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Is it too heavy?

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#1 Cloudy Dan

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 05:58 AM

I've just ordered a Celestron 72031 SkyMaster Pro Binocular 20 x 80 based on brand name and specs.  Can anyone shed some light on how heavy this binocular is in terms of daily use?  Does anyone regret getting one because of its weight?


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#2 Tony Flanders

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:24 AM

I've just ordered a Celestron 72031 SkyMaster Pro Binocular 20 x 80 based on brand name and specs.  Can anyone shed some light on how heavy this binocular is in terms of daily use?  Does anyone regret getting one because of its weight?

As far as I'm concerned, a tripod is pretty much of a necessity, making the weight irrelevant except insofar as heavier binoculars require heavier mounts. Expect to spend considerably more on the tripod (or better, parallelogram mount) than you did on the binoculars.

 

However, some people are happy hand-holding 20x80 binoculars from a reclining chair -- especially a reclining chair with armrests. For me, 15x70 is about my limit for reclining-chair hand-holding. Others have trouble hand-holding even 10x50s.


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#3 Cloudy Dan

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Tony.



#4 Allanbarth1

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:14 AM

I've just ordered a Celestron 72031 SkyMaster Pro Binocular 20 x 80 based on brand name and specs.  Can anyone shed some light on how heavy this binocular is in terms of daily use?  Does anyone regret getting one because of its weight?

I have the Celestron 15x70 Skymasters binos. I can manage them for 5 min or so hand held. After that it gets shaky. If your planning on viewing for extended amounts of time i would say use a tripod. Or at very least a binocular monopod. It will make your time using them 100% more enjoyable. I prefer to use a tripod for daytime and for nighttime viewing I made a parallelogram. Absolutely stable views all of the time. I can view for hours.



#5 Cloudy Dan

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:29 AM

Thanks for the info Allan, but being a complete novice I don't know what you mean by the term parallelogram.


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#6 BFaucett

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:44 AM

Thanks for the info Allan, but being a complete novice I don't know what you mean by the term parallelogram.

 

Scroll down:

http://binocularsky....binoc_mount.php

 

You may also enjoy looking around on that website. Check out the free online monthly newsletter. 

 

Cheers!  Bob F.  smile.gif


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#7 wrvond

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:22 AM

IMG 1935

Not a very complete photo, but ...

 


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#8 aeajr

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 09:17 AM

As far as I'm concerned, a tripod is pretty much of a necessity, making the weight irrelevant except insofar as heavier binoculars require heavier mounts. Expect to spend considerably more on the tripod (or better, parallelogram mount) than you did on the binoculars.

 

However, some people are happy hand-holding 20x80 binoculars from a reclining chair -- especially a reclining chair with armrests. For me, 15x70 is about my limit for reclining-chair hand-holding. Others have trouble hand-holding even 10x50s.

Your experience matches mine exactly.   

 

Handheld, no larger than 10X50 and occasionally my light weight Celestron 15X70s.

 

My 15X70s actually live on a binocular monopod.

 

I would put 20X80s right on a mount.  Would not consider hand holding for more than a few seconds. 

 

I use binoculars for big picture sky scanning, not detailed observing.   

 

I often take the binos out as companion to my telescope, using the 10X50s to test the atmospheric conditions or to try out a star hop before moving to the telescope.

 

Cloudy Dan,

 

Only you can decide what works for you.   Try hand holding them.  Try using them reclined in a lounge chair that has arms.  

 

Binocular adapters to put them on a tripod are cheap. 

 

But the best way to use binoculars, mounted, is on a paralellogram mount.  I have used one and it is great, but I have no desire to own one.   As stated above, my binos are for hand holding primarily, scanning the sky.  If I want to go deeper, I pull out the telescope.

 

Your smileage will vary.  :D


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#9 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 09:32 AM

Yep... at 20x one most certainly needs a tripod, regardless of the weight. The one and only way around that is to get IS (Image-Stabilized) binos, like this modest one I have. >>> It costs a wee bit more, but saves on the cost of a tripod, etc.    Tom

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#10 IMB

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 12:36 PM

I've just ordered a Celestron 72031 SkyMaster Pro Binocular 20 x 80 based on brand name and specs.  Can anyone shed some light on how heavy this binocular is in terms of daily use?  Does anyone regret getting one because of its weight?

I experimented with 20x80 straight-through binoculars three years ago. Found them completely impractical for astronomical purposes. A small 3" or 4" refractor with a star diagonal is much more comfortable and convenient to operate.


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#11 MalVeauX

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:00 PM

I've just ordered a Celestron 72031 SkyMaster Pro Binocular 20 x 80 based on brand name and specs.  Can anyone shed some light on how heavy this binocular is in terms of daily use?  Does anyone regret getting one because of its weight?

They're 5.4lbs.

 

Find something around 5lbs and hold it in front of your face and see how long you can do it and how comfortable it is.

 

I would get a tripod to hold them without hesitation. A tall one since you're viewing straight through. This is why the Parallelogram exists, for Binos to be used at height and at various angles, etc. But you can do it with a photo tripod with a good ballhead/tilt head.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 14 October 2019 - 01:02 PM.


#12 williew

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:18 PM

I am currently using my 20X80s on this tripod.  Even when using my 10X50s, I still prefer to mount them. You just can't beat the rock steady view that a tripod or parallelogram will provide. A tripod, steady as it is, will not give you the easy overhead views that a parallelogram can provide, but the tripod / bino combo is a little easier to move about. Zero set up time. A tripod is more convenient for a quick look around during the day.


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#13 Rich V.

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:54 PM

Dan, I can't overstate the need to mount your 20x80s to fully enjoy what big binoculars can do.  They are not considered to be "hand holdable" by most of us that are into binocular astronomy.

 

Consider a tripod/head combo that will hold the binos at least 6" taller than you are for comfortable standing height.  Remember, when looking at high elevations, you need the binos held up over your eyes because you are looking up through them.  It's not like a camera that you're looking through horizontally. 

 

Take a look at the Oberwerk site for some tripods that are intended for bino use; they are all taller than typical photo tripods. This company specializes in binoculars and their mounts and are very helpful answering any questions you may have.

 

https://oberwerk.com.../tripod-mounts/

 

The $150. 3000 series tripod/head would be the bare minimum, IMO, rated at 9# and is 78" tall.  It will be tall enough for most people up to around 6'.  It has a light head and a sliding height adjustable "rapid" column. More money buys a sturdier, less shaky setup. Don't underestimate how shaky 20x can be when looking up at the stars.  The geared center column of the 5000 series is really helpful as the height of your binos is changing frequently as you move around the sky. The binos just crank up and down, making things easy. Higher capacity heads equipped with clutches make movement smoother and helps hold the binos on target.

 

There are some parallelograms to look at as well, since you aren't familiar with them.  They alleviate getting a sore neck when looking upwards for long stretches.  You can view from your recliner.   wink.gif  

 

Rich


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#14 Sketcher

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:31 PM

For a different perspective:

 

I've owned and used 20x80 binoculars for about 40 years.  After a quick (initial) attempt at using them hand-held, I built a mount for them that I used with a sturdy tripod that I already had.

 

For detailed observations and sketches of sights such as lunar features and sunspots I found a sturdy tripod and mount to be essential.

 

Fast forward a few years:  I decided to try the 20x80s hand-held for deep-sky observing from a dark sky location (just outside my front or back doors).  I discovered that not only was it possible, but the freedom I got from putting aside the tripod and mount opened up a whole new world of deep-sky binocular astronomy for me.

 

With practice, I was able to quickly (an important word) point the binoculars (hand-held) at any desired object in the night sky.  Weight became a non-issue since it only took a matter of seconds to acquire the object for a quick look.  Between objects, the binoculars could be rested on a small, portable table or I could step inside, lay the binoculars down, and decide on my next object(s) before stepping back outside.

 

Still, for detailed work the binoculars pretty much need to be mounted; but for casual deep-sky use, it's possible to gain much pleasure in hand-held use.  I've used my 20x80s to observe all the Messier objects (more than once) without any need for a tripod or mount.  Since going hand-held for deep-sky I've found myself using my 20x80s far more often than I did when I hauled them out with a tripod and mount.

 

I'll still use a tripod and mount if I want to use the binoculars for a careful comet observation/sketch; but more likely, I'll use a telescope for that purpose.  The convenience of being able to use binoculars hand-held is a huge convenience!

 

So what made me decide to try my 20x80s hand-held again?  Well, I bought a pair of 25x100 binoculars!  But when I discovered the pleasures of using my 20x80s hand-held, I found the hand-held advantage to be of such great significance that I decided to try using the 25x100s hand-held!

 

Well, once again I discovered that I could quickly point the 25x100s at any object and lay the binoculars down between observations and (usually) between objects.

 

One of the keys here is that the binoculars are used hand-held for deep-sky objects, where fine detail is of little significance.

 

So, there's an alternative approach to using 'large' binoculars -- hand-held for deep-sky, and mounted for fine detail work.  For myself though, I'll almost always use a telescope for detailed work and the hand-held binoculars for rounding up deep-sky objects in my more casual, care-free observing sessions.  It's very rare nowadays that I'll use any of my binoculars mounted.  The pleasures of hand-held use are just too strong -- for me.


Edited by Sketcher, 14 October 2019 - 08:40 PM.


#15 Cloudy Dan

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 05:46 AM

Thanks to everyone for the input, great information. 



#16 aeajr

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 07:36 AM

Dan,

 

Just to be clear, the issue is as much the magnification as it is the weight.   The higher the mag the more you will notice any hand shake or body shake.   I can't hold my 10X50s steady enough to pick out all the moons of Jupiter for example. 


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#17 macdonjh

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 07:43 AM

Cloudy Dan,

 

I'll pile on and recommend you get a mount for your new binoculars.  There are two things working against you being satisfied holding them by hand: the weight, and their magnification.  I doubt you'll be able to hold them steady enough to get pleasing views.

 

Now, add a tripod to keep them steady...

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights.  I hope you enjoy your new binoculars.  You've already learned one of the biggest risks in posting here: there is never a lack of upgrade recommendations.  Buy binoculars, now you need a tripod...


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#18 Mitrovarr

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:45 AM

I'll agree with the mount recommendation. Anything over 70mm is really pushing it for handheld. Even 70mm will do better on a mount, if you have one.

#19 macdonjh

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 12:29 PM

I'll agree with the mount recommendation. Anything over 70mm is really pushing it for handheld. Even 70mm will do better on a mount, if you have one.

+1 I had a very nice pair of Fujiyama binoculars once, but ended up selling them.  I'm pretty sure they were 15x70 and even laying flay on my back on the ground I couldn't hold them steady enough.  



#20 SamplingNature

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:51 PM

I recently upgraded from 10x50 Tasco binoculars to a 10×42 Nikon Aculon. The Nikon is a lot lighter, and I was able to hold it much steadier.

I used to do a lot of photography. I promise you, you'll appreciate a tripod or monopod while using that much weight. Not to mention that the higher magnification will only make your shakiness that much more apparent.

#21 Mitrovarr

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:54 PM

I should adjust my suggestion to say that while you should totally get a mount, don't let the lack of mount stop you from using it until then. A mount makes heavy binoculars better, but you can have some fun without it.



#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 09:33 PM

So, there's an alternative approach to using 'large' binoculars -- hand-held for deep-sky, and mounted for fine detail work.  For myself though, I'll almost always use a telescope for detailed work and the hand-held binoculars for rounding up deep-sky objects in my more casual, care-free observing sessions.  It's very rare nowadays that I'll use any of my binoculars mounted.  The pleasures of hand-held use are just too strong -- for me.

 

 

This is my approach as well. I can hand hold the Orion Resolux 15x70's for periods up to about a minute and they're very steady. I use the in short bursts. The weigh 5 pounds and I think their weight and length make them steadier.  I also use 10.5x and 10x in 42mm, 50mm and 70 mm apertures. I can hold them steady enough to see Jupiter's moons.

 

Tripods and parallelogram mounts do provide steadier views but they're restrictive and that freedom that comes with hand holding binoculars is lost.

 

Jon



#23 wrvond

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:00 AM

Yep... at 20x one most certainly needs a tripod, regardless of the weight. The one and only way around that is to get IS (Image-Stabilized) binos, like this modest one I have. >>> It costs a wee bit more, but saves on the cost of a tripod, etc.    Tom

That label should say "Tom Dey's binocular case" to avoid confusion.  ;)



#24 TOMDEY

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:11 AM

That label should say "Tom Dey's binocular case" to avoid confusion.  wink.gif

Ohhhhh... yeah... That's what the nuns told me in grade school. To which I would reply, "Ain't gona happen, sister!" Then, I'd get sent to the principal's office...   Tom


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#25 gnowellsct

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:15 AM

I lie down on the grass but mainly find all of then 10x50, 10x42, 7x32, to be a source of aggro. And I wasn't very well adapted to a parallelogram style holder either.

I keep a pair in the car and very occasionally they get used. I've seen many Messiers in binos.

Just not my thing I guess. Some day would like to try top of the line Swarovski or Zeiss. But I have enough high cost gear to know that if I was seriously into binos I would already have a top brand.


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