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Binoculars ?


Guest KAYCE
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Depends on whether you just want them for astronomy or not. A good pair of 10x50's is a start which is usable for both astro and terrestrial. Once you start going above about 10-12 magnification, they become hard to hold steady enough for astro and it's also a lot harder to find stuff in the sky There's quite a lot of astro orientated ones around 15x70 (eg https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-binoculars.html) which are quite good, but factor in a tripod as well. I use 3 pairs (as below), the old Zeiss ones that I aquired (linked below)

are the easiest and clearest, the Pentax https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pentax-binoculars/pentax-sp-20x60mm-wp-binoculars.html are reserved for tripod use but I find them very good. Also depends on whether you wear glasses as well, I do and that's one of the reasons the Pentax are good - they have a lot of eye relief and adjustment to allow use with or without glasses on.

 

Of course, a lot depends on your budget, but its best to steer clear of any ones that are sold as "special lens coatings" on - the lenses usually look red from the outside.

 

Alan

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  • 2 weeks later...

You won't see much on the planets with binoculars, except for really large tripod-mounted ones. I'm in a minority of one on this but I prefer to use a telescope if I'm going to use a tripod anyway. I'm big with steady hands, so can hold 15x70s quite steadily. I've never seen cloud belts on Jupiter, although I've seen them at 24x magnification with a small telescope. I did not see any detail on Mars with them at the favourable opposition in 2003.

 

So planetarily speaking that leaves Jupiter's Moons, the phases of Venus and (exceptionally) phases of Mercury. On the other hand, I've see much lunar detail, even in broad daylight and sunspots.

 

Binoculars are great, though, at viewing large, bright deep sky objects, such as the Orion Great Nebula and the Pleaides.

 

I would suggest 12x50s as a starter.

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