Best Astronomy Binoculars
The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars Review
Having spent a few months with the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars, I finally decided to tell you of my experience with the Binoculars. This is after going through hoops trying to best understand the device. I can tell you the manual came in handy. My review will focus on what you need to know before buying this equipment. Before discovering this product under a huge number of strong ratings, which basically influenced my buying decision, I had tried some four other astronomy binoculars. The reviews touched on all the areas I had suffered at in the past while using the other ones. I could tell this product was going to solve my problem.
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In just a few weeks of purchase I could tell that this was definitely the one for me. I am not the outdoors person so I was definitely willing to give away the portability of a light astronomy binoculars for the power that the massive Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars had to offer. The selling point for me was the eye relief, at 18mm this was a made in heaven for me.
I will go into detail on the user experience I got from the binoculars. I will try expound on the features covering their purpose and then finish with the pros and cons to consider before spending your cash on this beauty.
I had been burnt four times in the past, none the wiser, by going for the cheapest binoculars in the market. This time I had decided that I wasn’t going to let money dictate my decisions. Armed with my credit card, I ordered the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars together with the Orion 5379 Paragon-Plus Binocular Mount and Tripod and the Orion 7589 Binocular Mount Adapter all for a total of US $655.5 from Amazon, with free shipping of course.
Cutting through the sealing tape on the 19-pound box required a glass of wine. Inside the box was the binoculars, binocular lens caps, the aluminum carry case and lens cleaning cloth. I quickly tore through the other boxes containing the mount and the adapter and was now stuck at setting this up.
My friend Kevin had helped set up my previous pieces. Kevin was overseas on business, so I had to do the setting up all by myself. The manuals were hard to understand with the graphical areas in French. I could have called technical support but the thought of waiting on a call while this beauty stared at me was unthinkable. I even thought of using it to stare at birds on the nearby hill, I had been told of bald eagles nesting nearby, but the massive size of the binoculars was not going to let me do this.
A couple trial and error plus a few redo here and there, I stumble across a post on assembling the product. I substituted the wing nut and added some lock washers for the bolts and nuts and countered the binoculars’ weight. Finally, the system all set up and ready to go. This was already 9pm, all I had to do was wait for the one hour to 10 pm and when everybody had switched off their lights I’d begin my deep space trip. My impatience got the better of me and I was outside at 930 pm. My heart sank, everything was so blurry. Even the shape of the nearby hill felt off. My impatience was definitely not going to yield anything this time.
When everything was perfectly dark, I gave it a go again. The potholes on the surface of the moon felt like they were next to my eyes. The sharp edge of the moon on the star filled background was more than I could ask for. The binoculars caught all the light that was bouncing off the moons side and the stars.
I knew the midnight planes would be passing anytime soon. I trained my lens for the flight path. The first plane that passed was a big fail, this was all blurry. I could only see the planet Mars in the background very clearly. I went for the eyepieces. The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars allowed for single eyepiece adjustment. I adjusted each as the planes passed overhead and by the forth train. I could see the airlines logo as the light from the wing’s signal flashed.
Next I went for the moons of Jupiter. The view was breathtaking. They sharply stood in front of the star filled darkness. The large eye relief that the binoculars feature steps in. I relaxed the focus a little bit and voila, the moons in relation to Jupiter! The massive planet sits spaciously on the view. The clear view is worth the price of the binoculars.
A month later I heard of the Thomas Lehmann comet, a small team of enthusiasts from around had decided to meet and watch it. This was going to be a wonderful Saturday night. Kevin had brought his Celestron SkyMaster 25x100 binoculars, they were as massive as mine. Their internal part was a little lighter with the threading easily visible all the way to the eyepiece. This resulted in a less sharp image as compared to what mine had. Once again the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars took the spotlight.
Features of the binoculars that make them the best.
The field of view
The binoculars have an angular field of view of 2.5 degrees. This is quite sufficient for targeted viewing. I have been using them to follow the Thomas Lehmann comet and the view is breath taking especially in the morning sky. The binoculars can be as well used to view deep space objects like far galaxies. I have seen people using them for long range terrestrial surveillance but in my opinion these binoculars are best suited for deep space viewing.
The interpupillary distance
These binoculars have a wide interpupillary distance of between 61mm to 72 mm. While this works fine for me, some individuals have eyes that are quite closer than this. I have seen some of my peers return their equipment as a result of this distance. The alternative would be to look through the binoculars an eye at a time. However, this defeats the purpose of binoculars, which are built for use with two eyes. It definitely would be much wiser to go for a telescope which would be rewarding in such a case. For those like me who have a wider nose bridge, the view from these binoculars defeats any view a telescope could offer.
They feature a strong magnification at 25x which coupled with the powerful 100mm lenses brings out the best of space. This magnification lights up the Jupiter’s moons with such fine detail that it feels like I am using a 40x lens. The images are fluid and brighter as compared to my previous set of astronomy binoculars. This could be easily attributed to their ability to capture as much light as they can and thus brighten the image to greater detail.
I have heard some people say that it features a loose frame which makes everything blurry. In my time spent with these binoculars however, I have yet to experience this phenomenon where the images don’t merge. I would like to point fingers to the poor handling of the equipment but that’s not up to me.
Suitability where size matters
Big astronomy binoculars like the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 have a subset of eligible users among its enthusiasts. These massive binoculars come with a steep price which in most cases limits the individuals who can participate in their fun club. However, looking at these binoculars in detail does define a particular subset of users. Big binoculars are in most cases significantly pricier thus only the older few with extra disposable income can afford them.
This does not mean that they are suitable for them. A characteristic feature of binoculars is the exit pupils. These determine the potion of the entire image you are going to be seeing. The size of the exit pupils is highly dependent on the power of the binoculars. Powerful astronomy binoculars such as this one, feature a smaller exit pupil, at 4.0mm, than the low power cheaper binoculars. The goal is to match the exit pupil with your pupil size. A middle age person like me will definitely have smaller pupils as compared to a person in the early 20s. Therefore, a smaller exit pupil from a powerful binocular is quite suitable for an old rich man than the 20-year-old. This is where the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 prevails amongst its rivals. Its 4.0 mm exit pupil does not discriminate on the aging many whose pupil diameters come close to 5.0 mm. This is in a way the greatest reason why most individuals prefer these binoculars.
These binoculars have been designed for viewing the brighter deep skies. It is common knowledge that brightness drops with the increase in magnification power. Most individuals have found themselves with an expensive pair of unusable binoculars. Not that their particular binoculars are in any way faulty, but because the individuals do not have access to dark skies. The masterful work that went into the design of these binoculars ensures that maximum light is absorbed which in return ensures a sharper image. They are the most suitable binoculars for the individuals who cannot access dark skies.
Power and scope
A beginner would most likely want to experience the immersive space walking experience akin to views from the blockbuster film, The Martian. For such a user, low power binoculars are most suited. These provide a wider scope for maximum emersion. The experienced user will most likely prefer in-depth views of the constellations and galaxies that he has come to know. He is therefore suited for the high power binoculars.
The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 allows its user to adjust the focus on each of its eyepiece as a single unit. This is a powerful feature as at the far end of millions of miles, a few inches of blur caused by an out of focus lens could make the deference in counting 10 stars and 9 stars. As earlier stated the Orion 9326 is a marvel at and a darling for the folks who are particular with their stars.The Orion features the BAK-4 Porro prisms which by requiring the objective lenses be placed further from each other, enhance the performance that can be gotten from the binoculars as compared to their counterparts who use the roof prisms.
Power vs Portability
Powerful binoculars are quite bulky. They have huge masses and are cumbersome to carry. Their lack in portability, however made up for in power, does limit the extent of their use. An individual who likes to venture into the outdoors will most likely find it impractical to bear bulky binoculars. Such an individual is most likely to sacrifice the power gotten from some powerful binoculars for the convenience of the light weight, low power alternative.Powerful binoculars are quite bulky. They have huge masses and are cumbersome to carry. Their lack in portability, however made up for in power, does limit the extent of their use. An individual who likes to venture into the outdoors will most likely find it impractical to bear bulky binoculars. Such an individual is most likely to sacrifice the power gotten from some powerful binoculars for the convenience of the light weight, low power alternative.
On the other hand, just like in vehicles and other petty things, human beings will always associate power with mass and size. Individuals will opt for the more powerful equipment just to satisfy their natural urges of success in size. On a practical note though, a heavy binocular that takes its stance on the stand and holds still on a focused view is quite handy. Take for example, somebody showing his date the view of the rings on Saturn. He would want to first focus on the rings and hold the image right for his date to get a view of the magnificence. They are quite efficient for scholars and artists who specialize on the deep galaxy. They are however not suitable for events such as meteor showers. The power that can be gotten from the Orion 9326 at 25 x 100 is in its way unparalleled.
The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 lacks heavily when it comes to this feature. It is highly important for outdoor equipment to be at the least waterproof. This equipment is not waterproof. To this extent care must be taken when using it outdoors. I lost my previous set of binoculars to water. I am a little more cautious with these ones and limit their use to specific clear nights when I expect no rain water to come into contact with my binoculars.
They however do come with an aluminum carry case which after a while starts to fall apart. I however do not think any serious person would consider having his binoculars, which are not waterproof carried in any container that is not waterproofed.
This is a major pitfall. Individuals forget that picking a stand for your binoculars is as important as picking the right binoculars for your particular need. Stands for binoculars that are used for deep space exploration are quite essential. They mean the difference between spending five minutes to look for a particular star when you look away and just snapping your eyes to point.
Most astronomy binocular stands are indeed useless. They lose a huge chunk of the night’s sky, in most cases anything above 30 degrees on the horizon is lost. The best of the astronomy binoculars come with specialized adapters that allow them a free range swing through a wider angle. To this end the stands that suit them are as expensive as the accompanying binoculars. This particular binoculars, features an integral tripod mounting post that allows it to be adaptable to the majority of stands in the market. Some binoculars like this one, that lacks in waterproof and shock guard features should not be just placed on any tripod stand. Even on most regular stands, you can take extra precautions like adding an extra 13 pounds to counter the stand and fastening nuts and bolts to ensure that the massive binoculars do not fall off.
Orion Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars Overview
The binoculars have to this day acquired 13 positive reviews and only two critical reviews on the Amazon website. On Orion’s website, the binoculars have gathered quite a number of reviews and over 1100 ratings placing it at 4.5 stars. The individuals who loved the device did however complain about the aluminum casing while praising the quality of work that has gone into the making of the binoculars. The aluminum casing seems to be the main issue that most people who disliked the product cited.
Some people did mention the bulkiness of the product. This is a typical feature of high power binoculars, therefore anyone going for the high power binoculars should be ready to buy a stand and the adapter, since using them without the stand is quite cumbersome. The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars are not an exception to this rule.
The large Interpupillary distance has been cited as a problem for most people with a smaller interpupillary distance. It should however be noted that this distance can be adjusted by a well-trained technician with the downside that it could void the products warranty.
Pros & Cons
- Small field of view which allows for detailed focus on deep space objects. This is particularly handy for high power binoculars whose main intent is specific view of objects in space.
- Individual eye piece focus which allows for finer fine tuning and focusing. This is a feature that is particularly essential at longer distances. More like bringing an object to a sniper’s crosshairs.
- Use of Porro Prisms which allows that the objective lenses be spaced further apart than the eye pieces. This allows for the binoculars’ eye scopes to be free of the sizes in diameter of the lenses.
- The lens is fully multi coated. This helps maximize the amount of light that reaches the observers eyes after transmission through the binoculars’ glass surface. It is this feature that makes the binoculars images particularly sharper.
- The aluminum case is a particular nightmare. Its rivets start to come off in no time. In extreme cases, the aluminum case has been reported to shatter into separate riveted pieces. This is clearly a result of poor attention to the setting up of the case.
- The small exit pupil is only suitable for the elderly individuals whose pupil sizes have reduced to this size. Individuals of younger ages will have to squint a lot to match the exit pupil which makes the experience quite tiring.
- Individuals have complained about the free frame, which is as a result of allowing for single lens adjustments. In some extreme cases, individuals have complained of the images not merging. This could be a fault from the lack of shock to protect against shock damage.
- The device lacks water proofing. To an outdoor equipment like the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100, water proofing should come as a default. Its absence might be however justified by the lack of unpleasant things like condensing but as a user who lives in heavy rainfall areas, waterproofing my binoculars is most important.
- Wide interpupillary distance. This is a problem specific to individuals with narrow faces. The wide distance makes it impossible for such individuals to advantageously use the device with most tending towards alternatives such as telescopes.
How it compares to its competitors.
I have previously owned the following binoculars in the past and can clearly say the Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 emerges as the best astronomy binoculars.
- Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars. These binoculars were quite good. They were fully waterproofed, with fog proof and had the Porro prisms with the BAK-4 glass. They however featured a near focus of 328ft compared to the 100ft of the Orion 9326, their exit pupils were at 3.5mm compared to the 4mm which made everything quite dark at my young age back in the day. They are as well quite expensive with a price tag of US $880 for half the power of the Orion 9326.
- Fujinon Polaris 16x70 FMT-SX Binoculars. A good marketer with quite the sales pitch got me to buy these babies at USD $700. They quickly became a disappointment. The eye relief is down to 12.4 mm compared to the Orion 9326 which stands at 19mm. The exit pupil is larger than the Orion 9326. It has a very low near focus but for the size it comes short on performance. It is outdone by even some low power binoculars on performance. It is a weak option that is significantly overpriced.
- Zhumell 20x80 SuperGiant Binoculars. The decision to buy this one was quite easy. The price fitted my budget. At the time I was really feeling the need for a big binocular. I took the biggest in the market, and this is all this product had to offer. To start with, they featured a center focus which takes away the dexterity achievable by an individual focus device. It features a BAK-7 prism glass which makes the view quite blurry with light irregularly distributing.
- Orion Mini Giant 9x63 Astronomy Binoculars. The price at US $234 felt right. I had been getting good reviews about Orion equipment from my small circle of astronomy enthusiasts. I decide this was going to be a good match. The product featured a center focus, and as always has been a disqualifier for me. The device had a very large exit pupil at 7mm. For anybody at my age, this size of an exit pupil takes away the sharpness of images. It had a weak magnification at 9x compared to the 25x on the 9326. This was good for bird watching but made deep space viewing very boring.
The product goes for US $361 at Amazon. This is quite steep, seeing that other products like the Celestron Skymaster goes for $279 at Amazon. The same price is available at TelescopeS.NET which comes with free standard shaping. Bambuzo and Skodot have the steepest prices for the product at around US $450.
The Orion 9326 Giant View 25x100 is by far the most appropriate astronomy binoculars for deep space exploration. It has been the best binoculars that I have owned and from the reviews online I can tell that more people have enjoyed owning this product. The aluminum casing is significantly unworthy companions of this piece of binoculars, I would therefore encourage anybody buying this product to get a different carry case. It is a favorite of many astronomy enthusiasts despite its relatively steep price which is clearly a good bargain. It is indeed a must have.