Making a Monocular from a Binocular

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jeff.stevens
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Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by jeff.stevens »

I have a vague recollection of a discussion about this before, but I’m not sure whether it was on here or elsewhere.

With recent discussions around monoculars, I recalled someone telling me they had dissembled a broken binocular to reclaim and use one decent half as a monocular. I wondered if anyone on here had done it. I’m assuming the issue would be leaving the focussing mechanism in place.

Best wishes, Jeff.
Brian
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by Brian »

Yes, in the 70's it was common practice to take a cheap(ish) pair of 6x30 (?) Russian binoculars , saw them in half and after a bit of tidying up use the side with diopter focus adjustment "as is" as a finderscope for UK-made astroscopes. Some even had crosshairs added (human hair sometimes). The eyepiece on the non-focusable side was recovered and rehoused in a 1.25inch tube to serve as a telescope eyepiece. The eyepieces in these russian binoculars were often high-quality designs, for instance I have an 18mm Bertele eyepiece from just this source. It is probably the most-used eyepiece for my 8 and 10inch telescopes,

regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
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254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
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jeff.stevens
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by jeff.stevens »

That’s really fascinating, Brian. I wonder if these skills are disappearing in a time of mass-production?

I have a cheap pair of 8x23s and I was considering cannibalising them to create a monocular. I might have to do some digging. I bet there are tutorials on YouTube.

There must be a sense of satisfaction in rescuing the eyepiece from the binocular, as you did, and making such regular use of it. Commendable.

Best wishes, Jeff.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by jeff.stevens »

...and twenty minutes later, a monocular made. I’ve just used it to catch sight of the crescent Moon peeking under a cloud bank above it.

Thanks Brian, your reply and a quick check on YouTube gave me the confidence to have a go.

Best wishes, Jeff.
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Brian
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by Brian »

Well done Jeff :)

Just to say it was not just amateurs who used binoculars as a source of finderscopes and eyepieces back in those far-off days before telescopes became widely-available consumer items. Some of the smaller UK telescope makers used russian and ex-WD optics as a source of components. How the Chinese have changed things in the last 20 years :D

Regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
brian livesey
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by brian livesey »

What everybody would like to know Jeff, is when did you drop those binoculars? :wink:
brian
jeff.stevens
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by jeff.stevens »

:D - Brian, you’ve found me out! I had two cheap sets, which I uncovered a few months back. One of them was almost unusable, as I discovered when I used it on a walk yesterday, and in frustration I binned it. Then I got the other pair out and realised the optics were just about acceptable but it would never adjust to the point where my eyes could view a single comfortable circle. Then I remembered reading some discussions about making a monocular.

I have a Hawke 10x50 monocular, which is quite reasonable, but too bulky to take on a casual walk, so I’m hoping this will be a useful new addition to my kit. It’s more for terrestrial than night sky, but I suspect for a quick attempt at the Moon and planets it might be ok.

Best wishes, Jeff.
SkyBrowser
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by SkyBrowser »

I have a horrible pair of Praktica Sport 8x25s, currently falling to pieces. They came "free" with something, I forget what. I'll try them out as a monocular, and if that's successful I'll see if I can separate them. Just not quite sure now the focusing is going to work, if indeed it does!

The 8X magnification might just be useful enough to catch some of those "target" craters on the Moon.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by jeff.stevens »

It’ll be interesting to see how you get on. During that gorgeous weather of the first lockdown I left my heavy duty tripod set up in our back garden, and used the 10x50 monocular atop a ball joint mount with a very good tension control mech. I was following Venus with it. It was lovely to view through, and being so stable I could get the focus right. Being lighter and less bulky than my other binoculars it worked really well on the tripod.

Best wishes, Jeff.
David Frydman
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Re: Making a Monocular from a Binocular

Post by David Frydman »

I have two German army monoculars that came from a damaged binocular.
Hensoldt Wetzlar 8x30s.
I prefer the right sided one, but it has the reticule, which is a nuisance at night as the lines can obscure stars etc.
IF binoculars have dioptres on both sides.

The Soviet 8x30 binoculars have eyepieces that HW? English of Rayleigh? Essex sold as the E59 with I think 15.5mm focal length.
However, English got them from 8x30 monoculars.
There were maybe hundreds of discarded monocular bodies on the warehouse floor at the back of the premises.
The wholesale imported cost of these monoculars was very low.

I tried to get the Russians to sell the eyepieces ready made, but dealing with them was impossible, even through a Russian importer.

This E59 eyepiece was standard on my 150mm f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain.

It had the largest field possible with 24.5mm drawtubes.

It is I think a Zeiss copy.

Jim Hysom did manage to get about a dozen specially made Soviet 20x60s. These are exceptional compared to the standard 20x60s.
I have one.
The others went to other astronomers.

I have yellow 6x18 waterproof binoculars from 7dayshopcom?. These cost £7.50 and produce two monoculars for less than £4 each. Each side of the binocular has a focus. They are waterproof, in the sink at least.
I worked out the density of the binocular, but cannot remember what it is. It is over 1. I put the binocular in a large plastic measuring jug and weighed it. I said Eureka, as did Archimedes running unclothed from his bath.

Regards,
David
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