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Greymouser

Ultra light travel set up.

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OK, so I may be getting a little obsessed with making things as light as possible, but just how lightweight can you get with a setup? I was kinda hoping that the EvoGuide 50 ED would provide me with a possibility, combined with a monopod, but it seems it is a no go, probably because of the lack of a prism working with it. I would want at least the availability of using a prism, for terrestrial use.

Has anyone managed to make this work? If so, it has many uses and would be great. If not what else is usable as an ultra light set up? My eyes will not let me use my binoculars any more and I am considering an ED monocular, but the no altering magnification is annoying. I have seen the expensive spotting scopes, but they are just too high a price I think for me at the moment. :smiley:

Edit: @StarryEyed I want it light for what I hoped was an obvious reason: take anywhere, any time. Also I want to look at anything, any time I would have otherwise used binoculars, which I no longer can.  :smiley:

Edited by Greymouser

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17 minutes ago, Greymouser said:

want it light for what I hoped was an obvious reason: take anywhere, any time. Also I want to look at anything, any time I would have otherwise used binoculars, which I no longer can.  :smiley:

Walking with a ruck sack. What about a 90degree right image finder that can take eyepiece's  on a walking stick. Some have a camera thread on the top and a finder with a ring could be mounted on it. If that works for you upgrade the finder.

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Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x 56 ED. Tripod adapter; 11/4" eyepieces can be used; seems to be a good allrounder. (No own experiences)

Stephan

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I have had a lot of use out of, and fun with, a little Vixen Geoma II 52-S which is a nice compact 52mm spotting scope. I picked mine up on eBay for a reasonable price; it is the straight through version, there is an angled eyepiece (presumably 45 degree) available too which is the 52-A I believe.

It is an ED scope and surprisingly capable. It has tripod thread so I either use a monopod or tripod depending on what I'm doing. I use it for quick astro sessions, watching the birds on the feeders plus plenty more, such as watching planes at the RIAT at Fairford at the weekend.

 

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22 hours ago, StarryEyed said:

What about a 90degree right image finder that can take eyepiece's  on a walking stick.

That was the sort of thing I was hoping to do with the Skywatcher 50 ED, but it seems it will not work with a diagonal, or at least as far as I can find out, hence this thread, in the vain hope of someone showing me how, it would be ideal I suspect. I think Skywatcher have missed a trick with the design of that, how much more difficult would it have been to make it work with a diagonal? It would then have been a three in one: A guide scope; a spotting scope and an ultra light astro travel scope. A must buy, for me at least. :icon_confused:

@Nyctimene I had seen that spotting scope and whilst it seemed like a good idea, it would have been more than I was willing to pay for at the moment and it does not take eyepieces as far as I know. :smiley: Edit: I was wrong, it will take some eyepieces!

@Stu: Your example looks great, but again too expensive, unless I was very lucky to find one at a reasonable price second hand. Perhaps I should ask about monopods too, though I have already seen your thread on one, which unfortunately for me, is out of stock on Amazon at the moment.

I think it seems that a plain ED monocular is the favourite so far, unless I go the Mighty Mak 60 as suggested by JeremyS, which does look very cute. I could afford to get both that and the monocular too, still have change from the other ideas... You can never have too many optical devices. Can you?

Edited by Greymouser

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The Skywatcher 50 ED can be used with the Celestron prism diagonal (94115-A), although it may depend on what eyepiece you use, and it gives an inverted image.  It's close to the limit of focus with a Panoptic 24, but it does focus.  However, there is reasoanable inward travel available with an APM reticle eyepiece, which is a 26mm focal length, I think.    I guess other brands will differ a bit.

2019-07-23 11.16.26.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Oldfort said:

although it may depend on what eyepiece you use

That is the thing, I would want to be using the eyepieces I already have and none of them are a Panoptic! 😜 Encouraging to see it is a possibility though, shame it could still be an expensive experiment, a gamble. :undecided:

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Just now, Stu said:

Looks like it's the wrong way round @JeremyS 🤣🤣

I thought there was something odd.......

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1 hour ago, Greymouser said:

That is the thing, I would want to be using the eyepieces I already have and none of them are a Panoptic! 😜 Encouraging to see it is a possibility though, shame it could still be an expensive experiment, a gamble. :undecided:

I suspect the key is the prism diagonal.  They have a shorter optical path than mirrors, so you get a bit more inward focus to play with.  I will see what success I have with a couple of other brand eyepieces.

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I have had success focusing with a TV 17mm plossl, and 13mm Nagler (not much room to spare on that one), but can't focus with a Meade 9mm plossl (5 element, series 5000 probably) or an Orion 12.5mm plossl reticle eyepiece.

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What about something like this. 

https://www.stellarvue.com/stellarvue-9x50-top-rated-ra-correct-image-finder-scope-matte-black-f050m2/

Or

https://www.stellarvue.com/stellarvue-10x60-correct-image-ra-finderscope-matte-black-f060m2/

I have the 50mm version and it reaches focus with most of my eyepieces though there is some vignetting with the wider Afov eyepieces such as my 14mm Morpheus. 

It's pretty well corrected for about 80% of the field but suffers in the outer 20%.

I purchased mine for a similar reason but haven't yet had chance put use it in anger. 

I got a cheap 50mm finder guider mount with a 1/4" thread on the base which seems to do the job well enough. 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F323724008861

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3 hours ago, Oldfort said:

I have had success focusing with a TV 17mm plossl, and 13mm Nagler (not much room to spare on that one), but can't focus with a Meade 9mm plossl (5 element, series 5000 probably) or an Orion 12.5mm plossl reticle eyepiece.

Does that mean that the smaller focal length eyepieces are unlikely to find focus then? Disappointing. Never mind, thank you for looking and trying. :smiley:

@AdeKing Thank you for that suggestion, I guess the idea is similar to using the 50ED. When I looked, at the finders with a built in prism/diagonal, I found it difficult to decide which would accept any eyepiece and which only a fixed one. There are many different makers offering such, but all are a little ambiguous for a stupid person like me. :embarrassed:

It seems odd to me that no telescope producer is offering a suitable, specific scope, for the ultra light market. ( Except for the Borg! Always assuming you can find one and afford it! 😜 ) There seems to be many people who want such and as ever the choice needs to be larger than what is currently available. Perhaps most people use finders of one sort or another.

It is quite a difficult choice, for me, but My C5 covers a lot of bases, but I want lighter and pocket size, so I guess the ED monocular it is. Then I just need to decide if I should supplement it with a 600g mighty mak. There are worst problems to face. :grin:

One last question: Anyone suggest a decent light monopod?

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1 hour ago, Greymouser said:

Does that mean that the smaller focal length eyepieces are unlikely to find focus then? Disappointing. Never mind, thank you for looking and trying. :smiley:

 

I don't know.  If I have time tomorrow (Weds) I will try something around the 5mm mark.

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I have remembered that my 5mm eyepiece is parfocal with the longer focal length ones, so there is no point in me trying, since I know it will reach focus, but with not a lot to spare.

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So small and light, I would go with a Celestron Hummingbird and a monopod or, if 1.25" eyepieces compatibility is not important, with an Opticron spotting scope (MM4 60mm ED, weight 750gr or MM4 77mm ED weight 1250gr).

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I like the Celestron Humingbird, but wonder what the focal length is. To be honest I think it will be the ED monocular, which will replace the binoculars I find difficult now and maybe a mighty mak 60, which I didn't even know existed before, to supplement it. I think the tripod that JeremyS pointed out looks good too. Thanks all. :smiley:

Edited by Greymouser

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FYI: For wide-field, the Humminbird is fine, but I would steer clear of it if you are interested in even 'glancing' at planets. I bought one to see if it could compete with my TV60, but alas Jupiter and Saturn were blurry blobs at best. There was no detail at all unfortunately. I was using a nagler zoom and a delite 3mm. It's the prism that's the problem. Wider views were fine tho'...

With basically the same goals as @greymouser I eventually created a kit around the TV60. Heres' a link: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/634162-my-solution-to-international-travel-with-only-a-day-pack/

Good Luck!

John

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I have just checked out your thread over there and am impressed, great travel philosophy too!  :thumbsup:

It would be way out of my price range though, for now, though I fully intend to go down the TV route at some point, wife allowing! I had in fact pretty much ruled out the hummingbird, the focal length is tiny and I can imagine it being pretty much pointless looking at the stars, or planets; my intended ED monocular would be just as good, maybe better considering your comments about a poor diagonal.

I have also now ruled out the tiny might mak, there are just too many bad reviews that question both the design and the quality control, it seems it is a lottery if you get a decent one or not. It is not expensive, so the risk is not that great, but why potentially throw away£ 100? :smiley:

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On 23/07/2019 at 21:12, Greymouser said:

Does that mean that the smaller focal length eyepieces are unlikely to find focus then? Disappointing. Never mind, thank you for looking and trying. :smiley:

@AdeKing Thank you for that suggestion, I guess the idea is similar to using the 50ED. When I looked, at the finders with a built in prism/diagonal, I found it difficult to decide which would accept any eyepiece and which only a fixed one. There are many different makers offering such, but all are a little ambiguous for a stupid person like me. :embarrassed:

It seems odd to me that no telescope producer is offering a suitable, specific scope, for the ultra light market. ( Except for the Borg! Always assuming you can find one and afford it! 😜 ) There seems to be many people who want such and as ever the choice needs to be larger than what is currently available. Perhaps most people use finders of one sort or another.

It is quite a difficult choice, for me, but My C5 covers a lot of bases, but I want lighter and pocket size, so I guess the ED monocular it is. Then I just need to decide if I should supplement it with a 600g mighty mak. There are worst problems to face. :grin:

One last question: Anyone suggest a decent light monopod?

I can get by with my C90 Mak on a photo tripod, the tripod also has a leg that unscrews for use as a monopod (common feature on a lot of tripods), I even use the monopod as a walking stick with a DIY handle fitted..........

Alan

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31 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

the tripod also has a leg that unscrews for use as a monopod (common feature on a lot of tripods), I even use the monopod as a walking stick with a DIY handle fitted....

Sorry if you have already said, but which tripod is that Alan? I have been looking at this, after a tip from Littleguy80: 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey tripod. Not the one he has, but similar.

 

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The 50ED unit used with a RA diagonal will give an erect image but laterally reversed, might be an issue for terrestrial use.    😀

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