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Binocular as first astro gear

Beginner Binoculars
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31 replies to this topic

#26 TheUser


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Posted 17 July 2021 - 02:33 PM

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.



there are two (at least) different moments in your words and these are two different purposes - so the equipment best suitable for it must be different as well (there's no one-for-all optical instrument).


1) you gonna use binoculars according the formula: "binoculars & telescope as a pair".


so your binoculars gonna be kinda finder. the role is not usual for binoculars, but this doesn't mean they can't be used that way; this means that you can't put usual criteria for astro-binoculars on the basis of your choice.


the primary criteria here should be binocular' weight (yes - the weight).

choose models no more than 0.5 kg. you got it right - this is about using by hands (no tripod). that's why recommendations here for compact binos were not so irrelevant.

secondary criteria is field of view. the more is the angle - the better. it shouldn't be less than 7.5 (8 - 9 is perfect).

and trietary criteria is magnification. don't go higher than 7.


2) binoculars for watching the sky objects between scope sessions


here everything is standart: take the bigger aperture and the higher magnification your budget comply.


P.S.: but I would recommend to you buy a 2.1x42 model as a first binoculars

#27 sevenofnine



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Posted 17 July 2021 - 04:06 PM

Probably the very first lesson in this hobby is to have a realistic budget for good quality equipment. Buying poor quality will make you wish you'd never started this hobby. That said, you can get a decent pair of used binoculars suitable for astronomy within your budget. Powers over 10x will be very hard to hand hold especially pointing them up to a night sky. Objectives larger than 50 get progressively harder to hold steady too. The best starter binocular for astronomy would 10x50 porro prism. The used Oberwerk Ultra 10x50 could be very good but they are heavy and individual focus. Some prefer this but many like center focus better. Tough call on a used pair that you can't try before you buy. I would probably pass, mainly because I don't like IF binoculars.


If you can find one of the Nikon AE 10x50 that would be great. There are others in the Action Extreme series that would be excellent too. Also the Oberwerk Deluxe series has some winners too. I would only buy the Oberwerk LW (light weight) series if you can get them new. These are decent binoculars but don't stand up to hard use so a used purchase would be questionable. There are many other options out there. Let the forum members know what you find. We are here to help. Best of luck to you! waytogo.gif

Edited by sevenofnine, 17 July 2021 - 04:08 PM.

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#28 ECP M42



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Posted 17 July 2021 - 05:06 PM

looking for something with 70 / 80mm objective lens. ... budget is not much, around 100 ~120$ ... to get started in the hobby! 

Hi Nazmul, the $ 120 Oberwerk Ultra is a great choice ... don't miss it.

Check that everything is in place and collimated without any other defects and go without thoughts.  waytogo.gif

Edited by ECP M42, 17 July 2021 - 05:09 PM.

#29 sevenofnine



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Posted 17 July 2021 - 11:37 PM

If you decide to go with the Oberwerk Ultra 10x50 check for collimation. This is just another word for alignment if you are unfamiliar with the term. It is easy to check. Pick a straight horizontal line at a distance of 100 meters or so. That can be a fence line, shingles on a roof or maybe roof rain gutter. It just needs to be very straight. Carefully focus each eyepiece on the object. The line should perfectly merge from one eyepiece to the other. If it doesn't the binoculars are out of collimation and probably should be rejected. Also check the lenses with a small flashlight. Look for any damage or hazing to the lens coatings. There should be no whitish looking spider marks either. That's lens fungus and will progressively ruin the binocular. If it passes all these tests and looks like a well cared for optic then buy them. It's a good deal. Best of luck to you! waytogo.gif

#30 ShaulaB



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Posted 17 July 2021 - 11:48 PM

Even 7x35 binoculars can show many deep sky objects not visible naked eye. Going higher than 10x magnification makes binocs shake when hand held. Visit the Astronomical League website astroleague dot org and you will find lists of binocular objects to observe.

I would avoid used binoculars as they may have been dropped. Binocs can get out of collimation. That means the left eyepiece shows an object at a different position than the right eyepiece. Using binocs with this problem strains the eyes and causes headaches. If you Google "collimating binoculars," you can find videos or texts explaining the process. But it would be best if someone experienced with collimating binocs could help.

#31 Nazmul Sajib

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 01:51 AM

@seven of nine
the oberwerk pair is very far from my friends place who is going to get one for me. guess im not getting that one.

thanks for the advice. i will try to get the best i can!

#32 Echolight



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Posted 18 July 2021 - 09:10 AM

You might not have liked 3.5 pound binoculars anyway.

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