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15x70 report and perfect position to relax and observe with it

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#1 Freezout

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 12:55 AM

I believe I found a perfect way to hold my 70mm binoculars without any fatigue, and moreover in a very comfortable position. This work from almost horizon to zenith. Further, some report of these 15x70 Marine from Teleskop-Service.

 

You just need to lay down, I suggest on a camping mattress because it’s easy to carry.
You need then 2 pillows. One needs to be quite large (I use a 60x40cm one, thickness around 20 cm). Put one under the head. The other one (the largest and most important) between your forearms and your chest. Bring the pillow under your chin. You hold the binoculars with your hands and the binoculars weight will be completely supported by the pillow. 
I did that while the camera monopod/tripod adapter was still on the binocular. I left it because it helps a little bit in some instances, but it’s not required.
Your eyes are now at perfect distance from the eyepieces. By adjusting intuitively your head on the pillow, or taking it off, you can observe from 90 to… very low, not 0 degree but close. Your hands will naturally follow the move by holding the binoculars closer or further from the prism and repositioning the binoculars on the pillow. You can move the pillow (which is not a cubical shape) on its different sides & lengths to adjust to the best comfort. A couple of seconds to adjust.

It has the advantage to be comfortable: you’re laying down, and the pillow even warms you up. You can eventually put a blanket. To look objects at the horizon, I use it hand held with my elbows on the knees, sitting on the mattress.
Actually I find this technique more comfortable than bending on my Mak, as I have no adjustable chair!

I tested first garden sofa pillows (that’s the best) but use also inflatable camping pillows. They have a very soft surface. I bought for 50 euros 2 inflatable pillows and a camping mattress.
You can use any pillow having some stable shape, retaining some form.
For backpacking you have for 50 euros this solution, which can together with the binoculars and all the usual gadgets be transported in a small day-trip backpack. You have free hands to make an expedition for a night up in the mountain (or wherever…)!
One default: you will get regular bouncing of the image due to your heart beat.

 

To summarize:
+ Comfort & absence of fatigue (if laying down is OK for your back)
+ easy and fast to implement
+ large range of vision

- view not perfectly stable (hand holding and heart beat)

 

I went twice to test my Marine 15x70 in that way. Bortle 5, elevation 18m at that place.

These are an awesome purchase. The materials and finish of the binoculars themselves is very good. You have immediately the feeling to have the quality you paid for.

I was scarred that the eye relief would be an issue as I have very long eyelashes. The entire FOV is visible without my eyelashes brushing the glass.

1h after sunset I was able to observe several DSO. The number of stars you see which are invisible with naked eye is impressive. Albireo is easily split.
I observed mostly the Milky Way. The Wild Duck Cluster (what a name!) served as starting point to find the brightest nebulae from Sagittarius: lagoon, Eagle and Omega fitting together in the FOV, trifid nebula. I could also observe the Dumbell nebula, M13 and the double cluster. I’m impressed how it’s easy to find all the targets, being used to the small FOV of my Maksutov-Cassegrain.
A lot of time just cruising the sky laying down. I promised to myself 10 times that I would just go on without opening my sky atlas to check what I see, and opened the sky atlas 10 times.
I had a look also at Jupiter, appearing way bigger than I believed it would be, with moons visible (I didn’t think they would be visible). Saturn just lets guess than something is strange in the shape, like a collimation issue, but the ring is not visible. As foreseen the moon is splendid. Some blue fringe is visible on it (that was when it was full, not yesterday when orange at low horizon). 

One funny discovery: Brocchi’s cluster. The 6 stars perfectly aligned were quite surprising!


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#2 DeanD

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 02:13 AM

Sounds like fun! Now all you need is some red leds at the corners of the mattress so that your fellow astronomer don't tread on you in the dark: and of course a way to stop your heartbeat! ...and start it again afterwards...    lol.gif

 

Have fun!

 

- Dean


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#3 KennyJ

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 02:21 AM

I've engaged similar positions myself to look through binoculars.

 

It would be approaching "perfect" if it didn't involve having to use the hands, which still brings about the dreaded aching of the arms.

 

Kenny



#4 Sorana

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:05 AM

I had a look also at Jupiter, appearing way bigger than I believed it would be, with moons visible (I didn’t think they would be visible). Saturn just lets guess than something is strange in the shape, like a collimation issue, but the ring is not visible. As foreseen the moon is splendid. Some blue fringe is visible on it (that was when it was full, not yesterday when orange at low horizon). 

One funny discovery: Brocchi’s cluster. The 6 stars perfectly aligned were quite surprising!

Sounds like an amazing night!! I was also impressed when I first looked through my binoculars (mine are 10x50s) at Jupiter and saw the moons!! Pretty amazing!

 

Clear skies!!



#5 Freezout

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:15 AM

Kenny, with the pillow supporting the forearms your hands shouldn’t be too much used. Most of the time their role is just to direct the binoculars and avoid them to fall, but not to support the weight. But it might be that you still get fatigue after a while.

#6 KennyJ

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:37 AM

Freezout,

 

At approaching 70 years old, I must admit it takes less to make me feel fatigued now that it did when my passion for binoculars began 55 years ago! smile.gif

 

Furthermore, I could comfortably count on one hand the number of nights per year when it's clear enough, dark enough and warm enough to consider lying outside for any length of time to enjoy night sky viewing, here at 53 degrees north!



#7 PEterW

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 05:32 AM

Another convert! I mount my binoculars on a monopod whose foot is down by my feet, adds a bit of stability and weight bearing. Never thought of the second pillow, need to try that.
I already have a stock of low brightness red LED markers for the purpose and a compact ground sheet if the ground is damp.
As you point out the field of view of binoculars makes finding things quite easy.

Peter

#8 Freezout

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:17 AM

Freezout,

 

At approaching 70 years old, I must admit it takes less to make me feel fatigued now that it did when my passion for binoculars began 55 years ago! smile.gif

 

Furthermore, I could comfortably count on one hand the number of nights per year when it's clear enough, dark enough and warm enough to consider lying outside for any length of time to enjoy night sky viewing, here at 53 degrees north!

Indeed no doubt that at 70 I might also have the same issue.

I'm at the same latitude but right now on the continent we have such a heat wave that I was at midnight in short pants & tee-shirt to observe. I don't know if it's the same in the UK?

For the winter season I will probably have to add an alpinism sleeping bag to the setup, to complete the "crazy husband" feeling of my wife...

 

Another convert! I mount my binoculars on a monopod whose foot is down by my feet, adds a bit of stability and weight bearing. Never thought of the second pillow, need to try that.
I already have a stock of low brightness red LED markers for the purpose and a compact ground sheet if the ground is damp.
As you point out the field of view of binoculars makes finding things quite easy.

Peter

I use also sometime a monopod for the objects close to the horizon.

Monopod + camping chair was one of my options when looking at a binocular setup, but I found more difficult to change targets.



#9 DeanD

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:27 AM

 

For the winter season I will probably have to add an alpinism sleeping bag to the setup, to complete the "crazy husband" feeling of my wife...

 

Yeah, I get that "crazy husband" bit a lot too, especially if I am wearing my "hobbit cloak" and hood to keep out stray light (apparently I look like Bilbo with it on, but no hairy feet and I am 6'3", not 3'6" like your average hobbit)...  

 

BTW, I have the Orion Regular 15x70's, which are Kunming BA8's, the same as the TS Marine's. They give wonderful views of extended nebulae: you will love them when Orion is up at a more humane hour (although you will probably be in your sleeping bag then!). Likewise Andromeda is great in them, and you will be able to see both sides of the Veil SNR in Cygnus: fabulous. I love their views of the LMC and SMC, as well as Eta Carina, not to mention Omega Centauri and 47 Tuc; but you will have to visit south of the equator to see these at their best.

 

- Dean


Edited by DeanD, 08 August 2020 - 06:39 AM.

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#10 PEterW

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:46 AM

With chair and lying you do need to occasionally rotate your direction if you want to look at a different region, though looking south and letting the Earth do the hard work of moving stuff through your observing window.
Wish the hood of the observing hood had an internal support so it didn’t fall back when you look up as us binocular users do.....

Peter

(Southern) UK is really Baking at the moment.

#11 Zaphod

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 09:37 AM

With chair and lying you do need to occasionally rotate your direction if you want to look at a different region, though looking south and letting the Earth do the hard work of moving stuff through your observing window.
Wish the hood of the observing hood had an internal support so it didn’t fall back when you look up as us binocular users do.....

Peter

(Southern) UK is really Baking at the moment.

Brilliant! I am going to sew a wire into the hood of my observing jacket today. Thanks for the idea.




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