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About parallaxerr

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    Proto Star

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    Caerleon, UK
  1. Looks great, I'll be interested to hear how the AZ5 works out, have been considering one myself.
  2. First proper look at Venus this morning through the new Opticstar 80/600 achro. How lovely to see the crescent shape presented so sharply!

  3. Out of interest Rob, was finding a replacement focuser easy enough? I've only ever replaced a 3 screw SW with a Moonlite but don't know what the attachment method is on these. I wondered if it may be compatible with one of the Baader Steeltrack adapters, M90x1 for example?
  4. So I managed to get first night first light! I set the scope up outdoors around 7pm but there was scattered low cloud, however, I managed to look at the moon in order to quantify the CA. I have to say I'm very pleased with the low level of CA, none on the terminator and only fleeting glances on the limb, which were either yellow or blue depending on focus, very much on par with my old 90mm F11, so very good for an F7.5 achro. Testing at higher mag with the Baader zoom set to 8mm providing x75 mag, focus snap was crisp and I briefly studied craters along terminator. I was impressed by the detail visible in what I think was Tycho, with the central peak very well defined. Cloud rolled in at this point so I retired indoors for a while. Around 10pm I looked out to clear skies so I wrapped up warm and went back out. First up was a star test. With the scope having been outside for 3hrs, I was satisfied it was cooled sufficiently! The OTA was dewy, but dew straps were on and had been running on low with caps fitted, so no dramas there. I'm pleased to say that the scope appears to be in good collimation, with perfectly concentric diffraction rings. Inside of focus the rings were very defined and remained colour free, outside of focus the rings were softer and more colourful, but still defined and concentric. One thing I did note was that the pattern inside of focus was not 100% circular, rather slightly oval in the vertical plane and the opposite outside of focus, slightly oval in the horizontal plane. This effect was VERY minor, like single figure percentage points and I thought I saw it come and go, so it may have been atmospheric. The only thing I can relate it to is astigmatism but this was on-axis. In focus, the airy disc was resolved nice and round as far as I could tell. I then went on to observe some old favourites. Pleiades, Orion, double cluster, Bodes Nebula and Andromeda. I obviously noticed the lack of aperture compared to my previous 120mm frac, however this little 80mm still threw up some good views reminding me very much of the ED80 I once owned. In Orion, I could distinguish quite extended nebulosity and Trapezium A, B, C & D resolved well with fleeting glimpses of E, which is as good as I've ever seen. I suspect there's more to be had under better skies too as I was suffering from lots of sky glow last night, with LP being drawn up from the city in the moist air. Mechanically the scope is good. I had no issues with the dew shield drooping and with the focuser tension screw set, the focuser lifted and held the 1.25" diagonal and Mk4 Baader Zoom near Zenith with ease. Coarse focussing is not as smooth as my previous scopes but the fine focus was rather impressive, smooth and very light to the touch. The scope is quite weighty and is pushing the limits of this little mount, however, with the central column retracted and only the centre leg sections extended vibrations during focus were not too bad, especially when fine focussing. I'm reluctant to upsize to an AZ4/5 because that would negate the beauty of this setup, that being that when I was finished observing, I simply picked the whole lot up in one hand and went indoors! First impressions then certainly satisfy and justify the very modest outlay of £149. This scope has achieved exactly what I wanted, which was to improve over the ST80 with respect to control of CA and provide sharper, higher mag images. Overall I am very pleased with this purchase so far and on the occasion that something did not feel quite as premium as I have been used to, I simply reminded myself of the cost and suddenly, I was laughing out loud
  5. Got the scope mounted on the Tritech II tripod now. Safe to say I would not dare load this mount up to it's rated 6kg, this scope is more than enough for it! I've had to drop the centre column to reduce vibration and it's not too bad with only the centre leg sections extended. Will definitely need to observe sitting down, which is no bad thing. I have to move the scope fully forward in its ring in order to reach balance when pointing at a middling altitude, as per the pics. Any lower or higher needs a nip of clutch to prevent over shooting but it still runs smoothly with clutch engaged. I took a better look at the coatings and they look really good, very even in colour with no obvious under or over coated spots. I had to use flash photography to get a good view down the tube, which shows a REALLY evenly applied flat black paint, with no scratch marks in it like I've seen so often in SW scopes, and two knife edge baffles. A quick look out the window at the dusk moon showed some nice sharp results and high mag on a TV aerial across the street displayed very little CA, I will somehow attempt to quantify this later on. Skies are clear now and forecast to stay that way, we could see first night first light here! Hope to star test and test CA and ability to take mag tonight. Watch this space.
  6. Well, it's here. Due to the lack of info on this specific scope, I started a review thread here...
  7. I recently asked about this scope in another thread and whilst there was plenty of feedback about the other focal lengths and objective diameters avaialble in this range, there doesn't seem to be much information regarding this particular scope. So, I thought I'd record my observfindings for anyone considering purchasing the same scope and will update with first light report and further observations etc. Firstly, the whole lot was reasonably well packaged. Whilst I think the boxes are a little thin, there's plenty of padding - outer box - inner box - bubblewrap - carry case - more bubble wrap - scope! Pulling the scope from the bag, I first noticed the weight being considerably more than the ST80, which this is replacing. However, the presence of an adjustable tube ring should better allow me to balance the scope on my Orion Tritech II fluid head. The ST80 always wanted to tip back due to the lightweight tube and objective cell not countering the weight of the cast focuser, diagonal & EP. The tube appears to be machined as opposed to rolled steel and has a mottled off-white finish. I'd read comments about this finish previously and wasn't sure whether I'd like it. Saying that, whilst it is not the prettiest, compared to a gloss black or white tube for example, it appears durable and the raised bumps offer some additional grip. It all feels quite substantial in hand. The focuser is a crayford, but does not conform to the norm I have experienced in as much as with the locking screw set loose, the drawtube slides in and out freely (loose). I would have thought some pressure should be maintined on the focus tube, even with this screw loose. I will investigate adjustment, but it does not seem to have the usual adjusment screws of a typical crayford. With the screw tensioned some, focus movement feels as smooth as a standard SW crayford to me, which is more than satisfactory provided it does not require overtightening of the lock screw to prevent slip with diagonal & EP fitted. The draw tube is retractable and slides very smoothly with a satisfactory amount of resistance, it did not slip when pointed at Zenith. The Opticstar logo is printed on one side of the dew shield only. The dew cap is a metal screw on item and the threads seem well machined and of a decent pitch as to prevent cross-threading. The objective lens looks rather attractive with an apparently evenly applied deep green coating, though it looks bluer on camera. I struggled to see much detail inside the tube such as baffles due to it being very dark in there, suggesting it has effective anti-reflection paint. It will require a brighter light source to inspect. That's about all I've had time to look at so far, tonight I will get it balanced on the mount and test the focuser with accessories attached. Suffice to say that for the modest price of £149, I am so far impressed. I also considered the 365 Astronomy version of this which is £50 more expensive, but appears to have a superioir focuser, however I discounted it due to having large machined rings (extra weight) and no finder shoe. Here's some initial pics...
  8. It's due for delivery today, so I'll be sure to post first impressions later on. Hopefully get first light soon, however, the forecast is pretty cloudy.....obviously!
  9. parallaxerr

    COMPLETED - *SOLD* OMEGON ST80 Refractor

    SOLD, mods pls archive
  10. parallaxerr

    COMPLETED - *SOLD* OMEGON ST80 Refractor

    Replied to your pm
  11. For sale I have my OMEGON 80mm F5 refractor, same as a SW ST80 but in a nice gloss black livery. Doesn't really need much of an introduction, but this one has a dovetail fitted directly to the OTA and the dew shield, front half of OTA and first baffle are flocked, which vastly improved contrast. Good focuser on this one too, no play and a nice level of focus knob resistance. Only 4 months old and in excellent condition, asking price £65 including UK postage.
  12. I started considering the 90mm F8.8, then thought a larger video tripod would be required, then this, then that......Oh look, I'm on that slippery slope again! Ordered the Opticstar 80/600, all things considered I think it will offer what I want without breaking the bank and being nice and shiney new (as I prefer my gear). So if anyone wants/needs a pristine ST80, there's one going up in the ads!
  13. The one I pondered over too long, before you snatched it away It's very pretty!
  14. OH stop it John! How did you find it re: vibration etc? That tripod looks a fir bit sturdier than the Tritech II I have.

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