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Oberwerk BT 127 vs APM 120 90 ED Apo

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#1 duck2k

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:03 PM

I was able to conduct my nightly observations using both the Oberwerk 127 SD and the APM 120 90 ED Apo binoculars. Both were outstanding performers on the same objects that were used in my last post. Open and globular star clusters, galaxies, nebula and double stars, Were the subjects of this observation session. This comparison was done over a period of two clear nights. The observation was performed in Moab, UT dark sky conditions.

 

The eyepieces used were APM 24mm UFF, 12.5 Morphs, Oberwerk 22mm, and.14mm. I am going to say the Oberwerk 22mm grading was excluded when there was a rattling inside each eyepiece (glass was fine, but concerned if this would effect getting good focus). The mounts were fork type, and the tripod a 161MK2B. A star bound chair completed the ensemble.

 

The Obies were great performers, great glass as per general description of the binocular on the Oberwerk website. I have tested these new binos in AZ sky conditions at Picket Post (our star party meeting place), but I felt the skies were darker in Moab. It proved to be the better location to compare these great binos.
With all sets of eyepieces used, here were the results for the 127’s:

 

- amazing views of objects selected. Especially regarding M104, M81/82, M108, M 97, M109, M13, M92, M100, Leo Triplet,  and the carbon stars T and X Cancri.

 

 

- Very crisp details in the GC’s M13 and M92. Outer stars mottled and individual.

 

- Images such as M81, M65, were like looking at M31 with 10x50 (just slightly smaller) through the 12.5 Morphs for example. The side views of M82 and NGC 3623, were like thick fuzzy needles.

 

 

- The stars were pinpoint, and the star fields were rich in contrast. The carbon stars were very beautiful to look at.

 

 

The real issue with these binos, are the Oberwerk eyepieces. I do not think that these held up very well for wide and high powered views. These performed better in my Oberwerk 82’s. I am not sure about Oberwerk 100 owners opinions (since my 100’s are APM). They were a bit difficult to focus (great for my 82’s), and I never achieve the views I wanted. So based on my two eyes, I would have to say my sweet spot were using the APM 24 UFF. The 12.5 Morphs were great for a high power. I will be trying my TV Delos 10mm on these binos when I get home. Depending on what is comfortable for you, choose your eyepieces. Other than that, the 127 is definitely a good performer.

 

The 120’s were also great performers. All observations were done on the same picked objects. The APM 24mm, and the 12.5 Morphs were used. Just to make it interesting I used the Oberwerk 14mm as well.

 

All the objects observed were just as beautiful and a thrill to observe. Many details of the objects were just the same with the 120’s, as with 127’s. Again using the Oberwerk 14mm on the 120’s a little better, however they belong on my 82’s.

 

The APM 120’s are longer (660 FL) and weigh 20lbs. The fork mount attaches easily to the tripod, and the binos are easy to attach to the mount with their lock screws. Mine did not come with a case, so I store it in a Pelican iM 2950 (with the wheels).

 

The Oberwerk 127 are shorter (650 FL) and weigh 24 lbs. the fork mount requires a bayonet adapter for the tripod. Mounting the binos to the mount just takes one turn with a single lock screw (very heavy duty and a strong lock screw by the way). The binos come with their own heavy duty case and are wheeled as well. Very sturdy setup.

 

Of the two binos used, it was very close. The technicality was not visual performance. It was in setting up. The APMS are easier and slightly less time to mount. That is a great convenience for people who desire a good performing extra giant bino without completely throwing their back out. Hey, four lbs makes a difference!smile.gif

 

Both are stellar performers. A little side note: while I was adjusting my view with my 127’s, I accidentally pushed them a bit and was treated to NGC 2976!

 

This comparison does not contain overly emphasized technical data of the binos, but an opinion of a visual observing ugly sailor.smile.gif

 

 

CS watching.gif


Edited by duck2k, 05 May 2021 - 07:10 PM.

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#2 eyeoftexas

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:04 PM

Thanks for the thoughtful and telling review.  It sounds like someone cannot go wrong costing either.  One question, however.  It looks like from your description and signature that the APM's are 90° and the Obies are 45°; does that make any difference in their performance?

 

Thanks again, and clear skies.


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#3 Fiske

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:40 PM

Great report, Duck.

 

Thank you!

 

grin.gif


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#4 duck2k

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for the thoughtful and telling review.  It sounds like someone cannot go wrong costing either.  One question, however.  It looks like from your description and signature that the APM's are 90° and the Obies are 45°; does that make any difference in their performance?

 

Thanks again, and clear skies.

Thanks for reminding me. I forgot to put that attribute in my report.

 

I use both 45 and 90 degree binos. I like 45 degree for above the horizon. Many of these objects viewed were More comfortable with 90 degree. Zenith and above is better with 90 degree binos. More comfortable. New lesson for me actually, I am more comfortable with 90 degree for zenith. I will use my 127 binos a lot.  I just love the glass in them.

 

CS smile.gif


Edited by duck2k, 05 May 2021 - 09:33 PM.

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#5 Lyons77

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:58 PM

Thanks for the review, and glad you had clear skies for the trip!  Which APM fork mount are you using, and did you notice any differences in the operation of the Oberwerk fork versus the APM fork in ease of use, balance or vibrations?   

 

It is a difficult choice, I would probably get the 127XL but I think I might prefer the 90 degree eye piece on the APM 120. 


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#6 duck2k

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the review, and glad you had clear skies for the trip!  Which APM fork mount are you using, and did you notice any differences in the operation of the Oberwerk fork versus the APM fork in ease of use, balance or vibrations?   

 

It is a difficult choice, I would probably get the 127XL but I think I might prefer the 90 degree eye piece on the APM 120. 

My APM fork mount is the one that I got with my 120’s. There is no difference in operating the mounts. Both have the standard friction knobs for up and down and turning. Both are easy to operate with no vibrations noted. Balance is good for both.

 

As far as which bino to consider, if you feel more comfortable with a 90 degree set up - the 120 meets that comfort. I have no problems with either - until I get near and at zenith. For objects way up there, I use the 90 degree for comfort.

 

What is interesting is of the four giant binos I have (82, 100, 120 and 127), the 120’s are the only ones with 90 degrees. Another thing to note, is if one is using a sturdy P mount (70 - 100mm) - the comfort increases with 45 degree (for me anyway).:)


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#7 elmiko

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 09:56 AM

Thanks for sharing your review Howard! Either way, both sound like awesome Binoculars! 

Sounds like you had a great time up in Moab. See you at Picket Post soon.



#8 old Michael

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the report duck. I saw you have many Binos.

In a 90° prisma is one time more reflection as in 45° prisma.

Can you describe the visual diference? Is there a diference? 

Sorry about my grammar.


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#9 Rich V.

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 04:13 PM

Thanks for the report duck. I saw you have many Binos.

In a 90° prisma is one time more reflection as in 45° prisma.

Can you describe the visual diference? Is there a diference? 

Sorry about my grammar.

Hello, Michael, I believe it's the other way around with those binos.  flowerred.gif  

 

The 90° Amici roof prism has fewer reflections with just two; the 45° Schmidt roof has four.  Add in two more reflections in each for the rhombs. 

 

I, too would like to hear from anyone that have seen an observable difference between the 45° and 90° designs that could be attributed to the prisms used.

 

Rich


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#10 Lyons77

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 10:51 PM


The real issue with these binos, are the Oberwerk eyepieces. I do not think that these held up very well for wide and high powered views. These performed better in my Oberwerk 82’s. I am not sure about Oberwerk 100 owners opinions (since my 100’s are APM). They were a bit difficult to focus (great for my 82’s), and I never achieve the views I wanted. So based on my two eyes, I would have to say my sweet spot were using the APM 24 UFF. The 12.5 Morphs were great for a high power. I will be trying my TV Delos 10mm on these binos when I get home. Depending on what is comfortable for you, choose your eyepieces. Other than that, the 127 is definitely a good performer.

 

Did you get a chance to try out your 10mm Delos?   I'm waiting on delivery of the 127XL and thinking about additional eyepieces.  Also, Kevin added a page on XL Series Eyepiece Compatibility.  


Edited by Lyons77, 24 May 2021 - 10:52 PM.

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#11 duck2k

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 09:02 AM

Did you get a chance to try out your 10mm Delos?   I'm waiting on delivery of the 127XL and thinking about additional eyepieces.  Also, Kevin added a page on XL Series Eyepiece Compatibility.  

Hi there,

 

I did not get a chance to test the Delos 10mm yet. I was extremely ill, and then have been real busy (apologies). I have been dying for some star time.  I will try tonight (despite the moon). Tomorrow shows clouds.

 

Thanks for the info from Oberwerk regarding outside eyepieces. The APM 24mm UFF, and the 12.5 Morphs, are still my go to’s.

 

CS :)


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#12 erin

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 09:07 AM

Sorry you’ve been extremely ill undecided.gif I hope you are feeling better!


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#13 Fiske

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 09:24 AM

Sorry you’ve been extremely ill undecided.gif I hope you are feeling better!

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#14 duck2k

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 02:24 PM

Sorry you’ve been extremely ill undecided.gif I hope you are feeling better!

I am a lot better, I wish the skies were. Clouds are moving in now. So much for tonight and tomorrow night

1+

Thanks. Looks like Thursday to test 127 with TV Delos 10mm.


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#15 duck2k

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 04:11 PM

I played race with the clouds and clear spots. I tested the 127’s with my TV Delos 10mm.  I was able to observe the moon, M13, M92, M81/82.

 

It looks like the TV Delos 10mm will be added to my 127 and 120 arsenal. I used the Baader Moon and Sky Glow filters on the Moon. The details were crisp and clear. I was orbiting above the Moon in this case.  The globular were mottled and outer stars resolved. M81 was like looking at a mini M31, and M82 looked like an elongated needle with the “cigar” wrap (the wrap barely visible). The flat field is killer, and no distortion of any kind I can see.

 

CS :)


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