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So what telescopes do you bino users own?

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36 replies to this topic

#1 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 10:56 AM

I love my Obie BT100XL's but sometimes I wish I had something with a little more light grasp. Bigger binos of course would be great but I am pretty close to my comfortable weight limit with the Obie's and I suspect that even moving to a 120mm bino setup would be a LOT heavier. 
 

I currently own an 8" GOTO Evolution Cat and can move that around the yard but frankly the focal length is too long for the clusters that I spend most of my time observing and, ironically (I was a computer engineer) I hate the computerized setup. I have also owned Dobs, none of which I liked both for having to move them around in 2 pieces and I could never get the balance right on the altitude movement.

 

I was thinking a smaller Newtonian on an alt Az mount but I am thinking that a 6" one (which would meet my weight requirement) won't provide significantly brighter views than my Obie's and an 8" might push me over my weight limit.

 

So what larger instruments do you guys have ?



#2 salico

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:06 AM

Hi,

 

I use a ED120 Binocular Telescope, an 80 LOMO BT, a 12 " Binocular Dobsonian is under construction. The only Mono Scope is a Mewlon 180 C on a HEQ5 simple tracking mount. I fear, the first two get most of the observing time, because they are so easy to use...



#3 Yarddog

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:07 AM

I have a Celestron ED 22X60, a Meade 15-45X60, also ED, and a Russian 1000mm Cat which has a T mount. I put a Minolta MD/MC mount on it and a Minolta brand lens to telescope adapter to make it into a telescope.

 

The Celestron is OK but despite being a zoom, the Meade is sharper.

 

I was really surprised by the Russian CAT lens. I have 5 or 6, 500/600mm mirror lenses for my various SLRs and DSLRs. They are fun and can be used as telescopes with that Minolta adapter (of course only Minolta lenses). Their only drawback is lack of sharpness.

 

The reason the Russian lens surprised me is that it is not only sharp but extremely sharp. Despite that it is almost useless. It is so powerful (probably around 70X) that when I get it sighted on something, the object moves on before I can study it. I can't afford a clock mechanism so the Russian CAT lens is hardly ever used except with T-adapters as a camera lens.



#4 harbinjer

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:37 AM

A smaller 6" Newt might work.  What about getting some kind of dolly to more easily move around the larger dob? For balance did you ever try a magnet(with weights) on the rear underside of the tube? The 6" may not get much more light grasp, but it will allow higher magnification. But the 8" SCT gets you there, even better.

 

It looks like the APM 120's weigh 20 lbs. That's not a lot to lift in the right circumstances. Maybe a better mount would allow it? Maybe some kind of parallelogram or chair mount?  Or perhaps a step platform that would allow you stand higher when mounting them? 

 

BTW, I also love the simple, silent motions of a dob. I'v heard many people love the 10" dob for its light grasp but still portable size, similar to an 8". It's short focal ratio seems ideal for larger clusters, and its good aperture shows quite a rich view in dimmer open and globular clusters. So if you could figure out the balance and relocation it might satisfy you.  Here is an example of a dob dolly: https://www.cloudyni...ll-dobs/page-55


Edited by harbinjer, 08 November 2019 - 12:12 PM.


#5 junomike

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 12:09 PM

 I found my APM 100's went deeper than a 140mm Apo + BV's.

IME It's the larger mirrors (C11, C14, 16" Newt) is  where the BV's start to shine.

For a wider FOV a 6" F4 - 5 newt might work but the OCS/Barlow needed to reach focus places the FOV of the 8" Newt closer to the 8" SCT category.



#6 Cestus

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:19 PM

If I ever got a telescope I think I would opt for a simple 80 mm refractor. Maybe the Vixen one. Something easy to set up and learn how to use.



#7 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for the replies. I know a lot of folks would recommend a DOB but as I mentioned I have had a couple and they were too awkward to move around my yard, I had a tough time balancing them and motion anywhere near Zenith is horrible. Alas a dolly to move any telescope won't work in my pebble yard. The APM 120s at 20lbs are probably marginally too heavy with eyepieces, Mount, accessories etc on a substantial  enough a mount to move as a single unit although it might be close. In that case I can probably find an 8" Newtonian in the same weight class which would probably give me enough light grasp. (Minus the 2 eye thing of course)



#8 cupton

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 05:15 PM

5 inch Mak on a non go-to EQ mount. That being said, since I moved to a colder climate, I'm thinking go-to would be nice so could have the computer do the work. Or even better control with the phone, go outside to look, go back inside, rinse and repeat. ;)



#9 ArsMachina

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 05:44 PM

Why should one go cyclops?

NO telescope is the right answer :-)

 

Jochen


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#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 05:51 PM

I love my Obie BT100XL's but sometimes I wish I had something with a little more light grasp. Bigger binos of course would be great but I am pretty close to my comfortable weight limit with the Obie's and I suspect that even moving to a 120mm bino setup would be a LOT heavier. 
 

I currently own an 8" GOTO Evolution Cat and can move that around the yard but frankly the focal length is too long for the clusters that I spend most of my time observing and, ironically (I was a computer engineer) I hate the computerized setup. I have also owned Dobs, none of which I liked both for having to move them around in 2 pieces and I could never get the balance right on the altitude movement.

 

I was thinking a smaller Newtonian on an alt Az mount but I am thinking that a 6" one (which would meet my weight requirement) won't provide significantly brighter views than my Obie's and an 8" might push me over my weight limit.

 

So what larger instruments do you guys have ?

 

I own refractors and Dobs.  Dobs can be balanced, mine are. Moving them.. any larger scope is best moved in at least two pieces unless wheels are involved. An 8 inch Newtonian on an alt-az mount will be more trouble to move than a dob..

 

In terms wide field views that are binocular like, you're pretty much stuck with a Newtonian and I agree, a 6 inch isn't a sufficient step up 4 inch Binos..

 

It's a dilemma. 

 

Jon


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#11 djeber2

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

see my sig line.   Using binos more than scopes these days due to weather and time constraints



#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 09:56 AM

Mostly refractors (as you can see below). ;)


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#13 j.gardavsky

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 01:55 PM

The 6" F/5 Synta refractor is a companion to my:

7x42 Leica Ultravid

7x50 Docter Nobilem

8x56 Docter Nobilem

8.5x42 Swarovski EL Swarovision

10x70 Nikon Astroluxe

10.5x70 BA8

15x60 Docter Nobilem

15x85 BA8

25x100 FB

 

I used to have more binoculars in past, the old 25x100 FB will be replaced next year,

JG



#14 Andeas72202

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 04:31 AM

Since I have my 120 mm APM Bino, my 21" Dobsonian (always with BV) is used *much* less common than before. For solar system observation I use an APM 150 mm ED with BV and for relaxed scanning of the skies I borrow my wife's Nikon 8x40 bino. The only scope, that I still use in cyclops mode, is my 12" air-travel Dobsonian. And that's only because of balance issues with the BV. But even for this application I am thinking about an air travel compatible big bino as a replacement.

Once the bino virus has got you, cyclops viewing sucks lol.gif

 

Andreas


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#15 Tony Flanders

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 06:56 AM

You're not going to achieve more light grasp than 100-mm binoculars without moving up into a heavier portability class. Single-objective telescopes have a clear advantage over binocular telescopes in terms of performance w.r.t. portability, so that seems like a more plausible way to go. Due to eliminating the tripod, the Dobsonian design generally gives the best aperture-to-clunkiness ratio of all. And unlike SCTs, Dobs give similar low-power wide-field capability to binoculars.

 

I'm baffled why you have trouble balancing your Dob; perhaps you're using ultraheavy eyepieces? It's not a problem I've ever had; surely it can be solved. Problems moving around near the zenith are indeed fundamental with any alt-az mount, including Dobs themselves. The only really effective solution that I know is something like the Portaball design, which moves through the zenith as easily as anywhere else.

 

As for moving the scope around your yard, the obvious solution is a hand cart. Up to about 8 inches of aperture, adding a handle to the tube should also works well. That allows you to walk around with the tube in one hand and the base in the other -- very comfortable.

 

I do sympathize slightly with your dislike of Dobs, but if they don't solve your problem, then nothing will.


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#16 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 10:13 AM

You're not going to achieve more light grasp than 100-mm binoculars without moving up into a heavier portability class. Single-objective telescopes have a clear advantage over binocular telescopes in terms of performance w.r.t. portability, so that seems like a more plausible way to go. Due to eliminating the tripod, the Dobsonian design generally gives the best aperture-to-clunkiness ratio of all. And unlike SCTs, Dobs give similar low-power wide-field capability to binoculars.

 

I'm baffled why you have trouble balancing your Dob; perhaps you're using ultraheavy eyepieces? It's not a problem I've ever had; surely it can be solved. Problems moving around near the zenith are indeed fundamental with any alt-az mount, including Dobs themselves. The only really effective solution that I know is something like the Portaball design, which moves through the zenith as easily as anywhere else.

 

As for moving the scope around your yard, the obvious solution is a hand cart. Up to about 8 inches of aperture, adding a handle to the tube should also works well. That allows you to walk around with the tube in one hand and the base in the other -- very comfortable.

 

I do sympathize slightly with your dislike of Dobs, but if they don't solve your problem, then nothing will.

 

Adding a handle to an 8" DOB tube sounds like an excellent idea. You pretty much can't move anything with wheels around in my yard! It s a fairly typical Arizona backyard covered in "decorative" small stones that both make rolling very difficult and then a subsequent cleanup.

 

I only have one flat patio area that I could put a DOB which is also an issue. Perhaps though I could get one of the shorter tube 8" Astrographs weighing in about 20 lbs, find an alt az mount and put it on my carbon fiber legs which are rated for 44 lbs total.



#17 MartinPond

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 04:57 PM

Lately I take a trio out on solid (diecast head) tripods:

----Swift 8.5 x 44s (they have the 1/4-20 threads built in)

----A Celestron 80x400 (F5) rich field.

     with a new 2-speed Crayford focuser.

----An 80x720 (F9)  "Galileo" OTA on a more solid tripod.

Easy for 2 to carry, almost instant setup, lots to see and share.

 

I was going to piggyback the 80x400 on the 80x720,

  as a finder, but it's too much fun to let them both roam.



#18 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:32 PM

So I see that the Vixen R200SS 8" Astrograph only weighs about 12 lbs and is about 27" long which is similar to my Obie 100 binoculars setup. This makes me think I could use my existing mount and tripod with it! The catch is that it costs $1,600 which is about 3 times the cost of comparable Astrographs!



#19 Beg

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:09 PM

I find that my Evolution 9.25 is a great complement to my 100mm BT's. I really do not use my Denk Binotron binoviewer with it anymore. But I like using it with the Denk powerswitch diagonal with the Morpheus 17.5 in mono mode at three different magnifications. Thats really fun and productive doing that with that eyepiece. How can you not like the evolution navigation with Sky Safari with your phone. It is so cool and productive.After the basics of the binos, the evolution is so different to make it a great compliment system.And the 9.25 gives stunning views in my dark mountain skies...



#20 sunnyday

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:31 PM

i got my new telescope lunt 60mm ha today, and snow too.
but I'm patient the sun will come back to please mewink.gif



#21 Allan Wade

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:03 AM

The way it works for me is that I use my Binoscopes at my dark site for deep sky observing. I generally enjoy low to mid power the most in the binoscopes, and I find the 2mm to 4mm exit pupil is a sweet spot for me.

 

With the binoviewers, they get pulled out for Solar System targets only. I would hardly ever use them at my dark site where I'm too busy with the deep sky stuff, so they get used a lot more at my suburban home on the moon and planets. My TOA130 is a nice scope for that observing with the binoviewers. Nice ergonomically and also the image it presents.

 

I used my 12" dob extensively for binoviewing the planets, and will do the same with a 16" that will be along shortly. I hear your comment about not liking dobs with the bino because of balance issues. My dobs have clutches that prevent them un-balancing with large weight changes at the focuser. That helps a lot. The large aperture provided by dobs and the option to install very high quality mirrors, they all add up. That combination with binoviewers provides the highest quality planetary observing I have experienced.



#22 GamesForOne

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:50 AM

 I found my APM 100's went deeper than a 140mm Apo + BV's.

IME It's the larger mirrors (C11, C14, 16" Newt) is  where the BV's start to shine.

For a wider FOV a 6" F4 - 5 newt might work but the OCS/Barlow needed to reach focus places the FOV of the 8" Newt closer to the 8" SCT category.

An option is the SkyWatcher collapsible dob series. It supports any binoviewer free of the need for an OSC/barlow due to the collapsible truss rods that can be locked at any position.

 

You can get the 10" non-goto setup with an import binoviewer for under $1000 USD. That would give you a 1.4 degree field of view at 50x using a pair of 24mm EPs.

 

I have the 12" version to complement my 100mm binos.

 

---

Michael Mc


Edited by GamesForOne, 12 November 2019 - 01:57 AM.


#23 Erik Bakker

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:32 AM

If your most observed DSO's are clusters, I can imagine 2000mm f.l. of your 8" SCT being on the long side. Even my classic Super C5 at 1280mm f.l. struggles with clusters like the Pleiades and the Double cluster e.g.

 

So for practical reasons, let's put 1000 mm of f.l. at your upper limit for that reason. Any decent scope in that focal length range will have trouble equalling your Obie BT100XL's in viewing (large) clusters, let alone best them.

 

The weight limit you mentioned makes it difficult to get anything more suited for your purposes than your current set up.

 

So why not simply enjoy that?


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#24 GrahamDFyffe

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:01 AM

If your most observed DSO's are clusters, I can imagine 2000mm f.l. of your 8" SCT being on the long side. Even my classic Super C5 at 1280mm f.l. struggles with clusters like the Pleiades and the Double cluster e.g.

 

So for practical reasons, let's put 1000 mm of f.l. at your upper limit for that reason. Any decent scope in that focal length range will have trouble equalling your Obie BT100XL's in viewing (large) clusters, let alone best them.

 

The weight limit you mentioned makes it difficult to get anything more suited for your purposes than your current set up.

 

So why not simply enjoy that?

for large brighter clusters I completely agree with you Erik, I think that the 100mm bins FL 560 are fabulous. There are fainter clusters (like Caroline's Rose for example) that I wish that I had just a little more light grasp. I am sure that I would love the views through 150mm or 120mm bins but their weight would exceed my limits I expect. My current thinking is that some of the some of the 800mm 8" Newtonians on an alt az mount might meet my criteria (minus the 2 eye part alas - it might be tough to balance even a binoviewer on a tube that only weights 17 lbs)



#25 Erik Bakker

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:05 AM

For low-medium magnifications I use just one eye and 2" eyepieces with any of my scopes. For upper medium to high powered, the binoviewer with 1 1/4"eyepieces comes into play. For wide views, it's hard to beat the 31or 20 Naglers.


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