Garrett BT70-90 MK II's arrived!
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:03 PM
Packed really well in clearly labeled box saying fragile optical equipment (nice). Packed tight in cut to fit styrofoam. Aluminum case is compact, but then I'm used to my 25x100 aluminum case. Came with lens pen, bulb syringe, cotton gloves, two microfiber cloths, extra cotton lined in the bottom of the case. Case locks with keys. One set of 25x eyepieces included. I have a pair of 9mm expanse clones too for 48x with these.
These have a really nice white finish and looked just like the nice pictures on Garretts website. Focuser caps fit snugly and handle comes in it's own spot in the case. Handle on, the case doesn't close without hitting the rectangular foam that holds the binos securely right at the focuser/body junction.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:04 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:08 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:10 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:18 PM
9mm expanse clones barely came to focus dropped in all the way, but pulled out a little, they came to focus fine. This is where those parfocal rings as talked about in another thread here in the forum would come in handy to bring them up a hair when dropping them in all the way. The expanse clones are tall though. Tonight I try some 20mm qx70's and in one barrel, a 6mm Radian, and a 28mm RKE.
All provided the weather clears. It is cloudy right now and not just partly cloudy, but clumps of clouds with haze in between. Yuck!
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:26 PM
They look very nice. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. I had a pair of Apogee RA-88 once and I really liked them--wish I had kept them.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:26 PM
I worked with steel and in machine shops/welding shops for 12 years before changing to a cleaner career in computer networking and have seen a lot of finished machined products (trying to say, I'm no slouch when spotting bad work). These are machined nicely and construction is solid. Nothing on these binoculars, minus the kind of flimsy end caps(which are still OK) looks to be put together cheaply. Everything has a good solid feel to them and not sloppy at all. The finish is really done well too. The handle is snug when screwed on and feels secure. The dew shields are a nice touch. I am impressed, but then I have never owned a really nice pair of binoculars. This 90 degree thing is fantastic for comfort.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:32 PM
For a real test; I would say that you go under the stars to see its performance and try you other eyepieces at night.
Using the ring with 9mm; you will not get focus as you said that it barely come to focus.
Check the field Stop in the eyepiece and get the roughly idea. This way; you can buy other eyepieces with confidence or just ask other users their choice of eyepieces.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:41 PM
Thanks for the congratulations too! I am more excited than I probably should be. For some reason, I see myself getting these out three times as much as anything else I use for viewing, besides my handhelds. They are compact, but powerful.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:08 PM
Nice report so far and it's time for the flashlight test to see if your tubes are cleand and no finger prints on the lenses and mirrors.
Shine your flash light through the objective lenses and tell us what yo see. Also, **** focusers all the way out and check for grease. We can call that the white glove test. Use your flashlight to check the glass on the focuser end.
Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:47 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:50 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:56 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:57 PM
Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:53 PM
I put my glasses on to make sure I wasn't having issues because of that and it cleared the astigmatism problem. Then I swapped the right and left to check that and they performed the same, but some parts were crystal clear and other parts of the view were a little blurry. Of coarse there was a heavily moisture ridden marine layer present too, but when I viewed it clear, I could see Jupiters 4 moons, caps and equitorial band really well. More like the view at 70x in my dob. It was pretty big for that much power.
I think I will give these a once over lens cleaning and try them out on the next really clear night whenever that is.
You would think for that much money, that a thorough inspection and cleaning was done before shipping, but then I have no idea how qc works when pertaining to shipments from china of optical equipment and distribution here. As long as the smudges I saw with the flashlight test are external only, I'm in business.
That is a lot to pay for a small BT and have it not be pristine on arrival, but in comparison to other small BT's with proprietary ep sizes and performance ratings, it's not a lot to pay for a small BT.
I will clean and flashlight inspect tomorrow.
Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:26 AM
The bad news - After cleaning the lens inside the focuser with the lens pen, I noticed with flashlight inspection, there appears to be a scratch anout 3/16 inch long on one of the focuser lenses. I have to call Garrett. I don't think it affects the views, but have not had a chance to test thoroughly at night to determine. I don't want a scratch no matter how small.
My excitement baloon has popped..
Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:36 AM
From China to the vendor is one thing and from the vendor to you is another. Where the 14 point check happens seems to be a mystery. Good luck with your cleaning and hope it's on the outside of the lenses and not the inside. That is a hole other ball game if it is. If you intend to clean the glass inside the focusers I would be very careful as their is grease you might not see. Stay on the glass and do not hit the sides of the focusers. I used Q tips for cleaning this area. Slow is the name of the game.
Looking forward to more first light reports when the weather clears. Check out M45 and the 7 sisters. I would think that 18mm would give you great views.
Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:16 AM
Here is the first one
Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:18 AM
Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:24 AM
Posted 04 December 2010 - 08:36 AM
Almost any optic you can purchase will show some flaws with a flashlight test.
Try using the binos on a dewy night sometime, let them dry overnight, and then look at the objectives with a flashlight. It won't be pretty.
Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:18 PM
Now, about the scratches - They are not visible without a flashlight shining right on the lens at just the right angle.
One is almost 1/4" long and there is another about 3/16" long around a 3/8" away from the first one.
Doesn't seem to affect the view to me, but I don't have a comparison, other than the other focuser side lens.
Objectives have minimal residue on the inside glass surfaces and are not visible until flashlight is shined there too at the right angle.
My dilemma - I think I am being too picky about something that has negligible affect on the view, BUT, I don't think a new product that costs this much should be scratched either, so....
Do I see about an exchange for a possible second pair I might find other negligible defects in and might come to me with collimation issues or might come perfectly collimated with no scratches or...
Do I let it ride and enjoy my new BT and try to supress that itch in the back of my mind about some scratches that only show up under intense flashlight scrutiny?
It is entirely possible I might just be offered a refund too and not an exchange, but don't know yet.
Also, will shallow surface scratches like that cause more of a chance for debris to catch and further scratch the lens?