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Coronado 10x25 BinoMite Solar Binoculars


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Not having the money for a deluxe white light solar telescope, I decided to buy the inexpensive (< $100) Coronado solar binoculars. I have gotten some use out of them, but I had to get used to some things. They are still available on the used market, but I don't think they are currently being manufactured.

Pros:
  • They are inexpensive (always a plus).
  • The sun is seen in a yellow color, which I prefer to the blue of some solar filters.
  • Extremely portable, they will fit easily in a coat pocket, and even some shirt pockets.
Cons:
  • You have to learn how to "aim" them. With ordinary binoculars in non-solar applications, you look into them and can generally figure out which direction to move in order to find your target. Not so with solar binoculars! You see nothing but blackness until you happen to find your target.
  • 10x isn't much magnification during low-to-medium activity periods of the solar cycle. It still showed some nice views during the solar peak in 2003, though.
  • I wear eyeglasses. The short eye relief can cause problems.
  • I find the two-hinge construction (where each barrel has its own hinge connecting it to the center where the focusing wheel is) to be sort of clumsy to work with. Focusing is not a problem, though.
In conclusion, I still enjoy using these binoculars. As I stated, the views of the 2003 solar peak were quite entertaining. These will still work nicely for the transit of Venus in a few years. I recommend them, but the larger solar binoculars that Coronado manufactures will probably work better.




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