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12X60 or 15X70 ?

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#1 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:15 AM

Hi there bino people. I'm a little undecided as to which pair of binocs I should get. I have the choice between a pair of 12X60 skymasters or the other 15X70 pair.
I'm thinking that the jump from 60mm to 70mm won't be a huge factor and that the 12X power would be more "stable" when hand-held.
The 70mm pair just looks so much more "inviting" because of it's sheer size for stargazing.
Which pair would you all recommend to me??? :question:
Thanks.
-----------------------
Mark
12" gso scope

#2 CHRISTOS

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:26 AM

In my 15x70 Skymasters the rings of Saturn are barely visible, while in a 12x60 I think they wouldn't. This difference is important to me.

#3 lighttrap

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:29 AM

If you're planning to use them handheld, then definitely go with the 12x60s. Even those will bennefit from a mount. But, with the 15x70s you may find a mount a necessity except for quick peaks.

Mike

#4 Erik D

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:33 AM

I do not use a tripod with my Oberwerk 12X60s.Some people do not feel comfortable handholding binos above 10X. The Clestron 15X70 is an excellent buy but most people would use a tripod.

I feel comfortable holding 15X. However, judging by several hundred posts here during the past year I am very much in the minority. You should look for a retailer in Toronto who stocks both and try it for yourself. Keep in mind it's usually easier to hand hold higher X for daytime viewing.

My PERSONAL preference is 12X60s hand held and 20X80 LW mounted.

Erik D

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:52 AM

If you insist on being able to hand hold your bins, then 12x60 is clear choice, but I would consider the 15x70 to be prefered for astronomy.

You may find that for astronomy, even the 12x bins may need a tripod.

#6 arctic hawk

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:56 AM

15x70's works way better for me now that I am a proud owner of a lightly used manfrotto tripod!

Clear skies!
Andre

#7 SaberScorpX

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 01:09 PM

Agree with the above that either will require a tripod to show the most detail.
In this case, I'd go with the 15s.
For handheld use they're only 4oz. heavier and, while neither will show a crisp Saturn, the 15s will provide a much sharper Jovian disc and bands, and noticably finer resolution of clusters, double stars, and Lunar features.
IMO, the only significant trade-off here is FOV.
I see the 15s are only $65 at Adorama.
Pretty good deal for non-FMCs.

Saber

Ready to tackle the Herschel 400?
http://www.geocities...rpx/SGH400.html

#8 hudder

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:38 PM

Hi Mark. I've just recently purchased the 15x70s, so I can give you my opinion on those only. I would assume that the 12x60s would be relatively similar. I have found that they are excellent value for the money, I purchased mine from Adorama for $65. The field of view is excellent, although there is noticable distortion in the outer 1/5th of the FOV. I'm no expert, but I think stars are supposed to be points, not curved lines! Anyways, they ARE only $65! I have tried to hand hold them with limited success. It's okay for a quick peak at something, or if you are trying to find a brighter object (ie M44 or something like that), but for real observation a tripod is essential. It also enables you to see fainter objects. They seem to get lost in the bouncing. The only downsides that I have found to these binos is the tripod adapter. It is pretty flimsy. I would fabricate a metal replacement, or buy one. On my photography tripod, a good knock to the binos takes about 10 seconds to fully settle down.

If I were to repeat the purchase, I would most definately go for the 15x70s. They are only $10 more and they have that little bit more of light grasp. From what I have heard, the increase in magnification will make your sky's a little bit darker, increasing the contrast which helps in my highly light polluted skies.

Just my opinions, but I am a big fan of these binos. I don't see the point of the 12x60s as a step down. They are just about as heavy and only a little bit cheaper.

Have fun with the ones you purchase!

Mike

#9 pcad

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:51 PM

Hi all,

I have both sizes, a 12x60 oberwerk and a barska 15x70.

I agree with many of the above opinions about the 12x60 being easier to use handheld.

I'd just like to point out that the 12x60 is listed as having a 5.7 deg fov while the 15x70 has 4.3 deg fov. I'm not sure the skymasters have the same specs as mine, but they're probably similar. The wider fov was why I chose the 12x60 as my first real astro. binos.

Both sizes benefit greatly when used with a tripod or in my case a monopod.

I enjoy using both binos. I'll use the 12x60 most often and switch to the 15x70's if I want a closer look.

Peter

#10 matt gray

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 08:08 PM

Markus,

FWIW, My first pair of astro bino's were 11x56, and although great for terrestrial, were hard to get a steady image at night under the star's. For me, and I'm a big guy, an 8x bino is best for handheld astronomy.

good luck

matt

#11 Carsten Doehring

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:34 PM

I believe that the ability to hold binoculars steady is a very individual thing. In my 12x50, I see a lot more details than in the 8x42 or 7x50 - handheld.

Carsten

#12 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 01:58 AM

I actually will only be using them to "scan" for certain fields of the sky along with my 12" Telescope.
I might even go out once in a while just with the Bins to have a peek for a bit at globs,clusters and nebulae.
That will be my main usage out of them.
I think I might actually get the 15x 70's if the weight is not too much heavier than the 12X60's.
----------------------
Mark
12" gso scope
7mm Pentax XW on the way :jump:

#13 werewolf6977

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 02:48 AM

With my 15X70 Skymasters, I hand-hold for sweeping/panning. If I want detail, say for splitting doubles, a tripod is a must. For example, Albireo (my fave), if I'm being Ahnald, it's a slightly shaky yellow star. When I mount 'em on my "Heavy Duty" tripod from Wal-Mart <g>, both components show clear as a bell. Get the 15X70's. You might leave the Dob inside. They're great for grab 'n' go, and sucker holes. Jus my $.02 USD.

#14 EdZ

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 06:29 AM

I actually will only be using them to "scan" for certain fields of the sky along with my 12" Telescope.
I might even go out once in a while just with the Bins to have a peek for a bit at globs,clusters and nebulae.


In that case, I would recommend the 12x60s.

edz


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