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Looking Back (Cloudy Night Pursuits)

Started by Milt, 04/21/2003 07:18PM
Posted 04/21/2003 07:18PM Opening Post
Since I have been hooked on binocular astronomy for only one year and astronomy in general for only a few years longer, I jumped at the recent chance to look through some older magazines.

Here's what I found in the July 1992 issue of 'Sky & Telescope':

- An article on a comet-hunting observatory in Czechoslovakia that used 1946 Somet-Binar 25x100 binoculars. These had Zeiss optics yielding a "well corrected" 3.7° FOV and the EP's had a 60° viewing angle. Between 1946 and 1959 the staff found 18 comets, 6 of which were by one lady using these binos.

- New giant binoculars advertised for sale:

Miyauchi 45° 20x100 4-element "semi-APO," BaK4, 27mm eye relief. No price listed. Looks like their present models.

Observation 100mm Binoculars 25x/40x EP's on turret, triplet objectives magnesium fluorite coated, two tripods with case and filters, $2,095.00. Sound familiar?

Fujinon 25x150 Astronomical Binocular with right-angle (90°) viewing, 2.7° FOV, fork and pedestal, suggested list $11,000.00.

So, giant binoculars with astronomical quality have been around for at least 56 years, and are essentially unchanged in the past 11 years. But what we have today is that same quality at far lower prices.