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Vondragonnoggin

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Posts posted by Vondragonnoggin


  1. I can see color in nebulae rich in OIII and Hb using UHC or OIII filters. My scopes are too small and my eyes too old to see color in nebulae without the filter though. Filter brings the S/N up in OIII and Hb enough to faintly see some of the colors.

     

    I strongly suspect I’d have to start observing from Bortle 1 skies to see more colors without filters or see the colors stronger than I do under light pollution.

     


  2. 54 minutes ago, Chefgage said:

    Been trying to get decent pictures of jupiter lately. So the eyepiece will be mostly used for that and saturn. I too have a F6 8" dobsonian.  I have a few bst starguider eyepieces. I use the 8mm one if i am looking at jupiter. I was just wondering if going to that magnification with the attached dslr would be ok.

    There are variable camera projection eyepieces available that have height adjustment. You put the 1.25” eyepiece in them and attach the camera via the T threads on top of it.

    Like this one from Teleskop Express - https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p215_Eyepiece-Projection---Prime-Focus-Adaptor---1-25--to-T2.html

     

    You need the T thread adapter for your camera and they recommend using Super Plossl eyepieces that drop in the adapter from 9mm to 15mm depending on how much magnification you need.


  3. On 13/06/2019 at 08:28, devdusty said:

    Further to my post about the Skywatcher flexible 130 p, I am now looking at a short focus tefractor. I am 70 years old so can only manage to carry a fairly lightweight telescope into my back garden.

    I am interested in viewing the moon, double stars,  bright planets and the brighter star clusters.

    I am looking to purchase one of the following

    Celestron  travel scope 70

    Bresse r Classic 70/350

    Skywatcher mercury 705 70mms.

    I understand that these telescopes have limitations, but they the only ones in my price range.

    Any comments or advice would be welcome.

    Chris P

    Hi Chris. I understand completely your need for lighter scopes. My back is trashed from three back injuries when I was younger. I use scopes that are 15lbs or less now exclusively and much prefer the easier ones and a lightweight tripod.

    I have two Startravel scopes. A 120ST and a 150ST. The 120ST is 8.8lbs and the 150ST is 13lbs for bare OTA. I really like them.

     

    By far though, when I feel less energy, (which is a lot these days it seems like) I go for a grab n go with some decent views in my AT72ED refractor I bought used. It was about $250 used I think but it’s my most used scope. Bought it about 6 years ago I think. They discontinued the model and replaced with an AT72EDII, but you can still find the original used ED doublet for very reasonable prices. It’s all of 5lbs (2.26 kg) and 12” long (14.5” with dew shield extended).

    For such small aperture it has provided very pleasing views of nebulae, globs, open clusters, lunar, and planetary.

    The best thing for me is I keep it on a photo tripod with geared center column I can crank the height up and down on and sit comfortably if needed or stand and observe. I use a fluid head on the tripod. 

     

    I understand budget too. Used scopes and mounts are options. I would look at those first or if you can save a little more for new you can stay in a reasonable price range.

    If looking at a small achromat, then whatever purchase, do yourself a favor and get a sturdy mount for it. The viewing experience will be completely worth the extra time spent looking for a used mount that is sturdy vs a new shaky mount or poorly made mount that is offered as a combo package with scope.

    The Bresser 70/350 on this photo tripod with geared column and fluid head should sturdy:

    http://apm-telescopes-englisch.shopgate.com/item/333631353936

    It comes with a carrying bag and three eyepieces and everything you need to get started. Not a bad deal at £109

    If you can save for one of these filters for the little F/5, it will improve the views on higher power brighter targets - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/achromat-semi-apo-filters/baader-semi-apo-filter.html

    I use one of these in my F/5 scopes and have had some very good results with it. It won’t take away the chromatic aberration completely but will lessen it and keep the colors normal looking instead of the yellow tinge some of the other chromatic aberration reducing filters give.

    I think you’ll get much more pleasing views with a used ED doublet around that size that is a little longer on focal length though. It will give better high power views.

    I know you have a restricted budget, but might be worth it to save a little longer so I will suggest some of these other mounts and telescopes to give you an idea of what to look for used that would be a great little setup.

    Buying a used 70-72mm ED will save some money, but new options might be these listed:

    The Skywatcher Evostar 72mm ED should be very close to it in performance - https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p10419_Skywatcher-Teleskop-Evostar-72mm-f-6-ED-Apochromatic-refractor.html

    TS Optics 70mm ED should also be very similar to it - https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1151_TS-Optics-70-mm-F6-ED-Travel-Refractor-with-modern-2--RAP-Focuser.html

    Maybe keep an eye out in the classifieds for used 70-72mm ED doublets. The amount you will take out a lightweight refractor that size will be a lot. My most used scope by far.

    A 130p is also nice and light but in my opinion would need to be the explorer version on regular mount and not the tabletop dobsonian Mount. Unless you have a comfortable table in your viewing area already or a suitable height bar stool to set the tabletop scope on. I’m suggesting the 70-72mm refractor because of zero time needed to acclimate to temperature changes and no collimation needed and it’s small easily managed size. I take mine out even if only 30 minute window before clouds roll in. It’s just that quick and easy.

     

    Mounting should be easy with such a small scope also.

    Any of the small alt-az mounts will work with it. Vixen Porta II or Orion Versa-go or Explore Scientific Twilight I

    Vixen Porta II - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/vixen-porta-ii-mount.html

    TS AZGP Mount - https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p8069_TS-Optics-Altazimuth-Mount-with-Fine-Adjustment-and-Quick-Release.html ,

    TS GSAZ Mount would both be suitable and lightweight. - https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1753_TS-Optics-Altazimuth-Mount-GSAZ-with-fine-adjustment-and-tripod.html

    Skywatcher AZ5 would work - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

    Skywatcher AZ4 would also work - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/skywatcher-az4-alt-az-mount.html

    A nice photo tripod with geared center column and fluid head combo is this Oberwerk 5000 series tripod and head combo that supports up to 7.2 kg. Would be great for any 72mm ED doublet telescope. - https://oberwerk.com/product/oberwerk-5000-series-tripod-and-head-combo/

     

    The very wide views available at low power are great also for sweeping the Milky Way and getting the extra wide cluster and nebulae views. Put a low power eyepiece in and everything is very easy to find. Almost like having a super finder as your scope, but capable of cranking up the magnification also and still getting good views.

     

    Good luck on your decision, whatever it is.


  4. I think we had a long thread years ago in the BV forum at CN on best metal tape to use for taping undercuts. APM used to supply some rubber o-rings that would fill up the undercuts, but straight barrels are best. Even the concentric ring will get caught in the wrong part of the undercut and tilt them sometimes causing alignment issues.

    The trick of turning the eyepiece while loose in the collet until you get best alignment, then just barely tighten to keep it from moving was primarily for straight barrels that aren’t perfectly circular. You’d never notice as a single eyepiece in a 1.25” adapter but you definitely notice this in a BV or binocular telescope when trying to align them perfectly.

    High powers you really notice things like that. Must be loose tolerances for eyepiece barrels. Probably less an issue with higher priced eyepieces but I have a lot of less expensive Chinese made eyepiece pairs.

    • Like 1

  5. I prefer binoviewing but started astronomy with 12x50 binoculars. I later bought 25x100’s, 10x50’s, 12x60’s, 8x42’s, then two Binocular telescopes that take regular 1.25” eyepieces - a 70mm with 90° oculars and a 100mm with 45° oculars. I started collecting eyepiece pairs to use in the Binocular Telescopes. Later bought a Williams Optics Binoviewer and some of my best planetary and lunar views to date are with the binoviewers. 

    One thing I noticed about the WO BV I bought used - clear aperture is only 22mm so limits low power eyepieces to those with field stops that don’t exceed the clear aperture and that they are functional but can get finicky with barrels that have undercuts or super high power views getting merging and focusing to be smooth. A trick I learned with the binocular telescopes that also works with binoviewers is to leave loose in the ocular collet and rotate one until easiest alignment is found, then tighten the thumbscrews and none too tight. Just enough to prevent from rotation.

    I think my eventual solution will be a much nicer BV with at least 27mm clear aperture. The WO BV is very entry level. Even at entry level they provide me the best lunar and planetary views I’ve had. The 8th of June at 260x on Jupiter was stunning.

    Sometimes a wider view with a single eyepiece is nice though. 

    The biggest high power complaints I see from others are focusing both sides of a BV and merging. I imagine this gets easier with more precise and better quality binoviewers. The complaints usually come from owners of the entry level systems. Binoviewing is much like any other equipment aspect of amateur astronomy - the higher quality will get less issues and provide a better experience. I had to be sure of binoviewing  first with the used WO BV before committing to a better one. Now I’m sure and hope to upgrade this year sometime. Not in a hurry though because the entry level BV does provide some great views already.

    Not all binoviewers are created equal and not all eyepieces work in them well.

    My advice would be to save for some quality BV’s from:

    Denis Levatić (Denis sells BV’s out of the CN Classifieds and does custom work and very reasonable prices, he is in Croatia) - https://www.cloudynights.com/gallery/album/9553-binoviewers-models-i-superchargemadeadaptmodify/

    Denkmeier - https://www.denkmeier.com/

    Earthwin - http://www.earthwinoptical.com/index.html

    Siebert Optics - https://www.siebertoptics.com/SiebertOptics-blacknightbinoviewers.html

    Baader  - https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/optical-accessories/bino-viewer/mark-v-großfeld-(giant)-binocular.html

    Denis Levatić will also Supercharge your current Williams Optics, TS, or other entry level BV’s for reasonable prices. Just contact him and see if it can be done for yours. 

    Im hoping to buy some of his Supercharged Zeiss BV’s. Siebert also does Supercharging service for entry level BV’s. The service consists of increasing clear aperture and collimation plus making sure all functions work well and I believe adding concentric ring to oculars for better hold. Check with Denis or Harry Siebert for specifics 

     

     

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1

  6. 17 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

    Interesting question, to which I cannot provide an answer. But it's got me wondering if there are any papers out there that apply objective math to the question rather than just a subjective "I can see more"?

    A couple research papers

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122960/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1191920/

    https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2182682

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binocular_summation

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0042698978902067

     

    There is a lot of material on the web regarding binocular summation and increased visual acuity. Some interesting reading.

    • Like 1

  7. No matter if it’s regular no filter viewing, moon filter viewing, or binoviewer two-eyed viewing, finding a way to get into Lunar viewing is great. There are a lot of features to explore on the moon and it’s a much better option than being annoyed by the moon and not viewing while it’s up.

     

    😀

    • Like 2

  8. I think binoscopes, Binocular telescopes, and binoviewers are in a different category really. Two zooms in a Binocular telescope, binoscope, or binoviewer is a very nice solution. I have 100mm and 70mm Binocular telescopes. I also have binoviewers. Single hand held binoculars with zoom function tend to be junk unless you go for something like the Leica Duovid which has two magnifications and not technically a zoom and also unfortunately about $2500 to get real quality and a usable FOV.

    I tried some other zoom handhelds and they were absolute garbage. The biggest drawback and commonality seems to be the very narrow apparent field of view and secondly the idea that a 10x-30x zoom range is at all practical in a handheld. Most people have an upper limit to handholding of 10x-12x max.

    A wide apparent field of view zoom that was consistent in the magnification range or at least only had a variation from wide at 60° to Maybe 70°, and magnification variance from 8x-12x, and came in at substantially less than the very expensive Leica Duovid would sell like hotcakes.

    • Like 3

  9. 20 minutes ago, Ricochet said:

    How do you find the moon with binoviewers? It seems to me that viewing the same brightness with both eyes negates the issue, but I don't have a general sensitivity issue.

    Binoviewers are going to be dimmer because they split the light with 50% going to each eye. Still have the resolution of your full objective but now 50% the brightness. For someone as sensitive as me to light contrast, even a 72mm scope at low power on the moon with a single eyepiece like a 28mm is too bright.

    If I use binoviewers on the 72mm scope it’s like a small binocular and very tolerable plus harder to get lowest power with binoviewers using a 1.8x GPC (which is what my Williams Optics BV’s have) so smaller exit pupil and still dimmer image.

    If I move up to my 150ST which has a low profile adapter and linear bearing short focuser, I can use the binoviewer with a 1.25” diagonal and not have to use the GPC. Gets pretty low power with a pair of 28mm RKE’s in the BV. Still a little bright for me at that low power in the 6”.

    Again though, I can put the GPC back in and go higher power on the moon and the smaller exit pupil takes care of the brightness issue.


  10. I’m also light sensitive. Anything with high contrast is really harsh to me. I use 40 watt lightbulbs at home because of this.

    Lumicon ND13 (13% transmission) for low power views is the one I have somewhere. I’ve misplaced it though so I just wait until my scope is thermally equalized good and crank up the magnification on the moon to dim the view as long as the seeing supports it. Moon & Skyglow is good also. I actually prefer the Moon & Skyglow on Jupiter though. It’s Great for both Jupiter and the Moon though. It does dim the view a bit and provide better contrast.

    Gotta find that filter. Just recently renewed Lunar viewing interest with my binoviewers.

    Ive seen it posted a lot of times that the moon when viewable in the daytime is just as bright as at night so no filter is needed but none of the people posting that have light sensitivity issues. It’s the contrast between dark and light that brings out the sensitivity.

    • Like 1

  11. 49 minutes ago, Kn4fty said:

    Howdy yall! I remember years ago when zoom EPs came out and image quality was horrible! Now a days zoom EPs have advanced and a lot of folks swear by them! Has the advancement also been good for large lense (80mm and up) zoom binoculars ,or are they still no good for astronomy? Just curious on anyone's experience with them. Thanks,

    Rob

    The only decent one I know of is the Leica Duovid.

    https://us.leica-camera.com/Sport-Optics/Leica-Hunting/Binoculars/Leica-Duovid

    Not really a zoom though. Two magnifications.

    • Like 1

  12. Denis has a few threads showing various BV’s taken apart and some steps he’s done. He also lists BV’s in the classifieds he’s already “Supercharged” (increasing clear aperture to accept eyepieces with wider field stops).

     

    I have a William Optics BV and it was cheap used but works ok, but definitely has given me the incentive to save for a better BV that will take my pair of 24mm 68° eyepieces without vignetting. When you get a good BV, the planetary and Lunar views are really rewarding. Last clear night I had was the 8th of June and I spent two hours out on Jupiter alone. Had some really good seeing and took my 6” mak to 260x 

     

    I spent the first hour straight on the moon. I see much more detail at less magnifications with two eyes.


  13. While considering the solid tube for dual mounting is interesting, I personally find big newts awkward for visual use on GEMs and starting AP with a 1200mm focal length newt on a GEM after doing visual with a Dobson base is a bear of a switch. The GEM needed for such a big tube will be costly.

    I’m more a fan of barn door trackers and slr lenses for starting AP or a 60-80mm refractor at F/6 on a beefy enough GEM to have a capacity of over twice the weight of the 60-80mm refractor.

     

    Going from manual dob to AP is drastically different. You could ease into the process with a goto dob and some EEVA activities though.


  14. 16 minutes ago, awlfc said:

    I bet you have some good skies in Texas. I'm in Liverpool UK. Loads of light pollution here. 

     

    Some places in Texas still have dark skies but the big cities in Texas are no different from light polluted big cities everywhere. Since you have a 2x barlow already and the very nice 25mm Plossl, you are getting a 12.5mm equivalent when using the 25mm in the barlow. You might try an eyepiece in the 14-17mm range. Barlowed would give 7-8.5mm equivalent with more eye relief than the current 10mm Plossl. I find the Skywatcher 10mm is a good eyepiece but do not like the short eye relief and prefer larger eye lens with longer eye relief. Barlows increase eye relief unless they are telecentric design power amplifiers (focal extenders). A good 17mm is a nice jump down from 25mm and should have adequate eye relief as well. For a next jump in magnification, an 11mm would be good. In a barlow it would be a 5.5mm equivalent.

     

    Three eyepieces and a barlow giving you 25mm, 17mm, 12.5mm, 11mm, 8.5mm, 5.5mm magnifications. Plus your 10mm as well and 5mm with the 10mm in a barlow.

    if the barlow has the lens element that unscrews and can be screwed directly on the bottom of an eyepiece barrel, it will give 1.5x amplification.  So you have magnifications for the following focal lengths - 25, 17, 16.6, 12.5, 11.3, 11, 10, 8.5, 7.3, 6.6, 5.5, 5 millimeters

    All out of 4 eyepieces (25, 17, 11, 10) and a 2x barlow 

     

    Another option would be to get a Televue 2.5x Powermate. Three eyepieces (25mm, 17mm, 11mm), a 2x standard barlow with lens element that can be screwed directly on the eyepiece for 1.5x, and a 2.5x Powermate will give you a very large number of magnifications. Focal lengths of 25, 17, 16.6, 12.5, 11.3, 11, 10, 8.5, 7.3, 6.8, 5.5, 4.4 millimeters.

    All those and you never have to use the Skywatcher 10mm Plossl to get any of that. You can tuck it away in a drawer.


  15. You can do EEVA eventually with the goto. Most EEVA exposures less than 30 seconds and generally faster than that.

     

    You might consider a non-goto flex-tube also. It’s a little heavier actually than the solid tube, but with it collapsed, you can stuff the tube into a tighter space in a vehicle to drive it somewhere darker to view.

    The solid tube and fully extended flex-tube will keep collimation duties about the same. Collapsing the flex-tube will definitely make you need to do collimation again. I used to keep mine extended for that reason. I only had to carry it down three stairs to my back deck so it kept collimation very well, but as soon as I collapsed it and re-extended, it needed collimation for sure.

     

    I traded mine a few years back but it was a great scope for many years to me. I decided to try a few different scope types. Refractors and Maks now, but really enjoyed the flex-tube dob while I had it. It was traded for a Twilight II manual alt-az mount.

    • Like 1

  16. You should be able to get some nice open clusters and asterisms in your light polluted location. If you can get enough magnification on them, some globulars in a 150mm will still look very good. Count out galaxies and all but the very brightest nebulae. Maybe core of M31 with a very low power view like your binoculars, or M81/82 might still show for galaxies. I like open clusters quite a bit and zooming in on M42. Some of it around the trapezium stars is still very nice looking with a UHC filter. Ring nebula is pretty bright. Swan nebula in summer.

     

    Lunar viewing is great. I didn’t get real interested in it until I started binoviewing and bought a used William Optics binoviewer and put a couple 20mm eyepieces in and viewed the moon. A whole new kind of fun. Don’t get me wrong, single eyepiece is also great for lunar, but two eyes and higher power than my binoculars could give me has been really thrilling.

     

    If the planets will have scarce views for an extended period of time, you might check out some reading in the EEVA section and see what some folks are doing with small telescopes in heavy light pollution.

    • Like 1

  17. I used Sky Safari Pro up to version 3. Great app but the continual charging for updates got to me and I switched to Luminos which was a version 2 I think. I’m now at version 9.5 and have never been charged for an update. Amazing app. 8 years now of free updates. Observing lists. Ability to add notes, telescope control, ability to add equipment and FOV. No issues and satellites updated frequently.

     

    https://wobbleworks.com/luminos/


  18. 3 hours ago, Rusted said:

    My 180/12 R35 iStar shows very little false colour to my eyes.
    The claimed R35% reduction in ca offers an f/16 equivalent correction in an f/12 tube length.
    That's a 28" reduction in moment arm. iStar offer a range of faster, R% objectives.
    My 7" happily holds 200x, or more, on the moon and sun.
    While my 6" f/8 Celestron would never allow more than 120x even with a Fringe Killer.
    I spent years blaming the seeing conditions.
    The 6" now works better as an H-alpha telescope at 120mm/10 equivalent rather than white light.

    I almost bought an Istar Phoenix with R35 lens. Actually ordered it and then cancelled the order after 5 months wait and no delivery in sight. Ales was having issues lens deliveries at the time and was very nice about it, but I didn’t feel like waiting any longer and bought my Astro-Telescopes AT152 from a classified ad. 

     

    Moonraker Telescopes has an amazing “Wide Boy” 6” F/5 that you can get with either a Jaegers lens or Istar R35 lens. A bit spendy, but then his scopes are works of art in fit and finish. Someday....


  19. 12 minutes ago, Rainer said:

    I have not seen a single plane at night reflecting the Sunlight  ¿?

    The plane reflection is from ground lights. The show up all the time with Night Vision eyepieces. Birds, planes, satellites, just about everything reflective. I’m not imaging with my intensifiers though. Just visual.

     

    more concerned about the larger picture here. Space X is the first, but what happens when other countries or even communication companies competing start launching their own thousands of satellites?

    I don’t think this has been thought through enough on potential negative impact in all areas. Only the positive impact and cash cow considered as majority of thought. Lots of people mentioning that there are great ideas for space debris cleanup, but no one wants to donate for the unprofitable cleanup tasks.

    I would rather have seen a working model for cleanup launched first and proven, then I’m guessing a lot more support for this venture by the public.

    I know it’s a lot more than bringing memes and cat videos to the masses, but really, are devices to utilize the new high speed internet infrastructure going to be passed out for lower income communities also? 

    We’ve seen what good intentions in lowering packaging and material costs has brought us and the landfills and sunken sites full of toxic material with half lives of thousands of years for the sake of bringing lower cost energy to the masses.

    Plastic storms and islands of garbage three times the size of France.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Like 1

  20. I was out last night with my Startravel 150 and a Williams Optics binoviewer. Highest I took it was 150x with a semi-apo in the diagonal and this was the first time I had tried that scope above 50x.

    It was actually some great views with a pair of 9mm BST Planetary EP’s. I used the 1.8x GPC with the Binoviewers to achieve focus. The previous owner told me he hand picked the scope after testing three of them and said it was surprisingly a good figure for that model. He was right.

     

    I usually use my mak or 6” F/5.9 achro, but the F/5 was actually putting up some stunning views in my opinion.

    6 bands on Jupiter. Not large enough image scale to see the blue eddies in the bands, but what a steady view with no shimmer at all. Saturn was the same with several bands visible, Cassini visible but not Encke, 5 moons around Saturn although two of them I had to use averted vision to get them to blink in. Unbelieveable steady views though.

     

    Maybe I’m just too impressed by anything I’m able to see where views are very steady and some amount of detail present. I even pointed at a few nebula with no filter and was able to make out the Lagoon, Triffid, Omega, and just barely a haze for the Eagle, a few globs, and Wild Duck cluster was stunning.

     

    It surprised me. I normally steer people away from high power views with the short tubes, but maybe I’ve just been echoing advice from other members that don’t use short tubes and frequently debate best apos. I guess I’ll change the advice to “try it if you feel like it. The worst case is you’ll find you don’t like it at high powers”

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1

  21. My last three scope purchases were short achromats. I use a mak for high power views but occasionally point the 152mm F/5.9 achromat I have at high power targets and crank up the magnification. The other two are the 120ST and 150ST Skywatcher scopes at F/5.

     

    planetary/lunar targets and double star targets have always been low priority targets for me even since my first scope which was an 8” dob. Just more interested in OC’s, GC’s, nebulae, galaxies, dense starfields, and rich hydrogen regions of the Milky Way.

    Much like solar observation narrows to a small portion of red spectrum, I’m using Night Vision eyepieces and filtering for narrowband Ha in 3nm, 7nm, or 12nm or filtering for near IR in 610nm, 640nm, and 685nm. Galaxies generally filterless as well as planetary nebulae.

    This is essentially all red spectrum viewing. CA problems are non-existent really. For globs, the high power views are quite revealing using longpass filters to cut light pollution and give a darker more contrasty view with the night vision eyepieces.

    I bought the achromats to use with the night vision eyepieces and saw no point to buying apo’s if I’m filtering out all but red spectrum because the Intensifier response is strongest in red and all but non-existent in blue (GaAs Intensifier)

    Generally it’s low power views though for nebulae, open cluster, sweeping the Milky Way and looking at dense star regions. The billowing hydrogen clouds of the Milky Way are revealed very well even in Bortle 7 zone LP. Night vision eyepieces are most often 27mm focal length oculars and I employ focal reducers to get brighter views and wider fields or barlows to get higher power globs, galaxies, and PN’s. A lot of times it’s just native focal length though so fast optics are brighter to start with.

    Next year I’ll probably add a Quark Solar filter and get more use out of the achromats.

    I still like the achromats with my regular eyepieces as well and still use those at times with UHC and OIII filters which also kills the CA. I don’t mind the field curvature or SA in them and I only have two AFOV’s in the night Vision stuff. 40° in my smaller gen 3 tube devices, and 65° in a much larger Gen 3 Intensifier tube device. The 40° view in particular really misses some edge aberrations or makes them more tolerable. Mostly the boost in what I’m seeing overpowers the aberrations so I find it a good compromise. The 152 F/5.9 probably has the best figure for all around use through medium and high powers.

     

    If I’m Lunar/planetary viewing I tend to make a whole night of it and dedicate the time to it with my mak.

     

    The achromats get a lot of flak on forums it seems, but can provide some very nice observing in my opinion. Even without the night vision I really liked them. Second scope was an AR127 F/6.5 and I enjoyed the views as much as my 8” dob. I also used it high power on planets sometimes taking it up to 240x and up. I liked it with a semi-apo filter for cutting CA a little and still having a proper color look as opposed to a yellow shift of some CA filters. A 495nm longpass is more effective at reducing CA but then shifts color to a lot of yellow. The AR127 was a little bit before I got into Night Vision astronomy but really influenced a love for refractors. The mak was bought after selling the AR127 to a friend of mine with a bunch of AP gear I wasn’t interested in anymore. He needed a good scope so I just made it a package deal. I bought the mak right after and that was seven years ago. All other achromats came after tha mak. I have only one ED lens scope. It is an AT72ED. Gets used a lot for the size.

     

    Two Binocular Telescopes as well that are fast achromats. One 70mm F/6.2, and one that is 100mm F/5 but is listed as 100ED while claiming semi-apo performance but really no better than the F/6.2 70mm in CA control. Enjoy them up to 48x max for Milky Way sweeping.

    Im a big fan of them for cost and cost/performance ratio. Not against apos or ED doublets, but think the achromat still has a place in observing and the market.

    I should also mention that I’ve found I’m easily pleased by most equipment and tend to overlook a lot that the more discerning viewer might not be able to overlook. Mounts have to be really solid though.

    • Like 2

  22. I’ve seen some interesting use of the xx1332 coupled to security cameras. Sort of an enhanced video astronomy approach. They’ve been really useful for meteor detection. Some gen 2’s also good for viewing the more dense HII regions of the Milky Way. In addition to the filter selections PeterW gave, you might try a 642nm longpass to both cut light pollution and still let hydrogen alpha wavelength through. I’ve seen some good video of billowing gas clouds with gen 2+.

     

    I always wanted to try one of these old Mullard/Philips tubes with the big 50mm window. Very interested to see how you fare with it. 

    • Like 1

  23. 20 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

    I’m a bit lost. Maybe I have missed something but I thought this thread was about whether cameras that use 35mm roll film are now completely out of use. Perhaps I have got the wrong end of the initial question.

    From the original post:

    Even with their miserable resolution they are still the most sensitive and offer near live experience opposed to 5-10min stacks of 15-30sec subs. And with advantages like long cable transmission and simplicity of setting up, I still enjoy using mine, even though I got myself a digital one.”

     

    I think this describes video astronomy cameras since 35mm film would be nowhere near live viewing.

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