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Review of APM 70mm & 82mm ED APO

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#26 Mr. Bill

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 04:01 PM

 

 

I'm thinking on waiting on the 90 degree models since I do a lot of zenith viewing; literally a pain in the neck with the 45 oculars.

 

tongue2.gif

I agree that for zenith or close to zenith viewing, 90 degrees is the much better choice (I myself prefer 45 degrees but I go mostly up no more than 70 degrees or so).

 

Like looking through minimum atmosphere for max contrast.


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#27 ZX12

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 07:45 PM

APM 70 Apo with 24mm UF eyepieces installed.

 

Very impressive daytime use. Razor sharp out to the last ten percent of the field.

 

I could not see any field curvature, but the stars will be the real test.

 

Still cloudy here in the Northeast.

 

Mike

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#28 Jeelan

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:13 PM

I wonder how the Kowa eyepieces will perform in these?

 

cheers

Jeelan



#29 range88

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:11 PM

APM 70 Apo with 24mm UF eyepieces installed.

Very impressive daytime use. Razor sharp out to the last ten percent of the field.

I could not see any field curvature, but the stars will be the real test.

Still cloudy here in the Northeast.

Mike

It's starting to look ugly...
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#30 Pinac

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 01:43 AM

I wonder how the Kowa eyepieces will perform in these?

 

Will be part of my tests (unless ZX12 tries them out first laugh.gif )



#31 ZX12

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:00 PM

Tomorrow night looks like an excellent chance to have the APM 70 and the Kowa side by side.

 

 

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#32 Pinac

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 04:19 PM

We really do need a review comparing the 70 and the 82 ... ;-)

I had mentioned earlier that, if the 70 were to fulfill expectations, I might order the 82 and pass the 70 on to a colleague. Impressions of the 70 continue to be good, actually better than expected. As suggested, a comparison with the 82 becomes really tempting smile.gif

So I decided to order the 82 in the next few days as well and review the two side by side. Whether in the end I will pass on or keep the 70, which I really start to like, or the 82 remains to be seen ....


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#33 ZX12

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 04:37 PM

Pinac,

 

I think a review of the APM 70/82 should be very interesting for many people looking to decide which one to get.

 

I did compare the Kowa's last night, but the lack of eyepiece compatability and the soft edge performance of the stock eyepieces made the APM 70 the easy choice for nearly every object viewed.

 

Mike



#34 Pinac

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:30 AM

Thanks, Mike.

 

Question: how tightly fit the various eyepieces into the eyepiece holders of your APM 70 ?

I tried several pairs yesterday, including Nagler, several sizes of DeLite, and the Kowa 14mm. They all fit in very easily, and they all produce excellent and well collimated images.

But they sit quite loosely in the sockets, whereas all eyepieces I use with the Vixens click into place and then sit tightly there (funnily, they nevertheless produce images that are less well collimated than the APM).

 

Pinac



#35 Allan Wade

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 07:03 AM

 

We really do need a review comparing the 70 and the 82 ... ;-)

I had mentioned earlier that, if the 70 were to fulfill expectations, I might order the 82 and pass the 70 on to a colleague. Impressions of the 70 continue to be good, actually better than expected. As suggested, a comparison with the 82 becomes really tempting smile.gif

So I decided to order the 82 in the next few days as well and review the two side by side. Whether in the end I will pass on or keep the 70, which I really start to like, or the 82 remains to be seen ....

 

That would be a great review. I'm set on getting the 120's, and thought the lighter and smaller 70's or 82's would make a nice combination. At this point I have no idea which pair best fits that role.



#36 ZX12

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 07:26 AM

Question: how tightly fit the various eyepieces into the eyepiece holders of your APM 70 ?

 

 Pinac,

 

Compared to my APM 100 they tighten up enough to be secure and are well aligned, but not so tight that you can't turn them when holding the focuser still.

 

I measured the brass clamping ring in both binos and they tighten to the same dimension. The surface finish also appears to be the same.

 

It does appear to work well regardless.

 

Mike



#37 Pinac

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:30 AM

Thank you, Mike.

 

It seems then that your clamping rings are a bit tighter than mine, since I can not only turn, but also tilt the eyepieces up-/downwards or sideways by about 1-2mm when they are inserted (the amount of free movement is not the same for all eyepieces, though).

But esp. the Kowa eyepieces, which give very nice images but of course are not designed to be used in anything other than a Kowa, could even be at risk of falling out if I observe at high angles, i.e. above 60-70 degrees.

 

Is there any way to tighten the clamping rings a bit ? Or other solution ?

 

Again, to my amazement, the loose eyepieces still produce a perfectly collimated image, whereas in the Vixens, I have to sometimes rotate the eyepieces or even change them left<>right to get a well collimated image.

 

Pinac


Edited by Pinac, 01 August 2017 - 08:35 AM.


#38 Pinac

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:34 AM

 

We really do need a review comparing the 70 and the 82 ... ;-)

 

 

 

Just ordered the 82 - I hope it will be as positive an experience as the 70 ... smile.gif


Edited by Pinac, 01 August 2017 - 08:36 AM.

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#39 Pinac

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:58 AM

... and a question (to all APM users):

 

what are the two screwholes on top of the handle intended for - mounting a red dot finder ?

 

I have a Vixen type red dot finder left (picture) - no easy way of mounting this one on the APM 70 ???

 

Pinac

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#40 junomike

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:38 PM

... and a question (to all APM users):

 

what are the two screwholes on top of the handle intended for - mounting a red dot finder ?

 

I have a Vixen type red dot finder left (picture) - no easy way of mounting this one on the APM 70 ???

 

Pinac

You need the Finder/base as seen in post #31 (left).  Here's a better look at it.



#41 Jeelan

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:49 PM

Pinac

 

APM uses a different mounting base to the one you have. The holes run on the opposite axis.

 

You can either tap your existing base and create new holes that align with the holes on the APM handle, or you may need to contact Markus to see if he can supply a base only.

 

cheers

Jeelan


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#42 ZX12

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:09 PM

Pinac,

 

If you can measure the brass clamping ring diameter when the collet is fully tightened without an eyepiece then it may help understand why they are able to move around so freely.

 

Mine will clamp down well under the barrel diameter of a 1.25" eyepiece. I measure 1.223" or 31.04mm fully tightened.

 

On the red dot bracket, I'm using the one from my APM 100. It has two holes spaced along the axis about 15mm apart.

 

Mike


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#43 Mike Harvey

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:47 PM

While it would have looked more than a little bit wonky on the APM100s...a full-sized Telrad, mounted on a 4" high base works just fine on the 120's. Yes, it still looks a bit odd but it's a lot more comfortable on the back. You can easily see the reticle while seated at "eyepiece height".



#44 Pinac

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 04:01 PM

You need the Finder/base as seen in post #31 (left).  Here's a better look at it.

 

 

 

Thank you for this !

This means that I have to dismount the finder when I want to carry the bino using the handle (since the handle is quite short on the APM 70). I think I will try to DIY something myself, as I prefer to leave the finders mounted  on my instruments all the time.


Edited by Pinac, 02 August 2017 - 04:02 PM.


#45 Mad Matt

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 04:08 PM

The finder mount linked to above is a two part unit. The base stays securely mounted, the pedestal and finder can be removed. The attachment of the finder pedestal is consistently accurate. the last time I adjusted my finder (SkySurfer V) was a few years ago. 😁

Mounting the finder takes only seconds.

Edited by Mad Matt, 02 August 2017 - 04:11 PM.

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#46 Pinac

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:46 AM

Got the 82 today.

 

Initial impression (after playing with it during daytime for an hour or so):

 

- 10 cm or so longer than the 70, the difference seems remarkable (the 70 seems much shorter and much lighter when you hold them both side by side).

 

- whereas the 70 is well balanced on the mount, the 82 is distinctly front-heavy (not a big problem, just a fact)

 

- at first glance everything seems solid, well finished, mechanically (one exception below) and optically excellent, collimation appears impeccable, the image is sharp and bright. I cannot say yet whether it is brighter than the 70; the anti-reflection coatings produce differently colored reflections than on the 70.

 

- in contrast to my sample of the 70, where the eyepieces sit quite losely in the clamping rings (with - amazingly - no effect on collimation!), the clamping rings in the 82 provide too narrow a space for some of my eyepieces, so I have to figure out what can be done. I can mount Nagler, APM, the Kowa eyepieces, but I can only mount my Delites in the left socket, not the right one yet (DOES ANYONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO IN SUCH A CASE?), it's just a bit too tight.

 

More later (weather here will unfortunately not be ideal in the next few days). This will be fun !!

 

Pinac

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Edited by Pinac, 03 August 2017 - 01:40 PM.

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#47 range88

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:59 AM

Got the 82 today.

 

Initial impression (after playing with it during daytime for an hour or so):

 

- 10 cm or so longer than the 70, the difference seems remarkable (the 70 seems much shorter and much lighter when you hold them both side by side).

 

- whereas the 70 is well balanced on the mount, the 82 is distinctly head-heavy (not a big problem, just a fact)

 

- at first glance everything seems solid, well finished, mechanically (one exception below) and optically excellent, collimation appears impeccable, the image is sharp and bright. I cannot say yet whether it is brighter than the 70; the anti-reflection coatings produce differently colored reflections than on the 70.

 

- in contrast to my sample of the 70, where the eyepieces sit quite losely in the clamping rings (with - amazingly - no effect on collimation!), the clamping rings in the 82 provide too narrow a space for some of my eyepieces, so I have to figure out what can be done. I can mount Nagler, APM, the Kowa eyepieces, but I can only mount my Delites in the left socket, not the right one yet (DOES ANYONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO IN SUCH A CASE?), it's just a bit too tight.

 

More later (weather here will unfortunately not be ideal in the next few days). This will be fun !!

 

Pinac

Front-heavy is not a problem, matter of fact after I mount the Ethos 13, it becomes back-heavy.

Mine has so far no problem  in any eyepieces.



#48 Pinac

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:47 PM

I wonder how the Kowa eyepieces will perform in these?

Preliminary answer: they perform well.

Because of the proprietary design of these eyepieces, they do not "click" into place in the APM as they do in the Highlander. But they fit sufficiently well into the eyepiece holders to work well with both the APM 70 and 82. Even in my sample of the 82, with its really tight clamping rings, the Kowa eyepieces work.

The 14mm Kowa give 28x magnification in the APM 70, and 33.5x in the APM 82, whereas the 9mm Kowa give 44x in the APM 70 and 52x in the APM 82.

Today, I tried the Highlander and the APM 82 side by side (daytime only, no astro weather here currently, but "cloudy nights" wink.gif instead) both equipped with the same 14mm Kowa eyepieces (with 70 degrees field of view), and the image quality in both instruments was very good in all aspects, with the APM possibly just a nuance brighter  - which means the APM 82 performs really really well, compared to its rival which (depending on dealers) costs almost, or even more than, twice as much.

 

I had tried the Kowa eyepieces in the APM 70 two days ago and they worked very well there too.

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Edited by Pinac, 04 August 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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#49 Pinac

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:52 PM

... and as I realize that it makes sense to discuss and compare both the new 70mm ED Apo and the 82mm ED Apo here, can the administrator maybe retitle this thread accordingly ?? Thank you !!!



#50 Jeelan

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 08:00 PM

hi Pinac,

 

thanks for the review with the Kowa eyepieces on the APM binos.

 

If you are still having issues with clamping the eyepieces tightly, you can keep loosening the black ring that secures the eyepiece (not the focus ring) until it detaches completely. This will give you access to the brass compression ring. You can gently adjust the curvature on this to suit and insert it back into its groove.

 

Just be careful when doing this that you dont drop debris into the prism housing. 

 

the weight difference between the APM 82 and Kowa must be very apparent. How is the balance? Being able to use the Kowa eyepieces in the APM is a good option as I personally struggled with barrel widths on most eyepieces brands on the market. The Kowa eyepieces (with the replacement Kowa eyecups) and the Pentax XF's are about the only eyepieces that feel comfortable to me. 

 

Just from a weight saving, the APM seems like a good alternative to the Kowa for travel. How are the physical dimensions between the two? Is the APM significantly longer?

 

sorry about the "20 million" questions....

 

cheers

Jeelan




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