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Swarovski ATX 95 binoculars

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#51 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:49 PM

After Japanese custom stop, delivery went very smoothly. It arrived this afternoon and I had half an hour, unpack, setup, and photo-op.

I tried Panoptic 27 and Docter UWA 12.5. Docter UWA 12.5 gave much more WOW than Panoptic 27 as expected.

No first light tonight. It is cloudy as expected, too :)

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Hood extended:
Posted Image

Tammy
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#52 JustaBoy

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:53 PM

Oh Wow Tammy!

Those are BEAUTIFUL!!!

Thanks for the pics!

-Chuck

#53 KennyJ

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:01 PM

Tammy,

Wonderful photos, and extra exciting to read the higher magnification eps. provide that extra WOW factor!

One thing that crosses my mind is the "extendable hood".

Do you think it is long enough?

It reminds me of the one that was fitted to my 85mm Zeiss Diascope, which I personally found to be less than half as long as it really needed to be to be fully effective, which is around 3x the diameter of the objective lens.

Kenny

#54 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:54 PM

Hi Kenny,

When I use ATX 95 as spotting scope, I didn't find hood length was too short to be effective. I guess it depends on when you try to look for something dim near the bright object.

I've tried the shortest focal length eyepieces that I have as a pair, Pentax XO 2.58, yielding about 213x. CA is apparent out of focus, it almost disappears on focus, not as clean as Takahashi TSA 102S f/8 at similar power. I think it is usable at the magnification but I would think 213x is bit too much for this.

The ATX 95 objective module is attached to mount plate by what they call "tripod ring." There is an issue with the tripod ring to get OTA aligned reliably. Since the tripod ring is designed to rotate OTA easily on the fly, loosen, rotate and then fasten, the convenient feature becomes disadvantage for binoscope.

I had to loosen/fasten the tripod ring to make two OTAs align precisely to get image merged at 213x. Once the adjustment is done, there is no issue merging at the high power. It must be loosen during shipment.

I noticed that distance between two OTAs (ie: IPD) must be readjusted slightly to get comfortable depending on eyepiece (exit pupil size dependent?) I guess I do that with binoviewer naturally. IPD adjustment is bit more cumbersome with this binoscope. So it is probably not user friendly scope if you want to share the view with others who has different IPD.

I keep Docter UWA 12.5 as default eyepiece for this binoscope.

Tammy

#55 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:15 PM

Thanks, Chuck.

I'll post side-by-side binoculars/binoscopes comparison as I get more familiar with this instrument.

Tammy

#56 Stellarfire

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:35 AM

Hi Tammy,

Thank you for sharing your first impressions with your brandnew ATX 95 binoscope. Congrats on this outstanding purchase. This super-compact binoscope looks very, very nice and the usable magnification top limit of ~200x (as tried by you) is really impressive.
As many others here, I will be very interested in your further comparos.

Stephan

#57 rodnocjolly

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:51 AM

Tammy,

my compliments !!!

and let me say this "binoscopecular" (that's the exact word to describe this beauty) is simply great on this mount.

It would be just great to see the real differences (beside the obvious light factor 95mm vs. 80mm) between this binoscopecular :) and the binocular Docter 40x80 which uses the same eyepieces.

Clear and nice skies !

Rod

#58 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:59 PM

Size comparison ATX 95 on left, Kowa Highlander on right.
Posted Image

Flash light clear aperture shot, 95mm:
Posted Image

Tammy
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#59 KennyJ

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:40 PM

One has to wonder whether two such fine binoculars have ever previously been photographed in such close proximity to each other? :-)

#60 JustaBoy

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:53 PM

I'm really Digging-On the Mounts too!!!

Beautiful!

-Chuck

#61 Stellarfire

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:41 AM

The picture of the month!

I am surprised and impressed how compact the Swarowski/Matsumoto ATX 95 binoscope is, compared with the Kowa Highlander.

Stephan

#62 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:55 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, ATX 95 binoscope (95mm f/5.8) is compact and light weight comparing to Kowa Highlander (82mm f/5.5).

ATX 95 binoscope with two Docter UWA 12.5s (2.3lb) is about 1.2lb lighter than Kowa Highlander with two Kowa 14s (0.86lb).

Tammy
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#63 Kimmo Absetz

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:43 AM

Tammy,

Now that you have had the ATX 95 binoscope for a while, I would be interested in hearing about its performance both as is and as compared to the ATX 95 spotting scope you also have. So what are the differences between the prism/eyepiece configurations, and do they influence the optical quality much.

A comparison with the Kowa Highlander would also interest many of us.

Kimmo

#64 rodnocjolly

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 11:53 AM

Tammy,

we know you are using it ! :D

Tell us everything !!!

#65 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:36 AM

Hi Kimmo,

I haven't done much comparison between EMS and Swarovski prism/eyepiece unit alone but I am doing side-by-side comparison between Kowa and ATX 95 binoscope as often as I can every day and night.

ATX 95 aperture advantage (larger exit pupil size at the same power) is clearly visible over Kowa at night. I observed Double Cluster last night and Lovejoy this morning at 32x on both instruments, ATX 95 with Delos 17.3 and Kowa with 14mm. Lovejoy looked better (longer tail) in ATX 95 and visibility threshold stars on Kowa is steady visible in ATX 95.

That's it for now. I'll add more notes as I observe more.

Tammy

#66 Stellarfire

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:17 AM

Hi Tammy,

The Delos 14 and 17.3 have a focus point 0.48 inches inward from the focus point of the rest of the Delos family. You already used the Delos 17.3 in the ATX 95, which is good news, thus we know the ATX 95 will accept any standard Delos without the need of shortening the eyepiece barrel.

Stephan

#67 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:48 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, Delos 17.3 comes to focus to infinity. It leaves a few degrees of turn to go on focuser. It means that depending on your eye, it may not come to focus to infinity.

I compared Delos 17.3 to Nikon NAV SW 17.5. I like Nikon better.
Nikon NAV 17.5 has better edge than Delos 17.3. It was a surprise to me.

Due to limited back focus in this configuration, Matsumoto-san shorten EMS eyepiece holder to increase chance for many eyepieces to come to focus to infinity. Actually, whole thing (making binoscope using Swarovski ATX 95) is a result of luck and large part Matsumoto-san's willingness to overcome various issues to make this possible.
He told me "It was a miracle." I agree with him, such small package for 95mm binoscope.

By the way, tricky part is that nosepiece length becomes much more critical. Some eyepiece nosepiece is pretty long. It would hit EMS mirror if you are not careful.

For long focal end eyepiece (Panoptic 27), I would need to cut nosepiece to use filter.
Without filter, it works fine, though.

I am trying out what eyepieces give good result. So far I tried following eyepieces:

Hyperion 31
Panoptic 27 (*)
Panoptic 24
Panoptic 19
Nikon NAV SW 17.5 (*)
Delos 17.3
Nagler 16T5 (mono only)
Docter UWA 12.5 (*)
Delos 10
Delos 6 (*)
Pentax XO 5.1
Takahashi LE 5
Ethos SX 4.7 (mono only)
Ethos SX 3.7 (mono only)
Pentax XO 2.58

I like Docter UWA 12.5 best among them.

(*) are my favorite choice.

Tammy
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#68 Stellarfire

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:54 PM

The ATX 95 objective module is attached to mount plate by what they call "tripod ring." There is an issue with the tripod ring to get OTA aligned reliably. Since the tripod ring is designed to rotate OTA easily on the fly, loosen, rotate and then fasten, the convenient feature becomes disadvantage for binoscope.

I had to loosen/fasten the tripod ring to make two OTAs align precisely to get image merged at 213x. Once the adjustment is done, there is no issue merging at the high power. It must be loosen during shipment.

I noticed that distance between two OTAs (ie: IPD) must be readjusted slightly to get comfortable depending on eyepiece (exit pupil size dependent?) I guess I do that with binoviewer naturally. IPD adjustment is bit more cumbersome with this binoscope. So it is probably not user friendly scope if you want to share the view with others who has different IPD.


Hi Tammy,

Thank you very much for the detailed eyepiece info as just given in your previous post!


With regard to the "tripod ring" issue and the lack of fast and convenient IPD changes, maybe the Linear Bino Platform BB-130 of AOK Swiss might be a solution. (Descriptive text in German only, please use Google Translate.)

AOK Swiss uses this Bino Platform for his Borg Bino Scopes, the Platform is recommended for any OTA's up to 4 inches. AOK Swiss sells it at 430 Swiss Francs = 473 US Dollars, plus shipping.

Its clever design offers very precise parallel changes of the OTA distance, so this Bino Platform might be the ticket for fast and reliable IPD changes on the Swaro ATX 95 bino telescope.

Stephan

#69 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hi Stephan,

Yes, I've seen the binoscope IPD change mechanism. It is for larger binoscope.

There is simple mechanism to move Swarovski OTA horizontally on dovetail mount to change IPD.

The right OTA (dovetail attachment) moves (slides) horizontally if you loose the thumb screw.
Left OTA moves front/back using the same mechanism.

The collimation screws work like a charm. All clever design. I should have jumped on EMS binoscope much earlier :)

Posted Image

Tammy

#70 Stellarfire

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:49 PM

Hi Tammy,

Ok, thanks for the info. With regard to the "tripod ring" issue, you wrote:
"The ATX 95 objective module is attached to mount plate by what they call "tripod ring." There is an issue with the tripod ring to get OTA aligned reliably. Since the tripod ring is designed to rotate OTA easily on the fly, loosen, rotate and then fasten, the convenient feature becomes disadvantage for binoscope.
I had to loosen/fasten the tripod ring to make two OTAs align precisely to get image merged at 213x. Once the adjustment is done, there is no issue merging at the high power. It must be loosen during shipment."


I am still trying to understand better the "tripod ring" issue as described by you. Does the "tripod ring" replace the original tripod adapter of the ATX 95 objective module, and how looks that part?

Stephan

#71 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:14 PM

The tripod ring is Swarovski original part, OTA ring with tripod adapter (dovetail shape).

The ring has fastening screw just like camera telephoto lens ring. You tighten the screw, the ring squeezes the OTA to stay put from rotating.

The issue I described earlier was resolved. It was caused by left OTA tripod ring was fastened at wrong place. The ring adapter has a dip (or click) to prevent from rotating.

The left OTA was assembled off the dip (click position) by mistake. So two OTAs were slightly off.

I removed left EMS unit, rotated OTA, and fastened OTA at click position.
Then I attached EMS back at the end of OTA carefully so that eyepiece holders are perfectly vertically parallel.

The two OTA are aligned very well in parallel and eyepieces stand vertically aligned in parallel. Tall and short eyepieces stand in parallel.

Slight collimation (on right OTA/EMS) may be necessary if eyepieces don't sit on eyepiece holder perfectly in parallel. This happens because nosepiece diameter varies quite bit. Compression ring tilts eyepieces...

Tammy

#72 Stellarfire

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:23 PM

Thank you Tammy, for the additional explanations. :waytogo: It is all clear now.

Stephan

#73 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:42 PM

Tammy,

Now that you have had the ATX 95 binoscope for a while, I would be interested in hearing about its performance both as is and as compared to the ATX 95 spotting scope you also have. So what are the differences between the prism/eyepiece configurations, and do they influence the optical quality much.

A comparison with the Kowa Highlander would also interest many of us.

Kimmo


Hi Kimmo,

I have a chance to compare ATX95/EMS against ATX95/Swarovski eyepiece module during daytime.
I used Delos 10 and Zeiss AII-10 with EMS, yielding about 55x.

I used neighbor's chimney about 300 feet away. Sorry for boring target :)

Here is chimney from behind scope:
Posted Image

Front view of side-by-side:
Posted Image

This is taken with ATX95/eyepiece module+TLS APO+Fuji X-Pro1:
Posted Image

Full resolution photo: http://www.pbase.com...79/original.jpg

Here is left side of chimney, 100% crop, CA is apparent:
Posted Image
Here is around center, 100% crop, lesser CA at focus:
Posted Image

Here is what I found:
1. Very little difference in detail on focus, well lit area. Air may not be steady enough to see more detail.
2. Swarovski eyepiece module shows lesser CA in out of focus area.
3. EMS/Delos 10 is visibly warmer color tone than Swarovski eyepiece module.
4. EMS/AII-10 is closer to Swarovski eyepiece module in color rendering.
5. EMS shows a little more detail in dark area as if it were brighter.

It seems that ATX prism/eyepiece module reduced CA than EMS. I would imagine that they design to optimize to deliver the best final image to eyepiece. EMS isn't a part of it. CA reduction must have happened in the prism unit.

It is difficult to use the same ATX95 objective lens module and to swap EMS and eyepiece module.
EMS module is attached to ATX95 objective lens module with 6 screws and requires careful collimation. So the observation above was with two different ATX95 objective lens modules (one of binoscope and spotting scope).

Next, I'll do side-by-side comparison at night.

Tammy

#74 DRodrigues

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:02 PM

Thanks for sharing Tammy.
Would be also interesting to know how compares the field-flatness of the X95 with the EMS... ;)

#75 KennyJ

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:11 PM

VERY impressive, Tammy.

I've spent more time viewing chimney pots over the years than I have stars! :-)

Kenny


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