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Everything posted by GavStar

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. That’s works for me Actually my experience with a range of refractors is that aperture really is key when you get to a certain level of quality….
  4. Field curvature. Plus with nv you want fast speeds at dark sites as well as lp sites.
  5. Here is a link to a blog I wrote for Televue which describes how you can use a night vision device for astronomy https://televue.com/televueopticstalk/2019/02/27/night-vision-in-the-uk-seize-the-night/#.YWhWw6TTUWM
  6. Moi? Very pleased that you are happy with the pvs-14 @vineyard Enjoy the night vision journey - it’s very cool And Orion with a certain horsey is now appearing in the early hours. Plus the Rosette which I think is my favourite nebulae - just a fabulous looking thing
  7. Here’s another experiment with a higher frame rate than the ones I did before. This time is was the iconic horsehead which is now making an appearance in the early hours. FullSizeRender.mov
  8. I’m a bit of a refractor fan having 40mm, 60mm, 76mm, 85mm, 92mm, 130mm and 160mm fracs. As a general “cover all bases well” (lunar, planetary and DSOs) my preference is my AP130GTX which at f6.3 is still easy to lift, mount, transport etc. Obviously it still has limited aperture compared to a big dob but for me it’s the best compromise for a refractor. (In practice I would also want a 10-12 inch reflector of some description for galaxies, smaller nebulae etc). As a grab and go, I’ve found 100mm fracs (I’ve previously had a Tak fc100df and fc100dl) a bit too on the long side, particularly if I want to take it on a plane. So my preference for this role is an 85mm to 95mm. I did have all of the Baader 95mm tc, AP Stowaway 92mm, Tak Fsq85 and tv85 at the same time and enjoyed using them all and comparing them side by side. However, I knew that I was duplicating myself a lot at this aperture so made the decision to reduce the number. The fsq85 was the last one I bought and it’s flatfield and fast f5.3 pairs with night vision use fantastically - it’s also really nice for planetary even with the limited aperture. So this is my preferred scope for overseas trips. The tv85 was my first refractor and I really liked it but it just wasn’t up to the quality of the others, so I sold it. Finally, I decided I would pick between the stowaway or the Baader. I sometimes find over time my opinion changes with more use, and this happened with the Baader. Initial impressions were very positive and maybe there was a tiny tiny edge on lunar observing to the AP. But the Baader being f5.9 and having a shorter focal length did show more field curvature than the AP (both with and without Nv). The feathertouch focuser of the Stowaway is imo superior to the Baader focuser and generally I preferred the build quality of the stowaway. When I reflected on my observing sessions with each scope I just found that I had more fun with the Stowaway than the Baader. So I sold the Baader. The fsq85 and Stowaway are the best scopes at this travel/grab and go aperture for me but obviously it’s just my personal opinion. Also I only do visual not AP (apart from some phone pics!). They are both keepers!
  9. A bit of thread resurrection (only 4 years ) but my first light comments regarding the AP130GTX focuser not being as good as a feathertouch have continued to bug me - until today! The AP130GTX has become my favourite “all rounder” scope. Quite easy to mount, pretty light, short with a decent amount of aperture for a refractor. It can give fantastic planetary and lunar views but is also great for DSOs (with or without nv). However the stickiness of the focuser has always been a bit of an annoyance to me and, in fact, reduced my enjoyment of this scope. A few weeks ago, I finally contacted Astro physics direct in the USA about it. After an exchange of emails the technical guy assured me that my focuser seemed fine. However, another employee followed up my query and said that they could provide another focuser if I wished. Since I am delighted by every other aspect of this scope, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new focuser. It arrived today and very pleasingly is buttery smooth like my feathertouches on my other scopes. It took me about 2 minutes to install it and I’m very happy. After over 4 years, finally this scope has the focuser it deserves!!! And it just shows that sometimes I need to trust my instincts that something is just not right...
  10. I had my ovni-m night vision for six months now and have written a detailed 5 page review of it for Astronomy Now magazine. Here’s a link where a digital copy can be ordered. https://shop.astronomynow.com/product/an-June-2021/ And some “sneak peek” shots of the actual article taken from the astronomy now website.
  11. Martin, I guess you haven’t read this (pretty long!) thread? I think it answers your question about why I posted these nv videos in this section . Basically sgl does not allow nv posts in the observing section even if it is properly signposted. Any nv posts in the observing sections are moved to eeva by the mods. The first videos were from pretty dark skies in Isle of Wight, and the second set in the subsequent post were from London. With the 67mm eyepiece the stowaway is operating at f2.6 so pretty fast and it does give very nice views with pretty minimal fc. My Baader 95mm didn’t work with nv as well for reasons I’m not sure about hence I decided to sell it and keep the stowaway. However for normal visual the Baader was great, with no discernible difference in quality of views to the Stowaway. My Fsq85 operates at f2 with the 67mm so gives nearly twice as bright a view as the stowaway with nv. This means I can turn the gain down a bit more to reduce noise/scintillation even further, so maybe get a bit better live views and hence video recordings. The iPhone is pretty poor at recording the live views even with a 1 second exposure time and the actual live views in the eyepiece are more detailed, completely stable and very natural.
  12. As Peter says I was using a very narrow 3nm ha filter to maximise the contrast of the nebulae and make it bright through the eyepiece. Nebulae are much trickier to capture as a video than globs/galaxies etc since the narrow ha filter results in more scintillation and light starvation which is a challenging situation for the iPhone camera. I have done 30fps videos of globs and brighter galaxies with night vision reasonably easily from very light polluted sites, as per below (the phone camera exaggerates the scintillation- in practice the gain can be adjusted on the nv monocular to effectively remove the scintillation visible) IMG_6095.MOV IMG_6096.MOV
  13. I’ve own both the padded soft round and padded soft rectangular bags. I much prefer the round cylindrical style - easier to manoeuvre and much less bulky. I’d suggest something like this https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p7263_TS-Optics-padded-transport-bag-for-telescope-tubes-up-to-79-cm-length---35-cm-OD.html
  14. Thanks Martin. Please could you expand a bit more on nv having a much tighter nebula vs star balance?
  15. On YouTube there are several videos of observing with night vision monoculars. They are fun to watch and give a “feel” of what night vision astronomy is about. However, generally I feel the videos do not show how nice the actual live views are and have a lot of scintillation in them. I have posted quite a few still phone images of the view through my night vision monoculars but have so far struggled to get my phone to produce decent videos of the live views. However, after watching a few more night vision videos this week, I decided to have another attempt using the nightcap camera app. This app enabled me to adjust the frame rate and iso used for the video recording. By reducing the frame rate to 1 per second and reducing the iso to a relatively low 650, I’ve managed to produce some videos that, although not as good as the live views, do give a reasonable feel of the live nv experience. These were done using my 92mm refractor, 67mm eyepiece and pvs-14 nv monoculars giving around 10x magnification. The first video is a mini tour through Cygnus ie North America, gamma cygni, crescent and nebula containing the elephant’s trunk. The second is a tour through Sagittarius Witt the lagoon, Trifid, swan and eagle nebulae. I want to stick just with my phone rather than get a specialist astro camera, but hopefully I will be able to gradually improve the results. It was a lot of fun producing these! FullSizeRender.mov FullSizeRender.mov
  16. It’s staying on the Isle of Wight for now. I don’t think my partner would be happy with it clogging up the boot each time we visited My c11 is absolutely fine for when I feel like more aperture in London or darker sites in Surrey/Sussex.
  17. My dob is not a 20 inch but quite close and in combination with my night vision monocular I think the views are amazing with very good image quality. Not sure I’d like to go up against Gerry with his 24 inch one though
  18. I’ve just found the an interview with the founder of William Optics, William Yang, where he discusses the Pegasus Binoscope. The English translation is towards the end https://www.binomania.it/william_yang_intervista/ I note that the original 10 units (of which mine was one ) sold out very quickly. But he is making a new run for 2021. Here’s some phone shots of recent visual views from my London back garden through the Binoscope (with my night vision monoculars). (Rosette, monkeyhead, California, soul and heart nebulae) It’s a really impressive instrument.
  19. These are my bad boys. A 103mm William optics Binoscope. Fantastic widefield views of the skies...
  20. It was good to be able to do a meet up after such a long time. Shame I forgot that I didn’t have a diagonal attached to my AP130GTX! However luckily I had my tec turret to use instead which was quite fun to rotate around for easy magnification changes.
  21. I do like a 16 inch f4 dob. Here is mine, a Skyvision t400. Any more details you can share on yours, eg mirror maker, who built yours, etc?
  22. I’ve just done a video montage of recent phone pics I’ve taken using my ovni-m night vision monoculars and a variety of scopes including a 16 inch dob and a 40mm refractor. The images give a very good representation of the actual live visual views at the eyepiece. IMG_0123.MP4
  23. I have just watched Al Nagler of Televue talking about how night vision monoculars turn an 85mm refractor into a 10-14 inch scope. And suddenly up pops a couple of images I recognise . Link attached
  24. Great report Max. Nice to see a night vision report given there are only a few UK astro nvers. Currently, the skies are not that conducive to night vision with a small scope as a) night vision is more impressive on emission nebulae, and b) due to need to use long focal length eyepieces (to get brighter views), the image scale is too small for many of the objects as you stated. I think a minimum of 10 inches aperture is really needed with nv to get the best of these smaller objects. August/September will be a great time for your nv plus 90mm refractor as Cygnus will be high in the sky and Sagittarius is also nicely visible. A few days ago I got up at 3am to catch these with my nv and 103mm Binoscope. Absolutely fantastic views even from light polluted London of the North American, pelican, gamma cygni, crescent, eagle (dark pillars of creation visible at 10x mag), and swan. As an experienced observer, I’d be very interested in your initial thoughts regarding standard glass observing vs night vision observing? Which objects do you prefer with each one etc?
  25. As already mentioned, I do rather like AP scopes. Here is the unboxing thread for my AP130GTX And here is a comparison I did between my tec140 and my AP130GTX which eventually resulted in me selling the tec as I just preferred the views the AP gives me. Also the Ap is so wonderfully compact compared to the tec140 But the AP130GTX is bested my my Tec160fl (unsurprisingly) My little AP stowaway is pretty special too I always enjoy observing with my AP scopes, they just put a smile on my face each time.
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