Is there a noticable difference......

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Is there a noticable difference......
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 06, 2006 10:07 AM

I have recently received a pair of Meade Travel 8x42 Porro Prism bino's.

They are Multicoated and have BK-7 glass, appossed to BaK-4.

I know that Porro prisms are optimal for astronomy and mulitcoated lens' are a good feature, although not fully multicoated.

My question is with the glass quality. Is there a big difference between BaK-4 and BK-7 when using a pair of binos for stargazing? I assume the better quality allows more light to pass thru, which will provide sharper images, but at 8x is the difference enough to justify trading these in and upgrading to a set with BaK-4?

Thanks!!

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Posted by chipdatajeffB on Monday, November 06, 2006 2:24 PM

I doubt you would notice the difference visually, unless you also moved up in aperture.

You would  be better off moving up to 10x50 or larger. You would certainly  notice the difference visually between 8x42 and 10x50.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 06, 2006 3:05 PM

Thanks for the reply. I was reading that 10x50 are the most ideal for non-mounted astro binos, but figured I wouldn't lose too much with a 8x42 mag\apeture.

Is the difference that between the two so drastic that I wont see much in my 8x42s, or do you think in clear, dark skies I should still be able to view some DSO's?

 

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Posted by chipdatajeffB on Monday, November 06, 2006 3:15 PM

Sure, you can use the 8x42s and the  views will depend on the DSOs. You won't likely see M81/82 in them, but  you certainly can see M31 and probably  even  NGC 253. "See"  does not necessarily mean you'll distinguish any  detail other   than their shape.

2X and  8mm aperture difference are  not much.

But what  I  meant was that in comparison to the difference between 8x42 BAK-4  versus BAK-7, you will see a lot more difference between 8x42 anything and 10x50 anything -- even  nonastronomical sporting binos.

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 06, 2006 3:32 PM

I see what you are saying now. Thanks for clarifying. I will probably look to "trade up" and get something with a BAK-4 glass, and a bigger mag\apeture.

Thanks for your feedback!!

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 12, 2006 12:15 AM

More important than BaK-4 prisms is to get fully multicoated optics.  (The extra word "broadband" doesn't add any benefit -- it's just somewhat more descriptive of the coatings but sounds a lot more impressive.  In fact to my knowledge there is no such thing as "narrow-band" coated binoculars.) 

You will definitely notice an improvement if you go to 10x50.  That's 25 percent more magnification and 40 percent more light-gathering than 8x42!

One method of estimating binocular performance is to multiply magnification times objective size.  The change from 8x42 to 10x50 is 500/336 -- a 50 percent upgrade (using that performance measure).

If you go from multicoated to fully multicoated, that will improve your view even more.

A few months ago I got a 12x60, which I can handhold pretty well even though it's 44 oz.  That's a more than 100% step up from 8x42.  I like the 12x60 a lot, even though it violates the important "fully multicoated" rule.  (I do get very visible reflections from the Moon and bright planets.)

Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA

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Posted by Genesis 1:1 on Monday, November 13, 2006 2:52 PM
The main difference between BK-7 & BAK-4 is the glass density or refractive index. The BAK-4 is the finer glass/higher density & eliminates internal light scattering & produces sharper images.
The BK-7 loses some of the light that strikes near the near the edges of the prisms.

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Posted by carbonunit on Monday, November 13, 2006 4:25 PM
genesis, i agree with you and have did a side by side comparison between  my old bak7 10x50 bushnells and bak 4 nikons.As for daylight performance, it is obvious my 8x42 nikon monarchs are sharpest and the brightest  i own.. My 7x50 action nikon are exceptionally bright and produce less haze(light reflection) than my ex 12x50snikons but all the bak4s outperform the bak 7 glass. However, I am not going to say bak7 is inferior to all bak4 as one manufacturer to another, it all comes down to quality assurance,warranties and the performance of the manufacturers advertised specifications.As for Nikon made now in china and no more japan, I am going to sendback under warranty of service these 12x50s  nikon extremes just to see if nikon stands behind its products.  because looking through these things, there is obviously a distinct ring of haze, like a fuzzy cloud of reflective light when viewing on sunny days. At twilight this is not a problem but this aberation is unacceptable during day use and must be brought to the attention of Nikon. I should hope they remedy this poorly manufactured set of binoculars for what it is worth.
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Posted by Genesis 1:1 on Monday, November 13, 2006 5:23 PM
The fuzzy cloud of reflective light, as you refer to it, unfortunately is a by-product of the LESS expensive opics &/or coatings. I see it in my Pentax PCF WP II 20x60, I saw it in my Nikon Action 16x50, & I see it in my Garrett Optical Gemini 20x80LW's, at certain light angles during the day.

I am sure all the manufacturers are aware of it & there is nothing they can do to eliminate it, in the lower priced binoculars.

As you already have noticed, there is less haze being produced by your 7x50's, so, greater magnification also contribues to this problem, in the less expensive binoculars.
I believe that it is also a lack of effective internal baffling, in some instances.

The old saying, You get what you pay for, still applies.

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Posted by carbonunit on Monday, November 13, 2006 5:41 PM
I agree with you once again genesis. I also called 17th st. photo and explained my disatifaction with the ex nikon 12x50s i traded in for the pentax wp to a sales rep and he admitted the nikon lower end binos all have this  poorly manufactured glass.He did say the best of the lower end available at their shop  were the pentax. I am not sure now i want to risk waisting more money shipping these back under warranty.. Nikon will probably not remedy the problem afterall. As I  see it now,  I have learned a valuable lesson about special features in optics and that from now on, i will only be in the market for FMC optics from a reputable company. 
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Posted by Genesis 1:1 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:09 PM
Just keep in mind that my Garrett Optical Gemini 20x80LW's are FMC! However, I would not give them up just because of the occasional haze problem. My only real sorrow is the lack of close focus, but, I have other binoculars that I can use for close focus situations.

There are no perfect binoculars, especially in the price range that I usually find myself shopping. Still, my binoculars have given me hours of fun & excitement.
Binoculars are like shoes, rarely is there just one pair that can do all things, under all circumstances & under all conditions.

When I was a kid I had several different knives for several different tasks. Sometimes I bought a new one just because of the pleasure it gave, & because it added variety to my collection.

I feel the same way about my binoculars.

Perhaps one day I will be able to afford the best binocular on the market. Until then, I will keep on enjoying the ones I have.

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Posted by carbonunit on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:41 PM
I would like to remind all that i am very greatful and honored to be part of this discussion board. Most importantly, i appreciate the aquired knowledge thus far. These small imperfections we discuss in our observatory equipment is indeed helpful to pass on to all. I enjoy all my equipment i aquired thus far for astronomy.I'm especially delighted to learn we all share alot the same thoughts, suggestions and experiences with these instruments especially knowing all these percession optics are always getting better. From reading reviews and forums "cloudy night" it is said there is not one binocular that is without some  % of  imperfection and just like a bag of golf clubs, each one is made to perform and execute best a certain distance (specification).. No matter how much you decide to spend or which brand you decide to own none are100%.Heck not even that hubble mirror is without a flaw!!!! lol, I just thank my lucky stars when i do have time and the priviledge of experiencing a perfect night for observing Gods creation in all its glory, i have that special gift of keeping in spirit and humbling myself before the lord almighty.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
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Posted by carbonunit on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:48 PM
lol, i was just finishing reviewing prior to sending ,  WOW, we pretty much were on the same wave spectrum ..pretty much admit the same thoughts in our posts.yes i did recieve your email and i am very interested yet i am not sure about over sending family home address over insecure gw internets
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Posted by carbonunit on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:03 PM
genesis, my garret gemini 15x70s lacks close focus compared with my 15x70 skymasters.I did this comparison during late summer at my campsite up in nys catskills. I use my 12x50s alot and monarchs for the hummingbird and bird feeders. I can tell you the 15x70 skymasters are better for close focus compared to the garrets. But i would not give up my garrets.. they simply are awesome especially looking at m31 m45  I am not to proud to admit i have not yet identified ngc7000 is it really obvious?.. i am here 15 miles outside of nyc in nnj suburbs..i rarely even bother to look through this light polluted area..I take weekends upstate new york at my brothers farm. in clear high elevations.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
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Posted by Genesis 1:1 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:24 PM
Cygnus (ngc7000) dominates the northern summer sky. I am in the western/central part of the country. I really can't say if I have seen it or not. My favorites in my neck of the woods are the Pleiades (M45) & Orion, especially the Orion Trapezium, as well as Cassiopeia.
This is my first year of binocular astronomy, although I've owned a couple of telescopes in the past.
My favorite planet is Saturn.

I do alot of long distant bird watching of water fowl & shorebirds. I recently received a Barska 30x80 X-Trail from my wife as a birthday gift. I am having tons of fun with it for astronomy & bird watching both.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 12:21 AM

 carbonunit wrote:

Edit

I am not to proud to admit i have not yet identified ngc7000 is it really obvious?.. i am here 15 miles outside of nyc in nnj suburbs..i rarely even bother to look through this light polluted area..I take weekends upstate new york at my brothers farm. in clear high elevations.

NGC 7000 (the  North America Nebula) is a fairly obvious binocular target from a dark site.

http://www.nightsky.at/Photo/Neb/NGC7000_WN.html

http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/NA_PEL.HTM

Dave Mitsky

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Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 6:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><table class="quoteOuterTable"><tr><td class="txt4"><img src="/ASY/CS/Themes/default/images/icon-quote.gif">&nbsp;<strong>Delphinus09 wrote:</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="quoteTable"><table width="100%"><tr><td width="100%" valign="top" class="txt4"><P>Thanks for the reply. I was reading that 10x50 are the most ideal for non-mounted astro binos, but figured I wouldn't lose too much with a 8x42 mag\apeture.</P>
<P>Is the difference that between the two so drastic that I wont see much in my 8x42s, or do you think in clear, dark skies I should still be able to view some DSO's? </P>
<P> </P></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have read some flattering reviews of the 9X60 Oberwerk or Garrett. I do not believe there is any difference between the two product lines. They both show the same specs. and appear identical. Anyone know this for certain? The 1X reduction in mag. would surely be overshadowed by the 10mm increase in aperture. You might check these out at the Garret and Oberwerk sites. If i recall correctly they are only around a 100 bucks.

www.bigbinoculars.com

www.garrettoptical.com
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Posted by carbonunit on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 7:29 PM
DaveMitsky, thank you for the links which helps explain to me why i easily overlooked ngc7000. I have not used my binos in weeks due to weather and stuck here under city polluted light.I simply find little interest for observation dso in the suburbs of nyc. I will wait till i get a good cloudless night upstate in the catskills.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
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Posted by carbonunit on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 7:56 PM

starramus, my 12x50 ex nikons are featured as: 12 power/wide angle/high idex bak4 lenes/ internal blackening/nitrogen purged and o ring seals/central focusing( i mean solid too, you could drop these i bet they wouldn't break) /rubber armor for all weather terrain /diopter control/ turn-and-slide rubber eyecups work nice. But the one important feature i overlooked before purchasing these were that they are multicoated lens and not fully multi coated lenes. If i could do it all over again,i'd buy the gemini fmc 9x60mm for about a 100 bucks rather 160.00 for nikon. These nikons still make a happy medium as handholdables for astonomy or fielding but from now on FMC for astronomy.I see the difference with my 15x70 garrets.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
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Posted by carbonunit on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 8:34 PM
genesis, i bet those 30x80s are a blast especially being lightweights, my 25x100 skymasters are as heavy as 10lbs, maybe handholdables for sasquawch,but i use a tripod. I only take them out when conditions are most favorable say for the moon craters or better yet newmoons. They reveal extraordinary  wonders of  otherwise hidden patterns of stars, clusters that lesser mags can not reach. Let me say this, i started in and out of astronomy a few yrs.ago with a celestron nexstar114 gt telescope and with a kitbox of filters and half dozen lenes.Now getting these binoculars, i find little time for the 4 inch telescope. I like my two eyes looking up , not squinting through some 6mm lens through a 4" shakey target.. in fact 6mm doesn't even work in a 4"scope!..lol, the best lens i found was the 35mm for this scope and still my 15x70s and 25x100s binoculars impress me with a much greater abundance of dso all with two eyes.   
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
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Posted by Genesis 1:1 on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:37 PM
Some day I would like to look thru a Barska 25x100 Cosmos binocular. They are only 8.13 lbs. (Nobody around here stocks any).

Don't you have any birds in NY that you can use your 25x100's on?

I know that telescopes do things that binoculars can not do, however, I never had as much fun with a t-scope as I do with my bino's. For me, using both eyes is much more fun & I enjoy the outstanding 3D image that only porro prisms can give.

I handhold all my light weight giant binoculars, that's part of the fun.
When it's time to get serious I use my Manfrotto tripod or Manfrotto self standing monopod.

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Posted by carbonunit on Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:20 PM
Genesis plenty of widlife, from inside the cabin looking out the gliding door off my brothers balcony upstate ny, i have many a time focused dozens of brilliant turkey ,sometimes 30 birds or more in the driveway. They trail up before hunting season sometimes with deer eating off the apple trees just beyond. I sip my coffee and peer out through the glider window using my orion paralellagram. I have to tell you these turkey during mating season are brilliant. They have unbelievable color patterns. What amazes me also about these birds are their awareness of me and yet take their time, and this they have my respect and i would never shoot them. They know i'm watching them and yet take there time because i don't hunt them. The gooblers with their long beards and weather tight feathers reveal this time of year hues of  an incredible  iridescentan orange, black,brown yellowish, purple and their neck and heads are chaulk blue and bright red. The two favorite binoculars to use at this range and all that is needed  to observe these awesome creatures are my 12x50s nikons and either15x70s on the tripod.Also we have american bald eagles, owls  living year round and  plenty of migratory birds.Aside from that, to give you just an idea how much wildlife I venture, I once rowed up to a blackbear while i was flat line trolling for trout in my rowboat in about 120 ft of water! lol...  I also seen in the past and this year osprey this  many times catching fish as well as those eagles and watching them eat them on branches. I could go on and on but i know you know i know you know i love nature and the great outdoors! lol
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

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