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Garrett BT70-90 MK II's arrived!

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#1 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:03 PM

My Garrett BT70 arrived today! :jump: :jump: :jump:

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.

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#2 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:04 PM

Here is a shot of them setup on the zhumell tripod

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#3 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:08 PM

Another shot from underneath and to the side

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#4 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:10 PM

For some reason you technical guys like to see these shots. Yes, that is my reflection in the anti-reflective coatings ironically enough. In real viewing, they don't seem that reflective

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#5 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:18 PM

For those that want some more detail, I will happily try to take some measurements and better pictures. I tried out the 25x and my 48x 9mm's and went to focus on a tree that wasn't too far away, maybe 75 ft. The images merged no problem, but the FOV is really wide and seems eliptical shaped. I can hardly see an edge to the field stop in both eyepieces at that distance. Focusing on a flag flying on top a building about half mile away was better and showed a more pronounced circle as i see in most binoculars with a clearly defined edge. Once again, at that distance everything merged without issue. The IPD adjustment on these is really cool and super easy to work.

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!

#6 Goodchild

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:26 PM

Von,
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.

#7 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:26 PM

I just wanted to comment on construction too.

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.

#8 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:32 PM

Von,
Congrutulation first.!!!!!:)
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.

Thank you,

#9 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:41 PM

Actually the ring will make it have more focus room. It is when they are dropped in all the way that it barely comes to focus without running out of focuser travel. When I pull the eyepiece out and tighten it on the lower half before the undercut, there is lots of focus travel either way to play with. I imagine if the parfocal ring was put on the ep and tightened, I could just drop it in, tighten, and have travel room either way also. It could also be the object I was focusing on as it wasn't an infinity focus type object, but closer to 50 to 70 ft.

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.

#10 beachchairbill

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:08 PM

Congrats Von,

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.

Thanks

BB

#11 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:45 PM

Here is the right barrel

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#12 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:47 PM

Here is the left. The left is much cleaner looking on the inside. There seems to be some junk that's rough and grey looking stuck to the left barrel inside wall and partly on the shelf with the screws as you might be able to see. It is non existent on the left barrel

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#13 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:50 PM

Here is the right focuser. When explaining positions, I am using right and left as looking from the objective toward the focuser, as in facing my BT.

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#14 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:50 PM

Here is the left focuser

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#15 THESKY

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:54 PM

So how did it perform under the heaven ?

#16 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:56 PM

Neither side of the focuser has excessive grease or clumps. They seem pretty clean to me. I looked with a flashlight as it was opened all the way. The objective lenses are not as clean as I would like. I will blow off the dust with the bulb syringe and give them a wipe to see if the smudges on the outer 10% top of the left barrel come off.

#17 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:57 PM

Haven't had the chance yet. It's cloudy, but maybe I'll get a small break between clouds to try it tonight.

#18 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:53 PM

Only thing I could view was Jupiter to cut through the haze, then it clouded up too much for that even. The 9mm expanse clones were a bit tricky to get to stop doubling up the image. I am pretty sure the binoculars are collimated correctly. The 25x ep's that came with it have no undercut on the barrels and they had single image on Jupiter, but I had to play with the 9mm's and finnally put them in the focusers and tightened to where they were just under actually tightening them and they stayed put and had a single image, but I think my lenses need a cleaning from smudges or something.

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.

#19 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:26 AM

The good news - They appear to have kept collimation

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..

#20 beachchairbill

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:36 AM

Von,

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.

BB

#21 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:16 AM

I took about 35 shots of the right focuser and the scratches only showed up once for each one when the light hit them just right. You would never see them without a flashlight or brighter source.

Here is the first one

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#22 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:18 AM

Here is the second one. Thanks BB for reminding me to do the flashlight inspection. I left a message at Garretts. I understand they have good customer service, so I'm sure we'll get this one worked out.

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#23 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:24 AM

I just want to reiterate that I am impressed with these anyway with the small visual test I did on them. Construction is great and planetary performance was better than I expected with very little CA at 48x or 25x on Jupiter. Much less than my 25x100's. They handle 48x excellent. I would suggest ep's with no undercut or do a little work yourself to fill in the undercut with some kind of filler and smooth to exactly the same width as the rest of the barrel. I know they are not made for planetary really, but with this performance and having the details pop with two eyed view, why wouldn't you point em there at some time anyway?

#24 GamesForOne

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 08:36 AM

Flashlight tests are very unflattering for almost any optic. If you are happy with the performance of the binos I would not stress over a few minor optical flaws that only show up with a flashlight. Those issues will not make any difference in the views.

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. ;)

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#25 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

Had a look last night through some minor haze at M42 at 48x with the 9mm's. Clean separation in the trapezium. Looks really big for 48x. the whole nebula was visible along with some surrounding stars, but what got me the most was how looking with two eyes at that power seems to give me the same results as about a 17mm in my 8" f/5.9 dob. Pretty cool. Can't wait to try these on a really clear night with less moisture in the air.

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?


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