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What Finder Do You Use?

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#26 Peshmerga

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:20 AM

9x50 RACI by Orion, came with XT8i.

#27 Sarkikos

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:27 AM

On my 10" Dob for dark site trips:

- Telrad to sight on the nearest naked-eye star
- 15x70 RACI finder to star hop to object
- SkySafari Pro on Android to find the way


On telescopes at home when observing planets and the Moon:

- Straight-through 6x30 finder or Red-Dot finder or QuickFinder


On telescopes at home when observing double stars and bright DSO:

- 8x50 RACI or 6x30 RACI, together with a 1x finder, either a Red-Dot or QuickFinder
or
- 8x50 ES straight-through erect-image non-reversed finder


I never use a "finder eyepiece."

Mike

#28 Sarkikos

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:37 AM

Special Ed,

Of course, it should go without saying that one should always use a low power ep during the finding phase but there--I said it anyway.


I don't think a low power "finder eyepiece" is always necessary. I never use one. On my 10" Dob, I use a 15x70 finder for most star hopping. I have it closely aligned with the main telescope, so I can go straight from finder scope to moderate or high power eyepiece in the main scope. I don't need to put in a low power eyepiece first.

If there is an accurate fix on the location of the object, you don't really need to see the object itself in the finder.

Mike

#29 csrlice12

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

Mike is right. If you properly align your finder to the scope, you can use a medium or high power eyepiece and the object will be in the scopes FOV. I've done it with 7mm orthos in my dob and refractor. And, to be truthful, it doesn't take long to align a finderscope. A properly aligned finder can make the difference between a great night and a frustraiting one......

#30 tezster

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

Just a Rigel QF on my dob, primarily to perform the two-star alignment for my wireless DSCs.

On my refractor, just a basic RDF.

#31 Sarkikos

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:35 AM

Randy,

If you properly align your finder to the scope, you can use a medium or high power eyepiece and the object will be in the scopes FOV. I've done it with 7mm orthos in my dob and refractor. And, to be truthful, it doesn't take long to align a finderscope. A properly aligned finder can make the difference between a great night and a frustraiting one......


I have the suspicion that many if not most observers don't take the time to align their finders accurately. I find that what helps immensely is to put a crosshair eyepiece in the focuser of the main telescope while I'm aligning the finder. Position Polaris behind the crosshairs of that eyepiece and then adjust the Telrad and your optical finder. This extra bit of effort will pay you back manyfold when star hopping to objects.

Mike

#32 Feidb

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

My finders are dead on when I set up. I start with a magnification of 102X which to some is a medium magnification. The EP is 82 degree. Yet I still have to mow the lawn to some extent because I'm looking at a star chart and aiming the laser at an approximate spot in the sky, many times without nearby bright reference stars. That doesn't mean my finders are not dead on, that means I'm just aiming at what I think is around the exact spot my chart shows. Dead reckoning. I may be off a tad. No big deal. Sometimes I'm dead on, sometimes I'm off a bit. Sometimes I may be dead on but the object is so faint I don't know it until I move the scope around and notice something wrong with the background. Most of the stuff I look for can't be seen in either my 50mm finder, which I don't use much, and definitely can't be seen with my laser. When you are eyeballing an approximate target, there is nothing wrong with starting low and working your way up. Properly aligning your finders goes without saying. I use the top of a mountain or a tower light or some distinct land feature before it gets dark. Once first light happens, I recheck things and make sure the object is centered.

#33 Tony Flanders

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

Oddly enough, I use a finderscope on the 12.5-inch Dob that lives at my country home, but not on the scopes that I use in the city -- where a finderscope would arguably be more useful.

This is really a matter of portability. My 12.5-inch Dob is already a monster; its 8x50 RACI finder is only a small addition. But the 7-inch Dob that lives in the city is already at the limit of what I can carry in a single load; I'm loath to add any more.

My 100-mm f/6 refractor actually came with a perfectly serviceable 6x30 finderscope, which I replaced with a red-dot finder. It fits better in the case, and somehow seems more aesthetically in keeping with this fairly small scope. Moreover, the scope has a monstrously huge field of view at 15X with my 40-mm wide-field eyepiece.

My 70-mm refractor actually has a smaller field of view because it takes only 1.25-inch eyepieces. Nonetheless I use a red-dot finder with it. Any kind of finderscope, or even a Telrad, would really crimp this scope's portability.

I do often consider adding a finderscope to my 7-inch Dob in addition to the Telrad that I currently use on it. Although this scope has a nice big 2.5-degree field of view, that still leads to pretty long star-hops when my target is 15 degrees from the nearest naked-eye star -- which happens fairly often in some parts of the sky when observing from a city park. A finderscope would definitely be a time-saver. A 6x30 RACI would probably be ideal; I don't see any virtue in an 8x50 finderscope for this particular telescope.

On my 12.5-inch Dob, the 8x50 finderscope is a huge time-saver. For bright objects like M51, I don't refer to my charts at all -- just use the red-circle finder to get in the right part of the sky (which I know by heart), center M51 up in the finderscope, and switch to the main eyepiece.

For faint objects involving intricate star-hops, the 8x50 finderscope gets me quickly to the correct square degree of sky before I start the serious work at the main eyepiece. These objects are typically invisible at low power through the main scope, so they involve a four-step process -- go to the nearest naked-eye star with the red-circle finder, star-hop to the correct square degree with the finderscope, star-hop to the correct 10' field with the low-power eyepiece, and then switch in high power and start looking for real.

#34 jeff5341

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Red dot on my Nexstar 8X50 finder scope on my LX200.

#35 csrlice12

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Telrad and 9X50 RACI on the Dob; 9X50 RACI on the XLT.

Got a question. It appears the Orion finders are anondized like the OTAs (that bronze color). Can these be painted over with enamel, or are there places locally that could "reanondize" it. I would like to change the bronze color over to a blue/cream combination like the Omni scope colors. Any idea on how much it costs to reanondize it?

#36 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

Randy,

If you properly align your finder to the scope, you can use a medium or high power eyepiece and the object will be in the scopes FOV. I've done it with 7mm orthos in my dob and refractor. And, to be truthful, it doesn't take long to align a finderscope. A properly aligned finder can make the difference between a great night and a frustraiting one......


I have the suspicion that many if not most observers don't take the time to align their finders accurately. I find that what helps immensely is to put a crosshair eyepiece in the focuser of the main telescope while I'm aligning the finder. Position Polaris behind the crosshairs of that eyepiece and then adjust the Telrad and your optical finder. This extra bit of effort will pay you back manyfold when star hopping to objects.

Mike


This is excellent advice in my humble opinion. A cross-hair or reticle eyepieces is worth owning even if just for aiming purposes alone, but to be sure, their value shines on in so many other areas as well, such as getting a good center for goto precision and just plain finding the sweet spot for visual observing.

#37 weedbreeder

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:52 PM

I use my celestron 70mm travelscope with RACI diagonal and 32mm omni ep as finder. My main scope is an Orion 120st. Usually, the camera is attached to the main scope. The main scope at f5 sees wider than the finder does at f7.5.

#38 leviathan

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

I use Telrad and got used to it. Recently I found myself very uncomfortable without it on another similar scope of friend.

#39 GeneT

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

Telrad only. My telescope won't also take an optical finder. I recommend using both a Telrad and an optical finder.

#40 HellsKitchen

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

Stellarvue 60mm on my 12" Dob and an 8x50 RACI on the 8 incher. Both scopes also have a Telrad.

#41 Old Rookie

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

Telrad and 7x50 RACI finder. Got to have both.

#42 drbyyz

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:34 AM

Telrad to get to the closest bright star
8x50 or wide field EP or combination of the two to star hop to my target.

Will most likely be investing in a RACI finder soon as the straight thru is starting to bother my neck.

+1 on the talk about proper alignment. If I'm going to be doing any serious observing I make sure I can put a star dead center in the eyepiece at at least 100x. You want to be able to trust your finder and not go slewing around blindly. More often than not, the object was just outside the EP and you'll end up 2 constellations over in the wrong direction.

#43 City Kid

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

I prefer straight through optical finders. I have a Starbeam on my NP101 but the only reason I find it acceptable is the large FOV I can get through the scope itself. For me, right angle finders are useless unless paired with a Telrad or such and I don't want two finders on my scope.

#44 lamplight

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:16 AM

Stellarvue 10x60 (F60M2) on SCT which as has been mentioned , provides its own beautiful widefield views. It's a fast scope and has good eye relief with glasses . I love it if you can't tell. Whenever I have an audience I have them look through both this and the EP as both are great. It's also more stable and precise to align than my orion raci. It's really awesome I'm sorry I sound like a commercial.

THEN I saw they came out with a 2" straight through focuser ($50) that you can use on this finder .. So I ordered one with the straight through for my DOB (not delivered yet) . So you can switch from 1.25" EP (5.something fov) raci, to straight through non correct image 2" EP/focuser. It's pretty cats meow.

#45 Fuzzyguy

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Interesting thread, thanks for posting it.

I have both a straight through finder and a Rigel (similar to a telrad). Lately I've been using the finder scope (stock Celestron 6x30) exclusively. It's very easy to find a bright star to start the hop and with it's 7* FoV, it shows a pretty large piece of the sky. The stars you can easily see match up well with charts in my PSA. When I get close to my target, I switch to the scope and finish the hop through the EP using a more detailed chart if I need to.

#46 Old Rookie

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:36 PM

I was reading these posts and came away quite surprised. People use a finder without checking that it's aligned? Once I set my dob up there are two things I do before I observe. I collimate the optics and once it starts getting dark, I align the telrad and optical finder. I can't imagine using either tool without aligning them first.

#47 Raginar

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:53 PM

Telrad. My only finder (8x50mm) is repurposed as a guidescope at the moment. I never enjoyed using a finder... magnification was either too much or not enough and I never had an illuminated one so finding the crosshairs was a pain. My telrad is awesome!

#48 FlorinAndrei

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

Telrad or any other 1x finder is useless in a zone with lots of light pollution. So at home I use a 5mW green laser, plus a 9x50 RACI.

If the sky is dark enough, then a 1x finder makes sense. In that case I use a Telrad, especially when the 5mW GLP might annoy other observers nearby.

#49 newtoskies

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

Dob abd XLT102 both with the stock 6x30 straight through finder.
Rigel with two mounts ( not yet mounted on the dob)

A RACI when I get a 10" dob and maybe the Telrad.

#50 Starman81

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:04 PM

I have a few: Telrad, Rigel Quick Finder, 8x50 RACI, a Multi-Reticle Finder (MRF) and a standard red dot finder, but I use the MRF the most. It maintains alignment, has the best ergonomics for where I can place it and view through it on my 8" dob and rarely dews up. To spice things up, I acquired a RACI and would like to use that in tandem with the MRF or a red dot finder attached.






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