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Found 10 results

  1. I recently did a lot of research into RACIs. I wanted one with a quality prism where I wouldn't see a line. I wanted the flexibility to change eyepieces. I wanted a wide field and the ability to focus easily. I wanted rings and a synta-fit (Celestron/Skywatcher) bracket. The Stellarvue seems to fit the bill but the price is huge, especially when you include the seperate rings/bracket. Likewise, Baader do a good RACI but the price is high. I was considering building my own finder based around a GSO prism diagonal (which gets great reviews and doesn't cost a lot) and some parts from Teleskop Service but then I found the Antares Versascope 10 x 60 RACI. Having been very pleased with the quality and price of their 2" twist lock 99% diagonals, I thought I'd take a punt. I didn't even have to import, as this can be purchased in the UK from Rother Valley Optics for £99.99. This is half the price of the Baader and less than half the Stellarvue. So is it half as good? Definitely not. What you get is a quality 1.25" prism, a decent aluminium 227mm FL 60mm diameter OTA, a very long dew shield, nice neat low-profile 6 point tube rings combined with a synta bracket, and a reasonable quality, surprinsingly wide-field eyepiece with non-illuminated crosshairs. The daytime views are pin sharp with no lines or other artifacts, so the prism is definitely good. The night views are really nice. Definitely not as sharp and snap to focus as my other 'finder', the Explore scientific ED80 with 21mm Televue Ethos eyepiece, but the price is 10% of that combination - we're comparing it to an ED triplet here! The field is very wide which I found surprisingly pleasing to view. The stock eyepiece appears to give the same TFOV as my ES Maxvision 24mm 68 degree, which gives 7.2 degrees. This is something of a puzzle in as much as I can't find any details of the provided eyepiece anywhere online, nor marked on the eyepiece itself. The sales listing indicates a 25mm eyepiece which is a little confusing as it would give x9 mag rather than x 10, and neither the AFOV or TFOV are listed. From looking through it,I'd guess it's about x9. The dew shield is so long that I haven't had any issues in a few nights of use. Rotating the dew shield also focuses the scope which is very easy to do. There is lots of focus range, although I found that my ES68 24mm was just ever so slightly short of focus - a little extender ring would fix this nicely. The prism is attached to the scope via an Antares 1.25" Twist-lock, which imeans you can easily unlock and change the angle of the eyepiece to the scope. The prism has a thumbscrew to hold the eyepiece. The eyepiece, whilst a little plasticky in the casing, has decent optics and positively refused to dew up despite being left uncovered for hours. Somehow the plastic/rubber eyeguard outer assembly seems to resist dewing (note it hasn't been THAT cold recently, but that didn't stop my binocular eyepieces from dewing up on the first night). The cross hairs work fine, and I can't imagine needing illuminated ones in UK skies (I'll check this next time I'm at a proper dark site. The tube rings were very easy to align to my scope, and as they are low profile they don't tend to get banged about. This scope can be used as a little independent scope of it's own (I've used it out of my bedroom window) and it can be used for guiding. All in all I'm very pleased with the views, the ease of use as a RACI finder and the truly excellent value for money. If you're in the market for a versatile, quality RACI/guidescope, I think this is a real cracker; personally I would now find it very hard to justify paying double or more for the better known equivalents, given that I'm at a loss as to what they can do that the Versascope does not.
  2. For a special reason, I specifically want an Antares 32mm Classic Erfle eye piece. This would be the 5 or 6 element model. Offer a Tele vue 32mm Plossl in exchange. Or buy for cash.
  3. For less extreme magnification than 2x but which would take 2 inch eps, I was considering the Antares 1.6x Barlow. Using it in my 500mm refractor and 1260mm dob the latter with a Paracorr 2. Is this a good Barlow to get?
  4. Hello. I'm looking for Antares W70 25mm. Newer version. Like on this photo. Does anyone have one for sale? I'm interested in good condition eyepiece and shipping abroad (to Poland). I will be grateful for the offers.
  5. Hi all, I was looking for a 99% reflectivity 2" diagonal with a locking mechanism instead of thumbscrews. Thumbscrews eat through my gloves and are hard to use when fingers get cold. I saw the (very expensive) Baader Click Lock diagonal and the Williams Optics bright orange locking ring diagonal, which is cheaper but still pricey - and you either dig the orange or you don't. Finally I found the Antares 2" twist lock diagonal. I got two Antares twist lock diaginals delivered to the UK from Ontario Telescopes for about £160, so the same price as a single Explore Scientific Carbon Fibre diagonal and a lot less than a single Baader Click Lock diagonal. The Antares are solid, well machined diagonals and the mirrors look bright, smooth and clean. Light transmission seems just as good as my Explore Scientific 99% Carbon Fibre diagonals. Naturally the Antares are heavier diagonals. So what about the twist lock? It looks thin and insubstantial in the photos so this was a bit of a punt. In actuality, the twist lock is very solid and smooth. It turns very quickly and smoothly, so is much quicker and easier to operate than thumbscrews. It also holds very nicely indeed. I have some pricey 1Kg (2.2 lb) eyepieces, some 100 degree with Green lettering on, some Explore Sceintific, and I'm pleased to report all were held very well by the twist lock and I had no fear of them being dropped, even when viewing at the zenith. I suspect I could pick up my c9.25 by the eyepiece using one of these, though I haven't yet tried. Result: an excellent choice, money well spent. Might even get a third as I'm running three scopes simultaneously on my Ercole (though I never bother changing my little ED80 from a 21mm Ethos.
  6. MarsG76

    Rho Ophiuchus

    From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This was imaged using a astro modded Canon 40D through a 150mm prime lens, piggy backed on my SCT, so tracked and guided using my 80mm frac as a guide scope. Total Exposure was 2 hours, consisting of 30 x 120s, 15 x 60s and 30 x 30s subs at ISO800 With in we can see Rho Ophiuchus, Antares, M80 and M4 among the gas, dust and nebulosity.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  7. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This was imaged using a astro modded Canon 40D through a 50mm prime lens for the wide coverage, piggy backed on my SCT, so tracked and guided using my 80mm frac as a guide scope. Total Exposure was 2 hours, consisting of 30 x 120s, 15 x 60s and 30 x 30s subs at ISO800 With in we can see part of the stars making up the Scorpius constellation, Milky way, Rho Ophiuchus, Antares, M80 and M4 among the gas, dust and nebulosity.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  8. Before I focused on meteors (got clouded out ), I took advantage of a break in the clouds in the southern sky and took this wide-angle shot of the beautiful triangle formed by Saturn (top), Antares (bottom left) and Mars (bottom right) in Scorpius. The waxing gibbous moon is hiding behind a tree branch. Going to try for some Perseids all this weekend while dodging clouds!
  9. Jonk

    Antares explosion

    From the album: Jon's images

    Antares Explosion
  10. Hello All, Sharing with you my version of Rho Ophiuchus. Taken with a Canon 40D DSLR and a 150mm Sigma Prime lens. Total integration time was 2 hours with 30, 60 and 120 second ISO800 subs. Clear Skies. MG
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