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Everything posted by philsail1

  1. I know I'm not a regular attender any more, but I've signed the petition! Kind regards to all. philsail1
  2. Sounds like yo had a very satisfying evening's observing there "wilshiresaint!" It is surprising just how much you can see with a decent pair of binoculars - what size binos were you using? Let's hope we have some more clear nights! best wishes, philsail1
  3. Hello "John B" I would recommend either any decent "Orthoscopic" eyepieces - in the range 10 to 18mm, coupled with a Celestron 2x Barlow, or a couple of Meade 4000 plossls (in range 10 to 25mm. You could also look for a decent 38mm wide field eyepiece (again a Meade). You can pick all the above eyepieces up second hand to save yourself money. regards, philsail1
  4. Hello NigelM, I've only ever owned an ex military brass telescope - on a simple alt-azimuth rifle sighting tripod. This was a good scope, and the tripod was steady, but the whole set up was only good for mainly terrestrial use. Could look at the moon and planets but no chance of "tracking" them across the sky. I would say that unless you are going to use one of OVL brass scopes mainly for terrestrial use, then I would go for a "proper" astro scope with a motor driven Equatorial mount. Best wishes, philsail1
  5. Alan, There are so many "good" pairs of 8x40's that it's difficult to actually recommend any one pair - as you might know, it's best if you can personally try a pair out before buying - mainly to see it they are comfortable in use. I use a pair of Opticron 8x40 Aspherics. They are light, and comfortable (for me anyway) and give a nice bright image, and wide field of view. (you can see them on the "FLO" site. I think they are in the £60 to £70 bracket. I find them good for Astro scanning and terrestrial use. Best wishes on your search, philsail1
  6. Thanks for your comments "Lawrie." I too have found the Opticron 8x40 "Aspherical's" a nice binocular for scanning around the heavens. Yes, I agree the Field of View is perhaps a little optimistic, but they do have a FOV significantly wider than the 6.3 degree FOV on my other pair of Opticron 8x42's. For the price, the 8x40 "aspherical's" are a nice instrument. Lightweight, comfortable to hold, easy to focus with superb views. Regards, philsail1
  7. Hello and welcome to Stargazers Lounge Astronomy Forum "Coffee_prince." You have the right idea in going for a pair of binoculars before buying a telescope. Binoculars will give you (if you don't already know) a good insight to finding your way around the night sky. There are two ways to look at buying binoculars. You can either buy a pair with a modest magnification (7x50, 8x40, or 10x50's) which will give a reasonably bright view of the heavens, will have a good field of view - and which can be held steady in your hands for reasonably long periods, or you can go for a binocular with a bigger magnification (12x60, 15x70 or 20x80). The larger magnifications will give you nice views of the Moon, and wll show some deep sky objects reasonably well. You will also be able to just about see Planets such as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn as tiny discs - with some of their moons as pinpricks of light. Binoculars with bigger magnifications than 10x50 are generally heavier, and more difficult to hold steady in your hands. Their fields of view will be narrower and because of the difficulties of holding them steady, the images you see will move about a bit. Bigger binoculars are best used with a tripod. My own personal view is that a good pair of 7x50 or 8x40 (or 8x42's) are great at showing the magnificence of the star fields on a clear night. You can hold them steady for perhaps up to an hour. They can be picked up and used at a moments notice to scan around the sky. They are also a great addition to a telescope when you decide to buy one. Because they generally have a wider field of view, smaller magnification binoculars will enable you find things easier - and finally, you can take a small binocular out and about for terrestrial viewing. I personally use a pair of "Opticron" 8x40's and have found them to be a really nice instrument to use. I would advise you to try and visit a shop selling binoculars and try a few pairs out to see if they "feel" comfortable in your hands, and against your eyes, and are easy to focus. You will know when you have chosen the "right" pair for you. Best wishes, philsail1.
  8. Hello Kniclander, Good choice there with the Opticron 8 x 42's. They are a lovely binocular. I have a second hand pair and they give really crisp views on the stars - almost to the edges of field of view. They are nice to hold, and easy to focus. Magnification is not great, but they are an excellent binocular for scanning starfields - and you can hand hold them all day without any strain on your arms or hands. Best wishes for clear nights. Regards, philsail1
  9. Hello "Abernus," My suggestion:- Go for a Skywatcher 200mm Explorer Newtonian Reflector on an HEQ5 (motorised) mount. Excellent quality mirror. Good size scope, and at f5 is good for both planetary and deep sky views. Best wishes, philsail1
  10. Just saw your tripod "Warthog." Very nice job indeed! Regards, philsail1
  11. Hello "Albed0.39," Both scopes split double stars with ease. The only differences I detected was that the Orion has a bit more "Coma" or distortion at the extreme edges of it's field of view, (but its wider feild of view makes it a bit easier to find things in the night sky). Also, stars in the centre of the field of view do seem to be a little bit sharper - but due to the shorter focal length the magnifications used are lower in the Orion (with any given eyepiece). Regards, philsail1
  12. Tom, I had a Polar scope in my CG5 mount. The whole assembly screws anti clockwise out of the mount. It can be a bit stiff to get it to turn at first. (I gripped mine with a cloth and give it a sharp twist anti clockwise and it freed itself to turn. Here are some photos - You can just see the three "pads" in the third photo. Regards, Philsail1
  13. Haitch, I "Flocked" a Skywatcher Explorer 8" Newtonion a couple of years ago with a roll of jet black "velour/felt" type of flocking paper with an adhesive backing. This was obtained from "Hobbycraft" (www.hobbycraft.co.uk) at Chester for £4.99p for a 150cm x 45cm roll. This is very black and has a raised "nap" surface. I wasn't happy about the prospect of trying to apply the sticky backed stuff to the inside of the scope's tube. I decided to use a thin white card, and stick the velour to the card and slide the card inside the scope's tube. I prepared everything as much as I could beforehand. Placing a large piece of hardboard on the carpet to work on was the most important part of the job. I tackled the main mirror end first - as it was the easiest, with only this item to be removed. The whole job took me about 3 hours to complete. I left re-collimating the telescope until the next day. Surprisingly, collimation was very little astray. My home made "film cannister" cap and final precise check using FLO's Cheshire Collimator set it all up nicley. I had to play about a little twisting the "vanes" of the very thin "spider" to ensure they were edge on to the main mirror. So I had no glue on the inside of the tube, and if I ever wanted to renew the flocking, all I had to do was slide the cardboard tube out of the scope's tube. Best wishes with whatever method you choose to "flock" your scope. Regards, Philsail1.
  14. "Zanes," I think the "M" stands for "manual" which means that you will move your scope by hand control knobs on the mount. "You will enjoy the bright and crystal clear views of everything you observe through your Orion Optics scope." Regards, philsail1.
  15. Hello "Nebula," Well, you could do worse than go for a Skywatcher Dobsonian Scope - such as this 8" one that FLO advertise. Although it is unguided, you will easily be able to view all the planets (when they are up in the night sky of course!) and get magnificent views of the Moon, and acceptable views of many "deep sky" objects. The scope is quick to set up and put away too. Best wishes, philsail1. http://firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=dobsky200
  16. Hello "Zanes," I did a full comparison test between the Orion 8" and Skywatcher 8" Newtonians - as I decided to sell one of the scopes some weeks ago, and I wanted to ensure that I kept the "best" scope. The comparison tests were conducted over a period of several days - as the weather this summer has not been consistant! Without going into copious detail of the various eyepieces I used, and targets I looked at, the end result was that the Orion (despite the claims that it's mirror would be far superior to the Skywatcher's) only just came out on top, having a fractionally wider field of view than the Skywatcher's mirror. Of course the wider field of view meant that the magnifacation was lower in the Orion when comparing the same eyepiece between both scopes. Both scopes showed objects equally as sharp and clear (to my eyes anyway!). The final decider was only that the Orion scope is lighter in weight and shorter in body length than the Skywatcher, making the Orion scope a little easier to carry and set up - and this scope will sit nicely on a Celestron C5 mount. (which I have mine on at present). I think that anyone starting out in astronomy would certainly obtain a better bargain (or bang for your buck!) in buying a Skywatcher 8" on a HEQ5 mount. You do get much more for your money - and the Skywatcher 8" is an excellent instrument. I only went for the Orion scope on the strength of the advertising blurb! When one considers that the Orion Scope was £500 for the tube alone, and you can obtain the Skywatcher and mount for quite a bit less, it is clear that the Skywatcher is the better buy. As you might know, during my selling of the Skywatcher, I acquired a Celestron C8 SCT. This scope was an excellent instrument, and I did fall in love with it. It was much easier to use than the Orion, and gave excellent views of every kind of astro object in the night sky. After several more weeks, I was faced with the same dilemma, of letting one of the scopes go. (as I was trying to reduce my scopes to just one!). After much testing and discussions on SGL, I eventually (and reluctantly) let the C8 go - again only because the Orion had a wider field of view and was lighter to carry. During my selling of the C8, I acquired a Skywatcher 127mm Maksutov! This seems to be an excellent little scope - which again is very good value if anyone is starting out in looking for a good SCT to start off with. I will keep this scope as I'm hoping to use it for "grab and go" astronomy. All I need now is a suitable "grab-and-go" mount for it!! It is so difficult to reduce ones "kit" to one instrument!! I think you will be pleased with your 8" Orion f4.5 Newtonian when you get it. Regards, philsail1
  17. Thanks for you kind comments fellas! Regards, philsail1
  18. Aye, Thanks "BlueAstra" I'll be getting in touch with "John Lewis" pretty soon (after checking lowest price on internet. Regards, philsail1
  19. Hello "SJGold1" I would echo what Arthur has said. I have a Canon A570is Digicamera and have used it to get good photos of the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn - at 1 sec (with exposure compensation set at 2+ for Saturn). I use a bracket (as picture) to attach camera to scope. Regards, philsail1
  20. Many thanks for the sound, knowledgeable and very reassuring advice Peter & John. The "MaxDSLR" adapter looks the business - I'll contact FLO to order one next week. "BlueAstra" Thanks for your advice re the 4/3rds adapters. I too am going to go for the Canon 1000D. I've look at several reviews, and comparisons on the Internet, and the Canon 1000D consistantly comes out in the lead - certainly as far as image quality is concerned. Hope to pick mine up from John Lewis stores (as I have a £25.00 voucher I can use!). Many thanks to all for your advice. Regards, Philsail1
  21. Hello all, I still haven't bought my Canon 1000D yet - waiting until at least mid September to see if prices do drop a little. Definately going for the Canon 1000D now. In the meantime. Just a question:- "Could I mount a DSLR on a digicam adapter (as in photo below), then rack the camera right up to the telescope focusing tube (without an eyepiece fitted), and use it that way (without a proper adapter)?" (Or would there be a danger of dust getting inside the camera and onto the sensor?). Regards, philsail1
  22. Many thanks for the information on the adapter and filter Peter, I'll definately have a word with Steve or James from First Light Optics. Thanks for the Canon price reductions link John. I'm going to try and hang on for at least a couple more weeks to see if there are ant further price reductions! Oh, I checked the downloadable camera manual (for the Panasonic G1) Peter (Psychobilly) and you are right - SLR shutter can be made to work without the lens being attached. However, I think I am going to stick with going for the Canon 1000D. The images are so good. I'll let you know how I get on! Regards, philsail1
  23. Ah! Many thanks for your advice Peter. I'll look them up tonight. Regards, philsail1
  24. Hello All. Well, after looking at many, many reviews of DSLR cameras, I managed to narrow my choice down to four possibilities. (In order of preference) 1. A Canon 1000D 2. A Panasonic Lumix G1 (4 thirds size) 3. A Pentax 2000K 4. A Sony Alpha A230. After handling the different models, and again reading the specs on them, I have finally come to choose the Canon 1000D. Currys are selling this for £399 at the moment. I've searched around on the internet and various places are selling it for just £10 or twenty pounds less. Incidently, when doing a brief test on the Panasonic Lumix G1, the Sony A230, and the Canon 1000D, (Courtesy of the sales staff in Currys) I found that both the Sony and Panasonic cameras would not allow use with the lens detached. Only the Canon 1000D would allow me press the shutter without the lens being attached. I instantly thought that as much as I liked the Panasonic and Sony, they would be no good at all for Astrophotography - unless I was missing some control option wich allowed one to set the camera to take a photo with the lens off? Looking at the images (on the reviews) I must say that everyone who recommended Canon Cameras to me, are so right in saying that Canon really do produce excellent images - especially at high "ISO's". Before I take the plunge (I know I should wait for a couple of months for prices to drop a little), I was wondering if anyone had any reservations about this particular model (1000D). I know it is advertised (and reviewed) as a basic model - a sort of trimmed down Canon 450D, but the 1000D has "live view" (which will help me compose and more importantly "focus" a shot before taking it), and an "anti shake" image (lens based) system. It also has an anti dust system built in. Does seem excellent value for £399. (Am I reight in presuming I can obtain a suitable adapter to fit the camera (minus its lens) direct to my scope? I would be most interested in your thoughts on the above. Regards, philsail1
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