Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

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John Baars
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Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#1

Post by John Baars »

A common wisdom is the saying that the best telescope is the one you use most.
I think that goes for binoculars as well.
Over the years I collected several bino's, my wife asked when I would start a museum. Some of them were new and maddening expensive. Others were saved from the garbage-can and made nearly new again. Many of them didn't make it to a permanent place in my cupboard and were sold again or given away. Never made any profit though.

Still, there is one pair I always use. Bought them more than 30 years ago. Manufactured 36 years ago.
An ausJena 10X50W Jenoptem. Not the most expensive. Not the best. Not the clearest, certainly not the most CA free, rather unsharp stars at the edges. Reasonable FOV 7,3 degrees and it still has that typical smell of Zeiss-grease. I love it.
IMAG0596.jpg
Which is your favorite??
Telescopes in Schiedam : SW 150mm Achromat F/5, SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5, Vixen 102ED F/9, OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3, SW 102 Maksutov F/13 on Vixen GPDX.
Eyepieces: Kitakaru, Eudiascopic, Panoptic, Morpheus, Nagler, Leica ASPH zoom, CZJena, Brandon, Parks, Fujiyama, Pentax XO5 and XO2.5 .
Binoculars: Kasai 2.3X40, AusJena 10X50 Jenoptem, Swarovski Habicht 7X42, Celestron Skymaster 15X70, Swift Observation 20X80.

Rijswijk Observatory Foundation telescopes: Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8 on NEQ6, 6 inch Newton on GP, C8 on NEQ6, Meade 14 inch SCT on EQ8, Lunt.

Amateur since 1970.
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#2

Post by Refractordude »

All three of my 7x50, 11x70, and 20x80 binoculars. I like starting an observation with my 7x50 binoculars, and then getting closer with the other two. Sometimes going back to the 7x50 binoculars for a wider view. It depends on what I am looking at. If need be I get very close with my telescope. I am using my binoculars about 65 percent of the time. I really like the 20x80 binoculars on my parallelogram mount. With this mount I can sit down and really relax as I observe an object. Have the other two on a Orion Tritech II tripod, which needed to be reordered.
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image 1.PNG
Telescopes: Celestron 150mm f/8 Refractor, Meade LX70 120mm f/8 Refractor, Vixen 70mm f/12.9 Refractor, Tasco 49N 50mm Red Refractor
Binoculars: Zhumell 20x80 Giant, Oberwerk LW 11x70, Levenhuk Sherman 7x50
Mounts: Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial, Orion Versago II Altazimuth, Farpoint Universal Parrallogram Mount, Orion Tritech II Fluid Head Tripod
Finders: GSO 8x50 Raci, Svbony Red Dot
Diagonals: GSO Dielectric 2", GSO Dielectric 1.25"
Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm, Astromania-Olivon 22mm, GSO Plossls 32mm/25mm/20mm, GSO 20mm Superview, Svbony 20mm/15mm/9mm/6mm, Svbony Aspheric 23mm/10mm/4mm, Agena Super Wide Angle 15mm, Few No Name Brand Ebay Plossls
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#3

Post by Bigzmey »

My most used are Orion Little Giant II 15x70. They were made in early 2000 in Japan. I got them used from Goodwill. They were dirty but the collimation was spot on and optics cleaned out nicely.

They are sharpest out of all binos I have tried and lighter and more compact than modern versions of 15x70.
Orion Little Giant II.jpg
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1936 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1498, S110: 77). Doubles: 1382, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 88
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#4

Post by pakarinen »

Nikon Aculon 10x50s. I could never get the collimation corrected completely on my 15x70 Skymasters and my Navy-issue WW2 binos are pretty heavy. I bought my wife a pair of 8x25 Opticrons which might become most used since they're small, light, and surprisingly sharp.

Some Oberwerks look very tempting, but I'm not sure I want to spend more $$$ on binos - I have trouble merging images at seemingly random times, so a monocular might be best.
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame.

~Soseki

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80, Skywatcher 90mm Mak
Twilight 1 / Astro Devices encoders / Nexus II / Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#5

Post by Shabadoo »

I have a pair of birders. I'm a happy camper.
Jeff
Orion Skyview pro 8 f5.
Binos: Polaris/wingspan 8x42 Ed/HD
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#6

Post by Max Nomad »

By day I use "THE NIKES", a Nikon WP 10x50 ATB. I'm not much of a bird watcher but there's enough of a variety of birds in the area that I like to admire them from afar. There's a park nearby where some hawks and turkey vultures live. While taking a breaking from the computer screens I'll sit outside and if I'm lucky I'll see these grand birds gliding along as they ride the thermals and search for food.

By night I use "HAWK", a 9x60 Oberwerk LW with Oberwerk's super rugged monopod. Satellite spotting is my typical night time sport, a sort of meditation I engage in to clear my head and make sense of the day. Although the Nikes were also great for this, the Hawk provides a brighter view, allowing me to catch a glimpse of some of the faintest satellites as they pass by on their orbital joy ride.
SKYWARE: "BANNEKER" (Orion XT8 Classic w/ 9x50 RACI), "SOJOURNER" (Celestron NexStar 90 GT), "HARRIET" (Celestron Travel Scope 70), "THE NIKES" (Nikon WP 10x50 ATB), "SPOTTER" (8x56 Celestron Skymaster DX), "HAWK" (9x60 Oberwerk LW) and "GOGGLES" (2.3x42 Kasai Wide Field). EPs: (1.25") Plossl 6mm, 8 to 24 Zoom, 25mm, 32mm, 2X Barlow, 3X Barlow. SOFTWARE: Android (Camera FV-5, Daff Moon, Sky Map, SkyPortal, Heavens Above), Linux (Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, BOINC SETI), Windows (Celestia, Starry Night 7, TheSkyX, TUBA, Adobe CS5)
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#7

Post by a100171 »

I like the Omegon 2.1x myself. They let me get wide-field, and correct for my [now slight] distance vision focus, so no glasses required.
Meade 6", 8", and 10" SN, Meade 10" f/6.3 Lx200, ES ES-102, Meade 90mm DS-2000, Celestron CPC-800 HD, Celestron 11" EdgeHD, AVX, CGEM, CGEM-DX, Twilight I mounts. Omegon 2.1x 41mm Binocs.
Hyperstar for EdgeHD, ZWO and Celestron Nightscape CCD. A fully-functional Meade 12" RCX-400. And now: a Vaonis Stellina!
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#8

Post by Ylem »

I use my 9x63 Orion Mini Giants the most. They are so easy to hold steady, sometimes I will mount them.
I bought them recently and are still made in Japan.
I highly recommend them 😁
Clear Skies,
-Jeff :telescopewink:

Orion 127 Mak, ST80
Celestron Celestar
8SE, C90 Mak
A big box of Plossls :D
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#9

Post by Greenman »

I have an old pair of 10 by 50 ’Ranger’ not sure of the history of them. I think my dad bought them back in the ’60s or ’70s. I also have a pair of 20 x 50, Russian I think, bought from a junk shop and not my best impulse decision - so the Rangers, take the top spot.
Last edited by Greenman on Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers,

Tony.

First Scope: Celestron 130EQ MD

AP Scope: Celestron NexStar 6SE, Celestron AVX Mount, Antares 0.63 reducer, Antares 2" Dielectic diagonal, Sky portal 2 WiFi, ZWO ASI224MC, Canon EOS 100 (Unmoded).

Grab & go: Celestron 102 AZ, X-cel eyepieces & Barlow

Latitude: 52.219853
Longitude: -1.034471
Accuracy: 5 m
Bortle 4 site. https://maps.google.com/?q=52.21985,-1.03447

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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#10

Post by Doug James »

I like starting with my Nikon Action EX 10x50 then once close to what I'm looking for then go close with my telescope. I'm finding that the Oberwerk LW don't get out as much as I was expecting they would.
Celestron Omni XLT 120 Refractor, Orion XT8 Classic Dobsonian - Telrad finder - Sirius Plossl 1.25" eyepieces 40mm,25mm,17mm,
Shorty 2x Barlow lens, Orion Stratus 8mm,13mm,21mm, Baader 36mm, Meade 6.5mm,
Binoculars, Nikon 10x50, Oberwerk 20x80 LW binos
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#11

Post by Bigzmey »

Doug James wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:34 pm
I like starting with my Nikon Action EX 10x50 then once close to what I'm looking for then go close with my telescope. I'm finding that the Oberwerk LW don't get out as much as I was expecting they would.
I also like Nikon Action EX line and prefer them over Oberwerk LW 15x70 I had at one point.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1936 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1498, S110: 77). Doubles: 1382, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 88
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#12

Post by Buckethead 2.0 »

My Bushnell Falcon 10x50. It is the only pair I have at the moment.

But I will eventually get something like a 20x80, or similar for more ummph. And in addition, a solar binocular, or Baader filter to put over the lenses.
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#13

Post by helicon »

My most used pair are the 15x70 Skymasters by Celestron. My second most used pair are my 25x100 Oberwerks. Third are my 10x50 Bushnells.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#14

Post by Butterfly Maiden »

The only binoculars I currently own are a pair of Leica 8 x 32 (used for bird-watching). By no means adequate for serious sky viewing.

I have tried a pair of Celestron Skymaster 25 x 70 which came with a tripod mount.

Two issues with those:
(1) I couldn't get them to focus sharply. Tried during daylight hours on distant objects, but image was quite fuzzy.
(2) Even if I'd got sharp focus, I think my tripod must not have been very stable because the image would shake quite a bit.

Anyway, I sent them back for a refund.

I'm currently using my Nikon Fieldscope ED82 for observing the sky, which works quite well.

I'm in a state of transition at the moment. I may venture into larger binoculars but with a better quality tripod. I'm not quite sure yet.

I'm interested to see what others are using and recommend.
Vanessa
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#15

Post by Butterfly Maiden »

Eric, I know you've had great success with your 10 x 50 binoculars (well done you), but you mention about possibly upgrading.

Have you got anything in mind or, like me, are you waiting to see what others recommend :think:
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#16

Post by Buckethead 2.0 »

Butterfly Maiden wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:38 pm
Eric, I know you've had great success with your 10 x 50 binoculars (well done you), but you mention about possibly upgrading.

Have you got anything in mind or, like me, are you waiting to see what others recommend :think:
The solar binocular idea, I most likely will do as I mentioned. notFritzArgelander gave me a link for a solar binocular. I may instead try Baader solar film, as several others like it, and I believe nFA does as well. Regarding a more powerful pair of binoculars, no single one is on my radar, but Oberwerk makes high quality binoculars. But if I get 20x80, I will certainly need a mount. A good sturdy one. Those suckers will be heavy!

And usually when I want suggestions, I come right out and ask, like when I asked for viewable targets for my current binos. Don't shy away from asking, ok? People will love to help you, but they need to know what you would like to ask. They are very friendly here! Me? It depends if I have eaten recently or had enough sleep. :lol:
~Eric
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Binos: Bushnell Falcon 10x50
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#17

Post by Sky »

My most used binocular for astronomy ... and I own over a dozen ... is the Vixen Ascot Super Wide 10x (8.5º FOV).

I've been an amateur astronomer for the past 45 years and those "Oh WOW!!!" moments have become few and far between. The first time I used then and picked up the large open cluster Mell 111(Coma Star Cluster) ... I had a wonderful "Oh WOW !!!" moment. These binoculars have supplied me with many more of those unforgettable moments and will continue to do so into the future.
Mel 111.jpg
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#18

Post by John Baars »

In the first post I mentioned which one I use most. There is , however a very well used second one. Again, not the most expensive one, on the contrary.

I saw this 15X70 while it was used during an outreach by a man, who had as result of a condition light spastic movements. I saw him struggle with it. I offered my 8X56 Horizon with tumble-focusser ( as you already have guessed, a crosseyed secondhand one, but cleaned and well restored) . He was grateful, relieved and fell instantly in love with it. With my binoculars he could actually see things! I saw that his 15X70, although very common, had fairly good optics. The end of the story was that we both went home with another pair of binoculars than we came with. :D Both happy. He still observes with it. It had to be like that.

It is a 15X70 Celestron Skymaster, 1500 grams, 4,4 degrees field of view.
IMG_0526 (449x640).jpg
What I like about it:
- Still a rather nice field of view. 4,4 degrees. ( Smaller of course than the 7,3 degrees of my Jena, but you can't have it all)
- Its weight allows me to sit in a garden-chair, lean back, elbows on the armrests and observe without getting instant arm-muscle-pain. Handheld is
possible while sitting down. Couldn't be more convenient. OK,ok I endure longer with my 1000 gram Jena.
- It reaches to stars of magnitude 9,2 versus 8,8 in my 10X50 in the backyard. Not that one can see it instantly, it takes a tripod.
- Many Messier objects pop up under my light polluted city sky. More than with my 10X50 Jena.
- Although one sometimes hears horror stories about the optics, this one does rather well. ( no false spikes around Vega).

Dislike:
- Not the firmest of all binoculars I had.
Telescopes in Schiedam : SW 150mm Achromat F/5, SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5, Vixen 102ED F/9, OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3, SW 102 Maksutov F/13 on Vixen GPDX.
Eyepieces: Kitakaru, Eudiascopic, Panoptic, Morpheus, Nagler, Leica ASPH zoom, CZJena, Brandon, Parks, Fujiyama, Pentax XO5 and XO2.5 .
Binoculars: Kasai 2.3X40, AusJena 10X50 Jenoptem, Swarovski Habicht 7X42, Celestron Skymaster 15X70, Swift Observation 20X80.

Rijswijk Observatory Foundation telescopes: Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8 on NEQ6, 6 inch Newton on GP, C8 on NEQ6, Meade 14 inch SCT on EQ8, Lunt.

Amateur since 1970.
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Re: Which binoculars do you use most for astronomy?

#19

Post by j.gardavsky »

At the moment, I am mostly using the 15x85 and 10.5x70 binoculars, both of them BA8 series from Kunming Optical in China.
For the wide field, I take the discontinued Docter Nobilem Porro 8x56.

My other binoculars, Leica, Swarovski, etc., are for the daylight viewing,

JG
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