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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again....
      #6327291 - 01/21/14 10:54 PM

I think this might be the best CN Category for this Post but if not let me know!

After over a decade of Amateur Astronomy under my belt, countless hours looking at the night sky through many fine telescopes and an above average understanding of optics.......why am I feeling like a novice again when it comes to terrestrial viewing? We recently purchased a Cabin with abundant mountain views in Western Maine and it already has me wanting a terrestrial scope of some sort. I have binos that are nice and also serve me well for close in bird/wildlife watching so I'm not really looking for a close focus "birding scope" but more in need/want of an optic for views across the local valleys/foothills on out to the White Mountains....so anywhere from say .25 mile to maybe 40-50 miles. Of course most of the distant views, such as Mt Washington at 35 miles out, will be novelties but I have lots of opportunity for wildlife spotting in the .25 to 3 mile range. I'd like to keep it cheap to begin with...say $500 or less, 80mm-100mm perhaps? Compact, light. For now it would be set up indoors viewing through window glass. Any suggestions with pros/cons would be appreciated....preferrably based on first hand experience but I'm open to all! Redirect me to good reading, comparos etc if you wish. Thanks! Tim


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6327382 - 01/21/14 11:46 PM

Quote:

Any suggestions with pros/cons would be appreciated....preferrably based on first hand experience but I'm open to all! Redirect me to good reading, comparos etc if you wish. Thanks! Tim




Tim:

I really like my 80mm F7 apo for terrestrial viewing. Works good for birding too. Your AP-130 on an solid alt-az mount might be pretty awesome.

Jon


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6327414 - 01/22/14 12:12 AM

Jon,

I'm thinking an 80mm ED refractor might be pretty good. Do you view straight through or otherwise? I'm very limited on room where I can currently set up for views otherwise I would just buy a nice Zeiss Amici diagonal and use the 130 GT.....it may come to that in the long run, we'll see. thanks for your thoughts! Tim

Tim:

I really like my 80mm F7 apo for terrestrial viewing. Works good for birding too. Your AP-130 on an solid alt-az mount might be pretty awesome.

Jon




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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6327685 - 01/22/14 06:40 AM

Tim:

I use a star diagonal with it. The views are reversed left to right but that doesn't bother me at all.. in fact, since that's what I use at night, if I use an correct image diagonal, I tend to move the scope the wrong way when tracking a moving object..



(This photo is of my wife looking through the 80mm F/7, it's mounted sidesaddle on a Bogen 3040 (3046 tripod + 3047 head) The location is the Canyon de Chelly in Arizona on the Navajo reservation)

Jon


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btb
sage


Reged: 07/07/06

Loc: Northeast Indiana
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6327964 - 01/22/14 10:05 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

You might also want to check on Orion Short Tube F/5 80-T. That plus your favorite photo tripod would make a decent rig. Picture was taken at about 25 feet with a cheap point and shoot.

Edited by btb (01/22/14 10:08 AM)


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6328014 - 01/22/14 10:34 AM

Maybe a used ETX-90 RA or C-90 with an erecting prism?

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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6328073 - 01/22/14 11:06 AM

That makes sense Jon, and I like the idea of using what I already have[star diagonal] instead of buying another piece of astro gear Care to comment on "turbulence" when viewing terrestrially? I don't really notice it when using binos but it must certainly become a factor when you go up in aperture and magnification thanks, Tim


Quote:

Tim:

I use a star diagonal with it. The views are reversed left to right but that doesn't bother me at all.. in fact, since that's what I use at night, if I use an correct image diagonal, I tend to move the scope the wrong way when tracking a moving object...Jon




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: btb]
      #6328078 - 01/22/14 11:08 AM

thanks, I have had these in mind since a few used ones have been in the marketplace recently. -Tim

Quote:

You might also want to check on Orion Short Tube F/5 80-T. That plus your favorite photo tripod would make a decent rig. Picture was taken at about 25 feet with a cheap point and shoot.




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6328103 - 01/22/14 11:15 AM

thanks, I just missed what looked like a real clean, vintage Orange Tube C90 on AM for $145 I would love to hear from anyone using one of these for terrestrial viewing. One concern is the availability of a good quality 45* erecting prism. I know allot of these Celestron Mak scopes came with an erecting prism but I doubt the quality matches that of the optics thanks, Tim

Quote:

Maybe a used ETX-90 RA or C-90 with an erecting prism?




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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6328178 - 01/22/14 11:54 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

I use my ES 80ED on a Manny modded Porta II w/ Hands On Optics wood legs for both an astro Grab-N-Go and terrestrial scope. I can do wildlife digi-scoping with this scope or with my WO ZS66SD. It is a very portable rig with NO electronics or complicated mechanical parts that can malfunction...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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mtnm
member


Reged: 08/22/07

Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #6330426 - 01/23/14 11:46 AM

I am much happier using a spotting scope for terrestrial viewing mounted on a strong tripod (Bogen 3011 used off e-bay) and video head (Manfrotto HD-501).
I use a Celestron ED spotting scope. I find the 80mm objective the best option (although I own the 100mm).

Price adds up in a hurry. Just like telescopes the mount is very important. But I also expect to use this for 10-20 years. Being able to quickly assemble and then store is important. Being able to get good, true color makes bird watching fun.

I try to shop used. Seems to be harder now with some sketchy deals on e-bay and craig's list.


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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6331072 - 01/23/14 04:24 PM

Quote:

One concern is the availability of a good quality 45* erecting prism. I know allot of these Celestron Mak scopes came with an erecting prism but I doubt the quality matches that of the optics thanks, Tim





There was recently a nice discussion about this in the eyepiece forum. You can mine that thread for recommendations.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6224960/page...


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dengwer
sage


Reged: 02/14/06

Loc: Texas
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6331394 - 01/23/14 08:14 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

meade ETX 90 or orion starmax 90 tabletop mak. this was taken at about 80yd from car window with scope on a platform over the passenger seat. eyepiece was 40mm plossl and point and shoot digital camera.

Edited by dengwer (01/23/14 08:18 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: zawijava]
      #6331635 - 01/23/14 10:58 PM

Quote:

That makes sense Jon, and I like the idea of using what I already have[star diagonal] instead of buying another piece of astro gear Care to comment on "turbulence" when viewing terrestrially? I don't really notice it when using binos but it must certainly become a factor when you go up in aperture and magnification thanks, Tim





Tim:

Seeing is definitely at longer distances, it can be down right horrible and a major reason larger scopes don't really help much terrestrially.

The best seeing can be viewing over water, here's a shot I took with a point and shoot camera of a Loggerhead Shrike that was mostly across water.. The scope was an Astro-Tech 102ED, the distance was probably about 1/3 of a mile. The image isn't the sharpest but considering everything, it's pretty decent for a 9 inch bird.



Jon


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #6332397 - 01/24/14 11:38 AM

thanks Brian, I'm beginning to think seriously about an AT72ED. -Tim

Quote:

I use my ES 80ED on a Manny modded Porta II w/ Hands On Optics wood legs for both an astro Grab-N-Go and terrestrial scope. I can do wildlife digi-scoping with this scope or with my WO ZS66SD. It is a very portable rig with NO electronics or complicated mechanical parts that can malfunction...

Clear Skies,
Brian




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: mtnm]
      #6332418 - 01/24/14 11:47 AM

thanks Mike, yes I'm keen on buying used myself. What vintage is your Celestron ED spotter and is it straight through or 45 deg? I know Celestron is working hard to remain competitive in the Spotting scope market and have made some changes over the past few years. Although I like the comfort of a 45deg I like the thought of using what Astro Gear I have already ie 90 diagonal. I'm kinda leaning towards a AT72ED for reasons of size, weight, price and lens quality. I could also use it for Astro stuff as well. -Tim

Quote:

I am much happier using a spotting scope for terrestrial viewing mounted on a strong tripod (Bogen 3011 used off e-bay) and video head (Manfrotto HD-501).
I use a Celestron ED spotting scope. I find the 80mm objective the best option (although I own the 100mm).

Price adds up in a hurry. Just like telescopes the mount is very important. But I also expect to use this for 10-20 years. Being able to quickly assemble and then store is important. Being able to get good, true color makes bird watching fun.

I try to shop used. Seems to be harder now with some sketchy deals on e-bay and craig's list.




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6332423 - 01/24/14 11:49 AM

thanks, I'll check this out! -Tim

Quote:

Quote:

One concern is the availability of a good quality 45* erecting prism. I know allot of these Celestron Mak scopes came with an erecting prism but I doubt the quality matches that of the optics thanks, Tim





There was recently a nice discussion about this in the eyepiece forum. You can mine that thread for recommendations.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6224960/page...




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: dengwer]
      #6332428 - 01/24/14 11:51 AM

wow, great shot! thanks! -Tim

Quote:

meade ETX 90 or orion starmax 90 tabletop mak. this was taken at about 80yd from car window with scope on a platform over the passenger seat. eyepiece was 40mm plossl and point and shoot digital camera.




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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: HELP!......I'm feeling like a novice again.... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6332462 - 01/24/14 12:02 PM

Yeah, the seeing is definitely going to be the limiting factor in the mountains that's a nice bird shot btw.....you must have been quick [and steady] to get that shot off. So, I'm leaning towards a AT72ED but haven't yet finalized my thinking. I don't think I want to go lower than that in aperture, though going up to 80mm-90mm is still in the back of my mind. -Tim

Quote:

Tim:

Seeing is definitely at longer distances, it can be down right horrible and a major reason larger scopes don't really help much terrestrially.

The best seeing can be viewing over water, here's a shot I took with a point and shoot camera of a Loggerhead Shrike that was mostly across water.. The scope was an Astro-Tech 102ED, the distance was probably about 1/3 of a mile. The image isn't the sharpest but considering everything, it's pretty decent for a 9 inch bird.



Jon




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