A Review of the new Baader Maxbright Binoviewers
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.
William “Bill” Paolini, author of “Choosing and using astronomical eyepieces” (Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series by Springer of New York) received his MaxBright II binoviewer and has written a field test review of them focusing on their features, build and optical quality. Want to find out how they performed?
The MaxBright® II Binoviewer incorporates the knowledge acquired during thirty years of building astronomical binoviewers. It is superior to cheaper models in many details.
- The housing of the 27mm large prisms is made with our own die casting moldss, using Carl Zeiss production drawings. The non-slip leather finish provides extra grip when holding the binoviewer with heavy eyepieces in your hand.
- On the eyepiece side, the newly designed, self-centering Clicklock® eyepiece clamps with diopter adjustment are immediately noticeable. Thanks to the ergonomic design, you can blindly distinguish between clamping and diopter compensation even in the dark. The inner parts are made of stainless steel for maximum stability. The high-quality eyepiece clamps are only the last part of the precisely collimated optical system, which is designed for highest magnifications. This is the only way to achieve the almost three-dimensional image and relaxed observation expected from a binoviewer.
- All optical surfaces of the Maxbright® II feature a 7-layer multi-coating. The prism chairs (mounts) of the prisms are constructed like those of the Mark V Großfeld (Giant)-Binocular. The clear aperture is 26 mm on the telescope side and 25,5mm on the eyepiece side – even our 35 mm eudiascopic eyepieces are illuminated without vignetting. In comparison to models with smaller prisms you can see a much larger part of the sky at the same magnification – similar to our Mark V Großfeld (Giant)-Binocular.
- On the telescope side, either a T-2 cap nut or a dovetail ring with original Zeiss micro bayonet are available – both connection options are included in the scope of delivery and allow a very compact adaptation to all common threads as well as our T-2 prisms and mirrors. Compared to fixed nosepieces, this effectively saves a lot of backfocus. The MaxBright® II is compatible with all Baader Glasspath correctors. According to optical calculations by Carl Zeiss, these correction lens systems shift the focus outwards so that you can still reach focus despite the approximately 11 cm back focus (the required inward travel of the focuser) of the binoviewer. They also compensate for the colour error that would otherwise be introduced through the prisms when using telescopes between f/4 and f/7. Glasspathcorrectors are not simple Barlow lenses, even if they resemble them. For this reason, in Germany the name Glaswegkorrektor® is a protected trademark by Baader Planetarium.