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How often do you use your 25x100 or similar large binos?

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#1 AstroApe

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 04:57 PM

Over the past year or so I've been slowly working my way through my astro binocular collection and upgrading each size that gets regular use to higher quality models. So far I've upgraded my 10x, 15x, & 20x binos and looking to replace my 8x next. This leaves one major size that I haven't upgraded and kinda doubtful if I will: my Zhumell 25x100 Tachyon.

 

Although they're handy to have around when needed I just don't find myself using the big 25x100 very often, instead reaching for a 20x80 or 15x70 (or 20x70 most often now) the majority of the time. My Zhumell's definitely aren't top notch quality, show a ton of CA on moderately bright objects, have a fairly small sweet spot, and need a good ol' conditional alignment quite often. But for a decent set of big 4" lens to bring in a lotta light for dim DSOs they do fairly well. They're also fantastic for comet hunting along the horizon when aperture is nice but setting up a scope for the short session can be a hassle.

 

So taking into account the price it'd take to upgrade to a better quality 25x100 and the amount of time they actually get out under starlight, I find the possibility of a new 25x100 to be pretty far down the upgrade list (if it's even on there at all). So I'm just curious:

 

How often others use their giant straight through 25x100 binos? 

 

Do you find them valuable enough in your observing arsenal to need a good to high quality set, or are some of the cheaper options good enough for their intended low power DSO work? 

 

Do you find the hassle of them (possible larger tripod & mount requirements, awkwardness of use compared to small mounted binos) to be worthwhile over smaller models or do you also find yourself using small binos more often?

 

Something I love about this hobby is that there's no real "right" or "wrong" with most (not all) equipment choices. Mostly things just come down to personal preference.


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#2 jrazz

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 05:11 PM

My 25x100 like is the 34x80 and the answer is exceedingly rarely.

 

The 10x and 15x binoculars I have are much more convenient and wider.

The BT-100 is far superior in almost every way.

 

However, in the summer, when it's nice and Cygnus (and the MW) is right overhead there is something magical about a straight through binocular with a pgram and a zero gravity chair. 

 

So yeah. They rarely get used but when the do it's amazing.


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#3 AstroApe

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 05:55 PM

My 25x100 like is the 34x80 and the answer is exceedingly rarely.

 

The 10x and 15x binoculars I have are much more convenient and wider.

The BT-100 is far superior in almost every way.

 

However, in the summer, when it's nice and Cygnus (and the MW) is right overhead there is something magical about a straight through binocular with a pgram and a zero gravity chair. 

 

So yeah. They rarely get used but when the do it's amazing.

The title to this thread was originally "How often do you use your 25x100 bino?" but then I thought about you and your 34x80 and changed the title lol.gif

 

I could definitely see the larger binos taking a backseat to a BT if I owned one, but like you mentioned there's something magical about straight thrus on a good mount. I believe it's like Fiske has mentioned before, something about straight through binos gives a feeling of a more intimate experience with what you're observing. 


Edited by AstroApe, 27 February 2024 - 06:01 PM.

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#4 Fiske

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 06:04 PM

My 25x100s are fun, but I use the 100XL way more. wink.gif

 

To me, x80 is the crossover point after which functionality is problematic versus a BT.


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#5 Mark Y.

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 06:37 PM

When I got my 34x80ED bino I used it quite a bit. However, since then I've accumulated quite a few high quality what one calls grab & go instruments....I have found that as I age, I get a bit lazier and reach for them more...but....I still use my 34x80 often enough and it's nice to know it's available to me at any time.

 

Good luck with whatever direction you chose to take.smile.gif


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#6 ihf

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 07:44 PM

The awkwardness of large straight through binos is amplified by their physical length. At 100mm aperture the physical length is defined by the f-ratio. For f/4.5 or higher binos tend to be too long and heavy to be practical. Even for f/3.7 (APM MS 100 ED) they are somewhat long, but usually 3+ inches shorter than their longer siblings. I had to work for a while on my setup but don't think of it as particularly cumbersome. But when I lengthen the binos with attachments by 4 inches towards the eyes the added length becomes impractical. So I think there is a hard cutoff somewhere in the 35-40cm length total range, at least for me.


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#7 sevenofnine

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 07:59 PM

The Oberwerk 20x70 EDU is my hard line cut off point in a straight through binocular. The compact size and lightweight magnesium body make them a pleasure to use. I had the 20x80 Dlx and while it was a fantastic binocular, the 7 lb. weight and the mount necessary really limited it's use. Parallelogram mount? I just remember what a member from Down Under said about them. "It's like wrestling with a stuffed ostrich" lol.gif


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#8 JimV

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 08:34 PM

I have old Japanese Celestron 20x80 standard at 5 lbs, Deluxe at 5.5 lbs, and "the long ones" at 7 lbs.  20x80 is my favorite size.  Hand held if braced, and easy on a tripod.  All of them get used a lot as grab and go.

 

I have Oberwerk 25x100 Deluxe, and APM 25x100 ED.  They only get used on special occasions at dark sky sites.  The P-gram mount is way too much setup hassle.  When I get my own permanent site, I will build a ROR observatory large enough to house the 25x100 permanently set up.

 

I think 25x100 would work if permanent pier in backyard, and put a bag over it.


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#9 Dale Smith

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 09:22 PM

The Oberwerk 20x70 EDU is my hard line cut off point in a straight through binocular. The compact size and lightweight magnesium body make them a pleasure to use. I had the 20x80 Dlx and while it was a fantastic binocular, the 7 lb. weight and the mount necessary really limited it's use. Parallelogram mount? I just remember what a member from Down Under said about them. "It's like wrestling with a stuffed ostrich" lol.gif

I own a 16x80 but chose to take my 15x70 to the Olympic National Park this week, since I knew I’d need to do a lot of tree dodging and 70mm is just that much easier to handle waytogo.gif


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#10 Chuck2

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 01:24 PM

Vixen BT126mm is my primary deep sky ‘mounted’ bino

Obie 20x80mm is my primary ‘hand-held’ bino
20x80’s get used every week, rarely do I use my 7x50mm


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#11 Jim T

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 02:13 PM

Quote:  Parallelogram mount? I just remember what a member from Down Under said about them. "It's like wrestling with a stuffed ostrich" lol

=================================================================

My Barska 25x100s get used about once/month, mostly grab-n-go for comets but they sure are fun for some DSOs too. Mostly hand-held - - use the p-gram only 1-2x/yr. I primarily use a gravity or lounge chair, propping my elbows on my chest for stability.  The Celestron 15x70s get used for solar (w/Baader filters) about 10x/yr plus for cruises (whale watching and Southern star gazing).  I keep the Nikon 10x50s in the car, mostly for wildlife but occasionally for a comet.

 

My Barska 20x80s have been a stepchild. Almost just as heavy as 25x100s but a lesser view.  I thought they'd be a bit lighter.  No point in using them as long as I can handle the bigger ones.  All were bought used.

 

If I need to mount binos I usually choose to just pull out a telescope (80mm f/5) instead.


Edited by Jim T, 28 February 2024 - 03:29 PM.


#12 Sketcher

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 02:48 PM

How often others use their giant straight through 25x100 binos? 

 

Do you find them valuable enough in your observing arsenal to need a good to high quality set, or are some of the cheaper options good enough for their intended low power DSO work? 

 

Do you find the hassle of them (possible larger tripod & mount requirements, awkwardness of use compared to small mounted binos) to be worthwhile over smaller models or do you also find yourself using small binos more often?

1.  I use my 25x100s as often as favorable situations for their use come up.  Other than that, I'll use them occasionally for dedicated deep-sky binocular sessions.  In other words, my 25x100s get used (for astronomy) about as often as I use my 20x80 and 8x42 binoculars -- if not more often.

 

2.  While I consider my binoculars to be valuable for my use, I don't consider any of my (3) binoculars to be in need of upgrading to higher quality units.  I'm perfectly content to continue using my old binoculars.  Besides, my old (relatively cheap) binoculars can show me more under my "seriously dark" skies than any of their more expensive relatives are capable of showing the vast majority of other observers who observe under worse skies.

 

3.  Lately, I've been using my larger binoculars more often than my smaller binoculars.  I don't use either of my smaller binoculars with a mount, and my 25x100s are rarely used with a mount.  I don't find my 25x100 binoculars to be any more of a hassle to use than my 8x42s.  I choose which binocular to use based solely on what my observing intentions (the nature of my targets) are.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

My binoculars are often used for comet observations.  I use my 8x42s for larger comets, my 20x80s for "mid-size" comets, and the 25x100s (and/or a telescope) for smaller comets and/or close-up details.  I've found my 25x100s to be exceptionally well suited for observing lunar eclipses, and that's one of the rare situations where I'll attach them to a mount.

 

For casual deep-sky observing (what my binoculars are mostly used for) handheld is my method of choice and the only method I make use of -- regardless of the binocular.


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#13 Cestus

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 03:01 PM

I probably use my Obie 15x70's the most of my mounted binoculars. The ease of use and wide fov are very good. I took them to a star party and they were a hit.


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#14 ButterFly

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 04:03 PM

I use my 25x100s a few times a year, mostly during galaxy season and when Sgr is up.  I prefer my 16x70s most of the time because of the four degree field over the two degree field.  It's not the hassle really - they both have quick release plates that pop onto whatever in the same way.  Four degrees is a good match for lots of star and galaxy clusters, and bright and dark nebulae.  The extra power and smaller field of the 25s helps with tighter galaxy clusters.  The extra reach of the 100s helps out in Sgr.


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#15 edwincjones

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 05:44 AM

I do not use the large 20 y/o binoculars  much anymore,

as I prefer to use the smaller handheld binoculars now

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 29 February 2024 - 05:46 AM.

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#16 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 07:45 AM

I owned Bausch & Lomb 20x80 for many years.

 

Their optics were superb, but still didn't use them much.

Reasons are two :

 

1. No flexibility.

 

The 20x80 + tripod was as heavy and bulky as my 70 mm refractor + tripod, but with zero flexibility.

There are so many objects that I'd have loved to observe on the Bausch & Lomb at 50x, 90x or 120x ! Alas, I was stuck at 20x.

On my 3" refractor, I can flip eyepieces, add a reticle, a Barlow, a color filter, a Herschel wedge, a Quark, etc. None of that is possible on the 20x80.

Yes, using both eyes is super-cool, but being limited to 20x really sucks, specially in the city.

 

2. Very limited objects inventory from the city.

 

Urban observers are limited to Solar System, stellar objects, globular clusters and planetary nebulae.

 

Moon and Sun look fine at 20x but you're left starving for more detail, it's frustrating to know that 80 mm may give you 140x on a telescope.

20x is fine for eclipses or occultations, but you won't see much detail on the Moon or sunspots, and it's frustrating on planets.

As for stars, you can observe carbon stars, open clusters, variables and wide doubles (~12" on the 20x80, ~2.5" on my current refractor) 

20x and 80 mm are not enough to perceive any detail on globular clusters other than a small roundish smudge. Same on my refractor (small aperture + LP)

 

3.

 

IMHO, handheld binoculars are the best companion.

You can use them for astronomy, trekking, birds, inspecting your roof, etc.

They're not heavy, not bulky, no tripod or p-mount to carry around. It's pure grab-n-go joy.

If you want bigger, go with a BT (best of both worlds) or a plain telescope.


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#17 edwincjones

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 10:44 AM

A larger pair of binoculars, like a larger telescope, will show more details

but will also be larger, heavier, more difficult to set up and use;

smaller will be quicker and  easier.

 

edj


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#18 j.gardavsky

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 02:45 PM

The old 25x100 FB binoculars, which have replaced my even older 25x100 from Japan, used to be my mostly used binoculars. Back in the day, I have completed through the 25x100 those 110 Messiers, and have seen a mass of the galaxies, some of them hard to elieve that they can be seen through the binoculars.

 

As my priorities have changed, I have been mosty using the 15x85 BA8, and the 10.5x70 BA8, on the molecular clouds, on the large emission nebulae, and on the SNR.

 

All will depend again on my next observing priorities,

JG


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#19 aa6ww

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 03:24 PM

I have some Oberwerks Ultra 25x100ED bino's and I mostly use them exclusively for comet observing and daytime terrestrial viewing.

 

-  Ralph


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#20 BRCoz

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 10:53 PM

I have an old pair of 25x100 Orion Explorer that are about 20 years old.  I still use them on and off.  They were nice for the 2017 eclipse and this year I'll do the same.  Most of the time now I'll grab 8x42 or 8x32 to look at the hawks looking for lunch. I may give the big ones a try out in the field. 


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#21 gwd

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 11:58 PM

For the past few months my 25x100's have been set up on a tripod in front of a window with a view.   Several times per week when I wake up early in the morning and the skies are clear I use them to practice star hopping through the window.  It has been cold.   Last month I found a couple objects in Ophiuchus had never seen before.   I just got in from using them outside, they showed the Rosette Nebula and for the first time I've recognized NGC 2174 or is it NGC 2175? The nebula and one bright star I couldn't make out the star  cluster.    Since they have individual eyepiece focus they aren't so good for backyard wildlife viewing.    When the weather warms up I probably won't use them as much.    They're good for large objects.   They're also good for whole disk Solar viewing.  


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#22 Rich V.

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 12:03 AM

For me, I draw the line with my WO 22x70s.  They're heavy but not as large and ungainly as a 25x100.  They still work well with my Unimount p-gram.  For 100mm+ apertures, a BT is much easier to mount and more comfortable to use.  I can look up to zenith with a tripod/head combo from my adjustable chair with a BT, not so much with a straight-through bino.


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