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Burgess 20/40x100 Astro Binos

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 12:42 PM

AT NEAF this year I visited the Burgess stall and was amazed at the many quality binoculars (and other goodies) on display. I already own Bill's 20x80LW's and his short tube 102mm refractor and am pleased with them. I also have a set of Tak 22x60's and wanted more aperture for deep sky observing so I checked out his Top of the Line (improved) Astros and ordered them. They arrived a few days ago and I checked them out in the daytime and was pleased with their clarity and power. Last night I finally had a few hours to spend with clear skies (Long Island's brand of clear skies); removed these 13 pound slick beauties from their custom case; inserted the 20x eps and mounted them on Bill's included Magnesium heavy duty sturdy mount and tripod. Wow! I removed the felt lined end caps, slid the integral dew caps forward and positioned my "Hands On Optics" astro chair and checked out Venus at 9:30. Sharp view with very little purple - much less than I expected from non apo binos. (My Taks show no purple haze, looking at Venus, with their fluorite objectives). Each ep adjusted individually and I was impressed with their fine focusing ability. I replaced the 20x with the 40x and Venus looked larger and still sharp - with almost no haze - just to the right of the cresent. Next Off to Jupiter. Great view with both EP's - again very little color - no more than a quality ED refractor. Enjoyed seeing pinprick moons and the bands clearly. Began deep sky panning for an hour just to enjoy the views. Found a Globular Cluster (M13?)(just 6 feet east of the Big Dipper at 11pm)and changed EP's and was amazed at the Stereoscopic view of the Glob with pinprick stars all around it. Wonderful orange, blueish and bright white stars. Called my wife outside and she was equally amazed with the view.
(She loves her Canon 10x30IS' and was amazed how things looked through these giant Shiny Metallic Silver Beauties). She finally gave me permission to continue my "spacewalking" and I panned the skies for the next hour and finally put them away until the next night. Yes, they are a little heavy at 13 pounds, but since Bill includes this heavy duty mount (with an extra mount plate) and padded carry bag I might add)in his price it can be the Deep Sky bino of choice for anyone who wants larger diameter (did I say multiple lensed ED glass?) at the business end of his pair. I will treasure these for years to come. Can't wait to set them up at a truly dark sky site in the next week (weather permitting of course). Clear Skies.

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#2 Erik D

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:47 PM

Geomason,

Thanks you for the post. I was at NEAF 2004 a month ago(my 3rd NEAF show) and spend some time handling Bill's new optical toys as well. I've heard reports of prism problems with the earlier production run of 20/40X100 binos from Burgesss and Oberwerk last year so I am pleased to hear the pair you received seemed to be working fine. The BO price for this model cost about 1/2 of the offering from Miyauchii so this is an exceptional buy if Bill has the QC problems under control.

I also have the Burgess 20X80 LW purchased in Feb 2003. Among my four pair of 60-100mm giant binos the Burgess LW gets used more than any other model. 20X80s with ~3.5 deg FOV is my prefered observing equipment on most ngihts because there is no set-up involved. I also use the 20X80 LW quite a bit for terrestrial viewing instead of using a spotting scope.

I have just read a post on the Yahoo BinoAstronomy forumn that BO will be shipping a 30X110 model in a month or two. I don't recall Bill saying anything about the 110 model when I visited with him at NEAF. Been waiting for bigger binos than my 25X100 for sometime. It would be great if he can deliver a 30X110/120 with 2.33 deg FOV this year.

ERik D

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 02:29 PM

Erik:
Spoke with Bill Sunday and he never mentioned a 30x110 bino.
He did mention a 30x ep (perhaps) for the Astro Binos in the near future. This pair of Astros has the "upgraded prism" set that he checked out and used personally to be sure
the production run would be as per his specs. I'm satisfied with them and between those, my wife's IS', 20x80LW and my Tak Binos I am set for life with binos. He did mention that a future production run of astros will be a lighter weight model which should be an improvement. Got to hand it to him, he's always upgrading and refining his product line with "real - usable" fixes. Have a good day.

George :jump:
NY

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 02:41 PM

There is one important parameter that you have not told us. The cost. What is the price for these 20/40x100 binos? About $1000?

#5 Erik D

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 03:44 PM

BO web site lists the 20/40X Miyauchii clone at $995. Had a 15 minutes phone conversation(it's easy to get into extended conversation when Bill is talking) with Bill after I posted the above message. He cofirmed that a ~30X110 is in the works but it's not the highest priority. It may be 6 month before he is ready to ship. Production model may be `28-29X 108 but will have just under 3 deg FOV. It's based on his 25X100 series II.

Erik D

#6 EdZ

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:04 PM

Production model may be `28-29X 108 but will have just under 3 deg FOV.


To get that, you would need an eyepiece with an Apparent FOV of 80° to 85°. No current big binocular that I know of on the market has an eyepiece greater than Afov 65°. Not sure of the Tfov of the Fujinon 25x100. So, either the Tfov of this one will be a lot less, say on the order of 2.25° to 2.5°, or the eyepiece needs to be somewhat of a Nagler clone. Otherwise the edge distortions may be really prominent.

I know there are some exceptions to the rule out there, but not that I know of in the current big binocular market.

edz

#7 KennyJ

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:25 PM

Although no -one could see it ( self included ) , I too raised an eyebrow when I saw Erik's stated TFOV for this rather odd sounding 28-29 x 108 configuration.

One of the exceptions to Ed's stated parameters is the Borderguard 15 x 110 , which has a 6 degree TFOV ( 90 degree AFOV ) and which one trusty , aged and very experienced optics retailer I know swears gave him the "most incredible" views in daylight that he has ever seen through a binocular.

This same guy otherwise shares my own personal high opinions of the likes of Nikon Superior E , Zeiss 7 x 42 and Swarovski 8.5 x 42 binos , and apparantly like very little else , so his opinions on this rarely mentioned "giant" still have me wondering.

I'm glad the subject of field of view WAS mentioned though, beacuse neither that nor eye -relief even got a mention from George.

It's always pleasant though to hear of someone's delight with a binocular , regardless of which model it happens to be.

I have almost definitely decided that at some stage in the future , God willing , I am going to buy myself a binocular larger than my 15 x 70.

The sudden emergence of a few newer models is making the decision as to WHICH all the more difficult.

I still have a longing to check out those Steiner 25 x 80s.

Clear skies ( and comets ) to all , Kenny.

#8 Erik D

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 08:36 AM

Production model may be `28-29X 108 but will have just under 3 deg FOV.


To get that, you would need an eyepiece with an Apparent FOV of 80° to 85°. No current big binocular that I know of on the market has an eyepiece greater than Afov 65°. Not sure of the Tfov of the Fujinon 25x100. So, either the Tfov of this one will be a lot less, say on the order of 2.25° to 2.5°, or the eyepiece needs to be somewhat of a Nagler clone. Otherwise the edge distortions may be really prominent.

edz



The Fuji 25X150mm Ultra Giant is speced for 2.7 deg TFOV. Numerous 20X80 binoculars on the market are listed as having nominal ~3.5 deg TFOV/70 deg APFOV. I have not tried to verify the actual TFOV of my Burgess 80mm LW or the Orion 20X80 but I'd say the usable FOV is much less than 3.5 degs.

I called Burgess Optical yesterday only to confirm an ~110 mm binocular was under development and to get an idea of delivery schedule. I was hoping a 30X model would have ~2.33 deg TFOV. Bill B was the one who told me he is shooting for TFOV of just under 3.0 deg and 28-29X. Of course many of us are aware Burgess Optical has been overly optimistic in product specs and delivery schedules during the past year. Nevertheless, I think Bill B should be applauded for his continued efforts to come up with innovative designs and make ultra binos affordable for the rest of us.

Erik D

PS. According to Bill B his current priority is delivery of his new 80/82/90mm EPs. Perhaps we will see some of the new EP designs incorporated into his jumbo bino projects.

#9 EdZ

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 09:37 AM

Although the 20x80 are listed as 3.5°, none of them truly measure more than 3.2°. The actual measures are posted throughout the various web binocular forums.

The 2.7° TFOV for the Fujinons would make those eyepieces a respectable Afov of 67°.

I suppose some of the new to market KK type eyepieces with 84° or 80° Afov could be used, but at the expense of outer field sharpness.

Your hopes of a 30x model with a 2.33 Tfov seem closer to realistic.

Two of the current 22x/25x models I checked have Tfov of 2.7° and 2.4° respectively.

Man, these will be huge binoculars. My rough preditions are 19"-20" long.

edz

#10 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 12:23 PM

I am exceedingly pleased with his purchased quite a while back now 25x100's for $299.....

They do seem a cut above the others in this price range.

#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 02:21 PM

Yes. List Price is around $1k. With the aluminum case; magnesium tripod and head.
I was definitely pleased.

Clear skies,

George
NY

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 02:26 PM

Kenny:
I never expected much more FOV than my Tak 22x60's, so I didn't mention that. Bill did tell me he would work on a wider field EP for these (and future model)Astros. That was
also good news. Naturally, after I wrote that review, the skies clouded up here on Long Island. Been cloudy since.
Murphy's Law for astronomy lovers, I guess.
Have a good day.

George
NY :jump:

#13 BarrySimon615

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 05:32 PM

I am responding to the very first post in this thread, the one from Geomason (George?). Anyway, from your description and your photo, the 20x100 binoculars you have are the Mark II version, not the Mark III version which are supposed to be available now. The reason I say that is Bill Burgess sent me his original prototype for testing back in April of 03, followed in August by a pair identical to your photo. Like the first pair they were still remarkably "Miyauchi like" in build with the same silver paint job. See the picture attached to this post showing the August 03 Burgess binoculars compared to the Miyauchi.

In March of this year I spoke to Bill again after he had sent me (unsolicited) a pair of armored military grade waterproof 7x50 binoculars. He wanted me to test these and to give him my impressions. He says he will be carrying 8x50 and 10x50 versions of this binocular. Anyway at that time he did say he was going to send me the new version of the "Miyauchi like" binoculars. The new (Mark III for lack of a better designation) would be painted white and would have completely new and redesigned prism housings. The new housings would be 20% larger and would not look like Miyauchi housings at all. Hence my belief that what you have pictured is not the latest version but the first improved version from last summer. If collimated there is nothing wrong with them, in fact we found that their imaging ability was very good save for the collimation in our test pair. They still had a bit more prism cutoff/vignetting than did the Miyauchi 20x100's, but not bad at all, especially considering the price.

As to the 7x50's that I am still holding hostage, awaiting a return label from Bill and an example of the new Mark III 20x100's to test; their imaging ability was very good, optically pretty much the equal of the Fujinon FMT-SX 7x50. Bill claimed that they are really rugged and shock resistant. They can be dropped multiple times without a loss of collimation. They are also supposed to be waterproof to 10 to 15 feet. I told Bill that if he did not hurry up and send along the other pair plus the return labels etc., I was going to test these suckers in the swimming pool. I plan to sit at the bottom of the pool and see how good the other end of the pool looks using goggles. I will have a friend take a photo so we can post it here. Look for this photo soon.

Barry Simon

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#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 12:55 AM

Barry:
The Binos Bill sent to me had the improved (upgraded) larger prisms installed. They are not the 'latest' housing.
At Neaf, this year, Bill had this model on Display and not the "Mark III" as you call them. He had a few upgraded "Mark II" silver ones still in stock and I was lucky to receive one of those. He will not sell any of the "non-upgraded" silver versions, I was also told.
Like I said, These work great and the view is great. Thanks for the info. The "latest" ones should be excellent also if these are any indication of their optical and mechanical quality.
Enjoy your Burgess binos, but under water? :confused:
Clear skies,
George


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