Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, about a month ago i got my first telescope. Wasn't sure what to get but i wanted something portable and easy to setup and use. After some internet "research" i decided to go for a refractor on a manual alt/az mount. The telescope was on a 50% sale so i decided to go for it , the Meade infinity 90.
 

  • The package:
    The scope came in one big box, everything was inside. Included was the optical tube, the mount, 3 eyepieces (6.3mm, 9mm and 26mm), a 2x barlow lens, 90 degree diagonal, red dot finder, an eyepiece holder for the mount and a few manuals.
    • The optical tube:
      The tube has a 90mm (3.5in) aperture and 600mm focal length. It looks and feels as a quality instrument, it has a small dew shield and the focuser is smooth when you move it back and forward. As expected the lens looks to be coated. It has a dovetail bar on it with 3 holes for screws.
    • The mount:
      Light but stable, made of aluminium. It has 3 extendable legs, and 2 slow motion cables (alt/az). One screw to mount the tube on on top (adjustable back and forward).
    • The eyepieces and barlow:
      All 3 are modified achromat eyepieces, the lenses are made of glass and are OK for the beginner, but i would suggest upgrading if you can. The barlow is bad i even think that the optics are plastic (not sure), it is usable if you don't have other options but this should be the first upgrade in my opinion.
  • Observing:
    • First light:
      The telescope arrived in the morning so the first thing i did after a quick setup was to adjust the red dot finder. I looked at some mountains about 20km away, the view was nice and very detailed using all eyepieces. Combining the 6.3mm with the barlow got me a bit blurry view, but the barlow in combination with the other eyepieces was ok. Night came and it was a moonless and clear night (only light pollution from the city i live in). I saw orion right infront of me, "marked" it with the red dot finder where i thought M42 should be and looked through the 26mm eyepiece. It was a bit blurry but after adjusting the focus i could see some nice pinpoint stars and also something fuzzy, i realized it was the orion nebula. After letting my eyes adjust to the view for a few minutes i started seeing 2 faint "wings" on both sides and in the center were 4 very tiny stars, i didn't expect to see that on my first night. I followed my target for about 15 minutes using the slow motion controls , it was easy to do. Also tried the 9mm eyepiece and with it the 4 stars were more easily seen but the faint clouds got fainter so i moved back to the 26mm. Next target was venus, i tried all eyepieces + with combination with the barlow. It looked like a very bright half moon without any details. When using the barlow the view was ok but purple glow was showing around the planet, without the barlow the purple wasn't noticeable. I also looked at the star Sirius which looked nice, bright and much bigger then any other star i could see that night. After Venus went down i decided it was enough for day one.
    • Moon:
      I expected it to look good, but not this good. I was observing the moon for a couple of nights until it got full. I could see a lot of details at the terminator , with low and high magnification. When the moon was full it was very very bright and it looked best with the smallest magnification using the 26mm eyepiece.
    • Jupiter and Saturn:
      I got 2 opportunities to look at these 2, the first time i think the "seeing" was bad. I could only see Jupiters 4 moons and the planet was a bright disc without any details at any magnification i tried. Saturn also wasn't very good, i could see the rings but they were blurry and "dancing" around. But the next time i had the chance to look at these planets the conditions were much better, first target was again Jupiter. With the 26mm eyepiece i could see a white disc with 4 moons.With the 9mm i could see the moons again but now the disc had very faint 2 bands without any color. The view was best with the 6.3mm eyepiece, the 2 bands were clearly visible and on the upper belt on the right side there was a small dark dot, i am not sure if it was anything . Next target was Saturn, event with the 26mm eyepiece i could see that it has rings, i switched to the 6.3mm right away and wow there it was, Saturn and its rings clearly visible, i even think i could spot the cassini devision, but it might have been my eyes playing tricks. I tried using the barlow on both targets but it was making the image blurry, but at this point i had purchased a higher quality barlow and the views were very nice with it , but the  max magnification i could use that night was 133x, anything higher and the image was getting wobbly (probably that was due to the atmosphere that night). After that some clouds came in and it was time to get back to bed (got up just to see the planets in 4am).
  • Conclusion:
    I think i got what i wanted, a small and very portable telescope for some basic amateur observing. I do recommend this telescope to anyone as a first telescope or even to an experienced astronomer who is looking for something light, portable and being able to set it up and start observing in 2 minutes. Also i would recommend you replace all of the eyepieces and the barlow. I got me a few plossl eyepieces and a nice barlow, it was worth it.


Feel free to ask me anything regarding this telescope i will be more than happy to answer.
Sorry for any spelling mistakes this review probably contains :)

Also i am attaching a few images i took directly off the eyepiece using my smartphone (handheld).


The Telescope

IMG_20200319_141724_1.jpg
The Moon:

IMG_20200329_230816.jpg
The Moon:

IMG_20200407_211234.jpg
Venus:

IMG_20200418_194059-01.jpeg
Saturn:

IMG_20200419_043400.jpg
Jupiter:

IMG_20200419_053014.jpg

Edited by Stefann
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

добра вечер / good evening @Stefann and welcome to SGL. :hello2:  🇲🇰 🇬🇧

Good images from a smartphone handheld over the eyepiece. I have tried many times... and keep trying... and fail.

You said, quote: "... and on the upper belt on the right side there was a small dark dot, i am not sure if it was anything..." - that may have been one of the four Galellean moons shadow. Always fun to watch them go in and come out of shadow.

6.3mm e/p and x2 barlow is way to much magnification... even using the 9mm e/p and x2 barlow you may get the same result, so worth investing in 'better' here as you are planning to do. As for brand; do you have a budget? - then we can advise better.

Wishing you clear Balkan skies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for your comment @Philip R.

About the eyepiece upgrades, i already got 4. They are celestron omni plossl eyepieces, 15mm, 9mm, 6mm and a 2x barlow. I got them for about 12 Euro's a piece. The views are noticeably better and the field of view is bigger then with the ones that came with the scope.I would love to later upgrade to ones with better eye relief but I think these are good enough for now.

In the near future i am looking to get a solar filter, so any suggestions are welcome.

Edited by Stefann
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think the eyepiece choice is OK size wise, though as to quality I am not. @rwilkey is the man who knows his eyepieces inside out and not forgetting @John and @Louis D too.

Solar filter wise... personally go for a solar wedge, (image of my 70mm refractor and solar wedge below on a overcast GB/UK at about midday).

 IMG_0675.thumb.JPG.61d0def85db3d5e798128ef6d95d020b.JPG 

 

Alternatively you can try a full aperture solar filter. There are at least three types.

  1. Glass. In my opinion, apart from the solar wedge this is my choice. I have one but is starting to show its age now and no longer not use it. Gives a nice 'comforting' yellow-orange hue of the solar disc.
  2. Solar film. Two options available here. One is buy a ready made for your 'scope objective, i.e. full aperture. Can either be ready made or you can make one yourself with some cardboard and stick-back plastic tape, which is also the cheapest option. Gives a very pale blue or white disc. 
  3. Black polymer. They are supposed to be a longer lasting version of '2' above, though how true, I do not know, as I have not used one.

Anyway, if you do decide on a full solar filter, DO REMEMBER TO CHECK IT BEFORE EACH AND EVERY USE for any scratches, tears, pin-pricks, etc., and this  includes the glass one too! - do not assume that it is 100% defect free.

This is why I have now gone for the solar wedge option. Depending on the brand, (mine is a Lunt), I get a green solar disc when used with a solar continuum filter and built-in ND3.0 filter. Also it is worth noting that they can only be used with a refractor 'scopes. 

BTW - please remember to remove your finder/RDF before finder too! - I got a nasty rash on my forehead, back in 1999; (I was in Krapets, BG, with a few other members from my local astro. society/club to view it); when I forgot to remove my RDF. It stung for days after! 😳

Edited by Philip R
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Stefann, 

Really enjoyed reading your first light report! Btw, there is an app called 'Moons of Jupiter' that you can use to identify where the 4 largest moons are positioned at a certain time or date. I observed a transit last year and was able to use the app to identify the moon as being Io.

Peter

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Stefann

great article    I have also purchased Meade 90 as for a first scope

have upgraded  eye pieces    good strong tripod for a starter unit

Regards Mike   Sussex UK 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By A_D05
      So I am fairly new to the hobby, what I mean is I have a Celestron Astromaster 114 right now but its hard to use because of the non computerized equatorial mount as well as the red dot sight is bad. I am mainly interested in looking at DSO’s because they seem very interesting. My question is should i get a refractor or sct for observing dso’s and sometimes planets? I want a computerized one with tracking so I don’t have to take a long time finding nebulae and galaxies. Also, is there a certain type of filter to see color on nebula when not using eaa and just viewing with your eyes? I am looking to spend between $600-900
      thanks, 
      drew
    • By jadcx
      TS Optics Photoline 90mm Triplet
      On reflection (or should that be through the lens of reality?) this was overpriced at £800, so is now reduced accordingly  
      In excellent condition, I gave a small writeup about this when I bought it, and it is still an excellent scope.  However it has been losing out to the 60 and 76 Tak and now spends all of its time alone, safely flight-cased.
      Don't leave this scope to suffer a lonely and unused life.  Buy it and catch some great views this winter! 


      Payment: PayPal (buyer pays fees) or bank transfer (preferred).
      Postage: Not included.  Collection from Nottingham, UK is free (of course), otherwise you will need to arrange your own courier.
    • By endlessky
      I have already posted my first astrophotographic session report in the telescope review thread: Tecnosky 80/480 APO FPL53 Triplet OWL Series - Review. But since that is more of a general review/diary of my experience with the new telescope, I feel some of the issues I am having are being buried and they will probably get more visibility if I post them - in a more synthetic version - in a dedicated thread.
      So, a few nights ago (October, the 5th) I took out my new telescope for its first light. All the photos have been taken with the 0.8x flattener/reducer and the Optolong L-Pro 2" filter attached to the reducer. The camera is an astromodified Nikon D5300. The only processing the following pictures have consists in this:
      - AutomaticBackgroundExtractor
      - ColorCalibration
      - Stretch
      Here we have a 90s shot of M31.

      And here's a mosaic generated with the AberrationInspector script.

      What I do like:
      - tightest, smallest, roundest stars I have gotten since I started doing astrophotography at the end of January. Obviously comparing it to what I have been achieving with a kit 70-300mm zoom lens, these can't be anything else but better by orders of magnitude
      What I don't like:
      - star shape not consistent in all areas of the image
      - residual chromatic aberration, especially on stars that are not round: there's clearly some red and blue edges visible
      I didn't expect this from an apochromatic refractor, but maybe it's just because the stars are kinda "smeared", so not all light is focused at the same spot? I don't see this around the center of the image (or, at least, the problem is less pronounced). Maybe I have some tilting in my imaging train/sensor?
      I have been doing some reasoning about it and it seems like a combination of tilting and/or backfocus spacing. According to the following image about backfocus spacing:

      if the stars are elongated radially, the sensor is too close, if they are elongated tangentially, the sensor is too far. But to me it seems I have a little bit of both: in the top right corner, for example, the stars look radially elongated, in the bottom right, they look tangentially elongated. Top left they look tangentially elongated, bottom left also, but a little less. Seems like there has to be some tilting as well, otherwise they would all have a symmetric shape on all corners, correct?
      How do I determine - is there even a way - if the issue is due to tilting only, backfocus only, or the combination of the two? Is there a sure proof way of checking for tilting? Like, rotating the camera and taking pictures with, say, the camera at 0°, 90°, 270° and 360°? If there's tilting, the pattern of the star shapes should follow the camera, correct?
      I also tried splitting the channels in R, G, and B components, doing a star alignment of the blue and red channels with the green as a reference, and recombining the channels. The blue and red edges become a lot less evident, which is good, but obviously the star shapes remain the same.
      In my Telescopius gallery you can also find two other images, Capella and Capella Mosaic showing pretty much the same issues.
      Also, one issue with the guide camera: ZWO ASI 224MC. When attached to the guide scope (Artesky UltraGuide 60mm f/4), I can't seem to get a "sharp" focus, I even tried on the Moon, and the best I got was a soft lunar disc, with some major features visible, mainly by change of color/brightness (the maria, for example), but no details. The image still seemed blurred/bloated. Is it because of lack of IR blocking filter? I tried the same camera attached to the main refractor, with the L-Pro filter (which blocks UV and IR, as well) and I could focus perfectly. Do I need an IR block filter for guiding or even if the stars appear a little soft, the camera guides just fine?
      Matteo
    • By endlessky
      I have been waiting for this telescope for almost five months. Since May, 19th, to be precise. The day I went to the TS Italia store and saw for the first time the SLD model, model now discontinued. I even missed the last available piece just for a few days, once I finally placed my order, June, 25th. It was to be replaced by a newer model, available at the end of the Summer.
      Boy, am I glad I did miss it. The wait was definitely worth it. The new and improved model is simply beautiful. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on the Tecnosky website a few weeks ago, when they posted the product sheet. But in person, it's even more beautiful.
      So, the people from the store emailed me Friday, October the 2nd, telling me that it was finally available for pickup. I read the message only a whole hour later and it was soon going to be closing time. I started calling at 4:30 PM and I finally managed to get my phone call through at around 5:05 PM. The store closes at 6:00 PM and doesn't reopen until Monday. And it's 40 minutes away from where I live. I made it there in 35. There was no way I was going to have to wait till Monday, knowing my scope was only a few minutes away.
      So, here's the pre-unboxing picture:

      - top left, brown box, behind: Vixen clamp for guide-scope
      - top right, white box: 60mm f/4 guide-scope
      - top left, white boxes: T2 Nikon ring, 30mm spacer, adjustable spacer
      - center, behind white boxes: Optolong L-Pro 2" filter
      - right of filter: spacers mounted and already calibrated for 55mm backfocus, for eventual use of the ZWO ASI 224MC camera with the refractor
      - top right, Bahtinov mask
      - underneath the white boxes, top left: Losmandy bar to attach telescope to my NEQ6 Losmandy saddle
      - big box underneath all of the above: Tecnosky 80mm f/6 FPL-53 OWL Triplet, with carrying case and 0.8x 4 elements flattener/reducer
      - ZWO black case: ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera / planetary camera
      - front left: Talisker 57° North and two glasses (don't mind the shape of the glasses, they are the closest to Whisky suitable glasses that I currently own...) ready for me and my wife to celebrate the end of the wait
      - front right: box for the aforementioned Whisky
      I actually waited for yesterday (Saturday, the 3rd) for the unboxing, because I wanted my best friend Omar to be present and help me with filming and taking pictures. We have been friends since we went to kindergarten and we always have had astronomy as a common interest.
      It just so happens, to my immense surprise, that my telescope is actually SN. 0001, so I own the first telescope ever produced of this new series. The certificate is also very promising, with a Strehl ratio of 0.974 and a Ronchi test that seems very well behaved. I like a little less the red edges on the lenses, but I guess only time and a proper visual - and astrophotographic - session will be able to tell.



      Obviously the "new equipment curse" didn't help, but we got almost a whole hour with clear sky patches and obviously I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I quickly setup with the bare minimum necessities for a visual observation and me, my wife and my best friend Omar - who helped with the staging, recording and directing of the unboxing event - took a quick look at the Moon, Saturn, Mars, M31 and Perseus Double Cluster.
      I can definitely understand now, even if the seeing wasn't perfect, and my eyepieces didn't offer enough magnification (25mm and 10mm give me 80x and 200x, with my C8, but with a native focal length of 480mm, even with a Barlow 2x, we could only achieve about 38x and 96x, respectively), what people mean when they say that an apochromatic refractor brings out the objects from the background sky. The contrast was stunning, the stars were absolute points, pinpoint, small and sharp (with my C8 they always have kind of a "blob" feeling), the contrast on the Moon was fantastic and I could see many details, despite it being almost full, and only at 48-96x. I think it passed the visual test with honors. I was also very happy to be able to see the Double Cluster all in the same field of view for the first time. Saturn was well defined, could clearly make out the rings - don't recall, in all the excitement, rush and cycling between me, my wife and my friend, if I saw the Cassini division, but I'll definitely try again next clear sky night. Mars was also beautiful, could clearly see its rusty red color, the polar cap and some darker, black features on the surface.
      I really can say it's a beautiful telescope, very well made and machined. The attention to details is really of another level, the paint finish is very nice and matte. Also very lovely all the different red and black anodized surfaces, they really give it a nice finish and personality. The focuser is also the best I have ever had on a telescope. Very smooth, precise, with no backlash. Coming from a C8 where every touch of the focuser throws off the image all over the place and the backlash is quite significant, I really appreciated how easy it was to fine tune focusing with a proper focuser, especially with the 10:1 focusing knob.
      I can't wait to be able to take the first pictures of some star field, to check if even photographically the telescope lives up to my expectations. I hope to get pinpoint stars corner to corner and that the backfocus won't be something too hard to make perfect.
      Here's some accessories.

      Optolong L-Pro 2" filter, Bahtinov mask, Losmandy dovetail to replace the Vixen one the telescope comes with, Nikon T2 ring and spacers to use the ASI 224MC with the correct backfocus directly on the telescope, instead of a guide-camera.
      Here's the 60mm f/4 guide-scome, with Vixen clamp.

      And the ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera.

      Here's the mandatory celebration beer, at Corte dell'Orso (the Bear's Courtyard).
      It's a Belgian sour beer, lambic style. Oudbeitje by Hanssens Artisanaal, with added strawberries. A very nice beer, sour, tart and fruity. Could definitely taste the strawberries.
      Cheers!

      Here's a couple of pictures of the full setup, with everything mounted on my Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro.
      The setup is in its astrophotographic configuration: mount, telescope, guide-scope, guide-camera, filter, flattener/reducer and at the end the Nikon D5300 astromodified. All controlled by Astroberry on my Raspberry Pi 4 4GB, conveniently mounted on a bar across the two telescope rings.


      And finally a close up of the rig.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.