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The Stellina - Possibly more interesting than the eVscope?

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#1 OleCuss

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:38 PM

OK, there have been quite a number of discussions about what I consider to be an admirable effort at NRTV by Unistellar in the form of the eVscope.

 

I actually find the Stellina (by Vaonis?) to be more interesting if I were to get one today (and I won't).

 

Here's a link:  https://vaonis.com/telescopes

 

This thing is apparently using an ED-Doublet with F/5 optics paired with with an IMX178 sensor?

 

  1. More stylish IMHO than is the eVscope.  Might not be a style people like, but it's got style. . .
  2. I've no significant concerns about collimation/alignment since it is a refractor.
  3. Cleaning is not as likely to be an issue since it should be easy to access the objective and the sensor appears to be enclosed.
  4. Larger sensor for bigger likely FOV but it does not have even nearly as good SNR1 as does the one in the eVscope.
  5. Weight of both scopes is likely similar.
  6. The battery is external which means it should be fairly simple to have several around for when I can't do a recharge but want to view on multiple long nights.
  7. Both are backpack-ready.
  8. The Stellina is clearly designed to transmit images to your smartphone or tablet (maybe PC?).  This means you are not glued to an ersatz (although probably pretty good) eyepiece as with the Unistellar.  This would matter a lot to me if I were looking to buy one of the two units today.
  9. Both are still vaporware. . .
  10. Stellina costs quite a bit more.

 

If I had the budgeted money to spend on it and it were not vaporware I would be seriously considering buying the Stellina today.  I think it would work very nicely for public outreach.  I know that I'd be somewhat bothered by some chromatic aberration but not enough to make it unpleasant for its purpose.


Edited by OleCuss, 08 March 2018 - 10:39 PM.

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#2 PEterW

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:02 PM

Well it seems to integrate a lot of capability, but it could have included a hydrogen alpha filter to really bust the light pollution. Good looking and well thought... derogatory and dew heater.... but as you point out it is vapour ware. This gives you inages on a tablet, rather than onto a digital eyepiece, somis more of an imaging platform than outreach device. Great to see more people putting together these kinds of systems... help people fight back against light pollution.

PEterW
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#3 ccs_hello

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:39 PM

Both like a beauty pageant show to be held 9-month from now.

What has been told/promised is that both beauties had selected X brand cosmetics, Y brand of clothes, and Z brand of shoes.

(And they will be 100x time beautier than the common souls.)

The show ticket is priced at 2,000 dollars and no refund possibility.

 

9 months from now, the ones who paid $2000 will be able to have the front-row seat to see the show.

While others will hear the user experiences one day after the show.

 

Sorry have to say that.  It's pure speculation at this time.

Hope the execution is on the mark, as opposed to mark I the alpha.


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#4 Wildetelescope

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:10 AM

OK, there have been quite a number of discussions about what I consider to be an admirable effort at NRTV by Unistellar in the form of the eVscope.

 

I actually find the Stellina (by Vaonis?) to be more interesting if I were to get one today (and I won't).

 

Here's a link:  https://vaonis.com/telescopes

 

This thing is apparently using an ED-Doublet with F/5 optics paired with with an IMX178 sensor?

 

  1. More stylish IMHO than is the eVscope.  Might not be a style people like, but it's got style. . .
  2. I've no significant concerns about collimation/alignment since it is a refractor.
  3. Cleaning is not as likely to be an issue since it should be easy to access the objective and the sensor appears to be enclosed.
  4. Larger sensor for bigger likely FOV but it does not have even nearly as good SNR1 as does the one in the eVscope.
  5. Weight of both scopes is likely similar.
  6. The battery is external which means it should be fairly simple to have several around for when I can't do a recharge but want to view on multiple long nights.
  7. Both are backpack-ready.
  8. The Stellina is clearly designed to transmit images to your smartphone or tablet (maybe PC?).  This means you are not glued to an ersatz (although probably pretty good) eyepiece as with the Unistellar.  This would matter a lot to me if I were looking to buy one of the two units today.
  9. Both are still vaporware. . .
  10. Stellina costs quite a bit more.

 

If I had the budgeted money to spend on it and it were not vaporware I would be seriously considering buying the Stellina today.  I think it would work very nicely for public outreach.  I know that I'd be somewhat bothered by some chromatic aberration but not enough to make it unpleasant for its purpose.

The price is too steep for what you are getting in my opinion.   Out of curiosity, what benefit would you see for for something like this over say a lightswitch Meade with a ZWO camera?   Other than viewing on a tablet? A 6 inch LS6, A 6.3 focal reducer and a 4/3's sensor should exceed the FOV and resolution of the Stellina for about the same price range as well as light gathering capability.  I get just a bit of distortion and vignetting with my C8 and a 0.55x-ish FR, So I am guessing distortion with a 6.3 FR would be pretty minimal for a 294 or 1600 chip.  If you go with with the pro versions, you are right about at the Stellina price point. If you go with the uncooled versions, you are well below it.  Is the Stellina chip cooled at all? My general sense is that these kickstarter scopes have come WAY late to the party.   

 

Cheers!

 

JMD

 

JMD


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#5 OleCuss

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:35 PM

The price is too steep for what you are getting in my opinion.   Out of curiosity, what benefit would you see for for something like this over say a lightswitch Meade with a ZWO camera?   Other than viewing on a tablet? A 6 inch LS6, A 6.3 focal reducer and a 4/3's sensor should exceed the FOV and resolution of the Stellina for about the same price range as well as light gathering capability.  I get just a bit of distortion and vignetting with my C8 and a 0.55x-ish FR, So I am guessing distortion with a 6.3 FR would be pretty minimal for a 294 or 1600 chip.  If you go with with the pro versions, you are right about at the Stellina price point. If you go with the uncooled versions, you are well below it.  Is the Stellina chip cooled at all? My general sense is that these kickstarter scopes have come WAY late to the party.   

 

Cheers!

 

JMD

Oh, your points are all valid but I'd likely make a few more.

 

I like my LS-8 and when I've got a matched reducer I'll probably do some NRTV with that (might not even wait for the reducer).  But I've primarily cooled 4/3rds and APS-C cameras which will hit the mount if I get close to the zenith.  This means there is a problem with that system.

 

I've other gear in which I don't have the same clearance problems but they require much more set-up to get going.

 

But the primary thing is that I really wouldn't be using the Stellina for my personal observing (although my wife just might for hers).  For me the purpose would primarily be public outreach.

 

For most of the public outreach I do, it would be such a benefit to be able to bring out an arguably stylish instrument, set it on a tripod, turn it on, and in a few minutes I can have the thing showing stuff to people on a tablet - and quite possibly sending them copies of the images.  This would be an amazing way to get the younger generation jazzed about astronomy and some day fighting for dark skies.  It would also satisfy another purpose/interest of serving the disabled and little kids (for which I think the eVscope is generally useless).

 

For purely personal use even if I had the money sitting around begging to be spent and if it were not vaporware - I wouldn't buy the thing.  For public outreach purposes, if I had the funding for it right now I'd buy the thing.

 

In any case, I find it much more interesting for public outreach than I do the eVscope.

 

 

Technically speaking IMHO both the eVscope and the Stellina offer too little for the price for the personal use of both you and me.  But we aren't the target demographic - and given your technical sophistication you are even farther outside it than am I.



#6 jgraham

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:58 PM

From what little I can see, both feature wibbly wobbly tripods. Lots of flash, not much polish. I still don't get the SETI tie-in.


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#7 OleCuss

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:44 PM

As best I can tell the SETI tie-in is just for the eVscope.  I think it is a system which will allow an external system to alert to events such as asteroids making close approaches and maybe other items of interest.  Early detection of supernovae might be the most interesting item.  Here is the best I've found about that:  https://www.seti.org...tionize-amateur  IMHO the concept actually has merit but I'm not at all sure the Unistellar cameras have enough light-gathering and/or sufficiently accurate timing to make them very useful for much in the way of scientific research, but there is some potential.  I suspect SETI views this as sort of branching out from looking for ET into other stuff - and they have servers to work with the collected data and they may be able to access new funds based on the idea that they are collecting new data with the potential to do many useful things.

 

If I were leading the SETI effort to work with the eVscope I'd probably be viewing it as a demonstration project to show that they can get lots of amateur participation and that they can collect and process the data in a manner which could prove useful.  They get to do this demonstration at relatively small cost because the initial number of instruments won't be enormous and the sensors are not too big so the amount of data is manageable.  They'll get to fine-tune the process and then consider trying to get more of us sending in data with bigger scopes and bigger sensors.

 

I'm more hopeful that ever about such projects considering what some of our current software can do.

 

The eVscope's tripod may or may not be sufficiently stable.  People apparently got good views of the Ring Nebula through the demonstration prototype which might suggest sufficient stability, but I don't think we know that they will use the same tripod (or one of equal quality) in their production camera.

 

The Stellina's tripod situation seems less clear to me.  It looks like it has a tiny tabletop tripod and the wibbletivity could be significant.  But I think there is provision for using a much bigger tripod and I don't know whether it will be solid.

 

Right now it's all still vaporware and we really don't know for sure that either will ever be delivered or exactly how well they will perform.  I will maintain hope that both will perform admirably and will be delivered sooner than expected, but I'd not count on it.


Edited by OleCuss, 16 March 2018 - 07:46 PM.


#8 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:56 PM

SETI tie in is all about sales/marketing.

Like the old 70mm refractors that advertised "500x magnification!"

#9 Ptarmigan

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:23 PM

Sorry to bump this topic. I looked at Stellina and the expected delivery date is April 2019.

 

The eVscope bas second quarter of 2019.

https://unistellaroptics.com/product/

https://unistellarop..._content=BuyNow

https://www.kickstar...n-a-classical-t


Edited by Ptarmigan, 05 November 2018 - 11:25 PM.


#10 OleCuss

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 05:48 AM

Thank you for the update.  Unfortunate that they appear to still be pretty much vaporware. . .

 

Although MOMA thinks they'll have the Stellina next month:  https://store.moma.o...977-138977.html  I'm guessing none of us will be holding our breath.

 

Interesting that Stellina is listed by MOMA as being a "best seller".  I don't know if that means that they have actually delivered a bunch of them?  It may just mean there are lots of orders even if they haven't delivered any.

 

But if folk are ordering enough to be a "best seller" it suggest the market is good even at $3,000 and I think we can bet on plenty of other similar products coming to market.  I'm frankly a bit surprised that Meade and/or Celestron haven't announced that they are pursuing this sector of the market.



#11 jprideaux

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 05:36 AM

For the European members of Cloudy Nights, see the following blog post about the upcoming demo of the Stellina smart telescope on May 25th near the France-German boarder.
https://vaonis.com/c...onstration-2019

#12 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:27 AM

I’m going to risk being an odd man out and say that this kind of product, if it works actually, really appeals to me.

 

Its lightweight, looks like easy setup, built in battery, I’m ok with an 80mm F/5 with lanthanum glass, but most of all - 

 

I’m a lazy astronomer. It’s why I chose Night Vision for my EAA method and EAA methods allow me to be lazy and not drive to dark skies.

 

If ever proven to function as advertised, it’s not anymore than some night vision devices in the US.

 

It does look better than the eVscope to me.

 

Hopefully the public gets some video of the May 25th demonstration if weather permits. I’d personally like to see an attendees video also showing any hiccups or hassles if they happened. Some video of actual setup and alignment also.



#13 jprideaux

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 01:25 PM

I've been watching these dedicated EAA telescope upcoming offerings with some anticipation to see how they pan-out.  It seems that all three offerings (Stellina:refractor, evScope:newtonian, HiUni:cassegrain) are always a few months away from the first delivery.  I'm looking forward to a good third-party review once some of these are finally available.


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#14 barbarosa

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 01:48 PM

Jump right in and do it now.  MoMA has just one in stock (call to confirm) @ $3499 delivered. Not too much for a scope that 

 

...lets you explore and capture the beauty of the universe, from galaxies to lunar craters. The telescopes uses smartphone GPS system to select a star and start photography. Within minutes, your device will receive details of famous celestial locations, such as the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula. You’ll be able to travel thousand and millions of light years with just a touch of your fingertips. 

 

I think I will wait for the upgrade evolution kits.



#15 Earthbound1

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

What about the HiUni? And that other new "fractal" lens design or whatever that was inspired by a toddlers pool light reflections... I forget the name NexOptics I think...

Edited by Earthbound1, 16 May 2019 - 02:46 PM.


#16 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:46 PM

Looks like the robot from the movie Interstellar. Wonder if it makes coffee. hmm.gif

 

On a more serious note. I would love to have one of these. I am fully supportive of any gizmo that makes observing easier. This would also be superb for outreach which I do a lot.

 

I also think they have the right idea. I like the 80mm refractor better then a reflector based design. It is also 24lb with a low center of gravity. 

 

But I have the same concern that I had with Unistellar... namely this is a complex systems problem and I just don’t know if a truly hands off device can be made by any small startup.

 

And although I am skeptical I do really want these startups succeed. But expect it to take a while.


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 May 2019 - 07:57 PM.


#17 atan

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:51 AM

I'm very interested in purchasing the Stellina and was looking for expert advice on the optical quality of refractor. As others have mentioned, it's a doublet using lanthanum glass. How much do I need to worry about issues like Chromatic aberration because it's a doublet and coma due to the lack of a field flattener? I sent them a message about it and they said:

 

"We don't use any field flattener. Stellina integrates a small format sensor which uses only the center of the optical beam, it helps to avoid chromatic and coma aberrations. The lens is made of lanthanum glass, a high quality glass to allow a good chromatism correction. To finish, Stellina has an UV (<450nm)/IR (>700nm) filter to use the lens in the best conditions of use."

 

I found this image on their website that depicts it's design.

 

Thanks,

Alan

operating_principe_stellina_EN.jpg


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#18 OleCuss

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

As I see it, none of us know the answer as to how good the optics are.  For that matter, I haven't been able to find out how good the software is or much of anything else.

 

As I'm sure you know, the types of glass may give an indication as to how good the optics should be, but the actual execution of the design is crucial to performance.

 

So until someone does a skilled and mostly un-biased review of this (or the competing products) I'm going to stay skeptical.  A review which is intended to show a product in a good light can be carefully controlled to show everything at its best and often when we are out under the stars our situation is not optimal for the gear we are using.

 

I really have a lot of hope for this product but they are asking for a whole lot of money for a product I've not seen well-tested.



#19 atan

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 01:35 AM

You are right without a independent review it will be hard to know the quality of the telescope. I did check out their support forum to get a sense of issues people are bringing up and the images that are being captured. From what I can tell they are still debugging some issues around plate solving and auto-focus. It's definitely a featured pack telescope and includes everything from an auto-focuser, field de-rotator, to dew heater.


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#20 OleCuss

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 07:02 AM

Plate solving and auto-focus they should be able to fix.  This sounds pretty hopeful!


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#21 burb scope

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Posted Yesterday, 01:13 PM

I'm very interested in purchasing the Stellina and was looking for expert advice on the optical quality of refractor. As others have mentioned, it's a doublet using lanthanum glass. How much do I need to worry about issues like Chromatic aberration because it's a doublet and coma due to the lack of a field flattener? I sent them a message about it and they said:

 

"We don't use any field flattener. Stellina integrates a small format sensor which uses only the center of the optical beam, it helps to avoid chromatic and coma aberrations. The lens is made of lanthanum glass, a high quality glass to allow a good chromatism correction. To finish, Stellina has an UV (<450nm)/IR (>700nm) filter to use the lens in the best conditions of use."

 

I found this image on their website that depicts it's design.

 

Thanks,

Alan

operating_principe_stellina_EN.jpg

I may be stating the obvious here, but if the sensor is placed in the center of the optical train, then it is in the "sweet spot" because most of the coma, and other abberations occur mainly at the outer edges of the light path.  However, the (guessing at specs here) 1/3 inch sensor is smaller than the 1.25 inch focal plane, therefore not all of the light gathered is captured by the sensor.

I personally find this to be perfectly acceptable with my Revolution 2 imager on a standard telescope.  Purchasers of the Stellina will be giving up the felxability of using different eyepieces, Barlows, focal reducers, filters, etc.




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