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Everything posted by Timebandit

  1. My dream telescope would be a Big Dob with a 20" aperture and 1/10 mirror😀 Therefore it would have to be the "Orion Optics UK VX 20" just great light gathering ability and superb 1/10 mirror. Also can be portable as truss design. Have a look on the Orion Optics web site , just lovely☺
  2. That's because" you are down under" 😀
  3. Hello. If you wish to concentrate on mainly DSO then there is only one answer. A Big Dobson reflector. The bigger the better 20" seems to be the benchmark for a serious DSO dobby. I suggest you have a look at some of the dob mob scopes and this will give you an idea of what you are looking for. Also very "Dark sky's" if you wish to get the best out of your scope. There is the likes of the ultra light and portable big dobs around nowerdays so this does make like easier for portability. But IMO for DSO ,Big reflector Dob + Dark Sky's 😀
  4. The BST starguider/explorer eyepieces get great reviews for there price point on this site . Afov of around 60d and good eyerelief. Great in scopes of f/5 and above. Certainly worth considering I hope the above helps☺
  5. Hello. The evostar 90 on a AZ 3 would be compact, easy to set up and relatively easy to locate and track, so probably the best for around a £200 budget for a refractor. But just to put the cat among the pigeons and not to let the refractor fan club have it all their own way. How about a skywatcher 150p or the extremely popular and capable 200p. Obviously on the Dobson mount that is so easy to use and track. These scopes will have so much more light gathering ability and image scale will be so much more increased on planetary and lunar details (subject to weather/atmosphere conditions) . If the 90 frac and the 200p where put side by side then I am sure the 200p would come out on top for preference, due to the shear image size and detail it can produce on planetary and lunar. And it is also so much more capable on DSO , when planetary or lunar are not in favourable positions to observe. I am sure the site of m42, m43 in Orion in the 200p will get the students very interested in DSO also(it did with me when I first viewed it, as such an impressive site). The 150p/200p may also be worth considering. Yes larger than a frac but schools are usually large areas so I am sure it would not take much more floor space than a opened up az3. Just an idea but the 150p and 200p are a scope i certainly would put at the top of a possible scope IMO. And keeps this thread neutral also as now a good frac and capable reflector to consider IMO☺
  6. Well the postman has been and a nice little box of goodies left☺ This eyepiece the Pentax 5XW will complete my set of Pentax XW. When I say my set I mean my Mini set. Will fit in nicely with the 3.5XW, now the 5XW and the existing 7XW and 10 XW. With super sharp Ortho type crystal clear optics , around 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief then I am really looking forward to using this eyepiece. The refractor will obviously have to have a go with this eyepiece, but it will really come into its own with high power views in the reflector Dobson where the Pentax XW really do excel IMO☺
  7. Hi Shaun , I have finally took the plunge. I still think you should of let me have your final Pentax, as it must be lonely in the company of the Ethos😀. But I finally gave into temptation and decided the empty place in the case needed to be completed with the 5XW. Just great eyepieces Shaun, but you know that already as you started me down the enlightened path of the Pentax XW ☺
  8. Hello very very nice set up you have there. Always hear good things about the TEC 140 and you are obviously satisfied with your purchase. And the TAK you have is no slouch in the visual department, so the TEC is obviously a cracker 😀 I think a 140,or 150 is about the limit for a non permanent based scope in an observatory. As anything bigger and you are obviously putting yourself and the scope at risk of damage IMO , and it just gets a chore setting it up. So the TEC 140 is a great choice. Your first light as you obviously state was a bit limited to targets to really push the TEC , so sounds like there is plenty more in the tank for the scope to give, and that you will be discovering a lot more about this wonderful scopes capabilities. Cracking scope, wish I had one 😀
  9. Sunday evening at 10 on BBC 4 This sky at night programme is a guide to the galaxy. The milkyway is featured with a 3d map which is the most detailed ever. And there maybe 50% more stars in the galaxy than first thought Obviously a programme for the galaxy enthusiast. Dob mob will be glued☺ I hope you enjoy
  10. Yes there does seem some not so favourable comments in the 14 xw and 20xw . And I have no desire to get these focal lengths in the set anyway so will leave that to other parties to decide. In regards to cost XW they are not cheap new, luckily I have got the bulk of mine second hand and they are rare as hen's teeth I now have all the Pentax XW up to the 10mm. And have used them in the 120ed apo many times. Weight wise I have always found them well behaved and does not seem to upset to scope balance to any effect on the mount. There does seem to be a lot of rumours about some focal lengths disappearing in the XW range. This is part of the reason a new one was acquired, as I would of kicked myself if I had the opportunity to get a 5XW when they were available and had failed to do so. It will be interesting over the next few months if some of the XW do disappear . Yes John I have read similar reports about the lower magnification XW and possible optical issues. That's why I am more than happy to stick with my mini set of 3.5 , 5 ,7 ,and 10XW. At these magnification ranges everything I have ever read and seen are great reports on the optical quality of the XW. At £249 new the XW are not the cheapest, but luckily I have managed to get most of mine used thanks to another member on the site who moved onto the Ethos range. But the same chap would not let go of his 5XW despite my plea. In all fairness I do not blame him for keeping the 5XW as they are just quality. But as you correctly bring to light the nearest comparable rival the delos is nearly £80 more. And £80 more for an eyepiece is no means lo!ose change. So makes the Pentax look like the firm favourite if your after a top quality eyepiece with 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief.
  11. Hello. I will put a different slant on this also. If you are going to buy a barlow/powermate then get the best you can afford, as the likelyhood hood is that you will see it as a one off purchase. And the best out there are televues (unless you get into Zeiss territory) But personally speaking I would not even consider getting a quality barlow until you have a selection on decent quality eyepieces. Build up some quality eyepieces first as your money and time is better off getting a few quality eyepieces, and then if need be get a barlow/ powermate. I have a televues barlow which is a good one. But I hardly use it as I find it produces a " stack" effect that I don't personally like in the scope, . It also adds extra weight that can effect the balance. And then there is the time and trouble factor of swapping a barlow in and out of the optical chain. Lastly there is the old thought that the more glass you introduce into the optical path in the eyepiece then the more likely it is to effect the possible image. So in my opinion instead of possibly spending hundreds and hundreds on a televues powermate then your money would be better off getting some quality eyepieces in your most used focal range to begin with, and then at a later date if you really feel you need to double up the magnification with the help of a magnification increaser of your eyepieces then consider a quality barlow/powermate in say x2 magnification. Thefore IMO quality eyepieces first even before you consider a barlow/powermate. I hope the above is some help☺
  12. Yes John the quality of build on these eyepieces match the optical quality. IMO anyone who has owned these XW see them as "Keepers" No No. Louis I am not even thinking of playing around or dismantling this eyepiece. Lucky as it's new and in first class condition and I have no reason for this thought of tampering with this eyepiece at all to enter my mind. Yes michael totally agree . Top notch Ortho optic type views with a 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief, just quality in the eyepiece case😀 No worries there John . I have left it to the manufacturers to assemble my eyepiece and that is the way it will remain😀 Yes Jabeoo if you have the opportunity then you should jump at the chance. I think you will love them. Yes Mike IMO I agree the Pentax are some of the best eyepieces ever made. Lovely set of glass their in the case😀 That's good of you John . It really is nice to try out some top quality eyepiece glass from members at star parties. There is an odd one out in that Pentax line up, never seen a green and black Pentax 😀 It would really be interesting to put a Pentax XW against a Delos to see in my eyes if there is a noticeable difference . I have never had the opportunity to do this . But from what I have read they are supposed to be almost identical in performance.
  13. Well I have the televues 55mm big plossl, feels more like a nagler in use. This eyepiece is in a 2"" and for low power views works very nicely. With 50d of AFOV and 38mm of eyerelief. In use very low power but it can fit an awful lot of views into the eyepiece. But as for the 60mm masuyama at £600 then I am afraid I will not be in the queue for one. The televues 55mm cost me a fraction of that price
  14. Hello and welcome to SGL Obviously eyepieces are relevant depending on your budget and what you are attempting to achieve in optical quality, field of view , eyerelief, quality of build. If you are after an eyepiece with good quality optics , field of view of 60d (more than a plossl) and good eye relief, that do not cost a fortune. Then the BST explorer/starguider are a great choice. These eyepiece will not blow the bank balance also as they are around £50 each. The BST have a good following on SGL and are a well tried and respected eyepieces. I hope the above helps☺
  15. Well Santa did eventually turn up yesterday with my Christmas present😀 As you can see a cracking eyepiece and i have been trying to get hold of one of these on the used market for some considerable time. As most of us know who are partial to the XW trying to get hold of a used one is like getting hens teeth. So with Christmas coming up and a few mails to FLO and luckily the wheels of the sourcing of a 5XW were in order. As it has only recently arrived i have not had time or opportunity to give it a whirl in the refractor or reflector, but weather conditions allowing hopefully in the next few days this will change. These eyepieces IMO are "keepers" so should give me many years of enjoyment, what else could you ask for from a present at Christmas ☺
  16. A more colourful example of the planets and the sort of views that can be expected through a amateur telescope. Also gives some size comparison with the moon in view
  17. Hi Astro baby's collimation guide is great for collimation. If you Google it you will find it on the web. But if you really want to check your collimation to see if the collimation cap and Cheshire has set the scope correct. Then I recommend you do a star test. A star test is basically putting a high power eyepiece in the Focuser , point it at a star and then defocus the image slightly. From the resulting circle alignment/shape you can get an accurate result on how well your scope collimation is set up. A star test is best done in good weather/atmosphere conditions as these can effect the clarity of the results. I hope the above helps☺
  18. Hello. I consider the Baader Classic Ortho a great first step up in class from the type of stock eyepieces that are usually supplied with the scope. These eyepieces not only have great sharp optics but are also sensible prices . Obviously the fov is restricted to around 50d and the eye relief is not particularly great. But as a step up in eyepiece I think a great choice. I have the predecessor the Baader Genuine Ortho. And despite me having some televues and some Pentax, the Baader Ortho are still used on a regular basis and why ? Because optically they are great , nice to handle and quick to swap in and out if I need to change magnification. I think you will be pleased with the Baader Classic Ortho☺
  19. Binoviewing with the diagonal The TS Binoviewers with the diagonal fitted in the optical chain. The straight through method I find fine for planetary or lunar that is relatively low in the sky'. But as you increase the degree of altitude then the straight through method becomes impractical . Here the equinox 120ed apo refractor has a 2" William Optics dielectric diagonal in the focuser. The 1.25 converter is in the eyepiece end of the diagonal. Due to the fact that this scope will not reach focus with the TS Binoviewers straight into the diagonal. Then an additional element was needed in the optical chain to assist and rectify this optical focus issue. After some experimenting the televues 1.8x ,1.25 barlow was introduced to assist the focus problem. The scope seems now to focus fine with the eyepieces i use in this scope. The additional effect of the televues barlow in the optical chain is that it also increases the focal magnification of the standard eyepieces, so this needs to be taken into account and adjusted as necessary on eyepiece choice. And I mainly use binoviewing for lunar , but also some planetary. IMO binoviewing excels on the lunar viewing at low and medium magnification . I find this I such a relaxing way to view and you can spend longer at the eyepiece than with Cyclops viewing as binoviewing seems less stressful on the eyes, also binoviewing has the added advantage of a 3D type of views.
  20. Hello. Keep the telrad. I have both the existing finder scope and the telrad on my scope. They both can work well individual, but as a team up just gives you that extra quick finding capability with the telrad and star hoping and location of objects with the existing finder Telrads are great keep it and locate it where possible on the scope, you will not regret it . Once you start using the telrad you will wonder how you ever managed without it I hope the above helps☺
  21. As some of the members may be aware I have developed a taste for the Pentax XW. Just a great quality "complete" eyepieces IMO. I have been building up a mini collection over about the last year. The collection now compromises of the 3.5 XW the 7 XW and 10XW. But I have really been missing the 5mm in the focal length. After a few tries in the wanted section on SGL for a 5XW still no luck in acquiring one. The closest I came was Mike(Faulksy) did say I could have his but he needs to find a 4.5 Ethos first. Obviously a much appreciated offer and thanks Mike really appreciate that offer as getting hold of one of these second hand is like finding hens teeth . On the lead up to the Christmas period I really was missing the Pentax 5XW , as the Pentax XW are the most used eyepieces in the reflector Dobson. And as there was the ongoing numerous discussions that the higher magnification eyepieces in the Pentax XW range are being phased out. Therefore are they going to be around much longer?. Anyway with Christmas approaching I contacted FLO regarding the possibility of the Pentax 5XW and if they were presently available. FLO did inform me they were available if I wished to acquire the 5mm. Therefore I took the opportunity and an order was placed prior to Christmas. I was informed by FLO that the order would not arrive for Christmas, but should be in January. Well on checking the emails it looks like the XW is on its way and should be with me next week. This is great news and will fill the hole in the eyepiece case as well as another great sharp eyepiece at 5mm focal length with 20mm eye relief and 70d fov. 5mm, Missing eyepiece Waiting for another of these, on its way 😀
  22. Well thought I will put my binoviewing set up on the post😀 The TS Binoviewers in the equinox 120ed apo. Use this on my AZ4 mount. And this is fitted in the straight through position in the photos. I mostly use the Baader Genuine Ortho in this set up , but also have some televues plossl. Find the above combination very effective☺
  23. That' sounds great, should have a great time. Have you room for one more if I can squeeze into the case😀
  24. Hello and welcome to SGL For visual you are in a bit of a no man's land. You want it portable but you do not want to see DSO as smudge, even though most are. The only way to improve on smudge type view is aperture. But you do not want a massive reflector as you have portability problem then and also out of your budget. I would suggest the skywatcher 150p or 200p if you want a bit more aperture. Great "proper scopes" for visual and still reasonably portable. Or a refractor, something like an ed80(used should be in your budget) will be very portable on a AZ , but for visual on dso not so good. But the ed80 is good for getting into Astro photography. I hope the above helps☺
  25. Yes , the Pentax XW really do take some beating for the optical quality, eyerelief and fov . These eyepieces are like a top notch Ortho without all the disadvantage that can come with an Ortho, tight eyerelief, fov. IMO a great eyepiece would spend the money on Pentax XW rather than Brandon at £200 anyday At the price of a set of Brandon's IMO you would be better off buying one or two second hand ZAO in your most used focal length. At least then you know you will be getting the best of the best in optical term's.