So You Read the 8×40 Mariner Review on space.com…

Back in 2014, space.com requested that we send two binoculars to them for an upcoming binocular review. They requested the 8×40 Mariner and 15×70 Ultra.
We were very pleased when they proclaimed the 8×40 Mariner “Editor’s Choice” in the “Best Small Binocular for Astronomy” category, and the 15×70 Ultra a runner-up in the “Best Astronomy Binocular” category (the Ultra came in second only because of its high cost). While we generally agree with their reviews, and what they reported was accurate- keep in mind they only looked at 2 of our 30+ models.

In 2018, they requested an 8×42 Sport ED for review. They absolutely loved it, and the subheading of the review was These are the best binoculars to buy, if you can buy only one. We totally agree with that as well. While the Sport ED’s are our finest bird-watching binoculars, due to the excellent image quality and perfect color rendition from the ED objectives, they’re also great for astronomy.

But back to the 8×40 Mariner. Thanks to the space.com review, the 8×40 Mariner is our second-most-popular model (the 8×42 Sport ED is #1 – thanks again space.com!). While the 8×40 Mariner may be just what you’re looking for, keep in mind that we have many other models that may be more appropriate for your usage. Most of the LW Series models gather significantly more light, are less expensive- and for many of our customers, are the ideal entry-level astronomy binoculars. The newer 10×50 Deluxe, at just $20 more than the Mariner, is frankly a much better binocular- assuming you can hold the higher 10x magnification still enough for a steady view. If you need a binocular that needs to do double-duty as a daylight binocular, then the already mentioned Sport ED is best, followed by the more affordable Sport HD II models, that also have ED objectives.

PM1 Parallelogram Mount

Back in April, we introduced a prototype of our PM1 parallelogram mount at the NEAF Astronomy Convention in NY. After a couple of revisions, it’s finally ready for market. Why a p-mount? For straight-through-view binoculars, it’s really the only way to use them comfortably when viewing the night sky. Combined with our TR3 maple tripod, there is plenty of height (and space) for even the tallest person to get underneath the binocular and view directly overhead (zenith). The p-mount also provides a huge 3-foot range of height adjustment, without losing the binocular’s target image. So it’s ideal for sharing the view with others, especially so when there is a variety of heights. The p-mount can also place the binocular low enough to view from a reclining lawn chair. Because the binocular is well to the side of the tripod, the p-mount is the only way to view the night sky from a wheelchair. So-why the Oberwerk PM1, and not something more affordable? There are other p-mounts available, the most popular being the Farpoint UBM (Universal Binocular Mount). While the UBM is quite functional, it doesn’t comes close to the PM1 in terms of smoothness, construction quality, and great looks. The maple hardwood does a great job of dampening, is very strong, and is also quite beautiful, especially when combined with the Oberwerk TR3 maple tripod. Look closely and you’ll see that some of the PM1 components are borrowed from the TR3, and operation of the mount will be very familiar to owners of the tripod. The PM1 also incorporates the highly-regarded Oberwerk 5000 fluid head, with dual panning handles. This makes steering the binocular much easier than competing p-mounts, which use a large hinged L-bracket. Nothing else pans through the night sky like the PM1. Due to its price point, it’s not for everyone. But for those that do a lot of binocular astronomy outreach, or those that simply want the best, the PM1 is the way to go.

The Oberwerk 15x70LW is #2 on Ezvid Wiki’s 2019 Best Astronomy Binoculars

We’ve just been notified that the Oberwerk 15×70 LW has been ranked #2 on the Ezvid Wiki 2019 Best Astronomy Binoculars list. From the Ezvid Wiki website- “Compiled with forty-five hours of research, this newly published Wiki in their binocular & scope category is a broad-ranging, impartial assessment of astronomy binocular options available to consumers in the United States”.

The most expensive binocular on the list, the $769 Celestron Echelon 20×70, was the #1 choice. Of course we’re very pleased that our very-affordable $129 15×70 LW was #2. But frankly, we don’t agree with some of their methodology and ranking criteria. For example, for two competitor’s binoculars on the list, Ezvid Wiki notes that “they may arrive with collimation or alignment problems”- yet they still somehow made the Top 10 list? While we proudly proclaim that Oberwerk binoculars are the most perfectly-collimated binoculars on the market, this was not mentioned as an attribute of the 15×70. We understand that they probably had a price cap for the models tested. But to put together of list of “The Best”, without mentioning our ground-breaking XL Series binocular telescopes? Perhaps it should be titled “Best Astronomy Binoculars Under $1000”- but even then, it would be an oversight to ignore our highly-regarded Deluxe and Ultra Series models. Maybe next time…

Astronomy Magazine Reviews the BT-XL100-ED

Some time ago, we sent an Oberwerk BT-100XL-ED binocular telescope and an Oberwerk TR3 hardwood tripod (walnut) to Astronomy Magazine to be photographed for their “New Products” section. They ended up doing a full review in the May 2019 issue. “…viewing with Oberwerk’s BT-100XL-ED gives a fantastic feeling of swimming through space. Indeed, viewing through these giants is a dream.” Click here to read the entire review.

NEAF 2019

Come see us at NEAF 2019 (NorthEast Astronomy Forum), Apr. 6th & 7th, at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY. NEAF is the world’s largest astronomy & space expo! In past years, our booth has been pretty cramped with all the tripods we need to bring. But this year, we expanded our exhibit space to 30′, so we can spread out and give visitors plenty of room to try out our new XL Series binocular telescopes mounted on our TR3 hardwood tripods, as well as the rest of the Oberwerk product line. We’ll also be showing our all-new TR3-matching maple parallelogram mount- the Oberwerk PM1!

SPACE.COM – “The One Binocular to Have if You Can Have Only One”

SPACE.COM went on a quest to discover the best all-around binocular for astronomy, nature, sports and travel. It’s a lengthy article, but concludes with-
“No matter how much — or how little — you have to spend, it makes sense to have one “grab-and-go” set of binoculars that you can trust to bring all the world’s detail in closer; night or day, indoors or out. With their compact size, chunky-but-lightweight feel, superb clarity, lack of color distortion and precise focus, we believe that Oberwerks’ 8×42 ED is the one binocular to have if you can have only one.”
We couldn’t agree more. Here’s the link-
Best All-Around Binoculars for Astronomy, Nature, Sports and Travel

Binocular Enthusiast Website “Binomania” Reviews the Oberwerk BT-100XL-ED

Last month, the popular Italian website binomania.it interviewed Oberwerk’s Kevin Busarow about the new XL Series binocular telescopes. This month, Binomania publishes their first review of the BT-100XL-ED, comparing it to the finest binoculars on the market. Note that it’s in Italian, but there is a Translate option on the right side of the webpage. The consensus? “In summary- I end this review confirming that the Oberwerk BT-100XL-ED is a quality product, has optics that rival the best (and more expensive) competition, is compact, lightweight, and perfectly adapted to terrestrial observations as well as those astronomical.” We couldn’t agree more!

Did We Really Need Another Collimator? Yes- it’s an Ultra-Rare Genuine Navy Mark V!

In 2013, Oberwerk’s Kevin Busarow was trained in “Tail of the Arc” binocular collimation (alignment) on a Navy Mark V collimator by retired Navy Opticalman Cory Suddarth, of Suddarth Optical Repair. Shortly after returning from training in Oklahoma, Kevin built a working collimator from a surplus spy plane camera lens. The other necessary component- an auxiliary telescope- was supplied by Cory, with an extra-tall rhomboid prism for getting a direct view of the collimator image over the top of the larger binoculars that Oberwerk typically sells.
In August of 2018, when an ultra-rare genuine Navy Mark V collimator was put on the market by an optics collector in San Diego, Cory notified Kevin- and he jumped on it! With its massive 5-foot-long iron rail and solid copper housing, it was a beauty! Rather than risk trying to ship such a large, heavy, delicate, and irreplaceable piece of equipment, Kevin bought a one-way ticket to San Diego, rented a station wagon, and drove it back to Dayton, Ohio. Oberwerk has always been proud to say we’re the only binocular retailer on the planet (that we know of) with an in-house collimator- and now we have two at our disposal!

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