North Lincs astro meeting. 2nd December 2019

We had a good turn out of members and guests for the North Lincolnshire astronomy society meeting on Monday 2nd December 2019.

As it was the last meeting before Christmas, Glenys and Malcolm treated us to some mince pies in addition to the usual teas and snacks. All of which went down well.

Paul Money was the speaker on the night, who gave us as excellent (as always) talk called The Vikings at Barsoom part 2. This was a very entertaining talk about the Viking 1 and 2 missions to Mars. This included some impressive images from the red planet, and lots of facts and figures about the missions. Who would have thought that simple human error ended one of the missions, and how close the two Viking landers were to landing on large rocks, that may of ended the missions before they began to gather information.

More more info on future meetings and news visit the North Lincs astro society

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged | Comments Off on North Lincs astro meeting. 2nd December 2019

Hawke Frontier EDx 8×42 binoculars. Blog post November 2019

It was a very dull and damp day at Northern Optics when a customer visited our Optics weekend at Barton`s Waters` edge visitor centre. So you could say it was perfect conditions for a customer looking for a set of high grade binoculars for observing in low light .

They liked the idea of ED glass and a wide field of view. But was open to options from non ED binoculars and 10x versions. After trying the Hawke Frontier HD X 10×42 , 8×42 and the Hawke Frontier ED X 8×42, it was a very close run thing. But in the customers opinion the EDx 8×42 gave the best results, and made the purchase. Other key factors that impressed the customer was how easy they were to handle, wide field of view, quality case and starp , plus the comprehensive Hawke lifetime warranty. But the other Hawke tested all did the job in the awfull conditions.

As always, our customers get the chance to test binoculars looking across a nature reserve lake, and after an initial introduction to the binoculars are left to see which set suits them with no pressure from us. Imahe top right shows the view from our shop window. Hope to see you there.

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Hawke Frontier EDx 8×42 binoculars. Blog post November 2019

Hawke HD X 8×42 binoculars. Blog post November 2019

It`s always nice when a customer visits our Optics Weekends as a result of a recommendation. In this case the buyer needed a good quailty set of binoculars with 8x magnification. But were open to options with 10x.

It was a difficult choice, as they were impressed with all the choices. After trying the Hawke Endurance  ED 8×42 , 10×42, EDx 8×42 and HDx 8×42, it was the later set that gave the best spec for the money. The binoculars they went for were the Hawke Frontier HD X 8×42. Despite not being ED glass, they were happy with the very low levels of chromatic aberration. As I often do, I asked the customer to look at some brightly back lit lamp posts to test for CA.

Handling was also a factor, together with the comphrehensive life time warranty. They also asked about waterproofing, which is standard on all Hawke binoculars from the current range, with the EDx and HDx models giving the best weather protection for use in most conditions. Our buyer was also impressed by the wider field of view conpared to the Endurance ED range

Available to purchase from Northern Optics

 

 

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Hawke HD X 8×42 binoculars. Blog post November 2019

Olivon T650, T800 and T900 spotting scopes

The Olivon premium “T” series are a versatile set of 3 spotting scope sizes with different options, subject to availbilty. The T650 (65mm) , T800 (80mm) and T900 (90mm) offer something for many budgets and uses.

Each model comes as standard multi-coated optics with the high end option also having ED glass for extra clarity, less chromatic aberration and improved low light capability. All have rotating tripod mounts , making them ideal for target practice as well as birdwatching and even wide field astronomy.

Also each variant can have a suitable tripod added as a bundle. Ask your dealer about this.

One major advantage of these spotters is that they accept most 1.25″ telescope eyepieces. This makes them easily upgradable should you need extra magnification or an eyepiece with a much wider field of view. There are also choice of Olivon eyepieces (subject to availability) from a HR and SHR zoom eyepiece to high quality ED glass fixed focal lengths.

Each Olivon spotting scope will also accepts a range of Olivon adapters to fit smart phones, compact and DSLR cameras.

Available to purchase from Northern Optics

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Olivon T650, T800 and T900 spotting scopes

North Lincs astro society. Meeting 4th November 2019

A good turn out of regulars were in attendance for the November 2019 North Lincs astro society meeting at Barton Upon Humber, Far ings visitor centre. After discussing unpluging of washing machines and near mishaps with screw drivers, we were treated to two talks.

Firstly Steve gave an update on the LCO (Las Cumbres observatory), which  is a network of 23 (as of now) astronomical observatories run by a non profit private operating foundation, and how as a society we can download and edit images from their telescopes.

Secondly, regular speaker Chris Roche gave a very interesting talk about his visit to the New Scientist Live event in London. This included the different talks he attended, and some very interesting and amusing astro facts.

As always thank you to Glenys and Malcolm for keeping us fed and watered, plus my own doggie bag to take home with me.

For more info on future meetings, contact the North Lincs astro society

 

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged | Comments Off on North Lincs astro society. Meeting 4th November 2019

Helios Nitrosport 8×26 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

The Helios Nitrosport 8×26 were the binoculars of choice when a customer came to visit Northern Optics at their Optics weekend in North Lincolnshire.

Reasons for this easy discission was a number of reasons. At only 266g they are one of the lightest in class. The customer found them easy to handle also. But the biggest plus points were the long eye relief , wider field of view and brightness of image compared to the Nitrosport 10×26 version.

As many of our customers say, the advantage of being not only able to try before you buy, but get the chance by doing so looking over a wildlife lake from the Northern Optics shop window . As the customer said “You don`t get this on-line”

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Helios Nitrosport 8×26 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

Helios Nitrosport 10×34 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

A customer came to the Optics weekend at Northern Optics looking for a lightweight set of binoculars with higher magnification. Firstly they were looking at 25/26mm compacts. But then the Helios Nitrosport 10×34 binoculars were given to them so they could try. At first glance the larger body compared to the compacts put them off. But when they held them, they were surprised, at only 422g at how light they were. This makes them one of the lightest binoculars in this size.

After finding they fitted in a coat pocket, which was another box ticked, they took them outside to try out , looking over the lake full of wildlife. The brightness compared to the Helios Nitrosport 10×26 and 8×26 made it an easy choice.

From our point of view the Helios nitrosport offer amazing value for money with great optics, waterproof body and a 5 year warranty.

 

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Helios Nitrosport 10×34 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

Hawke Endurance ED 10×50 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

A customer who already owned a set of Hawke Nature trek 8×42 binoculars visited Northern Optics at one of the Optics weekends at Barton Upon Humber. They required something offering more magnification without sacrificing image quality. After trying the Nature trek 10×42, Endurance ED 10×25 and 10×42 ED, they were finally introduced to the Hawke Endurance ED 10×50 binoculars.

After testing them, looking over the local nature reserve (you don`t get that on-line), the customer was very impressed by the ED 10×50. Not only did they offer superior brightness and clarity compared to the 25mm and 42mm options, they were surprised how light they felt, and balanced nicely in the hands, to the point they could use and focus single handed.

The Hawke Endurance ED range offer fully multi-coated optics, ED glass, nitrogen waterproofing, long eye relief and a life time warranty. The 32mm and above sizes come with a hard case, with the 25mm coming with a soft case.

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Hawke Endurance ED 10×50 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

Visionary Nature Scout 2 10×42 binoculars review

The Visionary Nature scout 2 10×42 binocular replaces the first version, with a new single hinge body compared to the older models open hinge design. For such a low cost set (£64.99 at the time of this blog post), the first impression is very good. Rather than a plain black box the older model came in, this version has a much more vibrant white finish with some text on it.

The nylon case is standard. But has a thick padded strap and quality lens covers. So often with budget binoculars, you instantly have an idea of their low cost when you take them out the case. This is not the case with the Visionary Nature scout 2 . They most certainly do not feel cheap . The finish for such a low cost set is excellent. At only 610g they feel light and balance well in the hands.

Controls are also better than the price suggets. The focus wheel and dioptre adjustment are both silky smooth. In fact the dioptre wheel can be easily moved using one finger with the eye cup down.  With regards close focus, many budget binoculars have close focus of 4-5 metres. But not so with these, as I found close focus to be 2.5m. The twist eye cups, again are better than expected. The older version twist eyecups were a little stiff. Not so with the latest model, as they move very freely, yet stay in place once set. Once again, they do not feel cheap. I estimated eyerelief at around 14mm, and found for non spectacle wearers the twist eye cups are best left half way out.

So with regards build quality and handling, lots of boxes ticked. So what about the optics ?. These are BK7 prisms to keep costs down. Eyepieces look to have filly coated optics, with the 42mm objectives being (in my opinion) multi-coated. Field of view is 102m @ 1000m. So looking through the eyepieces, how do they perform ?. Do not expect crytal clear view with zero chromatic aberration at this price. But what you do get is a very capable set of binoculars in this price range. The view is more than adequate, giving nice colours and average contrast. Whites are more of a creamy white, rather than a brilliant white (sounding like a paint advert I know, but sums it up). Contrast is of a level to match the price.

Even in the centre of view there is some false colour, which gets worse towards the edges. Saying that, in low contrast situations, this will be less visible. There is some pincusion distortion. But edge of field sharpness is on par , or slightly better than others I have seen in this price range.

Suming up, these are much better than expected for handling and build quality, and very acceptable for binoculars of this size in the 10x42mm category

See HERE for a short video review

 

Posted in Visionary Binocular Reviews | Tagged , | Comments Off on Visionary Nature Scout 2 10×42 binoculars review

Hawke Frontier HDX 10×42 binoculars. Blog post October 2019

The Hawke Frontier HDX 10×42 binoculars were the clear winner when a customer came to Northern Optics at one of our Optics Weekends at Barton Upon Humber. After finding 8x was not enough for distant wildlife targets, and a spotting scope not compact enough, the Hawke Frontier HDX 10×42 binoculars were a great compromise, and had no hesitation in purchasing.

Compared to two other 10×42 binoculars, the customer was impressed not only with the brighter and sharper view, (despite one of the others tested having ED glass), but also by the handling, quality case and lifetime warranty. The buyer also made the comment that many of our customers make, regarding the fact you really need to try before you buy. Our shop window overlooking a nature reserve lake makes it the perfect spot for testing optics.

The HDX range are pretty much the same as the Frontier EDX binoculars, but without ED glass. Weight, FOV and prisms etc are equal.

 

Posted in News and Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Hawke Frontier HDX 10×42 binoculars. Blog post October 2019