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Night vision Binoscope

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#1 Gavster

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 08:56 PM

I really enjoy using 2 pvs-14 as a binocular as per this thread

https://www.cloudyni...ion-binoculars/

You can definitely see more nebulosity with two eyes.

 

However, this was only at 1x, I wanted to see if it worked well

if more magnification was used with a binocular.

 

I was also keen to be able to use my 55mm plossl afocally to increase the effective speed but didn’t find anything that I thought would work well.
Then a few weeks ago I saw that Williams Optics has launched a 103mm binoscope with capacity for 2 inch eyepieces.

I immediately put in an order and it arrived today.

And we had clear skies so I was able to get out immediately and test it.

In summary, I’m very impressed. Two eyes at around 12 x is great. I was observing in my london back garden so not ideal but the views of the horsehead rivalled those of my 16 inch dob in the same garden with a clear black outline. The rosette was the best I’ve seen in London, really well defined and detailed. The binoscope has plenty of in focus so I was even able to use my 0.75x reducer with the plossl to increase the effective speed of the system to around 2.5.

 

It clouded over pretty soon but I can’t wait to try it again. A big thumbs up. I definitely like two eyed night vision observing.

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Edited by Gavster, 28 January 2020 - 08:57 PM.

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#2 JMW

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 09:14 PM

I enjoy my Lunt 100mm APO ED binoculars but I will restrict my night vision to mono. I don't see dropping another $4K for a 2nd unit. 

 

I am sure you will enjoy your views.


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#3 Eddgie

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 10:29 PM

Binocular summation is powerful stuff. It increases the brightness by about .3x and reduces the perceived SN but perhaps a similar amount.

 

Congrats on your image intensified binocular scope!  Very fun for you!


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#4 GeezerGazer

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:32 AM

Now THAT'S Exotic! ...I know you will enjoy them.  waytogo.gif  Congratulations Gavster.  I wonder what you'll see from the Isle of Wight with those beauties? 

Ray


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#5 Gavster

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 03:48 AM

Now THAT'S Exotic! ...I know you will enjoy them.  waytogo.gif  Congratulations Gavster.  I wonder what you'll see from the Isle of Wight with those beauties? 

Ray

Ray, thanks. I was thinking exactly the same when I was looking through them last night - can’t wait to get them to the Isle of Wight for some dark sky action. I don’t often observe with both eyes - it’s an interesting experience, there’s something ‘extra’ about it that I can’t describe - a bit of depth perception (which is of course nonsense on stellar objects), and more comfortable due to not squinting. I think it helps that my eyes are very similar. Certainly finer detail was apparent to me last night.


Edited by Gavster, 29 January 2020 - 03:48 AM.

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#6 PEterW

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 02:06 PM

Welcome to the binocular forum... no pirates need apply ;-)! Great to hear things are working well.

Peter

#7 slavicek

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:44 PM

Nice! Probably my next project....smile.gif



#8 Gavster

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 10:00 AM

A further update to this thread now I've had the chance to do a few more observing sessions. All, unfortunately, from my light polluted London back garden (sqm 18) - I'm really looking forward to getting these to a dark site to see what they can do under much better conditions.

Anyway, last night I decided to get up at 2am to have a look at the lovely emission nebulae that is now visible at that time. It starts not being fully dark at about 3.40am in London, so there is a relatively limited time to observe these objects.

Cygnus had got to a relatively decent height and the 3 degree fov (with 55mm plossl for an effective speed of around f3) presented the North America very nicely. It was easy to do a one eye vs two eye comparison by just turning off one of the units. It still surprises me how much using two eyes improves the views and it is in a number of ways I find:

 

a) the view looks more natural and smooth and less "electronic".

b) the view has a bit of "depth" impression to it which I like

c) less scintillation which means that I generally run at higher gain than single eye, ie brighter

d) the fine detail of the nebulae is much cleaner and more obvious

e) faint clouds of nebulae are much easier to detect. Despite the light pollution, I could see lots of general wispy nebulae in Cygnus which I generally need a darker site for.

f) added comfort of keeping both eyes open and looking naturally at an object.

 

Once I'd had a good look at the North America, Pelican, Butterfly, Crescent and Veil I moved south to where the Eagle and Swan were just poking out over the neighbour's roof. These were really quite low (around 15 degrees) and never in my experience that good because the light pollution is so poor even with nv and filtering. However, last night I got some of my best London views of these objects, the swan really stood out with the circular surrounding nebulae very clear and the Eagle shape was nice and clear.

 

The darkness was by then beginning to disappear so I moved gradually back to Cygnus for one last look. On the way I noticed that sky safari's h-alpha view showed some brightish "blobs" to the right of Cygnus, just below Albireo. Two in particular stood out and although I'm not really into chasing faint sharpless objects I decided to try for these two. Both of them I could see pretty easily with the binoscope, certainly much easier than without. I wasn't sure what they were at the time, but today I looked them up in my Bracken Astrophotography sky atlas and it turns out they were Sh-2 86 and Sh2-92. Two new objects for me I think and ones I will come back to at a dark site.

I then recalled GeezerGazer mentioning the propeller nebula above Sadr. I'd not looked at this before but again it was clearly visible with two eyes. For some reason, I also found that averted vision worked well with two eyes to make the nebula pop out that bit more.

I had a final scan round Sadr and the North America since the detail and extent of nebulosity was just so fun to observe and then packed up around 4am for some extra sleep. 

 

This scope is fast becoming my favourite way to do night vision observing. I also ordered another 27mm panoptic to get some more image scale (at about 26x mag) on smaller objects such as globulars and galaxies, maybe two eye will mitigate the slower speed with the 27mm. There are a number of clear nights forecast here over new moon so I hope to be able to try this soon (at a more reasonable time of the evening!)


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#9 DavidWasch

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 05:55 PM

The more I think about it, the more reasonable investing in NV is for astronomy.  I recently purchased my first PVS-7s with a legacy tube.I think of it as an 8" dob in the world of NV. What you have assembled is the equivalent of an 18" Starmaster in the world of NV.

 

You sir, have my attention.


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#10 Gavster

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 08:19 PM

Tonight was the first proper clear sky in London this year 😱. At last I managed to I have my first proper observing session with my new fom 2600 pvs-14 partnered with my old fom 2400 pvs-14 in my 103mm Williams optics Binoscope (both attached to 67mm Televue eyepieces).
Even in the very light polluted skies I got some fantastically detailed nebulae views. As I’ve said previously using two eyes makes such a difference and now I’ve got well matched tubes in each side it’s even better. This is my favourite nv setup. Attached is a photo of the setup together with some phone shots through the fom 2600 pvs-14 of the rosette, California and monkeyhead nebulae. 
I still haven’t managed to get this setup to a dark site, but hopefully not too many months away.

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Edited by Gavster, 21 January 2021 - 08:21 PM.

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#11 Deadlake

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 11:18 AM

Tonight was the first proper clear sky in London this year . At last I managed to I have my first proper observing session with my new fom 2600 pvs-14 partnered with my old fom 2400 pvs-14 in my 103mm Williams optics Binoscope (both attached to 67mm Televue eyepieces).
Even in the very light polluted skies I got some fantastically detailed nebulae views. As I’ve said previously using two eyes makes such a difference and now I’ve got well matched tubes in each side it’s even better. This is my favourite nv setup. Attached is a photo of the setup together with some phone shots through the fom 2600 pvs-14 of the rosette, California and monkeyhead nebulae. 
I still haven’t managed to get this setup to a dark site, but hopefully not too many months away.

Great photos! Lets hope we get some more nights like last night, this Saturday and Sunday are looking good last time I checked.. First time I've been out in months. Interested to know how you rate you new 2600 pvs-14, however given the permanent cloud cover impossible to an idea of its abilities.



#12 Gavster

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 12:52 PM

Great photos! Lets hope we get some more nights like last night, this Saturday and Sunday are looking good last time I checked.. First time I've been out in months. Interested to know how you rate you new 2600 pvs-14, however given the permanent cloud cover impossible to an idea of its abilities.

With the Binoscope it’s very easy to do a comparison of different tubes by just moving between them with one eye. Last night I could tell the extra gain and sn gave a small but noticeable benefit compared with my ‘old’ pvs-14. I am very impressed by both tubes and they both beat my photonis4g by clear margin on nebulae and the really dark stuff.


Edited by Gavster, 22 January 2021 - 12:53 PM.

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#13 joelin

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 01:27 PM

i'm wondering if these binos can work well for astrophotography? like im wondering if i can temporarily remove the fancy diagonal and put on big camera sensors on them to get double photons ...

 

or im wondering if they can be separated for astrophotography and then put back together for viewing 


Edited by joelin, 22 January 2021 - 01:28 PM.


#14 GeezerGazer

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Posted 22 January 2021 - 07:29 PM

Another great report about your spectacular binoscope!  What a treat at 12x... which is almost the same magnification as my 300mm Nikon... perfect for so many nebulae, but with double the brightness in your system.  It is truly amazing how two 4" scopes with NV can match the performance of a 16" behemoth.  

 

Based on one of your prior posts, I now have two 75mm Fujinon for my jury rigged NV Binos.  I like them almost as well as the smaller, wider field 50mm Computars.  The Fujinon were a very good addition.  So thank you for that.  

 

You had Matsumoto alter the diagonal mechanism for the 67mm eyepieces?   What exactly did he do?  


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#15 Gavster

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 04:10 AM

Another great report about your spectacular binoscope!  What a treat at 12x... which is almost the same magnification as my 300mm Nikon... perfect for so many nebulae, but with double the brightness in your system.  It is truly amazing how two 4" scopes with NV can match the performance of a 16" behemoth.  

 

Based on one of your prior posts, I now have two 75mm Fujinon for my jury rigged NV Binos.  I like them almost as well as the smaller, wider field 50mm Computars.  The Fujinon were a very good addition.  So thank you for that.  

 

You had Matsumoto alter the diagonal mechanism for the 67mm eyepieces?   What exactly did he do?  

Yes I think a fov of around 3-4 degrees is great for these large nebulae objects. I’m pleased to hear you like the fujinons.

 

Here’s is a link where I explain what Matsumoto did to increase the fov available for the 67mm - basically install a bigger mirror in the diagonal - but it’s not that easy! :)

 

https://www.cloudyni...to-ems-mirrors/



#16 GeezerGazer

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 01:46 PM

Thank you for the link... an excellent explanation of the work done to make the adjustment for the 67mm eyepieces.  I'm already looking forward to your report of a dark site experience with this binoscope. waytogo.gif



#17 SimRacingGarage

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 11:17 PM

Yes I think a fov of around 3-4 degrees is great for these large nebulae objects. I’m pleased to hear you like the fujinons.

 

Here’s is a link where I explain what Matsumoto did to increase the fov available for the 67mm - basically install a bigger mirror in the diagonal - but it’s not that easy! smile.gif

 

https://www.cloudyni...to-ems-mirrors/

I've looking at the Pegasus for a while now. If I ordered one do you think Matsumoto would install the bigger mirrors during construction? Maybe he will start putting the larger

mirrors in all the new ones he makes. I guess it would be best to just send an email to him. But thought you may have discussed this during your communication concerning the 

mod.



#18 Gavster

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 02:34 AM

I've looking at the Pegasus for a while now. If I ordered one do you think Matsumoto would install the bigger mirrors during construction? Maybe he will start putting the larger

mirrors in all the new ones he makes. I guess it would be best to just send an email to him. But thought you may have discussed this during your communication concerning the 

mod.

It’s a tricky and unusual modification so I would expect it would need to be done once you have got the Binoscope but best to contact him direct to work out the best approach. Have you checked that you can still get the Pegasus? Williams Optics discontinued the zenith star 103mm refractor a while ago and this makes up each side of the Binoscope.



#19 SimRacingGarage

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 09:48 AM

It’s a tricky and unusual modification so I would expect it would need to be done once you have got the Binoscope but best to contact him direct to work out the best approach. Have you checked that you can still get the Pegasus? Williams Optics discontinued the zenith star 103mm refractor a while ago and this makes up each side of the Binoscope.

They are showing them in stock here: https://telescopes.n...-binocular.html but have not contacted them to confirm. I have the BT-100XL-SD now, which is

a very good unit. Just looking for some better glass. Not even sure if the Pegasus would be that much better to justify me getting it. But only one way to find out. I'll send of an email to see if they are still manufacturing it. 



#20 Gavster

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 10:25 AM

They are showing them in stock here: https://telescopes.n...-binocular.html but have not contacted them to confirm. I have the BT-100XL-SD now, which is

a very good unit. Just looking for some better glass. Not even sure if the Pegasus would be that much better to justify me getting it. But only one way to find out. I'll send of an email to see if they are still manufacturing it. 

Hopefully it is in stock. They are showing as out of stock on the main Williams Optics website. The ems mirrors are superior to the prisms that the Bt-100 uses and you also can use 2 inch eyepieces for wider field of view. 
 

Are you intending to use this with two night vision monoculars or just with normal glass eyepieces?


Edited by Gavster, 20 February 2021 - 10:27 AM.


#21 PEterW

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 10:39 AM

If not then these guys might able to make you some, including the extra big EMS for fully illuminated fields if you wanted that.... choose the scope you want to double up.
http://www.aokswiss.ch/index_bino.html

Peter

#22 SimRacingGarage

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 03:04 PM

Hopefully it is in stock. They are showing as out of stock on the main Williams Optics website. The ems mirrors are superior to the prisms that the Bt-100 uses and you also can use 2 inch eyepieces for wider field of view. 
 

Are you intending to use this with two night vision monoculars or just with normal glass eyepieces?

I have a PVS-14 on order that should be arriving in a few weeks. Not having an opportunity to try NV before, it has gotten my attention. Will have to wait and see if it is for me. I am primarily a visual observer that lives, like many, in a light polluted area.

 

If not then these guys might able to make you some, including the extra big EMS for fully illuminated fields if you wanted that.... choose the scope you want to double up.
http://www.aokswiss.ch/index_bino.html

Peter

Wow! They have some interesting looking solutions. I will have to do some study there. Thanks for the replies guys.


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#23 DavidWasch

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:34 AM

I just started into afocal with my 8" schmidt-newt and pvs7 using a Russel 65mm eyepiece. My system is bargain basement, but has some similar attributes:

 

- Similar effective magnification ~x12 -- so the same image scale

- Somewhat similar brightness-- The sn8 has double the light gathering based on mirror size, compensated for by the two nv tubes of the refractor system. Because of the SN8's light loss from surfaces and the central obstruction, the refractors edge out the SN.

 

Still, I wish I were across the pond to compare the two systems-- it's hard to do a comparison with photos. 


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