Orion Mini Giant binos
Posted 26 February 2004 - 03:32 PM
I'm looking into getting some astronomical binos for about $500 including mount/tripod. What do yall think about the Orion Mini Giants with the Orion Paragon-Plus Mount and tripod? The 12x63 will give a 5.25mm exit pupil (I think) and 4.7deg field of view. They also come in 8x56, 9x63, and 15x63. Is the Paragon mount worth the money?
Thanks for any suggestions.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:14 PM
I have the Oberwerk 12X60. The Oberwerk has 5.7 deg FOV and is priced at $109. I am impressed by the optics every time I look thru them. Edge sharpness is much better than my $359 Orion 20X80 with smaller 3.5 deg FOV. No visible color fringe on the full moon! The focuser is a little stiff for quick focusing but stays put. Oberwerk warranty is one year but I think it's a much better value the the Orion 12X63.($209)
The Paragon Plus is the lowest priced metal parallelO mount I am aware of. It's a basic parallelO and will not give you as many deg of freedom as more expensive mounts from Universal Astronomics. The Tripod is a good buy for the money but it's not tall enough for standing observation unless you are using it with the ParrelO mount.
If you plan to mount your bino anyway I recommend that you consider 15X70 or even 20X80 LW binos. The Oberwerk 80mm LW weighs 3.6 lbs has 3.5 deg FOV and cost $199. I get a big jump in "WoW" factor when I switch from 12X60s to 20X80s.
Check eye relief of each model if you wear glasses to observe.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:20 PM
Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:25 PM
Just tried mine with the eye cups folded and my sunglasses. Have no trouble seeing the full field. Oberwerk web site list the ER at 14mm but my 12X60 seemed to have longer ER. Mine(Nov 2002) is marked long eye relief on the right prism housing. You may want to email Oberwerk to verify ER on current models.
I would not get too hung up on having at least 5 deg FOV. 20X80 binos with 3.5 deg FOV offers 70 deg Apparent FOV, wider than 12X60s with 5 deg FOV(60 deg APFOV). Yes 12X60s will cover more sky area but usually would not show more STARs in the FOV unless you have very dark skies. You need bigger aperture AND higher power to see dimmer stars. M45 is nice in 12X60s but Spectacular in 20X80s on a clear dark night from my mag 4.5 back yard. I have no difficulty finding my way around with 3.5 deg FOV and correct image view thru my 20X80s. Much easier than my 80mmF5 short tube with 6X30 finder.
Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:38 AM
Wide FOV are cool, but as Erik says, you won't mind the 3.5 FOV from the 20x80 once you look through them. The added resolution and added stars in the FOV due to the higher mag. can well compensate for a wider FOV. You will see so much more stars.
You can fit Orion's belt in a 3° FOV, wide enough if you ask me
Posted 27 February 2004 - 09:29 AM
Posted 27 February 2004 - 10:57 AM
Posted 27 February 2004 - 11:09 AM
If you live in a dark, dark place, and I mean dark go with the 11x70s, otherwise the 20x80 or 15x70 will work good.
Posted 27 February 2004 - 01:12 PM
Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:31 PM
Burgess 20X80 LWs are $149. Bogen 3221WN tripod with 501 fluid head and a carrying bag is $274 from <adorama.com> Add shipping and should be ~ $470. Not a parallelO mount but for me much easier to move about. I use this combo on every clear night. Great for terrestrial viewing also. The 501 head will hold 9 lb 25X100 binos too when you are ready to move up.