Baader Planetarium Maxbright Binocular Viewer with 2" Nosepiece and 2.6X Glasspath Compensator
Back in 1996, we discovered for ourselves the benefits of observing with two eyes. The improvements are dramatic in the reduction of eye-strain, and the ability to comfortably concentrate on objects and discern faint contrasts. Using two eyes also serves to compensate for floaters and astigmatism, and in effect reduces the visual noise in images. These effects are equally dramatic for both planetary and deep sky viewing. Once you try viewing with two eyes, you will never want to go back to single-eye viewing again.
With over 20 years of binoviewer experience, Baader Planetarium is the world's expert in in the design and production of high-end Astronomical Binocular Viewers. Their flagship, the Mark V Giant Binoviewer, has proven itself to be the finest no-compromise binoviewer ever produced for astronomy. Now, Baader has taken this know-how and combined it with low-cost Chinese manufacturing in order to vastly reduce the price for a true high-quality Baader astronomical binoviewer.
The Baader Maxbright-Binocular is not just a cosmetic variation of the same Chinese binoviewer everyone seems to be re-labeling these days. Baader Planetarium has worked extensively with their own independent partner in China to redesign critical elements of their viewer, as well as to train and bring the optical assembly and quality control processes up to their German standards. The result may cost a few dollars more than the clones, but we think the extra quality, performance, and features are worth the modest investment. In our own critical comparisons done at high magnifications on Mars, we found the performance of the Maxbright to be surprisingly comparable to our superb Mark V binoviewer.
- Precise Collimation. In order to merge images at high magnifications, the optical centerlines of the two light paths must be kept accurately centered and squared, relative to the eyepieces and user's eyes. This requires very precise positional and angular alignment of all the optical and mechanical elements of a viewer. These sensitive alignments must be maintained over the life of the viewer, even after rough handling during shipment. To accomplish this critical factory collimation on each and every binoviewer, Baader has incorporated some key improvements;
- New proprietary Baader metal die-castings, featuring re-designed prism seats made to the same precision as the Mark V viewer.
- Laterally adjustable eyepiece holders (with diopter adjustment and multiple clamp screws). Unlike the Chinese clone viewers, the Maxbright eyepiece holders are collimatable. This is an essential element to being able to fully collimate all viewers for work at high magnifications. They can even be removed and replaced in the future with high precision Baader Clicklock adapters (future availability).
- Interocular separation range of 53mm - 74.5mm..
- Three Dedicated Glasspath Compensators™. 1.25X/1.7X/2.6X, for optimal binoviewing with any telescope (refractor or Newtonian). Unlike other viewers, these compensators are Not just a Barlow or other simple amplifier lens! These proprietary multi-coated doublet compensators were specially designed for astronomical binoviewers by Carl Zeiss and AstroPhysics to actually compensate for the chromatic aberration, or color fringing, that exists in all binocular viewers, as well as the spherical aberration caused by binoviewers (from the long lightpath through the glass in the prisms). In addition to correcting these color and spherical errors, the Baader Glasspath Compensators also reduce the amount of telescope back-focus (in-travel) needed. This is especially critical in reflectors and many refractors. For help in determining the appropriate compensator, please click on the More Info link.
- Full Multi-coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. The excellent multi-coatings of the Maxbright-Binocular deliver a very bright and contrasty image.
- 23mm diameter clear front aperture. Excellent illumination of all 1.25" eyepieces - even long focal length wide-field eyepieces. In our tests with a TeleVue 24mm Panoptic (68degree field) and the very fast Takahashi Sky 90 (f/5.6), there was a only a slight amount of vignetting (light cut-off) visible just inside the edge of the eyepiece field stop. When tested with a 21mm and 28mm Pentax XL, the field was brightly illuminated all the way to the very edge of the field stops.
- T-2 System Modularity. The rotating knurled front T-thread ring enables the Maxbright-Binocular to fit all existing telescope makes with the shortest possible path length possible. The Maxbright comes standard with a removable 1.25" or 2" nosepiece to fit any telescope, but it may also be adapted to attach to a multitude of accessories and telescopes directly through the use of our Astro T-2 System. Through this system, the Maxbright may be directly close-coupled to just about any exotic thread; Vixen/Takahashi (M43x1, M36.4), Pentax (M43x0.75), Intes (M42x1), SCTs (2"x24tpi), AP (2.7"), Zeiss (M44), etc.
Each Maxbright Binocular Viewer comes with a fitted foam-lined storage case and your choice of Glasspath Compensator™ (1.25X/1.7X/2.6X) and Precision Nosepiece (1.25" or 2", both threaded for Filters). The compensators simply slip into the nosepiece (prior to attaching the nosepiece) using the included spacer ring. Glasspath Compensators are also available separately, to conveniently enable different magnifications and reduced path-lengths. Also, a base model of the Maxbright is available for Newtonian users with the Baader 2" Newtonian 1.7X Coma-Correcting Glasspath Compensator. For help in determining the appropriate compensator, please click on the More Info link.
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