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BINOVIEWER VS BINOSCOPE?

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#1 upwinddan

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 01:09 PM

Does anyone have experience comparing a Binoscope to a BINOVIEWER?

By the time I buy everything for a Binoviewer I come close to paying for a Vixen BT81. 



#2 Highburymark

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 02:19 PM

I think it comes down to what you want to use a binoscope for, and what your BV set up would be. Although I haven’t used one, I think I’d struggle with the lack of flexibility offered by a small binoscope. Typically binoviewers are used for fairly bright objects, so light throughput isn’t a major issue. With a binoviewer and 4”-5” refractor, I can observe low power widefield or 250x on the Moon or Sun and still enjoy sufficiently bright views. I’m sure binoscopes can be stunning, but going above 80mm brings other issues, like mounting and manoeuvrability. I’ll be interested in other replies though.
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#3 PETER DREW

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 02:22 PM

I have several of each and there is no doubt in my mind that for me the binoscope is better provided the comparison is between similar qualities.
The binoscope will be heavier, more bulky and most likely more expensive. For the same aperture and magnification the binoscope will give a brighter image as there is some light loss in a binoviewer, the difference is less noticeable when viewing bright objects.
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#4 upwinddan

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 04:42 PM

I have several of each and there is no doubt in my mind that for me the binoscope is better provided the comparison is between similar qualities.
The binoscope will be heavier, more bulky and most likely more expensive. For the same aperture and magnification the binoscope will give a brighter image as there is some light loss in a binoviewer, the difference is less noticeable when viewing bright objects.

Thanks for your response. I’m toying with the possibility of a Vixen BT 81. Binoscopes larger version that would not be physically practical for my aging body. Do you have one in the 80mm size range?



#5 upwinddan

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 04:45 PM

I think it comes down to what you want to use a binoscope for, and what your BV set up would be. Although I haven’t used one, I think I’d struggle with the lack of flexibility offered by a small binoscope. Typically binoviewers are used for fairly bright objects, so light throughput isn’t a major issue. With a binoviewer and 4”-5” refractor, I can observe low power widefield or 250x on the Moon or Sun and still enjoy sufficiently bright views. I’m sure binoscopes can be stunning, but going above 80mm brings other issues, like mounting and manoeuvrability. I’ll be interested in other replies though.

Do you think that a Vixen 4” f/10 achromatic refractor would be okay with a binoviewer?



#6 lookoutmtn17

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 05:31 PM

In my experience, a binoviewer has more flexibility and offers the opportunity to utilize higher magnification. 


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#7 vtornado

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Posted 17 December 2023 - 06:53 PM

Find from an owner if the achromat has enough in focus to accomdate the binoviewer.  Otherwise you will have to cut the tube, or use a barlow, which will limit low power viewing.


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#8 Binofrac

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 05:00 AM

Do you think that a Vixen 4” f/10 achromatic refractor would be okay with a binoviewer?

My binoviewing is with a 102/F11 refractor which is similar. It's great for solar system objects and presumably double stars (not my interest). This is due to the high magnification and therefore narrower view. The need for a barlow to come to focus means my minimum magnification is around 70x. I have toyed with the idea of getting a linear binoviewer for the lower powers but am unsure if this would be worthwhile for me. The refractor has a fairly narrow view to start with and I do have hand held binoculars from 2 to 15x magnification.

 

If some spare money came my way then I'd be looking at the Oberwerk BT82 or BT100. In the never ending and hopeless quest to find one instrument that does it all these would come pretty close. Aside from normal viewing for lower power, I'm pretty sure I could go to my normal higher magnifications (around 140x) by monoviewing in only one side.


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#9 upwinddan

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience. It appears that you folks are the pioneers of an emerging new part of our passion for astronomy.



#10 tturtle

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 08:03 AM

To my mind, binoviewing is best done with a larger SCT, especially where we are talking about solar system observation. The better light gathering capability, bigger focusing range, better ergonomics, and central field sharpness all lend themselves particularly well to SCTs in the 8” and up size. I use my binoviewer on my 9.25 and the views are stunning. Of course a bino refractor like the vixen will beat a binoviewer on a similar refractor. 


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#11 Spikey131

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Posted 18 December 2023 - 10:07 AM

Binoscopes excel at low magnification, wide field astronomy.

 

Binoviewers excel at high magnification, narrow field astronomy like observing the solar system.

 

Either one can be stretched somewhat into the other’s realm, but as a practical matter, this is the main difference.


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#12 OivindM

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 01:22 PM

I have used my Denkmeier II binoviewer (with the power-switch and OCS) with three different telescopes: a 6 inch maksutov-cassegrain (which due to the lack of back focus gave me only high magnifications), a C9.25 EgdeHD, and an Explore Scientific 80 mm refractor. For me it has been important that the binoviewer works with all three telescopes, so if you think you may want another type/size of telescope in the future, buying a telescope and a binoviewer is a smart choice.


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#13 Kunama

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 03:58 PM

I did some comparisons with my setups, they both have their good points but for my favourite target, the Moon, the binoscope won out…… however I have now moved to more modest setups and am using a single refractor with binoviewer again….

Attached Thumbnails

  • 8C22FE73-4F44-466C-A930-F9886E37750B.jpeg

Edited by Kunama, 19 December 2023 - 04:00 PM.

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#14 PETER DREW

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for your response. I’m toying with the possibility of a Vixen BT 81. Binoscopes larger version that would not be physically practical for my aging body. Do you have one in the 80mm size range?


All of my binoscopes are self built. I have one using 80mm ED refractors, they will stand 200x.

#15 ABQJeff

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 09:52 PM

Binoscopes excel at low magnification, wide field astronomy.

 

Binoviewers excel at high magnification, narrow field astronomy like observing the solar system.

 

Either one can be stretched somewhat into the other’s realm, but as a practical matter, this is the main difference.

Exactly!!  

 

In general:

 

Binoviewers = highest mag viewing because limited to 1.25” EP and often have to use barlow or glass path corrector to reach focus or optimize optics

 

Binoscope = lower mag mid field view because limited to 1.25” and hard to keep them collimated and exit pupils aligned with small exit pupil (>~100-120x)

 

Binocular = lowest mag, widest field of view


Edited by ABQJeff, 19 December 2023 - 10:20 PM.

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#16 ZX12

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 09:18 PM

A simple way to decide what path to choose is by what objects you want to view most.

 

I have binoscopes (BT's) from 70 to 150mm, and use a binoviewer (BV) with refractors that are 130mm to 160mm and SCT's from 8" to 14".

 

If I'm viewing most DSO's then I prefer the BT's, particularly for open clusters. The stars have a sparkle to them that is quite mesmerizing with both eyes relaxed using low to mid powers.  

Galaxies are dimmed down too much with a BV unless you have a larger scope, so the BT is my first choice as well.

I also prefer them on the Moon unless conditions are excellent for high power, then the BV is a better choice. When Jupiter and Saturn are at their prime or splitting tight double stars, then a BV is also better suited. 

 

One drawback to a BV is the loss of light with the split path, especially in smaller scopes. I like to use at least a 130mm refractor or larger so that it still provides enough brightness.

With a 14" SCT, a BV is helpful in reducing glare on brighter objects.

 

It's hard to go wrong with a BT from 70 to 100mm if DSO's are your favorite objects. If you prefer the planets, Moon, and splitting doubles then the telescope and BV might be a better choice. 

 

If you choose a telescope and BV, then its probably best to start with an 8" SCT as they have enough back focus to not need a GPC (glass path corrector), and they are also still reasonably bright on DSO's.  

 

Overall, the APM 150mm binocular is my most used optic as it shows many objects very nicely. Even when viewing the planets and double stars they have proven to be excellent performers.

The APM 100 is okay on planets, but I would rather use a single high quality 100mm refractor in mono mode for any high power viewing, especially on double stars.

 

Mike


Edited by ZX12, 22 December 2023 - 11:11 AM.

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#17 upwinddan

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Posted 22 December 2023 - 09:58 AM

A simple way to decide what path to choose is by what objects you want to view most.

 

I have binoscopes (BT's) from 70 to 150mm, and use a binoviewer (BV) with refractors that are 130mm to 160mm and SCT's from 8" to 14".

 

If I'm viewing most DSO's then I prefer the BT's, particularly for open clusters. The stars have a sparkle to them that is quite mesmerizing with both eyes relaxed using low to mid powers.  

Galaxies are dimmed down too much with a BV unless you gave a larger scope, so the BT is my first choice as well.

I also prefer them on the Moon unless conditions are excellent for high power, then the BV is a better choice. When Jupiter and Saturn are at their prime or splitting tight double stars, then a BV is also better suited. 

 

One drawback to a BV is the loss of light with the split path, especially in smaller scopes. I like to use at least a 130mm refractor or larger so that it still provides enough brightness.

With a 14" SCT, a BV is helpful in reducing glare on brighter objects.

 

It's hard to go wrong with a BT from 70 to 100mm if DSO's are your favorite objects. If you prefer the planets, Moon, and splitting doubles then the telescope and BV might be a better choice. 

 

If you choose a telescope be and BV, then its probably best to start with an 8" SCT as they have enough back focus to not need a GPC (glass path corrector), and they are also still reasonably bright on DSO's.  

 

Overall, the APM 150mm binocular is my most used optic as it shows many objects very nicely. Even when viewing the planets and double stars they have proven to be excellent performers.

The APM 100 is okay on planets, but I rather use a single high quality 100mm refractor in mono mode for any high power viewing, especially on double stars.

 

Mike

 

Wow! What a beautifully written narrative! I’m sure folks will be learning from your work years from now.

 



#18 Mark9473

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 01:41 PM

In general:

Binoviewers = highest mag viewing because limited to 1.25” EP and often have to use barlow or glass path corrector to reach focus or optimize optics

Binoscope = lower mag mid field view because limited to 1.25” and hard to keep them collimated and exit pupils aligned with small exit pupil (>~100-120x)

Binocular = lowest mag, widest field of view


I don't think you're doing justice to the binoscope. I see them as instruments going from widest field of view (from using 2" eyepieces) to very high magnification (from having the proper provisions for quick and easy collimation while looking through the eyepieces). Their only disadvantage is cost and weight.

I think your comments belong to the BT's i.e. binocular telescopes - single body instruments allowing interchangeable eyepieces (typically 1.25").
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#19 ABQJeff

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 05:08 PM

I don't think you're doing justice to the binoscope. I see them as instruments going from widest field of view (from using 2" eyepieces) to very high magnification (from having the proper provisions for quick and easy collimation while looking through the eyepieces). Their only disadvantage is cost and weight.

I think your comments belong to the BT's i.e. binocular telescopes - single body instruments allowing interchangeable eyepieces (typically 1.25").

Yes I was referring to BTs.  A full dual telescope, yes is an excellent (albeit heavy) option.

 

In my mind binocular telescope is a better word for a full dual telescope and binoscope should be for the unibody design, since it is the compressed word, but I don’t pick the definitions.



#20 columbidae

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 06:43 PM

I don't think you're doing justice to the binoscope. I see them as instruments going from widest field of view (from using 2" eyepieces) to very high magnification (from having the proper provisions for quick and easy collimation while looking through the eyepieces). Their only disadvantage is cost and weight.

I think your comments belong to the BT's i.e. binocular telescopes - single body instruments allowing interchangeable eyepieces (typically 1.25").

I don't think there's enough of a difference between a binocular telescope and a binocular telescope to bother splitting hairs with the terms.  After going through the trouble of purchasing an identical scope and mounting it with EMS (or the like), it's practically a single body instrument until you decide to part it out or lose an eye.  There's also plenty of ATM binocular telescopes that could fit into either category but don't look like either of the prior examples.



#21 Mark9473

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 07:04 PM

I agree that the logic behind the terminology is debatable, but it's now well established with no realistic chance of changing it.

A binoscope is two telescope OTA's joined on a suitable frame and, if we're talking about refractors in a commercial binoscope, using typically something like EMS mirror diagonals to bring the two eyepieces close enough together and adjust for alignment. Multiple ATM alternatives exist.

A BT on the other hand is a large single binocular body accepting interchangeable eyepieces and using rotating prism turrets to bring them together.

#22 Mark9473

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 07:15 PM

For clarity, these are binoscopes: http://www.aokswiss....sicht_90fl.html

and these are BTs: https://www.apm-tele...binoculars-82mm



#23 Souldrop

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 07:31 PM

Mark, Im curious where the terminology has been established and codified? It seems more of a convention of yourself and a few other forum goers. Ive been curious about the current etymology because it’s made my adventure putting together a “binoscope” somewhat convoluted when searching for info

#24 Mark9473

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Posted 28 December 2023 - 08:01 PM

It's the terminology used on the binoculars forum, where there are countless threads on these instruments.

Don't blame me, I've got noting to do with it.

Note that several vendors use BT or Binocular Telescope in their product names - Oberwerk, Vixen, Orion, Nikon, to name a few.


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#25 faackanders2

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Posted 29 December 2023 - 11:55 PM

To my mind, binoviewing is best done with a larger SCT, especially where we are talking about solar system observation. The better light gathering capability, bigger focusing range, better ergonomics, and central field sharpness all lend themselves particularly well to SCTs in the 8” and up size. I use my binoviewer on my 9.25 and the views are stunning. Of course a bino refractor like the vixen will beat a binoviewer on a similar refractor. 

I do not have an SCT but I love binoviewing DSOs with a large Dob.  Power switches and OCSs eliminate the need for many eyepiece pairs.


Edited by faackanders2, 29 December 2023 - 11:57 PM.



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