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Are binoculars ok for viewing during totality?

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#1 Bigred77



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Posted 02 February 2024 - 09:54 AM

I've got an old set of 7 x 35 binoculars that were my fathers that I carry around in my truck for random times to look at stuff.


I know the general consensus is that naked eye viewing during totality is plenty, maybe best. But I was thinking, with four and a half minutes of totality, it might be cool to look at it through the binoculars for a few moments, just to see what I can see.


first, is it safe?

second, any tips?  or is the difference in what I might see really negligible at that strength of binoculars that its not even really worth getting them out of the case?

#2 Diana N

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Posted 02 February 2024 - 10:39 AM

It's perfectly safe, as long as you stop BEFORE the Diamond Ring at 3rd contact.  What I would do is see just how long the eclipse is going to be in your area, and set a timer to let you know when to stop using the binoculars - and I'd stop at least 30 seconds before third contact, just for an added measure of safety.


I've not tried binos at totality, but I think they'd give you a nice view of the corona.

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#3 MEE


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 11:21 AM

To help with totality timing, I encourage you to visit https://www.solareclipsetimer.com/ - and download the associated app

Practice holding your binoculars steady: how much detail can you see on the moon, for example


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#4 Cajundaddy



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Posted 03 February 2024 - 05:42 PM

We used binoculars in 2017 and rather liked them.  7x is just enough to get a good look and if you have a timer running, It is perfectly safe.  Enjoy!

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#5 Fabricius


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Posted 03 February 2024 - 05:58 PM

I used a 15x80 bino during totality and saw beautiful purple prominences and the corona. Great experience. Of course, this is only safe after the start of the totality and before the end of it. Outside this time period, always cover both objective lenses or use solar filters.

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#6 Sebastian_Sajaroff


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Posted 04 February 2024 - 08:30 AM

Unfiltered binoculars are safe during totality.
Given the eclipse lasts a few minutes (at most), it’s very important to set an alarm before 3rd contact like others suggested.
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#7 SkyBear


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Posted 07 February 2024 - 12:14 PM

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, so many questions already answered on this thread. This was just what I was looking for.

Newbie to equipment. I will be using a 15 x 70 binocular for the April Eclipse (with Oberwerk 400 series tripod.) 

Does anyone have thoughts: In searching for an orange solar filter, *I think* I have come across descriptors for two different colors of orange, "warm" and a bright, deep shade. Is my understanding correct? Or is there always one shade?  I was going to buy the Spectrum orange glass filters, then it seemed like those were the very bright orange ones that some folks really don't like. (I do understand--all orange is unnatural, and there is a glass v film debate, which I have decided in my own mind to go with glass). For the moment, I am going to go with orange--are there two different shades; and is one shade better than the other.   Thank you all so much. 

Should I go with a laser star pointer on this binocular? (not necessary for the eclipse, but in general. Today I learned of a right mounted finder. Should I go with that, also? 

Thanks much.

#8 ch-viladrich


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Posted 07 February 2024 - 01:45 PM

I used stabilized Canon 10 x 30 mm binocular during totality of TSE 2019. It was great !

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