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Need advice for Binoculars for viewing the milky way

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#1 Huan

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 12:36 PM

Hello everyone, I’m new here!

I would like to buy an astronomy binocular for viewing the milky way. Budget is from $2000 - $4000 including tripod and accessories.

 

I have a 10x42 Canon IS but it’s heavy for me. Most of the time I can’t hold it long enough to satisfy my eagerness to the night sky. I was thinking of a tripod or unipod but then feel it defeats the purpose of IS.

 

Everything else of it is perfect for me. I like its 6.5° TFOV because I'm not experienced, and it’s very easy for me to get lost if the TFOV is too small. Plus I’m nearsighted and I seriously don’t like wearing glasses while stargazing. Therefore switching between naked eyes and binocular can be a huge challenge while all I can see are magnitude 1+ stars.

 

I saw Nikon Action 7x35 EX boasts a 9.3° TFOV and bought one, but the image quality is not satisfying.

 

I also have a Vixen 2.1x42 which is quite useful, except I’m running out of the focus without my glasses.

 

I’m currently considering the following options:

 

APM 16 x 70 Magnesium Series ED APO Binoculars
https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/B072NZ58SK
$615.00
Lightweight at 2124g (4.6lbs)
I remember I saw it somewhere says 4.1 TFOV

 

APM 70 MM 90° ED-APO BINOCULAR WITH 1.25" EYEPIECE HOLDER
https://skygazeoptic...eyepiece-holder
$1,600.00
products weight: 3,50 kg
Objective angle of view: max. 4° FOV

 

ZEISS 8x42 Victory SF
https://www.bhphotov...ctory_sf_t.html
$2,699.99
Weight  27.5 oz / 779.6 g
Angle of View   8° (Actual)

 

ZEISS 7x42 Victory FL
http://www.scopecity...?ProductID=4694 (not sure if this website is legitimate)
$1,899.99
Weight 26 oz.
8.6 TFOV

 

Tele Vue-76 with Bino Vue
https://www.bhphotov...ASABEgJj7fD_BwE
$1,695.00+
Weight  5.0 lb / 2.3 kg
Max. Visual Field 5.5°

 

I prefer large TFOV. I don’t want it to be too heavy even though I will use a tripod or unipod for sure. I live in New York and light pollution is miserable.

 

All I want is the best experience of viewing the milky way in summer that I can get. I’m not limiting myself to the options listed here. Those are just results from my research.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Edited by Huan, 23 January 2020 - 12:40 PM.


#2 Antonio R.G

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 01:12 PM

If you can find a Fujinon 10x50 FMTR-SX I think you will be very satisfied with it. Maybe it's a bit heavy to use without a tripod, but with any kind of support, even a light monopod will give you great views. The 5mm pupil is a success for not very dark skies .. the field of vision is good for a 10x50 (6.3 °). This binocular has a very proven high light transmission and the field is sharp to almost the extreme edge. Many people can tell you very well about him in this forum ...
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#3 Mark9473

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 01:24 PM

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure I understand the question - will you be viewing the Milky Way from your miserable conditions where you live?

Doesn't sound feasible.

If that is your intention, something like a 12x50 or perhaps 15x70 would be my choice to make the most of what's basically invisible.

For trips to dark skies for proper Milky Way viewing, something like a 9x63 or 10.5x70.

 

The TeleVue with Binoview is the worst option for Milky Way viewing in poor conditions. The image will be dim.



#4 Huan

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 01:45 PM

If you can find a Fujinon 10x50 FMTR-SX I think you will be very satisfied with it. Maybe it's a bit heavy to use without a tripod, but with any kind of support, even a light monopod will give you great views. The 5mm pupil is a success for not very dark skies .. the field of vision is good for a 10x50 (6.3 °). This binocular has a very proven high light transmission and the field is sharp to almost the extreme edge. Many people can tell you very well about him in this forum ...

Thank you for your recommendation. What specs should I look into when I don't have access to dark skies? bigger or smaller exit pupil?



#5 Huan

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 01:53 PM

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure I understand the question - will you be viewing the Milky Way from your miserable conditions where you live?

Doesn't sound feasible.

If that is your intention, something like a 12x50 or perhaps 15x70 would be my choice to make the most of what's basically invisible.

For trips to dark skies for proper Milky Way viewing, something like a 9x63 or 10.5x70.

 

The TeleVue with Binoview is the worst option for Milky Way viewing in poor conditions. The image will be dim.

Thank you, Mark. Sorry for the confusion. By the Milky Way I mean the the stars on that belt ( especially around Summer Triangle area ). I don't even know if I've had ever seen the Milky Way. Every time I was in suburbs I couldn't convince myself if it's cloud or the Milky Way. 

 

Thank you for letting me regarding the binoview. I was wondering about it.



#6 ButterFly

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 03:40 PM

My Oberwerk 25x100s did fine in NYC.  I used to go to the meadow at the top of the ridge in Inwood Hill Park.  The trees shade out the surrounding lights so I could get about 4.5 NELM when dark adapted.  One of the big advantages of fixed eyepiece systems is extreme portability.  The APM 16x70s got a lot more daytime use in the city becuase of all the bald eagles.  They do OK under the light pollution of the city, but the larger aperture and higher power of the 25x100s was preferred.  Ironically, the light pollution helps open clusters stand out better.  In a dark sky, it's just slightly more stars in a field full of stars - they lose some luster.

 

My best setup was the Skywatcher 120ED.  It has good aperture and does very well on the planets and the moon.  It is also reasonably portable and its resolution is at the limits of the seeing one can expect in the area.  A 41 Panoptic gives a 3 degree field on that.  It is heavy and under your desired field, but it is worth considering due to the versatility.  Many planetray nebulae cut right through the light pollution.

 

You can pick up a used Manfrotto tripod and head rather easily in the city.  Go to B&H, see what you want, and just wait for it.  A video head on a photo tripod (with geared center column) is preferable.  A Manfrotto 501HDV head on a 475B tripod handles an 80mm triplet loaded with a 41 Pan just fine.

 

If you want daytime use as well (there is lots of great birding around the city), the APM 16x70s or the TV 76 or 85 are the way to go.  Your budget is in range of the Swarovski 80mm spotter as well, which can be bino-ed, but it's only got a 2 degree field of view.

 

Seeing what you can from a place that lets you see four different operas a month for $25 each, eight months out of the year, is a laudable effort.  The double cluster is not invisble.  The best advice I can give is aperture and magnification.  Bear in mind that all city parks close at 1AM unless an earlier time is posted.  Get to know the local police of the areas you visit.  If you have a car, you can drive out to the Custer Institute or get a Stargazing permit and go to Robert Moses (yes, NY is a stupid state that makes you pay to look at the stars from its parks and you can only do so if you have a car).


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#7 Mark9473

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:00 PM

By the Milky Way I mean the the stars on that belt ( especially around Summer Triangle area ).

Thanks for that clarification.

If you're happy with the number of stars that your 10x42 shows you, then a good 10x50 or 12x50 on a tripod would give a slightly improved view.

A 15x or 16x70 on the other hand would give a very significantly deeper and larger-scale view; it's like you're looking into a new level of sky hidden to 10x50 class instruments.

Since you have the budget for it, something like a Swarovski 15x56 could be an interesting lighter, smaller alternative still giving the big view. Not as easy to tripod-mount, however.

 

That said, the BT70 you have listed can also do 15x or thereabouts, but for those nights where it's perhaps a bit hazy and all you can see is the Moon or the planets, it can also do 50x or even higher and for those targets that would be very worthwhile (as well as for a whole bunch of star clusters, for example). Assuming of course you don't already have or plan to get a telescope for that purpose.

 

If you think about a BT70, spend some serious thought on how you will mount them, and if you want to remain mobile, how you will transport the whole setup.


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#8 Mr. Bill

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

Whatever you choose.....get out of NYC and head upstate.


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#9 The Ardent

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:29 PM

1+ for the Fujinon 10x50. I'm extremely impressed with it. 

 

If you want larger, I suggest angled binoculars for comfort like this : 

https://oberwerk.com...ular-telescope/

 

The small refractor with binoviewer will be good for moon and planets, but lacking in low power viewing compared to good binoculars. If you do get a small refractor, add a Baader 2" Amici Prism and 31mm Nagler for a wide 5 degree field (like the 50mm binocular) that's also correct and upright image like the  binocular. 

If you can find a Fujinon 10x50 FMTR-SX I think you will be very satisfied with it. Maybe it's a bit heavy to use without a tripod, but with any kind of support, even a light monopod will give you great views. The 5mm pupil is a success for not very dark skies .. the field of vision is good for a 10x50 (6.3 °). This binocular has a very proven high light transmission and the field is sharp to almost the extreme edge. Many people can tell you very well about him in this forum ...



#10 mkothe

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 10:05 PM

I don’t understand why you won’t consider mounting your current binoculars if you love everything else about them. If you will mount the new binos, why not the current ones? Unless you want to increase aperture to really change the view, but it sounds like that is not a priority.

Michael
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#11 JimV

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 11:06 PM

The problem you face is light pollution.  Trying to view the milky way in general is a low power wide field thing.  You need higher power and 4mm exit pupil to darken sky background.  Nikon Action Extreme 12x50 would do that.  But it's more of a "select an object and study it" type of binoculars rather than low power sweep around.



#12 DeanD

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 11:41 PM

Hi Huan,

 

I agree with Michael (above): why not use your excellent Canon 10x42's on a photo tripod instead of spending a lot of extra money on a new binocular? Alternatively, have you thought of getting a "zero-gravity" chair with arm supports? That might solve your problem of holding them...

 

If you want to see any detail in Deep Sky Objects in the Milky Way, or planets, then I think you should consider getting a telescope. Even the little Televue 76 that you mentioned will give nice views of the brighter clusters, planets, moon, double stars etc. from your skies; and it would be easy to travel with.

 

If you really want to see the Milky Way, then use some of your $4000 to have a holiday in Outback Australia (I regularly head that way for Astronomy Camps in my home state of South Australia!). Last August when I was on a camp in the Flinders Ranges in SA the Milky Way was so bright that I could see a vague shadow as I moved around, and the Zodiac Light reached the zenith in the early evening...   ;)

 

All the best,

 

Dean


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#13 MartinPond

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 01:31 AM

If the sky is good, that is subject (Milky Way)

with details at every level of magnification!

Some people like touring the overall with extra-wides

   (7x35 , 11 degrees TFOV or more)

Others want to go even wider, with those 2-3x super-wide setups.

      (25 to 45 deg tfov)

It starts to look like a very busy parking lot at 20x80...

  still tons of items in the field..

If you use 12-inch light bucket to keep things bright,

   I have seen  100x  used.  You see more things that  are commonly mentioned. 

   Nebulae and such open up at 200x--300x.

 

I even used an 0.5x external macro converter

   and saw overall texture that I didn't notice with my eyes. 

   It mapped the sky into my high-acuity zone.

 

All I can say is...every power has intrigue to it with the Milky Way. '

It's sort of 'fractal' that way  Plenty of things you don't see described

commonly...

 

 

"----then use some of your $4000 to have a holiday in Outback Australia (I regularly head that way for Astronomy Camps in my home state of South Australia!).---"

Higher altitudes in the US West or the Atacama in S.America are like that..

  people stare up with their eyes a while time before breaking out the optics..

 Of course, if a Yank went to Australia....there would be a brand-new view.


Edited by MartinPond, 24 January 2020 - 01:37 AM.


#14 Cali

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 08:30 AM

Hi Huan,

 

I agree with Michael (above): why not use your excellent Canon 10x42's on a photo tripod instead of spending a lot of extra money on a new binocular? Alternatively, have you thought of getting a "zero-gravity" chair with arm supports? That might solve your problem of holding them...

 

If you want to see any detail in Deep Sky Objects in the Milky Way, or planets, then I think you should consider getting a telescope. Even the little Televue 76 that you mentioned will give nice views of the brighter clusters, planets, moon, double stars etc. from your skies; and it would be easy to travel with.

 

If you really want to see the Milky Way, then use some of your $4000 to have a holiday in Outback Australia (I regularly head that way for Astronomy Camps in my home state of South Australia!). Last August when I was on a camp in the Flinders Ranges in SA the Milky Way was so bright that I could see a vague shadow as I moved around, and the Zodiac Light reached the zenith in the early evening...   wink.gif

 

All the best,

 

Dean

So Dean,

 

Just how clear are the skies nowadays in South Australia?

 

- Cal



#15 paulsky

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:46 AM

Hello,

First of all, to say that in this forum, wonderful on the other hand, they have taught me to enjoy the material that I have today, I have had and enjoyed some binoculars and telescopes, and all, absolutely all are perfectly enjoyable, you have a binocular , the Canon 10x42 that many of us would dream of him.
Now, to enjoy the observation of the Milky Way I have discovered that there is nothing like traveling to places where you can observe in all its glory, the difference is so much ..., that in those places any humble binocular will show you the beauty from heaven in all its greatness !!
I convinced myself a long time ago that from the place where I live and observe I must focus on the objects that can be taken advantage of, such as the Sun, the Moon and the planets ... in addition to double stars and some luminous Messier objects and I enjoy like a dwarf !!
And when I'm hungry for stars ... a few miles and ... ahhhh! "It's full of stars."
Best regards,
Paul


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#16 Binojunky

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 12:12 PM

Some of the  best nights I ever had was at Starfest, my 4" refractor became unusable due to as  later found a grub screw gouging into the mount ad jamming up the works. As usual I forgot to take binoculars so it was a quick trip to a vender and I came away with a $50 Canadian pair of 12x50 Celestron Upclose, just average coatings and BK7 prisms. We had three nights of pristine skies and good beer with a big juicy hot dog with fried onions for good measure, happy days indeed, D.


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#17 ihf

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 12:30 PM

I like looking at the Milky Way. Living in the San Francisco area unfortunately it is nothing special. Fortunately I am out camping very often. Half of the time the moon ruins the view even away from civilization. Only when I am camping during a new moon in the mountains, Nevada or Utah the glare goes away, my eyes get adjusted, and after some time I can see and enjoy the Milky Way naked eyes or with instruments giving me close to full aperture (>5mm, ideally 7mm). The 10x42 is a favorite instrument to cruise the night sky. But IMO it is a little dark for the Milky Way experience. I use 8x56. Of the devices you have listed I would pick the CZ 7x42 Victory FL, because it is lightweight, low magnification and close to full aperture (but not tried myself). That said you will not enjoy it near any city. You would need to go out! I hear Cherry Springs SP is near NYC. So maybe you could make a trip there during a moonless night?

 

If you can't travel and want to see the Milky Way from a city you may want to look at Night Vision devices. I read that with the right narrow band filters you can throw out all the bad glare of the city and keep only the light of the stars, which then gets amplified giving you a view of the sky above. The setup would be at the upper end of your price range, but small and lightweight. If you are not a US citizen then purchasing the devices may not be feasible though, so I never went that route.



#18 ihf

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 12:52 PM

If you were interested in Messier objects, the moon or planets (well seen at small aperture), I find the Canon 18x50 IS with bino bandit works great even in a city full of lights. But it is even heavier than the 10x42, much harder to hold. But while it resolves some clusters nicely, it mostly shows a few  (10-100) white dots on black. In other words it shows an abstract picture, not an engaging image! A full aperture (rich field) view under good conditions is thousands of stars.



#19 Huan

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 02:32 PM

Whatever you choose.....get out of NYC and head upstate.

Thank you, Mr. Bill. I bring my family to bear mountain during the summers. I found this interesting map. 

 

https://www.lightpol...0FFFFFTFFFFFFFF

 

Do you think bear mountain is dark enough to reveal the Milky Way?



#20 Huan

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 02:52 PM

A full aperture (rich field) view under good conditions is thousands of stars.

Thank you for sharing the article Richest Field Telescopes. I realized that what I'm really trying to achieve is maximizing number of stars visible at any single time. I'm very interested in this concept and had thought of it myself. However, after reading the whole article my little brain still have difficulty to understand why we can't continue to lower the power and increase the aperture so that we can see tons of stars in our FOV, because it's impossible keep exit pupil reasonably small at the same time?


Edited by Huan, 24 January 2020 - 02:53 PM.

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#21 Cestus

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 02:56 PM

I have a pair of Oberwerk Mariner 8x40's. They have an 8.4 degree fov. They are heavy, but very good for scanning and work very nicely for the Milky Way. I don't know how they would work in very light polluted skies, but they do pretty well for me.



#22 Huan

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 03:01 PM

I don’t understand why you won’t consider mounting your current binoculars if you love everything else about them. If you will mount the new binos, why not the current ones? Unless you want to increase aperture to really change the view, but it sounds like that is not a priority.

Michael

Thank you so much, Michael! I decided to buy a monopod first. Do you have any recommendations? 



#23 Huan

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 03:09 PM

 

That said, the BT70 you have listed can also do 15x or thereabouts, but for those nights where it's perhaps a bit hazy and all you can see is the Moon or the planets, it can also do 50x or even higher and for those targets that would be very worthwhile (as well as for a whole bunch of star clusters, for example). Assuming of course you don't already have or plan to get a telescope for that purpose.

 

If you think about a BT70, spend some serious thought on how you will mount them, and if you want to remain mobile, how you will transport the whole setup.

By BT70 do you mean this one? APM 70 MM 90° ED-APO BINOCULAR

I've made my decision to purchase a monopod for my Canon 10x42 IS first and then go for a 70mm binocular. However I have zero experience in mounting them. Would you please give me info of what equipments I would need? I will then assess the dimension and weight of the setup to see if I can use it.



#24 Mr. Bill

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 03:10 PM

Thank you, Mr. Bill. I bring my family to bear mountain during the summers. I found this interesting map. 

 

https://www.lightpol...0FFFFFTFFFFFFFF

 

Do you think bear mountain is dark enough to reveal the Milky Way?

You need to get to one of the blue/grey patches to have any real chance of good Milky Way viewing..... OTOH, Bear Mtn. is better than NYC.

 

tongue2.gif


Edited by Mr. Bill, 24 January 2020 - 03:34 PM.


#25 hallelujah

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 03:16 PM

I decided to buy a monopod first. Do you have any recommendations? 

https://www.youtube....h?v=vSA-lnDxOSg

 

Stan




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