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I thought my eyepiece collection was complete until I bought my "last ever" telescope. This operates at a native F8 and is just over 3250mm fl.
I have the longer Naglers, 31, 26, 22, 17 etc and 35mm, 27mm Panoptics. I was always a little disappointed with the kidney-beaning in the Naglers in other telescopes, though they were overall better than any other eyepiece I have used, but in this one they seem to be affected less and even the 26mm is now a keeper. Before I got the Naglers (over many years all s/h) I had 35, 27 and 19 Panoptics. These were my favorite eyepieces until the Naglers came along. I kept the 35mm as stars seemed a little sharper in the inner 50 degrees than the Naglers, but trailed off in the outer regions and the 27mm as it really is an exceptional eyepiece. In any case I often wanted to darken the sky with higher magnification so the longest ones were primarily used for sweeping and finding. Given sky brightness is becoming more of an issue I thought I would never need a longer focal length. Now the Naglers seem sharper over the entire view and with the higher magnification of a longer scope the sky is darker and I hanker after the widest possible field.
The issue is that the 82 degree 31mm Nagler gives me a true fov of 0.78 degrees and the 35 mm Panoptic 0.73 degrees. There is noticeably more sky in the 31mm Nagler. A 41mm Panoptic will yield 0.85 degrees, an improvement of nearly 10% over the Nagler 31. As I can readily see the difference in the amount of sky covered by the 31mm Nagler and the 35mm Panoptic I believe the time to look at a 41mm Panoptic is here.
Before going into a debate on whether ES eyepieces could fill the slot all I can say is that having been able to compare my old Naglers with new 82 degree ES ones in my scopes I and convinced that, for me, there is a small improvement with the Naglers at the outer regions of the field and so I am minded to discount them. They are fantastic value and I won't deny they are very good eyepieces.
The 41mm Panoptic would seem fit the bill for this long fl scope though I suspect it would be a disaster in a fast Newtonian, which I also have.
My quest is to find someone willing to part with theirs and/or suggestions of an alternative that someone has used in practice.
Thankyou for reading
Before I start running my fully automated observatory from a remote location, it is useful to know what the weather conditions are like at the observatory site and an all sky camera is a great way of seeing what is going on in conjunction with my AAG CloudWatcher that 'measures' the weather conditions.
Unfortunately, commercial all sky cameras have a pretty hefty price tag and I had a very limited budget for this project so I decided to make my own. The camera is the easy part and the excellent ZWO ASI 120mm was an obvious choice - it even comes with a 150° wide angle lens. However, the key to a reliable all sky camera is the enclosure it operates in. A camera and lens combination like the ZWO will work very well on its own for this purpose right up until the dew forms on the lens or even worse, it starts to rain so a waterproof enclosure with its own heating system is a prerequisite.
Before I even started to think about the enclosure itself, I gave a lot of consideration to the heating aspect. The solution was sitting in my bits and pieces drawer - the components that I'd bought in a couple of years ago to make a dew-band for my 28mm camera lens when I wanted to capture a meteor shower! I never did make the dew-band but the Nichrome wire and pulse width modulation (PWM) power supply were perfect for this project. I calculated that I would need up 8 watts of heat for a 'de-frost' but a lower output for general use.
With the heater resolved, I looked around for a suitable transparent dome for the enclosure and found a 100mm diameter dome for under £10.00 on Ebay. All I needed then was a suitable box to match the total width of the dome and again, Ebay came to the rescue.
Awful skies mean that I have used it very little but I have enjoyed making time lapse videos of the night sky and I ended up buying a fisheye lens for the camera to give me a full 180° view.
So here's the camera enclosure in all its glory
Click here to view my first light timelapse video