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Orion Linear Binoviewer: Yes or No?

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#1 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 09:43 PM

The only binoviewer I've ever owned or used is an old-school Burgess Binoviewer, the older version with a 20mm clear aperture.  I've only really used it for planet/lunar.   I've only used it on a 10" f/4.8 with a Barlow or OCS.

 

But now I'm thinking getting a new binoviewer, not to replace the old Burgess, but as another option when I want to binoview.   A major drawback of the Burgess is that I cannot use it natively in my Newts and refractors.   I have to use it with a Barlow or OCS in order to come to focus with any of my eyepieces.  I want to be able to binoview at lower powers.   And I want to be able to move the binoviewer among my different scopes without having to be concerned about which Barlow or OCS will be needed in order to allow eyepieces to come to focus.  Also, I want to get into deep sky binoviewing, which would be helped by being able to use lower powers.

 

The Orion Linear won't be in stock until March 10th.  As per usual, I expect the real availability date to be extended past that.  frown.gif   I've already put in my order, but the CC won't be charged until it's shipped.  I have at least a month-and-a-half to reconsider.

 

Yes, I know the Orion Linear has only a 17.3mm clear aperture ... or is it 17.4?  I also know there have been reports of glare artifacts when viewing bright objects.  But no need for a Barlow or OCS!   Just slip it in and the eyepieces will come to focus!   I can use it in all my scopes without adding something else to the stack!   I can use it in my Paracorr!  Those are all big wins in my book.  

 

So, would the Orion Linear Binoviewer be a good bet or not?  Fold or let it ride?

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 28 January 2024 - 10:08 PM.


#2 betacygni

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:01 PM

Another option you might want to consider is the now (sadly) discontinued Televue Binovue. Assuming you can find a pair used with the normally included Televue 2x amplifier they are 100% parfocal with using eyepieces in mono mode. It’s truly plug and play in any scope. If you get really lucky you can sometimes find the amplifier sold by itself to use on any binoviewer, I use mine with the Denkmeier powerswitch and my back focus limited newt. The 2.5x powermate might do the same thing (it gives 2x in binoviewers), but I’m not sure how much back focus it gives to be truly plug and play in all scopes.

The other question is how low of power you really feel you need for deep sky. Even long long ago when I mono viewed I typically didn’t find myself using exit pupils larger than the 3mm I can get with even 2x amplified binoviewers.

Edited by betacygni, 28 January 2024 - 10:06 PM.

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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:02 PM

Well... The Linear Binoviewer is certainly entirely plug-'n-play = same focus and same magnification on all scopes with all eyepieces --- which it its massive advantage. It's different in other ways, but all choices are trades of one kind or another. The best choice is to keep the old one and get the linear as well. The advantage of that choice is no more languishing regarding decisions. PS: Once I order something, I'm committed... I stop rethinking my decision.   Tom


Edited by TOMDEY, 28 January 2024 - 10:05 PM.

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#4 betacygni

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:20 PM

Also if impatience gets the best of you the TS version of the linears is in stock, though would pay a bit more than the Orions with shipping factored in: https://www.teleskop...ect-image-10297

#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:20 PM

Another option you might want to consider is the now (sadly) discontinued Televue Binovue. Assuming you can find a pair used with the normally included Televue 2x amplifier they are 100% parfocal with using eyepieces in mono mode. It’s truly plug and play in any scope. If you get really lucky you can sometimes find the amplifier sold by itself to use on any binoviewer, I use mine with the Denkmeier powerswitch and my back focus limited newt. The 2.5x powermate might do the same thing (it gives 2x in binoviewers), but I’m not sure how much back focus it gives to be truly plug and play in all scopes.

The other question is how low of power you really feel you need for deep sky. Even long long ago when I mono viewed I typically didn’t find myself using exit pupils larger than the 3mm I can get with even 2x amplified binoviewers.

Sounds like the TV 2x Amplifier does for the binoviewer what a Barlow or OCS would do:   allow eyepieces to come to focus while increasing the magnification.   So, you start out with a binoviewer that won't let you binoview natively in a Newt or most refractors.   I'm already there.  My Burgess Binoviewer needs at least a 1.6x OCS to focus in my 10" f/4.8 Dob.  

 

I'd like to go lower than I can now with a binoviewer.  :grin:   My skies here still look pretty good at around 4mm exit pupil, 5mm on a good night, 6mm on a great one.   My favorite binoculars are 10x42's, which provide a 4.2mm exit pupil.

 

Mike


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#6 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:22 PM

Well... The Linear Binoviewer is certainly entirely plug-'n-play = same focus and same magnification on all scopes with all eyepieces --- which it its massive advantage. It's different in other ways, but all choices are trades of one kind or another. The best choice is to keep the old one and get the linear as well. The advantage of that choice is no more languishing regarding decisions. PS: Once I order something, I'm committed... I stop rethinking my decision.   Tom

Yep.  Not either/or.  Both/and.  :grin:

 

Mike



#7 betacygni

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:25 PM

Sounds like the TV 2x Amplifier does for the binoviewer what a Barlow or OCS would do: allow eyepieces to come to focus while increasing the magnification. So, you start out with a binoviewer that won't let you binoview natively in a Newt or most refractors. I'm already there. My Burgess Binoviewer needs at least a 1.6x OCS to focus in my 10" f/4.8 Dob.

I'd like to go lower than I can now with a binoviewer. :grin: My skies here still look pretty good at around 4mm exit pupil, 5mm on a good night, 6mm on a great one. My favorite binoculars are 10x42's, which provide a 4.2mm exit pupil.

Mike

Yeah if the 1.6x gets you there on all your scopes then not much else in the way of options for lower powers, unless you get out a hack saw…

I have heard Siebert has some 1x options, but I have to think some compromise is there, be it back focus, length of assembly, etc.

Edited by betacygni, 28 January 2024 - 10:26 PM.

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#8 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:25 PM

Also if impatience gets the best of you the TS version of the linears is in stock, though would pay a bit more than the Orions with shipping factored in: https://www.teleskop...ect-image-10297

It's only a month-and-a-half!   I've got plenty of other toys to play with until then!  smile.gif

 

Mike



#9 Sarkikos

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:26 PM

Yeah if the 1.6x gets you there on all your scopes then not much else in the way of options, unless you get out a hack saw…

Nope.  Not happening.  I guess I could saw the tube.  But I wouldn't know how to rethread the end.  :shrug:

 

Mike



#10 betacygni

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:30 PM

Well... The Linear Binoviewer is certainly entirely plug-'n-play = same focus and same magnification on all scopes with all eyepieces --- which it its massive advantage. It's different in other ways, but all choices are trades of one kind or another. The best choice is to keep the old one and get the linear as well. The advantage of that choice is no more languishing regarding decisions. PS: Once I order something, I'm committed... I stop rethinking my decision. Tom

Not to hijack Mike’s thread (this hopefully would be of interest to him too), but have you tried using eyepieces with larger field stops than the linears ~17.4mm? Curious how that works out in practice.

Edited by betacygni, 28 January 2024 - 10:30 PM.

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#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 10:40 PM

Not to hijack Mike’s thread (this hopefully would be of interest to him too), but have you tried using eyepieces with larger field stops than the linears ~17.4mm? Curious how that works out in practice.

Yeah, Delos 17.3mm which has a 21.2mm effective field stop diameter. It's actually decent with just (my recollection here) that the far left edge of the left field and the far right edge of the right field were degraded. For that test the feeding F# was F/5. But otherwise things looked good to me, with no obvious vignetting noticed.    Tom

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  • 54 75 low mag test Orion Linear Binoviewer.jpg

Edited by TOMDEY, 29 January 2024 - 12:11 AM.

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#12 havasman

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Posted 28 January 2024 - 11:58 PM

Recently I bought a binoviewer and considered the Linear but when I consistently read of increased difficulty of getting good eye placement I passed. I ended up with a Denk and since it's only going to be used for solar he built the unit specific to that function. I'm happy with it, very nice. While using it earlier I was thinking I might like to try a BV in my refractors and DANG! that means I'd have to buy another. File under careful what you wish for I guess.  crazy.gif 


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#13 TOMDEY

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 12:27 AM

Recently I bought a binoviewer and considered the Linear but when I consistently read of increased difficulty of getting good eye placement I passed. I ended up with a Denk and since it's only going to be used for solar he built the unit specific to that function. I'm happy with it, very nice. While using it earlier I was thinking I might like to try a BV in my refractors and DANG! that means I'd have to buy another. File under careful what you wish for I guess.  crazy.gif 

Good choice! But relying entirely on reviews from others goes just so far --- trying (and even buying) for yourself are the true arbiter. Learning to use tools takes time and patience. Proper eye placement is something that most amateurs are not good at, not even the majority of astronomy buffs... and unwilling to research and practice. The Linears do indeed take some extra effort, skill and understanding.

 

I came up with some tutorial material... but I guess it's just ~over the heads or willingness~ of most amateurs. At work (B&L, ITT, L3Harris, etc.) --- the optical techs loved the Linear design and utility. But (admittedly) the professional optical technicians (military and industrial) are truly skilled observers.    Tom

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#14 kroum

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 01:25 AM

Recently I bought a binoviewer and considered the Linear but when I consistently read of increased difficulty of getting good eye placement I passed. I ended up with a Denk and since it's only going to be used for solar he built the unit specific to that function. I'm happy with it, very nice. While using it earlier I was thinking I might like to try a BV in my refractors and DANG! that means I'd have to buy another. File under careful what you wish for I guess.  crazy.gif 

I bet that you either have all the parts to get it to work with your refractors or if you talk to Russ, he’ll tell you exactly which parts/adapters you need.  You won’t have to get a whole new binoviewer.  Unless you want to ;)



#15 Takuan

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 04:26 AM

Yes.
I really enjoy them in deep sky with my dob.

#16 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 09:42 AM

Yes.
I really enjoy them in deep sky with my dob.

The Orion Linears or the Denks?  grin.gif

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 29 January 2024 - 09:44 AM.


#17 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 09:46 AM

Not to hijack Mike’s thread (this hopefully would be of interest to him too), but have you tried using eyepieces with larger field stops than the linears ~17.4mm? Curious how that works out in practice.

Any information on the Linears, what works with them and what doesn't, and comparisons of the Linears with other binoviewers is fine.  :grin:

 

Mike



#18 Takuan

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 01:18 PM

The Orion Linears or the Denks? grin.gif

Mike

Linears.
For lowest mag. And max fov I use a pair of 20 mm Sterling Pl.

Edited by Takuan, 29 January 2024 - 01:21 PM.

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#19 dustyc

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 02:50 PM

For my dob I figured that it was a wash between the 2 since I wasn't willing to mod my scope to use conventional binoviewers without the correctors (or Barlow). The Linears limit you to a 17mm aperture as noted above. But with the Barlow or other corrector in place on a regular binoviewer most wide field eyepieces give you about the same field of view as the Linear due to the higher power. 

One thing about the Linear, gotta keep the planet exactly in the center field, that flaring can get obtrusive. 

What's is crazy is the out of focus Fresnel pattern. It looks pretty bad but merges in to nice spot in focus. 


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#20 kimcheese

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:06 PM

The only binoviewer I've ever owned or used is an old-school Burgess Binoviewer, the older version with a 20mm clear aperture.  I've only really used it for planet/lunar.   I've only used it on a 10" f/4.8 with a Barlow or OCS.

 

But now I'm thinking getting a new binoviewer, not to replace the old Burgess, but as another option when I want to binoview.   A major drawback of the Burgess is that I cannot use it natively in my Newts and refractors.   I have to use it with a Barlow or OCS in order to come to focus with any of my eyepieces.  I want to be able to binoview at lower powers.   And I want to be able to move the binoviewer among my different scopes without having to be concerned about which Barlow or OCS will be needed in order to allow eyepieces to come to focus.  Also, I want to get into deep sky binoviewing, which would be helped by being able to use lower powers.

 

The Orion Linear won't be in stock until March 10th.  As per usual, I expect the real availability date to be extended past that.  frown.gif   I've already put in my order, but the CC won't be charged until it's shipped.  I have at least a month-and-a-half to reconsider.

 

Yes, I know the Orion Linear has only a 17.3mm clear aperture ... or is it 17.4?  I also know there have been reports of glare artifacts when viewing bright objects.  But no need for a Barlow or OCS!   Just slip it in and the eyepieces will come to focus!   I can use it in all my scopes without adding something else to the stack!   I can use it in my Paracorr!  Those are all big wins in my book.  

 

So, would the Orion Linear Binoviewer be a good bet or not?  Fold or let it ride?

 

Mike

Using the ES labeled version of the Linear Binoviewer. Refractor and Lunt solar plus using a 45 degree Amica prism diagonal for terrestrial viewing.   ES site notes in stock, but only as the kit with couple EPs.  Bit on the heavy side.  Took a bit of effort to develop correct eye positioning.  "Natural" now. The diopter adjustment ring will rotate when you tighten down that side ep twist lock if you don't use both hands.  The Long Perng labeled unit at AgenaAstro (out of stock) looks identical to the Orion labeled one, but at a lower price.  Think all the different color and label variations are the same.  Not sure if true. Someone noted that Long Perng is the manufacture.  Maybe why the lowest priced?.  For solar and lunar observation I only binoview. I guess I enjoy the linear bv.


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#21 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:32 PM

Linears.
For lowest mag. And max fov I use a pair of 20 mm Sterling Pl.

The 20mm Sterlings have an 18.5mm field stop (by calculation).  That's not much wider than the 17.3 (or 17.4?) clear aperture of the Linears, so they should be fine.

 

Mike



#22 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 10:51 PM

I'll take TOMDEY's recommendation for at least a 21.2mm effective field stop diameter for bino pairs in the Orion Linear (post #11 above).  Now, let me see how I can max out the low power from the bino pairs I already have.  First, I think I'll bump it up just a little:

 

18 Takahashi LE:  15.8
8-24 Baader Hyperion Mark III Zoom:  17.6
24 Brandon:  21.4 
26 Celestron Silver Top Plossl (Circle V):  22.2

 

Here's what I have if I really wanted to push it:

 

22 Oberwerk Flat Field:  26.9
24 TeleVue Panoptic:  27

25.1 Sterling Plossl:  23.2
28.7 Edmund RKE:  23.3 
35 Orion Ultrascopic:  28.9 

 

The 24 Brandons might be the Goldilocks EP's.   Cruising at native speed in 24 Brandons.  That's not bad.  Or is it?  

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 29 January 2024 - 10:57 PM.


#23 Takuan

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 03:02 AM

I'll take TOMDEY's recommendation for at least a 21.2mm effective field stop diameter for bino pairs in the Orion Linear (post #11 above). Now, let me see how I can max out the low power from the bino pairs I already have. First, I think I'll bump it up just a little:

18 Takahashi LE: 15.8
8-24 Baader Hyperion Mark III Zoom: 17.6
24 Brandon: 21.4
26 Celestron Silver Top Plossl (Circle V): 22.2

Here's what I have if I really wanted to push it:

22 Oberwerk Flat Field: 26.9
24 TeleVue Panoptic: 27
25.1 Sterling Plossl: 23.2
28.7 Edmund RKE: 23.3
35 Orion Ultrascopic: 28.9

The 24 Brandons might be the Goldilocks EP's. Cruising at native speed in 24 Brandons. That's not bad. Or is it?

Mike

I like APM 18 UFF in the Linears, but they vignette clearly (fs 20.4), so 21.2 is too optimistic IMO.

Edited by Takuan, 30 January 2024 - 03:04 AM.

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#24 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 08:24 AM

I like APM 18 UFF in the Linears, but they vignette clearly (fs 20.4), so 21.2 is too optimistic IMO.

What objects do you view with the APM 18 UFF's in the Linears?   Some would probably show vignetting more than others.  I think if you viewed the Sagittarius Star Cloud or the Milky Way in Cygnus, then if there is vignetting, it should be easily seen.  Some other objects, maybe not so much.

 

Mike



#25 Takuan

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 09:20 AM

What objects do you view with the APM 18 UFF's in the Linears? Some would probably show vignetting more than others. I think if you viewed the Sagittarius Star Cloud or the Milky Way in Cygnus, then if there is vignetting, it should be easily seen. Some other objects, maybe not so much.

Mike

In the Linears, vignetting doesn't provoque reduction of the image's brightness toward the periphery. So doesn't matter the object observed.
In Linears the limits of fov become narrower. When it is little it is difficult to see at night. During the day it is easier, since you can see a blue perimeter band.

Edited by Takuan, 30 January 2024 - 09:20 AM.

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