Binoviewer Recommendation

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Jordan Konisky
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Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Jordan Konisky »

I am seeking advice on selecting a Binoviewer for my Quark system. While my imaging setup (Quark chromosphere, SW ED100 refractor, ZWO 174mm and accessories) provides excellent images, there are times when I prefer visual observing. On these occasions my 32mm Plossl renders excellent views, although the viewing can be awkward and a strain on the eye. To bring some improvement to my visual observing, I am considering purchasing a binoviewer. Not surprisingly, there is a huge spread in the price, and, apparently, quality. Having no experience with using one, I am at a loss to judge what brand and quality would be a good match to my Quartz-SW ED100 setup. I would appreciate any help and suggestions as to what binoviewer would be appropriate for me to consider.

Jordan


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by george9 »

I have heard that H-alpha observation is not very sensitive to the quality or design of the binoviewer, so feel free to save money.

I have been using a Denkmeier II binoviewer for H-alpha for 15 years on different scopes including several with a Quark, and I have been very happy. The Quark's internal Barlow (assuming you have the standard Quark) solves most back-focus issues. So you won't need a Barlow or Glasspath corrector or OCS. And the light is monochromatic, so no worry about chromatic aberration.

For my big telescopes, I need a wider field of view, so I want bigger prisms, like the Baader Mark V or Denis Levatic's Zeiss Big Binoviewer. I have the latter.

Many H-alpha filters like the Quark polarize light. And so do almost all binoviewers. Therefore, you just need to rotate the Quark until the two eyepieces are equally bright. The Zeiss Big Binoviewer is NOT polarized, so I don't have to worry about it.

I think I would recommend going for the less expensive options for now.

George


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by george9 »

A couple more notes. You should review CloudyNights binoviewer pages. I have not used the following, but:

The Williams Optics binoviewer package at $300 for the binoviewer, eyepieces, and Barlow (you won't use the Barlow) is crazy cheap. With 20mm prisms, its aperture is close to the Quark's 21mm aperture, so not much is lost in FOV. If the included 20mm eyepieces are too dark (too high power), then you could swap in a pair of 25-26mm Plossls or buy another 32mm Plossl. I find I DON'T like the 32 Plossl with the Quark as the AFOV feels like a soda straw to me.

The next step up for me would be the Baader Maxbright II at $590 (plus eyepieces). This would be a binoviewer that you could use for many purposes for the rest of your life. Once you go there, the incremental benefit of the Baader Mark V, Zeiss, or Denk Binotron is minimal. The Binotron is also good and is more expensive mainly because it comes with the Powerswitch and OCS. My Denk II is similar to the Binotron and I love the PowerSwitch.

George


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Jordan Konisky »

George,
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I particularly appreciated your comparison of the full range of binoviewers available. The WO binoviewer has received many excellent reviews and may well be the best choice for my purpose. I know what you mean by a down-the-straw view presented by a 32mm Plossl. I have both a 25mm and 32mm TV Plossl so intend to spend some time comparing them in my Quark setup before deciding which I need to duplicate for a binoviewer.

Jordan


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Robert Henry 1355 »

Like George stated, go with the William Optics Binoviewer! I have used it with my Lunt 102mm ED F/7 for several years and love it! I use paired 32mm and 40mm Plossls with the WO Binoviewer and am MORE than happy! It should work just as well visually on your setup as mine. You can go down to paired 25mm Plossls when the seeing conditions allow. In my opinion,and I had Denk Binoviewers at one time, the WO gives the best bang for your buck.

Bob


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Jordan Konisky »

Thank you, Bob


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Highbury Mark »

I’ve used Baader MkV, Baader Maxbright II, Zeiss apo, OVL/Skywatcher and WO binoviewers over the years for solar. I cannot hand on heart say the view with the £1k MkV was any better at powers up to 150x than the much cheaper Chinese units, of which the WO is probably the best package, though the included 20mm WO eyepieces are not top drawer for solar. You are paying for wider prisms with the more expensive units - although the new Maxbright II also offers that benefit at a more affordable price. Yet the best eyepieces for Ha and white light are narrow afov Plossls and orthoscopics - so another reason to go for the WO/Skywatcher/TS etc binoviewers, which presumably all come off the same production line. Once you get used to binoviewing the Sun, going back to a single eyepiece seems incredibly uncomfortable - and yet I have no problems observing at night through one eye. Go figure.


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Tigger »

Hi Jordan

I only have experience of MK Vs. use them all the time for nighttime and Solar. They are very bright and sharp. I use TV Plossls, Pans, Delites. Lunt zooms (surprisingly good) and Pentax XFs. My favs are Pans, Delites and XFs.

To get the most enjoyment, I’ve found it is best to get really sharp EPs and a great pair of Binos.

Good luck with your choice


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by Jordan Konisky »

Thank you, Tigger.

My WO BINOS just arrived and am anxious to pair them with my 32 and 40mm TeleVue plossls.

Jordan


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Re: Binoviewer Recommendation

Post by DeepSolar64 »

I have been considering this one. Let me know how the WO one does.

https://luntsolarsystems.com/product/te ... ular-1-25/

Right now I have two 28mm Edmund RKE, two 25mm CeMax, two 12mm CeMax and two 10mm Celestron eyepieces to use with a binoviewer. I'll probably get a 2nd 18mm CeMax eyepiece if I get a binoviewer.


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Astro-Tech AT72EDII with Altair solar wedge
Celestron NexStar 102GT with Altair solar wedge
Losmandy AZ8 Alt/Az Mount
Sky-Watcher AZGTI Alt-Az GoTo mount
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