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

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#51 freddiemercury1

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 10:13 AM

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.

 

I am very jealous of your backyard  :blush:



#52 Mr. Bill

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 10:29 AM

Shipped this AM......... :D

 

According to DHL, will be delivered this Thurs.

 

That's pretty impressive...two days from Germany to my doorstep here in rural Cal.  :waytogo:


Edited by Mr. Bill, 17 January 2017 - 11:02 AM.

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#53 SMark

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:26 PM

Shipped this AM......... :D

 

According to DHL, will be delivered this Thurs.

 

That's pretty impressive...two days from Germany to my doorstep here in rural Cal.  :waytogo:

Yeah, real impressive. I hope my order got put on the train this morning...  :choochoo:



#54 Goodchild

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:20 PM

Shipped this AM......... :D

 

According to DHL, will be delivered this Thurs.

 

That's pretty impressive...two days from Germany to my doorstep here in rural Cal.  :waytogo:

Bill, is this APM's standard shipping or an upgrade?



#55 Mr. Bill

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:24 PM

I believe its the standard shipping that APM uses.....ain't cheap at $70 but you go to the head of the line and that to me makes it worth a few dollars more.  I've had items languish for many days in transit with economy shipping.



#56 Goodchild

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:35 PM

I believe its the standard shipping that APM uses.....ain't cheap at $70 but you go to the head of the line and that to me makes it worth a few dollars more.  I've had items languish for many days in transit with economy shipping.

Seems worth it to me for two-day shipping from Germany.  I wouldn't think standard shipping would be a whole lot less.  Exciting!



#57 Mike Harvey

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:11 PM

Mr.Bill has me beaten in every category except "Obsessive-Compulsive Need To Try EVERYTHING" syndrome.

I may be the world's most critical case!  

 

Following me... and NOT doing what I do, until I find as near a perfect solution as possible, will save you much frustration, aggravation and money!

 

The APM Binomount is just the latest in a long line of examples. 

 

If you are IN LOVE with fluid heads or parallelograms, then

you will probably never be convinced to appreciate any other method.

 

If you're open-minded...the Binomount Fork is simply the best mount available for these types of binoculars.

 

I've spent, literally, THOUSANDS of dollars on professional fluid heads. NONE of them proved as simple, practical, sturdy or affordable as the Binomount.

 

I'm betting our Guru (Mr.Bill) will come to agree!  


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#58 Mr. Bill

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:34 PM

I think the 501HDV/375B setup will be great for the upcoming 82mm APOs that I am patiently waiting for.

As far as Guru, I've blown through tens of thousands of dollars over the last 30 years buying astro stuff that didn't work out.

 

I will say that I think I finally figured it out for me.


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#59 Mike Harvey

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:47 PM

82mm - probably so.

I should have qualified my statement 're: fluid heads more specifically.

I was referring to 100 mm + giants such as we've been discussing.


Edited by Mike Harvey, 17 January 2017 - 09:48 PM.


#60 Kent10

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:34 AM

Jim, were you able to get out last night?  It cleared and was beautiful in my neighborhood.  Sirius was an easy and obvious split in my Tec 180FL.



#61 rockethead26

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:57 AM

Nope, I didn't get home from the observatory until 10:30 and I was cold. It was also 90% humidity and frost was forming all over the public scopes so I didn't want to take the new binos out in that. I work morning shift today, so I'm hoping I get a little time tonight before the snow clouds move in. Humidity is forecast to be lower, too.



#62 Kent10

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:59 AM

My scope did get the frost.  I have all my cases and eyepieces out now drying off.  It was great though.  Good luck with tonight!  Snow is coming.



#63 SMark

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:00 PM

Nope, I didn't get home from the observatory until 10:30 and I was cold. It was also 90% humidity and frost was forming all over the public scopes so I didn't want to take the new binos out in that. I work morning shift today, so I'm hoping I get a little time tonight before the snow clouds move in. Humidity is forecast to be lower, too.

Well, we're having spring-like temps here. Today I can even see the sun breaking through the clouds. All the rain that was in our forecast has been pushed back 2 to 3 days now. No doubt because the delivery of my APM Semi-APO has also been pushed back at least that much...

 

:mad:


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#64 rockethead26

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:52 AM

Got an hour out tonight before the temps fell enough for the 90% humidity to start frosting up everything. There were definitely some high thin clouds present that I could see earlier, but the transparency still looked reasonably good. I went out in the backyard at twilight, set up the binos and came in to prep dinner. After 30 minutes, I went back outside and spent 30 minutes each in two sessions divided by a 45 minute dinner time.  The 18mm AMP UW eyepieces that came with the bino were used, providing about 30x. I could tell that the star images were better during the second session after an hour cool down, but the bino was more than usable 30 minutes after setup.

 

Sighting in the RDF, I used Venus as a target. Color on Venus as was expected, but it was minimal in the center of the FOV. The slightly less than half lit phase was obvious. Sweeping the binos first to M42, I was pleasantly surprised at the sweep of the nebula even before it was fully dark and the fact that the four trap stars were easy. After adjusting focus a few times to dial things in, I went up to the Pleiades. The cluster filled the field of view nicely with just enough space around the edges to frame it nicely. Stars were sharp throughout most of the FOV with a just little softening in the outer 10% or so, not nearly as much as I was expecting. I had to be looking for it, otherwise it wasn't intrusive. The overall view was very, very nice. The is a slight bit of vignetting on the outer 10-15%, but again, if I wasn't specifically looking for it I wouldn't have noticed. I was expecting some coma in the outer parts of the field since the binos are f/5.5, but I could not detect any. Overall, these seem to be rather well corrected.

 

From The Pleiades, I went to the Double Cluster which was beautifully framed at 30x and I could even make out my favorite part, the tiny little arc of stars in NGC 869 (I think). Colors of the stars were varied and beautiful.

 

After my 45 minute break, I easily located M1 in Taurus which was brighter than I anticipated in the high humidity sky. I then went back to M42 which now in the darker sky was breathtaking. I swept the binos all thru the Orion region, just enjoying the magnificent views. Once I quit analyzing the views, I started just enjoying my first use of binos bigger than 50mm.

 

I then moved to Cassiopeia and cruised around the Milky Way and decided to find the OWL Cluster. I am so used to seeing it this time of year in telescopes, upside down that I really enjoyed the right side up aspect. I swept over to Ursa Major and found M81 and M82 which although were fairly low, were found pretty quickly. No detail to be seen in tonight's sky, however. It was a bit hazier to the north.

 

Things started frosting up, so I went back to M42 yet again to end the night there.

 

The APM mount was absolutely invisible and the binoculars just went where I wanted with a light push as if the mount was reading my mind. My marginal Gitzo tripod was more solid than I anticipated. While sweeping around the sky, there was absolutely no vibration. The tripod is only about 2/3 extended. I'll have to see if I feel the same after I try the new Pentax 8.5mm EPs.

 

So here's my initial take on my first big binos:

 

APM Fork Mount - A+ - I hate to use the word perfect, but it is.

 

Color on 2nd magnitude stars - very little and more than tolerable. Venus - well, it's Venus. I did not buy these for planetary work. B+

 

Vignetting - minimal - A-

 

Sharpness across FOV - Very good and much better than I expected. A-

 

Coma - None that I could see - A

 

Installing and removing eyepieces with the Shapeways ring mods - Easy and secure - A

 

Focusing - firm, but not too firm - A

 

Mounting and dismounting the bino to the mount using the two thumb screws with the plate already mounted to the bino - Quick and easy. - A

 

My wife's comment after viewing M42, M45 and the Double Cluster: "Oh my god, I love these. These are going to Yellowstone with us, right?" - Priceless!

 

Overall, I am extremely happy as the semi-apos performed way better than anticipated. Now we're in for a lot of snow starting tomorrow all the way through next Tuesday.


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#65 CounterWeight

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:07 AM

Jim,

 

Thank you for the great write up of your initial evaluation.  I've had the bug for a while to go for some premium larger bino's (or even the JMI reverse bino's) and these offerings at APM seem very reasonable compared to the competition I know about, that APM now also makes/provides a mount they'll stand behind is fantastic - one less hurdle.  Like everything I know I'll have to see for myself someday, but thanks for the post, much appreciated.


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#66 Kent10

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:09 AM

Great review, Jim.  I'm glad you like them so much.  I was thinking of you tonight as I was out viewing also, hoping you were getting in a 1st light.  We had clear skies longer than I expected.  It was a little hazy with the humidity as you said, but with all the clouds we have been having, I'll take it.  Thanks again for sharing your experience with your binoculars.


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#67 SMark

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:25 AM

Great first report! Hopefully someday I'll be able to add mine...  :fingerscrossed:


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#68 Mr. Bill

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:54 PM

Welcome to the Club.... :waytogo:


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#69 Mr. Bill

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:59 PM

Don't think my mount is going to be here today....we're socked in again with more snow and intermittent power outages so I wouldn't expect it until Monday.


Edited by Mr. Bill, 19 January 2017 - 01:24 PM.


#70 Goodchild

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:44 PM

Jim, great report, and one that I can understand as it's written in layman's terms.  When I get my binos I also plan to get the APM fork mount.  But may I add my two cents worth to its "grade" and description as perfect.  Based on what you described, a grade of "A+" sounds fair.  But to make it "perfect" I would like it if it had slow motion controls.  That, to me, would make it perfect.
 


Edited by Goodchild, 19 January 2017 - 01:52 PM.

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#71 SMark

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:51 PM

Don't think my mount is going to be here today....we're socked in again with more snow and intermittent power outages so I wouldn't expect it until Monday.

Our weather has actually been pretty good... And I still haven't got my order. Tonight though, the chance of rain goes to 90%.



#72 Mr. Bill

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:58 PM

 

Don't think my mount is going to be here today....we're socked in again with more snow and intermittent power outages so I wouldn't expect it until Monday.

Our weather has actually been pretty good... And I still haven't got my order. Tonight though, the chance of rain goes to 90%.

 

It's on the plane from New York....it's possible it could get to my door tomorrow but no big deal if it doesn't show up until next week.

 

I'm too busy firing up the snowblower and generator.....priority one. :p



#73 Mr. Bill

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:50 PM

This is my setup ready for the mount....should be plenty stout.

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#74 rockethead26

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:05 PM

Jim, great report, and one that I can understand as it's written in layman's terms.  When I get my binos I also plan to get the APM fork mount.  But may I add my two cents worth to its "grade" and description as perfect.  Based on what you described, a grade of "A+" sounds fair.  But to make it "perfect" I would like it if it had slow motion controls.  That, to me, would make it perfect.
 

I am a great believer in slo-mo controls, but this moves so nicely with just a nudge that it seems it would be additional work to reach for the controls.



#75 rockethead26

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

Stout indeed, Bill!




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