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Mr niall

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About Mr niall

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    Proto Star

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    Staffs
  1. I would say that the symmetry is the main thing, my Mak 90 is quite a bit off on the star test and still gives 99 percent perfect views. I actually took the whole front off, drilled and tapped four holes for a new dovetail and put it together again and it was still pretty much bang on! its the views that count, I got a bit obsessed with diffraction patterns for a while when I couldn’t get a sharp view, in the end it was just a slightly grubby diagonal.... unless it’s clearly miles off I’d leave it (they do seem to be a thing the mercy of atmospheric conditions more than shorter focal length scopes). edit; in fact that sounds more like a fractional imperfection in the primary (like mirror pinching) or more likely the aspheric secondary. I’d be stunned if it made any difference though.
  2. Do you use a Zoom and if so, why?

    I use the SW hyperflex 9-27, massive fan. Despite the narrower FOV it’s just a much easier proposition than changing eyepieces all the time! Call me lazy! And the fit and finish is great, worked out cheaper than buying a set of individual eyepieces; in fact was cheaper than just getting three.
  3. Winter Albireo

    Btw, do you do much imaging with the Mak? How do you find it?
  4. 130pds is a solid choice, lots of fans on here. But... and you could tell me to mind my own business here... but I was always taught “if you want to buy something, always wait for 1 month, then if you still want it you can get it”, I’ve never found that advice more useful than when it comes to astronomy equipment!
  5. Winter Albireo

    Brilliant shots, love the comparisons.
  6. From what I’ve read the tracking performance is more or less identical. The advantage the mini has is the small size and the WiFi control. But the advantages the star adventurer has is that it can take much more weight, useful for heavier setups or, for example using very long lenses or combining a camera with a scope and additionally it has an ST4 port so you can add a guidescope further down the line, giving you a future upgrade path.
  7. It does depend on what you want to photograph - ideally you need an equatorial tracking mount for deep sky stuff (and a reasonably heavyweight high quality one at that) but for planetary and lunar you don’t need one at all. If you are happy with planetary then something like these would be great; https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az-gti.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-skymax-102-az-gti.html You can do deepsky photography with these too, but you’ll be limited to short exposures 20-30 seconds max (because of field rotation). Another option is a lightweight tracking mount; https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html and put the rest of your budget towards a dslr, or use an existing camera if you have one. That mount will also handle a small scope/ camera combo. Theres lots of options at that price point but there isn’t necessarily an easy upgrade route unless you start with an EQ5 Mount as the backbone of your setup and go from there but then the mount alone would blow your budget. But there are alternatives.
  8. Jupiter

    Ha - the planets are all in front of the house for me at the moment; I tried setting up in the front garden in the spring but just had a steady stream of people giving me funny looks and/or having dogs bark at me and the curtain twitchers staring at me. I became much too self conscious! I’ll have to wait until July!
  9. just a general rant

    That happened to me last year, and it’s the same this year, seems to be a January thing.
  10. just a general rant

    Here’s an interesting article; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-the-sunniest-and-dullest-cities-in-europe/ I hear that global warming will make uk summers slightly cooler and wetter, but on the bright side it’ll make the winter storm slightly warmer and wetter. Oh wait...
  11. Mosaics

    There’s a sticky in the getting started with imaging thread that has a work around for this’s when making lunar mosaics. Not sure if it’s applicable to you but might be worth a look.
  12. NGC 3190 & Friends

    Amazing, that’s razor sharp!
  13. Yes if it’s £150 or there abouts I’d say definitely go for it, sounds like a great deal.
  14. Wow, that’s pretty impressive, if it were me I’d keep things simple and just use one of the biggies like Betelgeuse, or maybe Mira?
  15. First Light for new EP's

    Great report, very useful glad you’re pleased
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