Oberwerk SW100 X 45 - first impressions
Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:47 PM
I purchased it from the Vancouver Telescope Centre a few weeks ago, and subsequently purchased a finder online from the Oberwerk store in Ohio, but the weather has been poor right up until last night. So last night was my first opportunity to put it through its paces.
My first target was the rising Pleiades. The cluster fit nicely in the field of view, displaying sharp, tiny images of dozens of stars. It was breathtaking. Even the little double star in the midst of the "bowl" was sharp and well-defined.
The Perseus double cluster was a little high for the instrument and my neck, although had I extended the tripod out to its full extent (reminder to me - - do that next time!), I could have seen it. But the Mirfak (Alpha Persei) Association was as stunning as the Pleaides.
I turned to the west next, and centered on the Coathanger cluster (Cr 399). Again, a most impressive sight.
But the stunner of all, I have to say, was Albireo. This famous double star stood out like gems of blue and gold against a starry background.
I have a Televue NP-127 refractor, and I love it, but this new Oberwerk binocular telescope is its equal optically and for ease of use.
If you have questions about it, the mount, finder or optics, or suggestions for other great sights - - keeping in mind I'm in a light-polluted city environment at latitude 49+ north, and use a north-facing patio with buildings blocking the south - - let me know here.
Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:02 PM
What mount arrangement do you use?
Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:12 PM
Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:37 PM
That's the model number on the instruction booklet that came with it. Anyway, if it helps, it's the BT-100-45 model that comes in a "robot"-looking "package" with 45 degree eyepiece holders. Its retail price in the US is just under $2,000, according to their website.
On the tripod it says, "100mm binocular telescope with 45 degree heliacal focusers."
The rains have returned with a vengeance, so it may be a while before I can set it up again and take pictures.
By the way, a weak spot is the interface between the scope and the tripod. It's just a block of metal about 1.25 inches by 2 inches that attaches by one large screw. It's not even dove-tailed. It scares me. Also, it is best to carry the scope and tripod separately.
I seem to recall, reading EDZ's excellent reports on binoculars on this site and many of the responses to his reports, that one is strongly urged to have help when setting it up. I agree. My wife helps me, just to be sure the block referred to above goes into the slot perfectly. A minor slip here and - - crash!
Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:41 PM
Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:06 PM
I didn't know about the extension. I'll check it out with them to see if it would help and if it would work.
Thanks for the tip.
Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:46 PM
I've never regretted getting a Starbound adjustable observing chair; I see much more when I'm comfortably seated. An adjustable chair is great for use with telescopes and angled binoculars- the eyepieces are right where I want them; no neck strain.
The scope/binoculars are more steady as well since the tripod can be kept lower.
Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:56 PM
Actually I have an observing chair, and was using it last night. If I had extended the tripod to its full height I wouldn't have had to strain to see anything higher than about 50 degrees altitude. The telescope plus tripod is heavy, and once set up you don't want to make adjustments. Of course I could have removed the telescope, extended the tripod and put the telescope back on the tripod at a greater height. I will do this next opportunity. I think full extension of the tripod will solve the neck problem. Anyway, I don't want to make too much of this issue last night. Seeing the objects I did was convenient and delightful.