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Lews Therin

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Everything posted by Lews Therin

  1. Thanks for the added replies. The 28mm Nirvana looks good, and all of the reviews I've found have highly recommended it. Couple of questions though... It says the ep weighs 1kg, and it is clearly very large, so... Is it going to fit and work well on my scope with a 2" diagonal (I'm planning to purchase the matching Altair Lightwave one - http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/altair-astro-lightwave-2-dielectric-diagonal-push-fit.html which appears to be a good quality one)? I know some cheaper diagonals bend, or just can't support that kind of weight. Secondly, all of this will be mounted on a Vixen Porta 2 mount, which says it supports 6.5 or 8kg scopes (depending on which site you go on). My tube weighs 3.9kg, so with the ep and diagonal will weigh about 5kg. Is there going to be any kind of balance issue?? The Vixen can be tightened or loosened as necessary.
  2. Hi John and Ricochet, Thanks for the replies. I'd forgotten to update the signature - unfortunately I had to sell the dob, and I also sold a decent 26mm 2" that I had used with it. I have seen the Hyperion 71º aspheric 2nd hand, and that is a proper 2"... The ES Maxvision doesn't seem to be much different in price from the Aero. That leaves me with a choice of 28 or 34mm. As for the barlow, I've never had an issue with my standard 1.25x... I've used it with each of my eps at some point, and other than a reduction in quality, I don't remember much of an eye relief issue. Maybe add a better planetary ep to list at the same time then.
  3. Hi guys, I’ve just purchased an Altair Astro 102ED refractor - 715mm focal length. I’ve currently been using a Skywatcher 127 Mak, and some fairly cheap and cheerful 1.25” eps. Over the coming months, I want to get some new much better quality eps - although having just bought the new scope, a new mount, and still needing a 2” diagonal… I’m probably just going to purchase 1 new ep for now. I currently have moderate quality eps of 5mm, 10mm, 20mm, 25mm - and a 2x barlow in 1.25”. I am 34, wear glasses, and I’m also in a heavily light polluted area. For my main primary lens, I’m looking for something to give a very nice wide view - but preferably not (much) above £100. I’ve read quite a few reviews of different eps, although in many cases, the people involved had significantly different scopes. The types I’ve been looking at are: *Skywatcher Aero ED 2” (30mm or 35mm) - 68ºFOV *Baader Hyperion 68 21mm/24mm (bit confused, but saw somewhere that if used as 2”, they are 30mm??) - and can be modded with rings to give several other focal lengths. *Baader Hyperion Aspheric 31mm 72ºFOV - above what I want to pay, but appears to get amazing reviews. *Explore Scientific 68º Maxvision 34mm *William Optics SWAN 33mm 72ºFOV I plan to purchase a 2” barlow as well, or at least very soon. What are your suggestions please? Is 30-35mm good? 20-25x magnification with a good FOV sounds promising - especially after “looking through a straw” with my 1500mm focal length Mak. Also, for a planetary ep, what would be a good budget option? My 5mm seems to have quite bad CA, and I was wondering if I could get away with something like Skywatcher’s UWA Planetary Eyepieces (around 4/5/6mm)? Thanks for any advice and wisdom…
  4. Thanks for the replies. The Lunt vs PST shootout is interesting, and confuses the matter a bit more - Stephen Ramsden's reviews seem to indicate that the Lunt was considerably superior to the PST, as have a couple of shootouts on other forums. Perhaps it is as some of the posters commented, that PST etalons vary between 0.7 - 1.0A, and it really depends on which one you get. PST modding looks interesting, albeit somewhat fiddly, and expensive. I don't have any refractors to cannibalize, so I assume it would require something like an 80mm scope at £150-200, a Baader ERF at £400, bigger Blocking Filter?, and ??? Those are fantastic images, Michael - I can't wait to try imaging something other than the moon and planets I've done some basic white light images of the sun, but might get something better like a Ca-K filter set once my wallet recovers...
  5. Hi guys, I'm planning to buy my first H-alpha scope within the next few days, and am still trying to decide on which one. I want to do imaging with my webcam, as well as standard visual. Unfortunately, I can't afford the £1500-1700 required to buy a SolarMax 60, or Lunt LS60 - so unless I see a great deal on a 2nd hand model, I'm looking at either a Coronado PST, or Lunt LS35. Having looked a quite a few posts in the forums, and read the reviews of Stephen Ramsden on Solarscopereviews.com, *most* comparisons seem to suggest the Lunt LS35THA DX is slightly better, being easier to focus, giving a brighter image, and having a bigger 6mm blocking filter. I have found the Lunt 35 dx model for £740 from Astronomia, but Harrison Telescopes are selling a double stacked PST 0.5A for £1029. Lots of reviews say the double stacked PST is far better than the single stacked PST, but would it be worth the extra £290 over the Lunt? £1029 is a bit out of my price range, but I'd probably be willing to save for another month if the difference in quality/usefulness was big enough. Initially, I thought I would just get the basic Lunt or PST, then buy the extra etalon in the future, but I cannot find the Lunt 35mm etalon anywhere (despite seeing people mention it), and the PST 40mm etalon appears to be £800 (which doesn't seem right, when a 0.5A costs £1029, and a 1.0A costs £659 (£370 diff)). So, having said all that, which is the best option to go with? 1) Go with a basic Lunt 35, then perhaps save for a 60mm in a year's time. 2) Save for a few weeks, and stretch to a 0.5A PST? Many thanks in advance...
  6. They are both lovely photos - I think the main advantage of the refractor shot, is the terminator giving more detail, rather than it being a better scope necessarily. Knowing the yoga positions I've ended up in with a 120mm refractor, I don't envy you with a 150mm... I'm enjoying standing up straight with my new 12" dob!
  7. Lovely images - especially like Tycho, and the craters on the farthest south part in the mosaic image - using a webcam really does make a clear difference on the edge, and terminator
  8. Nice images, especially with a 70mm scope... With the amount of light pollution in my area, the orange one is more "natural"
  9. They are far better than any afocals I've managed - the few times I've tried it, either the phone lens hasn't been lined up right, or I've moved the scope by touching it with the phone... I tried a few shots last night, before connecting my camera, but they didn't turn out well. Image 9 is my favourite
  10. My new 12" GSO 980 Dobsonian is now all set up, and has had its first light - and first photos For some reason, my ccd or laptop decided to play up, so in the end I just used my Sony NEX5. Required a bit of re-balancing with the camera attached - something I'm not used to from my refractor... This was my first prime focus image: After that, I attached the camera to my 2x barlow, took some photos, and then stitched together this mosaic in Photoshop (unfortunately I missed a bit of the moon ). Once I sort out the issue with the ccd, I will fire up Registax, and see about getting some closer images... Visually, at 300x, the detail was incredible compared to my 120mm refractor - and no chromatic aberration - JOY! :laugh:
  11. 29, but 30 is looming ominously... Always been interested in astronomy, but most of that time has just been using eyeballs and binoculars
  12. If you click on the "Youtube" button in the bottom right, it will take you to the video on Youtube, and you can subscribe from there - then, you can also set an email notification so Youtube alert you when new videos are added. BTW, David has also done some episodes on measuring distances in the sky, magnitude of objects, eyepieces, accessories, etc, so it is well worth checking back a while
  13. Astronomyshed has done a video showing you how to improve the standard Skywatcher Crayford for free: He also has a couple of other videos that cover focusing modifications... Hope that helps.
  14. Thanks for the link, Moonshane... There's a massive list of things to make/buy at some point - for the time being, I'll be sticking to cheap and DIY stuff - then some more EPs and filters once the bank account recovers My scope has now been dispatched, so am getting more excited already to see what it is like (although my 2 week weather outlook says cloudy and rain pretty much every day - just hope it is really wrong!). Whatever the level of LP, 6 times more aperture has got to have a massive effect - and maybe in the future I will get somewhere less polluted. I've lived in 13 homes so far, and this is the least light polluted - rather sad really, considering I've always liked the night sky...
  15. Hi guys - thanks for all the responses - the general concensus always seems to be bigger aperture... I've double checked all of the weights and sizes, and since I will be unable to take any scope to a dark site (not having a car) , any size of scope won't be a problem I've now found several reviews of the GSO dobs, and all of them have been very positive - so long as the primary mirror springs are replaced with Bob's Knobs Springs. Also, they come with a 1:10 dual speed Crayford, which I was planning on buying with the 250PX anyway - so the inclusion will "save" me about £130. I've just sold some more non-astronomical stuff, and now have about £750-800. So, the plan is to go with the GSO 12" deluxe model (£670), which has the 1:10, and 32mm 2" Erfle & 9mm EPs. I will then have enough money to buy a collimator, a Wixey, a Telrad, and possibly 1 more EP. The tube weighs about 21KG, which I don't forsee causing any problems, since I have to carry 30KG and 40KG boxes at work Other nice gadgets can wait a bit longer, as I can get them in a couple of months (birthday), but I can't upgrade the actual scope at a later point... I'll get it ordered this coming week, and do a post once it's arrived.
  16. It is very unlikely that the scope will ever leave my garden - I don't personally drive, and most holidays I go on are to cities on the Continent. Compared to binoculars, my 120 has given lovely views - and even though LP is bad, I'm presuming that any aperture increase will result in much better viewing (even if somebody with a much small scope has better viewing in dark skies). Some of the reviews reckon that an OIII or Neodymium filter will overcome a significant amount of LP anyway (fingers crossed)...
  17. Thanks for the replies so far... The 250PX is still looking like the best option overall - the FlexTube option seems to be a lot more money, further increased by the need for a lightshield. I've looked at a few DIY projects to provide very rough & ready "tracking" - enough perhaps to allow for webcam imaging, without going to an 8" - just not sure if I'd actually get around to playing with various motors, wedges, etc though @todd8137 - My light pollution is fairly bad - not as bad as being right in a city-centre, but... Nothing below 20° is visible to the naked eye - on a normal night, there are 2/3 stars visible in the Great Square of Pegasus (6 on an excellent night in winter) - and if it's high up, M31 is visible with averted vision after 20 mins of dark. Through my 120mm, things like M42 look much better through my UHC filter, and some things are improved with a regular LP filter - and since I will soon be looking for more nebulae, I will probably get an OIII filter as well. I did look at the GSO dobsonians from teleskop-express.de - their prices are pretty good (with shipping, £570 for standard 12", and £670 for deluxe 12" with 1:10 dual crayford) - but I'm not sure about ordering such an expensive and big item from Germany - and the couple of reviews I have read have involved people changing springs, knobs, etc.
  18. Hi guys, Not sure if this should be in the beginners section – but since I'm definitely going to be a beginner with a dobsonian (and any kind of reflector), I'll post my questions here. About 3 years ago, I purchased my first telescope, a Celestron OMNI XLT 120 refractor – a good scope, but purchased without research (always bad), and before I found SGL. I soon found out that DSLR astrophotography wasn't really possible with the mount I had, and due to a small sloping garden, and some 3 storey houses around, decent polar alignment was tricky – and when done, still not enough considering it was a manual eq mount. (Buy Making Every Photon Count before buying scope - oops). I have only gotten round to more serious viewing over the last year, but have struggled under my heavily light polluted skies – mainly I have viewed the moon, planets, clusters, and double stars – DSOs have been too hard to find mostly. I have enjoyed using a webcam and registax to capture the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, even though the images have been “lacking” So, as we head towards the longer nights, I have decided to sell my current scope & mount, plus some other gadgets, and go for a more simple setup, and infinitely bigger aperture – a Dob! I have spent the last week trawling through dozens of threads on here, and am mostly decided – but still have a few possible options I would still like to do some basic webcam images of the moon/planets, but it isn't imperative – visual is my main goal. The telescope won't need to be transported – the furthest it will be travelling, is 10-20ft from my garage to garden – and weight/size won't be an issue personally. After my scope has sold, I will be left with a reasonable 5mm EP, moon filter, light pollution filter, UHC filter – all new scopes appear to come with 25mm and 10mm EPs. My budget is approx £650, although for something truly amazing I could run to £750. My options appear to be: 1) Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX. £450 for scope, then £200 to spend on collimator, Telrad, Eps, filters, Wixey, etc. This was my original plan, and allows for plenty of goodies. 2) Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Flextube Auto. £599 for scope, leaving a little bit for collimator, and maybe 1 EP. I don't really like the idea of “going down” in aperture, but having tracking would allow me to carry on doing webcam images. 3) As above, but with GOTO. I have seen a couple of showroom/reconditioned ones for about £650. GOTO has always looked good, especially since I naff at starjumping on my eq (but never tried dob mount) 4)Skywatcher Skyliner 300P. I have found one online at £700 (although it could sell at any moment I guess). 12 inches!!! I know it is a monster, but the reviews suggest that the views from it make it totally worth it – and 12” is probably the biggest I could ever get (until I come into money). The downside, is that I would only be able to afford the scope and a cheshire – EPs, and gadgets would then have to wait. 5) ??? Something else I'm overlooking that would be large aperture, and no eq mount Ease of setup is high priority, as I typically observe for 1-2 hours, once or twice per week – and just “plonking” the scope in the garden sounds really nice. With regard to the cooldown of the dob, my plan will be to put the scope outdoors before dinner, then start using it after dinner – is that a good/bad idea?? Sorry for the length of the post – look forward to hearing all of your thoughts
  19. Hi there Brian - welcome to SGL
  20. I've observed Jupiter twice at 200x in the last 2 weeks at about 6.30pm, and it has been stable enough to see 3 bands with a 4.75" scope - although yes, the other 4 nights it was too unstable, as it neared the horizon But Zonify is in Georgia USA, so it is still in a better position for him
  21. With the 25mm, you will only be getting 48x magnification - you can't see any detail with that - if you put the plossl into your 3x barlow you will get 144x magnification - you should see some of Jupiter's coloured bands, but it will still be pretty small. For observing Jupiter, you want 200-250x magnification (after that, it is down to the atmosphere). When you use your barlow, you will be seeing a much smaller area of the sky, so it is important to centre Jupiter in your 25mm view first (or better still, anticipate where it will be in the few seconds it takes you to stick the plossl into the barlow then into the scope - it can take a bit of practice to go straight from low magnification to high). Don't worry - I can see plenty of banding and colour with my 4.75" scope - 8" gives you way more detail.
  22. In Jan, Mars will look approx 50% bigger, but with your size scope you definitely have to ability to see the North polar ice caps, and other features (although not with the 10mm).
  23. The apparent diameter of Mars is 8.72" at the moment, and Uranus is 3.60" A 10 inch Dob should have about 0.5" resolving power or better, so assuming you the atmosphere and weather is on your side, with sufficient magnification (do you have a barlow?) you should see a disc Nathan
  24. I got excited this morning too, when I looked at the BBC forecast - then I looked at my cloud cover and seeing forecast Still - fingers crossed...
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