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About Highburymark

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  1. Highburymark

    Comparing 2000 to 2019 Astro Equipment Prices

    Great post John. I remember that crazy expensive Meade zoom. It was two and a half times the price of a full set of Meade 4000 Plossls - which consisted of at least eight eyepieces covering every base. I opted for the latter.
  2. Highburymark

    Wanted SW or Orion 76mm Tube Ring.

    Annoying this size does not seem to be stocked by UK retailers - I've just had to order mine from Germany
  3. Terrific review Tyler - thanks for posting
  4. Highburymark

    Lunt Scope Choices

    Agree with everything Alan has said - I have the same scope. If you think that the LS60 focuser is bad, then try the LS50 one - it's even worse. As Alan has suggested, you need the old Steeltrack Newtonian focuser - the newer one doesn't fit. Despite the poor LS60 stock focuser, it still works ok as long as you don't over stretch it - for me the most important upgrade is a double stack filter - it transforms surface detail, though it's a considerable outlay. However, you will get the money back if you sell the scope some time in the future. Also agree if you want to binoview then the B1200 blocking filter is preferable. I found the LS60 to be a considerable step up from the 50 - much more detail in proms as on a good day you can increase the magnification up to around 70x without losing sharpness. Having said all this, last year Daystar launched the 60mm Solar Scout - a super cheap scope which it claims offers "double stack" type views for about £750. However, although they have apparently sold out three production runs, I've yet to see a single review anywhere online - very odd - advise caution until there's wider proof that it offers quality as well as a cheap price tag.
  5. Highburymark

    First light with 92mm Stowaway

    Beautiful telescope and great first session Gavin.
  6. Nice little scope - getting into ha solar is fascinating and fun - and once you've had a good couple of sessions you're addicted for life. Sun is very quiet at the moment at solar minimum, but there are normally a few proms that are worth studying, and we're hoping that there will be signs of increasing surface activity before too long.
  7. Highburymark

    Night vision in Yorkshire Dales

    And a happy new year to you Paul! Always love my visits to Low Row.
  8. Highburymark

    Hoping for planetary DeLites in 2019

    Nice one Alan. I've just picked up an 18.2mm Delite to add to my 7, 4 and 3. Supremely good eyepieces I reckon. The fov feels about perfect, with the added advantages of lightness, compactness and comfort using the lens adjustment feature.
  9. Highburymark

    Night vision in Yorkshire Dales

    Thanks both. The 55mm is getting good use, but night vision enhanced observing has turned out to be much more varied and flexible than I was expecting - not just limited to low power nebulae - so I'm getting good use out of all the eyepieces - really pleased I bought the 27mm Panoptic.
  10. Highburymark

    How Did You Fare In 2018?

    Poor year here in London too - ignoring the obvious light pollution, we've had fewer clear nights than normal. What's more it has been a year of very little activity on the Sun due to solar minimum. Stargazing during a trip to Menorca in July was also disappointing due to high humidity. Thankfully I now have a night vision monocular so I can take full advantage of clear nights when they arrive.
  11. On Christmas Eve my wife and I were visiting family and friends in a tiny village in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, and I'd taken my Tak FC-100 scope and PVS-14/Photonis 4G night vision monocular along in the hope that the skies would be clear after dinner. There were 11 of us in total (including a physicist who is currently studying distant quasars for her PhD - no pressure on me to put on a good show then.....), so I was pleased to see we were cloud free at 10:30pm, although the Moon was exceptionally bright. I wanted a varied selection of targets, but as time was limited, I decided on three bankers: M42, M45 and M31. I chose to use 27mm Panoptic and 36mm Baader asph eyepieces to achieve reasonably large images as most of the guests had never looked through a telescope before. First up was M42 - bright enough to justify a magnification of 29x with the Panoptic and 7nm H-alpha filter. It was mesmerising - though interestingly not significantly more detail than I achieve with the same set up from London, which really brought home to me how well NV delivers under extreme light pollution. I'm sure that without such a prominent Moon nearby the views of M42 would have been even more compelling, but the rest of the party were not complaining - the Orion Nebula brought regular gasps. Next, the Plaeides - with the 36mm eyepiece and 685nm IR pass filter. Whether such a majestic open cluster is improved by night vision is a matter of personal taste. The stars are not quite as tight as they are through a native refractor, the brighter ones showing small haloes, though this is a minor quibble - the Photonis tube has a reputation for controlling haloes very effectively. Another factor is the sheer number of stars in the fov - which as others have reported completely changes the perception of familiar clusters like M45. For me, the brightest open clusters are best seen natively. Where NV technology really helps is finding and observing fainter clusters. Last of all, we turned to M31, very nicely framed in the 36mm, with companion M110 easily discernible. Just starting to see a little bit of structure to the galaxy instead of a mere milky blur. Most popular target of the night with dinner guests. All in all, the session was 90 minutes - 3 minutes per target per person. Not the most challenging of dsos, and not really stretching the night vision device either - didn't have time to go for other nebulae with the 55mm Plossl - but it was a wonderful evening, and a joy seeing everyone appreciate some of the showpiece objects in the night sky.
  12. While I agree with most of what's been said, I'm not sure I agree with this point - there are many luxury/upmarket brands in lots of diffetent industries which have expanded significantly without slashing prices. We often use car manufacturers as an example - it's amazing how fast BMW and Audi have grown over the past couple of decades despite prices well above the mainstream. True - they've started building smaller models and expanded their range, but their vehicles still sell at a premium. So I can't see Takahashi dropping its prices - even if the quality differential is getting smaller by the year. It will have to continue innovating to justify its prices and compete.
  13. Thank you FLO - beautiful clear skies in North Yorkshire where we're staying for Christmas, so off out to use my beautiful new Feathertouch focuser (which arrived from FLO a couple of weeks ago), and reacquaint myself with the Milky Way. Happy Xmas all.
  14. Highburymark

    What did the postman bring?

    Lovely! Look forward to reading your impressions.
  15. I used the Tak focuser for two years (fitted with optional MEF fine focus). It was absolutely fine for normal loads (though I use mostly light eyepieces - Panoptics, Delites and Nagler T6s, with a T2 diagonal). I upgraded to a Feathertouch because I needed something more robust to handle a night vision stack, and heavy Baader binoviewer/Herschel wedge. It is simply superb - though I've been slightly shocked how far prices have gone up at many retailers since I ordered mine in the summer. So if you do consider an upgrade, shop around. You might still find one at the old price. And remember you do need to factor in an adapter, which isn't included in the advertised price on some websites.

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