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About Puffafish

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  1. Thanks, that is one of the things I have tried to look for, but not all the EPs seem to give a number to eye relief. I'm guessing that's either because it's tricky to give an accurate number to, or because it shows the EP's weakness maybe. It's a bit like the field of view number, not all EPs seems to advertise that. But at least, when doing planetary viewing, that's less important than it is for DSOs (though will keep the planet in view for longer without having to move the scope).
  2. So I was thinking about carrying out some astrophotography of some of the more esthetically pleasing planets. Due to my budget constraints, I was planning on doing it with my mobile phone, with a suitable mount and eyepiece. As I only have the stock 10mm, and 25mm EPs (and an aftermarket barlow) I was thinking about getting a new eye piece for this. I have a Skywatcher, 130P (130mm diameter, 650mm focal length). I was looking at something like the 6mm Vixen NPL, or the 6mm Baader Classic, BST StarGuider ED (5 or maybe 8mm), Celestron X-Cel LX eyepiece (5 or 7mm), or maybe Sky-Watcher UWA (5, 6 or 7mm). But I've got no idea which would lend itself best for what I am attempting to do. Any advice from the community?
  3. I have wondered about getting a zoom lens, but always thought you compromised on quality to get the zoom action.
  4. Ah right so it is covid related. I did wonder. I heard back in March that something like 70-80% of all screens worldwide are made within Wuhan district, so if you want a TV you may have to wait for a while! (Also had a major impact on my work getting circuit boards made, so I do understand the problem!) Yes I did think 5mm would be good, but I've got a 2x Barlow and a 10mm, so wanted to get something that would give a different sight. Yes, I'd been told that before. I don't want to get a 3mm as that would then be right on the limit, so thought a 6mm would be good, as I can still get to 3mm with the Barlow but I still see an increase from the 10mm
  5. Indeed they do a 7 and 4mm version, but the 4 is apparently on 40 day lead time, which does seem to be quite a common thing at the moment. Has something happened to lens supply?
  6. AHH yes, cost... The good limiting factor in all life decisions. I was wondering about the Baader Classic range which is £49, or the Vixen NPL, which is £38, or the Orion Expanse which was £45. But it may be that I need to spend £100 to get an EP worth getting (in which case I'll wait for now) or I can get a good one for less (which I doubt) The weather has not been good for visual observations recently that is true. Also had issues with trees being right between me and other interesting things! Mars has been quite low in the sky when I've been viewing it, so that won't have helped either.
  7. I was on a thread the other day discussing having a look at Mars. The end result of the conversation was that I may want to get a new eye piece for a higher magnification, around the 6mm range (currently got the stock 10mm and 25mm, along with an aftermarket 2x Barlow). But I am not sure how to choose a good lens. I know the dictionary definition of the various specs used, but not 100% sure what that means in real life. As I'm looking at this particular eye piece for planet watching, I don't think field of view is that important, but I could be wrong. Eye relief is that bit easier; the larger the number the better. As you can hold your eye further away to get a good image. Some EP don't seem to list these stats on the websites, which makes choosing it that bit harder. Is there any advice people can give me? (I have a 130mm diameter, 650mm focal length reflector, from Skywatcher)
  8. Thanks for those ideas, I hadn't considered a filter. Might give that a go! You say the scope should be fine, but I do wonder about getting new EP I know what you mean about keep watching to see more - I learnt that with Saturn and Jupiter! I have been considering a new eye piece, I'm still debating what to get. The 6mm Vixen NPL Eyepieces seem to be sensible to me, as it is a bit more than the cheaper Skywatcher brand, but still within my budget. That'll make it x108 (or x216 with the barlow, which is probably more than is practical with the scope!)
  9. So the other night, for the first time in a long while (moving house, building work, renovations, getting married... Basically life got in the way for about 5 years) I got out my good trusty Skywatcher 130P (I think that's the model anyway) and popped it on my driveway to see what I could see. First problems I've had noticed was that some trees had grown, and were slap bang between me and Saturn and Jupiter. So my original plan wasn't going to happen. Still, I had a look round, admired a couple of clusters and generally had a peer at what was happening. Then, as it's October and Mars is flavour of the month, I swung round to have a look. And I must admit, it was disappointing. I know I only have stock lenses (25mm and 10mm) along with a 2x Barlow, but I was kind of hoping to see more than a "bit of an off white dot" as my wife put it. I was looking at it pretty low in the sky, so lots of atmosphere. Using stock, rather than posh expensive, lenses. But I was still hoping for something more. Am I being too optimistic for seeing more from Mars with my equipment? I have been meaning to get myself something in the range of a higher end eyepiece, but not sure where's best to spend my money as far as that is concenred.
  10. I started out as an absolute beginner earlier in the year, and bought myself the Skywatcher 130P. From an optics point of view it is very similar to the Heritage 130P (130 aperture, parabolic mirror), while the heritage has the simpler Alt-Az mount. The optics of mine are good enough to see the bands on Jupiter, Saturn's rings, the Orion Nebula (though pointing my scope at it was the challenge the first time, but you live and learn) and no doubt many other things I've not found yet. As you're in London, with limited space, have you considered spending more and getting a refractor instead of the reflector? Smaller, easier to move devices, and smaller apertures mean less issue with light pollution. Only costs tend to be higher. Going to the alt-az will pretty much stop you doing any photography, but that isn't an issue unless you suddenly want to take picture of DSOs. One other thing I'd note is that as the Heritage is an open tube, you might find it even more susceptible to all the light pollution. However, if you're going to plan your stargazing to be somewhere darker, then the heritage sounds perfect to me: small and mobile (alt-az mount making set up a breeze!).
  11. Thanks for the comments guys! Was a nice view of Jupiter, and diffraction from the spider makes sense; didn't notice it when looking at M42, and don't remember noticing it when viewing Saturn earlier in the year. It is quite possible that I wasn't pointing quite the right direction, I think my problem was that I got distracted by Jupiter, and then clouds started to roll in, so didn't have long to correct my aiming. As for Mrlangston's comment about what I saw on Jupiter; yes, that's roughly what I saw! Using a 10mm lens and a 2.5 barlow.
  12. I noticed the very good "What Will I see?" thread, but thought I'd share my experience of a second observing session. For the first time since I got my scope, I braved the scarey outside world in order to use the EQ mount properly as I went to see Jupiter. Very minor issues with getting it in the scope (I just need to remember to lower the tripod! Surprising how low you need it, even when you're a tall person) I managed to get a pretty good view of Jupiter's stripey Christmas jumper. There were at least 5 clear bands; two whiteish, two redish. And I could see two of the moons (Ganymede and Io), apparently I should have been able to just about see Europa, but I must admit I didn't notice anything. (Though part of me thinks I may have just been able to make out the Red Spot, but I'm pretty sure that's just my mind getting over zealous) Later on I turned my scope to point to M42, and could see a good collection of stars, but for the life of me, I could not find the fuzzy smug of the nebula itself (could easily be viewing conditions I suppose). (That was with just the 25mm lens) When viewing Jupiter I did notice 4 quite strong white smokey streaks coming out of it. I'm assuming this would be due to my telescope needing Collimation? Or is it due to the stock lenses? Also, I noticed that when Jupiter was drifting towards the edge of the eye piece, it started to de-focus noticeably. Would this also be due to lack of collimation? Or "feature" of cheap eye pieces? ------------------------------------------------------- Scope: Focal Length: 650mm Aperture: 130mm Lenses: 10mm (stock) 25mm (stock) Barlow: Baader Classic Q 2.25x Barlow
  13. A couple of weeks back I was in deepest darkest Dorset, with some pretty good skies. As I didn't have my 'scope with me, I used my camera to try and get some shots of a few of the more obvious things; Cassiopeia, Orion, the belt of the Milky-Way. These pictures didn't turn out too well, which was partly due to me, partly due to the camera but mainly due to the camera not pointing in the right place! Using a tripod and long exposure (10-15 seconds), I managed to get some clear shots of the stars, but none of what I wanted. Using the view-finder or the LCD screen, all I saw was black, as there just wasn't enough light for the camera to pick anything up, so I couldn't aim it properly. So, can anyone give me advice as to how to aim my camera at a constellation (for instance)? (The only way I can see to do it myself is to mount the camera on my telescope and point that at what I want, then take the picture. But can't really do that if I haven't been able to bring my scope with me) (Camera is an old FinePix S602Zoom)
  14. Thanks guys. I've looked into it a bit now, and there seems no simple and secure way to attach the scope to the camera. At least I know what I'm limited by now! No doubt there's lot of people out there willing to suggest something suitable, but can anyone give me an idea of how much I should expect to spend on a camera to get a good image of the Orion Nebular or Andromeda or similar? Suggestions seem to be web-cams for planetary stuff, but is there any thing that can do both?
  15. Thanks for the response. Fair enough, there are a few mentions about swapping the lens on the camera online, but I'm not convinced either. And it's a 130P on a EQ mount (not motorised, but it can be if I get hold of a motor for about £60)
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