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Denk II 20mm WS III
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Poster: Joe Ogiba (see all of this user's photos)
Description: Denk II with WO 80mm Flourite Triplet APO and 20mm WideScan III's.


Registered: 6/2/2010
Posts: 5
Hi I'm new here and I have many questions about a potential setup that I would be grateful if someone could answer as well as give any advice. The image to which I am commenting spurred this research.


My wife is allowing me to spend more than our Leica 8-12x42 binoculars (which happen to be ED quality & $2,500) on a steady binocular spotting scope, similar to what you would find at an ocean pier or monument (around 30x-60x?).

However I would also like to use it for celestial viewing / imaging (I figure I can get equal or better optics than the Leica for a little more money if I have a single 4”-5” APO Refractor with a binoviewer & erecting device all on a grab and go mount)

Setup Use:

About 40% of the initial use of this set up will be terrestrial alt-az viewing (from an elevated deck so the mount needs be able to point down) erected image w/ a binoviewer to provide an easy to use binocular like spotting scope effect with a high quality main optic.

This main optic would ideally not only allow the use of naturally erected images during binoviewing, but also (w/o erector) be top-notch for viewing & imaging everything form the moon & planets to dim DSOs (with practice) that is very high quality and could be used later as part of an Eq-GoTo-mount / DSLR (Modded Hutech T1i?) AP imaging system.


After doing a fair amount of research & talking to some knowledgeable people at several binoviewer and telescope manufactures & dealer companies, I have several questions:

1,2&3……………I have been drawn to the T.V. NP 101is(I first looked at an AT130-f/6-FPL-53 not turned off yet) because of the great reviews and images that I see but I realize to take advantage of the “is” moniker you need a 35mm size sensor.

(1) What is the best bang for the buck in terms of imaging with a 35mm size sensor?

(2) Would forgetting the 35mm size and modifying my T1i be a better Idea? (it has “live view” good for focusing right?)

(3) If I get my T1i modified by say hutech (ie IR/UV filter removal & replacement w/ clear glass) can I still use it during the day normally with my DSLR lenses & something like an external filter/corrector?

4…………………..After visiting the T.V. Np101is site they say only 1 or 2 of their telescopes will work with binoviewers and the image corrector can only be a 60-deg diagonal (which is backwards L to R, not good for the wife)

(4) Would this refractor work with other binoviewers and a solid 45-deg erector? In other words is it this company’s own binoviewers that don’t support the addition of a 45-deg prism or is it a limitation with this particular telescope (a back focus issue?)

5&6……………….This company claims that their binoviewer comes with an image adjuster or combination BinoPrismEffect corrector & 2xBarlow which provides “par focus”(focus tube is at the same position when binoviewer is out or in) while correcting the image in anticipation of the BinoPrisms(or words to that effect).

(5) If this is the case and (all?) of their telescopes can achieve proper focus with the use of a 45-deg erector & an eyepiece then why can’t you slip their “par focus” bino in-between the eyepiece with no effect on the focus tube position?

(6) ie: why do they say (as in Q#4 prep) only 2 of the telescopes in their line can even use a diagonal in combo with their own binoviewer and its only a 60’deg with opposite L & R.?

7, 8, 9 & 10………..This trouble prompted me to look at other high quality APOs particularly the WO FLT 110 DDG because of their seemingly high quality and the fact that they offer a beefy 2” 45-deg erecting diagonal that is specifically advertised as being designed with a heavy binoviewing setup in mind. It was hard for me to contact them directly for which binoviewers they recommended.

So I called one of their listed US distributors, and he basically turned me away from the WO altogether (whom he now didn’t actually represent because he said they were hard to deal with) & away from the TV-Np101is. He guided me to a TSA 102(Very Nice) with Orion Binos/45&90Diagonals, a solid alt-az mount, a finder scope, brackets etc… all for about $3,600.

(7) Do WO have good customer service and are their optics high quality and if so should I just go with a full WO setup (I like the ddg) with their beefy 2” 45 and something like a denk binoviewer?

(8) Are Denks zoom adjustable at the eyepiece (like a spotting scope) or is it just their version of a compensating Barlow?

(9) What is the best bang for you buck binoviewer? (It doesn’t have to be the best, but I would like to be able to use them w/o the erecting device for celestial observing)

(10) Does this recommended TSA 102 setup sound like a good deal? I am assured It is supposed to be able to work very well for all the multi distance detailed sky viewing & imaging that I eventually want (I understand I must get a good EQ mount for AP imaging later) including the terra observing (erector w/ binoviewers) considering it has a 9” focus-tube length? If not where are the weak components & what would you suggest?

Final Questions:

Before realizing that the 45erector-binoviewer combo might be trouble for some telescopes I was planning on a purchase pattern as follows:

AT130 f/6 FPL-53 w/ some finder (would this work w/ a 45diag&binoviewer?)
Vixen Porta 2 mount (w/ extension alt/az adjustment knobs)
Hal 130 tripod
Some 45-erecting diagonal
Some Binoviewer

GDP2 mount with Star GoTo system
Some guiding ccd
Upgrade my T1i @ hutech or is dedicated ccd really worth the money?
Guiding & processing Software etc…

I am under the impression now that the vixen mounts (sphinx or GDP2) are loud and unreliable & not great for AP imaging. I think I still like the vixen alt-az mount though and I am undecided on the APO (again the main thing is that it can provide an easy to use binocular like spotting scope effect: ie binoviewers w/ 45-deg erecting prism)

I feel like this TSA w/ dedicated mount/tripod & binosystem deal might be the way to go with maybe a totally separate cegm goto eq mount later on.

Please let me know what you think the best components to use are in order to configure a setup that best suits my needs.

Any advice you kind people can give me on any of my eventual purchases (software / guide camera / anything missing) is more than welcome and would be much appreciated.

I am still learning so please be patient with me☺

Clear skies,

Wed Jun 2, 2010 7:06pm
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