Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Siebert Optics Binoviewers

  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 Saturninus

Saturninus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 535
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2013

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:26 AM

I see the Black Night binos mentioned in posts every now and then, but I generally don't hear too much about them. They seem to have everything I might want at an upper-mid level price point.

25mm prisms - check
Self centering diopters - check
T-2 direct mount - check (for a little extra $$)

This seems to be the least expensive way to be able to binoview with a pair of ES24/68 without vignetting and use a T-2 diagonal setup for the shortest possible lightpath.

I understand these are souped up version of the same binoviewers used in the WO/Celestron/Maxbright products - but it is still cheaper than a Tele Vue.

How come I don't hear these mentioned more often? Is anyone out there a long term user of one of these?

Also, anyone out there use the 2" versions? I can only imagine how awesome it must be to binoview with 22mm Naglers...

#2 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,885
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

When you do the math, a pair of used Denk IIs comes out way ahead.

Denk IIs come up on the market for about $750.

The Denk II will have a powerswitch, which will offset the price difference in eyepeice savings alone.

And if you need T2 connection, you can have an adatper made.

And if you look at the top end package from Siebert, you find that a Binotron is really not much more, though it does not include eyepeices. But Denkmeier now can make you a T2 Dovetail.

The reason I am now becoming more of an advocate of the Denk II (or Binotron if you can afford it) is because it works with most scopes out of the box. No adapters or diagonals or anything else (though I still think that keeping the light path short is alwasy advisiable) and having owned seven pairs of binoviewers now, have come to realize that the used Denk II is the best bang for the money, and the Binotron, when all the math is done, is actually quite reasonable.

Buying eyepeices is only part of the story.


Not having to change eyepecies for a lot of your observing is an even bigger part of the story.


The problem may be that used Denk IIs are not showing up a lot.

But by the time you figure that you can turn one pair of eyepeices into three pairs of eyepeices, and it works with almost any kind of telescope with noting else to buy, the Binotron is an incredible value.

But not having to change eyepecies is a priceless benefit.

Binoviewers.. Twice the fun at three times the price.

Nothing wrong with the Seiberts. Just that from a cost persepective, a used Denk II is a far better value.

And when you look at the Binotron and realize that this is even only a small increment over the used Denk IIs, it really does not seem all that high priced.

You may want to place a wanted ad for a pair of Denk IIs before you bit on Seiberts.

I know it is your money and I am not trying to tell you how to spend it. Just trying show you what other options exist and the advantages and disadvantages of those options.
  • scarubia likes this

#3 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:12 PM

Just curious Eddgie, but you have always posted lengthy replies here and have, as you said, tried seven different binoviewers, but always seem to try and sway people away from Sieberts. Is any one of the seven BV's that you tried a Siebert? Do you have something personal against Harry? You mention used Denks for $750 then having to get some other items to make it all work and it being way more economical when the Black Night 25's with a pair of 24mm 65 degree matched ep's is $1000 with OCS included.

Seems like you are heavily biased against Siebert and I'm curious as to why, particularly if you've never tried them.

I know a lot of people follow your advice, so if there is some good reason for the constant steering away from Siebert, for legitimate reasons, it would be good to know.
  • Magnitude7 and soldatispace like this

#4 BBryce

BBryce

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 79
  • Joined: 15 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Canada, QC

Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:14 PM

Excellent Vondragonnoggin !! I was exactly wondering the same question !!

#5 jack45

jack45

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,304
  • Joined: 07 Jul 2003
  • Loc: Lacey WA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:49 PM

:gotpopcorn:

#6 Tak North

Tak North

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 773
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Alaska

Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:38 PM

I see the Black Night binos mentioned in posts every now and then, but I generally don't hear too much about them. They seem to have everything I might want at an upper-mid level price point.

25mm prisms - check
Self centering diopters - check
T-2 direct mount - check (for a little extra $$)

This seems to be the least expensive way to be able to binoview with a pair of ES24/68 without vignetting and use a T-2 diagonal setup for the shortest possible lightpath.

I understand these are souped up version of the same binoviewers used in the WO/Celestron/Maxbright products - but it is still cheaper than a Tele Vue.

How come I don't hear these mentioned more often? Is anyone out there a long term user of one of these?

Also, anyone out there use the 2" versions? I can only imagine how awesome it must be to binoview with 22mm Naglers...


My advice is the same to anyone contemplating a Siebert system. Don't take our word for it. Call up Harry Siebert himself and have a chat. They guy is an amazing knowledge bank on the subject of Binos. He can more accurately describe all of the aspects of his systems than any of us can over the Internets. Usually when I talk to him, I'm on the phone with him for an hour or more - and I learn something new every time!

#7 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,318
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

When you do the math, a pair of used Denk IIs comes out way ahead.

Denk IIs come up on the market for about $750.

The Denk II will have a powerswitch, which will offset the price difference in eyepeice savings alone.

And if you need T2 connection, you can have an adatper made.

And if you look at the top end package from Siebert, you find that a Binotron is really not much more, though it does not include eyepeices. But Denkmeier now can make you a T2 Dovetail.

The reason I am now becoming more of an advocate of the Denk II (or Binotron if you can afford it) is because it works with most scopes out of the box. No adapters or diagonals or anything else (though I still think that keeping the light path short is alwasy advisiable) and having owned seven pairs of binoviewers now, have come to realize that the used Denk II is the best bang for the money, and the Binotron, when all the math is done, is actually quite reasonable.

Buying eyepeices is only part of the story.


Not having to change eyepecies for a lot of your observing is an even bigger part of the story.


The problem may be that used Denk IIs are not showing up a lot.

But by the time you figure that you can turn one pair of eyepeices into three pairs of eyepeices, and it works with almost any kind of telescope with noting else to buy, the Binotron is an incredible value.

But not having to change eyepecies is a priceless benefit.

Binoviewers.. Twice the fun at three times the price.

Nothing wrong with the Seiberts. Just that from a cost persepective, a used Denk II is a far better value.

And when you look at the Binotron and realize that this is even only a small increment over the used Denk IIs, it really does not seem all that high priced.

You may want to place a wanted ad for a pair of Denk IIs before you bit on Seiberts.

I know it is your money and I am not trying to tell you how to spend it. Just trying show you what other options exist and the advantages and disadvantages of those options.


I CAN TURN ONE SET OF EYEPIECES INTO 9 WITH two powerswitches (actually one is reducer/multiplier), or 27 including 3 OCSs. I just have an extra set of eyepieces for when the 24mm panoptics dew/ice up. Powerswitches are great!

Not all Denk II s work with all telescopes out the box. Originally Russ had OCS for Newtonian, SCT, Refractor, and Universal/multipurpose (but he sells the OCS you would need if it is not the right one). Now I believe they are universal.

#8 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:00 PM

Siebert also has powerswitches. The wheel kind.

One could also use the diagonal with power switch along with a pair of black night BV's.
  • TiSaph likes this

#9 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,318
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:10 PM

I was always intrigued by Siebert's 2" binoviewers, since I believe they can provide the widest TFOV in a binoviewer.
I have only seen them in someones hand at a swap event, and have never looked though one.

#10 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,885
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

My advice has nothing to do with the vendors in quesiton.

My point was simple and clear.

With the Denk II, you get something that will work in most telescope, where as with any other system, to get the same functionality, buy the time you spend as much on these other systems, and throw in two additional sets of eyepeices, various Barlows or GPCS and other do-dads such as mating rings and adapters, you will spend less on a pair of used Denk IIs.

And the more expensive your eyepiece tastes are, the less expensive the Denk IIs or even a new Binotron starts to look.

I have no interest in any vendor or manfuacturer and no bias towards or against any vendor. My advice is always neutral to that kind of thing.

And my own opinion is no better than anyone elses. I you have the Seiberts and love love love them, tell that to the OP.

If he is leaning heavily towards the Seiberts, opinions form people that own them may help him decide to get them.

But at the same time, he should also be made aware of the alternatives.

I don't want to tell the OP how to spend his money, but the purpose of my post is indeed to help him understand an alternative that in the long run may be a better option for him.

But only he knows that answer to that question.
  • scarubia likes this

#11 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

I already pointed out the package includes eyepieces, OCS, and BV.

Again, what do you know of Sieberts product and please explain why you think it won't be as compatible in all scopes as the Denks are? Mr. Siebert seems to think it not an issue in any scope with one his OCS units.

What is your experience with Siebert?

With the amount of posts you do in this forum pertaining to Denk, Binotron. Baader, how could he not know of alternatives?
  • soldatispace likes this

#12 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,885
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:41 PM

My very first binoviewers were Seiberts by the way...
  • elrod likes this

#13 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,885
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:43 PM

Oh, and I did buy a Seibert OCS once. I was not all that keen on it.

But I have bought other things from him before as well.

#14 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,885
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:43 PM

Ok ok, I give.

OP, ignore my advice. Clearly people here think I am out to get Seibert.

#15 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:44 PM

My very first binoviewers were Seiberts by the way...


Which model? When I asked, you did not know the back focus of the Black Nights, but proceeded to try and steer me towards anything else.

What didn't you like about Sieberts?

#16 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:45 PM

Ok ok, I give.

OP, ignore my advice. Clearly people here think I am out to get Seibert.


Only by the posts you make when anyone asks about them.

My concern is that the constant steering away from a Siebert product by claims of less money spent (not true) or incompatibility issues (also not true) are rather ill informed guesses and not simple pointing out.

Just for example - why would you recommend used Denks over used Sieberts? But then you never recommend Siebert used or new.

For that matter no Earthwins either. With seven BV's purchased, my guess is you weren't too keen on a lot more than just the Siebert OCS.
  • Magnitude7 and soldatispace like this

#17 Tak North

Tak North

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 773
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Alaska

Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

I was always intrigued by Siebert's 2" binoviewers, since I believe they can provide the widest TFOV in a binoviewer.
I have only seen them in someones hand at a swap event, and have never looked though one.

The funny thing is, I've owned my 2" Black Knights for 3 years now, but I've never really "used" them. Yes, I,ve had a look using an OCS, but putting an OCS on that system negates the benefits if 2" EPs with the resulting magnificatuion one might as well Use the Denk system with powerswitch and reducer.

It reaLly requiers a scope with about 300 mm of backfocus to get the 2" BVs with a 2" duagonal to reach native focus. I'm bulding such a scope now, at which point I will finally be able to "use" my Black Knights!
  • soldatispace and Bigfish731 like this

#18 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:06 PM

The 25mm 1.25" only require 100mm back focus.

#19 BBryce

BBryce

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 79
  • Joined: 15 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Canada, QC

Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:48 PM

The exact BN25 light path is 115mm, due to the long eyepiece holders.

#20 Saturninus

Saturninus

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 535
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2013

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:03 AM

Whoa Eddgie I didn't mean to set you up for an ambush! I am always interested to learn from debates between more experienced users, and I am always grateful for the time and effort you put in to sharing your knowledge Eddgie.

I think it is most likely the case that you almost always get better value from quality used equipment vs new. In the case with the Denk II vs the BNs, a more fair comparison would be between a used BN and used Denk II. Assuming that the price spread between new BN and Denkmeier equipment translates into a similar price spread in the used market, the BNs seemed hard to beat.

Having said that, in the case of binoviewers, I have a slight bias towards buying something new from a proprietor who I can call if anything comes up.
  • Mike Mc likes this

#21 TG

TG

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,567
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Latitude 47

Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

I used to have a pair of Siebert BKs, the older version I think. I bought them used and they were very good value for the money. Here's what my take on them:

Pros:

- Excellent mechanical build. They opened and closed smoother than my Mark Vs.
- Diopter adjustment easier than my current Mark Vs.
- Self centering ep holders
- Very good optical quality - I used them on Mars to see details at 8" without noticing any degradation.
- Harry Siebert: accessible and offers "personalized" service. My BVs needed collimation and he did the job for $50 total, including shipping, with a two week turnaround.

Cons:
- If your scope has enough backfocus to burn, everything is great. Otherwise, you have to deal with a bunch of OCA parts to get it to focus. In the end it all works but it at times seems a bit of a DIY project.
- Uneven color rendition. On the whole it averages out between the two eyes but I took histograms showing a clear difference.
- Diopter adjustment had nylon screws, 2 per side, to hold the adjustment. Gave it a homebrew DIY look when everything else looked polished. I suspect newer models don't have this anymore.
- Harry's website. Makes me want to claw my eyes out.

On the whole, for the price I paid (I think $450 or so used for the BVs, multimag OCA, 0.6x reducer, 2 20mm eps, 2x, 3x and filter wheel, and case), I think it was an excellent value. I don't know how much the retail value is nowadays so I can't comment on whether it's a good value bought new.

Here's the whole shebang:

Posted Image

Tanveer.

#22 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,318
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:07 PM

I was always intrigued by Siebert's 2" binoviewers, since I believe they can provide the widest TFOV in a binoviewer.
I have only seen them in someones hand at a swap event, and have never looked though one.

The funny thing is, I've owned my 2" Black Knights for 3 years now, but I've never really "used" them. Yes, I,ve had a look using an OCS, but putting an OCS on that system negates the benefits if 2" EPs with the resulting magnificatuion one might as well Use the Denk system with powerswitch and reducer.

It reaLly requiers a scope with about 300 mm of backfocus to get the 2" BVs with a 2" duagonal to reach native focus. I'm bulding such a scope now, at which point I will finally be able to "use" my Black Knights!


I guess this would be a case for shortening truss tubes (or getting a second set of truss tubes) if you had a truss tube dob. Not really much you can do to a refractor, but lots of SCT owners don't use OCSs.

#23 TG

TG

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,567
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Latitude 47

Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:49 PM


I guess this would be a case for shortening truss tubes (or getting a second set of truss tubes) if you had a truss tube dob. Not really much you can do to a refractor, but lots of SCT owners don't use OCSs.


My SST comes with two-position truss struts, one for BVs and one monovision. The problem with shortening tubes is that you also need a larger secondary to intercept the light cone properly otherwise you end up effectively losing aperture. With the struts in the BV position, I can no longer see the mirror clips and probably lose half to one inch of aperture.

Tanveer.

#24 Tak North

Tak North

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 773
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Alaska

Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:01 PM

- Harry's website. Makes me want to claw my eyes out.


LOL. :lol: Yea, what is it with BV Makers and their websites? The Denkmier site isn't that much more organized than Harry's!

BTW, did he show you his "hidden" page?
  • noisejammer likes this

#25 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:31 PM

- Harry's website. Makes me want to claw my eyes out.


LOL. :lol: Yea, what is it with BV Makers and their websites? The Denkmier site isn't that much more organized than Harry's!

BTW, did he show you his "hidden" page?


Yes. Got the hidden page. Nice long convo having nothing to do with BV's after the long BV convo.

Haha. He is a knowledgable guy and likes to talk with people too.


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics