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APM 150 ED Binocular, My Take

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#26 Mirach

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 06:45 AM

That's the main reason I sold my Fuji 25x150 + UA P-gram mount.....150 pounds with counterweights and a real pain to set up.

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The 120 90 seems to me to be the best all around choice for light gathering/ease of temporary setup/takedown and a lot easier on the back which is increasingly an issue as I age.

As C Eastwood famously said "A man has to know his limitations."

True , many people make the mistake to consider the bino itself.
As far as i understood in this month the bino is nothing compared with the case . I belong the 120 and the bino is quite easy to handle... the case instead is not so easy as far as volume and weight concern . I cannot immagine the 150 case plus the bino plus oculars and accessories....

#27 garret

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 10:09 AM

 

As far as i understood in this month the bino is nothing compared with the case

??


Edited by garret, 04 August 2019 - 10:12 AM.


#28 edwincjones

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 04:32 AM

we are discovering what the telescope people have long known,

as the aperture  goes up the portability goes down

 

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#29 Mirach

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 06:05 AM

we are discovering what the telescope people have long known,
as the aperture goes up the portability goes down

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Not really ... a 20” inches dobson made by truss is much more portable then a 12” dobson monolitich

#30 oldmanrick

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 09:26 PM

we are discovering what the telescope people have long known,

as the aperture  goes up the portability goes down

 

frown.gif

Yes, but right now I consider the APM 150 well worth the extra pita of reduced portability.  Slowly sweeping along the Milky Way with those 30mm APM 2 inchers is awesome!

 

Portability really isn't all that bad, with the wheeled hard case.  I am developing better techniques for lifting it onto the mount, and if I plan ahead for transport regarding where to load, etc, it's very doable.  I do not like to carry it in the case very far.  Definitely a grunt-and-waddle operation!

 

Rick


Edited by oldmanrick, 05 August 2019 - 09:27 PM.

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#31 oldmanrick

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 03:24 PM

Does anyone using the APM 150 bino have experience with using barlow or powermate lenses for higher power?

 

I can reach 179X with the ES 4.7 eyepiece pair when seeing is decent, and the image still seems to be holding up well.  I would like to try even more magnification, but the only barlows I've owned were the Baader short version, 2.25X,  often sold with the Baader Mark IV 8 to 24 mm zoom eyepieces.  These barlows would not come to focus in my 100m Lunt bino, so probably would not in the 150.  I no longer have the zooms or the barlows.

 

I would prefer a set of shorter focal length eyepieces, like maybe Pentax XW 3.5's (now on sale), or the inexpensive Astro-Tech Paradigm 3.2mm's, sold by our sponsor, that seem to have good reviews.

 

I must admit that the ability to use the power-mates or barlows with many eyepieces certainly has appeal, but I don't really like the long length of the eyepiece and barlow combined.

 

Any thoughts or recommendations?

 

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#32 ZX12

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 04:15 PM

Rick,

 

 I've been using the 3-6 Nagler zoom with success, but I'm looking into a set of 4mm Delites for the better field size and more comfortable eye relief.

 

I think somewhere around 200x with the 150's is optimal on nights of good seeing conditions.

 

Mike  


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#33 GamesForOne

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:32 PM

Does anyone using the APM 150 bino have experience with using barlow or powermate lenses for higher power?

 

...

 

Any thoughts or recommendations?

 

Rick fishing.gif

FWIW, I use both the 2.5x and 5x Powermates with the 100mm APM APO binos and they work fine -- easily reaching focus.

 

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#34 oldmanrick

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 03:32 PM

Thanks guys.

 

I am also very interested in keeping as much FOV as practical at the higher powers.

 

Another question;  If I used say a 12.5mm Morpheus pair with a pair of 2.5 powermates would I get the same true FOV as if I were using a 5mm Morpheus pair, without the powermates, if such a thing even existed?

 

To put it another way, does the formula "AFOV / Magnification = True FOV" still work when powermates are involved?

 

Rick confused1.gif



#35 salico

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 04:16 PM

I'm a bit confused: Are the Barlows/zooms so identical, that they produce identical images in binos? I think, minimal differences might be noticable, especially at higher powers...



#36 ZX12

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 04:46 PM

I'm a bit confused: Are the Barlows/zooms so identical, that they produce identical images in binos? I think, minimal differences might be noticable, especially at higher powers...

The 3-6 Naglers take a bit of time to get the merge perfect at 275x, but the image appears identical in both barrels of the 150.

 

I also use the Baader 8-24 zoom and the image is well matched throughout the power range.

 

Mike


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#37 Spikey131

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 07:30 PM

Pictures???  Where da pictures??drool5.gif


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#38 bcarter1234

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 09:03 PM

I'm a bit confused: Are the Barlows/zooms so identical, that they produce identical images in binos? I think, minimal differences might be noticable, especially at higher powers...

Salico,

 

I use GSO 2.5X (actually 2.2X by consensus) with inexpensive 6mm Expanse clones. If differences in the images exist they don't appear to prevent merging easily in a 150mm binocular telescope at 275X.

 

The perceived image is always at least slightly better than the best of the two from each individual tube. Whether that comes from the eyes, brain or some combination thereof I cannot say.  

 

Take care,

Brent


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#39 GamesForOne

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:48 AM

I'm a bit confused: Are the Barlows/zooms so identical, that they produce identical images in binos? I think, minimal differences might be noticable, especially at higher powers...

I've had no problems with 2.5x and 5x Powermates up to 138x -- highest I've tried. Powermates were not bought at same time either. I had one of each and then later bought another of each to pair them on the binos. The Powermates do likely need to be the same design -- there are some older Powermates that have a protruding lens out the bottom of the barrel which I avoid.

 

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#40 oldmanrick

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 10:28 AM

Has anyone tried the 4-element barlows from other manufacturers?  I've read that they work the same as powermates, but haven't heard of them being tried in binoculars.  The consensus seems to be that powermates are fine in bino's, so hopefully the similar power extenders called "barlows" should be too.

 

Rick



#41 Andeas72202

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 01:51 PM

Interesting... but how can you find out before you buy, what mag factor you get when you use the lens element screwed directly into the eyepieces?

 

Andreas



#42 oldmanrick

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 08:26 PM

Sorry if I got you confused.  What I'm contemplating is using 4-element barlows similar to the powermates, on a binocular telescope, which uses interchangeable eyepieces.  The barlows slide into the eyepiece holders of the bino and the eyepieces slide into the barlows giving whatever power the barlow is times the power of the eyepiece you are using.

 

This barlow setup is generally used on telescopes, but some are using them on binocular telescopes having interchangeable eyepiece  holders.

 

Rick



#43 oldmanrick

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:30 PM

As designed, the APM 150mm binocular, mounted in the appropriate big APM fork mount, is not well balanced vertically.  With tension released on the vertical clutches, the bino always wants to return to a more-or-less level position, indicating the COG of the bino is too low in the mount.  This situation will probably be worse with smaller binoculars in this mount.

 

I finally got around to making a 1 inch spacer out of a piece of plywood to go under the Losmandy style dovetail clamp.  The spacer is about the same size in length and width as the clamp.  I was able to order some longer screws with the same head design that would fit the dovetail countersunk holes perfectly, reaching all of the way through the spacer to screw into the floating threaded pieces below the crosswise horizontal bar of the mount.  This holds the dovetail clamp and spacer in place securely. 

 

Now with the bino mounted 1 inch higher in the fork mount, the balance seems about perfect. The bino stays where pointed with the clutches released, and is still easy to nudge a bit for small precise adjustments in aim.

 

If anyone is having trouble with vertical balance with these, or a smaller binocular mounted in the APM big fork mount, maybe this easy solution will help.

 

Rick gramps.gif


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#44 salico

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:45 PM

As designed, the APM 150mm binocular, mounted in the appropriate big APM fork mount, is not well balanced vertically.  With tension released on the vertical clutches, the bino always wants to return to a more-or-less level position, indicating the COG of the bino is too low in the mount.  This situation will probably be worse with smaller binoculars in this mount.

 

I finally got around to making a 1 inch spacer out of a piece of plywood to go under the Losmandy style dovetail clamp.  The spacer is about the same size in length and width as the clamp.  I was able to order some longer screws with the same head design that would fit the dovetail countersunk holes perfectly, reaching all of the way through the spacer to screw into the floating threaded pieces below the crosswise horizontal bar of the mount.  This holds the dovetail clamp and spacer in place securely. 

 

Now with the bino mounted 1 inch higher in the fork mount, the balance seems about perfect. The bino stays where pointed with the clutches released, and is still easy to nudge a bit for small precise adjustments in aim.

 

If anyone is having trouble with vertical balance with these, or a smaller binocular mounted in the APM big fork mount, maybe this easy solution will help.

 

Rick gramps.gif

at this price point, that really shouldn't happen.


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#45 Rich V.

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 06:28 PM

at this price point, that really shouldn't happen.

I'd expect some means of height adjustment for balance would be a standard feature engineered into a fork mount.

 

There are variables even if the mount is intended for one instrument only.  Heavy eyepieces, for example, can shift the balance when pointed up towards zenith though balanced while horizontal.  There's no "one setting fits all" solution.

 

Rich


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#46 oldmanrick

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:56 PM

I would rather have the bino and mount combo designed to be a bit "bottom heavy", so that it would level out if released, rather than taking a dive either forward or aft, as it would tend to do if it was designed "top heavy", with a high COG.  

 

The vertical clutches in the mount are draggy enough that it won't move, even when bottom heavy, unless aimed at a very high angle, (above approximately 50 degrees).  If touched, though, as when correcting azimuth direction due to earth rotation, the bino tends to creep down a bit sometimes losing the target.

 

With the 1 inch shim under the saddle it stays put.  The clutches are stiff enough, even when fully released, that I've had no trouble with unwanted movement with various weights of eyepieces on board.

 

Agree that these mounts should be made with some easy means of vertical adjustment, useable with the instrument on board.  Most gimbal mounts, which work the same way, for photography, have a vertical adjustment provision.

 

Rick



#47 robodan

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:56 AM

Cool. I got 25x100 due to 80mm binoculars are not in the same league as 100mm+ binoculars.

Love my 100mm and a big step up from 80mm.

Bet your views are even better than 100mm binoculars. Would love a bigger pair but the cost is very high.

I many ways these big binoculars are better than a telescope.

#48 oldmanrick

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 09:54 AM

Yes, the 150 binocular definitely offers some advantages over the 100.  Especially with the supplied 2" 30mm APM eyepieces, it is much better for picking up faint detail when scanning for "faint fuzzies" and other low contrast targets.  I find in comparison to my Lunt 100 ED APO, that it will handle magnification much better, is better color corrected, and seems a bit sharper, and of course provides a larger exit pupil for a given magnification.

 

The only significant disadvantages I can think of are in cost, portability, and mounting requirements.  Once those are conquered it is a wonderful instrument.

 

Rick



#49 ricky64

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 11:08 AM

I keep looking at these, and ultimately feel that, instead of moving up from my Lunt 100 ED's, I should get a used 18" Dob and keep my 100s for quick enjoyment. I have eyed the 120SD's, but can't get a sense that they are that tangible an improvement. I long to see some individual stars in my faint fuzzies... (and please hold the dark site comments, I already know that offers the greatest improvement...)


Edited by ricky64, 25 September 2019 - 11:27 AM.

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#50 GamesForOne

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 11:52 AM

As compared to the view in the 100's, even a decent 10" or 12" dob will show lots more detail in globular clusters, for example. Of course, fainter stars will be visible in open clusters. Galaxies appear brighter as well, but still with only marginal structure visible in the brighter examples.

 

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Edited by GamesForOne, 25 September 2019 - 11:53 AM.



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