Farpoint UBM

Oberwerk,
Can the Farpoint UBM mount to a standard camera tripod? Can it only mount to your tripods?
Thank you

The Farpoint UBM comes with a 3/8″ mount post, so it can mount to any tripod with a 3/8″ stud. Keep in mind though that the tripod has to support the combined weight of the mount, the binocular, and the counterweights. For a 10 lb. 25×100 binocular, the total weight would be close to 30 lbs.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Thanks Kevin. Good point. My camera tripod probably won’t be able to handle that kind of weight. Even with my current 10×50 I would need something sturdier.

My replies are after each question below-

Kevin,
I’ve been looking to replace my old Minolta 10×50 ultra wide (7.8 degree) binoculars. I’ve been looking for several weeks and have concluded there is no one pair that can do all that I want.
What I want is a “grab and go” to just sit out back and scan the heavens. I also want to view all the M objects with good detail. I have a Celestron 9.25 but it’s too much work. I currently have it for sale on Craig’s list. So this leaves me with two issues.
1) For the grab and go binocular, what would give me the best wide view, sharpest image, high contrast and wow factor? The 10×42 Sport ED, the 8×40 Mariner or the 10×50 Ultra? They all sound like great bino’s, but for pick up and view without a tripod, what would you suggest? I have no problem spending more if the view is going to be much better.

Forget the 8×40- wide FOV, but not enough light-gathering. Also consider the new 10×50 Deluxe– very close to the Ultra, but just $169- so a great value in my opinion. If wide FOV is important, also consider the 8×42 Sport ED– 8.1 degrees, and it’s apochromatic. Bonus- it’s also our finest bird-watching binocular.

2) For astronomy, is bigger really better? Are the 28×110 Ultra much better than the 15×70 Ultra? Or is field of view the only difference?

One comment- objective lens size has nothing to do with FOV. It’s simply about light-gathering, and generally speaking, more is better- but that greatly affects size, weight, and of course cost.

Is the cost of bigger bino’s worth it? Will they both work well in light polluted area’s. I’ve looked at all your mounted bino’s and it gets confusing. Because they all need to be mounted on a tripod, Which to you feel would work best in light polluted area and give me the best view, sharpest image, high contrast and wow factor?

Yes, the best are the BT Series (binocular telescopes). For 3 reasons these are always the top choice for astronomy- 45-degree viewing, interchangeable eyepieces, and highest optical quality.

I really like the BT-70-45. Will the view really be worth the significant difference in price? Or is it just convenience of the 45 degree angle?
Both.

I’m sold on Oberwerk and thanks again for any information you can provide for me to make a good decision.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Regards,
Kevin

Kevin,
Thanks for all you help and for answering all my questions. At this time I’m looking at the 15×70 Ultra. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but the reviews and my needs make this binocular the best choice.
Another question. Is the Farpoint UBM mount far better than the 4000 or 5000 series? I don’t plan on sitting, so what would be a solid stand for the 15×70?
Thanks again for all your help.

Can’t go wrong with the 15×70 Ultra. Parallelogram mounts have advantages and disadvantages. The great thing about the parallelogram mount is the binocular is suspended in front of you and you can make the binocular move anywhere you can point your head, and the binocular will stay put when you let go. This works well while seated or standing. The other advantage is you can raise or lower the binocular about 2 feet without losing your target- so great for sharing the view. On the other hand, The parallelogram is bulky, heavy, and takes extra time to set up and tear down- not to mention expensive. A 4000 or 5000 tripod is more of a “grab and go” setup. Let me know if that answers the question- or not.
Regards,
Kevin

Tripod Advice

Hi,
Can you recommend a mount (or, preferably, a head I can use on my current tripod) for stargazing through your 15×70 Ultra binoculars?
Longer version:
I recently bought a pair of your 15×70 Ultra binoculars to use for stargazing during travel, and I’m extremely happy with them. I carried them (with a Manfrotto 190CSPRO4 tripod and 128RC head) along on a recent flight to Borrego Springs, CA without trouble. Great views!
I do have one problem — it’s really hard to view objects near the zenith! Is this just a fact of life with binoculars, or are there mounting solutions I should consider. (Cost is a consideration. I just broke my budget buying a high-quality pair of binoculars. 😉

Unfortunately it is difficult to view near zenith using a straight-through-view binocular with a conventional tripod/video head. The biggest problem is the eyepieces are too close to the tripod to get your head under the binocular. The best way to solve that is with a parallelogram mount, such as the Farpoint UBM, which places the binocular away from the tripod (so you can get your head under it)- but they are bulky and expensive ($279). Another option is The Oberwerk 2000 monopod. It has a grip-action ball head that gets the binocular away from the monopod, plus you can tilt the monopod back enough to actually view to zenith. It’s quite affordable too at just $89.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

11×56 vs. 8×56 LW FOV

Your catalog lists the specifications for both these binos with the same (FOV of 6.0)
How is that possible? I own the 11×56 LW but was thinking I’d like a wider FOV.
What is the FOV on the 8×56 and 11×56? If you could convert that to feet of view also it would be helpful for me but it’s OK if not.

It’s actually true that both models have the same 6° FOV. The 11x model has a wide-angle eyepiece design, the 8x model does not. Similar to some other models such as the 9×60 and 12×60– the 12x actually has a wider FOV (5.7°) than the 9x (5.5°)! Our 11×70 is 4.5° and the 15×70 is just slightly less at 4.3°. In all these cases, wide-angle eyepieces are used on the higher magnification model. This also affects AFOV (apparent field of view), which is typically 50° on the lower magnification model and 65+° on the higher magnification model.
But back to the 8×56 (and 11×56)- the FOV is 105m at 1000m, or 105 yards (315 ft.) at 1000 yards. Your 11×56 is about as wide as it gets at this relatively-high magnification. But if you’re looking for something wider, take a look at our 8×42 Sport ED. It has a huge 8.1° FOV, is small and lightweight, and is also apochromatic due to the ED objectives. It’s actually our finest bird-watching binocular, but I really like it for astronomy as well. It would nicely complement, rather than replace, your 11×56.

Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Question about 20-60x82mm Sport ED Spotting Scope

Hello,
Is the eyepiece of this scope removable? Will it take normal astronomical eyepieces? What size if so?

Yes, it is removable, however most spotting scopes use a bayonet-type attachment instead of the 1.25″ smooth barrel used by telescope eyepieces. But the supplied 20-60 zoom eyepiece is very good and really all you need, it covers the full usable range.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Thank you so much for getting back to me.
While your eyepiece seems very high quality, I’ve got an idea for a unique spotting scope, and am exploring ideas on how to accomplish it. My idea is to create a cheaper version of the Swarovski BTX spotting scope, which has a proprietary binoviewer. It’s great of course, but the whole package for one of those is like $5k. So I’m brainstorming to try to create something similar.
I’m wondering if I had a high quality body, like your 82mm Sport ED, removed the eyepiece, and attached a binoviewer (the ones I’ve found so far seem to be all 1.25 telescope mounts), then attach Baader Hyperion Clickstop Zoom eyepieces. Since those eyepieces have click stop zooms, I wonder if it would work well to peep through one side, find subject, focus, zoom in, and quickly match the other side’s zoom level with the click stops, perhaps even just doing that by feel, never needing to look up.
I have no idea whether this kind of system would work well. Seems to me that if the zoom click stops were off by even a little bit, that that might make the system unpractical. On the other hand, those particular Baader eyepieces are supposedly of high quality.
I’m exploring all options, and have looked through your products. I really like what I see. Your Oberwerk BT-70-45 Binoculars seem really neat. I wonder if the Baader Hyperion Clickstop Zooms would work on those?
I realize you have a company to run, and so I won’t bore you with further long emails. Thank you again,

It’s an interesting idea, but a binoviewer won’t work on the spotting scope for two reasons- the first is the proprietary eyepiece connection, the second is not enough back-focus. I’ve already tested this with a Denkmeier Binotron- even if we managed to attach it, the focus range of the scope is not enough to make it usable. It could work with the addition of a barlow, but this would sacrifice low-power wide-field viewing. However, I do like the Baader Hyperion zoom eyepieces very much, and they work nicely in the BT-70-45. Here’s a review I did-

Review – Baader Hyperion Mark IV 24mm-8mm Zoom Eyepieces


The Oberwerk BT-70-45 equipped with the Baader eyepieces is definitely the better way to go- it gives you two 70mm objectives (vs. the spotting scope/binoviewer’s single objective with a beam-splitter), for true depth perception and perspective. It’s also much less expensive than cobbling together a high-quality spotting scope and binoviewer.
Regards,
Kevin

Oberwerk Sport ED 20-60×82 Spotting Scope

Hello,
I’ve just been reading about your ED 20-60x82mm Spotting Scope. My friend has a set of Oberwerk Sport HD binoculars, and both the clarity and brightness are exceptional. Can I expect the same with your spotting scope even at max (60x) magnification? Do you have a showroom at your Dayton location? By the way, I currently use a Leupold 15-30×50 spotting scope for bird watching. Any comments on comparison will be helpful. Also, I assume that it has a standard thread for use with most any tripod on the market. Thanks.

Actually the Sport ED scope is a level above the HD Series binoculars (due to the ED objectives). The difference between the Leupold 50mm and the 82mm Sport ED is 270% more light-gathering objective surface area. With all that extra light, the view at 60x is remarkably good, and chromatic aberration is almost non-existent. Our scopes have a standard 3/8-16 threading on the bottom, and we include a 1/4-20 reducer- so they’ll work with any tripod. You’re welcome to come see for yourself, we have a small showroom in Dayton. Just give us a “heads up” before coming.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow
Oberwerk Corp.

How would your product compare to a Swarovski or a Zeiss in terms of optic and image quality? Based upon the clarity of my friend’s Oberwerk HD binoculars, I get the impression that this ED scope, with the better grade objective, would be hard to beat. Is the reduction or near elimination of chromatic aberration a product of the lens construction itself or do other components of design dictate that result? Are the aforementioned brands priced to a certain extent on name recognition, or is there something I’m missing? With my Leupold scope, I see a loss of crispness at max 30x when spotted on a white bird most notably – a little fuzzy around the edges. Darker objects seem not to produce this at all. This is partly what I would like to improve upon while upgrading to a 60x scope.
Thanks again.

The Swarovski and Zeiss scopes are just slightly better, but only an experienced observer would be able to detect any difference. You’re paying a lot for the name, and also a better warranty. Those brands also have multiple levels of distribution, which also increase cost. The Sport ED is a great scope at a great price (direct from factory to us to you). Try it- if you’re not impressed, you can send it back.
Regards,
Kevin

Kevin,
Thanks for the help. I just placed my order.

Great! Let me know what you think…
Regards,
Kevin

Kevin,
Over the past months I’ve run the new scope through its paces. It is as good as you had described. The color fidelity is excellent, even at max magnification. From migratory waterfowl on the open water, emergent spring buds at the tops of tall trees, to Jupiter and its four Galilean satellites just this past weekend – superb.

10×50 Ultra or 10×42 Sport ED?

Hello-
If you could buy only one portable binocular for terrestrial viewing would it be the Sport ED 10×42 or Ultra 10×50?

For myself, it would be the 10×42 Sport ED. Has center-focus, all magnesium/aluminum construction so is MUCH lighter and smaller, and chromatic aberration is almost non-existent due to the ED objectives. This is the only binocular I take when traveling light, because it can do just about everything, including astronomy, very well.
On the plus side for the 10×50 Ultra, while it is individual-focus (somewhat awkward when hand-held), the depth of field is quite good, so for objects beyond 50 yards, everything is in crisp focus- therefore not much focusing is required. The view will be a tad brighter due to the extra light-gathering of the 50mm objectives. The optics are superb (albeit with some chromatic aberration). It’s built like a tank, and should last forever. If you’re thinking about the Ultra, another to consider is our new 10×50 Deluxe. Has center-focus, is lighter than the Ultra, and optically is surprisingly-close to the Ultra considering the relatively low cost ($169). But for portability, my preference would still be for the 10×42 Sport ED.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Oberwerk 25×100 Deluxe

Hi,
I’m interested in the 25×100 Deluxe model but I read there is a special adapter needed to put it on Manfrotto tripods. Isn’t the binocular provided with a standard 3/8″ connector?

The binocular mount uses standard 3/8-16 threading and also comes with a 1/4-20 reducer sleeve- so it is compatible with any tripod head. There can be an issue with larger heads, such as the Manfrotto 502, interfering with the IPD (inter-pupillary distance) adjustment. The objective tubes can touch the tripod head before the minimum IPD is reached. To solve this, we have a 1″ riser available for $19.95. It extends the height of the vertical section of the mount by 1″ to provide enough clearance on larger tripod heads to allow use of the full IPD range.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Mount for 25×100 Deluxe

Hello Kevin, maybe you can help me. While I am waiting for my bino’s, I am trying to figure out how to convert my azimuth telescope mount to adopt the 25 x 100 binoculars. I have attached an image. Any ideas?

That’s an equatorial mount, which means it’s designed to be polar-aligned, so it can then move on just one axis to compensate for the earth’s rotation. This works fine with telescopes, but is not recommended for binoculars as the binocular must remain level to comfortably view with both eyes. It’s possible to maneuver both axis to keep the eyepieces level, but it’s not ideal. There are two other issues-
1) The plate that adapts the telescope to the mount must be removed and then attached to the binocular. The plate is probably attached to an internal backing plate- which may freely move around inside the telescope if the screws are removed. Not sure of compatibility with that plate, the binocular attaches to a mount with a single 3/8-16 or 1/4-20 screw (the mount hole is drilled and tapped 3/8-16, but a 1/4-20 reducer sleeve is included).
2) The 100mm binocular is 10 lbs., and far outweighs the 60mm scope that the mount and tripod was designed for. If you do manage to attach it, it’s not going to be very stable.
Most customers use our Series 5000 tripod/head ($279). The head is rated for 16 lbs., the tripod for 24 lbs., so easily handles the 25×100. With the included dual panning handles, it’s easy to steer the binocular in altitude and azimuth. It also has a crank-up elevator to compensate for changes in eyepiece height when panning from horizon to zenith. So that’s my recommendation, but if you still want to try the scope mount, I’ll do my best to help.
Regards,
Kevin

Viewing up to 50 miles away

Hello,
We are searching for the best model to purchase for a deck view….we just purchased a home in Panama and want to be able to see the island where our son fishes which is about 46-50 miles …34 by land and 12 by sea – I was looking at telescopes when I found you on a google search. Do you have a model that would see that far that is on a mount …and not for the “professional”??  Thank you.

One of our Long-Range Observation binoculars would be the best choice for long distance viewing.  Using both eyes adds perspective and depth perception to the view, while a telescope presents a very “flat” view.  These are truly the world’s most powerful binoculars, however, 45-50 miles is very distant, and the curvature of the earth over that distance will come into play.  If you are standing on the beach looking out over the water, the horizon is only 3 miles away due to the curvature of the earth.  You have to be standing higher than sea level and/or your target must be higher than sea level to be able to see farther than 3 miles.  There is a formula to determine how far the horizon is, based on the observer’s height above sea level.  The formula is Distance (in miles) = 1.2246*SQRT(Height in feet).  So let’s assume your deck is 200 ft. about sea level.  The square root of 200 is 14.14.  Multiply that by 1.2246, and you get 17.3 miles.
Of course you’ll still want the binocular for your deck view, but unless you’re particularly high up, and/or there are features on the island that are very tall, you probably won’t be able to see the island simply due to earth’s curvature.  Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

Hi Kevin,
This is super! We are actually at 4200 ft. above sea level.  Don’t know how to do that square foot thing…but knowing the altitude and the distance to the sea (35) miles…Island is about 12 more miles….what is your recommendation for binoculars…also would be great to look at stars too…but would love to know the distance.  What do you think?

From that height, the horizon is 79 miles away.  Over that distance, you’ll need perfect atmospheric conditions to get a really clear view- so some days will be better than others.
The 25/40×100 Long-Range Observation binocular that I mentioned earlier would be great for this.  But if you are interested in binocular astronomy, as well as looking out across the water, you should consider our BT-100-45.  It has 45-degree viewing, which is much more comfortable for your neck when viewing the night sky.  When viewing to the horizon, you’ll be looking down into the binocular at a 45-degree angle- but that’s quite comfortable.  It also means the binocular can sit lower on the tripod, and is more accommodating of people of different heights.  Just set the tripod height for the shortest person, and taller people can just bend over a bit more to view through it.  The BT-100-45 is also capable of even greater magnification than the 25/40×100 using our optional 75x eyepieces.  But note that these binoculars are not weatherproof.  You should set this up indoors looking out through a big window to your view.  Take it outside only in nice weather, and for night sky observation of course.  Let me know if you have more questions.
Regards,
Kevin

 

Bushnell Powerview 20×50?

I’m planning to purchase a binocular, thinking about the Bushnell Powerview 20×50.  I just want to know, in this binocular how long a distance can we see clearly? 

You’re asking Oberwerk if we would recommend the 20×50 Bushnell Powerview?  Let’s just say that Oberwerk doesn’t make a 20×50, and for good reasons.
20x magnification is far too much magnification to hand-hold and still have a steady view.  So a 20x magnification binocular needs to be mounted on a tripod to make it usable.  Secondly, 50mm objectives are generally too small to gather enough light to support 20x magnification with good clarity and brightness- especially so for the inexpensive Powerview series.   There is one exception to the above- the $3000 image-stabilized Farvision 20x50S.  If that’s not in the budget, let’s continue…
The Powerview uses “InstaFocus”, which while very fast, is hard to control precisely- and 20x magnification requires very precise focus.  20x magnification also requires perfect collimation (alignment), otherwise you won’t see a well-merged image, and you’ll experience eyestrain at best, and possibly even double images.  Oberwerk is the only USA seller that tests and aligns every binocular before shipping- which is especially necessary at 20x.
If you need 20x magnification, you’re going to also need a tripod.  And as long as you are using a tripod, you might as well get a binocular that is large enough to gather enough light to have a bright image with good clarity.  The Oberwerk 20×80 LW ($199.95) mounted to the Oberwerk 3000 tripod ($149.95), would be the least-expensive binocular that can offer 20x magnification with high-quality.  Let me know if you have any more questions.
Regards,
Kevin Busarow

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