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About JTEC

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    Star Forming

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  1. Ah, that would be the OOUK AG, presumably ...
  2. Agreed. It sounds as if you have access to some good dark skies ;>) I understand what you say about textured background - from the darkest sites I’ve visited, lying on your back scanning the MW through Cygnus, say, gives an impression of continuity. Not always easy to separate scattered starlight from nebulosity, I find, at least without filtration. 200mm f3.8 sounds interesting!
  3. Just caught your interesting post on the Tulip. I’ve not observed it visually but here’s a H-a pic I took of it some years ago with a 98mm scope, really to show some of the context - just look at all that stuff in the same field.
  4. Totally agree. Tried all the usual suspects over the years (Lumicon etc) I honestly think the Televue OIII beats them all. FWIW, if I had to pick one UHC filter for general use it would be the Omega NPB.
  5. The 12.5 mm Tak orthos (though not so much the LEs) I find to be very sharp, contrasty and relatively affordable. I have a pair for binoviewing. I also own some Delos, Morpheus and Ethos eyepieces and all are, of course, excellent in their own way. If I had to choose from those 3 for optical quality, it would be the Delos, though I think there is very little in it. Best value of the 3, the Morpheus. The sharpest eyepieces around that focal length for lunar detail that I own - and to my eye in my scopes - are the Tak 9 and 12.5 and the 11mm Televue plossls which make an exceptional planetary binoviewing pair with my TEC140 and Baader MkV. In this regard only, I would put both a bit ahead of the Ds, Es and Ms - though, of course, those eyepieces have other qualities that might tip the balance for you. Fact is, we’re spoilt for choice ;>)
  6. It would be interesting to have them set up alongside each other to compare. I expect it’s a choice you couldn’t go wrong with either way. Odd that your messages were not replied to!
  7. Agreed. Without excellent optics the ‘strut’ might not be apparent. In the TEC 140 I’m fortunate to use, the quality edge of the HRs and the Tak TOEs is clear. I honestly think that these are both very special eyepieces. I have the 4mm Tak and the 3.4mm Vixen, the latter giving me x288 and an exit pupil just below .5mm, which is way more than enough to see all that the scope will resolve and about as much as my floaters want. I’ve tried to compare the ‘quality’ of the two, taking account as much as possible of the difference in focal length. For a while, I preferred the HR but, staring long and hard into lunar detail, I concluded that the Tak was as sharp, showed just much detail and showed tonalities just as well, perhaps even a little more subtly. Or did it? I wouldn’t be able to rank them in terms of ‘quality’ - I think both are stunning. I don’t feel the need for shorter lengths than I have - incidentally, if you like the idea of playing with truly ridiculous mags, they Barlow remarkably well - but if I was, I’d grab them while they’re available, and I wouldn’t be quibbling about whether to go for the HR or the TOE.
  8. I like Meteoblue and find it about as accurate in the short term as you can get. As someone said, the data source is prob the same as used by many other apps so differences may be largely presentational.
  9. I think there’s no question that, given sufficient image brightness, binocular vision brings your scope to life in a way that mono viewing (itself an unnatural way for people with two eyes to look at things) never can. For planets, lunar and the smaller, brighter DSOs, you see more detail. With brighter extended DSOs, the experience is deeply immersive. (I don't wear glasses to observe.) That said, some people don't seem to get on with them. I’m convinced that this has nothing to do with any sort of mysterious skill like dowsing or matter of taste like enjoying oysters. There is no special skill required. But you do have to get the practicalities spot on for you: interpupillary distance, focus for each eye, etc, and you must have a binoviewer that’s well made and retains orthogonality through focus, eyepiece clamping, etc. If I had any money and hadn’t spent it all on eyepieces, I’d bet that quite a few people who say ‘I’ve tried binoviewers and I just don't get on with them’ might change their minds if they experienced an optimised setup. The received wisdom seems to be that the process of perception enables data from each eye to be combined in a single image that incorporates the information from both. I expect the truth is a lot more complex than that, but, subjectively, the experience is very much along those lines.
  10. Yes, significant difference over here at this time though, Louis: £336 Delos £249 Pentax XW. Adds up if you commit to a set.
  11. ... it’s another way of saying that we’re spoilt for choice . In terms of optical quality, they’re both, to my eye in my 140mm f7 apo, excellent. The differences are in form factor, handling preference, comfort, type of eye-guard, etc, I think, not in how well they deliver optically. These are personal things and you need to get a look at some to see whether they matter to you. Personally, I don’t find them important and am happy to mix ranges to get things covered the way I want. Another not trivial consideration is that the Pentaxes are a lot less expensive than the Delos.
  12. I’d concur with John on the mid-price Televues. I have the Delos in 8 and 10 and have used a friends 6 and 17.3. I’ve tried lots of eyepieces over the years and concluded that, for a middling afov eyepiece, the Deloses are about as good as you’ll get. I’ve now built in the Pentax XWs to cover the 5 and 7 f lengths. There are differences in feel and handling between the two ranges but I spent some hours staring at globulars the other night looking for meaningful differences - could I see more with one or the other, was either one sharper, giving better contrast, etc - and concluded that they were both pretty much as good as each other. Which is to say excellent. If I’d started out with the Pentaxes, I’d probably be building a set round them, rather than the other way round.
  13. Ah, I know the area pretty well. I was with SEKAS for many years up to about 2000. Some of the best observing we had, actually, was at a sea horizon somewhere near St Margarets.
  14. Agreed. It’s when it’s on and where it’s pointing that matters. If it’s on your head all the time, it points wherever your forehead is pointing which, with normal human movement patterns, is all over the place. Unless you’re a Dalek with seized neck bearings, it’s counterintuitive to do otherwise. So, as you say, a headlamp can be dual purpose in that, if you really must access artificial light while observing, it can also be cupped in your hand so it can be pointed carefully and with some shielding. I see that you’re near Canterbury. I lived at Old Wives Lees all through the 80s, watched the sky, at first quite dark, grow brighter as development took hold - I wonder what it’s like now?
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