Author Topic: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?  (Read 1551 times)

ecidjapa

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« on: December 29, 2017, 01:25:53 AM »
Is it mostly for locating objects in the sky?

Can you see anything cool with binoculars that you really cannot see with the naked eye?

Sorry for such a noob question. I'm curious if I should buy some along with my first telescope.



Ray Gibas

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 05:58:47 PM »
My inexpensive 10x50 binocs are a plus in my light polluted skies, just to find whats there.

Good viewing,

Dave

inovilmei

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 09:51:41 PM »
Quote
Is it mostly for locating objects in the sky?

Can you see anything cool with binoculars that you really cannot see with the naked eye?

Sorry for such a noob question. I'm curious if I should buy some along with my first telescope.


Yes, you should have a good pair of binoculars, both for helping find things and for showing them in the first place. They show a wider field at a lower power than your telescope will, and will provide very pleasing views of things like the Milky Way, larger open clusters, and other objects that are of a relatively large angular size in the sky. I would recommend a high quality pair of 10x50 binoculars with about a five degree field of view, which can probably be purchased for between $100 and $250. Clear skies to you.

hoidingsikva

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 11:33:35 PM »
I use mine to help locate objects in my light polluted sky. Just last night I took them out with my pocket star atlas and mapped out my next observing session. It sames me a lot of time when I know where going and what stars to look for when I'm trying to find somthing. Also some items show up better in binoculars so they come in handy that way as well.

migresinli

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 01:44:11 PM »
I have two pairs of binos, Skymaster 15 x 70 and 8 x 56. They go with me each and every time I go out of town to dark site.

The 8x 56 skymaster fully multicoated waterproof binos are a ridiculously good deal. Optics are much sharper than the skymaster 15x 70 and the stability of holding them is much better.

Even when the weather grey they get pulled out and be used.

Chad Fithian

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 12:19:55 PM »
Quote
Is it mostly for locating objects in the sky?

Can you see anything cool with binoculars that you really cannot see with the naked eye?

Sorry for such a noob question. I'm curious if I should buy some along with my first telescope.


You can definitely see things with binoculars that you can't see with the naked eye. Personally, I've seen at least 50 of the Messier objects with my binoculars. Granted, they look better in the telescope. But still, it's fun seeing them in the context of a wider field, especially those near the Milky Way. For a beginner, binos are also very helpful for learning the sky

Michael Shen

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 05:15:42 PM »
Some people don't take to binoculars. Some are completely blind in one eye, or have odd vision in one eye, such that correcting with binoculars causes problems for the viewer. I'm one of the latter, and have always been bothered by the "demand" to "get thee to a pair of binoculars". That's not a nunnery I care to visit. Actually, I cannot, very easily. Human vision is complex, and although I understand the general gist, one size does not fit all. A monocular for me? Nah, skipped that and it's worked out fine for me.

I bought an Orion ShortTube 80 many years ago (and sold it many years ago, too -- replaced by an 80mm ED scope). But the ST80 with the supplied 25mm plossl produces more than a 3 degree field, and on the EQ-1 is still about 100 times more stable than anybody's pair of binoculars in this price range. BTW, the Meade Infinity 80AZ telescope with mount can be had for $160, the 90mm for $185 & the 102mm for $230, so one can jump in to the wonderful world of wide field telescopes, with a very stable mount setup relative to most hand-held binoculars, without spending a lot of money.

One size does not fit all. If binoculars don't sit well for you visually, I guarantee you can still do astronomy and learn the sky pretty well without them. I have. And it's never been cheaper than now.

tevezito

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 04:35:18 PM »
All of the above, plus, good luck taking a telescope whale-watching!

ringnasingsimb

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 11:50:54 AM »
Quote
Is it mostly for locating objects in the sky?

Can you see anything cool with binoculars that you really cannot see with the naked eye?

Sorry for such a noob question. I'm curious if I should buy some along with my first telescope.

1. No, unless you want them to be for that mostly. Some prefer two-eyed views at low power for viewing objects too big to fit in the view of a lot of telescopes. Some just prefer viewing with two eyes even at higher powers.
2. Yes, you have magnification plus still have a large exit pupil. Particularly useful in cutting through light pollution to view large objects. Viewing objects in context of surrounding space, viewing multiple objects at the same time. When at a dark site, they offer some very rewarding richfield/widefield viewing in my opinion.

There are hand held binoculars at low powers from 4x to 10x or even some comfortable with 12x and quick looks with 15x
There are handheld up to 20x with image stabilization.
There are greater magnification, larger aperture for mounted use
There are binocular telescopes with straight through or 45° or even 90° oculars and some that take the same eyepieces as telescopes and are interchangeable
There are binoscopes that offer two-eyed views with similar magnification capabilities of telescopes as they are two telescopes aligned with special adjustable focus mechanisms to achieve proper merging for two-eyed views
There are binoviewers that allow the use of two eyes with a single telescope that split the light and deliver to each eye

Should you buy some along with your first telescope? I think so. It might help locate things having correct orientation and a wider view.

There is a binocular forum with a lot of information about binoculars, reviews, comparisons of models, benefit of using, etc. Might take a look there and read about some useful models to go with your telescope.

Good luck.

Cameron Artist

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 01:13:57 PM »
Telescopes and binoculars are just two ways of expanding what your eyes can see in the sky. They both have advantages and disadvantages. You can definitely see more with binoculars than you can with the naked eye. And it's a lot easier to step outside with a pair of binoculars than to set up a scope. Or to take them with you and use them on vacation in darker skies than you have at home. I'd venture to say most amateur astronomers have and use both.

I don't know what telescope you're buying, or what you budget is. But you can get a decent pair of binoculars for $50-100. Or just use what you have.

You might enjoy this book.

http://www.amazon.co...RPHABX5Z0PA586B

Rahul Sanders

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 05:42:51 AM »
Binoculars are nice to have for scanning the sky and get a bigger picture with two eyes. Those also come in handy for asterisms, planetary conjunctions, lunar eclipses and my favorite activity of bird watching etc..

It definitely does not hurt to own a pair. Try to stick with something lightweight and low magnification (7X-10X). My favorite is 7X35. Also get a zero gravity chair that will allow you to recline close to 180 degree and not bend your neck.

retpoiwerround

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 07:33:10 PM »
I am pretty new at this. Started in May.

Best advice I received on this forum was to start with binoculars, 7X50 or 10X50 were usually recommended but anything over 40 is good.

50 mm binoculars gather about 50 times more light than your eyes can gather alone.70 mm binoculars can gather 100 times more light than your eyes alone. That means you can see a LOT more with binoculars, especially in light polluted locations.  I have very few stars in my sky but when I use the 10X50s ($25) I can see a LOT more stars.

Binoculars are quick to use. Some nights I just pull out the binoculars for 10 minutes, enjoy the view then turn in.  No way I would set up a telescope for that.

Binoculars come with me when I am traveling. Toss 'em in the car or in my luggage. Small and convenient.

Binoculars can be used for other things.  Birds, boats, .... daytime stuff that you would never view with your telescope.
I have added 15X70s recently.  My binoculars probably get as much sky time asall of my telescopes combined.

There are books and websites all about binocular astronomy.  You dont' need a telescope to enjoy the sky.

Finally, there are some things that just look great in binoculars. The Pleiades look fantastic in my binoculars. That two eye, stereo vision view really adds to the view.

knigabretta

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 05:59:55 AM »
Quote
Is it mostly for locating objects in the sky?
That's certainly one important use for binoculars, but it's not among my half dozen main reasons.<p class="citation">QuoteCan you see anything cool with binoculars that you really cannot see with the naked eye?[/quote]You bet -- tons! One look at the Pleiades or Beehive Cluster through binoculars is well worth the price of admission. To the unaided eye, under dark or good suburban skies, the Beehive is a handsome little cloud of light. Through binoculars it's an amazing swarm of stars.The Cygnus Star Cloud and M24 are also totally overwhelming through binoculars. And the list goes on ...Astronomy aside, binoculars are well worth owning just for daytime use -- birds, scenery, sporting events, and concerts.<p class="citation">QuoteSorry for such a noob question. I'm curious if I should buy some along with my first telescope.[/quote]It's certainly not essential. But binoculars are so cheap and so versatile that it's hard to imagine anybody regretting the purchase.Frankly, I'm amazed that there's anybody in the industrialized world who doesn't own at least one pair. To me, binoculars are almost as essential as my Swiss Army knife or my car.

handvestlazo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 11:48:46 PM »
I've had a nice telescope for many years, but I LOVE binoculars. You can run out with them at a moment's notice, no set up time, and barrelhouse around the sky looking at many different objects. I go out with my wide field 7x35's for a few minutes most every clear night. If it's a good night and I'm in the mood, I might run back in and grab my 20x80's or my 11x80's. If I'm in a "historical mood," I might go out with an opera glass. At the risk of speaking in generalities, every amateur stargazer should have a pair of binoculars. Just the view of the Pleiades or the Orion Nebula or the Andromeda Galaxy is reason enough for having a pair of binoculars.
 Marty

Adam Watkins

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Why are binoculars so important if you already have a telescope?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 08:42:08 AM »
Quote
Some people don't take to binoculars. Some are completely blind in one eye, or have odd vision in one eye, such that correcting with binoculars causes problems for the viewer. I'm one of the latter, and have always been bothered by the "demand" to "get thee to a pair of binoculars". That's not a nunnery I care to visit.
My wife has one severely defective eye, and has considerable trouble merging the images in binoculars. Despite that, she's a wild binocular enthusiast. When she has trouble merging images, she simply closes one eye.For me, using two eyes is at best a fairly minor benefit of binoculars. I prefer binoculars to monoculars, but not by a huge margin. The market for binoculars is much bigger than that for monoculars, so you get more for your money with binoculars. Also, they're easier to hold.What matters to me is that they're so compact and light that you can take them anywhere, can be used hand-held with zero setup time, and can be pointed anywhere in the sky (or on Earth) in an instant.All of these are side-effects of the fact that they have low magnification and very wide fields of view.