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Everything posted by Chinapig

  1. Here's a wee snap from a recent trip to the southern hemisphere. The fuzzy blob is the Omega Centauri globular cluster, NGC 5139. A single 10-second exposure, at ISO6400, taken on an Olympus EM5 ii mounted on a static tripod, using a 14-150 zoom at close to max - so approx 300mm at full-frame equivalent. Far more of a holiday souvenir than a great pic, but it's not often that you find a globular cluster that's big enough and bright enough for a quick snap!
  2. Hi folks I've had a pair of Helios Apollo 15x70s for a while, and still enjoy them a lot. Learnt more about what's where in the sky through the Apollos that I've ever done through a scope. I'm getting older, with a slightly dodgy back, which has just resulted in the sale of my dream telescope mount (AZ-EQ6). So recently I've been taking out a binocular for observing far more often than I have a scope. Which brings me to the quandary: I'd like a bit "more" than the Apollos offer my eyesight, particularly eye relief and "eye comfort". I wear specs, and suffer from a fair bit of astigma
  3. I've also been looking at P-mounts recently, and came across this option from the Ukraine: http://astrodevices.net/mounts/parallelogram-standard-ii-pro No idea how this would compare to the other commercially available options, but it looks reasonable value.
  4. Very regretfully, I’ve decided to sell my lovely AZ EQ6 - mainly due to health reasons. Although the mount has had limited use, the dual-purpose EQ and Alt-Az flexibility has proved to be very handy, as has the dual-encoder freedom. I’ve found the mount to be a pleasure to operate, whether for twin-scope solar duties in Alt-Az, or regular EQ work with a variety of scopes. It comes complete with manuals, the extra saddle for a second scope in Alt-Az mode, cables, adjusters, etc. It’s in good condition, apart from a few marks on the counterweights, and the mount head and handset have alw
  5. Lots of that high, thin, hazy stuff here, making it a bit of wash-put from our back garden. So grabbed my 10x50 bins, and walked down to the beach. Still hazy, but not as bad, and had a relaxing tour around, mainly south east to south west, with a gentle sound track from small waves gurgling on the shingle. Nice...
  6. Stunning! A really beautiful, heavenly image. Spent some time in Australia earlier this year, and was amazed how big Omega Centauri appeared, even in the 10x50 bins I took along.
  7. I guess this is probably too late for your trip, but for future reference, these look like a very neat idea - don't take weights, merely the frame to fit beer-can weights into! http://www.darkframeoptics.com/category/bodai-global
  8. I've only just started to play with timelapse myself, so hardly qaulified to comment, but as others have said, probably easier to keep the camera still for the first experiments. Having got it all happening at least in principle, then maybe see what happens if you let the SA pan the camera around the horizontal axis in one direction, while the stars move the opposite way. I found some useful tips here: http://www.creativeislandphoto.com/blog/speedinog-up-time And there's loads of stuff on YooToob... Have fun!
  9. A quick update. Having decided on the APM 10x50EDs, I placed the order with Astrograph, and within 24 hours they were in my hands. First class service. They arrived well-packaged, double-boxed, and it felt like Christmas... First impressions were good. They felt well built, solidly engineered, and everything worked positively - dust caps were a nice tight fit, and won't fall off by accident. Tough Cordura case, in a dirty green colour, with a neck strap for the case, and for the bins. Metal tripod adapter, which screwed in tightly. Had time for a quick look across the rooftops,
  10. Many thanks folks, for all the advice, wisdom, links and suggestions. All very much appreciated. Decision made. With a flight deadline and birthday approaching, backed by a big smile from my good lady, I decided to spend the wee bit extra on the APM 10x50ED, as compared to the Lunts. Couldn't risk ordering from outside the UK, in case of unexpected delays in transit, so have gone for a UK supplier who had them in stock. More soon on that front... A special thanks to Damo for leading me in the general APM direction! Yup, noted the UK/Europe price differential on the 16x70s, b
  11. Yup, initially I did the same, and all was fine until my astigmatism got to be more of a problem, particularly in my dominant eye. Now I find glasses are pretty much a must whether with binos or scope. Annoying, but there you go...
  12. Hmm, thanks Damo - food for thought indeed! Have noted with interest your "first impressions" thread on the 16x70s. So far, can't find anywhere that stocks the APM to have a look through, but I hope to be able to try out the Lunt 10x50 within the next few days.
  13. Thanks Charic - yeah, you're right about the Apollos, I may well regret it if I leave them at home! And take your point re wide field. My little B&S Savannah 8x42s are not bad, and perhaps I should be content with taking those, but I bought them before I was quite so dependent on wearing glasses, and I find them a bit of a fiddle to keep my eyes in their sweet spot. Hence the search for something else, preferably with a tad more reach and aperture - but I appreciate the benefits might be marginal.
  14. Many thanks for your input folks. Steve - appreciate the early feedback on the LightQuests, and your comments help put the range in context. SpaceBass - cheers for your point re AFOV. I'll ponder for a little longer, and probably make a final choice on Monday.
  15. Hi folks Preparing for some foreign travel, and have regretfully decided that my much loved Helios Apllo 15x70s are too big and heavy to take. Need something that will share a carry-on bag with camera gear etc, but would like to combine good image quality and robust build in a 10x50 format. Don't mind spending a bit of budget for something that's going to last, and keep my eyes happy! I guess I COULD stretch to the Lunt magnesium 10x50s, or would the new Helios LightQuest HR be a viable alternative? Or perhaps the Pentax SP/WP would fit the bill happily enough. Any comments
  16. Looks a nifty concept. Thanks - been wanting something like this for ages. Drafting letter to Santa right now...
  17. No idea how they compare with the SW options in terms of optical quality, but these Dobsonians from Bresser look like a sensible approach. The OTA can be shifted along the tube rings for balancing, and can even be removed - and a dovetail added - for use on a tracking mount: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-8-dobsonian-telescope.html There's also a 10" for not a lot more money, although that would probably be a bit over the top for your current mount. I've yet to see one in the flesh, let alone have a peep through one, but I'm intrigued...
  18. My back and knees not being as flexible as they used to be, I treated myself to this nifty gadget, which certainly helps: http://www.darkframeoptics.com/product/polarite-right-angled-polarscope It simply bolts onto the end of your polar scope, and lets you look down rather than up. You could probably cobble together something similar if you have the right bits around, but I was seduced by the off-the-shelf solution! Happy aligning folks. Cheers
  19. Fab result. Colour balance twixt moon and sky looks great.
  20. Yup, I use an OMD EM5, which also has the same mount. As Michael says, it has a micro four-thirds mount, and you will need the appropriate T-ring to suit your camera, plus a T-ring to 1.25" adapter. I use this T-ring: http://www.365astronomy.com/T-Ring-Micro-Four-Thirds-T2-Lens-Adapter-Ring-for-Micro-4-3-dSLR-Cameras-WITHOUT-EXTENSION.html Hope that helps - best of luck! Cheers Simon
  21. Yes please! Have sent you a PM. Cheers Simon
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