20x70 binoculars

I bought these binoculars when I was still in school. Probably around 1980. I only remember that I bought them at the Quelle warehouse in Munich, and they cost 250 DM (German Marks), i.e. around 130 Euros. I had many enjoyable nights with them - they give a good image over about 2 degrees field of view, I can see a lot of deep sky objects with them. The only problem is that focussing is difficult - the focus seems to shift over a few minutes, and it is difficult to get both eyes focussed. But I am never sure whether its my eyes or the scope...

What I particularly like about them is that they are super-fast to set up. It takes about one minute, and I am ready to observe with them. However, since long I had a few issues, mainly resulting in the fact that I have problems finding objects with them. All of them are documented in my log book from 30 Jun 1987:
1. When looking more than 10 degrees above the horizon (i.e. in 98 % of the time), it is difficult to look through the binos without bending your neck.
2. It is difficult to find an object since the field of view is already too small to be used without a finder.
3. The front lenses fog up very easily.
4. Ambient light from the sides and below the binoculars disturb the observing.

Figure 1: Sketch out of my notebook from 30 Jan 1987 showing that the binos
should have: A proper tripod, dew caps, a straylight shield, and a finder.

Point 1 I solved a few years ago. I had an old tripod head where the tripod itself was broken. I put that between the tripod I use with my binos and the binos themself. This puts the binoculars about 15 cm above the normal tripod head. This is sufficient to not bump your chin into the tripod when observing the sky. Admittedly, this system is not very balanced, i.e. when looking high in the sky the binos may want to move upwards. But that's not something that has been bothering me - viewing comfort is ok this way.

Point 2 is still unsolved. I'd need to add a finder - but I don't want to add another bag when carrying the binoculars around...

Point 3 was solved last weekend - in Sep 2007, more than 20 years after I identified the problem. I realized that the case for the Bowmore 17 year old Whisky, when lined with felt, precisely slides over the front of the binoculars. And only a little bit of cardboard padding is required to fit the larger Glenfiddich case around it, to allow for the 2 degrees field of view. So I built to dew caps, ca. 10 cm long, which slide over the front of the binos
Point 4 I solved (also last weekend - after more than 20 years waiting time) by attaching dark foam plates with adhesive velcro srips to the binos. They can easily be stowed in the dew caps for the front lenses.
So here you can see the complete equipment. To the very left, the two dew caps. Next to it, the foam for straylight protection. In the front left, the 20 x 70 binoculars. To the right, the tripod head used to get the binos a little bit away from the actual tripod. Diagonally, the Manfrotto tripod with carrying bag underneath. And at the top right, the carrying bag for the binoculars. click to enlarge
And this is how it looks packed - only two bags to carry! click to enlarge

Created by dvk, 16 Sep 2007
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