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Flying Eye

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Everything posted by Flying Eye

  1. I'll keep them crossed for you then, it's the best I can do; I can't think of a single thing to suggest sadly, as this is way beyond anything I would ever attempt. Good luck with it all.
  2. I like both shots, in both cases it gives a sense of "being there" and a good photo should take you places in my view. The technical fades into insignificance if the shot takes you there.
  3. Looks like in the second shot (35mm) there is a greater tendency to blow out highlights, so something to watch out for with that one (at f8 that should have been less likely I'd have thought, but I could be dead wrong, as you never stop learning). The very tops of the sheep's backs have just about blown, more so the sun-ward flank of the sheep in the foreground. Not so good for bright stuff perhaps?
  4. Herakles, this thread has a few examples of modding the xbox web cam, also some posts of which adapters work well with it (including some links) Hope it helps.
  5. Those Manfrotto boys really don't mess about when they make something do they? BTW a small word of warning about Manfrotto kit, it breeds, with them it's somewhat worse than those Tribble things in StarTrek!
  6. Thanks very much for that Peter, it's odd perhaps but the potential for the more comfortable viewing angle is a feature I would value greatly, so it's an even more interesting item for me. For the very short time that I had a 45 degree spotting scope during this week I would rate that angle as the very best bit of it, another 45 on top would probably be fabulous I'd imagine. If regular manufacturers don't commonly make such an item maybe I'll have to make some for myself. I shall mull it all over for a while, it might just be a fun project. I'd have a lot to learn and an opportunity to learn quite a lot. I'd probably drive you and everyone else crazy with questions of course!
  7. I find, especially for a-focal work, they can misbehave quite a bit; at the slightest touch, they often tend to twist down a bit when you could usefully do without that happening. Fold up eye cups just stay where you put them. Simple, solid and reliable, so they are much more useful.
  8. I'm not unduly concerned about the quality of Chinese binoculars, I am a bit bothered by a casual approach to any quality control they may have in place, which sometimes seems slightly more prevalent there. I've got a pair of Chinese made binoculars and they are not too bad (Olympus). In fact I suspect possibly all of my kit was made there. I'd quite like to give the Japanese ones a try now so I can know a little more about that for the future too. As for ruby coatings, to be practical, I just don't knowingly order any of those and would immediately return any that might turn up with them. Similarly with twist up eye cups (spit) I have one example of those and that's enough to last me a lifetime - spawn of the devil they are!
  9. Very tidy indeed. You've done this sort of thing before haven't you!?
  10. And thanks for that thought Grunthos, it's much appreciated as are all ideas! Hehe, it must look a little bit odd I guess. I'm a birder first and I'm tinkering with a-focal web cam use too. I take shots of birds using the webcam in the left eyepiece, and I have determined that my 10x50 are not quite zoomed in enough for a perfect shot for one of my usual spots for good shots. I recently had a chance to try 15x-45x scope and found that at 15x it was slightly over cooking the zoom, so I thought 12x being the only other mag in between (that I know of), then that might be the best I could do with that situation. Although for astro work another 2x over the 10x50s would probably not be earth shattering, it would not be unwelcome either; I also found that 15x bordered on being a little claustrophobic for say the belt of Orion, and I am guessing 12x might work OK and certainly a slightly roomier fit than the 15x. Lastly the Hilkinson are FMC, BAK4, waterproof and nitrogen filled, and the Olympus are not any of those. Well, they might be FMC (whatever that truly might mean) but Olympus are not really saying clearly one way or another, which I am taking to mean they are not, as marketing people generally seem most keen to make a big fuss over what I feel probably would not hurt if it were to be a standard feature anyway. So, while it may look odd at first I do have an end game in mind, and am also taking the view that a few pairs with differing features and talents is most likely what I need, as they don't make anything that covers it all. I don't think that is possible anyway given I want good near and good far focus! Bear in mind this is research, the Hilkinson may not pan out after more research. If something truly unmissable popped up I may spring for it, but I'm generally taking my time over this one.
  11. Aaron, I'm really sorry, I seem to have misread what model you bought. I'd not rush to try and fix anything wrong with that model. You would normally focus the left eye with the big focus wheel in the middle, and THEN adjust the right eyepiece ring to suit any imbalance/difference in your right eye, and from the couple of not very clear photos on their web site that is probably done using the ring next to the eyepiece bridge on the right hand eyepiece only. I'm really sorry for the misunderstanding, but I'm not closely familiar with the entire Strathspey range unlike some, and I had got it into my head that you'd bought the Marine, as that's what I'd call playing it safe with Strathspey. This is because the Marine model has independent focus for each eye, and a tweak to that should be far less involved and scary even if it was out of whack, which by repute is not very likely with that model. I had not realised they did an additional waterproof model that was not actually the Marine. I'm really sorry about that mistake on my part.
  12. Peter, DN18, Yes excellent advice, and that is one of the big reasons I shop at Amazon. One thing I had not previously mentioned, I am house bound, as a result, the Amazon returns policy fits my life really well, they send out a courier at no charge to pick up objects that are rejected on quality grounds or for any issues of any other kind. In fact they did just that this morning, all I had to do was put it back in the packaging, print and affix the label they provided for me online, and enter some details for the pick up on their courier's web site. No fuss or hassle whatsoever. In my situation it does not really get any better than that. Since I can't go try them in a shop, this is definitely a great leveler for me and others in this position. It's actually life changing when you think about it; I can shop independently, which I was not able to do before they came up with this arrangement. I've no issue with the Amazon shopping experience at all. This and the distance selling regulations bring me the equivalent of trying them in a shop really, slightly better in fact as I can have 7 days to try them where I would actually be using them, and you can't normally do that in a shop!
  13. I don't go in for hand holding, so for me this would not become an issue. However you can also take that as my total agreement about 12x50 probably not being suited to it for most people. Optimal results can only be obtained with a good solid mounting. This is the best information I could find on the specs: Hilkinson 12x50 Exmouth Magnification 12x Objective Lens Diameter (mm) 50 Field of View 5.6° Field @ 1000 metres 98 Bright 17.6 Exit Pupil Diameter (mm) 4.2 Minimum Focussing (metres) 5 Eye Relief (mm) 14 Optics Full wideband multi coating on all glass/air surfaces Prisms BaK 4 Porro prism Style ZWCF Body Black Rubber Armoured Eye Cups Rubber fold down Tripod Socket Yes Weight (gm) 940 Dimensions (mm) 175x200x64 Case/Strap Soft Special feature Nitrogen Filled Waterproof For my use the exit pupil seems perhaps a tad on the snug side, but probably just big enough to be workable without undue discomfort. I tend to buy from Amazon as it fits in very well with the rest of my life, so in that respect it's decent enough 99% of the time. I'm not sure about 12x50 prices yet as I have only just started to explore that size, but it struck me as not being all that high from what I have seen so far. Some pay seemingly ludicrous amounts for some optics, and while I'm sure they must be absolutely wonderful for those with good eyesight, it's entirely possible that my eyesight is defective enough that in my case doing it would simply be like casting pearls before swine! I was simply hoping others may have experienced this not too much mentioned brand; on paper quite a lot of their stuff looks rather more tempting than many others. I was hoping to learn how closely they might deliver on what's on the paper.
  14. A good point; and how would anyone be able to say either way? For a comparison, do you get those three stars edge to edge across the views you get with your 15x70s? Do both of your 15x70s give the same FOV? Clearly, not having two of the same size for comparisons makes it impossible for me to be sure. Based on comparison with my other mag sizes I'd say it's probably not too far off, if at all, and I suspect 12x would probably be plenty for me for quite a while. All of this has lead me to "get it" somewhat about 15x70s though, before, I had no clue why anyone would go there, but I can now see an attraction and that it's not impossible I could end up with a pair eventually, but they can't do "close in" well enough to feature very high on my list of things to get next, for a little while at any rate. Anyway, the two scopes have just been collected by the courier, and I have pulled the trigger on a modest tripod extension, which, if I am any sort of lucky might stave off the need for a taller tripod.
  15. Oh, this is good news, I loathe and detest twist up eyecups (spit). It was the "Made In Japan" bit that first caught my eye with most Hilkinsons, but you have to be careful to check in each case as a few are not. I wonder are there any truly naff Japanese made ones or is it generally a safe bet in comparison with most Chinese made stuff?
  16. That is the best bet, it's more or less his "specialist subject" given the maker and the model and all. I'm fairly sure it can be fixed unless something really dire has transpired (lord knows what it would be though), which does not sound overly likely. These are much touted as high quality, and having errors adjusted away is something high quality optics ought to be capable of. Sorry to learn of this Aaron, I'm certain something should be doable. OK, it may sound like a daft question, but how is the good side doing?
  17. Hi all, Spotted these, LINK the spec looks pretty good unless I've failed to spot something, and the price is not too terrifying. Wonder if they might be worth a punt?
  18. Yes, that was broadly how I saw it; however, what about a Skywatcher 9x50 finder as a starting point, and if it shows any promise, add another? I've no idea of the quality of such a unit. Wonder if it can take alternate eyepieces, and maybe, if that is the case, another diagonal for adjusting things? The Baader one is a bit pricey for general tinkering of this kind sadly. Perhaps another route might be a pair of those 76mm first scope reflectors? Can one even get scope rings for units this tiny? Loads to figure out.
  19. Thanks very much indeed, that will help in choosing stuff in future. I find having those 3 fit in one view is tight enough for my taste. I'd prefer a little bit of room to breathe around them in future.
  20. Well, I found a flaw in the eyepiece in the replacement so that one is going back now too! It turns out that Star Walk is iPhone only but I got some search results to check out yet as some alternatives for Android were being touted. Shall investigate as soon as today gives me a break! (it's really misbehaving is today!)
  21. Given star diagonals cost a fair bit and are priced for single sales rather than in pairs, it's almost tempting to grab a couple of Konig "toy telescopes" and swipe the diagonals off them to see what happens next!
  22. Double glazing reflects light (from the room) back into the lens, and this is what makes the focus look soft or fuzzy. If the room you are in is not dark it will make it worse still. Maybe find a room where the windows can open? Problems should be much less, promise! I have to shoot through glass quite a lot and there are a few things to tweak to get the best out of such a poor situation. The reflection is surely the biggest enemy in making for soft looking shots. Obviously I spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning the glass to try and help things be the best they can. Oh and don't shoot at right angles to the glass either, just end up seeing the camera lens reflected in itself too! Hope it helps, it should.
  23. Hi all, Just thought I'd mention something I just found out as it's something I'm finding useful. Other newbies might too. I recently dipped a toe in the water and bought some Olympus 10x50 binoculars, and I've used an opticron tripod adapter mounted to a Manfrotto QR plate for that. I've also since bought a 15-45x60mm spotting scope, it too is now fitted with a QR Plate. What's neat about it all is that I can use my binoculars for a wide ranging view just hopping around my favourites, but now if I spot something of more interest, I can simply lock the tripod head, swap over from binoculars to spotting scope and bring some more power to bear. The neat thing being that the view is more or less set up ready to go! Takes less than say 30 seconds all done, and I can see that figure dropping quite soon as I gain some familiarity with it all. I'm finding it a really comfortable way to work. OK, I obviously miss the stereo effect in the view when switching over to the scope for more power, but I really don't mind too much at all. It's still a very portable set up and really not bad views all told. Best of all it's very affordable. Now I can start to settle down to observing and learning a bit more comfortably. Allowing for the adapters as well the whole lot was say about £137 delivered, which is really not too bad given the flexibility and reasonable views I'm getting.
  24. Many tripods have spikes in the rubber feet, you twist them up (the rubber bits are are threaded onto the spikes) so then once the rubber bit goes up the leg, the spike protrudes from the end. If yours does not it's a feature to look out for with a new tripod. Some of the best tripods have assorted feet that can be deployed in differing conditions, from spikes to rubber feet, then suctions cups, and even snow shoes, covering uses in many tricky environments.
  25. I did not see this fireball in the flesh sadly, but did see an odd sight tonight at a similar time, or perhaps just a little later. I saw what was very probably a weather balloon or very similar going the other way, south south-west ish to north north-east ish. It was a classic, inverted, longish tear drop shape and probably nearly clear or perhaps a bit whiteish or pale grey. (OK, it could have been a darker but very highly specular surface I must suppose) No strobe or anything like a visual beacon of any kind. Hard to estimate the altitude as the size is unknown, but I'm sure it was bigger than anything from a party and not big enough to bear passengers. I had no idea they flew those things at night. Surely this has to be a hazard to aviation doesn't it? I never even thought about that side of it before witnessing this thing tonight. I'm about 4 miles from the end of one runway (dawn to dusk I think) and probably about 10-15 miles from a major civilian airport (24 hours). What an odd night it's been!
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