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Posts Made By: Erik Lin

February 8, 2003 06:40 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Thinking of getting a "Big Binocular" need input.

Posted By Erik Lin

I would go with the Oberwerk 15X70. Very good optical quality and longer eye relief. Both the Orion 15X and 20X70 models have listed eye relief of only 8mm. 8mm eyerelief would be tight even if you do not wear glasses. You get a wider Field of View with the Oberwerk and the price is less too.

I don't have the two models you mentioned but I have been using a pair of 20X80mm Orion and 12X60 Oberwerk for astronomy. The Orion have better mechnical construction and incldes a heavy duty tripod adapter(~$18) but my Oberwerk has much better edge sharpness and almost no false color.

Also consider the new 20X80 LW model if you are going to use a tripod anyway. The Burgess 20X80 LW has 3.5 deg FOV and price is the same as the Oberwerk 15X70($149). There is a very favorable review of the Burgess on

Good luck and post your impressions after you get a pair.

Erik D

February 11, 2003 02:24 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Vixen 125mm 20x or 30x Binocular scope?

Posted By Erik Lin


I did a bit of research on the Vixen 125mms as well. These are the third largest aperture binos currently available after the Fuji 150mm and the Myauchi 141mm. The Vixen 125 comes with a nice tripod and fork mount and the total weight is under 40 lbs. However, the price is still around $4000. The reviewer of the Cloudynight article compared the Viexen 125 to the 25/40X100 mm Chinese military binos and felt that he did not see more with the extra 25mm aperture. You can order the Oberwerk 25/40X100 for about $1,300 and still have plenty left to invest in a heavy tripod and mount. Phil Harrington also did a favorable review of the Vixen 25-75X125 Zoom model a few years back. You may be able to find the review under The last time I spoke to Vixen USA they did not plan to import the 25-75X zoom model though.

When I met Bill Burgess at the NEAF show last year he mentioned he is working on getting giant binos bigger than 100mm with angled eyepieces. In my email exhchage with him last week he said that he will be showing binos in th 127mm and 150mm size at the 2003 NEAF show. I don't know what size binos you are currently using but you may want to wait a bit to see what Bill Burgess comes up with. So far he seems to be able to deliver 80 and 100mm binos of good quality at less than half the price of Vixen ginat binos.

Erik D

February 12, 2003 07:23 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

The best planetary view $179 can buy!

Posted By Erik Lin


Very impressive! I'd be pleased if my $2000 OTA took that kind of picture. What eyepiece were you using?

Erik D

February 21, 2003 01:50 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Vixen 140 NA refractor or 6" chinese refractor?

Posted By Erik Lin

A 6inF8 refractor is a big scope. I think you would need a mount at least the size of the new Orion Altlas mount. The Atlas mount is well priced at $800 but the the wieght is 54 lbs without any counter weights. Add the weight of the OTA, rings, mounting plate, diagnol and finder scope and you are looking at handling over 100 lbs. Are you sure you want to move that much weight? I like refractors a lot but I have a top quality 6in OTA sitting a the closet for many years. Still looking for a good mount. I think the Mead 6 in APO package is close to 150 lbs.

I don't have first hand experience with the Vixen 140 but I'd think Vixen quality is a level above the Chinese. Assuming the Vixen 140 has good optics I don't think an extra 12 mm of a 6 in makes noticable difference. But Size wise the 140mmF5 will be much easier to handle.

Erik D

February 24, 2003 09:34 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Burgess 25x100 vs Burgess 20x80

Posted By Erik Lin


Burgess 25X100: About 3 times the size and weight!

100 mm binos are huge. Don't expect to mount them with the average fluid head such as the Bogen 3126/3130. You will need the Bogen 501 head or the Burgess heavy oak parellO mount at minimum. I have the ProOptic 25X100mm which is much bigger than my Orion 20X80. The Burgess 100mm is several inch longer than my ProOptics and about 3 lbs heavier.

The Burgess 20X80 LW on the other hand are just a bit bigger than the popular 15X70 size. I can use the 20X80 LW with my elbows supported. Doing that with the 25X100mm is out of the question. However, a light weigh tripod such as the Bogen 3011/3021 is recommended when you want to do extended viewing.

I estimate I can see about 1/2 maganitude dimmer stars in 100mm binos than 80mm. Not somethin you'll notice easily. The TFOV in 25X100mm binos is about 2.5-2.6 deg. The narrower FOV does make it more difficult to locate objects compare to the 3.5 deg FOV in 20X80s.

I'd say go with 100mm if you already have 70mm binos. Otherwise I recommend trying the 20X80 LW first and wait for bigger binos or the 20/40X100 with 45 deg eyepiece from Burgess or Oberwerk.

Erik D

February 27, 2003 01:55 AM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Burgess Mount for the 127mm f8 Refractor

Posted By Erik Lin

I like to see Burgess come up with a good Alt-Az mount package for the scope too. I have read several good reviews about the APM GR-2 deluxe but none of the dealers offer a package. It gets expensive when you have to source rings, mounting plates and a tripod from different sources. The last time I priced a tripod/GR2 package for my 6 in refractor the total came to well over $1,000. If Orion can offer the heavy duty Atlas EQ mount for $799 someone should be able to offer a decent Alt az mount that doesn't cost three times the price of the OTA.

ERik D

February 27, 2003 08:49 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Birding/Astronomy Dual Use Telescope

Posted By Erik Lin


Not sure what you would pay for a Tak sky-90 but you can purchase the top-rated Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope body for about $1,250. It's Rubber Armored, WaterProof and takes standard 1.25 eps. I thinks the TV85 cost more and it's neither RA or WP.

I am ok with staight thru viewing for astronomy as long as the tripod is tall enough.

Erik D

March 1, 2003 01:49 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Oberwerk 100mm Binoculars

Posted By Erik Lin


If you are talking about the modified Chinese Military giants I can sum up my impression with a single word: BIG!

I did quite a bit of comparsion shopping about a year ago when I decided to upgrade from 20X80s. Back then the selection of 100mm binos under $2,000 was extemely limited. It came down to two: The $900 ProOptics 25X100 and some variation of the Chinese boder guards starting around $1,400. I read evey reivew I could find, including the S &T article,, binocular astronomy forumm, ITE web site, and several reviews on cloudynihgts.

I really wanted the 25/40X version because I like the idea having dual power without the drawback of zoom eps. $500 more seems quite reasonable. I also explored various mounting options when I visited Larry P of Universal Astronomics at a NJ scope show. In the end, I decided to go with the ProOptics instead. SIZE was the key. For the same 100mm objective size the military giants are more than twice the length and thrice the weight.(26lb+) Also every reviewer stated that the nice looking wooden tripod can not be used above 60 deg. I already have a Bogen 3246 tripod rated for 26lbs, but I don't like to mount optics right at the limit of tripod capacity. Getting the bigger Bogen 3058 and the Oberwerk 15 deg offset tripod adaptor meant a lot more $$$ and more lbs!!

My current 100mm bino ensemble includes the ProOptics 25X100, the Bogen 501 fluid head(with quick-release plate)and the 3246 tripod. Total weight: 20.5 lbs. If I want to go to a dark sky location it takes about 90 secs to detach the bino, collapse the tripod and I am out the door. I also have addtional QR plate to switch binos quickly on the same tripod.

Kevin B announced on this forum(2/19/03) that Oberwerk will be shipping a new 100mm bino with 45 deg interchangeable eyepieces in about 30 days. This is a copy of the Miyauchii 100, weight about 16 lbs and price is $995. I think Anacortes is taking pre orders for the Burgess version alreay. I have been very satisfied with the QC standards of both Burgess and Oberwerk. You may want to wait and see if the new ones meet your requirement. Just my $.03.

Erik D

March 17, 2003 04:55 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Mount for a Nikon 20X120

Posted By Erik Lin

I have seen the photos and revierws of the Nikon 20X120 in cloundynights. If you plan to make the GEM mount permanent I don't see any reason why you would need to mount them WITH the fork. The GEM takes care of the altitude and adjustment. You don't need to put all that extra load of the fork on the GEM.

Did your club consider other Ultra Giants brefore selecting the Nikon? My next giant binos purchase will probably be >100mm so I am interested to know.

Erik D

March 20, 2003 06:16 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Robert Burnham Jr.

Posted By Erik Lin


Thank you for posting this.

ERik D