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Bino Wars

Started by Dasuhu, 07/16/2005 01:07PM
Posted 07/16/2005 01:07PM Opening Post
Excuse me if this has already been done...but has there been a comparison of the cheap end binoviewers: Siebert Black Night, Stellarvue, Burgess?

That would be interesting...
Posted 07/16/2005 04:52PM #1

I own the Burgess, Siebert 22mm BlackNights, Siebert 45mm BlackNights Elites, and Denkmeier Optical Premium Deepsky Binoviewers. I also have access to a Televue binoviewer. There is very little difference in the view through any of these units when using 21mm or higher powered 1 1/4" eyepieces. As you go to lower powered eyepieces you begin to see some vignetting in the different models. All the 1 1/4" binoviewers will vignette with some power of eyepieces. Even the 2" 45mm Elite binoviewers will vignette at some point but the largest pair of 2" eyepieces I have is only 42mm.

With the Burgess, Stellarvue, and Celestron binoviewers you do not have self centering eyepieces holders. This can result in the eyepiece not seating correctly and can cause problems with merging. I have to say I have not had this problem with my Burgess unit but others have reported it.

I have found the image in my Burgess to be very bright. I think this may be due to the BK4 glass. Many people have fought many battles over this. I can only report what I see.

I have had a pair of 30mm Echelons on order from Siebert Optics forever! ( I understand that Harry Siebert has a lot of 2" units he wants to build first but...) I once asked Harry if he could put BK4 prisms in them for me. Harry said that he buys the prisms in lots and a lot of people would have to make the same request.

It seems the binoviewer manufactures made the decision for us that BK7 glass was best. I wish they would offer both so we could decide ourselves.

My Denkmeier binoviewers have a big advantage over the other units. I have a single arm PowerSwitch that I use with them. I also have a Denkmeier PowerSwitch Diagonal. The optics have been replaced in it so it works with binoviewers. When I use the PowerSwitch with the PowerSwitch Diagonal on my Celestron 9.25 I have 6 powers available through a single pair of Eyepieces. This is really a nice feature. I think the latest version of Denkmeier PowerSwitches have the same capabilities. I just wish the powers were not in such large steps.

The ideal device would be an optical zoom allowing the user to reach the max magnification for any given set of conditions.

The Siebert 45mm Elites offer the best low power views out of any of my binoviewers. I really like using the 2" eyepieces with them. My club has a 16" SCT with a focal length of 7000mm and a 8" Refractor with a 3000mm focal length. With instruments like these you need as low a power as you can get with your binoviewers and nothing else I have comes close to the Siebert 45mm Elites with the Sieberts Multimag OCA.

Don Durbin
Burgess BV125 Model C
Burgess binoviewer corrector
Original 22mm BlackNights with Diopters and focal reducer
45mm Elite BlackNights with Diopters
Sieberts 1.3X OCA, Sieberts UltraBarlow, Sieberts Multimag OCA.
(Semi, almost)Denk IIs
Denkmeier 2" SCT Star Diagonal (Modified)
Denkmeier 2" Star Sweeper SE
Denkmeier 1 1/4" Star Sweeper SE
SAC focal reducer
Meade ETX90
Stellarvue 102APO
Orion 100ED
Celestron C9.25
Orion Atlas 8"
50% Orion XT10
Meade 152ED
TAK FS-128
Coronado SM-40/BF10