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  1. #1
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    Default New binoculars...Celestron Skymaster 15x70



    I got to try my new Celestron 15x70's out tonight. The Moon was out in the daylight so I started with that. The tripod adapter does still permit some movement but I think it's mainly just trying to use a camera tripod with the long lever like action of such a long and heavy pair of binoculars that causes the vibrations.

    Once I let it settle down it was fine until I had to adjust it again. As most people have commented on these binoculars are larger and heavier than one might think. The size and weight actually adds some stability to it under some circumstances when you aren't using a tripod.

    Once it got dark I used them to find M13 and just to check out the sky in general. It felt more like looking at the stars from a very dark (non light polluted environment) as so many more stars were visible. I also had my 80 mm refractor out with me. I ended up using the binoculars for the most part without the tripod.

    Once it gets cold I think I'll have more nights out viewing for just a few minutes since I can run out with the binoculars as opposed to all the hassle of setting up a telescope for questionable weather.

    I'm waiting for Jupiter to be visible from my yard later tonight so I can check that out with the binoculars as well. I'll use the tripod for that.

    I like the fact that the binocs are covered with some type of rubberized coating. It is warmer to the hand and should help with damping out vibrations a bit as well.

    I'd like to have a pair of decent 10x50's a well but I already have a cheap pair of 10x25's so I'll probably leave it at that.

    If you need to use these for a long period of time without a break your hands are going to get very tired. However, it you use them as I do to locate something, view it for a few minutes and then take a break they work out quite well.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    I can see the moons of Jupiter as well. Because Jupiter is so bright I get a bit of CA as I did with the Moon. I can also do as well without the tripod if I have a place where I can brace myself. Sometimes that isn't possible given the limited options for viewing the sky due to the tree cover around my house.

    The Moon is big enough that you don't have to mess with the tripod as often so it's more stable. With everything else I think I won't be using the tripod as much as I thought I would.

    A chair, the ground or an outdoor lounge is about all I think I'll need.

    I still haven't been able to find M15 even though I know where it should be...frustrating

    Overall, a good first night with the new binoculars!

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the report-- a 10x50mm is what you need next--

    This is a good brand with very good reviews:
    Orion Telescopes: Orion Scenix 10x50 Wide-Angle Binoculars

    and reasonably priced.

    Clear skies to you.
    ETX 125PE, Stellarvue 80mm BV & Televue TelePod tripod,
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    8" LNT, 10x50, 15x70mm binoculars, Stellarvue binoviewers, solar filters for all three
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    ..... plus a bunch of ham radios... Ham radio call sign - W1XWX

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    TelescopeMan Web Site

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    "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” - Albert Einstein

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    I saw what I thought was a fairly large satellite at about 2:30 am Pacific Coast Time directly overhead. I thought it was an airplane initially but it had no lights. It appeared to be about the size of the end of my little finger and was moving at airplane speeds. I was using the binoculars.

    Is there any site where I could look up to see if in fact anything was passing over head this morning at that time?

  6. #5
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    Yes-- Heavens Above--
    Heavens-Above Home Page

    or you can download the free software Orbitron-- from Sebastian Stoff's web site here:
    Satellite Tracking System: Orbitron by Sebastian Stoff / Satellite tracking easiest ever!

    Be sure to send Sebastian a thank you email -- for the free software.

    Clear skies!
    ETX 125PE, Stellarvue 80mm BV & Televue TelePod tripod,
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    8" LNT, 10x50, 15x70mm binoculars, Stellarvue binoviewers, solar filters for all three
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    ..... plus a bunch of ham radios... Ham radio call sign - W1XWX

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  7. #6
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    Many people with larger binoculars have issues with vibration when using tripods. Some of the problem can be due to the sturdiness of the tripod of course or the adapter but I'm noticing that most of it in my case is simply the size and shape of the binoculars.

    The adapter supports the binoculars close to the body but you still have much of the lens tube hanging out from the tripod. This is what vibrates.

    I found a partial solution and will pass it on in case it helps anyone else. Even though I hand-hold as much as possible sometimes it's nice to use the tripod.

    I found a way to hang weight from each lens tube. This dampens the vibration. It still vibrates when you move it but it now quickly settles down.

    I have some lightweight nylon pockets with a "handle". The pocket is about 5"x5" and the handle is just a loop of material at the top. The pocket is held closed by Velcro. This is just some extra dive gear that I have. It is sold in dive stores as a quick release weight pocket. You can also buy 1 lb canvas bags that are permanently sewn shut. The 1lb comes from lead pellets in those bags.

    I used two nylon bags and hung one from each lens tube and put a 1 lb weight in each bag. You can slide the nylon bags closer to the main body of the binoculars. Instead of vibration causing the lever-like action of the lens tubes to vibrate up and down now with the weight bag the upward vibration is effectively eliminated.

    I think when you have the right support around you many times you can probably just carry a weight bag or bean bag and place the binoculars on that.

    Personally I find tripods a little awkward to use anyway. You have to sit too close to the tripod and you also have the handle of the tripod in your face. Still, they are useful sometimes and with giant binoculars vibration is a problem.

    I've only tried this idea out for a few minutes today but it seems to be effective and is easy to accomplish. Maybe someone else will find this useful as well.

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    Tonight to see Jupiter (a house was almost blocking it) I had to open the legs of my tripod all the way so it was in its most unstable position. I used the weighted bags and things worked out pretty well.

    Because of CA and because Jupiter is so bright it's a difficult case. If I get close to the eyepiece so that Jupiter focuses and CA is diminished I have to touch it and I get vibrations. If I do that however and hold on to the binoculars then CA diminishes and everything looks good.

    My compromise for Jupiter is to stand back a bit and close one eye and I can get to where everything looks in focus. The weighted bags help if I decide to touch (hold on to) the binoculars as they also do if I don't hold on.

    Even though I can pick out some Messier objects in the magnitude 6 range I've decided to try to locate things brighter than that and save the rest for the telescope as it really just becomes a matter of locating rather than seeing

    The Pleiads looked awesome tonight. I only experienced them for the first time a couple of nights ago.

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