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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6193971 - 11/14/13 04:41 AM

The picture of the month!

I am surprised and impressed how compact the Swarowski/Matsumoto ATX 95 binoscope is, compared with the Kowa Highlander.

Stephan


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6194753 - 11/14/13 02:55 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, ATX 95 binoscope (95mm f/5.8) is compact and light weight comparing to Kowa Highlander (82mm f/5.5).

ATX 95 binoscope with two Docter UWA 12.5s (2.3lb) is about 1.2lb lighter than Kowa Highlander with two Kowa 14s (0.86lb).

Tammy


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Kimmo Absetz
super member


Reged: 10/12/05

Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6214435 - 11/25/13 03:43 AM

Tammy,

Now that you have had the ATX 95 binoscope for a while, I would be interested in hearing about its performance both as is and as compared to the ATX 95 spotting scope you also have. So what are the differences between the prism/eyepiece configurations, and do they influence the optical quality much.

A comparison with the Kowa Highlander would also interest many of us.

Kimmo


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rodnocjolly
member


Reged: 10/13/12

Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Kimmo Absetz]
      #6214948 - 11/25/13 11:53 AM

Tammy,

we know you are using it !

Tell us everything !!!


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Kimmo Absetz]
      #6216881 - 11/26/13 10:36 AM

Hi Kimmo,

I haven't done much comparison between EMS and Swarovski prism/eyepiece unit alone but I am doing side-by-side comparison between Kowa and ATX 95 binoscope as often as I can every day and night.

ATX 95 aperture advantage (larger exit pupil size at the same power) is clearly visible over Kowa at night. I observed Double Cluster last night and Lovejoy this morning at 32x on both instruments, ATX 95 with Delos 17.3 and Kowa with 14mm. Lovejoy looked better (longer tail) in ATX 95 and visibility threshold stars on Kowa is steady visible in ATX 95.

That's it for now. I'll add more notes as I observe more.

Tammy


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6219082 - 11/27/13 11:17 AM

Hi Tammy,

The Delos 14 and 17.3 have a focus point 0.48 inches inward from the focus point of the rest of the Delos family. You already used the Delos 17.3 in the ATX 95, which is good news, thus we know the ATX 95 will accept any standard Delos without the need of shortening the eyepiece barrel.

Stephan


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6219405 - 11/27/13 01:48 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, Delos 17.3 comes to focus to infinity. It leaves a few degrees of turn to go on focuser. It means that depending on your eye, it may not come to focus to infinity.

I compared Delos 17.3 to Nikon NAV SW 17.5. I like Nikon better.
Nikon NAV 17.5 has better edge than Delos 17.3. It was a surprise to me.

Due to limited back focus in this configuration, Matsumoto-san shorten EMS eyepiece holder to increase chance for many eyepieces to come to focus to infinity. Actually, whole thing (making binoscope using Swarovski ATX 95) is a result of luck and large part Matsumoto-san's willingness to overcome various issues to make this possible.
He told me "It was a miracle." I agree with him, such small package for 95mm binoscope.

By the way, tricky part is that nosepiece length becomes much more critical. Some eyepiece nosepiece is pretty long. It would hit EMS mirror if you are not careful.

For long focal end eyepiece (Panoptic 27), I would need to cut nosepiece to use filter.
Without filter, it works fine, though.

I am trying out what eyepieces give good result. So far I tried following eyepieces:

Hyperion 31
Panoptic 27 (*)
Panoptic 24
Panoptic 19
Nikon NAV SW 17.5 (*)
Delos 17.3
Nagler 16T5 (mono only)
Docter UWA 12.5 (*)
Delos 10
Delos 6 (*)
Pentax XO 5.1
Takahashi LE 5
Ethos SX 4.7 (mono only)
Ethos SX 3.7 (mono only)
Pentax XO 2.58

I like Docter UWA 12.5 best among them.

(*) are my favorite choice.

Tammy


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6219416 - 11/27/13 01:54 PM

Quote:

The ATX 95 objective module is attached to mount plate by what they call "tripod ring." There is an issue with the tripod ring to get OTA aligned reliably. Since the tripod ring is designed to rotate OTA easily on the fly, loosen, rotate and then fasten, the convenient feature becomes disadvantage for binoscope.

I had to loosen/fasten the tripod ring to make two OTAs align precisely to get image merged at 213x. Once the adjustment is done, there is no issue merging at the high power. It must be loosen during shipment.

I noticed that distance between two OTAs (ie: IPD) must be readjusted slightly to get comfortable depending on eyepiece (exit pupil size dependent?) I guess I do that with binoviewer naturally. IPD adjustment is bit more cumbersome with this binoscope. So it is probably not user friendly scope if you want to share the view with others who has different IPD.




Hi Tammy,

Thank you very much for the detailed eyepiece info as just given in your previous post!


With regard to the "tripod ring" issue and the lack of fast and convenient IPD changes, maybe the Linear Bino Platform BB-130 of AOK Swiss might be a solution. (Descriptive text in German only, please use Google Translate.)

AOK Swiss uses this Bino Platform for his Borg Bino Scopes, the Platform is recommended for any OTA's up to 4 inches. AOK Swiss sells it at 430 Swiss Francs = 473 US Dollars, plus shipping.

Its clever design offers very precise parallel changes of the OTA distance, so this Bino Platform might be the ticket for fast and reliable IPD changes on the Swaro ATX 95 bino telescope.

Stephan

Edited by Stellarfire (11/27/13 02:25 PM)


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6219723 - 11/27/13 04:05 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, I've seen the binoscope IPD change mechanism. It is for larger binoscope.

There is simple mechanism to move Swarovski OTA horizontally on dovetail mount to change IPD.

The right OTA (dovetail attachment) moves (slides) horizontally if you loose the thumb screw.
Left OTA moves front/back using the same mechanism.

The collimation screws work like a charm. All clever design. I should have jumped on EMS binoscope much earlier



Tammy


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6219812 - 11/27/13 04:49 PM

Hi Tammy,

Ok, thanks for the info. With regard to the "tripod ring" issue, you wrote:
"The ATX 95 objective module is attached to mount plate by what they call "tripod ring." There is an issue with the tripod ring to get OTA aligned reliably. Since the tripod ring is designed to rotate OTA easily on the fly, loosen, rotate and then fasten, the convenient feature becomes disadvantage for binoscope.
I had to loosen/fasten the tripod ring to make two OTAs align precisely to get image merged at 213x. Once the adjustment is done, there is no issue merging at the high power. It must be loosen during shipment."


I am still trying to understand better the "tripod ring" issue as described by you. Does the "tripod ring" replace the original tripod adapter of the ATX 95 objective module, and how looks that part?

Stephan


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #6219861 - 11/27/13 05:14 PM

The tripod ring is Swarovski original part, OTA ring with tripod adapter (dovetail shape).

The ring has fastening screw just like camera telephoto lens ring. You tighten the screw, the ring squeezes the OTA to stay put from rotating.

The issue I described earlier was resolved. It was caused by left OTA tripod ring was fastened at wrong place. The ring adapter has a dip (or click) to prevent from rotating.

The left OTA was assembled off the dip (click position) by mistake. So two OTAs were slightly off.

I removed left EMS unit, rotated OTA, and fastened OTA at click position.
Then I attached EMS back at the end of OTA carefully so that eyepiece holders are perfectly vertically parallel.

The two OTA are aligned very well in parallel and eyepieces stand vertically aligned in parallel. Tall and short eyepieces stand in parallel.

Slight collimation (on right OTA/EMS) may be necessary if eyepieces don't sit on eyepiece holder perfectly in parallel. This happens because nosepiece diameter varies quite bit. Compression ring tilts eyepieces...

Tammy


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6219881 - 11/27/13 05:23 PM

Thank you Tammy, for the additional explanations. It is all clear now.

Stephan


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Kimmo Absetz]
      #6233506 - 12/04/13 02:42 PM

Quote:

Tammy,

Now that you have had the ATX 95 binoscope for a while, I would be interested in hearing about its performance both as is and as compared to the ATX 95 spotting scope you also have. So what are the differences between the prism/eyepiece configurations, and do they influence the optical quality much.

A comparison with the Kowa Highlander would also interest many of us.

Kimmo




Hi Kimmo,

I have a chance to compare ATX95/EMS against ATX95/Swarovski eyepiece module during daytime.
I used Delos 10 and Zeiss AII-10 with EMS, yielding about 55x.

I used neighbor's chimney about 300 feet away. Sorry for boring target

Here is chimney from behind scope:


Front view of side-by-side:


This is taken with ATX95/eyepiece module+TLS APO+Fuji X-Pro1:


Full resolution photo: http://www.pbase.com/tammyhomma/image/153642379/original.jpg

Here is left side of chimney, 100% crop, CA is apparent:

Here is around center, 100% crop, lesser CA at focus:


Here is what I found:
1. Very little difference in detail on focus, well lit area. Air may not be steady enough to see more detail.
2. Swarovski eyepiece module shows lesser CA in out of focus area.
3. EMS/Delos 10 is visibly warmer color tone than Swarovski eyepiece module.
4. EMS/AII-10 is closer to Swarovski eyepiece module in color rendering.
5. EMS shows a little more detail in dark area as if it were brighter.

It seems that ATX prism/eyepiece module reduced CA than EMS. I would imagine that they design to optimize to deliver the best final image to eyepiece. EMS isn't a part of it. CA reduction must have happened in the prism unit.

It is difficult to use the same ATX95 objective lens module and to swap EMS and eyepiece module.
EMS module is attached to ATX95 objective lens module with 6 screws and requires careful collimation. So the observation above was with two different ATX95 objective lens modules (one of binoscope and spotting scope).

Next, I'll do side-by-side comparison at night.

Tammy


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DRodrigues
super member


Reged: 08/08/11

Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6233743 - 12/04/13 05:02 PM

Thanks for sharing Tammy.
Would be also interesting to know how compares the field-flatness of the X95 with the EMS...


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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: DRodrigues]
      #6233755 - 12/04/13 05:11 PM

VERY impressive, Tammy.

I've spent more time viewing chimney pots over the years than I have stars! :-)

Kenny


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: KennyJ]
      #6233843 - 12/04/13 05:47 PM

That is a fine work of art Tammy. To have such a compact, lightweight, quality binoscope has got to feel pretty good. I would say all of that hard work in design and fit surely paid off with the sum being even greater than the parts.

A truly beautiful binoscope. Wish you many happy nights viewing. Someday - something like that. I can only imagine how much use that would get at 10 lbs with nearly 4" lenses. That's the stuff of dreams made real.

Thank you for sharing with us!


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #6273754 - 12/26/13 02:21 PM

Hi Eric,

Since you are in southern CA, we probably go to a star party next year.

I accomplished one goal that I had in mind for Swarovski binoscope, bagging Horsehead from backyard.

It has been warm and windy here. Yesterday high was 81. It was 67-65 degree even at 23:00.

It was bit windy but warm to stay outside for long time. Christmas season isn't exactly good for hunting Horsehead in residential area since there are many Christmas lights. Our house is probably only one with no Christmas lights for obvious reason Our neighbors do turn off the lights after around 10pm. I am thankful for that.

Well, I didn't wait for 10pm but blocking lights as much as I could and I had my winter jacket over my head and preserving my dark adapted eyes. I sat on star chair for nearly two hours just looking for B33.

When good breathing, resting, concentrating, looking for sweet spot of averted vision, timing of wind, seeing all came together, I could spot Horsehead about 10% of time for a second or so, no more than 2 seconds.

It is hard to convince that I saw it but it appears just like a ghost and disappears quickly. I consider it as "bagged"

I had Thousand Oaks H-Beta filters and a pair of Hyperion 24s on Swarovski ATX binoscope last night.
It gives about 23x and 3 degree TFOV, 4.1mm exit pupil.

I'll try again with Panoptic 27 tonight if condition is good. I started wondering narrower AFOV eyepiece could be better for this. Not bothered by bright Zeta Orionis.

Filter is placed on top of EMS:


Thousand Oaks H-Beta filter



Tonight setup:


Tammy


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Ravenous
sage


Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: UK
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6274846 - 12/27/13 04:38 AM

Excellent - the ability to use decent filters - that's what binocular telescopes are all about!

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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Ravenous]
      #6275099 - 12/27/13 10:15 AM

Amazing. That's a good catch Tammy. I hope to attend some Star Parties in 2014. I'll be bringing my Istar F/5 Comet Hunter w/R35 lens and hopefully some Siebert BV's by then too. Would love to get a peek through your binoscope. Definitely afraid of that peek too. Afraid all other views will pale in comparison.



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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #6400029 - 02/27/14 11:43 AM

A little update on setup.

Yesterday, I took a delivery of Really Right Stuff fluid heads FH-350 for video capture use. It looks like a good match with the binoculars, too.

I weighted the setup. It is 22.7lb, binoculars, a pair of Docter UWA 12.5s, FH-350 heads, and carbon tripod.



Tammy


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