Telescope Binoculars

Is it possible to fix antique scopes or binoculars so that they can be used today? Antiques command great respect, but modern appliances offer advantages that old models do not have. Collectors are aware of antiques coming on the market. They hunt for old optics and they find them in pawnshops, at garage sales, swap meets, camera shows, utilizing every possible opportunity. Collections of antique telescopes, binoculars, lenses, and old tools and equipment are a bold reminder of yesterday. This is the "show and tell" of history; preserved collectors are professional people, as well as amateur astronomers. Librarians and researchers record this history in museums and journal publications.

An Antique Telescope Society was formed just over a decade ago. This international organization of more than 200 collectors and antique dealers has established ongoing support for maintenance, restoration, and preservation of antique instruments. Some of the members own an antique instrument, but others do not. All share an avid interest in the preservation of antique instruments, and they have a strong commitment to education. Preservation techniques are made available through scheduled workshops and journal articles, as well. In an effort to preserve the accumulated information of this optic society, members have collaborated in writing biographies of persons who have made significant contributions in the development of telescopes and binoculars. As this research is shared, the benefits are enjoyed on a global scare.

The Antique Telescope Society does not assign monetary values to antique instruments. Individual members and dealers provide price information for buying or selling items. Seasoned collectors/dealers often discuss or trade information on the antique instruments. Collecting is expensive. A person, who is a member of the Antique Telescope Society, may own an antique instrument, or they may not. A member who has a genuine interest in the history of telescopes and the preservation of these antique instruments will be an asset to the organization and they will benefit from membership.

How old must a telescope be to be considered antique? Age is a factor, but a real antique must be complete and in good condition. Perfect items are rare. Research of the history of telescopes will show comparative examples. Recording the life of the instrument using oral history will establish its viability.

Antique binoculars and telescopes are attractive buys for collectors, while a vintage spyglass has its own unique appeal. With the fine art of restoration, a greater number of artifacts are salvaged. The historical roots of telescopes present exciting challenges for collectors and dealers, as well. Research is most relevant, when recorded in a timely manner, as sage members of the Antique Telescope Society hold the technical knowledge that is critical. This knowledge must be compiled for the good of collectors and dealers. The value of antique binoculars and their counterparts has increased while the inventory of these antiques in circulation has also grown.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as Bushnell binoculars at

Do telescope binoculars really work that well?

I think that's what they are called. I can see that body and earth movement would be a problem, but as long as I could look at Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter for a minute or so at a time, I would be happy. Can you see Saturn at all? If you like these types of binoculars, what do you suggest as best?

"Telescope binoculars"? No such term. There are "astronomical binoculars", binocular telescopes, and binoviewers which use a prism to split the single light cone from a regular telescope to converge into two eyepieces.

Astronomical binoculars start as small as 10x50 on up. As Eri said, you can see these targets with the naked eye. I have a pair of 25x100 binoculars (a bit of a hassle to mount adequately). With them I can just begin to make out the rings of Saturn and the two most prominent belts of Jupiter. Lower magnification won't show these, though you can still see the Galilean moons of Jupiter and sometimes the phases of Venus with 7x or 10x.

Binocular telescopes, which are two twin telescopes with interchangeable eyepieces are generally of small aperture (less than 110mm unless you have one custom made), only moderate magnifications (usually less than 50x), are relatively expensive in themselves and are massive enough that they will demand a massive expensive mount to use them (forget about hand-holding!).

The above a choices that most appeal to the "richest field" viewing of star clusters, nebulae and other non solar system objects except for hunting down comets, which have a nebulous appearance.

If your main interest is planets you are best off with a regular telescope. Some people like binoviewers with their telescopes. But they are not an essential accessory, and if (like me) you have problems merging images with your eyes then they won't appeal at all.

How to Buy a Telescope : Binoculars Vs. Telescopes

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