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Posts posted by buzz

  1. Thanks for the suggestions - the sharpstar quaduplet looks nice but is a bit short and close to my Tak85 native focal length.

    As already mentioned, I previous had a FLT98  and FLT110 (which I sold to buy the FLT132). I used the Flat 68 from the FLT132 on  my FLT98 but I never found a spacing that gave a good outer field, so I only used it with a reducer making it only 500 mm FL. I sold both to buy the Tak85.

    Nice to hear about the rotolock, has to be better than my original DDG focuser, which wagged around like a puppy tail. Nobody used the StellaMira (or the Orion-badged equivalent)?



  2. I'm looking for a good performance and value 600-something focal length refractor for deep-sky imaging, which is relatively portable.

    Over the years I have had several WO scopes (FLT98 / FLT110 / Star 71 / ZS 73 ) and still have an FLT132 (feathertouch) and RedCat.  I sold the FLT98 to get a Tak85 - but the Tak106 is too close in focal length and more than I want to spend.

    The FLT132 and Redcat have good optics, most of the others were good to ok optically but their focusers were a mixed bag. I have the new reducer for the FLT132 - but the assembly is a bit of a beast for portable use.

    Both the GT103 and SM104 have similar specs. I am not familiar with either of their focus mechanics or how they compare optically. I'm wary of fancy glass claims as it does not necessarily make for a better image.

    I wondered if anyone had insights into these two? Shame I cannot get Mr Reid to contribute!


  3. The major problem lies with how one defines 'beginner'.  Some want to do astrophotography with their iPhone. Remarkable as it is and while some will get some images, it is not the right tool for the job. Some starters will want a full explanation of how to use a photo-editing suite like Photoshop. That is a book in itself.

    The subject depth is an issue with some books that cover a broad church. When you delve, however, there is precious little insight in any of the tricky subjects like guiding, autofocusing and image processing. Publishers restrict page count and it is a tricky decision on what to leave in and what to take out.

    I'm one of the few authors who includes a bibliography and acknowledges the work of others. In the list above, Charles' stands out.

    • Like 1

  4. On 22/04/2020 at 20:32, Louis D said:

    I was wondering why the following books are never recommended on SGL for beginners:

    The Deep-sky Imaging Primer [by Bracken]

    Getting Started: Long Exposure Astrophotography [by Hall]

    Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astrophotography [by Lodriguss]

    The Astrophotography Manual: A Practical and Scientific Approach to Deep Space Imaging [by Woodhouse]

    Is it because Making Every Photon Count is just that much better or the ones I listed are just much too advanced for beginners?

    My book, The Astrophotography Manual, is intentionally not a beginner's book. It is aimed at existing practitioners who want to progress. Astro books go out of date very quickly and some of these are already showing their age. I have just published a new book, aimed at beginners, called "Capturing the Universe" which is bang up to date.

    • Like 1

  5. To polar align - it depends on what reticle they are using. If it is a clock face, like the latest EQ ones, you would set a single orientation with 12 - 6 line vertical, center the reticle (once only) with the two adjusters by rotating RA axis and then just read off the setting from any smartphone app.

  6. Some new news  on their website now. Looks like its electrical interface has developed. I'm guessing if you can control a modem or printer via a HTTP webpage, there is no reason why you couldn't do the same with a mount to align it and point it in the right direction. Full robotic control (via ASCOM say) would be the icing on the cake.

  7. This is not a newbie question but a genuine one, trying to find a sensible mount recommendation around £1000 for imaging. I already have an Avalon Linear and Paramount but I'm not up to date with the less expensive models. I'm trying to put a system together for a strict budget and which is going to be usable. I bought a GEM last year, which will remain nameless, which had a PE of 80" pk-pk. A replacement worm increased that to 110 and a replacement mount was worse still. It went back. I really don't want another horror story.

    I did consider Fornax and Astrotrac but once you add all the bits together, the price is close to a GEM. The load will be no more than a medium refractor and small guidescope.

    Any suggestions (it doesn't have to be new)?

  8. I agree with the last post.

    I share the frustration with UK weather and LP and am finding myself resorting to narrowband imaging more and more. I did a talk at a local junior school on astronomy. One lad asked me why do I do it (astrophotography). I thought for a moment and replied 'because it is difficult'. 


    • Like 2

  9. I bought this for my EQ6 mount and then, with an adaptor plate used it with 10Micron GM1000 and a Paramount MX.  Tripod is boxed and has rubber and spiked feet and is in excellent condition. Prefer buyer to collect but will post (two boxes). This is the double clamp version. This is a fantastic tripod and only reason for sale is that I now use a pier in an obsy.

    If the buyer wants to use it with a Paramount MX, I still have the professionally made adaptor/pier extender. 



  10. I bought a full frame SLR and decided to splash out on a Tak Baby Q.  I have to sell the WO Star 71. It is extremely good for the price and can thoroughly recommend it for APS-C cameras. It is in excellent condition and is stored indoors when not in use.

    £765 - buyer can collect, or I can post in original box for £20 to the UK.

    I took this image with it:  http://www.digitalastrophotography.co.uk/Astrophotography/Images.html#16

    I also have a Lakeside focuser bracket for it, if you want me to include it.


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