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Received my StellaMira 80 f/10 ED refractor today. 🙂🙂🙂

First impressions are what a solid bit of kit and quite hefty at 4.6kg without finder and diagonal. Beautifully finished in glossy black with red accents. 

Comes with a proper CNC vixen type dovetail bar about 15” long. Found the centre of balance of the scope and set the rear tube ring a couple of inches behind that so that when the handle was fitted it would balance properly. Front ring is close to the dewshield when it is retracted. With such a long dovetail bar easy to balance the scope on the mount. 

The handle fastens on with a single screw and has notches in the base that fit over the tube ring and stop it from rotating. Nice and smooth with finger grips on the underside and is very comfortable to hold.

The focuser has over 90mm of travel and has twist locks with compression rings on both the 2” and 1.25” adapter. The red twist lock grips are aluminium. Very easy to use and lock the diagonal  solidly in place. I’m using a Baader T2 prism which should suit this f/10 scope. 2” nosepiece but a 1.25” eyepiece holder for now. Will get a 2” eyepiece to T2 adapter so I can use the 1.25” twist lock adapter as well.

Tried a 6x30 RA finder on it but just looked wrong so “borrowed” a 9x50 from another scope. Now I’ll have to buy another 9x50 I suppose. Test fitted a red dot finder to the top of the handle and it fits fine although not planning to use one  but have the option.

FLO is looking for another finder shoe as the suppied one doesn’t match the focuser’s finish. I tried an Orion shoe which seems to fit OK and does look better.

Looks nice on the Rowan AZ100 mount but will probably be used more often on the Manfrotto 475 tripod with 405 geared head as it makes a nice grab’n’go setup that can bebcarried outside one handed.

OTA without finder or diagonal weighs 4.6kg (10.14lbs) and is 800mm (31.5”) long with the dewshield extended and  670mm (27.5”) with it retracted. That’s without diagonal fitted.

     John

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Edited by johninderby
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Received my StellaMira 80 f/10 ED refractor today. 🙂🙂🙂 First impressions are what a solid bit of kit and quite hefty at 4.6kg without finder and diagonal. Beautifully finished in glossy black with

Few moon pics with the smartphone tonight and the StellaMira..          

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1 minute ago, celestron8g8 said:

Wow that’s a great looking scope and really like your mounts too ! If it wasn’t for retiring that would be on my list for a refractor ! What mount is that in the first image ? 

The new Rowan AZ100 Alt-Az mount.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/rowan-az100-alt-az-mount.html

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Something unnatural is going on. New scope arrived this afternoon and clear skies. 🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀

Popped it outside on the photo mount and looked at the moon and absolute razor sharp image with zero CA. And that was with no cooldown time. Tried the Morpheus 4.5mm and image was still bright. Will let it cool down for 30 minutes and go back out. Seriously impressed. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

No vibrations on the photo mount as well. 🙂

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Edited by johninderby
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Looks great, John. Just wondering what mods you're going to do with bits from your toolbox. Well, it's already got a handle 🤔.....maybe add a second one? 🙂

Seriously, though, I hope you enjoy it!

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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

Let it cool down but when I went back outside wall to wall cloud. 🤬

Oh well at least had a bit of a first light and just so impressed. One of those scopes that makes you go WOW when you look through it. 😁

Very nice scope! 

Thanks, now its snowing heavily over here. ;)

 

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It has been unusually mild in this part of the UK this winter. Daytime highs of between 7 and 13 degrees and no snow. Last year we had a cm of snow one morning but then the sun came out and it was gone in a few hours.

Used to live in Montreal. they get serious amounts of snow. Don’t miss having to get up,early to shovel out the driveway a few times a week. 🙂

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10 hours ago, johninderby said:

It has been unusually mild in this part of the UK this winter. Daytime highs of between 7 and 13 degrees and no snow. Last year we had a cm of snow one morning but then the sun came out and it was gone in a few hours.

Used to live in Montreal. they get serious amounts of snow. Don’t miss having to get up,early to shovel out the driveway a few times a week. 🙂

We have had a very unusual mild winter too. Mostly +5-10c. But for some reason, it snowed heavily last night. 😅😂

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Finders 🤔

Have been looking at a few finder alternatives for the scope. 

The 9x50 RA works well but the 6x30 RA is not bad either plus if I use it don’t have to buy another 9x50 finder to replace the one that was borrowed from another scope. The Rigel Quikfinder would be a great finder but not as the only finder. Have another red dot finder that will fasten onto the handle and has been made nore suitable for astro use by simply using red paint to dim the led.

Perhaps the 6x30 and the red dot finder would make the best combination? 🤔🤔🤔

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Edited by johninderby
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Think this will be a very popular scope. Already get the feeling optical quality is a step up from the old Skywatcher ED doublet scopes. In the brief lunar session last night the view was impressively sharp and contrasty and not a trace of CA. Can’t afford it now but think the Televue 3-6 zoom would be a great lunar eyepiece in this scope.

It’s this one, but might find it cheaper on eBay. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guiding-Telescope-Diameter-Finders-astrophotography/dp/B07RQT5CHV/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=svbony+finder+bracket&qid=1580914717&sr=8-1

 

Edited by johninderby
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18 minutes ago, Frank the Troll said:

Whats the RDF looking very smart on there?

It’s not expensive and I like the side mounted on/off brightness knob. Much easier to use than the more common rdf finders. Needs a bit of thin red paint putting on the led window to dim it down a bit. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tactical-Scope-1x22x33-Multi-Reticle-Compact-Red-Green-Dot-Sight-Free-Shipping/271848947787?hash=item3f4b75c04b:g:mawAAOSwYmZXKx8D

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48 minutes ago, johninderby said:

It’s not expensive and I like the side mounted on/off brightness knob. Much easier to use than the more common rdf finders. Needs a bit of thin red paint putting on the led window to dim it down a bit. 

Rather than paint. Try a peice of transparent Acetate Gel Sheet loads on flea B

 

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Congratulations on your new arrival. That’s a cool looking scope and looks just ‘so right’ on that AZ100; the combination of that scope and mount together must make observing a dream.  I must admit my instant reaction was that red tube rings would look better, but it seems such a petty comment! As for the finder, I’d stick with the 6x30 and save some money! I recently bought a scope which came with a 6x30 finder and remembered how how effective they can be. Looking forward to second, third and subsequent lights. 

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Hazy tonight but at least the moon wasn’t obscured. Venus was just a dancing blob unlike the other night. Could barely make out Orion. Anything not high up was a waste of time.,

Oh well at least the moon was good. Can’t believe how razor sharp and contrasty with loads of detail the views were. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Few low res pics of the moon using a smartphone. Need to sort out a  suitable eyepiece to use with it to get better results.

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Edited by johninderby
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