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  1. #1
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    Default Binocular observing and eyecups and M33...



    Hello fellow binocular fans,

    I was wondering what your experiences have been with binocular eyecups (for people who don't wear glasses while observing) - do you retract them or keep them out and place the binocular on your face? In the past, I have kept the eyecups out, such that the eyecups are pressed against my face. While I was out today, I was getting a little frustrated with the fogging of the eyepieces that has been prevalent lately, and so I folded the eyecups back...

    Not only did it completely eliminate the fogging issues, I have found the views to be drastically better. You have the advantage of fine-tuning the position of your eye with respect to the true focal plane of the eyepieces, which is not optimal when the eyecups are out and you are restricted to one eye position. (Think of the amount of variation in different people's faces! It's not possible for a binocular to have the true focal plane in the proper position for everyone with standard folding eyecups. Twisting eyecups are better for adjustment but are still subject to the horrible fogging problem.) I have also found that the apparent field of view is increased at the true focal plane. You have to be careful not to move your eyes too close to the eyepieces as you would again be out of the focal plane and you can get blackouts from the eyepieces. It is also much more difficult to handhold a binocular like this - the weight is no longer stabilized by your face so that you need to really brace your arms against something to avoid shaking. Even 10x50s were difficult to avoiding substantial shaking until I found an optimal position. Obviously, with a tripod, it is much easier to use this method.

    So, I am now a proponent of eyecups in! How about the rest of you? Maybe you should try it out - see if you can tell a difference in the FOV, and also the 'spacewalk experience' of looking up with nothing touching your face and just seeing a magnified region of sky. Even with my binoculars with twisting eyecups I found turning them all the way in and keeping my face off of them is much better.

    Anyway, I had a good session observing the Triangulum galaxy (M33) this morning. I was surprised to see how 'big' in binoculars it really is. Even though I have seen illustrations / used Stellarium to find it, I was still expecting something on the size of M110, which should be quite small. M33 is large in comparison, with no bright central core like Andromeda. It is more spread over a larger area. Of course, this makes it dim. Very dim. I was quite excited to see it.

    Speaking of M110, I had no luck with it today. I thought I knew where to look but I just couldn't make it out - or at one point, I thought I saw it, but couldn't be sure. I'll try again tomorrow. Anyway, all three (M33, M31 and M110) are nicely positioned right now in the early morning if someone wants to take a crack at them.

    Here's hoping for clear skies tomorrow morning,

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Hello Jeff,

    the 'eyecups folded/unfolded' is an issue that depends on the optical construction of the binocular eyepieces. I am doing it the unfolded way, and even add rubber cups to prevent stray light coming into my eyes.

    Wide angle binoculars may suffer from a short eye relief, forcing you to keep your eyes close to the 'eye lens', but fogging the lens surface.

    Best

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS;
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  4. #3
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    I agree JG, you have to put up with a bit more stray light coming into the eyepieces this way, but it is nice to not get any more fogging! (And when it does fog, the binocular is unusable...). I appreciate the wide angle and not having to look down the black barrel tube...

    Jeff

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    Hello Jeff,

    the only two binoculars, I have never cleaned the eye lenses and the front lenses, are the expensive 10.5x70 and 15x85, as they are properly coated. And of course the Leica binocular also not, but this one does not count for any comparisons.

    Regarding the M31 and M33 galaxies, they show their best through large binoculars and rich field telescopes. Especially, the M33 has low surface brightness, and the s.b. of M31 drops fast away the bright core.

    Best

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS;
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    Just to clarify too - I mean fogging of the eyepieces on the outside (not from the inside where a nice nitrogen purging and waterproofing etc. would help). And by unusable, I mean you have to stop viewing through it for 1-5 minutes and let the fog clear, and then pick it up again and get the same fog back, and it keeps going on...

    I imagine this happens regardless of the quality of the binocular - it is more a function of the dewpoint (humidity while observing) and even the Leica could potentially fog on the outside.

    Or am I missing something?

    Jeff

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    Hello Jeff,

    with the eye lens fogging, I mean the lens-to-air interface.

    This has nothing to do with the purged binocular interior or not purged, but with the design of the coatings at the outer lens-to-ambient air interface.

    Here is a great difference between the binoculars. I have still the older designed 25x100FB, that has this problem, but won't replace it because of its 'light' weight (4.5kg) and good ergonomy to hold in my hands when viewing objects high above my head.

    The Leica Ultravid with the latest improved coatings does not have this problem at all, and the same holds for the 'marine' 10.5x70 and 15x85 binoculars. I have been using these binoculars in the Alp mountains during the winter skiing holidays at pretty low ambient temperatures - in fact I have been freezing quite a lot, but no necessity to clean the lenses as far as staying outside.

    Hoping to have clarified the dew problem

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS;
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    Wow!

    Thanks JG. I had no idea the superior coatings on the outside of the eyepiece would effect the fogging! That's good news, and is a good argument for getting a quality binocular with quality coatings. I'll definitely look into the Marine versions.

    Jeff

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    By the way JG, you're not saying that you handhold the 25x100s are you?

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by sneeds View Post
    By the way JG, you're not saying that you handhold the 25x100s are you?

    Jeff
    Hello Jeff,

    there are three positions even for the big binoculars:

    1. Hand-held for the objects very high in the sky, with some of the weight supported close to my eybrows. Even if trained, this is comfortable about 1-2 minutes, in spite of quite a lot of training during the beer festivals. Then I make a short 'recovery' break, and go again.

    2. Using a shoulder-pod. This is fairly comfortable, when scanning the skies.

    3. Mounting on a tripod. Best for the binary stars and for the faint objects. The human brain makes a sort of stacking of visual signals provided by the eyes, and I'd say, a mounted 25x100 will show faint stars 1/2 of magnitude fainter, than a hand-held. However, the mounted binocular is not as comfortable for seeing objects high above my head, if compared with the shoulder-pod and hand-held.

    Best

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS;
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    I would be interested in trying some kind of shoulder pod type mounting. Most (if not all) of my observing is done reclining/lying on a chair, so I have been trying to come up with a way of semi-mounting the binoculars without doing a full parallelogram mount and tripod. Some kind of shoulder pod might work but I think they are just for when you are standing up. I have tried 'leaning' my tripod in various positions such that the binocular is above my eyes when I am laying down, but I haven't had much success. I was thinking of some kind of clamp mount with a flexible arm but I don't think anyone sells one that would support 3-4 kg.

    Anyway, the skies were clear this morning but work got in the way of getting out to try M110 again. Maybe tomorrow.

    Jeff

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