The most powerful binoculars...

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Peter1959
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The most powerful binoculars...

Post by Peter1959 »

I came across Sunagor 30-160x70 BCF Mega Zoom Binoculars. These are supposed to be the most powerful binoculars in the world!! They're not cheap at around £250.

Has anyone used these and if so what sort of images can one expect in particular using the zoom function? From what I've read they could be a very good substitute for a telescope especially as you use 2 eyes to view!

Peter

Merry Christmas to all SPA members
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Peter,

Firstly it was probably cloudy today at 12.00 UT, maybe tomorrow will be clear.
As to 30 to 160 x70 the short answer is don't waste your money.
Buy a Revelation or similar 100mm spotting scope instead or better a high quality 70 to 100mm refractor perhaps secondhand perfect for £250.Maybe with ED glass. I have seen some Celestron and other 80mm ED f/6.5? scopes cheap secondhand well within the £250. This could easily handle 160x if working properly.

Theoretically the binoculars could work.

In general Sunagor is a medium to low quality brand although some examples are good.
A lot of high priced ridiculously over the top high magnification binoculars are sold under this and similar brand names. Vast numbers of people have wasted their money on this mostly unuseable hyped stuff.

Theoretically 160x on a 70mm binocular could work, but the chances of it being collimated at 160x are low and after a bit of use close to zero.

If you have the money to spare, test them rigourously on a heavy duty tripod at 160x, say on Jupiter and if perfectly collimated, maybe.
What about the zoom function and loose mechanicals.
If the binocular is collimated for you is it also collimated for someone with a different interpupillary distance between the two eyes?
I.e. are the optical and mechanical axes perfectly parallel?
I doubt it.

Do you have good binocular vision? Do you have a lazy eye?

If the binoculars had the genuine name Nikon on them, Yes.
But Nikon only sell zoom binoculars up to three times zoom, such as 8 to 24 x25 or 10 to 22 x50. They will not sell a 30 to 160 x 70 because they know it would not work unless it cost well over £1,000.

You are clearly after high magnification, nothing wrong with that.

If you have a sturdy say Manfrotto tripod or can get a good sturdy tripod perhaps from a charity shop. I suggest something like the 80mm ED refractor.
You can use the eyepieces from your 130EQ and any others you may buy. You may need say a 45 dergree prism or a 90 degree.

Best wishes for today and the New Year.

David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Peter,
The better approach would be to get a binocular viewer on say a 100mm refractor if you really want to try binocular high power views.

Regards, David

Also the claims that these are the most powerful binoculars in the world is spurious.
Binoculars up to 10inch aperture by Japan and 12 inch by Zeiss were made in WW2.
Also there are much larger aperture binoculars than 70mm made today with interchangeable eyepieces where you could go higher than 160x. Even though these are much better quality than the Sunagors, no user would regularly use 160x.

Sunagor and others are just using hyped up advertising to entice buyers into purchasing things that usually don't work.
I mean hand held 30 to 100 x30 binoculars.
My opinions are unfortunately not for a family friendly forum.
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Peter,
Look at Optical Vision OVL site.
Acuter DS 20 to 60 x 80A takes 1.25 inch eyepieces also. £249 or less. Try Sherwoods. This looks interesting. I have the standard older version.

Evostar 100 ED OTA Fluorite a bit long I think, reduced from £868 to £599?or less.

Evostar 80 ED DS Pro. £349 or less Try Sherwoods or Secondhand perfect. Fairly common secondhand.

These scopes are f/7.5 not f/6.5 as stated above, but I think some were f/6.5.

Also perhaps Williams Optics binocular viewers perhaps FLO site.
I think with two eyepieces supplied and something else. See other posts on this Forum re. Binocular viewers.

David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

I have looked at the Argos site for the Sunagor 30 to 160x 70.

Firstly the coatings seem to be simple blue mono coatings front and back. It may be most of other surfaces are uncoated.

The field is shown as 1 degree probably at 30x. Hand held you will have a job finding anything at 30x.
At 160x the field might be 20 arcminutes?

All of these overhyped large zoom range over magnified binoculars seem to have attempts made to collimate them at their lowest magnifications only.

I did buy one of these high magnification binoculars. I tested it. Nothing worked properly and I returned them next day for full refund.

I do also have some of these various high powered monstrosities that I got cheaply over theyears. Few if any would I actually use.
Even the 8x to 24 x50s are mostly poor although some are O.K. and I gave some as presents and these are used a lot by a horseracing enthusiast, who likes them.
They cost £12.99 from a national newspaper own Mail Order.
Some Astro stores sell them for about £70.
If you ever buy any binocular test it extensively before parting with money.

Regards, David
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Post by David Frydman »

If you want a 70mm binocular I suggest 15 x 70 Helios I think Japanese £199 or less. 1.3 Kg.

Or Quantam 4 15x 70 1.87 Kg. These are heavy unless you are quite strong.
£149 or less.
Both shown OVL site.

I suggest you look at these in a local astro shop and test them first if you want to buy one.

If you wanted to buy one of the crazy Sunagor zooms you would need to try between 5 and 10 of them and choose the best . One of them may work to a degree and I personally would still not buy one.

Regards, David
Peter1959
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Post by Peter1959 »

Hi David,

Many thanks for the advice.

Actually, the Celstron 10x50 I have which cost under £20 work very well for star gazing and even observing the moon!

On the Amazon website the Nikon Action V11 binoculars (10-22x50) are on sale for £88.99 (reduced from £275.99!!!)

Even though I have a reflector, in time I'd like to get a refractor. The Celestron Astromaster 90EQ looks like a good choice for around £140.

I think I'll stick with aperture size rather than magnification when choosing optical aid.

Peter
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Hi Peter,
The Nikon Action VII 10 to 22x 50 are often available from about £80 onwards, £90. Next weeks Amateur Photographer £90 something. Camerworld etc. I don't think anyone pays the SRP.
But always buy from a shop if you can.

Quite a few people say the Celestron 10x50 are O.K. at £20.
They can be but I think the coatings may be basic, although for astro O.K.
But if you have ever looked through a medium to top 10 x50 you will see an improvement.

You might find a refractor better from indoors especially if you just sight along the tube.

As you say, chasing high magnification just for the sake of it is a fruitless quest.
You should use the minimum magnification that shows you what you are looking for as contrast is then better. And temperature and poor Seeing effects are less.

David
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Peter,
When going for a refractor for use mainly indoors I would consider forgetting an EQ mount and go for an altazimuth.

I suggest you look on OVL site for.
Evostar 90 AZ3 £149 or less.
Startravel 102 AZ3 £199 or less.
Startravel 120 AZ3 £269 or less.

The Evostar is reasonably long focus the Startravel F/5.

You could then forget about polar alignment and with practice you would quickly learn to find things.
From indoors you don't have the whole sky so you can just concentrate on what is on view at the time.

My indoor scopes are used on medium/heavy photo tripods.
The AZ 3 will be more stable and may have slow motions.

This would be much easier than messing around with an EQ mount.

Regards, David
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

30-160X70 Binoculars.
At miniumum mag 30x70 the exit pupil would be 2.3mm and at maximum zoom of 160x70 would be 0.44mm - I imagine that you would have to have perfect binocular vision to be able to align these two tiny discs! maf
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Mike and Peter,
I am aware of a very high quality Zeiss variable magnification binocular.
I thought it might have gone up to 60x, but maybe it was 20x to 40x.
These were of very high quality and gave wonderful images.
They may have been more a binocular telescope, having long tubes.

Peter Drew has made some large refracting binocular telescopes, possibly 6 inch aperture.

I see on the internet a 1930s Zeiss binocular telescope;. It are described as a binocular, but is clearly not the Sunagor type very short probably f/4 binoculars.
The Zeiss have triple turret eyepieces of 35x, 58x and 117x x 130mm.
They are clearly two high class telescopes made into a wonderful pedestal binocular telescope.
Apparently last serviced by Zeiss London 12 years ago? Zeiss London did not know it existed.

I have seen a Galileo Italian triple turret binocular, 90mm I think.
I had the tripod only unfortunately, as someone threw the binocular in a skip as it seemed OLD and NOT USEFUL. I am afraid my friend in this case was an idiot. They were quite high powered with the top magnification and a very desirable item.

The fact that the top quality firm of Zeiss made high magnification long focus binocular telescopes rather than f/4 Sunagor type instruments shows to me clearly the folly of the Sunagor instrument.
Also the Galileo binocular was a fine instrument but certainly did not go to 160x.

These over the top high powered binoculars of various apertures from Sunagor and similar clones are just like the 625 x small telescopes on offer for decades.
They are meant to ensnare a not sophisticated buyer with ridiculously high magnifications.
They are purely a way of making money by dubious means.

Unfortunately we cannot expect these practices stop any time soon.

Another friend passed by a 30x60 old Leitz binocular not realising this was probably a gem.
This was at a boot fair.

For a 70mm binocular the best magnifications are 15x, 10x and 20x depending on a person's preference and age, having regard to eye pupil size.
A good quality zoom 70mm would probably go from 12x to 36x.
Such binoculars are available although the quality is not great.
A good 15x70 is probably the best.

Regards, David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

The Zeiss binocular above was I think 20x and 40x 80.

Peter, If you have a more south facing window then an altazimuth mount really makes sense.
I think you said your window faced east south east. Here you would need to use both slow motions.

If you get used to the EQ mount on the 130mm reflector, then you might want it on a refractor.
I wonder if you could use the existing mount for both and just buy say a 100mm f/5 tube and optics.
Sherwoods were selling these for £95 delivered, Celestron but they may have sold out.

Regards, David
Peter1959
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Post by Peter1959 »

Sherwoods have the SKYWATCHER EVOSTAR-150 (OTA) TELESCOPE
150mm (6") f/1200 REFRACTOR at £530.00 (just the optical tube)

This looks perfect but for observing through an open window is perhaps too high end!!

There is the same model but 120mm (4.75 in). This might be more practical.

Any views/suggestions?

Peter
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Hi Peter,
At least you are looking at possibilities.
The 150 mm f/8 refractor is much too large to use indoors I think.
It is a powerful telescope if you used it outdoors.

Firstly if you intended using it on the existing mount I believe it is too large and heavy. Perhaps someone on the forum can advise who has one of these.

The largest I would advise is the 4.75 inch or 120mm f/5.
This is smaller.
It would suffer from some false colour, but I think you could live with that. There is also a Baader fringe killer filter to help with this. I suppose they fit on eyepieces.
These refractors I think probably have 2 inch focussers to give wider fields.

DO YOU HAVE A MORE SOUTH FACING WINDOW?
Do you have a balcony?

If so I think there is the 120mm f/5 on the AZ3 mount.

The 150mm is a really large and capable scope but overkill indoors.
It should easily take 300x, which is completely impractical indoors.
The temperature effects would limit you to 150x in most cases.

A 100mm say f/8 may work.

What kind of floor is indoors? Carpet, Wood?

A 127mm Skywatcher Maksutov Cassegrain is another possibility, but not suited to low magnification.

Depending on the size of your room and window I would go for a 100mm or 120mm f/5 for indoor use. The smaller size than an f/8 is the reason.
There is also vibration from trucks and buses if you are near these.

The telescope you use the most is your best scope.
Having a really large scope may not be used so much.

Do you have dogs, cats or people who might knock scope over?

These refractors have the advantage of usually being more trouble free than Newtonians.

Regards, David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Sherwoods.
120mm f/5 Skywatcher on AZ3 £255. also available withEQ.

If you really want to go'mad' there is the 150mm f/5 tube and optics at £475. It might fit on AZ3 or EQ.
Probably a lot of false colour.
I think the 120mm f/5 better.

David
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