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To bino-vue or not. Is it just my eyes?

Started by Rob F, 03/24/2003 05:24PM
Posted 03/24/2003 05:24PM Opening Post
A few years back I acquired a Tak twin-vue binovier to use with my FS 128 I had at the time. I had two sets of Tak LE eyepieces. After one night of viewing I was convinced I was seeing more with monocular vision. I sold the binoviewer shortly thereafter thinking that 5" of apeture was not enough to take advantage of the binoviewer in view of the light loss to each eye. Incidently the only objects I viewed were Jupiter and Saturn.
I wanted to give binoviewing another try so I recently purchased a Tele-View bino-viewer. Using a pair of Pentax ortho's I again came to the same conclusion. I was clearly seeing more planetary detail without the binoviewer. I have no problem merging the image. At times I need to focus each individual eyepiece. The scope in use this time is another high end 5" Apo.
Have others had similar experiences, or am I the only odd ball here?
Posted 03/24/2003 05:41PM #1
It is all about what is the most fun and rewarding to you. That's the most important thing. Some objects are simply stunning w/ binoviewer. The Great Orion Nebula and the Moon. For me are views of a life time. No matter how I sliced it with one eye I couldn't come close the the jaw dropping awe I was getting on the Orion Neb. No way, No how. I wish I could get that kind of reward out of everything I observe w/ bino. On the majority of objects I've had second thoughts about the bino, cosidering the investment.....
Posted 03/24/2003 06:10PM #2
I think it's you, not your scope's aperture. The 15" minimum aperture thing is a myth. Some people just don't seem to get enough added image processing power from the brain to make up for the light loss per eye, and so they see more with one eye than with two. Sometimes, someone has one very dominant eye already so that adding the second one is detrimental. I feel sorry for you that you don't get to enjoy the sky with two eyes , but just like everything else, binoviewing isn't for everyone. I, for one, will never look cyclops again where I can avoid it.

Do you alternate between both eyes for cyclops observing, or always use the same one?

Or: How long have you been observing? Maybe it may just take some getting used to, retraining you observing mode so to speak.

Posted 03/25/2003 05:04AM #3
I would like to make use of your experience.

What can you say about your eyes?

I have been thinking about binoviewers but am inclined to be cautious because my eyes are quite different. One corrects to about 20/15, the other to about 20/40. Without glasses, the bad one can't see the top letter on the eyechart, can't even see it's there. BUT, I do get pretty good use out of binoculars if they have extreme +6/-6 diopter adjustments. The bad eye does not quite come to focus, but it contributes enough to add a 3-D effect to the moon.

When I observe with one eye, I favor the better one, but because I can easily reach focus with either, sometimes I alternate. I do notice that there is a not-subtle difference in image perception which does not seem to be optical. With study I can see all the same details with either eye. But I see them quicker and easier with the good eye than with the bad one. I think it is a difference in image processing on one side of the brain vs the other.

I've neglected the bad eye for a long time, which when it deteriorated at about age 13, after a bad bout of measles, had previously been my dominant eye. At that time the easy image perception was through the eye I now disfavor. I remember vividly the hard work of trying to switch to the other. Now I am trying to retrain my brain to make use of the bad eye, at least at the telescope.

I also wonder whether practice might make your own binoview experience better. When you hold my glasses at arm's length, you see the image scale in one lens is about 3 times larger than in the other. It's amazing to me that my brain can merge the images, but it does. When I first started wearing the glasses, no way. Now, I can go back and forth between glasses or no glasses, and not notice any change.

I've never looked through a binoviewer. Would like to give it a try. Question: are your eyes the source of your binoview problem, your eyes, your brain, or what?