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Binocular Chair Put Back Into Use, Maybe Buying New Binoculars

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#1 Rustler46

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 03:30 AM

Well, after a long hiatus in using my binocular chair, I pulled it out of storage and worked on reassembling all the parts. With the present complications in life due to the corona-virus pandemic, I wanted an easy-to-use setup for viewing the night sky during infrequent breaks in the cloud deck. So my 10X50 binoculars seem like they would be enjoyable with a swivel bino-chair.

 

Last year I had these nice 10X50 binoculars serviced by Harry at Seibert Optics. Despite the shipping box being manhandled by gorillas in the USPS shipping department, I finally got them back in perfect shape and collimation. Kudos to Harry. If/when I send my 15X80s in for service, they will be protected by a wooden box inside a cardboard box. Then the gorilla crew can have fun trying to flatten the package without damage to the optics.

 

Considering the cost of service and shipping, I may just sell the 15X80s with the disclosure that they need collimation. They may be worth a few bucks for someone with skills to collimate or funds to have professional service. I'm thinking that just buying some nice binoculars from Oberwerk would be best. These models have caught my eye:

  1. 15×70 Deluxe - $280
  2. 20×80 Deluxe III - $350
  3. 15×70 Ultra - $400
  4. 10.5×70 Ultra - $400
  5. 10×50 Ultra - $270

Number 1 and number 4 have my attention. The 15X70s (#1) have reasonable price and optimum exit pupil for night time use (4.7mm). While the performance isn't premium neither is the price. My own 15X80s are quite heavy for handheld use. So the lighter 70mm apertures would be nice. The 10.5X70s (#4) have also caught my eye having the 70mm weight advantage, but with an exit pupil a bit too large for my old eyes (6.7mm). My exit pupil would reduce the effective aperture, but it would be the brightest 10.5X view possible under my circumstances. This is no worse than using most any binocular under daytime conditions when one's exit pupil reduces the effective aperture. In any case the Oberwerk website has this to say about that particular "Ultra" model:

 

"Oberwerk Ultra Series are our highest-quality mid-size binoculars, available in your choice of 10.5x or 15x magnification. The 10.5x model is the sharpest in the entire Oberwerk product line, with performance that exceeds even the finest Japanese brands, for about half the price.  Incredible sharpness across almost the the entire field. Very rugged construction with precise individual focusers. Of course these are fully broadband multi-coated, waterproof, and nitrogen charged. Includes our new-for-2017 Oberwerk Heavy-Duty aluminum-frame case. Also includes the Oberwerk Heavy-Duty L Adapter and our premium heavy-duty denim strap.

 

Considering the reduced effective aperture for the Ultra 10.5X70 model, the 10X50 Ultra (#5) might be a good alternative at considerably better price. I have seldom been disappointed when spending extra for a high quality product. There's an old saying (I made it up myself) that goes like this:

 

Cheap isn't!

 

In other words the euphoria of getting something on the cheap will be long gone when the reality of a cheaply made product becomes evident. So getting one of the 5 binoculars referenced above may be something in my near future. That will depend on finances and the approval of my wife, who is still working full-time for her retired husband. I would be interested in opinions, comments of forum members regarding Oberwerk and the binoculars they sell

 

On a side note I had an interesting time reassembling my binocular chair tonight. Everything was in pieces: lounge chair, swivel platform, various and sundry metal and wooden parts as shown in the photo:

Bino-Chair.jpg

 

The above view shows the bino-chair & 15X80 binoculars with myself modeling the setup in 2018. It took quite some time to adjust everything to function smoothly, balanced by the high-tech juice bottle counter weight. Here are some other views of my setup.

Bino-Chair.jpg

Bino-Chair.jpg

 

Now fast forward to tonight. I finished assembly of this masterpiece in the dark. But things were not adjusted for optimum use. Not letting better sense deter me from observing, I forged ahead with an attempt to view Sirius with the 10X50 binoculars. Subsequently the bino-chair swiveled of its own accord around to the north. Well (said I), I'll just look at something in that direction. So adjusting the tilt to point the binoculars high in the sky, the lounge chair went in full backward recline position. Before I had time to react, the whole assembly tipped over backwards. I found myself laying flat on my back with the bino-chair under me, feet in the air, the swivel platform having tipped up on its rear edge. 

 

After I finished a round of maniacal laughter rofl2.gif I asked "How am I going to get myself out of this mess?" (I should have tried out as stand-in for one of the Three Stooges.) But I did eventually manage to extricate myself from the mayhem, with no damage to myself, the bino-chair or optics. Lesson learned - if possible don't try assembling things in the dark. So I just removed the 10X50s and covered the whole assembly with a tarp. After the predicted rain storm for tonight, the bino-chair will be there for me to properly adjust, with good lighting and renewed senses. 

 

The whole experience was good for a laugh lol.gif . When I told my wife what happened, she offered this advice - "If you needed to be rescued from your predicament, you could have just called me on your cellphone". While the phone was on my belt, I don't know if I would have enough presence of mind to have thought of that. In any case that was my recent experience getting back into binocular astronomy. I hope you enjoyed hearing my experience. Please give consideration to my request for comment on the binocular purchase.

 

Best Regards,
Rusty

 

 


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#2 KennyJ

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 03:53 AM

Rusty,

 

I must say I had to chuckle reading that report!lol.gif

 

Given that you appear happy with your current, recently serviced 10x50, but probably not with your 15x80 being out of alignment, and taking into account your additional concern about the potentially "wasted exit-pupil", from a distance and most logical stance, I think your decision making ought to be quite simple, really.

 

Once set up right, as much as yourself does, that contraption of your deserves something especially nice.

 

I would just go for the 15x70 ULTRA!

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide upon.

 

Kenny


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#3 Rustler46

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 04:22 AM

Rusty,

 

I must say I had to chuckle reading that report!lol.gif

 

Given that you appear happy with your current, recently serviced 10x50, but probably not with your 15x80 being out of alignment, and taking into account your additional concern about the potentially "wasted exit-pupil", from a distance and most logical stance, I think your decision making ought to be quite simple, really.

 

Once set up right, as much as yourself does, that contraption of your deserves something especially nice.

 

I would just go for the 15x70 ULTRA!

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide upon.

 

Kenny

Thanks for your comment, Kenny. It is much appreciated. Just thinking while I was writing, I also am considering just using my existing 10X50s with the bino-chair. That way before an expensive purchase I can determine whether my interest in binocular viewing will carry through after the thrill of getting some great optics wears off. The 10X50s are a very nice Hoya brand, likely from the late 1900s. Harry Seibert dis a grand job of cleaning and adjusting. So I want to give these old binocs an opportunity to show their stuff.

 

Your comments are most helpful, Kenny. Among my options are:

  • Keep the Hoya 10X50s and sell the 15X80s - perhaps putting $50 put in the bank)
  • Keep the Hoya 10X50s and service/collimate the 15X80s - around $180 cost
  • Buy the 10X50 Ultras - $290 post paid
  • Buy the 15X70 Ultras - $430 post paid

There is so much to explore in our hobby, like my William Optics bino viewers. Another purchase of $300 (plus or minus) would give me a second 24MM Panoptic for use in that setup. I must have too much time on my hands, dreaming about these expensive purchases. I guess it's cheaper than keeping horses for a hobby.

 

Kind Regards,

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 04 April 2020 - 10:22 PM.

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#4 oldmanrick

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 04:55 AM

Russ,

 

Sure enjoyed reading your post.  Had to laugh picturing you trapped in that crashed binocular chair!  Glad to hear that you weren't hurt.  Hopefully the chair was uninjured as well.

 

Obviously you like the Hoya 10X50, so you should probably keep those, and get the 15X70 Ultra or something even bigger.  It's nice to have a choice to go to more magnification.

 

Clear skies and safe viewing!

 

Rick


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#5 KennyJ

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 05:31 AM

Russ,

 

I happen to think that with "traditional straight - through binoculars" especially when mounted from a sitting/ reclined position, 10x magnification with a 6 degree TFOV and 15x magnification with a 4 degree TFOV, both represent just about the all-round most convenient available for astro use, with sufficient differences between the two to definitely warrant having both.

 

For me personally, the sheer bulk and more restricted TFOV ( typically 3 degrees or less ) of the likes of even 20x80 and 20x90, let alone the completely different kettles of fish that are 25x100s, when taken together, combine to have enough effect to take the edge off the whole experience.

 

If I were more interested in bino astro ( and wealthier ) than I really am, for higher magnification viewing I would almost certainly be looking at 90 degree angled models with interchangeable eyepieces.

 

Kenny


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#6 DeanD

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 05:31 AM

Hi Russ,

 

Nice story! I love your counter weight: at least if you were stuck when you went over backwards you wouldn't die of thirst! wink.gif

 

I agree with Rick and Kenny: I would go for the 15x70 Ultras as a nice step up from your 10x50's. 

I have the Orion version ("Regulux" 15x70): same as the Oberwerks, just rebadged (Kunming Optical/ United Optics BA8 series See: https://web.archive....BA8_Series.html). They are top quality and give a very nice view. They are clones of the Fujinon 16x70's which are meant to be the best of the best. I have looked through the Fujinons as well, and it was very difficult to tell any difference.

If you indeed decide that bino-chair viewing is what you want, and you don't tip over backwards again, then I think you will be very happy with the 15x70's.

 

All the best, and thanks for the laughs.

 

Dean


Edited by DeanD, 04 April 2020 - 05:33 AM.

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#7 eyeoftexas

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 07:29 AM

Hi Russ,

Glad that your story had a happy ending.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm very new to the bino game, and now have 8x42 and 20x80.  What I enjoy about these (beyond the quality) is the range of magnification they give, both with decent exit pupils.  So, if you don't mind me saying, when I see your list of options, I wonder if they are significantly different from your 10x50's that you had serviced.  Given that you would be mounting them on that lovely chair, why not step up to the 20x80, or even more?  They would provide a more significant option in terms of magnification.  One other question, the 15x80's match most the choices you list, and have a better exit pupil; is the service of them so costly that basically replacing them is worth it?

 

Any ways, I wish you the best and look forward to hearing more about your quest.  I'm pulling for you.



#8 bcarter1234

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 08:08 AM



If I were more interested in bino astro ( and wealthier ) than I really am, for higher magnification viewing I would almost certainly be looking at 90 degree angled models with interchangeable eyepieces.

 

Kenny

 

This might increase the former and alleviate the latter. Consider building a pair of these. Great fun and relatively low money.

80mm BT
 
Take care,
Brent

 



#9 KennyJ

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 09:46 AM

Brent,

 

One the main contributing factors to my diminishing interest in binocular/ visual astronomy ( not that it ever was that great ) is the fact that as I rapidly approach 70 years of age, I have become increasingly intolerant of standing or sitting outside in temperatures below around 15 degrees C ( 70 degrees F ).

 

I could probably count with the fingers of both hands ( excluding thumbs ) when it is that warm here even just one hour after sunset, over a whole year, and that is usually around the time of year when it doesn't get properly dark until approaching midnight.

 

Kenny



#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 05:34 AM

My two cents:

 

10x50s are great binoculars, particularly hand held.  

 

But for a chair, you want something with some more horsepower.

 

I have two pair of Orion Resolux's the 10.5 x 70s and the 15 x 70s.  I believe the Resolux's are identical to the Ultra's but if not, then they are one version previous and very similar.

 

I agree with the everyone else, go with the 15 x 70s.  The 15x70s have a plenty of eye relief, the AFOV is nice and wide and the TFoV is nearly as wide as the 10.5x70s.  I use the 15x70s hand held nearly all the time.  Very nice binos. 

 

My pupils are large enough to use the 10.5x70s without loss of light but there's rarely a situation when I prefer the 10.5's to the 15's.

 

Also, I believe Oberwerk has a custom made ejection seat for use with binocular chairs.  You might consider investing in one.   :)

 

Jon


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#11 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:28 AM

Hi Rusty,

 

Came to this thread late, but I'll add another vote for the Oberwerk Ultra 15x70s.  I've used them both handheld and on a tripod and they have not been a disappointment.  Your binocular chair would be ideal, but they can be used handheld in a zero-gravity chair for a couple minutes at a time.  They really come alive on a steady mount and have enough eye relief to see the entire field with eyeglasses.

 

Best of luck with your decision, and maybe add some airbags to your chair...?    wink.gif

 

Mike


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#12 Rustler46

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 11:20 AM

My two cents:

 

 I believe Oberwerk has a custom made ejection seat for use with binocular chairs.  You might consider investing in one.   smile.gif

rofl2.gif

 

That would have helped the other night, though I might have ended up across the street, landing in some bushes in the vacant lot.

 

Thanks, Jon for the sage advice. I'm leaning toward having my 15X80s serviced (clean and collimate). These binos have a bit of history with me. They were purchased in Frankfurt, Germany around 1971.


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#13 Rustler46

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 03:05 PM

Hi Russ,

 

Nice story! I love your counter weight: at least if you were stuck when you went over backwards you wouldn't die of thirst! wink.gif

 

I agree with Rick and Kenny: I would go for the 15x70 Ultras as a nice step up from your 10x50's. 

I have the Orion version ("Regulux" 15x70): same as the Oberwerks, just rebadged (Kunming Optical/ United Optics BA8 series See: https://web.archive....BA8_Series.html). They are top quality and give a very nice view. They are clones of the Fujinon 16x70's which are meant to be the best of the best. I have looked through the Fujinons as well, and it was very difficult to tell any difference.

If you indeed decide that bino-chair viewing is what you want, and you don't tip over backwards again, then I think you will be very happy with the 15x70's.

 

All the best, and thanks for the laughs.

Thanks for your comments, Dean. It is good to know the Orion 15X70s are same/similar to the Oberwerk versions. They are significantly less expensive. I'm leaning toward getting my own 15X80 Siebert Binos serviced. This would also provide some employment for an optical specialist (Harry, of Siebert Optics).


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#14 Rustler46

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 03:10 PM

Hi Russ,

Glad that your story had a happy ending.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm very new to the bino game, and now have 8x42 and 20x80.  What I enjoy about these (beyond the quality) is the range of magnification they give, both with decent exit pupils.  So, if you don't mind me saying, when I see your list of options, I wonder if they are significantly different from your 10x50's that you had serviced.  Given that you would be mounting them on that lovely chair, why not step up to the 20x80, or even more?  They would provide a more significant option in terms of magnification.  One other question, the 15x80's match most the choices you list, and have a better exit pupil; is the service of them so costly that basically replacing them is worth it?

 

Any ways, I wish you the best and look forward to hearing more about your quest.  I'm pulling for you.

Thanks so much for your comment. Such information is quite useful. Yes, my Siebert 15X80s would be much less expensive to put back in service compared to a new, high quality replacement. The 5mm exit pupil would be nice and bright for my older eyes.



#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 04:16 PM

Thanks for your comments, Dean. It is good to know the Orion 15X70s are same/similar to the Oberwerk versions. They are significantly less expensive. I'm leaning toward getting my own 15X80 Siebert Binos serviced. This would also provide some employment for an optical specialist (Harry, of Siebert Optics).

 

I think the price difference between the Orion Resolux's and the Oberwerk's Ultras is only about $20.  I would go with Oberwerk simply because of the customer service.  Kevin is a binocular guy.  

 

I also wonder about your 15x80's.  I have owned older 11x80s and 20x80s.  For me, 10.5x and 15x Resolux 70mm binoculars were a revelation. Big nice eye lenses with plenty of eye relief. Sharper to the edge, easy to see the entire field.  

 

Jon



#16 Rustler46

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:33 PM

I think the price difference between the Orion Resolux's and the Oberwerk's Ultras is only about $20.  I would go with Oberwerk simply because of the customer service.  Kevin is a binocular guy.  

 

I also wonder about your 15x80's.  I have owned older 11x80s and 20x80s.  For me, 10.5x and 15x Resolux 70mm binoculars were a revelation. Big nice eye lenses with plenty of eye relief. Sharper to the edge, easy to see the entire field.  

 

Jon

For the different vendors of these big binos, there is a total difference of $50. Orion ships free, while Oberwerk charges $30 to west coast. I wholeheartedly agree that good customer service and knowledgeable staff are worth an extra cash outlay.

 

Jon, how would you assess older examples like my 50 year old 15X80s (circa 1971)? How were your older 11X80s and 20X80s? I gather you much preferred the newer ones for viewing experience.

 

My 15X80s are marked on the rear of the prism boxes with the following:

  • SIEBERT
  • KASSEL
  • Germany
  • OBSERVER
  • 15x80
  • Nachtglas

Here they are on my bino-chair:

15X80 Binos.jpg

 

I doubt if they are premium quality. But they appear to be decent build and optical quality. Lens coatings appear good, but not up to  modern standards. They would provide a nice power boost over the 10X , along with larger aperture and acceptable exit-pupil. I believe it would cost $99 for service and $50 round trip shipping via UPS. So ~$150 to get these 15X80 binoculars back into action. 

 

This compares with some of the following new purchase options (including estimated shipping cost):

  • 15X70 Ultra - $430 (Oberwerk), $380 (Orion Resolux)
  • 15×70 Deluxe - $280 (Oberwerk), unsure of Orion equivalent
  • 20×80 Deluxe III - $375 (Oberwerk), unsure of Orion equivalent

My existing 15X80s look to be the frugal, but non premium option. What do you-all think?

 

Rustler


Edited by Rustler46, 05 April 2020 - 07:40 PM.

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#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:32 AM

Russ:

 

Your 15x80s appear identical to the 11x80s and 20x80s I had.  Mechanically, I see no differences, they have the same small diameter eye lenses.  I would expect the 15x70 Ultras to be brighter than the 15x80 because of better coatings and because the Ultras are working at full aperture, I suspect the 15x80 are not.

 

Other's here can tell you more about the specifics of your binoculars, I can share my experiences.  For me, the real difference was in the viewing experience, the eyepieces as the interface between the sky and the binos.  The big eye lens with plenty of eye relief and a reasonably sharp view right to the edge. the view is accessible.  It's like viewing through a premium eyepiece rather than a 12mm Plossl.  

 

Others can comment on the Deluxe versus the Ultra's.  The Ultras are a very solid IF binocular.  They weigh 5.5 pounds but I can hand hold them for a minute or so and they are very steady.  

 

If you're spending $300, I'd spend the $400 and get the better binos.

 

Jon


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#18 davidmcgo

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:44 AM

If those are made in Germany I would fix them.  If rebranded Japanese made I’d go with Jon’s suggestion.  It is worth remembering the Japan models were copies back then but the German made stuff was a different quality of metals and machining precision.

 

Dave


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#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:05 AM

If those are made in Germany I would fix them.  If rebranded Japanese made I’d go with Jon’s suggestion.  It is worth remembering the Japan models were copies back then but the German made stuff was a different quality of metals and machining precision.

 

Dave

But that doesn't change the viewing experience with the small eye lenses and short eye relief.. 

 

The Japanese binoculars were in collimation, viewing through them just wasn't a very pleasing experience.  

 

Jon


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#20 Rustler46

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 03:49 PM

Russ:

 

Your 15x80s appear identical to the 11x80s and 20x80s I had.  Mechanically, I see no differences, they have the same small diameter eye lenses.  I would expect the 15x70 Ultras to be brighter than the 15x80 because of better coatings and because the Ultras are working at full aperture, I suspect the 15x80 are not.

 

Other's here can tell you more about the specifics of your binoculars, I can share my experiences.  For me, the real difference was in the viewing experience, the eyepieces as the interface between the sky and the binos.  The big eye lens with plenty of eye relief and a reasonably sharp view right to the edge. the view is accessible.  It's like viewing through a premium eyepiece rather than a 12mm Plossl.  

 

Others can comment on the Deluxe versus the Ultra's.  The Ultras are a very solid IF binocular.  They weigh 5.5 pounds but I can hand hold them for a minute or so and they are very steady.  

 

If you're spending $300, I'd spend the $400 and get the better binos.

Thanks for your comments, Jon and for the sage advice. The allure of going the cheap route, is best considered as to how it affects the viewing experience. I have plenty of cheap eyepieces. But the two I use the most with all of my OTAs were not cheap - TV 11mm T6 Nagler & 24mm Panoptic. I can see the same will hold true for my binoculars. 

 

My wife and I are by no means wealthy. But we can manage occasional more expensive purchases to facilitate our hobbies - bird-watching, astronomy (for me) & crafts (sewing, jewelry etc. for her). At this point selling the old 15X80s to offset purchasing new is looking better. Someone with skills to collimate could well get a good deal on some big German binoculars.

 

For me servicing these binos would entail building a gorilla-proof shipping box, being subject to whatever might transpire before getting them back home for use. As much as I'd like to support skilled optical workers like Harry Siebert, buying new, perhaps premium is looking better. When I worked for Hardin Optical some years ago, I remember looking through some Fujinon 7X50s. They were quite expensive, but provided a view commensurate with such a  premium product.

 

Thanks again Jon for helping me make a decision that will be the best in the long run.

 

Kind Regards,

Russ



#21 Rustler46

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 04:07 PM

If those are made in Germany I would fix them.  If rebranded Japanese made I’d go with Jon’s suggestion.  It is worth remembering the Japan models were copies back then but the German made stuff was a different quality of metals and machining precision.

Thanks for your comments, Dave. Yes, you make some very good points. Back in 1971, I doubt if the German retail market was using rebranded Asian products. But with the Cold War and Berlin wall still in existence, I know these 15X80s were most certainly not from such East German sources like Karl Zeiss - Jenna. But there were many German optical houses in West Germany producing decent products at the time.

 

But my 15X80s were not the premium line even in the 1970s. These were just what I saw in a local photography outlet in Hanau (near Frankfurt), Photo-Stuhlman, if I remember correctly. What amateur astronomer could resist the impulse to buy big binoculars, the likes of which I had never seen. The price wasn't bad at all.

 

Here's what Hanau looked like in 1971-  a picture postcard:

 

Hanau, Germany - Goldschmiedehaus.jpg
Hanau, Germany - Goldschmiedehaus

 

So sad, they had a mass-shooting there recently.

 

Best Regards,

Russ


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#22 harbinjer

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for your comments, Jon and for the sage advice. The allure of going the cheap route, is best considered as to how it affects the viewing experience. I have plenty of cheap eyepieces. But the two I use the most with all of my OTAs were not cheap - TV 11mm T6 Nagler & 24mm Panoptic. I can see the same will hold true for my binoculars. 

 

I would say the proper eye relief is more than 2X as important in binocular comfort as it is in telescopes.   I too would recommend 15x70's, but don't discount the 20x80's either if you think they'd fit your chair. I have the LW 15x70 Oberwerk, and they're fantastic for the money. While more expensive, the deluxe should be better. With the Ultras you're also paying for much more fit and finish and robustness, and the optics would only be a small improvement. 

 

Thank you for the story. I can totally imagine it happening to me. I have started building a binocular chair like yours, but have yet to finish it. 


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#23 Rustler46

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 11:09 PM

I would say the proper eye relief is more than 2X as important in binocular comfort as it is in telescopes.   I too would recommend 15x70's, but don't discount the 20x80's either if you think they'd fit your chair. I have the LW 15x70 Oberwerk, and they're fantastic for the money. While more expensive, the deluxe should be better. With the Ultras you're also paying for much more fit and finish and robustness, and the optics would only be a small improvement. 

 

Thank you for the story. I can totally imagine it happening to me. I have started building a binocular chair like yours, but have yet to finish it. 

Thanks for your comment - you make some interesting and useful observations. I had an opportunity to adjust my binocular-chair in the daylight for better balance. The main problem with my big upset the other night was forgetting to attach a heavy rubber bungie cord to resist the chair's front leg support from tipping too high up. With that missing the other night, legs went up, backrest went back near flat, the whole shebang was over balanced backward leading to the crash happening. But with the bungie in place, there's no tendency for that.

 

I hadn't taken much opportunity to use my new binocular-chair when completed a few years ago. But last night I set it up with the 10X50s. These are standard 35 year old design with decent quality, recently cleaned and adjusted. While I was pleased with the views of the full Moon, I was quite disappointed with how the chair perform with me on it. Getting my eyes aligned with the binoculars' exit pupil was difficult, particularly when changing pointing elevation. But that just required adjusting my posture in the lounge chair. The biggest problem was the azimuth swiveled much too freely. This was particularly a problem when I dropped the plastic pipe used to pole around in azimuth. Not wanting to extricate myself to retrieve it, I just flopped a leg over the side of the chair and down far enough to contact the ground. This allowed for azimuth adjustment, but was uncomfortable, bordering on painful.

 

Another problem was the amount of play in the lazy-Susan bearing made for wobbly pointing in elevation. So I just made best use of the setup, enjoying identifying lunar features and recording these in a voice recorder for inclusion in my Excel observation database. But I didn't observe for very long, calling it quits after about 1/2 hour. I suppose the less than ideal mechanics of my bino-chair is something most users of such have to endure to varying degrees.

 

I had been thinking of buying a new pair of 15X70s. But last night's experience with the 10 power binos had me thinking "no way would 15 power work on this setup". Yes, I was a bit discouraged to come to this, after the time and expense of making this contraption. And all the research about which binoculars to buy seemed to not matter any more. But the help forum members have given in that regard has been most helpful. I tend to be indecisive in many areas. So your comments have help me make progress.

 

The good news is after a night's sleep and further reflection, it seems like many of the problems I encountered could be mitigated if I install some material between the swivel base upper and ground plate that would add some friction and some resistance to wobble in elevation. Maybe a limited number of pads of carpet material or felt would do the trick. I don't want too much friction. But enough compression resistance would be of use to suppress elevation wobble. So I'm open to suggestions as to how others have solved my problem. What kind of material would be best between the plates?

 

So I'm back to thinking about buying some 15X70s from Oberwerk. The frugal person in me (cheap?) is tending toward the inexpensive, non premium 15X70 LW model. Considering it is just $150 including shipping, these are the main differences compared more expensive models:

  • Not water-proof nor Nitrogen purged
  • Lessor quality optics
  • Lighter weight
  • Well reviewed by users
  • Similar big eye lens

But none of my binos are waterproof and N2-purged. This has presented no problems even in my moist maritime environment. The larger problem of dew formation is handled by dew heaters and use of electric hair dryer. Compared to my 1970 era 15X80 binoculars, the Oberwerk offering it is vastly improved in coatings and perhaps optical design. In any case I'm not fussy about binocular performance. While I was in awe of some Fujinon 7X50 binoculars' perfection in performance, not so much to induce me to spend $700 on them. But similar Oberwerk offerings are less expensive.

 

My old 15X80s will take at least $150 to get back in service, maybe more. Add to that the hassle in making a secure (USPS gorilla-proof) box for safe shipment, waiting and hoping for safe return, in the end it will be old binoculars likely inferior to and much heavier than the Oberwerk 15X70s.

 

Going cheap not premium might please my dear wife who is working under stress for a hospital, with reduced hours. As I further reflect on an expensive purchase, she has always been supportive. The good news is she just began working at home without the daily 1-1/2 hour commute. 

 

So I have a more positive outlook compared to last night's less than fully enjoyable bino-chair experience. Until I get it modified, I'll be back to cyclops viewing with my AT115EDT refractor. I can always put the WO binoviewer on it for that experience. Tonight my target is Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4), which is now breaking up.

 

Best Regards,

Rusty


Edited by Rustler46, 09 April 2020 - 09:01 PM.

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#24 harbinjer

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 11:37 PM

Thanks for taking us through your thoughts about this Rusty. For the chair I was going to make, I purchased small ball-bearing casters to put around the lazy suzan bearing if necessary.  I haven't assembled things yet to see if they'll be necessary.

 

Regarding the 15x70 LW, you should know that it's effective aperture is closer to 63mm, and the magnification just a bit less than 15X. I kinda recall this according to EdZ's measurements. It's long eye relief and wide AFOV still make it a real pleasure to use, in my experience, but the deluxe(and ultra) model might have some real improvements. 

 

It's also worth asking if there's anyone in a nearby astronomy club who could try their hand at collimating the 15x80's for you(or if you want to try yourself). The last used pair I got that were out of collimation, I readied to spend time with, but after the first 1/2 turn of the first screw, they worked perfectly for me. I felt very lucky. So it's worth trying. As long as you're gentle with them, there shouldn't be anything that can't be undone. And if you fix them, you can save up some money as you enjoy them, and decide better what you really want. 


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 06:11 AM

Rusty:

 

It is my understanding that the Oberwerk 15x70 LWs are the same binocular as the Celestron Skymaster 15x70s.  As Harbinjer says, these are 63mm binoculars and they are prone to collimation issues.  If you are not comfortable aligning your 15x80s, you would have similar issues, sooner or later, with these.

 

G. K. Chesterton wrote  "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

 

In this context, I think that means that it's important to experience the world and learn from your experiences.  The things you would learn from the 15x70 LW's, I think you already know, that's why you are seriously considering replacing the 15x80s with something better.  

 

If you lived closer to me, I would just say, "here, take the 15x70s Resolux's and see how you like them."  I had never been impressed by larger aperture binoculars until I got the 10.5x70 resolux's, others were OK but didn't reach out and grab me, it was always something of a fight.  

 

Jon


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