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Overlooking Anglesey - North Wales

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#1 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:09 AM

It's been two or three years since I last posted one of my once regular "word picturelogues" to this forum, and although I doubt very many other members will ever even see it, I hope the microscope enthusiasts don't object to my use of a bit of forum space.

 

I would also appreciate if any incidental noticers of this thread refrain from adding any comments until I've completed the full set and accompanying comments, which will include a total of 11 separate photo attachments. This will help the thread "flow" better for any future readers :

 

My wife and I have just spent a very pleasant 10 nights in a holiday cottage on the North Wales coast, overlooking the south eastern side of the island of Anglesey across what is known as the Menai Straits.

 

The weather wasn't very good for most of our stay, so I tried to make the most of the few clear spells we were fortunate enough to enjoy.

 

Along with my trusty Nikon 10x42SE I had intended to also take along my Captain's Helmsman 7x50 IF marine binocular and TeleVue 76 APO refractor in it's "spotting scope conversion mode", as well as my Manfrotto 028B tripod and 501 head, but in the rush of our departure ( hampered by attention - distracting telephone calls ) I accidentally forgot to load the scope, tripod and Helmsman, and even forgot to load one of my acoustic guitars. mad.gifbawling.gif

 

To start the photographic elements, this is a medium distance shot of the cliffside into which the holiday cottage is located.

I'd mentioned in a passing comment to a thread on the binoculars forum last week that the cottage was located about 150 feet above sea level. In fact it's probably only around 75 feet above sea level. It's rooftop can just about be made out in this photo, set amongst the trees.

 

Cottage Location.jpg


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#2 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:39 AM

The sea-facing balcony offers views extending to Bangor to the west ( where 50 years ago The Beatles famously attended the Transcendental Meditation Seminar with the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi and others, the event only to be brought to a premature end by the death of The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein ).

 

The view towards Bangor:looking west.jpg

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  • looking west.jpg

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#3 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:42 AM

Sorry about the double posted image above:

 

Looking towards the North West, the view across the Menai Strait takes in the south east coast of Anglesey and Puffin Island, both of which are located about 4 miles from the cottage as the seagulls fly.

 

Just to get an idea of scale, Puffin island as seen from this angle extends only about 3/4 mile from left to right.

 

looking north west.jpg


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#4 petert913

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:44 AM

That's gorgeous.  A place I would love to visit.  Thanks for sharing. 



#5 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:46 AM

Panning further right, towards North East, the high cliff jutting out to the sea is called Great Orme's Head, located at the very pleasant Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno, about 12 miles away.

 

So if I'd had a camera capable of taking panoramic shots, all of these first three photos would have been in the same shot.

 

looking north east.jpg


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#6 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:49 AM

From the rear of the cottage is a view of the steep mountainside, formerly the site of some industrial scale quarrying.

 

view from back.jpg


Edited by KennyJ, 12 June 2017 - 03:49 PM.

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#7 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:51 AM

A zoomed -in shot of the edge that resembles "a face" -- the details are very similar to those seen when looking through the 10x42 binoculars.

 

The Face.jpg


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#8 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:54 AM

Another distinctive to the right of the mountain is what I thought resembled a soldier with a canon, but my wife likened it to a man waving down at us with his right hand:

 

As you can see from this photo, it is actually the remains of a building associated with the former works.

 

waving hand.jpg


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#9 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:59 AM

A little surprise when entering the lounge of the cottage was discovering some 30x80 binoculars and a 60mm spotting scope, left by the owner for the use of the renters.

 

Unfortunately, there was only a very lightweight tripod for the spotting scope, which actually had a broken mounting adaptor, which I repaired, but no means of mounting the large binoculars.

 

The 30 x 80 Helios binoculars:

 

Helios 30x80.jpg


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#10 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:04 AM

The spotting scope -- unfortunately a very low priced 20-60x 60mm model called Auriol, that were being sold off for £25 brand new a couple of years ago at some Lidl superstores.

 

Auriol scope.jpg


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#11 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:06 AM

A shot of the inner window ledge, with the two instruments above alongside my Nikon 10x42 SE.

 

Window ledge.jpg


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#12 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:09 AM

Last photo, but with more comments about the views, binoculars and scopes etc. to follow.

 

Sunset over Anglesey from the balcony.

 

Anglesey sunset.jpg


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#13 ArizonaScott

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:12 AM

Beautiful seaside Kenny, thanks for the armchair tour! 



#14 KennyJ

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

From the moment we arrived, as soon as I realised what a gorgeous panoramic view we actually had ( which was not really emphasized as much as a selling-point for the property as one would have imagined ) I was so annoyed at leaving my TeleVue scope and tripod behind, so much so that at one point I seriously considered driving all the way back home and back again, which would only have taken around 4 hours or so.

 

Alas, I settled for using the opportunity to test the capabilities of the 30x80 binoculars and 60mm spotter.

 

How on earth anyone is expected to hand-hold 30x80 binoculars and derive any kind of pleasure from the effort is beyond my comprehension, yet they come with that thin lanyard to hang around the neck, which frankly I wouldn't trust to take the weight of a 20mm compact pocket binocular worth £10.

 

I remember many years ago, the Binoculars and Telescope historian Peter Abrahams describing this 30x80 model as "a disaster", which after testing it without any other way of supporting it apart from wedging it on the balcony rail or on top of a portable food serving trolley, I consider to be a most appropriate description.

 

Also many years ago I remember trying out the 11x version of this model on two separate occasions, in locations 2000 miles apart, and aside from the sheer weight and slightly narrow true field of view ( 4.5 degrees ) being quite impressed with them.

 

There were also 20x versions and possibly even a 16x model if I remember correctly.

 

These are Japanese made instruments of quite solid build quality and in fact I still own a 15x70 version, which was known in the USA as Orion Little Giant.

 

Unfortunately, like the 15x70 ( with around 8mm effective ) the eye-relief of this 30x80 is no longer than the gap between the eye-lens and outer lip of the ocular -- probably no more than 5mm -- which means the ONLY way to see the full ( and quite immersive ) 2.2 degree TFOV is by literally squashing the eyeballs up against the lens.

 

The only reference to this particular model I can recall is when CN binocular forum regular S.Mark mentioned owning one, which he virtually dismissed as being "an also ran" compared with his 30x80 Megaview, in a brief review about  5 years ago.

 

In fact, Mark claimed his specimen only stated a 2.0 degree TFOV, which he pointed out seemed noticably narrow compared with the 2.3 degree of the Megaview -- especially given the much longer eye-relief of the latter.

 

Anyway, this one had 2.2 degrees etched onto the prism cover, and after comparing it with a line of chimney pots alongside my Nikon 10x42 SE ( which as a genuine 6.0 degree TFOV ) I found the 2.2 degrees to be accurate.

 

To be fair, and hardly surprisingly given it being left hanging around a house for all and sundry to play around with, "The Disaster" was hardly in showroom condition, with signs of some moisture intake fogging the optical trains. It had also probably been bumped or dropped at some stage, as the alignment was clearly out, with the right side slightly to the upper right ( 10 O'clock position ) compared with the left, which was the cleaner of the two sides.

 

Also to be fair, not even discernible in the photo above, there is a distinctive lighthouse located on the tip of the Anglesey Island, about half a mile from Puffin island ( Ynis Seriol in Welsh ), on which there was some detail only the 30x80 binocular could resolve.

 

It is called Penman Point Lighthouse ( in English -- Trwyn Du in Welsh ) and is painted white with broad black bands around it, and also contains what could only be resolved through either the 60mm scope at any magnification as some sort of written notice. Even through the 10x42 I could easily tell it was a notice of some sort, but only through the left side of the 80mm binoculars, used as a 30x spotting scope, in the most clear viewing conditions, could I JUST about make out the bold black words: NO PASSAGE LANDWARD -- and that was without wearing my glasses!

 

It's a shame really about the appallingly short eye-relief of so many higher magnification binoculars like this.

 

It was times like this that I really miss the 85mm Zeiss Diascope with the 20-60x zoom lens.

I used to enjoy carefully testing the minimum magnifications required to resolve all sorts of details.

 

Bad as the binoculars were, they were definitely preferable to the Auriol scope, which really did live down to it's £25 price tag ( and that £25 apparently included the tripod, mounting adaptor and carry case ).

 

Whilst it's wonderful in a way that even such "toy scopes" can be purchased for so little, and perhaps even looking through one as poor as this could just spark an interest in the wonderful world of magnification to a youngster who happens to be on holiday in that cottage, as such experiences did for myself when young, if only the owner had just spent a little bit more and took a chance on it being treated with respect, there would certainly be more chance of visiting adults being sufficiently impressed to take up the hobby.

 

During the bleaker periods of weather we endured during the break, I spent quite a bit of time on my ipad, following the Cloudy Nights Binoculars forum, a link from which led to a superb multi- model review article by Tobias Menle entitled "The Magnificent Six" at www.greatestbinoculars.com", featuring the current market leading 42mm roof prism models available from Leica, Nikon, Swarovski and Zeiss.

 

Reading it almost made me wish I could go out and buy one of each!

 

In reality, I'll settle for my trusty old Nikon 10x42 Superior Es.

 

Apart from their failure to resolve the lettering on that lighthouse, in all other aspects, looking through them was so much more satisfying than struggling with the higher magnifications on offer!

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Kenny


Edited by KennyJ, 12 June 2017 - 11:06 AM.


#15 mooreorless

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:24 PM

Kenny thank you so much for posting all the pictures and your comments. I have a 501 head and a Bogen Manfrotto 3236 tripod, this tripod has similar specs compared to the 028B tripod. Not light wt. but will hold my Orion 100 ED etc.  I have a Swift 20x80 binocular and it must be similar to the one you used. I had it on the back porch just a while ago and found that the left eyepiece has broke loose from the sliding focus piece after I was using it. It is not very sturdy at this point at all.



#16 Swedpat

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:11 AM

Always enjoying to see your photos Kenny! My dream is to live in a place with a very good view over the sea. Sunny days the balcony would be my favorite place to stay on with binoculars! 

 

 



#17 brisdob

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:45 PM

I lived in Bangor back in the mid 80's.  I suddenly feel somewhat homesick!  Nice photos.

 



#18 Mike E.

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 12:24 PM

It's been two or three years since I last posted one of my once regular "word picturelogues" to this forum, and although I doubt very many other members will ever even see it, I hope the microscope enthusiasts don't object to my use of a bit of forum space.

………………………………………….

 

My wife and I have just spent a very pleasant 10 nights in a holiday cottage on the North Wales coast, overlooking the south eastern side of the island of Anglesey across what is known as the Menai Straits.

 

…………………………………………………………….

Well, I must say I enjoyed your picturelogue, even though I'm several years late reading it, lol.  I love Wales, its where my Wife and I have a family home.  

 

Cheers, smile.png



#19 KennyJ

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 12:32 PM

Better late than never, Mike! smile.gif

 

In fact we were supposed to be at the same holiday cottage for 14 nights from yesterday, but due to the virus and Wales still under quite strict lockdown rules, the place remains unavailable to occupy, so we cancelled a few weeks ago.

 

We hope to return there again one day though!

 

Thanks for looking!

Kenny


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#20 Mike E.

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 03:30 PM

Hi Kenny,

 

We have also been in isolation here for a number of weeks, and at least the weather was pleasant with a few clear nights for observing; so it isn't all bad. Stay safe, and away from the foolish crowds in these difficult times.

 

All the best and clear skies, Mike


Edited by Mike E., 28 June 2020 - 03:32 PM.



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