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About grjsk

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    Oslo, Norway
  1. My wife and I have always been intrigued by the universe, devouring all kinds of documentaries for many years. Despite that, I have never owned a telescope. I have been looking up with my handy 8x32 bino, but it is really too small for such a purpose. After watching “The Planets” on BBC I thought it was time to finally buy something bigger. I quickly found this forum, and startet to ask around HERE. I ended up purchasing a used SW Mercury 705 set on an az-3 mount for a mere £35. On Friday the 13th it finally arrived, and here is my first evening with it: My first thought was how incredibly lightweight it all was! I could easily pick it all up with one arm and carry it around. The whole setup is quite small, so I think I might even be able to fit it in my closet, and it turned out it was a breeze to operate it out on my tiny balcony. The manual was missing, but putting everything together was fairly straight forward, so I was ready to go in a couple of minutes. The whole day it had been a clear blue sky, but of course the clouds came creeping after dark. I quickly set up, and went straight for Jupiter. The red dot worked well, and I viewed Jupiter for 0,5 seconds before a cloud came. It never left. Darn! Oh well, next target was Saturn. I had the stock 25 mm eye piece, and it worked well, but at magnification 20x Saturn was just a tiny dot. I switched to the 10 mm, and realized it was terribly dirty. Fingerprints, dirt and dust. I didn’t have proper cleaning equipment, so I didn’t dare to do anything about it, but tried it anyways. I saw rings! What a moment! Still only 50x through a dirty eye piece with quite a bit of light pollution and a somewhat cloudy night, but I saw rings! Couldn’t be happier. I spent some time there, getting to know the scope. I realized that the eye piece moved a bit when I focused (is that what is called backlash?). I tried adjusting the screws on the focuser, seemed like it became a little better. Before I realized it, a full hour had passed. It got even more cloudy, so called it a day. All in all, a great first light! Now I just have to clean that eye piece..
  2. Thanks for all your help. I ended up with a BST 2x Barlow and the SW dielectric 90 star diagonal. Scope arrives in a week, can’t wait!
  3. Follow-up question: I certainly will try out the equipment that comes with the scope (even though I understand that the 10mm has a bit of a bad reputation around here), and I see no reason to upgrade anything just yet. However, I do lack a barlow and a 90 diagonal (the scope comes with a erect 45). Since the 10mm eyepiece "only" gives me 50x, I feel like buying a barlow right away, and I think my back will thank me for buying a 90 diagonal. Planning a bit ahead, I would like to buy something that wouldn't need to be upgraded even If I end up buying a better scope down the line. have any of you have any experince with: Celestron X-Cel Barlow (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlows/celestron-x-cel-barlow.html) versus the much cheaper: Astro Essentials (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlows/astro-essentials-125-2x-barlow-with-t-thread.html) and the: Sky-Watcher Di-Electric Star Diagonal (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/SWdiagonal-20967.html) versus the much cheaper: Astro Essentials 90 (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/astro-essentials-90-erecting-prism-diagonal.html)
  4. In the end the decision was made for me: I stumbled across a (slightly) used Mercury 705. Got the mount/tripod, eye pieces, finder and diagonal as well. I got it for £35. Couldn’t say no to that. Thank you for all your help!
  5. The 707 package look really interesting. Too bad it’s the Gte, not the Gti. The Gti could be a keeper for many years to come. I assume the capabilites of Freedom Find is really neat to have?
  6. Hmm, I havent realized you could get a EQ-AZ hybrid. Are they any good? Could something like this be an option: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-eq-avant/sky-watcher-skymax-102-az-eq-avant.html
  7. I am fairly set on starting with a refractor with a AZ mount. The mount is more flexible in regards to location, I can use it for terrestrial viewing as well, and no collamination.
  8. I don't really have a precise budget; I am quite flexible. What I want to avoid is buying something fairly expensive that just are going to collect dust in the basement. I think I prefer the 705 over the 707. The mount is better, so I may actually use it even if I upgrade the scope. f7 seems like a nice compromise between a fast and a slow scope. Even though I assume I will be spending the most time on planets and double stars, I would at least attempt a few nebulas and galaxies. I am assuming that will be easier with the 705 than the 707? (but I am fully aware it probably will be hard with either one of them!). I fear the 707 is more of a one-trick-pony? Please feel free to correct me if you disagree with my logic. I simply want to buy something "balanced" that may give me a good idea about what this hobby is about. The 705 seems like nice fit.
  9. It would be problematic indeed. I'm quite sure I'll go for the budget option Mercury-705. I'm able to get it for 30 % less than the ST80, and I am guessing I'll be consentrating on planets, the moon and double stars in the beginning, so the 70mm f7,1 seems a decent fit. An 80ED seems like a really good allrounder, and it certainly seems like a good upgrade if I decide to stick with this hobby. Thanks alot for all your help.
  10. That is indeed very interesting. I am clearly out of my depth here, but the prize seems good. Does it come any any diagonals, finders, okulars, case, etc? Without a mount I assume.
  11. Thank you for all your replies, really helpful. vlaiv: excellent explanation, and a very handy table. I'll keep that for later. What kind of filter would you recommend to deal with the CA if I go for the 80mm? domstar: thanks for the Messier info, really nice to know. In the beginning I'm guessing the moon, planets and the Messier objects is what Im going to focus on. Carbon Brush: Retailer (not supplier) is the correct word indeed. They are a dedicated bino/scope shop yes. I've looked at both the ST102 and the ST120, but I think: 1) it is a bit too much to spend before I really know if this is something I would like to spend time on, and: 2) since I have very little experience I don't really know what I prefer to look at. If I really enjoy this I don't mind spending quite a bit more than what a Mercury 705 will cost me, but atleast then I know what kind of scope I really need/want. That is the logic I'm trying to follow anyway.
  12. Hi there, I am in the process of buying my first scope. I'm quite certain I'll end up buying a used (but from a supplier) Sky-Watcher Mercury-705 AZ3 (70 mm f7,1) just to find out if this hobby is something I enjoy. It comes with a 45 deg. erect diagonal, so I can always use it for terrestrial viewing. I have a few technical questions though; 1) It is my understanding that a high f-ratio will give me a low FOV, while a low f-ratio gives a high FOV. But since I will be using a fairly cheap scope, I wont be using magnification above say x100 or x140. Would it be correct to say that a having a high f-ratio wont restrict my FOV as much on low magnification? Would most Messier objects fit nicely in my FOV with the scope I am going for? (disregard problems with low aperture etc for the moment). 2) Chromatic aberration increases with a low f-ratio AND with a larger aperture. So f7 might not be too bad in regards to CA on a 70 mm scope, but it will be worse on a 100mm? I can get my hands on a Sky-Watcher Startravel-80 AZ3 (80 mm f5) instead, for a bit more money. I am trying to wrap my head around how the increase in aperture and decrease in f-ratio will affect my experience. Thanks!
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