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Do I need a binoculars?

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#1 edvardsgra

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:09 PM

I've ordered my 1st scope and am wondering whether its necessary to get a binoculars as well


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#2 havasman

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:16 PM

No. But they can be valuable observing tools. It's for you to decide. I think maybe learn the new scope first.


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#3 bobito

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:18 PM

I rarely use my binoculars to view the night sky, I always end up thinking "this would be so much better with a telescope!"

But others love using binoculars for their simplicity.  Just grab them, walk outside, and you are done.


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#4 edvardsgra

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:25 PM

I rarely use my binoculars to view the night sky, I always end up thinking "this would be so much better with a telescope!"

But others love using binoculars for their simplicity.  Just grab them, walk outside, and you are done.

I was thinking of getting a binoculars to help me spot stars for aligning the scope (goto) as I have a little bit of near-sightedness



#5 BIG

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:31 PM

I found them helpful when I was still a relative novice as a supplement to my scope for star-hopping to targets. I would locate my target in my pocket sky atlas and used the binoculars to help 'translate' what I was referencing on the map with what I was able to see in the sky before moving the scope (I used a Telrad for aiming the scope). Certainly not necessary, especially with a properly aligned go-to mount, but they did help me learn the sky.



#6 Akol47

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:37 PM

I bought some 7x50s, rarely use them. They are nice to have but I don't consider them essential. Just my preference and I know others swear by them. Pick up a cheap ish pair to see if you like them. 



#7 jpcampbell

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:38 PM

I was thinking of getting a binoculars to help me spot stars for aligning the scope (goto) as I have a little bit of near-sightedness

I am personally never without my 10x50 binoculars under my heavily my light polluted city sky since they help me to see the constellations and get a sense of the stars in the field. But to improve goto, if you're using an RDF instead of an optical finder in a light polluted environment, a better investment is something like a 9x50 finderscope. Don't get anything less if you have trouble seeing many bright stars for goto. I just posted about this a few minutes ago.



#8 astrovoyeur

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:54 PM

I would highly recommend for simply being able to find things in poor skies and putting things in perspective with the much wider field of view.   You can cut your teeth on a cheap pair of 10x50 from harbor freight for under $20 allowing you to see magnitude 10 stars.  


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#9 sg6

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:11 PM

I was thinking of getting a binoculars to help me spot stars for aligning the scope (goto) as I have a little bit of near-sightedness

That sort of reads that you have some short sight but do not wear glasses to compensate?

Binoculars are useful, but not a substitute for a scope.

 

When out with a scope they are useful to confirm where a target should be, thinking objects like M13, C14, the Messiers in Auriga etc, winter objects like M42, M45 do not need binoculars to confirm location.

 

Doubt they will really help with alignment stars as although the field is wide all you get when looking at (say) Arcturus is Arcturus. So you have a red/orange star in view, hopefully it is what you expected but you have already aimed the binoculars at it, so know where it is. You would not see the rest of Bootes to be 100% sure it is Arcturus and not say Antares. For that you need eyes. And an idea of the constellations.



#10 Astrolite

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:14 PM

Binoculars can give you a very different perspective on the night sky with their much wider field of view. They compliment a telescope very nicely. However, rather than Harbor Freight I would recommend checking the ten pages of used binoculars on shopgoodwill.com. You can find plenty of $20 deals on well made vintage Japanese binoculars. You do take a chance on getting a dud, but for me that has happened only rarely and I've gotten several real gems. Just make sure to avoid the zooms and zip focus types.


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#11 Star Geezer

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:43 PM

My first year observing, I learned more naked-eye and with binoculars then through the scope. Get a pair of 10x50 binoculars. I have looked at the Harbor Freight bino's and recommend against.


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#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:49 PM

I was thinking of getting a binoculars to help me spot stars for aligning the scope (goto) as I have a little bit of near-sightedness

Generally, the alignment stars are very bright, and can be spotted easily without binoculars unless your eyesight is truly terrible. Moreover, the binoculars won't help you point the scope per se -- for that you need either a finderscope, a red-dot or red-circle finder, or some kind of peep sight like the ones used for old-fashioned guns.

 

So I don't recommend binoculars for that particular purpose. But I do find binoculars very valuable in their own right, both at night and during the day.


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#13 vdog

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:02 PM

Yes, yes you do.  Next question?  grin.gif

 

Actually, for the purpose you mention, maybe not, but they are a great complement to a scope as they give an entirely different view of the sky and enable you do to things you can't with a scope, like looking at objects too low on the horizon to get a scope on, looking at huge clusters and associations that won't fit in a scope's FOV, doing wide-angle "sweeps" of the Milky Way and other rich areas, etc.

 

I've also used my 10x50s as a "spotter" when seeking new targets.  This was especially helpful when I was using a small scope with only a RDF.  They're still helpful now as they help me find "landmark" groupings of stars in the sky for star-hopping purposes.


Edited by vdog, 13 June 2019 - 12:06 AM.

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#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:51 AM

Generally, the alignment stars are very bright, and can be spotted easily without binoculars unless your eyesight is truly terrible. Moreover, the binoculars won't help you point the scope per se -- for that you need either a finderscope, a red-dot or red-circle finder, or some kind of peep sight like the ones used for old-fashioned guns.

 

So I don't recommend binoculars for that particular purpose. But I do find binoculars very valuable in their own right, both at night and during the day.

 

I agree with Tony. 

 

If your GOTO is reasonably accurate before it's aligned so it points the scope reasonably close to the correct alignment star, then binoculars are probably unnecessary.  However, not all GOTOs are that accurate without first being aligned and if the skies are light polluted, then binoculars can be helpful is identifying the correct alignment star.

 

But beyond that, I think everyone should have a decent pair of hand holdable binoculars.  They are useful both day and night and at night, they provide a a freedom and a perspective that a telescope just doesn't provide.  I can investigate the night sky on a different scale than with a telescope, I can figure out constellations and observe large fields of view.  Under dark skies, a pair of 7x35s', 7x50s or 10 x 50s will show the structure of the Milky Way and the relationships between the objects.  It's not just M6 or M7, it's M6 and M7. 

 

There are some pretty amazing views to be hand in binoculars. I use my binoculars a great deal, binoculars are so easy.  Some nights, even from my light polluted backyard, I will put a chair patio chair out and just sit there admiring the sky in binoculars.  Under darker skies, I spend a good deal of time with binoculars and very often will end the evening just enjoying the view with some 10x50s.

 

As far as what to buy.. One can spend a lot of money on binoculars.  Generally the entry level binoculars have a variety of issues and are best avoided. I purchased a pair of the Harbor Freight 10x50 Gordon's and found them unacceptable.  In comparison, Walmart sells the 10x50 Simmons Prosports for about $30 and I found them to be acceptable, more robust than the Gordon's, better optics than the Gordon's.   In the $150 range, the Nikon Action Extreme binoculars are very good and come with a very solid warranty.  

 

Jon


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#15 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:56 AM

Go to the binoculars forum and ask this question. wink.gif


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#16 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:33 AM

Yes.
Because these binos will get you into birding... and birding is a nice hobby to complement the endless weeks of clouds that invariably occur and keep your telescope covered.
At a really dark site I will spend hours in a zero gravity chair with binos. The best view of any galaxy is using mark 1 eyeballs (milky way) and 8x40 or 10x50 will increase the pleasure of seeing our home.
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#17 Wouter1981

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:17 PM

I think some small binoculars (7x50, 10x50) is about the best equipment you can spend money on. There some real decent ones for less than 100€ and they are so easy to use and portable. They compliment a telescope perfectly but are no replacement. I find them much more usefull than some extra wide eyepiece, a lightpollution filter or any other possible equipment you can buy. And of course you can use them for a lot of daytime activities.

Do you NEED one, no, but it's highly recommended.



#18 wrvond

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:26 AM

I've ordered my 1st scope and am wondering whether its necessary to get a binoculars as well

No, it is not. Simply buy another scope identical to the one you have ordered and bolt them together. Voila!


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#19 cuzimthedad

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:11 AM

I use my Nikons for birding in the daytime and looking at the stars at night. They are great for travel, take up little room in the suitcase, and are lightweight. During our latest trip to Hawaii, I had a lot of enjoyment observing some of the more southern constellations not readily seen from our Idaho digs. It was also fun pushing for some of the dimmer M objects. All in all, I'd say yes, if you can afford a pair, buy em. Check out the binoc forum and research what's best for you and if you can get to a brick and mortar store to test drive, do it.


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#20 vdog

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:21 AM

No, it is not. Simply buy another scope identical to the one you have ordered and bolt them together. Voila!

That would be awesome:

 

https://www.cloudyni...made-binoscope/


Edited by vdog, 14 June 2019 - 10:22 AM.


#21 bumm

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

You don't HAVE to have binoculars, but they're a wonderful thing to have.  A whole different view, and a great way to learn your way around the sky.  I have a nice telescope, but step out with a pair of wide field 7x35's most every night for a few minutes for a quick look around.  If you only have one pair, 10x50's or possibly 7x50's are probably the most commonly recommended. 

                                               Marty


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#22 aeajr

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:49 AM

I've ordered my 1st scope and am wondering whether its necessary to get a binoculars as well

To me, binoculars are a standard part of the observing kit.  Many nights I start the session with binoculars to scan the sky and to judge transparency.   And some things, like the Pleiades, look best in binoculars, in my opinion.  But you don't NEED them, just as you don't need a telescope.

 

I live in a very light polluted area. When I am star hopping I often do the hops with my 10X50s first.  Similar mag to my 8X50 RACI finder but with a wider FOV.  If I can't see the guide stars in the binoculars I won't be able to see them in the finder.

 

And when I want to get out for a quick star fix, only have 15 minutes, out come the binoculars.  I have many favorite binocular targets to visit, things that just don't look as good in the telescopes. 

 

If you stay in astronomy you will ultimately have:

 

  • Binoculars
  • Grab and Go scope
  • Large light bucket

But you don't need them all at once. 


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#23 edvardsgra

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:34 PM

So I decided to get one in the end as it isn't the most expensive thing in the world. A local shop had the Celestron 10x50 which seems like a nice one for the price


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#24 bumm

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 06:40 PM

So I decided to get one in the end as it isn't the most expensive thing in the world. A local shop had the Celestron 10x50 which seems like a nice one for the price

You may even find that you enjoy them more than your scope.  :)

                                                                         Marty



#25 edvardsgra

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:50 PM

You may even find that you enjoy them more than your scope.  smile.gif

                                                                         Marty

Haha, well it does take a lot less time than a scope. Especially handy when the nights in summer are very short here




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