10x50 binoculars for astronomy?
how effective are 10x50's for astronomy purposes ?!
- digquicklyLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Well, ..., they're very effective. 10x50's are very versatile binoculars are great for astronomy and daytime observing as well. Read the write-up below for some suggestions on how to purchase a pair of binoculars.
--- Write Up ---
I've owned a pair of Bushnell 10X50 Powerview binoculars for the past 12+ years and I love them. I've used them for astronomy, as well as, terrestrial observing and they've always been great! They still work as well today as the day I received them as a gift 12+ years ago. I haven't tried the 20x50's but if they work for you then get them. Some things you should look for in binoculars are:
1) The image quality should be consistent from edge to edge, top to bottom, and throughout the field of view ... no 'coke bottle' effect.
2) Color rendition should be exactly the same as normal vision. So avoid binoculars with Ruby tinted objectives. The objectives should be tinted with a blue green multi-coating. If there is no multi-coating on the objectives do not buy the binoculars.
3) The Image should be correct both up and down and left and right. No inverted images
4) Items (1,2,3) above should remain true through (once focused) zoom.
5) Items (1,2,3) should remain in focus through zoom in and zoom out operations.
6) The binoculars should pass the 'cable test' through zoom in and zoom out operations.
Cable test - find both thin vertical and horizontal cables with binoculars. As you observe the cables in up and down, and side to side, transitions from sides to side and up and down. The cables should display no chromatic distortion (red, yellow, green, or blue) on either side of the cables.
7) They should be comfortable to use and hold not bulky or difficult to handle. Anything beyond 50mm on objective size begin to be difficult to handle which is why 10x50, 16x50, and or 20x50's are great general purpose binoculars. This is of course a purchase decision you must make for yourself.
8) At least one or more oculars should be "focusable"
9) Both oculars should have comfortable cups for your eyes and the oculars should be at least 0.5" (1/2 inches) diameter (or better)
10) Focus both in and out and return to focus. The focus should "snap-in" and images in the feild of view should have a "crisp" or sharp image. No fuzzy images except for things very close. Far away items should be in focus. If you think of binoculars as being an extension of your eyes then that is how they should work.
11) The primary objectives should be free of any marring, bubbles or grit in the glass, and should be multi-coated (bluish green in color).
12) Turn the binoculars around and (with the lens caps off) look thought the main objectives to the oculars (you may need to focus slightly. The oculars should be free of any marring, bubbles or grit in the glass.
13) Don't buy the "straight barrel" (roof prism) type binoculars. By the traditional type (porro prism). The Porro Prism type binoculars are optically better performers.
14) Generally, any set of binoculars over 50mm (in objective size) are usually too heavy for the average person to hold steady (unless your Arnold), so, you will most likely need a Trapezoid, Tripod, or Monopole to hold them steady. Of course for pure Astronomy work the larger the objective the better (70mm, 80mm, or larger). just bear in mind that you will need some type of mount to properly steady them ... so figure that cost into your purchase price as well.
BTW, If your binoculars fail any of these tests don't buy them or return them immediately. BTW, Wal*Mart sells the Bushnell 10X50's for $34.95 and the Bushnell 20x50's can be found on Amazon for $52.95 which is a great deal.Source(s): 12+ years owning and operation Bushnell 10x50 Powerview Binoculars http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nikon-12-x-50mm-Action-B... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bushnell-12-x-50mm-Power... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bushnell-PowerView-10-x-... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bushnell-H2O-10-x-42mm-B... http://www.telescope.com/Binoculars/Waterproof-Bin... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-...
- ThomasLv 78 years ago
10x50 are probably the ideal specification for handheld astronomy use. They have as much aperture as most people can handle the weight of, and as much magnification as most people can hold reasonably steady.
I see some people are advocating 7x50s because they produce a brighter image. It's a little more complicated that that. Only extended sources will be dimmed by increased magnification. Stars, which are point sources, have their brightness depend only on aperture, so long as the magnification isn't excessive. Deep-sky-objects are extended sources, but importantly, so is the sky background! This means that more magnification lets you see fainter stars, and doesn't typically hurt DSO observing. There's a common school of thought that overall performance is best measured by magnification times aperture, and some people say magnification is even more important.
Besides the shakes, a drawback to increased magnification is reduced field of view, which makes it harder to find things. However in practice 7x50s tend to have the same field of view as their counterpart 10x50s.
Bear in mind that *ANY* decent quality binocular with aperture in the 40-50mm range (called "full size" or "standard size") will let you see many things in the sky that are invisible to the naked eye. The Milky Way starfields and the brightest open clusters are really spectacular. And on the flipside whatever binocular you get there'll always be those things you reckon you ought to be able to see but don't!
- HindusufiLv 78 years ago
I found 7x50 to work better. 7 is less magnification but at that level brightness is a more important factor. 10 will make stuff on the moon bigger but it makes other stuff dimmer then what you get with 7.
If you go with bigger binoculars it makes everything shake to much to be useful. Of course there are a variety of gadgets for holding binoculars stable, but if your going to spend money on that, why not go with a 70 mm telescope?
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- JohnLv 78 years ago
I have been happy with 7x50 binoculars. They are good for scanning the Milky Way and looking for nebula with a dark sky.
For planets you need a telescope to see much.
- JimbobLv 58 years ago
You will not be able to see any detail of any of the planets but you will be able to see the larger moons of Jupiter and Saturn. If you use them to scan the sky, you will see a lot more stars than you can see with no optical aid.
- Anonymous8 years ago
You can track planets see many more stars, but if you wanna see in detail buy a telescope. I would suggest Orion good prices and can always find good reviews via Youtube.
- Harley DriveLv 78 years ago
not effective at all , binoculars anyway have too much shake to use properly and the higher the magnification the worse they are to control plus most people have a dominant eye which makes looking at planets or stars difficult