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Everything posted by Chinapig

  1. Nice colour too! A first solar to be chuffed with, I reckon. I only started trying out some solar imaging, or visual for that matter, a few months ago, and getting good focus is still my main challenge. Irrespective of the quality of my images though, it's fun to do simply as a record of how the sun changes - sometimes pretty spotty! May your solar images remain bulbous but not tapered ; ) Cheers Chinapig
  2. Hi folks Bought one of these not long before Christmas but weather has been mostly against me since! The prime purpose was for an ultra compact scope, for chuck-in-the-boot grab & go, and although it's had limited use, so far it's been fab. White light solar with a wedge is good, and I also had full disc with a Quark in tihe back of my mind. Used a few times over last week for following Lovejoy across the sky - quick, wide views between rain and gales! Optical quality has not disappointed, and the build quality is also good. Impressed by the focuser. Works smoothly and sweetly. The o
  3. There are some helpful tips on dslr astro on this page - sorry, no idea if the 1200d has "silent shooting mode" but that tip worked well for me: http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/dslr/newdslr/#Silent The "hat trick" works well with camera lens or scope - as happy-kat says, don't touch the lens/scope, but once you've opened the shutter, and any shake has settled, whisk the piece of black card out of the way. Cheers Simon
  4. You could consider a Daystar Quark filter, which would simply fit in a diagonal for Ha viewing or imaging. The Starwave 70ED, from Altair Astro (UK) or their dealers, would also be a contender for the scope, also f6. With FL at 420mm, this should give full-disc solar with the Quark.
  5. Wow - looking truly awesome! The completed sculpture is most certainly far more than merely the sum of its parts. Edibly gorgeous. Good enough to take out for dinner somewhere special... "Good evening sir, and would your beautiful telescopic companion like to have tonight?" "Stars, please!"
  6. My Ravelli combo arrived today. Pleasantly surprised by the quality of the tripod - a much more substantial beast than I was expecting. Trigger grip works well, and out of the box its adjustment/tension was pretty much bang on for my 15x70s. Nipped out into the garden as soon as dusk faded, and grabbed a quick pre-dinner tour of Coathanger, M57, M31, M45, double cluster etc... Total height of tripod, trigger grip and L bracket seemed pretty good for even near-zenith elevations. I can see why the trigger grip is so well recommended for this task. Quite impressed. Amazing value. And the w
  7. Well worth the small delay for the convenience of the counterweight system - and it's looking delicious!
  8. Looks to be a very successful technique - good result. Was this with your Watec? Cheers Simon
  9. Yup, I reckon the Star Adventurer should be a good match for your 300mm - nice piece of glass! Best of luck, and may you have plenty of clear weather to try it out!
  10. Hi there Not wishing to confuse your decision making, but there is one other contender that on price and capacity fits between the Polarie/Star Adventurer etc and the Astrotrac. And that's the iOptron SkyGuider. Comes in two neat cases - one for the mount head and one for the tripod - and includes a polar scope that can be used when the camera gear is in place. Capacity is quoted at 5kg, plus a bit more with the appropriate counterweights in place. It has a guide port for the RA axis, and the usual range of tracking rates. Might be worth a look. Cheers Simon
  11. Most definitely of interest - very instructive. I have a Cx2 currently on order, and have been following your posts on here, and others' like them, with much fascination. Looking forward to giving both LL and the SX s/w a try. Hopefully the weather will have improved by the time the camera arrives! Cheers Simon
  12. Inspirational. Not quite all the way back to the big beginning, but pretty damn close! Far out indeed...
  13. They are certainly super bins. Been enjoying mine for a few months now, and have to say that in spite of having had a scope for few years, the 15x70s helped me to learn a lot more about the late summer sky than I knew before. I already had a beard, which does seem to be quite important. The lingering flavour of late night Marmite on toast can help boost many an observing session! In terms of cost versus frequency of use, probably one of the best astro investments I've made. Enjoy...
  14. Exquisite detailing Nicos. A beautiful bit of engineering, and the black leather is a very nice touch - literally! Not long now, I guess... Cheers Simon
  15. Hi Coastliner A small refractor would make sense, or a long focal length prime lens - but decent long primes seem to be pretty pricey! Possible contenders could include the William Optics Zenithstar ZS71, or the Starwave 70ED: http://www.ioastronomy.com/product/starwave70ed In fact, I've just bought the little Starwave for a very similar purpose - portable AP on a small mount - and although the weather's been too rubbish to try it out in earnest yet, the scope is nicely made, has a very smooth focuser, and the few brief night-sky views I've grabbed with it so far have looked very promising. G
  16. A very warm welcome to this amazing Lounge. The closer I get to retirement - only a few months away now - the more I'm enjoying astronomy, and yes, I undertand what you mean by hurry! I hope you enjoy it to the max, and there are plenty of helpful and knowledgeable people on here for info and advice. There are probably a few astronomy groups and societies within striking distance, where you would find friendly advide and the chance to try out various bits of kit before deciding what to buy. You can't do much about the weather, but to maximise the opportunities of a clear spell, it's worth c
  17. Not sure I want to live too close to anything as dangerous as that. Looks like it's coming apart at the seams. All that flaming whooshy stuff. Dear me no, not in my back yard, give me a quiet backwater of the Milky Way any day... Aside from the feelings of awe and outright fear, that's got to be one of the most beautiful and educational illustrations of our nearest star's behaviour that I've ever seen! Many thanks for posting, sheer magic.
  18. Following a talk at my local astro group on dark sky portable AP, I called IO Astronomy a few weeks ago, for some advice on portable mounts suitable for dslr work and for use with a small refractor. I was looking for something compact, lightweight, and easily transportable – for holidays, and impromptu grab-&-go trips to darker skies. I spoke to Dave Woods at some length, and his advice made logical and economic sense. I therefore visited the company’s showroom in Hampshire a few days later, to have a look at the various options in the flesh. Dave gave me a tour of their showroom, and s
  19. A pretty gorgeous mish-mash! Looks stunning. Inspires me to give narrowband a try. Cheers Simon
  20. That is indeed a FAB fly photo! Wildlife photo competition contender? Just catching up on stuff from the last week and noticed this thread. Yup, sometimes you just have to work with what you can see! I can empathise with your frustration. Spent ages the other day waiting for the sun to clear some trees, to grab some white light shots, and it cleared the branches just in time to be obscured by high cloud, quickly followed by a neighbour's roof... And then you realise the sunset looks so good, you may as well take some snaps of the pretty colours! Today's looking more promising - happy frame
  21. Sounds magic! Look forward to seeing pics of the finished scope - looks wonderful so far. All the best Simon
  22. Fozzie - my piece of glass is number 25. Good to know there are a few out there now. Must admit I bought it on a bit of a whim - I wanted a 100mm refractor but couldn't decide which way to go. ED doublet? Break the bank and go for a triplet? Or settle for something rather simpler and more economical. And I'm pleased I took the latter route - very pleasantly surprised by its capabilities. Quite a light tube, so easy on the back! For fuss-free, relaxing visual, I reckon it'll get a lot of use. Next sunny spell, I'll try my 5mm XW with the wedge, and looking forward to trying the same eye
  23. Thanks for your comments Fozzie. I certainly enjoyed the solar views with the Lunt wedge, and although I only had a rather limited opportunity in the evening - between twighlight and clouds - I was very pleased with the results. The moon, as you mention, was fab. Albireo's gold and blue combo looked gorgeous, and the scope split the double-double's pairs just before some cloud got in the way. A very good start. For both solar and dark-sky stuff I tried a few eyepieces, down to an 8mm Hyperion, so 140x. I'm sure it'll take more perfectly happily. Looking forward to next time! Cheers Simo
  24. Fozzie - I've had my brand new Starwave 102 f11 out today (arrived yesterday), getting first light in the Saturday sunshine via a Lunt wedge. Been tracking the sun for an hour or few, with no ill effects. Tube and lens cell all seem to have kept cool, and close to ambient temperature. The sun's now dropped too far down behind a neighbour's house, but if the blue sky holds, I'm itching to try the 102 out this evening! How are you finding yours, on the more celestial targets? Seems a very nice scope so far, and excellent value. Cheers Simon
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