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Everything posted by bryand

  1. I have a pair of Nikon EX 10x50s which are bright and crisp, and get used mainly for nature watching. They are highest magnification I can usefully hand-hold. I have a pair of Omicron 15x70s, but for astro use I have a pair of Helios 20x100s on a manual alt-az mount and tripod, with a red dot finder on the centre bar. If you are going to have to use a tripod anyway, go BIG!:
  2. I have a pair of Helios 20x100s which I use on an AZ5 mount; a pair of Opticon Oregon 15x70s which I can't really hand-hold, so rarely get used, and a new pair of Nikon Action EX 10x50s which are my favourites for daylight use. I really prefer centre-focus types for convenience, despite the arguments that individual focus types are more robust. Convenience and ease of use are what binoculars are all about for me.
  3. If your camera has manual controls on it, try reducing the exposure to get a darker image. If it's auto-only and has a zoom, try to fill the frame with the Moon so it doesn't see so much black. Then focus the telescope to get the blackest possible blacks in the crater shadows.
  4. As far as Value for Money is concerned, don't forget you are buying the scope, the mount, the tripod, the camera and the software all at once, all in one package. I don't want coffee-table photographs, I just want to see what's out there. With the eVscope, I can get a decent image of a DSO within 15 minutes of arriving at a deep-sky site - 10 minutes to set up and 5 minutes' exposure. Compared to the hours I've spent assembling my kit, polar aligning, setting up guiding etc, I consider the time saved to be worth quite a bit. 'The best scope is the one that gets used the most' and the eVscope is so easy and quick to set up that it will get used a lot.
  5. I find an RDF invaluable on both my 15x70s and 20x100s. Saves a lot of frustration. With the 20x100s (shown below) the RDF clips onto the central bar with two of B&Q's finest terry clips.
  6. Another book you might like is Gary Seronik's "Binocular Highlights" which is very good at giving the context of the 100-odd objects it lists.
  7. No. The adaptor for a mirrorless camera should be no more expensive than for a DSLR. You don't need any auto-exposure or auto-focus coupling since you have the telescope for that, so the adaptor can be a quite simple affair.
  8. I have two Mirrorless Canons: an M10 which has been converted to full-spectrum by removing the internal filters, and an M6 which is bog standard. I like both of them: they are lighter and less bulky than a DSLR, and remember that the one part of a camera you don't need is the reflex viewfinder - we have telescopes for that! The M6 is essentially a mirrorless 77D and should be available secondhand, especially as a Mk 2 version has been launched recently so the Mk 1 may be going cheap. The moonshot below was taken with the M10:
  9. It's not so much the tripod as the mount. With such a narrow field of view, you need to be able to lock the bins in place exactly where you want them, which I found very difficult/impossible with a joystick type mount (which is essentially a spring-loaded ball and socket joint). An alt-az mount which allows seperate adjustment in each plane is much less frustrating.
  10. I have a pair of the Helios 20X100s and I'm very happy with them. The lens caps are a bit fiddly, as is the individual focussing (I would prefer centre-focus binoculars) but they are good to use with or without my glasses. I mount them on an AZ5 manual mount from 365Astro, and use a red dot finder as a location aid. Handily, one full revolution of the mount's control knobs moves the binoculars through the same angle as their field of view (3.2°):
  11. I discovered a long time ago that I can't hold a pair of 10x50s steady enough, for long enough, to be useful. So I need a tripod, and if I have a support I'm not limited to 10x50s. Try 15x70s for a better view.
  12. There should be a clip to hold the handset, which makes it easier to use. I added the eyepiece tray, which works well. iOptron aren't very clear about the number of counterweights needed, but these seem to work OK and don't produce any graunching.
  13. bryand


    iOptron AZ Pro mount carrying a WO FLT 132 scope.
  14. I like the idea of the ASIair, but I already have my cameras. These are Altair Astro units, but in each case they use the same sensors as an equivalent ZWO camera. Since their pixel geometry will be the same, can I fool the ASIair into thinking it has ZWO cameras attached? Anybody actually tried this?
  15. Why are you modifying a DSLR at all? The one thing you don't use is the Reflex ability of the camera - you are not using the through-the-lens viewfinder. You have a telescope for that. If you use a mirrorless camera, you can get equivalent functionality with less weight and you can go for a full spectrum conversion and then fit a clip-in filter to protect the sensor.
  16. If you go for the William Optics binoviewer, it is available with a pair of WO 20 mm eyepieces which are really good. I would give up on trying to match existing OEM eyepieces.
  17. To respond to the OP's question: I have a pair of WO binoviewers which I now use more than my mono eyepieces. I use the WO 20 mm eyepieces, the WO 1.6X and 2.0X Barlows, and I have a pair of Pentax XF 12mm eyepieces which have a very flat field and are good for close-in work. I have a rafcamera 26mm -> T2 adaptor that allows me to use a 2" nosepiece, for compatibility with my other kit. Binos work for me: I can split doubles with the binos that I can't with any of my (expensive) mono eyepieces, and I can view for longer without tiring my eyes. That's what makes them the ocular of choice for me.
  18. I sometimes use Sky Safari on my iPad to control my Evolution 9.25. It works well, but if you move the tablet too far away from the scope, it drops the connection and the alignment goes to pot when you re-connect. I now put the iPad in a map case and hang it round my neck so it's always to hand and not too far from the scope.
  19. I've just gone back to using my StarSense after the midsummer break (when it couldn't find enough stars). I often use a manual align, where you tell it where to look for stars - this avoids obstacles and speeds up the alignment process. Used like this, I find it is quicker and more accurate than a finderscope alignment.
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