At last after patiently waiting for the clouds to clear, I have enjoyed “first light” with my birthday present from my missus. A pair of Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80 Giant Observation Binoculars.
We bought them from Scopes-n-Skies (click the link for their writeup).
These binos are quite hefty, requiring tripod mount for stable viewing, and I also purchased the ScopeTeknix Zodiac ST90 counterbalance binocular mounting, which raises the binos right up to above eye level for comfortable viewing without having to strain your neck or bend down, and the counterbalance makes them easy to move around.
The binos have a robust tripod mounting slide bar in the centre, which also allows adjustment of the centre of gravity when fixed to the tripod, or counterbalance.
One of the first things I pointed the binos at was Jupiter. At 20x magnification Jupiter is clearly a disc, and its bands can not really be made out due to its brightness, whereas my XT10i telescope provides sufficient magnification to view the planet properly. However what the binos do that the scope doesn’t is to enable you to see the planet in its widefield context with its moons orbiting, and the surrounding starfield. Now that is something else. The view thru the binos is wonderfully clear and bright, and with both eyes being used (instead of just one as with the telescope eyepiece), there is almost a 3-dimensional feel to the image. I really got a sense of the stars being distant, while Jupiter and its moons felt like they were suspended in mid-field. Quite stunning.
Next I pointed the binos more overhead and into the gems in the region of Cassiopeia, where the stars were beautiful sharp points of light, and I appreciated just how much the extra magnification and the larger 80mm aperture of the front lenses really pulled in so much more light than my 10×50’s and provided an awesome view of the Milky Way. Again the view felt almost 3-D and was very immersive.
At the time Scopes-n-Skies were doing a special offer, so the binos cost £89.99 (normal price £179.99!). I noticed that there was another seemingly identical pair of Konus 20×80 binos for exactly the same price (normal price £129.99), and on closer inspection discovered the subtle difference was that the Konus use prisms made of Bk-7 glass with full anti-reflection coatings on all air-glass surfaces, whereas the Adler Optik Jupiters use BaK-4 glass, which is superior quality, and hence what you would be paying the extra £50 for. So even though I preferred the look of the Konus, when it comes to the better image provided by the Bak-4 glass it was a no brainer.
So far I am quite pleased with these binoculars, but click here for a more complete review of the Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80ZCF Giant Observation Binoculars which I have provided on my web site.