I own currently 15x70 apo binoculars from Teleskop Service. They are splendid optical instruments but due to the magnification, despite many set-up efforts they lost the binoculars convenience that I need: hand-held use.
I became father for a second time, my free time for astronomy is shrinking so I absolutely need something to use hand-held. I will observe from the ground (laying down) or sitting.
I need something good to modestly hunt DSOs and improve my sky knowledge. After knowing the Apo quality I want to keep high quality glass. I hesitate today between the Canon IS 15x50 and the APM MS apo 10x50.
Canon IS 15x50 pros
- high magnification
Canon IS 15x50 cons
- price, very hard to justify (twice the APM)
APM 10x50 ED Apo pros
- wider FOV
- collimation screws accessible (I had to collimate several binoculars and those with screws under rubber are a hell)
APM 10x50 ED Apo cons
- lower magnification
I think the quality of the optics is probably equal or at least that I would be amazed by both anyway. The APM have no IS but at 10x and some pillows and a monopod I doubt it will be an issue.
So I have some remaining questions to help my choice.
- People having the APM or similar high-quality binoculars (ex the Fujinon 10x50) AND the Canon 15x50 IS, did you stop using the normal binoculars since you have the Canon? What is your general feeling?
- Canon IS: does the bino-bandit adapt good to the eyepieces?
- Canon IS: does the stabilization work good at zenith or high declinations?
- Canon IS & APM: do the eyepiece hold properly the focusing adjustment? I used to have some binoculars that I needed to re-focus often due to pressure of the eyepiece on my brow bones.
There are also 10.5x70 apo binoculars (same than mine but lower magnification) at Teleskop-Service but I'm scared the real magnification is higher than 10.5x and it gets the same issue.
I am lucky to have both the Canon IS 15x50 and APM 10x50 ED, and also the 15x70 and the 10.5x70. From your discussion, the Canon 15x50 is the bino you want. Some points:
For DSO the extra magnification of the Canon is a huge plus. For a few very large nebula like North American, Veil, etc. or sweeping Milky Way, the APM are better due to wider view.
The IS at 15x gives a much steadier view than the 10x with no IS -- this allows you to see much more detail on DSO. Since you are interested in quick-looks, I assume we are not talking about a parallelogram mount for the 10x. I do not think a monopod will work very well high in the sky, but I am not sure (I have not tried that).
I have never had any collimation issues with any of the Canon IS binos. I have owned some for 25+ years. But I am very careful with them, and they live in big foam-lined cases.
I have not tried the Bino-Bandit on the Canon. I do not think you would need it -- the eyecups are very deep.
Yes, the IS works perfectly at all positions in the sky.
The focus holds fine on both the Canon and APM. The Canon have internal focusing. The APM are individual eyepiece focus.
You mention 10.5X70, but these are very heavy and not a solution to your quick-look desires. They are hard to hold steady, at least for me.
The Canon IS 10x42 are less good for DSO, as the 42mm is not really enough aperture for DSO (I have tried those also).
Also in Bortle 5 skies (like I have also) the smaller exit pupil of the 15x50 makes the sky background darker, and helps with spotting small nebula. In very dark skies the APM 10x50 would have some advantage for very large, faint nebula (again North American, Veil, California, Rosette, etc.).
An extra bonus, is that the Canon are also fantastic for daytime. The APM are hard for daytime since they have individual eyepiece focus.
The price is the only real down-side of the Canon, but you only pay it once. I bought them many years ago, and they are still one of my best astro purchases.
Edited by ngc7319_20, 23 March 2023 - 07:17 AM.