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part timer

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Everything posted by part timer

  1. Hi, JUst my 2p's worth! With the eq5 family of mounts it is possible to add goto later if you really want to. To be honest I dont see the point for visual. it is soooo much faster and easier to just use a finder and low power eyepice to find fainter targets. for planets, goto is going to get frustrating fast. Most of them are easily visible with the naked eye (need the finder for uranus and neptune). Just point at them and look instead of spending 25 minutes swearing at goto and then the clouds coming over! As i've said goto is great for imagers, but for all of the observing you have mentioned it really is unessacary. Of the Three refractors you have mentioned, all are great. I have owned both the achro's and have looked through the apo. For me the winner would be the TAL as I do not need the apo lens. Visual images are fantastic in all of them but beteween the achro's the Tal wins. Build quality wise I much prefer the TAL to any of the skywatchers (including the APO). Astro photography is not for evryone, it's boring, frustrating, expensive and images can never compare with the experince of seeing something with your own eyes. If you want to you can move on to it later anyway by adding to kit. Refactors are simple to use and maintain and can be used on all targets with much shorter cooldown times. good luck with your choise!
  2. The PST is really aimed at giving full disc views. It is sometimes worth popping in something like your 8mm to look at a particulat prominence but generally you get much more detail with lower powers, most people seem to agree that 15-20mm simple eypieces like plossls, orthos and Kellners are just about perfect. oh and barlows are very hit and miss with the PST too, best just to use eyepieces alone. I managed to view a Coronal mass ejection with my PST a few years ago thanks to a heads up on this forum and was treated to view which made all the images of the event look totaly pants! The thing was the imagers were imaging the disc of the sun but using the pst I was able to see the ejected materiel so far away from the sun that it was out of the field of view in the 17mm. Just thinking abaout the sheer mass, speed and distances involved made it one of the most awe inspiring views I will ever have of anything. Anyway you are gona have some fun with it!
  3. In short no! I usualy stick to my 17mm which gives good views in 90% of cases I sometimes use my 13mm but even this is normally to much for the conditions. (you have to remember that there is more turbulence during the day due to the very sunlight you want to look at! I do use my 10.5mm, 8mm and even my 6mm ortho but the view is almost always better when going back out to the 17mm. hope this helps!
  4. I should add, that the binoculars themselves are very nice. But they were always the budget range for Zeiss and were popular for being decent quality at a decnt price. Unless you get them for a sensible price however your money is better spent elsewhere. Sadly the number of charity shop binoculars has fallen dramatically since the rise of Ebay. There used to be some real bargains to be had and with added bonus of being able to check them out first!
  5. Good job, I saw it for the first time last October from loch ness. After years of trying with larger telescopes and binoculars from various parts of England with no success I could not believe how totaly obvious and easy to see it was with my ST80 and my 42mm binoculars. Alos got the NA neb in the same night (also sooooo obvious). Untill then I thought my latest location was quite good for light pollution but that trip really made me realise the sad extent to which our skys have degraded!
  6. Of course, the ridiculous prices they go for on ebay dont help! The last pair I had were slightly worn cosmetically but in reasonable optical condition and cost £30 from an dealer in abou 2004/5. Sold in about 2007 for the same. Ebay prices regularly reach £200! These are 25-30+ year old bins with god knows what history and no oportunity to try before buying. Just not worth it. People just seem to see Zeiss and auto matically think less than a grand is a good deal!
  7. Just my vortex viper 10x42's After using thse I just couldn't see the point in keeping all my old bins. They just blow them all away. and being so small there easy to hold as well! First time I spent so much on binoculars and now I see why i should have done it before. If i add up all i've spent on cheap bins it's not far off what I bought the vipers for! The only other pair i kept were my original old soviet 8x30's which I kept for sentimenal reasons having used them since the very early eighty's.
  8. It's definitely worth a go if you have the time. I have done it on three different cheap binoculars. The first was an old 8x30 which required the objective to be loosened and then twisted round on an eccentric washer thingy (bit technical but stay with me!). After quite a long time I did make then fully usable, although they were never perfect as I would knock them out a bit when doing up the objective. Second was a pair of Liddl 10x50s whch turned out to have prism adjustment screws both ontop and under the prism housing (had to peel off rubber grip and re-glue it later. Again this was fiddly but made easier by projecting the sun onto a white card marked with the correct positions and haveing the bins on a tripod. This also worked out well (although those bins never kept the collimation for very long) Bit like this method https://sites.google...n-of-binoculars Last of all was an old set of russian 10x50's which I dropped and knocked the prism out of alignment. These had no easy way of adjustment so in the end I just unsrewed the objective lens barrel and pushed the prism around with my finger! This actually worked reasonably well and made them usable again! Have fun!!
  9. Being totalsy honest, there are better ways to spend your money. Your crrent barlow is ok and you have long focal length telescope in your sig. This will help you get higher powers with the eypieces you have already. For planetary work, it is more important to have a range of mid to high power eyepices which enables you to adapt to our unstable atmospheric conditions. Also in an LX 200 you need to collimate (or at least check collimation) each time you observe, as this has a large effect on how much detail you will see. Some people prefer not to use a barlow at all ( i prefer a barlow with shorter focal length eyepieces as it pushes the eyerelief out a bit more). As your telescope tracks the planet the field of view width is not really important (for planets) . However it is true that some more expensive eyepieces can show you more detail in good atmospheric conditions. Another trick which works very well in many telescopes is to track the planet for a while and get best focus, then switch of the drives and let the planet drift. often the micro vibrations of the drives disapear and you can often be suprised how much difference it can make! The main thing is to have decent eyepices. the ones you have are OK and will give good views but they can be improved upon without spending too much money
  10. In short, yes! The great reviews of both the BGO's and the KK Volcano top ortho's have created the current silly prices being asked. It's our own fault! Truth is the BGO's were always really well made and great performance for a decent price. What they are not, is eyepieces you should pay the current second hand prices for, unless you are a collector rather than an obsever and you really MUST have that last focal length! Once you get to the silly prices people are paying now you may as well get a wider field and decent eyerelief with it. When the volcano tops and BGO's were still easily available the majority of people found the ortho design was just too uncomfortable for general use and that the optical quality of wide fields with good eyerelief was at least 98-99% as good as the best ortho's. Bgo's were often sold on. As a budget or lower mid range eyepiece the ortho was a solid and dependable bet. That, however was all it was and it really is time to move on as there are just as great or better eyepieces out there now which are often cheaper than they ever were in the past!
  11. Probably possible as the objectives are usually the best bit of those bins but in general the build quality is a bit plasticy on and so the end result may very well be just a pile of junk with some superglue mess all over. Could experience some difficuly in get decnt focusing as the Zoom arrangement will have to go and will mess with the focal length. (ie. put the eyepiece in the wrong place) but if the bits were cheap enough be worth a go.
  12. I only use one set of binoculars for any use now. They are my 10x40 Vortex Vipers. I have had a lot of binoculars in the past and have enjoyed all of them but the vipers are in a different league. For once I did go to a shop and try some other bins out. I originally had the idea od getting the Hawke ED's. I tried some cheaper bins first, including the pentax PCF and they were all pretty good. The Hawke's were clearly better though and i decided were definatley worth the extra. Then I tried the Vortex. There was a noticable step up again over the Hawke. At this point I realised These were as good as I could get with out going to the Zeis/leica price point. I see more with these 42mm bins than i ever saw with budget 60 and 70mm bins. Everything I see is brighter sharper and clearer. Binoculuar observing is now very rewarding and easy due the small physical size of the bins. It's just effortless fun with no compramises that com with budget bins. So in short, roof prisms are at least as good for astro as any porro.
  13. I have owned and used both of these on my f8 newtwnian, my 90mm skywatcher maksutov and my f5 achromat. No contest at all. Get the Televue, Image quality is better in every way, eyepiece is smaller and of a different league in terms of build quality. It is just a better eyepiece.
  14. To be honest (and I am a BIG TAL fan). I never thought much of the 2x Tal barlow. Great build quality but wasn't an amazing barlow. It's also MUCH too yellow and dims the view far too much at high manifications. It also throws the eyerelief back too far out of the eypiece. I still have the three times TAL and that is actually much better and does not really dim or yellow the view at all! The eye relieif thing doesn't happen as much either. The only problem with it is the tiny lens which makes it difficult to use with anything above 17-18mm eyepieces. Anyway there are still many pretty good alternatives out there for not too much money.
  15. Hi, I use my ST 80 on camera tripod and take it all over with me. it is my most used scope just because it so portable and simple to use. I was not tempted to go for the 102 (although to be fair I do have a bigger scope). The 80 will show you just about everthing you could want to see and show most of it very well indeed. I took mine to the scottish highlands last October and was absolutely thrilled with it's performance. The best observing I have ever had! Given your original post I'd say the 80 and simple but fairly chunky camera tripod would be ideal!
  16. I had a 9mm volcano a few years ago. Just could not live with the shape. I felt as if it was going to poke me in the eye. Even with the sort eyerelief I seem to like the 6mm BGO much more. This suprising as my 10.5 TV plossl feels much tighter and is the limit I can use int erms of eyerelief in that range.
  17. skir, on 02 March 2013 - 12:10 PM, said: A couple more bgo's are up on abs 110/120 PLUS postage. Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2 Crazy I've just paid £60 for a "like new" 6mm BGO, which included £6.50 recorded delivery and I thought that a little OTT ! Damn Right! I got my 6mm on ebay just a couple of months ago for £45 in unused condition. It hasnt taken long for the sharks outhere to take advantage!! Quicker the news ones arive the better!
  18. Bit late to this but, I have the same type of scope and will tell you that fewer, better eyepieces is better than more but inferior eyepeices. I have loads and can increase magnification incrementally. However I started with just three and a barlow. At f8 you may as well take advantage of the 2" focusser to get wide fields. I seriously would take even two secondhand televues and a semi-decent barlow over all the hyperions and panavues put together. I've only used the hyperions in all honesty but 'average' just about sums it up. The're not that cheap either. The only eyepices i have never and will never feel the need to 'upgrade' are my televues and my Baader Ortho (and I hate orthos normally!). I can use them in every scope in all conditions and all magnifications and they will be used for life. With some patience you can get two or three eyepieces of your chosen focal lengths second hand within budget from the plossls, radians, panoptics, or even (at the top end your budget) Naglers. All, even the plossls are worth two or three hyperions and others. Others disagree I know but unless you want keep buying eyepieces and flogging them at a loss you may as well just get the best to start with.
  19. I think the main point is that for something like optics you really have to know what your looking at to make a sensible purchase on Ebay. I have personally owned most of the popular types of second hand binoculars which come up. There are exeptions to every rule of course but only experience will teach you that! Some people will be very happy with Ebay bins but will not realise they could have got a far better pair of new bins for the same or less money. Ebay traders who are known to the astro community do operate and give reasonable deals on ebay it's true but many pairs of useless junk bins are sold every day by other professional traders. You still have to reaserch in advance! Older binoculars can have many problems not apparent from the pictures on ebay. As someone else has said, many bins are labeled 'made in Japan' as a sign of quality. Most of them are either junk or lower quality than mny cheap modern binoculars. Russian binoculars have generally got sharp optics but very poor light transmission, high scatter and a very strong yellow cast to them (I've had a LOT of russian bins!!). They are also strongly but poorly constructed with sloppy focussing and diopter adjustments. Older german Binoculars have good optics and construction but are likeley to have internal dirt, grease and dust due to age and very likeley misalignment, again due to age. And every semi decent brand has a flurry of cheap and not cheerful copies. Many people buy the wrong one thinking they have got a real bargain. And for gods sake try to check if what your bidding on is still made and find out the new price first!!
  20. God, there have been loads! It took years to see M33. From a dark site it's really easy though. The veil was invisible from my old house as was the NA neb. I didn't even look for them from my new house. That changed after a trip to the scottish highlands with my 80mm achro. Both were REALLY clear and REALLY bright! I have since tried from my new address and found them easily. The North amreican neb confused me a bit as it is in a really bright star field and is so big it kind of gets 'swallowed' by the star field from a really dark sky.
  21. That won't save you!!! However they do get out of collimation and when they do a lot of them are right pain. (which serves you all right for spending so much on half a binocular!)
  22. Collimation is important. The fuss made about it is, however ridiculus! My newtownian is almost certainly the most battered telescope in the northern hemisphere but has NEVER been knocked out enough to make any serious inroads into the quality of view. That is in well over a decade of continual use and abuse. This includes the time my then two year old hit the mirror cell repeatedly with a 2 lb ball pien hammer! I check each time there has been a reasonable length of time between uses or after a big move. It rarely needs any adjustment and if so the just a quick fidlle with a cheshire does the trick. I also collimated both my old Maksutovs (which did occasionally slip out of alignment). these were just as simple to do. I have met even experienced astronomers who use refractors only because they are convinced a reflector will be impossible to collimate. From the point of putting mirrors into a tube assembly to perfect collimation is the work of a few minutes with a simple sight tube or cheshire, EVEN FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER. Obviously you may not want to try and do a 30 incher on your first attempt but that's only a problem due to the sheer size and focal length making things difficult. The trick is not worry about such a trivial thing and get on with enjoying the hobby.
  23. Missed the last couple of years but will try to make this one. Have been several times in the past and really enjoyed myself! Great day.
  24. I've got a mixed bag of older smoothside and newer televue plossls ( I have the new style 32mm and 8mm and smoothside 17, 13 and 10.5mm) . They are completley consistent in quality and performance. The coatings have changed in several of mine but they all perform just as well as each other. There is no truth that I can see in the older style being better. All mine are made in japan and all have the 'heft' of quality. I do however find that for my telescopes most of the older focal lengths fit that bit better. I have now tried out some very expensive eyepieces and can honestly say they were no better than the TV plossl. They all just did it with a wider field and more constant eyerelief. In my very huble opinion the TV plossls are mechanically more robust than most eyepices like the BST. They will last for ever. BUUUUUT, the recent price hikes really have made them much less attractive. Second hand, it is really a no brainer. I just love the feel and craftmanship of these eypieces in addition to the optical perfection. It's as much fun just changing eyepieces as it is using them! I don't get that feeling from my orther eyepieces and I can not afford a set of Naglers or ethoses.
  25. Just to clarify, It's not ebay persay I intended to bash. The main point is DO NOT shop for bargains unless you already know a LOT about what you are buying. Be aware that well over half (mre like 80-90%) the optical items on ebay are either acidentally or deliberatley miss advertised. Buyers are to be warned that there are VERY FEW decent bargains on offer. As i said in the original post, even decent binoculars from 20-30 years ago do not compare well to average modern chinese bins. Some do have better build quality than the cheapest modern stuff but the beginner is Much better off getting cheap and cheerfull bins new. At least they can be returned and replaced if needs be. It's important not to think that a brand famous for some quality will have always attained that level. Swift, for example have made some famously good binoculars. They also made the majority of their money selling very low budget stuff. Guess which sells in quantity on the bay? It is often fair to blame the buyer who bids without limit but then again if I read another advert for 'Russian/Soviet MILITARY 8x30 WW2 Binoculars" I'll screem!
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