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Found 12 results

  1. Went to Astrofest today, and after saying that I wasn't going to buy anything put a deposit on an ODK12 . Should be arriving in a couple of months. It came at a discount, even over the show price .
  2. A deep look at Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) edit: re-processed from the original exposures - April 2018 ........ previous version: Omega Centauri ( please click / tap on image to see larger and much sharper ) This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the subtle colours of the stars, including in the core. ( re-processed from May 2017 subs - master dark added to workflow, new HDR / colour process workflow and stretched using ArcSinh ) Image details: Field of view ..... 58' 32.3" x 38' 55.6" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 50.290 Dec: -47 28 39.80 Orientation: East is up, North is to the right Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2017 ): 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 9 sets HDR combination ArcSinh stretch Pixinsight March 2018 Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday
  3. 21st April: Re-processed to better show the colour of the fainter stars ... ....... Shimmering like a pearl to the naked eye, this open cluster of mostly young blue stars ( known as the "Pearl Cluster" ) is approximately 5500 light years from Earth and was discovered by Abbe Lacaille in 1752 from South Africa. This HDR image is constructed from 11 sets of exposures ranging from 1/4 sec ( to capture the centre of the brighter stars ) through to 240 seconds ( for the fainter stars of the Milky Way ). Total exposure time was around 5 hours. A Cluster of Pearls in the Southern Skies ( NGC 3766 " The Pearl Cluster" ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be found here ) 12 April 2018 ..... Image details: Field of view ..... 58' 49.8" x 39' 36.4" Image center ...... RA: 11 36 03.890 Dec: -61 35 30.17 Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 12 April 2018 ): 11 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/4s to 240s ) all at ISO250. ( 70 x 240sec + 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 11 sets HDR combination Pixinsight April 2018
  4. Having decided to send my 12.5 mirrors to Orion for re-coating, I would be grateful for any advice on packaging (beyond the obvious), courier to use for best handling and how long Orion on average takes to do a job. The primary mirror is heavy being 1980s Pyrex. I might need to have a larger secondary mirror as swapping my 36.4mm focuser for a 2.5 (model to be decided still). In which case maybe just buying larger & not having the current one re-coated might be better? ?
  5. Re-processed 12th August 2017 using the new PhotometricColorCalibration tool from Pixinsight. This function seeks to adjust the colour balance of the image by plate solving the image and comparing the colour of the stars in the image with the colour values for these stars as stored in various databases. ( please click / tap on image to see larger / sharper ) ................. Trifid Nebula ( M20, NGC 6514 ) I manged to capture another 60 odd 240sec images in late July to add to the data I captured at the end of June ( Trifid Nebula WIP ) Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius ( Messier 20, NGC 6514 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper )' and a crop of the main part of the nebula ... I am quite pleased with how the colour balance turned out - especially the colours of the stars ( my goal has been to get the colours of the stars as close as I can to how they would look with "daylight" whitebalance and no light pollution / sky glow). ----------- "High Dynamic Range" ( HDR ) image of the Trifid Nebula - built from exposures ranging from 1/8 to 240 seconds in duration. Image details: from nova.astrometry.net: Size: 52.2 x 35.5 arcmins. Centre: 18h 2 min 30.8 sec, -22deg 57' 37.7''. Orientation: up is -88.2 East of North ( ie. E^ N> ). Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture: 12 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 12 sets. 105 x 240sec main image. 5 each for exposures 1/8 to 120sec - to caputure highlights. HDR combination using Pixinsight's PixelMath function.
  6. As mentioned in my status update, my minimalist, scope reduction program has taken a further battering. I've always wanted to try one of these, so took the chance when one popped up on ABS. Purchased from Ade Ashford (very nice chap), I picked it up from him today; a long round trip journey but well worth it. Ade reviewed this unit in AN recently I believe, repeating a similar review done with a dob version of the same scope (OD150L Deluxe) around 5 years ago. http://www.nightskies.net/scopetest/scopes/OD150L/OD150L.html This is an updated model with the latest primary cell and 1/10th wave optics (0.992 Strehl). It has a 25mm secondary giving a 17% central obstruction by diameter, 2.9% by area. The secondary really does look tiny! I'm not totally sure how I will end up using this. A dob mount on my EQ Platform is a possibility, but it is very light and actually sits on the Vixen GP mount surprisingly well. Ade used it successfully on a Vixen Sphinx mount so I will see how it goes in this configuration. It will be used for planetary, lunar and double star observing from home, so the Goto will be handy for doubles and the tracking will help keep vibrations down. I may look at a motorized focuser at some point for similar reasons. Potential upgrades include a curved vane secondary, plus also some of Shane's other mods which he did to his similar scope some years ago such as flocking and reducing the rather large primary clips in size. Looking forward to seeing what this scope can do, should be fun.
  7. Oops.... sorry Derek I've lusted after one of these since I saw Shane's similar scope quite a few years ago. This is the third scope I've had off Mike73, and it looks like a beauty again. Very light given its size, and quite manageable with my back as it is. This is a VX12L f5.3 1/8th wave but with a 0.987 Strehl ratio, i.e. Pretty good! Mike has part flocked the OTA (the important bits top and bottom) and has fitted a TelRad and 9x50 RACI, both heated via a small control unit. The balance seems excellent and the motion very smooth. The focuser is also surprisingly good, with a clicklock fitted plus a Howie Glatter Parallizer. Should be a good'un. Great for home, and quite manageable to take to dark sites. A Tak 4", C925 and 12" dob. That's ok isn't it?
  8. I've had this scope for some months now but last night was the first time I managed a look through it. Only about 45mins unfortunately, and earlier in the evening so that although it was dark, Orion hadn't come into view. I'll save that pleasure for another night. I didn't bother to collimate it, being short of time, but a quick star test showed it to be pretty close despite picking it up from Exeter, and then a fruitless trip to Lucksall and back. This is the third lovely scope I've bought from Mike73 . Even with my 80mm finder and Telrad on, the balance was pretty good, no need for any counterweights or use of the friction break. I only used three eyepieces, a 40mm TMB Paragon, 24mm Panoptic and a 12.5mm BGO. These gave a nice spread of mags, and the 40mm was very handy as a finder. The scope is crying out for a 21mm Ethos though really, but that will have to wait and I suspect balance will need address with one of these lumps in the focuser. Somewhat infuriatingly, the sky later on was even better than when I was observing. The seeing looked very steady and Orion was beautifully clear! However, I got to use the scope so that's what's important. Quite a few lower targets were obscured, so the Double Cluster seemed like a good place to start. I still prefer a good frac on the DC, despite the obviously brighter and deeper view through the 12". The other night, through the 4" fluorite the stars were just stunning; last night, far more stars were resolved, but I didn't get that same warm glow. There's nothing wrong with the optics, 0.987 strehl, 1/8th wave is good enough for me, but it does illustrate the difference. I thought I would check Polaris to see just how well it performed on resolving the tiny secondary. The answer was... beautifully. Even with just the 24mm Panoptic in at x66, the secondary was a very tight pinpoint sitting on one of the diffraction spikes. I suspect with better collimation the views with doubles will be excellent. The dual speed focuser on the scope is very smooth and accurate, a joy to use and it is fitted with a Baader Clicklock, heated dewstrip and a1.25" Howie Glatter Parallizer, all great kit which works well, I had no issues with dew despite the damp conditions. M36 and 38 showed the real benefits of aperture. In the four inch under these skies they are nothing to write home about, but last night they resolved beautifully into proper open clusters, a lovely sprinkling of stars, particularly M38. My old favourite of NGC457 gave me my normal smile when I saw it, a great fun target. Last target in this short session was Caroline's Rose. Under a dark sky this is a lovely target, but even last night it was great to see. Quite subtle with the LP but lovely features becoming visible with time, the dark curved lanes creating the petals of the rose quite clearly. Averted vision helped, but considering that I wasn't very well dark adapted it was a nice view. So, another long report about a short session . Nice to have finally used the scope and for it to deliver what I hoped for. The optics seem excellent and it has been modded in a way which gives me everything I could want, including flocking of the top and bottom thirds of the OTA. Nice and quick to setup, next stop M42, and who knows, perhaps the Pup
  9. Galaxy Centaurus A ( NGC 5128 ) in the southern constellation Centaurus ( please click / tap on image to see full size ) ............ Updated again - to try to bring out more faint detail ... ............ Updated images ... ............. Originals ... ( 100% crop ) Centaurus A is relatively near to us in the local group of galaxies and is around 11 Million light years away. The unusual shape of Centaurus A is believed to be due to an ancient collision between a large elliptical galaxy and a much smaller spiral galaxy. With an apparent magnitude of +6.8, Centaurus A is the fifth brightest galaxy in the night sky and in the middle of the 20th century it was identified as being the strongest radio source in the Centaurus constellation. Details: Galaxy - Centaurus A ( NGC 5128 ) Image ( Nova.astrometry.net ): Center (RA, hms): 13h 25m 28.924s Center (Dec, dms): -43° 01' 25.486" Size: 60.5 x 41.1 arcmin Orientation: Up is -89.9 degrees E of N Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Format: 14bit NEF Long exposure noise reduction: off Filter: none Calibration: No darks, just master bias and master flat HDR combination of eight sets of exposures (27, 28 & 29 April 2017): 85 x 240 sec ISO 800 16 x 120 sec ISO 800 16 x 60 sec ISO 800 16 x 30 sec ISO 800 16 x 15 sec ISO 800 16 x 8 sec ISO 800 16 x 4 sec ISO 800 16 x 2 sec ISO 800 Pixinsight May 2017 Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday
  10. ( click tap on image to see larger and sharper ) This image shows multiple bright nebula and star clusters in an area adjacent to the the Tarantula Nebula ( NGC 2070 ) in the nearby irregular galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ). The largest of these are the bright pink nebula in the upper right part of the image ( NGC 2014 ) and the blue nebula in the lower right ( NGC 2030 ). Details: Bright Nebulae: NGC 2014 ( upper right, pink) size 30 x 20 arcmin Mag +8. NGC 2020 size 2.0 arcmin NGC 2030 ( lower right, blue ). NGC 2032 . NGC 2035 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin NGC 2040 size 3.0 x 3.0 arcmin Open clusters: NGC 2002 size 2 arcmin Mag +10.1 NGC 2004 size 2.7 arcmin Mag +9.6 NGC 2006 size 1 arcmin Mag +11.5 NGC 2011 size 1 arcmin Mag +10.6 NGC 2021 size 0.9 arcmin Mag +12.1 NGC 2027 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +11.9 NGC 2034 NGC 2041 size 0.7 arcmin Mag +10.4 Image centre RA 05h 33m 25.583s, Dec -67° 18' 02.586" (nova.astrometry.net) Field of view (arcmin): 58.8 x 39.2 Scale (full size image) 0.585 arcsec/pixel Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410 mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Filter: none HDR combination of four sets of exposures: 9 x 300 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 200 4 x 120 sec ISO 100 4 x 60 sec ISO 100 Pixinsight & Photoshop 29 January 2017 link: 500px.com/MikeODay
  11. Galaxy 2MASX J05314916-6721339 in Dorado in the region of the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) and not far ( in angular terms ) from NGC 2004 and NGC 2011. From Simbad: 2MASX J05314916-6721339 "Galaxy in a group of galaxies" - Type: Sa D ( Spiral ) ( J2000: 5h 31m 49.16s -67d 21' 33.92" ) ( http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=%403123415&Name=2MASX J05314916-6721339&submit=submit ) ( other id: IRAS Faint Source Catalog - IRAS F05319-6723 ) It can be found in the vicinity of NGC 2004 and NGC 2011 -------------- Crops taken from full frame image: Dragons Head Nebula and NGC 2014 in the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) ( not far from the Tarantula Nebula - NGC 2070 ) - NGC 2004 - NGC 2011 - NGC 2014 - NGC 2020 - NGC 2021 - NGC 2030 - NGC 2032 - NGC 2035 - NGC 2040
  12. Orion Optics UK 12” f4 Solid Tube Dobsonian Telescope review Recurring back problems and large telescopes are usually considered mutually exclusive. However a 12” dob is correctly called “the entry point to true deep sky observing” and I was looking for premium 12" Dob with quality optics and relative ease of setup- all without penalizing my back. Challenge accepted and met by Orion Optics UK. Structure and components: The scope comes standard with 1/6 PV optics with Hi-Lux coatings (97% reflectivity both on primary and secondary mirrors), a 2” focuser with 10:1 reduction, a 10x50 straight finderscope, a 25mm eyepiece (only with the purchase of a mount to complement the OTA) and a primary mirror cooling fan. The only changes / extras requested was an upgrade of the optics to 1/10 PV Ultra Grade and the addition of the variable friction break on the mount. Key information from the manufacturer’s site: OTA weight with ring system 14 kg 30.86 lbs. Dobsonian mount weight 12 kg 26.45 lbs. Tube length 1,160 mm 45.66 in Tube diameter 326 mm 12.43 in Focal length 1,200 mm 47.24 in Focal ratio f4 f4 Primary mirror size 300 mm 11.81 in Secondary mirror size (primary obstruction %) 75 mm (25%) 2.95 in (25%) OTA: The telescope is really lightweight, easily meeting my requirements regarding weight and ease of both transporting it and setting it up. Essentially I lift the OTA from its rings, slide it on the back seat of my Honda CRV and put the mount in the back. At 31 lbs for a complete 12” OTA, it is very lightweight. The mount is also very light at 27 lbs and easy to grip and move around. Mount: The mount is a lightweight, elegant and simple design, yet rock solid. Movements are smooth and the friction break helps with different weight eyepieces and general stability of scope in altitude. One has to be careful of course not to make any *really* sudden turns in azimuth when the telescope is pointed near zenith as this can tilt the mount. This is perfectly normal as the centre of the weight of the system rests well above the ground and laws of physics pertaining to leverage still apply. I do admit that truss dobs balance better as the mirror is situated just above the ground Vs. quite a few inches up for a solid tube dob assembly, but this is an acceptable compromise for the ease of use of a solid tube system and is not a deficiency of this scope, but rather the mechanics related to solid tube dobs. Focuser: The focuser is a very large and very solid rack and pinion assembly – actually the largest unit I have ever seen or used. This is the new focuser that Orion Optics started fitting its scopes with in mid-2013. Baader has stopped marketing and selling the Steeltrack focuser and this model appears to be a rebranded Steeeltrack - the quality being impeccable. In use, it has no issues of flexure/sag whatsoever and has been tested with 21mm Ethos + Paracorr T II (my heaviest combination). I especially appreciate the oversized knobs which make using the focuser with gloves very easy and also the clear feedback in use. I have had - and tested - both FeatherTouch and Moonlite focusers. This focuser in my opinion has a distinct advantage over the others in that it provides superior "feel". Especially easy to operate with your gloves on. In fact, I liked it so much, I fitted it to my SkyWatcher 120mm f5 Wide-Field refractor. The focuser actually cost more than the refractor telescope and speaks volumes about how I feel about this focuser! Optics quality: I could discuss the components of the Zygo report as far as I understand them, but I will refrain from that as this is a review of the whole “package”, not just the mirrors. I am very happy with the bench test results provided, but “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” as a wise man once said. I would also appreciate it if this does not turn into a "let's discuss the mirror" thread once this review is published. Testing of optics, first light report and comments on the use of the scope: The telescope is always used with a Televue Paracorr Type II in place, giving a focal length of 1,380mm at f4.6. I use the Televue Nagler 31mm and Ethos 21mm / 13mm and 8mm and Astronomiks UHC / O III and Hβ filters. First light was the day after Christmas 2013 and since then I have been out with the scope many times in order to get a good feel and write a more or less unbiased review. I admit to being biased in the end, despite some *small* issues on receipt of the scope (described later on). I could wax lyrically for hours about the objects and views I get through this scopee, but I would rather be clinical about it and bottom-line the key benefits of this scope arising from some targets - and here I will avoid discussing any obscure targets- that we all know and love:Best ever views of the entire Orion Nebula complex at nearly 1.8 degrees TFOV and nearly 7mm exit pupil. I now prefer the wide field view afforded by a fast dob. Context and framing are really important to me along with maximum light hitting my retina. With this configuration, I do not have to sacrifice the wide field views that I like.The Double Cluster provided views truly reminiscent of refractor views, i.e. pinpoint stars sparkling like tiny jewels against a dark backdrop. Using a Paracorr "penalizes" you with a 15% reduction in FOV but you are fully rewarded by viewing corrected views that are coma free and refractor like. You like fast scopes? You will love the Paracorr with quality wide field eyepieces!Jupiter and Saturn at 294x (I used a Nagler 4.8mm Type 1 for this) on a steady evening are a sight for sore eyes. I am not a planetary observer, but now I will invest sometime on the planets as opposed to a minute or two in the past.What I liked: The mirrors perform as expected of a high end optical system, providing the rewarding views I was hungry for. The optical system provides a dark background to any target - a strong indication of well-polished smooth mirrors. Images are sharp with extremely high contrast, something that I did not expect to find outside the world of refractors, yet I was proven wrong. Not only that, but I get the wide field views to go with the aperture. The scope can pull in faint fuzzies with ease and I won’t bore you with details of my subsequent observing sessions Further remarks below: I did not find it any harder to obtain perfect collimation in a fast f4 Dob than my previous f5.3 and f6 systems. Using high quality collimation tools certainly helps (Howie Glatter Laser and Tublug, plus a Cheshire eyepiece) and I strongly recommend this combination for quick and accurate collimation.Being in a seated position makes observing more comfortable, courtesy of f4 ratio yielding a short tube. This makes extended observing easier and keeps exhaustion from creeping up as easily as when you observe either standing or on a ladder.The scope is extremely easy to set up. Put the mount down, place the OTA on the mount, let the scope cool, collimate and observe. It takes all of 5-6 minutes from the moment I park my car to get to a scope that is fully set up including the fan running and finderscope and Telrad attached. About 15 minutes of running the fan are enough to produce "respectable" images through the eyepiece (I generally enjoy low powered views during cool down period). Another 30 minutes, a quick collimation check and images are textbook perfect.This is as ideal of a scope for the amateur astronomer who wants to have an easy setup as it gets. Since I live in a severely light polluted city, it is critical for me to avoid too much hassle with my gear when I am packing up or setting up.Do take note that the Hilux coatings with both primary and secondary reflectivity at 97% have a light falloff of 6% Vs 11% - 15% for normal coated mirrors. That actually gives you a slightly better performance and acts like a mild aperture boost due to more light reaching your eye.What could be improved: There are of course some minor issues that I had to deal with, which in the interests of full disclosure are listed below: Shipping and delivery: The scope was quoted as being ready for shipment 4 weeks after down payment but actual shipping was 7 weeks. Not an unreasonable delay but a delay nonetheless. John and Barry could improve on their communication a bit when it comes to any changes on promised delivery time. Something which I hope they will improve on. Their business is picking up -which is always a great thing - but with increased business there is always the risk of losing touch with the individual clients who place direct orders as opposed to going through a dealer. Manual: The manual for setting up the telescope was a printed black and white job of fair quality. It missed some important instructions, namely how to mount the primary mirror assembly. Turns out that up to 10”, the scope is shipped with the primary mirror assembly in place. 12” and up, the mirror comes in separate packaging, hence fitting is not included in the standard manual. John was kind enough to immediately email me the relevant instructions as soon as I called. It would have been nice if a decent manual was included, printed in a nice booklet as for the price of the scope, this is a reasonable expectation. The fact that I did not have the appropriate manual delayed the placement of the primary mirror assembly by a week as I did not want to fool around by myself. OTA: OTA was full of paint specks from the matte anti-reflective paint and needed a quick wash and scrub inside, which should have been handled by the manufacturer prior to shipment. I also had a secondary anti-dew heater and controller drop- shipped directly to Orion Optics from Jim Kendrick as Orion Optics told me that they would do a nice fitting prior to sending the OTA to me.The fitting was not up to par and the sticker lining holding the wires had come off. I removed the cables and if necessary will mount the wires on the outside of the OTA with white electrician’s tape. There was also a small scratch on the tube next to the focuser. Small, but still there, showing that although packing was superb, someone was careless for a split second and that was enough to leave a permanent mark on the OTA. The OTA comes supplied with 2 plastic end caps which however do not fit very well. I ordered Astrozap dust covers as the plastic ones are not up to par. I would have replaced them anyway with the specific dust covers I ordered, so no big deal. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a cap for the 2” to 1.25” adapter, leaving the secondary mirror exposed. Like most of us, I maintain a healthy inventory of stuff that appears to be useless but is often needed - 1.25” caps being part of said inventory. The finderscope shoe unfortunately was (a) screwed the other way round on the mount and ( located quite far from both the Telrad and focuser. I had to have new holes drilled to the OTA to situate the shoe at a more appropriate position and covered the remaining holes with white electrician’s tape. Included eyepiece: If you buy the scope and mount combo, you also get a free 25mm 52 degrees AFOV generic eyepiece. Investing so much money in a premium telescope means that you probably have an arsenal of high pedigree eyepieces to deploy for this telescope. The eyepiece does not add anything to the overall package and does not “complete” the scope in any way as it is a no-no for the scope. Still, I can understand the rationale of including “something” as some people may expect this extra and it is a nice perk. Use it in a scope which is much slower (e.g. a Mak or SCT) and it is a surprisingly good performer. Conclusion: I understand that I have listed a lot of small issues with the scope. I did this to ensure that the review was fully inclusive and not reflecting solely on the plusses of the telescope. In the end, all these small issues were fully resolved and I am a proud owner of a fine 12" telescope which met my selection criteria 100%. I am very happy with the choice of aperture, f ratio and selection of solid tube Vs truss, but more importantly with the brand name I chose. I discussed all these issues with John Pemberton of Orion Optics UK and I am pleased to note that they take their customers' comments seriously. I am so pleased with my Dob that I am now waiting for delivery of a 140mm Rumak - Maksutov telescope and I have complete faith that my second scope from Orion Optics UK will fulfil its role as a lightweight planetary scope for both visual and imaging use. Unfortunately this scope is delayed as well, but again I communicated with John and Barry and end of next week scope #21 (I have rehomed all the others like a good daddy and only kept the ones in my sig) will be shipped to me. Talk about addiction to trying astronomy gear... To summarise, mirrors of the highest quality and performance, strong ergonomics, a fantastic focuser and super light OTA are the key benefits of this telescope. Orion Optics UK came through for me and Sir Pat (in fond memory of Sir Patrick Caldwell Moore) will be my companion under dark skies for many years to come. Notes: - This review reflects my personal views on the equipment mentioned. YMMV. - I have no relationship with the companies / individuals mentioned in this review other than having purchased their products at commercial prices.
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