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About AstroFin

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  1. Another vote for Samyang/Rokinon 135mm ! It's a very sharp, portable and fast (!) lens, yet the focal length is still quite forgiving (in terms of tracking accuracy). The field of view is so wide that objects in the night sky are generally quite easy to find. Here's my recent shot of the California Nebula with just 1hr 15min of exposure. Bortle 5. I'm also using the Star Adventurer. https://www.astrobin.com/full/a2i42a/0/
  2. This lens is the best astrophotography purchase I've ever made. Pictures taken with Samyang 135mm, a modified Canon 60D and SW Star Adventurer.
  3. Glad I'm not the only one who sees it! You're right, it is quite difficult to see visually, I've never seen it either. Not sure if it's even possible with an 8 inch scope? Perhaps under the most perfect seeing conditions...?
  4. Thank you David! I have to admit that the field rotation caused by my alt-az mount did give me a little headache. Luckily the number of frames used for the video was not too high so I was able to just manually derotate them.
  5. Hi everyone, Thought it would be nice to share an animation of Mars I made after last night's imaging session. The video was captured during a 4 hour time period. From my location (61 degrees North), the max altitude of Mars is around 33 degrees. The temperature was around -1 Celsius and the seeing conditions were, surprisingly, pretty good. In the beginning you can see Valles Marineris moving to the shadow and if you pay attention, Olympus Mons should also be visible near the end of the video. The scope used was Celestron CPC 800 and the camera ZWO ASI 120 MC-S. Initially I tried imaging with a Barlow but found that the native 2000mm focal length gave the "cleanest" results. Clear Skies, Tomi
  6. Hi Jake! I had a similar problem with my Celestron C8. The whole secondary assembly was loose. The problem was solved by replacing the original paper-like gasget (located between the corrector plate and the secondary mirror assembly) with a new improved one from Starizona. Although I can’t be 100% sure, I don’t think that the Meade SCT design is that much different from Celestron, so perhaps this might work for you too. The fix does require removing the corrector plate and the secondary mirror. I did the repair myself and did not find it too difficult. Here’s the gasget I used. Not sure if it is Meade-compatible, though. https://starizona.com/store/manufacturers/starizona/hyperstar-conversion-kit-c8-gasket I hope this helps, clear skies! Tomi
  7. To my understanding they used to be imperial when Celestron still manufactured their telescopes in the U.S. When production shifted to China they began to use metric parts.
  8. Hi everyone, I’ve astro-modified my Canon EOS 60D by removing the rear filter and leaving the front low pass filter (this one) in place. Which light pollution filter do I need, CLS or CLS-CCD? Clear Skies, Tomi
  9. Hi Dave, Try another power cable. I used to have a bit similar issues with my Celestron CPC. Turned out it was all down to a faulty cable that was supplied with the telescope. Another thing worth asking, just to make sure, have you set your date in mm/dd/yyyy format?
  10. Here's my list. Because in this hobby it's very easy for equipment to start collecting dust, I've tried to limit myself to only 2 telescopes at a time. If I want something bigger, I can always use the equipment of my local observatory. 2008 - Sky-Watcher Skymax 102 - My first telescope. An excellent instrument for observing planets and the Moon. Taught me so much about the night sky. Memories of staying outside for hours during those cold February nights just to see Saturn still make me smile. I hated the EQ-2 mount, though. Had it had a sturdier mount, I might have kept it. 2010 - Celestron CPC 800 - My current telescope. I've had this for 10 years now, still works like a dream. The mount is so sturdy that you can lean on it. Goto is spot on. Great for almost everything, I've even taken some pretty decent deep sky images with it. This scope is often taken to dark sky sites, it's compact and easy to carry. I've upgraded the focus knob and installed a DIY built-in dew heater. 2015 - Celestron Firstscope 76/300 mini Dobsonian - Bought this just to see how well it would perform. Terrible spherical aberration. Didn't like it so I gave it away. 2017 - Sky-Watcher Startravel 80 - My first refractor that was given to me by a friend. A very capable scope for it's price range. Eventually sold it because I didn't have a proper mount for it. 2019 - Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED - My first ED scope. Suberb optics in a lightweight package and for a very reasonable price. Great for both visual and astrophotography. The first light was during a lunar eclipse last summer. A keeper for sure!
  11. Here's my new wide-field setup for next season! Finally managed to get a Samyang 135mm f/2. After a few test shots I can confirm that this lens is a keeper, it's super sharp. Now the only thing I need is a CLS-CCD clip filter for my self-modified Canon 60D. Probably need to modify and sell my 1100D to fund that though... It's not easy being a student! Clear skies! Tomi
  12. Hi Robert! To me it looks like your OTA has once been attached to a Nexstar GPS fork mount, which would explain the "mystery holes" on both sides, since they were intended for attaching the scope to the fork mount. Your guesses about the other holes seem correct to me. The scope must be an early Celestron Nexstar GPS 8 because it still has the older Celestron font on it. It's one of the last models made in the USA. I hope this helps. Clear Skies from Finland, Tomi
  13. Hi Dean! Very good advice from the others, but I'd like to add my thoughts. Astrophotography is quite expensive and the 400 pound budget won't take you very far in the long run. To get good results early on, you should probably invest in a DSLR camera and a star tracker. This way the learning curve won't be too steep. You can get good deals on used DSLR cameras online. Taking a too deep dive in the beginning might not be a smart idea. Things get very expensive very quickly. Many amateurs use Canon cameras, because of the wide range of software available and the relatively "easy" astromodification process. Some good star trackers include Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer and iOptron Skyguider Pro. If you want to go full-on and get a high class mount that's sturdy enough to support a telescope, get the Sky-Watcher HEQ5 mount as @jonathan recommended! Also, you might find it interesting to check AstroBackyard on YouTube for some beginner tutorials! As for the telescope, I've been to this hobby for the most of my life and often find myself enjoying the 200mm Dobsonian telescope of my local astronomy club. A telescope like this will show you an unimaginable amount of detail on the Moon, is a good instrument for observing the planets and has enough aperture to make observing deep sky targets enjoyable and worthwhile. You will also learn to navigate through the night sky in the process. Taking pictures of the Moon and videos of the planets is possible with a Dobsonian. Even if you decide to levitate towards the astrophotography route, a good Dobsonian is always a nice to have. They are easy to use, fairly cheap and have a sturdy mount. They are somewhat heavy though, so keep that in mind if you need to carry and transport the scope a lot. Buying gear second hand is a great way to save up some money for future accessories. No matter which route you end up going, remember that the best gear is the one that you use the most often. Clear skies from Finland, Tomi
  14. @osbourne one-nil Out of curiosity, how do you find the 10x42 Canons compared to the smaller 12x36? Which pair do you use more often? Clear skies, Tomi
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