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About Highburymark

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  1. Excellent set up Victor - and nice colour coordination between your scope and signature
  2. I do much of my solar and lunar observing with a binoviewer. Last year I managed to get a good deal on a Baader MkV. It’s taken a while to get it set up perfectly for my eyes, but am now very happy with it. Mostly use 15/20mm plossls, or 25mm orthos and Barcon barlow, but recently purchased a second Delite 18.2mm - the first time I’ve actually made use of the lovely expansive views that the Baader offers. This morning I had a couple of hours birdwatching with the Delites - have to say it was absolutely stunning. Peering around the full fov with two eyes felt like a completely new and luxurious visual experience. But the MkV is a heavy lump. The stock focuser on my Equinox 80ED - now sold - was not really up to the job of handling it, and made observation frustrating. The weight also makes the MkV impractical for travel. So a few months ago I picked up a pair of OVL binos very cheaply. This is the entry-level unit stocked by many UK retailers - and seems to have replaced the Skywatcher and Revelation offerings in this regard, though clearly they’re all sourced from the same Chinese factory (ditto the WO/TS/Celestron binos). These are much lighter instruments than the MkV. Cheap case. Slightly plasticky feel. But actually built very well. Even offers eyepiece adjustment, and does an excellent job of centering the two EPs - which is particularly important for merging views at higher magnifications. It comes with a 2x Barlow nosepiece, so delivers more magnification than the MkV, which I use with a 1.7x GPC (in practice this gives around 1.5x). The MkV is therefore more flexible. But the OVL is no less sharp or contrastful. Comparing both during the day and on the Moon earlier this week in the TV85 refractor, there’s almost nothing between them on axis. The Baader gives slightly warmer and more faithful colour tones. It’s a bit brighter too. But it’s difficult to test both units at precisely the same magnification, so not a great deal in it. However, when I start to really ramp up the powers, the Baader retains sharpness when the OVL starts to go soft. Particularly useful for lunar and white light solar, where higher magnifications can be employed. So the Baader wins in several key areas. Don’t think I’ll forget my first MkV/Delites session for a very long time. My scopes are set up with T2 adapters and diagonals, so the Baader is more practical too. But the price difference new between these two binoviewers is staggering - over £850. For around £150 the OVL offers incredible value - if you’re after a cheap binoviewer, buy with confidence.
  3. Looking forward to using this new eyepiece for Moon, doubles and planets - Takahasho TOE 3.3mm
  4. I’ve owned ten telescopes from 50mm to 200mm. I have thought of them all as serious instruments, and loved them all too. Every telescope capable of revealing something interesting in the cosmos is worthy in my opinion. Just wish I had a lot more storage space as I’d have kept all ten.
  5. As new T6 Nagler 3.5mm. Superb wide field, high power, lightweight eyepiece at under 50% new price. £150 including UK postage. Paypal - buyer pays fees.
  6. Well double stacking doesn’t work for everyone - dimmer, heavier, and often proms can suffer. So sounds like you’ve found a perfect set up. If you could just send us some of your sunshine.......
  7. Excellent Nicos - glad to hear you’re getting great results with the binos. I do all surface observing with binoviewers. Apart from the extra detail, it’s also much easier to view in comfort over long periods. I also find proms are best viewed with a single eyepiece - normally a Pentax XF zoom or TeleVue plossls. Just out of interest, have you tried adding the double stack filter while using the binos? You might be even more impressed.
  8. Yep - offers more flexibility than the monoculars we’ve been using so far. Hope you get lots of interest Jonathan.
  9. These pictures might just help give a better idea of what these devices look and feel like. The eye lens - and the user experience - is very similar to those of traditional eyepieces, though there are no blackouts or kidney beaning with NV. In this respect they’d be great for outreach - the entire view is clear and immediately accessible to the observer. The only control used during a normal session is the ‘gain’ - the black control pictured - to provide the desired level of detail and brightness. Heightwise - it’s similar to a TV 55mm plossl, though a fair degree lighter. It should be stressed that NV is useless for planetary, lunar, double stars and not particularly effective on reflection nebulae. It mostly requires very low magnifications - so you need a big telescope to really appreciate small galaxies and planetary nebulae. It thrives on fast systems - which is why my main NV scope is F/3.3, but Gavin has been getting some awesome (and I use the word as it is meant to be used) images with his C11. A big, fast Dobson under black skies with night vision must be absolutely incredible - but even with a small, medium-slow refractor from the city it works impressively. However, it does have its limits. It can’t beat a nice refractor for star sharpness, and it can’t pick up colours.
  10. C9.25 is still a very nice and capable telescope Martin - but quite a bit easier to handle than a C11 if you’re looking at an alt-az mount. Lot of people think it’s the best compromise between aperture and practicality among the SCTs.
  11. Let’s hope this French venture succeeds, and in a few years’ time larger European astronomy retailers are able to source and sell secondhand tubes in greater volume, with guaranteed quality and ‘mileage’, for prices closer to a Daystar Quark. I guess that may be the most viable business model for nv astronomy in Europe? As with NV monoculars, every Quark performs differently, and they’re bought in the knowledge that they won’t go on forever, but at least for a decade or more.
  12. There doesn’t seem to be the same controversy over people spending £2k on an entry level 60mm solar scope, which many of us do. Yet they are comparable technologies in that they offer completely new ways to enjoy our hobby, and for those of us who don’t often have access to dark skies, to see far more from light polluted environments. If I lived in an area with dark skies I wouldn’t have bought a new night vision monocular, but I might be interested in a secondhand one. Even if it had only 5,000 hours left, that’s enough for 10 hours viewing a week for the next ten years. The main thing is to try and get more people experiencing NV to see its game changing potential. It’s no threat to traditional astronomy. It’s not going to encourage even more light pollution as was bizarrely suggested in another thread. It’s just a great option to make the night sky more alive, which is why we’re all enthusiasts after all.
  13. Wow Gavin - missed this thread earlier, and slightly regret having found it because I thought my views of M13 and M92 in Spain recently were pretty special. Omega Centauri is just spectacular, and like you I hadn’t realised how much a leap it represents over our relatively modest Northern Hemisphere globulars. I’ve come very close to seeing it in the past but have never taken a telescope quite far enough south. Agree that Delite 18.2 is superb for these objects with night vision. Great report.
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