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Please help me decide on a binoviewer

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#1 unicon

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:27 PM

 I'm completely new to telescopes having recently ordered my first scope (a Skywatcher 12" collapsible goto dob) which will be delivered next week. 

Ever since I ordered it, have been looking for a good binoviewer that would work with it. Based on reading online reviews and my own limited viewing

experience I'm sure getting a binoviewer is the way to go.

 

I have read lot of posts/reviews online about different binoviewers, but the more I read the more confusing it gets. So thought will be better to

get input for my specific scope. 

 

Since this will be my only scope (for the foreseeable future) I would be using it for both planetary and DSO viewing. Budget-wise I would like to 

keep it under $1K (including eye-pieces), though can go a bit higher if there is a significant improvement in performance  (I understand that

"significant" is very subjective).  Also most of viewing will be from my backyard, so will have to deal with a bit of light pollution. 

 

So based on that I have narrowed it down to the following 4 choices, in increasing order of cost. With the first 3 choices, I'm thinking of getting

a pair of Hyperion Mark IV 8-24mm zoom eye pieces. 

 

1. Arcturus binoviewer with Two 30mm Plossl Eyepieces and 2 Barlows (1.8x and 3.0x)  ~$170

      Based on what I have read, optically this is same as the other 2 below, but I'm kind of wary that

      with such a low price, the eyepieces and barlows will be low quality. Is that the case?

 

2. WO binoviewer with 2 20mm Plossl Eyepieces and 1 barlow (1.6x)   ~$270

    This one I have read the most positive reviews about and am currently leaning most towards it.

 

3. Baader MaxBright binoviewer with 1.25x or 1.7x glasspath compensator  ~$390

    Not sure if this provides any benefit over the WO one. Will this work better with the Hyperion zoom EPs given both are from Baader?

Will it provide any larger field of view?

 

4. Denkmeier binoviewer standard supersystem   ~$840

Finally, I have read in multiple places that it is better to get a complete system so considering this one as it seems to be the cheapest one with a decent quality. 

Since this has the power switch, zoom EPs don't make sense with it. Will have to do more research on which single pair of EPs will be best for my 

needs.

 

But also lot of people seem to be happy with their WO binoviewers and say any benefit over them is only marginal. 

Please let me know what all things I should keep in mind when choosing between these binoviewers (or any other in this price range that may be better).

Which ones will be better in terms of brightness, contrast and FoV. Is there any drawback of using the hyperion zoom EPs with binoviewers instead of

multiple fixed focal length EPs of similar quality?

 

Also had a side question, which I haven't found an answer to. With a binoviewer, where do filters go? A single filter below the nose-piece or 2 filters 

under the eye-pieces?

 

I know lot of this has already been covered in other threads,but it would really help me to get consolidated inputs regarding the best options for my scope.

 

 thanks in advance...



#2 junomike

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:10 PM

Any one of those BV's should be able to fully illuminate the Baader Zooms, however the Denk system is the best choice for a Dob (IMO) as it's guaranteed to work whereas the others (with their 1.6X, 1.8X OCS's) may or may not work.

Also note that the Baader Zooms won't yield the widest FOV so If you're going with the Denk system a pair of 24mm Baader Hyperions, ES 24mm 68°or similar might be a good choice



#3 altair1956

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:33 PM

You are likely going to get a lot of opinions lol...

i have had the Arturus unit and sold it. Some time later bought a Denkmeier binotron and love it.

I use this with an sct scope and a refractor. Couple/ few thoughts. First, having a power switch is a delight. With the Arturus, i had to have many eyepieces and the barlow meant pulling the whole thing out and screwing in the Barlow at the bottom. Now i have just  2 pairs of eyepieces , but could get away with just 1.

The cheaper bino viewer  had much more play in the eyepiece holders which made collination harder. 

The binotron eyepiece holders are excellent. Eyepieces lock in quickly and hold in place perfectly. 

I wear eyeglasses and found that long eye relief eyepieces work great and allow me to view and see the whole field with my glasses on.

i have the 32 and 21mm Denkmeier eyepiece pairs and imo find they work great. 

A single filter at the front is all i need, not separate ones for each eyepiece. 

Bottom line, if you do this, it’s worth spending as much as you can for good quality. 

Btw, binoviewing is not for everyone. Some love it, others hate it. If you are are the only one who will be using it, fine. If you expect to have others view through it on a regular basis, you might want reconsider. Everyone who uses it has to readjust the interpupilary distance and some just cant dial it in. 

If at all possible try one out first to see if you like it before you commit as you yourself may love binoviewing or hate it. 

Read some of the pro con posts about views through a binovewer to help. Or to get completely confused lol...

other questions, ask me. 

Steve



#4 sonny.barile

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:58 AM

Take some time to get familiar with the scope and the night sky first. In my opinion you will be adding too many variables to deal with upfront.

 

BTW.  MaxBrights are not available anymore unless you buy them used.

 

 


Edited by sonny.barile, 13 January 2018 - 09:59 AM.


#5 REC

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:01 AM

With a 12" Dob, you are going to need an OCS. Not sure a barlow will do the job. If you can find a used Denk II with power switch, that is all you are going to need. The low power arm gets you close to the original focal length. I also have the WO and use it in my SCT and Frac. works well. Won't focus in the Dob even with the 1.6x or 2x barlow that I have.



#6 faackanders2

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:45 PM

...

If at all possible try one out first to see if you like it before you commit as you yourself may love binoviewing or hate it. 

...

Steve

10% of people don't like or can't binoview.  Try before you buy/comit is the best advise anyone can give.

 

Since Ethos I prefer single 100-120 AFOV vs. binoviewing 95% of the time. 

Before Ethos (when 84 AFOV was maximum) I preferred my Denk II with dual power switches and 24mm 68 AFOV panoptics over 75% of the time.

 

Enjoy you new scope,  Observe with others, try different things in your scope to decide what you like before you buy/commit.  It may take a couple of months to decide what you like, but you won't regret it; and you won't feel compelled to sell quickly at a loss to later buy what you should have gotten the first time around.



#7 unicon

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:50 AM

Thanks everyone for the really helpful inputs and suggestions and sorry for not being able to respond earlier.

 

Yes I understand that it is possible binoviewing may not work for me, but based on my past experience (with microscopes, not telescopes though) I think I would love it. That is the reason I'm trying to get it pretty much along with the scope so if I like it then I don't want to spend anytime without it :-).  And the only way to find out is to try it out for myself. 

 

So I did a bit more research today and ordered the WO binoviewer and pair of hyperion zoom lenses. They should arrive in less than a week. There is a 30 day return policy with no restocking fee (as long as they are in perfect condition, of course). So if I do end up returning them, all I would spend is less than $25 in to/from shipping. 

 

Later I also talked to Russ from Denkmeier (should have done it first). It was a pleasure talking to him and he spent a good amount of time answering my questions. After talking to him I'm planning to order the Binotron 27 system with 21mm L-O-A eyepieces. It is going to be a lot more than what I was planning to spend, but I think it is worth trying this 3D effect. If it is really as good as the reviews say then I think it is worth the extra expense. Again if I don't like it  or think it is not worth the extra cost, then the whole system can be returned with minimal restocking fee. Total cost including shipping and fee would be like $100 which is totally worth it IMO.

 

Hopefully, will get some good viewing time where I can directly compare the two binoviewers (assuming WO ones work for my scope) and will certainly report back here. 

 

Also, just to mention, my 7 year old son will also be a regular user of the scope (well at least up until his bed-time :-). Even though I have always been interested in astronomy and had been thinking of getting a scope for many years, it is his interest in astronomy that finally triggered this purchase (and also made it possible to convince his mom to let us spend this much on the scope itself, though most likely she will be told that the binoviewers were included in the price of the scope itself :-). Anyway, so yes it is important that the binoviewers work for him too. If they do not, then most likely we'll stick with "monoviewing". 



#8 greyz

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:20 AM

With a 12" Dob, you are going to need an OCS. Not sure a barlow will do the job. If you can find a used Denk II with power switch, that is all you are going to need. The low power arm gets you close to the original focal length. I also have the WO and use it in my SCT and Frac. works well. Won't focus in the Dob even with the 1.6x or 2x barlow that I have.

REC, unicon

 

look at the new  Tecnosky,  Newtonians & refractors – friendly binoviewer.  In description: “ It doesn't need OCS to reach the focus on newton and refractors”.

 

http://www.apm-teles...tml?info=362144

 

PS

This is my first topic on this forum. Hello everyone


Edited by greyz, 16 January 2018 - 09:07 AM.


#9 unicon

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:37 PM

 

With a 12" Dob, you are going to need an OCS. Not sure a barlow will do the job. If you can find a used Denk II with power switch, that is all you are going to need. The low power arm gets you close to the original focal length. I also have the WO and use it in my SCT and Frac. works well. Won't focus in the Dob even with the 1.6x or 2x barlow that I have.

REC, unicon

 

look at the new  Tecnosky,  Newtonians & refractors – friendly binoviewer.  In description: “ It doesn't need OCS to reach the focus on newton and refractors”.

 

http://www.apm-teles...tml?info=362144

 

PS

This is my first topic on this forum. Hello everyone

 

Good to see two first posts in the same thread :-). And thanks for the pointer to this binoviewer. It looks interesting. Are there any reviews for this one yet?


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#10 sonny.barile

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 06:26 PM

That looks just like the Kasai binoviewer. There was some discussion about it here in the Binoviewer forum a short time ago.



#11 junomike

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:55 PM

It is the exact same as the Kasai BV. The 17mm opening limits you to  eyepieces with small Field Stops.



#12 faackanders2

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 08:41 PM

Thanks everyone for the really helpful inputs and suggestions and sorry for not being able to respond earlier.

 

Yes I understand that it is possible binoviewing may not work for me, but based on my past experience (with microscopes, not telescopes though) I think I would love it. That is the reason I'm trying to get it pretty much along with the scope so if I like it then I don't want to spend anytime without it :-).  And the only way to find out is to try it out for myself. 

 

So I did a bit more research today and ordered the WO binoviewer and pair of hyperion zoom lenses. They should arrive in less than a week. There is a 30 day return policy with no restocking fee (as long as they are in perfect condition, of course). So if I do end up returning them, all I would spend is less than $25 in to/from shipping. 

 

Later I also talked to Russ from Denkmeier (should have done it first). It was a pleasure talking to him and he spent a good amount of time answering my questions. After talking to him I'm planning to order the Binotron 27 system with 21mm L-O-A eyepieces. It is going to be a lot more than what I was planning to spend, but I think it is worth trying this 3D effect. If it is really as good as the reviews say then I think it is worth the extra expense. Again if I don't like it  or think it is not worth the extra cost, then the whole system can be returned with minimal restocking fee. Total cost including shipping and fee would be like $100 which is totally worth it IMO.

 

Hopefully, will get some good viewing time where I can directly compare the two binoviewers (assuming WO ones work for my scope) and will certainly report back here. 

 

Also, just to mention, my 7 year old son will also be a regular user of the scope (well at least up until his bed-time :-). Even though I have always been interested in astronomy and had been thinking of getting a scope for many years, it is his interest in astronomy that finally triggered this purchase (and also made it possible to convince his mom to let us spend this much on the scope itself, though most likely she will be told that the binoviewers were included in the price of the scope itself :-). Anyway, so yes it is important that the binoviewers work for him too. If they do not, then most likely we'll stick with "monoviewing". 

7 yr old.  Check his Interoccular Pupil Distance (IPD) and the binoviewer you select can go at least how small his IPD is.  Switching back and forth between people (you and son) takes longer than just focusing a single eyepiece, and binoviewers take longer to setup and put away than single eyepieces.  Attention span of 7yr olds is much less than adults.  If I observe at home I get set up and then when I am ready I ask the family if they want to come out.



#13 REC

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

I really like the 21 L-O-A eyepieces, lot of fun on brighter DSO's. Globs look great, M42,27 and 57 really stand out. The double star cluster blew me away. I was able to fit both clusters in the FOV in my 10" Dob.



#14 unicon

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 05:02 PM

I really like the 21 L-O-A eyepieces, lot of fun on brighter DSO's. Globs look great, M42,27 and 57 really stand out. The double star cluster blew me away. I was able to fit both clusters in the FOV in my 10" Dob.

 

That is good to know. Are you using them with the Binotrons or some other binoviewer? Also, do you find using two neutral l-o-a EPs good for non-3d viewing for the moon and dimmer objects? Or may be even as a single eyepiece without binoviewers? I haven't yet ordered the Binotrons. Need to decide whether it is better to get a 2nd neutral l-o-a EP, or just get a pair of different EPs of good quality for non-3D viewing.

 

 

7 yr old.  Check his Interoccular Pupil Distance (IPD) and the binoviewer you select can go at least how small his IPD is.  Switching back and forth between people (you and son) takes longer than just focusing a single eyepiece, and binoviewers take longer to setup and put away than single eyepieces.  Attention span of 7yr olds is much less than adults.  If I observe at home I get set up and then when I am ready I ask the family if they want to come out.

Thanks for the useful inputs. Yes that is my plan too, set everything up and then get everyone when it is ready for viewing. Though I also try to involve him wherever he can help in setting things up. 

As for the IPD, I haven't measured it but will be receiving the WO BVs tomorrow, so hopefully will be able to try them out on Friday and Saturday nights. 



#15 CarlDD

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 04:57 PM

I own 4 sets of Bino-Viewers: TV Bino Vue, Baader Maxbright, Denk Standard and a Nikon Microscope Head. The pair that get the most use is the TV Bino Vue, excellent optical performance, very easy to use and with a robust build quality.

 

They were the last pair I purchased and my only regret is I didn't get them sooner.

 

It may seem the TV's are at a disadvantage given they lack the flexibility of Denks Power x Switch and 2 inch OCS or Baader range of GPC's but the ease of use and optical characteristic of their 1.25 inch corrector makes it much nicer and easier to use on a daily basis. Just put it in the diagonal or focuser and use it, no fiddling.

 

Best Regards

 

Carl


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#16 junomike

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:49 PM

I own 4 sets of Bino-Viewers: TV Bino Vue, Baader Maxbright, Denk Standard and a Nikon Microscope Head. The pair that get the most use is the TV Bino Vue, excellent optical performance, very easy to use and with a robust build quality.

 

They were the last pair I purchased and my only regret is I didn't get them sooner.

 

It may seem the TV's are at a disadvantage given they lack the flexibility of Denks Power x Switch and 2 inch OCS or Baader range of GPC's but the ease of use and optical characteristic of their 1.25 inch corrector makes it much nicer and easier to use on a daily basis. Just put it in the diagonal or focuser and use it, no fiddling.

 

Best Regards

 

Carl

Bill Denkmeier at one time made a Dovetail to accommodate/fit  the TV BinoVue to his EarthWin Power X Switch.  It also fits the Denk System.

 

TV BV + EarthWin

TVBV4.jpg

TVBVEW2.jpg



#17 asenov13

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:43 AM

I will give you a very simple guide what you need to look for.

1. Size of the prisms.....bigger is better.32mm plossl eyepieces have 27mm fieldstop so best option is to get bino with 27mm prisms or close.

2. Option of the bino to be collimated.Many people here can tell you that they can't merge the image....this is not problem with them....this is because their binoviewer is not collimated and highier the magnification ,more precise the collimation needs to be.

3.Eyepiece holders....you need microfocusing adjustment at least on one eye and self centering holders.

 

If the bino doesn't have this options you risk to be disappointed and if you are not.....you will end up buing bino that has all this features.The problem is that bino with all this will be expensive but I recommend better bino with lower cost eyepieces.



#18 CarlDD

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 04:46 AM

Hi Mike

 

I have the adapter to allow the Power x Switch to be connected to the TV Bino Vue body ( also to the Baader Maxbright ) but find I don't use those configurations very often. 

 

Best Regards

 

Carl



#19 REC

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

 

I really like the 21 L-O-A eyepieces, lot of fun on brighter DSO's. Globs look great, M42,27 and 57 really stand out. The double star cluster blew me away. I was able to fit both clusters in the FOV in my 10" Dob.

 

That is good to know. Are you using them with the Binotrons or some other binoviewer? Also, do you find using two neutral l-o-a EPs good for non-3d viewing for the moon and dimmer objects? Or may be even as a single eyepiece without binoviewers? I haven't yet ordered the Binotrons. Need to decide whether it is better to get a 2nd neutral l-o-a EP, or just get a pair of different EPs of good quality for non-3D viewing.

 

 

7 yr old.  Check his Interoccular Pupil Distance (IPD) and the binoviewer you select can go at least how small his IPD is.  Switching back and forth between people (you and son) takes longer than just focusing a single eyepiece, and binoviewers take longer to setup and put away than single eyepieces.  Attention span of 7yr olds is much less than adults.  If I observe at home I get set up and then when I am ready I ask the family if they want to come out.

Thanks for the useful inputs. Yes that is my plan too, set everything up and then get everyone when it is ready for viewing. Though I also try to involve him wherever he can help in setting things up. 

As for the IPD, I haven't measured it but will be receiving the WO BVs tomorrow, so hopefully will be able to try them out on Friday and Saturday nights. 

 

I use the L-O-A's in a Denk II. the non- 3d eyepiece is really great! Compact, sharp and contrasty. If I didn't already have a real good set of Meade 20mm SWA 68*, I would buy the LOA neutral. I also own a WO BV that was my first BV. Use it on other smaller scopes. The Binotron or a used Denk II with P/S is the way to go!




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