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Everything posted by Tiago

  1. Hi Victor Thanks, it was indeed. More food for thought, particuarly given that since stocks are low in all shops, I'm not pushed to take any immediate decision.. -T.
  2. Hi Victor Thanks for your input. I actually considered that telescope (and the TS 70mm) when I bought my Dob. While I certainly don't regret getting the light bucket, there's a certain allure in small refractors. How small does it pack? As for imaging, I satisfied that bug with a Minitrak 3 and my camera. I cannot possibly be bothered to be outside with a laptop, heavy duty mount and fancy stuff - the 8" is at the limit of what I personally consider to be practical, and serious imaging is a deep, twisty rabbit hole I'd rather avoid. I do rather well with that minimalist setup - Minitrak, old Pentax K1, cheap achromat prime lens (135 mm). It's stupid easy to set up and I can even shoot galaxies with it
  3. Well, budget is always an issue, but I’m far more inclined to spend more if it is a worthwhile, long-term purchase rather than a “consumer product” kind of thing. Good to know, that one has always been appealing to me - although that 76 mm is really neat too, if significantly dearer to one’s pocket. If I understood that correctly there’s also an extender for old-school long f-ratios.
  4. Hi Jeremy, Thanks, I had not seen that one. It looks rather interesting, if somewhat conducent to a lower bank account balance. Quick question, do you use the 6x30 finder scope?
  5. Hi everyone. I hope your having better skies than me here I have been considering getting a second telescope, with an emphasis on portability and ease of travel. Despite the current circumstances, I do find myself going around a bit, and I will make a point of getting my butt to at least 2000 m ASL as soon as that doesn’t land me in quarantine here in Germany (ergo, probably not that soon). Anyway, 6 months ago I became the rather happy and satisfied owner of an 8” Dob, which has been a lot of fun to play with. However, portability is not exactly its strong suit, and I’m looking at something that: a) I can take with me when flying b) I can take with me on the sidecar when the wife and I manage to escape from family life again, or in whatever room is left on a car when dragging a family with 3 kids around. My criteria are actually rather simple. It has to pack into as little volume as possible, allow me to mount it on a tripod or at best something like an AZ-GTi, and preferably no observable chromatic aberration on visual observation. I am ok-ish with waiting to buy something more expensive, with a somewhat limited aperture, and to fiddle a bit with it if needed. I like to do a bit of everything with the telescope, but I am also aware of the limitations these criteria impose. That being said, while the criteria are “simple”, the answers are all somewhat unsatisfying. I’ve considered getting a small, high quality refractor such as a Televue or Takahashi 60 mm (basically marrying that thing, because at those prices, buyer’s remorse is not an option), a small Maksutov (but then I compromise on DSOs), a SCT such as a C5 (also a compromise), or even strip a Heritage 130p of its mount and carry the damn thing with me. I live under Bortle 4 skies, and have the possibility of getting away to dark sites relatively often (epidemics allowing), but most of the time I have to pack lightly. Do any of you more experienced ladies and gentlemen have any recommendations or insights on something that I may have missed? - Tiago
  6. Ah well, just to give some conclusion to this post: I scored a ridiculously cheap vintage Tiltall 4602 tripod on the classified ads, and was set to order a Skywatcher 72ED plus accessories. And then I remembered I had my 12x50 binoculars somewhere in a box in the basement. And I thought, “Hmm, that’s how I started with this, some 20 years ago, and it won’t be THAT different, magnitude-wise...” A couple of hours of rummaging around the house later, and I had that plus all the stuff, namely the L-bracket and my BST eyepieces. So, I look into my shopping cart at the online store and emptied it. However, having already said goodbye to that money in my mind, courtesy of the Gods of consumerism and globalization, I pulled the trigger on a discounted 8” f/6 Dob to stay at home, a tracking mount for our cameras to set on the Tiltall (the good wife is a photography nut and also an astronomy enthusiast, if to a lesser degree than me), plus a few assorted goodies to get everything running. So, visual and astrophography rigs sorted on a budget in one fell swoop. Coronavirus be damned, I shall enjoy my quarantined nights! I do pity the poor guy dropping all that off at my doorstep, though...
  7. Well, I did make the mistake of sending my request for a quote late on a Friday afternoon - I will have to wait until Monday morning at best. But the good wife has graciously accepted that I may build a pier in the best spot in the garden, in exchange for some digging and mowing of the lawn - a contract of unspecified duration
  8. @everyone: Thanks for all the input. The point was not so much asking for advice on what to look for, but on the pros and cons that have led you far more experienced gentlemen to use one telescope over all others. To keep things in perspective, I'm all about value for money these days. I could go on a shopping spree, but it has to be worthwhile FOR ME (a lesson learned the hard way by being an amateur musician with way too much gear, all of which is absolutely lovely regardless of price, and which I can't bear the thought of parting with...) I do have the benefit of ridiculous dark skies, particularly on winter nights, and living close to hills and 3000ft+ mountains within 10 minutes' drive. I also know that observing out of my backyard will be a good, solid 95% of all the observing I will do, and that means obstructed view to the north, and roofs all around me throwing warm air into my photon streams. I am currently waiting on some quotes for 70, 80 and 100ED telescopes (2nd hand, ex-demo, returns) and assorted paraphernalia as I realized with a bit of horror that half my eyepieces are in another country and will not be coming to me in the next few months given the current situation. Given that practicality is literally my main concern, I'm looking into something I can use in multiple ways, easily. So, as I write this, I'm considering a 70/80mm ED refractor on a sturdy tripod/AZ mount. That would mean it would be portable to the extreme, as bump resistant as it could be, and I could theoretically repurpose the OTA for astrophotography should that disease ever be contracted again. And it would probably pair up well with another scope on a dual mount, should I ever feel so inclined. I may well end up with something else entirely, depending on the VFM and deals I find, but I'll make sure to report back Cheers, - T. EDIT: After I typed this, I noticed the neighbors removing the huge tree obstructing my view North
  9. I love refractors, particularly short ones. I just couldn't afford an ED/APO back then, but they are so much cheaper now, and I did find some sweet deals on some EDs all the way up 4 ". With a 70mm or 80 mm, I can just toss the whole thing into the car or sidecar trunk and take it whenever we're able to travel again (the Alps and the Black Forest are a stone's throw away from me). A 4", sure, of course I can bring it in the car. The question is: would I?
  10. Yeah, been looking at several stores. These gentlemen also have an 8" SW Dob on discount, which was one of the possibilities.
  11. Right now? My computer screens But back when I was still looking up, the usual stuff - planets, moon, brighter DSOs. Not bothering with astrophotography through a telescope. Oh yes. For me, and knowing myself, practicality is key. That's why I originally went with an achromat refractor on an alt-az mount. Priorities are more or less the same, but different setting, different budget, different expectations. I do know that I can pretty much use anything for sale out there, I was just fishing for what people found more practical to see if it resonated with me.
  12. I had gotten that much when I was typing the original post. I did get a few interesting ideas though - even though practicality has different meanings to different people, there were a few "Oh, I didn't expect that" moments when reading some of the replies.
  13. That's firmly into the vintage motorbike/guitar price range. I'd be afraid of even looking at it
  14. That may be priced in the "selling kidneys in the black market category", but I can wait
  15. Now that is an idea (the trolley) I hadn't thought about, thank you! Budget is somewhat flexible, but I'd rather not have to sell a kidney. The point is not so much price and ease of use. I have no use for say, a €2k paperweight, but if I would be using it every clear night for years, that would be an easier pill to swallow. I do have to say I have never heard of StellaMira or Rowan, will look into that.
  16. Hi everyone, After a few years without a telescope (about 5 moves, different countries, etc...) I am looking into buying a new one for me to use in my countryside backyard. I previously had an 5" achromat refractor on an AZ4 mount which was really nice under the dark skies I had back then, and not much of a hassle to bring out back. It obviously had a lot of shortcomings, but was a pretty neat grab and go scope for relatively few shekels (Maks/SCTs were expensive back then, and international shipping of a reflector was a bit of a scary thought). As of now, I'm tempted to go with a Dob this time around, but I never did have to carry one. Small Maks do look practical, and I think I'm done with refractors due to size/chromatic aberration. I can polar align a scope, but honestly can't be bothered to do it for visual "grab and go", especially when I have the sky to the North partially obstructed. GoTo is nice and all, but I can find my way around the sky - tracking is a nice perk though :). Still have some pretty damn good eyepieces, so I'm sorted there. I am also so unbelievably out of date with what is out there right now that there may well be something I haven't considered. New brands, new products, etc.. In short, living up to the mantra that "the best telescope is the one you use the most", and to come to the question on the thread title: what is the telescope that you bring out on a whim whenever you feel like looking up? Thanks, and clear skies! - T.
  17. Hi everyone, I'm not sure this is the right location for this post - if not, please move accordingly. A friend of mine has a Meade 4.5" newtonian (900 mm) on an EQ mount that suffered a small accident. Somehow, the optical tube had a rendezvous with the ground following a sudden acquaintance with Newton's Law of universal gravitation, which resulted in a broken limb in the secondary mirror spider vane. I fixed it the best I could, but it is still meh: works, somewhat stable, but it's a temporary fix at best, and won't hold for continued use. Does any of you fine gentlemen and ladies know where one can find such a replacement spider vane for that telescope? Replacing the whole thing is out of the question due to sentimental value. Thank you, - Tiago
  18. I think a reflector would such as the SW200 would complement the visual aspect nicely. However, you'll want another mount for it later on, when the ED80 is taking up the NEQ6. An alternative would be a mid-sized catadrioptic - you'd be able to toss one of those on a good alt-az mount to have fun with while the ED80 is imaging, and it would be a super compact setup.
  19. I've just sprung out on a couple of those BSTs, based on their high value for money and good reviews. I'd also advise you to take a look at your Barlow to see if it is performing adequately. My SW Barlow was pretty unremarkable - I've read that tightening up the lens element may help, if it is a bit loose. I ended up tossing the lens on mine and now use it as an extender for the webcam. I bought a used Celestron Omni and after giving it a good cleanup and check, it is performing very very well. Not bad for a £25 investment.
  20. Wohoo, 2 BST ED EPs on the way!!!

  21. Amazing. Makes you wonder what else is up there that you can't regularly see .
  22. Well, I only got 10 minutes worth of observing last night before clouds rolled in fast (7timer botched the prediction). However, int between the clouds the atmosphere was pretty stable. The moon was way up there, so no DSOs for me - I went straight to Jupiter. Very nicely defined equatorial belts, and the GRS too. By the time I was getting ready to image it, clouds rolled in (I was so absorbed I noticed the clouds screwing up the imaging first on the laptop rather than their presence in the sky, duh!)
  23. Misaki, try using Registax for stacking the videos from your captures - it will bring out detail you didn't even notice it was there - see this for an example, if slightly overprocessed. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/176237-really-low-budget-imaging-what-you-can-do-with-50-of-equipment/#entry1812343
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