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Anybody using 16 X 50's for astronomy?

Started by Benschop, 04/18/2002 07:29PM
Posted 04/18/2002 07:29PM Opening Post
I have been offered a pair of 16 X 50 binocs and I am wondering if anyone can comment on what their effectiveness would be for astronomical targets?

My own thoughts...
(1) Definately need a tripod or bino mount
(2) I think M31 , M81 /82 M42 and others would be superb in this instrument. I have viewed them in my 10X50's and they were nice, but more power would have done them justice.

I'm thinking of getting them just to carry along in the car in case I hapen upon a nice clear sky and want to quickly observe some targets.

Posted 04/18/2002 09:32PM #1
I've kept the Fujinon FMT-SX 16x70's, which I use on a mount, but I previously had both the Pentax PCF V 16x60's and the Oberwerk 15x70s. ALL of these binos can be used handheld from a braced or supported position but are enormously better from a good mount. The problem with the Pentax 16x60s was that the FOV was very narrow. I suspect that you may encounter that with the 16x50s. They may also be somewhat dim depending on several factors. Which 16x50's are you considering?

Given your stated purpose of getting them just to keep in the car in case you come upon opportunity, I wonder if you'd not be better served with something in the 12x range. Are you planning on having a suitable parallelogram mount and tripod in the car with you? If so, why not go bigger than 50mm? Forgive me if I sound dubious, but 16x50 is IMO neither fish nor fowl or maybe more acurately, neither wildlife nor astronomy. It's my opinion that as power goes up, so must objective size. While there are perhaps no hard and fast cutoff points, I'd suggest no more than 12x in 50mm and not less than 60mm in 16x based on what I've seen of various binocular performance. Again, this is just one guy's opinion and may not be worth the electrons it's printed on. What specific 16x50's are you considering?

Mike Swaim