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New to Binoviewer for Solar/Planetary/Lunar

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#1 MalVeauX

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:45 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm primarily an imager, but I'm slowly getting more and more into observation. I a lot of solar in HA. I sometimes look at a planet when they're close. I look at the terminator areas on the moon often. Otherwise, I like wide field DSO, but I realize binoviewers are not useful for that. I've read about binoviewing, but I've yet to try it. I'm not sure I'm ready to put a lot into it just yet. Maybe get a good budget binoviewer and if I really get into it, I can always sell it and move up to something else later on perhaps. I also don't have a ton of eyepieces, but I have a few that I wouldn't mind getting a 2nd of for binoviewing purposes (maybe just 2 sets and call it good).

 

What I currently have:

 

Celestron C6 SCT (soon to go up to C11)

* I use this for DSO and lunar and sometimes planets

 

Celestron Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 Refractor

* I use this for DSO, lunar and planets, but it's main purpose is with a Quark filter (HA) with high resolution solar (which I'd like to use binos for)

 

Coronado PST Refractor

* Strictly a short HA solar scope, but, I've read you can get adapters to use binoviewers with it from Siberian Optics, which I'd love to try maybe)

 

Soon I will add a Celestron C11 to my kit. I'm currently saving & shopping for it. So that is also spurring my potential interest to try a binoviewer as I would have access to a brighter view of planets potentially that way.

 

My current potentially useful eyepieces are the Paradigm Dual ED 1.25" 60 degree FOV eyepieces from Astronomics. I have the 25mm, 8mm and 5mm currently. I'm not sure if doubling any of those up would be ideal with a binoviewer, as I imagine the binoviewer will change the FOV so I may need different eyepieces and it would be different on each scope too. I'm considering picking up a 15mm to join my little kit. So maybe I could get two 15mm's and maybe a 2nd 25mm? The 15mm would be universally useful and provide a good magnification for the C11 as well as for my 120mm refractor with the Quark (4.2x telecentric barlow) for solar to get some 3D proms. Not sure if I should get two 25's or if I should get a 2nd 8mm instead. Don't mind the cost of the eyepieces, they're fantastic and commonly $45 used for any of them.

 

I guess my next direction is, which binoviewer?

 

Seems everyone starts with a Williams Optics one as an entry point and then upgrades. I will use them probably way more often with HA solar narrowband, so if that matters, it may not require me to get higher quality glass/mirrors since I will mostly be in narrow band. I will however be interested in using them with the C11 on some planets sometimes maybe.

 

Will adding a binoviewer basically be like using a short barlow and alter focal length?

 

Any general advice?

 

No real budget at this time. Obviously I like the idea of some used W.O. binos around $180 maybe and then buy a few more eyepieces to have a set or two for this. But, maybe there's other things to consider knowing what I have and what I'll do (solar HA)?

 

Thanks!

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 31 January 2018 - 09:48 PM.


#2 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:51 AM

I have yet to get out with my WO binoviewer and my NexStar 6SE. I've only checked it out through a window on terrestrial objects because it's just too cold. The WO Binoviewers come with two WO 20mm EP's and a 1.6X Barlow. It's a nice kit so even if you buy used, make sure you get the kit (it will save you some cash to not have to also get pairs of EP's to start out). I bought mine brand new just to ensure I could return it if there were any mechanical problems. I think the WO's are so popular to start out with because (especially used) you really won't lose much, if any, cash should you want to sell them.

 

I also now have a pair of Celestron 8-24mm Zoom EP's. As much as I'd love to have a pair of Baader Hyperion Zoom Mark IV's they are cost prohibitive. I'm very familiar with the Celestron 8-24mm Zoom and have used it in mono for years. I've tried the pair in my binos on terrestrial objects and it really takes me no time at all to get them focused together at the same magnification. Using zoom EP's in the binos gives me all the magnification I could ever want or need with one pair of EP's (and I can do it on the fly as seeing permits). Zooms aren't for everyone though. 

 

I can't give you any advice on solar use, or anything beyond my limited indoor use on terrestrial objects at this point. Spring can't come soon enough for me. I think the WO's are worth the price, even new. I'm sure others will chime in with more assistance in helping you. 



#3 REC

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:28 AM

The WO is a great starting point. With the pair of 20's in a C11 will give you some great views on the Moon and Planets and even the brighter globular clusters. Foe a lower power and larger exit pupil, I use a pair of 26mm SP. You will have to check on the size of your 25mm, they are a little fat? A lot of people use a pair of Agena 15mm SWA with good results.

 

I have a PST, but my BV won't come to focus in it. Have to use a very expensive OCS for that and not going to go there. For you though with your HA interest, probably justified.

 

What ever you choose, you will love BVing. The first time I looked at the moon in my C-8 I was hooked! I said that night, " the only way to view the moon"!


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#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 12:20 PM

I have several of these eyepieces (Paradigm Dual ED):

 

https://www.astronom...pieces_c52.aspx

 

Has anyone used these for binoviewing?

 

Very best,



#5 Ed D

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:09 AM

Hi Marty.  I'm down here in Miami, to give you an idea of my observing environment.  I really love observing the bright planets and the moon with binoviewers.  I have used a William Optics unit for years, my favorite eyepiece pairs being Sirius Plossls.  I don't have any Paradigms, but I have read posts about how well they work.  I tend to prefer the longer focal length Plossls, 25mm, 20mm and 17mm, and use either the 1.6x cell that comes with the WO or a 2x Barlow.  I do have Plossl pairs down to 10mm, and the high magnification comes in handy on the moon.

 

One thing about binoviewers and eyepieces is merging the images.  The longer focal lengths are waaay easier to merge, thus my preferences.  If I want more magnification I simply use a 2x Barlow, or even a 3x.  When using a Barlow the longer eyepieces are easier to merge.  Your idea of adding a pair of 15mm Paradigms is a good one.  If that's what you decide you like then you can add an 18mm pair, then maybe a 12mm pair.  Solar is not a high magnification pursuit, especially with the heat down here.  I usually max out at around 80x, so a pair of 25mm eyepieces with either the 1.6x cell the WO comes with or a 2x Barlow will do it.

 

I have a Meade R5 120mm f/8.3 scope.  The binoviewer has the effect of cutting down the already minimal CA in that scope.  Try it on planets, and especially the moon.  I'm in my mid-sixties and have floaters in my eyes.  It's amazing what using the binoviewer does to allow me to observe comfortably without the floaters being a nuisance.

 

The William Optics and similar units have the advantage of being just about the lightest ones out there.  The narrower clear aperture is of no consequence when observing planets or the moon.  Optical quality is not lacking.  The WO is very good.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Ed D


Edited by Ed D, 04 February 2018 - 08:18 AM.

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#6 MalVeauX

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:51 AM

Thanks, that's really helpful all.

 

Thanks Ed, that's the kind of info that really helps sort things out. I have a Sirius Plossl 25mm, I may have to scout a 2nd one to compare, and then compare to a Dual ED Paradigm 25mm and see which does best. I imagine they both have great contrast, and then just see what is more comfortable for viewing.

 

Very best,



#7 aa6ww

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:24 PM

 For Solar HA viewing using your binoviewer, the WO will be excellent. I have a SolarMax 90 Etalon with a BF 15 and the contrast you get 2 eyes cannot be duplicated with a one eyepiece system. 

My Blocking filter has a 15mm opening, a big opening by Blocking filter standards. Thats smaller than any binoviewer I know of, so even a William Optics Binoviewer will not put you at a disadvantage.

Same applies to planets. You wont care about any vignetting if your observing planets and even the vignetting is difficult to detect even if you do experience some.

As with Solar Observing with a binoviewer, planetary observing is also greatly enhanced when using two eyes. Even simple plossls with two eyes, will be worlds of any one eye observing, regardless of the single eyepiece used. Contrass and sharpness is enhanced greatly with the binoviewer.

Nothing beats planetary observing useing two eyes, sitting calmly at your eyepiece, and watching the GRS transit the entire surface of Jupiter, for example, in an evening. The details you can pick up with two eyes vs one eye, has to be experienced to understand what I'm talking about.

My C11 with binoviewers is an amazing experience on planets. My C14 makes the experience even that much more incredible.

 

You'll see!

 

...Ralph in Sacramento. 

 

 

Hi all,

 

I'm primarily an imager, but I'm slowly getting more and more into observation. I a lot of solar in HA. I sometimes look at a planet when they're close. I look at the terminator areas on the moon often. Otherwise, I like wide field DSO, but I realize binoviewers are not useful for that. I've read about binoviewing, but I've yet to try it. I'm not sure I'm ready to put a lot into it just yet. Maybe get a good budget binoviewer and if I really get into it, I can always sell it and move up to something else later on perhaps. I also don't have a ton of eyepieces, but I have a few that I wouldn't mind getting a 2nd of for binoviewing purposes (maybe just 2 sets and call it good).

 

What I currently have:

 

Celestron C6 SCT (soon to go up to C11)

* I use this for DSO and lunar and sometimes planets

 

Celestron Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 Refractor

* I use this for DSO, lunar and planets, but it's main purpose is with a Quark filter (HA) with high resolution solar (which I'd like to use binos for)

 

Coronado PST Refractor

* Strictly a short HA solar scope, but, I've read you can get adapters to use binoviewers with it from Siberian Optics, which I'd love to try maybe)

 

Soon I will add a Celestron C11 to my kit. I'm currently saving & shopping for it. So that is also spurring my potential interest to try a binoviewer as I would have access to a brighter view of planets potentially that way.

 

My current potentially useful eyepieces are the Paradigm Dual ED 1.25" 60 degree FOV eyepieces from Astronomics. I have the 25mm, 8mm and 5mm currently. I'm not sure if doubling any of those up would be ideal with a binoviewer, as I imagine the binoviewer will change the FOV so I may need different eyepieces and it would be different on each scope too. I'm considering picking up a 15mm to join my little kit. So maybe I could get two 15mm's and maybe a 2nd 25mm? The 15mm would be universally useful and provide a good magnification for the C11 as well as for my 120mm refractor with the Quark (4.2x telecentric barlow) for solar to get some 3D proms. Not sure if I should get two 25's or if I should get a 2nd 8mm instead. Don't mind the cost of the eyepieces, they're fantastic and commonly $45 used for any of them.

 

I guess my next direction is, which binoviewer?

 

Seems everyone starts with a Williams Optics one as an entry point and then upgrades. I will use them probably way more often with HA solar narrowband, so if that matters, it may not require me to get higher quality glass/mirrors since I will mostly be in narrow band. I will however be interested in using them with the C11 on some planets sometimes maybe.

 

Will adding a binoviewer basically be like using a short barlow and alter focal length?

 

Any general advice?

 

No real budget at this time. Obviously I like the idea of some used W.O. binos around $180 maybe and then buy a few more eyepieces to have a set or two for this. But, maybe there's other things to consider knowing what I have and what I'll do (solar HA)?

 

Thanks!

 

Very best,


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#8 contrailmaker

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:53 PM

What Ralph said +1. I’ve gone binoviewer for all my observing. There’s no going back on planetary/lunar. I even got the oca for my PST.

 

CM


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#9 faackanders2

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 09:40 AM

I almost never binoview the sun, not even for the total solar eclipse.  Huch less fatiguing and see the prominences better monoviewing the sun with my Solarmax 40 and BF5 blocking filter.

 

P.S.  Love uing my Denk II with two dual powerswitches for DSOs.


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#10 contrailmaker

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:37 PM

Binoviewing the sun is great and less fatiguing than monoviewing. The detail just jumps at you without effort and the negative effects of a small exit pupil are filtered out by the brain. By the way, this also applies in white light, not just Ha. Sunspot detail and especially granulation are a lot easier to see with two eyes. A 100mm refractor with a white light filter and a binoviewer makes a formidable solar telescope.

 

CM


Edited by contrailmaker, 13 February 2018 - 09:40 PM.



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