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DirkSteele last won the day on August 12 2018

DirkSteele had the most liked content!

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About DirkSteele

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Astronomy has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old, so I have been looking up for about 30 years, and using telescopes for about 25 years. My education followed a similar path and I left University having studied Physics and Astrophysics at both Undergrad and Masters level. I was also a founder member of the University Astronomy society and held the position of president in my last year of undergrad and continued on as treasurer in my masters year. My interest now is primarily visual astronomy.

    I currently own 7 telescopes, and the list clearly shows that I am a refractor man. The pride and joy of the collection is a 7" Triplet Apo (f/7) from APM in Germany, as well as 2 smaller Triplets (TMB 115 f/7 and the APM TMB 105 f/6.2 which is my primary travel scope). I also own three ultra portable Takahashi fluorite doublet Apos, the FS-60 CB & FS-60Q,as well as the FC-76 for those times when the 105 is a bit too large to take with me. Rounding out the collection is my oldest scope, the Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS.

    As well as writing reviews and other astro-related content for my own site, Alpha-Lyrae.co.uk, I have also begun contributing content to Astronomy Now magazine, with my first equipment review appearing in January 2018 issue.

    I love to cook (and eat!), and also collect retro video games, though prices recently have gone through the roof, so that has taken a bit of a back seat.
  • Location
    London, UK
  1. DirkSteele

    Messier 81 and 82 panorama

  2. This seems to be something that comes up from time to time on astro forums, and based on owner feedback at least, a bit of a urban legend rather than based on fact. Certainly there are plenty of older models out there still being used under the stars, performing as well as they ever did. While I do not own any older model fluorite refractors so can only relay what I have read elsewhere, I would not factor that in my thinking if I were looking second hand. Just with any optical purchase though, a very thorough examination of the scope in person would be preferable to ensure it has been well looked after.
  3. DirkSteele

    M51 2 years worth of data

    That is a great side by side comparison.
  4. DirkSteele

    Frustration with bins...

    I find binoculars can be a rather personal thing compared to telescopes. One observers treasure is another’s trash. However, I believe the really benefit /utility is in being complimentary to a telescope rather than replacement. They do things well that scopes can’t. Real wide field sweeping (more than 5 degree fields) hence giving a different perspective on the night sky, and are grab and go in a way no telescope can ever be. But that means 10x magnification and less is the sweet spot for me. I cannot hold 15x plus steady enough to see all they can actually show so I have wide field scopes like my Taks and LZOS 4” that can achieve those powers when I want that magnification.
  5. DirkSteele

    Sharpest binocular.

    I have had a bit of time with Swarovski ELs and they were fabulous. Sharp almost to the edge and really quite special compared with even binoculars considered pretty good. Woukd love to try the Nikon WX though. They are clearly the Bugatti Veyron of the binocular world. Only exists because Nikon decided they could. But at many thousands of pounds rather hard to justify.
  6. DirkSteele

    Anybody else keep a written log?

    I do, but only for bigger observing sessions, typically those that see me travel to dark skies. That way I can write it up fully when I get back to keep a record of it. It would be a good discipline generally I think do keep it for all sessions but typically most of my sessions are quite short due to other life commitments / weather and I just speed around the sky quickly enjoying the view. Like this one for example: http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2018/08/28/stargazing-on-vamizi-island-part-two/
  7. DirkSteele

    WO Lomo 80/480

    I have had a few looks through one of the LOMO 80/480s (not in a WO tube) and it was very good. Very much deserving of the reputation based on my limited use when compared to some of the glowing reports I have read over the years.
  8. DirkSteele

    Moon Filters for Visual Observation ?

    For some reason I find anything much more than a quarter moon too bright to the point where it will cause me discomfort and make my eye water, so I have to use a filter. I have always had good night vision so perhaps I am bit like Riddick for those that know their Sci-Fi.
  9. DirkSteele

    Apologies to you all.

    As soon as I loaded up SGL and saw this thread at the top of the recent topics, I thought what has he purchased!? Congrats on the new scope.
  10. That is a rather exciting telescope. Would love to get my hands on that.
  11. DirkSteele

    Takahashi FC-76Q Review

    Thanks. Other than the review of the Bresser MC-152 Mak which is in the Jan 2019 issue of Astronomy Now, nothing in the works currently. Will have to think about what I can write about next.
  12. DirkSteele

    Astrofest 2019

    Friday is definitely quieter if you want to only look around the exhibition. But it is probably only marginally less cramped to be honest.
  13. DirkSteele

    Thoughts on the Vixen SD81S

    What is the minimum length of the Vixen OTA for transportation? Reason I ask is you mention air travel which means (unless you are brave) the telescope will travel in the cabin with you. The FC-76DCU splits in two so it always complies with the most restrictive luggage allowance. The scope in a small camera backpack. The Tak has wonderful quality and I am a big fan and while I cannot speak to the Vixen I am sure it is no slouch either.
  14. My latest review for Astronomy Now is the Bresser Messier MC-152 Maksutov, which is the Jan 2019 issue, hitting newsstands today.

    1. DirkSteele


      Pleased to see I made the cover again as well.

    2. orion25


      Congratulations! That's wonderful, Dirk :)


  15. What is the minimum length of the OTA for transportation? Wondering if it could be a good travelling telescope.

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