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going from binocs to telescope

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

going from binocs to telescope

Postby hawk1 on Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:50 pm

I currently use a Nikon AE 10x50 binocular to view stars and some Messier objects and I'd like to complement that with a telescope. The binoculars give a great viewing experience but they are a little heavy, so it's hard to get much beyond a glimpse. I realize that I could mount them on a tripod but I'm wondering if there is anything in the telescope category would have similar power and optical clarity at an affordable price. Any thoughts?

Thanks
hawk1
 

Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby PhilR. on Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:41 pm

hawk1 wrote:I'm wondering if there is anything in the telescope category would have similar power and optical clarity at an affordable price.



I've not ever seen a true telescope that goes down to just 10x. There is a small Celestron that goes down to 15x, but that is 50% more power than what you are aking for. Perhaps a spotting scope that uses 1.25" eyepieces might work, if you can get an eyepiece that works out to 10x.

IMNSHO, you should re-think your desire. Viewing with two eyes open is much easier than viewing with one. If you truely want something similar in power to your 10x binos, then you should stay with a 10x set of binos and get something with large objective lenses and mount it on a tripod. Otherwise, you should think about going up in power, and getting a starter telescope. Be aware however that you will be looking at power ranges anywhere from half-again as much to many times more power than what you already have.
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Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:09 am

if you want to mount the Nikons on a tripod, simply buy a tripod adapter, such as the Nikon 8177 and any conventional photo tripod, such as the Nikon 848.

PhilR is right - going to a telescope is a much different animal, altogether, and one you should research a bit. A great way to learn more on the basics of choosing a telescope is to first read my article, Telescope First Questions This gets you started with the two most important decisions to make, right away. Then narrow your choice down even more with my article How to choose the right telescopes This discusses the pros and cons of each telescope design.

Since telescope eyepieces are the most important accessory for any telescope, you may also wish to do more reading with my article, Ten Top Telescope Eyepiece Questions
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Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby hawk1 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:12 pm

Yes, thank you both.

I read the suggested articles, now, let me come at the question a different way. If, as PhilR writes, I were to consider buying a starter telescope and "going up in power", how do I make the comparison between what I get with the binoculars v. a telescope? Am I to consider the binocular's objective lens v. the telescope's lens or mirror? Where do I fit the telescope eyepiece magnification into the equation?
hawk1
 

Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:43 pm

There is no magic number or threshold when it comes to a number for magnification, but you cannot make one product do both jobs. Different tools for different jobs. There is even a difference between handheld astronomy binoculars and those mounted on a tripod. Binocular astronomy and telescope astronomy overlap to some extent and they can complement each other, but they are two different tools with different focus (sorry about the pun). For instance, no binocular, even a giant binocular, has enough magnification to seriously study planets. That kind of magnification is only available in telescopes. Even at 40x - extreme for an astronomy binocular - the rings of Saturn and the planet will be very small. If you want to split close double stars, no binocular will match up with a telescope, both in terms of magnification and aperture. If you want to see deep-sky objects, many are simply too small to be seen at binocular magnifications. On the other hand, a 10x50 is still the best tool for very wide open clusters and extended nebulae.

In other words, stop looking for one miracle product and add a telescope to what you already have.
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Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby PhilR. on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:50 pm

hawk1 wrote: If, as PhilR writes, I were to consider buying a starter telescope and "going up in power", how do I make the comparison between what I get with the binoculars v. a telescope?

Not sure what you mean -- it's hard to make a comparison between two greatly different things. Well, other than comparing them side by side. What you get with a telescope is more magnification. But, that comes with loss of field of view, loss of depth perception, and greater strain on the eyes (if it bothers you at all, and it may not).

Am I to consider the binocular's objective lens v. the telescope's lens or mirror?

Yes, you could compare the two. Greater objective lens diameter or mirror diameter means more light-gathering capability, which makes for better overall viewing. Of course this comes at the expense of, well.. added expense, and added weight/bulk.

Where do I fit the telescope eyepiece magnification into the equation?


Divide the eyepeice focal length number into the focal length of the telescope, and you will get the magnification number. IOW, a 10x eyepiece used on a telescope with a 400 focal length gives you a magnification of 40x.

hth,
PhilR.
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Re: going from binocs to telescope

Postby Jne_K on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:57 pm

Exactly

Since telescope eyepieces are the most important accessory for any telescope, you may also wish to do more reading with my article, Ten Top Telescope Eyepiece Questions
Thanks for posting with us
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