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Posts Made By: Erik Lin

October 20, 2003 04:40 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Re: Opinions on these 3?

Posted By Erik Lin


My 2002 Pentax booklet shows two PCF models the PCF V is 33.9 oz the PCF WP is 37.0 oz. Both are rather heavy for 7X50 binos. FOV is the same at 6.2 deg.

You should asked yourself what would be your primary use of this bino and could you really take advantage of the 7.1 mm exit pupil. For astromy most of us find 5mm exit pupil and slightly higher power helps us pick out dimmer objects. I have a pair of Celestron 7X50s with 10 deg FOV. There are good for taking in large sections of the night sky but 7mm eixt pupil also show a brighter grey background.

If you want a pair of general purpose binos for astronomy and terrestrial viewing the Pentax 8X40 is smaller and lighter at 29.3 oz and 6.3 deg FOV.

Erik D

December 20, 2003 02:24 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Nikon Astroluxe 18X70

Posted By Erik Lin

The Nikon Astroluxe is one of the very few Astro binos besides the Fuji 16X70 that's Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. This pair received very good review in the Apr 2003 Astronomy bino review. Regular street price is about $1,150. It's now available at for $899.95 overstock price. Wt~70 Oz, FOV 3 deg.

Erik D

January 26, 2004 07:23 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Re: Orion Mini Giant's

Posted By Erik Lin


I am not sure who makes the Orion 56/63mm mini giants but I'd guess they are made in China. The focus wheel, eye cups and bino housing of the Orion mini giants looks nearly identical to my Oberwerk 12X60. I paid $105 for the Oberwerk 12X60 in Nov 2002 and have been very happy with it. I looked for false color when viewing the full moon but can not detect any. Edge sharness is also very good considering the wide 5.7 deg FOV in a 12X. Focus wheel is a bit stiff for rapid focusing in day time but it's fine for Astronomy. I look thru a pair of Celestron 9X63 Ultima a week prior to purchasing the Oberwerk 12X60. The Celestron was bright and sharp and had a nice feel but cost three times as much.

I recommend you check out the Oberwerk 56/60mm binos if you are thinking of getting a pair of mini giants.

Erik D

January 26, 2004 06:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: best Binoculars for nebula viewing

Posted By Erik Lin

I'd also recommend the Oberwerk 22X100. I borrowed my friend's Oberwerk 100mm for a week last year for a side-by-side with my ProOptics 25X100. Compared to my $900 ProOptics the Oberwerk 22X100 has much better eye relief(18mm vs 10mm), wider FOV(3.3 vs. 2.6 deg)and cost less than 1/2. The only problem for me is insufficient right diopter adjusment for my 20/20 left,-20/400 right eye. This should not be a problem for most people.

I like two other features of the Oberwerk 22X100: Center focus and extra bracing between the objectives. The Tak 22X60s are essentialy two 60 mm APOs joined toghter. The optics are superb but FOV is much narrower at 2.2 Deg. I think you get more bang for the buck with the Oberwerk. For me the pleasure of giant bino astronomy is the correct image view and wide FOV. You'll cover 2.25 times more area with 3.3 deg FOV of the Oberwerk.

Erik D

October 19, 2004 07:02 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Re: Ok, so if you had this to spend.........

Posted By Erik Lin

We don't have much info from the original poster about observing need, wt/size preference, mounted or hand hold etc. However, since this is the astro bino forum I'd assume the primary use is astronomy. Thus one would want the biggest bang for the buck. I assume the question is for binos only. Mounts will have to be addressed in a different thread.

$100: Burgess 15X70/Celestron 15X70. This pair has been favorably reviewed by Phil Harrington in Astonomy magazine last year. Prof Edz gave 2003 and newer Oberwerk 15X70s very high ratings but their price is $149. My recommendation is not an endorsement of BO bussiness practices, only the product. The Burgess 15X70 is list as "in Stock"

~$200: Oberwerk 20X80 LW or Stadard($229). Go for the LW if you want the lightest, most compact 20X80 available. Go for the Standard if you need the longer 18mm eye relief and don't mind a longer bino(~14 oz heavier than LW). 20X80 binos with 3.2-3.5 deg FOV is currently my favortie big bino. I have the Burgess 20X80 LW myself and am quite happy with it. I also have Orion 20X80 and ProOptics 25X100 but my Burgess 80 LW gets the most use. I am not sure about current stock situation with the Burgess LW though.

$500: New Oberwerk 25X100 IF or Burgess 25X100 Series II CF. My preference is for CF binos but again I am not sure about stock situation of the Burgess 100mm S II. I know when Oberwerk list products as "In Stock" they ARE!

Be aware that 100mm bino typically have 2.5-2.6 deg FOV. You can see dimmer objects with a 25X100 but you can cover nearly 90% more viewing area using a 20X80 binos with 3.5 deg FOV.

Fujinon 16X70s have rececived excellent reviews every where but the street price is close to $600. I believe the Oberwerk 20X80 Std come very close to the performace at a fraction of the cost. I'd be willing to pay a lot for a Fujinon 20X80 FMT-SX if they had one but they don't.

ERik D

PS. For those who are really averse to using a tripod and want to use the mat-pillow mount consider the Oberwerk 11X56. You can enjoy slightly more reach than the popular 10X50 and still keep the size and wt reasonable.

November 9, 2004 07:43 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Re: Anyone own the Fuji 25x150 ED Binoculars

Posted By Erik Lin

There are several reviews of the regular version(non-ED) 25X150mm in the binocular review section. I don't have one myself but I am aware of 3 owners of the Fuji 25X150 in the USA. I don't plan on getting one soon for the following reasons:

1. Weight/Bulk. The OTA alone weighs 18.5 kg/41 lb. Is over 3 ft long(96.2 cm). The pedestal mount weighs another 18 lb. Cost/wt of a Tripod? I know the tripod such as the QuickSet Hercules will hold the 60lb OTA+ pedestal load plus allowing 18 inch of center column travel. However, weight of the tripod alone is over 30 lbs and cost ~$1,500.

The best way to mount such a monster is to use the Universal Astronomics Sirrus ParallelO mount on a Losmandy G11 tripod. Figure ~150 lbs with tripod and counter weights.

2. You are limited to 25X/6mm exit pupil. I would think about getting a pair of 150mm/F5 binoscope if I am going to move that much weight. I am thinking 30-150X easily. 90 lb with bino scope and pier/fork mount and 90 deg EPs. Less than $8 K total. See for details.

Erik D

November 1, 2002 09:14 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars


Posted By Erik Lin


I use the Bogen 501 Fluid Head and the 3246 tripod with my 20X80mm and 25X100mm(8.5lbs) Super Giant binos. I like it very much. The 501 head is rated for 13.2lbs and the tripod 26 lbs. I am not sure if the tube weight of the twin 82mm Highlander exceed 13 lbs so you should check. I like heavy Bogen tripods with geared center column instead of fixed height tripods because I can adjust the height instantly. All Bogen tripods with geared center column have a non-rollback feature so you won't have to worry about your expensive optics crashing down when you release the center column lock. I selected the Bogen 3046/3246 tripod instead of the popular 3036(475) tripod because the 3246 have almost 19 in of center colummn adjustment. You can make large change in elevation without adjusting all three legs of the tripod. Both models will reach 7 ft when fully elevated.

The 501 fluid head has seperate teflon friction knobs and locking levers. You can increase the drag to match the weight of your Giant binos without locking it. It's like a smooth Dob mount that permits you the change the tension to match to weight of heavier eyepieces. Excellent design. There is a newer 503 fluid head which looks very similar the the 501 head but costs almost twice as much. I check out the 503 at a trade show about six month ago but I did think it perform that mcuh better. I paid just over $300 for the 3246 tripod and 501 head last year but I think price are somewhat higher now because the Euro exchange rate has gained ground vs.US$. Log on to the Bogenphoto web site and you can review all the models.

UA Unistar mounts are very nice too but I prefer the extra height adjustment of Bogen tripod. Invest in a good tripod because you can always use it for other scopes. Get an extra quick release plate and you will be able to change optics in 10 sec and save wear on the 1/4"-20 thread.

Good Luck and looking forward to your review on the Kowa.

Erik D

November 4, 2002 08:36 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Burgess Optics

Posted By Erik Lin


I saw the Burgess 25X100mm at the NEAF show on May 18 this year. They look very much like the Oberwerk 20X80 delux with a different paint job and bigger objectives.(Barrel dia is the same, only the lenses are bigger). Bill was taking orders for delivery in a month or two. The specs were quite impressive: 25X100mm WaterProof with built-in tripod adapter and 3.0 deg FOV! The asking price was sub $300!! Considering I just paid $900 in March for 25X100mm ProOptics which have 2.6 deg FOV and are NOT waterproof, the Burgess 100mm is an increditable buy. However, nearly six month later I have yet to encounter a single posting from any one that has a pair. Burgess also mentioned they are working on 100 and 120mm giant binos with angled eyepiece for about half the price of comparable Miyachis. I love giant binocular astronomy and I'd love to have a pair of 120mm ED giants with 45/90 deg eyepiecs for less than $1500. I believe Burgess supplies the 4 in premium focuser for TMB refractors so they can certainly deliver high end product.

The 60/70mm bino offering from Burgess looks the same as the one offered by Oberwerk, Barsak and others. I have heard from people who spend $69 for the 15X70mm with the old style focuser and are happy with them. Personally I am willing to spend a little more for Oberwerk brand binoculars. Kevin B specializes in selling giant binos for more than three years and keep introdcuing innovative new products. His customer service is first class too. If some other company demonstrate they can deliver Chinese binoculars with consistent quality at a competitive price I will buy from them too. We all benefit when more quality optics are available.

I just purchased a pair of Oberwerk 12X60mm(5.7 deg FOV) mini giants at central NJ scope show this weekend. I wanted a pair of mid-power binos to fill the gap between my 10x and 20X binos. The optics of the 12X60 are very very good considering the price. They are as bright sharp as the Celestron 9X63(5.4 deg) Ultimas I saw (based on day time viewing only)the week before. Price of the Oberwerk is about 1/3 of the Celestron 9X63. I will post a report after I had a chance to star test them a few times.

Erik D

November 4, 2002 09:02 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Steiner 80X20 bino Opinions ?

Posted By Erik Lin


Did you mean Steiner 20X80mm? 80X20 give you 1/4 mm exit pupil. Not very useful for day or night viewing.

If you are wondering about the 20X80mm Steiners there is a review on Click on 80mm binos. The revew was NOT favorable.

I am not sure about the price for the 20X80 Steiner but the 15X80mm Steiner Senator is about $825 mail order. You can get good quality Japanese 20X80mm for less than 1/2 the price.

Erik D

November 6, 2002 12:51 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Spotting scope tripods

Posted By Erik Lin


Thanks for the info. I just acquired the Bogen 3221WN/501 fluid head combo a month ago. I wanted another tall Bogen tripod for my giant binos and the 3221 WN weighs about 3 lbs less than my bogen 3246. Now you have me really interested in the Velbon Chaser 3A. From the Adorama site I see this tripod can extend up to 68". Like to know the part number of the pan head you are using. Also do you consider this tripod tall enough for viewing the zenith with binoculars?

PS. As always, you have a lot of good info to share... be it optics for astronomy, birding or for target spotting. We really miss you on the Yahoo Bino Astronomy groups. Is there any way we can get you back?

Erik D