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  1. #1
    nemesis256's Avatar
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    Default Not impressed with Orion 15x70



    I just got these:
    Orion 15x70 Astronomy Binoculars | Orion Telescopes & Binoculars

    And they're full of problems. The collimation was way off, and I tried fixing it but I'm still not sure it's ok. That only seems to move the image up and down. Only the barrel on the right seems to have a screw I can move for collimation. The left one has a hole for it, but the screw is either not there or stripped.

    The right barrel has really bad chromatic aberration. I've tried moving the diopter on it, and focusing with the central focus but only looking through the right, but it still doesn't seem to get in focus.

    A friend who tried them claims that the images don't merge together at all. When looking at the moon only about 20% is actually overlapping. I also see a similar effect but not nearly as bad. It's only apparent when looking at the edge of the moon. Craters seem to be matching up.

    So did I just get a bad pair? Should I get another pair of the same or try different binoculars entirely? What do you guys recommend I buy? I don't want to spend a fortune, but I do want 15x70 binoculars.
    Skywatcher 10" Dob | Celestron 6SE | Coronado Solarmax 60

  2. #2
    sneeds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Hi nemesis256,

    Unfortunately, the problem with the cheaper 15x70s (like the one you bought, the Celestron Skymaster, and many others) is they lack any quality control. It is not uncommon to receive a pair that is out of collimation or has other problems as you have experienced. The manufacturer in China has actually stated that they intend to meet a price point, and they could do more quality control, but that would mean significantly higher prices. It is possible, if you send them back, to receive one in workable condition, but it is also just as possible to get another poor binocular.

    If you just got them, I would send them back right away, and forget about collimation. The best you could do is a 'conditional alignment' - meaning it would only be collimated for your particular IPD spacing. This would also partly explain why your friend experienced different issues (in combination with different eyes, of course).

    In terms of better 15x70s, you can't go wrong with the BA-8 series manufactured by (who else?) United Optics. They are branded by many different companies (i.e. Orion Resolux, Garrett Signature, TS Marine, etc.), but they are also relatively expensive compared to your 15x70s (probably 4 times as much). Many people use them and really enjoy them. If you don't want to spend as much, I would check out the 15x70 LW by Garrett:

    Garrett Gemini 15x70 LW

    They go through a 14 point inspection before they are shipped (hence the higher price) and Garrett is a reputable company. Anyway, good luck,

    Jeff

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    I would send it back as it should still be under warranty.
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  5. #4
    j.gardavsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Hello Nemesis256,

    this seems to be a common issue with the cheap 15x70 binoculars. I have had the more expensive 15x70LE in my hands, but they have been out of collimation, as well. Moreover, these cheap 15x70 have a very noticable chromatic aberration.

    The marine 15x70 BA8 are really top. As Jeff has written above, they are offered under different brand names. Even if not cheap, you may be lucky with some open box or demo item piece at a reduced price.

    Another good option are the new 20x80 binoculars

    Garrett® Gemini 20x80 WP-CF Mk II Binocular

    Make your best choice

    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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  6. #5
    sneeds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    JG: Do you know of a European equivalent of the Garrett 20x80 Mk II? Seems TS doesn't sell anything like that...

    Jeff

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Quote Originally Posted by sneeds View Post
    JG: Do you know of a European equivalent of the Garrett 20x80 Mk II? Seems TS doesn't sell anything like that...

    Jeff
    Hello Jeff,

    they don't seem to be marketed on the Old Continent, TS has the triplet version, but this one hes for whatever reason less transmissivity.

    Just for reference, here is a link

    Intercon Spacetec - Das Fachgeschäft für Astronomie: Ferngläser

    with open box, demo items, and used (but in top condition) binoculars.

    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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  9. #7
    Ruud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Nemesis,

    Are yours the model reviewed here: Orion 15x70 Little Giants - Review

    The reviewer thinks they are keepers. Maybe you were unlucky and got a Monday morning copy. If they are the same model, I think you should try a different pair.

    Good luck.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    You're better off saving money and buying the BA8 (branded as Garret Signature, Orion Resolux, Oberwerk Ultra, etc.) or the Fujinons.
    I had the Garret LW. They were OK because at least Garret inspects them. But they're the same cheap Chinese binos as the Celestron Skymaster and entry level Orions, etc.
    So they go out of collimation easily (small jolt, drive on dirt road, etc.). The also had a weak mount point that eventually broke. Now they're worthless because I can't mount them (and they're out of collimation again).

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruud View Post
    Nemesis,

    Are yours the model reviewed here: Orion 15x70 Little Giants - Review

    The reviewer thinks they are keepers. Maybe you were unlucky and got a Monday morning copy. If they are the same model, I think you should try a different pair.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the link, but there were a couple things about it worth noting. The date of the review was back 13 years ago, in 99. Don't know if things were better then or now, depends when the sourcing to China started, but I didn't read the review closely. I was impressed with the weight of the binos, only 2.14 lbs. That means a period of hand holding for brief "looks" was possible, I like that. I don't like the fact being teathered to a tripod everytime you want to go out and look around. I found for sale locally a set of 25x100 Orions and they weigh in at a shotput level of 10.1 lbs! I knew from the start they were just too heavy and I would have to reset my direction as to what model binoculars I should buy. Besides that they were way out of collimation and after looking through them and adjusting the whole time I concluded being cross eyed meant they were out of whack. I mentioned this to the seller and he admitted he thought they were out of collimation. If I were selling them I would make sure I got them straight before advertising them, you think? Maybe he tried to collimate them but without success, so is doing that a pain as well? On top of everything else they looked banged up with various dings and scratches especially around the mounting point. It was a thanks but no thanks situation.
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  12. #10
    nemesis256's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not impressed with Orion 15x70

    Well I've decided to return the binoculars, and I ordered a pair of the Garrett Gemini and they're on their way already. Hopefully these will work better.
    Skywatcher 10" Dob | Celestron 6SE | Coronado Solarmax 60

 

 
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