Jump to content


Photo

I would love some input on my equpment plans!:)

  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 KristoferL

KristoferL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012

Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:11 AM

Thanks for clicking the on the thread!

So, I am planning on purchasing equipment that will replace my low-end alt az mount and achromat, with an EQ mount and an APO. My use will be mainly visual, but I want to be able to use my DSLR to take some pictures. Both as a piggyback and some through my scope. I also want to buy the ability to try some more proper APíng down the road. Since its costly to get things shipped from the states, I´m trying to cover many of my needs in one purchase.

This is what I was thinking of:

- Orion Sirius EQ-G mount

- Stellarvue SV105
- Feather Touch 3" focuser
- Stellarvue's 2" diagonal

- And to connect my DSLR and T-ring to the focuser, I was thinking of SV's Large chip flattener because from what I can see, it is both a flattener and a T-adapter (?) (http://www.stellarvu...flatteners.html - at the bottom of the page)

- The battery for it all I will have to get in Norway, where I live, because it would be silly to pay for the shipping of something that heavy thats not overpriced like other scope-equipment!

- Piggy back camera mounting plates, stellarvue's T-ring for my DSLR

- Regarding eyepieces, I have not decieded exactly what I need, but I am thinking of buying 3 different lengths, 5-ish, 15-ish, 28-ish and a 2X barlow or TV powermate <- not sure whats "best" of these?
They are used like a barlow, but can be altered to fit a DSLR to it aswell? If so, does that change the "zoom/FOV of the camera" or just so that I don't need to change back to the T-adapter?

Any comments would be very, very much appreciated!

Oh, and is there something missing from my list? ..would be sad to unpack everything just to realize that I forgot to buy this little thing that everything else is dependent on! :)

I am planning on ordering both from Stellarvue and OPTCORP. I understand optcorp is a good place to shop. And regarding spacing required for my setup, does anyone know it I need more distance from the flattener to my camera? Or is that something only Stellarvue knows/product specs?

- Kristofer
Norway

#2 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:46 AM

Hi Kris,

Answering below the parts I know about. Others will chime in for sure.

Thanks for clicking the on the thread!

So, I am planning on purchasing equipment that will replace my low-end alt az mount and achromat, with an EQ mount and an APO. My use will be mainly visual, but I want to be able to use my DSLR to take some pictures. Both as a piggyback and some through my scope. I also want to buy the ability to try some more proper APíng down the road. Since its costly to get things shipped from the states, I´m trying to cover many of my needs in one purchase.

There is an option which may reduce your shipping costs: Create an account with MyUS.com, get everybody to ship to that address and then have MyUS.com ship the stuff to you. Their shipping rates are the best I have seen so far. That's how I do it :jump:

This is what I was thinking of:

- Orion Sirius EQ-G mount

- Stellarvue SV105
- Feather Touch 3" focuser
- Stellarvue's 2" diagonal

- And to connect my DSLR and T-ring to the focuser, I was thinking of SV's Large chip flattener because from what I can see, it is both a flattener and a T-adapter (?) (http://www.stellarvu...flatteners.html - at the bottom of the page)


Choice of above items is excellent. Nothing more to say on that!

- The battery for it all I will have to get in Norway, where I live, because it would be silly to pay for the shipping of something that heavy thats not overpriced like other scope-equipment!

- Piggy back camera mounting plates, stellarvue's T-ring for my DSLR

- Regarding eyepieces, I have not decieded exactly what I need, but I am thinking of buying 3 different lengths, 5-ish, 15-ish, 28-ish and a 2X barlow or TV powermate <- not sure whats "best" of these?
They are used like a barlow, but can be altered to fit a DSLR to it aswell? If so, does that change the "zoom/FOV of the camera" or just so that I don't need to change back to the T-adapter?

A powermate is a better corrected barlow. I am copying from another thread: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Number/4927158 . Read it for more information, especially the reply by David Knisely. Choose a 2" Barlow or Powermate. It's more expensive than a 1.25", but you will be able to accommodate both 1.25" and 2" eyepieces, saving yourself some money down the line if you change your eyepiece line.

Regarding eyepieces: I am biased as my signature states towards Televue eyepieces. But to cut a long story short, I would recommend wide angle eyepieces but in a different sequence, as a 28 ish eyepiece with a 2x barlow = 14 ish eyepiece (close to the 15mm you state thus duplicating the second eyepiece). I would recommend going for a combo like 5mm, 8mm and 30mm and a 2x barlow, yielding the equivalent of 30mm, 15mm, 8mm, 5mm, 4mm and 2.5mm. Magnifications would be 24.5x, 49x, 91.87x 147x, 183.75x and 294x. The point being here that you should try to buy 2 - 3 eyepieces that when you barlow, they give you a useful magnification and not the same as with another dedicated eyepiece. I will not recommend eyepieces as I do not know your budget. Suffice to say that my eyepiece bag has more value than the rest of my equipment.

You can play around and just use the easy way below to think about what eyepiece combo you would be most comfortable with:

1. focal length / focal length = magnification
2. Apparent field of view of eyepiece / magnification = True Field of View

Also do note that if you are into visual, you would do yourself a service to get at least one nebula filter (O-III preferably, second most useful UHC). You don't mention anything about what equipment you have so I am shooting in the dark here!!! I still go crazy every time I see the entire Veil Nebula with my SV102ED, Nagler 31mm and OIII filter, so think long and hard regarding eyepieces and other litte bits and bobs like a good Nebula filter.

Some people swear by their Orthos. I agree with them that contrast and light transmission is excellent and for top notch Orthos it's identical to top notch wide-field eyepieces, but the True Field of View is VERY NARROW. Check http://www.telescope...nt&view=arti... and change the info to match the specifications of the SV105 (105mm aperture, 735MM focal length and then slide the Apparent Field of View tab to get an idea of what I am talking about. I would recommend going no less that 68-70 degrees Apparent Field of View. Consider buying used from CN as an option to get more bang for your bucks. You will find that most people who sell, are OCD about keeping their equipment in excellent condition (Well, I belong to the same club as well!! :roflmao:).



Any comments would be very, very much appreciated!

Oh, and is there something missing from my list? ..would be sad to unpack everything just to realize that I forgot to buy this little thing that everything else is dependent on! :)

I am planning on ordering both from Stellarvue and OPTCORP. I understand optcorp is a good place to shop. And regarding spacing required for my setup, does anyone know it I need more distance from the flattener to my camera? Or is that something only Stellarvue knows/product specs?

You can email Vic or Shelly at Stellarvue and they will advise you on what you need. OPT can do the same as well. Got my SV from OPT and I just love these guys. Service is impeccable!

You are going to hate me now for introducing another variable. With you being in Norway, maybe you are better off buying from within the EU. You could take a look at http://www.teleskop-...nstrumente.html . Teleskop Service for all your needs as well if the option of buying from across the pond is causing you sleepless nights (excluding the ones when you are out observing).

- Kristofer
Norway


Clear skies,

Nicos


#3 KristoferL

KristoferL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:09 AM

Hi Nicos!
Thanks for the answer(s)! :)

I had not thought about the barlow rendering certain eyepieces useless! I will order those you mentioned, Naglers. But I think I'll have to do with two eyepieces, and I think those will be 31mm and 5mm.

And yes, I both curse and thank you very much for the tip on the German page! I checked the prices, and they are not as good as optcorp. Since I am going to the states for the holidays, I will try to get most of the things there, but for the future, when not visiting family, I'll order from that site!

From the TV-site I see that they do not recommend a big-barlow (and it seems that for 2" barlows, TV only sells the BIG-one) for 2" diagonals, thats me, so I think that I'll get the 2x Powermate. Unless somebody corrects me on that!

I'll have to look into the MyUS thing before I order, their system of moving stuff seem great! And they can order stuff for me if my creditcard was not accepted (or something).

Would this do the trick for a filter?:
http://www.optcorp.c...ula filter&st=2

The Stellarvue scope might not be ready for when I leave the US Nicos, so should I worry about the shipping of the scope to Norway? Because I could get it shipped to family in the states for them to repack it if not :)


Again, many many thanks for the insight and new info!

- Kristofer

#4 fuzzystuff4ever

fuzzystuff4ever

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Micco, FL

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:14 AM

Kristofer;

You cannot go wrong with Stellarvue equipment. They are fanatical about delivering high quality product and their customer service is second to none. They have a Yahoo group; check it out if you haven't already. OPT is also a great vendor with superb customer service. Sounds like you have really done your homework.

Brian

#5 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

Kristofer,

The SV scopes are very well packed, I can testify to that myself. Both OPT and SV are keen on maintaining high reputations so you will not go wrong with closing them. Also SV collimates their diagonals if I am not mistaken. Not many go through the hustle of doing that these days...

I have the 1.25" equivalent of the filter in your link. Gets the job done, although I chose Astronomiks for my 2" filters. Lumicon ones are considered top of the line. Baader is awesome as well. Can't go wrong with any of these (just giving you choices here), although they have slightly different bandpasses, the Baader ones being a bit narrower if I recall.

Nagler 31mm and 5 mm are an excellent choice. Coupled with a Powermate, you get 31mm, 15.5mm, 5mm and 2.5mm. There is a gap in the 8mm range though, which you may consider filling in with another eyepiece. This can wait though for later.

Just keep in mind that on a refractor, the combination of a Nagler 31 + Powermate will place a lot of strain on the focuser. Careful of any slippage... Me, I prefer to skip the Barlow / Powermate and have dedicated eyepieces. The focuser on the SV should be able to handle it though and so should their diagonal, but I must say that the weight will be a lot... The Nagler 31mm weights a lot!!! I would be a bit worried about Powermate + Nagler 31 combo, so do ask around for opinions on this. There could also be balancing issues with the scope and this combination. Powermate is definitely better than the Barlow, if you have the budget for it.

If you have any concerns and you want to chat with someone, OPT has an online chat facility you can use and chat live with them to get help. They do ship abroad and they were super quick and efficient in replacing an item that came defective. No delays, no extra cost to me in any way. I simply cannot say enough good things about these people! OPT rocks!

#6 Mark9473

Mark9473

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8640
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Create an account with MyUS.com, get everybody to ship to that address and then have MyUS.com ship the stuff to you. Their shipping rates are the best I have seen so far.


That's an interesting idea. Would I have to pay Florida's 6% sales tax, as that would offset part the shipping cost reduction (if any)? Have you understood how exactly their DHL shipping rates would be much lower than the vendor's rate? Or is the benefit only there if you buy multiple items from different vendors and would have only one shipping charge by using MyUS.

#7 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

Mark,

I live in Cyprus and it's quite a few time zones away. I use MyUS to consolidate shipments and also because their rates for shipping abroad are better (since this is their main business... Warehousing and shipping).

I wouldn't know about shipping within CONUS or the tax situation, but do drop them an email!

CS,

Nicos

#8 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1514
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:47 AM

The only item I see missing from your equipment list is an external power source for your camera. DSLR internal batteries are designed to take hundreds of sort duration exposures, not four or more hours of imaging with 10-20 images/hour.

I purchased an AC adapter on eBay, cut the wall wart off of the cord and attached the cord to an appropriate voltage regulator that runs off of the same 12V battery that powers the mount.

Phil

#9 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:08 AM

Phil,

Question: do you still need this if it's a mechanical shutter (photography not my thing so asking out of curiosity) ?

#10 KristoferL

KristoferL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

More things that I had not thought about Phil :) But yes, that is an important factor. I´ll probably go shopping the second I get dissapointed with my short exposure results! :)

Nicos, do you have any experience with tax/taxdeductable items? Because Norway demands 25% tax on most stuff taken in to the country. Do you pay excluding tax (US or Cyprus) when you purchase?

#11 Shawn H

Shawn H

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7192
  • Joined: 16 May 2007
  • Loc: Equatorial Guinea, West Africa

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

Kris
OPT has good prices but check with Teleskop service in Germany before ordering! I lived in France for 20 years and sometimes when adding the US price + shipping + customs, I found some better deals with TS, not always but sometimes! If your visiting the States and buy be carefull when you return home with your customs officials, I always unpacked everything and told customs that it was old kit that I left with. That worked most of the time! :grin:

#12 KristoferL

KristoferL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

Definately important factors!

In Norway there is a toll of 25% on anything above 120 USD when ordered, but when I bring something with me from abroad, its 25% from 1050 USD and up (current rates).
So I will need to, as you point out, open every thing and remove invoices and such to help my case when trying to say that the Stellarvue scope and Sirius mount both cost less than 1050$ :)

So if I bought things online from Germany/USA it would be best if none passed the 120 line :) But yeah, if I order anything online it would be best to go with the German site. Or...I'll just have to visit my mum every time I need some new gear! (1500$ plane ticket thought..)

Oh, and I just found out, in my tax-hell of a country, they charge 25% ON TOP of the toll/customs for bringing it here.. :tonofbricks:

So I might have to pay 50% more for the Stellarvue scope


Thanks for all the answers guys! Keep 'em coming!

- Kristofer

#13 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

Kris,

No taxes to be levied in the US. It's when customs in Norway tax you that you will feel the pinch.

Now, without condoning this although I did do so on occasion (Mea Culpa), MyUS lets you declare whatever value you want for insurance purposes. I pulled this stunt a couple of times, and DHL just delivered the items to me and I paid lower taxes... (Shame on me!!!!).

Eyepieces and other portable accessories just take them out of the box and stuff them in your luggage. If asked, just say that you went to a starparty in the US and you just took part of your gear with you to use on other people's scopes or something (I will burn in Hell for this... Lucky thing I am an agnostic!).

Dunno if you can take the scope as carry-on and pull the same stunt. The aluminium version of the SV105 is carry-on size according to Stellarvue website... Something to think about...

CS,

Nicos

#14 rigel123

rigel123

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10875
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

The only thing I could add is that I did not see a method for guiding your setup if you plan on longer exposures for DSO's. For your setup check out the Orion Magnificent Mini Autoguider solution that OPT carries, a lot of imagers (including me!) use this setup successfully.

#15 Maverick199

Maverick199

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12521
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2011
  • Loc: India

Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:10 PM

If you are having a Canon DSLR, you will be happy with BackyardEOS.

#16 KristoferL

KristoferL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012

Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for more good input guys! You´re helping alot!

Nicos: My english skills do not allow me to understand your first sentence. "Levied"?
I intend to get my mother in the states to purchase the items for me with her card, otherwise I would have to wire the specific amounts to each "salesplace". So with that solution I guess it will be WITH tax..hmm, maybe not the most economic way to to it..

Rigel123 and Maverick199:
Yea definatly! But I will have to wait with those items and things until I get some more experience (and money!) :) I know they are important for AP, but I'll take a big step now, and smaller steps later regarding equipment to fulfill my gear.

#17 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:16 PM

Kris,

For the time being, get a webcam and practice on the moon and planets :)

Inexpensive, not complicated and also a lot of fun!

Also, OPT uses Paypal, so you can use Paypal and give them your mother's shipping address. No wiring of moey involved this way...

#18 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1514
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

Phil,

Question: do you still need this if it's a mechanical shutter (photography not my thing so asking out of curiosity) ?


That's an interesting question. My old Leica M4 used a mechanical shutter that was prepped for an exposure when the wind lever was used. Today's electronic cameras could just use a pulse to open and another to close the shutter but that would account for only a fraction of the power needed for an exposure. If it requires power to hold the mirror out of the way, that will help drain the battery. The electronics must also be powered up during the exposure, a second source of power use. One of the new DSLRs that doesn't have a moving mirror wouldn't have that load but the electronics will still consume power during the exposure.

Phil

#19 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1514
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:29 PM

...
I intend to get my mother in the states to purchase the items for me with her card, otherwise I would have to wire the specific amounts to each "salesplace". So with that solution I guess it will be WITH tax..hmm, maybe not the most economic way to to it..


Don't forget to have your mother unpack, open and reseal internal bagging, and not perfectly repack everything. Used equipment has a much lower value and should have appropriately less duty levied when it is imported. You should also check the import rules for "gifts" which, if not too valuable, may have no import taxes.

Phil






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics