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About Chinapig

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    Star Forming

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    Sussex coast, UK
  1. I bought a pair of APM 10x50ED bins a couple of years ago, in time for a trip to NZ and Australia. I had just enough spare space in my carry-on camera rucksack for a 10x50 pair and wanted to take the sharpest views I could that would fit that space. They fulfilled that role perfectly, showing me all the glorious wonders of the southern hemisphere skies. The only real comparative yardstick I had were my Helios Apollo 15x70, which obviousy have a mag and aperture advantage, but I found the APMs offered noticeably better edge-to-edge sharpness, more contrast, less CA (I couldn't really notice any), and they were less affected by stray light - eg from a bright moon just out of view. I also find the APMs more comfortable to use with glasses, which I need due to astigmatism. A much easier view, thanks to the better eye relief and larger-aperture eyepieces. Yup, I love 'em! My happiest observing sessions are using the APMs to spot a selection of targets, while using a small refractor to up the mag and see the targets in better detail. But if I'm travelling somewhere and can only take one optical aid, it's nearly always the APM 10x50ED that comes along.
  2. Yup, my bad, picked this up from Recent Posts, and realised too late it wasn't in Classifieds - apologies, and your reminder duly noted!
  3. Just seen your post. I have an Equinox 80, which I am planning to sell. If your other potential deal falls through, do PM me, and I can send you photos etc. The scope has a finder bracket, and I also have a pair of mounting rings, which are currently fitted to a Losmandy plate.
  4. Yeah, it seems to be pretty busy above here as well! Let's hope they blow away by this evening...
  5. Well, it seems to have galloped across the sky a fair amount since last night. Not such a clear sky tonight - haze and high cloud around - but the comet, if I've spotted it correctly, is some way west and up from Eta Leonis. Forecast looks ok for a couple of nights hence, so will give it another go then.
  6. Yup, just come in after a short session with 10x50s. An enjoyable tour around - eg M44, M67 & M48 - and fairly easy to find the comet, a fuzzy patch below 42 Leonis. Having found it, I'm looking forward to following it over the next week or two.
  7. Bought this ADM version recently for my Tak 76-DCU, and it arrived from FLO within 24 hours. Neatly engineered, it fitted like a glove and I'm very happy with it. For me, it was an essential factor in getting the most out of the scope's grab & go, pack & travel potential.
  8. After a few fruitless attempts over the last week or so, I found 46P tonight for the first time, using 10x50s to sweep the area down a bit and left a bit from Menkar. A vague splodge with soft edges sprang into view. Phew - that's it! Delighted... Upped the glass ante with 15x70s, tripod mounted with a trigger grip, and had a long, lingering look, thoroughly enjoying the sight. Having found the comet, I'd planned to try some imaging, but clouds decided it was bedtime...
  9. Regarding mount adapters, if you mean could you fit the YI camera body to a telescope, yes you could. I sometimes use an Olympus micro four thirds camera (an OMD) for astro photography, fitted on the back of a small refractor with a T-mount to m43 adapter. I've never heard of YI cameras before, and it's worth searching out some reviews first: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/yi-m1 As an alternative to the YI model, it might be worth looking at what deals you can find on Olympus or Panasonic cameras that use the same m43 lens mount - perhaps a bit more of a known quantity. The YI camera with more recent firmware updates, which I gather became available after the inital launch, might be fine though. Hard to tell, as not much info out there about this camera.
  10. Yup, can echo that comment re southern hemisphere. Visiting family in Oz last year was a phenomenal experience. I vowed that next time - maybe in a couple of years - I'd take the best and most easily transportable scope I could afford. A bad back has also made me think very hard about the kind of astronomy I can comfortably cope with. On both counts, a Tak FC-76DCU was the solution, plus the 1.7 extender. Very light, versatile and incredibly sharp, and breaks down into short tubes that all fit into a carry-on friendly camera bag. Delightful. Haven't had the chance to compare it to a TV85, but it gives my ED80 a decent run for its money - to my eyes, the Tak's a tad sharper. My Starwave 102mm f11's extra aperture gives it an edge on some targets, but I've now very reluctantly decided to sell the Starwave to keep my back happier. The Tak keeps my eyes pretty happy too!
  11. Craig I do indeed have one of these. A Starwave 102mm f11, which hasn't been out of the astro cupboard for quite a while and in the last 24 hours or so have pretty much decided to sell. I'll take some pics in the morning and post on here with full details, or by all means bung me a PM. It's the white-tube version, and I do have original packaging, although I'd be much happier with collection. I'd be looking for around £225. Cheers Simon
  12. Gorgeous image! Amazing how useful a nifty fifty can be... Really fab result.
  13. Hi there I’d love one of them - will PM you! Cheers Simon
  14. I've yet to challenge its capabilites on doubles very much - although Albireo looked blue-and-gold gorgeous - but it's stunning on open clusters, and the brighter nebulae. For example, the fuzzy patches of M35, 36, 37 & 38 in my 8x42 bins became beautifully resolved in the little Tak. The Lagoon and Triffid nebulae equally rewarding. My first-light experience with the scope was at my local astro-club observing night. We set up early, trying to catch a late season glimpse of Jupiter, as well as Saturn. Folks commented on the sharp clarity of the view on both planets. I'd set up next to a guy with a 127mm triplet, and yes, sure, the view through the larger triplet did show more detail on Saturn, but not THAT much. I was delighted! And a few weeks back, with the CQ 1.7x extender in place, I had my best-ever view of Mars. The Hercules cluster, M13, was also none too shabby with the CQ, while the Moon is a knockout. At first, when looking at the Moon for the first time, I instinctively reached for the ISO setting to tame the exposure - it was that bright! And then realised I wasn't using my camera... Ok, it was an age thing ; ) The only real challenge I've had with FC-76DCU is getting focus with my existing 1.25" diagonal. A bit of a juggling act with distance pieces helped resolve it, but I achieved nirvana by buying the Tak 1.25" prism diagonal. Crystal clear, and its short light-path works a treat. Well worth the bit extra. I've added an ADM quick-release finder adapter to the kit, simply to make break-down and transport easier. A perfect fit, and a neat solution. You do have to remember that the scope's aperture is only 76mm, and it obviously can't do the impossible. But I note that since buying it, both my ED80 and my f11 4" frac have both remained in the cupboard, as has my 6" SCT. Hope that helps.
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