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About BillP

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    Star Forming

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    Astronomy, Photography, Computer Science, Health/Medicine.
  • Location
    Virginia, U.S.A.

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  1. Over the past 4-5 weeks I've put the Carl Zeiss Apochromatic Sharpest Binoviewer thru its paces (offered by Denis Levatić of Croatia). This was a very interesting binoviewer as it incorporates mirrors instead of having long glasspath through prisms. Performed excellently. Enjoy! Tue 1/19/2021 11:13 AM Zeiss CZAS Binoviewer.pdf
  2. FWIW, at the last two locations I have lived at, the behavior was/is quite the same and that between 2-4am the seeing seems to really settle down. That was the time I used for most of my Mars observations for the article as the planet was rock steady with details abounding.
  3. Only problem there is that have a 2.5mm exit pupil at 250x magnification requires a 750mm aperture telescope (about 30"diameter)!!!!
  4. John, Hi. Yes I saw that Orion guide as well as oodles of others. Also the ALPO guide. But vast majority of what they showed did not pan out for me. Indeed when working at <1mm exit pupil to get to descent planetary magnifications, many of the filters recommended in guides are just too dark and excessively dimming. I think that for descent image scale of a planet one needs at least 150x. The aperture needed to be at 150x and say a 2mm exit pupil so the planet and features are bright enough to work with many of the darker filters would be 300mm. Larger than what most folks have.
  5. After half a century of reading internet sites touting how seemingly every color filter made enhances just about everything for planets, I decided to buy a set and compare them on the planets, and also compare them to a few specialty filters like the Baader Contrast Booster, Moon & Skyglow, and Semi-APO filters. Spent almost 4 months observing and comparing and here is what I saw. Enjoy! Using Filters for Lunar-Planetary Observing v20200917 (lowres).pdf
  6. I hear you. Me too usually. I have had a few permanently collimated items though, including a scope. They never went out, of course I usually do not drop things or knock over my scopes so no unreasonably hard bangs. My WO Binos never lost collimation and had them for well over a decade. None of binoculars have either. I don't believe any of my diagonals are collimatable. The main optic is the only thing I guess I like to be collimatable, rest of the stuff is small should not have issues if reasonably built, and that has been my experience to date. Large glass or mirror objectives th
  7. Thanks all! After many years with the WO Binoviewer I was thrilled at how well these kept the eyepieces centered no matter what, so merging was always spot on. And adjusting the diopter without rotating the eyepiece was a godsend for me. Finally, being able to use my 24 ES 68s without vignetting made them everything I was hoping for. Finally a binoviewer that was not a hassle to use while giving great views without breaking my diminishing bank!!
  8. Over the past 4+ weeks I have put the new MaxBright-II Binoviewer though many observations using my TSA-102 and APM/Lunt-152 Apos. Wonderful ergonomics in the field! Excellent overall! See attached write up. Baader MaxBright II Review (2 May 2020 PD).doc
  9. Thanks for noticing. I corrected my original post.
  10. I had the complete set for quite a while. They utilize single coatings, so no multicoatings. The narrow-angle scatter is related to all the layers in multicoatings. There are always some level of particulates and irregularities between the multilayer coatings, and those issues generate a small amount of scatter close to the star point. Comparing a ZAO to a Brandon to a TV Plossl for this type of scatter around a star point is fairly obvious to see for me, the ZAO and Brandons being very close and the TV Plossl (and others) showing the brighter halo close to the star point. Not a big overt
  11. It's funny...the longer I'm in the hobby and the more I observe, I tend to use lower magnifications more. Before I was always pushing the limits. These days I enjoy DSO better in the context of a larger surrounding FOV so observe mostly between 50-150x and rarely more. Occasionally will venture up to 200-250x if a difficult double or planetary nebula or Moon/planet. The Moon is about the only object I enjoy at higher magnification regularly so am either very low to get the entire thing in the FOV or at 250x...one or the other and rarely anything in between.
  12. I'm not sure we'll be able to ever figure it out. Probably a combination of several factors all together (i.e., gestalt): - Long eye relief with a very comfortable and well behaved exit pupil behavior (i.e., eye placement and holding the view). So many long eye relief eyepieces have the design of their exit pupil such that head positioning is very sensitive and for some it just plain causes eye strain (Radians come to mind). - AFOV is engagingly wide, but not so wide that you need to roll your eye. So seems to be at an optimum usability point. - Eye lens is not concave, which
  13. The Baader Morpheus 6.5mm and 9mm are both quite fantastic and also have the long eye relief necessary for effective use with eyeglasses. Finding something in the 20-24mm range also with close to 20mm eye relief will be a bit more difficult. The 2" 24mm Explore Scientific 82deg is marketed as 17mm eye relief, but this is measured from the center of the eye lens, which I believe may be concave on that one (not sure). If it is then the usable eye relief from the top of the folded down eye guard may be insufficient for eyeglasses. I have not tried but it seems to get pretty good reviews, the
  14. If you are a planetary enthusiast, have a fairly refined and critically maintained optical train (scope and diagonal), use more comfortable focal ratios (not f/5 and faster), and use it with a Barlow to increased the FOV that is sharp. Yes, a lot of conditions. But this holds true for monocentrics in general. They are a specialized eyepiece for specialized circumstances. I'm now retired and on a fixed income so $100 purchase I need to sit and think about. For me though worth it as I really need something good in the 4mm range (using with my 2.5x Powermate) to tease out planetary details f
  15. FYI, I just updated the article in the 1st post yet again. Sorry for the inconvenience. I carried out one more test and the results were quite interesting so I decided it was worth adding. Basically the new version has the addition below. I changed the version date in the updated article to October 12, 2018 so it is not confused with the earlier version. Finally, the rectilinear distortion in the Modified Erfle is extremely low. When placed in a daytime spotter scope straight lines in the off-axis, even right up to the field stop, stayed straight. I then wondered how the true field
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