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Everything posted by digital_davem

  1. And to a certain extent it still happens today. Cosina for example (who are most well known for low end budget lenses) are the manufacturer of high end Zeiss lenses. Given that the Zeiss Otus costs £3300 it's a testimony to the talents and quality the Japanese OEMs are capable of.
  2. i tried it and you are exactly right, the whole thing unscrews from the tube. goodbye gaffer tape
  3. possibly similar to the japanese camera industry of the 1970s where a wide range of optical companies made lenses for brands on an oem basis. companies like cosina, tokina, kiron, etc all made vivitar branded lenses for example. i have list of serial numbers for vivitar somewhere: there are about a dozen different oems that made vivitar lenses.
  4. My 660 carries the circle k mark. Is this towa? Or maybe Kenko?
  5. The Dixon's group is still going strong, owners of Curry's and PC world chains. The Dixon's height street shops closed down a few years ago (I guess as they duplicated what the other stores do). In the 1970s, Dixon's was primarily a chain camera seller. They sold the big brands bug also acquired their own brands such as Prinz and Miranda. They also exclusively sold the chinon camera brand. In the 80s they added HiFi to their offerings and later on moved into computers and general electronics. The cameras remained but no longer the primary focus. Dixon's wiped out most independent sma town high st camera stores. Later on they rebranded as Dixon's.digital but the small shops didn't really carry the range of general electronics stores. The large PC world and Curry's stores in retail parks are better for this. Last time I went to Heathrow others was a dixons camera shop there.
  6. I have had a 660 for a few months. I could not figure out the Barlow. There seem to be too many tubes and it is not obvious where the lens is supposed to go. You can screw the barlow lens cell directly on to the eyepiece as a kind of mini barlow. In the end I gave up with all the 0.965" bits and pieces and original eyepieces and fittings. Replaced the visual back with a 1.25" eyepiece adaptor, bought a new diagonal and a set of 1.25" modern eyepieces. Far superior to the accessories that came with the scope.
  7. Hi Roy The objective is fitted into a short barrel that screws into a flange that is attached to the main tube. The attachment between the flange and the main tube is loose such that you can rotate the whole object lens unit on the tube. I can't see any obvious fixing and the movement is rough and scraping which makes me think it is probably just and interference fit. It won't fall off or anything, just moves a bit if you twist it. Tape has secured it just fine but isn't very neat. What's happened to your telescope, have you sent it somewhere to be professionally upgraded?
  8. Saves having to lay on the ground! Now I need to get some of that flocking stuff from Wilkinsons. And maybe think about tarting up the steel tube a bit. One thing other thing I need to sort out it the lens cell. It rotates in the tube if you apply pressure (it's not actually the lens cell, it's the black bit that the lens cell screws into). Doesn't seem to do any harm but I've taped it down for now. Need a permanent solution. There does seem to a screw or anything to tighten - maybe a line of silicon sealant would lock it?
  9. Tripod is now extended with a foot long steel tube. It's seems very solid and a lot taller. £6 for the steel tubing and a few quid for the extra long threaded rod. Not bad.
  10. Answering my own question, I googled this... "On July 7, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 42% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 26% of the time." "On January 20, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 61% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 9% of the time." So, my 6% clear so far is a bit worse than average for this time of year! It would seem that in London during the winter season, the best we can hope for is about 3 clear nights per month. Not a great location for taking up stargazing...
  11. get yourself a classic slow refractor like mine. Works just the same with a coke bottle as an eyepiece. Saves a fortune!
  12. Of course it doesn't matter whether you are in the West End or Kielder Forest if it's cloudy! Does anyone have any stats for how often it's clear? Since I've had my scope (52 days) there have been about 3 nights when there was at least 5 minutes of clear skies (even just a little hole in the clouds). For me to date, that represents a minimum 5mins per night clear sky percentage of c. 6% this autumn. Anyone else keep records ??
  13. According to the light pollution map there are little islands around london that are quite a bit darker. http://www.avex-asso.org/dossiers/pl/uk/index.html The nearest place to me in SE London appears to be Bough Beech reservoir area at Ide Hill which is about a 45min drive in the north downs between sevenoaks and tonbridge. Maybe there is somewhere near you? South of Guilford or Basingstoke is a lot closer than Scotland!
  14. You imaging guys are dedicated. I've done quite a bit of fine art long exposure landscape photography at (where long exposure means 5 minutes) and half a dozen 5 minute shots is all I can take... 6 hours, you must be nuts
  15. Found it with both binoculars and telescope. Remarkably unimpressive smudge - could be mistaken for a grease spot! Need better skies. Bough Beech reservoir about 20 miles away seems to my nearest reasonably dark place. Failing that I'm going to have to wait until the next time we visit our summer house in Dumfries & Galloway or maybe get down to Dungeness.
  16. CO is predicting completely clear skies from 2pm onwards and all night. Accuweather is predicting similar but with some cloud. Agreement for once!
  17. What is so ludicrous for me is the precision of the forecasts. I could live with "It's probably going to be mostly cloudy maybe with an occasional short lived clear spell" but having detailed forecasts to 10 decimal places that are so inaccurate you might as well make it up randomly is almost insulting! Don't they know that in science rounding is very important to giving a sense of how confident you are in the result? Never quote results to a finer level of precision than the uncertainty...
  18. According to clear outside, Bromley has clear skies today. Yet when I look outside, it's 100% cloud cover, exactly like it's been for the last couple of weeks. This site: http://en.sat24.com/en/gb shows real time satellite imagery and obvious thick cloud. Where do CO get their data from, it's laughable...
  19. Clear outside currently (midday) reports for Bromley, Kent: 99% cloud cover with 90% low cloud coverage. A quick look outside shows 100% very low, very thick clouds. Not bad from C.O. maybe? Except... 12 hours ago, C.O. said there was 2% cloud coverage and excellent astronomy conditions for a 3 hour period. Looked outside and it was exactly the same as it is now, 100% cloud. And this is exactly the same as it has been for the last week!!! The forecasts appear to be completely useless. And FLO supposedly pays for these forecasts... ps And it's predicting 5% cover again at 4pm. Very unlikely/
  20. Clear outside now reports 100% cloudcover and yet I can see areas of blue sky and patchy cloud - my estimate 40-50% clear. Do forecasters ever bother to verify their predictions of what is actually happening right now? If I were a professional forecaster making predictions to incredible levels of fine detail and I could refute the whole lot merely by looking, I'd hang my head in shame and I'd certainly be embarrassed to draw a salary. What happened to accountability? It's one thing feeling depressed about lost opportunities for stargazing, but these forecasts are informing decisions about whether to put out to sea in a 20 foot yacht....
  21. This seems to be more reliable than any forecast (real time satelite imagery)...guess what - it's cloudy: http://en.sat24.com/en/gb/infraPolair
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