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

Excited to find this forum & Overwhelmed by the info available

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:50 PM

Hello all, as stated in the title, I'm super glad to here and begin to consume all the data available.  I've got several pair of binoculars, none of them any good.  I'm looking to  pick up something to use for planet viewing, as well as daytime use (critter watching etc).  I don't think budget is an issue, but I could be surprised by cost I'm sure.  I do wear glasses, I don't think the correction is very different between left and right eye.  I'd like to use whatever I get without the glasses...I believe that's a factor in choice / diopter.

What are some options I should consider based on the above criteria?

 


  • Jon Isaacs, Foss and WALL.E like this

#2 ECP M42

ECP M42

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2021
  • Loc: central Europe 45°N

Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:07 PM

Planets and birds require quite different tools, so the magnification needed could be respectively and on average, 110x and 10x, just to get an idea.

 

What's your glasses specification?
Could you be interested in a 45° BT for your observations?

 

Oberwerk-BT-82XL-ED-Grey.jpg


Edited by ECP M42, 14 September 2021 - 01:08 PM.


#3 pat in los angeles basin

pat in los angeles basin

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,075
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2015

Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:10 PM

If you have a large amount of astigmatism (the eyeball is "pinched" a bit), you might need the glasses to get the most out of binos. That said, If the binos are being multiuse and you are young enough to hold them steady, a 10x42 roof seems like a safe bet. Understand that with a handheld bino, there's not a whole lot of planet viewing. You should be able to see 4 of Jupiter's and possibly the rings of Saturn (depending on the angle they are presenting to the observer). You should be able to see a crescent of Venus. I can't speak for viewers from darker areas, but as a city dweller, that's about it for planet viewing. Mars will likely be a red ball with no details. Never seen Neptune . IF you MUST use correction then start with a bino that has around 18mm minimum eye relief. The whole eye relief issue is a bit problematic. Hard to quantify how much you need. But that might be a good place to start. I'd go to a store that has a raft of binos as opposed to a mail order place that offers generous returns  (to a point), and try them all to see if any pattern develops on  what appeals to you.   Pat


  • ECP M42 likes this

#4 Milos1977

Milos1977

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 329
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Woodside - New York

Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:10 PM

Welcome to the club. 

What are you looking for as far as size goes? Handheld or big guns on tripods? 

Are you planning to carry them around a lot on you (back pack, strap)? 

 

Maybe you should tell us what you have now, and what you don't like about them. 


Edited by Milos1977, 14 September 2021 - 03:09 PM.

  • Rich V. likes this

#5 jprideaux

jprideaux

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 801
  • Joined: 06 May 2018
  • Loc: Richmond, VA

Posted 14 September 2021 - 04:51 PM

There is a big range in price for binoculars depending on size, quality, and features.

 

The bigger ones also need a mounting solution.   

 

The minimum magnification enjoyable for seeing planet detail is somewhat subjective.

 

You can barely make out Saturn's ring at around 18x to 20x.

 

Personally, I like looking at Saturn at above 50x.  80x and above even better.  Some people like to start at 110x.  

 

To get up to 100x (or above) you will need a binocular telescope on a good mount.  This could probably set you back around $3000 depending on set-up.  Perhaps a little less if you went smaller or lower quality glass...

 

If you just want to see the 4 moons of Jupiter, then a stable 10x50 is fine... perhaps on an inexpensive monopod.

 

There is also image stabilization if you wanted something hand-held but below optimal planet magnifications.


  • ihf, ECP M42 and memheli like this

#6 MT4

MT4

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Tokyo, JP

Posted 14 September 2021 - 08:57 PM

Welcome aboard!

 

If budget is generally not an issue for you, then I'd recommend that you apply the "Buy Once, Cry Once" philosophy when it comes to buying optics.  (Actually, the full version of the philosophy is "Buy Once, Cry Once.  Rinse and Repeat!" grin.gif)

 

I live in a heavily light-polluted city and I need to wear glasses for astigmatism correction.   Whether you really need to wear glasses for stargazing depends largely on whether you have astigmatism in your eyes and if so how much.  If you do need to wear glasses, then eye relief, actually usable eye relief, is a key factor when evaluating binocular choices.  (Personally for me, there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to see close to the full FOV, e.g. when the usable eye relief is too short for me with my glasses on.  The bino wouldn't be a keeper, regardless of how good it is.)

 

There's a recent thread on planetary viewing through hand-held binoculars that you could check out.  It's a long thread and towards the end it branches out to cover some scope options for high-powered planetary viewing.

https://www.cloudyni...eld-binoculars/

 

Good luck!


Edited by MT4, 14 September 2021 - 10:33 PM.

  • memheli likes this

#7 Fiske

Fiske

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,780
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Kansas (Kansas City area) / USA

Posted 14 September 2021 - 10:25 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, memheli.

 

welcome.gif


  • ECP M42 and memheli like this

#8 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,022
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:40 PM

If budget is generally not an issue for you, then I'd recommend that you apply the "Buy Once, Cry Once" philosophy when it comes to buying optics.  (Actually, the full version of the philosophy is "Buy Once, Cry Once.  Rinse and Repeat!" grin.gif)

 

 

I have seen the buy once, cry once strategy proposed.  I have never seen it work.  No one buys just one pair of binoculars. 

 

Whatever you buy, whatever it costs, there will be lessons learned and further purchases.  Just because one spends a lot of money on a pair of binoculars doesn't mean they will be the right binoculars, the right binocular involves far more than just the optics, the ergonomics are critical, they have to fit.

 

I make the comparison to shoes.  The most important thing about a shoe is that it fits. If it doesn't fit,it really doesn't matter how nicely it's made... 

 

Same with binoculars.

 

Jon 


  • Fiske, hallelujah, oldmanrick and 3 others like this

#9 ihf

ihf

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,155
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2019
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 15 September 2021 - 12:13 AM

Which binos do you have already? And what do you like or don't like about them?


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#10 MT4

MT4

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Tokyo, JP

Posted 15 September 2021 - 03:07 AM

I have seen the buy once, cry once strategy proposed.  I have never seen it work.  No one buys just one pair of binoculars. 

 

Whatever you buy, whatever it costs, there will be lessons learned and further purchases.  Just because one spends a lot of money on a pair of binoculars doesn't mean they will be the right binoculars, the right binocular involves far more than just the optics, the ergonomics are critical, they have to fit.

 

I make the comparison to shoes.  The most important thing about a shoe is that it fits. If it doesn't fit,it really doesn't matter how nicely it's made... 

 

Same with binoculars.

 

Jon 

 

My interpretation of the "Buy Once, Cry Once" strategy is simply to go for good quality.   (OP has mentioned that budget is not an issue.)

 

I don't have just 1 binocular, so obviously it's not about buying just 1 pair for me.   That's why I added the "Rinse and Repeat" at the end.



#11 Bkoh

Bkoh

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 117
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 05:10 AM

Hello all, as stated in the title, I'm super glad to here and begin to consume all the data available. I've got several pair of binoculars, none of them any good. I'm looking to pick up something to use for planet viewing, as well as daytime use (critter watching etc). I don't think budget is an issue, but I could be surprised by cost I'm sure. I do wear glasses, I don't think the correction is very different between left and right eye. I'd like to use whatever I get without the glasses...I believe that's a factor in choice / diopter.
What are some options I should consider based on the above criteria?

Your requirements are most easily met by 2 separate pairs of binoculars. One set handheld for daytime wildlife watching (8-10x, 42-50mm) and another set mounted for high powered astronomy (20-100x, 70-150mm).

The handheld set can be also be used for night views of larger clusters and the constellations, and the mounted set will of course be good for long distance terrestrial viewing too.

Budgetwise the handheld set can cost anywhere from $50-3000, the mounted set might be $500-5000 (not including tripod and mount).

Generally, you get what you pay for in terms of optics and mechanics, though incremental improvements shrink as the price increases. The last 5% of performance increase might raise the cost by 100%.

A $200 binocular is generally a lot better than a $100 binocular. A $2000 binocular is often only a little bit better than a $1000 binocular, but for some people the difference is still worth it.

Edited by Bkoh, 15 September 2021 - 05:32 AM.

  • WALL.E and memheli like this

#12 Cestus

Cestus

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 552
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2019

Posted 15 September 2021 - 09:59 AM

I don't think I've cried over any purchases. However, I tend to think that getting a small, medium, and large size covers the bases for most. An 8x, 12 or 15x, and 20+ would do the trick.



#13 MT4

MT4

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Tokyo, JP

Posted 15 September 2021 - 10:13 AM

I think you may have left out a few sizes smile.gif

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Starbucks Cup Sizes.jpg


#14 Cestus

Cestus

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 552
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2019

Posted 15 September 2021 - 11:40 AM

I think you may have left out a few sizes smile.gif

That's the model I followed. No tears.


  • memheli likes this

#15 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:30 PM

Planets and birds require quite different tools, so the magnification needed could be respectively and on average, 110x and 10x, just to get an idea.

What's your glasses specification?
Could you be interested in a 45° BT for your observations?

Oberwerk-BT-82XL-ED-Grey.jpg


I need to lookup my script for glasses.
Understood in the difference of magnification required. Seems I was initially looking for one tool to address two things and that’s obviously not a good idea.
I might well be interested in those you show. I will research.
  • ECP M42 likes this

#16 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:40 PM

Planets and birds require quite different tools, so the magnification needed could be respectively and on average, 110x and 10x, just to get an idea.

 

What's your glasses specification?
Could you be interested in a 45° BT for your observations?

 

Oberwerk-BT-82XL-ED-Grey.jpg

I've found my script.  -0.75 and -0.50



#17 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:42 PM

If you have a large amount of astigmatism (the eyeball is "pinched" a bit), you might need the glasses to get the most out of binos. That said, If the binos are being multiuse and you are young enough to hold them steady, a 10x42 roof seems like a safe bet. Understand that with a handheld bino, there's not a whole lot of planet viewing. You should be able to see 4 of Jupiter's and possibly the rings of Saturn (depending on the angle they are presenting to the observer). You should be able to see a crescent of Venus. I can't speak for viewers from darker areas, but as a city dweller, that's about it for planet viewing. Mars will likely be a red ball with no details. Never seen Neptune . IF you MUST use correction then start with a bino that has around 18mm minimum eye relief. The whole eye relief issue is a bit problematic. Hard to quantify how much you need. But that might be a good place to start. I'd go to a store that has a raft of binos as opposed to a mail order place that offers generous returns  (to a point), and try them all to see if any pattern develops on  what appeals to you.   Pat

I will take your advice and try to find a store that has some selection to look thru.  My astigmatism is -.5 and -.75.  Not sure if that's 'a lot' for not.  I am certain that I want to buy a binocular that doesn't require me to wear glasses if possible.  I think it will be much more enjoyable for me to view that way.


Edited by memheli, 15 September 2021 - 05:03 PM.


#18 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:50 PM

Which binos do you have already? And what do you like or don't like about them?

One pair I have came from a Bass Pro giveaway.  Pursuit 10x42.  The second I have is a Steiner fixed, I don't recall the magnification, but I know it's not enough.  My interest is in a larger piece of glass.  I have some background in photography, and a real appreciation for 'good' glass.  I'm leaning towards the BK4 prism, only because I've read it's superior, but that's just initial reading and no real experience.  My experience in scopes for weapons and photography leads me to the theory that there's little substitution for good glass.



#19 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:56 PM

Your requirements are most easily met by 2 separate pairs of binoculars. One set handheld for daytime wildlife watching (8-10x, 42-50mm) and another set mounted for high powered astronomy (20-100x, 70-150mm).

The handheld set can be also be used for night views of larger clusters and the constellations, and the mounted set will of course be good for long distance terrestrial viewing too.

Budgetwise the handheld set can cost anywhere from $50-3000, the mounted set might be $500-5000 (not including tripod and mount).

Generally, you get what you pay for in terms of optics and mechanics, though incremental improvements shrink as the price increases. The last 5% of performance increase might raise the cost by 100%.

A $200 binocular is generally a lot better than a $100 binocular. A $2000 binocular is often only a little bit better than a $1000 binocular, but for some people the difference is still worth it.

Understood on two sets.  My initial interest will be in daytime viewing since I don't own a money tree.  Totally understand the 'you get what you pay for' mantra.  It's real.  Maybe used is an option.  I would like a piece of glass that's quality and last a lifetime.



#20 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 05:00 PM

My interpretation of the "Buy Once, Cry Once" strategy is simply to go for good quality.   (OP has mentioned that budget is not an issue.)

 

I don't have just 1 binocular, so obviously it's not about buying just 1 pair for me.   That's why I added the "Rinse and Repeat" at the end.

Yes, budget isn't an issue, so far as I know.   When I look thru quality glass on weapons, it's very exciting as opposed to looking thru a cheap optic.  I was at a state park this past weekend using my free Bino and that really drove this 'ask' home with me.  Time to get some adult binoculars for myself. ;)



#21 ECP M42

ECP M42

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2021
  • Loc: central Europe 45°N

Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

I've found my script.  -0.75 and -0.50

If this is the astigmatism data, I would like to point out that no binoculars have an adjustment for this ocular defect. Only nearsightedness and farsightedness can be adjusted with binoculars, so you will have to look for a suitable instrument for the use of glasses or accept astigmatism during your observations.

 

I understand that you are a hunter (or military sniper) and a photographer, so you are probably used to finding stability in various ways. If you need a hand tool and don't have to observe the most agitated birds from 10ft (3m) away, an interesting binocular format that is quite all-rounder, could be the 12x42. Which at its best (Swarovski NL Pure) would also make a fantastic astro binocular.

If you can also accept something heavier, 15x or 18x binoculars from 50 to 56mm, could give you more satisfaction. There are also electronic models with image stabilizer.

 

If, on the other hand, you observe calmly and from afar, the BT that I posted is a comfortable stand instrument that can also reach high magnifications, more suitable for planets, the Moon, etc., but also very fun with wildlife and terrestrial observations for a long range. 

 

Henry



#22 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 99,578
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:53 PM

Traditional binoculars are not the right tool for observing the planets, which are all, even Venus at inferior conjunction and Jupiter, very small in apparent size.  Binoculars excel at producing larger fields of view than almost all telescopes can produce. 

 

There's a section on binocular observing towards the bottom of my post (#22) at https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287 that you may find useful, memheli.


  • Jon Isaacs and memheli like this

#23 MT4

MT4

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Tokyo, JP

Posted 15 September 2021 - 07:08 PM

Yes, budget isn't an issue, so far as I know.   When I look thru quality glass on weapons, it's very exciting as opposed to looking thru a cheap optic.  I was at a state park this past weekend using my free Bino and that really drove this 'ask' home with me.  Time to get some adult binoculars for myself. wink.gif

 

Definitely go for good quality.   I've always done so and never have any regrets.   (Well, to be perfectly honest, the only regret I've had so far is that I should NOT have resisted the idea of buying IS binoculars such the Canon 15x50 IS.   It's now my most-used tool for serious stargazing.   I have tons of other good-to-great binoculars and they all take a back seat to the Canon.)

 

The "Rinse and Repeat" part of what I said earlier means to have different instruments for different purposes.  There's no one-size-fits-all instrument.   You can't find one instrument that does everything and does everything well.   The thread that I included in my 1st reply should give you some good ideas on the range of instruments that might appeal to you.  (Hint:  If you want really high powers (e.g. >100x), binoculars and binocular telescopes might do an OK job, but are not the best tools for the job.)



#24 memheli

memheli

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 09:30 PM

If this is the astigmatism data, I would like to point out that no binoculars have an adjustment for this ocular defect. Only nearsightedness and farsightedness can be adjusted with binoculars, so you will have to look for a suitable instrument for the use of glasses or accept astigmatism during your observations.


Henry

That is my astigmatism data.

Can you elaborate on what accepting this means for viewing without glasses for correction?
This seems like another reason to seriously look at contact lens.

#25 Bkoh

Bkoh

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 117
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2021

Posted 15 September 2021 - 11:16 PM

That is my astigmatism data.

Can you elaborate on what accepting this means for viewing without glasses for correction?
This seems like another reason to seriously look at contact lens.


With astigmatism, stars deform - instead of pinpoints, you get lines or V shapes (seagulls). Usually not noticeable in the centre, but obvious at the edge.

May not be a big deal for wildlife watching if you keep the subject in the centre, but could be annoying for astronomy if the object is a star cluster occupying the entire field of view. Try it yourself and see, if your case is mild you may not notice - or care.


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






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics