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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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Tony Flanders
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Stiff Necks and the Zenith
      #5689755 - 02/19/13 09:24 PM Attachment (85 downloads)

In a recent thread, I challenged user "Sarkikos" to post a photo of himself viewing the zenith using tripod-mounted binoculars from a seated position. He did indeed take the photo and e-mailed it to me, inviting me to start a new thread including it, since the original thread was locked.

As you can see, his binoculars were indeed aimed almost exactly at the zenith. He reports that he couldn't quite get close enough to the eyepieces to see the entire field of view, and the position was fairly uncomfortable. But reducing the angle 10 degrees or so made everything much easier.

I decided to repeat the experiment -- you can see the photo of that, too. I certainly got within 20 degrees of the zenith, and possibly 15 degrees. I continue to feel some neck and shoulder pain as I type this, but I'm pretty sure it will go away by tomorrow. The closest I can get to zenith with any semblance of comfort is about 45 degrees.

My preferred method of viewing the zenith with tripod-mounted binoculars is to tilt the tripod back, turning it into a bipod, as shown in the third frame. In case you're wondering, this is still a lot stabler than a monopod.

The moral is that people vary greatly in how much they can bend their necks. And the degree to which you can bend your neck will probably determine how happy you are with tripod-mounted binoculars. My own experience is that most of the things I want to look at are uncomfortable to view, and some of the things I want to look at are impossible to view.

Edited by Tony Flanders (02/22/13 03:37 PM)


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689767 - 02/19/13 09:32 PM

By the way, you don't need binoculars and/or a tripod to test this. Just sit in a regular chair indoors and see if you can view the ceiling directly overhead.

Alternatively, lie on your belly and see if you can view the wall in front of you.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689824 - 02/19/13 10:04 PM Attachment (99 downloads)

Here is a pic of me seated looking at zenith through 25x100 binos mounted to a 501HDV head on a 055XB Manfrotto tripod. I'm sitting on a three-leg fold-up camping stool.

As I told Tony, this is an uncomfortable position. I can't get my eyes close enough to see more than about 80% of the FOV. But I am looking through to zenith, nevertheless. As soon as I point the binos a few degrees down from zenith, it becomes much more comfortable and I can see the entire FOV.

When I was younger, I used to do yoga and weight lifting, including neck curls. Maybe that made my neck more flexible and prepared it for the bino limbo?

DISCLAIMER:
Don't try this unless you have everything locked down tight on the mount and tripod. You don't want the binoculars falling down onto your eyes. And please don't try it at all if you've had previous problems with your neck. Maybe you should consult your chiropractor or masseuse first.


Mike (Sarkikos)


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689827 - 02/19/13 10:06 PM

Tony;
Atleast I can not view the zenith comfortably and even at or above 70 degree therefore, I built P-mount for binocular.


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Special Ed
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689834 - 02/19/13 10:07 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

Tony,

I like your solution of tilting back the tripod on 2 legs.

I found that viewing objects close to the zenith was more confortable using a p-gram mount. The pic is from Green Bank StarQuest 4. I'm looking at the Sun with a pair of 15x70 binoculars equipped with Baader AstroSolar filters.

Still not real comfortable, though. I prefer to catch objects when they are at an altitude of 40-60 degrees if possible.


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jawaid I. Abbasi]
      #5689836 - 02/19/13 10:08 PM

Mike,
That is very impressive.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5689841 - 02/19/13 10:12 PM

I don't think I'd want to tilt back a big pair of binos like the 25x100's. But that sounds like a good idea for 15x70's and smaller.

Actually, when I take out the 15x70's and smaller binos and I want to look at the zenith, sometimes I just remove them temporarily from the tripod. It's pretty easy to do this with a quick-release plate such as on the 501HDV head.

Mike


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689863 - 02/19/13 10:25 PM

Quote:


The moral is that people vary greatly in how much they can bend their necks. And the degree to which you can bend your neck will probably determine how happy you are with tripod-mounted binoculars. My own experience is that most of the things I want to look at are uncomfortable to view, and some of the things I want to look at are impossible to view.




A friend of mine had a telescope with a 90 degree diagonal so that the eyepiece at the zenith was horizontal. Viewing the zenith was quite comfortable..

I figure that serious tripod mounted binoculars need 90 degree diagonals.

jon


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Andresin150
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5689885 - 02/19/13 10:38 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Or a Starchair 3000... Any bino can be mounted there and you can even pass the Zenith accidentaly....

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5689894 - 02/19/13 10:41 PM

Quote:

Or a Starchair 3000... Any bino can be mounted there and you can even pass the Zenith accidentaly....




Looks like it ought to work nicely but that's a lot of stuff to avoid 90 degree diagonals.

Jon


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Andresin150
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5689914 - 02/19/13 10:54 PM

Its just the way it feels that makes it great, I've never used anything near this chair for scanning in absolute confort and total control without any physical effort. But there are so many ways to observe...

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charen
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5690124 - 02/20/13 02:13 AM

I eventually invested in a 100 BT with the 45 degree E.Ps. I got sick of sore necks when viewing, even from 45 degree's upwards was awkward and painfull for me. I need to be comfortable or really it's just not worth it. I know others will have a better pain tolerances but being relaxed is paramount when viewing.
If you are serious about observing the long term investment is well worth it. [I have tried 90 degree B.T.s but prefer the 45 degrees versions].

Chris


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5690210 - 02/20/13 05:33 AM

Quote:

I found that viewing objects close to the zenith was more confortable using a p-gram mount. The pic is from Green Bank StarQuest 4 ....




That kind of parallelogram mount helps me not at all. It lets you move your chair back away from the tripod, but you still have to bend your neck exactly the same as if you were sitting under the tripod.

My UniMount is another story. Because that allows viewing at right angles to the p-gram arm, it makes it possible to view from a reclining chair in perfect comfort. The downside is that it's more cumbersome to carry around than a mid-sized telescope.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5690218 - 02/20/13 05:45 AM

Quote:

I figure that serious tripod mounted binoculars need 90 degree diagonals.




There are two problems with that. First, the practical one. In practice, commercial binoculars with 90-degree diagonals either vignette the light path so that you're viewing at far less than the nominal aperture. Or they are extremely expensive and heavy -- heavy enough so that you need to move up to a different class of tripod.

The other one is aesthetic. Straight-through viewing cuts both ways. On the one hand, as soon as you introduce any kind of support for the binoculars, it's awkward and/or expensive to arrange to do it in complete comfort.

However, it also provides a direct connection between the naked-eye view and the view through the instrument -- something that's conspicuously absent when using a telescope. With a telescope, I flip from one reality to the other; the naked-eye view is disconnected from the instrumental view. With straight-through binoculars, it seems like a natural continuum, as though I'm just cranking my eyeballs up a notch, but still looking at the same thing.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5690222 - 02/20/13 05:53 AM

Quote:

The downside is that it's more cumbersome to carry around than a mid-sized telescope.







Indeed. For me, comfort and simplicity is near the top of the list. After having owned a couple of pairs of larger straight through binoculars and used them with a variety of mounting schemes, I decided that I would use telescopes rather than binoculars for my low power, wide field viewing.

I am giving up using both eyes but I am gaining a more comfortable viewing position and a more versatile, more manageable package. I am also able to optimize the optics, binoculars are seriously compromised in terms of field illumination, eye piece quality, focal ratios. It's a question one eye having a near perfect view versus both eyes having not so perfect a view.

I am not big on correct image, for astro, the right-left reversal is fine. My dream is that someday I will follow in Glenn's footsteps and build a pair of dedicated astronomy binoculars based on two telescopes with 2 inch star diagonals.

Jon


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kenrenard
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5690243 - 02/20/13 06:38 AM

My neck hurts just looking at the photos. I'm 41 do Yoga, Swim, Bike, and lift weights and I still find looking a zenith uncomfortable.

I guess it just takes some getting used to. I now see how Mike does it he doesn't push his eyes right to the eyecups. Which I know is one thing a did wrong. I still like Tony's idea of using the tripod tilted back.

Ken


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Sarkikos
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5690567 - 02/20/13 10:22 AM

My preference is for the natural view and two-eyed viewing as often and as far as possible. I'd much rather star hop using the same orientation as my naked eyes and star charts.

The 25x100's give me a 3-degree TFOV in natural orientation with both eyes open. This is very nice for locating and observing wide doubles, bright galaxies and nebulae, globs, and open star clusters. One of my favorite browsing areas for the 25x100's is the summer Milky Way from Scutum down through Sagittarius and Scorpio, and over through Ophiuchus. At my latitude this makes for a very enjoyable and comfortable way to spend a summer evening. The winter sky around Orion, Monoceros and Puppis is also wonderful and easy on the neck.

And nothing beats a smaller pair of binoculars for quick grab-n-go views of the sky at any time of year.

But I also realize that there are serious constraints on my preferences. For deeper, more "serious" looks - while still being grab-n-go - I need to bring out the C6 or 5" f/5 Newt on an alt-az tripod. With those scopes, I give up some portability and quickness-of-setup, two-eyed viewing, and the natural orientation, but I gain depth of view, versatility and the ability to look directly at zenith without craning my neck.

Mike


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Rich V.
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5690645 - 02/20/13 11:11 AM

Both of my 70mm binoculars have short eye relief and there's no way I could view like the photo Mike provided with the binos an inch or so from my eyes. For me, about 60-70° neck angle is the maximum I can take. Neck flexibility is a individual thing so we all have differing needs. More power to those who can look straight up!

My trusty old Unimount makes it possible to look through these binos while comfortably seated in my recliner. Yes, it's extra gear but the binos require mounting somehow, so why not make it the most comfortable setup possible to take advantage of excellent binocular optics?

My bulkier, heavier 100mm binos have 45° eyepieces so I can view to zenith with an elevator column tripod and 2-way fluid head while sitting on my Starbound adjustable chair. No p-gram necessary. This setup is grab-n-go!

Rich


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ronharper
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5690660 - 02/20/13 11:21 AM

I lean back in a big comfy armchair with an extra pillow under my back, bracing my head and elbows, steadying the binocular sufficiently up to 12x or 15x, and keeping my neck comfortable while viewing near zenith. (sorry for saying that for about the thousandth time) Granted, the chair itself is a considerable piece of equipment ($140), but it's just a lightweight wicker thing, and lives on my deck.
Ron


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Jim Davenport
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: ronharper]
      #5690914 - 02/20/13 01:34 PM

The marvelous thing about the night sky is that if you wait a while, your object will be away from the zenith. No stiff neck.

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rdandrea
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5690933 - 02/20/13 01:41 PM

My solution to observing objects that are at the zenith is to wait two hours.

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hallelujah
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5691019 - 02/20/13 02:29 PM

Quote:

My solution to observing objects that are at the zenith is to wait two hours.








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StarStuff1
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5691173 - 02/20/13 03:42 PM

Then there is always the bino mirror mount where one looks down with the bino. I built one once but it did not work out too well. The reversed image was a little awkward getting used to. My brain said I was using a binocular but the field was "wierd". Actually, I probably could have gotten used to it in a while but the heavy dew that falls here very often was a bigger turn off.

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Andresin150
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5691219 - 02/20/13 04:03 PM

thats what I do when using the Docters with the 501hdv head, zenith is impossible and really not necessary, just wait a few hours...
The chair is just another thing, but I have not take it to darker skies, too much trouble....


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jim Davenport]
      #5691227 - 02/20/13 04:06 PM

Quote:

The marvelous thing about the night sky is that if you wait a while, your object will be away from the zenith. No stiff neck.




You know, it's not really the 10 or 15 degrees around the zenith that's the problem. That's a pretty small chunk of sky.

But I can't view comfortably more than 45 degrees above the horizon through tripod-mounted binoculars -- and even that's pushing it. Sure, I can view higher than that, but only at the risk of being disabled the next few days.

The chunk of sky within 45 degrees from the horizon isn't small at all. And it takes the better part of a night for an object to cross it. And it's the part of the sky with the best viewing conditions.

That's why I usually reserve tripod-mounted binoculars for twilight phenomena like low conjunctions. Where they do indeed work beautifully.

Up to 30 degrees: no problem. 45 degrees: that's pushing it. Above that: it's asking for trouble.


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City Kid
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5691260 - 02/20/13 04:24 PM

I guess I will just have to continue all of my binocular viewing laying back in a lawn chair. While it's true that I miss detail in objects due to not being able to hold the binoculars steady, seeing extra detail isn't worth having problems with my neck. I have three herniated discs (disks ?) in my neck and I just can't hold my head back for any length of time without causing problems. Plus I just enjoy laying on my back and looking at the sky in comfort. Like Jon, if I want a low power wide field of view that allows me to see detail I use my short focal length refractor.

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eklf
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5691296 - 02/20/13 04:41 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

The mirror-mount is my prefered apparatus for viewing the zenith.

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REC
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: eklf]
      #5691396 - 02/20/13 05:38 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Yep, sure is more comfortable sitting is a nice chair look down for up!

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Don M
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5691993 - 02/20/13 11:36 PM

I don't view at the zenith very often, but when I do, this is how I do it!! The StarRocker is not perfect; however, for the investment it has provided much fun / enjoyment! I tell Doris, "If I am not back in, in an hour, call my cell . . . if I don't answer, call 911!!" In cold climates - (it was well below zero, degrees F, when these pictures were taken) half the work is getting enough clothes on so you are comfortable for a while! When 'flying' the StarRocker you literally feel like you are in a 'craft' exploring the cosmos! In the first photo I am using 20 X 80's, 2nd photo 15 X 70's. Here is a link to the StarRocker in action (well in the daylight!! ) (YouTube) Link to another thread (StarRocker - link) There are additional pictures in my gallery. (My Gallery Link)- - - CN Rocks!!





Edited by Don M (02/21/13 12:13 AM)


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Mr. Bill
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Don M]
      #5692575 - 02/21/13 11:42 AM

IMO, 45 degree binos are the way to go with the commercial products currently available.

Unfortunately, there are no 90 degree currently available (as far as I know) that pass muster optically.

That's why I built my 5 inch 90s.



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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5693084 - 02/21/13 04:33 PM

At and near the zenith is where the sky is (usually) darkest. And so it's worth making the effort to be able to observe there in comfort. And angled binos need not be bulky at all. One could so easily rig up a capable bino from a pair of 50mm angled finders, *without* the commonly envisaged, volume-eating, big, flat support plate with four mounting rings.

Such an instrument, up to perhaps 15X or so, doesn't *require* a tripod. Perhaps the best support which requires the least ancillary equipment is somewhat low stool, which has your butt a little below the level of your knees. This one item supports *both* you and the bino. The former is comfy, and the latter enjoys the steadying effect of elbows on thighs/knees. The 'tripod' type of folding camp stool is the lightest solution, and works nicely.

Sure, one has to get used to aiming the bino, but with a little practice it's not so hard. A green laser could be attached so as to ease things, rigged so than its on/off switch is conveniently placed, or even actuated 'remotely' via a mechanical linkage or extra wired-in switch.

There has been manufactured a 45-50mm angled (45 degree) binocular, but the pitifully small prism system allowed only a small field, and so magnifications of 15X or 20X were offered. In other respects they were interesting; they were pretty light, and the IPD adjustment was based on moving each telescope on a width-adjustable stage.

I'd like to see a similar approach employing prisms sufficient to obtain a 5 + degree field, permitting magnifications down to 7X. The accommodation for 1.25" eyepieces would be a doddle for the manufacturer, thus allowing some degree of user customization. A good image would result, and it would be eminently hand-holdable (certainly with the seated, knee bracing technique.)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5693105 - 02/21/13 04:43 PM

Glenn:

I like your ideas... I just keep thinking that if one used star diagonals, rather than correct image optics, things could be a lot easier. It would probably be a hard sell to anyone but an experienced amateur and the alignment would be all mechanical but still... I keep thinking of two ST-80s with 2 inch diagonals and 32mm TV Widefields.

Jon


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5693124 - 02/21/13 04:53 PM

But Jon, larger objectives introduce additional mass, complexity and cost due to the folding of the light paths for the narrower IPD. And enter the stout mount to support the thing. Besides, such beasties already exist. I want to see a commercial solution for comfy hand holding...

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Mark9473
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5693228 - 02/21/13 05:53 PM

Quote:

I want to see a commercial solution for comfy hand holding...



Just attach a mirror in front of your binoculars.


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ronharper
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5693231 - 02/21/13 05:54 PM

Also, your eyes would have to be over 80mm apart.
Ron


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daniel_h
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: ronharper]
      #5693557 - 02/21/13 09:02 PM

i can get to 80deg ok with my P-mount...who wants to look directly overhead at scorpio/sagittarius in the cool of winter anyway??

oops my bad - i forgot they are low down for you guys

Edited by daniel_h (02/21/13 09:03 PM)


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Mr. Bill
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: daniel_h]
      #5693640 - 02/21/13 10:00 PM

Quote:

i can get to 80deg ok with my P-mount...who wants to look directly overhead at scorpio/sagittarius in the cool of winter anyway??

oops my bad - i forgot they are low down for you guys








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Sarkikos
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5693674 - 02/21/13 10:17 PM

Well, we have Cygnus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus and Camelopardalis. Eh ...


Mike


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5693749 - 02/21/13 11:09 PM

Quote:

But Jon, larger objectives introduce additional mass, complexity and cost due to the folding of the light paths for the narrower IPD. And enter the stout mount to support the thing. Besides, such beasties already exist. I want to see a commercial solution for comfy hand holding...




Glenn:

For comfy hand holding, I lay on my back or lay back in a reclining chair...

I keep thinking about the "over-under/side by side" design with the lower scope being further back and using short draw tube, star diagonals and an extension to accommodate the IPD. No undersized prisms to worry about. With an F/5-F/6 focal ratio, there's a reasonable amount of draw tube length to play with while maintaining a well illuminated field. Edge correction is not the problem it is with fast binocular objectives. None of the typical binocular compromises.

It does take a substantial mount but it's a telescope Alt-Az mount (which I have) and a lot of mechanical design and some machining. Unusual mechanical design is what I do, machinists I know...

I just keep thinking of the low power views through 2 inch eyepieces like the 32mm TV Widefield in an ST-80 or Orion 100mm F/6 but with both eyes.

Jon


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5694014 - 02/22/13 04:36 AM

Quite right, Jon. I momentarily lost my mind and forgot about the 'over-under' design, which obviates the extra folding optics. My brain so loves to think in terms of symmetry.

One aspect of this configuration to bear in mind, particularly if desiring to obtain wide fields with 2" eyepieces, is the need to employ a larger diagonal in the 'under' tube. This might require a 2.6" m.a., certainly not a 'standard' 2" diagonal, for shorter f/ratio objectives.

About lying back and holding a bino... I've done this a great many times over the years. Even with the elbows supported, so that the upper arms are relaxed, there is still the strain on the triceps which is required to support the lower arms and bino. And the elbow joints get stiff, too. After a few hours--actually rather less--this becomes rather tiring. OK for the short-term, but untenable for a dedicated session of prolonged observation.


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guangtou
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Jim Davenport]
      #5694107 - 02/22/13 07:23 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

The hardest part about using a tripod with straight through binoculars to look at the zenith is my neck won't go back 90 degrees. The second hardest part is the tripod gets in the way. One way to overcome the second part is to use a combination of panhead, 410 geared head and ball head to achieve anough distance from the tripod.

As far as overcoming the first part, I suspect that persistence in contorting yourself this way will either break your neck (at which point 90 degrees will be no problem) or convince you that the way to look at the zenith with such binoculars is either lying down on a blanket or sitting in an anti-gravity chair.

Edited by guangtou (02/22/13 07:32 AM)


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Don M
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: daniel_h]
      #5694211 - 02/22/13 08:50 AM

Quote:

i can get to 80deg ok with my P-mount...who wants to look directly overhead at scorpio/sagittarius in the cool of winter anyway??

oops my bad - i forgot they are low down for you guys




Remember - with continental drift that is going to change!!


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Sarkikos
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Don M]
      #5694241 - 02/22/13 09:09 AM

I can't wait that long.



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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5694251 - 02/22/13 09:19 AM

Quote:


One aspect of this configuration to bear in mind, particularly if desiring to obtain wide fields with 2" eyepieces, is the need to employ a larger diagonal in the 'under' tube. This might require a 2.6" m.a., certainly not a 'standard' 2" diagonal, for shorter f/ratio objectives.




I am thinking if I use a short drawtube, a moderate focal ratio and limit the range of focus, it all should work with 2 inch diagonals which have about 42mm-44mm of clear aperture. The big optical disadvantage of this configuration is that the images are reversed right to left, for commercial use, this is probably unacceptable. For me, I prefer it...

This is a retirement project, probably start with ST-80s, if that works satisfactorily, then move on to the Orion 100mm F/6...

Here is a way out there design... totally asymmetrical.. I wonder if anyone has ever done this.. I am strongly left eye dominant, that is probably one reason I am more interested in mono-vision than bino-vision. How about binoculars with full aperture on one side, reduced aperture on the other side, just to provide that eye with something to look at... Say an 80mm F/6 on one side, a 40mm F/12 on the other...

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (02/22/13 09:25 AM)


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Andresin150
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5694272 - 02/22/13 09:29 AM

I like the idea of using 90 deg diagonals, but not too much of using 2" size. In my experience, 2" eps are just too fat to accomodate my eyes comfirtably. I remember that the Chinese 150bt was only comfortable when using the 1 1/4" Denkmeier eps. The big Fujis are just on the limit of ep fatness I can take, and also they have acceptable long er (the 40x not so much but acceptable).
Thats why I declined in buying the Ethos at that time... And thats why I've been interested in the Delos and their long ER, (the Naglers have also short ER for bino viewing, of course all are excellent for mono..)
The Docter EPs are incredibly comfortable, thin enough for all users and everyone should be able to see the whole Fov, if I where on a project such as Glen's, thats the eyepieces I'll consider...


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5694285 - 02/22/13 09:36 AM

Aggghh, some of these pics in this thread make my neck ache just looking at them. Realistically speaking for me, if straight through bins, it is max 45 degree and for short runs. Anything higher and I'm reserved to several minutes max. Loungechair almost flat is great. My 90 degree bins are great.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5694369 - 02/22/13 10:17 AM

Quote:

In my experience, 2" eps are just too fat to accomodate my eyes comfirtably.




I agree most are.. that is why I specified the 32mm TV Widefield. It's not the 35mm Panoptic or the 31mm Nagler but it provides quite pleasing widefield views and is 55mm in diameter which means with careful design, about anyone could use it.

The other reason to use 2 inch diagonals is that they can be further down the optical path because of their greater clear aperture, less vignetting than with 1.25 inch diagonals.

Jon


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Mr. Bill
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5694488 - 02/22/13 11:25 AM

A fellow at the Golden State SP last year saw my BinoBox and showed me his over/under design using 5 inch Jeager objectives.

If I hadn't already built my side by side, I would seriously consider this design alternative. The main issue would be an adjustable IPD.

OBTW, my BinoBox is featured in the April S&T Telescope Workshop column....I received a copy of the article from a fellow in Europe. I guess they get early delivery since my issue hasn't shown up yet.



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hallelujah
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5694574 - 02/22/13 12:10 PM

Quote:

OBTW, my BinoBox is featured in the April S&T Telescope Workshop column....I received a copy of the article from a fellow in Europe. I guess they get early delivery since my issue hasn't shown up yet.




http://www.garyseronik.com/?q=node/208


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Special Ed
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5695686 - 02/22/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I found that viewing objects close to the zenith was more confortable using a p-gram mount. The pic is from Green Bank StarQuest 4 ....




That kind of parallelogram mount helps me not at all. It lets you move your chair back away from the tripod, but you still have to bend your neck exactly the same as if you were sitting under the tripod.

My UniMount is another story. Because that allows viewing at right angles to the p-gram arm, it makes it possible to view from a reclining chair in perfect comfort. The downside is that it's more cumbersome to carry around than a mid-sized telescope.




Tony,

Backing away from the tripod legs is a good thing which makes the p-gram mount part of the solution.

If you want to view near the zenith in comfort, the unimount system is one excellent solution. The amount of gear to deal with is an individual judgement.

My astronomy experience (and I'm sure yours, too) requires a certain amount of contortionism at least some of the time. If you don't want to bend your neck to view near the zenith, the only alternative is to lay on your back.

My most confortable zenith observing (by far) includes an anti-grav chair and image stabilised binoculars.


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Mr. Bill
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Re: Stiff Necks and the Zenith new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5696525 - 02/23/13 12:35 PM

I think Tony's technique of leaning back with a tripod is probably the simplist effective way of using small straight through binoculars while observing near the zenith.

I use a p-mount which is another level of equipment to fiddle with.

Lately, I've enjoyed my mirror mount shown on an earlier post.

Lots of options...


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