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New Mark V at work...

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

Ok, had a chance to use them last night.

First, I did struggle with the use of the counter-rotating focusing. I always approach my final focus using inward eyepeice travel and for the life of me, last night, I could not remember which direction to turn each eyepeice diopter to make it move inward, and the treading is so fine that you have to really move it a lot before you can tell which direction you are going.

Also, when the scope is pointed in the sky, when using the fine focus diopters, the eyepiece did not seem to "Follow" the focuser. I would have to push on them.

With the Maxbrights, the eyeepiece turns with the holder regardless of the orientation because it is screws to the holder. With the Mark Vs, you unclamp the holder so you can move the focuser, but the focuser collar basically only acts as a inward travel stop. If gravity is not able to overcome the friction because the eyepeice is lying on its side in the barrel, if you turn out, it will push the eyepiece out, but if you turn in (and again, I like to use inward motion for final focus) you can spin the focuser collar but the eyepeice sits there.

Ok, I didn't like this, but to be fair, once I got the focus right (which again I found to be a bit more tedious) the truth is that I really didn't have to mess with it a lot, but I did tweak it a couple of times over the course of the evening to get it perfect.

And when changing eyepeices, even though the focuser collar does move when you clamp and unclamp, as long as you use only the clamping ring, it always seems to return back to where it was.

Again, I have to be fair and say while I found it tedious to get right, once it was right, I did not seem to have any problem because I didn't have to touch it again.

And the locks are amazingly good. Changing eyepeices was the easiest of the three binoviewers I have owned. It is fast and easy. For this, the counter-rotation seemed very natural, and rather than twisting screws or turning collet clamps, you just twist 20 degrees, pull out, put in, and twist again.. Fantastic. All is forgiven regarding the above because this feature is so excellent that it is almost worth the price all by itself.

My 24mm Hyperions worked really well. This was of course one of my major motivations... Getting a bit more true field. And it worked exactly as well as I had hoped.

NCG 869 of course does not fit totally in the field, but it was so nice to see the major part of it so well shown, and there were a multitude of faint background stars well out to the edge of the field.

NGC 7789 was simply glorious. This just didn't fit in the field of the maxbrights, and I can't say that it fit 100% in the Hyperions/Mark Vs, but it was close enough.

M52 was easy though. It crowded the Maxbright/19mms pretty badly, but it was very well framed in the Mark V/24 Hyperions.

On that, the Hyperions worked better than I would have expected. Not maybe 24mm Panoptic quality, but good enough that for now, I can't justify spending a lot of money on the 24mm Pans, but may try the ES 2468s if they ever show up at current prices.

Orion came up later and OMG, it was so nice to be able to see it so beautifully. In fact, I don't think E and F in the Trapezium have ever been so easy! They literally jumped out as well seperated, tiny points. I know you loose a bit of brightness with binoviewers, but they looked better than I have ever seen them. Just so easy! And the Nebula looked beautiful. Absolutly beautiful.

The 24mm Hyperions are not par-focal with my other eyepeices, but just lucky, because the 17mm Hyperions, 15mm Vixen NPL Plossls, and 13mm Hyperions are all parfocal, and I mean parfocal. I don't think I had to even touch the scope focuser to change between these it was so close.

Ok, Jupiter. Last night, seeing was mostly only OK, but there were periods of a few seconds at a time where seeing would settle, and wow, what a night.

Jupiter was staggeringly good, even with the 24mm Hyperions for only about 165x. There was an astonishing amount of detail visible. This was something I noticed with the Maxbrights. I can see more detail more easily at lower power than I used to be able to see using mono-vision at similar low powers.

And last night, Jupiter was dripping with detail at 165x. Lots of festoons, clear bifurcation of the northern belt, and a northern eqitorial belt that was showing amazing structure. And all of this at 165x! Just fabulous amounts of detail

And it got better as powers went up, though it took more work to see the smaller, finer detail than was available at 165x due to the seeing and the need to wait for it.

But with 13mm Hyperions and patience, Jupiter was awash with fine detail. It was just everywhere. Scalloping on the edges of the northern split belt, deep eddy structure in the northern equitorial belt, more festooning that I have seen on this pass of Jupiter... Really. Just so rich at the equator.

No ovals as hard as I looked, but again, seeing was not great.

And then the clouds started.

Even with the not so great seeing, it was perhaps one of the very best Jupiter observations I have ever done.

A great deal of this was that seeing, while not excellent, was given a bit longer periods of settled viewing that typical, and Jupiter is closer now than it was a few weeks ago when I viewed it last.

Are the Mark Vs better than the Maxbright for planets? I am not saying this is the case because I have been super-impressed with the Maxbrights and I just could not tear myself away from Jupiter to do a direct comparison. And I have made some of my best observations ever previous to this using the Maxbrights, so I don't think the difference would be perhaps obvious at all in a direct comparison.

But I would have to say that last night was if not the best, perhaps one of the top two or three Jupiter observations I have ever done, and the rest were in the Maxbrights.

So while the focusing arrangement was a bit differnt and clearly requires some fiddling due to the eyepiece not always moving with the travel stop, once focused, the Mark V was super-easy to use because changing eyepieces was just so stinking easy!

And the views were stunning. It does everything exactly as well as I had hoped.


And now I have a dilemma.. I enjoy binoviewing so much that I am considering keeping the Maxbrights for a second set in the event that I want to have two scopes out for observing. I could easily see myself using both pairs, and the few hundred dollars I would get out of the resale might not be as desirable as being able to keep them in the C5 for wide field work (though I can't wait to use the Mark V/H24s in the C5).

Hope you enjoyed reading.

#2 Space Dragon

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

Sounds excellent Eddgie, glad they're all that you had hoped for.
I agree, when it comes to hanging onto the Maxbrights for wide field option, it makes sense.

#3 panhard

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:35 AM

It sounds like you had a great night once you got things figured out.

#4 MAURITS

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:02 PM

Nice comment Eddgie!
Thanks to share with us! :)

#5 Stellarfire

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

Great bino review, I enjoyed it very much.

And yes, keeping the Maxbrights is a good idea. No matter if you are thinking about simultanous bino use, or just for having one bino as backup, keeping them is the right decision.

Stephan

#6 Eddgie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

Keeping the Maxbrights does seem attractive, but I spent a lot of money on the Mark Vs, and in recent years, I have been trying to do a "Something comes in, something has to go out" behavior to keep from accumulating so much astro-stuff (and it has worked as I feel like these days, mostly I only have what I need and not much more, though the assistant astronomer would laugh her behind off at this statement).

But honestly, 95% of my observing is with the C14, and the first time I used the C5 in a year was just to try the binoviewers in them (and I have to say it was fun!).

But the days of setting up two, three and four telescopes at one time are over. It is usually the C14 or nothing, and I just don't know if I will have occasion to have two scopes both with binoviewers out at the same time.

But it is not at all a "Slam-dunk" to sell them. Resale prices are so low that I may just feel that the price I get isn't enough to make a difference in my hobby spending, so it isn't like I need the money.

It really is a dilemma though. I hate having surplus stuff anymore.

Will sleep on it.

#7 johnnyha

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:28 PM

I would keep the Maxbrights Eddgie, in case you ever do have to send the MkVs in for service it can take quite some time (I had to wait over 8 months once to have them inspected and re-collimated after dropping them on a hard surface). It's also nice that the two binoviewers are compatible with the T2 system.

One way I am able to remember which way the diopters turn - when using the binoviewers in the typical orientation, the right diopter threads in and out in normal fashion, right-tighty lefty-loosey. The left diopter is of course the opposite. If you can just remember the right side is "normal" then you'll get it.

It gets tricky though because sometimes I spin the binos around "backwards" in the diagonal so the weight is more forwards, and then everything gets reversed.

#8 Eddgie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:36 PM

Yes, will take a bit to get it to be "Normal" but you had mentioned I think in a post a while back that once you get the set, you don't really have to fuss with them, and I am hoping this is the case.

Getting ready to go out tonight...

#9 Paul G

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

Your eyes won't change relative to each other over a short period of time so once you set it you shouldn't have to mess with the diopter adjustment very often. I went almost a year without needing to tweak the diopter adjustment. However, when I first got the MkV it took me a few nights out to get used to the eyepiece locking mechanism and not turn the diopter adjustment by mistake instead.

Same with my binoculars, once I set the diopter adjustment I rarely have to mess with it.

#10 rfr66

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

I would keep the Maxbrights Eddgie, in case you ever do have to send the MkVs in for service it can take quite some time (I had to wait over 8 months once to have them inspected and re-collimated after dropping them on a hard surface). It's also nice that the two binoviewers are compatible with the T2 system.

One way I am able to remember which way the diopters turn - when using the binoviewers in the typical orientation, the right diopter threads in and out in normal fashion, right-tighty lefty-loosey. The left diopter is of course the opposite. If you can just remember the right side is "normal" then you'll get it.


I agree with Johnny that if you have a second set of viewers then keep them for if the MkV goes for repair. I dropped mine too and it took six months and I had to buy a second pair since it was too long to wait. For using the diopter adjustment I use a focusing mask on the front of the scope. Then I can easily adjust both eyes separately and know that I have perfect focus.

#11 dcoyle

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

Thanks for taking the time to post.

Dan






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