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Home built Nikon 2x54 widefield binos

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#51 sonny.barile

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 05:14 PM

Are these optical instruments or furniture?  :lol:


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#52 desert_woodworker

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 06:07 PM

Sonny,

 

> Are these optical instruments or furniture?

 

Wood is good.  ;)

 

Balsa wood was looked at by NASA as a suitable insulator for the Saturn LH2 fuel tanks, but after sufficient research, it was found that not even all the world's annual forest output of Balsa wood could supply the needs of the Apollo project.  Also, occasional defects in the wood might cause some problems, anyway.  I'm impressed that a natural material was investigated, though.

 

And, good that NASA contractors developed an artificial solution, otherwise a lot of modellers might have been very "put-out" world-wide during 1967-1972 if they could not get Balsa for their projects because NASA had snapped it all up.

 

See: Rog Bilstein, STAGES TO SATURN -- A TECHNOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE APOLLO/SATURN, NASA SP-4206, NASA, 1980, Washington, D.C., p.175-177.

 

--Joe


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#53 desert_woodworker

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 06:31 PM

Stormbird,

 

The teleconverters, and Galilean telescopes in general, are collimators, in effect. 

 

They take light in, and collimate it in the output beam.

 

Most of them are set up ("focussed") to take in and put out collimated light.  They're used a lot in optical-bench setups to change the size (diameter, say) of beams.  You can use them in either direction, that is, either to expand a beam, or to concentrate it.

 

A camera can use such a teleconverter simply by having the camera's lens set at infinity-focus, since the teleconverter (collimator) provides collimated light.  Likewise, if you look through a teleconverter with the eye, AND have a good infinity-focus yourself (either with or without opthalmic correction), you can view with no eye-strain (which is otherwise born of muscular accommodation or attempt to focus the eye).

 

If you can change the separation of the positive lens and negative lens ("Barlow", although not used as a Barlow... ) of the prescription, you can make the system better suited to your vision as you like, or need.

 

I have easy infinity focus of the eyes, right off the shelf.  So the teleconverters, if really set up for receiving light from infinity, and passing it collimated, give me well-focussed images without any tweaking of the system, nor any eyestrain.  Doc says all I have is a tiny amount of astigmatism.   At my age, though, my arms feel a bit short when reading, so sometimes in some light I use a pair of 1.00 diopter eyeglasses when reading fine print (glasses $2.00 US, from Ace Hardware).

 

I agree that the Nikon TC-E2 teleconverters are of fine quality at "surplus" prices.  When new, and in use for the Coolpix cameras of their time, 13 years ago, I think the MSRP was over $150, in 1993 dollars.

 

--Joe

 

My pair of Nikon TC-E2 lenses arrived. No focus mechanism. To achieve sharpest focus I move them to the correct distance from my eyes


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#54 GlennLeDrew  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 08:40 PM

Joe,

Keplerian systems are or can be collimators as well; I've used a 6X30 finder as a beam expander for my green laser when conducting effective aperture measurements. All afocal instruments by definition can meet this criterion when focused appropriately. The light cares not that it's been inverted after passing through the principal focus.


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#55 Bob Myler

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 09:15 PM

Glenn, could these units be used to safely project an enlarged image of the sun?



#56 GlennLeDrew  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 11:22 PM

Bob,

A Galilean system can focus an image behind the eyepiece, when the eyepiece is focused a small distance inward. This is basically prime focus imaging with a Barlow lens to boost image scale. For magnification this low, the projection distance must be fairly large. The image quality will likely leave something to be desired, but this can probably be improved by placing a stop ahead of the objective or behind the eyepiece (the latter preferably being of a not-black material so as to not get rather warm.) A behind-the-eyepiece stop could have a diameter of about 4-5mm, while a stop ahead of the objective would be 4-5mm multiplied by the magnification; both would do the same thing.

 

Image resolution is ultimately limited by diffraction, even if there are no aberrations. Assuming optical perfection, and an aperture for 2.5X set by a 10mm front mask (or 4mm stop behind the eyepiece), resolving power is 12 arcseconds, or about 1/150 the solar diameter. If we wish to limit image scale so that 12" upon projection equals 0.5mm, this would yield a disk diameter of 0.5mm * 150 = 75mm. At 2.5X, this is:

 

projection distance = projected diameter / TAN(angular diameter) * magnification

 

= 75 / TAN(0.5) * 2.5 = 3450mm



#57 ArsMachina

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 06:10 AM

My E3ED arrived today. As a monocular it looks superb, viewing terrestrial today. Of course it is raining again tonite so star test will have to wait.

 

To build a bino out of the E3ED one would need some prisms to get the right IPD with that big lenses.

I am thinking about modifying an old pair of binoculars for this by replacing the original objectives with the E3ED

But what will happen then at the eyepieces?

These teleconverters are normally used without eyepieces, but taking them also off will provide a too long distance to the converters.

Any thoughts how one could manage this?

 

Jochen



#58 Mad Matt

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 08:13 AM

 

My E3ED arrived today. As a monocular it looks superb, viewing terrestrial today. Of course it is raining again tonite so star test will have to wait.

 

To build a bino out of the E3ED one would need some prisms to get the right IPD with that big lenses.

I am thinking about modifying an old pair of binoculars for this by replacing the original objectives with the E3ED

But what will happen then at the eyepieces?

These teleconverters are normally used without eyepieces, but taking them also off will provide a too long distance to the converters.

Any thoughts how one could manage this?

 

Jochen

 

 

I seriously doubt this will work. The E3ED is designed as a Galilean system and will not work with normal eyepieces.


Edited by Mad Matt, 24 May 2016 - 08:17 AM.


#59 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 10:21 AM

 

 

I was told by someone having 58mm IPD using them without modifying them

 With my Nikon 2x and my -4 glasses, sharpness goes down the hill if the optical axis of the Nikon 2x lens is not inline with my eyepupil.

 

Garret

 

:waytogo:

 

Garret:

 

I found that to also be true when viewing naked eye.  The lens are so short, it is easy to tilt them.  The first time I checked the field sharpness, I tilted the lens rather than moving my gaze and I was not impressed.  But then I realized the error in my ways and found the lens to be acceptably sharp off-axis.

 

Jon



#60 desert_woodworker

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 10:49 AM

Jochen,

 

 

These teleconverters are normally used without eyepieces, but taking them also off will provide a too long distance to the converters.

Any thoughts how one could manage this?

 

Well, the negative lens in the teleconverter train is the "eyepiece", as in all Galilean telescopes.

 

But I've thought earlier about the question you ask about, too. 

 

First, one can just use a SINGLE 3x teleconverter.  Such a monocular provides only "monophonic" vision ;) , and not "stereo", but ...the Music of the Spheres will still come through;  :waytogo:

 

Second, one can swap the 3x eye-lens of the 3x teleconverter INTO the 2x teleconverter, if the diameters and the opportunity to retain proper spacing should happen to permit.  This is a long-shot I think (low probability of anyone's being so lucky);

 

Third, one could modify a pair of 2x teleconverter binocs by removing the eyelenses and replacing them with properly chosen 3x negative focal-length eyelenses (probably wants to be achromatic negative lenses, at that).  'Ditto' the caveats in the second suggestion, above, about diams. and spacing;

 

Fourth, perhaps a relay-lens solution could be cooked-up.  But this may result in a narrower field of view due to lengthening of the resulting system;

 

Fifth, I thought about fiber opticsCoherent fiber optics.  Fiber optics with aligned fibers, an array of which which does not scramble the image.  But, because these have higher Index than air, however, their use may result in shortening the length of the system (just as a prismatic 'star-diagonal' does on a telescope).  But I don't think fiber optics can be an easy or inexpensive solution, here;

 

I'd go -- and will go -- with suggestion One, the monocular.  It would be ready to go right out of the box, and out of its black drawstring felt bag.  Elegant... .

 

best,

 

--Joe

 

EDIT:  an additional suggestion could be to find a 3x teleconverter with front barrels of smaller diam. than a person's IPD, or IOD.  Canon makes, and has made, teleconverters, too, for current and 'obsolete' cameras.  Perhaps one could be found to suit a binocular pairing.  I have not done the research... . 

 

EDIT 2: third-party makers of lenses like the maker of the lens below might also make something suitable, in a smaller diameter front barrel, at 3x.  I don't know the dimensions of the item below (perhaps can be searched-out), but here is the name:

 

Phoenix 3x Telephoto Conversion Lens for Digital/Film Cameras & DV/Hi-8 Camcorders


Edited by desert_woodworker, 24 May 2016 - 12:40 PM.

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#61 nickatnight

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 05:17 PM

Love that wooden holder, Bob. Beautiful work.

#62 Bob4BVM

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 05:53 PM

Love that wooden holder, Bob. Beautiful work.

Thank you Nick, i'm glad at least a few of us like astro stuff that looks like "furniture" :)

Thought that was a little funny since there seems to be a ton of furniture produced by Dob builders here on CN, and some of it is pretty nice furniture at that !

 

This was a refreshingly simple, quick & easy 'build' , as my ATM projects go. I usually have to agonize over each design segment, weigh the pros and cons of this way or that way, and then spend hours actually putting it all together.

And then of course, none of my ATM scopes are EVER really 'finished'...

 

Clear skies tonite I hope. Still have not gotten to test this little bino on the MilkyWay !

Bob



#63 desert_woodworker

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:33 PM

Howdy, DIY-ers!  ;)

 

I found a little rig that holds either the Nikon 2x or 3x Galilean teleconverter, and a digital camera.

 

It's made I think for the (year 2003?-vintage line of) Nikon Coolpix line of digital cams, but I wanted to have one to try with my Canon Digital Elph SD1000.

 

Well, my Canon isn't quite compatible (the cam. is rather too small overall), but the Nikon rig may suggest other uses I'll cook up in the future.  I'm glad to give it a home, and at $1.99, shipped (!), I could not resist.  I may even buy another, to put on ice.

 

The teleconverter screws on to the front, and the rig holds the camera.  There's a separate tripod screw provided to thread in through the bottom of the plastic rig.

 

Care to have a look?  Amazon is hosting the sale, by Willoughby Camera:

 

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B00005NTHI

 

--Joe


Edited by desert_woodworker, 26 May 2016 - 01:56 PM.

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#64 tropical

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:39 PM

Howdy, DIY-ers!  ;)

 

I found a little rig that holds either the Nikon 2x or 3x Galilean teleconverter, and a digital camera.

 

It's made I think for the (year 2003?-vintage line of) Nikon Coolpix line of digital cams, but I wanted to have one to try with my Canon Digital Elph SD1000.

 

Well, my Canon isn't quite compatible, and is rather too small overall, but the Nikon rig may suggest other uses I'll cook up in the future.  I'm glad to give it a home, and at $1.99, shipped (!), I could not resist.  I may even buy another, to put on ice.

 

The teleconverter screws on to the front, and the rig holds the camera.  There's a separate tripod screw provided to thread in through the bottom of the plastic rig.

 

Care to have a look?  Amazon is hosting the sale, by Willoughby Camera:

 

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B00005NTHI

 

--Joe

Maybe you can find a way to make it work with two TC-E2's?



#65 desert_woodworker

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:54 PM

Maybe you can find a way to make it work with two TC-E2's?

 

Yes, Tropical, I think that's a distinct possibility, and a good potential that these things present (the Nikon UR-E3 Converter Adapter).  Yoke two yokes together (hmm, makes me want fried eggs, sunnyside).

 

But I've set myself to make a "yoke" for them of wood (just ha'in't got a "round-tuit", yet; Been using the 2x and the 3x at night as monoculars.  Fun).

 

--Joe



#66 desert_woodworker

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 04:38 PM

UPS delivered a smaller 3x "Phoenix" teleconverter to me today.  It's great!

 

I ordered it from Amazon, and it can be had elsewhere as well.

 

You can see it at:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ailpage_o00_s00

 

It's a 3x Galilean unit for a small videocamera, and so its dimensions are also a little (nicely) small!  YOU CAN MAKE A 3x BINO- from these.

 

Because everything is scaled-down a bit, the exit pupil is also smaller.  Things look BRIGHT with this unit today in the desert! (I'll soon try it out at night).

 

Testing both the Nikon 3x and he Phoenix 3x units together, one held simultaneously at each of my eyes, as a "bino-", I note that the Phoenix unit provides a slightly LARGER f.o.v. than the Nikon unit does.  Maybe 15 or 20% larger (I'll nail that down tonight, on the constellations).

 

The ultimate eye-stop, that I can measure-to... is the clearance hole in the aluminum back of the unit, just back of the negative fl final lens.  That aperture is 0.370 inch (9.4 mm) diam.  The unit's exit pupil is bound to be a bit smaller than that (and half the size of the huge Nikon exit pupils).  More Human-scale... .

 

The clear aperture of the unit is 1.430 inch (36.3 mm).

 

The mechanical limiting O.D. of the top of the barrel is 1.774 inch (45.1 mm).

 

That is... plenty of lateral breathing space between optical axes of two units, for making a 3x bino-, if anyone wants to.

 

The unit's rear has a couple of male threads, of meas'd O.D. 1.177 inch (30.0 mm).

 

The unit comes with a stack of 4 different mounting disks, for adapting the unit to a female threaded receptacle of 27, 28, 30, and 30.5 mm.  You may think of ways to use these.

 

BTW, using the Phoenix unit as a monocular is very ergonomically comfortable and safe.  You're not likely to drop it.  It has a nice, organically-curved, "wasp-waist" at its ...midriff. 

 

I may add a photo here, if I make an edit of this post later.

 

Good luck, builders!

 

--Joe



#67 BrooksObs

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 11:22 PM

The first of two Nikon TC-E2 Teleconverters that I've ordered arrived a day or two ago and this evening I got my first chance to evaluate the lens system. As others have remarked, images are sharp and the overall field shows very little distortion, if any. The actual FOV is truly enormous. I carefully measured it as almost exactly 27 degrees. The skies were party cloudy and transparency not the best tonight, but I got the general impression that the monocular gave about a 2 magnitude gain over the unaided eye, I'll do a more critical evaluation on this aspect of the lens system the next night we get really clear,dark skies. The lens systems performance should be particularly impressive for showing the full length of the tail on the next bright comet that comes along.

 

BrooksObs 


Edited by BrooksObs, 27 May 2016 - 05:47 AM.

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#68 Bob Myler

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 12:29 AM

Here's a link to more information regarding these Nikon units - the TC-E2 and the TC-E3ED - albeit from a photographer's point of view.

 

Note the FC-E8 Fisheye and the WC-E24 wide angle lenses - I wonder if they might also work visually - without literally SUCKING the eyeballs out of your head?..... :shocked: 

 

https://www.ephotozi...or--review-4474

 

 

Here's a link to some additional information - comparing the raw specs of the above four converters....

 

http://www.imaging-r...LENS1/LENS1.HTM

 

 

The filter sizes for Nikon's TC-E2 and TC-E3ED are 62 and 72 mm's respectively.

Given the large size and protuberance of each "objective", it might be wise to protect them with skylight (or LP?) filters....


Edited by Bob Myler, 27 May 2016 - 12:40 AM.


#69 trener

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 06:46 AM

What's the front lens diameter of TC-E3ED teleconventer?



#70 Bob Myler

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:35 AM

What's the front lens diameter of TC-E3ED teleconventer?

 

 

I'm still waiting for mine to arrive.

 

However, its objective housing is listed as 75 mm diameter and the filter size is 72 mm, so slightly less than 70 mm clear aperture would be my guess.....



#71 desert_woodworker

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:45 AM

hi, Trener,

 

What's the front lens diameter of TC-E3ED teleconventer?

 

I give that measurement in the other thread, on Page 5, here:

 

http://www.cloudynig...only-131/page-5

 

The clear aperture of that lens is 2.505 inch, 63.6 mm, and the O.D. of the aluminum housing cell -- which would limit the binocular lateral spacing of units -- is 75.0 mm.

 

The "output" lens ("eye-lens) clear-aperture as mounted is 0.490 inch, 12.4 mm.

 

Best regards,

 

--Joe


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#72 Bob4BVM

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 02:28 PM

I got to do the first real test with my 2x54's last night under fairly dark conditions. No Moon, Cygnus area of Milky Way rising at ~40* .  MW was not very pronounced-just a faint hint of the deep star clouds and dust lanes.

 

Looking carefully for distortion, stars were near- perfect points. Moving binos off-center a bit from my pupils gave some coma as expected.

 

I also carefully compared a one-eye (monocular) view.  It's the same wide FOV, but the additional detail and apparent brightness was striking with both eyes. More stars seemed to pop into view with both eyes. I

would strongly recommend against judging these lenses by using just one in mono mode, the 2-eye view is completely different.

I did not actually look for a dimmest known-magnitude star I could see, but judging by the number of stars visible thru these (it's A LOT MORE) I will guess at a solid +2 mag gain.

 

I also had my 10x50 wf binos out for a comparison- of course the 10x resolved things the 2x couldn't, M27, M92, detail in M13, etc. Interestingly there were some objects which I 'suspected' in the 2x54, and those were confirmed by the 10x50. Another thing that really stood out between the two binos was the sheer ease of locating objects-it was pure joy to so easily find things in that super wide FOV; like having 'owl eyes', 

; locating things was simply a zero-effort experience.

 Each instrument has it's place, but for truly stunning wide-field views, I have never seen anything like what the 2x54s produce!

I suspect that under a truly dark sky, objects like the NA Nebula, M31, M45, etc, will be a treat with these.

I have heard people talk about having a port-hole view into space with some scope/EP combinations ...well, this was like having a picture-window view ! :)

 

CS,

Bob


Edited by Bob4BVM, 29 May 2016 - 02:40 PM.

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#73 ArsMachina

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 02:50 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Bob.

I was out two days ago also at a very dark night without moon and had the same impression.

The difference to the naked eye is huge and the wide field with pinpoint stars to nearly the edge is a real joy.

 

Then I took out my Leitz Trinovid 10x22 to see how deep this would go, but id did not have any chance against the Nikon Teleconverters.

 

Jochen


Edited by ArsMachina, 29 May 2016 - 02:51 PM.


#74 GlennLeDrew  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 04:28 PM

Bob,

That improvement realized with two eyes vs one applies across the board. Naked eye, opera glass, bino or binoscope all produce the same relative gain when that second eye is brought to bear. A 41% improvement in signal to noise is palpable.

 

Your estimate of a 2 magnitude gain is certainly optimistic, and it's understandable how this impression arises, what with the fact that star counts increase at a rate of about 2.5X per magnitude.

 

We know the exiting light bundle diameter exceeds anyone's iris diameter, and so maximum possible image brightness is achieved. Assuming perfect transmission, and confidence in the magnification being 2X, the 4X increase in light grasp amounts to a gain of 1.5 magnitudes. In reality we might find 1.35-1.4.

 

But that's no small gain! It's just like swapping a 4" scope for an 8", or a 6" for a 12". Just as doubling a telescope's aperture effectively doubles the distance one penetrates (thereby increasing the volume by a factor of eight), so too does a 2X instrument double the distance of penetration compared to the unaided eye.


Edited by GlennLeDrew, 29 May 2016 - 04:29 PM.

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#75 Bob4BVM

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 07:11 PM

No doubt you are correct in all this Glenn. The +2-mag was really a guess on my part, but I will do an actual 'dimmest star w/naked eye vs binos' test when I get a chance to set up out there with my atlas.

I wish I knew enough to understand the numbers better. Interesting that star counts increase at a rate of about 2.5X per magnitude. I didn't know that but was sure their had to be some number attached to that as well.

 

VERY interesting that we get a 41% improvement in signal to noise going from mono to bino vision ! 

That explains quite well my experience over the past year or so, when I started binoviewing with my telescopes, even with my old converted microscope heads, which definitely vignette, the difference on bright objects like moon & planets just shocked me.

 

Now my problem is I seemed to be getting severely hooked on bino-anything. Like I said in the other thread, mono-viewing is almost becoming an annoyance for me, knowing how much gets 'left out' ! :)

 

CS,

Bob


Edited by Bob4BVM, 29 May 2016 - 07:13 PM.



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