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Everything posted by GavStar

  1. One of the key reasons that I bought my first night visio monocular was to observe DSOs from my London back garden (sqm 18). A few years ago, Jupiter and Saturn were low in the sky at opposition and so DSOs were a key part of my observation targets. It quickly became clear that although night vision was good from light polluted skies it is even better from darks skies like those in the Isle of Wight that I visit on an infrequent basis (sqm 21). Over time, I’ve aimed to improve the views I get from my London back garden. My latest kit test was last night with my little fsq85. Some great nebula objects in the sky and I’m really pleased with the views I can get from London of these wonderful DSOs. Now just to get to those dark skies on a more regular basis… It’s a lot of fun to see the horsehead so clearly with my little refractor from London back garden as shown by the phone pic below.
  2. Unsurprisingly it’s my night vision monoculars - saying they have revolutionised my observing is rather an understatement. Last week I was involved in the filming of a short segment on urban astronomy for the forthcoming January episode of “Sky at Night” discussing how my nv monoculars allow me to see the invisible This photo was taken from the top of BBC Television Centre - definitely an urban location!
  3. In development now according to WO. F5.6 and 0.98 Strehl (56mm image circle) no other details that I can see!!
  4. I use the 0.7x edge reducer with my c11 edge. The required distance is 146mm so it’s straightforward to use a 2?inch diagonal. This is for visual only with my nv monoculars. Works very nicely in conjunction with my 55mm plossl. I also use a standard c11 with AP 0.75x photo visual reducer and 55mm plossl. Visual views are shown in the phone images in the linked thread (about 1 degree fov)
  5. Here is the latest iteration of my eyepiece cases. As you can see I like my peli cases. Front left: planetary and lunar set with tec turret and delites Front right: binoviewing set for solar and planetary Back row: Various night vision monoculars with suitable Televue eyepieces for afocal viewing and ha and other filters
  6. Maybe I’m not answering your query, but For standard visual observing, depending on the object to be observed, there are various filters that can help to some extent like uhc, oiii (for emission nebulae) and Baader moon and sky glow (for planets). But these filters have nowhere near the impact that the night vision device plus appropriate filter has for light polluted skies. In this case bigger prices really do have a massive positive impact on what you can observe live.
  7. I use my night vision monoculars primarily for live visual observing, not imaging. However I do like taking quick phone shots of the views as a record of my observing sessions. With respect to the ir filter this should be used in conjunction with a night vision device for live observing.
  8. Only when attached to a night vision device.
  9. With night vision astronomy we use strong filters to remove the “milky ness”. Eg for viewing stars and galaxies in my London back garden I use a Baader 685 filter which filters out the visible wavebands just leaving the infrared which can be seen by the night vision device. Works very well and with the manual gain adjustment you can get really quite black skies but retain lots of stars. It’s expensive though unfortunately. Here’s a thread I posted recently about how light pollution does affect night vision astronomy. For the observing discussed in this post I was using a narrowband ha filter to observe the emission nebulae. Some light pollution does sneak in hence the more milky views but night vision still allows you to see stuff you would have no chance otherwise.
  10. An experienced nv user posted the following comment on CN recently… ” Acting solely as a facilitator, offering up memories to last a life time, is incredibly rewarding in and of itself. The most impactful encounters, have all been with those who will likely never have the inclination to buy an NVD nor a telescope. The least impactful and joyless encounters, have been within the astronomy community itself, particularly with the "experienced " amateur. Rough heathen outreach is rewarding, doing it to convert, not so much. “
  11. Agreed Mark. Most European sellers of nv equipment are happy to provide options that meet the requirements of astronomers.
  12. One of the key benefits of night vision astronomy is the ability to observe many DSOs from a light polluted site which would otherwise be invisible (or virtually invisible ) with normal glass eyepieces. However, light pollution still has quite an adverse impact on the views with night vision compared to observing from a dark site. I was pretty impressed with the nebulae views I got from London earlier this week. But I still get significantly more enjoyment from night vision when observing at a dark site. In June this year, I observed several of the same nebulae from a dark site on the Isle of Wight (sqm 21+) using a reasonably similar setup (effective speed, aperture, image scale). I attach the London vs Isle of Wight night vision comparison of the North America, Butterfly, Veil, Pac-man, Soul nebulae. Quite a difference I think!!!
  13. Nope you’re off the Christmas card list now @Stu
  14. Thanks Stu. As you know I was going purchase a Sharpstar 13028 as a larger aperture grab and go. But after last night I think I’m going to stick with the easy setup, pinpoint stars and lovely flat field of the fsq85 (night vision is notorious for exaggerating any fc exhibited by the scope). And you’re right, the fsq85 and c11/16 inch dob work in great partnership for big and small objects respectively…
  15. It was a lovely clear night sky in London tonight and also no moon so I thought it was about time for a decent night vision astronomy session. I went for my grab and go setup, ie az gti mount and Takahashi fsq85. First up was a bit of experimenting with my Televue 67mm and reducers and also my Televue 55mm in afocal mode with my pvs-14. Given the light pollution I only used my chroma 3nm ha filter. The reducers gave relatively disappointing star shapes tonight so I quickly just focussed on the eyepieces only. The 67mm is nice with good stars to the edge but it does suffer from some vignetting - not really noticeable for visual but quite obvious when I take some phone pics through it. The 55mm didn’t have the vignetting but the edge stars were pretty yucky (lines not points!). I then dusted off my Televue panoptic 41mm to compare with my experiences with the 67mm and 55mm. Although a bit dimmer, the 41mm didn’t vignette and also had nice sharp round stars right to the edge. As a result it stayed in the focuser for the rest of the session. I started with Cygnus (North America, Veil and Butterfly) and then gradually made my way across the rest of the sky taking in the Pac-man, Heart, Soul, California, Monkeyhead, Rosette and then finally the Flame/Horsehead. Phone pics attached and bearing in mind this is from an sqm 18 (light polluted) London back garden, I really want to get this setup to a dark site soon. The fov of around 4 degrees frames many showpiece nebulae very nicely. I think November is one of the best times to observe with night vision - there are loads of showpiece nebulae all over the sky - and nebulae are what night vision really excels at. I’d definitely recommend grabbing your nv kit and scope at the next clear night to do a “Grand nebulae tour”.
  16. What I mean is that the difference in f ratio between the lens of f1.5 and f1.8 is not the key reason for the major differences I am seeing when observing nebulae. C mount lens like the fujinon and cosmicar are not designed for use with an nv monocular - it’s just that they have a c mount thread and so can be attached straightforwardly. The afocal 3x lens is specifically designed for use with a pvs14 - I think this a key reason why I am getting better results with it (using either my actinblack pvs14 or my Carson/ovni pvs14) than than ovni with fujinon lens.
  17. There is some confusion here. To confirm I have two pvs-14 monoculars. One is a complete setup (ie pvs-14 body and harder nv tube) purchased from actinblack, the other is one I built using a harder tube purchased from ovni and a pvs14 Carson milspec body/lens kit purchased from nighttec in Germany. The astronomy now review comparison was done before I received the Carson pvs14 kit and so the comparison was done between the actinblack pvs14 and the ovni-m. The full review is now available online here https://astronomynow.com/2021/07/29/reviewed-ovni-m-fom-2600-night-vision-eyepiece/
  18. Only about half an f stop difference between the Fujinon and the Cosmicar so wouldn’t be much of an impact. The 3x afocal lens is f1.5 and the difference I observed visually on emission nebulae with ha filter between the fujinon and afocal lens was more like 3-4 f stops rather than half, something else is making a bigger difference…
  19. Good catch! I must try out m57 with some decent aperture and scale sometime!!
  20. Since I’m based in the UK I got from actinblack in Luxembourg. However if you are in the USA they are more freely available and there are multiple versions some of which are better then others. I used this adapter to put the 1.25 filter between the pvs14 and 3x afocal lens. There is material vignetting due to the adapter etc but the centre 70 percent or so is excellent… https://rafcamera.com/adapter-envis-3x-to-pvs-14?amp=1
  21. Binocular nv is very cool - I think the jump up from mono to bino nv is noticeably bigger than the jump from mono to bino with normal glass. Bino is definitely my preferred way of nv observing but quite tricky to get aperture with this so I stay at 1x with the monoculars or 10x with the big binoculars as per these threads. It does start to get a but expensive though…
  22. It’s the 75mm f1.8 fujinon c mount, so a bit slower than the f1.5 but not much. The difference was pretty embarrassing for the fujinon though…
  23. @vineyard 1) Excellent re the tinkering. I think it’s very worthwhile since I read stuff like the 6-12 nm ha filters being best but after trying a 12,7,6,5 and 3nm filter it’s clear that for me the 3 is the best to bring out the most nebulosity with nv. So definitely keep on experimenting to work out what it best for your personal preferences. 2) here’s a cn link that may help you? https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/730773-why-doesnt-a-camera-lens-work-a-focally/ 3) Finally, (and probably least important), I’ve been able to try a camera lens and 75mm c mount lens in prime mode with my ovni-m. Both approaches disappointed me particularly on emission nebulae where with an ha filter both lens really struggle to show the nebulosity compared with my specialist 3x afocal nv lens. So I’ve stopped messing around with the camera lens as I’m happy with my afocal 3x lens setup. It perplexes me quite a bit about the positive comments made on cn re using camera lens/c mount lens with ha filters and nv as I just couldn’t get them to work at all well…
  24. The reducer/flattener requires 55mm spacing to the focal plane which means it can’t be used for visual purposes with a 2 inch diagonal (much longer distance would be needed). With my fsq85 as long as you can focus it, due to the design the lens spacing is always correct (without a reducer) meaning it is an excellent fast flat field scope for visual like your Genesis. I use reducers for visual with my c11 but they have much longer spacing distance.
  25. Interestingly not, for planetary I much prefer my bigger refractors to my c11, the views are crisper. Maybe seeing (or lack of it) is a factor.
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