hands. A *small* tripod works well too, and you can then hold the tripod when lifting the binoculars to your eyes.

But still it's best to just train yourself in hand-holding your binoculars.


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BobinKy
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5601077 - 01/02/13 11:21 AM

Quote:

. . . And then it is my hand shake. It is my first time using binoculars, I am after years of observing through telescope so I am used with stars staying still so now I'm really frustrated by the shake that I'm experimenting. I will need a mount, but then comfort is really important for me so I don't want to strain my neck on some usual camera tripod, but then what could I do? use a parallelogram mount for a 8x30? So I'm kind of frustrated and in search of solutions...




Some have good results at steadying binoculars by pressing the eye cups against the bones behind the eyebrows. Another trick is to keep the elbows tucked close to the ribs. Leaning against a wall or tree also helps, as do car roofs. Chaise lounge with arm rests are also great.

There are other tips at this CN thread: Tips on holding binoculars. Google around--there used to be some video clips about holding tips.

And practice inside before you go out in the cold night. Stand in front of a window and try several techniques.

Sometimes very light binoculars are more difficult to keep steady than heavier ones. And the shape of your face also comes into the equation, as do the type of gloves on your hand and the coat you are wearing. Regarding binocular weight, I have better luck keeping a 2-lb and 3-lb binocular more steady than something lighter. Some binoculars are designed for long observations, while others are better at quick peeks.

As Mark said, practice and find what works best for you.

I hope this helps.


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ronharper
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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5601235 - 01/02/13 01:09 PM

I like leaning back in a chair that supports my back, elbows, and head. Looking up at steep angles doesn't strain my neck that way, and the view at 8x is so steady it's almost perfect. The technique is of course very sedentary, so add blankets as necessary. I observe soon after dark before the temperature drops so much. At 20degF an hour is all I can take, and around 10deg, I draw the line.

I think everybody develops their own personal limits, and tricks for steadiness and comfort. Winter nights are not to be missed however, the sky having the brightest stars and clusters, and holding up well to reflected light pollution. The colder it gets, the more desirable a binocular's "quick look" ability becomes.

Christmas--what a stupid time to get new binoculars! But, we do it.
Ron


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mv1612
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Reged: 08/11/09

Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: ronharper]
      #5601990 - 01/02/13 09:26 PM

Quote:

At 20degF an hour is all I can take, and around 10deg, I draw the line.
Ron




Well, now it's -20degC here, that is -4degF and it's beautifully clear

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I will try to develop a technique... !

Virgil.


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Lou3
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Reged: 07/19/12

Loc: PA, USA
Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: mv1612]
      #5602160 - 01/02/13 11:29 PM

Have any of you tried a monopod? If so, did it help much?

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SMark
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Reged: 08/29/11

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Re: 7x35 binoculars for viewing the stars? new [Re: Lou3]
      #5602171 - 01/02/13 11:32 PM

Yeah, the monopod works well. Sometimes it's just what you need. I have a monopod along with 4 tripods. I much prefer the monopod with my smaller binoculars.

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