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Thread: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

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    icampy's Avatar
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    Default Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable



    Hey guys. I find myself hardly ever using either of my scopes, recently.

    My worksite is ridiculously dark, and some mornings before work, I literally just lean against my truck and observe (I start early). I am looking for a pair of binos that I can keep in my EDC backpack (it just goes to my desk and back inside the house at the end of the day, I dont care if its heavy), and a tripod that isnt ridiculously large or difficult to set up, so that I can leave it behind the seat of my truck (single cab 4th gen ram). I want something I can set up in 5 minutes and start observing.

    So: Quick to setup and use, used in great dark skies in the desert, and under 650 for the entire kit, less is even better.

    Any ideas? I have vortex diamondback 8x42s as my hiking/shooting binos, and take those out at the house sometimes and even they are impressive.

    Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!
    Proud American
    130/650 newt with tube rings/long rail/orion motor focuser
    127/1900 mak
    KK orthos

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    icampy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Oh, and the whole point of them is to go into work an hour early and observe, vs multiple hours because of setup and aligning my scope.
    Proud American
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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    icampy,

    "Hey guys. I find myself hardly ever using either of my scopes, recently."
    Over the years I have gone through the exact same dilemma,
    and to keep me somewhat observing, I usually will either pick up some
    new binoculars, or revisit the shelf that is already over full. In our northern
    winter, sometimes I don't want to set up in the cold, and will do some
    grab and go with binocs. From small to large, and 3 image stabilized pair,
    my favorites have always been the Cannon 10X30IS. They are small,
    very light, and well within your budget. They will show me to the depth of
    my 11X56 Oberwerks because of the image stabilization, and at a fraction
    of the weight. Throughout the years, I have been looking more and more
    for quality at the lightest weight, and these fit the bill very nicely.
    Also great for the ISS, sporting events, concerts, or going to work early.
    Hope this helps.

    David

    David
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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Thank you. I have my 8x42s for a smaller pair, but Im really looking for a set of big boys with a non complicated tripod for this purchase.
    Proud American
    130/650 newt with tube rings/long rail/orion motor focuser
    127/1900 mak
    KK orthos

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    This set up has pretty much retired my 8" Dob, sets up in less than a minute (really just seconds), and fits in the SMALL trunk of my Miata along with observing chair. It will also easily fit behind the truck seat.

    https://oberwerk.com/product/oberwerk-25x100mm-deluxe/
    https://farpointastro.com/shop/farpo...nocular-mount/
    https://www.adorama.com/svppb.html

    The parallel mount makes a HUGE difference, you can not see close to the zenith with a tripod and pan head. You can easily make your own, but the one from Farpoint is nice and movements are SMOOTH.

    This has become my most used instrument by FAR!!

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Wow, a turnkey perfect solution. Thanks!
    How do their capabilities compare to a "real" scope?
    How easily can you track with them, or is that even a concern?
    Proud American
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    127/1900 mak
    KK orthos

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Quote Originally Posted by icampy View Post
    Wow, a turnkey perfect solution. Thanks!
    How do their capabilities compare to a "real" scope?
    How easily can you track with them, or is that even a concern?
    I guess that depends on what you mean by "real" scope and the target observed. For a target that really needs magnification (not a big number here but the planets are the obvious targets of note) even a very modest scope will outperform the binos.

    But for almost everything else (BIG number here) the binos will put small scopes to shame. I have spent extensive time comparing the 25x100s to the 8" Dob and find them almost identical in ability to grasp faint DSOs. I'm talking lots and lots of galaxies from my dark site. Many targets look better in the binos than the Dob. They have a noticeable advantage over either my 5" refractor or 6" SCT.

    Tracking? That's not a concern at all. It takes several minutes for a target to drift out of the field.

    Locating targets? Well that's pretty easy too. Everything in view is correctly oriented, the view is fairly wide and star hopping is easy.

    Star hopping not for you? Get a digital level ($30), put a setting circle (compass, dial, small clock face even) around the central shaft of the tripod, and turn the set up into a push to. Look up current alt/az co-ordinates of any target and find it in seconds.
    DeanD and MikePP like this.

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Well darn. That sounds killer compared to my 5" newt. Sounds like I should get those binos/mount/tripod, and leave my mak on my goto tripod.

    Should I get the independent focusing?
    Proud American
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    127/1900 mak
    KK orthos

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Quote Originally Posted by icampy View Post

    Should I get the independent focusing?
    Yes! Those are also threaded to accept 1.25" filters which is NICE!! When observing most nebulae, I use a DGM NPB filter on one side and a UHC filter on the other and it really brings the detail out.

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    Default Re: Binoculars for nice dark skies, portable

    Thank you for all of the great info. I am excited to see them, I bet my newt will get left behind.
    Proud American
    130/650 newt with tube rings/long rail/orion motor focuser
    127/1900 mak
    KK orthos

 

 
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