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About Gavster

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  1. Great Jupiter viewing again last night with the red spot going across late evening. The pictures above are very helpful to identify the various different features. I saw two clear extensive festoons in the EZ. The white lane in the SEB was also very clear. Red spot really popped out - more than I've seen in previous years. I used binoviewers at 150x which gave the most sharp and easy to see detail. No issues either with dew due to the eyepiece heater straps. Not far away at all from the 16" image posted by moonshane above! Also tried my new 4mm delite for the first time. This gave 245x which was a bit too much for Jupiter but still had a pleasing view. Nice and comfortable eyepiece. Finally I had a bit of fun powermating my ES 92 12 to give around 160x - surprising easy to use given the height of the total contraption!
  2. I did get some 14mm ones from Germany a month or two back but the eye relief was too tight for me so they just went back without me using them.
  3. Hi Mike, yes I do use binoviewers and they really help with eye floaters. But I've had a bit of a saga getting the right setup for me including the eyepiece pairs and I've kept the magnification relatively low as a result. My maximum with 19mm pans. 2.6 gpc, mark v and the tec gives about 140x. This has given great views of Jupiter and the moon. But with the discussions about higher magnification, ive now got a set up that can use my 2x powermate so up to 280x but I've yet to try this. Binoviewers are a bit unwieldy at times so I thought I would also carry on with mono as well hence the 4mm delite. And one of my aims is to do more observing out of London but with 2 young daughters it's a bit tricky at the moment.
  4. Yes the seeing is one factor - I prefer to lower the magnification to get more consistent sharp views rather than waiting for short periods of improved seeing. Also my eyes are a factor - to get 250x in the Taks requires a 0.4 exit pupil which is too low for me on planets and lunar.
  5. Jeremy, yes I agree that in terms of aperture it's an unfair comparison. The Tak also has a big advantage in that it's much more portable. And as John says the law of diminishing returns is definitely kicking in here. In my light polluted back garden, planetary viewing is one of my main focuses and an aspect that I really noticed with the TEC is that I can get good levels of magnification (150x +) without pushing into a low exit pupils. Floaters are much less of an issue and the image is brighter. Thinking about it, I guess this is a key benefit for me. I've also just received a 4mm delite to see what the views are at 250x - I've never found this level of magnification very satisfying in the Tak. All great scopes and I heartily recommend each one! Gavin
  6. Next Thursday Stu? 😀
  7. I've now had several sessions with my TEC 140 so feel I can give a reasonable comparison versus the Tak FC100D. I did a side by side of the TEC and the Tak using the same diagonal (Baader T2 Prism) and same zoom eyepiece (Leica) so that I could get very similar magnifications through each scope. The TEC is reasonably easy to move around due to the short tube length of around 90cm. It weighs around 9kg with tube rings and diagonal but its front heavy so I do need to take care when mounting it to ensure that the losmandy clamp is secure. By comparison the Tak is very straightforward to move and mount weighing only around 4kg. As I have noted on other threads, I think the TEC is the limit of comfort for me as an easy set up scope. I use it on a T-Rex Alt/Az mount which gives excellent stability (significantly better than the Tak on a modified porta 2). In terms of the focuser, the TEC has a gorgeous 3.5 inch feathertouch which is especially useful for me since although I only do visual, I like to use binoviewers or heavy 2.5lb widefields such as the ES 92 17mm. I've had no problems using these and only have to use the focuser brake when at 70 degrees or more. By comparison the Tak focuser is disappointing. Upgrading with a fine focuser such as the MEF3 helps a lot, but I still find it a bit spongy and less precise to use. The quality of the manufacturing of both telescopes is excellent with the TEC feeling more solidly built, but the Tak has the advantage of light weight. In terms of the views, both scopes give pinpoint stars and excellent star tests as you would expect. The only colour I notice is on the limb of the moon when to the edge of a widefield eyepiece and I'm sure this is the eyepiece rather than the scope (but it did give me a surprise at first). I haven't noticed any of the violet haze in the TEC that I've seen discussed on cloudynights, but I think you have to push the scope to its limits to notice this. In terms of difference in views, John described this for his 100mm vs 130mm as "the difference between my two is resolution, ease of picking up subtle planetary detail and ease and extent to deep sky objects. With regards to star images and CA control the 2 scopes seem virtually identical." This is a perfect description of the difference I see between the 140mm TEC and 100m Tak. On Jupiter the difference in resolution is readily apparent depending on seeing. The TEC showing easily the main 11 bandings and detailed edge definition of the bands with sharp edges. Using binoviewers on the moon at 150x gave "orbit" like views with pronounced 3D impact. I've never spent much time on the moon before, but I think that will change now (especially with John's crater challenge which I'm looking forward to trying out!). The extra aperture has allowed me to get views in my back garden I'd never expected when I first started this hobby 4 years ago. As the TEC is oil spaced it has excellent contrast and quick cool down. I know that fluorite doublets are supposed to be the best for contrast but I can't pick any difference between the TEC and Tak in this regard. The TEC has given great views at 150x after only 20mins which again helps if you have limited time period to observe (which is often what happens to me since I can't set up until my daughters have gone to bed) In summary, I can't fault the TEC whereas the Tak has some limitations for me in terms of the focuser and aperture. I agree with Stu that changing to a feathertouch on the Tak would be very beneficial but it seems a shame to "lose" the Tak serial number. For back garden viewing or at the local astro club, the TEC is the clear choice for me now. I'm intending to take one of the 4 inch taks (probably the DF since it works better on the porta 2 than the DL) to the Isle of Wight house, but the other one is feeling a bit redundant now.
  8. Hi Stu, I thought that ES 20mm 100 gave lovely views through your Tak earlier this year. I'm very tempted but possibly too close to my ES 17 92... Gavin
  9. This statement intrigued me about just how large a telescope you would need to see a fifth moon of Jupiter, so I did a quick bit of research. I guess it's been discussed before but it may be of interest to readers of this thread. The next largest moon is called Amalthea which was the last planetary moon discovered by observation (in 1892). It was discovered using a 36 inch refractor! Apparently you would need at least 24 inches of aperture to observe it. That's me out then... From the surface of Amalthea, Jupiter would appear 92 times bigger than the full moon, quite a sight!
  10. Yes 4mm Delite also ordered to give me the option of 250x on my scope if seeing is very good
  11. 383x magnification - 100 times aperture. I think I should start experimenting with higher magnification.
  12. But I guess more in the spirit of the original question I think a 4 inch Tak on a porta 2 with the new app-tl130 tripod is a great combination
  13. I agree 😉 And it is relarively grab and go
  14. I only do visual and I've always been an alt az slo mo fan. However my preferred scope for lighter scopes, the Vixen Porta 2, has always had a cumbersome tripod which is not travel friendly. This meant I was using a push to mount for travel and I don't particularly like it. However, following some random googling this week I discovered that vixen had relatively recently issued a new camera type tripod that fits nicely into the porta 2 with good stability. It seems to do the job well and is reasonably compact at 60cm so hopefully when traveling I will have my slo mo after all. Pictures below with a comparison with the quite bulky hal130 which I previously was using in my porta 2.