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Considering abandoning mono viewing entirely

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#26 Solar storm

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 07:52 AM

I honestly cannot remember the last time I did "serious" mono-viewing.   I always bino the moon and planets.   I also like to bino deep sky when I go to a dark site, which with a young family is pretty rare these days.   I did begin about 4 years ago to use night vision (PVS-7 because I love using 2 eyes), which has changed this hobby for me completely.   I live in the inner city where the LP is horrible.  But, with night vision I am able to see deep sky objects easily in the city that I have great difficulty seeing with glass at my dark site.   NV is not the end all be all, but it turns my home sessions from seeing a couple decent objects to dozens if not more.  It has definitely kept me from loosing interest in the hobby.    

 

I do keep some single eye glass for "just in case I want to" situations.  But it has been probably 2 years since they have been  in the focuser for longer than 5 minutes.  


Edited by Solar storm, 09 April 2019 - 08:39 AM.

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#27 Jeff B

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:06 AM

I'm pretty much gone over to full time bino-viewing, except with the use of those big 2" 40mm class wide field eyepieces and when making some of my telescope comparisons, since, that's how most people, mistakenly or out of ignorance, use their scopes.


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#28 Procyon

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 10:32 PM

Binos are great for bright objects, mono is great on bright and faint fuzzies. I went mono to bino to half bino half mono and finally back to mono when I got an 11" scope as I like looking for Galaxies and wide Open Clusters a lot right now.

But binos are amazing, everyone should give them a try at least once on the moon, planets and on the Sun with a dedicated solar filter or telescope. The Sun's really awesome to look at through binos. I can only imagine what it would look like through a huge Coronado 90mm++ scope + Binoviewers. I'll probably head down that road someday.

M42 and Globulars are also awesome with binoviewers.

Edited by Procyon, 12 April 2019 - 06:41 AM.

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#29 jtrezzo

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:44 AM

Well after a bit more testing I've ended up unable to convert to binoviewing only. I tested side by side in my 14" Dob at dark site, and while the view in the binoviewers was mostly comparable to the mono mode, mono mode had some advantages for galaxies. Not massive, but enough to make me not want to abandon them.

 

Further, I also tested on an NP101 at my home (Bortle 5) and here the difference was very stark. The mono looked better on all but the brightest objects - moon, planets, very bright DSOs like open clusters and M42. The view was just quite dark in comparison, and not in a good contrasty way, just a lot less stars and DSO light. I stayed up to get a look at the Milky Way rising and this really stuck out. This was not entirely unexpected given the much smaller aperture.

 

So I have decided to sell off a few of my unused mono EPs but looks like I am staying with both! 


Edited by jtrezzo, 12 April 2019 - 12:48 AM.

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#30 Procyon

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:43 AM

I tested side by side in my 14" Dob at dark site, and while the view in the binoviewers was mostly comparable to the mono mode, mono mode had some advantages for galaxies. Not massive, but enough to make me not want to abandon them.


That's what made me sell my entire bino ep set. When I compared bino vs mono on Jupiter and Globulars, they appeared more detailed and brighter with a single eyepiece in my 11" than with binos. The difference on an 8" is barely noticeable though. In the end I just wanted to abandon all those ep pairs, they were sucking a lot my time making it harder to observe. Still nice to have binos though.
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#31 Joe1950

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:00 PM

Only looked at the moon so far with binos. I see detail a little easier. Next I’ll try Jupiter and Saturn to see if I can squeeze a little more detail out with binos.

 

With small and mid size apertures, the objects have to be bright to gain an advantage using the binos. At my location, that’s all that is available anyway. Dark skies are long gone. Haven’t seen a trace of the Milky Way for decades!

 

So we will see.

 

 

As an aside, the BVs I have are collimation well. My son got a BV from a friend that is somewhat off. You can merge the images with your eyes or by tilting one eyepiece... on extended objects. But not with individual stars, for some reason.

 

He has an Astromania brand. The optics are clear and sharp, but not ideally aligned.

 

I see the housing can come off. Anyone know if most, in general, can be adjusted? If so, I may give it a go.

 

 

Thanks. 



#32 Jeff B

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 12:35 PM

A word of advice.  Anytime I've made comparisons between mono and bino-viewing on solar system objects, I have found I need to:

 

1. Match magnifications as best I can.

 

and, most importantly:

 

2. Make absolutely sure I have best focus for each eye.

 

Jeff


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#33 jtrezzo

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 05:35 PM

That's what made me sell my entire bino ep set. When I compared bino vs mono on Jupiter and Globulars, they appeared more detailed and brighter with a single eyepiece in my 11" than with binos. The difference on an 8" is barely noticeable though. In the end I just wanted to abandon all those ep pairs, they were sucking a lot my time making it harder to observe. Still nice to have binos though.

I am kind of surprised you saw more detail with mono than bino on Jupiter. I have found the moon and planets to be the objects that always looks better in binos, at least to me. You're sure it wasn't a collimation or focus issue with the BVs? I'm curious what aspects of it looked better in mono - just more detail overall? I would like to do some more comparison with BV vs mono with planets on my 9.25 Edge as well as 14" Dob this summer, maybe I could end up with the same result.


Edited by jtrezzo, 16 April 2019 - 05:36 PM.

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#34 Procyon

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:07 PM

Trying to remember when and how I saw Jupiter brighter. I was using a 12mm TV Delos, a 14mm Radian and a 17.3mm Delos vs 2 Tak LE 18's on the binos. I was always able to go higher in magnification when mono viewing though.

For the Moon and Sun w/solar filter, nothing will beat binos, probably same for M42, for me anyways.

I'll have to try again someday on Jupiter, maybe with better binos also.

Still can't forget that true Lunar space walk feeling on the first night out with binoviewers.

Please let me know what you think during your tryouts.

Edited by Procyon, 16 April 2019 - 11:17 PM.


#35 George N

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:09 AM

I have a full set of 2" 100 degree eyepieces, and some 82s, but I find myself hardly ever using them anymore. When I pop in the binoviewers and have a look, then take them out and look through say, my 20mm 100 degree, I struggle to find much advantage to mono viewing. It's uncomfortable, and has no depth. Even with the 100 degree eyepieces I find it appears as a wider field to just be looking through 2x24mm eyepieces in the binos. It also seems like despite the fact that the light from the telescope is being split between the two, using two eyes seems to make up any sensitivity to faint objects. Do others find the same? 

 

Perhaps my eyes are just not well suited to mono viewing? I am not a serious visual observer, quite casual really, mainly due to not having easy access to a dark site (Bortle 5 home). But in any case I am thinking about selling all my mono EPs and going with a few nice bino pairs instead. 

 

Has anyone just gone full binoviewer and gotten rid of all mono eyepieces? If yes, did you end up missing having them, perhaps even buying them again? Are there any certain times where you would absolutely not want to use a binoviewer and instead prefer to view with one eye? I am trying to avoid seller's regret...

My circumstances are similar to yours - except I do most non-outreach observing from dark skies (SQM: 20.8 to 21.75 - mostly the latter), and I do most visual observing with a Explore Scientific 127mm APO and an Obsession 20 F/5.

 

I also use Denk II with 3x switch, and I have one of the now-discontinued Denk "Newt focal reducer" switch-in lenses (Why did he ever drop those?). Thus I have only two eyepiece pairs: D21's and Brandon 16mm's. The "switches" provide all the power changes I need - and end the need to carry eyepiece pairs up a ladder.

 

I was almost totally 'bino' until I 'discovered' 100 degree eyepieces - and now use a set of 100's mono a lot, plus a Paracoor II (at F/5). I have never been that happy with 'bino' for deep sky on my 10-inch and smaller telescopes. However any dimming effect is not of much concern in a 20-inch under dark sky -- 14th mag galaxies can be observed - altho going to the absolute 'dimmest' of deep sky requires mono.

 

I have every intention of doing more bino in the future - at least with the 20-inch, and solar/lunar/planets with the 127mm APO.

 

Bino pros:

 

     I much prefer observing with two eyes - bino-viewer, true binoculars, or just 'eyeballs'. When doing several nearly all-night sessions in a row - using two eyes is far more relaxing. Views of things like the 25 brightest globular star clusters are much better 'bino'. Alto I don't own those 3-D eyepieces.

 

Bino cons:

 

     Only work for 'outreach' if you are dealing with small groups, maybe 8 at most - and about 1 in 5 'public' just can't get it to work. It takes time to de-case and assemble my Denk II - and even worse, at the end of the night I have this big honking thing that is 'fiddly' to disassemble and put away - so I often just leave it assembled and somewhere like in the house or on my truck's passenger seat until 'the morning after'. For short 1 or 2 hour sessions it is just too much work. They do dim the view slightly - especially noticeable in 10-inch and smaller scopes (again, mostly not an issue with a 20"). Even with my "Newt focal reducer lens" the bino can never provide the widest views - so if the object needs the widest possible view - then mono with a 41mm Pan is the way I go. One final minor issue - switching bino to mono requires re-balance of my scopes.

 

 

I have one friend with an 18-inch F/4 Dob (with Stellarcat GoTo and tracking) who almost never removes the bino (was Denk II, now Binotron) from his Upper Tube Assembly - even for transport and storage. He is 100% bino, and has been for years. He did, like me, 'discover' 100 degree eyepieces - so, at rare times I now see him 'mono' with something like a Ethos 21 (ane PII of course).

 

Bottom line: Bino most of the time -- but you still need a good set of mono eyepieces. Stay flexible. This advice is more appropriate as one moves up in telescope aperture.


Edited by George N, 18 April 2019 - 11:47 AM.

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#36 PowerM3

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

I own and use a Binotron a fair amount. When I first got it I was on a binoviewer binge and even went to a few multi day star parties with just the binoviewer/16" dob to test drive how I would like being limited to just binoviewing. While it was a great experience to try it out I did find that I missed the single eyepiece. The primary case was going wide with my(at the time) 16" dob. Also when I wanted to see really dim stuff I knew that the scope had more in it had I used a single eyepiece.

 

I do like the binoviewer on the planets a lot. Sometimes when I have a good APO out I do really enjoy the "pure" view that I get from a simple single ortho eyepiece. Its about as close as it gets to being out in space in orbit around the object. 

 

But I do have really good memories of those nights when I limited myself to just the Binotron. The simplicity of the Binotron, power switch, filter switch and the d21's was awsome. Its all I really needed and makes me want to try it again!


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#37 Joe1950

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 02:21 PM

A lot of interesting comments. 

 

Having the binoviewer only a short time, my observing has been confined to the moon. I’ve still yet to try it on a planet.

 

Also, I’ve used an 80mm refractor and the views are superb. Of course the moon being a light bucket itself would make any light reduction rather insignificant.

 

My testing of the view with the binoviewer vs. mono vision is to look at lunar detail with the binoviewer and then close my non-dominant eye and observe the same area. Without doubt, I can see more detail, or I can see detail much easier with the binoviewer. But, I’m not sure if this is a fair test for mono vision observing. 

 

If if I were to use the binoviewer on say a crater, and then switch to a single eyepiece of about the same magnification, would the bino view still show more detail, albeit less bright? That, I don’t know.

 

The true test, IMO, would be on Jupiter. I’ve viewed the planet enough with my scopes to know what to expect as far as max detail in good conditions. If my experience is exceeded with the binoviewer, then there would be hard evidence that the BV yields more planetary detail, for whatever reason. That’s yet to be determined.


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#38 Joe1950

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:38 PM

Tonight, the crescent moon was visible. It was low, and there were high clouds that didn’t help. Since it’s been over a month since there has been anything to binoview, I decided to give it a go.

 

I used my C80ed, my son’s Astromania binoviewer, and two Meade 15mm Plossl eyepieces. It comes with a 2x and 3x nosepiece and two 30mm unknown type, narrow field EPs. I’m testing it to see if there is any mis-alignment. Tonight everything was right on! The views lined up perfectally.

 

Using the 3x nosepiece, I had the scope at 120x. Despite the haze, the moon was amazing! Sharp detail is so easy to see with both eyes in use. Even the limb showed the sharp shapes of mountains and craters against the velvet black. 

 

Next I tried the 2x nosepiece, but there is obviously something awry with it. I think the lenses are not seated correctly. So, I switched to a Meade 2x short Barlow with no lens in the nosepiece. That was somewhat more power than 120, but I don’t know exactly how much since the spacing was thrown off with the arrangement. I would guess about 150x.

 

That view was even more extraordinary! Detail galore; sharp and contrasty. 

 

Lastly, I tried the 30mm eyepieces that came with the BV. The field was narrow, but the entire moon easily fit the field. With the lower power, the view was brighter and like an etching! Just amazing!

 

I’ll probably get two of the Meade 20mm Plossls next. At the longer focal lengths they have a good field and comfortable eye relief. Plus they are about $30 or so each. Not bad for the quality. I also have a 3x short Meade Barlow and will try that the next clear night.

 

Tell ya’, I’m sold!  BV for ME!


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#39 Miranda2525

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:15 AM

Tonight, the crescent moon was visible. It was low, and there were high clouds that didn’t help. Since it’s been over a month since there has been anything to binoview, I decided to give it a go.

 

I used my C80ed, my son’s Astromania binoviewer, and two Meade 15mm Plossl eyepieces. It comes with a 2x and 3x nosepiece and two 30mm unknown type, narrow field EPs. I’m testing it to see if there is any mis-alignment. Tonight everything was right on! The views lined up perfectally.

 

Using the 3x nosepiece, I had the scope at 120x. Despite the haze, the moon was amazing! Sharp detail is so easy to see with both eyes in use. Even the limb showed the sharp shapes of mountains and craters against the velvet black. 

 

Next I tried the 2x nosepiece, but there is obviously something awry with it. I think the lenses are not seated correctly. So, I switched to a Meade 2x short Barlow with no lens in the nosepiece. That was somewhat more power than 120, but I don’t know exactly how much since the spacing was thrown off with the arrangement. I would guess about 150x.

 

That view was even more extraordinary! Detail galore; sharp and contrasty. 

 

Lastly, I tried the 30mm eyepieces that came with the BV. The field was narrow, but the entire moon easily fit the field. With the lower power, the view was brighter and like an etching! Just amazing!

 

I’ll probably get two of the Meade 20mm Plossls next. At the longer focal lengths they have a good field and comfortable eye relief. Plus they are about $30 or so each. Not bad for the quality. I also have a 3x short Meade Barlow and will try that the next clear night.

 

Tell ya’, I’m sold!  BV for ME!

Wait 'till you try the binoviewer on Jupiter and Saturn. I don't view planets any more unless I am using the bino.

 

:bigshock:


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#40 jtrezzo

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:23 AM

Wait 'till you try the binoviewer on Jupiter and Saturn. I don't view planets any more unless I am using the bino.

 

bigshock.gif

Same here. I tried looking at Jupiter in mono the other night after staring at it in BVs for a good half hour just to compare, and let me tell you - no comparison! Not only the detail was more - for the first time I actually could see greenish portions in the cloud bands - but the 3D effect like you are actually floating there in space is just so much more interesting.


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#41 Joe1950

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:32 PM

That sounds wonderful and exactly what I was hoping for getting into binoviewing!

 

Where I live DSOs are virtually impossibly even on the best of nights. So my targets are the moon and planets. I’ll share my experiences and thank you for yours.


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#42 starcruiser

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 09:51 PM

I have a full set of 2" 100 degree eyepieces, and some 82s, but I find myself hardly ever using them anymore. When I pop in the binoviewers and have a look, then take them out and look through say, my 20mm 100 degree, I struggle to find much advantage to mono viewing. It's uncomfortable, and has no depth. Even with the 100 degree eyepieces I find it appears as a wider field to just be looking through 2x24mm eyepieces in the binos. It also seems like despite the fact that the light from the telescope is being split between the two, using two eyes seems to make up any sensitivity to faint objects. Do others find the same? 

 

Perhaps my eyes are just not well suited to mono viewing? I am not a serious visual observer, quite casual really, mainly due to not having easy access to a dark site (Bortle 5 home). But in any case I am thinking about selling all my mono EPs and going with a few nice bino pairs instead. 

 

Has anyone just gone full binoviewer and gotten rid of all mono eyepieces? If yes, did you end up missing having them, perhaps even buying them again? Are there any certain times where you would absolutely not want to use a binoviewer and instead prefer to view with one eye? I am trying to avoid seller's regret...

Like you I also got spoiled by binoviewers. I only revert to mono viewing for deep sky. It depends on the user.


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