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Posts Made By: Erik Lin

January 22, 2004 12:13 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Leica 8x50 apparent field of view?

Posted By Erik Lin


Since you are using metric measurements I assume you are not located in the USA? If so what is approximate discount price in Euro/pounds?

I don't have any Leicas myself but I know they make very fine binoculars. However, I aslo know that you can spend a fraction of what you'd pay for a Leica and still enjoy excellent astro binoculars. The Pentax DCF and PCF series comes to mind. For astromy use I'd recommend 10X50s instead of 8X50s if you can handle the higher magnification. Higher X and 5 mm exit pupil will give you a darker sky background and show a bit more detail. A 10X bino with 5.5 deg FOV will give you slightly wider 55 deg APFOV.

I regularly use an Oberwerk 12X60mm(US$109) without a tripod. But have been thinking about getting the more compact roof prism Pentax DCF SP in 12.5X50mm for traveling. The DCF SP is the top of the line Pentax. It's waterproof, fogproof, has phase coating and close focus to ~3 Meter. It's available in the USA for about $600. A 12X50 Lecia easliy cost twice that.

Erik D

PS. KJ, I did the same calculation but came up with slightly less: 52.8 deg APFOV for the 8X50 Leica. :-)

January 29, 2004 07:09 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Information on mount for BIG bino's

Posted By Erik Lin

Check the web site for their HD Red Oak Parallelogram mount. Price is $149. This is the lowest price parallelO mount I am aware of which can hold binos over 10 lbs. I checked out this mount at a scope show last year and it works well. You can easily spend twice that for a all metal mount.

Another option is the Bogen 501 fluid head. I have two of them and they work quite well with my ProOptics 25X100 binos(8.5 lbs). Street price ~$135.

Erik D

February 4, 2004 06:15 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Swarovski 8x50 slc brief impressions

Posted By Erik Lin

I am a bit surprised to learn Adorama is not an authorized Swarovski dealer. Adorama usually have very competitive price on binoculars....Sometimes I see prices that are unusually low but these have notes stating they are grey market products without lifetime warranty. I see no mention of this fact with any Swarovski products on the Adorma weg site. It's a good idea to verify this before making a purchase. If I am spending $1,200 or more for a pair of binos I want to make sure it comes with life time warranty.

I paid $189 for a pair of Pentax 8X28 DCF MPs from Adorama recentrly. It's the lowest price I can find anywhere and they ARE coverd by the Pentax USA liftime warranty. I guess Adorama is authorized reseller of Pentax binos at least.

Erik D

February 10, 2004 11:21 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade 152ED on an Orion Mount

Posted By Erik Lin

There was a guy using the Orion Atlas mount at the 2003 NEAF show last year. He had an older AP 6 in/F9 Starfire(?) for solar observation and seemed happy with it. Several reveiwers said it's fine for visual work. I found the EP location too low for my liking when the OTA is near zenith. I do most of my observation standing and I am much happier with a Quickset Hercules tripod that can reach over 6 ft. The Hercules tripod alone cost ~$1,400 so buying used was my only option.

Erik D

February 15, 2004 08:20 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

most disliked scope?

Posted By Erik Lin

My worst scope is the the opposite of the 7" Mead size-wise...a 20X40 Tasco spotting scope with 45 deg EP. I bought it for ~$59 thinking it will make a extra compact spotter. Reminds me of looking thru the bottem of a unwashed milk bottle when it's in focus. The optional 15X "wide angle" EP had the wrong thread so it could not be screwed in all the way. I kept it to remind me not to shop for optics below a certain price point....unless others have tried it and posted favorable reviews.

Erik D

February 21, 2004 11:28 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

RE: Oberwerk 22x100’s

Posted By Erik Lin


I purchased the Orion 20X80 in Nov,2001. Got hooked on giant bino astronomy and have since added the ProOptics 25X100( Mar 2002) and Burgess 20X80 LW(Feb 2003). I borrwed my friends Oberwerk 22X100 for a week for a side-by-side with my 25X100 and I liked the Oberwerks better. This is what I found:

1. Oberwerk 22X100 has much better eye relief than my ProOptics 25X100.(18 vs. 10mm). Even though I do not need glasses I found the longer ER more comfortable. Less likely to fog.

2. Oberwerk 22X has wider 3.3 deg FOV vs 2.6 deg of ProOptics showing about ~60% more area.

3. Oberwerk 22X has better edge sharpness.

You may not consider the additional weight of 3+lbs from Orion 20X80 to Oberwerk 22X100 a big deal but if you put the two models next to each other there is a HUGE difference in Bulk. Orion 20X80 is 11.5 inch. Oberwerk ~17in. Furthermore, the balance point of the Oberwerk 22X100 is just 5 inches back from the front of the objective housing. This means EP end extends nearly a foot behind the mounting point. You will need a tall tripod AND a heavy duty fluid head(such as the Bogen 501) to mount the Oberwerk 22X.

The Oberwerk 22X100 price is less than 1/2 of what I paid for my ProOptics. I think it's a great value for anyone thinking of getting 100mm binos. However, I do NOT feel there is a BIG gain in limiting magnitude moving up from my 20X80s to my 25X100 from my mag 4.5 backyard. Perphas someone else who have both 80 and 100 mm binos can share their experience. I tend to use my Burgess 80mm LW a lot more often because it's much lighter(3.6 lb) and trimmer. I use the 25X100 on rare moonless clear nights when I want to reach a little deeper. I have the Oberwerk 12X60 also and I think the optics are very very good for the money. You may want to visit the Cloudynights Bino forum to seek more info on the Oberwerks.

Erik D

PS. I found the Oberwerk 22X100 did not have sufficient right diopter adjustment for my -4.0 right eye. I have 8 other pair of binos and I do not have the same problem with them.

March 10, 2004 12:13 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

false color in big Fujinons

Posted By Erik Lin


My own preference is for the 16X70. 7mm exit pupil would be wasted from my sub mag 5 backyard. I think Barry S and Edz have had both. Both prefer the 16X70 as well. I use my 20X80 LW every chance I get. CA is not really an issue for me since I use giant binos for DSOs, not planets or 1st mag stars. I also prefer CF binos instead of IF. Have not felt the need to upgrade to the Fuji 16X70s yet. Since I already have 25X100s my next pair will probably be something bigger. 120mm and up.

If $$$$ is not an issue I think the 82mm Highlander Flourite is said to have the best optics. Markus Ludes of APM judge them superior to the Nikon 20X120, Fuji 25X150 and the Miyauchi jumbos.

The Zeiss 15X60 BGA/t received top ratings from Phil Harrington in his April 2003 Astronomy review article. Fuji 16X70s were a very close second and the Nikon 18X70 Astrolux 3rd. Tak 22X60 was not reviewed in that article but received excellent reviews elsewhere.

Erik D

June 1, 2004 10:33 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Ball heads anyone?

Posted By Erik Lin

I have seen the Bogen grip action heads at scope shows but did not get one because of the rated 5.5 lb load limit.

I have two Bogen 3128 fluid heads rated for 8.8 lb load but find that they work bettwer with about 1/2 the load. Bought the 501 head about 2.5 years ago and liked it so much I purchased a second one a year later. I really like the adjustable tension feature of the 501 head. Works great with my 5.5 lb 20X80 bino and 8.5 lb 25X100. Street price is ~$135. I'd recommend getting a 2nd pan handle and addtional QR plate. I've spent plenty on many lower cost tripods and decided to get the good ones from now on.

Erik D

October 20, 2004 05:03 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

What mount do you use?

Posted By Erik Lin

I use a Bogen 3221 WN tripod with 3433(501) fluid head. The head is rated for 13.2 lbs and so is the tripod. This combo can reach about 6.5 ft. Center column travel is ~17 in. I also have the Bogen 3246 tripod with the same fluid head that can reach over 7.5 ft. The tripod is rated for 26ls.

The 501 fluid head has adjustable tension knob to match the wt of my binos. Works great with my 3.6lb 20X80 LW or 8.5 lb 25X100. Also tried it with my friend's Oberwerk 22X100.

I like using the fluid head instead of a ParrellO mount because the ease of(NO) set-up. Just grab the mounted binos, take off the lens caps and I am ready to observe.

My friend has the Universal Astronomics T mount light P mount for his 22X100. Last time we went observing together it took him 5-10 minutes to set up the mount, fit the counter wt and attach the binos in the dark. Took me ~ 1 minute to extend my tripod, slide on my 25X100 with attached QR plate to fluid head and I was ready. Nothing else the keep track of except to make sure I had the lens caps in my pocket....

A parallelO mount is very nice but your head position is the same as using a fluid head unless you are sitting in a reclining chair.

Erik D

October 22, 2004 07:29 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Need Help Please (No response? Did I do something to offend everyone?)

Posted By Erik Lin

Take a look at the "What mount do you use?" thread for suggestions on tripods and mounts. I have more than a dozen tripods.

My most used combo is the Bogen 3221WN tripod with 501 fluid head. You can buy the tripod, 501 head AND carrying bag for $324 in NYC. Max ht is ~75" with center column extended. Go with Bogen 3046/3246 tripod if your friend is a basketball player. 3046 tripod can reach 7.5 ft.

I like 20X80 giant binos for mounted observation. I think the Oberwerk 20X80 Standard model is one of the best value 80 mm bino today. $229.

You can also try binocular forum. There is a "best of" section and a "Mini-Review" section for 76 binoculars from 8X20 to 100mm.

Erik D