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First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:31 am
by Dave Smith
A few years ago I owned for a while a pair of Helios 11 x 80 binoculars that I would use from time to time to browse around the sky. I am mainly an imager and when I needed some imaging equipment sold the bins. I have found over time that I regretted selling them and missed them. So decided to get myself a pair of Helios Apollo 15 x 70 bins that arrived today (Thanks James at FLO).

Just before 6pm today (strictly yesterday) I tried them on the Moon having focused on distant trees and the used the Moon to refine the focus. The Moon was great except not a lot of contrast at that time so I then went in search of Venus being careful not to get the Sun by mistake. I found it quite easily/luckily in spite of a bit of cloud in the area. Using a tripod, I was able to further refine the focus.

The forecast was for clear skies tonight but when I first tried at around 8.30 there was around 70% cloud. Even so I managed to locate M13 and was surprised and delighted as to how well it stood out. I then tried for M92 but failed, I hoped because of the cloud. I did find the coathanger quite easily but not M27.

Later this evening it did clear totally and I the found M92 and M27. M57 was not possible hand held but M31 was brilliant and again I was surprised that M33 was visible from my light polluted sky.

I am going to really enjoy these binoculars and am looking forward to the dark sky at Kelling Heath at the end of the month.

I was pleased that the tripod adapter supplied was a nice metal sturdy one. I find these bins very comfortable with my spectacles off although they are usable with them on. Fortunately my astigmatism isn't too bad.

Dave

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:38 am
by carastro
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:22 pm
by Dave Smith
Thanks Carole. I forgot to mention that when looking at the Moon a buzzard flew into the FOV. I've never seen a buzzard from my garden. :thumbsup: These bins are however not suitable for bird-watching as the eyepieces are separately focused.

Dave

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:01 pm
by patthehorse
They sound great Dave. Something to do while taking those lovely images you do. :thumbsup:

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:30 pm
by Dave Smith
Thanks Pat. I haven't done any deep sky imaging since early April due to having two minor ops (now recovered), a holiday and the weather but am keen to restart, so watch this space. You are right the bins will help to fill in the time, especially at astrocamps, while those subs are coming in. They will also be useful when the sky is not wholly clear for imaging.

Dave

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:33 pm
by patthehorse
Glad you've recovered. :thumbsup:

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:34 pm
by Guy
Nice report, looking forward to more as I am in the same mind set, I just bought a nice clean Tento 7 x 50 from a local fellow for £25, the field of viewe is fabulous and now I've got binocular aperture and focal length fever :)

Re: First Light Helios Apollo 15 x 70 binoculars

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:30 pm
by Dave Smith
Thanks Guy. I did recently make use of them at the Kelling Star party. I has super views of all those mentioned above plus M31 was very bright and glorious and I was surprised how readily I could find M81 and M82. It was a good purchase and now have a pistol grip as recommended by Stephen Tonkin which fits on a monopod or tripod (when I want to show a view to someone with less experience).

Dave