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Orion Starblast 62mm

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#51 beanerds

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 07:25 AM

What ? you said it mate ,, not me , all I am saying is that it wears so thin after a while here in these refractor forums to hear certain scopes ( designs ) bagged by know it alls ,,, Oh I see you don't own one ,, I am at an end to even comprehend how you know these have ,, an ED lens 'full of optical issues ' ??? enlighten please .
Brian.


 

Just one question David E ,on this 'Mass produced ED doublet with a lense full of optical issues ' , What ? ,, how can you say this keeping a straight face ? ,,, c-mon man how dare you judge this scope or do you own one ??? I dont think so , bad form .
Brian.

Don't put words into my posts that aren't there. I am not making criticism of any particular type of refractor or any brands. I was simply stating my priorities when judging the optics of a refractor. I understand that some people don't like it, but chromatic aberration in an achromat, as long as it is well controlled, doesn't bother me all that much. CA in an achromat is not a defect, it's the nature of the animal. But astigmatism and misalignment are defects and that I am much less tolerant of, regardless of the refractor's design.
 
And yes, I do own several ED doublets.


Edited by beanerds, 10 January 2015 - 07:29 AM.


#52 mikee

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 07:51 AM

Brian once again you misread David's post.    He said "And yes, I do own several ED doublets".   Also his first post wasn't specifically talking about the Starblast 62mm that this thread is related to (again you either didn't read or misread his link to his review of the Starblast 62mm clone and yes he does own one of them too).   My read was that he was commenting on the other posts in this thread where other members were wondering why someone would want to buy an achromat when for a little more money they could get an ED scope.    There was nothing inflammatory in his post(s) so I'm not sure what you keep getting worked up about.    

 

BTW maybe if you don't want to hear a another members opinion here you should  try not ending your comments asking them to enlighten you because clearly you don't care about what David has to say on the matter.    Just skip his or anyone else's posts if you don't like their opinions.  Personally I enjoy his opinion and have read many posts/reviews by him over the years that are always level headed and non-dogmatic.   


Edited by mikee, 10 January 2015 - 09:59 AM.

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#53 mikee

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 08:51 AM

I took my Starblast out again last night for a quick look.   I didn't have much time and wasn't able to wait for the moon to rise unfortunately so it's a limited report.   

 

I had with me: 12mm Delos, 5.5mm Meade UWA, Televue 2x barlow (wanted to compare my barlow'd Delos to my new Meade) and using my soon to be returned Orion 1.25" 90 degree mirror diagonal

 

The Delos was great in this scope.   Crisp views, nice FOV and decent magnification.      I've never been a double star guy other then some of the really easy ones and most of the time I've come across them by accident but last night I came across Sigma Orionis and Struve 761 which I had never seen or at least had never know was a multiple star system.   Both star systems were easy and looked fantastic in the Delos.   Also based on Jon's challenge I attempted to split Alnitak.    Unfortunately I didn't research what it should look like so I thought I split it but I think what I found was the 9th magnitude C companion?    It was very dim an fairly far from Alnitak so after coming in and reviewing I don't think I saw the B star at all.    I also wasn't sure what magnification I should use - I tried combinations of the 2 eyepieces and barlow and didn't see it.  BTW I wasn't very happy with the 5.5m Meade.   It was significantly darker view then the barlowed Delos but I digress.. Also I think I've got a newly formed interest in double stars.

 

Orion Nebula was excellent in the 12mm Delos..   Trapezium easily split but no sign of E/F which I think would be difficult/impossible with this small of a scope?

M31 in the Delos was not as nicely framed as the 24mmPan and with the rising moon brigtening the sky I wasn't able to detect M110 like I was the previous night although M32 was there.   I'll look again before the moon rises as I think the Delos will be great in dark skies.  

 

One of my goals last night was to get a sense of CA in the scope as I hadn't seen any at all the previous nights deep sky observing but I wasn't looking at anything bright either (clusters, galaxies, nebula).    As I mentioned the moon wasn't fully up yet so I opted for viewing a low in the sky Jupiter and Sirius.  

 

Jupiter - Some false color around the rim with the Delos.   About what I would expect from a good achromat.   Far, far less then the 120mm/f5 I owned which was awash in color on the moon and planets.    I was able to see the north and south equatorial belts easily but the image was small.    Had a little trouble reaching focus but this was IMO due to the seeing vs a single speed focuser.  I don't think a fine focus would have helped much here.    

Next up I put in the 2x barlow with the 12mm.   Much better!   A lot less CA - really negligible and possibly would have been mostly color free if the seeing was better and Jupiter was higher in the sky.  Color was limited to the edges and nothing on the surface.    Easy to see the equatorial belts and bits of structure in the temperate zones but seeing being what it was.   Next I put in my 5.5 Meade.. Similar views although the barlowed Delos was noticeably brighter and sharper.  Also the grease oozing out of the Meade where you twist up the eyecup??...what the heck!!   I ended up getting grease all over my hands and focuser knobs and had to wipe it on my jeans every time I used it   :shocked:   Definitely returning this eyepiece.

 

Sirius - Sirius was low in the sky at my latitude and in focus it had a purple halo as was to be expected.   Good thing I never look at Sirius in small scopes :)

 

Overall I'd say the color is well controlled and not a problem for the price (and for the record CA kind of bugs me).  I also think that the seeing/altitude of the objects certainly added some to the false color I saw so it's hard to tell where seeing ends and color correction starts but for sure on these very bright objects there is some CA.    I also agree with David that this aperture loses light fast as you increase magnification but part of it is the eyepiece choice I think as well.    There was a very noticeable brightness difference between the 5.5 mm Meade vs 2x barlow+12mm Delos and all things being equal I would have expected the brightness to be similar with those focal lengths.

 

Next up is the moon and hopefully if the atmosphere settles down a proper star test.

 

BTW another minor quibble is that I was seeing some very minor reflections again last night.    I'm not sure if this is the scope, eyepieces or the diagonal.   I'll be getting a new diagonal early next week so I can compare.    The scope is really well baffled and the interior paint job looks to be excellent and flat so I'm not sure how the scope could be causing this. I'm hoping its the EP/diagonal or some combination of the two. 


Edited by mikee, 10 January 2015 - 10:07 AM.


#54 beanerds

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 09:59 AM

Maybe , but a few 80mm SV's do not equate to a 60mm LP (?) build , it just irks me the way some people down certain scopes in snide ways without even looking thru them .
Enjoy your sweet 60mm as I do mine .

I bow out now .

Brian.

Brian once again you misread David's post.    He said "And yes, I do own several ED doublets".   Also his first post wasn't specifically talking about the Starblast 62mm that this thread is related to (again you either didn't read or misread his link to his review of the Starblast 62mm clone and yes he does own one of them too).   My read was that he was commenting on the other posts in this thread where other members were wondering why someone would want to buy an achromat when for a little more money they could get an ED scope.    There was nothing inflammatory in his post(s) so I'm not sure what you keep getting worked up about.    
 
BTW maybe if you don't want to hear a another members opinion here you should end your comments asking them to enlighten you because clearly you don't care about what David has to say on the matter.    Just skip his or anyone else's posts if you don't like their opinions.  Personally I enjoy his opinion and have read many posts/reviews by him over the years that are always level headed and non-dogmatic.


Edited by beanerds, 10 January 2015 - 10:02 AM.


#55 mikee

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 10:06 AM

Maybe , but a few 80mm SV's do not equate to a 60mm LP (?) build , it just irks me the way some people down certain scopes in snide ways without even looking thru them .
I bow out now .
Brian.

As I said you didn't read his original post and have misinterpreted the entire thing.   He OWNED/OWNS the exact same scope as the 62mm Starblast and LIKED it.   He even linked to this review here:

 

http://www.cloudynig...ement-achromat/

 

Anyway - back to the topic at hand.  The 62mm Starblast



#56 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 10:24 AM

 

Jon, for some reason I see colors more vividly through achromats. Although I get my sharpest view of Jupiter through my 8" Dob, I get my most colorful through my Nighthawk. Same is true with star colors. I think you're right Stellarvue did not sell an 80mm apo doublet with FPL-53, but my SV85S doublet has a Russian OK4 element, almost there. The SV85S and SV85L were great scopes, and I think Vic might have marketed a doublet with FPL-53 but when he became a Televue dealer he quickly dropped all doublet apo's from his lineup, not wanting to compete directly with Televue's.

 

 

I see colors more vividly though larger aperture scopes.  Jupiter at 200x in the 16 inch shows colors in a way I do not see in a scope half that size and even more so with even larger apertures.   The bright view combined with the high magnification means the eye has an easier time of it.  One thing about a Nighthawk, some of the color is from the objective.  

 

YMMV

 

Jon



#57 Binojunky

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 12:33 PM

I too had two SV Nighthawk achromats, one of the earlier type,with the R&P focuser,  also one of the later ones with the single speed crayford, one night at a local club get together another observer set up an Orion ED80, they had just come onto the market and were scarce, one look at Jupiter was enough to convince me that the Achromats had to go. Now years later I find myself liking achros once again, DA.


Edited by Binojunky, 13 January 2015 - 11:32 AM.


#58 David E

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 09:42 PM

Mikee that's odd about the glare you are getting. Your Orion version appears internally to be made just like my LP factory sample, and I'm not seeing anything like that. You do have a different focuser drawtube though, have you checked the inside of that to see if there is a glare source? Some light might be leaking into the focuser somewhere if you have any light source where you observe, check where the drawtube goes into the body of the scope. The slightest bit of stray light, even from a distant street light, can cause glare when magnified by the eyepiece. If you have any lights in your area, try covering both yourself and your scope with a dark cloth or towel and see if that stops the glare. If it does, then you know its a light leak somewhere in the optical tube. I guess it could be the diagonal, but I don't remember ever reading about diagonals causing glare, misalignment and vignetting yes, but not glare. Could be wrong about that of course.



#59 mikee

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 01:59 PM

Thanks David..  You were right!  I took off the 1.25" visual back so it just left the SCT threads and focuser tube and noticed a few things

 

1) The interior of the focuser tube is painted a gunmetal gray.   Not sure if gray vs black will make much of a difference in terms of contrast and I doubt is the source of the reflections

2) Where the ridged inside of the focuser tube meets the SCT threaded end there are 3 fairly good sized sections where there is no paint and it's shiny chrome colored.    I'm pretty sure this is probably the cause of my reflections.   

 

Should be an easy fix but I'm going to wait and try and get a star test done to make sure the scope is a keeper (if the weather ever lets me) and if it's OK I'll just paint the inside of the focuser to cover up those spots.



#60 David E

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 08:58 PM

Mikee, take the diagonal off the scope and while inside with the lights on, hold the scope vertically with the focuser near the floor and look straight down the objective. Light coming through the top and bottom should reflect off any unpainted surfaces and show up as a very thin bright ring. You may have to move your head around to get the right angle to see the reflections. Rack the focuser in and out and look for changes in size, which would indicate the end of the focuser tube being the culprit. If you see any ring(s) cover the focuser end with your hand to see if it's light coming from that end that's causing the reflections. You can use flat black paint but I've found that a black magic marker often does the trick. I know that focusers can sometimes be an annoying source of glare, event the best of brands. I'm not an imager but I've read some posts where imagers often make improvements to their focusers, flat black paint, baffles, etc. to improve the contrast on their images. It's a good idea to star test this scope first. If your test is to your satisfaction it's worth making the modifications IMO rather than sending it back for another.


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#61 mikee

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 09:00 AM

Hi David -

 

Thanks - I did that test and could see the ring so it likely is the cause of the reflections I was seeing.    Another thing that seems odd but I can't be 100% sure is that if I look straight down through the tube it looks like the focuser baffles are not assymetrical (i..e not completely round).   It could be the way I was holding it but I tried to hold it very straight and also compared the view with my 80mm triplet and didn't see this similarity and when I look at it from the focuser end I can also see that one side appears to be higher then the other.    

 

I think I'm going to order a replacement from Amazon as they'll honor the $279 price I paid and do a comparison and return the lesser of the two scopes.  

 

Mike



#62 David E

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 10:22 AM

It's okay for a baffle to be slightly out of round as long as it does not protrude into the light cone. There is a simple test for this but the exact procedure alludes me right now, but you may know how to do it. If not hopefully someone will describe the procedure for us on this thread.



#63 caheaton

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:58 AM

Sorry about the delay, but the weather hasn't been cooperating lately.  Tonight I FINALLY was able to get the little Starblast outside for a star test and frankly, I'm a bit disappointed.  It failed Jon's suggested star test on Altinak and even more disturbing was the star test.  This scope appears to have significant spherical aberration.  There are no discernable rings inside focus...just a round blob.  Outside focus does exhibit discernable rings.  The star test reminds me of my 120ST.  If I was only going to use this scope at low power it wouldn't bother me so much, but this scope is supposed to be able to be used for both low power and at least medium power (I'd say 100 to 120x).  I performed the star test at 130x (just for the record).

 

One variable that I didn't account for was the diagonal.  I was using a Meade prism diagonal for these tests and neglected to switch it out with a mirror diagonal to see if the star tests changed.  I'll perform that test before rendering final judgment.  If it fails with a mirror, I'll seriously consider sending this scope back and exchanging it for another.


Edited by caheaton, 16 January 2015 - 01:09 AM.


#64 mikee

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:37 AM

For what it's worth Alnitak is not an easy split at 60mm. Many people can't split it with bigger APO's.

Not sure why that was posed as a test for this scope even.

Here's a thread where folks are having trouble splitting it and one guy says you typically need a 75mm scope. I wouldn't say that the challenge posed has any bearing on whether this scope is good or not.

http://stargazerslou...itting-alnitak/

Edited by mikee, 16 January 2015 - 02:43 AM.


#65 mikee

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:46 AM

What star did you test with and were the skies perfectly steady? Alnitak is too bright I think for use as a star "test" star

#66 aa6ww

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:05 AM

 With Alnitak, seeing is key, but also you need razor sharp optics to keep the A Star as tight as possible since the B star is so close to it, but seeing all 3 is a challenge and requires excellent optics, high magnification, darker skies and again razor sharp optics. The C star is magnitude 9.6, so I'd look for other 10 mag stars first to see if its visible in the small refractor. Dark skies would definitely help.

I've not been able to get a clean split on the B star unless I was up to 180x, and even then, you have to look for that small gap of darkness.

 

I think the problem with people not seeing these 3 stars is that small 60mm refractors seldom can punch out 200x to achieve the B star split. A 60mm  F/15 is capable of 200x and more under excellent seeing conditions without barlows, but that's part of the challenge. Barlowing a short stubby 60mm scope is just going to add more glass to the image, making it even more difficult to observe and focus. Its not that a small 60mm refractor cant see a mag 3.7 mag star, which is what the B star is, its that trying to separate it from the A star is the challenge.

 

Still, I'd look for excellent seeing conditions, add a barlow anyways, and see if you can make the split with the starblast. That would be way more fun to do, then using a 4" triplet or 5" triplet, which is what I used, which was no challenge at all. :yawn: <---  boring.  Just keep in mind by 200x, and alt az mount is a serious pain to use for tracking because you need a rock solid tracking mount so you can spend your time looking for that tiny split, then chasing a star at 200x in your field of view.

 

For reference, Rigels B star is mag 6.7 and the Trapeziums E and F stars are 10.3 and 10.2 respectively.

 

I think I'll give it a try with my 80mm F/15, and maybe stop it down to 60mm at F/20.

 

Fun Stuff definitely.

 

 ...Ralph

 

 

 

 

What star did you test with and were the skies perfectly steady? Alnitak is too bright I think for use as a star "test" star


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#67 mikee

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:35 AM

Great info on splitting Alnitak. I'm pretty sur I saw the C star In my starblast the other night. Very dim and I was using a barlowed 5mm. It was pretty windy that night though so I couldnt see the b star. I'm going to keep trying but as you said its pretty tough to get that small scope up to 200x

#68 caheaton

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 09:53 AM

Thanks for the info on Alnitak.  That's a bit reassuring at least :-)  .  As for the star test, I'd say conditions were about average.  I may have chosen stars that were too bright.  I tried the test on 2 stars:  a little star called Sirius and the other was Procyon.  I have an artificial star, so this weekend I'm going to test it with that.  That should help with minimizing the affects of turbulence.  I'll also try the test without a diagonal in place, just to eliminate that possible variable.  I'm really hoping it does better on the second test, but if Orion is going to sell this as a "premium" refractor I expect the optics to back that up.



#69 mikee

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:05 AM

I totally agree that it should put up a good star test for the $399 price tag (even if you were able to get it at a discount of $279 - that shouldn't change the optics).     I've yet to be able to get a star test done either and actually just ordered a Hubble optics artificial star as I don't think I'll have good enough skies in the next 30 days (return period for Amazon) to test accurately on a real star.

 

I'll report back what I find out - hopefully by the end of next week.



#70 aa6ww

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:26 AM

Wind is probably the key factor in poor seeing conditions. 

 

use the Clear Sky Clock site, and find the city closest to you:

 

http://cleardarksky....ine_charts.html

 

to get a better feel of what the seeing conditions will be like, which will help you determine when you can push your optics and when you may be better off just staying indoors. When wind picks up, seeing conditions always deteriorate.

 

Its really a valuable too few people know about and use to their advantage. The clear sky clock is usually more accurate than weather forecasts, although it doesn't take into account low lying fog, so it helps to use this site alone with local weather to determine when your scope can be pushed harder and still remain sharp.

 

... Ralph

 

 

Great info on splitting Alnitak. I'm pretty sur I saw the C star In my starblast the other night. Very dim and I was using a barlowed 5mm. It was pretty windy that night though so I couldnt see the b star. I'm going to keep trying but as you said its pretty tough to get that small scope up to 200x



#71 caheaton

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:47 AM

I was able to star test the Starblast last night in the basement (nice stable air) and without the use of a diagonal.  I also added a green filter this time.  The star test was much improved (especially after I'd added the green filter), but there is still quite a bit of spherical aberration.  Now I'm debating whether to exchange it, or return it and just pick up a SV60 (which I trust should be good out of the box, as I understand they're individually tested by Stellarvue).  The SV60 also has the advantage of being a bit faster and very close in weight, but the downside is it costs quite a bit more than the Starblast.  



#72 Binojunky

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 12:23 PM

I was able to star test the Starblast last night in the basement (nice stable air) and without the use of a diagonal.  I also added a green filter this time.  The star test was much improved (especially after I'd added the green filter), but there is still quite a bit of spherical aberration.  Now I'm debating whether to exchange it, or return it and just pick up a SV60 (which I trust should be good out of the box, as I understand they're individually tested by Stellarvue).  The SV60 also has the advantage of being a bit faster and very close in weight, but the downside is it costs quite a bit more than the Starblast.  

 

Regarding QC, yes Stellarvue are pretty good however the odd lemon does get out once in a blue moon, have you considerd the TV60? more than SV but its a lovely scope, DA.


Edited by Binojunky, 17 January 2015 - 12:24 PM.


#73 aa6ww

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:49 PM

 You might be expecting too much from something this small and more importantly, short. Remember this scope is sold as a terrestrial scope, and if you can get 60x to 100x out of it,  your doing extremely well with it.

  You do realize your Carton lensed 60mm F/16.7 is going to out perform this scope in every way but wide fields of view and portability.

 

  ...Ralph

 

 

 

I was able to star test the Starblast last night in the basement (nice stable air) and without the use of a diagonal.  I also added a green filter this time.  The star test was much improved (especially after I'd added the green filter), but there is still quite a bit of spherical aberration.  Now I'm debating whether to exchange it, or return it and just pick up a SV60 (which I trust should be good out of the box, as I understand they're individually tested by Stellarvue).  The SV60 also has the advantage of being a bit faster and very close in weight, but the downside is it costs quite a bit more than the Starblast.  



#74 caheaton

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:15 PM

That's true.  Also, I purchased the scope primarily for imaging, as opposed to splitting doubles or observing planets....



#75 mikee

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:43 PM

 

 You might be expecting too much from something this small and more importantly, short. Remember this scope is sold as a terrestrial scope, and if you can get 60x to 100x out of it,  your doing extremely well with it.

 

 

 

Ralph I'm not sure why you say the Starblast 62mm is being sold as a terrestrial scope??   The description on the Orion says:
"Beautifully constructed 62mm refractor perfect for on-the-go astronomers"

 

Also if you read the last couple pages of the users manual it  lists a ton of DSO's that they picked out during testing from a dark site.

http://www.telescope...29503_07-13.pdf

 

Anyway it's odd they chose to sell it with a 45 degree diagonal but then again the Celestron C80ED came with a really bad 45 degree diagonal so who knows what their marketing flunkies were thinking.   The 45 degree diagonal that comes with the starblast is actually pretty good it's just not as good as a 90 degree mirror diagonal would be for astronomy. 

 

The real limitation, as you mention, in terms of things like splitting really close doubles such as Alnitak with all of these small scopes (starblast, at72ed, sv60, tv60, etc) is that they're fast.  You can't get high magnification with them very easily unless you use a 3x-5x barlow/powermate or the like and then you're pushing the optics pretty hard and adding a lot of glass.      That being said I think the starblast may be the slowest of them all at f/8.4?




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