I was wondering if any members have had experience using binoviewers and which ones they'd recommend. I cquired a nice 6" f/6.5 wide field refractor last year, and I'm hoping to find a good (and hopefully not too expensive) binoviewer that would work with it. I'm thinking this would make it excellent for visual variable star estimates.Thanks in advance!
Perhaps I should re-phrase my question. I guess what I really wanted to know is if any other AAVSO members routinely use a telescope with binoviewers to make visual estimates. I would like to try it, but I understand that there might be some light-loss by splitting the image. I also understand that using both eyes to make estimates might compensate for any loss of light. Thanks in advance.
I own William Optics binoviewers and have used them for some of my variable star observations. Field of view, however, is a problem. The size of the prisms causes vignetting, so I can't really use low powers to get wide fields of view. You also have to worry about focussing. There isn't enough travel for me to use my 5" refractor without using a barlow, which, of course, also increases the magnification. All is fine when I use my 5" Maksutov, but its focal ratio results in an even higher magnification and narrower field of view. So, under fairly light-polluted skies, that scope is too small to observe faint variables, but too limited in field of view to observe brighter variables with comps that are usually farther away. I think there are some binoviewers available with larger prisms, but they are very pricey.