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Maven-hypothetical question

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#1 Cestus

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 10:26 AM

A hypothetical question: if one were to consider a Maven for astronomy which would be best. Assuming one can hold an 8x, however a 10x is a bit much to hold steady for very long. Would be used mainly hand held, but also on tripod/monopod.

 

B.1

 

8x42

 

Exit pupil: 5.25 mm

FOV: 7.4

Eye relief: 18.6 mm

Weight: 29 oz

Schmidt-Pechan

 

 

B.2

                   7x45     9x45        11x45    

Exit pupil:  6.4mm  5mm       4.1mm

FOV:          7.4        7.2           6.0

Eye relief:  18mm  17.3mm  16.7mm

Weight:  33.25 oz  33.25 oz  33.25 oz

Abbe-Koenig

 



#2 adlibitum

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 04:36 PM

I don't have any experience with Maven but am also interested in this question. However, I would personally consider the B.4 and B.5 56mm models. Have you ruled them out? 


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#3 Fiske

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 05:17 PM

For a dedicated astronomy binocular, the only instrument under 50mm I would consider is the Canon 10x42L IS. The issue is that 42mm binoculars compared with 50s just aren't as bright or vivid. I find them much less engaging. Compared side by side, the difference in the views is apparent -- the difference between lightning and lightning bugs to paraphrase a rather famous son of Missouri. (Mark Twain)

 

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#4 ECP M42

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 05:56 PM

The 7x (as usual) has a narrow view of the field, but would be the best over all, to avoid "tremors" and could have a sharp and defined field all the way to the edge.


Edited by ECP M42, 14 July 2021 - 05:57 PM.


#5 Blue72

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 06:46 PM

Binoculars are a very personal choice. When I first started astronomy, I got all sorts of different answers. Leaving me even more confused 

 

I landed up buying all different magnification binoculars (with good return policies) and land up discovering I love 7x best. There are lots of 10x fans and thought I would love those. But the calmness of 7x won me over
 

only you know what’s best


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#6 SMark

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:17 PM

I am typically fine holding 8x. I tend to struggle holding 10x. So I’ve always wanted to try that 9x45. I think it has the best specs as well.
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#7 MT4

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:27 PM

For a dedicated astronomy binocular, the only instrument under 50mm I would consider is the Canon 10x42L IS. The issue is that 42mm binoculars compared with 50s just aren't as bright or vivid. I find them much less engaging. Compared side by side, the difference in the views is apparent -- the difference between lightning and lightning bugs to paraphrase a rather famous son of Missouri. (Mark Twain)

 

Fiske

 

I completely agree with Fiske.  While I enjoy using my 7x, 8x and 10x binoculars on the night sky I consider them companions to higher-mag-bigger-aperture instruments rather than the main instruments.  Perhaps it's due to the severe light pollution where I am.  (I recently bought a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter and its readings are consistently around 16, which is worse than typical Bortle-9.  I really need to take my binoculars somewhere darker than mid-Tokyo smile.gif)

 

To the original OP, I have some limited experience with Maven binoculars for astronomy.  I ordered a Maven B5 15x56, sight unseen, last year after struggling to see DSOs with my 8x and 10x instruments.  I love it and I consider it the lowest-mag-lowest-aperture instrument in my binocular lineup that allows me to appreciate open clusters such as the Beehive Cluster.  There have been times when I wonder if I should have gotten the Maven B5 18x56 instead to better punch through the light pollution but I have come to the conclusion that I value the freedom of hand-holding my smaller binoculars over getting a bit more reach.  Perhaps that's because I already have bigger binoculars for when a more detailed study of DSOs is preferred.

 

In terms of optics, the Maven B5 15x56 is very sharp in the center and has a wide sweet spot.  To my (inexperienced) eyes, stars are pinpoint sharp to about 80-85% and not at all objectionable even at the very edge of the FOV.   Transmission, brightness, and contrast are all excellent.  Star colors are intense, more so than in any of my 10x binoculars and even in my Nikon 18x70.

 

I've heard the Maven B5 15x56 described as the poor man's Swarovski SLC 15x56.  I don't have any experience with the Swaro so don't know whether the Maven B5's optics are 80% or 90% of the SLC's quality but I've been very happy with my Maven B5.  At less than half the price of the Swaro I consider the Maven B5 a very good buy.


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#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 09:53 PM

No Maven here, otherwise, I find my 7x35 11° to be easily the most comfortable for handheld astronomy binoculars I have ever had. I cut my astronomy teeth with a pair of Herters 8x40s that I got as a present in 1964 and used intensively for several years as handhelds whereby I learned all the northern hemisphere constellations and a good many of the brighter/ more extensive Messier objects. My Zeiss 10x50 Dekarems and Oberwerk 11x60s LWs are fine too, however I can hold them comfortably for much shorter periods of time.


Edited by Terra Nova, 14 July 2021 - 09:56 PM.

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#9 sevenofnine

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 10:24 PM

Just looking at your collection I would say you're missing something in the 7x range. There are lots of fans of this power for wide field scanning. My vote is for the Maven 7x45's. waytogo.gif


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#10 Fiske

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 10:32 PM

No Maven here, otherwise, I find my 7x35 11° to be easily the most comfortable for handheld astronomy binoculars I have ever had. I cut my astronomy teeth with a pair of Herters 8x40s that I got as a present in 1964 and used intensively for several years as handhelds whereby I learned all the northern hemisphere constellations and a good many of the brighter/ more extensive Messier objects. My Zeiss 10x50 Dekarems and Oberwerk 11x60s LWs are fine too, however I can hold them comfortably for much shorter periods of time.

I don't have a wide field 7x35 in my collection. Might need to give one a try...

 

hmm.gif


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#11 Cestus

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 09:52 AM

My reasoning has been thus. I have a pretty good collection and use them all. However, I don't have an alpha and given finances the Maven is the most I could afford, about 1000 bucks. It has good reviews. I'm good for the larger aperture. I have a 12, 15's, and a 20x. I am satisfied with those and don't plan to go to higher aperture. I can hold an 8x, but I have more problems with shakes then most given my age. The Obie 8x40's are actually the best for me as the weight helps steady them. Although it does tire the arms after awhile. That also attracts me to the Maven's since they are rather heavy. I might, maybe, would be able to hold the 9x and it has good reviews. However, I might end up having to use it primarily on the monopod if I can't hold it steady. I don't live in Tokyo, although I've been there, so might light pollution issue is not nearly as great.

 

I thought of going with the 6x30, but the 7x45 is attractive. The review at the bird forum said it actually had a larger fov then it was rated for. Those birders know their equipment. I grant that it is not in the 50 mm category, but it is close and I already have several in that aperture or greater. It would be good for daytime viewing, as the birders attested, and for relaxed hand held viewing of the Milky Way and larger Messier objects. I was tempted by the Kowa 6.5x32 with the wide fov, but the Maven would go a bit deeper and has greater clarity. As we all know everything is a trade off. I guess I'm looking for something that is versatile, that is not already in my inventory, can be hand held or used on a mount, and is of alpha quality without the alpha price. A Maven is half the cost of the European models, but is very close to them in quality. I also like these little companies that work hard to provide a good product and give good customer service.

 

So, I'm leaning toward the 7x45. However, I shall meditate further before plunking down that much cash. Thanks for all of the responses!



#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 11:41 AM

I don't have a wide field 7x35 in my collection. Might need to give one a try...

 

hmm.gif

I highly recommend them. Mine are Binolux that I bought used two years ago on eBay. I love the huge 11° field. Luckily I got them from a knowledgable binocular collector and the 50 year old binos arrived cleaned, lubed, and in perfect collimation. It was the best $75 astronomy deal I ever made, (and that included shipping). They even came with the original case and original four caps. They are wonderful fun on a dark, clear night!


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#13 ECP M42

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 04:20 PM

I don't have a wide field 7x35 in my collection. Might need to give one a try...

 

hmm.gif

I have a Kenko 7x32 with 14° of field (actual, 250m or 750ft).

The cost is on the medium-low and the optical quality is not the best. It doesn't work with glasses, like 99% of wide vision 7x35s, but it has "sporadic coated" lenses smirk.gif  and at night it's an exaggerated sight because you struggle to see the edge of the field.

It is a true wide angle binoculars with low cost 82 ° eyepieces (actual), analogous to 100° telescope eyepieces. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...324-wide-angle/


Edited by ECP M42, 15 July 2021 - 04:23 PM.

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#14 Blue72

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 09:38 PM

I don't have a wide field 7x35 in my collection. Might need to give one a try...

 

hmm.gif

They are my absolute favorite binoculars!  Not as many stars as bigger magnification or aperture. But the wide view lets you see the heavens in a new way

 

Nikon has refurbished 7x35 for $55 right now

 

https://www.nikonusa...:8ps:Binoculars


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#15 Fiske

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 12:08 PM

So about the 7x35s.

 

Wednesday night I glanced outside around 10 before heading to bed and noticed the sky was somewhat clear (meaning I could see Vega wink.gif ). Okay, it was a little clearer than that -- I could actually see the Hercules keystone asterism which is my new litmus test. Anyway, I told myself I would have a few quick peeks before calling it a night, so naturally wound up going to bed about 1 am. 

 

Got out the La Fuma zero-gravity chair and (eventually) the following bins -- Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG, Steiner 8x56, Fuji 10x50, APM 12x50, APM 16x70, Nikon 7x50, Nikon 10x70. The 8x Steiner and 7x Nikon easiest to hold steady. Nikon 8x42 -- light and easy to hold but views obviously dimmer than the Steiner/Nikon. Fuji 10x50 best compromise of steadiness (not as relaxing as 8x/7x Steiner/Nikon) but could easily see more. APM 12x50 more detail than the 10x50 but irritatingly jumpy and smaller FOV. APM 16x70, really only usable for quick peeks -- WAY too jumpy. Nikon 10x70 -- noticeably heavy compared with the Fuji 10x50 but a gorgeous view nonetheless. Jumpiness might have been more manageable with an arm rest enhancement -- the armrests on the chair don't provide a support option when looking near the zenith.

 

Here is the thing about 7x35s from light polluted skies -- while the field is larger than the 7/8x instruments, those are already losing considerable ground on what can be seen to the 10x50 even with equivalent or more aperture. The 7x35 would be more enticing from a darker sky, but the Steiner is already over 8 degrees, and the Nikon 7x50 is just under 8 degrees. And the Nikon is without compare from a dark sky. I can't imagine looking through it and then wanting to use any other wide field binocular. 

 

Conclusion? The best all around choice is the Fujinon 10x50. grin.gif Really a startling revelation, I know...

 

Fiske


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#16 ECP M42

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 01:23 PM

When my Deluxe was still 10x50 (1150g 40oz - now it's 18x50) I used it several times and compared it with 10x25 (300g 11oz), 10x40 (850g 30oz) and 20x50 (1Kg 35oz) from my city site Bortle-7.
Sometimes it was worse and sometimes better than the other 10x, depending on the evening, maybe the transparency, the seeing, the humidity, etc ... I don't know. The only certain thing I noticed was that it was always and in any case worse than the 20x50. Whit 20x, in any case I could see more than any other 10x present, regardless of the shake vision. Obviously, for my eyes, for my "ability" to adequately hold the longest and most powerful binoculars, and for that environmental conditions.



#17 Fiske

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 02:03 PM

When my Deluxe was still 10x50 (1150g 40oz - now it's 18x50) I used it several times and compared it with 10x25 (300g 11oz), 10x40 (850g 30oz) and 20x50 (1Kg 35oz) from my city site Bortle-7.
Sometimes it was worse and sometimes better than the other 10x, depending on the evening, maybe the transparency, the seeing, the humidity, etc ... I don't know. The only certain thing I noticed was that it was always and in any case worse than the 20x50. Whit 20x, in any case I could see more than any other 10x present, regardless of the shake vision. Obviously, for my eyes, for my "ability" to adequately hold the longest and most powerful binoculars, and for that environmental conditions.

And also for what you were looking at -- panning star fields versus looking at/for specific DSOs and picking out individual features/characteristics. wink.gif

 

Have you shared images of the modified Deluxe now configured as a 20x50 binocular? That would be interesting to see.

 

Fiske



#18 ECP M42

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 02:16 PM

And also for what you were looking at -- panning star fields versus looking at/for specific DSOs and picking out individual features/characteristics. wink.gif

yes, too 

 

Before posting photos of the "new" 18x50, I prefer to have it with finished tubes. And then I realized a few weeks ago that I became a photographer with three cameras that don't work, that of the telephone has not worked for years ... situation a bit paradoxical!  lol.gif  


Edited by ECP M42, 16 July 2021 - 02:17 PM.

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#19 MT4

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 07:24 PM

Here is the thing about 7x35s from light polluted skies -- while the field is larger than the 7/8x instruments, those are already losing considerable ground on what can be seen to the 10x50 even with equivalent or more aperture. The 7x35 would be more enticing from a darker sky, but the Steiner is already over 8 degrees, and the Nikon 7x50 is just under 8 degrees. And the Nikon is without compare from a dark sky. I can't imagine looking through it and then wanting to use any other wide field binocular. 

 

Conclusion? The best all around choice is the Fujinon 10x50. grin.gif Really a startling revelation, I know...

 

Fiske

 

I'll share with you an unreal experience I had with my Nikon EII 8x30 and its 8.8-deg FOV.  It was about 6pm on Dec 21st 2020 when I stepped out to a nearby city park for a breath of fresh air.  I had with me my Nikon EII 8x30 and Nikon SE 10x42.  The sky wasn't completely dark yet (it never is in Tokyo any time of the day or night), but the view of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction along with the Moon in the EII 8x30's 8.8-deg FOV against a backdrop of tree branches and leaves was so spectacular that the thought of cosmic orgasm actually passed through my mind at the time.   I spent a good 5 minutes just marveling at this mesmerizing view.  I then switched to my Nikon SE 10x42.  It duly gave a very nice view but the 6-deg FOV, despite being flat and sharp, just didn't provide enough context to bring out the very best of the Jupiter-Saturn-Moon conjunction.

 

So the moral of the story, for me at least, is that sometimes a nice wide FOV is just what the doctor ordered for the occasion.


Edited by MT4, 16 July 2021 - 08:43 PM.

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#20 Blue72

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 07:39 PM

So about the 7x35s.

 

Wednesday night I glanced outside around 10 before heading to bed and noticed the sky was somewhat clear (meaning I could see Vega wink.gif ). Okay, it was a little clearer than that -- I could actually see the Hercules keystone asterism which is my new litmus test. Anyway, I told myself I would have a few quick peeks before calling it a night, so naturally wound up going to bed about 1 am. 

 

Got out the La Fuma zero-gravity chair and (eventually) the following bins -- Nikon 8x42 Monarch HG, Steiner 8x56, Fuji 10x50, APM 12x50, APM 16x70, Nikon 7x50, Nikon 10x70. The 8x Steiner and 7x Nikon easiest to hold steady. Nikon 8x42 -- light and easy to hold but views obviously dimmer than the Steiner/Nikon. Fuji 10x50 best compromise of steadiness (not as relaxing as 8x/7x Steiner/Nikon) but could easily see more. APM 12x50 more detail than the 10x50 but irritatingly jumpy and smaller FOV. APM 16x70, really only usable for quick peeks -- WAY too jumpy. Nikon 10x70 -- noticeably heavy compared with the Fuji 10x50 but a gorgeous view nonetheless. Jumpiness might have been more manageable with an arm rest enhancement -- the armrests on the chair don't provide a support option when looking near the zenith.

 

Here is the thing about 7x35s from light polluted skies -- while the field is larger than the 7/8x instruments, those are already losing considerable ground on what can be seen to the 10x50 even with equivalent or more aperture. The 7x35 would be more enticing from a darker sky, but the Steiner is already over 8 degrees, and the Nikon 7x50 is just under 8 degrees. And the Nikon is without compare from a dark sky. I can't imagine looking through it and then wanting to use any other wide field binocular. 

 

Conclusion? The best all around choice is the Fujinon 10x50. grin.gif Really a startling revelation, I know...

 

Fiske

I understand where you are coming from. I live outside of New York City and the light pollution sucks. Yet 7x35 binoculars are my favorite and I had a lot of binoculars over the years.

 

yes, the 7x35 is dimmer compared to the other binoculars you have. But the 9.3 degree field of view gives you “much more of the story”.  With my 10x binoculars I can see a boat out in the water by my house. But with the 7x35 I’ll also see the fisherman on the beach, seagulls flying in the air, and a deer that is wandering further down the coast. Making for a beautiful view 

 

Same with astronomy. The stars are not as bright, but I can see a much larger piece of heaven and you see more of a complete art piece, rather then a small section of stars that has no personality 

 

with 7x35 being so cheap, there is no reason not to add one to your collection 


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#21 SMark

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 09:15 PM

...with 7x35 being so cheap, there is no reason not to add one to your collection 

One or two... or maybe a hundred or more! laugh.gif


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#22 Grimnir

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 03:42 AM

So the moral of the story, for me at least, is that sometimes a nice wide FOV is just what the doctor ordered for the occasion.

 

... and they don't come much better than that of the Nikon 8x30 EII.

 

Graham


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#23 Blue72

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 04:45 AM

... and they don't come much better than that of the Nikon 8x30 EII.

 

Graham

I keep hearing praise of these binoculars. I might have to pick one up

 

How do they compare to 7x35



#24 Grimnir

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 04:59 AM

I keep hearing praise of these binoculars. I might have to pick one up

 

How do they compare to 7x35

 

The Nikon 8x30 EII is a true classic. Along with my Zeiss 7x42 T*P Dialyt, it's my most-used glass.

 

I don't have a modern 7x35 to compare it to but my FPO BaK4 Rangemaster, amongst the very best 7x35s ever made, has greater TFoV at 10* but much less contrast.

 

Graham



#25 ihf

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 07:37 AM

The 8x30 E2 are very nice if one doesn’t wear glasses. A bit bulky, but very immersive during the day. The only problem is that prices have gone up.


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