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Posts posted by ajohnson

  1. 6 hours ago, inFINNity Deck said:

    Hi ajohnson,

    I recognise these kind of uneven illuminated images from my LS80THA with pressure tuner. Although I am not sure what exactly causes it, the way the illumination appears can be influenced by shifting the imaged Sun to a different location on the imaging chip. I check this by slightly overexposing the sun, which nicely reveals how concentric the illumination is. Then I move it around until it looks pretty concentric, adjust the exposure to 90% and take the image.



    Thanks I will give this a try. I have seen some YouTube videos on making flats which may make a difference, still experimenting with the scope's capabilities here.


    After reading the various threads on the milky blue glass I did try giving it a soak in lens cleaner and have ordered a new one. The clean up seems to have helped, I can now make out some details and some nice proms

  2. I dropped my filter out and gave it a polish with some lens cleaner, it's cleaner but there is some obvious degradation in the coating.  Just checked Bresser's site in stock €15.00 ready to ship anywhere that scored more than nil points in Eurovision..... Now contacting Lunt in the US to see if they can ship here or have a UK dealer.

    Plan B will be to ship it to myself in Jarvenpaa or Helsinki when I can travel to Finland again.

  3. 3 hours ago, AdeKing said:

    As Dave says, check the blue filter which is on the scope side of the diagonal containing the blocking filter rather than the objective.

    These have a tendency to go milky and can affect the view.

    With regards to the tilt tuning knob, I have a pressure tuned scope but the dial on the external double stack filter seems to dial quite a long way on mine before I see much change in the view.

    Same for my pressure tuner, it comes on-band near the end of travel.

    Hopefully someone with a tilt tuned Lunt will be along shortly and can give a bit more of an insight.

    OK the blocking filter does seem a tad milky, seems OK with the camera though. I had put this down to being a difference between the B1200 (mine) and the B600, I understand the B1200 is not so hot visually anyway. It sounds like your DS unit works the same way as my tilt tuner, lots of movement before it seems to do anything. I assume there have to be some tolerances to allow for heat expansion.

    Reading the replacement guide for the blue filter, it looks like a relatively easy job. It also explains why mine may have degraded, from the state of the case I think my scope has been stored somewhere damp.


  4. Sorry if this has been asked before but I didn't find any thing close on a search.

    I've just taken ownership of my first Ha scope, a Lunt LS60Tha with a tilt tuner with B1200 blocking filter. I'm probably the 3rd owner and so far I'm reasonably impressed.

    I'm still learning it's little quirks and don't seem to have the hang of visual observing with it yet but with an ASI 178MM camera attached I'm seeing some nice details. But I have a question about the tilt tuner, in terms of travel it seems that will make about 2 full turns with zero resistance and TBH no real change to the view that I can see so far. Looking down the tube the elaton does not seem to move visibly. The final 1/2 turn of the tuning wheel gets some resistance, equivalent to maybe the fine focus knob on most scopes and I can see the elaton move visibly looking down the tube. I'm not entirely convinced this is right so to either set my mind at rest or confirm a possible issue what should 'normal' feel and look like when turning the tuning knob.


    Images seem fine, although the Sun looks like something else is illuminating it, (as attached) I'm currently assuming this is due to the dodgy focuser as it definitely deflects downward with the camera attached, some tweaking or fine adjustment needed there or maybe a Moonlight replacement.




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  5. Same Frac, new mount. trying out a new (to me) CEM120 mount, it was a nice day so popped the Evostar 150 that I usually use for visual onto the mount for a bit of white light solar imaging, the heavy iOptron mount is overkill for this OTA, it will back on it's usual EQ5 shortly.



    • Like 12
  6. On 21/07/2017 at 10:58, johninderby said:

    Not a problem in the UK at least with my 5" refractor. Does seem to handle heat better than the Baader Cool Wedge I used to have. Did use the Badder with a 6" refractor and that did get very hot after a while. The Baader was fully enclosed and so didn't get rid of heat very well with the 6". The Lacerta with it's open bottom design has much better cooling so should handle the 6" OK.


    Great John, thanks for the update

  7. I'm very interest in one of these especially at the price difference between the Lacerta and Lunt / Baader 2" version I realise the 1.25 Lunt is a decent price but I have  a 6" scope and the recommendation is for the 2".  


    How does the Lacerta handle heat over long observing periods ? (I know it's unlikely in the UK). Does anyone know if it would handle a few hours of outreach solar observing with a big (150 x 1200mm Evostar) refractor.

  8. My Esprit 80ED purchased about a year ago, my recently acquired Evostar 150 and ST80. The 80ED usually sits on my EQ6 with cameras, guiders other kit. The Evostar was being sold at a silly price and just had to join the family, the ST80, seen here on one of my Newts recently had a crayford focuser added, I would not have bothered but for a tenner (BNIB) from a car boot I couldn't just leave it there.




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  9. For some reason the Esprit range sold in the UK does not come with a flattener (unlike the US). This is odd because without some form of spacer or using the diagonal a camera won't focus if connected in line. I did query this with FLO and they very nicely started to "bundle" the flatteners with a bit of a discount, I almost ordered the full bundle but then my phone pinged that an Esprit was available on ebay so I only bought the flattener from FLO in the end. I have to admit, it's a very solid bit of kit and makes using the Esprit a doddle, if using a 48mm T ring the adaptor includes a 2" filter holder.


  10. Funny enough I have been looking to upgrade from a skywatcher 150 reflector to either the equinox 80 or the esprite, does it justify the extra amount of £££s. I am relativly new to astrophotgrapy/astronomy but been bitten by the bug big time. My heart says esprite my wallet says equinox. But whatever I get its got to last me a few years I cant be upgrading every so often I will end up remortgaging the house

     I went through the same questions and decided on the triplet over the doublet for more or less the reasons you stipulate, it cost more but I'm not going to be sat here wondering about an upgrade in 12 - 18 months time, although I did consider a used Evostar 80ED as they seem to hold their prices pretty well so would be a lower risk.

    There are good reviews on the Evostar and Equinox ED80 and some nice photos produced by each one, in the end I went for the Esprit because as a triplet the overall picture contrast is meant to be better and virtually no Chromatic aberration, the Equinox and Evostar are also said to be very good at eliminating CA, but I read some review comments where it was visible on bright stars and I can certainly see it on some images I've seen (although CA can be eliminated in post processing). I don't have an Equinox to compare but visually the Esprit is crystal clear and there is not even a hint of CA on the Moon photos so far taken. I think the clincher for me (apart from seeing this one at a good price on Gumtree / e-bay) was that a lot of Evostar and Equinox owners seem to upgrade the focusers eventually, complaining that the stock focuser struggles with heavier cameras.  I only use a DSLR but do use a battery grip which adds to the load quite considerably. Also, compared to the Equinox, which was my second choice the Esprit comes with a 2" dielectric diagonal, which as 100% Newtonian owner up to now, I didn't own and would be adding to the cost and for some reason the Equinox does not come with a carry case, OK a  minor thing but I do a lot of imaging away from my home where there is less light pollution so safe transport of my scopes is always a factor.

    • Like 1
  11. Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I had more or less decided that the wider field of view of the 80ED was going to be the winner and was just about to put an order in to FLO when my e-bay alerts went "ping" and a three month old Esprit 80ED was listed. I found the same scope on Gumtree, so rather than get in a bidding war on e-bay I put in an offer via Gumtree and picked it up Saturday, I suspect to the annoyance of those watching it on e-bay. So I am now the proud owner of an Esprit 80ED, the EQ5 mount it came with plus a few cheap eyepieces all for less than the price of a new one!

    Naturally enough Saturday was gloriously sunny until I got home, but I managed to use it for some Moon gazing and was suitably impressed by the clarity and contrast. Other than a few snaps of the moon I have done no imaging with it yet, the clouds still want to know what's in the big box in the conservatory and are hanging around for a look!

    To answer Anas' question, the plan for guiding is either to use a converted 9 x 50 finder that I have converted that works well with my 12" newt (this is likely to be the test set-up and possibly the EQ5 "Lightweight" set-up) or buy a dual saddle plate and set-up on the NEQ6 with my usual ST80 guider next to it the latter is probably my preferred option although I'm not sure if having a guider with the same focal length as the main scope is a particularly clever idea, we will see how it goes.


  12. OK I'm not exactly a beginner at AP but so far I have shied away from refractors, other than my trusted ST80 guide scope which has impressed me hugely.

    I have a few newts which do good jobs of imaging most things but at 1000mm have relatively narrow FOV with my APS-C camera (1 degrees 16' at the widest dimension if I've got the calculaton right for the Quattro 10S), they are also a bit of handful to travel with and the optics although OK for imaging are not so hot when you swap in an eyepiece (not that I do much visual observing with this scope).

    I'm at the point where I'm thinking my next scope (for AP and / or visual) needs to be a hell of a lot more compact and I have been looking at various refractors. I have looked at doublets, including the much liked Evostar ED80 pro but have come down on the side of a triplet because I only want to be doing this once and as good as the Evostar & Equinox EDs are I think I will get better contrast and sharper stars with a triplet, especially with a camera on board.

    The SW Esprit's are appealing in part because they have kit bundled that I don't currently own and would need to source if I went for some other makes (like diagonals for a kick off). Of the two the 100 appeals to me most, I like the retracting dew shield to keep the size down and the slightly bigger aperture / longer focal  also appeal for those times that I will be using the scope visually. Obviously the 80mm version gives a wider field of view (something like 3d 11m Vs 2d 20m for the 100mm) but the 100mm will give slightly brighter images, especially for visual use but has anybody tried either of these scopes (or both) for AP and Visual and what are they like to live with? What is that fixed mount like to live with on the 80mm?

    Also I note in all the reviews from US the Esprit range all seem to be bundled with the field flattener and camera adaptor but they are separate in the UK  despite being roughly the same converted price, why is this ? (not aimed at the sponsor but everybody this is more of a comment on the importer)

  13. Hi Tommo,

    The straight maths on my heater is about right and at maximum on the controller it fries wiring and the insulator. I use a Maplin 3-15v motor speed controller ( I forget the stock code but a photo of the control box is attached) I use it on a very low setting which seems to keep the secondary warm but not at the egg frying temperatures that it could achieve. An LED dimmer from e-bay will do much the same trick, you definitely need some form of voltage / current control or you will fry the circuit.


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  14. I tried WB adjustments, they were OK but variable you had keep adjusting as conditions change, which with UK weather is constantly. I saw a Neewer UV/IR cut filter on Amazon with a review on it by someone with a modded camera. It just turned up here and I have to say for £16.00 I'm impressed. I took a few more comparison shots but this has pretty much cured the extra IR sensitivity so I'm now where I wanted to be, with the full functionality of an EOS60D and the extra IR sensitivity. For me this settles the argument, the filters are cheap enough to make the viable, I did look at the Astonomik OWB but these don't work with EF-S lenses and are a bit pricey!


  15. A comparison of two Iris heads taken with the 350D and 60Da, with no WB adjustment. It can be corrected using the custom WB settings but I am also hoping to mitigate the effect of the overly sensitive sensor with a 58mm UV / IR cut filter on the daylight lenses. More as research continues......


  16. I saw Wex selling EOS 60Da s at the IAS and took the plunge, not exactly what I was expecting to leave the show with but ultimately it turned out to be a timely purchase as the shutter my old EOS350D died at the show, much to the disappointment the Astro Society who's photos I'd been taking at various stands. I appreciate that compared to a mode 600D or 650D the 60Da is a bit pricey but also taking my interest in daylight photography into account the 350D was going to replaced by a 60D or 70D in any case so the 60Da turned out to be timely buy.

    So far I haven't had much joy on astro imaging between the clouds and full Moon hopefully I will be able to rectify this soon . For daylight photography I am noticing a slight red tint, this can be corrected either on camera with WB or post processing, however I will be investigating the idea of replacing the skylight filters on my prime lenses with UV/IR filters to further mitigate the effect of the sensor. I have noticed it particularly bad at photographing flowers because the blooms / petals reflect a lot of IR to attract insects. I will post some photos here later for comparison.

  17. Thanks for the responses and example photos, I think making the upgrade to "one camera" from my tried and trusted 350D will be easier to "sell" domestically, especially as the CN review uses a 350D to compare.  I also can't fathom why Canon went to the effort of trying to make this a bit of an all rounder then advise daylight use, I got this same answer direct from a Canon rep at the IAS last year.  I realise there is still a lot in favour of buying a dedicated astro modded camera and keeping the 350D rolling as a daylight camera but this leaves the question "why the hell do you need two cameras?" open and also "why is the camera you use in the dark better than the one you use to photograph the kids?" Like I said this could be a good compromise if the prices hold or keep coming down. It's not the only option, I can see a number of places offering Shimmed and rebalanced 600Ds with the Baader or Hutech filters which seem to be good value, it will be several months before I part with any cash over this.

    Once again many thanks to those who provided feedback.

  18. I hate to revive an apparently exhausted thread but searches on this forum have not so far revealed where this may be answered........

    The EOS 60Da has been out a few years now, also they seem to be coming down in price from the eyewatering £1200+ introduction price to around £700, so their appeal to me is increasing and they are gradually creeping up my shot list for replacement camera to my aging Canon EOS350D for the following reasons:

    My aging EOS 350D is doing just that, aging, frame count is approaching 30K and I know this camera has MTBF of around 50K on the shutter, hopefully mine is on the higher side of the mean and it will go on working for many years to come! The camera has not been modified because it also takes shots of family holidays, wildlife and anything else that is of interest to me. Also the batteries are not holding charge like they used to, I've had problems with clone batteries just locking the camera or not charging and have been reasonably successful in getting some half decent OEM batteries on e-Bay but the swap over time between charges is dropping fast.

    I have been looking at EOS650Ds and 700Ds in the £400 - 500.00 region and either the cost of a mod to them to swap in the Baader LP replacement filter and WB firmware mod or buying an astro modded EOS before my venerable 350D dies and then maybe upgrading to a second "daylight" camera when it finally bites the dust. Either way the cost is coming out at around the same as a factory supplied EOS 60Da , which on the face of it will work as daylight / general purpose camera, may also work as reasonable video camera and appears to be a good compromise for Astrophotography.  So my question is are there any EOS 60Da owners on here who can tell me how they rate their 60Da on Daylight Photography, Astro Photography and Video

    Now I do realise that from a purists point of view a nice cooled mono CDD with a filter wheel etc is the way to go and I do realise that "a one size fits all" camera, like the 60Da will be a compromise by comparison. So I'd like to ask all the nice CCD proponents on here to hold fire on this one and just assume I'm either barking mad and / or  don't expect to have the kind of money to spend on a camera that I can only use on one of those (for the UK) rare dark and clear nights with a telescope but can justify the extra expenditure on a single and more capable camera that will also take photos of the kids birthday parties, family holidays, wildlife etc.........

  19. I have the 15mm BST which I use with my f5 12" and on occasion with my f4 Quattro, it's been a favourite since I bought it. It was certainly wowing guests at a recent star party in the Quattro while pointed at M81 and M82 (with SN2014J) coming out nice and crisp, It was aided by a comma corrector as the f4 Quattro can be a bit of trail with some EPs.

    I have been using the Skywatcher UWA 6mm, it's OK but masses of internal reflections tend to spoil views of Jupiter and Saturn, I was just browsing here and trying to toss up between the 5 or 8mm BST, reading some of the comments I've gone for the 8mm as it seems to have a similar FOV to the old out of the box 10mm MA which I still have not replaced

  20. That's the sort of thing I am planning for my 10". Do you see much difference in the diffraction patterns in images compared to without?

     I' don't see a lot of difference if any, I was concerned that one spider had a slightly thicker profile with the cable running under it, hence the use of a coaxial wire to keep the cross section down but I have not noticed this in any images and particularly not when viewing. I have attached an image of M45 taken last night for you to judge for yourself.


  21. I have also built dew heaters for my Newtonians, I went for a direct heat approach as opposed to heating the stem. I have done my 12" and 10" Imaging scope, so far both are working well. The basic principle I used was to stick resistance wire to the mirror back and pass a current from my home built heater controlled (basically a toy railway pulse controller). The biggest problem I have had was heat insulation, originally I used foam backed material used for underfloor heating but have settled on thick card, this is used to back the mirror and prevent heat loss into the OTA tube (and tube currents) and has the happy side effect of reducing the amount of current required.


    I cut a template from paper after tracing the mirror onto it and then use this to cut a card insulator, this needs to be slightly undersize on the outside and oversize around the mirror stem.


    The wire (28swg Constantan wire from Maplin) is wound into a zigzag pattern to increase coverage, this also increases the length of wire used and it's overall resistance, using ohms law (lots of links on the internet) this increases the wattage of the heater.


    Finally I solder on a thin phono cable as a supply, this is about 1.5mm diameter and is coaxial I find this works best purely to reduce the impact on the light path routing it across the mirror spiders.


    Finally I use a long length of black gaffer tape to secure the feed wire in place along it's whole length, again I have found spot fixing allows the cable to sag and you get weird diffraction spikes on images.


    Cable routing before & after as seen via the eyepiece.


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