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#153317 - 12/10/06 08:06 PM antronomy binoculars
Zarak Offline

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
Is anyone here into astronomy, and if so, do you have binoculars that you use? I'm looking for handheld ones, around 2 lb. Orion 8x56 mini giants are in the lead now, but I'm looking at oberwerk and gemini as well. I know I want Fully Multi Coated, other then that I'm not as sure about what is important to look for. Since people on this board seem to be into a little bit of everything, I figured why not try to gain some insight here.

#153318 - 12/10/06 10:15 PM Re: antronomy binoculars [Re: Zarak]
bridgman Offline

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5590
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
I'm only a dabbler, but I'll toss out a few thoughts...

1. As you get older, your pupil doesn't open up as widely at night so the rule about a 7mm exit pupil (56mm objective / 8 power = 7mm exit pupil) doesn't apply so much. I mostly use a pair of 8x40 Bushnell wide field binos (officially my hunting binos) with great success.

2. For bino viewing I find a wide field of view adds as much to the experience as the extra light gathering (which, I guess, is why I enjoy stargazing with my high quality but mid-sized hunting binos so much).

3. Try to actually look through the binos rather than just going on research. I was surprised how little I liked the highly rated units

Something like 8x56 seems like a good size, or even a good 7x50. I find even a 10x hard to hold steady without a mount. Good luck with your search, and enjoy !!

#153319 - 12/11/06 11:18 PM Re: antronomy binoculars [Re: Zarak]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10524
Yeah Jason, I'm still into astronomy, but not to the extent that I was previously(my chemistry degree, which eventually turned out to be pre-law, was originally aiming at pre-astronomy). I see that you've been studying, and you know that "fully" multi-coated is important to avoid flare and ghost images. As JohnB. indicated, the 7mm exit pupil might not be that useful; even if your eyes might be good enough you have to be observing in a very dark area for that to come about. In most places a 5mm exit pupil should be fine, and the 8x42 Oberwerk roof prism for around $130 might be a good choice.

Although I have binoculars, they're mostly for sports and I rarely turn them to the sky. You didn't describe what your main interest was, but of course a nice telescope might be a good idea.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#153320 - 12/11/06 11:23 PM Re: antronomy binoculars [Re: JohnK]
Zarak Offline

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
I have a low end telescope, but the finder doesn't magnify and I have trouble finding things at times. I thought some handheld binoculars could make that easier, and if there is something I want to see with even more detail hopefully I can find it in the telescope once I know where it is with the binoculars.

I think I am going to go with the 9x60 Oberwerks for $110.


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