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APM 150ED review

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#76 mogur

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 08:04 PM

What I always find helpful are comparisons with similar exit pupils instead of identical power. Otherwise the bigger scope/ binocular will perform below optimum compared to the smaller one, especially under not so dark skies.

That's what makes a good comparison when trying to decide which scope to buy for your observing conditions. A 25x100 bino has a 4mm exit pupil. A 16" dob at 100x is the same exit pupil. Gee, I wonder which will show more? smirk.gif 



#77 edwincjones

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:18 AM

........ Gee, I wonder which will show more? smirk.gif

 

or show more pleasing    question.gif



#78 mogur

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 11:44 AM

or show more pleasing    question.gif

Agreed. there certainly is something to say about the nice, wide field view at low powers.  A 16" dob can't get much more than 1.5°. Even that will be at an overly large exit pupil. That's why there's no single instrument that can do it all!


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#79 ZX12

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:19 PM

This morning was my first chance with the APM150 to view the gas giants with good seeing and also be high enough to clear the trees completely.

 

I had some amazing views of Saturn and a transit of Jupiter with the APM150 using the 12.5 Doctor's and 12.5 APM's.

 

Io's shadow cast a distinct black dot that is surprisingly easy to see at 66x. I could occasionally make out the tiny white dot of Io itself back from the shadow.

It looked at first to be one of the small white ovals in the color band, but it slowly changed position with the shadow. The bands across the planet surface were sharp and distinct enough that it appeared as though I was using a much higher power.

 

The perceived size of the planets at this power is really impressive using both eyes. Without measuring exactly it is hard to guess, but it seems to require more power in a mono view to equal the image size of the bino view.

 

There is also a clear improvement in brightness and resolution compared to the APM120, and a huge improvement over the APM100 for planet viewing. 

 

I noticed the same size effect when comparing the 12" SCT and APM150 on M13. The 150 was at 103x while the 12" required 194x to provide a comparable overall view. This brings the exit pupil closer in size as well, which equalizes the background darkness. 

The 12" resolved more stars at either power, but the fullness of the cluster appeared larger in the 150 when the power was equal. 

 

Of course, these observations are only my perception of image scale and brightness, not precise measurements with these particular instruments. 

 

Mike


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#80 edwincjones

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 04:34 AM

Do we have any idea of how many CN members has gotten the new  150s so far?

I think the count for the old fuji 150s was about a half dozen.

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 03 April 2019 - 04:35 AM.


#81 winterprillan

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 04:22 PM

zx12.

When you look at M3, M13, can you resolve stars in them with direct vision in the 150? Is the granular there with direct vision?

What do you think of a power of 150x on globulars?



#82 ZX12

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:51 PM

zx12.

When you look at M3, M13, can you resolve stars in them with direct vision in the 150? Is the granular there with direct vision?

What do you think of a power of 150x on globulars?

Both M3 and M13 are resolved well using direct vision. The amount of resolved stars seen directly depends on the power used, but I would guess around 66x and above is where is starts to get interesting.

 

I've used 137x and the image is stunning. M13 in particular is as spectacular as I've seen through SCT's in the 8-12" range.

 

150x should work well in good seeing conditions, but I'm not sure how many eyepieces are available in 5.5mm focal length.

 

Mike


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#83 oldmanrick

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 10:06 PM

Mike, I don't know of many eyepieces in 5.5mm, but at 153X, would be a relatively small step up from 137X.  I would try a ES 82 degree 4.7mm pair, which would give 179X, and when seeing permits, work reasonably well in my 100mm ED APO Lunt, or maybe a pair of Delite 5.0mm's at 168X. watching.gif

 

Clear Skies!

 

Rick


Edited by oldmanrick, 05 April 2019 - 10:07 PM.


#84 salico

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

I found in my Ed 120 BT images get to dim for most DSOs at ~130x (Nagler 7mm)



#85 winterprillan

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 12:40 PM

I found in my Ed 120 BT images get to dim for most DSOs at ~130x (Nagler 7mm)

Salico, at what power do you find the best view for globulars in your 120. Not to dim, but just right.

GC need´s more power to be resolved than open clusters.



#86 winterprillan

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 12:49 PM

Both M3 and M13 are resolved well using direct vision. The amount of resolved stars seen directly depends on the power used, but I would guess around 66x and above is where is starts to get interesting.

 

I've used 137x and the image is stunning. M13 in particular is as spectacular as I've seen through SCT's in the 8-12" range.

 

150x should work well in good seeing conditions, but I'm not sure how many eyepieces are available in 5.5mm focal length.

 

Mike

maybe the nagler zooms 3 - 6.



#87 salico

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:33 PM

Salico, at what power do you find the best view for globulars in your 120. Not to dim, but just right.

GC need´s more power to be resolved than open clusters.

That's a good point! I often use the N12 at 75x. Often this is not enough. But the N7 at ~ 130x make the image definitely too dim. So I tend to prefer more aperture. Eggcited, what my new 12" BT will show me next fall.


Edited by salico, 09 April 2019 - 01:33 PM.


#88 oldmanrick

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 04:30 PM

Mike, in re-reading through this thread, I failed to find any information about false images from bright sources outside the FOV, "fingernails", bright wrong-way-moving stars when sweeping, etc.

 

This has been a fairly common complaint about smaller versions of APM BT's at lower powers.

 

Can you evaluate the extent of this problem, if it even exists, with the 150's?

 

Thanks,

 

Rick 



#89 ZX12

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 07:09 PM

Hi Rick,

 

I have not noticed any ghosting or fingernails when panning the 150 under most situations.

 

When I view near the Moon there is typical glare and ghost images, but that is seen in all the big binos from what I've gathered.

 

It's a non issue for me since it's rare that I use binos when the Moon is above first quarter. I spend that time looking at extremely fine details on the Moon or double stars with a large refractor.

 

The smaller binos are on the TTS right now, but I will check more thoroughly with the 150 on the next session when the Moon is bright.

 

Mike 

 

 

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#90 GamesForOne

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:31 AM

Hi Rick,

 

I have not noticed any ghosting or fingernails when panning the 150 under most situations.

 

When I view near the Moon there is typical glare and ghost images, but that is seen in all the big binos from what I've gathered.

 

It's a non issue for me since it's rare that I use binos when the Moon is above first quarter. I spend that time looking at extremely fine details on the Moon or double stars with a large refractor.

 

The smaller binos are on the TTS right now, but I will check more thoroughly with the 150 on the next session when the Moon is bright.

 

Mike 

Actually, Moon reflections are not the more critical issue being discussed -- it is off-axis star images. Place a bright star in the center of the 150's, then pan it just out of the field of view. Do you observe a dimmer ghost image of that star superimposed with it out of the field? Try it just out of the field, a little more out of the field, and all the way around the fov edge.

 

With my 100's, I get the strongest ghost image of the star when it is moved just out of the field at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions from the edge of the fov. The ghost image moves up and down the lower portion of the fov as I pan.

 

---

Michael Mc


Edited by GamesForOne, 22 April 2019 - 01:25 PM.

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#91 oldmanrick

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:26 AM

Actually, Moon reflections are not the more critical issue being discussed -- it is off-axis star images. Place a bright star in the center of the 150's, then pan it just out of the field of view. Do you observe a dimmer ghost image of that star superimposed with it out of the field? Try it just out of the field, a little more out of the field, and all the way around the fov edge.

 

With my 100's, you get the strongest ghost image of the star when it is moved just out of the field at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions from the edge of the fov. The ghost image moves up and down the lower portion of the fov as you pan.

 

---

Michael Mc

Also, in my 100's, these ghost images seem to only occur with longer FL eyepieces.  I was out last night scanning the eastern sky, using a pair of 17.5 mm Morpheus, and the ghost stars moving in odd directions were many and very evident.   When I switched to a 6.5mm Morpheus pair I didn't notice any ghost stars.

 

Rick


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#92 GamesForOne

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:26 PM

Also, in my 100's, these ghost images seem to only occur with longer FL eyepieces.  I was out last night scanning the eastern sky, using a pair of 17.5 mm Morpheus, and the ghost stars moving in odd directions were many and very evident.   When I switched to a 6.5mm Morpheus pair I didn't notice any ghost stars.

 

Rick

True. Smaller exit pupils tend to suffer less of this effect for me as well.

 

---

Michael Mc



#93 ZX12

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 05:35 PM

So far I have not picked up on that effect in my APM70's or 120's. I have the most viewing time between the two of them.

 

I will check the 70's first since they are on the dual mount with the Kowa's. Then when the 150's are back out I will check them.

 

I would say at this point it's still a non issue for me if I have to look for something that has not stood out after 3 years of consistent use.

 

Mike


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#94 GamesForOne

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:35 PM

So far I have not picked up on that effect in my APM70's or 120's. I have the most viewing time between the two of them.

 

I will check the 70's first since they are on the dual mount with the Kowa's. Then when the 150's are back out I will check them.

 

I would say at this point it's still a non issue for me if I have to look for something that has not stood out after 3 years of consistent use.

 

Mike

WARNING: If you do look for this and see it, then you will never be able to un-see it!  crazy.gif

 

---

Michael Mc


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#95 oldmanrick

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:03 PM

I've known false images were there for a long time with my 100's, especially with longer focal length eyepieces, but when out last night with the 17.5 Morpheus pair, it seemed more noticeable and bothersome than usual.  Maybe because the seeing was decent for the first time in a long time, or maybe it was just me.

 

I usually don't notice it much unless I'm moving the binoculars, (scanning or sweeping), which results in ghost images of stars moving in weird directions.  I did a lot of sweeping last night, so maybe that's why it was so noticeable.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Rick 



#96 oldmanrick

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:46 PM

So far I have not picked up on that effect in my APM70's or 120's. I have the most viewing time between the two of them.

 

I will check the 70's first since they are on the dual mount with the Kowa's. Then when the 150's are back out I will check them.

 

I would say at this point it's still a non issue for me if I have to look for something that has not stood out after 3 years of consistent use.

 

Mike

Hi Mike,

 

I know that others have complained about false images or "ghost stars" in APM and Lunt 100mm BT's.  I'm not sure about the APM 70's or 120's.  Since you haven't noticed any in the 70, 120, or 150, I would assume that they are better in this regard.

 

However, I'm still curious as to whether you can detect any false images of off-axis bright objects, etc, in your 150's?

 

Rick


Edited by oldmanrick, 08 May 2019 - 10:47 PM.


#97 ZX12

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 08:14 AM

Hi Rick,

The last two nights were the first chance to observe since my last post. We had a deluge of rain for several weeks in a row. The good news is that it's very green here now.

 

My 120 was sold to a friend who has been desiring one for awhile, and I figured mine would not get much use since buying the 150.

 

I have the 150 setup again and tried panning near bright stars like Vega with the 2" 30mm UFF at 27x. I caught a faint reflection of what appeared to be Vega that was difficult to notice unless really looking for it, so I don't see any issue that will cause me to want to sell the 150 anytime soon.
I was panning around the Moon and did not see any reflection at 27x. Some glare was evident, but I could still see stars near it.

 

The 30mm UFF is really impressive with a perfect field out to the very edges. Stars are very sharp, and it is also remarkably comfortable considering the size of the eyepieces.

 

A really impressive view was using the 3-6 Nagler at 275x on the Double Double. It was a clean image with two round dots on each side and a large black gap between each star.
The Airy Disks also looked very good considering that it's an ED doublet using a 45 degree prism.

 

The image of M11 at 59x with the 14mm Delos is also etched in my mind as it was the best I've seen yet. The halo of fine stars around M11 itself was something to behold.

 

I will try the looking for the reflections with the 70 next time it is out.

 

Mike


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#98 oldmanrick

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:32 AM

Mike, thanks for that!

 

Sounds like the "ghost star" problems with the 100mm BT's has largely been eliminated in the 150's.  That is good news indeed.  

 

Your tantalizing descriptions of the performance of those 150's keep me wanting some of my own, more and more, like the moth to the flame.

 

Have to keep telling myself "if the ED's are that good, then the SD's, (when and if), should be at least a tiny bit better".  Don't know how long my resolve to wait for the SD version will hold out though.

 

For now I will wait!  sigh2.gif

 

Rick



#99 ZX12

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:16 PM

You are welcome Rick.

 

The APM150 obviously requires a bigger commitment compared to the smaller models due to the cost, size, and weight. The shipping alone would scare off some buyers from taking the plunge.

At least you don't have to pay duty fees on binoculars, which is quite a lot as well.

 

Though I have a modest income as a machinist, I had been planning on buying a larger binocular for some time and was glad to find out APM would be producing a 150mm version of the binocular.

 

It has fulfilled my expectations, and it certain ways surpassed them. After spending more time with them I believe the 120 and 150 are equally sharp, but the 150 can use much more power before the image starts to darken excessively. 

 

I worked my way up from the APM100ED to the 120, so it was nice to see the performance progress as the aperture increased.

 

The 120 is sharper than the current 100 due to the higher glass index used, but the 150ED benefits from a higher degree of attention to the lens and prisms that helps equalize the sharpness to the level of the 120 according to Markus.

 

Color correction is just a bit better in the 120, but it is still very good on the 150. How much improvement the SD version of the 150 will provide beyond what the ED version is a difficult and expensive question to answer.  

 

If I didn't have an observatory on my property, I still think the 120 would make a better choice as there is a lot of difference in mounting and using the 150.

 

Mike

 

 

 


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#100 oldmanrick

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:00 PM

Thanks Mike.

 

I agree that the commitment to owning and using such large costly binoculars has to be great, and I may regret buying them, for the reasons you mentioned.  

 

A binocular view that is the best I can afford and reasonably expect to be able to use is something I've always dreamed about.  I think the APM 150 comes the closest, though marginally so for affordability.  I thought the same thing when I bought my Lunt 100 ED, but have no regrets there.

 

My income is also modest, but have wished for something like this for years.  I may try them and not be able to live with the logistics of mounting and moving them, but have decided that I really want to try.  If I can't use them, I expect that I could eventually re-sell them for a fair percentage of what I paid.  I'll be 80 in a couple of years, so my time to try out something like this is definitely limited.

 

Although I have no observatory, I do have a nice shop where I could house them more or less permanently on a roll-out tripod, making set up a non-issue.

 

Aperture fever is alive and well!

 

Rick




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