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Thread: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars



    Quote Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
    Although as you age your pupil tends not to dilate so much, in my own opinion, i think that having larger exit pupils just makes them a little easier to use - as who can tell if they have aligned their own pupil perfectly with the exit pupil of the binocular so i would not get too hung up on wasted exit pupil space.

    I think you are doing the right thing to actually go and handle them yourself rather than buying purely on other people's opinions and specifications. I suspect that once you have tried them out one pair will just feel so much better and comfortable to you
    Thanks, that is good to know! I am stlll a newbie with the whole astronomy thing.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    Quote Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
    Although as you age your pupil tends not to dilate so much, in my own opinion, i think that having larger exit pupils just makes them a little easier to use - as who can tell if they have aligned their own pupil perfectly with the exit pupil of the binocular so i would not get too hung up on wasted exit pupil space.

    I think you are doing the right thing to actually go and handle them yourself rather than buying purely on other people's opinions and specifications. I suspect that once you have tried them out one pair will just feel so much better and comfortable to you
    I agree with the test-before-buy, but I have encountered a problem with looking in shops as most of them are only open during the day. In my very limited experience, I've found that night time viewing gives a different perspective on a binocular's capabilities. I'm not experienced enough to know how day-time contrast and brightness translate into astronomical capability unless it's pretty darned obvious; I compared my 8x25 with my 8x56; the former gave a nice enough view during the day but the 8x56 completely blew it out of the water at twilight and the word 'comparison' just doesn't enter into it at night. My Celestron 15x70, by contrast with the other binoculars I've got, has that certain 'Wow!' factor, but I know it has a number of weaknesses (eg, it's nowhere near as sharp as my 8x56) that would show up at night against better quality instruments.

    As to large exit pupils, one thing that puzzles me is the relationship between actual field of view and eye exit pupil. What effect does having a 5 mm eye pupil have on FOV when the eyepiece presents a 7 mm exit pupil?
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  4. #23
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    Default Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Bruff View Post
    As to large exit pupils, one thing that puzzles me is the relationship between actual field of view and eye exit pupil. What effect does having a 5 mm eye pupil have on FOV when the eyepiece presents a 7 mm exit pupil?
    It doesn't affect the FOV at all - you still see exactly the same area. What it does do is waste light - not all of the light gets into your eye - so the brightness drops to the equivalent of a smaller aperture. With a 7mm exit pupil and a 5mm eye pupil, you lose nearly half the light (25:49 ratio) and get a brightness similar to 5/7ths of the aperture. (And if you were using a scope with a secondary mirror, you'd probably start seeing the shadow of the secondary).

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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Bruff View Post
    I agree with the test-before-buy, but I have encountered a problem with looking in shops as most of them are only open during the day. In my very limited experience, I've found that night time viewing gives a different perspective on a binocular's capabilities.
    I agree and also i think that it is only at night that you can tell about your ability to hold binoculars steady. Your brain'knows' in daytime that a particular object should be steady but it is quite prepared to tell you at night that those stars are jiggling up and down and dancing about! Greater magnifications also magnify all the little vibrations in your hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Bruff View Post

    As to large exit pupils, one thing that puzzles me is the relationship between actual field of view and eye exit pupil.
    I agree with Jerry - there is not a relationship between exit pupil and field of view. True field of view is down to eyepiece design and not aperture of objective lenses or size of exit pupil. Wide field eyepieces typically have more elements in them than standard ones.
    A wider TFoV is beneficial as it helps you to orientate your self better when observing but it can be offputting if it is not done well so that you have a curved field of focus and all the stars away from the central portion of your view are not sharp and look like fuzzy comets! Or the outer third of your view is like looking through thin milk!


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Bruff View Post

    What effect does having a 5 mm eye pupil have on FOV when the eyepiece presents a 7 mm exit pupil?
    Again i agree with Jerry but to put it a slightly different way if you had some good 7x50 bins then they have an exit pupil of approx 7mm. If your pupil was 7mm and exactly aligned with the exit pupil you would be getting full advantage of them (with a bright view), however if your pupil has only dilated to 5mm then the view really would be no better than using a pair of perfectly aligned 7x35 bins.
    You could argue that it then makes more sense to go for greater mag, but this will also produce greater vibration. The wider exit pupil also tends to make the 7x50s easier to use and it is only when you are in truly dark conditions that your pupils reach max dilation and those very faint objects (M33) do become visible in your low powered bins.

    Magnification is not always king in the world of star gazing. Hope this helps
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    Hello all,

    checking the performance of the binoculars for astronomy at the shop and during the day light is not easy, but it can be successfully done.

    I aim the binoculars at some bright light sources at the shop, to see if there is any ghosting or halos. There should be no ghosting or halos.
    I also try to find some dark corner at the shop, aim the binoculars there, and watch if they 'increase' the brightness of the objects there. They should do it.
    The next test is the flat field, distortion, and vignetting. Aim the binoculars at a wall, if possible, at a wall with regals, or similar structures. With a flat field correction, all objects should be in one and the same focus, if not, than the stars in the peripheral vision towards the rim of the FOV will become small fuzzies. Check also the linear structures on the wall, they should not show the often encountered cushion distortion. Touring the night skies with the distorting binoculars may feel you sea sick after a while, some vendors call it the space walk - should you hear words like that, then stop listening to the sales guy. All objects at the wall should show about the same brightness, no brightness drop towards the rim of the field of view. The 'wrong' binoculars show the center of the FOV brighter.
    The next test is on the chromatic aberration, the 'chimney test'. Try to find some chimney, or an edge of a bright wall against the skies, and position yourself to look at it against the sun rays, or at least against the brightest part of the skies or even clouds. I bet you, that even the expensive binoculars will show bluish/red fringing when you carefully search for it, the high definition (ED) binoculars will show less bluish/red fringing, but the ED lenses add a yellowish hue or fringe. Choose those binoculars, where you can live with the amount of the chromatic aberration, there is always some.
    Brightness and contrast of the view: take the binoculars with the higher contrast and brighter views.
    Sky light and color rendition. The better quality binoculars have a high level of protection against the sky light, which is achieved with the multicoatings, tube buffling and blackening, and with the field stops against the stray light. Go outside the shop and check out first the saturation of the colors on the terrestrial scenes. The color saturation should be increased if compared with looking without the binoculars. Hold the binoculars with one hand, and use the other hand to shield away the ambient sky light incident on the binoculars. The color contrast and saturation should not show a change (improvement when shielded), if there is a visible improvement, then the protection of the binoculars against the stray light and sky light is not sufficient. The skyglow and the light pollution during the night viewing, coming as the stray light into the optical system of not well protected binoculars, and propagating towards the exit pupil, may easily wash away the faint stars and faint nebulae.
    Exit pupil appearance. Hold the binoculars against the sky with your hands stretched. The exit pupil at the eye lens of the eyepiece should show a bright circular disc, with now reflections around, all outside the exit pupil should be black like the h... . Ideally, the disc of thet pupil should be also clear - a milky teint indicates a lower quality-grade glass materials used.
    Check carefully the ergonomy when holding the binoculars over some period of time, aimed at something. There is nothing more annoying, than getting tired under the starry skies.

    Having found binoculars, which pass all these 'day light' tests, and which otherwise have the aperture and magnification you are looking for, then there is nothing to worry about their good performance under the night skies.

    Take you enough time to test the binoculars, and meet the best choice within your budget,

    JG
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    I just want to thank everyone for their input and advice on selecting binoculars. I am sure whatever I choose will be an upgrade over the 7x35's that I have now.
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    I would go with a 12x50 over a 12x60, unless you know the 12x60 is a true 5mm exit pupil and does not compromise on chromatic aberration to get it. Most low price 5mm ep achromats deliberately vignette the aperture to 84%. Unless you see a large prism housing and tree trunk tubes, that is probably what they did. The 12x50 probably as all the same optical characteristics of the 12x60, but with less weight and less size.

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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    It looks like the only 12x50 binoculars Oberwerk carries is a roof prism type, which I might as well check while I am there. Right now I am really interested in checking out there 11x56 binoculars which are about 4 onces lighter and an inch shorter than the 12x60's.
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    Just got back from my visit to Oberwerks. I did not get a chance to meet the owner as he had to be somewhere else this morning, but Lauren was very helpful showing me the products.
    Since I had made an appt and gave them some idea of what I was looking for, Ken had left some 11x56's, 12x60's, 9x60's, 11x70's and also the 15x70's that he had already checked and collimated.

    I ended up with purchasing the 12x60's. The image just seemed so much clearer and brighter than the 11x56's that I was sure I was going to get. The size and weight just felt better in my hands than the 11x56's. I tried to keep in mind the post that j.gardavasky listed the items to check for when checking the different binoculars. Again the 12x60's just seemed to be the best fit. Of course it is raining off and on now, but is supposed to clear up later this evening, I hope, so I can check them out further.
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    Default Re: Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Binoculars

    I read from other reviews that 7mm exit pupil binoculars only give a brighter image at a dark sky site (same size objective). The higher mag binocular of the same objective will show the stars brighter in a regular neighborhood. Even at a dark sky site, there is debate about what is better, with the majority of posts I read favoring the higher magnification given the same objective sizes.

    You did well by picking the one that seemed right in your hands and in front of your eyes. Interesting a 10x50 or 8x40 were not part of the selection list. My 10x50 have decent magnification, but I wish they were higher magnification, if the view was still wide enough to keep me from getting lost in the stars.

 

 
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