Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by philwright66

  1. handheld is all about a very fast shutter speed, imho. maybe underexpose a bit since the brightness can always be increased in ps elements or whatever. i shot the moon a few days ago @ 1000mm f10 with my sony a7r + tak fc100 handheld @ 1/1500 sec with no camera-shake issues. i actually feel it is a total myth that a tripod is a must to image the moon with a dslr. cheers,phil
  2. cheers Axel. i have had years of practice, first with a William Optics Megrez 72,then an Skywatcher ED80,then Celestron 5,Stellarvue SVR90 ,and now the Takahashi FC100D . Anyone who owns a lightweight apo and dslr is missing out if they haven't tried the handheld telephoto method imho. Most 'scopes will probably require an extension tube to reach prime focus however. The setup is ideal for aviation photography or stationary bird photography - and perfect for full-disc lunar photography.It's all about a fast shutter speed, and fully manual exposure control.
  3. hi Ash, yep handheld. a very fast shutter speed does the trick ,with a moderate iso setting. the original image was a bit dim tbh,so i have boosted the brightness in ps elements.try it with your ed 80 if you have a dslr - you will be surprised that it is quite easy to point at bright targets for long enough to fire off a few frames! the focus can be hard to nail down, but with the lcd on the camera it is easy enough to keep tweeking the focuser until the lcd image is sharp zoomed in. my sony a7r has focus peaking,so objects in-focus take on a red glow in the electronic wysiwyg viewfinder.,and that makes focussing almost too easy! ps i bought the tak fc100d because it is amazingly light for it's 100mm aperture and 740mm focal length. cheers,phil
  4. cheers Richard. i have been using apo refractors as telephoto lenses for about 6 years. lightness is absolutely the no 1 requirement,and with my new Takahashi only weighing 2.8 kg it is quite easy to hold. used 1/1600 sec @ iso 400 so managed to freeze any camera-shake. i feel that apo refractors would beat any exotic camera lens for sharpness,and £££s
  5. imaged with my new Tak + Kenko 1.4x teleconverter ,attached to a Sony a7r 36 megapixel camera. total focal length around 1000mm f10 .Handheld ,with focus peaking employed to focus fairly well. thanks for looking,phil
  6. i bought a £20 'prinzflex' 135 f3.5 for my sony a65 2 years ago ,and fortunately it reaches infinity with the m42 adapter. Earlier this year ,when i heard that comet PANSTARRS and ISON were on their way, i bought a Minolta af 135 f2.8 for around £200 on ebay. Anyways, i didn't bother with the cheap prinzflex when shooting a few images of PANSTARRS - instead "knowing" that the Minolta would be far superior. A week or two after ,i was comparing daytime images of airliners taken from my garden just to see which lens was better.Answer : the £20 prinzflex was absolutely tack-sharp with almost zero CA,whereas the £200 Minolta was soft with pronounced green edges .both lens were tested using 'optimum' apertures of around f5.6.i sold the minolta the next day.
  7. Hi again Neil, The recollimation taking account of image shift is an interesting idea which i will try once i get a laser collimater.i have actually bought both the colour and mono versons of the ZWO ASI120 which i bought around december in anticipation of the great optics i am 'collecting' ! here is one of my VX10L first light Jupiter images,taken using an ASI120MC. Thanks again,Phil
  8. hi Dunkster, yes i know what you are saying. I am thinking along the lines of buying something where i don't get the 'what if i bought that instead' feeling. I guess i could save almost 1k if i bought the standard C9.25, but i have read so many reports of 'apo-like' performance from the EDGE HD versions that i would regret buying the non-HD version. I know that in the centre of the field the 2 types would be virtually identical if both are of similar quality,but for all-round observing especially low power views the new model would be much better.I used to have a wonderful WO flt110 apo so i know how nice the views are. Cheers,Phil
  9. my vx10 is actually very sharp with easily collimatable optics. the certified strehl is .996 with 1/10pv which cost me £200 extra so it should be good! the stars both sides of focus seem pretty identical to me with a quick look so i guess things are as stated.the one thing i do not like is the stock focuser. it has huge image shift which makes focusing a planet at long focal lengths very difficult. later this year i may upgrade the focuser to a baader steeltrack or a feather-touch. cheers,phil
  10. Hi again Neil, Truly interesting ideas and advice. I will let you know how things turn out when i buy the 9.25. Maybe the neq6 in a few months for the autumn/winter nights. Thanks again,phil
  11. Hi Neil, thanks for your advice. I bought the VX10L f6.3 in january. I do find it hard to handle. Imaging Jupiter with it the first time, the focuser was 8 feet in the air which was a bit difficult. Maybe i should get a better mount instead, and try to maximise usage of the 10" ? I have been looking at the NEQ6 AZ which would be ideal for the newt mounted in alt-az mode. I will be selling the 180 mak in any event. I would regard the 9.25 as more of a quick grab scope,and that is what is in my mind. the 10" is more of a big setting up ,cooling down instrument, which is fine when the sky is staying clear,but is a pain when the sky clouds over the minute i put the imaging cam into the focuser! i don't mind having two similar-performing scopes tbh,if the convenience factor is higher. Thanks,Phil
  12. Cheers, i should have it next week sometime. Just getting the funds together now. I'm thinking that i may buy it from Telescope Service in Germany since it is £600 less than the uk rrp at the gbp/euro current exchange rates.Even from the USA it would work out a lot less than the UK distributer's(David Hinds) rrp. Not sure about warranty issues though.May or may not be worth the risk! Thanks again,Phil
  13. Having used my SW 180 mak for 3 years now,i have decided to go for one of the best planetary imaging scopes available. i have researched the normal C9.25 as well as the EDGE HD version and decided to go with the latest design due to all the positive reviews. I have a CG5 non-goto which should cope with the weight reasonably well,since it will mainly be used for high-res planetary imaging which doesn't really cause the mount to struggle too much. I also have a C6 grab and go super-sharp sct which is great for quick sessions between clouds,as well as a huge cumbersome Orion Optics VX10L which my mount just about handles.Ideally though ,i need something small compact but which will pack a punch so the celestron 9.25 edge hd is the one! Cheers,Phil
  14. thanks shaun. used the native 1500mm focal length with no barlow. quite a wide angle view in fact. i think the seeing at the time was extremely good,and i managed to get the focus spot-on as well. i'm still experimenting with my 3 month old asi120mm planet cam,in terms of gain/exposure settings,as well as resolution/framerate settings. next time the moon phase is favourable i will have a go at imaging the same area with my 2x televue barlow to see how it fares. cheers,phil
  15. hi james.thanks for the kind words! yep the darker square was caused by the surface image stabilisation anchor in AS!2.tried but failed to get rid of it! cheers,phil
  16. incidently,the c6 was using it's native focal length of 1500mm (f10) for this image. used AS!2 stacking around 1000 frames from 1800. 3x drizzle ,wavelets in r6.
  17. @nightfisher. thankyou very much! i'm thinking that-maybe- the very high resolution of the asi120mm is helping to image stuff that is classed as 'difficult' imho! cheers,phil
  18. imaged on the 18 february,using the ASI120MM mono cam with my super-sharp celestron sct. seeing seemed very good for some of the time. the original image shows the central rille in the alpine valley quite well but i'm not sure how this jpeg will turn out. cheers,phil
  19. the moon was right over the roofs of nearby houses at the time so seeing conditions were very dubious at best!
  20. imaged 19 february using a sw 180 mak @ native focal length,2700mm f15. a stack of around 1000 frames. probably a few more craterlets to show up with better processing. cheers,phil
  21. @yesteryeargames, sounds like an interesting sighting! visible for too long to be a meteor i think. seems to be something genuinely anomalous ie a ufo. obviously aircraft of all kinds need to be ruled out.as well as the dreaded lanterns. i know a lot of astronomers regard sightings like these as a taboo. it's like a "don't even go there" attitude. cheers,phil.
  22. hi DrRobin, thanks for your thoughts. yep 10,000 frames imaged in 100 seconds.i think the res. of the camera was set to 400x400 in firecapture.stacking ,using AS!2 only took about 3 minutes,although i didn't use many alignment boxes,and my laptop is an i7 quad core.when i sort out my focuser issues i will use barlow lenses to get more planetary details. phil
  23. hi Kokatha man, the native fl of the scope is f6.3! i tried to use a 2x televue barlow but the focuser seems to have a few teething problems,with image shift all over the place - going completely off the screen when trying to focus.so rather waste time with that i just stuck to the native focal length of 1600mm f6.3 ,just to see how things turned out. i will probably buy a feathertouch focuser as soon as funds permit. the sharpness of the moon on the jovian limb really stood out when imaging - much sharper than i had ever seen with my 7" mak. thanks for the kind words ! phil
  24. spent some time collimating the mirrors in my new OO VX10L yesterday.clear skies were predicted so i tried to get the optics lined up as well as i could.used a ASI120MC @100 frames per second.native focal length of 1600mm @ f6.3 .10,000 frames captured.75% stacked. 1.5x drizzle in AS!2. wavelets in Registax6.
  25. Ordered a VX10L 10" F6.3 with 1/10 pv wave optics on the 3rd january and had an email from them stating it should be ready by the 20th january. With the VAT the total price was £950,which i found to be a great price for such a large,british made 'scope with excellent certified optics.i was considering several other 'scopes such as a celestron 9.25/11,or a skywatcher 250p,but went with the OO VX10L due to it's tiny secondary obstruction and reputation for great optics. Received an email from OO on the 10th stating that my 'scope had shipped via UPS for next day delivery. On the 11th my partner waited in for the box to arrive. The huge box turned up around 3pm and the delivery driver stood it on it's end in the hallway. i put the box down on it's side and opened it. i was very impressed with the size of the tube still snugly packed. i left it an hour to acclimatise the cold 'scope to the warm room before i removed it from the packaging. On removing the ota from the box, i noticed a piece of black triangular alloy left in the box at the primary end - and it dawned on me that it was a piece from the mirror cell. shock had already set in when two more triangular pieces were found unattached to anything. Grabbed a torch to have a good look at the mirror+cell and my worst fear came to reality. The primary mirror had come loose from the cell and had been tumbling around in the tube.Decided to disassemble the whole cell to secure the primary,and figure out how much damage was done. Shards of mirror-glass were in the tube as i took the cell out. On inspecting the primary mirror, the damage didn't seem too severe - a few scuffs,scratches and chips but nothing major. Yet the shards of mirror-glass didn't seem to 'fit' the primary damage. Shone the torch up the tube at the secondary assembly,and noticed one of the four vanes severely bent out of shape. Obviously been impacted by the primary mirror. took the protective wrapping off the secondary mirror and noticed a huge chunk of it missing. So that solved reason for the the shards of mirror in the tube. Emailed OO notifying them of the damage.They stated that they would sort it out to my satisfaction straight away. I said i would send the damaged optics back ,instead of the whole 'scope. OO arranged for UPS to pick up the cardboard box containing the damaged items on the 14th january,and i received an email stating my replacement items would be sent out on the17th. Received the new mirrors +cell/secondary assembly on the 18th. Fitted the new mirrors today,and they are looking very nice! I'm happy now So it seems that UPS must have been really chucking the 'scope package about to cause the primary mirror to come loose.Not good. Still, Orion Optics really were very rapid in sorting the problem and getting replacement parts back to me. Superb customer service. Here is the new primary mirror prior to fitting in the tube: Cheers,Phil
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.