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Finding objects in finder?

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#1 Davidsonville

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:12 AM

What seems like it should a basic skill is proving tough for me.
Took out my XT8i last night for the first time. My problem is, I can see the object with my naked eye, but then it takes what seems like forever to get the object in the finder. Even trying to get Vega in the finder was tough for me even though I could see it right in front of me! Frustrating and embarrassing! Any guidance/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Tom

#2 StarStuff1

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:17 AM

Add a reflex finder such as a Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder or MRF. Even a simple red dot BB gun sight when aligned with the tube and optical fonder. One of these will greatly enhance your ability to find objects in the night sky.

#3 BarryBrown

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

Before I got my Telrad, I would find objects by sighting right along the tube. Look straight across the top of the tube and adjust the tube until the star just disappears behind rim. Then sight along the sides; if the star is still not visible, then it's surely pretty close to being within view of the scope/finder.

Also, of course, make sure the finder is aligned with the scope. Did you already do this?

#4 howard929

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

EDIT: Barry - I'm slo to type, 1 finger at a time.


If you haven't done so already, set the finder to match the eyepiece view on a easy target like the moon or in daylight on something distant and small. Then from behind the telescope try aligning the OTA left/right as best you can on a star or planet. Sweep slowly up and down and with a bit of practice you'll get there.

#5 pepit

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 11:17 AM

Follow the tube. When you think you are in the right area, scout around and you are bound to find what you are looking for.
It's all about experience-in a short while, after a bit of training, you will have no problem finding objects with the finder.

#6 Davidsonville

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

I have aligned the finder. I think maybe it's more practice is needed. I've only been at it for ~ 1 month when I bought a Celestron 4.5 with a Polaris mount off Craigslist. And of course we've had a lot of cloudy nights since then. Now my wife says one of the "big" scopes has to go. She didn't say I can't replace one with a "small" one! I might have to find a small refractor that would work on the Polaris?

#7 desertstars

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:54 PM

Practice really is the main thing. Something you might consider is spending an evening going from one fairly bright star to another until you've gotten the hang of it. Either way, you'll soon be wondering why you ever found this to be difficult.

#8 Love Cowboy

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:58 PM

I second the "buy a Telrad" advice. I would never part with mine. That said, a Telrad is kind of bulky and wouldn't be appropriate for the kind of small scopes you're talking about. Especially if your wife thinks a 4.5" is large (!) But there are other similar options, like a red dot finder.

#9 kfiscus

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

Are you using a Right-Angle Correct Image (RACI) finder? I prefer straight finders and aim my scopes with both eyes open. I home in on my target using my naked right eye and then switch to my left eye looking through the finder as the finder body obstructs my right eye's view. This trick takes a couple of minutes to get used to and then is the fastest method ever. (WAAAY faster than a go-to scope.)

#10 csrlice12

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:09 PM

As you have the intelliscope, the Telrad would be such an improvement it'll shock you. Once aligned with the scope, it's much easier to get good warp signatures on your alignment stars. I do use the finder after the alignment just in case it's a little off, recenter the object, and press the FNC button and enter a couple of times and it updates the "warp factor". Usually, I'll be down around Warp 0.2, and usually then the next selected object is within the fov of my 20mm 70*. That telrad (and a fan) will be some of the best astro $$ you'll spend on the intelliscope.

#11 Cames

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:43 PM

My problem is, I can see the object with my naked eye, but then it takes what seems like forever to get the object in the finder.


Tom
You are not alone.
Follow this link to see what others have done to solve the problem. CloudyNights Forum: Reflectors

Double-sided adhesive mounting tape gives you a sturdy yet reversible way of attaching your auxiliary pointer---In case you later change your mind.
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C

#12 Davidsonville

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:33 PM

It does have the RACI, but the use of of both eyes using the straight finder is a great tip. I'm going to get the auxiliary pointer and practice more. Thanks!

#13 Philler

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

Post deleted by Philler

#14 Philler

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:19 PM

Everyone has their own methods. I have used a RA finder and Telrad for years. I will pick a bright star or planet I am sure of. I remove the Telrad from the scope and re-install it when I am getting ready to observe. If you have some sort of quick release bracket for your finder scope it can be removed when not in use and supposedly keep its alignment, but if you have a regular finder bracket leave your finder on your scope if possible, which I do, and it should stay aligned, and remove any star diagonal and eyepiece for transport. I will get the alignment star or planet centered in the Telrad, then centered in the finder, and then centered at low power in the main scope and make any adjustments needed using the adjustment screws on the finder and/or Telrad, and then reconfirm everything. I don't like to use Polaris because you have to wait until it gets dark enough and it can be tricky being a double, so I stick with an alignment object that there is no doubt about. [/quote]

#15 TCW

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:13 PM

Don't feel bad if it was your first try. What it really takes is practice! Keep trying and it soon will be second nature. Try bright objects first and you soon will be a pro.

#16 Talsian

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:34 PM

The telrad will make your life a lot easier if you decide to get one. I had the same problem when I started out. Everyone probably does.

#17 Davidsonville

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:34 PM

Much better tonight...until the clouds rolled! Practice definitely helps! It also seemed that backing away from the scope 10-15 feet gave a better perspective of initial alignment. Thanks!

#18 Feidb

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 12:15 AM

The finder is like a gunsight. Sure, you may be able to see some of the brighter objects in it such as M-13, M-31, etc... the usual suspects, but for the fainter objects, forget it. The finder just gets you in the area. That's all it's really supposed to do. Now, learning how to aim it does take a bit of practice.

I've always used a straight through finder because I can't stand a right angle where I can't see where I'm aiming. Back in the day, I was using a 30mm and it might as well have been a gunsight anyway.

Today, I use a green laser pointer which is the best thing since sliced bread, as far as I'm concerned and excuse the cliché. I almost never use the regular finder. Almost everything I look for is way too faint to see in that 50mm finder anyway. The idea is to aim for the approximate spot and mow the lawn. Half the time, I'm almost dead on anyway.

Practice makes perfect. I get to where I don't even like to use the regular finder if I don't have to use it. A necessary evil, more or less. But I do when I have to and have decades of practice with it. That's what you need, Davidsonville, just practice. Just like star hopping. It's a skill not a talent.

#19 BrooksObs

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:57 AM

Davidsonville, et al., it amazes me how hobbyists tend to overlook the easiest solution to this common problem. Right-angle finders may be convenient, but without a lot of practice they stink for initially locating objects...especially those already visible without optical aid.

I've owned dozens of scopes over the years and done tens of thousands of hours of serious observing at the eyepiece and never once desired to have a scope equipped with a right-angle, red dot, nor Telerad finder. I and many other observer friends have found that the basic straight-through finder works far better for locating objects in every instance. If the object is visible to the unaided eye one simply needs to keep both eyes open initially when looking through the finder. That way the observer sees both the nakedeye view, plus the finder's crosshairs projected on the sky at the same time. Alignment with the objects becomes almost instantaneous! Once in the finder's field, the observer need only close the eye not at the finder to make final alignment on the object. This approach works equally as well for objects visible only with the aid of the finder if you have a knowledge of where objects are in general within the constellations. Honestly, I don't know of any really serious observers of comets and variable stars who employ either right-angle finders, or Telerads.

BrooksObs

#20 bumm

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:13 AM

A little balance here. There ARE shortcomings to right angle finders... Aiming them is less intuitive, and the view in them will be reversed right to left if you use a simple mirror or prism. The added comfort of using my right angle finder with my aging skeleton more than makes up for these. Using my SCT, I simply couldn't get under a straight finder to use it. I initially point my finder using a red dot pointer, and then use my right angle finder to get an object into my low power eyepiece field.
Different setups for different scopes and observers.
Marty

#21 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

I've owned dozens of scopes over the years and done tens of thousands of hours of serious observing at the eyepiece and never once desired to have a scope equipped with a right-angle, red dot, nor Telrad finder.


This is obviously a generational thing, since most people who started observing before the unit-power finders came along prefer straight-through finderscopes, and almost everyone who started observing after unit-power finders came along prefers either a unit-power finder, a laser-pointer finder, a right-angle finderscope, or some combination of the above.

I am perfectly content with any or all of the above, and I have also done my fair share of finding objects by sighting along the tube of the telescope. But barring any constraints with respect to cost, size, or real estate on the tube, I would choose a Telrad combined with an 8x50 right-angle correct-image finderscope. That gives me the greatest number of different possible techniques for different situations, combined with the greatest comfort.

Very likely if I wasn't so conservative I would prefer a laser-pointer finder to a Telrad.

#22 jfaust75

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:31 AM

Very good reasons for the different styles and types of finders Tony.

This is why i made my setup to include the RACI and a Reddot, as well as a laser finder(it covers all the bases except for a straight through finder, which it seems to me would cause neck/back issues for me).

as a sidenote my RACI has been rotated so that the eyepiece of the RACI is parallel to the focuser so i only have to move up an inch from the focuser to use it.

#23 Talsian

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:40 AM

The problem with the laser pointer is that you always have to be careful that they are not pointed accidentally at aircraft or you will get an unexpected visit from the police. I'm a bit conservative too and do not use one.

#24 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:01 AM

The problem with the laser pointer is that you always have to be careful that they are not pointed accidentally at aircraft or you will get an unexpected visit from the police.


Assuming that you turn it off when not in use -- which is a good idea anyway to save the batteries -- I would say the chance of this is essentially zero.

Airplanes are very small targets and laser beams are very narrow. Pretty much the only way a laser ends up shining on an airplane is when somebody does so intentionally.

The main reason I don't use a laser-pointer finder is that I find them aesthetically unappealing -- though I do use laser pointers for showing stuff to other people. And I don't particularly mind bending my neck for the few seconds required to sight through a unit-power finder.

Bending my neck for the minutes required to do a careful star-hop through a finderscope is a whole 'nother matter. Plus finderscope allow much less leeway with respect to where you can put your head.

#25 howard929

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:37 AM

I'm not so sure that's a slam dunk. My skies are full of commercial airliners going to and from major airports that are about 50 miles away. We can't hear them but sometimes they're everywhere. I won't risk a laser that projects a beam, it just isn't worth it.






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