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bought an Arcturus Binoviewer & couldn’t be happier

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#1 Larrythebrewer

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 06:03 PM

After researching, I took the plunge a bought the Arcturus version.

I have an early 80’s C8.

My first night using them, I was floored, stayed looking at Jupiter for hours, IO transit, & then the shadow.

If these are low budget, I can’t imagine how much better the more expensive are.

 

Larry

 

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#2 Cali

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 06:22 PM

Anyone know if these could be used with a 127mm Mak?

 

- Cal


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#3 aa6ww

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:06 PM

I watched the GRS transit across the entire surface of Jupiter on Saturday night and one of the moons also crossed the surface where the shadow fell on the surface. I was using my C11 with some TV binoviewers and it was just awesome. We had moments of decent seeing conditions where the seeing was better then average and that really made the difference. Two eyes with any eyepieces is just mesmerizing with any binoviewer.
The self centering eyepiece holders you have is a blessing also, and two Optical correctors, (Barlows)is very nice also, so they should work on everything. With the C8, I know you don't need either of those which is nice also.
I even use my Focal reducer on my C11 to get even wider fields of view out of the binoviewer which is really sweet since it brings the focal length down to about 1800mm. I don't remember if the focal reducer works with my C8, I know I didn't have enough focus when I had a C6 to use the focal reducer but it worked fine without the focal reducer.

There's plenty of aperture with a C8 to really enjoy deep space with them also. Your 22mm of clear aperture and the price your showing on the box looks like a very good deal.

Its like watching a 3D video game when your using two eyes. I have an entire collection of 100 deg eyepieces, from the 25mm down to the 110deg 3.7mm and everything in between and the binoviewer scope will is much more enjoyable using the binoviewer then using any single eyepiece, regardless of the type. Im using Explorer Scientific 68 deg and 82 deg eyepieces in my binoviewer but for planets, the sharpness of Plossls are very very good.

Congradulations!!

...Ralph

Edited by aa6ww, 01 August 2019 - 07:15 PM.

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#4 erin

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 08:20 PM

Congrats Larry! I have older Orion entry level BV’s and love them too! I use mine for high mag viewing of the moon and planets mostly.

 

Enjoy!


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#5 Larrythebrewer

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 01:10 AM

I was really surprised at the difference between monocular viewing & binoviewing. That was right off the bat, i’ve had these over a week, I feel like i should be shouting from my rooftop.

Edited by Larrythebrewer, 02 August 2019 - 01:17 AM.

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#6 Larrythebrewer

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 01:14 AM

i’ve got so many questions why i see so much better, it doesn’t seem like it’s just because i’m using both eyes, it’s almost like the image doesn’t break down as fast as when using a single eyepiece
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#7 Cali

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 01:38 AM

I was really surprised at the difference between monocular viewing & binoviewing. That was right off the bat, i’ve had these over a week, I feel like i should be shouting from my rooftop.

Well I heard your shouting way over here on the left coast. I always wanted to try binoviewing and you convinced me to take the plunge. I sent an email to CCTS with a few questions and plan to make a purchase 2-morrow. 

 

Maybe someone can answer the following question. 

 

This binoviewer will fit my 1.25" diagonal, right? What magic do I need if I want to plug it into a 2" diagonal?

 

Thx!

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 02 August 2019 - 01:48 AM.


#8 Larrythebrewer

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 02:03 AM

Well I heard your shouting way over here on the left coast. I always wanted to try binoviewing and you convinced me to take the plunge. I sent an email to CCTS with a few questions and plan to make a purchase 2-morrow.

Maybe someone can answer the following question.

This binoviewer will fit my 1.25" diagonal, right? What magic do I need if I want to plug it into a 2" diagonal?

Thx!

- Cal

yes they are made for 1.25”, i use them in a burgess 2” diagonal, you just need the 2” to 1.25” adapter, my 1.25” diagonal for my celestron, i’m not comfortable with only 1 set screw holding it
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#9 Cali

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 02:34 AM

yes they are made for 1.25”, i use them in a burgess 2” diagonal, you just need the 2” to 1.25” adapter, my 1.25” diagonal for my celestron, i’m not comfortable with only 1 set screw holding it

Well Thank You.

 

Can't wait.

 

Gabba Gabba Hey!

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 02 August 2019 - 02:36 AM.


#10 Eddgie

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 07:39 AM

Congrats on you purchase and experience!

 

 

If these are low budget, I can’t imagine how much better the more expensive are.

 

Larry

You might be interested to know that the inexpensive units give planetary views that are not too different from the most expensive units.

 

The biggest difference of the expensive units is the size of the prisms, which determines the true field capabilities, and the more sophisticated self centering dipoters they use.  Maybe the coatings are a little better, but a single MgF2 coating works well enough for bright targets like planets.  

 

The inexpensive units typically have prism with only a clear aperture of 21mm to 23mm, while the more expensive units have aperture of 26mm or larger.

 

The Arcturus uses a little metal band to hold the eyepieces, and it may not center as well as the full sleeve compression mechanisms used in the Denks, Earthwin, or Televue, or the cams of the Mark V. 

 

As far as the view though, if it fits into the field, the inexpensive there is not much to gain by using a very expensive BV for planets.  Even an inexpensive binoviewer with decent Plossls is (to me) better for planets than the the most expensive ortho used with one eye. 

 

My primary solar observation scope is a Lunt 80, and going from mono-vision to binocular makes a tremendous difference on the surface..  I could not see myself doing solar without BVs.  Amazing improvement. 

 

(This is based on my experience owning and using a variety of binoculars up to and including the Mark V. For planets, even inexpensive units are quite amazing, and the gain for this application is hard to see.)


Edited by Eddgie, 02 August 2019 - 07:42 AM.

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#11 REC

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 09:59 AM

Anyone know if these could be used with a 127mm Mak?

 

- Cal

Yup, no problem. I have a 125mm Mak.


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#12 REC

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 10:04 AM

Wait until you see the moon this week with them. They will blow you away! My first night with them in my 8" SCT I thought I was hovering over the moon. I said, only way to view the moon!


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#13 Eddgie

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 11:36 AM

Sun too!


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#14 Joe1950

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 12:06 PM

Very nice! I also have the same binoviewer sold under the Astromania label. Same exact unit. Some other labels use this as well. It is a good, affordable unit.

 

Binoviewers work because of a concept known as Binocular Summation. The brain, more accustomed to input from two sources than one, augments the view by compensating for the lesser light and by allowing low contrast detail to be detected, versus one eye.

 

So it doesn’t simply seem better, due to our brain operating more naturally, it is. The consensus is, however due to various factors, it works better on lunar, planetary and double star observing, while monoviewing has the edge in DSO observing.

 

My good friend Eddgie is right on target about the differences between basic models and premium. As far as the eyepiece holders, I’ve found it better not to over-tighten the eyepiece collets. In fact, I leave them almost loose. This allows the eyepieces to assume a natural position where the image will be merged much easier than if squeezed.

 

Also, the eyepiece holders seem to work better with eyepieces having a straight barrel, rather than an undercut. For that reason I use Meade series 4000 Super Plossls. They do fine! Plossls in the longer FL range, ie. 12mm to 26mm are very good eyepieces and have enough eye relief to be comfortable.

 

Anyway, enjoy! 


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#15 Eddgie

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 12:17 PM

Also, for planets, I recommend zoom eyepieces.  The biggest issue with planetary observing with either monoview or binoviewing is that seeing is almost always the limit of performance.

 

What this means is that if you are looking though a soupy atmosphere, but you get 30 seconds of good seeing (which of course you can see happening) by the time you get your eyepiece(s) changed, those precious 30 seconds where you could have used higher magnification are gone-gone-gone. 

 

At the center of the field, even inexpensive zooms do a decent job.

 

Several years ago, I had reported that my move to zooms for planets was largely brought on by my great success using zooms for solar observing.  Daytime seeing is often horrible, but you get frequent spells were things settled, and you could double magnification.  Now I had been using zooms just because I was too lazy to carry out a case of eyepieces, but it only took a couple of sessions to realize what I had been missing using non-zooms.

 

I wrote many posts where I highly recommended zooms for dealing with seeing during planetary and solar sessions.

 

It is interesting to me that Lunt now provides a zoom as standard equipment with their solar scopes!

 

And if there is one thing better than one zoom for solar and planetary observing, it is two zooms!!! Love it!

 

Again, for planetary, even an inexpensive BV works exceptionally well. For this one application an upgrade really does not gain much.   Upgrade is about mechanicals and true field more than an increase in surface detail. 


Edited by Eddgie, 02 August 2019 - 12:21 PM.

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#16 Joe1950

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 02:35 PM

That would be convenient. I have a very nice Baader zoom MK III, given as a very kind gift. I hope someday to find another at a reasonable cost and be able to afford it. Two of those would be nice to look through.

 

The only hesitation I would have is weight. but it might not add that much to make a difference.

 

In the meantime I keep my Astromania (Arcturus) binoviewer in a Pelican 1200 case I've had. It isn't huge, which is actually good, and the 1200s are relatively inexpensive as compared to the larger sizes. Plus there are sources to replace the foam insert.

 

BV case outside.jpg

 

Inside, I have the binoviewer, eyepieces and several Barlow nose-piece attachments.

 

BV case inside.jpg

 

Up in the RH corner are the two nose-pieces that came with the binoviewer, the 3x and the 1.85x, and also a Burgess 1.9x nose-piece, which are very inexpensive but work well. Over sitting with the BVer is a William Optics 2x nose-piece. Also a very nice lens.

 

Of course the 1.85x, the 1.9x and the 2x are redundant, but the actual magnification actually varies somewhat. Also, the back-focus distance is a little different with each. So I have to decide which one is best and use it with the others.

 

The eyepieces are all straight barrel types. The 32mm Plossls came with the binoviewer and are nice to use for low power. All the other Plossls are Meade Series 4000 Super Plossls, that again have the straight barrel. 

 

These are very good eyepieces, have a decent FOV and at the FLs I have, 12.4mm, 15mm and 26mm, the eye relief is not nearly as bad as the shorter ones.


Edited by Joe1950, 02 August 2019 - 02:43 PM.

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#17 Cali

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 04:23 PM

Well I got my order in this morning. Nice people at CCTS. I mentioned this thread to the person who took my order and they are very grateful for all the positive feedback they get from CN members. Good thing they are located on the other end of the country from me because their showroom looks like a place the wife would never let me go into unaccompanied.

 

Thanks to the OP and everyone else who chimed in regarding this product. I learned _a_lot_ .

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 02 August 2019 - 04:28 PM.

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#18 erin

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 05:01 PM

I’ve found a happy medium with the eyepieces. Zooms are ideal, but not for my narrow IPD. Plossls give great images, but for planets, I use a manual tracking mount, so a bit more field of view is helpful. I use the BST Flat Fields. They give a wider view than plossls, great image quality, and smaller size/lower weight than 2 zooms.

 

It is fun to see what works for different people. 


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#19 Joe1950

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 05:05 PM

They are excellent eyepieces, Erin! Good choice!



#20 erin

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 06:04 PM

Thanks Joe! I think they are a great line. I have compared the image quality of the 8mm FF and the 6 mm expanse. Both eyepieces are super sharp, but the expanse had more internal reflections when viewing the moon. I haven’t seen that with any FF, so I am sticking with them. 


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#21 Joe1950

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 06:35 PM

That’s a tough test for any eyepiece, Erin! Even some of the costly kind.

 

At some point, if I decide to sell my monovision eyepieces, I’d like to get pairs of the BST Flat Fields. The quality and weight factors are important since I’m not using them on a huge scope and every ounce counts.

 

I can’t see keeping my monovision EPs if I’m not going to use them. They’d just collect dust. All I can do from my location is planetary and lunar observing, maybe some doubles. DSOs are nearly impossible from here. shrug.gif


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#22 erin

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 08:18 PM

And any dso that you can see, like the Orion Nebula, would look good in BV’s too. I know it would be a short list though undecided.gif

 

Wow, I didn’t know that was a tough test. Cool!


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#23 Cali

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 10:19 PM

Is this CN thread still the definitive explanation on how to focus a BinoViewer?

 

- Cal



#24 Joe1950

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 11:44 PM

They all use similar methods. I don’t see the need to bottom out the eyepiece focusers, twist them all the way out and then half way back in.

 

If you go one or two turns out with both eyepieces, focus the scope using your dominant eye and then adjust the other with the diopter, that seems like a fairly accepted way of focusing.

 

A sure way to get the focus spot on is to use a Bahtinov mask. Focus one eye (that is get the line centered) with the scope focuser, then do the same with the other using the diopter adjustment. The important thing is that the eyepieces are in proper focus relative to each other so even if you make further fine adjustments, they still track each other.

 

Sometimes you’ll notice that if you focus on a star in one part of the sky and then go to a planet, it seems off slightly. By getting the eyepieces in the right position relative each other, touching up the focus is okay to do using both eyes.

 

But some think this mask method is too much work. I don’t because with the mask the best focus is not guesswork. It is easier to find the best focus point with the mask.

 

 

And any dso that you can see, like the Orion Nebula, would look good in BV’s too. I know it would be a short list though undecided.gif

 

Wow, I didn’t know that was a tough test. Cool!

 

I’ll check the brighter 3 or so, Erin. This time of year the haze added to the light pollution makes everything difficult. But in the cooler months the transparency is a little better.

 

I’ve used eyepieces on the moon that were in the premium category and saw internal reflections in certain positions. If an eyepiece doesn’t have any on the moon, it s really controlling reflections well.

 

There are other areas where reflections and glare can come from such as the focuser tube, so it isn’t always the eyepiece. But moon glare is not easy to avoid, and if your eyepieces and other parts are controlling it, it’s working very well!


Edited by Joe1950, 02 August 2019 - 11:45 PM.

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#25 REC

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 09:51 AM

They also cut down on the glare on Jupiter I find!


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