Jump to content


Photo

Stellarvue NHNG questions vs. Zenthstar II

  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 mountainsean

mountainsean

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 25 March 2007 - 01:37 AM

Hi folks-

I'm completely on the fence between a Next Gen. Nighthawk and a William Optics Zenithstar II 80mm (visual use only), so I was hoping someone here could help with a few questions:

- how well does the NHNG standard Crayford focuser compare against the ZSII's?

- I don't have any 2" eyepieces, and don't plan on getting any, so I was going to get a 1.25" diagonal. I figure this will save a few pennies and also allow me to use my 1.25" barlow in front of the diagonal for extra magnification options. The ZSII comes with a nice 1.25" adapter w/compression ring - does the NHNG come with one too, or do I have to pay the extra $29 for theirs?

- would you expect any problems reaching focus with either scope and my EP's below?

- how useful is the RDF that comes with the SVNHNG? I was thinking I could probably do without a RDF and just use my lowest power EP (30x or so), but not sure how realistic that is.

- I'll be pairing the scope with a WO EZTouch mount. I'm told that I can get the clamshell upgrade on the SVNHNG and not have to bother with rings and a plate for the Vixen dovetail. Anybody know if the SV clamshell ring will work on the ZSII if I decide to go that route? I have a hard time forking over $200 for a pair of rings and a mounting plate.

That's about all I can think of right now. I'm leaning toward the SVNHNG - I really like the comfort factor that SV provides by star testing each scope before it leaves the shop. But the ZSII comes out about $125 cheaper in the end if I can use the SV clamshell. Seems like these two are really neck and neck.

-Sean

#2 KWB

KWB

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16312
  • Joined: 30 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet

Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:07 AM

- how useful is the RDF that comes with the SVNHNG? I was thinking I could probably do without a RDF and just use my lowest power EP (30x or so), but not sure how realistic that is.
----------------
Hi Sean
As far as a reflex finder goes for my use in heavily LP
skies they are practically useless-but a finder scope IMO
is essential,at least for me. I detest swapping eyepieces
any more than I have to and never use the main tube as a
finder scope. On my double star nights the finder scope comes in mighty handy when slewing the main scope from
target to target. I'm a star hopper.

Kenny

#3 Teal'c

Teal'c

    Indeed

  • *****
  • Posts: 4303
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2005

Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:39 AM

A big part of the reason that I like buying from Stellarvue.

"The Nighthawk Next Generation Telescopes, like all of our instruments, will be hand made, one at a time. Quality cannot and will not be rushed".

The NHNG also comes with the 1.25" adapter. Also, the lens cell is not the same as the others, It's SV's own design.

I'm not knocking the WO, I just prefer SV.

#4 Rcade

Rcade

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004
  • Loc: FL

Posted 25 March 2007 - 08:10 AM

The NH-II does come with a very nice compresion ring 1.25" adapter. I tried a 1.25" diagonal in mine and all my eyepieces came to focus with no problem. That does not mean all eyepieces will but I had about 3/4" of extra in the worst cases. I like a red dot or Terad type finder. I have not needed a magnifying finder with the NH-II due to the wide field.

#5 SAL

SAL

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2205
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2003

Posted 25 March 2007 - 09:47 AM

I have never looked though either of the scopes you are considering, so I can not comment directly on them. But I have owned two Stellarvue scopes (80/9D acho and 102BV APO doublet). Both came with the Stellarvue RDF, which to my surprise, I found very useful. It allows very quick aiming of the scope with excellent accuracy. Sort of like a mini-Telrad but with just a dot instead of the circles.

The reasons you listed for leaning towards the Stellarvue are the reasons I purchased a second Stellarvue scope. I tried another 4-inch ED scope that had significant optical problems to save some $$$, and ended up selling it to get my Stellarvue 102BV which is what I should have done in the first place IMO. It performed to expectations right out of the box.

#6 SpongeBob

SpongeBob

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 615
  • Joined: 15 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Dearborn, Michigan

Posted 25 March 2007 - 11:02 AM

I have the NHNG with the FT focuser. The RDF is very useful to me. The optical quality is top notch. In fact the last two times I had it out I was able to view Saturn at 200x
Jason

#7 danmesloh

danmesloh

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 737
  • Joined: 20 May 2004
  • Loc: Eureka, Ca.

Posted 25 March 2007 - 11:27 AM

I can't answer your specific question but I have a SV80BV and I'm very pleased with it. Here's a link
to a review about this scope.

#8 Ortho2000

Ortho2000

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 280
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:05 PM

$ 125 seems like very little difference to become part of the fanatical Stellarvue community where support is legion. I also found the red dot finder on my NHNG suprisingly useful. I have a telrad, and more straight and 90 degree right angle finders than you can shake a stick at.

The binoviewer ready 80 mm APO refractor format for me was an easy choice. I'd favor the NHNG. YMMV

#9 tom r.

tom r.

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 471
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA

Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:11 PM

Hi Sean,
In regards to the 1 1/4" dielectric diagonal, or the 2", I was wondering the same thing before I ordered the NHNG. I received this link: http://geogdata.csun...dielectric.html
with the explanation of why getting the two inch diagonal is the better choice, even though you may be only using 1 1/4" ep's.
This helped in my decision making on why the two inch was a better choice.

Hope this helps! :)

Tom

#10 Phil Frederick

Phil Frederick

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX

Posted 25 March 2007 - 04:21 PM

Sean,

I'll try to give you my mini-subjective review here, hoping it'll help. I currently have a NHNG and have previously had a ZS80FD, a ZS80 (achro), and an Orion 80ED--but haven't had the WOZS80II so can't address that specific scope. I didn't own these at the same time so my comments are based on recollection.

Optics. The ZS80FD, NHNG and ED80 are all very sharp--about equal in my estimation. The WO ZS80 not quite as good. Did not see any CA (terrestrial or astro) with the ZS80FD. Very slight CA on the NHNG and ED80 on terrestrial high contrast targets at high power but virtually non-existent on astro except a little on Venus, Sirius. Certainly not an issue in my mind for visual. The ZS80 Achro showed a bit more CA both on terrestrial and astro--not up to the others.

Focuser. The single speed Crayford on the ED80 is functional and really caused me no problems but it's not up to the others. The 2 speed on the ZS80FD was nice--better than the ED80--but I could never get it adjusted to where it was *really* as smooth as I'd have liked. Maybe just my inability to properly adjust it. The focuser on the NHNG is a bit more massive than the others and as additional adjustment capability over the others. It's very smooth and my favorite of the bunch.

Build quality. The ED80 is a very functional scope but is definitly not as spiffy as the NHNG or the WO both of which are beautifully made. But I think I'd give the edge here to the NHNG which is a little more massive and feels extremely solid and the overall finish beautiful.

EP focus issues. Don't have any of the EP's that you do but I haven't experienced any issues reaching focus with any of these scopes (Naglers, Panoptics, Radians LVW's. Note that for barlowing I use the Poweremate so can't comment on a regular barlow. Just a comment on 2" EPs. I've used a 35 Panoptic and 22 and 17 Naglers with all these scopes and the views are wonderful.

Finder. The red dot finder that comes with the NHNG is very good. Better than I thought it would be. I also use a Stellarvue F50 Sparrowhawk which I find is an excellent optical finder.

WO EZT. Great mount! I opted for the rings as I prefer them (personal preference)so can't comment on the clamshell.

Overall. Kind of a tossup between the WO80FD and the NHNG but I think I slightly favor the NHNG (probably cause I currently own it :lol:!). And Vic Maris' customer service is second to none. He always seems available to answer the phone or respond to an e-mail.

Hope this might be helpful. Kinda subjective, I know, but maybe you can get something out of it that'll help with your decision.

Good luck!

Attached Files



#11 abutu

abutu

    Ranger 4

  • ***--
  • Posts: 378
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Gijón (Asturias) - SPAIN

Posted 25 March 2007 - 04:39 PM

Hi Phil:

Which is the magnification that you could reach with this three scopes on planetary visual sessions?

#12 Teal'c

Teal'c

    Indeed

  • *****
  • Posts: 4303
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2005

Posted 25 March 2007 - 05:07 PM

Nice setup, Phil.

#13 tboss70

tboss70

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Missouri

Posted 25 March 2007 - 05:19 PM

I've owned an Orion 80ED, William Optics ZS80FD, and I currently have an NHNG. I did not get to test these side by side either but I prefer the NHNG. Mine has the FeatherTouch so there really is no comparison for me...the FT is excellent!

In my case, I liked my Orion 80ED better the the WO ZS80FD but the WO was an excellent scope.

The build quality is where the NHNG really stands above the others, IMO. I think it does an outstanding job visually as well.

#14 Peds

Peds

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 384
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Brasília, Brazil

Posted 25 March 2007 - 05:48 PM

One thing to keep in mind is if you are planning on doing astro-photography, the FPL-53 glass on the Orion 80ED and WO ZS80FD scopes mentioned above is superior to the FPL-51 glass used in the WO ZS II ED.

Not exactly sure what kind of glass the NHNG uses. For visual use I'd probably get the WO ZS II ED or NHNG, both have great build and accessories.

P.

#15 tboss70

tboss70

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Missouri

Posted 25 March 2007 - 06:05 PM

You will get CA in photos with the NHNG. This photo is copped at 100%.
This particular shot seemed worse than what I normally get. Nevertheless, CA will be there.

Attached Files



#16 Ortho2000

Ortho2000

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 280
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted 25 March 2007 - 10:51 PM

Hi Phil...

Beautiful setup indeed which you have there.

I have a Meade ETX 125. I am wondering if I should demount it and get an WO mount like yours. Great set up. How do you use the two in tandem ?? Low power on the 80 mm refractor...higher power eyepieces on the Mak ?

#17 mountainsean

mountainsean

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:47 AM

Hi Sean,
In regards to the 1 1/4" dielectric diagonal, or the 2", I was wondering the same thing before I ordered the NHNG. I received this link: http://geogdata.csun...dielectric.html
with the explanation of why getting the two inch diagonal is the better choice, even though you may be only using 1 1/4" ep's.
This helped in my decision making on why the two inch was a better choice.

Hope this helps! :)

Tom


Interesting reading... One of the reasons I was going to go w/a 1.25" diagonal was so that I could use my Televue 2x barlow in front of it. Any ideas on how well it would work in this mode?

Thanks,
Sean

#18 mountainsean

mountainsean

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:51 AM


WO EZT. Great mount! I opted for the rings as I prefer them (personal preference)so can't comment on the clamshell.


Thanks Phil. Which plate did you buy for your rings?

-Sean

#19 tom r.

tom r.

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 471
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA

Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:18 AM

Interesting reading... One of the reasons I was going to go w/a 1.25" diagonal was so that I could use my Televue 2x barlow in front of it. Any ideas on how well it would work in this mode?



Hi Sean,

I'll have to leave that question up to someone with more knowledge.

Tom

#20 Phil Frederick

Phil Frederick

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX

Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:11 PM

Hi Ortho,

Thanks. The idea was to use the NHNG for wide field, low power views and the 127 Mak for high power. Well.....seems like I can coax quite a bit of power out of the NHNG (224x w/5mm Hyp and 2x Powermate)with really excellent views so I just end up switching EPs back and forth and enjoying whatever combination of powers I happen to have *ramdomly* selected :grin:! And I can even change EPs in the Sparrowhawk and triple my fun :jump:!!!

#21 Phil Frederick

Phil Frederick

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX

Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:26 PM

Hi Sean,

I'm using the Stellarvue TP5 plate (5" vixen style plate). I found that the fit of the 2" saddle on the EZT is quite tight (ie, you have to slide the plate into the saddle from the end)and with the vixen style plates most of them don't have a recess for the head of the bolt/screw that attaches to the rings. With the head protruding on the back side of the plate, you cannot slide the plate in and out of the saddle. The TP5 on the other hand has recesses for the heads of the screws that attach to the rings so it slides in and out without hanging up.

#22 mountainsean

mountainsean

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:47 PM

Hi Sean,

I'm using the Stellarvue TP5 plate (5" vixen style plate). I found that the fit of the 2" saddle on the EZT is quite tight (ie, you have to slide the plate into the saddle from the end)and with the vixen style plates most of them don't have a recess for the head of the bolt/screw that attaches to the rings. With the head protruding on the back side of the plate, you cannot slide the plate in and out of the saddle. The TP5 on the other hand has recesses for the heads of the screws that attach to the rings so it slides in and out without hanging up.


Interesting, thanks Phil. Isn't that a safety issue though - I mean without the screw heads stopping the plate, what's to prevent it from sliding out if your EZT mount screw loosens up a bit? Or is there some sort of safety recess in the TP5 like good eyepieces have?

-Sean

#23 Phil Frederick

Phil Frederick

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & La Paz MX

Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:52 PM

The TP5 does have a small safety recess but I'm not sure it would keep the scope from slipping out if the mount screw loosened up. The mount screw has a pretty large head on it so you can reef it down quite tightly so haven't worried about it. I suppose the other thing one could do would be to use a bolt with a large head on the "uphill" end of the plate and that would act as a safety stop. .... :foreheadslap:....By golly, I think I'll just do that!

Thanks for helping get my brain out of neutral!

#24 mountainsean

mountainsean

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:57 PM

The TP5 does have a small safety recess but I'm not sure it would keep the scope from slipping out if the mount screw loosened up. The mount screw has a pretty large head on it so you can reef it down quite tightly so haven't worried about it. I suppose the other thing one could do would be to use a bolt with a large head on the "uphill" end of the plate and that would act as a safety stop. .... :foreheadslap:....By golly, I think I'll just do that!

Thanks for helping get my brain out of neutral!


Good point - only really need it on the uphill side, and that still allows you to slide it out quickly from the downhill side. So now I'm basically trying to decide between the rings+TP5 plate combo vs. the clamshell and no plate. Anybody able to comment on the clamshell? Rings+plate is only $10 more than the clamshell, so price-wise it's a wash.

-Sean

#25 Ortho2000

Ortho2000

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 280
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:00 PM

Consider using the Clamshell design along with the binoviewer extender plate which alllows better balancing.

Just a thought.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics