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ric_capucho

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Everything posted by ric_capucho

  1. The 66ED would turn out to be more than 300 quid, maybe around 320. Which is basically why we decided not to market it, as the price step to the 80ED is a lot less than the performance step. Meanwhile, I think we were right, as the 80ED is selling very well indeed. Just a bit worried stocks are going to be depleted before the next big batch arrives. Ah well, a nice problem to have. Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  2. Shouldn't be, unless you already have problems focusing your 2" eyepieces. Ric
  3. Wow, quite a collection of 2" eyepieces yer got there... in that case I'd 100% recommend a decent 2" barlow. Anyone else got any better ideas I've not thought of? Regards, Ric
  4. Oooooo, buy the damn thing. Yer can always sell it on Ebay later. :-) Ric
  5. Hi Arthur, Sorry for not seeing your query earlier. Well, we cannot recommend the 30mm or 15mm 2" Ultrawides for telescopes of less than f/6 due to the softening of the edge of field becoming unacceptable. Designing an afov of 80degrees is really pushing things, and I'm afraid something has to give, and that's coma. Coma is seen as a softening around the edge of the field of view. Both eyepieces work wonderfully at f/10 upwards, and we've never had any objections down to f/7. It's in the f/6 to f/6.5 range that the discussions start, though all but the very most discerning are prepared to put up with a certain amount of coma. However, below f/6 we think the softening becomes intrusive. Rather than subsidise the postal services with the shippings and returns for sub f/6 experiments, we decided early on to steer away people with short focal length telescopes away to something else. Perhaps a lower afov 1.25" 15mm eyepiece? Or something like a 2" 32mm GSO (available from a variety of vendors including ourselves) would perform much better at f/4.8, so combine this with a decent 2" barlow and you've got 32mm and a 16mm equivalent. Anyway, let us know what you decide to do, 'cos we're always interested. Lordy, I could talk about eyepieces all day! :-) Regards, Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  6. There's something about the plossl design that means that afov of a 1.25" plossl starts to decrease inherently above 32mm. We've never offered plossls, so I never got to the bottom of it, but it's there. Check out the Celestron/Meade/Tele Vue plossls, and you'll see that the 'standard' afov of about 50deg for the plossl range suddenly drops down to 43deg for the 40mm version. I tested against the Televue eyepiece calculator (on their website) and came up with the following: For a 200mm f/10 SCT, the 40mm gives yer 50x and 0.8deg tfov, while the 32mm gives yer 62.5x and 0.8deg tfov. With a f/6.8 80mm refractor, yer get 13.8x and 2.8deg tfov with the 40mm, and 17.2x and 2.8deg tfov with the 32mm. Erm, the tfov's are the same, so yer better off with the slightly higher magnification of the 32mm 'cos it gives yer a darker background. Of course, a cut price 40mm is also worth having, so if it's a half-decent brand, and it's been looked after, then bite his hand off. Ric
  7. Just to chuck in my ha'penny: The goto versus no-goto debate revolves mainly around astronomers who've had at least a year or two using a telescope under the night sky, i.e. from a quite a bit experienced through to highly experienced. There are two camps: "I now know the skies well enough to star hop, so don't need these daft gizmos wot get in between me and my god"; "I can see more in an evening session with this 'ere goto, than you luddites can see in a month". Both are fair views, methinks, but both are informed views made by those experienced enough to have an opinion either way. The novice to the sport really doesn't hold either view; the newbie just wants to see stuff. Every star looks the same up there, most constellations unknown ('cept Orion and the Plough), and there's an understandable hunger for instant gratification. Now I believe the first evening or so spent with an ETX is wasted getting to know how to set the damn thing up, but the following evenings are often an amazing experience for the newbie. That gratification would be a long time coming without a goto, and who knows if the newbie has the patience up front to do it all the hard way. Sooooooooooo, nonwithstanding the usual ETX operational caveats, I would indeed recommend an ETX (or something similar) to a newbie. I just hope that same newbie stays in the hobby long enough to join one or other camp after that first year is up. Ric
  8. Hi Steve, I bought the Borg 100ED f/6.4 (which has now been face-lifted to the 101ED). The body is made of aluminium, so weighs in at about 3kg *with* ring tube, 2" diagonal, finder, fat 30mm 2" eyepiece, etc etc. Lovely bit of kit. I simply got sick of messing around with the ETX controller. One evening when the batteries had run out, I wanted to show the wife's mother Saturn, which was 'just there'; bright, easy to spot, no goto required. There! It's just there! I had to keep loosening and retightening the clutches to keep Saturn in the FOV. ETX owners the world over will commiserate with me when they think what I went through that evening. Then I had a long thunk, and decided that I pretty much knew where most of the easy wins for a 4" aperture were to be found, and could figure out the rest as and when I needed to. So, I swapped the ETX for the Borg on an alt-az and found... erm, star-hopping was harder than it looked. Buggah. So I practiced for a few nights using Turn Left at Orion, plus another book called the Monthly Star Guide. And lo and behold, I learned to fund stuff oop in t'sky without goto. Never looked back since. Ric
  9. Hi Steve, Interesting to compare notes, as I also used to have an ETX105. The 32mm SP was fantastic on that telescope, and I loved the 15mm. Seemed to be the 'right' next magnification step from the 26mm, and also was a comfortable eyepiece to use. A real keeper, or would have been if I hadn't swapped the ETX for my (beloved) Borg refractor. The thing is, I really really hated the 12.4mm. It wasn't comfortable to use, eye positioning was always critical. Nasty nasty nasty. But you're a happy bunny, so that just goes to show that eyepiece performance is very subjective indeed; I guess we all have different eyes. Regards, Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  10. What a leading question. Hmm, well the bottom line is that this really depends on the focal length/aperture of yer telescope. We built ourselves on our 2" eyepiece range, and in a world up to our necks on decent 1.25" super-plossls, I guess it's the 2" range where the real bargains lie. For an F/10 200mm SCT (i.e. LX200 8", C8 or whatever) or longer focal length anything but a Maksutov, I'd nominate the following: 1. 30mm 2" UW 80afov 2. 2" 2x barlow (I'm not kidding) 2. 15mm 2" UW 80afov (equal 2nd) For any Maksutov, ETX, whatever, I'd recommend the following: 1. Meade S4000 SP 32mm 2. Meade S4000 SP 26mm 3. Meade S4000 SP 15mm ...tfov is already narrow with Maks, and those particular Meade's are the sweet spots of the range. Go beautifully with yer Maks, they do, and we'd all do better to appreciate what a catch they are. Shame we don't offer them, or something similar. For some f/4 200mm newtonian tree stump, or sub f/6 refractor I'd recommend: 1. 32mm Superview 70afov (exit pupil precludes any 42mm and 50mm) 2. 2" 2x barlow 3. 20mm 1.25" Superview For an f/6.4 100mm refractor (yep, my beloved Borg): 1. 30mm 2" UW 80afov (over 4deg fov, and little edge softening) 2. 2" 2x barlow (I'm not kidding) 3. 20mm 1.25" Superview ('cos such a refractor is already a wide-field mini-cannon, even with 1.25" eyepieces) - oooh, if yer can stretch for it, the 1.25" 24mm Televue Panoptic is a work of art on such a telescope. Just so you know, we gently dissuade any client from buying the 30mm Ultrawide if their telescope is less than f/6. We have a money-back policy, so everyone's protected, but I don't think we're here to subsidise the Spanish and British post offices. Down to about f/6 we'd argue the field softening is worth it due to the massive tfov. Above f/7 there's little or no field softening. At the f/10 of an SCT yer laughing. Hope that helps, Ric Capucho Moonfish Group p.s. We're also offering our first truly decent zoom. The trouble is that Dani loves zooms, and I don't. Haven't had chance to personally try our new version yet (limited stocks, Dani's baby, hate blumming zooms anyway) but Dani reckons this one's the one to reverse my prejudices. Hmm, we'll see.
  11. Email received and replied to from Uncle Grant regarding sponsorship. Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  12. The new 80mm ED Apo refractors've arrived, amongst other things. Prices set at GBP 395. Shall endeavor to get Moonfish setup as site sponsors here at Stargazers Lounge so we can advertise even more shamelessly. Let me know who I have to slip the envelope under the table to. Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  13. Anything to share with regards to Moonfish offering big, fat dobsonians? Well, just the observation that their really not shipping-friendly, being volumous, heavy and fragile. We had a long thunk about it, and then decided to go the refractor route for now. Far less likely to be returned L-shaped. With regards to diagonals, I agree we've rarely seen any informed material on the subject, and paltry few equipment tests/comparisons. But that doesn't mean that buyers don't have specific views on the subject. Just imagine how many 2" eyepieces we've sold over the last few years, and how that often triggers the first need for a 2" diagonal, as so many telescopes come with a 1.25" diagonal as standard. Nearly every email query we've received on the subject showed that the majority of astronomers out there really do know what they want, and it would be a lottery if we tried to anticipate their disparate needs. Ergo, no bundling, so our clients can shop elsewhere, i.e. Astro-Physics, Tele Vue, shaving mirror, et al. As a non-refractor aside, the majority of SCT owners instinctively want a 2" diagonal from the same manufacturer as their telescope, i.e. Meade with Meade, Celestron with Celestron. Is it because they're fixated on one brand? Is it because they're daft as brushes? Or is it that they want to be damned sure that the base of their diagonal has been specifically designed *not* to go 'crunch' against the base of their SCT when the whole kit 'n' kaboodle points vertically up at the zenith? Discerning bunch, astronomers. Ric Capucho Moonfish Group
  14. Hi All, Sorry for the belated answer, but here's the low down... Yes, our new 80ED is the same ED/Semi-Apo specification as 'certain other brands'. Made at the same factory, same quality, same spec, same telescope. Hmm. Cracking focuser, the mechanical build is beyond reproach, and yes, a ED lens that's up there with a Borg 80ED. Not much to fault then. We'll be selling it as an OTA, so diagonal is extra. Sorry for that, but you folks are very fussy with regards to diagonals these days, so bundling is more of a lose-lose than a win-win. I guess with the same telescope that the differentiators between ourselves and our competitors are service and price. We'll see what we can do there. Dani and I started Moonfish simply because we were sickened by the Altantic 'price gulf', and we've worked hard to stick to that philosophy ever since. As for service, well I'll leave you lot to speak for that. As for the year of the short tube. Well, I love that sentiment, really I do. But let's not forget that while our cousins across the Atlantic have a lot to teach we Europeans with regards to short tube refractors, what we Europeans should really sit up and take notice of is that nothing, but nothing beats on cost and performance is a short, fat dobsonian! Bit of a buggah that they're so difficult to box up and ship! Kind Regards to All, Ric Capucho Moonfish Group (on duty)
  15. I fully agree. The Meade Series 4000 32mm superplossl was the only eyepiece that I truly regreted selling. That, the 26mm (that many of us have, and sadly take for granted) and the 15mm are the sweet spots of the range. Ric Moonfish Group, but off duty
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