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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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dennyhenke
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Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect?
      #5596146 - 12/30/12 01:10 PM

Well, I'm not sure my budget is going to allow for the 16" Lightbridge or similar scopes that I was considering for spring purchase. Now thinking about a 12", specifically the Z12. I'd be upgrading from the XT8 and am wondering about:

1. Quality of the Z12? I'm searching now for reviews. Worst thing I've come across is that they often arrive damaged or in damaged boxes.

2. What kind of improvement in view will I see going from 8" to 12"? Will I be able to see more detail/structure in galaxies/nebulae or is that something that requires more aperture (16")?

I realize that some of this comes down to practice at the scope and learning to take the time with each object, just trying to get a handle on what kind of improvement I might expect to see with this change.

There's a pretty good deal on telescopes.com for $699... at least that seems like a good deal, hence my thought to purchase this sooner rather than later.


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5596275 - 12/30/12 02:35 PM

I can speak to some of your questions. I have a Z12. I bought a dented Z12 for a significant savings and easily hammered out the dent with a wooden block and rubber mallet. The dent was on the bottom of the tube and was never visible. I'm flocking the tube and will cover the scuffs from the hammering. I've bought and brokered three Z12 deals (steals all three). You won't find a better value in aperature. It helps if you're not afraid of tweaking. I live for the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of customizing. The Z12 has very nice altitude bearings and a good mirror. Those alone are worth the prices I've paid. I sold the stock EPs, I built my own custom mount, I traded out the stock RACI for a better straight finder, I added a Telrad.

Expect to be absolutely gobsmacked when you get a dark and steady night. I moved up from a 10" and was blown away by the textures of galaxies and nebula like the Swan, Veil, and Cocoon. Others have posted that the jump from 10 to 12 is moderate- I wholeheartedly disagree. IT IS AWESOME. If you go up from an 8 to a 12, you will have a very hard time ever going back down. You'll become a photon addict.

You can find the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread saved on the Reflectors Forum. You would be joining a community of people who really are attached to the DIY mindset and the bargain-basement access to good, big mirrors. Lots of the posters have included pictures (me included) of their work and offer helpful tips. I hope you'll join us.


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coopman
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Reged: 04/23/06

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Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5596759 - 12/30/12 07:07 PM

The 12" will see deeper, have better resolution and the objects will appear brighter than with the 8".

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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: coopman]
      #5596792 - 12/30/12 07:28 PM

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.

Edited by dennyhenke (12/30/12 07:36 PM)


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5596800 - 12/30/12 07:32 PM

Thanks Ken. Sounds like it is a significant increase in the texture... that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I don't just want slightly brighter, really wanting more. Sounds like I'll get that. Certainly coming from the 8" it will be significant.

I'm already a photon addict. If I move forward with the purchase I fully intend to see you in the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread!

Quote:

Expect to be absolutely gobsmacked when you get a dark and steady night. I moved up from a 10" and was blown away by the textures of galaxies and nebula like the Swan, Veil, and Cocoon. Others have posted that the jump from 10 to 12 is moderate- I wholeheartedly disagree. IT IS AWESOME. If you go up from an 8 to a 12, you will have a very hard time ever going back down. You'll become a photon addict.

You can find the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread saved on the Reflectors Forum. You would be joining a community of people who really are attached to the DIY mindset and the bargain-basement access to good, big mirrors. Lots of the posters have included pictures (me included) of their work and offer helpful tips. I hope you'll join us.




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kfiscus
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5596814 - 12/30/12 07:37 PM

You'll see dust lanes in galaxies, real shape in galaxy arms, hints of color in nebulae that were just gray/green before. Objects that may have just been "saw it"s on your lists will start demanding more observing time and effort as they show details you couldn't see before.

It sounds like you're already sold but this may clinch it...
the Caldwell Objects start to fall and some are actually fun with a 12 instead of just a challenge to find.


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5596860 - 12/30/12 08:03 PM

Thanks again Ken! That is exactly what I was hoping to learn! As it is now I spend lots of time on even just the faintest of smudges... just can't bring myself to "skim" any of them... not that the extra time brings more detail. With the new scope I may go from 15 minutes per object to an hour per object. My guess is the second half of the Herschel 400 will take much longer

I'm thinking I'll be ordering it tonight

Edited by dennyhenke (12/30/12 08:04 PM)


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5596892 - 12/30/12 08:26 PM

Dennyhenke: The difference will blow your socks off.

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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: panhard]
      #5596904 - 12/30/12 08:39 PM

Here are some charts for the Telrad. Also if you decife to get a Telrad a riser highly recommended.

charts


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: panhard]
      #5596915 - 12/30/12 08:49 PM

Thanks Panhard!

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kfiscus
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5596993 - 12/30/12 09:54 PM

Denny, I was hoping no purists would read that and you're one of 'em! I confess, I don't spend lots of time on the dim ones. I obsess on the beauties and keep going back to them while I keep checking off members of the various lists.

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CosmoSat
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/24/09

Loc: India
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5597175 - 12/30/12 11:49 PM

Havnt heard reports of any dents on these.. Apertura AD12 Dobsonian Reflector Telescope

Clear Skies!


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: CosmoSat]
      #5597236 - 12/31/12 12:31 AM

Ken, does that make me a purist? Lol, sweet! I think I've been hoping that by spending more time my visual skills will improve. Time will tell but regardless I do enjoy every minute! I'm the kinda person that always falls behind during walks in the woods as I tend to stop and look at things for a long time.

CosmoSat, thanks for the link but the Z12 is already ordered! Should have it by Thursday! Guessing the clouds will roll in about then too!


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kfiscus
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5597257 - 12/31/12 01:00 AM

Congrats, Papa!

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cpr1
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Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5597458 - 12/31/12 06:57 AM

Opticsmart list the AD12 as 1520mm focal length at F/5 and 86.1 lbs.

Hayneedle list it at F/4.93 and 1500mm focal length and 75 lbs.
Interesting, I always thought these were the same scope.
Either there slightly different scopes or somebody is a little off.

Edited by cpr1 (12/31/12 06:58 AM)


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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: cpr1]
      #5597894 - 12/31/12 12:30 PM

The discrepancy in the specs is due to poor collimation of the Chinese abacus in use.

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Galicapernistein
super member


Reged: 09/24/07

Loc: Detroit Michigan
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5601083 - 01/02/13 11:26 AM

Quote:

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.




I have both an 8" and 12" inch dob, and these are some of the specific differences I see between the two (from a dark sky site):

1) 12" - The spiral arm on the outer edge of the dust lane of the Andromeda Galaxy is faint in the 12".
8" - Invisible.

2) 12" - The spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy appear with even the slightest averted vision; brighter portions of the arms stand out in moments of good seeing.
8" - The spiral arms are two vague hazes that circle the brighter center.

3) 12" - The brighter arm of the Triangulum Galaxy appears as a lumpy haze that stretches out to NGC 604, the bright star forming region at the end of the arm. NGC 604 itself appears slightly lumpy.
8" - A few of the brightest star forming regions of the spiral arm can be seen with averted vison. NGC 604 is visible, but as a fuzzy blob.

4) 12" - The companion galaxies of NGC 7331 are visible with averted vision.
8" - Forget about it.

6) 12" - The galaxies in Stephan's Quintet can be partly separated in moments of good seeing.
8" - What Stephan's Quintet?.

These are just a few examples of the differences I see, although your results may vary. A 12" will definitely take you into a new range of seeing, just as a 16" will take you into an even higher range. If I didnt' have to drive to a dark sky site, I would have a 16" scope, but as it is, portability is my first concern.


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rflinn68
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Reged: 03/09/12

Loc: Arkansas
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: Galicapernistein]
      #5601107 - 01/02/13 11:39 AM

Very interesting, but what happened to 5?

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB

Edited by rflinn68 (01/02/13 11:44 AM)


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Galicapernistein
super member


Reged: 09/24/07

Loc: Detroit Michigan
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: rflinn68]
      #5601131 - 01/02/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

Very interesting, but what happened to 5?

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB




5 was the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

I like my Lightbridge, and would have no problem buying a 16". With the 10" scope you have now, it might make more sense to save for the 16 - a 2" jump might not be worth the money you could put toward a bigger scope.


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coopman
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: Galicapernistein]
      #5602120 - 01/02/13 11:03 PM

Even in the 12", most galaxies are going to still be faint fuzzies. The aperture increase makes it possible for you to see many more of them than would be possible with less aperture. Star clusters, especially the globular clusters, will be resolved much nicer with the 12".

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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: rflinn68]
      #5602278 - 01/03/13 01:34 AM

I considered the 12" LB but went withe the Z12 to save money. From what I've read, optically speaking,mthe difference is negligible. I live on a dark site so I don't have to transport.

Quote:

Very interesting, but what happened to 5?

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB




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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: Galicapernistein]
      #5602283 - 01/03/13 01:37 AM

Thanks so much for providing all the details! From what I am reading I think I'll be very happy with the upgrade... Should tide me over till I get that 48"

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.




I have both an 8" and 12" inch dob, and these are some of the specific differences I see between the two (from a dark sky site):

1) 12" - The spiral arm on the outer edge of the dust lane of the Andromeda Galaxy is faint in the 12".
8" - Invisible.

2) 12" - The spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy appear with even the slightest averted vision; brighter portions of the arms stand out in moments of good seeing.
8" - The spiral arms are two vague hazes that circle the brighter center.

3) 12" - The brighter arm of the Triangulum Galaxy appears as a lumpy haze that stretches out to NGC 604, the bright star forming region at the end of the arm. NGC 604 itself appears slightly lumpy.
8" - A few of the brightest star forming regions of the spiral arm can be seen with averted vison. NGC 604 is visible, but as a fuzzy blob.

4) 12" - The companion galaxies of NGC 7331 are visible with averted vision.
8" - Forget about it.

6) 12" - The galaxies in Stephan's Quintet can be partly separated in moments of good seeing.
8" - What Stephan's Quintet?.

These are just a few examples of the differences I see, although your results may vary. A 12" will definitely take you into a new range of seeing, just as a 16" will take you into an even higher range. If I didnt' have to drive to a dark sky site, I would have a 16" scope, but as it is, portability is my first concern.




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JIMZ7
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/22/05

Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5602516 - 01/03/13 08:36 AM

From 8" to 12" opens the heavens as never before . M-57 in 4th magnitude skies can be seen directly without avert vision. M-13 now looks like a dense open star cluster. M-31 almost fills the entire eyepiece at low power. But again this is in the "white zone" outside of Detroit. Imagine the views in darker skies.

Jim


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: JIMZ7]
      #5604026 - 01/04/13 02:58 AM

2 words: Horse. Head.

Got it tonight with the Z12 on my first serious attempt ever- no filter.


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planet earth
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Reged: 09/07/10

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: panhard]
      #5604095 - 01/04/13 05:06 AM

Quote:

Dennyhenke: The difference will blow your socks off.




Yes, that pretty well sums it up.
Sam


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: planet earth]
      #5604694 - 01/04/13 12:32 PM

It is scheduled to arrive today, clear skies forecast for tonight!

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cpr1
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5605274 - 01/04/13 05:41 PM

Cool, get ready for some big boxes.

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kfiscus
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: cpr1]
      #5605528 - 01/04/13 08:29 PM

Save the OTA box and foam for perpetuity.

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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5606517 - 01/05/13 12:39 PM

Got it put together in about an hour. Had a little trouble getting it collimated. The black handled, spring loaded screws were not quite doing it but when I then tweaked the white handled screws lock screws that did the trick. Not sure why I have to use the lock screws to adjust but it makes sense that it would help as some have said that locking in collimation can alter things, I just used it to my advantage! Guessing maybe I need to upgrade those screws as many seem to do. The Telrad is very nice to use! I doubt I'll ever bother using the scope's included finder... Does anyone actually use those?

Got some great views in during my 6+ hours at the scope!! Most notable of the night was a revisit to NGC 2158, open cluster in Gemini. In previous viewings with the 8" it was a fairly faint, nebulous sphere with very little resolution of stars. With the 12"? Very nice resolution of many stars... huge improvement.

Dust lanes in M31? Yes, very well defined. Added definition in the Orion Nebula was very nice!

Picking up some of the 11 and 12 mag galaxies in Ursa Major that remained on my Herschel 400 list was a breeze. Will be interesting to revisit what I've already seen with the 8" to see what new details are visible!


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5606527 - 01/05/13 12:43 PM

Oh, and I should add, this thing is big and heavy! I mean, yes, obviously I expected both but the reality is quite impressive. I'm guessing I'll get used to lifting and maneuvering it but am really looking forward to building it a little outhouse roll-off type shed and leaving it in place!

Do folks out there name their scopes? The obvious choice is Big Bertha though that's not very original.


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5606581 - 01/05/13 01:03 PM

I call mine monster.

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Tim L
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Reged: 12/17/08

Loc: Missouri
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5606878 - 01/05/13 04:00 PM

Quote:

I doubt I'll ever bother using the scope's included finder... Does anyone actually use those?




I still like to use the RACI. If I get slightly off my target when switching EPs, it's a breeze to get right back.

Quote:

Got some great views in during my 6+ hours at the scope!!




I'm impressed, given how cold it's been lately! I'm a winter viewing wimp. Really wanted to last night, but freezing temps kept me in.


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cpr1
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: Tim L]
      #5607071 - 01/05/13 06:08 PM

Congrats on your new scope. I assume it arrived with no dents?
If so that's great. Enjoy.


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: cpr1]
      #5607185 - 01/05/13 07:33 PM

Christopher, yes, no dents! Box was almost perfect. I was a bit worried about that.

Tim, thanks for the tip. I'm so used to using the red dot that I'd not considered possible uses. There have been a couple occasions where I bumped the scope and had trouble making it back!

As for the cold, I'm wimpy too but I layer up with a crazy amount of layers... usually 4 pairs of pants, 2-3 shirts, jacket AND a coat then gloves, ski mask and of course 2 pairs of socks in insulated boots. Still, it's always the feet that get cold first.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5607205 - 01/05/13 07:53 PM

Denny

Congratulations on your new scope...

12 inches is a great size, big enough to do some real damage but still compact enough to be easily transported...

Jon


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5607244 - 01/05/13 08:28 PM

Congrats again on the new scope. Glad to hear you're dentless. I sold my RACI and use the straight one I already had. No name for mine. I've never named any of 'em. They tend to come and go frequently and each new one is bigger than the last...

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cpr1
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Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5607271 - 01/05/13 08:43 PM

I like using my right angle finder in conjunction with a telrad. After a while it gets easy and quick. I find it helps me locate hard to find objects. 3 step process... locate most recognizable area or star with the telrad (closest you can get it.) then use right angle finder to get very close. Then use a finder eyepiece and confirm but remember everything is upside down and reversed.

Happens quickly with practice.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: cpr1]
      #5607665 - 01/06/13 01:17 AM

Quote:

I like using my right angle finder in conjunction with a telrad. After a while it gets easy and quick. I find it helps me locate hard to find objects. 3 step process... locate most recognizable area or star with the telrad (closest you can get it.) then use right angle finder to get very close. Then use a finder eyepiece and confirm but remember everything is upside down and reversed.

Happens quickly with practice.




With a Telrad and reasonably dark skies, I find it is often possible to get "very close" by using the Telrad's reticule circles to point the scope, not need for the magnifying finder, I go straight to a low power eyepiece.

Jon


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BigC
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Re: From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5608251 - 01/06/13 12:24 PM

The Z12 is a real "wow" ;the first time I looked through mine I discovered there are no empty areas of the sky!

The Orion Nebula is my favorite test object to compare scopes and the extent and detail in a 12" are amazing.

The ONLY drawback to my Z12 is physically moving it across my rough yard.A scopehouse is a very good idea.

And thanks to Jon for his suggestion of the Sears digital level;the deluxe version with magnetic base and red laser is now sitting between the Z12 focuser and the RACI finder.The level gives me elevation angle to 1/10 of a degree.Once azimuth circle is put on the base then using Stellarium the Z12 will be practically "push-to" when desired.


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