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  • Interests
    Visual- planetary, lunar, binary,
    Astrophotography- planetary, lunar, DSOs
    Equipment- 140mm APM ED Doublet, 102mm Altair Astro ED Doublet, HEQ5 pro mount on a Berlebach Uni28 tripod
  • Location
    Dublin, Ireland

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  1. I've quite a basic setup as I don't use autoguider, only scope, mount, focal reducer and a dslr. I take only 60 sec subs but take lots of them. So the setup is not so heavy and I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible for now, so I might give it a try on HEQ5 first then move up in gear when the need arises. Fingers crossed.
  2. Its a great scope also more compact than I expected. It's she one with the 2.5 inch focuser and 989mm FL.
  3. hi all I have two scopes both f/7 ED doublets - an APM 140mm and a 102mm Altair Astro. I mount them on a HEQ5 pro mount and a Berlebach Uni 28 tripod. I also have a Canon 600D DSLR and a focal reducer for the 102mm scope. I have so far tried astrophotography with the 102mm scope- Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, the Moon and DSOs. I initially bought the 140mm scope for visual only but have been recently curious if there is any benefit in using the larger scope for photography or should I stick with the 4 inch? I know the larger scope would be better for lunar and planetary photography and I intend to use it for that, so the question is directed more towards DSOs, especially galaxies. So far I have enjoyed taking pics of galaxies and wonder if there is any benefit in using the larger scope for this (before I go investing hard earned cash in my setup eg a focal reducer for the 140mm and a larger mount). Or is the juice not worth the squeeze here? Any advice appreciated!
  4. Hi all I recently bought an APM 140mm doublet and now looking to source a focal reducer for it for astrophotography. The recommended reducer by APM is the Riccardi Reducer but it's very dear, nearly €500. I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a "universal" reducer which I can use, that would be more economical? I'm reading on this topic and it seems focal reducers are very specific to the brand and model of a scope. I don't fully follow the science of it all so this is a shot in the dark if anyone can provide advice.
  5. Thanks @Waldemarit's a good idea to test before buying but difficult for me to find someone locally. I'll definitely prioritise the diagonal first.
  6. Ok thank you. in that case and also considering advice from others, I think I'll stick with my current 3 element TS optics barlow. I'm considering getting the Baader BBHS later this year though. As I'm interested in double stars, I think it will help with the views especially splitting close doubles. Hopefully fingers crossed.
  7. Thanks @Jetstream it's nice to hear this about Luminos, they do get a bad rap
  8. Thanks @Franklin. I've not considered prism diagonals as I read somewhere they are more suited to slower FL scopes.
  9. Thanks @Mr Spock, super helpful. Yes the barlow is a 3 element design and it gives views similar to the stock Celestron one I have that came with their eyepiece set. I guess as others are saying, differences are small in last mile performance in terms of value for money.
  10. Mine is also a stock diagonal that came with a Skywatcher evostar scope I bought a few years back. I haven't noticed scatter or anything wrong with the diagonal but wondering if views could be substantially better that I don't know about.
  11. Thanks John. This is super helpful and precisely answers my question, so gains are not mind blowing 40-50% let's say. I currently have a set of 3 Luminos eyepieces 10mm, 15mm and 31mm and a Celestron x cel 9mm. I know others have strong opinion on the Luminos range but I like mine, they give me good views. I love the new scope, there's something special about a large refractor, it's simplicity, it's views and oh it looks great! . Here's a pic of a new member of our family
  12. Hi all I eecently bought a new refractor (140mm APM doublet f/7) and considering whether I should upgrade some of my current optical train - a TS Optics 2.5x barlow and a Skywatcher dielectric diagonal - in case I'm "missing something" in terms of getting the most out of the scope visually. I mainly like visual observing, the moon, the planets, double stars and open clusters. Here are the specs of my current barlow and diagonal. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p55_TS-Optics-Optics-TSB251-2-5x-Barlow-Lens--1-25-inch---apochromatic-triplet-design.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/skywatcher-di-electric-star-diagonal.html I use the barlow extensively to get different magnifications with my limited set of 4 eyepieces so it's an essential part of my kit. I'm considering buying a new barlow like the TeleVue Powermate 2.5x ~€300 and a TeleVue Everbrite 2" diagonal €500. Total cost ~€800 + shipping.. not exactly cheap, could afford a new scope for that! The key question is would either of these accessories be worthwhile upgrades i.e. have a marked difference visually let's say ~40-50% improvement in images or would the difference be only subtle ~10-20%. If the latter, I would rather not be wasteful in spending and save the hard earned cash for something else. I would very much appreciate any advice on this especially from those who have experience of going from stock/mid range accessories to high end. Thanks
  13. For the benefit of anyone reading this thread. My new scope arrived (man it's big but still manageable). I've only used it once but my HEQ5 pro seemed to be able to carry it very nicely. Balancing it on the mount was a little bit more work than my 4inch ED but mainly because the tripod had to be set higher due to the longer tube...but doable.. Again not a bother once I get used to it and it's not something I'll hesitate setting up. All in all it took me 20 mins to set up and polar align, should be quicker next time. Once setup it gave very steady views settling times not more than my 4inch maybe 2 secs. There was no wind/breeze though but I wouldn't do stargazing if conditions weren't good.. just my preference. So that's not a concern to me. The scope tracked very well, the mount didn't seem to struggle in any way. I feel confident to put up my dslr next time to take pics (I only do short exposure or planets/moon so no autoguider). Saw Uranus for the first time ever! Again I've only used the scope once but it gave me loads of confidence in the setup. Maybe the wooden tripod and hard floor helped. Total weight with different eyepieces in the range 10.5kg to 11kg. Recommended load capacity for HEQ5 is 15kgs for visual and 11kg for photos. Thanks again everyone for your advice. I wanted to post this for others considering a bigger scope with an entry level mount. Everyone has their opinions but when I was searching on this topic I found mostly one sided advice that you shouldn't load a mount more than 50-75% of manufacturer recommended load capacity. So I'm putting my experience out there to balance the argument.
  14. Those are some amazing pics @malc-c, just wow!
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