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 >  Maxbright-Binocular Viewer


 >  2" Newton 1.7X Coma-Correcting Glasspath Compensator




Maxbright-Binocular Viewer


Maxbright Bino with Glasspath Compensators and 1 Nosepiece

Fitted Foam-Lined Case

Maxbright Binocular Viewer, Some Various T-2 Accessories


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 SystemThrough 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.

For info on different configurations and selecting glasspath compensators, please click on More Info.  Additional product information can also be found in the Baader Data Sheet   (179 kB)

and the Updated  Maxbright Binocular Viewer Instruction Manual  (1280 kB)

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.

- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 1 Nosepiece, 1.25X Glasspath Compensator, (#BINO-11)

- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 1 Nosepiece, 1.7X Glasspath Compensator, (#BINO-12)

- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 1 Nosepiece, 2.6X Glasspath Compensator, (#BINO-13)


- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 2" Nosepiece, 1.25X Glasspath Compensator, (#BINO-21)

- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 2" Nosepiece, 1.7X Glasspath Compensator, (#BINO-22)

- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, 2" Nosepiece, 2.6X Glasspath Compensator,  (#BINO-23)


- Baader Maxbright-Binocular, base (no nosepiece or compensator),  (#BINO)  weight 18oz (510gm)

- Baader 45 Erecting Prism for Maxbright Bino w/ integral 2X Glasspath Compensator and 1" Nosepiece (#MAXAMICI)  





2" Newtonian 1.7X Coma-Correcting Glasspath Compensator


2" Newton 1.7X Corrector and Maxbright Bino

(shown with included T2-07 Change Ring)

Maxbright Bino with 2" Newton 1.7X Corrector and Hyperion Eyepieces

Until now, using a binoviewer with Newtonians has been difficult, owing to the limited back-focus (in-travel) of most telescopes (particularly dobsonians).  Some binoviewers require up to 5" of back-focus, far more than available on any typical Newtonian.  Often, users must significantly shorten the truss poles or tube, in order to extend the focal plane (penalizing central obstruction, or increasing vignetting).  Another solution has been to use a high powered barlow or small diameter 1.25" optical corrector/extender lens, which has the drawback of increasing magnification and significantly reducing the field of view illumination.  What is needed is a large aperture low power focal-extender to extend the focal plane of a Newtonian, without excessive amplification or introducing new aberrations.  Baader Planetarium enlisted the services of the world-renowned Zeiss APQ optical designer, Dr. Pudenz,  to design such a difficult corrector specifically for Newtonians.  The Baader 1.7X Newtonian Compensator is the result of this collaboration.

Not just another me-too optical multiplier/extender, the complex optical design of the new Baader 2" Newtonian 1.7X Coma-Correcting Glasspath Compensator  provides an extremely sharp and high contrast image on-axis, as well as off-axis -thanks, in part, to it's coma-correcting properties.  The design also incorporates glasspath compensation for the spherical aberration and color error inherent in binoviewers. 

It's large clear aperture avoids vignetting, even with the Baader Mark V Giant Binoviewer.  The finest 7 layer multi-coatings available provide extremely high transmission optimized for visual use.  Carefully designed and executed internal baffling eliminates all off-axis stray light - pointing the corrector to the light reveals a pitch black interior free of reflections from all internal surfaces (also, threaded for 2" filters).  This is especially important in truss tube Newtonians, where off-axis light may enter the corrector from the side.  The result is an almost transparent optical system that won't reduce image quality in any way (it actually improves the off-axis performance).

Each Newtonian compensator corrector comes ready to attach to the Baader Maxbright-Binocular viewer.   Simply screw on the included T2-07 Quick Change Ring to the Maxbright, and the Newtonian Compensator quickly attaches via it's integral quick change dovetail.   The compensator also attaches directly to the integral dovetail of the 29mm aperture Baader Mark V Giant Binoviewer.  

Please Note:  The Baader 2" compensator has been designed first, and foremost, for high image quality.  While the Newtonian Compensator greatly reduces the needed back-focus, in order to achieve such high image quality, some back-focus is still required.  When used with the Baader Mark V binocular viewer, approximately 32-38mm of telescope back-focus (focuser in-travel) is needed.  The Baader Maxbright-Binocular Viewer requires approximately 30-36mm of back-focus.  This value is approximate, and depends on the specific eyepiece used and any focus correction that is required by the observer's eyesight.  This distance is Not adjustable (unlike some bino multiplier/extenders).  Changing the optical spacing (and amplification factor) in order to vary back-focus compromises the optical performance and results in a reduction of  image quality.  For help in determining your telescope's back-focus, please click on the Back-Focus link.

- Baader 2" Newtonian 1.7X Coma-Correcting Glasspath Compensator, (#ORJ) wt 245gm




Last Update 04/29/08


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