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Are binoviewers just as great on DSO's?

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#76 LA_Stars

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:06 AM

 

Anyone have experience with the Astrotelescopes AR1522 152mm f/6.5? I may be able to get a good deal on one locally. Reviews online seem to be positive. Have no idea if Denk BV's would work well with it. Not sure if my ES Twilight II mount would hold that bad boy up though..

 

I don't have an absolute answer but in general, if you are going to use the OCS/Powerswitch, almsot any refractor that will reach focus with a 2" diagonal will work with this combination.

 

If you are going to use an a la carte binoviewer, even with a 1.25" diagonal, it is unlikely that you will be able to reach focus unlessy you cut the tube, or in some cases, replace the focuser.

 

Sorry for the general answer, but in the vast majority of cases, the above are both true.

 

I just don't know if they are true for your specific telescope or not.

 

Good general info- thanks Ed



#77 Kutno

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

 

 

I will now be torn when deciding whether to go bino or 100° mono to hunt DSOs.

I do both. Bino on showpieces (making them even better!) and 82° and 100° mono on faint targets or targets needing a large field of view.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

 

 

We are blessed, Thomas, having the ability to go either bino or 100° mono. 

 

All the best!



#78 NorthWolf

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

Hey why not 2 ethos for the binoviewers. 2 10mm

#79 slack

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:54 PM

Hey why not 2 ethos for the binoviewers. 2 10mm

 

Cost, weight, IPD, wasted AFOV for many (or most) people...



#80 LA_Stars

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:56 PM

I just ordered matched pair sets of 12mm and 19mm SWA Konig's from Gary @ Russell Optics, $78 per pair of EPs. the 12mm's are 65FOV and the 19's are 70FOV, 18mm eye relief. He is an avid BV user himself and is hand making the sets to be perfectly matched, using some very good grade lenses and shorter EP body optimized for BV's.  10mm would probably be too much since I plan to use a 2x focal extender, the added focal length of the BV would probably take them down to a 8mm or 7mm before barlowing.  What's interesting is the body of these EP's is made out of machined Delrin- should be very light. 

 

Anyway, he has quite a few 19mm's left but only two 12mm's left after making my pair. so if anyone wants a pair of the 12's better hit him up soon. http://www.russell-optics.com - use the email address to contact Gary directly. he always responds.


Edited by LA_Stars, 19 August 2014 - 09:04 PM.


#81 LA_Stars

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:52 AM

 

 

 

Yes, everything from the knurled ring up rotates.  That is normal.

 

I believe that you and he are talking about two different "knurled rings."  There's the top one that changes the focal length and the one below that is directly above the 1.25" / 2" nosepiece. It sounds from LA Stars' description that it's below the bottom ring that the rotation is concurring - at least that's what I'm interpreting from his and your descriptions.  Of course, I could be wrong...

 

Yep I'm talking about the bottom thin knurled ring right above nose piece. the base of the entire body rotates on top of it.

 

Grab the lower knurled ring (the one closest to the nosepiece) and turn the nosepiece COUNTERCLOCKWISE to remove it. Then turn the THIN knurled-edged adapter ring that the 1.25" nosepiece was screwed into CLOCKWISE to tighten it while still holding the lower knurled ring. After you have that tight, screw the 1.25" nosepiece into the thin knurled-edged adapter. These Baader zooms are extremely adaptable, but the number of necessary adapters is sometimes annoying, to say the least.  Have you yet fiddled with the eye-end of the eyepiece?  More stuff to unscrew and replace with other stuff in the box that the eyepiece came in.  Adaptable = annoying, as I've already said. :grin:

 

 

That was it exactly!! I tightened the knurled ring and all good. you da man :D



#82 NorthWolf

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 06:52 PM

Good job! Please give us a review between the zooms and a fixed focal length ep when possible!

#83 LA_Stars

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

will do!

 

PS I also picked up this very nice looking 2" short barlow cell. There are only three left so if you want one go for it: http://www.ebay.com/...m/151144245814

 

I have some 48mm to T2 rings both male / female conversions so I should be able to pop this in between the SCT VB with T2 threads, and the Baader amici diagonal with T2 threads. the Barlow has a 37mm clear aperture. specs on it are at bottom of listing so scoll down.



#84 LA_Stars

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:35 PM

So I had a friend over last night and he brought his 6" Vixen SCT to do some viewing comparisons- he has larger scopes but the Vixen is the "grab n go" scope, and it's a medium performer. Anyway, long story short.. The main issue I'm having is with the Meade scope being a bit dark and soft on focus at high mag. I viewed through his Vixen and everything is brighter and sharper and there is actual contrast. My Meade is way dark and mushy in comparison. Even using my  Baader zoom EPs on his was a superior experience, as well as with the Denk BV's.  We double checked collimation in the Meade and it is spot on.

 

So today I returned the Meade and bought an 8" Celestron Aplanatic EDGE SCT. I guess if the 8" doesn't do it for me then I better plan to mortgage the house on the next scope purchase. lol

 

http://www.highpoint...ptics-91030-xlt

 

BTW the guys at Highpoint are top notch- they had no issue with taking back the Meade. Of course buying the Celestron from them probably helped with that :D.

 

Stay tuned...



#85 NorthWolf

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 11:02 PM

Great move LA stars! Please let me know how that goes as that is also the next scope I want also!

Tell me which vuew you like better with your friend's Vixen and Celestron. Poor Meade...I always hear complaints about them...and highpoint has great service I hear as well.

#86 LA_Stars

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 11:18 PM

Great move LA stars! Please let me know how that goes as that is also the next scope I want also!

Tell me which vuew you like better with your friend's Vixen and Celestron. Poor Meade...I always hear complaints about them...and highpoint has great service I hear as well.

 

Thanks NW- yeh I got it on recommendation of my friend with the Vixen. He said it is the "one he wants too" :D , and he does a lot of astrophotgraphy so he's very picky about scopes and optics. So maybe I just got a bum scope. there was a small black spot on the primary mirror from factory, did not affect viewing but perhaps the coatings were not applied properly. who knows?? I've read a lot of reviews from folks very happy with the LX80 6", but "happy with it" is always a YMMV term... ;p

 

I should have it next week and be set up for viewing by the following week- have to go out of town for a few days. will definitely report back!  

 

Oh and YES! Highpointscientific.com has been **FANTASTIC** I have bought quite a few things from them, Dave in particular. Fast service, they always price match, and excellent support / communication. There are very few online stores I would give "five stars" to, they are one of them for sure.


Edited by LA_Stars, 21 August 2014 - 11:19 PM.


#87 LA_Stars

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 11:24 PM

a note on the Vixen 6"- I think it is an "average" SCT. I would not pay retail for one, but I'd pick one up cheap just for use as a spotting scope etc. I like the looks of them and they are light weight, but I don't think I'd get one for astro / planetary stuff.  I don't know anything about their larger SCTs and maybe those are made better.



#88 Eddgie

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

The main issue I'm having is with the Meade scope being a bit dark and soft on focus at high mag. I viewed through his Vixen and everything is brighter and sharper and there is actual contrast. My Meade is way dark and mushy in comparison. Even using my  Baader zoom EPs on his was a superior experience, as well as with the Denk BV's.  We double checked collimation in the Meade and it is spot on.

 

 

 

I suspect your scope was in a severe apeture reduction mode, especially if you were using a reducer.

 

You can't use a reducer with the EdgeHD 8" either without apeture reduction.   On my own EdgeHD, light path has to be kept to about 165mm or so for full apeture.  Now someone else measured no apture reduction at this back focus, so it may vary a bit, but a reducer is almost sure to cause between .5" and 1" of apeture reduction, and perhaps more.  

 

And I suspect that this was happening to your 6".   My bet is that you were loosing a lot of aperture, and I would bet that with a .5 compressor, it was more than an inch and perhaps an inch and a half.

 

Remember, there is a lot or light in the outside of the light cone, and cutting an inch not only reduces the light at the focal plane, but it has the same effect as making the central obstruction larger by diameter.  If your scope was 33% obstructed, if you were loosing an inch of apeture (from about 28 square inches to about 19 square inches of light collection, or a 30% decrease in collection), but you also have to figure that the secondary now becomes more like a 39% obstruction.

 

I don't know if this was what was happening to you, but based on my own result with sever apeture reduction, I would guess that it is what was happening with your configuration.

 

I use a 10mm SCT to T2 adapter, a Baader standard prism, and a Mark V in my EdgeHD 8" and I am just barely shy of being at full apeture, but it is very close, and maybe within the margin of error.

 

Anyway, you need to decide what is important to you, but if a wide field is important to you, an f/5ish Newtonian with a Denk II Super System is the best combination.

 

Now with the SCT, you can still get a low power view, but it won't be a wide field view.   If you want a brighter image, then you can use a pair of 40mm Plossls, or (what I think is a better choice) a pair of 35mm Ultimas/Ultrascopics.     Either of these will give you a very big exit pupil.   The Ultrascopes/Ultima may vignette a tiny bit in the Denk IIs.  Don't know, have not tried them in a Denk II.    Either of these will give you a much lower power and a bigger exit pupil to help brigten up things a bit.   I just did not like the 40s becuase the apparent field was a bit to small even for binoviewing.   The Ultima/Ultrascopes work beautifully with the EdgeHD 8" in the Mark Vs.  The field is only a very tiny bit bigger than with ES 24/68s, but the bigger exit pupil is a nice thing for nebula.

 

My advice though is to avoid using any kind of reducer for normal viewing with an SCT, and instead, accept some apparent field loss and get your low power with 35mm Ultimas or with 40mm Plossl.


Edited by Eddgie, 22 August 2014 - 08:11 AM.


#89 LA_Stars

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:10 AM

 

The main issue I'm having is with the Meade scope being a bit dark and soft on focus at high mag. I viewed through his Vixen and everything is brighter and sharper and there is actual contrast. My Meade is way dark and mushy in comparison. Even using my  Baader zoom EPs on his was a superior experience, as well as with the Denk BV's.  We double checked collimation in the Meade and it is spot on.

 

 

 

I suspect your scope was in a severe apeture reduction mode, especially if you were using a reducer.

 

You can't use a reducer with the EdgeHD 8" either without apeture reduction.   On my own EdgeHD, light path has to be kept to about 165mm or so for full apeture.  Now someone else measured no apture reduction at this back focus, so it may vary a bit, but a reducer is almost sure to cause between .5" and 1" of apeture reduction, and perhaps more.  

 

And I suspect that this was happening to your 6".   My bet is that you were loosing a lot of aperture, and I would bet that with a .5 compressor, it was more than an inch and perhaps an inch and a half.

 

Remember, there is a lot or light in the outside of the light cone, and cutting an inch not only reduces the light at the focal plane, but it has the same effect as making the central obstruction larger by diameter.  If your scope was 33% obstructed, if you were loosing an inch of apeture (from about 28 square inches to about 19 square inches of light collection, or a 30% decrease in collection), but you also have to figure that the secondary now becomes more like a 39% obstruction.

 

I don't know if this was what was happening to you, but based on my own result with sever apeture reduction, I would guess that it is what was happening with your configuration.

 

I use a 10mm SCT to T2 adapter, a Baader standard prism, and a Mark V in my EdgeHD 8" and I am just barely shy of being at full apeture, but it is very close, and maybe within the margin of error.

 

Anyway, you need to decide what is important to you, but if a wide field is important to you, an f/5ish Newtonian with a Denk II Super System is the best combination.

 

Now with the SCT, you can still get a low power view, but it won't be a wide field view.   If you want a brighter image, then you can use a pair of 40mm Plossls, or (what I think is a better choice) a pair of 35mm Ultimas/Ultrascopics.     Either of these will give you a very big exit pupil.   The Ultrascopes/Ultima may vignette a tiny bit in the Denk IIs.  Don't know, have not tried them in a Denk II.    Either of these will give you a much lower power and a bigger exit pupil to help brigten up things a bit.   I just did not like the 40s becuase the apparent field was a bit to small even for binoviewing.   The Ultima/Ultrascopes work beautifully with the EdgeHD 8" in the Mark Vs.  The field is only a very tiny bit bigger than with ES 24/68s, but the bigger exit pupil is a nice thing for nebula.

 

My advice though is to avoid using any kind of reducer for normal viewing with an SCT, and instead, accept some apparent field loss and get your low power with 35mm Ultimas or with 40mm Plossl.

 

 

Thanks Ed, very good to know about the Edge 8" and your BV's, and understanding the effect of exit pupil. Thanks for the EP suggestions.  I was not using the focal reducer, I pretty much took that out of the chain straght away and I have been using a single baader zoom EP on an TV Everbright diagonal.  With or without the reducer, it was pretty much the same in regards to dimness, softness and lack of contrast.  FOV was not really a complaint and I do understand the limitations of this particualr scope design (and the baader zooms for that matter). For me the reduced FOV is a fair trade-off for being able to use a single scope for both terra and astro, in a (relatively light) short tube scope & mount combo I can move around. 


Edited by LA_Stars, 22 August 2014 - 10:10 AM.


#90 LA_Stars

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Ed- I thought that it was not a good thing to have too large of an exit pupil, otherwise you lose light as well. Should it not always be an "ideal" 3mm to get best light? I've only read this in a book hence the question. What's your take on that?



#91 LA_Stars

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:57 AM

Hey all-  The Celestron 8" showed up yeterday. mighty fine looking SCT :D  - I will be testing it out this weekend. Also got the Baader amici DX prism diagonal.  Plus, I received the prototype "shorty" SCT to T2 / 1.25" adapter for test fitting. it is really slick. only adds 5mm to the light path. The SCT screw-on collar rides on an inner bearing sleeve so positioning is super simple. After you screw on the SCT collar, the three thumb screws lock down on the inner collar to fix the position of your T2 / 1.25" accessory securely. 

 

Here is a shot of the SCT adapter screwed into the Baader diagonal directly. the open side screws right onto the Celestron visual back, position it, then tighten the three thumb screws.   there is also a 1.25" adapter collar for use with 1.25" nose piece of typical diagonals, so you can use either a direct T2 thread or slide in a 1.25" nose piece to the adapter.  This is a prototype so it is not black anodized yet. But hey is this adapter SHORT or what?? :D :D

 

adapter-photo-2.jpg


Edited by LA_Stars, 29 August 2014 - 12:25 PM.


#92 Eddgie

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:10 PM

Very nice!



#93 LA_Stars

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:22 PM

here's a pic of the rear of the new Celestron, with some of the various "prototype" SCT adapter collars laying on it. The fit and finish of the scope is very nice. I like the focuser lock knobs (two black knobs one on left side and one on bottom). The small carry handle is nice, but not in the way. the front lens cover is flat so the SCT stands well upright.  well designed. 

 

In case you are wondering, the numbers in the photo were just for reference comments back to the person making the SCT adapter.

 

adapter-photo-1.jpg


Edited by LA_Stars, 29 August 2014 - 12:24 PM.


#94 LA_Stars

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:09 AM

Hey all hope you are doing something fun for the Holday weekend-  Had first light with the Celestron 8" Edge last night. All I have to say is "wow" and it is nice to actually have a REAL SCT telescope. Of course, at a price... lol

 

Good views of Saturn, Denk BV works excellent, Baader zooms work excellent. Would have been able to see some Mars detail if turbulence were a bit less.  The focus knob on this SCT is very good- night and day better compared to the Meade 6" - not by a little, a lot!

 

Only BUMMER is that the Celestron SCT's dove tail is way too large for the ES mount's dove tail. I'm not sure what to do with this. I made an "adapter" out of a piece of wood (don't laugh) for right now, just so I could get some initial viewing in. 

 

Here are some pics:

 

SCT with Denk BV on ES Twilight I mount,  Denk BV with my prototype adapter that screws into the Denk nose and right onto the Baader T2 diagonal - Fantastic!!

Also a shot this morning overlooking my views- I have 360 degree views of an entire valley it's pretty cool. This SCT is also fantastic on terra!

 

sct-photo-5.jpg

 

sct-photo-6.jpg

 

sct-photo-7.jpg


Edited by LA_Stars, 31 August 2014 - 09:10 AM.


#95 JustaBoy

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

Sounds like you ordered the one with the CGE dovetail?

 

What you need is the CG5 (Vixen).

 

http://www.optcorp.c...cat=7&limit=all



#96 LA_Stars

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

Sounds like you ordered the one with the CGE dovetail?

 

What you need is the CG5 (Vixen).

 

http://www.optcorp.c...cat=7&limit=all

I guess so- there was no option to specify mount type at time of ordering, and Highpoint sold me the ES mount as well as this scope so I figured they would send me the right setup or advise on any issues. anyway not too big a deal I will get it sorted this week. 



#97 JustaBoy

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

They really need to make that right for you - If not it will cost you money.

 

That is their mistake, as anyone in the business knows what mounts use what dovetails.

 

 

Best of luck!



#98 LA_Stars

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 10:50 AM

They really need to make that right for you - If not it will cost you money.

 

That is their mistake, as anyone in the business knows what mounts use what dovetails.

 

 

Best of luck!

yeh they've been pretty excellent to deal with, so I'm sure they will get me taken care of.  at least my "wooden adapter" is getting me through the weekend :D



#99 LA_Stars

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 11:02 AM

BTW just as a general FYI-  There is zero issue using this 8" SCT with the ES Twilight I tripod and mount head, even fully loaded with Denk, a pair of Baader zoom EPs and finders. it is still very stable and alt/az motion is very smooth.

This setup only weighs 2lbs more than the Meade 6". It's still easy to pick everything up assembled and carry it outside.

 

One thing I did to center the balance, it works GREAT and it is cheap / easy to do. And it looks good as well:

 

1. buy a 2" PVC slip coupling, white, about $1

2. buy two 1/4 x 20 socket head SAE hex screws 4" long (Ace hardware, Osh, HD etc) - be sure to get stainless or at least black annodized. bolts are about $2.80 each. These are SAE and not metric.

3 remove the two socket allen bolts that hold the vertical arm of the ES mount to the base.

4. insert 2" PVC coupling between mount arm and adjacent face of base, slide the new 4" bolts through and tighten it down. the diameter of the PVC coupler is perfect and fits inside the recess lip of the vertical mount arm.  When tight it is "rock solid".

5. now your larger diameter SCT is more perfectly centered laterally over the top of the mount head, getting rid of any induce lean from the SCT hanging out too much to the side.

6. time spent to do this- less than five minutes. Cost? about $7.

7. if you want less spacing, just buy a gray 2" electrical PVC conduit connector. same as the white PVC connetor but half the length. pick up shorter hex bolts,  2" length should do it.

 

Look closely at photo below diagonal and to left of the focus knob- see how the vertical arm of mount is spaced out by 3" away from the base with the PVC? it looks so good you don't even notice it's there. It is sturdy because the PVC connector unions are extra thick vs 2" pipe. There is NO flex whatsoever and the PVC keeps the weight down.

 

sct-photo-6.jpg

 

You can see it well in this photo too- see the offset from the PVC connector and SCT is more centered over the base? nice!!

sct-photo-7.jpg


Edited by LA_Stars, 31 August 2014 - 11:07 AM.







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