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Posts posted by Chinapig

  1. APM 10x50 ED binocular in excellent condition.  Magnesium chassis, individual eyepiece focusing, BAK-4 prisms, waterproof to IPX-7 and nitrogen filled.  Complete with sturdy Cordura case and strap, binocular neck strap, objective lens caps and eyepiece caps, and tripod adapter.  Lovely edge-to-edge sharpness, with 6.5 degree AFOV, and up to 20mm eye relief with eyecups folded.  Collection preferred from Worthing area, West Sussex, or can post within UK only, at cost.  Payment by bank transfer, or cash on collection.  Binoculars can be viewed and tried within current social distancing guidelines.

    Asking £235.00

    APM10x50ED_complete set.jpg





  2. Please excuse the mugshot (something to send the grandchildren!), but here’s my delightful Tak FS-60C, with Herschel Wedge in place, enjoying the recent sunspot activity.

    I’m truly amazed by the quality and versatility of this little scope.  It’s become my most-used and favourite scope, whether in F6 mode as here, or at F10 with the extender in place.  The detail it could pull out of the sunspots and their surroundings was most impressive.  And it rides so sweetly on the Scopetech Mount Zero.  Solar, lunar, open star clusters, wide-field views - it’s a joy.




    • Like 7
    • Thanks 1
  3. 1 minute ago, JeremyS said:

    This is the 2-inch adapter: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/takahashi-adapters/takahashi-2-inch-eyepiece-holder-for-fs-60-and-fs-78.html

    Then I used a 2 to 1.25-inch reducer to accommodate the Tak 1.25-inch diagonal 

    Oh, that simple - many thanks Jeremy!  I thought it might be the 2” adapter, but wasn’t convinced it could be that easy.  I have one of those in my Tak box - came with my little FS-60C.

    Really appreciate your help.  Many thanks.  Cheers, Simon

    • Like 2
  4. On 11/08/2020 at 15:24, JeremyS said:

    Now the Sun is awakening, I wanted to prepare for some white light observing with the Tak FC 76 DCU and/or FS 60Q. However, neither would reach focus with the Lunt 1.25-inch Herschel wedge. There was not enough "in" travel - the Lunt wedge has a longer path length than the standard Tak diagonal.

    Taks are famous for the variety and flexibility (or complexity!) of "back end plumbing" (i.e. you can spend huge sums on various adapters), so I dropped Ian King an email for advice and within minutes he suggested a different back end configuration, using items I already had. Now reaches focus and still quite some travel left. Works with he Quark too.

    Ian King is a real star!


    New config with Lunt Herschel wedge:



    With Quark:


    Apologies for waking up an old thread.  I have a 76DCU, and had the same problem with focus in-travel and a Daystar Quark.  Keen to know which Tak adapter solved your problem.  Not 100% sure which back-end plumbing part you’re using.  

    Would appreciate your advice.  Many thanks!

    Cheers, Simon

  5. 17 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

    Tempted to get a WL setup now it seems to be waking up.

    Very well worth it, I reckon!  Looking at your kit list, there are several fracs there, across which you could share a Herschel Wedge.  Cheers, Simon

    • Like 1
  6. 2 hours ago, Ricochet said:

    Absolutely. I upgraded mine with both the double stack filter and the feathertouch focuser and having used them I consider both essential.

    Many thanks for you input Ricochet - appreciated.  While I continue to ponder the DS option for a wee bit longer, I’ll definitely divert a bit of budget for a replacement focuser.  Comments about the standard helical one do seem pretty common.

    Thanks again.  Cheers, Simon

  7. Had a delightful grabbed-and-gone viewing session from our front garden this afternoon, as the sun moved out from behind the trees and houses opposite.

    Wow, that sunspot group is seriously impressive!  Was using my wee Tak, FS-60C, with a Lunt wedge, and tried a small selection of eyepieces, finishing with a Morpheus 6.5 at 54x.  Fab view via a solar continuum filter.  Delightful detail.  Sunshine permitting, I’ll keep watching over next few days.

    Cheers all, Simon


    • Like 3
  8. 1 hour ago, AdeKing said:

    I don't have the LS50, but do have a 50mm double stack fitted to my LS60 so I'm basically using a 50mm solar scope.

    The double stack filter makes a huge difference to my visual observations as it dramatically increases the contrast on the face of the disc.

    The DS filter does dim the image, but as I use a solar hood to cut out external reflections, I don't find this too much of an issue.

    It does take a bit more effort to tune as you have two filters to independently tune, but I found it simple enough to follow the instructions.

    I was fortunate as I got my LS60 secondhand and it came with the DS filter, but they do add a significant addituonal cost to an already expensive item.

    Good luck with making your decision. I'm sure someone else will be along to offer an opinion shortly.


    Many thanks Ade - appreciate your comments.  All useful info.

    Cheers, Simon

  9. I’ve decided to go for a small, light and handy dedicated H-alpha solar scope, and have a Lunt LS50THa incoming.

    So if you take that scope as a given, and also that I’m only interested in observing, would it be worth also getting the double-stack module?  My budget might JUST stretch to that, given some of the discounts around.

    Curious to know of anyone’s experience with double-stacking the little Lunt 50, purely for observing.

    Look forward to your comments - cheers folks.

  10. 14 hours ago, JeremyS said:

    Super little mount isn’t it Simon, @Chinapig?
    Even with the heavier Tak FC 100 DZ it performs well 👍

    What tripod do you use?

    It’s currently sitting on an Amazon Basics!  Simply because that was vacant when the mount arrived, and I couldn’t wait to try it.  It’s surprisingly stable though, and has been fine up to 126x on Mars, for example.  It’s far from a long-term solution though, and will probably swap duties shortly with a rather sturdier Manfrotto tripod.  I do however have my eye on a Berlebach Report 312, which looks spot on.  Otherwise, it’ll be down to researching the carbon-fibre options.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  11. Have had my Scopetech Zero for a couple of weeks or so now - thanks to FLO’s speedy turnaround - and it’s been out a few times already.

    I’m very impressed with it.  Helped by some earlier comments in this thread, I found setting the Az axis tension a doddle - just a few tweaks - such that it’s super smooth to push around, and the slo-mo engages seamlessly.  Works like a dream.

    Same is true for the Alt axis.  I’m using it with a Tak 76DCU, and finding the balance point was easy.  Gives me exactly the degree of control I was looking for.  Holding Mars in the fov with the slo-mos is a delight, although cloud has stopped play recently...  It’s a perfect little mount for me.  A great bit of engineering.  Beautifully made, and as smooth as silk in operation.   Love it!

    Cheers all, Simon

    • Like 4
  12. Sadly, it's time to part with my trusty Helios Apollo 15x70s, as arthritis is making handling increasingly awkward.  They are in very good condition, with just a few very slight scuffs around the tripod-adapter socket (see photo below). These have taught me more about what's where in the night sky than any other optical device.

    Complete in original case, with an unused and unopened lanyard, plus the solid metal tripod adapter, adapter socket blanking cap, objective lens caps and eyepiece rainguard.

    I'd really prefer not to ship them, as I'd rather not risk any knocks in transit that might affect collimation, so collection only please from Worthing area, West Sussex.  Given reasonable weather, we're happy to offer socially-distanced inspection in our garden. 

    Asking £185 ovno, with payment by cash on collection preferred, or by bank transfer.

    Helios Apollo in case.jpg

    Helios Apollo_flight case.jpg

    Helios Apollo_strap and tripod adapter.jpg

    Helios Apollo_eyepieces.jpg

    Helios Apollo_objectives.jpg

    Helios Apollo_scuffs.jpg

    • Like 1
  13. 58 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

    Frugality! They are within budget, but I can't get any real handle on whether they are twice as good. It is a difficult metric to measure and I at the upper end of my budget I think I would really like to get hands on to decide. Mrs Shimrod has kindly offered to have a pair of hand-me-down binoculars should I decide to upgrade in the future!

    I read it more than once, although not just related to the Helios binoculars - rather comparisons between 20x80 and 16x80 - it could have been in one of the sky at night reviews on the website although I've a feeling it might have been part of a general round up of binoculars as well.

    edit: I've just looked back through my history for yesterday and can't find anything relevant - I wonder if I have misread a comparison between 16x70 and 20x80? A quick google search and the first link to a thread on cloudy nights says the exact opposite to my statement on relative brightness. So the choice may just be down to FOV.

    If you wear glasses to observe, the amount of available eye relief might also be an issue.  I've also been looking at these models and formats, and - for example - the 16x80 version of the LightQuest has more useful eye relief that its 20x80 equivalent, which wouldn't work for my eyes.  Bit of a juggling act!

  14. 2 hours ago, Shimrod said:

    Thanks for the reply. I already have a Skywatcher 80ed ds pro and an EdgeHD 8". I am looking for something a bit more portable - and I always travel with my camera and tripod, so binoculars would seem to be a better fit. I should also have said I would want to use them occasionally for wildlife as well.

    If you want to use the binocular for wildlife, even occasionally, then I reckon that tends to rule out all the models with individual eyepiece focusing, as trying to re-focus both eyepieces as wildlife moves around could get rather tiresome!  Probably also worth checking out the close-focus distance of the various options, as many of the 20x80 models show 20m as their closest focus, which might also be a tad limiting for wildlife.  The Pentax 20x60 gets down to 8m, has centre focusing, and is relatively lightweight, but has limited field of view - plenty of positive reviews around.  Might also be worth considering some of 15x56 models, such as Vortex Diamondback HDs - there's a thread on CN that's worth a read.  Best of luck with your search!

    • Like 1
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