Garrett Optical - 100mm F5.3 45š Binocular Telescope
My new toy arrived in a huge box after being backordered for nearly a month due to high demand in February 2009. Packed neatly in the carton was a nice aluminum hard case, and when opened there it was, the largest pair of binoculars I have ever perŽsonally seen.
Weighing in at 13 pounds, with (2) 100mm semi-APO lenses, 2 sets of removable eyepieces that are threaded for filters, (23mm and 13mm which is 23x and 41x) 45 degree individual helical focusers, and retractable dew shields. This was a binocular that I hoped would work on my Orion Parallelogram mount.
It soon became apparent that my Orion Parallelogram mount was not suitable for this mini beast, so I had to break down and buy a fork mount and tripod to handle this binocular. I experimented with a home brew wood mount and tripod, which actually worked, but it was not as stable as I wanted and it was definitely not very portaŽble for transport and storage.
I did have some focuser O-Ring problems that prevented eyepiece centering and merging of objects at higher powŽers, I have since resolved this issue. So why buy someŽthing like this? I really liked the idea of using your own 1 1/4 " eyepieces, using nebula filters for viewing objects and the Milky Way, great wide field views, decent aperture, portability for those cold winter nights, and most of all starting to observe objects I never looked at in my 13" F 4.5 dobsonian.
To be honest, open star clusters never really did anything for me...until now! I was awestruck looking at the Double Cluster...holy cow, is that what I have been missing? I looked at the Orion Nebula with Nebula filters in each eyepiece...wow...very cool! I can't wait for more com-ets to arrive, Sagittarius, the summer Milky Way, M31 and M33, and the Moon.....the list goes on and on. There is a small amount of 3D that shows on objects when using 2 eyes. Objects do seem to float in space.
The binocular is a bit tricky to use if multiple observers are present. You have to adjust the inter-ocular distance and focus each eyepiece separately for every individual that observes. There is also some Chromatic Aberration (CA) with the lenses which add shades of yellows, blues, and purple to the edges of brighter objects. Don't expect this binocular to be a planet killer, Saturn at 41x is tiny, Venus is small also with CA colors.
I have to get my Red Dot Finder mounted and start the star hop search for Messier and NGC objects. I dream of finding Exo-Planets that the Hubble Space Telescope might have missed.....Published in the May 2009 issue of the NightTimes