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Review: Binoviewers (Zeiss, Baader, William Optics, Siebert, Denkmeier......)

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#51 hardwarezone

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 10:37 PM

The wo unit and the celestron unit are not from the same factory as far as I know, they look different and the wo is sold at a higher price.

They are from the same factory.

KUO sells the bv in 2 tier, with the higher tier approximately 50% more expensive in their domestic market based on their housebrand SkyRover.

Infact if you look at KUO's webpage you can find many eyepieces that were rebranded under WO.


 

#52 denis0007dl

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 12:08 AM

 

The wo unit and the celestron unit are not from the same factory as far as I know, they look different and the wo is sold at a higher price.

They are from the same factory.

KUO sells the bv in 2 tier, with the higher tier approximately 50% more expensive in their domestic market based on their housebrand SkyRover.

Infact if you look at KUO's webpage you can find many eyepieces that were rebranded under WO.

 

Thats right.


 

#53 Passerine

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 03:59 PM

All in all, all mentioned binoviewers are very good, and there are no bad ones. Main differences are in prisms sizes and clear apertures, coatings, and mechanicall quailiy. You cant go wrong with any of them  :)

 

Wow, that's a bit of a let down...  Come on, after all this careful consideration surely some binoviewers rise to the top?  You must at least have some opinion... which binoviewer(s) do you like best for your own viewing? 

:)

Dave

 

PS.  Forgive me if I missed it... I scanned through all the photos looking for some kind of verdict...


Edited by Passerine, 19 September 2015 - 04:01 PM.

 

#54 denis0007dl

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:47 AM

Carl Zeiss special binoviewers from microscopes are best of all, no doublt, optically and mechanically!


 

#55 Eddgie

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 07:47 AM

 

All in all, all mentioned binoviewers are very good, and there are no bad ones. Main differences are in prisms sizes and clear apertures, coatings, and mechanicall quailiy. You cant go wrong with any of them  :)

 

Wow, that's a bit of a let down...  Come on, after all this careful consideration surely some binoviewers rise to the top?  You must at least have some opinion... which binoviewer(s) do you like best for your own viewing? 

:)

Dave

 

PS.  Forgive me if I missed it... I scanned through all the photos looking for some kind of verdict...

 

 

 

Look for ones using Fluorite Glass.  They absorb less light and cool faster.

 

LOL.. Only kidding. 

 

I have owned seven different binoviewers of all types, and I found that there was little I could see in one that could not be seen in another.  Differences were subtle.

 

To me, more important is that the Bioviewer should be looked at as a system.

 

The big binoviewers with power switches offer versitility that stand alone units don't offer.   This allows them to generally work with all three telescope types (refractors, Cats, and refectors) and while people think of them as being expensive, by the time you buy another device and pay money to have it supercarged, then add adapters and additional eyepieces, in the end, you will spend as much on a la carte systems.

 

The Maxbright is unique because when used with a T2 standard prism diagonal it will reach focus with many refractors.  You can add adapters to the WO to do this, but once again, if you need to add something like a 1.25x GPC, you really won't save money by going to the WO.

 

My advice to people it to not turn this into the Eyepeice forum where the focus is on tiny differences in performance that are subtle and hard to see, and instead focus on the fact that the binoviewer is a system purchase for most people because to get the best performance from many scopes (lowest power, no vignetting, etc) the system becomes a critical factor.

 

My own opinion is that the variable power systems are the absolute best solution for most people that have multiple scopes because they cost about the same, but offer better flexibility and not changing eyepieces makes the much more efficient for observing.

 

The Mark V rules when it comes to people that want to go a la carte because once again, the system is the best on the market (not the binoviewer, but the T2 system itself), and for the Mark V, if you are going to own binoviewer where you have to change eyepieces a lot, nothing makes it easier than the Mark V.

 

To bad they don't come with Fluorite prisms though.   Everybody knows that it can't be perfect unless it has Fluorite glass.     

 

Sorry.  Could not resist.  Just that I would hate to see this forum go the route of the eyepeice and refractor forum by suggesting you have to have Fluorite Mono-centric binoviewers to get great views.  All of them can give extremely satisfying views and not everyone can afford a high end unit.


 

#56 denis0007dl

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:47 PM

 

Look for ones using Fluorite Glass.  They absorb less light and cool faster.

 

LOL.. Only kidding. 

Yes, that would be interesting.

 

 

 

I have owned seven different binoviewers of all types, and I found that there was little I could see in one that could not be seen in another.  Differences were subtle.

If we talk about opticall difference, that is truth. To see any opticall difference, it is very hard, even in high magnifications. Only opticall difference is sometimes in difference in light transmittion.

 

 

 

 

 

To me, more important is that the Bioviewer should be looked at as a system.

 

The big binoviewers with power switches offer versitility that stand alone units don't offer.   This allows them to generally work with all three telescope types (refractors, Cats, and refectors) and while people think of them as being expensive, by the time you buy another device and pay money to have it supercarged, then add adapters and additional eyepieces, in the end, you will spend as much on a la carte systems.

 

Thats right.

 

 

 

 

The Maxbright is unique because when used with a T2 standard prism diagonal it will reach focus with many refractors.  You can add adapters to the WO to do this, but once again, if you need to add something like a 1.25x GPC, you really won't save money by going to the WO.

 

...or you can adapt WO bino to have on back side also T2 connection, by custum made adaptation. Everything is possible.

 

 

 

 

My advice to people it to not turn this into the Eyepeice forum where the focus is on tiny differences in performance that are subtle and hard to see, and instead focus on the fact that the binoviewer is a system purchase for most people because to get the best performance from many scopes (lowest power, no vignetting, etc) the system becomes a critical factor.

 

My own opinion is that the variable power systems are the absolute best solution for most people that have multiple scopes because they cost about the same, but offer better flexibility and not changing eyepieces makes the much more efficient for observing.

 

 

Thats truth.

 

 

 

 

The Mark V rules when it comes to people that want to go a la carte because once again, the system is the best on the market (not the binoviewer, but the T2 system itself), and for the Mark V, if you are going to own binoviewer where you have to change eyepieces a lot, nothing makes it easier than the Mark V.

 

 

If we talk about serial production, yes, Mark V is best option, I agree. I like also fast changing option about Clicl Lock system, but this system does not holds eyepeices so well like holds lets say BinoVue or lets say even cheap China binos which have real self centring system, and you can squeeze eyepeices as much you want, and it is very safe. Baader Click Lock system IS NOT SELF CENTRING, like all pages declare this system, and like most people beleive that. Inside adapters are 2 rollers which are limited in their path, and they cant squeeze eyepeices which are bith thiner in barell than lets say 1.20" in dimater-one more minus sometimes.


Edited by denis0007dl, 20 September 2015 - 01:48 PM.

 

#57 denis0007dl

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:49 PM

 

Sorry.  Could not resist.  Just that I would hate to see this forum go the route of the eyepeice and refractor forum by suggesting you have to have Fluorite Mono-centric binoviewers to get great views.  All of them can give extremely satisfying views and not everyone can afford a high end unit.

 

:grin:


 

#58 Eddgie

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 05:12 PM

Yes there are other options but I was really speaking more about regular production products. 

For modification, that is a very much different situation.   I have seen some interesting conversions. 


 

#59 JCB

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 05:39 PM

I've just discovered this review. Once again, it's very interesting Denis!

 

Can you elaborate on the coatings of the Baader Maxbright? You think that it probably comes from the same factory as other Chinese binoviewers, but the coatings are obviously different. This is visible in the link in your signature: the Maxbright has blue coatings in your pictures, whereas other Chinese binoviewers exhibit deep green coatings.
How would you rate the brightness of the Maxbright compared to other binoviewers?

 

Also, I read several years ago that cheap binoviewers have different color rendition on each side. Did you notice such effects (I know that the Baader Mark V is almost perfect in this regard, with very neutral colors on each side.)

Edit: I've found a recent topic on this subject:

http://www.cloudynig...rence-in-binos/

 

I hope you will complete this review with the new Maxbright, when it will be available.


Edited by JCB, 20 September 2015 - 05:58 PM.

 

#60 mikey cee

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 06:11 PM

I've always said and thought that hype overcomes lack of education. Unless like Eddgie says if you don't need a specific adaptable system you're flushing your money down the toilet. Same way with most discussions on CN involving optical purchases......the point of diminishing returns is soon upon you like flies on ****. Just admit that you'll spend big bucks and glad of it for a certain design look or a prestigious logo. But don't expect any easily discernible clear cut performance edge. :smirk:  Mike


Edited by mikey cee, 20 September 2015 - 06:12 PM.

 

#61 JCB

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 07:11 PM

As a fellow who think that atmospheric variations trump every eyepiece difference, I greatly appreciate Eddgie's comments!

But I'm still curious about the question I asked ;).  And it's not for a purchase, since the Maxbright is discontinued…


 

#62 chrisg

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 08:12 PM

Just need to throw in my opinion here about the Maxbright since I had one.  I found the construction somewhat lacking - what I initially thought was my inability to merge images I think turned out to be poor prism alignment.  The apertures on each side under the eyepiece were different by around 2 millimeters.  ALSO - to fasten each eyepiece, you need to screw in three thumbscrews per eyepiece, the the thumbscrews aren't captive. So if you don't enjoy fiddling with your equipment at 2am when you've lost sensation in your fingers, this ain't the binoviewer for you! I needed to stick to the T2 system since I wouldn't be able to come to focus otherwise with my refractor so I stuck with a Baader-type system. A Mark V $imply wasn't in the cards for me, so a quick search of 'bay and I found LOTS of similarities between zeiss microscope binoviewers and the Mark V. 

 

So - it really wasn't about big bucks or prestige, I needed to keep the light path short, and it was done relatively cheaply to boot! The used zeiss binoviewer alone was $250, I bought another for around $150 about a year later.. 


 

#63 denis0007dl

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 08:35 PM

I've just discovered this review. Once again, it's very interesting Denis!

 

Can you elaborate on the coatings of the Baader Maxbright? You think that it probably comes from the same factory as other Chinese binoviewers, but the coatings are obviously different. This is visible in the link in your signature: the Maxbright has blue coatings in your pictures, whereas other Chinese binoviewers exhibit deep green coatings.
How would you rate the brightness of the Maxbright compared to other binoviewers?

 

 

Thank you!

 

Yes, Maxbright have different Coatings, and different light transmittion, where lets say other China binos like Omegon, TS, WO and simillar have bit better light transmittion than Maxbright, and little better transmittion than even much more expensive Denks I and II, and BinoVue (depends of year of production). But beleive or not, this all depends of year of production of all binos, where BinoVue models vary the most of all serial produced binos (as well L/R splitting sides), and for Maxbright it is never changed, and other China models sometimes (not always) may differ, in advantage on newest bino models with newest improved coatings. Same story about Mark V bino where light transmittion differs and advantage of newest model. 


Edited by denis0007dl, 20 September 2015 - 08:58 PM.

 

#64 denis0007dl

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 08:45 PM

Just need to throw in my opinion here about the Maxbright since I had one.  I found the construction somewhat lacking - what I initially thought was my inability to merge images I think turned out to be poor prism alignment.  The apertures on each side under the eyepiece were different by around 2 millimeters.  ALSO - to fasten each eyepiece, you need to screw in three thumbscrews per eyepiece, the the thumbscrews aren't captive. So if you don't enjoy fiddling with your equipment at 2am when you've lost sensation in your fingers, this ain't the binoviewer for you! I needed to stick to the T2 system since I wouldn't be able to come to focus otherwise with my refractor so I stuck with a Baader-type system. A Mark V $imply wasn't in the cards for me, so a quick search of 'bay and I found LOTS of similarities between zeiss microscope binoviewers and the Mark V. 

 

Almost all China binos I received directly from wearhouse, were little or badly out of collimation. Maxbright have one more interesting option for collimation with eyepeice holders, like have also BinoVue newer models, where you release eyepeice holders, you can do little shifts and can do little collimation fixes. If this does not helps, then you must open wings form bino and play with prisms.

Screws which holds these prisms originally are very tiny, and bad, and can sometimes cause prism cracks a little. Often, with these tiny screws, comes some kind of paste which sticks prism and bino body.

 

 

 

So - it really wasn't about big bucks or prestige, I needed to keep the light path short, and it was done relatively cheaply to boot! The used zeiss binoviewer alone was $250, I bought another for around $150 about a year later.. 

This is real bargain and luck indeed, to get them so cheap, while they comes for sale really rarely, and it is hard to get some in very good/excellent condition, while they are not produced anymore, when we talk about units whch are precursor of Mark V units.


 

#65 JCB

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 07:39 AM

 

 

But beleive or not, this all depends of year of production of all binos, where BinoVue models vary the most of all serial produced binos (as well L/R splitting sides), and for Maxbright it is never changed, and other China models sometimes (not always) may differ, in advantage on newest bino models with newest improved coatings. Same story about Mark V bino where light transmittion differs and advantage of newest model. 

 

Very interesting info! Thank you very much.


Edited by JCB, 21 September 2015 - 07:40 AM.

 

#66 dotnet

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 08:00 AM

So - it really wasn't about big bucks or prestige, I needed to keep the light path short, and it was done relatively cheaply to boot! The used zeiss binoviewer alone was $250, I bought another for around $150 about a year later.. 

 

I believe those are usually for 23.2mm eyepieces, can they be adapted to hold 1.25" eyepieces?


 

#67 denis0007dl

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 08:29 AM

Chris have binos with 30mm prisms, precursors of Mark V.
Yes, bcustom made adapters, they can be adapted to 1.25" format.
These adapters are not cheap to made BTW.
 

#68 chrisg

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 10:34 AM

I had Denis convert one of my binoviewers to 1.25", he sent the parts and all I had to do is be handy with some tiny screws. I'm very happy with the results, handled my heavier eyepieces well. You can see the binoviewer with Baader click locks in the back. 

IMG 5176am

 

#69 denis0007dl

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 11:11 AM

I had Denis convert one of my binoviewers to 1.25", he sent the parts and all I had to do is be handy with some tiny screws. I'm very happy with the results, handled my heavier eyepieces well. You can see the binoviewer with Baader click locks in the back. 

Thank you Chris!


 

#70 denis0007dl

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 12:11 PM

Great update and news: new William Optics binoviewers, latest run, does not have at all polarisation effect, while there was obvious polarisation on all previous WO models!!!

 

Just got today latest model and have tested it!

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20150924_8518.jpg

 

#71 reiner

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 10:31 AM

Hi Denis

very interesting thread with lots of information.

 

I also use an adapted Zeiss microscope binoviewer, which is a bit special. It has a glass cube beamsplitter, but mirrors instead of prisms. Did you ever get a grip on one of these, or anybody else?

 

Binoansatz.jpg


 

#72 denis0007dl

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 10:59 AM

Hi Denis

very interesting thread with lots of information.

 

I also use an adapted Zeiss microscope binoviewer, which is a bit special. It has a glass cube beamsplitter, but mirrors instead of prisms. Did you ever get a grip on one of these, or anybody else?

 

Binoansatz.jpg

Hi Reiner,

 

of couse, I had such unit! I know, it have glued cube beamsplitter on bottom, and 3 mirrors! He have small apertures and not so good coatings, but overall, it is Zeiss quality  ;)


 

#73 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 09:07 AM

Great update and news: new William Optics binoviewers, latest run, does not have at all polarisation effect, while there was obvious polarisation on all previous WO models!!!

 

Just got today latest model and have tested it!

I'm seriously thinking of getting a WO bino, I've never owned a pair of binoviewers and these look good value for the money. I would use two 19mm TV Panoptics with them. 

 

How does the WO compare to the Orion or Revelation bino's? Because it seems more expensive and doesn't have a carrying case included. 


 

#74 sopticals

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Posted 24 October 2015 - 10:04 PM

Hi Denis,

 

this thread has provided some very interesting and informative reading. I see on Ebay, Arcturus Binos advertised at a very competitive price, compared to the WO units (which I have). Am considering a second set of Binoviewers. My Question: how does the Arcturus unit compare performance wise with the WO?

 

Best regards

Stephen. (45deg.S.)


 

#75 denis0007dl

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 08:37 AM

Hi Denis,

 

this thread has provided some very interesting and informative reading. I see on Ebay, Arcturus Binos advertised at a very competitive price, compared to the WO units (which I have). Am considering a second set of Binoviewers. My Question: how does the Arcturus unit compare performance wise with the WO?

 

Best regards

Stephen. (45deg.S.)

Hi Stephen!

 

Yes, Arcturus, as well AST Optics and simillar brand binos, also comes from China production.

Arcturus not have/do not have absolutely polarisation effect, same like newest WO bino run, while older WO binos all have strong polarisation.

Both WO and Arcturus have absolutely same CA, which means 23mm CA on scope side, and 20mm CA on both eyepiece sides.

Advantage of Arcturus is that it have 26mm diameter of beamsplitter, while WO have 25mm.

You wont se any difference optically between two, even at highest magnification.

Arcturus one more advantage is that it have self centring diopters.

WO looks more attractive, and takes shorter light path.

I hope this helps.

 

Kind regards and CS

Denis


 


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