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As i am soon to be the proud owner of a Vixen Polarie star tracker i am looking for some advice from the experts here on SGL with regards to widefield imaging with the Vixen Polarie.
I will initially be using it with a modified Canon 600D so am looking for advice on which lens would be best suited to use with it, I have already been pointed in the direction of the Samyang 135mm which by all accounts is a pretty good contender, so aside from that particular lens what other/s would you recommend that are Canon fitting,
Thanks in advance 🙂
just wondering what options are available for me to upgrade the standard SXW Vixen clamp to enable it to accept Losmandy style dovetails. I recently acquired a CGE dovetail that I would like to use with my 8” Edge.
Hi there everybody, hope you are all keeping sane during COVID. As already revealed in an earlier thread I will be building an observatory this year. Whilst it’s a bit early for the exterior elements of the build, I’m keeping busy putting together all the accessories I will need from an interior perspective. In doing so I’ve discovered a couple of thorny issues.
1/. I will need a 2.1mm power lead from Vixen to connect up to my new Pegasus UPB2; oh and just saying, what a fantastic piece of kit it is too. If needs be I can always buy in the whoppingly over-priced AC/DC adapter from Vixen, however I really would like to power everything from a central core, rather than adding to the electrical spaghetti with independent power units.
2/. There is also an issue with my Atik Horizon. Due to the fact that my little SXW is already stressed to the max, I can’t go with the preferred format of mounting the UPB2 on the mount or OTA, instead I will have to locate it as high up the pier as I can, which means that the power cable needs to be longer. In addition, I will need to source a power lead from somewhere that will interface to the UPB2 and the Atik. Had a look on the Atik website and there don’t seem to be any options in this regard.
So I’m hoping that someone has had to deal with similar issues in the past and will be able to offer some much needed advice.😀
Wondering what a realistic load capy. is for a Vixen APZ. My biggest scope is an ST120 refractor that weighs about 5.5 kg with 8x50 finder and eyepiece. I'm thinking of upgrading to a Crayford focuser which I believe will add another half kilo or so.
I currently have a Twilight 1 which seems maxed out with the 120 and a SkyWatcher AZ5 which handles it a bit better, but it's also close to max load, I think.
I have a Manfrotto 475B and a stock TW1 tripod. I'd prefer not to use a counterweight, but if it's a necessity, so be it.
Here is a review and then a couple of questions to the forum
The experience I gained assessing my new Nikon Action EX 10x50s https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/369052-comparison-of-pentax-sp-50-wp-10x50-and-nikon-action-ex-10x50-cf/?tab=comments#comment-4009551 led me to dig out my old Vivitar Series 1 8x25. I bought these in 1995 for £99, so not an insignificant amount then. Series 1 was Vivitar's premium range at a time when (I believe) they were well regarded for their optics (now they seem to sell basically children's toy binoculars). Anyway, despite their price/apparent pedigree and excellent build (made in Japan) I never got on with them, finding them very difficult to focus and to keep in focus. They rarely got used and indeed got superseded for general use by the Inpro 10x50 mentioned in the thread above.
Using what I learned when assessing the Nikon's I decided that the focus problems were down to four things: 1. a small exit pupil, quoted as 3.12mm, so you need to have the eyepieces correctly positioned over each eye; 2. a short eye relief that I estimated to be about 11mm. I found the view (without glasses) to be best with the short (4.5mm) rubber eye cups folded down. Wearing glasses, it was like looking down a drain pipe with a severely vignetted view; 3. difficulties getting the interpupillary distance right: for some reason the image is significantly brighter when the binoculars are set wider than the correct distance. However, at this, what would appear to be the correct separation, they will not come completely to focus. When they are brought down to the correct distance (60mm for me) the image suddenly gets darker but actually focusses well; 4. a very 'low geared' focus wheel and seemingly very short depth of field which necessitates a lot of focus twiddling every time you change view (not for objects at infinity, obviously). Because of these things, its crucial to get the binoculars correctly positioned over the eyes and to keep them in that position. Once they are correct the image is actually not bad. To be specific, the image is almost exactly like it looks with the naked eye: the same colour balance, the same detail and resolution, the same clarity, the same brightness - just a bit bigger. Its quite uncanny really. In contrast, the Nikons give an almost hyper-real clarity, detail and brightness and as serious wow factor.
Compared to the 10x50s they really didn't seem to magnify that much (I found the objectives to actually be 23mm so 7.4x not 😎 but maybe this is something to do with AFoV. FoV is quoted as 'Wide Field 8.2°'.
So basically they magnify the image but not the brightness which is fine for daylight use but fairly useless as night. The big advantage, however, is that whereas the Nikon's are over a kilogram and will only just fit inside my zipped up coat when round my neck, these weigh a third as much (350g) and are a fraction of the size (105x120mm). They easily fit in my coat pocket.
So I think I should give them more of a chance by keeping them in my coat pocket so they are there when I need them (the best binocular is the one you have with you!).
On to my question then: does anyone know anything more about these older Vivitars: whether they are actually any good and when and why the company seemed to give up with proper optics? I can find nothing on the internet. All I have is the Vivitar brochure from the time (attached) in which the certainly seem to regard themselves as makers of 'proper optics'.
I'd also welcome comments on the issues I found and whether my conclusions are correct.