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Ben the Ignorant

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About Ben the Ignorant

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  1. Ben the Ignorant

    Beginner telescope

    The Sky-Watcher Heritage is an f/4 scope, which makes it difficult for entry-level eyepieces to perform well. The Kson has the same diameter but a much more adequate f/6.3 ratio. The sale on this scope has been going on for months, almost seems like 119€ is the permanent price, now. https://www.teleskop-spezialisten.de/shop/Telescope/Dobsonian/till-200mm/Telescope-KSON-102/640-f/6-3-Mini-Dobsonian-Newtonian::14.html?language=en
  2. Ben the Ignorant

    Swarovski quality at 2/3 the price

    I didn't know the Maven brand or I overlooked it for many years when browsing the internet, not sure for a line that's not in stores, so I researched it after reading the shiny review of the 15x56. Turns out Best Binoculars Reviews declared the Maven 11x45 best binocular of the year 2018. Wow. Edit: I stupidly forgot to add the link: https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/MavenB211x45BinocularsReview-179.htm
  3. Ben the Ignorant

    Swarovski quality at 2/3 the price

    Then maybe their 9x45?
  4. Ben the Ignorant

    Meade 5000 UWA EP Gets Company!

    This Meade 24/82 is in my set, optically it was almost impossible to tell from a Tele Vue 26/82 in a direct comparo.
  5. http://www.binomania.it/recensione-del-binocolo-maven-b4-15x56-hd-cielo-e-natura-in-hd/ Sorry if you don't read italian, this is the most complete and accurate review I found so it's the one I present here. Maybe I already heard of Maven a couple years ago and forgot, but now I'm not about to forget any more. It is a business from Wyoming, USA, a state where hunting is almost as common as owning a car, so it naturally gave birth to a firm dealing in riflescopes and binoculars. Maven optics cannot be found in any stores, and that's an interesting part of their business model because the absence of middlemen allows them to sell their stuff at a much more moderate (but not cheap at all) price than other high-end makers and/or retailers. The main point in the review is that this Maven 15x56 matches the quality of the Swarovski SLC 15x56 at 2/3 the price, the only exception to their equality being a barely noticeable amount of extra chromatic aberration in the Maven. 66° eyepieces fortunately, that was one of the first features I checked; binocs boasting very sharp lateral images by sacrificing field always disappoint me. That corresponds to a rich-field 4.4° swath of sky or landscape, very generous. Transparency is said to be an astonishing 94%, prisms are phase-coated, obviously, and the price is 1400€. As expected it is waterproof and nitrogen-purged, this will soon be a useless info since no maker of serious binoculars will issue one that can be drowned or fogged up. What has the Binomania guy found in his detailed examination? The objectives have four lenses, and at least one is made of ED glass, a must in high-end optics these days. He believes it's impossible to find better objectives at any price anywhere, contrast and sharpness are at the top level. The eyepieces have 18mm eye relief, in the ideal 14mm to 19mm range. From what I've tried 14mm to 17mm is excellent for me but I don't wear glasses, so the extra millimeters should benefit nicely those who do. The exit pupil is perfectly round and evenly illuminated. Coatings: multi-layer, of course, but designed so the external layer is hard to better resist scratching, as well as stain- and water-repellent. Now the imperfections; all optics have them, but to what degree? Chromatism is better than in some high-end Nikon and Fujinon binocs, and only very slightly more present than in a 2140€ Swarovski 15x56. Lareral color: totally negligible, what little can be seen starts only 75% from the center. Field curvature: extremely reduced, better than some Vortex and Zeiss models, definitely a flat-field instrument like the very best from Nikon and Swarovski. Angular distortion (crescent-shaped): minimal. Astigmatism: unlike many general-use binocular reviewers like BBR or some YouTubers, Binomania always tests binoculars on the night sky after the birdwatching and landscape evaluations, the surest way to reveal astigmatism since the deformation of a star dot is obvious in its shape and extent. The Maven is splendid to the edge. Salimbeni (a regular contributor in Cloudy Nights) usually grants three ratings for each bino, percentage of sharp field, percentage of usable field, and percentage of unusable field. Well, this time he had to grant only two because there is no unusable field! Sharp portion covers 90%, and only 10% are slightly less sharp. I don't think he ever reviewed a 100% bino. Resolution is on par with a 20x or 22x spotting scope thanks to the use of both eyes, and brightness compares to a 65mm or 70mm monocular scope. According to him the Swarovski wins only by way of somewhat narrower eyepieces for the comfort of people with a wider nose, and a little less weight. However he insists that the advantage in the Swarovski is not at all proportionate to its higher price. All in all the Maven is a much better value. It's made from Japanese parts (assembled in the USA), finish and construction are flawless, and you can customize many external components for a little extra cash. https://mavenbuilt.com/b-series-binoculars/ These are way too expensive for me, so why did I take the time to write this? I'm impressed. I like how Maven cares for the customer's wallet, and allows factory direct buying to cut a big chunk off the usual cost of top-class optics. I want to know what is made, how it's made (I have no interest in promoting Maven, I'm not a shareholder or whatnot), and also how it is marketed . Here I got only satisfying answers. Those of you who can afford binoculars costing in excess of 1000€ can surely appreciate, too.
  6. Ben the Ignorant

    Herzsprung-Russell diagram

    Because it follows the traditional classification of spectral types, Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me (with the mnemonic).
  7. Ben the Ignorant

    "Hello, Universe!"

    Hi. A dob and a binoc are the most straightforward observing tools. I might add a sky atlas and a dim red or orange (truer colors when reading the map) flashlight. Personally the battery and the diode in the torch are the only electronics I want when I stargaze but a dob that knows where it's pointing is convenient to be sure. I've handled the push-to scope in my club, that was cool. Still, knowing the star-hopping paths matters to me, so manual gear only for the time being.
  8. Ben the Ignorant

    Storing Telescope

    A dry room is ideal, humidity causes condensation, which catches dirt and makes it stick to the optics after it dries up. The changes in temperature do no harm to optics. And keeping the scope as close as possible to outside temperature is good, most of those who can do that do it, and usually by keeping it in the garage.
  9. Ben the Ignorant

    Advice On Dob Mirror Cells Please...

    http://www.loptics.com/articles/mirrorsupport/mirrorsupport.html http://www.jpastrocraft.com/cells.htm http://www.webstertelescopes.com/mirror_cell.htm I never needed a custom cell but I modded my GSO lightly, these are the texts I studied.
  10. Of course extreme powers make things blurry and fainter, but they also make them much bigger on the retina, which can render them easier to detect. Galaxy M94 in Canes is quite tight and dense, it takes very high power well, NGC 7662 in Andromeda is another example of very high surface brightness. The Sombrero galaxy, M104, and the spindle galaxy, NGC 3115 are pretty strong, too. NGC 2903 in Leo is not as obvious but has interesting mottling that can show with the right combination of large aperture (not necessarily the 130 mnanand is using), good transparency and strong magnification. The detail (obviously larger than planetary detail) that can't be seen at lower power can sometimes be seen at "off-limit" magnifications. All it takes is some personal experimentation to exploit this possibility when conditions and gear allow it.
  11. I said extreme powers are ok only on the small and bright nebulas and galaxies. The reduction in surface brightness is comparable to that of a light pollution filter.
  12. You can use higher than rated magnification on small bright deep-sky objects like planetary nebulas or compact galaxies but not on planets, Sun an Moon. Nebular targets don't have small details visible to the eye, only large-scale features, so you can't lose these small details you lose with planets. However that doesn't work on globular clusters because the tightly packed stars are like small planetary detail. I'm not sure how high power can be increased but 4x per millimeter seems ok; that would be 520x with a 130mm scope. Everyone is free to experiment, and I'd like to see the findings. Tracking will be tricky if your scope is not motorized, and your eyepiece don't show a wide field, though.
  13. Light pollution filters work the same at all powers because light hits them before it hits the eyepiece, so they do their job regardless. The thing is, surface brightness changes when magnification changes, but again, after light has passed the filter, the difference in surface brightness between two eyepieces is in the same ratio as without the filter. I think the citation is from one particular person for that particular person, and doesn't apply to the majority. Edit: for those not familiar with surface brightness, say the second eyepiece magnifies twice as much as the first, the image is twice as wide and twice as tall, so it's four times larger in area. Surface brightness is four times lower, and the presence of a filter does not change the math provided it's the same filter in both eyepieces, of course. Lower surface brightness makes the sky dimmer, adding to the effect of the filter.
  14. Sure, apo, semi-apo and achro barlows, see the rundown in 365astro's site. Not all ED barlows are apo, and not all triplet barlows are apo, the guys at 365 did an honest listing to guide the choice. https://www.365astronomy.com/Barlow-Lenses/
  15. No, the achro barlow would add its imperfection to that of the telescope. Use only apo barlows.
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