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Equipment Discussions >> Binoviewers

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Sarkikos
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Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only
      #6141862 - 10/16/13 09:39 PM

I have a Burgess Binoviewer. Eventually I'd like to upgrade to a Mark V or Binotron. I only binoview planets and the Moon - no DSO - and only through my Dobs. The largest SCT or Mak I have is a 6", and my largest refractor is a C102. IMO, I don't think it'd be worthwhile to do what needs to be done in order to use any of those three for binoviewing. And the image would not be as sharp or as bright as through my larger Dobs. So I'll continue to only monoview through my Cats and refractors.

But I am interested in a binoviewer upgrade for my Dobs, especially the 10" f/4.8. At this point, I'm leaning toward the Mark V. So far the deciding factor might be the coma correction available for that binoviewer. The Binotron does not provide coma correction. I achieve detailed views of planets with my Burgess Binoviewer, but I cannot stack it with my Paracorr II. I'd like to be able to binoview and have coma correction. I suspect the planet detail would be even better if I could do both.

On the other hand, the Mark V does not have a Power Switch. The Binotron does. I was hoping that the ability to switch among three levels of magnification using one eyepiece would allow me to sell off some of my bino pairs. I have about 22 pairs, 44 eyepieces just for binoviewing! Time to cull the herd ... I hope. After all, selling some of my bino pairs could help fund the new binoviewer.

However, I am concerned that for the Binotron, the OCS Cell plus the Power Switch lenses plus the prisms plus the eyepieces might degrade the image for planet observation compared to merely changing to a shorter focal-length bino pair or a more powerful OCS and doing without the Power Switch. I like the idea of switching immediately among three levels of magnification - even if some refocusing is needed. But I don't like the idea that it might degrade the image. I'd rather not deal with a Power Switch if the image would be even slightly sharper without it. After all, I'm talking planet viewing here!

Also, I still like the idea of binoviewing with coma correction. That's possible with the Mark V. AFAIK, that's impossible with the Binotron.

So, which should be my next binoviewer upgrade: Mark V or Binotron?

Thanks,
Mike


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crow
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6141935 - 10/16/13 10:13 PM

Hi Mike, well I've received a pair of Binotrons recently. The weather here, usually crystal clear this time of year has been pretty dire so I haven't had them out under the stars yet apart from very briefly. I can say this though, build wise they just radiate quality, they have that swiss watch feel to them, pretty light too. The diopter adjustment, eyepiece locking mechanisms are super slick and work very well from my limited experimentation. You can collimate them pretty easily too. Ill be using them with an 1100 Edge and working on keeping the light path nice and short.

Which would be best for your personal situation Ill let others advice, I've never even seen the Mark V's, but as far as build quality and service goes, i.e Russ at Denk is great to work with, the Binotrons are amazing, I'm not expecting anything less optically when I don't have to run between rain showers.


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Eddgie
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6141992 - 10/16/13 10:40 PM

Because the binoviewers greatly limit your true field, the coma is a lot less of an issue than you may realize.

Suppose that you use a Denk with D21 eyepieces.

If your scope is 1220mm focal length, then with the low power arm, it will be like the scope is going to be more like 1590mm focal length.

This means that if you were to use a pair of D21s, the power would be around 73x.

And remember, the D21s are only 65 degree apparent field.

Now suppose you were to duplicate this power in your scope at native focal length. That would be like using a 16mm wide field (something like the ES 16/68).

Because you are limited to relatively high powers, most of the bad coma simply is not going to be in the field.

I used the Binotron in a 12" f/4.9 dob with a pair of 20/68 ES eyepeices, and honestly coma was not really much of an issue.

In essence, you are going to be using only the center 50% of the mirror.

The Mark V lets you use a full 24mm eyepiece with a 27mm field stop, so the power is not that much different from the Binotron.

For example, if I used the Bintron/D21, I would get 91X with a 65 degree apparent field. In the Mark with 1.7x coma corrector, I would get about 106x, but with a 68 degree apparent field, so the difference in true field size is not all that great. The Baader though does do an excellent job of correcting coma, and I believe that the field illumination is quite a bit better with the Mark V/Coma corrector. The Binotron will cut off about half of the off considerably more off axis light than the Mark V, but again, you have to factor in that it does have a bit wider field.

I have used both systems and each has its strengths.

The primary strength of the Binotron is the powerswith.. With D21s, you could have low, medium, and high power without changing eyepeices (though you may want a new focuser tube so you don't have to slip the binoviewrs out a bit to reach focus at high powers).

You have to change eyepeices, but the brilliant design of the eyepiece clamps make it very quick and easy with only a 30% turn to clamp and unclamp.

The Mark V also has the quick change ring which makes it very easy to move the BV body. I have quick change rings on all of my telescopes (two pair of Mark Vs) and I like being able to just undo one screw to move the binoviewr back and forth (I have extra diagonals).

The Mark V also has the potention to work at native focal length in some refractors, or with a 1.25GPC in many, and coupled with the 28mm clear aperture, allows you to get a wider true field in those scopes (if you can reach focus with no GPC or with the 1.25 GPC).

The Binotrons have that powerswitch.. Did I mention that?

These are two very different systems and both have very important strengths.

For a Dob only, I think the Binotron is at its very best, and the powerswitch is hard to resist.

But you can get the same low powers with the Mark V.

I have a pair of 35mm Ultimas that I can get 73x with my 12" f/4.9 dob. To get the same power with the Binotron without vignetting, you could use the 26mm Plossls, but then you would be changing eyepeices anyway, so in the end, unless you accept vignetting, you can't really get any lower power in the Bintron than the Mark V.

But did I mention the powerswitch?

Powerswitch is a great benefit. It is hard to deny the appeal of this feature.

Don't worry so much about the coma though. Again, you are only be using the center 50% or so of the mirror, so most of the bad coma is out of sight in both systems, but the Baader is a true coma corrector.


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REC
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6142654 - 10/17/13 10:45 AM

Just a newbie in the world of BV and have been mainly using my Denk2 P/S in my 8" SCT. But recently bought a 10" Dob to see what all the fuss is about on CN with so many members using them.

I bought an OCS for the Denk's and I must say they are pretty neet. I have not looked at a planet yet as Jupiter rises late here, but looking forward to doing so in this scope. The stars in the double star cluster look really sharp and contrasty with the reducer arm in, get both of them in the EP. The moon is dazzingly in the BV in all 3 modes. I'm using a pair of 20mm SWA and a 26mm SP.

With the OCS I'm working at f/1600, f/2800 and f/3800 in the 10" Dob.

Bob


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Eddgie
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: REC]
      #6142700 - 10/17/13 11:03 AM

Yes, I think the Binotron is really at its very best in a Dob/Newt. I have used it in all three of my primary scopes (C14, 6" APO, 12" dob) and my favorite for the Binotron was without question the dob.

The 6" APO to me is too small to binoview and you sacrifce the really fantastic ultra-wide fields.

To much power in the C14 and to narrow a field even in low power.

But in the dob, they were pretty amazing.

I did not like having to slide the OCS out to reach focus at high power, but I have since replaced he factory focuser and with the new focuser, I picked a tube that I thought would be long enough to allow me to reach both low and high powers just by using the focuser.

Also, the focuser has about .75" more in travle, so now I should be able to reach focus in low power with the OCS fully in, which I think would improve the off axis illumination. With the old focuser, I had to screw the OCS out about .7" and this could have made a difference.

I think that if you have to use extensions, it may even be a bit worse, so it may be better to go to a lower profile focuser even if the OCS tube sticks into the light path at low power.

In reducer mode, it really does not matter I think if the OCS sticks into the light path, and you have to rack out quite a bit for the striaght though, so I am sure it would be out then, but if not, when you go to high power for planets it is almost 100% sure to be completely out of the light path, and that is the only time it really matters in my opinion is for high power planetary use...

I loved it in the Dob and I think the lower profile focuser would only make it better.


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Paul G
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6142761 - 10/17/13 11:47 AM

Haven't used one, but in the S&T review they said the power switch did introduce a little aberration.

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beatlejuice
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6142931 - 10/17/13 01:12 PM

Quote:

I loved it in the Dob and I think the lower profile focuser would only make it better.




Yes it does. I got the moonlite with the 2.37" tube and attached it with no spacers. This allows me to come to focus with all 3 power switch positions and without having to unscrew the middle newtonian spacer at all.
The only time the tube extends into the light path is with the reducer arm in. For mid and high power and also with all of my eyepieces in mono the tube does not extend into the light path.
I might add that the moon and sun were spectacular in my Omni 120 and I had no problem achieving focus in all 3 positions with the 4.5" drawtube of the R&P focuser that came with the scope.
I can't wait for Jupiter and Saturn with the binotron's.

Eric


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6142962 - 10/17/13 01:31 PM

Eddgie,

Quote:

Because the binoviewers greatly limit your true field, the coma is a lot less of an issue than you may realize.

Suppose that you use a Denk with D21 eyepieces.

If your scope is 1220mm focal length, then with the low power arm, it will be like the scope is going to be more like 1590mm focal length.

This means that if you were to use a pair of D21s, the power would be around 73x.

And remember, the D21s are only 65 degree apparent field.

Now suppose you were to duplicate this power in your scope at native focal length. That would be like using a 16mm wide field (something like the ES 16/68).

Because you are limited to relatively high powers, most of the bad coma simply is not going to be in the field.

I used the Binotron in a 12" f/4.9 dob with a pair of 20/68 ES eyepeices, and honestly coma was not really much of an issue.

In essence, you are going to be using only the center 50% of the mirror.




I am still not settled as to how important coma correction really is to planet/lunar observation. The only times I have been aware of obvious coma in my 10" f/4.8 Dob is with large AFOV's and usually more often at moderate-to-low power. Coma scales linearly with apparent field of view - IIRC that's how the math mavens say it! - so it's not surprising that it should be more obvious the wider the AFOV. However, this is also why advocates of coma correction say it is a good idea at higher magnifications as well, since you can use wider AFOV eyepieces at high power.

But to my eyes coma is much less obvious at high power, even with a wide AFOV. Maybe this is due to the fact that the Diffraction Limited Field takes up more of the AFOV at higher powers, or that the exit pupil is narrower? I'm not sure. I'm just saying what I see.

IME binoviewing has a much greater impact on ability to see fine surface detail and an increase in perceived contrast than using a Paracorr. I've done this experiment a number of times, comparing the image of Jupiter binoviewed w/o Paracorr vs Paracorred w/o binoviewer. To my eyes, the binoviewed image consistently looks sharper and more contrasty. I see the benefit for wide-field deep sky views with a Paracorr, but not really so much - if at all - for moderate-to-high magnification planet/lunar work.

That said, the optical theory and the numbers seem to indicate a Paracorr should make a significant difference for planet/lunar. Ideally the FOV should be entirely within the DLF for a telescope that does not track.

The DLF for my 10" f/4.8 Dob is about 7 arcmin. So for an eyepiece with a 44 degree AFOV - my orthos and XO's - I would need to boost the magnification to 350x to achieve a 7 arcmin TFOV. For a 50 degree eyepiece, I'd need 400x; a 60 degree eyepiece, 500x; an 80 degree eyepiece, 650x. Well then, maybe I should either get tracking so I can keep the planet on-axis or use a Paracorr!

My Paracorr increases the DLF by a factor of about 6x, from 7 arcmin to 42 arcmin. So to have the entire FOV fall within the DLF when I'm using the Paracorr, I'd only need 58x with a 44 degree eyepiece, 67x with a 50 degree, 83x with a 60 degree, and only 108x for an 80 degree eyepiece! All my eyepieces would provide a field entirely within the DLF for magnifications over 110x or so, well below the usual powers for planet/lunar. Even my ES 100 9mm plus Paracorr shows a field completely within the DLF at 153x.

This all sounds good. But like I said, the Paracorr hasn't panned out as I hoped for planet/lunar viewing. I mostly use it for wide-field deep sky.

On the other hand, in hopes that a combination of binoviewer plus coma correction would provide a sharper image than just binoviewer alone, I'm tending to lean toward the Mark V at this time.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: REC]
      #6142995 - 10/17/13 01:50 PM

Quote:

Just a newbie in the world of BV and have been mainly using my Denk2 P/S in my 8" SCT. But recently bought a 10" Dob to see what all the fuss is about on CN with so many members using them.

I bought an OCS for the Denk's and I must say they are pretty neet. I have not looked at a planet yet as Jupiter rises late here, but looking forward to doing so in this scope. The stars in the double star cluster look really sharp and contrasty with the reducer arm in, get both of them in the EP. The moon is dazzingly in the BV in all 3 modes. I'm using a pair of 20mm SWA and a 26mm SP.

With the OCS I'm working at f/1600, f/2800 and f/3800 in the 10" Dob.

Bob




IME a binoviewer provides an obvious improvement in fine surface detail seen and enhancement of perceived contrast when observing planets. When I've looked at DSO with my binoviewer, the effect is nice, very pretty, but I don't feel any more info reaches my eye than when I monoview. For DSO, the advantage to binoviewing is more a matter of aesthetics and presentation - IME & IMO, of course.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6143002 - 10/17/13 01:52 PM

Quote:

I loved it [the Binotron] in the Dob and I think the lower profile focuser would only make it better.




I recently upgraded to a 1.5" low-profile Moonlite, so I should be good to go.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Paul G]
      #6143015 - 10/17/13 01:55 PM

Quote:

Haven't used one, but in the S&T review they said the power switch did introduce a little aberration.




Thanks. I know I had read that somewhere. I'd like the convenience of the Power Switch, but I don't want degradation of the image. Not a good thing when I'm trying to tease out fine surface features in the image of a planet.

IIRC, the Binotron has the middle power setting as straight through, with no additional lenses? If so, at least that setting would have no further aberration of the image.

Mike


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beatlejuice
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6143065 - 10/17/13 02:20 PM

Quote:

I recently upgraded to a 1.5" low-profile Moonlite, so I should be good to go.




I don't think you will be able to reach focus in the high power mode of the binotron with a 1.5" tube without having to pull it out of the focuser at least 1/2".

Eric


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TGModerator
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6143624 - 10/17/13 07:58 PM

Quote:

I am still not settled as to how important coma correction really is to planet/lunar observation.




For planets, coma may not be a factor if you're using a driven scope and can keep the planet centered. For Lunar, I prefer coma correction across the entire field. I don't own a scope with coma but I do have an eyepiece pair which is bad in this department and I can't stand to use them on the moon.

Tanveer.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #6143734 - 10/17/13 09:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I recently upgraded to a 1.5" low-profile Moonlite, so I should be good to go.




I don't think you will be able to reach focus in the high power mode of the binotron with a 1.5" tube without having to pull it out of the focuser at least 1/2".

Eric




I didn't install the 1.5" Moonlite to come to focus at all settings of a Binotron. I did it so I could come to focus when using filter wheel without having to use an OCS.

Now if I do get a Binotron, maybe I can stack it in the filter wheel and be able to come to focus at all settings. IMO, that would be an excellent outcome!


Mike


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beatlejuice
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6143763 - 10/17/13 09:16 PM

Quote:

Now if I do get a Binotron, maybe I can stack it in the filter wheel and be able to come to focus at all settings. IMO, that would be an excellent outcome!




Indeed that would be an excellent outcome but unfortunately if you do get the binotron the filter wheel will hinder your ability to reach focus at the low power position as well as the mid and high without some kind of adjustment in between.

Before I ordered the moonlite I did all the measurements through every possible combination of eyepieces in mono and with the binotrons with and without a filter wheel. End result was either seemless use of the binos or the filter wheel in mono but not both. I chose the best configuration for the binos and put the filter wheel on hold for now.
Your situation might be slightly different but your scope is very similar to mine.

Eric


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #6143855 - 10/17/13 10:09 PM

If the Binotron only needs an inch of out-focus to come to focus at all settings in my 1.5" Moonlite, that is easily remedied by attaching a parfocalizing ring to the neck of the Binotron. I did this in order for my Paracorr II to focus in my Moonlite focuser.

I have the same situation with the PII and filter wheel that you've experienced with the Binotron and filter wheel: one or the other but not both.

Luckily my Burgess Binoviewer now works fine in the filter wheel and Moonlite focuser, though it does still need an OCS. However, in no configuration with any of my Dobs have I ever been able to come to focus with the binoviewer without an OCS or Barlow. Even the 1.5" Moonlite is not low enough to allow this.

Mike


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Eddgie
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6143933 - 10/17/13 11:01 PM

Quote:

Now if I do get a Binotron, maybe I can stack it in the filter wheel and be able to come to focus at all settings. IMO, that would be an excellent outcome!





I had 1.5" of travel on my 12". I had to extend the OCS barrel abut .75 inches to reach focus in low power and when I racked out, I was still short of focus by about 1/4th inch.

Parfocalizing ring is not going to be a good fix because you would have to remove it to reach low power.

This is the way the Binotron is going to work. You are going to have to rack all the way in to get the low power arm to focus.

When you go straight though, you are going to have to rack out quite a bit, and when you go high, you have to rack out even more.

The solution is simply. Set up the focuser with the lowest profile you can.

Use a 2.1" focuser tube.

Ignore the fact that in low power, the tube is going to extend into the light path. At low power, it really doesn't do enough damage to the image to make it possible to detect. It simply does not matter.

When you go straight through, you are going to pull the focuser back out at least an inch, and at this point, the tube will be out of the light path.

And when you go high, you are going to rack all the way out and the focuser tube will be almost completely inside the focuser housing.

At least that is they way it worked out in my 12" f/4.9 dob. I had a little intrusion in low power, but just a little, and for low power you really can't tell. It is impossible to see the contrast loss from the focuer tube sticking a half inch into the light path.

Medium power, I was clear of the light path, but still about 2/4th inch into the tube, and high power, completely out of the OTA.

So, I went with the longer tube because I did not want to slip the focuser out.

A parfocalizing ring would be a royal pain. Easier to just slip the OCS tube out a bit and use the focuser.


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beatlejuice
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6144042 - 10/18/13 12:27 AM

Quote:

Use a 2.1" focuser tube.




Exactly. That is why I went with the 2.37" focuser tube as well as to be able to reach focus in mono with my 30mm UWA which reaches focus 4 3/16" above the scope. The 3 thumb screw compression ring adds 3/8" to the height and luckily I can just reach focus with the reducer arm in and no extension of the newtonian spacer, which is what I wanted for max FOV in low power.

Eric


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Eddgie
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #6144092 - 10/18/13 01:11 AM

I spend about an hour on the Moonlight page and did a lot of measuring to make sure that the focuser tube would be the right length.

All of the data is there, but it is not really easy to figure out exactly what length tube you need.

I just had to dig though the pages and get different measurments and the data about how much the tube extends past the bottom and things like that.

Result was perfect, but it did take a lot of measuring and estimating.

For a faster scope though, I would think that less travel would be needed because of the steeper light cone.

For the f/4.9 though, I figured I needed 2.1"to hit top and bottom and the top of the focuser needed to be something like 3.4 inches (as I recall). I rember it was the mounting plate with no shims installed for low power, and the 2.1" travel was required out for out focus to be able to avoid slipping out the OCS to reach high power focus.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Mark V or Binotron for 10" Dob - Planet/Lunar Only new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6144321 - 10/18/13 07:17 AM

I set up my Moonlite order so that I would be able to use my 2" and 1.25" filter wheels with my eyepieces without having to screw on an OCS. I determined that I would be have to go with the 1.5" drawtube to accomplish this.

So far, all my 1.25" and 2" eyepieces will come to focus in a filter wheel - except for my ES 100 20mm. That eyepiece needs a little more in-focus. If I hadn't gone with a 1.5" drawtube, I'm sure that more eyepieces would not have come to focus in the filter wheels. My solution was the best for my purpose.

On balance, I was able to do what I wanted to do, which was use eyepieces in filter wheels without an OCS. The Binotron was not even on my radar at that time. It still might not be. More and more, I'm tending toward the Mark V and away from the Binotron. Sounds like the Binotron would be more trouble than it's worth for me.

Mike


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