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What did I buy?

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#1 Stacy

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 12:06 AM

I just picked up a pair of Pentax 16x60 PCF WP binos on Astromart for $110. Is that a good deal? I have only used cheap binos before, 10 and 7x50. I know the downside is the 2.8 FOV. But they should give good views? Will the Pleadies fit in 2.8 degrees?

Regards,
Stacy

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:08 AM

So you're the one...scowl...I missed these by 10 minutes...and the guy lives 5 miles away...

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:30 AM

Stacy;
Nice Binos.
I am waiting on a set of 11x70s I bought on Astroview. Decided on a lower power/wider view for my first set. I look forward to your review. Your Pentax's should be well made.

Keith

#4 Stacy

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:15 AM

So you're the one...scowl...I missed these by 10 minutes


You got it bad Tom. You’re getting almost as bad as me! :)

I really wanted his WO diagonal though, missed it. God we're like vultures aren’t we?

He says the performance is excellent. Though that was under 7.8 – 7.6 skies in Namibia. We’ll have to see how they do in my light polluted back yard. I’ve been looking (wanting) a good pair of binos for awhile. The nitrogen is supposed to keep them from fogging up. The bino world is complex, many brands are the same and many opinions about all of them. I was thinking in the 70mm range but I just couldn’t pass these up. We should compare notes Keith.

Regards,
Stacy

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 10:12 AM

I hope not! I can't afford this new hobby, my woodworking hobby has already sucked up all of my money! Anyone want to buy a lathe??? :D

When he posted his binocs I went and looked at some reviews of them. Those binocs are supposed to be very good. I was on the fence only because the exit pupil was under 4, but just under! After reading a comment made by Kenny about the amount of light in our skies and the exit pupil, I've decided anything around the 4-5mm EP is more than adequate. Still contemplating the Oberwerk 15x70s and the only thing I wish they had was the water/fog proof that yours have (we need it!). BTW, yours are rated to be WP to 1 meter. Great find and I hope they serve you well.

Keith, those will be fine binocs. Are those the Oberwerks that were sold last week?

Tom



#6 KennyJ

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 12:32 PM

I'm pretty sure anyone would struggle to get a better pair of binos than your Pentax 16 x 60 PCF WP for $110.

BUT --for me , for 16x power binos 2.8 degrees is just TOO small for comfort.

Tom , DON'T under-estimate the difficulty of finding your way around the sky with 2.8 degrees TFOV !

Clear skies - Kenny.

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:05 PM

Kenny, like you have said on many occasions, it's a trade off.

#8 EdZ

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:27 PM

Stacy,

That's just about what I paid for a used pair of the same back in August. You got a good deal. I paid $125, but they came with a cheap plastic tripod adapter (that is only good enough to mount my 22oz. 8x42s) and a small table top tripod. Views are very good, but not any better than the 15x70/'03 model Oberwerks. The mechanical operation and the WP is better in the Pentax than the Obies. I really like the clickstop right diopter and the main focus lock.

M45 is about 2° and the Pentax edge sharpness is very good, so you should be able to see it all at once. However, some of the faintest stars in M45 are out near the edges and you will lose about a half magnitude in the outer 15%-20% of the fov.

The fov is narrow, but these are WP. I could take these out to the pond to see some ducks on a rainy day. Tradeoffs.

edz



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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:50 PM

Tom;

I bought the ProOptic 11x70.
I was looking for a good set of 10x50s as my first set of upgrade binos. Orion had a sale going on and I was tempted, but decided to see what came up on the used market. The 11x70's came with a good review by Todd Gross. Heavier than I want, but I have a photo tripod that I think will work well for them. My requirements in a bino were long eye relief, water resistance, and a decent field of view. We will see whether the optic quality is acceptable, and the weight. As has been said before: it's all a trade off.

A fellow woodworker huh? What kind of work do you like to do? I am struggling to get my shop up and running. My wife does some scroll saw and carving stuff. I like lathe work and general furniture work.

Stacy;
I debated over those 16x60s long and hard. If they had been the 11x60s I would have made an offer on them. My daughter lives in Federal Way. Maybe we can meet some time and compare. Mine are due in any day.

Blessings all.
Keith

#10 Stacy

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 01:41 AM

Thanks Edz,

I read your comparisons before I committed. The nitrogen is a big plus for me being up here in the soggy Great Northwest. I will get very few opportunities to get the scopes out until next spring. When it does clear up enough it’s quite cold, and still damp. Sooooo I figure I’ll get some decent views with these. As long as M45 fits I’ll be happy. It’s quite fascinating to take in the whole thing. I wonder If I will be able to make out any globs with them?

Hi Keith,

I need to get to a dark sky sight soon as I have never been. Anything would beat my LP back yard. SAS seem a little intimidating to me. You all have to meet as a group and usually leave as a group at their mostly members only star parties. The Eastside group doesn’t seem to have very many events and the Issaquah Telescope Gang is a little far away. I wonder how the Bainbridge Island group is?

Regards,
Stacy

#11 Stacy

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 05:25 PM

Got my new (to me) binos today! Bill Gates is cool. Sent them even before he got the check!

Tried them out in the daylight and collimation seems perfect at about ¼ mile. And the view! OMG, its fabulous! A very cool 3D effect. I don’t think the limited FOV will bother me too much. These are easily hand held. I like the retractable eye cups and the focus lock was an unexpected surprise. The coatings are beautiful.

It’s real cold and wet up here right now so I fogged them up real good with my breath. 4 seconds later they were completely clear again! Nitrogen rocks.

Can’t wait for the sky to clear. I love new toys.

Stacy

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#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 02:17 AM

Stacy;

My Prooptic 11x70's came in a couple of days ago. I really like the view through them. The Pleadies were awesome, even the moon was nice last night (and bright!) I have a parallellagram mount coming and am interested in seeing how steady they are.

Sounds like you have a nice quality set. Gives us all the details when the weather clears.

I am hoping this spring and summer to attend a couple of star parties and see how the rest of the world operates. I will probably attend a couple of meetings of the local Olympia club. I'll let you know if anything comes up in the way of a star party.

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:03 AM

If Pentax' binos are as good as their ep's, you shd get some fine viewing, in spite of the narrow fov. A tip...don't eat anything sweet a couple hrs before you go out for a viewing session...and get as relaxed as possible. I've found that getting the pulse way down makes it possible to hand hold even a 16x glass for a limited time and get decent views....a little image shake but with practice being able to do that will make finding things much easier than using the rather clumsy tripod-bracket mount. Was able to do it with a 16x70 FMT-SX (almost double the weight of the Pentax 60) that I had for a while. I guess the parallelograms work pretty well, but are really bulky to move around and set up. Try the hand hold...I have a few other methods to avoid using the tripod if you find it not workable....Doug


#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:48 AM

Hey doug, what about using something like a monopod. Do you still get a shake with the bigger glasses?

#15 Stacy

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 02:48 AM

pulse way down makes it possible to hand hold even a 16x glass for a limited time and get decent views


Doug, I can not even believe you said that! :shocked: I just came in from observing after a late dinner. I was having a blast on the Double Cluster, Pleadies and just cruising round the Milky Way (first time ever view of the Great Orion Neb! Even in major LP + Moon in the front of the house and vapor it was WOW!) when I spotted Saturn coming up. Well I was getting into all kinds of positions but I couldn’t figure out what the deal was, it kept jumping. Then I finally figured it out. I use a reclining camp chair ($20 Fred Meyer Tom, excellent!) to kick back and take it all in. My PULSE was causing Saturn to jump on cue. So then I’m thinking mono pod or what. The guy who sold me these has a Sky Window I turned down for $100 (excellent deal) but now I’m having 2nd thoughts. I love to kick back in the chair but I would have loved to stabilize Saturn. Given the circumstances I was still easily able to see the rings.

BTW These things rock! Sub freezing with moisture in the air and not even a hint of fog. I can’t wait till a clear dark night! The views are bright and sharp and the Seven Sisters looked more like 200 sisters. :grin:

Regards,
Stacy

#16 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:27 PM

Well, havn't tried a monopod per se, but have used a Finn stick (same principle but longer)...that will work pretty well up to about 55-60* above the horizon if you can really get it planted well in the ground and get yourself even a little bit braced against something. Now for horizon to about 45*, I use an steel telescoping pole (like the window washers use...about 4' closed, extends to almost 13')...is threaded on the end, perfect fit for the kind of squeege head you find on the debugging type at the gas station. Got the pole at Home Depot (about $12) and the squeege at AutoZone ($4). Height of the pole is infinitely adjustable (twist to friction lock it at desired length) and lay the bino on top (is just wide enuf that the edges of most binos come right to the edges of the squeege frame and you can grasp the glasses and the frame together...makes a comfortable, steady way to use hi-powered heavy binos for a period of time (especially for terrestrial use) without a lot of setup and logistics hassles (takes about 15sec to set up and get in use)...also will not mark the bino body...
give it a try. You mentioned using a chaise...that works well if you can pillows or lg blocks of foam rubber under yur elbows....there's a strong pulse thru the arms, as you found out...just doesn't give ya much scanning range without moving a lot...my nickle's worth..Doug



#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 05:47 PM

Thanks Doug, what a great idea. You just lay the glasses on top of the squeegy head as a support. It is the simplest ideas that are the best. Is there any reason you would want to secure the glasses to the pole?

#18 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 10:04 PM

No, don't think that wd b wise...you wanna keep control of a glass as big as a 60 (dont know exactly what yrs weighs but wd guess around 48oz...the squegee frame is plastic, as is the threaded insert at the bottom of the pole. I reinforced mine w a small hose clamp just 2b on the safe side, but still wdn't try to attach the glass in any way). Seems to work best if you squeeze the bino to the frame slightly and put just a few lbs of downward pressure on the pole...that seems to give the most stable view even in a breeze..hope thats helpful.
Stacy...b sure to update the thread after yu'v had a chance to give the Pentax a good test both on the cosmos and on the mountain (I assume you can see it on a clear day)...
Doug


#19 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 December 2003 - 11:51 AM

Stacy,

I'm going to buy the Pentax 20x60 PCF WP's!!!!!!!!!
Have you had a chance yet to view in a dark night?
What'ya see?
Ray A.

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 December 2003 - 08:27 PM

Stacy,
Those Pentax should serve you well. I have read several good individual observing reports about them over the past several months. And from the photo they look great. Good luck with them.

Nick


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