View Full Version here: : Giving a talk on binoculars to my club

28-06-2012, 09:19 PM

Next month I'm giving a talk on cheap binoculars to my club. I have some years of experience in amateur Astronomy, cameras and optics, but I can go months without observing, am still learning the sky and certainly do not consider myself to be an expert on binoculars. The talk is mostly aimed at newcomers of which there have been a few lately. There are also some extremely experienced guys in my club, and I'm hoping they get something out of it too.

I was hoping some of you might be interested in looking over my slides and commenting. Constructive comments only please. (If I've said or done something stupid please tell me, but keep it civil). Not interested so much in opinions on my own opinions, which probably won't change, but on the factual side of the discussion and it's format.

If you do look please note that I intend to stop at slide 45. The rest is there for background. I will be skimming a lot. Most of it is there to stand on it's own for reference after the talk. I am aware I'm violating presentation rules by including too many points per slide and too many slides. Cutting a presentation down has never been my strong suit, and it doesn't help that I'm trying to be comprehensive.

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to comment.

Here are the slides:
http://www.progsoc.uts.edu.au/~sammy/astronomy/Adventures%20With%20Cheap%20Binocul ars%20In%20Suburban%20SkiesRev3.pdf

28-06-2012, 10:08 PM
In your bino objects section might want to include skymaps.com -they have a bino list
How long is the talk for? I would leave out the alignment bit , esp if you don't have pics of what your trying to explain.
Might I suggest you also mention you can pick up cheap Japanese made bind on bay for 20-30, they ate often better made than low end Chinese stuff , they can ave small eye lens & poor eye relief

28-06-2012, 10:15 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply Daniel (and quicker than I thought I'd get a response too)

The talk is for something between 40 mins and 1 hour.

On the collimation/alignment...I plan on actually pulling apart my broken cheap Dick Smith Digitors after the talk and pull of rubber to show collimation screws. I'll have some of my binocs on hand to show what I mean as well. But really my only point including that slide is to let people know they don't have to throw away binocs if they're badly collimated (which is what I had traditionally been told)

Do you happen to have a link to cheap Japanese binocs?

brian nordstrom
29-06-2012, 10:19 AM
:thumbsup: Very good Syouef , it will be a great talk .
Just one thing , hows about mentioning in the types of binos page , on 'roof prisim binos' as a con , these are usually much more expensive ? usually up to 4x more on comparable porro prisim models .
Apart from that mate it looks very comprehensive and not to long .
Well done ! .

29-06-2012, 01:50 PM
Thanks Brian I've made a note to add that con.

The Mekon
29-06-2012, 07:56 PM
perhaps you may like to mention focus type CF or IF.
I have always found IF are superior for astronomy, as once set to infinity they stay there! Also generally much more rugged construction. (I just bought a superb pair of Nikon 7x50IF on ebay for $24!)

Another item you may wish to cover is external galaxies that are easily visible in 7x50 binoculars. For southern (dark) skies I would rate these as Centaurus A, M87, NGC253.

29-06-2012, 08:06 PM
That's a very comprehensive talk. You may want to add in something about books that talk about binocular observing

Phil harringtons " the universe with binoculars"
Crossen's " binocular astronomy" the best book IMHO around
Gary Seroniks "binocular highlights"

And you might want to mention that some objects are heaps better in binos than telescopes.M45 for example

Oh and though you haven't tested them, and they are VERY expensive..IS binoculars are just fantastic. Of course they cost more than a low end Dob..but for those who believe two eyes are better than one......they are worth the money

29-06-2012, 09:50 PM
Thanks for your input.

I'll add a mention about internal focusing on the "more expensive binoculars" slide. I think you've been lucky to find any at $24!!! (I'll mention them alongside waterproofing and nitrogen purging)

I'll add a slide for objects I haven't created virtual views for, and include those 3 galaxies.

29-06-2012, 09:55 PM
I already have a line "See entire objects." on the "Why binoculars?" slide. I've added "E.g. M45 arguably better in binocs" to that line.

I'll create a separate page for book references. There are a couple of other books I can add, but only one of them I own. So I'll have to add a disclaimer.

29-06-2012, 10:45 PM
I've updated the slides at the address above with the suggestions given so far. Thanks guys.

The Mekon
30-06-2012, 07:15 AM

IF stands for individual focusing as opposed to CF centre focusing. Each eyepiece has its own dioptre adjust, with no focus wheel. Its the only way to go for proper "marine" binoculars that are fully waterproof. Coming from this background, I have found that this type is also the best for astronomy, having viewed the dark skies at sea for many years.

Your slide show is very well done and should be informative and enjoyable. Congratulations!

30-06-2012, 07:35 AM
Thank you...and that's interesting. I'm seeing references on the web to "internal" focusing too. I wonder if those references are just plain incorrect or if both are valid. (Having a background in computing I'm use to an abundance of confusing acronyms).

That information about viewing at sea isn't something I want to dismiss. It's gold. But I have to think how to incorporate into the talk (which is suppose to be addressing suburban skies). This stuff is way outside of my own experience too.

Is your experience in the Navy? Or commercial?

I think this is what I'll do:

–Don’t fog up internally (Nitrogen filled, waterproof)
•Internal focusing mechanism
•Some have individual focusing, not central

30-06-2012, 08:41 AM
Added pictures of binocular collimating screws
Added a warning about never looking at the sun with binocs

06-07-2012, 06:19 PM
Heavily revised with more feedback. Link modified (though old one still works)

http://www.progsoc.uts.edu.au/~sammy/astronomy/Adventures%20With%20Cheap%20Binocul ars%20In%20Suburban%20Skies.pdf

18-07-2012, 11:06 PM
I gave my talk at the Western Sydney Amateur Astronomy Group (WSAAG) tonight. Overall went very well despite minor stumbles (and an inability to pull off a joke when nervous). The slides were again heavily revised over the last few days (read added lots of new content with pictures that clarified!). I think that effort paid off. Despite talking for over an hour I got a lot of questions, demonstrated correct adjustment of binoculars on request. I even got through my bonus section on collimation. Not saying there was no room to improve the delivery but given that I don't speak publicly very often I'm very happy with the result. I think I've achieved what I set out to do and I'm feeling very good about it all. Thanks to everyone here and elsewhere that provided constructive feedback. All the WSAAG members were very positive and constructive and forgiving of flaws also.

19-07-2012, 07:06 AM
Syouef...conquering your fears is not easy...but you did it!!