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#1 jake47

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 04:41 PM

Okay, I’m bitten. This last week-end I was at a wonderful star party in North Texas. I got to use a set of Fujinon 25x150 binoculars on a Sirius mount. Oh my goodness. Then I got home and looked up what this set-up costs!!!! Oh well.

However, maybe I could get by with some 100mm binos. What is good in a 25 or so x 100 binocular? I was looking on bigbinoculars.com at the Oberwerk 25x100 and the Oberwerk BT 100. I can guess from the price difference that these are no Fujinon 25x150s, but what would I expect to see differently? I spent most of yesterday reading the back posts to this forum and reading the CN reviews so I know that some of you have used these. Would a mount like the UA Millennium support this bino? How is this set up for portability?

I guess you can see that I’m excited about becoming a binocular astronomer. I have always enjoyed using my birding binos on the night sky, but this was a “whole nuther world.” Help me with my new addiction, please. :p

#2 Erik D

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 05:10 PM

I am aware of a handful of Fuji 25X150s in the USA. Two members of this forum have them on the UA Sirius: Mr Bill and Dr. Jones. Did you look thru one of those?

If you have reasonably dark skies( Mag 5 or better) you can have a great time with 25X100 or even 20X80 binos. The Oberwerk BT 100 is a very good buy if you want to reach higher power than 25X but it's also close to 50 lbs with the mount and tripod. My 25X100 on a nice Bogen 501 fluid head and 3246 tripod is under 21 lbs. My 20X80 LW on a Bogen 3221 WN Tripod is just over 15 lbs.

The pleasure of Big Bino astronomy can be enjoyed for much less than $1K these days. A ParallelO mount is nice if you wish to observe from a reclining postion but I am quite comfortable using a fluid head. Remember your head position is the same if you observe standing. A P mount makes height adjustment easier.


Burgess Optical offers a HD Oak paralleO mount for $169. I believe it can handle binos up to 15 lbs.

Erik D

#3 Glassthrower

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 05:57 PM

Jim -

Welcome to the world of large-apeture, stereo-vision obsession. Short of cashing in your 401k for a pair of Fuji big guns, there are quite a few different 100mm binoculars out there ranging in price from $200 up to $1000 and more. On the bottom of the ladder, you have the Celestrons, Barskas, and other low-end Chinese binos. In the middle range $400-$500, Oberwerk seems to rule the roost. Beyond that, there is Vixen and other models that start approaching the $1000.00 range. Also something to remember is the newish Apogee RA-88's. They fall in about $700, have proprietary interchangable ep's.

Then there is my solution : take a $200 pair of Celestrons, spray paint them white, and use a stencil to paint "Fujinon" on the objective barrel. Then brag to all of your friends about your new "high end" binos! ;)

Just kidding, but good luck and welcome to the addictive world of bino-astronomy!

MikeG

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:38 PM

I've been on the verge of "walking off the edge" a few times myself with the purchase of one of the big Fujis, but never could bring myself around to taking the plunge. I don't think it is so much the cost of the binos that is hard to swallow, as much as the price of the simple Fuji mount that alone costs more than most of the 100mm rigs, bino-mount-and tripod combined. On the other hand, I don't think Fujinon is really serious asbout marketing the 25x150 to the civilian market, or they would get alot more competitive with their pricing. Afterall, they offer some excellent smaller binos (some of the best) at comparatively reasonable price levels. Maybe someday Nikon will up the odds and give them a run for their money in the 150mm class (or larger). At least Nikon would be more likely to supply a good serviceable mount with the package.

Bryant

#5 Erik D

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:23 PM

This UA ParallelO mount with the Losmandy G11 tripod for the Big Fuji 150mm can be had for just under $2K:

http://bigbinoculars.com/sirius.htm

I think the UA P mount is quite reasonably priced compared to the Fuji factory pier mount.

What's stopping me from buying one is not the price but the BULK and WT of the entire set-up. It will take me 3 or more trips to take out th 40lb bino, P mount, tripod and counter wt. I know I won't use equipment often if I can't carry it outside in on trip. It would be a shame to spend $8K for superior optics to use it 1/2 a dozen times each year......Being limted to 25X is another factor. IMO the Miyauchii BR 25X141mm with factory fork mount, tripod and optional 33X & 45X EPs is a much more user friendly packeage...but cost 50% more!



Erik D

#6 jake47

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:27 PM

Erik,

I was at a star party for the Three Rivers Foundation in Texas. I think the 25x150 set belongs to the foundation. The viewing that night was Mag 7, and the nearest white light was on the back porch of a farm house over two miles away. What blew me away on the Fujinons was the view of the Milky Way and nebulae alley. Most of the sky sites in the south were visible without scopes. It was a couple of incredible nights.

I do think that the 25x100 would fit my needs. Are they built to the same quality level as the BT 100? Is there a big advantage in a 45 degree eyepiece? I don't mind standing. What are some other mounting options? Sorry to ask so many questions, but the world of binocular viewing is new to me and there aren't a lot of places to see how the different mounts work. Thanks for the help.

#7 aporigine

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:13 AM

I have two large pairs, one straight and one 45 degrees. I prefer the straight ones. It's easier for me to point them correctly. I can get away with handholding the 20x90 Obies, but the 20x100 'Uchis weigh another 5 pounds ... and I find myself tripod-mounting them. They have an inline carry handle that points forward - I've taken to using this like a pistol sight to aim them. That works quite well.

Imho the 45 degree setup is neither fish nor fowl. For near-horizon viewing I like the inline configuration. If I anticipated much viewing near zenith, a 90 degree geometry suddenly makes all kindsa sense. Cranking my eyes up 45 degrees when viewing the zenith isn't comfy for me - in terms of overall contortion I would be no less comfy staring straight up.

But that's me; YMMV.

In any case, imo angled-ocular binos benefit mightily from a finder scope.

cheers aporigine

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 07:16 AM

The BT100 binocular line from Oberwerk's is excellent. At the fraction of the Fujinon binocular cost, they deliver! You get the added benefit of being able to swap out EPs, where as the Fujis are fixed. The FOV is perfectly crisp out to about 95% and then only minimal distortions appear. I have only seen CA when looking at the moon and it barely appears as a thin coloration around the limb. Some fujis have ED glass, or flourite glass, to eliminate this, but at a cost.

My BT100 is the straight through version. It makes it easy to point-n-look at targets, but it does do a number on my neck when viewing at or near zenith. The 45 degree version will help with then neck strain, but some find it less kind for aiming. But I would guess that after a while, one would develop an aiming method. BTW, I do not have a p-mount. I use a UA unistar mount.

Portability. It has none of that. Yes, you can move it, but at a total of 50 - 60 lbs, it can be a work out. If you got the p-mount, it would be even more! And I would not recommend moving the entire setup at once. It's akward, unstable, and dangerous. Although, I do it every now and then, but one of these days I know I am going to screw something up.


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