A binocular viewer, like this BinoVue, makes for a spectacular viewing experience – of the Moon, planets, star clusters, double stars, and more. You see up to 40% more detail when you use both eyes to observe, compared with single eye viewing. Your brain interprets the two images to give an illusion of depth, an almost three-dimensional quality to the view, even though the image is not true stereo. In addition, it is simply more comfortable to use two eyes to view, rather than squinting through a single eyepiece.
This straight-through binocular viewer uses paired 1.25" eyepieces (not supplied). It is designed to fit directly into the focuser of reflectors, and into the star diagonal of refractors and catadioptric scopes for more comfortable viewing at the zenith. Because of its long 5.1” internal light path, it includes a 2x image amplifier. This is used as a transfer lens to bring the image back to the eyepieces when used with reflectors and refractors (which usually do not have enough back focus to handle the long light path). This results in a 2x magnification boost, so 32mm eyepieces in the BinoVue have the same magnification as 16mm eyepieces used normally. Keep this 2x magnification in mind when choosing eyepieces to use with the BinoVue. Catadioptric scopes (Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains) usually have enough available back focus, and the image amplifier should be removed with these scopes. However, the BinoVue, even with the image amplifier removed, still provides about a 25% increase in the effective focal length of a catadioptric scope. Some ghosting may be visible when bright objects are just outside the field in this configuration, but careful eye positioning can minimize this effect.
Eyepieces should be of identical make and focal length for best results. Tightening the knurled rings around the eyepiece holders clamps internal compression rings onto the eyepieces to hold them in place. There is no separate diopter adjustment to match the eyepieces to your individual eyesight, so any eyepiece adjustments need to be made by loosening the compression ring on one eyepiece, sliding the eyepiece in or out until its focus matches that of the other eyepiece, and retightening the compression ring.
The BinoVue has a 1.25” nosepiece. If used in a 2” diagonal with an optional 2” to 1.25” reducer, make sure that the Binovue does not extend far enough into the diagonal to touch the mirror.
The BinoVue is covered by TeleVue’s 5-year warranty. However, the warranty does not cover abuse. Rough treatment or dropping the BinoVue may cause its prisms to get out of collimation, giving double images. According to the TeleVue instruction sheet for the BinoVue, “Disturbance of collimation is usually evidence of abuse. It is warranted at the discretion of TeleVue. Please handle BinoVue carefully.”
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