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Orion BT-100 GiantView binocular telescopes - worth a purchase?

Orion binoculars observing
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#1 ljoraanstad

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:32 PM

Hi guys - I've been around the block in regards to both astronomical viewing and photographing. I owned an Orion 8" f/4.9 astrograph and an Explore Scientific 102 APO Triplet and did both observing and photographing. More observing on the former, more photographing on the latter. Long story short, I sold my entire setup for near retail value and am now getting the itch again (surprise, surprise). One of the reasons I got out of it was because I was tired of lugging around my heavy Atlas mount and the setup time, etc. 

I am looking for something now to satisfy my itch of just doing some visual. Ideally something I can bring on camping trips, to outreach events, etc. and that will give stellar views. It seems my options are obviously a big light bucket or some heavy duty binoculars.

My eyes are set on the Orion BT-100 GiantView binocular telescope, or the Oberwerk BT-100. Seems to me the Orion is a better deal for almost $1000 cheaper. There is obviously quite an investment involved with this, around $2000 with a big tripod that can support the weight.  With my background, it seems like for $2000 I could get something so much more functional for viewing if I am willing to lug around a big light bucket/dob around, but I don't know that I am. Maybe the binocular (two eyed) view offers a pretty stellar view that can't be found elsewhere.

TLDR: Can someone sell me on the BT-100? Is it worth the thousands of dollar for a pair of binoculars? That seems so overpriced, but maybe it's not. I can't find anything online regarding reviews on this item besides the retail seller reviews and some dated articles. Is there a reason nobody owns these? Are these a hidden gem? Will this wow crowds and myself?


Edited by ljoraanstad, 02 June 2020 - 03:34 PM.


#2 hallelujah

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:47 PM

One of the reasons I got out of it was because I was tired of lugging around my heavy Atlas mount and the setup time, etc.

How about something more reasonable?

 

https://oberwerk.com...5x100mm-deluxe/

 

Stan



#3 ljoraanstad

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:52 PM

How about something more reasonable?

 

https://oberwerk.com...5x100mm-deluxe/

 

Stan

Thanks for the reply. Whats some of the differences between a 25x100 and the BT-100? Looks like slight difference in magnification and apparent viewing angle. Why the big price difference? Orion v.s. Oberwerk?


Edited by ljoraanstad, 02 June 2020 - 03:54 PM.


#4 B 26354

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:12 PM

The Oberwerk 25x100 Deluxe is a standard-configuration, straight-through, fixed eyepiece binocular. The Orion BT-100 uses interchangeable 1.25" eyepieces, and its prisms are angled at 45 degrees, resulting in a far more comfortable viewing position for astronomical targets.

 

If I were you, in spite of your prior telescopic experience, I'd do a lot more reading about binoculars (and hopefully some hands-on viewing and  testing), before making any purchases.  grin.gif



#5 Cali

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:17 PM

These are two totally different instruments (25x100 v. BT-100). Hopefully some one else will chime in about the more subtle differences. I had the Obie 25x100 Delux and its 10lbs of metal and glass. I had it on an Oberwerk p-gram and that was about the limit weight wise. I eventually went with a Binoviewer for my little 127mm Mak and the view just blew the doors off of the binocular for local orbs. The binocular had an edge for DSO's. YMMV.

 

Good luck.

 

- Cal



#6 Rich V.

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:14 PM

To your original question, the Orion BT-100 is an achromat doublet BT while the Oberwerk BT100XL ED is an ED doublet. There's your main difference in price.

 

The Orion is from the same source as the APM achromat BT; Kunming United Optics.  The Oberwerk is from a different maker in the same location so naturally has slightly different specs.  The APM achro is a bit better deal than the Orion.  APM also offers ED models.

 

https://www.telescop...pe/p/118199.uts

 

https://www.outdoors..._9011762_1.html

 

https://oberwerk.com...rk-bt-100xl-ed/

 

Angled viewing is more comfortable on the neck than straight-through binos like 25x100s.  The angled BTs also give the the option of using of many eyepieces.  A BT only needs a tripod/head and an adjustable chair but straight binos need a more complicated parallelogram mount to achieve a high comfort level.  Just on a tripod/head your neck will dictate your viewing angle.

 

Rich


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#7 Cali

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:29 PM

 

Angled viewing is more comfortable on the neck than straight-through binos like 25x100s.  The angled BTs also give the the option of using of many eyepieces.  A BT only needs a tripod/head and an adjustable chair but straight binos need a more complicated parallelogram mount to achieve a high comfort level.  Just on a tripod/head your neck will dictate your viewing angle.

 

Rich

Amen to that.

 

- Cal


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#8 Beg

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 11:32 PM


TLDR: Can someone sell me on the BT-100? Is it worth the thousands of dollar for a pair of binoculars? That seems so overpriced, but maybe it's not. I can't find anything online regarding reviews on this item besides the retail seller reviews and some dated articles. Is there a reason nobody owns these? Are these a hidden gem? Will this wow crowds and myself?

 

https://www.cloudyni...scope-a-review/

 

I've had the Orion for a couple years now, as well as the Obie BT-100 ED. Is the Orion achro worth it ? I have seen some stunning views with mine. From my dark sky site the dust lanes of M31 will stay in my mind forever. Yes it was worth it..



#9 ljoraanstad

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 09:33 AM

https://www.cloudyni...scope-a-review/

 

I've had the Orion for a couple years now, as well as the Obie BT-100 ED. Is the Orion achro worth it ? I have seen some stunning views with mine. From my dark sky site the dust lanes of M31 will stay in my mind forever. Yes it was worth it..

Thanks for all the responses guys, they have been helpful.

Could you give an example of an image that might reflect what reality looks like through the binoculars at your dark site? Any other favorite catalog objects you've seen through it?



#10 Rich V.

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for all the responses guys, they have been helpful.

Could you give an example of an image that might reflect what reality looks like through the binoculars at your dark site? Any other favorite catalog objects you've seen through it?

Here's an example that's pretty much the way it appears under dark skies but of course with less color in the bino.  The M24 star cloud in Sag.  Image taken from the Astrosurf site ( http://www.astrosurf...omolli/d136.jpg )

 

One of my favorite summer objects in a 100mm BT.  About a 2° FOV with WF eyepieces.

 

Rich

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#11 hallelujah

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:03 PM

One of my favorite summer objects in a 100mm BT.  About a 2° FOV with WF eyepieces.

 

Rich

Rich,

 

We are told here, on a regular basis, that a 2* FOV is much too restrictive for binoculars.

 

Is there a significant difference between what you see & what someone else sees with

a Pentax 20x60?

 

Stan
 


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#12 Beg

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys, they have been helpful.

Could you give an example of an image that might reflect what reality looks like through the binoculars at your dark site? Any other favorite catalog objects you've seen through it?

Where the 100mm BT's really become useful is because of a couple things. Not everyone here will agree with this, but 100mm is, I believe, the minimum aperture for astronomy. Anything smaller and its compromised. Thats my opinion from being out on my dark mountain deck looking up with several different instruments over the years.

 

Light grasp is huge for the Messier objects and the light and dark cosmic lanes that marble through the MW. And that's where the 100mm BT's shine. 100mm BT's hit the sweet spot with size and weight and mounting options. And interchangable eyepieces add another useful dimension to that with magnification and perspective. Very very useful. All in a nice easy to handle size.

 

As Rich shows, light and dark Nebula of the interstellar clouds are AWESOME with 100mm BT's. The entire Milky Way Arc from a good decent site, as a whole, is one big playground of light and darkness and clusters 

 

And a 100mm BT is the most cost effective with performance binocular to bring it all together.


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#13 ljoraanstad

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:49 PM

Not everyone here will agree with this, but 100mm is, I believe, the minimum aperture for astronomy. Anything smaller and its compromised. Thats my opinion from being out on my dark mountain deck looking up with several different instruments over the years.

Are you saying you wouldn't go any smaller than this? Do you like your Orion's more than your Oberwerks?


Edited by ljoraanstad, 03 June 2020 - 02:49 PM.


#14 Rich V.

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:54 PM

Rich,

 

We are told here, on a regular basis, that a 2* FOV is much too restrictive for binoculars.

 

Is there a significant difference between what you see & what someone else sees with

a Pentax 20x60?

 

Stan
 

Hi, Stan, that M24 view I showed above would be approximate to my 100mm BT at around 33x100.  It's still a 3mm exit pupil like 20x60s have but with a 65% greater image scale.   Many more stars are shown due to the higher mag even at that same exit pupil.   The combined effect of increased magnification and aperture is clear.

 

If you use Alan Adler's index of binocular performance which favors star visibility, not extended objects, the 20x60s only have a score of 155 (20x sqrt 60) vs 330 (33x sqrt 100) for 33x100, even though they both have the same exit pupil.  You're not going to see nearly as many stars at 20x.  My 130mm refractor goes even one better and shows M24 inside a 2.3° FOV at 43x but of course, for only one eye.  wink.gif

 

A 2° FOV may be considered restrictive for a small hand held bino but I wouldn't call it restrictive in a 100mm BT.  It's all relative, I suppose, and many 100mm BTs won't go much wider than 2.5° anyhow, so it's expected.  2° at 20x would feel pretty restrictive with its 40° AFOV but 2° at 33x is a 66° AFOV which is relatively wide in comparison.

 

Rich


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#15 hallelujah

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:03 PM

Rich,

 

Thank you for a clearer explanation.

 

Stan



#16 Beg

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:21 PM

Are you saying you wouldn't go any smaller than this? Do you like your Orion's more than your Oberwerks?

I have never gotten into the smaller binos for astro use as some people have around here. My 15x50 Canon IS are mainly used for watching Elk across the valley, and my Miyauchi Saturns are probably going to go up for sale here soon. 

 

If I go for the Oberwerk BT-127XL, which I probably will, I will sell both the Orion and the Miyauchis and the 20x110's down the line to help with that cost. No I do not like the Orions better, but they are excellent binoculars.



#17 ljoraanstad

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:25 PM

I have never gotten into the smaller binos for astro use as some people have around here. My 15x50 Canon IS are mainly used for watching Elk across the valley, and my Miyauchi Saturns are probably going to go up for sale here soon. 

 

If I go for the Oberwerk BT-127XL, which I probably will, I will sell both the Orion and the Miyauchis and the 20x110's down the line to help with that cost. No I do not like the Orions better, but they are excellent binoculars.

How soon would you be selling your Orion's :)



#18 Beg

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:31 PM

Not yet. Research the APMs also.



#19 Jack239

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 03:44 PM

Non da 25x100, è molto molto scomodo è possibile utilizzare solo per terrestre. Si può cerco APM ED APO 100mm 45,è un puntone e non espansivo venire Oberwerk 100. L'oculare cambia per ogni ingrandiment. L'APM è di soli 6,5 kg ed è è utilizzare con Manfrotto Triman 028 B con baricentrico forcell.


Edited by Jack239, 04 June 2020 - 03:54 PM.



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