Bill Cook, Chief Opticalman, USNR-Ret.
Mgr. Precision Instruments & Optics, Captain’s Nautical Supplies, Seattle
Freelance lens designer
Freelance optics writer
Subject: Amateur Astronomy
There's been very little email to the list in the past week. There are 140 of you out there, in maybe a dozen countries, and I will send out lists as fast as I get a half dozen emails. We focus this list on the history of binoculars, with a little attention to current developments.
There has been lots of action in several related fields. 'Binoviewers' for amateur telescopes are becoming more popular; there are over 10 models available now, priced from about $400 to $1400. They work very nicely, though are limited to higher powers (compared to the normal range of telescope eyepieces.) Commercial binocular telescopes for amateurs, twinned refractors or reflectors, are also becoming more popular.
There are several email lists on 'groups.yahoo.com' relating to amateur astronomy & binoculars / binoviewers. Or you can search the web for binoviewer makers or retailers: Baader / Astrophysics; Televue; Denkmeier; Siebert.
A few weeks ago, I emailed the address of a Japanese binocular star party: 'Binoculars and Telescopes Summit', 12-14 October, 2002, Misono, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. http://homepage2.nifty.com/bigbino/summit02/report/report_02-e.html
Here is an excerpt from a report from Italy:
31 Oct 2002 From: davide@___eccanica.it Subject: bino-starparty report.
Last week-end the 2nd edition of the Italian bino-starparty has taken place near Rome.... There were a Fujinon 25x150, the beautiful Baader Planetarium binoviewer, and many Astromeccanica’s binoscopes owned by different guys: Helios (150mm f/5), Takahashi FS102 (fluorite 102mm f/8), Borg 125ED (125mm f/6.7), Vixen ED114SS (114mm f/5.8), Intes Maksutov (150mm f/12). For deep-sky I concentrated on the Helios, Fujinon, and a Meade LX50 SC12”, while for planets observations I used Taka and
Intes maks (both a single MK67 with binoviewer and MK66 binoscope). Binoscoping in the Helios was an unforgettable experience: we used both 30mm widescan2 (25x with 82º AFOV) and Meade UWA6.7 (112x, again at 82º) with and without O3 interferential filters. Solar system observations were done in the Takahashi binoscope with Lanthanum 2.5mm (330x) and the Intes 150mm maks (used with many eyepieces, from 200x to 350x). Both an Astromeccanica Intes binoscope and a standard Intes instrument (alone or with Baader binoviewer) were used.
You can find some photos of the previous edition (and as soon as possible of the last one, I think) on the websites:
http://www.asam.da.ru (click on “binostarparty”)
http://www.astromeccanica.it (click on “about us” and/or the link in the popup window)
Davide Del Vento http://www.astromeccanica.it
Binocular List #255: 05 May 2003