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Posts posted by Virtus

  1. The 17.5 Morpheus is a great choice! Word of warning though - you will quickly want more Morphei ha!

    They also Barlow really well so if you picked up the 12.5 and a 2x Barlow down the road it would essentially give you the 9 and 6.5. That is what I did until I found a really good deal on the 9 and 6.5 used.

    Definitely don't be afraid of buying used; I've found it a great way to test equipment out and most stuff is easy to move again if you don't like it or just want to try something different.

    In regards to zooms - my first EP purchase was a Baader Mk IV 8-24. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to fuss with fixed focal lengths when "good" zooms were available; I quickly learned that I much prefer the wider FOVs of the Morpheus and APM UFF. The Baader zoom isn't a bad EP, and it was a huge step up over the MA EPs that came with my first scope, but I find I hardly use it now. It's great for a quick grab and go session or showing stuff to friends and family though so I will be keeping it. I find that the range from 20-24 is useless, it provides almost the same TFOV just at lower magnifications. The range from ~13-20 is better but still not great and then from 8-12 it finally starts to open up and becomes really enjoyable. With all that being said I'm a bit torn - I was going to recommend getting a budget zoom like the Celestron or Svbony just to try it out as some people absolutely love the zooms but with those the FOV is even narrower across the range... 

    Switching out fixed focal length EPs as you observe isn't the burden I thought it was going to be.

    • Like 2
  2. 15 hours ago, badhex said:

    Oh, one other point - I hadn't intended to use 2" accessories, just in case that wasn't clear - I can't see how that would be possible with this reducer anyway, unless I'm missing something. 

    It's physically possible but reducer + 2" accessories equals significant vignetting.

  3. 12 minutes ago, johninderby said:

    A 9x50 is the most popular type so a 10x50 will be fine. The Orion 9x50 or Skywatcher 9x50 are the most popular but don’t have an illuminated reticle eyepiece. Antares do an 7x50 illuminted one and Explore Sciemtific also do one but seems very expensive

    Check out Agena Astro as they have some at good prices.


    Thanks. Agena is always one of my go tos but they don't have any in stock except for the ES model you mentioned which is insane at almost $300. 

    I'm a bit confused by the Apertura being labeled as 10x50. It looks identical to the Stellarvue 9x50. 

  4. 3 hours ago, mikemarotta said:

    Bresser owns Explore Scientific. I do not know all of their ins and outs on finance and management, but the two are linked, and I believe that Bresser is the senior partner. I do a lot of shopping with Explore Scientific, though I do patronize others, of course. Their owner Scott Roberts spoke (via Zoom) to a meeting of our local club. And on that score: 

    One of very many reasons to be in a club. You did the right thing by joining. Our local club lends instruments to members and I have used both an 8-inch and a 10-inch SCT. They were nice for viewing, but a bear to lug around. That's why I bought the ES-102 for myself, because I can lift it and carry it easily. That was also a factor in my choice of the APO (apochromatic) from Astro-Tech (Astronomics): portable enough for me to get out of my home office, down the hall, through the dining room, through the kitchen and out the back door and then down the porch, all without knocking into anything. 

    My first telescope (recently, not childhood) was a Celestron 130-EQ and I did not get much use from it and was not happy using it. For one thing, again, outdoors and back in was three trips. 

    What were your choices for oculars ("eyepieces"). One purchase that I have been happy with these past six years was the Celestron lens-and-filter kit. (The same is boxed under different brands. They're all the same.) It worked well with all of my telescopes and the deciding factor for me was at club star parties people with bigger and better instruments had the same kit. 

    That being as it may, I just spent twice what the kit cost on two oculars, one of them a Nagler. We can argue all day and night, but if you read about Al Nagler, you may come to the same opinion about his quest for quality. I found out about him and Tele Vue Optics only because I researched Simon Georg Ploessl for an article I wrote. 

    I’ll be using Morphei 6.5, 9, 12.5, 17.5, and an APM 24 UFF. 

  5. 3 hours ago, mikemarotta said:

    Well, that's the way it's done. We look forward to your reports. In addition to this board, what kind of reading do you do? In your gear acquisition phase, did you buy any books?

    I did, I picked up Turn Left at Orion and NightWatch. 


    • Like 1
  6. You could move somewhere with worse seeing that would limit your magnification! 

    I say that in jealousy as I consider myself lucky if I can go higher than ~150x most nights.

    Your Barlow plan seems reasonable. Did you get rid of the C9.25?

    I'm in the process of buying a 10" dob myself; I plan to use an APM 24 UFF and Morphei 17.5, 12.5, 9, and 6.5. I've got a 2x Barlow if the jet stream decides to take the night off.

  7. On 18/05/2021 at 18:13, Second Time Around said:

    It looks as though you've fallen on your feet!  I agree with John Inderby.

    IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope.  You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own.

    The Explore Scientific/Bresser Dobs has got the best such mount of all the mass market scopes due to the very big altitude rings.  These enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance as well.  You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand and the mount in the other.  

    They've got an excellent (and much higher-priced) 2 1/2 inch rack and pinion focusser. It's single speed, but there's an optional extra to convert it into dual speed. 

    Plus the mirror is made from low expansion glass so will need less time to cool down/warm up before it's ready to use.

    Looking forward to hearing your first light report.

    Thanks for the additional information Steve!

    The dual speed focuser upgrade will probably be the first thing I do. I'm meeting up with him on Saturday morning to get the scope; I'm going to test it first but at this point I'm committed to buying it unless there are any major issues. I've already ordered some collimation tools and I'm also picking up my new Morphei EPs (6.5 and 9) on Saturday so should be good to go for testing. Well, other than the approaching full moon....

    • Like 1
  8. 1 hour ago, johninderby said:

    The scope is a step up in build quality over the Skywatcher and GSO dobs and those proper bearings really do help. Nice rubberised black anti reflection coating inside so no flocking needed. Focuser is a very nice CNC high quality one but would recommend fitting the optional dual speed knob, really should come as standard. To fit a standard Synta type finder just replace the stock finder shoe with a Baader universal shoe which has the wide hole spacing needed so it’s a straight forward bolt on replacement. 

    And don’t forget to fit the extension piece to the focuser when using for visual. The extension is hidden in the styrafoam packing in the box with the base so often gets overlooked and then people complain that it won’t focus.

    Replacing the base with a custom one is a nice upgrade but not essential.



    Great info, thank you!

    A couple questions for you:

    Is the knob on the middle of the altitude bearing in the center of rotation? I’m curious if encoders could be installed to run a Nexus DSC. 

    Without the extension could binoviewers be brought to focus?

    Did you make your base or buy it? I’ve looked at offerings from Astrogoods and DobStuff. Would probably go that route eventually. 

    Thanks again!

  9. Thanks both! It’s actually a fellow club member. He says he bought it a few years ago and has literally never used it as he’s in his 70s and it’s just too heavy for him. He’s offered to let me try it out a couple nights to see if I like it before I commit. Going to go pick it up this weekend. Almost too good to be true in this market. 

    I would love any additional information or thoughts on the scope though; and what to look for when testing it although doesn’t sound like I have anything to worry about on that front. 


    • Like 2
  10. I’m looking to get a dob to complement my C6 for DSOs. I’ve got an opportunity to buy an ES Firstlight 10” for $400 and curious if that’s a good deal? 

    They seem to get good reviews and looks the same scope is offered under the Bresser brand as well. Wondering if anyone has hands on experience. I will have the ability to test the scope for a couple of nights before I decide. 

    • Like 1
  11. I was initially very excited about this zoom. If the 75 degree constant AFOV is true it will have a wider TFOV at 15.4mm than the Baader Mk IV at 24mm. 

    I was going to get on the pre-order list but read a little more about it and it appears to be designed for daytime use with a lot of angular magnification distortion (AMD) present in the early prototypes. 

    Not going to totally write it off but will definitely be waiting to read reviews once they're out before I will consider it. 

  12. I'm searching for a good all-round pair of binos for bird and small wildlife watching in my backyard and quick astro sessions if conditions don't warrant pulling out my G&G setup or to supplement my SCT for wide-field views.

    Most important features:

    - lightweight and easy to use (my wife, and eventually kids, will use these often in the backyard)

    - close focus ability

    - durable (waterproof would be ideal)


    Initially was looking for 10x42s but after further thinking 8x42s would probably be a better idea as these will be hand held most of the time. Open to opinions here.

    Main two I'm currently considering based off of reviews and other discussions here:

    1. Oberwerk Sport ED

    2. Vortex Diamondback HD


    I'll consider the $320 price for the Oberwerk's to be the max I want to spend right now but less is always good ; anyone feel strongly that they're worth the $100 difference over the Vortexes?

    Any other thoughts/opinions/recommendations? Thanks!

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