Celestron Skymaster binos - cannot believe it. Advice needed

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Karen_Wilson99
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Celestron Skymaster binos - cannot believe it. Advice needed

Post by Karen_Wilson99 »

I looked out of my new binos for the first time this evening and I cannot believe it but they fell off the tripod onto the floor. I am gutted. Up until then I had treated them with the utmost care. Help! What do I do now? I am also having real difficulty focussing these and wondered whether I might be able to pay someone to come and give me a lesson and show me the basics as I am an absolute beginner. Thanks for reading.
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Karen,
Is the binocular smashed?
If not are the two images still aligned as one, i.e. collimated?
If the binocular still works, suggest you ask someone at a local astro club.
Or if you bought them from a shop ask them there although camera shop people don't know binoculars.
I don't think you have to pay somebody, but if you do a fiver is the most.
Don't despair whatever.

I dropped my beautiful camera 16ft onto concrete while photographing comet Kohoutek. It was almost written off, and after a lousy repair I did write it off. I bought a new camera the day after I dropped it. It actually toppled over on its tripod during the photograph.

These things happen.

As long as you are not hurt that is the main thing.

Perhaps you attached them to the tripod wrongly.
Anyway I would hand hold them.
Perhaps get used to a 10x50 binocular first.

Please give more details.
It is probably not worth claiming on your household insurance as there may be an excess and your premiums might go up if you make a claim.

Regards, David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Do you wear glasses?
Are your two eyes different prescription if you wear glasses?
Try focussing in the day first.
I don't normally suggest this but there are books including Stargazing with Binoculars that explain things, but an astro club member is best.
If you wear glasses what about taking the binocular to the optician and ask if they can show you for free how to use the binocular. You pay enough for the glasses if you wear them.

David
Karen_Wilson99
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Post by Karen_Wilson99 »

Hi there David

The binos aren't smashed in any way. The binoculars look just the same as they did before the fall and, thankfully, they only fell onto a carpeted floor, but it was still a drop. :0( We live in a converted barn and the top two rooms in the house are in the roof with skylights so we have a perfect, and fairly dark, view of the night sky. Last night seemed to be so crystal clear and with the moon and venus, etc, we decided to give them a proper go. The problem is my husband is as much as beginner as me. Frustratingly, most nights, it is the blind leading the blind!

He does wear glasses and I wear contacts and we both seem to be having the same problem. my husband finds he needs to remove his glasses to get close to the binos but then, of course, his eyesight isn't as good so he can't see as much! Last night the stars seemed more clear with the naked eye to me? The problem is, I am not sure how much I should be able to see with these binos? I was expecting more? Perhaps I should have bought a telescope instead but the advice seemed to be that beginners are better off with binos to start with. I think my problem is I am trying to run before I can walk and it is so frustrating.

I could do with someone looking at them to check the collimation is ok after the fall then we can take it from there. My local society is Usk and I will contact them to see if someone can possibly give me a private lesson. We were meant to be attending a stargazing event locally last night but my baby daughter took ill so we had to cancel.

Thanks for all your help. It is much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Karen
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Does your tripod have a quick-release mechanism? If so it is essential that it has a locking leaver so that one cannot accidentally release it when using the binoculars. maf
Karen_Wilson99
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Post by Karen_Wilson99 »

Just looked at the moon through the binos and I am seeing double. Can only see single vision if I close my right eye. Does this mean the worst?

How much does it cost to have a pair of binos collimated properly?

I am wondering whether to get a refund on these and go for a telescope. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Karen
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Karen.
To recollimate binoculars without other work is about £50. With cleaning £60.
A more robust 15 x 70 is the Japanese made Helios Stellar, but even these may not bounce well, but at least they are worth recollimating.
Skymaster and Revelation 15x70s don't bounce well at all.
The prisms are I think only glued on, and some are not collimated even when new.
If you get a good one they are great if you treat them with kid gloves.
They can give fantastic views.

If you want 70mm binoculars that will survive a drop you need Fujinon built to military specs and maybe Nikons.
But they cost ten times the Skymaster and are heavy.

If you go for a scope I suggest an 80mm or 100mm f/5 Skywatcher or Celestron on a simple altazimuth mount, perhaps an AZ3 or AZ4 from OVL via a retailer. Optical Vision Ltd. website.
You could use these at low power through your skylight.
If the temperature indoors and outside is the same you could open the window. Otherwise closed up to 50x.

Anyway you should have a 10x50 binocular for hand held use.

I am sure many if not most astronomers have accidents. Eyepieces get dropped, cameras fall off.
Being in the dark also means tripping over things, tripod legs, cables.
One learns to be careful and check everything is secure before observing.


Regards, David
sands
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Post by sands »

Karen,
a quick check to see if they are still in collimation is to look through the binocular backwards at a distant roof line,you will soon see if the prisms have been knocked out of place.Good luck.
Steve Anderson
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Steve,
Does this work with large object glasses and wide separations looking into the front of the binocular?
With a really big binocular you could not see into both O.Gs at the same time.
After dropping a 15 x 70 Skymaster or Revelation it is likely they will be out of collimation although with luck you could find them O.K.
Sometimes with lenses it is better if a filter ring is dented in the fall and the glass intact than an apparently undamaged lens with out of collimation optics from the jarring impact.
Many older 10x50 binoculars say Boots brand or made in Korea still work fine despite the front cells having many knocks. They were made to last with caged prisms properly held in place.

Other binoculars likely to survive drops are Steiners and the smaller Soviet/Russian Baigish say 8x30s. Also Leicas and Fujinon and top end Nikon. THe Nikon Action VII may survive better than most at the lower price end.
But mass produced Chinese binoculars are generally poorly constructed, and have minimal quality control procedures.

Regards, David
Karen_Wilson99
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Post by Karen_Wilson99 »

Hi

Thanks for the various replies.

£50 is almost the cost of the binoculars. I didn't realise it would be so expensive. From now on, only I will be touching them!

These are so fragile aren't they?!

Anyway, I've told a little white lie and the retailer I purchased them from is exchanging them. So I've just boxed them up and will be posting them back in the morning.

I may still buy a telescope in addition to the binoculars so thanks for your advice on these.

Oh, one last question. Can you recommend a really good, and sturdy, tripod adaptor I can buy as the one that comes with these binoculars is not too good. Indeed, many people comment on this in their reviews. The binoculars are only held on by a little lever which can easily get knocked open. I think this is what happened! My tripod is the Visionary VT 50.

Also I should purchase a much better case. Cannot believe that you get such a flimsy case for such a fragile piece of equipment.

I will learn!

Thanks,
Karen
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Karen,
I will look into this as I am closing for tonight.
Look at Sherwoods Photo website.
They are good for Skywatcher scopes and I think are in Glos.
Look for an Opticron large tripod adaptor. Right angle adaptors are made in small and large but maybe a third stronger one.
I am surprised the Skywatcher right angle adapter is not good. From memory the Revelation supplied ones are O.K.
Does the right angle steel adaptor screw into the front of the binocular?
There are also adaptors that fit around the central bar.
Ask Sherwoods or look on website.
I will think more tomorrow.

David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

The Visionary VT 50 is a rather lightweight tripod, maybe plastic.
I would prefer a heavier tripod at least 2 KGs good make, metal, or 2.5kg.
A Slik maybe.
Anyway to save cost use what you have.
I see it has a hook on bottom of central column so add say 1/2 kg or 3/4 kilo
soft weight in say a sock or bag. It should stabilise tripod.

As Mike says you must make sure if it has a quick release plate it is secure.
Does your tripod have a quick release plate?

Regards, David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Karen,
I suggest Horizon 8155 tripod, maybe not readily available.
Widescreen Centre £97 Delivered? only 2 left.
They were £79 at FLO.

The problem you have is a not robust 15x70 binocular.
A lightweight tripod with a lightweight head and a small quick release plate with a small lever with maybe NO SAFETY LOCK.
In addition if you use the central column at full height it is unstable and top heavy with binocular.
This is not a recipe for success.
With great care it could work if the central column is not extended more than half way.
A low price tripod may work out expensive if the binocular falls off.

The Horizon tripod could also support a 80mm or 100mm Acuter spotting scope, see Optical Vision website.
Or a 102mm f/5 Startravel or 80mm f/5 Startravel small refractor.
A spare quick release plate would be sensible.

I think the main problem you have is the tripod and when you get a collimated binocular I would hand hold it.

Regards, David
Karen_Wilson99
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Post by Karen_Wilson99 »

Hi

This is probably another dumb question but how do I know if the tripod has a quick release plate? I am not sure? It has a little springy lever which even my 4 year old son could pull to release the binoculars. It takes little effort to release them, so I am assuming so.

I wish I had joined this forum when I was considering buying the equipment as my choices would have been different. I took advice from a guy at My Binoculars re: the tripod but, thinking about it, he probably will have been plugging his products.

I will continue with what I have and then if this hobby becomes more serious and I get more knowledgeable in the future I will look to invest further I think.

Thanks again,
Karen
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

A quick release plate comes out from the top of the tripod. It is a small usually rectangular sort of flat plate. This fits onto the binocular L shaped adapter.

Regards, David
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