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Everything posted by Concordia000

  1. The 103 and 185 are both at insane price points. £1k for a 4” triplet is insane enough on its own, but the 185 at “merely” £5k is 1/3 of the price of other (admittedly, “premium”) scopemakers’ offerings. To put that into perspective, the 185 is cheaper than the Astro-physics 110, the CFF 140, and the Takahashi TOA-130 and FSQ-106 (which admittedly have more complex optical designs). Though I can’t see the 185 being a “best seller” because the scopes of that size will require a permanent setting
  2. Speaking of SkySafari, I wonder if it is possible to DIY a Starsense by adding a board to a camera (say an ASI120mm) which plate solves the image and masquerade itself as an ASCOM-compliant push-to device. Then we can pair it up with SkySafari and use it to show the star map and catalog.
  3. With VAT included it should cost just as much as a Tak. If the optics are equal, it might need less collimation vs the Tak, but on the flip side I can absolutely see that corrector plate defiled by the UK’s dew-happy weather.
  4. When I was a teenager and just discovered the hobby, I begged my (rather supportive) parents to buy me a C5 on top of a CG-4 (EQ-3-2) mount. Now, the mount was excellent as I didn’t do any imaging back then, but it was heavy and cannot be moved without help — and we lived in a flat. Needless to say the scope lived on the balcony and didn’t see much use aside from seeing Jupiter and the moon. That particular C5 wasn’t that good either. It was soft and the mirror wobbled when I focused. I got a short tube 80 for free later and I actually preferred that scope for how sharp it was in comparison. I also bought a star tracker with the money I earned back then, but it was so heavy that I actually NEVER used it. In more recent memory, I regretted ONE purchase that had been mentioned earlier here. Yes, it’s the NP-101 — while it’s an excellent visual scope and gave me the best Pleiades view I’ve seen so far, I am primarily an imager these days and it was not a stellar performer with modern, small pixel cameras. More importantly, I had to sell my Borg 90FL for it, which is a sale I deeply regretted — even now, after owning the absolutely stellar FSQ-85, I still want to buy the 90FL back!
  5. Setups like this tempt me into sharing my own ultra-light setup… It’s not as simple as OP’s setup since it’s an imaging setup. In the picture you have: - Borg 55FL with F/3.6 reducer - 50mm guide scope - ZWO ASI120mm-mini guiding camera and Touptek IMX571 colour camera - Filter drawer and filter - Rainbow Astro RST-135 - Tripod, battery, laptop Everything above the dovetail weighs about 2.5kg and The setup (excluding the laptop) also weighs about 12kg. Thinking about simplifying this by switching to an OAG/filter drawer assembly and putting a power box above the rings.
  6. It has to be my Borg 55FL + reducer for £450 here. For context, the combo costs over £1.5k new.
  7. It’s a lot of aperture for not a lot of money, and if we assume the optics are serviceable then it’s pretty good value, considering that Askar always had good mechanics. If I didn’t have a 4” APO already I might consider getting one just for visual.
  8. It’d be a Takahashi TOA-130 or 150 for me, coupled with a FSQ-106ED, an AP Stowaway/traveller and a new Vixen VSD90.
  9. Number 10 in the system chart above. I have to unscrew the CAA to focus, as the Tak 2” visual back is quite long — longer than the Baader clicklock, I think.
  10. Finally got to use the baby Q last weekend and it worked well out of the box. It seems that I got a good unit as shown in the aberrations inspector. One thing to note is that due to the design, there is a reverse lighthouse diffraction pattern on the brightest stars, and it seems nothing can be done about it. A lot of owners don’t seem to mention this… I didn’t look through the scope, though it’s not for the lack of trying — it turns out the long takahashi 2” adapter is too long if the CAA is still attached, and I can’t get the adapter ring (which I need to connect to the 2” adapter) off the CAA. I guess I will buy a 1.25” diagonal and try again.
  11. Maybe it’s time to invest in a harmonic drive mount and just use it alt az to avoid balance issues… Jokes aside, may I ask what eyepieces you are using for the FSQ?
  12. I suppose a large and steady alt-az mount will suit you well if you are visual only. If you don’t need goto, maybe something like a Rowan AZ75/100? I was about to suggest a harmonic drive mount but if it sits in an obsy, then traditional mounts will do. Or you can get a Pegasus Nyx-101 for a far lighter mount that could be transported and used in alt-az mode if needed.
  13. I have acquired the baby Q recently myself, and I happened to own the NP-101 a while back. The NP-101 was a great scope which gave me a lot of nice wide field views — I actually preferred looking through it than using it for imaging, and I am more of an imager. The flat field is great for stuff like the Pleiades and it has enough light gathering power for most objects. However, on the moon I actually prefer my LOMO triplet’s view, which I felt was more detailed and more “correct”. As for the weight, it wasn’t particularly heavy at 5kg so it was easy enough to lug around. The issue was its length — it can’t be carried in carry on and taking it on public transport was very inconvenient. The baby Q is much smaller and easy to carry around. It’s lighter than the NP-101, but it felt denser. I have not yet tested it, but no doubt it would be excellent. I actually think it might be easier to carry around compared to the FC-76DCU, which would have to be split in two parts, though that scope is significantly lighter (but damn, I hate that focuser). If I wanted a purely visual scope and carry-on-ability isn’t a concern, I will probably get the FC-100DC/DZ. There’s something magical about fluorite scopes for visual — the view just seems clearer. Edit: I got More Blue rings because they are lighter than the cradle by like, 500g. I think Takahashi sells lots of their scopes bundled with MB rings in Japan.
  14. Just bought the same scope myself, but I think with modern small pixel cameras you are supposed to use the dedicated 1.01x flattener. I think with the flattener the stars should look excellent (haven’t tested it yet myself).
  15. Can’t really relate to your eye struggles (yet), but I’d imagine the advantage of a tablet screen is that it could either show more details or show the same things, but bigger. If you connect an iPad to SkySafari (and I imagine you will be doing that because SkySafari is the gold standard), what it would do is that it will show a cursor at where you are pointing and arrows directing you to the target. You’d still need to do the initial alignment, but you can make the text bigger in the settings. The downside is that the iPad screen is much brighter even at the lowest settings.
  16. Does it have a finder shoe? You can mount your guidescope on the finder shoe. Or you can get something like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dovetails-saddles-clamps/astro-essentials-vixen-style-dovetail-clamp-for-finder-shoes.html
  17. I have the Moonlite and it never slipped for me. Admittedly I don’t use a full frame camera nor a filter wheel or an OAG. The Moonlite is quite heavy and they only make motorised versions now. It’s a great focuser but if you want the best feel for a manual focuser, go for FTF.
  18. Potentially want to travel with it, though that is not set in stone. If I do travel with any mount, it's likely I will bring my RST-135 for AP and visual rather than a manual alt-az just for visual. The Goto on the RST is really useful for navigating unfamiliar skies. Having lived under B9 skies virtually for the entirety of my life I often find darker skies... challenging because there are too many stars and I can't tell which is which.
  19. I soon need a manual alt-az mount to handle my 6kg (!!!) 4" triplet APO for visual. I wonder if the AZ75 is the thing I need or should I go for something like AOK's Vamo Traveller which is substantially lighter...
  20. The answer seems to be yes. I had about 6-7kg of an imaging train on it (with a fairly long scope, mind you) and it did not have any issues. I was getting about 0.7" RMS guided on my RST-135. Most people with a 7kg-class imaging scope (FSQ-106 for example) seems to use a counterweight though, not because the mount can't handle it but because they worry the tripod might fall over. So with a 8.5kg payload you might want to have the counterweight.
  21. That's quite a "small" refractor, being a grown person's height...
  22. I am in the same spot. I own a Tele Vue NP-101 which is an exceptional scope, except that it doesn't fit into my carry on pelican case and makes transportation a mess. So I am selling it and hoping to get something smaller. Apparently the TS-CF APO is quite good. Aside from the socpes you mentioned, in this range the lightest scope will be the Borg 90FL without a doubt, but you pay a price in price and CA for the extreme lightweight specs. Then there's the trifecta of premium 90mm triplets: the Astrophysics Stowaway, the CFF92 and the old TMB92, but people aren't going to sell those and you aren't going to buy those new...
  23. 4, ideally: - A TSA-120 or the similar sized LZOS/AP/CFF equivalent for visual and longer focal length astrophotography; - A 4” Petzval, so NP-101 (which I have) or the FSQ-106 for astrophotography. Both are also reasonably transportable in case I need big scopes in the field. - A Borg 72FL (which I am getting)/Askar FRA400 or a FSQ-85 which is the “grab and go” scope that can do both visual and extremely wide field astrophotography. - A 4” long focal length fluorite doublet or a good quality 90mm triplet (like the CFF92 or the AP Stowaway). This is primarily for visual and solar.
  24. May I raise you the best actual best red dot finder: the Tele Vue Starbeam. Expensive, bulky, but robust and versatile, it is the best finder I ever used. You get a lot of mileage out of that mirror — pretty sure I’ve never used it straight through. I never was a fan of optical finders though.
  25. Several things I’d like to comment on: - I am also a photographer with a dominant left eye. It used to be worse when my right eye was nearsighted but my left eye was far-sighted, but now that my left eye also deteriorated (thanks work) it got a bit better. - What I want to say is that it’s not as bad as it seems, at least when it comes to telescopes. You can adjust the focus to fit either your right eye *or* your left eye, and there’s no need to cover either once you are used to it. If you have to, use your hand and that’s usually enough. You do not need to touch the scope to see through it. - I am unsure how the helical focuser works on the Heritage, but as far as I understand it’s not a true helical focuser like a camera lens’, but a big plastic screw with the eyepiece on it. Temperature and weight of the eyepiece might influence how tight it is; I suspect it’s on the tight side because it needs to prevent slipping. (like every helical focuser, even ones costing as much as an entire Heritage on its own!) - Did you tighten the eyepiece enough? Sometimes that’s where the slop comes from. - The other potential issue is the vibration in the assembly. Anything not tightened down fully (for example, the clutch on the mount) will lead to vibes when focusing, and it happens to every setup.
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