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About pete_81

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  1. Got it. This site is great for showing the view of an eyepiece with the specs you put in (or use dropdown). It helped me figure out the best angles and magnifications for what my interests are - have a look and see if it works for you. http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ Biggest point I would say though is don't fret about spectacles. Also have a look at the post I mention above when I was looking for my upgrades, there was a lot in there that may help. Obviously there may be stuff to confuse too, but I was in the same place this time last year! Best thing about this site is everyone wants to help everyone. Let us know how things go!
  2. Hi @omikron, Just browsed your post here, and thought I'd offer my choices too. Like you, I wear glasses (prescription is for seeing distant objects) but I've upgraded my plossls in my setup (f/4.8, 1200FL) to a few (68deg,24mm, 82deg,6.7mm and x2) Explore Scientific objectives, and whilst I can now use these while wearing glasses, the views are many times better without! You just have to adjust focus (slightly) for each observer. The total I spent on the lenses was around the €300, with the x2 throwing out of your budget, but cheaper than the televues which may be too good for my setup. I had also spent time looking at the Vixen SLV, but decided the FOV wasn't quite what I wanted, but they may be worth a mention? I also note Jonathan above says the same. The ES range appears to be great and was recommended to me whilst in a similar position. I was slightly concerned about the eye-relief (use with specs) myself, but don't regret going to ES. Hope this doesn't add more confusion to you
  3. I know I've watched astrobuysell (UK) and done well there. There's lots of reports using SGL, but realised one needs over 50 comment likes (I think it is) to gain access to this area. Have the 500mm tamron mirror myself (on apsc Nikon) and enjoy the odd photo, but at f/8, other than the moon and bright planets requires good tracking on EQ mount, obviously its not the common way of doing it but works ok
  4. @fifeskies, seeing the ct10 there, I've also been wondering about dovetail with the skywatcher - rather than getting new tube rings, I'd assume using the original tube rings on the SW dovetail works?
  5. Thanks folks for these replies. Did suspect the jump to EQ6 range would be necessary and whilst they're not out of budget, I don't want to end up with an EQ6 type for a pair of binos (too good a mount for my scope). I do like the idea of the AZ EQ6, and wondering what people think of these. From reviews on FLO, YouTube, etc, they're at the top of the game, and they also appear to be lighter than the NEQ6 whilst having similar capacity and better functionality. Next debate to have is the other makes, is there anything comparable from ioptron or others at same spec and price point? Not really seem much and expecting to hear only skywatcher but why not ask?!
  6. Hi all, My old telescope still gives me what I'd describe as great fun observations (I'm mainly visual at this point) of the heavens, but I've always had trouble (well, concern) with the tripod and mount. The scope is an Orion Optics Europa 250 (1200mm focal length, f/4.8), and the GEM1 Equatorial mount (Gazer Equatorial Mount, pops up on Google ok). I've added a few upgrades to the setup, mainly drive motors (both RA & Dec), cooling fans to the OTA, and a Crayford 10:1 focuser to better the rack and pinion supplied with the scope. The latest upgrades are Explore Scientific EPs from the plossls originally supplied. So, when observing, the RA does track reasonably well for short (say 10min) obs, but there are times I feel it struggles on occasion, or just loses tracking after pointing at one object for extended time. The mount generally sits well under the weight of the counterweights (coming in at 7+4kg) but there is a definite shake if the OTA or tripod is knocked. The GEM1 aluminium tripod (with accessory tray) weighs just over 4kg, with the EQ, RA drive, dovetail, tube rings and counterweight bar coming in at just under 5.3kg. With these stats, and lots of Google time, I conclude it's spec is somewhere between the EQ3 and EQ5 (eg https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/47747-orion-optics-europa-10-telescope-and-eq4-mount-worth-£250/). With the Crayford and fans, (no objectives/camera,etc), the OTA weighs in at 9.3kg, so here comes the question and debate... Is the issue I have that the mount is just not substantial enough for the scope? Do I upgrade mount, and if so, what is the ideal? Skywatcher seem to have the ideal selection/choice /distribution of mountings so I've been looking at the specs for each of these. Mainly payload capacity... I'm making some assumptions that I've a scope plus potential DSLR that'll take the load to 10kg, so I'm going to need at least that, and giving a bit extra, I'd be expecting to need capacity of say 15kg and that would give me an extra capacity that would allow other attachments (guide scope, etc) as higher quality tracking may be required... With that in mind, the EQ3 isn't even close. The EQ5 spec of 9.1kg payload doesn't really have enough, which pushes it to the Heq5 and above... The 13.7kg possible payload is into what I'd guess is ok, but should I be pushing towards the 15kg payload of the AZ EQ5... That brings me to the next point about the ALT-AZ... Am I right in thinking that in this mode visual astronomy is possibly easier, mainly that the OTA doesn't need rotating in the tube rings!does a counterweight need using in alt-az mode if the 2nd mount isn't used? The az-eq sounds like a very attractive option, bar the (almost) £1k, but as it is a single investment that will serve as the only tripod that would be ever needed for my uses. Or the next payload capacity is into the "6" series like the NEQ6 and beyond. Handling (weight) and cost are sorta off putters here, but if its the only way to go, then ok... TL;DR, which tripod mounting is sufficient to use with a 250mm,f/4.8 1200mm Newtonian that weighs 10kg OTA, and have some spare allowance? Lots to take in here, would appreciate advice!
  7. Thanks @Ricochet! In the lens box now. Thinking this kits out well with the ES68*,24mm and the next on the target will probably be the 82*6.7, which will give me TFoVs of 1.3*, 1.1*, 0.65*, 0.45*, all with the exit pupil > 1mm, then a killer with 350x, 0.2*TFoV which should have 80% of the FoV filled with M82, exit pupil drops to 0.7, but may still be OK (read somewhere to try and keep it >1 for DSOs). Time to gaze and rest, then save some! Thanks for the advice to all...
  8. Thanks @John & @rwilkey. Yep, all views on the ES say great, nothing really bad except for the potential size/weight increase to the scope (John posted great summary image of this on which I think sums up the issues with "good" focal extenders/barlows! Am I right in my assumptions that the ES_68*_24mm would essentially become a ES_68*_12mm with ER staying at the 18.4mm, affecting ONLY the focal length of the scope (not EP) => does the focal-extender change the SCOPE focal length rather than the EYEPIECE (field stop stays same dimension when solving equation for TFoV=FieldStopOfLens x 57.3 / FocalLengthOfScope. The focal length change consequently doubles magnification, so exit pupil halves; same thing as using an EP with half the focal length and same ER... Surely a TV-PM/ES-FE should be a part of everyone's EP kit IMHO
  9. Post on: shows same thing - am I missing something to go for a ES focal-extender as a birthday pressie?!
  10. Thanks Gerry - any thoughts on the extenders (even the x3 is cheaper than a single EP and from ES, whats the drawback?!)
  11. Hi folks, coming back to this again I've taken the plunge and got a 24mm ES 68* and just WOW. Love the increase in FoV angle from the Plossls, (profile pic is camera on phone looking down the EP, hand held). My next target is the mid-range and think I'm in love with the ES EPs. Made a fancy spreadsheet that shows the calculations of magnification, exit pupil, and TFoV (from both the quoted AFoV and the likely more accurate field stop). With this spreadsheet, I've also added columns to show how much of the EP is filled with different objects - eg the moon takes up ~40% of the 68*ES24, or ~15% taken up by M82 and can compare this to any other EP I'm thinking about. I was about to take the jump for birthday with a 6.7 82*, then looked and thought about barlowing - there's lots of discussion on this again, but the ES x2 FocalLengthExtender may be just what I'm after - this would allow me to have a 68* 12mm (using the 68-24) with half decent ER, with the possibility of later getting the 82*14mm and effectively having FOVs that would allow the moon to fill 40%, 58%, 80% and 115% of the eyepiece viewing (taken from the 24mm, 14mm, 24+x2 and 14+x2 lens choices (magnifications of 50x, 85x, 100x, 170x respectively) - the TFoVs being 1.3*,0.9*, 0.65* and 0.45* again respectively looking at that possible EP setup. I guess ignoring the 14mm for now (it may be better to get the 8.8mm), I'm wondering if the x2 is the best choice now so that I'd have a 24 & 12. Is the x2 a good choice that would be financially beneficial as EP collection grows... What are everyones thoughts on the ES x2? Better than Barlow? The ER won't change, which is fine, probably better. (The TV Powermate is well out of any range, so please don't suggest it!) Do most of you avoid focal-length extenders? Thanks again
  12. Hi guys, Yes, I'm honestly not sure what to get but as the discussion has progressed and I've written out some ideas, it's become obvious that my initial (and preferred choice just on paper) was in favour of the Hyperions, but this is completely the wrong choice at fast focal lengths. I'd never even considered the ES range in any of the FoVs, and they're now the top contenders (ER is possibly the largest issue with them, expecially wearing specs too ), alongside the SLV, remembering I'm budgeting for ~£100 per optic. So whilst the discussion hasn't concluded with "this is THE one", it's been very useful to get some ideas and rule out the pretty hyperions and point out to me that FoV isn't necessarily the most important feature to aim for (at least not at this time with the limit to budget). Next step being armed with some good quality EP info is to try them in the scope under dark (and light polluted!) skies. Some local astro clubs also sourced, thanks!
  13. Thanks @John & @Paul73 ? This has cleared up the real issue, which I think I can summarise as: Expensive lenses will generally have a wider AFoV Expensive lenses will work better with faster scopes, where the optics have been designed to keep distortion from the faster scopes (off-centre of EP) to a minimum (across the bulk of the view through the eyepiece Expensive lenses likely to be longer eye-relief Expensive will have better coatings and higher contrast The SLV are similar FoV to Plossl, but for the cost, I think I'd try the 62* as I've never had this luxury, or am I being too narrow minded here?! Am I right in saying that the main gain from the wider FOV is just the viewing angle that the scope/eyepiece picks out, so a wider FOV is in some way equivalent to a longer focal length, thus more of sky in eyepiece (not quite the same, but could one say that a 15mm 50* Plossl has a similar view to a 10mm 75*, so going for a longer focal length, smaller FOV to get wider TFoV is a worthwhile pursuit, or is this just wrong?! Ignoring the potential lunacy of the above statement, coming back to original post, what about the Hyperions as a stepping stone? Nobody has commented on these, or is that just because they're poor with the fast scope? (https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/baader-hyperion-13mm-eyepiece-1.25.html suggests good at f/4, for same AFOV and 2/3 cost of the ES68* - plus the adapters give lots of focal length options in cheaper package, or are these a gimmick rather than anything useful?). If the Hyperion is a possibility, the hyperion13 with the adapter rings and 24mm ES68*, giving FOV>65* and decent eye-relief may be an option for a good focal length range (8-24, but prime lenses here being better than the Hyperion zoom option?) How does eye relief vary with the Hyperions and the extension rings? Or are the Hyperions not as good, so back to the 5.5/9ES62*, 14mmES82* (for the eye-relief) and the 24ES68* (or even change the 14mm to the SLV15mm) @jetstream, you mention ES sale events - is this a thing from ES directly (via FLO etc) or second hand through SGL? Thanks again to all who have responded...
  14. Interested in following up to this - I've an OO Europa 250 f/4.8 also, but the original GEM mount and alu tripod doesn't feel at all sufficient enough for it, OK for observing but not a chance for any astrophotography - did you have the same tripod initially and then upgrade to the NEQ6? If you have had the GEM, is it the legs or the eq-mount that is the (biggest) issue - upgrading to the NEQ6, have you kept the same 10" bracket for telescope or whole new assembly? Did you get a Dob style mount in the end (post here is from Jan)? Not looked at upgrading the tripod yet, but think it is needed at some point for more serious observing... Pete
  15. Hi John & Jetstream, following on from this then, the 62deg Explore Scientific sounds like a fab upgrade for my use at any level, and I'd guess much nicer than the Plossls. The SLV was a possible option to start with but with the smaller AFoV, maybe they're closer to the plossls? Are the SLV decent with the fast scope? And the Baader zoom was my strong contender but again is it good with the f/4.8? There's a few reviews from March where John agrees about the zoom being ok for bright objects, but not for nebulae due to lack of contrast? Would the zoom be a good option and later get the 5.5ES62 and 32ES62 or would folks recommend leaving the zoom and doing single focal lengths, like the 5.5 and 14 and 32? This range is approx doubles of each other (there are posts suggesting do scaling of 1.4) but that's for later! On that, are barlows good enough or preference for single focal lengths? Last for now, reading jetstream's post, is it better to go for higher quality EPs at the short or long focal length?
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