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Everything posted by DeejayP999

  1. I've had a few of these scopes and I still rate them for grab and go. I'm no fan of the EQ2 mount, these work better on the AZ3 in my opinion, but I've seen some of my best views of the planets with these scopes. Mine works well with a Baader Fringe Killer and an old style Celestron Ultima 7.5mm. I've seen the Cassini division, shadow transits of Jupiter etc with this set up.
  2. Ordered from Telescope House on Thursday night (so really Friday morning) and delivered on Monday. I really can't fault that service.
  3. Well, my Revelation 8” f/6 “Premium Dobsonian” arrived today and I thought I jot down a few thoughts from the unboxing. First that struck me was the size of the thing – OK no great shakes to all you 12”+ Dob owners, but to me it appears massive. The second thing is the quality of the construction: It's good, very good. The base is the usual particle board, and none the worse for that, but has a large diameter roller bearing for the azimuth movement, in place of the usual teflon pads, resulting in a very smooth action. Likewise, the altitude bearings/tension adjusters are CNC machined from solid aluminium. Very impressive and they appear to be of superb quality. Likewise the dual speed Crayford focuser. The bundled accessories aren't to be sniffed at either: A 2” 30mm GSO “Superview” eyepiece and a 9mm GSO Plossl. They even include a 35mm focuser extender. Overall, the build quality appears to be several notches above the usual for a scope in this price range. Following assembly, a quick play with the Cheshire Eyepiece showed that the scope was pretty much collimated out of the box – a quick tweak of the primary and it was spot on. I even dragged it outside for a quick look at some nearby trees. A very nice, bright image even at 120x – but I guess that's the benefit of aperture. Doing this, I was quite impressed with the bundled 2” eyepiece: A nice, wide field that was sharp across most of the field, only going soft at the very edge. Using it, I could individual veins in the leaves of a tree about 200 yards away. I'm very satisfied so far, let's hope it's as good under the night sky!
  4. THanks for the advice everyone. Revelation 8" f/6 Dob ordered. Apologies for the clouds!
  5. Many thanks for the input - looks like the 8" is the favourite. I've also just noticed that the 8" comes with a Crayford focuser instead of the standard R&P on the 6". That swings it even more in favour of the 8" for me. However the Revelation (GSO) 8" f6 comes with a dual speed Crayford and a roller bearing mount for similar money. But how good are the GSO mirrors vs Skywatcher? I've read mixed reviews about the GSO - but I've never seen anything negative written about the Skywatcher's optics. Hmmm...
  6. Hello everyone. I recently sold my SkyWatcher 150PL (on the EQ 3-2 mount) and am looking to replace it with a Dob. My use is purely visual, Lunar & Planetary and I was very satisfied with the planetary views put up by the 150PL (but not so keen on the mount). I'm now considering the 150PL on a Dob mount or, possibly, the 200p. I like the 200p because it's, well... Bigger! However, I do wonder if the longer focal length and relatively smaller central obstruction of the 6" makes it more suitable for my use (especially with more basic eyepieces). Decisions, decisions...
  7. This^^. I've owned quite a few TV eyepieces and, while they're undoubtedly high quality, I've never seen a huge difference probably because I've always owned slow(ish) scopes.
  8. Sorry, but as a purely visual observer, can someone explain why is a fast scope better for imaging? Many thanks.
  9. I conclude that I find CA less bothersome than Diffraction Spikes and Coma. Maybe I just prefer 'fracs, CA and all. That said, apart from Apos, I've always gone for long focal length scopes.
  10. Agreed. Some of my best views of the planets were had with an old style Celestron Ultima 7.5mm (also sold as the Orion Ultrascopic and Anteres Elite “Super Plossls”). In fact, I liked it so much that I've just bought another.
  11. I'm glad to see that there are so many TAL fans. Personally, I think that a 4" (ish) refractor hits a Lunar & Planetary sweet spot. In a similar vein, I've just bought another Evostar 90 as a grab 'n go. Unbeatable at the price point. So I guess you could put that down as my favourite!
  12. I'd say not. In the UK, I find that 150x is about the max I can use with any scope due to the seeing - and it's more like 125x most of the time. Unless you observe from a very good, dark sky site the higher mags will only be useful on nights of exceptional seeing. So if you want a minimalist eyepiece collection for cost, or other, reasons then I wouldn't bother with high mag eyepieces that will only be usable on a handful of nights in the year.
  13. A dilemma Please help me to decide! Currently I use a Skywatcher 150PL on an EQ3-2 mount and I like this scope. OK, I’m not wild on diffraction spikes, but this scope has shown me my best views ever of Jupiter and the Moon. The real downside is portability – or lack thereof. Even at home, I have to manhandle the scope down two passageways and through several doorways to get outside. It’s not the weight so much as the awkwardness – it’s a bulky set-up which is almost impossible to shift without knocking some part of it on something. Of course, I can take the OTA off of the mount but then I have the issue of remounting it, outside, with cold hands, in the dark. Any which way, it’s a pain in the proverbial. So I’m thinking of more “Grab ‘n Go” alternatives. In short, I want a set-up that I can pick up in one lump and carry outside. I don’t want an EQ mount and so current contenders are the TAL 100 mounted on something like an AZ4 or a Mak 127 on the Syn Scan mount (go-to is not essential for me but I am prepared to consider it). Either of the above would work well with my existing eyepiece collection (thereby keeping costs down). So the question is: Stick with the 150PL or go for one of the others (or even something completely different)? Pros and Cons please!
  14. Yep - it appears to be identical to a number of scopes sold under different names. Anyone getting the Ian King one for £150 will have had an absolute bargain!
  15. I’ve always wanted a decent travel scope. I try go away at least once a year, often ending up in dark sky areas of rural Spain or France. On such occasions, I always end up wishing that I’d brought a telescope with me and this year I finally resolved to buy an appropriate instrument. Obviously, the first requirement for a travel scope are compact dimensions and the ability to fit onto a lightweight photo tripod. I initially considered a 90mm Mak but crossed that off the list due to the relatively narrow FOV. I also considered the ubiquitous ST80 refractor but a quick look through one revealed an unacceptable level of CA for my taste. I quickly concluded that only a fast APO was likely to provide the required colour correction together with a wide (ish) FOV and the necessary small size. A quick search of the usual providers turned up this scope on the Teleskop Service site. I was particularly drawn to this one due to it’s claimed length of just over 30cm, with the dew shield retracted - ideal for a travel scope. I’ve bought a few things from TS over the years, so I had no hesitation in ordering from them. There was also the unexpected bonus that due to the current exchange rate the scope turned out to be usefully cheaper than I’d anticipated. The scope arrived via UPS within 3 days and first impressions were favourable: This is a very compact scope and with it’s carbon fibre tube looks extremely classy. The overall fit and finish are excellent and the scope has a surprising heft for it’s size, feeling very solidly built. Everything about it suggests quality: The two speed Crayford focuser is super smooth and even the lens cap is a screw-on metal item. The objective itself has a deep magenta coating and bears the legend: “ED Doublet” on the outer ring. The glass is apparently “FK61” which I’ve never heard of but which I’d imagine is some kind of FPL51 equivalent. The scope also comes in a reasonable travel case with cut outs in the foam for the OTA and a few accessories (not included). The only downside of the case is that the diagonal needs to come off to put the OTA into it, although this is a minor gripe. The small size of the INED 70mm makes it an ideal spotting scope and my first target was the usual “TV aerial check” The first thing that struck me about the optics is that it has that trademark “Snap” focus that seems to be the hallmark of decent APOs. There’s absolutely no ambiguity around the focus point: You turn the focuser and “Bam” there it is – you know exactly when it’s in focus. To an extent, this makes the fine focus wheel almost redundant. In focus, there’s also zero Chromatic Aberration that I could see. Inside and outside of focus, a small amount of CA becomes evident. There’s a similar lack of CA on astronomical objects. The Moon looks stunning in this scope and if you throw the focus very slightly a thin yellow line of CA appears on the lunar limb. In focus, this is again totally absent. With it’s wide FOV, the Pleiades are probably the best advert for this type of instrument and were brilliantly framed in a 17mm Plossl. It’s a view that I could (and did!) spend a long time looking at. Faint fuzzies are obviously not going to be the forte of a 70mm objective, although the Orion Nebula shows up surprisingly well with the nebulosity readily apparent and with the trapezium stars shown up as tiny pin points. Indeed, on objects like this the scope seems to punch somewhat above it’s aperture. The biggest surprise, however, was Jupiter. My shortest fl eyepiece is a 5mm BST Explorer giving 84x mag which is rather on the small side for planetary viewing. However, even at this relative modest power, several bands were clearly visible with the moons rendered as tiny globes. Overall, I’m very happy with this scope. It’s the epitome of "grab and go", sits happily on a photo tripod and the fit and finish are impeccable. It is also very versatile providing wide field views as well as a CA free high power views. It is exactly what I wanted – and you can’t really ask for more than that!
  16. For my money, the real benefits of an APO come if you're looking for a short focal length refractor for travelling, astrophotography or wide field views. At f6 it's a no brainer: Apo wins everytime. However, if you can get away with a longer focal length (say f10 or above) then the situation becomes more complex. Because although the views through an APO will be superior whether, for purely visual use, they're that much better than a decent long fl achro is moot.
  17. I've always been a frac guy, but my 150PL has shown me the best planetary views I've ever seen through any scope. So now I'm undecided. I've also just bought a small ED scope for travelling a wide field views so now I consider that I've got the best of both worlds. For an only scope, I suppose a 5" APO might do the trick - but by the time a frac gets that big it has pretty much all the same disadvantages as a big reflector. I voted anything!
  18. OK, well I just received a BST Explorer 5mm from STL - one of the new ones with the “Star Guider” branding on it. Now, I actually ordered this to go with a different scope but just for the hell of it, last night I decided to give it a go in my Skywatcher 150PL. Now it shouldn’t really work in this scope – with my suburban skies 240x is pushing things more than a bit (which is why I usually only go to 150x with an 8mm Radian). But, theory is one thing and practice is another. Anyhoo, I was looking at Jupiter and the view just blew me away. Seriously, it was as good as (and hardly any less bright) than the view through my 6mm Radian – and with 40x more mag! Now either this was down to some kind of freak seeing conditions favouring higher mags (can this actually happen?) or this is one seriously impressive eyepiece. I even let Jupiter cross the whole FOV and disappear off the edge – and the view remained sharp to the very edge. Take a look at the attached pic showing the lens coatings on the two Eps. See the difference? No, me neither. Out of interest, I’ve just ordered the 8mm BST. If this stacks up as favourably vs the 8mm Radian, then my Radians won’t be staying with me much longer. One caveat, however: None of my current scopes are less than f8. In a fast scope, I have no doubt that the Televues would be far better corrected.
  19. I’m considering buying a Skymax 90 as a travel scope and putting it on some kind of photo tripod. Obviously, the Skymax 90 is available on an EQ1 mount for a relatively modest cost above the OTA alone, but what I’m hoping for is a photo tripod that’s a bit more compact and travel friendly than the EQ1 is likely to be. Is this going to be achievable without breaking the bank? Any recommendations, or indeed any thoughts at all (for or against) would be most welcome! PS I’m not really interested in “Table top” mounts as they obviously pre-suppose that a suitable table top is going to be available!
  20. I once owned pretty much all of the TV Plossls. Then I obtained some GSO Plossls with a scope that I bought second hand. Side by side comparisons on the same nights/same objects/same scopes showed no discernable difference to my eyes. The Televues didn’t stay long after that. Caveat: My scopes are all f7 and slower. I’m told that the TV Plossls are better corrected for fast scopes.
  21. To be honest, 240x with the 5mm will be pushing things a bit. Not so much for the scope (which will handle the mag) but because of the seeing in most parts of the UK. For me, that’s the limiting factor. I currently have a 6mm Radian (200x) but on most nights I get a better view from my 8mm Radian (150x) on planets. Indeed, if I were buying again I probably wouldn’t bother with anything less than 8mm (or, for the odd night of really good seeing, I’d just barlow a higher FL eyepiece). So I’d suggest the 15mm plus barlow would be a good starting point. And, if you find yourself using that kind of mag regularly, you can always buy a dedicated high mag EP later on. At the other end of the scale, I’ve never looked through a Vixen NPL (although I hear good things about them) but my 32mm Plossl is a GSO and I can heartily recommend them.
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