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APM120 ED 90 Binoculars

  • Keith g
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1 week 3 days ago #106544 by Keith g
Hi all, after some sound advice I had decided to bite the bullet and order the APM 120 ed 90 binoculars from telescope service in Germany, these arrived on Wednesday last after waiting a week for delivery. These areone of if not the best ED Apochromatic binos on the market at the moment. Each barrel is 120mm aperture operating at f5.5.On Thursday night I assembled my berlebach tripod and APM forkmount along with the binos which alone are 9.6kg, to get familiar with the set up. The tripod (berlebach 372) holds the APM 120's quite comfortably and movement in alt and az is very smooth. 
 
I got a short time with clear sky before the clouds rolled in and just had to try them out , using the supplied 18mm APM eyepieces I set my focus on the Orion nebula before it was overwhelmed by the clouds that were fast approaching. The view that greeted me was - well fantastic. The sense of depth of field was excellent, although my bortle 3 skies did help. These APM eyepieces give an Afov of 65degrees yielding a magnification of x36. Sharpness was precise with not even the smallest of reflections even on the brighter stars in the field.  The brightness of the nebulosity was very impressive especially to the west of the trapezium. What struck me was the sense of 3d while observing the various areas of dust clouds within the nebula itself, I could clearly see brighter areas entangled by wispy dust looking like they were locked in a close embrace. 
 
While building up my eyepiece collection is a work in progress, I did try both my televue 3-6mm zoom and 12mm type 4 nagler on M42 using just one part of the bino. The view with the zoom at 6mm was incredible, even as the hazy cirrus cloud was starting to approach Orion close by. The trapezium sparkled beautifully and the dust clouds were very dark set against the bright green like nebula shining from behind. I did not use any filters. 
 
I was disappointed with the 12mm type 4 nagler as it did not achieve focus, maybe someone can tell me why? Its all a learning curve for me. All in all, I had 20 minutes of observing joy before the clouds finally won out - I cannot wait to get them out again. Sorry for the short report but if you are pondering getting  these and your budget allows - then go for it ! I had been saving the pennies for some time !
 
I have attached some shots of my set up here, the 1st shot shows a Celestron C8 beside them for comparison, and one of them has a pair of 9x60mm binoculars on top just to show the sheer size of these babies B) B)
 
Keith..




If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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1 week 3 days ago #106545 by Kinch
WoW! :woohoo:

Best of luck with that set-up.....looks really interesting.
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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 2 days ago #106546 by flt158
Telescope Service are always excellent.
Many congratulations, Keith, on your recent purchase.
I am glad you got a Berlebach tripod as I have one too at the base of my apo.

Rumour has it we have clear skies coming over our way next week.

Aubrey.
Last Edit: 1 week 2 days ago by flt158.

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1 week 2 days ago #106547 by scfahy
Fabulous looking Binoculars. You might explain the benefits of a set of these Binoculars say over using a Set of Bino Viewers on a Standard Telescope. I use a par of Nikon Hand Held Binoculars for a Quick widefield view of the Sky in addition to my Celestron CPC 800
thank you.

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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 2 days ago #106548 by Keith g
Thanks Kinch, Yes Aubrey I hear clear frosty nights are coming early next week they can't come which enough B)
The berlebach tripod is very steady and the dampening down time is very low, about a second which is very acceptable.

Scfahy, As for the binoviewers I didn't go for them on a standard scope as these binoculars are not standard, reasons why?
1. The type of glass used in the objectives is Ohara fpl53, can't really say much more B)
2. These give a right side up view, always my personal preference, no more me having my head done in finding variable stars or anything else either mirror viewed or upside down
3. Introducing another element to the optical path will reduce the light transmission - ok just a small bit
4. 90 degree viewing angle which is very comfortable
5. Life is too short :-)

apm-telescopes-englisch.shopgate.com/item/333036353333

I am so happy I saved hard ! Now don't get me wrong this is really a top of the scale instrument, APM also offer a 120 semi apo and 100mm ed and semi apo also, depends on price and affordability of course

The view through these the other night was so good, I am seriously considering selling my William optics flt110 !!
My minister for finance will demand that I justify keeping both :-)

Back to weather watching for now

Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
Last Edit: 1 week 2 days ago by Keith g.
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1 week 2 days ago #106550 by johnomahony
Sweet !!

The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

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1 week 1 day ago #106551 by scfahy
Thanks Keith for explain the benefits of these impressive binoculars. You might bring them out some night at the Side Walk Sessions. Would love to have a look through them

thanks
Stephen

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1 week 1 day ago #106554 by lunartic
Yum! Yum!

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook

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1 week 23 hours ago #106555 by JohnONeill
Hi Keith,

Good luck with variable star observing with your new instrument. I can imagine they are excellent for it.

Curious how one eye compares with two eyes.

John

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2 days 18 hours ago #106574 by Keith g
Thanks guys i would love to share the views through these, i am aiming for the cosmos star party for starters. I have an observing report with these from tonight, i am like a kid in a sweet shop!

Visual update Saturday march 25. Well tonight my night sky was steady and clear with some passing high cirrus cloud but good clear skies in between. I was weather watching all day with great hope that i would finally get out - and i did smile.gif

I set up my rig and let the bino's cool down a little over the next 20 minutes, my sky transparency was very good! I really wanted to see what these 120ed bino's could do and boy did they not disappoint !! I wanted to look at a variety of objects such as nebulae, star clusters and galaxies using just my pair of 18mm standard 65 Afov eyepieces from APM.

My 1st target was the Orion nebula, and just like last week it was SO bright ! With all that dusty mottled details around the trapezium which was easily resolved, these were truly sparking diamonds in the sky.

I them moved to the crab nebula M1. At magnitude 8.4 this easily stood out against the dark background sky glowing relatively brightly with a little central condensation, very gray in appearance with a little mottled detail using averted vision. I'm sure that with a little more magnification this would look even a little better.

I then moved to cancer and set my sights on M67. This was a really pleasing view, with glistening condensed stars nearly the size of a full moon. M44 was even better, just WOW. The 120's delivered an outstanding view with so many bright beacons of clear and still light covering my entire field of view, wonderful. It was then i decided on a challenge, i set the 120's on a galaxy in lynx called NGC2683. This was a beautiful almost edge on spiral galaxy at magnitude 9.1 showing a ghostly glow of an island universe 31million light years away. It seemed a very lonely galaxy with just a few dim stars for company, but a really pleasing view.

Then on to M81 & M82 in Ursa major, wow just wow!! M81 clearly showed a little spiral detail with a very bright central core at magnitude 6.8. I was willing on a supernova to appear before my eyes these bino's simply excelled at showing this galaxy. As for its companion M82 just as good with lots of clearly seen mottled detail though a little dimmer at magnitude 8. I got that 3d sense just looking at this pair - what a view.

I then looked at at M51 the whirlpool galaxy, i can truly say this was outstanding even at just x37. Spiral structure was easily seen in my bortle 3 skies with a definite central bright core. NGC5195 was a great companion shiny with a little less intensity and size but both were majestic. I scanned the area close by and found NGC3077 close by, even at magnitude 9.9 this galaxy was easily seen. More of a challenge was NGC2976 shining at magnitude 10.1, was just a gray patch clearly seen against a darker background with little detail.

I wanted to see the leo triplet also, in short these were also outstanding although NGC3628 was a dim streak across the sky. Both M66 and M65 were quite bright with a little detail seen in terms of spiral structure. I can resist going back to these over and over again !

I also wanted to see just how the 120's performed for colour. I set my sights on mu Cephei the garnet star, what a beautiful orange colour, so intense and crisp. No flaring of false colour here - simply outstanding. I briefly randomly scanned nearby and found the variable star V619 Cephei at magnitude 6.5 or so what a beautiful orange star, with some any contrasting a blue stars in the field of view, this reinforced my view that these bino's are superb for rendering colour!

I can say that this is the best nights viewing that i have had in some time, i am very happy with my new purchase. The quality of these bino's are quite frankly outstanding. I can only imagine what these will deliver when I save for some more eyepieces, probably 13mm or 9mm. I will definitely be keeping these for some time and hope to have some great views with these for many years ahead!

Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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