I vividly recall reading of one of Galileo’s postulated navigational aids, involving a hapless seaman swinging perilously from a bosun’s chair with what we might now call binoculars strapped firmly to his eyes by a helmet. I may have mis-read, but since this seventeenth century suggestion for the observation of Jovian satellites, astronomical binoculars have thankfully come a long way.
Binoculars have eagerly followed the telescope’s lead in employing multicoated ED (extra-low dispersion) glass for superior correction, if not elimination, of the various aberrations imparted by ‘ordinary’ optics. Indeed, in these new ED binoculars from Vixen, a particular affinity to their telescopic cousins is by virtue of the freedom of available magnification, since the choice of 31.7mm fitting eyepieces is left to the user. Thus, a low-power, rich field view might be chosen or, by using eyepieces of 4mm or so, lunar or planetary detail might be leached by a powers of 100×. With a limiting magnitude given as +11 and a weight of under four kilograms (nine pounds), this instrument will leap at the chance of visits to dark site skies.