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Posts Made By: Kimball Corson

April 3, 2003 09:41 PM Forum: Refractors

Posted By Kimball Corson


May 4, 2003 02:34 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Burgess 25x100 Delivery Time?

Posted By Kimball Corson

Does anyone know what the order to delivery times is on these binos these days. I have had several people ask, but I did not know.

Kimball Corson

May 8, 2003 09:04 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

A Reassessment: The Burgess 20x80 and 25x100

Posted By Kimball Corson

I had both of these binoculars out last night,
but took the Burgess 20x80 out first and spent
some significant time with it first under a
clear night sky before I brought out the
25x100. I brought the Burgess 25x100 out for
a renewed comparison. I used a T Mount Light
on the 20x80s and a Bogen 501 head for the
25x100, with Bogen 3046 tripods on both.
(I usually use the T Mount Light with the
25x100.) My relative assessments remain the
same. The 25x100 is noticeably sharper, does
have slightly better contrast, and clearly
affords a materially enhanced experience, by
offering a real porthole into space. However,
and the reason I write this, if I did not
have the 25x100 for a side by side comparison,
I could really like the 20x80 and think they
were more than satisfactory, just as if I had
the Fuji 50/150 out there too, I would
undoubtedly think my 25x100s were a bit
lacking. It is apples and oranges to a degree.

The 20x80 is really a terrific binoc for
what it is. Its focusing is very smooth.
It is light weight. It is sharp enough
and it has decent contrast. It is a great
bang per buck and is a very enjoyable
binocular in use. Also, it works terrifically
on the Universal Astronomics T Mount Light
mount, if the base screws are tightened down,
but then so does the 25x100s work great on
that mount, too. It is an excellent mount
and easily strong enough, and it is good
for either binocular. I like its compactness
and ease of carry assembled. I think it is
probably the most compact parallogram and
the best mount for both of these binoculars,
but that is why I bought it. The Burgess
20x80 and the T Mount Light and the Burgess
25x100 and the T Mount Light are both great
combinations and I highly recommend them,
but I am just strongly biased toward the
enhanced experience afforded by the 25x100s.
However, I do not wish to slight the 20x80s
because they too are very enjoyable,
especially if you do not have the Burgess
25x100s to compare them to.

Kimball Corson

May 8, 2003 03:33 PM Forum: Maksutovs

MN66 Mirrors' Reflectivity

Posted By Kimball Corson

A brief while ago, I posed the question
on another forum of what is the reflectiity
of the MN66 mirrors, 91-92%, as a few dealers
advertise, or 95-96%, as most world-wide
dealers state. I heard from many. After
studying the primary, getting feedback and
canvassing dealers world wide, the consensus
seems to be reflectivity on the MN66 is
95-96%. As a couple of dealers pieced it
together, Intes came out with the MN61 first
and used no baffling, Pyrex for the primary,
91-92 % coatings, a smaller tube diameter,
a heaverier tube assembly, and no vents in
the bottom. The scope was a big hit. Orion
even picked it up for distribution under its
own name. Subsequently, when Intes Micro
decided to produce a 6" Mak-Newt, as a
renegade spin off company from Intes, they
wanted to one-up the Intes MN61 and did so
by adding extensive baffling along the tube
and smaller baffling across from the eyepiece
holder, enlarging the tube diameter to allow
for all this new baffling, lightening the
tube assembly at the same time, using Sital
substrate for the primary mirror instead of
Pyrex, using Russian BK7 for the secondary
mirror, adding vents at the base of the
primary to accelerate cool down, etc.
Because of the upgraded and enhanced mirror
materials, coatings were also upgraded to
95-96% reflectivity on both mirrors and care
was taken to increase wavefront p.t.v. to
about 1/7.5 to 1/8 on average, although
1/6 is typically advertised, to be safe
and catch the ocassional Russian Q.C.
slippages. Thereafter, Intes reacted to the
MN66 by offering a Deluxe version of their
MN61 which, among other features, also
offers enhanced coatings with 95-96%
reflectivity and better wavefront figures
than the standard model MN61. Those are
presently the offerings in the world market
place from Intes and Intes Micro for a
6" F/6 Mak-Newt.

Kimball Corson


May 11, 2003 01:15 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

The Burgess 20x80: A Reassessment

Posted By Kimball Corson

I had both the Burgess 20x80 and the Burgess
25x100 binoculars out several nights ago,
but took the Burgess 20x80 out first and spent
some significant time with it first under a
clear night sky before I brought out the
25x100. I brought the Burgess 25x100 out for
a renewed comparison. I used a T Mount Light
on the 20x80s and a Bogen 501 head for the
25x100, with Bogen 3046 tripods on both.
(I usually use the T Mount Light with the
25x100.) My relative assessments remain the
same. The 25x100 is noticeably sharper, does
have slightly better contrast, and clearly
affords a materially enhanced experience, by
offering a real porthole into space. However,
and the reason I write this, if I did not
have the 25x100 for a side by side comparison,
I could really like the 20x80 and think they
were more than satisfactory, just as if I had
the Fuji 50/150 out there too, I would
undoubtedly think my 25x100s were a bit
lacking. It is apples and oranges to a degree.

The 20x80 is really a terrific binoc for
what it is. Its focusing is very smooth.
It is light weight. It is quite sharp enough
and it has decent contrast. It is a great
bang per buck and is a very enjoyable
binocular in use. I can also hand hold it,
but just barely --in any even, enough to
want to do it from time to time.Also, it
works terrifically on the Universal Astronomics
T Mount Light mount, if the base screws are
tightened down, but then so does the 25x100s
work great on that mount, too. It is an
excellent mount and easily strong enough,
and it is good for either binocular. I like
its compactness and ease of carry assembled.
I think it is probably the most compact
parallogram and the best mount for both of these binoculars, but that is why I bought it. The
Burgess 20x80 and the T Mount Light and the
Burgess 25x100 and the T Mount Light are both
great combinations and I highly recommend them,
but I am just strongly biased toward the
enhanced experience afforded by the 25x100s.
However, I do not wish to slight the 20x80s
because they too are very enjoyable,
especially if you do not have the Burgess
25x100s to compare them to.

Kimball Corson



February 22, 2003 01:31 PM Forum: TeleVue

Nagler 12mm T4 vs 13mm T6

Posted By Kimball Corson

I have not done a side by side comparision of them, but I have owned and extensively used both. The 12mm Nagler is a fine optic; however it has a bit of kidney beaning that makes it a bit less comfortable for me to use and that problem usually does not bother me. Contrast is really excellent, as is sharpness. The 13mm is much smaller, nice and light, very comfortable to look thru, but it does not have the really great contrast, but does have similar sharpness. Also, eye relief could be better on the 13mm but that does not bother me because I do not wear eyeglasses. I slightly favor the 13mm because of the comfort of its views and use. By the way, IMHO, I think the 16mm Nagler T5 is one of Al's very best eye pieces and I really love it. But I have and use both the 13mm and the 16mm regularly, so the 16mm does not eclipse the 13mm. If I had to choose between them, I would easily take the 16mm. I hope this helps.

Kimball Corson

Kimball Corson

April 3, 2003 09:42 PM Forum: Refractors

Posted By Kimball Corson

I dabbled too long in just telescopes before learning about and getting my first pair of big binoculars, a Burgess 25x100. (Little binoculars don't count, because they don't offer a comparable experience.) My 25x100 binocular was an eye opener, and an astronomical experience I believe I should have had much earlier, as an amateur astronomer. For once, I really saw the porthole into space Televue touts, but I never saw through my scopes and Naglers. Even then, however, I only bit on a big binocular because such big Chinese binoculars seemed to be so well built and perform so well, optically and mechanically, for what is really just a pittance. The low cost of Chinese labor makes these big binoculars almost a gift to Americans. Too many telescope aficionados are missing out on too much that can be for too little. Also, big binoculars are a much better way to learn the night sky for those just getting started and for intermediate astronomers as well. A high quality dob with a Zambuto mirror, such as a Portaball or the like, and the Oberwerk or Burgess 25x100 is all an amateur astronomer really needs in the normal course. Getting a light weight Oberwerk or Burgess 20x80 on a Bogen 3011 with a 3126 video head as well simply guilds the Lilly with great portability and adds grab n go facility, but with some compromise of images, of course.

The customized big Chinese binoculars offered by Bill Burgess of Burgess Optical (www.burgessoptical.com) and Kevin Busarow of BigBinoculars (www.bigbinoculars.com) are something ever reasonable amateur astronomer should look into. For the price of a used TeleVue Pronto (tube only), you can get a Burgess or Oberwerk 25x100, find a Bogen 3046 tripod, and get a suitable mount (T+T, Universal Astronomics or a Bogen 501 video head) and be so far ahead on the fun curve, it is unbelievable. The TV 101, Pronto and TV-85 I have owned never provided me with a comparable or as interesting an experience. I still have the TV-85, but its use is getting squeezed out by the big binoculars and my Portaball 8, and it is gathering dust.

My notion is you have to become an aficionado of the cheap big binoculars before you are ready to bite the financial bullet on the big expensive ones. Many more people need to get their feet wet in this quarter The cheaper Chinese big binoculars will satisfy most, but a few will eventually go for the better stuff, when and if they can. However, the cheap Chinese stuff is really of very decent quality, both optically and mechanically, and a wholloping bang per buck, something the field of astronomy sorely needs. So heads up, folks. If you don't know about these big binocular opportunities, you are really missing out on something terrific and fun. Forget your 10x42s. They are not even in the ball park. Try the big binoculars I describe. You won't regret it.



Kimball Corson

May 26, 2003 08:38 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

A Look Through Kimball's 25x100's

Posted By Kimball Corson

Thanks for the kind words, Milt. The 25x100 was mounted on a Bogen 501 video fluid head, which is conservatively rated at 13.5 pounds, more than enough for this 10 pound binocular. The mount, if not your neck, will let the binocular go fully vertical. It is great fun tracking satillites and such with the 501. I basically agree with Milt's assessment of the 25x100, in broad terms.

My real contention is that, for those that do not own a binocular which can provide a seriously better viewing experience (e.g., the Fujis), this binocular is not to be missed or foregone at $300. At that price, it provides too much to be passed by, especially if you have a decent heavier duty tripod lying around. The Bogen 501 can be bought new for $130 or so.

The wide field, two-eyed views are also, as Milt suggests, great relief for prolonged narrow-field, single-eyed telescopic work. The 25x100s also can work, not so much as a 'guide scope,' per se, but what I would call a "suggestion scope." When you find something, looking thru the 25x100, that is interesting, you can revert to your telescope to more pointedly track it down. The combination is nice.

The 25x100 usually draws a crowd sometime during an evening, with many walking away mumbling about how they are going to scrounge up the $300 near term, to get their order in. The 25x100 meets the slogan of "awesome, cheap" quite well. I just wish more people that can afford the 25x100 knew about and had the binocular to enjoy as much as I do.


Kimball Corson

May 28, 2003 11:10 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

10x50 Binoc. Swarovski vs. Leica

Posted By Kimball Corson

I have owned the Leica 10x50 and have compared it directly to the SW 10x50. My recollection is both were a tad dark for 50s. The Leica had better and more neutral color. The Swarovski had an ever so slight amber/green tint in daylight, but not under more color neutral artificial lighting, e.g., theater, ballet and symphony lighting. The Swarovski was sharper to the edge than the Leica and had a more relaxed and luxurious view. Both are heavy. Because of the weight of the SW 10x50, I bought the SW 15x56 instead, after selling the Leica 10x50. The 15x56 is not that much heavier and it is brighter and more powerful. Neither of the 10x50s is much short of excellent, but both feel heavier than they should or I would like, given their power. By contrast, in the weight department, the Zeiss 10x40 BT*G Classic weighs only 28 oz and is very bright, but is too light. All things considered, if I were to choose between the two 10x50s, I would take the Swarovski because of the oh so comfortable views.

May 30, 2004 11:19 AM Forum: Polls

Best President Since WWII BEGAN

Posted By Kimball Corson

Johnson was smart and politically very capble. He got more useful legislation through congress than anyone since Roosevelt. Listening to McNamara is what tarnished his legacy.

Kimball Corson