Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Binocular as first astro gear

Beginner Binoculars
  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 12:36 AM

Finally i have decided to get a pair of binocular as my first astronomy device. looking for something with 70 / 80mm objective lens. but confused about what magnification to get (11 / 15 / 20) and which brand is better? budget is not much, around 100 ~120$, so keeping an eye on classified section. I live in a suburb region with moderate light pollution. So asking help from you all to get started in the hobby!
 



#2 chanrobi

chanrobi

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 905
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2019

Posted 17 July 2021 - 01:17 AM

If you're going to be hand held I wouldn't go beyond 10x. A good starter set 7x50 or 10x50 ...


  • edwincjones, Jon Isaacs and drd715 like this

#3 MrZoomZoom2017

MrZoomZoom2017

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 111
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2020
  • Loc: Cerritos, CA

Posted 17 July 2021 - 01:26 AM

Welcome to the forums and to this wonderful hobby!!!

 

Here are a few thoughts/comments to consider:

1) With 70/80mm objective size binoculars you most likely will need to use a tripod or monopod due to size and weight for any extended viewing.  I do own a pair of Nikon 10x70 WF (6.5° field of view) which I can hand hold for short periods.

2) Lower magnification is probably a better starting point as you will have a wider field of view which will make finding objects easier and allow you to see more in the view.  Additionally, most folks suggest about 10X being the upper limit for hand held observing - which may or may not be a factor if you have a tripod/monpod to use.  Lower magnification will also have a larger exit pupil size for a given objective diameter which is typically more beneficial (note - I said typically and not always - there are plenty of other threads discussing the merits, etc of exit pupil size).

3) You might be better off starting with a 10x50 or 7x50 pair of binoculars which are easier to hand hold, have large enough objective size to give decent views, and will typically have a wider field of view.  You most likely will get more for your money as well in this size given your budget.

4) Buying a used pair can be an excellent way to get more for your money but you should also need to ask questions about the condition of the optics and mechanics to minimize getting a useless paperweight.  Ask about clear optics with no haze, fungus, scratches, coating degradation, image alignment, smooth working focuser/hinges/adjustable diopter, etc.

5) For brands - Oberwerk gets good reviews from what I have read recently (I do not own any) and might have some new gear in your price range.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

Tim


Edited by MrZoomZoom2017, 17 July 2021 - 01:26 AM.

  • ihf likes this

#4 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 02:11 AM

@chanrobi @mrzoomzoom thanks for the quick reply. i might get a cheap tripod from my local store so a bit high magnification wont be much to deal with. 



#5 Grimnir

Grimnir

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2010
  • Loc: London, England.

Posted 17 July 2021 - 03:30 AM

@chanrobi @mrzoomzoom thanks for the quick reply. i might get a cheap tripod from my local store so a bit high magnification wont be much to deal with. 

 

That's a mistake. For a first instrument I recommend a 10x50 as it will have a wider TFoV than a higher magnification instrument, which is a major virtue of binoculars. Put your money into optics not poor quality support!

 

Graham


  • astronomus1930, MrZoomZoom2017 and Nazmul Sajib like this

#6 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 03:43 AM

That's a mistake. For a first instrument I recommend a 10x50 as it will have a wider TFoV than a higher magnification instrument, which is a major virtue of binoculars. Put your money into optics not poor quality support!

 

Graham

please suggest me one within my budget then. i cant decide. 



#7 Grimnir

Grimnir

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2010
  • Loc: London, England.

Posted 17 July 2021 - 03:50 AM

Can you stretch to the Nikon 10x50 AE?

 

Graham



#8 PEterW

PEterW

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,669
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: SW London, UK

Posted 17 July 2021 - 03:53 AM

Or even the 7x35, be easier to carry about and use in the daytime. A good model will last a very long time if looked after. Lower power will enable you to learn the skies and find hints more easily. A narrow high power field of view can be annoying when looking for things.

Peter
  • ShaulaB and ihf like this

#9 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 05:32 AM

Can you stretch to the Nikon 10x50 AE?

 

Graham

new one is out of my budget, also it mentions "multicoated lenses" in nikon website, doesn't say if its fully multicoated or not.

 

 

Or even the 7x35, be easier to carry about and use in the daytime. A good model will last a very long time if looked after. Lower power will enable you to learn the skies and find hints more easily. A narrow high power field of view can be annoying when looking for things.

Peter

7x35 is too tiny no? 



#10 luxo II

luxo II

    Skylab

  • ****-
  • Posts: 4,338
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 17 July 2021 - 06:05 AM

Take a picnic mat or a yoga mat, so you can lie down on the ground under a dark sky for a while and be comfy while you explore what's up there with either binocs, or 10 x 50 finderscope.

 

I spent many nights simply lying down looking up and still do it now occasionally, under a dark sky.


Edited by luxo II, 17 July 2021 - 06:06 AM.

  • astronomus1930, ihf and Nazmul Sajib like this

#11 luxo II

luxo II

    Skylab

  • ****-
  • Posts: 4,338
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 17 July 2021 - 07:12 AM

7x35 is too tiny no? 

No, you’ll be surprised.

Another budget option for astro is a finderscope - the image does not have to be erect. Many to be had secondhand under $100 and around 7x50 to 10x50 are very common. 
 

And a lot lighter than binocs if weight is an issue.


Edited by luxo II, 17 July 2021 - 07:16 AM.


#12 ihf

ihf

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,094
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2019
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 17 July 2021 - 07:51 AM

Where do you live? Maybe just drive without optics to a dark site during new moon and camp there for a night or two. Or join a club and go to an outing.

#13 TheUser

TheUser

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 221
  • Joined: 15 Nov 2020

Posted 17 July 2021 - 07:55 AM

is it possible for you to get 25x100 binoculars (like Celestron SkyMaster 25x100)?


Edited by TheUser, 17 July 2021 - 07:57 AM.


#14 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,060
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 17 July 2021 - 08:08 AM

Don't get 7x35 as a first binocular. 8x40 is the minimum IMO, 10x50 better.
  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#15 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 08:12 AM

Where do you live? Maybe just drive without optics to a dark site during new moon and camp there for a night or two. Or join a club and go to an outing.

well i dont have any such dark pollution free site anywhere near, and such "astronomy club" is non-existent  in my country

 

is it possible for you to get 25x100 binoculars (like Celestron SkyMaster 25x100)?

Thats too big, also way over my budget even for a used one. 



#16 TheUser

TheUser

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 221
  • Joined: 15 Nov 2020

Posted 17 July 2021 - 08:26 AM

how exactly you plan to use your binoculars while sky-watching?

 

what you expect from it? what kind of image you want to get?


Edited by TheUser, 17 July 2021 - 08:27 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#17 drd715

drd715

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 954
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Fort Lauderdale

Posted 17 July 2021 - 08:31 AM

7X50 is a good starting point. Anything more than 10X requires a mount. There are plans and kits to build a parallelogram binocular mount for hands free viewing - you will need a tripod and a binocular attachment bracket to mount the binoculars. Some binoculars have a mounting bracket attachment point (you still have to purchase the bracket or make one). Do some research reading about the different brands and models. You may find for a few dollars more you can get much better optics and quality body/eyepiece focuser. I like individual focus for astronomy and marine use, but birders seem to prefer center focusers as they are focusing on variable distances and refocusing often. Higher quality binoculars are a joy to use and retain value for resale. I have some 7X50 FMT-SX Fujinon binoculars for marine use and a pair of 10X70 FMT-SX for astronomy - the 10x70's really need a mount. Also I use a pair of 8X42 Celestron Granite's as a lightweight binocular for general purpose usage.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

#18 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 09:04 AM

how exactly you plan to use your binoculars while sky-watching?

 

what you expect from it? what kind of image you want to get?

i would like to use my bino to watch star clusters and nebulas - galaxies ( if i can ). i dont want to see planet details with my bino. 
basically low power scanning and watching stuff from my window and carrying it in occasional camping spots. i will make a d114 f900 telescope within next few months, so something to complement this telescope. 

 

 

7X50 is a good starting point. Anything more than 10X requires a mount. There are plans and kits to build a parallelogram binocular mount for hands free viewing - you will need a tripod and a binocular attachment bracket to mount the binoculars. Some binoculars have a mounting bracket attachment point (you still have to purchase the bracket or make one). Do some research reading about the different brands and models. You may find for a few dollars more you can get much better optics and quality body/eyepiece focuser. I like individual focus for astronomy and marine use, but birders seem to prefer center focusers as they are focusing on variable distances and refocusing often. Higher quality binoculars are a joy to use and retain value for resale. I have some 7X50 FMT-SX Fujinon binoculars for marine use and a pair of 10X70 FMT-SX for astronomy - the 10x70's really need a mount. Also I use a pair of 8X42 Celestron Granite's as a lightweight binocular for general purpose usage.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

i have looked through this forum and got the basic idea to build a parallelogram mount. But because there are so many brands and so many budget binoculars, i cant decide by myself. And also i have no option to have first hand experience- someone will buy a pair for me. I dont think i have seen any ~150$ bino with individual focusing system. 



#19 jerobe

jerobe

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 902
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2017
  • Loc: Southeast Texas

Posted 17 July 2021 - 09:57 AM

Binoculars are an excellent way to observe the night sky.  My first pair were cheap (really cheap!) 7x50 Tascos that met my needs for over 20 years until the focussing mechanism became too stiff.  I recommend that you stay in the range of 7x50, 8x42, 10x42 and 10x50 for your initial pair.  These are easy to carry, easy to hold (you may want to brace or sit while using the 10x) and are available in your price range.  I don't know what the import duty or shipping fees are to Bangladesh but Nikon (Aculon series)  and Opticron make binos in this price range and have good reputations.  Celestron and Bushnell also have models in this price range but I have heard their quality is more variable.

 

Clear skies!


  • Nazmul Sajib likes this

#20 Echolight

Echolight

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,926
  • Joined: 01 May 2020
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 17 July 2021 - 12:30 PM

Best bet for $100 is buying a used 8x42 or 10x42 roof prism. I’ve seen several of good quality in this price range or less in pawn shops. And have bought three. They’re almost always waterproof with internal focuser, so they are fully sealed and almost never have internal impurities or mold. There won’t be any focuser rocking. And I’ve yet to see one that was out of collimation.

 

I’d avoid 70 to 80mm used all together. Especially in the stated price range.
And I’d be very cautious of buying used porro prism binoculars in general. Used porros will often be out of collimation and could have sloppy focusers.

There are a few exceptions. A Bushnell Custom in what appears to be very good condition is one, as they are very sturdily built. And in spite of their age, they are still well regarded. But a 10x50 is more difficult to find. 7x35 and 7x50 are much more common and affordable. And I’m happy with the quality of both my 7x35 and 7x50 Bushnell Custom that were both bought for substantially less than $100. But unless you have fairly dark skies, the 7x50 is a better daytime binocular than an astronomy binocular. And in my fairly bright skies, I’d rather use either an 8x42 or 10x42 roof prism for astronomy than a 7x35 or 7x50 porro.

 

At binocular powers, you won’t see detail of anything in the night sky aside from low flying planes and the Moon.

You can detect globulars, some nebulous regions, and the larger closer galaxies as fuzzy patches, which I’m always excited to find.

Open clusters are generally very good.

Star colors may become more evident. And some double stars will show separation.

With the planets: Jupiter will show as a disc with it’s four brightest moons visible. Saturn will look like a tiny bright golden oblong football 🏈  shape. And Venus will show different shapes depending on it’s phase.

 

A small 80mm telescope with a couple of eyepieces and a barlow will show far more details and be a far more versatile observing tool. But it can’t compete with the binoculars for portability and ease of use.


Edited by Echolight, 17 July 2021 - 12:50 PM.


#21 Nazmul Sajib

Nazmul Sajib

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 28 May 2021
  • Loc: 23.9,90.4

Posted 17 July 2021 - 12:47 PM

@echolight 
I dont see any cheap roof prism for sale in classified, but found a oberwerk 10x50 ultra for 125$. whats your thought on this? seller claims this pair to be well collimated and all. 



#22 Echolight

Echolight

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,926
  • Joined: 01 May 2020
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 17 July 2021 - 12:54 PM

@echolight 
I dont see any cheap roof prism for sale in classified, but found a oberwerk 10x50 ultra for 125$. whats your thought on this? seller claims this pair to be well collimated and all. 

I don’t know.

 

I wasn’t suggesting the classifieds unless they are local to you and you can inspect them and pick them up yourself. Binoculars could easily be damaged or lose collimation during shipping. Roof prism binoculars would be less likely to be damaged during shipping.

 

I would shop your local pawn shops, cash converters, second hand stores.

 

For buying used, if you can’t look through them at stars in the sky at night to inspect for collimation, try to find a bright point of reflection as far away as possible to make sure that when you are focused on it that it only shows as a single and not double image.

 

Buying used binoculars is very risky. Especially if you can’t afford to get some bad ones and buy replacements. Used roof prisms are far less risky.


Edited by Echolight, 17 July 2021 - 01:04 PM.


#23 j.gardavsky

j.gardavsky

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,200
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 17 July 2021 - 01:06 PM

Hello Nazmul,

 

the Oberwerk Ultra 10x50 (BA8 Kunming, China), are certainly a good choice among the 10x50.

From the BA8 Series, I am using the 10.5x70 and the 15x85 since more than 20 years.

 

When buying from classified,

check as carefully as possible the seller's description of the binoculars condition, and the costs of returning the binoculars - for the worst case scenario.

 

Best,

JG


  • ECP M42 likes this

#24 Echolight

Echolight

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,926
  • Joined: 01 May 2020
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 17 July 2021 - 01:27 PM

These were the first binoculars I bought that were bigger than a 10x25 that I had bought years earlier.

7BA4E492-833F-4317-99BA-6A949A80C054.jpeg
389B1455-C06F-4FA2-A1A1-E7C37BF0C483.jpeg

 

Vintage Made in Japan “Kalimar” 7x35 that I gave $12 for in a pawn shop. They were in good condition with a smooth focuser and were and still are perfectly collimated.

They aren’t the best for astronomy. But far better than an out of collimation 10x50 or 20x80. And the price was right.

 

Years later I bought a used Bushnell H2O 10x42 for $30 at a pawn shop.

Then a Pentax DCF WP 8x42 for $30 in a pawn shop.

EA039009-3D5D-4EDB-BFBC-064EF8C85629.jpeg

And then a Leupold BX-3 10x42 for $80 in a pawn shop.

The only pawn shop binoculars that I got burned on, was a $75 Celestron 20x80 that was either out of collimation and I didn’t notice, or lost collimation on the ride home.

And I have since seen several other 8x42 and 10x42 roof prism binoculars at pawn shops for around $100. But I didn’t need them.

Only recently have I finally bought some new binoculars. The Vortex Vulture 8x56 that I have been very happy with so far.


Edited by Echolight, 17 July 2021 - 01:27 PM.

  • j.gardavsky likes this

#25 chanrobi

chanrobi

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 905
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2019

Posted 17 July 2021 - 02:10 PM

OP you're overthinking stuff.

 

Look on marketplace and craigslist and get something that is in decent condition in your budget, and start using the frack out of it.

 

You can read and debate till the cows come home, but the real learning begins when you use what you have




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Beginner, Binoculars



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics