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    Dronfield, Derbyshire

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  1. Hi Peter Yes, I've been quite pleased with the Esprit 150 over the last 20 months, the only downside I've found with it is the focusing mount, which I found slipped when the scope was in a near vertical position. I've since managed to adjust it a bit by tightening some Allen headed bolts on the drawtube, but the problem is if you tighten them too much then the fine focus knob does not work, and too slack it only works in the downward direction. Its also fiddly to adjust, and there are no instructions regarding this in the manual. At one time you could specify a factory fitted Feathertouch focuser, but this no longer appears to be the case, I did think of purchasing one to retro fit, but was worried that this could affect the collimation, which according to Es Reid is very good, the star images are certainly good, I had a nice view of Castor one night last winter with nice diffraction rings and no blue bloating. If you want to use an electronic focuser I think you will need better focusing mount. I compared the views of Mars through the Esprit 150, and my 14in Newtonian quite a bit last autumn, and most nights the Esprit gave the sharper view, I can only recall one night, when the view through the 14in was better, and that was with using a ZWO ADC on the 14in. Back in 1988 I was able to compare the view through the 14in with one of the early (pre Starfire) Astro Physics 6in f8 Refractors, and most nights then the 14 in gave the better view, plus the AP Refractor gave an annoying purple halo around Mars. On Saturn the Cassini Division was also sharper in the Esprit, although not unexpectedly I could see more moons through the larger reflector. On Jupiter again the cloud belts were generally sharper through the Esprit, although the GRS and satellite shadows showed up better through the 14in. Both Jupiter an Saturn were of course very low down last year, and I may get better results through the 14in when they move higher up. I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI 462 Planetary Camera, plus a new laptop (with an Intel i7 processor), and hope to get some good results on Jupiter and Saturn later this year, I will use this mainly with the Esprit, as being piggyback mounted on the 14in, the focuser stays in a much more convenient position compared to the Newtonian, so with the ZWO camera attached, I can keep the laptop on a shelf in my observatory shed. Regarding the weight I think it was definitely around 12 - 12.5 kg, without the tube rings, star finder, and finder bracket. John
  2. Is that correct, I can't believe that there isn't another Partial Solar Eclipse visible from the UK after October next year, until 2090. In fact surely the total eclipse that's visible from Spain and Egypt in 2026, must be visible as a partial eclipse from Britain. John John
  3. I currently have Adobe Lightroom (not the full Photoshop package), which I purchased at a bargain price. I have however considered getting PixInsight, but am put off by the complexity, and the high price compared to Lightroom, I gather it costs around 230 Euros to purchase and download PixInsight, although I gather that you can get a free trial version. I addition I probably wouldn't use it enough to justify the high cost, and furthermore I am more into lunar and planetary imaging (I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI 462 Planetary camera) than deep sky objects, I gather the advantages of PixInsight would be more apparent with the latter. I also find it annoying that you can no longer purchase most software on CD/DVD and instead have to download it, which sometimes can be tricky trying to get the right program to download and install (often multiple websites appear), plus you are usually limited to installing it on just one PC. John
  4. When using a full frame SLR, using a 1.25" drawtube results in quite a lot of vignetting, even with a 42 mm T thread adaptor I still get some vignetting with my Canon EOS 6D , but this can be reduced by using a 48 mm to Canon adaptor rather than the 42 mm T thread. John
  5. A 2" Barlow might be useful for enlarging the image scale in photography, when depending on the size of the sensor, a 1.25" Barlow might result in vignetting. John
  6. Hi Nfotis Had a go with Venus the other night, I attached the ZWO camera to my Esprit 150, which is easier than attaching it to my 14in Newtonian, because being piggybacked on the large fork mount the drawtube position does not vary too much, and I can then position the laptop on a shelf in my observatory shed. I set the frame rate at 30 fps, and made an approximate 2 minute exposure. I found that unlike when I used my Canon 6D SLR, I did not need to convert the MVI file in PIPP, and could go straight into Registax to stack the frames. With Venus having only a 10 arc sec disc at present, not much detail can be seen, and the image scale is not very large. Hoping for better results with Jupiter and Saturn later this year, I can enlarge the image with a 2x Barlow, and if that is insufficient get a 4x Barlow, or use eyepiece projection as I do with my Canon 6D. Not sure whether you can enlarge the image scale with the ZWO 462. John Venus Processed.bmp
  7. Would be interesting to see how it would compare to the now discontinued Tele Vue 26mm Nagler eyepiece, I don't suppose that there would be any comparison in an f5 Newtonian. I can't understand why Tele Vue decided to discontinue their 26mm Nagler, leaving a large gap between the 22mm and the 31mm. John
  8. Hi Laudroph Which of the two chairs do you prefer, I have some thoughts of getting one, which would you recommend. John
  9. Thanks Clarkey Looks like I can use either ASICAP or SharpCap for planetary imaging, not sure which one is best, but very little information on ZWO's website regarding how to use either. Last year I found a couple of quite good videos on YouTube, and got the hang of using Registax for post imaging processing, but can't find anything similar for SharpCap. I'm hoping that with the ZWO, unlike with my Canon 6D, I won't need to use PIPP for file conversion. John
  10. Recently purchased the above camera, which arrived this week, I purchased it mainly for photographing the moon and planets, and I am hoping for better results than I was able to achieve with my Canon 6D digital SLR, using eyepiece projection. The ASI 462 is supposed to be an upgraded version of the popular ASI 224, and was recommended by FLO. I also purchased a new laptop with USB 3, a Dell Inspiron with an Intel i7 processer and 16 GB RAM, which I hope will be fairly fast for processing. What struck me when I opened the box, was the lack of information regarding how to use the camera, in what appears to be a sign of the times, gone was the set up CD/DVD, which would normally have included a comprehensive manual in PDF format. Instead all that was included was a miniscule Quick Guide (in which the print was too small to read, but I was able to download an print off an A4 version) with instructions to downlead the ZWO camera driver, and then to download SharpCap which I did, but there was little information about how to use it. I've found a couple of YouTube videos, which I did not find to be very good, can anyone point me in the direction as to where I can find some easy to use instructions.
  11. It might work around full moon when the moon is at its brightest, but the lunar disc would probably not be bright enough to work around half moon when most detail is visible, it would also be affected by the aperture and focal ratio of the telescope used. John
  12. Don Apologies for my ignorance, but what do OCA and GPC stand for. John
  13. Just 30 mm of travel on a focuser, especially on a refractor, is absolutely ridiculous, even most Newtonian focusers have more travel than that. John
  14. I've also heard that the 100 DZ won't fit within the cabin baggage requirements, despite Takahashi claiming that it does, and wonder whether I would risk putting one in hold luggage. I was thinking of getting one in time for the 2024 Mexico/USA total solar eclipse. John
  15. Thanks Jeremy, managed to do it ok, although can't delete my now superfluous post. I don't know when they changed the system, you used to get an edit and I think also a delete button until recently. John
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