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

Binoviewers or a high end eyepiece?

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 544
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 03:03 PM

Hi all, I've read much of the benefits of binoviewers and am convinced they are a great upgrade. However, I also hear much about how good high end (Televue) eyepieces are. As it turns out, you can get a Televue DeLite for about the same as an entry level binoviewer (~$250). I recently had the chance to look through an Ethos and the view was impressive.

 

For those who have tried both: if you had to choose between entry level binoviewers with some budget-friendly eyepieces like the Meade HD-60 line, vs. a Televue eyepiece like the DeLite, which would you rather have? Assume that this is for narrow-field views like planets or globulars and you can't have both.


  • Augustus likes this

#2 havasman

havasman

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ****-
  • Posts: 6779
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 09 February 2018 - 03:27 PM

I bought an Arcturus binoviewer from Camera Concepts. Very nice folks. It's a good entry level binoviewer that may be the same as the WO. It has self-centering ep holders and comes with 2 Barlows/OCA's and a pair of Plossls.

 

The thing is, I just didn't care for it. It was fiddly and difficult to get an image merged and focused. Some sessions I never got it right. It was pretty cool when it briefly snapped but I sold it pretty soon. I don't think it was the fault of the unit or the brand. I think they're just not for everybody.

 

But I have a large case full of pretty fine eyepieces that I use in all my scopes to great effect, one at a time. 

 

Like many facets of the hobby, it's an individual choice. Binoviewers didn't do it for me. And I do like using binoculars. The Arcturus units are pretty easy to recommend at the low cost end of the scale.


Edited by havasman, 09 February 2018 - 08:18 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs, Augustus, treadmarks and 1 other like this

#3 DaveJ

DaveJ

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2185
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2005
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:11 PM

I have the full Ethos line and a Baader MarkV binoviewer. I go with the binoviewer and much less expensive 1.25" eyepieces much more often than with mono vision using the Ethos or any of my 2" Naglers. Yes, binoviewing is that much better. I've never had a merging problem of any kind.


Edited by DaveJ, 09 February 2018 - 04:13 PM.

  • treadmarks and nicoledoula like this

#4 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 232
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:14 PM

I use binoviewing only for planets and the moon.  I tend to gaze at these objects for long periods at high magnification.  Having both eyes open is just fantastic.  Your brain gives you a boost in image quality, and eye floaters are less of an issue. 

 

I don't use BVs for other objects because I find things by star-hopping and need to change eyepieces too often. 

 

 

Think of how you use your eyepieces.  If you change magnification often, don't get the BVs.  If you like to observe an object for a long time, BVs are great!


  • Augustus and treadmarks like this

#5 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10765
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:22 PM

It's almost crazy how much better planetary viewing is with a binoviewer. The contrast boost from viewing with two eyes is significant, and you can give it an extra punch by using a Baader neodymium filter. The aesthetic effects of using both eyes and the visual relaxation are nice bonuses. It all adds up to better views at lower magnifications and having to work less hard for them.


  • BJS, faackanders2, JMKarian and 3 others like this

#6 denis0007dl

denis0007dl

    Vendor (Binoviewer Supercharging)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1686
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2012
  • Loc: Umag, Croatia, Europe

Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:59 PM

Binoviewers views rules.

Get most quality binoviewer and most quality epcs you can afford.

My vote are wide field 70+ deg in binoviewers.


  • vkhastro1, sonny.barile, JMKarian and 1 other like this

#7 nicoledoula

nicoledoula

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 31 Jan 2018

Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:18 PM

No brainer...binoviewers for planetary. You WILL see more detail.. 


  • treadmarks likes this

#8 Kunama

Kunama

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3216
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Canberra, Australia

Posted 09 February 2018 - 06:23 PM

Hi all, I've read much of the benefits of binoviewers and am convinced they are a great upgrade. However, I also hear much about how good high end (Televue) eyepieces are. As it turns out, you can get a Televue DeLite for about the same as an entry level binoviewer (~$250). I recently had the chance to look through an Ethos and the view was impressive.

 

For those who have tried both: if you had to choose between entry level binoviewers with some budget-friendly eyepieces like the Meade HD-60 line, vs. a Televue eyepiece like the DeLite, which would you rather have? Assume that this is for narrow-field views like planets or globulars and you can't have both.

If possible, you should try binoviewing before buying.... It does not suit everyone.  For me viewing planets, Moon, globulars and brighter DSOs with both eyes is far better than single eyepiece views.

I can view for much longer periods with two eyes than with one without any eye strain.

 

The actual visible difference in most binoviewers is not as big as the prices would suggest.  The price is more an indication of the robustness of the build than actual visual quality. 

The more expensive ones do allow the use of wider view eyepieces due to their larger clear apertures but for planetary viewing that is never going to be an issue.

 

The best eyepieces for binoviewing planets are things like that Tak Abbe series, which show finer detail than Ethos, Delite etc. After owning Ethos, Delos, DeLite, Nagler, Radian, Panoptic, XW, XF and LVW wide fields, I  think the XW and Delos are the pick of them, unfortunately the sliding eyecup does not suit binoviewing and removing the eyecup leaves the eye lens very exposed...

 

The main negative about binoviewers is that they do have avery noticeable effect on the brightness of the view or lack thereof... the ultimate solution is a binoscope but that can lead to a very light wallet...


  • sonny.barile and faackanders2 like this

#9 De Lorme

De Lorme

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1716
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2008

Posted 09 February 2018 - 06:48 PM

treadmarks, what eyepieces and barlows do you have now?    Looking across at the moon with the Arcturus binos{using a Televue 3x barlow} and then zooming in on some interesting object with the Baader zoom is great fun. Just takes a second to take out the binos and put the zoom in the barlow.

 

If I were pushed to keep either the zoom or binos I think I would just go a little further into debt and keep both. lol

 

Both serve a purpose I just can't{won't} do without.



#10 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 544
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:18 PM

treadmarks, what eyepieces and barlows do you have now?    Looking across at the moon with the Arcturus binos{using a Televue 3x barlow} and then zooming in on some interesting object with the Baader zoom is great fun. Just takes a second to take out the binos and put the zoom in the barlow.
 
If I were pushed to keep either the zoom or binos I think I would just go a little further into debt and keep both. lol
 
Both serve a purpose I just can't{won't} do without.

I've got a set of Meade HD-60 EPs and a Celestron Omni 2X Barlow. My plan would be to add another 9mm and 6.5mm HD60 for binoviewing. The 9mm's would be for average seeing and the 6.5mm's for good seeing. I don't think I'd use a Barlow when binoviewing but if I got the DeLite (unlikely), I'd get an 11mm and 2X it in good seeing.
 
 

The actual visible difference in most binoviewers is not as big as the prices would suggest.  The price is more an indication of the robustness of the build than actual visual quality. 
The more expensive ones do allow the use of wider view eyepieces due to their larger clear apertures but for planetary viewing that is never going to be an issue.
 

The main negative about binoviewers is that they do have avery noticeable effect on the brightness of the view or lack thereof... the ultimate solution is a binoscope but that can lead to a very light wallet...

That's good, because I'm thinking about the Celestron binoviewer (or maybe Orion). It does not seem a popular choice but it sure has a good price. My understanding is that it has a slightly smaller field stop than the WO, and the WO comes with some accessories that I won't use. As for FOV... I call a wide-field binoviewer "binoculars."

 

I'm pretty sure I will enjoy binoviewing. I've got more than my fair share of floaters and I've always found cyclops viewing to be a little awkward. I'm an SCT guy and everything I've read indicates CATs work great with these things, so I really think they're a good fit for me.



#11 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5012
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:48 PM

Hi all, I've read much of the benefits of binoviewers and am convinced they are a great upgrade. However, I also hear much about how good high end (Televue) eyepieces are. As it turns out, you can get a Televue DeLite for about the same as an entry level binoviewer (~$250). I recently had the chance to look through an Ethos and the view was impressive.

 

For those who have tried both: if you had to choose between entry level binoviewers with some budget-friendly eyepieces like the Meade HD-60 line, vs. a Televue eyepiece like the DeLite, which would you rather have? Assume that this is for narrow-field views like planets or globulars and you can't have both.

I do have both:

1.  Denkmeier II binoviewer w/ two dual powerswithces and 3 OCSs (for 3x3x3=27 power/FOV options per eypiece pairs) with pairs of 24mm 68AFOV TV Panoptics, 21mm 65AFOV LOA 3D, and 14mm 82AFOV Meade 5000 UWA eyepieces (for 27x3=81 total power and FOV options).

2.  Numerous 100-120AFOV and 82-84 AFOV eyepieces, etc.

 

Before Ethos I almost always exclusively used my binoviewers for dual eyed viewing, and love the powerswitches to gain 9 multiple power and TFOV options mostly with my widest 1.25" 24mm Panoptics and Newtonian OCS (or lower power/wider Multipurpose A45mm OCS).

 

After Ethos I now almost exclusively use single 100-120 AFOV eypieces because I love their wide AFOV views and seeing more multiple objects in their comparatively wider TFOVs.  These eyepiece require you to look about 10 degrees outward from your nose to se the entire TFOV, because your nose is in the way of looking straight ahead (hence they are not cost effective to binoview with).

Although I have 0.75-1.0 astigmatism, I observe w/o glasses, and just perminently mounted 1.0 dioptrix on my 20mm 100AFOV ES (since it was not neded on my 10mm 100AFOV TV Ethos).

 

With both I also used 30mm 82AFOV Meade 5000 UWA and 40mm 70AFOV University Optics MK-70 Koenig eyepieces for their wide TFOV for multiple objects and finding objects in my manual 17.5" f4.1 dobsonian.

 

Sometimes I do switch it up for variety.

 

Good luck in your decision.



#12 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5012
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:52 PM

With the release of binotron, used Denk II or used Denk may be available at reasonable prices, and definitely get a dual power switch if posible you wil not regret it.



#13 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5012
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:56 PM

Binoviewers views rules.

Get most quality binoviewer and most quality epcs you can afford.

My vote are wide field 70+ deg in binoviewers.

If a used binoviewer has already been supercharged by Dennis, this wider field stop is a dfefinite upgrade that should not be overlooked.



#14 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5012
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:01 PM

It's almost crazy how much better planetary viewing is with a binoviewer. The contrast boost from viewing with two eyes is significant, and you can give it an extra punch by using a Baader neodymium filter. The aesthetic effects of using both eyes and the visual relaxation are nice bonuses. It all adds up to better views at lower magnifications and having to work less hard for them.

You do have the option to put different filters in each eye, which your nrain merges together for a pseudo 3D effect (although I have not combined this with LOA 21 3D yet  wink.gif  )



#15 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5012
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

I use binoviewing only for planets and the moon.  I tend to gaze at these objects for long periods at high magnification.  Having both eyes open is just fantastic.  Your brain gives you a boost in image quality, and eye floaters are less of an issue. 

 

I don't use BVs for other objects because I find things by star-hopping and need to change eyepieces too often. 

 

 

Think of how you use your eyepieces.  If you change magnification often, don't get the BVs.  If you like to observe an object for a long time, BVs are great!

This is why I have a dual power switch combined with reducer/multiplier switch, so in LL "finder" mode it provides 1x barlow power with Newtonian OCS (no extension) or 0.89x barlow power for A45mm Multipurpose OCS (with inward extension required to focus in LL mode).  No need to change wide 24mm 68AFOV panoptic eyepieces, just move the 3(to 3x3=9) power switch options and refocus.

 

I have a large 17.5" f4.1 dob, so I disagree with you about DSOs which look fantastic; except for the very dim ones which may require mono single eyepiece to see them.  Some wide or multiobjects also look beter with the wider TFOV being able to see more of the object and/or multiple objects together in the same view.



#16 Usquebae

Usquebae

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2013
  • Loc: 43° N, 73° W

Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:17 AM

Treadmarks - I think the upgrade from an 18 Meade HD-60 to 18.2 DeLite will result in subtly improved views.  The difference in mono vs. bino views of the Moon will be dramatic.  Given you have a tracking mount, an SCT (which won't require barlows to reach focus with binoviewer), an abundance of eye floaters, and a full line-up of nice 60 degree EPs with good eye relief... it seems the BV is the way to go.  A few things to note:

 

-You will not be operating at native focal length with the SCT (it will get longer due to light path of BV), and you will require a barlow/OCS to reach focus with refractor.  Combined with the dimming effect of the binoviewer this means you should probably be considering lower power EP pairs, like 12-18-25 rather than the 6.5 and 9 you suggested.  You can always barlow the BV to go higher.  Also, it is commonly reported that shorter focal length EPs make it more difficult to merge images than using longer FL eyepieces with a barlow.

 

-The top housing of the Meade HD-60 is rather wide.  Make sure your IPD and nose can accommodate them before buying a second.

 

-It looks like your Omni barlow is of the type with a removable lens element.  If so, you will be able to screw that into the nose of the binoviewer to get ~2x power.  It might be a little more magnification than that.

 

One note on monoviewing:  if you are not using a focal reducer with your C8 you might consider that at some point.  I don't think these work right with binoviewing, but my experience with C6 and focal reducer was that star fields became much crisper towards the edge of the field.  I mention this because a focal reducer could improve the views of your entire EP line-up to the same degree that upgrading to one DeLite would.  I use both DeLites and a focal reducer in my C6.  I think the reducer makes a greater improvement than the EPs do.


Edited by Usquebae, 12 February 2018 - 10:19 AM.

  • treadmarks likes this

#17 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 544
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:56 AM

Interesting points, Usquebae. You are making me rethink the eyepieces I'd want to get for this. I might add a 25mm or a 15mm too. I found EdZ's measurements for the binoviewer-modified focal length, he put it around 2400mm for a C8 and that's the number I've been working off of.

 

The thing about longer EPs is that I hear the entry-level binoviewers have "field stops" around 18-20mm. Would the vignetting or falloff in brightness be bothersome? Or does it matter not at all with narrow-field objects because the edge will be dark anyway? Based on my calculation, at 2400mm with a 18mm field stop, the Moon would overfill that FOV. Is this right? To your last question, I acquired a focal reducer during Christmas. Haven't had a lot of opportunities to use it yet, not sure it will be able to help me with binoviewers.



#18 Usquebae

Usquebae

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2013
  • Loc: 43° N, 73° W

Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:14 AM

I don't know at what point the narrow clear aperture of the BV begins effecting views.  I use 25mm 50° and 18.2mm 62° eyepieces without issues in an Arcturus (generic Chinese) binoviewer.



#19 De Lorme

De Lorme

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1716
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2008

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:45 AM

Usquebae,  which 18.2mm 62 degree set do you have? 



#20 Usquebae

Usquebae

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2013
  • Loc: 43° N, 73° W

Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

DeLites.




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.







Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics