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Summer Triangle Challenge

ZWO Seestar 50


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It piques my interest but 2MP images and the main issue is it's alt az so exposure duration limited. At least the dwarf you can make it equatorial. I think you still also need to level it too so not quite complete plug and play.

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From what I can see, this is the same sensor and aperture as the Vaonis Vespera, so I guess you could expect similar results. There are lots of examples around of what the Vespera is capable of. At £459 it’s almost worth a punt for a bit of fun. I think it would be fine for the brighter emission nebulae and galaxies. The price point is seriously bad news for the Vespera though which retails at £2100! 

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I could see this  as a take anywhere, anytime setup. Visiting friends, family, weekend away it seems like a load less aggravation (and cost) than even a "mobile" setup.

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I will certainly wait for a few reviews, but £460 for a plug and play portable imaging set up is pretty astounding. Ideal for a travel small set up.

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I also ordered one, and considered ordering direct, but they wanted an ID number I didn't understand, so mindful of potential customs and VAT charges I decided to order via an UK distributor.

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Interesting comparison between thespecs on the  Dawrf and the See Stars on "Rooster Observatory " (YouTube ) .. Certainly looks like the Dwarf is the better option . The guy on YT has the Dwarf and has put an order in for the SeeStars so he has no bias towards either . 

I applaud anyone bringing new gear onto the market as it shows progression . Sure these units might be a bit niche but in my case its a really fun way of capturing the night sky and the Moon and Sun , without the headache ( as i see it ) of teasing details from a program . I can now see the Leo triplet within 2minutes , which is remarkable . 

Also the feeback from reviewers has been both encouraging to the end user but also their critisisms have been listened to by the suppliers . 

Astronomy takes makes many forms . The SeeStars and dwarf can only enhance interest , Surely .

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1 hour ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Interesting comparison between thespecs on the  Dawrf and the See Stars on "Rooster Observatory " (YouTube ) .. Certainly looks like the Dwarf is the better option . The guy on YT has the Dwarf and has put an order in for the SeeStars so he has no bias towards either . 

I applaud anyone bringing new gear onto the market as it shows progression . Sure these units might be a bit niche but in my case its a really fun way of capturing the night sky and the Moon and Sun , without the headache ( as i see it ) of teasing details from a program . I can now see the Leo triplet within 2minutes , which is remarkable . 

Also the feeback from reviewers has been both encouraging to the end user but also their critisisms have been listened to by the suppliers . 

Astronomy takes makes many forms . The SeeStars and dwarf can only enhance interest , Surely .

As you say there's a variety of approaches to astronomy and as long as someone is having fun, then does it matter how they observe.

My personal challenge with these devices is understanding why I would use one of these over looking at pictures from the internet. Putting visual to one side, I would suspect that the challenge of capturing the images forms a big part of the enjoyment in AP.

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Looks like a perfect portable eea solution; far more compact and lightweight than what I currently use. Time is of the essence when on holiday or visiting and I am under orders by family to ensure I bring stuff so order placed look forward to receipt about July.

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15 hours ago, Greymouser said:

The fact that it will only work properly when the humidity is below 60% is worrying too, at least living in the UK! Unless I am misreading it.

Yes I wonder about suitability for UK use. The Dwarf spec even gives 10C minimum. UK Summer use only?

Can't fault these devices as 'plant on tripod and get quick results' type of equipment.
Given the number of 'new to astronomy' people who want imaging before eyepiece viewing, I'm sure these things will sell.

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250mm focal length is too long for that with the Seestar. It'd make a useful platform for many nebulae and the largest galaxies and open clusters. Dwarfs wide angle lens would be just about suitable for meteors, something closer to a 14-20mm lens would be even better.

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Another one to keep an eye on and from a company that we know has a track record in astro hardware, cameras and software, unlike some other options. As with the other options, this will succeed or fail on the software and how easy it is to achieve good results. These could be very useful for outreach.

 

Peter

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24 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

My personal challenge with these devices is understanding why I would use one of these over looking at pictures from the internet.

I'll start by saying devices such as these don't really appeal to me, and I can't see myself ever buying one, personally. But I guess the difference between them and looking at pics on the internet is the image you see is what is above you in that moment, so there's more of a direct connection to the object. Yes, it removes the challenge, but undoubtedly, some people are put off astrophotography because of the difficulty (not to mention the cost!!). It that sense, I can understand why these things would appeal to someone who just wants to sit back and appreciate the things that are up above them.

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As a primarily visual astronomer over the last forty plus years, I had a period of EAA which I really enjoyed and hope to get back into it soon. I was forced to into EAA through massive light pollution which made visual impossible, and my home brew EAA rig, using my basic Lodestar guide cam, was a miracle solution and a massive boon for me. But after I moved to a better location I continued with EAA. So as a visual astronomer, what did I find so enjoyable about EAA? For me it was still a thrill to see that faint fuzzy slew into view on screen, and then watch the detail build up over the next few minutes, and then investigate what I could see. I could also fiddle with sliders to increase contrast, brightness and sharpness and reveal more detail - a bit like popping in a visual filter. It didn’t feel like like imaging, it was more immediate. At 650mm focal length I could see so many faint objects (particularly galaxies) that I would never be able to see visually without a massive light bucket. Plus I could keep a snapshot for later analysis and sharing with the community. In fact I discovered a supernova (well I captured it before the ‘official’ discovery time, but sadly only found out days later!). With a black and white sensor it was very sensitive, and strangely more akin to visual than a colour sensor. Downsides were all the typical issues you get with imaging - alignment, collimation, focus, dust bunnies, hot pixels, etc. and it took time to set up. Products like the SeeStar seem to remove most of these issues, although from what I have seen of Unistellar and Vaonis, they still require some fettling, but that will improve over time. Personally I think at 200mm focal length for the SeeStar, the number of objects of interest (at least to me) will be limited. Unistellar’s eVscope is better at 450mm, but I still don’t think the results are as good as my super sensitive black and white setup. But these systems will only get better and cheaper and more popular and I will undoubtedly get one at some point.

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8 hours ago, Shimrod said:

As you say there's a variety of approaches to astronomy and as long as someone is having fun, then does it matter how they observe.

My personal challenge with these devices is understanding why I would use one of these over looking at pictures from the internet. Putting visual to one side, I would suspect that the challenge of capturing the images forms a big part of the enjoyment in AP.

Yep I think that is it, being actively engaged in the process rather than looking on the internet which is more passive. This type of system, for the price, would be ideal for small outreach and social events. 

Jim 

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2 hours ago, RobertI said:

As a primarily visual astronomer over the last forty plus years, I had a period of EAA which I really enjoyed and hope to get back into it soon. I was forced to into EAA through massive light pollution which made visual impossible, and my home brew EAA rig, using my basic Lodestar guide cam, was a miracle solution and a massive boon for me. But after I moved to a better location I continued with EAA. So as a visual astronomer, what did I find so enjoyable about EAA? For me it was still a thrill to see that faint fuzzy slew into view on screen, and then watch the detail build up over the next few minutes, and then investigate what I could see. I could also fiddle with sliders to increase contrast, brightness and sharpness and reveal more detail - a bit like popping in a visual filter. It didn’t feel like like imaging, it was more immediate. At 650mm focal length I could see so many faint objects (particularly galaxies) that I would never be able to see visually without a massive light bucket. Plus I could keep a snapshot for later analysis and sharing with the community. In fact I discovered a supernova (well I captured it before the ‘official’ discovery time, but sadly only found out days later!). With a black and white sensor it was very sensitive, and strangely more akin to visual than a colour sensor. Downsides were all the typical issues you get with imaging - alignment, collimation, focus, dust bunnies, hot pixels, etc. and it took time to set up. Products like the SeeStar seem to remove most of these issues, although from what I have seen of Unistellar and Vaonis, they still require some fettling, but that will improve over time. Personally I think at 200mm focal length for the SeeStar, the number of objects of interest (at least to me) will be limited. Unistellar’s eVscope is better at 450mm, but I still don’t think the results are as good as my super sensitive black and white setup. But these systems will only get better and cheaper and more popular and I will undoubtedly get one at some point.

Well that’s a great post and to be honest sums up the worth of these small units . Having already purchased a Dwarf Labs ii I am mightily impressed and it’s , as you rightly say , fascinating to see the picture build up in front of your eyes . The software is easy to use and the Auto stretching feature is a brilliant addition . 

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9 hours ago, Elp said:

250mm focal length is too long for that with the Seestar. It'd make a useful platform for many nebulae and the largest galaxies and open clusters. Dwarfs wide angle lens would be just about suitable for meteors, something closer to a 14-20mm lens would be even better.

 

If I understand correctly, the focal length has been calculated in order to fill the Sun/Moon on the IMX462 framing. Not bad, in my opinion.

Obviously, not suitable for planetary imaging where you would need at least ten times this focal length for a meaningful image.

N.F.

 

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The most intriguing part is naming the product the 'SeeStar S50' so expect more models in the future with wider objectives and different focal lengths, maybe. Understand the device is currently limited to 10 second sub-exposures too which might relate to build quality? Years ago I was lucky to have a good example of the SkyWatcher Synscan Alt Az mount where 60 seconds was achievable before the mount mechanic limitations showed up. Seems a good device for travel.

Cheets,

Steve

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I suspected this model range change in future too. Its at a very good price point and will be great for certain people. If you've got a capable EQ dslr setup however maybe not so much.

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