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Thread: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

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    Default nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019



    Having been raving about the Nikon Aculon 10x50 binoculars recently, I settled into a deep funk. Guilt oppresses my inner heart as shame distorts my features! (Some folks might argue that can only be an improvement! Nevertheless….)

    Skies were nominally clear with average transparency and average seeing. Locally the average transparency translated into low thin scum that created sucker holes. Looked like the fatty scum that forms when you are making a stock for a brown sauce from scratch. I fought the impulse to reach for my skimming spoon by reminding myself that the handle was not long enough.

    The equipment chosen for the evening consisted of

    1) The Nikon Aculon 10x50 binoculars sporting a 6.5 degree field of view and aspheric eyepiece design
    2) The Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 binoculars with a 4.4 degree field of view

    So this evening was going to be an opportunistic comparison of the two binocular sets I have in house at the moment. There were two senses of opportunism at play. One sense was the aforementioned sucker holes. The other sense was the fact that I was going to be clearing snow from the deck. I would take breaks from that as possible to take some views. Snow is still too deep in the “observing field” to be cleared so the deck and shoveling was the ticket.

    The observing list was limited to Moon, Hyades, Pleiades, the Orion Nebula, the Auriga trifecta of Messier open clusters (M36, M37, M38) and the Double Cluster in Perseus. I’m going to focus on the differences in performance of the binoculars.

    Moon showed a very impressive sharp image in the Nikon just crying out for more magnification. The mountains (Appenine) were brilliantly crisp and clear with nice color rendition. The Celestron showed a larger image but not as crispy. I put the moon off center in both binoculars to check out aberrations and scattered light. In both cases aberrations showed up within a Moon diameter of the edge. The Nikon showed some false color but some image softness. The Celestron surprisingly showed no CA (must be some magic with the coatings) but the image softened more objectionably. So this means that the Nikon for me is good over 5.5 degrees while the Celestron is only good over 3.4 degrees. Score for the Nikons. Nearby the Moon it was apparent that stray light was better controlled in the Nikon set although a ghost image of the Moon was occasionally visible. However the scattered light in the Celestron set was so poorly controlled that it was more difficult to follow it to get onto the Moon as a target. That was funny.


    The Hyades are much more pleasantly viewed in the Nikons, they get properly framed for one thing. The field of view of the Celestron is too small to accommodate. Colors are more vibrant in the Nikon. Aldebaran is especially nicer.

    In Orion the Nikons gave more distinct color differences for stars than the Celestron. The extent of the nebulosity was about the same. Fainter stars were observable in the Celestron.

    The Pleiades were an interesting exercise. Again fainter stars observable in the Celestron but colors were better in the Nikon.

    The Auriga trifecta of cluster was equally pleasing in both sets.

    The Double Cluster in Perseus is the only object of the evening in which the Celestron set gave a better, more pleasing view. This is a case of raw aperture winning.

    That’s it. I can now feel the guilt release. Consequently my shame at not having reviewed the Aculons is relexing its distorting grip on my visage and I am back to my old ugly self.
    Scopes: Refractors: Orion ST80 (mods for white light solar), SV ED80 f7 Newtonians: Z12 f5 Catadioptrics: VMC110L, Intes MK66 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binocular Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    A nice set of observations nFA, good to hear you could enjoy them between shoveling
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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    A nice set of observations nFA, good to hear you could enjoy them between shoveling
    I restricted my shoveling to cloudy times. I kept my priorities right!
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    Scopes: Refractors: Orion ST80 (mods for white light solar), SV ED80 f7 Newtonians: Z12 f5 Catadioptrics: VMC110L, Intes MK66 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binocular Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Thanks nFA, sounds like the Aculons are definitely keepers!

    PS: "snow": is that the white stuff that people talk about that comes out of the sky and gets on everything? They tell me it is pretty cold too. Can't say I have ever noticed it here...

    All the best,

    Dean

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Great comparison between the two binoculars, nFA!
    Craig

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Glad you got out to do a little shoveling and research. You might need a longer handled spoon though.
    Excellent report!

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Nice comparisons, not_Fritz!

    As scummy as the sky has been here, I need to invest in a skimming spoon with an extension handle.

    Rain now though.

    I really enjoyed this report, sir!
    Bryan

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Nice comparisons, not_Fritz!

    As scummy as the sky has been here, I need to invest in a skimming spoon with an extension handle.

    Rain now though.

    I really enjoyed this report, sir!
    Thanks, glad you enjoyed. After this comparison I'm likely to make aspheric optics in handheld binoculars a requirement. I feel aspheric fever coming on!
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    Scopes: Refractors: Orion ST80 (mods for white light solar), SV ED80 f7 Newtonians: Z12 f5 Catadioptrics: VMC110L, Intes MK66 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binocular Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG

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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    I have enjoyed this read of your outing nFA, with good humor, data, and detail.
    I enjoy binocular viewing very much. They allow me to view on the quick when I would not have otherwise...when the sky is quirky, and the snow is deep at my dark site. I often step out on my deck as you have done to catch a few stars or clusters.
    Thank you for sharing your outing and appraisal of these binoculars.
    More clear skies to you sir !
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    Default Re: nFA's observing reports January 16, 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Quixote View Post
    I have enjoyed this read of your outing nFA, with good humor, data, and detail.
    I enjoy binocular viewing very much. They allow me to view on the quick when I would not have otherwise...when the sky is quirky, and the snow is deep at my dark site. I often step out on my deck as you have done to catch a few stars or clusters.
    Thank you for sharing your outing and appraisal of these binoculars.
    More clear skies to you sir !
    Thanks glad you found it amusing.

    Binocular vision is also very useful for us older folks who have defects in different places in both eyes. I do not do enough binoviewing with my single telescopes. It's a case where the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts.

    It's a difficult trade. Longer to set up for binoviewing than monocular viewing.

    But now I want larger aperture binoculars with aspheric optics.
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