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

New APM 100 90° Semi-Apo w/ Fork Mount Unboxing

  • Please log in to reply
314 replies to this topic

#26 garret

garret

    Apollo

  • ****-
  • Posts: 1462
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Netherlands

Posted 15 January 2017 - 04:00 AM

 

It took until about an hour ago when I walked in front of the packaging from the binos and saw the "label" that you were referring to. I though you were talking about the photo labels. How funny. I get it now. Sorry I misunderstood. Your post makes a lot more sense now.

OK... just like my car: a non Mercedes Ford Focus!

 

Do you know the up-coming Morpheus 76-degree wide 17.5mm fl eyepieces from Baader?, they give a 31x magnification / 2.45 degree true field with the 100mm APM.

I have a close eye on these, I hope they excel in my APM 100.

 

Garret vd Veen, Holland


Edited by garret, 15 January 2017 - 04:00 AM.


#27 Jeelan

Jeelan

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 15 January 2017 - 04:14 AM

Hey Jim,

 

sounds like you're fairly well covered with your eyepiece range...

 

Are these the new APM 18's that Mike Harvey is raving about?? they seem to be getting some really good reviews...

 

I thought the Denk LOA's were the 3D ones? I wasn't aware that Russel did a Lederman Optical Array  eyepiece that didnt have that 3D type view...

 

cheers

Jeelan



#28 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:18 AM

Hey Jim,

 

sounds like you're fairly well covered with your eyepiece range...

 

Are these the new APM 18's that Mike Harvey is raving about?? they seem to be getting some really good reviews...

 

I thought the Denk LOA's were the 3D ones? I wasn't aware that Russel did a Lederman Optical Array  eyepiece that didnt have that 3D type view...

 

cheers

Jeelan

Jeelan,

 

As to the 18's, yes these are the new APM ones as are the 15's that I have. With all the atrocious weather I've had here this winter, I haven't had any time to play with them, just an hour of h-alpha viewing of the sun with one of the 15's. It's hard to make a judgement while solar viewing, but the eye placement was comfortable (I don't wear glasses) and contrast was good.

 

As to the LOA's, yes, the pair of EPs includes one with the 3-D array and one normal EP without. Russ allows you to to buy a third "normal" EP at a discount so you end up with the ability to get the 3-D effect or not. The 21mm normal pair viewing is very, very good.


  • Jeelan and RingsofSaturn like this

#29 Passerine

Passerine

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 187
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2011
  • Loc: California SF Bay Area

Posted 15 January 2017 - 03:52 PM

 

A Rigel QwikFinder sitting on the handle might stand up high enough to clear the eyepieces.  Just a thought.  You'd have to figure out some way to quickly attach/remove it.

 

Dave

Thanks, Dave, that's a good idea, but I have never been a fan of the Rigel unit. Plus, I already have a new SV unit.

 

I admit the Rigel unit is not "pretty," and so far, I have not used it either.  However functionally, for star-hopping, the Rigel circles might help, especially if you do not have DSC to find objects.  And today I just happened to see that there is a ScopeStuff base (#RQFS) that would probably allow mounting the Rigel finder to the handle of your APM 100mm Semi-APO via standard Orion/Synta dovetail base.  I have started converting all my finders to this Orion/Synta base because it seems like this is by far the most common standard finder mounting shoe...  Just keep it in mind in case you want to try something different.  And let us know how you like the new APM in actual use, under the stars!

 

Dave


Edited by Passerine, 15 January 2017 - 03:55 PM.


#30 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9636
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 15 January 2017 - 04:47 PM

Just ordered APM fork mount for my Lunt 100s.....looks like a better solution than my current Manfrotto 501HDV head.

 

Should work well with my 475B tripod

Attached Thumbnails

  • Lunt Engr (2).jpg

Edited by Mr. Bill, 15 January 2017 - 04:48 PM.

  • rockethead26, denis0007dl and RingsofSaturn like this

#31 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:35 PM

I think you'll like the APM fork, Bill.



#32 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:53 PM

 

 

A Rigel QwikFinder sitting on the handle might stand up high enough to clear the eyepieces.  Just a thought.  You'd have to figure out some way to quickly attach/remove it.

 

Dave

Thanks, Dave, that's a good idea, but I have never been a fan of the Rigel unit. Plus, I already have a new SV unit.

 

I admit the Rigel unit is not "pretty," and so far, I have not used it either.  However functionally, for star-hopping, the Rigel circles might help, especially if you do not have DSC to find objects.  And today I just happened to see that there is a ScopeStuff base (#RQFS) that would probably allow mounting the Rigel finder to the handle of your APM 100mm Semi-APO via standard Orion/Synta dovetail base.  I have started converting all my finders to this Orion/Synta base because it seems like this is by far the most common standard finder mounting shoe...  Just keep it in mind in case you want to try something different.  And let us know how you like the new APM in actual use, under the stars!

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave,

 

My problem with the Rigel when I owned one was in the difficulty in finding the red circles, not the looks. Eye placement was much harder than with a Telrad or any other RDF that I had ever used. It was sold in a few months.

 

I have my RDF mounted now. Just waiting for a clear night, perhaps, Wednesday.

 

APM 100mm Binos-17.JPG


  • RingsofSaturn likes this

#33 Mike Harvey

Mike Harvey

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Melbourne Beach, FL.

Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:58 AM

 

Congratulations!, what tripod are you using?

Thanks! Right now a Gitzo Carbon Fiber that I used with my 8x10 camera. It's rated at 25lbs, so it's very borderline. I'll use it for a while and see how it goes before I look at upgrading. The mount is so smooth, that it may work. A tap test takes about 4 seconds to settle when the binos are in the horizontal position looking at some neighbor's lights. There is almost no shake when panning and viewing with the eyecups against my face. Borderline may be the word.

 

Hi Jim...this may offer some insight into the difference between the near-maxed Gitzo and a heavier rated tripod.

With the Manfrotto 161Mk2B, the "tap test" dampens out in 2 seconds or LESS (and that's with a rather sharp "tap").

Hope this helps!

Mike Harvey


  • rockethead26 likes this

#34 Jeelan

Jeelan

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 16 January 2017 - 02:45 AM

some really informative posts here folks....

 

So in terms of tripod/bino combos i'm thinking the Manfrotto 475B is matched well to the APM 100's and the Manfrotto 161Mk2b is perfectly matched to the APM 120's...

 

As far as heads go - I've finally ordered the Cartoni Focus HD - we'll how this goes with the 120's however as per Range88's earlier post, it seems to work fine with the heavier binos. If it doesnt, I'll use the Cartoni on the APM 100's and order the APM fork mount for the APM 120's.

 

At this stage however the Cartoni Focus HD is actually cheaper than the APM fork mount.

 

cheers

Jeelan


Edited by Jeelan, 16 January 2017 - 02:46 AM.


#35 range88

range88

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1171
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2014
  • Loc: Shanghai

Posted 16 January 2017 - 04:55 AM

some really informative posts here folks....

 

So in terms of tripod/bino combos i'm thinking the Manfrotto 475B is matched well to the APM 100's and the Manfrotto 161Mk2b is perfectly matched to the APM 120's...

 

As far as heads go - I've finally ordered the Cartoni Focus HD - we'll how this goes with the 120's however as per Range88's earlier post, it seems to work fine with the heavier binos. If it doesnt, I'll use the Cartoni on the APM 100's and order the APM fork mount for the APM 120's.

 

At this stage however the Cartoni Focus HD is actually cheaper than the APM fork mount.

 

cheers

Jeelan

I'll try to post a video test of 120SD on Cartoni. 



#36 range88

range88

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1171
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2014
  • Loc: Shanghai

Posted 16 January 2017 - 07:28 AM

 

some really informative posts here folks....

 

So in terms of tripod/bino combos i'm thinking the Manfrotto 475B is matched well to the APM 100's and the Manfrotto 161Mk2b is perfectly matched to the APM 120's...

 

As far as heads go - I've finally ordered the Cartoni Focus HD - we'll how this goes with the 120's however as per Range88's earlier post, it seems to work fine with the heavier binos. If it doesnt, I'll use the Cartoni on the APM 100's and order the APM fork mount for the APM 120's.

 

At this stage however the Cartoni Focus HD is actually cheaper than the APM fork mount.

 

cheers

Jeelan

I'll try to post a video test of 120SD on Cartoni. 

 

https://v.qq.com/x/p...0366whl638.html

 

Both drag settings at zero, the Cartoni Focus HD can support the 120sd up to 85° or so. 


  • CounterWeight, Jeelan and RingsofSaturn like this

#37 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:31 AM

 

 

Congratulations!, what tripod are you using?

Thanks! Right now a Gitzo Carbon Fiber that I used with my 8x10 camera. It's rated at 25lbs, so it's very borderline. I'll use it for a while and see how it goes before I look at upgrading. The mount is so smooth, that it may work. A tap test takes about 4 seconds to settle when the binos are in the horizontal position looking at some neighbor's lights. There is almost no shake when panning and viewing with the eyecups against my face. Borderline may be the word.

 

Hi Jim...this may offer some insight into the difference between the near-maxed Gitzo and a heavier rated tripod.

With the Manfrotto 161Mk2B, the "tap test" dampens out in 2 seconds or LESS (and that's with a rather sharp "tap").

Hope this helps!

Mike Harvey

 

Mike, thanks for the tip. If (when) I upgrade, the 161 MK2B is in the running, but for about $100 more I can do the Berlebach UNI 19C. I dislike handling aluminum tripods in the cold, so the more expensive wood tripod may win out. I still need a few nights out under the stars to see if vibrations are an issue in actual use with my Gitzo.


  • Stellarfire likes this

#38 GamesForOne

GamesForOne

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1169
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:16 AM

Just ordered APM fork mount for my Lunt 100s.....looks like a better solution than my current Manfrotto 501HDV head.

 

Should work well with my 475B tripod

Seems like you will lose some of the portability (not just when packed, but for pick-up, rotate, and move during observing) and add some weight.

 

Also, does the fork remain balanced from near horizontal to zenith? All the forks I've tried have not been balanced through the entire range of motion and required constant fiddling with the elevation friction lock (unlock to move, lock to stay on target). The fork I used with the BT100-45 Obie is an example and I recall it was especially unwieldy at > 60 deg elevation. It wanted to swing back to level. I've also tried a smaller one with a BT70-90 bino and it was just terrible with wanting to swing back to level.

 

I much prefer the action of a well-matched fluid head with a gradual drag adjustment.

 

---

Michael Mc



#39 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:39 AM

The new APM fork with my 100 semi-apos is perfectly balanced from horizon to zenith. The adjustable mounting plate allows you to perfectly balance different eyepieces. Once balanced, the binos retain equal balance/tension in all orientations. It's pretty much perfect!


  • Stellarfire likes this

#40 GamesForOne

GamesForOne

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1169
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:49 AM

The new APM fork with my 100 semi-apos is perfectly balanced from horizon to zenith. The adjustable mounting plate allows you to perfectly balance different eyepieces. Once balanced, the binos retain equal balance/tension in all orientations. It's pretty much perfect!

So you do not have to touch the elevation friction at all to move/hold in elevation from horizontal to zenith? It will move and then stay put when you release?

 

---

Michael Mc



#41 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:17 AM

 

The new APM fork with my 100 semi-apos is perfectly balanced from horizon to zenith. The adjustable mounting plate allows you to perfectly balance different eyepieces. Once balanced, the binos retain equal balance/tension in all orientations. It's pretty much perfect!

So you do not have to touch the elevation friction at all to move/hold in elevation from horizontal to zenith? It will move and then stay put when you release?

 

---

Michael Mc

 

Correct and Yes

 

EDIT: Just made a short video to demonstrate, but discovered we cannot embed video. Oh well.


Edited by rockethead26, 16 January 2017 - 10:28 AM.

  • Stellarfire likes this

#42 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6557
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada

Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:07 PM

Michael has brought up an important point.  How does one balance a BT or scope on a fork without relying on a clamping force to make up for the imbalance that occurs between the horizontal and vertical positions?  It's obvious that increasing friction will overcome this at some point but how much friction is necessary?  How much friction is too much?   :shrug:

 

IME, alt/az mounted instruments that rely on careful altitude balance need some means to raise or lower the altitude of their mounting point relative to the alt axis as well as a means to provide a fore/aft movement.

 

BTs, by nature of the weight of their eyepieces' and prism's position above their center line, have a shifting center of gravity as they are moved in altitude.  A BT balanced only by fore/aft movement horizontally may not be balanced approaching 90° elevation.  Heavier eyepieces only make this worse.  For best balance over the full alt range, the COG of the bino should be located slightly lower than the alt pivot point of the mount.

 

How can this balance adjustment be made with forks like the APM or Binoptic that appear to have a fixed height cradle between the fork arms? Tightening the alt axis tension is the only way I see that this imbalance can be overcome but adding tension isn't an ideal solution. The old Helix Hercules fork mount is the only one I've seen that had multiple mounting points along the cradle's arms so that the instrument's COG could be adjusted up or down relative to the alt pivot point of the mount.  

 

I know some telescope alt/az mounts provide for "3D balancing".  I've done this myself with my alt/az mounted refractor.  Still, how is this done with these forks?

 

Rich



#43 Mad Matt

Mad Matt

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2381
  • Joined: 20 May 2003
  • Loc: Frankfurt, Germany

Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:50 PM

Michael has brought up an important point.  How does one balance a BT or scope on a fork without relying on a clamping force to make up for the imbalance that occurs between the horizontal and vertical positions?  It's obvious that increasing friction will overcome this at some point but how much friction is necessary?  How much friction is too much?   :shrug:

 

I put a 1Kg sliding counterweight on one of my handlebars. Problem solved... The counterweight can be positioned to provide perfect balance at any given elevation for the whole range of my eyepieces without having to add tension or reposition the binocular on the mount. That includes behemoths such as my 12.5mm Docters and lightweights such as my Nagler zooms. 


Edited by Mad Matt, 16 January 2017 - 01:50 PM.

  • Stellarfire likes this

#44 Mike Harvey

Mike Harvey

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Melbourne Beach, FL.

Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:08 PM

There is NO balance problem, horizon to zenith, with any of my eyepiece pairs...except the 12.5mm Docters.

The smaller ocular require only a slight tension adjustment -the Docters more.

In no case does the tension adjustment cause any "stickyness" in alt motion. It is always smooth.

***Balance Hack: if some combination of really heavy  eyepieces causes an unacceptable out-of-balance situiation-

Just place a small "beanbag" (I've used an old "shooters bag") atop the tubes, slightly ahead of the balance point.

So simple. They can be found online in 1lb.weights for just a few dollars, are soft (wont scratch), stay in place, and add no discernable weight.

Mike

*** Note to Jim: I can understand a reluctance to use a metal tripod in cold conditions. I'm just pointing out that the weight-rating of the tripod makes a significant difference in

stability. BTW, the 2" dampening time is measured at ~ 80X. From 4" to 2" (or less) is a huge difference.

I don't think I could accept a 4" dampening time. YMMV!


  • rockethead26 and Stellarfire like this

#45 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:25 PM


*** Note to Jim: I can understand a reluctance to use a metal tripod in cold conditions. I'm just pointing out that the weight-rating of the tripod makes a significant difference in

stability. BTW, the 2" dampening time is measured at ~ 80X. From 4" to 2" (or less) is a huge difference.

I don't think I could accept a 4" dampening time. YMMV!

Mike, I totally understood that. The weight rating almost doubles using the Manfrotto (from 25lbs to 44 lbs). I was only pointing out that the upgrade would most likely be to a wooden tripod of the same or greater capacity than the Manfrotto. I guess my indecision to upgrade so soon is based on the fact that when testing my setup by actually moving the binos or putting my eyes to the eyepieces, the vibration was minimal. It's only the tap test that looks bad. Of course, the two are related, so...  Also, I had low power EPs in the bino, so that's another variable. I agree with you in that I know I wouldn't be able to accept a 4 sec damp time if vibrations lasted that long every time I touched the bino. I need some time with the current setup other than for a quick inside test.

 

Thanks for your valuable input. It IS greatly appreciated.



#46 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9636
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:56 PM

I used this setup with my 100 BT Oberwerks (26 pounds vs 13 pounds APM 100 BTs)  and it was rock solid. Meade field tripod and Losmandy pier adapter and extender.

 

The thick hollow column instead of a relatively thin center column in photo tripods virtually eliminates dampening time issues from torsional flexure due to offset mass of fork and binoculars.

For grab and go I'll retain present setup, but frankly, I don't really need that option because I can move pictured setup easily from garage to backyard which is where I observe 99% of the time.

Don't need adjustable center column if you use adjustable astro chair.

If I decide to go with center column tripod, I'll go with the 161MK2B.

Attached Thumbnails

  • BT 100s mounted.JPG

Edited by Mr. Bill, 16 January 2017 - 08:30 PM.

  • denis0007dl, Mike G., freddiemercury1 and 1 other like this

#47 Jeelan

Jeelan

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 17 January 2017 - 06:31 AM

 

https://v.qq.com/x/p...0366whl638.html

 

 

Both drag settings at zero, the Cartoni Focus HD can support the 120sd up to 85° or so. 

 

 

Thanks mate

 

cheers

Jeelan



#48 GamesForOne

GamesForOne

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1169
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:25 AM

 

 

The new APM fork with my 100 semi-apos is perfectly balanced from horizon to zenith. The adjustable mounting plate allows you to perfectly balance different eyepieces. Once balanced, the binos retain equal balance/tension in all orientations. It's pretty much perfect!

So you do not have to touch the elevation friction at all to move/hold in elevation from horizontal to zenith? It will move and then stay put when you release?

 

---

Michael Mc

 

Correct and Yes

 

EDIT: Just made a short video to demonstrate, but discovered we cannot embed video. Oh well.

 

Post it to a YouTube account and then post a link?

 

---

Michael Mc


  • Stellarfire likes this

#49 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6485
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:44 AM

 

 

 

The new APM fork with my 100 semi-apos is perfectly balanced from horizon to zenith. The adjustable mounting plate allows you to perfectly balance different eyepieces. Once balanced, the binos retain equal balance/tension in all orientations. It's pretty much perfect!

So you do not have to touch the elevation friction at all to move/hold in elevation from horizontal to zenith? It will move and then stay put when you release?

 

---

Michael Mc

 

Correct and Yes

 

EDIT: Just made a short video to demonstrate, but discovered we cannot embed video. Oh well.

 

Post it to a YouTube account and then post a link?

 

---

Michael Mc

 

OK, I didn't have a Youtube acct set up, but now I do. Here's the link to the video.

 

APM fork mount balance with 100mm binoculars


  • Rich V., CounterWeight, Herr Ointment and 3 others like this

#50 CounterWeight

CounterWeight

    Star walker

  • *****
  • Posts: 10826
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: PDX, OR.

Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:58 AM

Thank you for making the video, the mount looks ideal.


  • rockethead26 likes this


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