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Oberwerk Deluxe 15x70 order placed!

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#1 Michael Rapp

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 02:43 PM

Wow, I have been waffling on this for over five years now.  Finally just went and did it.  (And of course I waited until Oberwerk was out of stock, but at least I'm in line now.)

 

I've been using my Pentax 10x50s on a Peterson mount for quite some time and I primarily use them for variable star observing, which is a great deal of fun.  However, recently I've been wanting that extra light grasp to make it easier to follow some of these variables when they get down around ninth magnitude.

 

15x70s appeared to be the perfect choice.  Any larger and the field of view (4 degrees is about as small as I want to go) is just going to be too small for easy star hopping for me, especially in NELM 4 skies.  

 

I picked the Deluxe over the Ultra primarily as they are CF over IF and the Deluxe is about a pound lighter, so less counterweight needed.  

 

The Oberwerk site lists mid-December as a possible return-to-stock, which, of course, may or may not happen.  But in the meantime I am eagerly awaiting them!


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#2 John Gauvreau

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 02:51 PM

Congratulations, Michael!  I’m sure you’ll love them.

 

I also have Oberwerk 15x70s and really, really like them.  A lot!  I had 20x80s at one point, and although they showed more, I found the wider field and ease of use of the 70mm a better choice for me.  In the end the 80s found a new home because 70s were getting much more use.  
 

(true confessions; I recently got a pair of 100mm, but they are a different animal all together and compliment the 70mm, rather than replace it).

 

I think the Oberwerk 15x70 is an excellent choice.  Enjoy!



#3 erin

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 03:48 PM

Those are beautiful binos. Enjoy!



#4 Cali

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 07:15 PM

Nice, on a good mount. WARNING: Soon you will be lusting for the 20x80s.

 

Best of luck!

 

- Cal  


Edited by Cali, 09 December 2020 - 07:21 PM.

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#5 sevenofnine

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 07:59 PM

If you don't have a monopod for them, the Obie is a gem. It's very solid with a pistol grip and quick release legs. Very tall too so it can be used by all viewers.


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#6 Michael Rapp

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 12:36 AM

I've enjoyed the Peterson mount so much that I have been seriously considering getting a second one to take to dark skies with the 10x50s.   That mount is just a dream to use.



#7 Michael Rapp

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 12:42 AM

Nice, on a good mount. WARNING: Soon you will be lusting for the 20x80s.

I think I've already skipped ahead to the 25x100s.  :D


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#8 Cali

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 05:53 AM

I think I've already skipped ahead to the 25x100s.  laugh.gif

Your gonna need a p-gram pal.

 

- Cal



#9 ngc6352

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 10:58 AM

I have the Obie Deluxe 15x70’s.  You’re going to love them.


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#10 Michael Rapp

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 05:01 PM

One of the things I agonized over a little is the reduction in the field of view.  In my NELM 4 skies, a wider field of view really helps in star hopping and is also very valuable in variable stars so you can quickly get to comparison stars.

 

Going from my Pentax's to the Oberwerk, I lose 8/10s of a degree, which really isn't that much.  Orion's belt and sword both still easily fit.  I think this illustrates well what I will be losing, but the added light grasp will be well, well worth it.  (Also, there is no free lunch in astronomy.)  

 

Outer circle is 5 degrees, inner circle is 4.2 degrees.

 

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#11 Mark9473

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 05:40 PM

I wouldn't worry about that. In similar skies, I enjoy 15x much more than 10x. Just wait until you're cruising through Orion or Cassiopeia.


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#12 Michael Rapp

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Posted 18 December 2020 - 03:00 PM

I just received my shipping notice!  What a wonderful surprise!  I honestly was not expecting them until late January at the latest.  Still will be a bit before I get them, UPS is showing a ten-day lead time on ground deliveries for obvious reasons.


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#13 Michael Rapp

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 08:43 PM

This is impossible, absolutely impossible.  UPS just rescheduled the delivery of my binoculars for tomorrow instead of Tuesday.

 

It is forecast to be very clear tomorrow night.  

 

This is too good to be true.  ;)


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#14 Michael Rapp

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Posted 25 December 2020 - 12:43 PM

Quick update....the binoculars did indeed arrive yesterday (and packed with extreme care!).  Wow, these are solid.  Exceptionally well made....and certainly the best lens caps of any binoculars I've ever had.  No dust in getting in there!

 

The binoculars also include a card that shows Kevin inspected the binoculars before shipping them out to me, which gives me a good sense of peace of mind.  I am happy I bought them from him.

 

I didn't get to really use them yet as when I went to go mount them on my Peterson mount, I found that the extra hose clamps I had for keeping the newly needed extra counterweights were too large.

 

I did look at the Moon and Jupiter/Saturn with them, but only for a few moments.  Things looked sharp and crisp.  Yet, as would be expected, 15x70s are a little difficult to hand-hold.

 

(In other news, I can't believe I am doing this, but I may actually order hose clamps from Amazon....they'd arrive on Monday.  I'm not relishing going to Home Depot in the days after Christmas.....a bit too many people for my risk level!)


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#15 erin

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Posted 25 December 2020 - 01:28 PM

Congrats! I just got my 70mm BT from Kevin yesterday. No doubt about it, he does a great job! No night sky views yet though, thanks to our Christmas deluge. 
 

Enjoy the binos!



#16 Michael Rapp

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Posted 26 December 2020 - 12:04 AM

I was able to do a bit more of a first light tonight.

 

I have also developed a rabid hatred of hose clamps.  If the sharp metal doesn't cut you, your flat-head screw driver slipping out of the slot certainly will!  :)   Apparently, I just had a bad batch of hose clamps I was trying to use yesterday.  I found some extras by grabbing the hose clamps that held the barbell counterweights in place on one of my other scopes and those tightened up just fine when I could get the screwdriver to behave.  

 

These binoculars were a significantly more tricky to get balanced on the Peterson mount and I still don't have it quite tuned in the way I'd like.  I only needed to add one 2.5 lb weight to the counterweight arm and another one to the horizontal arm near the binoculars.  (The vertical arm didn't need one as it turns out.)  So all in all, I only added ~8 lbs to the entire set up (5 lbs of weight plus the 2.5 lbs or so that the 15x70s weigh more than the 10x50s).  I need to pick up a set of those 7/8" wide washers for fine-tuning.

 

Sky conditions were mostly clear this evening with some fast moving cirrus and, of course, a seriously waxing gibbous Moon.

 

Still, I was very pleased with what I saw.  Sharp stars across most of the FOV.  I was also able to easily see eighth magnitude stars with little effort.  This is great.  I feel these binoculars really will give me that extra edge in variable star estimates.

 

While I kind of already knew this, 15x70s is perhaps the largest I want to go for the work I am typically going to do with them.  Without question a four-degree field of view is about as small as I want to go.  Furthermore, there is a noticeable increase in "polar moment" with these heavier binoculars on this style of mount.  I am hoping I can reduce it as I fine-tune the balance.  I don't think it will be objectionable -- and I certainly don't want a heavier mount -- but when I bumped the binoculars with my nose, it took them several seconds more the settle down than with the lighter 10x50s.

 

Tomorrow is mostly clear so I may spend some time blinding myself by looking at the Moon (which I forgot to do tonight before it went behind a tree).


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#17 Chuck2

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Posted 26 December 2020 - 03:19 AM

 

I have also developed a rabid hatred of hose clamps.  If the sharp metal doesn't cut you, your flat-head screw driver slipping out of the slot certainly will! 

 

Apparently, I just had a bad batch of hose clamps I was trying to use yesterday.  I found some extras by grabbing the hose clamps that held the barbell counterweights in place on one of my other scopes and those tightened up just fine when I could get the screwdriver to behave.  

 them several seconds more the settle down than with the lighter 10x50s.

Mechanics use a ratcheting socket wrench or a nut driver to tighten worm gear hose clamps, the screw has a hex head to prevent slippage.


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#18 Michael Rapp

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Posted 26 December 2020 - 09:51 PM

I've been really enjoying them tonight.  Been out for over two hours.  Curiously, the amount of false color on the Moon is essentially the same as what I see with my Williams Optics 66 SD, which is to say, very, very little (a little yellow/green on one limb and a little purple on the other).  Not objectionable at all.  I was expecting far more.

 

Stars are stupidly sharp in the center of the FOV.  Sharper than my Pentax 10x50s.  Capella and Rigel are nearly discs.  It's awesome.

 

Even with the Moon as bright as it is, I could see 9th magnitude stars with just a little effort in the Pleiades which are only 5 degrees away from the Moon.  (Tonight is ridiculously transparent, which is helping.)   As I said before, even with the Moon, stars I would struggle to see with my 10x50s are easy now.  So I am really, really happy.

 

I also did several double stars, which is just great fun in binoculars.   The Double Cluster is just beautiful, even with all of this Moonlight.

 

I've nearly gotten the mount tuned in.  I just mostly needed to learn how to use it with larger binoculars.  (The Peterson mount has friction controls, which I had never used until tonight because they aren't needed on small binoculars.)

 

Why did I ever wait so long to get these?  :)


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#19 Michael Rapp

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Posted 26 December 2020 - 09:51 PM

Mechanics use a ratcheting socket wrench or a nut driver to tighten worm gear hose clamps, the screw has a hex head to prevent slippage.

A nut driver....but of course!  Once again the obvious eludes me lol.  Thank you for saving my hands.  :D


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#20 Popsee

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 03:41 PM

Which oberwerks would be good to get my wife.  I'm thinking of these.  We have a joson 10x50 (which seems to do a great job- but i'm too inexperienced to know anything else).

 

And... would I need to buy an attachment for these to attach to a normal (largish) tripod?



#21 Chuck2

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 05:39 PM

Which oberwerks would be good to get my wife.  I'm thinking of these.  We have a joson 10x50 (which seems to do a great job- but i'm too inexperienced to know anything else).

 

And... would I need to buy an attachment for these to attach to a normal (largish) tripod?

 

Oberwerk offers multiple levels of handheld binos. The Ultra series is their finest with best optics, resolution, contrast, prisms and construction. Those are followed by the deluxe series.

 

What model to select is based on what your wife wants to view (astronomy, birding, etc), portability for hiking, weight, steadiness of her hold, etc. Call Kevin at Oberwerk, he can help her chose what works best for her.

 

https://oberwerk.com...stions-answers/

https://oberwerk.com...es/all-models/#

https://oberwerk.com...mparison-chart/



#22 Michael Rapp

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 12:24 PM

I can say definitely that the 15x70s really need to be on a support of some kind, even if just a monopod.  I would almost argue that I can see more with my 10x50s handheld than the 15x70s as they are half the weight.  I'll take a photo of my 15x70s next to my 10x50s later today.

 

The Oberwerk Deluxes do come with a very good tripod adapter.


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#23 Michael Rapp

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 12:39 PM

So I had my first "no moon" session with my 15x70s last night.  Sky was very transparent. 

 

I spent an hour or so early in the afternoon really trying to dial in the balance on my Peterson mount.  I think I've got it about as good as I am going to get it.  With my 10x50s, the Peterson mount is essentially perfection.  With the 15x70s, I'm not quite there yet, especially in the "pitch" axis.    With the 10x50s, I didn't have to use any of the friction knobs, but with the 15x70s, I have to use all three, with two of them -- pitch and roll -- tightened significantly.  

 

I think the problem is that the place in which the tripod threads is not the balance point of the binoculars.  It's like a newtonian reflector, with all of the finderscopes and stuff on top of the tube, you can't get it perfectly balanced in altitude.

 

Still, I certainly am willing to give up a little bit of fluidity in order to keep the weight of the entire thing down.  It is very important to me that I can take this mount + binoculars from my garage to my driveway in one trip.

 

I did some variable stars in Lepus and Orion before the Moon rose.  The sharpness in the center of the field is really a joy.  I was not expecting them to be sharper than my Pentax 10x50s.  I'm really enjoying the extra magnitude grasp.  It's actually throwing me off a little....A 7th magnitude star now looks like a 6th magnitude star!  A good problem to have.  :)

 

I love the center-focus.  My contacts correct my vision very well, so I really just set the right-diopter to zero and then use the center knob.  I find this much, much more pleasant than individual-focus.  The center-focus, in my mind, offsets any improvement in optical quality the Ultras would have given me.

 

I may....may think about adding a reddot finder to the setup.  It's not necessary, but the smaller field did make me question whether I had pointed at the right star a few times, for example, in the western "foot" of Gemini.

 

All in all, there is no free lunch in astronomy.  To gain something one must always give up something.  So I got a slightly heavier setup, lost sone fluidity, lost a bit of field of view, but gained a sharper image and the capability to more easily detect some of my variables.   

 

I'm happy.

 

(Also, the Double Cluster in Perseus.....diamonds on velvet!)


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#24 Erik Bakker

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 01:49 PM

Really enjoyed your first “no moon” report under transparent skies with your 15x70 Michael. 70mm is a significant step up at night from a 50mm binocular.

 

And your right about the benefits of supporting the 15x70. I can see more at 7x with support than at 10x hand-held.

 

I can say definitely that the 15x70s really need to be on a support of some kind, even if just a monopod.  I would almost argue that I can see more with my 10x50s handheld than the 15x70s as they are half the weight.  I'll take a photo of my 15x70s next to my 10x50s later today.

 

The Oberwerk Deluxes do come with a very good tripod adapter.



#25 Michael Rapp

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 07:09 PM

Here's a shot of my Pentax 10x50s next to the Oberwerk 15x70 Deluxe.  The 15x70s are significantly larger!

 

IMG-4416.JPG


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