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Ed Ting Reviews The Binotron 27 & 3D Eyepieces

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#1 RLK1

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 02:56 PM

https://www.youtube....h?v=QFW1jzv91YY

 

Nice review and one that puts the unit in "perspective"...


Edited by RLK1, 25 February 2024 - 04:32 PM.

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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 03:58 PM

Cool! --- Watching it now; thanks.    Tom



#3 betacygni

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 04:30 PM

Great review. This will be an excellent go to recommendation for an intro to binoviewers and their oddities for people considering them.

My only issue is he again mentioned that merging is related to magnification, rather than eyepiece focal length, but that aside it was superb.
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#4 jesse 3

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 05:01 PM

1.25” extension is interesting. Is this the correct way to use 1.25” prism diagonal and avoid ocs?

#5 betacygni

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 05:16 PM

1.25” extension is interesting. Is this the correct way to use 1.25” prism diagonal and avoid ocs?


Will depend on the scope type if it would reach focus without an OCS. 1.25” diagonals are generally (particularly some prism models) not super well built, and might be a bit risky hanging a binoviewer off of. The Televue everbrite is one 1.25” diagonal exception, being machined from a single block like their 2” cousins.

Edited by betacygni, 25 February 2024 - 05:16 PM.


#6 ABQJeff

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 01:13 AM

Great review and overview of the Denkmeier Binotron.  He must have read our posts after his earlier BV episode.  wink.gif

 

One thing he could have mentioned is that using a binoviewer in CATs with a reducer (0.66x in this case) can introduce spherical aberration and aperture reduction with the increased optical path length; this is a consideration similar to how he mentioned intrusion in the reflectors optical path.   Not a big deal for low magnification viewing, but for planets and Lunar, IMHO, I would put the OCS back in to get the 1.3x-3x range again in an SCT (similar how I use my Baader GPC 1.25-2.6x with my MBII).



#7 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 01:07 PM

Great review. This will be an excellent go to recommendation for an intro to binoviewers and their oddities for people considering them.

My only issue is he again mentioned that merging is related to magnification, rather than eyepiece focal length, but that aside it was superb.

Well, magnification is related to eyepiece focal length.  Therefore, merging is related to magnification?  :thinking:

 

Mike



#8 Sarkikos

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 01:11 PM

If I were to ever order a Binotron 27, it would be without the 3D eyepieces.  I always thought of them as a gimmick, rather than serious astronomy gear.  

 

Mike


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#9 betacygni

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 01:21 PM

Well, magnification is related to eyepiece focal length. Therefore, merging is related to magnification? :thinking:

Mike

Not precisely, you can get magnification lots of different ways unrelated to the eyepiece used, like scope focal length, barlows in front of binoviewers, etc. For example one might not be able to merge 5mm eyepieces at 300x, but could merge 15mm eyepieces with a 3x effective Barlow in front of binoviewers giving 300x. The merging difficulty doesn’t care what magnification you’re at, it just cares about the focal length of eyepieces in the binoviewer.

Edited by betacygni, 29 February 2024 - 01:24 PM.

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#10 ckwastro

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 02:40 PM

If I were to ever order a Binotron 27, it would be without the 3D eyepieces.  I always thought of them as a gimmick, rather than serious astronomy gear.  

 

Mike

Same here. BVs always seem 3D to me anyway, so it would most likely just be more exaggerated. Sure, the view would probably be pretty cool the first few times with moving the target to the foreground or background, but eventually, and I’m guessing fairly quickly, it would become just another thing to fiddle with that really doesn’t add much to the experience in the long run. Don’t think the 3D set would be worth the price of admission for me. 


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#11 Eddgie

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 02:10 PM

The problem with Ed Ting's reviews is that he often does not really go into detail about the negatives

 

I had what I thought was the first 3D eyepiece pair sold, and while I can attest that the 3D effect is absolutely real, but at the same time, there are a lot of things I really did not like. 

 

Before I give those, I will be very clear to say that Denkmier says that these are best when used in larger telescopes under darker skies. Now my telescope at the time was 12" and my skies were rather bright, so I was not using them as Denk recommends.  That being said, I am not in a small percentage of people in these conditions. 

 

First, there are five distinct zones in the field.  As you change from one subject to the next, the part of the field that appears closest will always be in the same zone, and the place where it looks furthest is always in the same zone. After a few dozen subjects, it just starts to feel artificial.

 

Next is that in bright star fields, stars that fall on the edge of a prism can show as a double star. Now this is fine if it is just an occasional star in a sparse cluster, but in richer clusters, where several stars happend to fall on prisms, you would get all of these weird double stars and they would have the same position angle and separation.  

 

Last, but most offensive what what I call the "Sunken Living Room effect".  If there was something that was too big to fit on to the middle array (which is what the thin prisms are called), then you would get this square area that would appear to slightly recessed in the center of the subject.  For large Globular clusters, it was horrible. For many nebula it was also so artificial that I could not enjoy it, even though the other zones might look appealing.  This was the thing that turned me off the most about these eyepieces though, and anything that was dense and that would not fit entirely on the central zone would show this effect. 

 

I quickly grew tired of them and sold them. Ed Ting did not mention these aberrations though, and that kind of presented more of a marketing recommendation than a critical report on the full behavior of the product. 

 

I am going to close this on a positive note though. Here and there, I found individual subjects that were simply amazing in the 3D eyepieces. On of my first subjects was M57.  I this case, the ring fit inside of the central zone, and the rich field around it is mostly dimmer stars, and I did not see any double stars at that time because the overall effect was very pleasing. There were few others as well, but this one is the one that simply stands out in my mind.  Like many things, the effect may be worth it to many. 

 

ps. I absolutely share Ed's preference for using a binoviewer for most viewing. Now the vast majority of my viewing is with an image intensifier, but when I do doubles, rich star fields where there are color stars, planets, the moon, and the sun, I never use a single eyepiece any more. The only reason I still have any single eyepiece pairs is for when I am going to share the views with others. 


Edited by Eddgie, 01 March 2024 - 02:15 PM.

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#12 cahanc

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 04:05 PM

I think that the 3-D EP experience is a sort of experiment or expansion of what is possible within the hobby itself these days.  I have not looked through them and so have no personal comments per se but the fact that Russ thought about it, manufactured it and now sells it somehow makes me feel good about the hobby in general.  Like there is still more that can be done if we think outside the box a bit, it is somehow refreshing to me.  I am not speaking to the actual good or bad of it, just the fact that it was done at all. 


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#13 Eddgie

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 08:27 AM

I am not speaking to the actual good or bad of it, just the fact that it was done at all. 

I concur in that it is a very clever. Innovation does not happen a great deal in the amateur astronomy equipment field, and while this is an eyepiece innovation, it was created for the binoviewer market.  Russ has a strong commitment to the field and produces excellent products, and how he came up with the idea to do this is beyond me, but hats off to him for coming up with the idea. 


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#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 10:34 AM

The problem with Ed Ting's reviews is that he often does not really go into detail about the negatives

 

I had what I thought was the first 3D eyepiece pair sold, and while I can attest that the 3D effect is absolutely real, but at the same time, there are a lot of things I really did not like. 

 

Before I give those, I will be very clear to say that Denkmier says that these are best when used in larger telescopes under darker skies. Now my telescope at the time was 12" and my skies were rather bright, so I was not using them as Denk recommends.  That being said, I am not in a small percentage of people in these conditions. 

 

First, there are five distinct zones in the field.  As you change from one subject to the next, the part of the field that appears closest will always be in the same zone, and the place where it looks furthest is always in the same zone. After a few dozen subjects, it just starts to feel artificial.

 

Next is that in bright star fields, stars that fall on the edge of a prism can show as a double star. Now this is fine if it is just an occasional star in a sparse cluster, but in richer clusters, where several stars happend to fall on prisms, you would get all of these weird double stars and they would have the same position angle and separation.  

 

Last, but most offensive what what I call the "Sunken Living Room effect".  If there was something that was too big to fit on to the middle array (which is what the thin prisms are called), then you would get this square area that would appear to slightly recessed in the center of the subject.  For large Globular clusters, it was horrible. For many nebula it was also so artificial that I could not enjoy it, even though the other zones might look appealing.  This was the thing that turned me off the most about these eyepieces though, and anything that was dense and that would not fit entirely on the central zone would show this effect. 

 

I quickly grew tired of them and sold them. Ed Ting did not mention these aberrations though, and that kind of presented more of a marketing recommendation than a critical report on the full behavior of the product. 

 

I am going to close this on a positive note though. Here and there, I found individual subjects that were simply amazing in the 3D eyepieces. On of my first subjects was M57.  I this case, the ring fit inside of the central zone, and the rich field around it is mostly dimmer stars, and I did not see any double stars at that time because the overall effect was very pleasing. There were few others as well, but this one is the one that simply stands out in my mind.  Like many things, the effect may be worth it to many. 

 

ps. I absolutely share Ed's preference for using a binoviewer for most viewing. Now the vast majority of my viewing is with an image intensifier, but when I do doubles, rich star fields where there are color stars, planets, the moon, and the sun, I never use a single eyepiece any more. The only reason I still have any single eyepiece pairs is for when I am going to share the views with others. 

the 3D effect is absolutely real

 

That phrase is fraught with contradiction and ambiguity.  The LOA 3D effect is "real" in the sense that any illusory experience is real.  A rainbow is real and a green star is real.  But they do not correspond to reality in the sense that the rainbow is a physical structure in the sky, or a green star has a green spectrum.   In a similar way, the 3D experience of the LOA eyepieces does not correspond to any real difference in the distance of various objects in the field of view to the observer.   But the LOA 3D effect is even more distanced from reality than the rainbow or green star, because the LOA 3D effect is entirely artificial, while the rainbow and green star are naturally induced. 

 

On the other hand, some artificial modifications to the visual experience of viewing objects through a telescope do change the natural appearance of the object but yet provide additional real information about the object, or at least allow the observer to discern that information more easily.  Color and contrast filters are examples.  An apodizing mask is another.   The LOA eyepieces do not provide additional real information.  The effect is entirely artificial and illusory.  Absolutely.  grin.gif

 

These are reasons why I've never seriously considered acquiring LOA eyepieces. 

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 02 March 2024 - 10:42 AM.


#15 junomike

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 03:02 PM

Binotron & 3D EPs.

 

One's a well thought out accessory to Astronomy and the other is more of a gimmick.

 

Both are IMO an well engineered


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#16 akdwivedi

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 03:08 AM

its quite informative. The 3D eyepiece is interesting. he has certainly piqued my interest enough to try thae loa 21 set.



#17 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 09:47 AM

Binotron & 3D EPs.

 

One's a well thought out accessory to Astronomy and the other is more of a gimmick.

 

Both are IMO an well engineered

Even a well-engineered gimmick is still a gimmick.

 

Mike



#18 lookoutmtn17

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 05:02 PM

I think most will agree the Binotrons are a very good to excellent binoviewer. Ed Ting did a pretty good job of stuffing a lot of information for individuals not familiar with the unit into the video. The 3D eyepieces seem to generate the most comments and differing opinions.

 

I find that the 3D eyepiece set needs to be utilized on the correct type of object. Eddgie's write-up in post #11 hit the nail on the head. False artifacts can be distracting when viewing bright targets/stars, and the 3D effect can be under whelming on most large/diffuse objects. However, I do find the 3D effect to be very enjoyable on several targets, and the depth of field "illusion" that is produced is able to trick our brain into believing that we are actually viewing a 3D view. Below is a list of recommended 3D targets for these eyepieces that I have copied from the Denkmeier website, and several CN members posts. Of course, the 3D effect will vary with seeing and the telescope used. 

 

Almach Double Star Andromeda
NGC 404 (Mirach's Ghost) Andromeda
NGC 7662 (Blue Snowball Nebula) Andromeda
M31/M32/M110 Andromeda
M3 Globular Cluster Canes Venatici (near Bootes)
145 Canis Major (Winter time Albero) star pair 07hr-16.6’RA, -23*19’Dec
NGC 457 (313) (Owl Cluster) Cassiopeia
NGC 225 (Sailboat Cluster) Cassiopeia
NGC 6871 Cluster Cygnus
NGC 6910 Cluster near Sadr in Cygnus
IC 4996 and a lot of doubles near Sadr
M29/NGC 6913 (Cooling Tower Cluster/Little Sisters) near Sadr in Cygnus
M39/NGC 7092 Cluster near Deneb in Cygnus
Albiero (Cygnus)
NGC 6905 (Blue Flash Nebula) Delphinus
Double-Double (Lyra)
NGC 6633 (Tweedledum Cluster) Ophiucus
IC 4665 (Summer Beehive Cluster) Ophiucus
M15 Globular Cluster Pegasus (near Enif)
Alpha Persei Open Cluster Perseus (near Mirfak)
M34/NGC 1039 (Spiral Cluster) Perseus
NGC 869/884 (Double Cluster) Perseus
M76 (Little Dumbell) Perseus
NGC 6823 Cluster with nebulosity Vulpecula
NGC 6882 Cluster Vulpecula
The Pleiades
M17 (The Swan Nebula) Sagittarius
NGC 6231 (Jewel Box) Scorpius tail section
IC 4628 Prawn Nebula and open star clusters Scorpius
M7/NGC 6475 (Ptolemy’s Cluster) Scorpius
M17 (The Swan Nebula) M27 (The Dumbell Nebula) Vulpecula


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#19 Chen Sir

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 07:55 PM

The problem with Ed Ting's reviews is that he often does not really go into detail about the negatives

His review was more ads rather than real recommendation.

 

Another question: I have only experienced Denk B27 Binoviewer and another Chinese cheap one.

Is B27 considered as a good one?  Is it necessary for me to get a Baader Binoviewer? Maxbright2 or even MKV?



#20 betacygni

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 08:29 PM

His review was more ads rather than real recommendation.

Another question: I have only experienced Denk B27 Binoviewer and another Chinese cheap one.
Is B27 considered as a good one? Is it necessary for me to get a Baader Binoviewer? Maxbright2 or even MKV?

Yes, the Binotron is equal to the best binoviewers in my opinion. I’d rank them as among the top tier. I’ve used most the other available models (Binovue, CZAS, Maxbright II, older Denk II). I now use the binotron for nearly all my observing, mostly due to the powerswitch, but it loses nothing optically to other higher end models. The largest difference between binoviewers I’ve found to be internal reflections, and general build quality (particularly eyepiece holders), optically there isn’t much if anything between them.

Edited by betacygni, 05 March 2024 - 08:31 PM.

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#21 Eddgie

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 10:07 PM

His review was more ads rather than real recommendation.

 

Another question: I have only experienced Denk B27 Binoviewer and another Chinese cheap one.

Is B27 considered as a good one?  Is it necessary for me to get a Baader Binoviewer? Maxbright2 or even MKV?

I have owned the Binotron and Denk II and both are excellent. Each has some things I don't like, but that is true with most things. As far as performance, they are both excellent. 


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#22 CrazyPanda

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 12:23 AM

Can the Denk powerswitch be used with the CZAS binoviewers?



#23 betacygni

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 12:35 AM

Can the Denk powerswitch be used with the CZAS binoviewers?

Stock, no, with a custom thread adapter, yes.
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#24 Eddgie

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 08:32 AM

Can the Denk powerswitch be used with the CZAS binoviewers?

Betacygni has answered your question but it is also important to say that Denkmeier does not sell just the power switch. 

 

Also, the power switch by itself is not that useful.  It adds a lot of light path. Scopes that might reach focus with a T2 prism won't and scopes that just reach focus with a 1.7x GPC won't when you put the switch on, and this is in both low power and in medium power though it will work with SCTs. 

 

If you need to use a GPC though, my own opinion is that you are much better off selling what you have and buying a used Denk II system with the OCS.

 

The other alternative is to buy a Denk R1 or R2 diagonal with power switches and with an OCS. None of this is cheap, but if you need a GPC or Barlow to reach focus, the Denk Power Switch Diagonal is to me the best solution. The reasons are that it gives three very useful powers, and because the lenses are large, you can use it with 2" eyepieces, and it turns one expensive low power eyepiece into three eyepieces. If you look at the cost of modern eyepieces, you might suddenly find that the Denk diagonal doesn't look all that expensive as compared to buying 2 more expensive 2 inch eyepieces and having three 1.25" eyepiece pairs.  

 

Used power switches do turn up on the classifieds every long once in a while but my own advice is that if you have to use a GPC, you are better off buying the OCS and the Power Switch diagonal than buying a binoviewer power switch.  


Edited by Eddgie, 06 March 2024 - 08:33 AM.

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#25 donniesoprano

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 09:38 AM

Betacygni has answered your question but it is also important to say that Denkmeier does not sell just the power switch. 

 

Also, the power switch by itself is not that useful.  It adds a lot of light path. Scopes that might reach focus with a T2 prism won't and scopes that just reach focus with a 1.7x GPC won't when you put the switch on, and this is in both low power and in medium power though it will work with SCTs. 

 

If you need to use a GPC though, my own opinion is that you are much better off selling what you have and buying a used Denk II system with the OCS.

 

The other alternative is to buy a Denk R1 or R2 diagonal with power switches and with an OCS. None of this is cheap, but if you need a GPC or Barlow to reach focus, the Denk Power Switch Diagonal is to me the best solution. The reasons are that it gives three very useful powers, and because the lenses are large, you can use it with 2" eyepieces, and it turns one expensive low power eyepiece into three eyepieces. If you look at the cost of modern eyepieces, you might suddenly find that the Denk diagonal doesn't look all that expensive as compared to buying 2 more expensive 2 inch eyepieces and having three 1.25" eyepiece pairs.  

 

Used power switches do turn up on the classifieds every long once in a while but my own advice is that if you have to use a GPC, you are better off buying the OCS and the Power Switch diagonal than buying a binoviewer power switch.  

I second the recommendation of the Denk Powerswitch Diag.  I have two, one for my refractors and one for my SCTs.  They are an excellent investment, and if you’re patient, you can pick them up used (both of mine were found last year).  The refractor version comes with an OCS that fits on the front of the diagonal, the SCT one doesn’t.  They’re usable with mono viewing and binos. I used them with my WO bino, but have since switched to a MBII which is leagues ahead of the WOs if for nothing other than the eyepiece holders.

 

I did have to order a custom dovetail adapter for the low power to work on my 12” SCT (instead of using a nosepiece and eyepiece holder) to reduce the overall light path length.  I’m confident it will work, but I’m currently waiting on clear skies to confirm.

 

Note: The only downside to buying *anything* Denkmeier used is that support is likely non-existent from Russ.  He doesn’t like that used purchases don’t net him *any* income and prefers not to provide support for that hardware.  He may sell you parts that you need with the caveat that if there a fitment problem he’s not liable and won’t take a return.

 

ds




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