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Night Vision Intensifying Eyepieces

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#26 moshen

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:52 PM

I tried an I3 for my 22". It did very little for galaxies, my main observing interest, and ruined the night vision in my observing eye. I returned it.

 

You might want to try one of the latest devices. I see a great deal of gain for galaxies with the latest generation unfilmed tube. Here's a cell phone snap from the eyepiece of my 4" refractor in white zone San Francisco. Neighbors lights blasting right overhead.  Glass eyepiece view is nothing but black. I get down to galaxies fainter than mag 13 with image intensifier.

 

HowDeep.jpg
 
5" refractor, same white zone conditions.  M51. Cell phone pic.
 
IMG_0927-small.jpg

 

4" refractor NGC 4565

 

IMG_0830-small.jpg

 


Edited by moshen, 13 March 2018 - 06:56 PM.

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#27 moshen

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:09 PM

I would suggest anyone interested in these look through one before committing to buy.

 

I personally don't care for them, and find it akin to staring at a low res TV tube.  Ruins your night vision too if you want to look without it.

 

Just another point of view - 

 

You must have used a very old generation device. The latest devices are just about as sharp as your eye can resolve. The military isn't going to drive for anything less when pilots are using them to fly multi million dollar machinery in the complete dark :)  Similar to the advance of cell phone screens it's hard to imagine it could possibly get any sharper. 

Visual acuity is much higher than glass because of photopic vision.

 

Also getting a device with controllable gain you can preserve your NV by controlling the amount of intensification.  You can go all the way down to mimicking the exact look of glass if you want.


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#28 moshen

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:21 PM

Given the large, fixed initial outlay that image intensifiers require, where do the experts think that the sweet spot for getting into NV is for newbies like me who are progressing in the hobby? Jeff and Eddgie seem like they've had one of everything before, but with your experience, where do you see image intensification in the cost-benefit landscape for new hobbyists?

 

If you can afford the cost I feel NV is one of the best things a beginner can invest in (and it will be the dedicated beginner who would consider in spending that). Especially if you live in a badly light polluted area. There was a beginner in the forums who posted that their light pollution was so bad they couldn't even learn the constellations because so few stars are visible. He bought a NV device and at 1x the problem is the opposite, it's hard to find the constellations because so many stars are visible - a much better problem to have smile.gif 1x viewing is one of my favorites, there isn't a better reminder of why I enjoy astronomy than when using NV at 1x.

 

Living in a  major urban area Bortle 1 skies are a long drive away and a large commitment to head out and head back from. But NV turns my Bortle 9 backyard into Bortle 1.  Both experts and newbies are going to appreciate that. The main limitation of NV is cost but if you consider than you are investing in an entire new instrument (with easy 1x and 3x viewing - grab n go that fits in your pocket) it's much easier to stomach than to think of it as an expensive eyepiece.

 

I have 3 Ethos and I would give them up in a second (not even a contest) for my NV device. If I had to choose between ALL my scopes or no scopes and the NV device (with 1x and 3x lens) I may even choose the latter. I find it to be that good.


Edited by moshen, 13 March 2018 - 07:41 PM.

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#29 Eddgie

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:28 PM

Dark adaption?  We don't need no stinking dark adaption.

 

I can go out an see galaxies in seconds.

 

In the time a conventional observer gets fully dark adapted (and really, can you do that is a city these days?) I will have seen more galaxies than they will see in an hour.

 

NV resolves down to 1.1 arc minute, which is about the best that the photopic human eye can do, and the scotopic (dark adapted) eye is lucky to resolve down to 3 arc minutes.

 

I myself have completely stopped using conventional eyepieces for DSOs.   It is simply un-rewarding to use even the most expensive and widest field conventional eyepieces because I can see so much more using my NV device.

 

City skies turn into dark skies, and dark skies turn into a spaceship portal. I have seen things under dark skies that are often not captured even on long exposure images. 


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#30 Shneor

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:10 AM

I agree that marginal reward is completely personal. You probably have $10,000 of astronomy gear listed in your signature, so an outlay of $900 for a single eyepiece might deliver the best marginal benefit for the $900 you have to spend. But, if you had $1500 to spend for an image intensifier, would it provide you with more marginal benefit than that ES120 9mm? Would it help you see more galaxy clusters in your existing 22" f/4 on the equatorial platform? Would you give up the equatorial platform and spend the money on NV gear instead?

 

I have to be completely honest and say that the talk of NV and Ethos and 120 degree FOV sounds like the haughty prattling of royalty to an early-career family-man wage slave. My question about when the cost of NV makes sense was an attempt to understand just how far away I am from you. Your answer makes that distance very clear.

 

That $10K does not include my 22"...but I, too, was a wage slave...and there was no benefit to me at all from the I3 (which cost over $3,500 at the time). I also did not mention that the I3 turned everything green, the natural color in objects was wiped out. For example, on one of the best nights I have ever expereienced, M51 at the zenith was a blazing blue. You won't see that in an I3. In a friend's 22" the Double Quasar in Ursa Major was blue, again on an excellent night. Never mind M42 and some other objects that exhibit color.  I3 won't show any of that. I prefer to have ancient photons hit my retina directly.



#31 JakeJ

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:38 AM

You must have used a very old generation device. 

I have viewed through several Collins  - they have always looked like this video:  https://www.youtube....h?v=Sjml5J0U99M

 

Grainy, green, and ruined my night vision.  Glad you like yours, but not for everybody.


Edited by JakeJ, 14 March 2018 - 03:43 AM.

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#32 moshen

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:45 AM

I have viewed through several Collins  - they have always looked like this video:  https://www.youtube....h?v=Sjml5J0U99M

 

Grainy, green, and ruined my night vision.  Glad you like yours, but not for everybody.

 

If mine looked like that video I would completely agree with you and I would have sold the NVD quick. But thankfully it doesn't. With the gain turned down the image could almost fool someone into believing it's just a glass eyepiece (none or very little grain) and my night vision doesn't get shot.  The video grain is probably due to the way it was shot (high ISO noise from camera sensor) on top of greatly exaggerating the scintillation. The grain you saw was most likely low SNR from a very old device just like I mentioned. The Collins were produced over 10 years ago.  While I agree that it might not be for everybody most of the folks that it didn't work out for have only used the Collins i3 - like any decade plus technology it's not representative of what the latest technology is like today.


Edited by moshen, 14 March 2018 - 05:48 AM.

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#33 faackanders2

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 08:58 PM

You must have used a very old generation device. The latest devices are just about as sharp as your eye can resolve. The military isn't going to drive for anything less when pilots are using them to fly multi million dollar machinery in the complete dark smile.gif  Similar to the advance of cell phone screens it's hard to imagine it could possibly get any sharper. 
Visual acuity is much higher than glass because of photopic vision.
 
Also getting a device with controllable gain you can preserve your NV by controlling the amount of intensification.  You can go all the way down to mimicking the exact look of glass if you want.

I wonder in the future if they could be amplified true color real time, although that would be way beyond what I could afford.

#34 faackanders2

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:11 PM

Ultimate Night Vision rents equipment. HERE is a link.
 
Keep in mind that to get the benefits of night vision you will need filters: a 7nm Ha and 640 Pass filter used for CCD imaging work well. You will also need adapters to use the intensifier with a telescope.
 
You might want to start HERE.
 
Bob

Rent before you buy may be wise, because there appear to be many options to select from.

#35 JakeJ

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:16 PM

If mine looked like that video I would completely agree with you and I would have sold the NVD quick. But thankfully it doesn't. With the gain turned down the image could almost fool someone into believing it's just a glass eyepiece (none or very little grain) and my night vision doesn't get shot.  The video grain is probably due to the way it was shot (high ISO noise from camera sensor) on top of greatly exaggerating the scintillation. The grain you saw was most likely low SNR from a very old device just like I mentioned. The Collins were produced over 10 years ago.  While I agree that it might not be for everybody most of the folks that it didn't work out for have only used the Collins i3 - like any decade plus technology it's not representative of what the latest technology is like today.

Can you post a video instead of a still image?  I looked on youtube and every video looked the same - yucky grainy green.

Would love to see something better.



#36 moshen

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 01:06 AM

Can you post a video instead of a still image?  I looked on youtube and every video looked the same - yucky grainy green.

Would love to see something better.

I don't have a camera that isn't very noisy when taking video in low light. I did try my iPhone attached to the NV at 1x a few months ago and it's less noise than those videos but there is still grain from the cell phone camera sensor. I also had to have the gain all the way up to let the iPhone sensor get the video w/o extreme noise.

 

This was in my white zone backyard where few stars are visible - I also catch a meteor that was totally invisible naked eye:

 

https://vimeo.com/250025383

 

There's a blue/green tint that is really obvious in the camera but much less so visually.

 

That said there is still scintillation in some NV scenarios, particularly when using heavy Ha filters in a slow scope and with the gain turned up but it's much less than the videos show and I usually gain it down in that scenario so there is little noise.


Edited by moshen, 15 March 2018 - 01:08 AM.

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#37 bobhen

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:06 AM

Can you post a video instead of a still image?  I looked on youtube and every video looked the same - yucky grainy green.

Would love to see something better.

Videos do not do a good job of representing the actual, real-time view.

 

Below are 2 links to NV images (green and white phosphorous). Import a few into a program where you can control brightness and then turn the brightness down about 60 to 70%. That will give you a general idea of what can bee seen in real-time through a intensifier with a Ha filter used with an inexpensive, 100mm F5 achromatic refractor about 8-miles from center city Philadelphia, PA in absolutely horrendous light pollution.

 

HERE is a link

 

HERE is another link

 

Yes the view is not as pure as a conventional eyepiece. And if you just want to concentrate on the static/scintillation you will see it.

 

Every actual NV user will tell you that the static is mostly a non-issue.

 

If you have ever been in a crowded room with lots of people talking, you can still tune all that background conversation out and just concentrate on having a conversation with the person in front of you. It’s sort of like that.

 

Unless you live in absolutly pristine conditions and/or cannot easily travel to pristine conditions then the choice is…

 

1) You can see nothing and have a beautiful, natural view.

 

2) Or you can compromise somewhat on purity and see the other half of the universe.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 15 March 2018 - 08:08 AM.

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#38 Eddgie

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:47 AM

I tried for 30 years to see Horse Head.  The first time I actually was successful was using a 5" Celestron Comet Catcher, holding the telescope in my lap while sitting on a curb in front of my house.

 

I can't say that NV is for everyone, and I cannot refute some of the arguments people make against it, but what I can say is that I can now see in real time objects that I have tried without success to see for 30 years and I now see objects that until 3 years ago, I did not even know existed. 

 

In the end then, it is all about what you are content to see, and to anyone reading this, I would say that with NV, you can see more than is possible using conventional eyepieces.  Is that important enough to overlook the often overstated negatives?  For me and many others, the answer is yes.  Anyone that has used late generation high performance image intensifiers will swear by them, but even using a used PVS-7, I can see Barnard's Loop..  It is not as clear and noise free as an L3 filmless tube maybe, but try to see is any other way than with an image intensifier. 

 

Barnard's Loop, even in a used, blemished PVS-7 with the green view and all the noise is still an astonishing thing to see.  No Ethos, Nagler, Apo, big dob, small dob, or combination of all of these things will duplicate that and if you have not seen it, you are missing one of the most magical sights in the sky.  


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#39 moshen

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 02:04 PM

For me the choice is clear. With a 4-5" scope in my white zone this was just a faint fuzz with averted vision. Switch out the Ethos for the NV eyepiece and I increased my aperture > 2x and transported myself to a dark site.

 

Too bad CN butchers images so bad, the original cell phone shot is much sharper in the core, as was the visual view.

 

Expensive? Very. But value for dollar spent compared to other astronomy gear? I'd say it's way up there.

 

IMG_0840-small.jpg

Edited by moshen, 15 March 2018 - 02:05 PM.

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#40 Clutch5150

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:24 PM

For me the choice is clear. With a 4-5" scope in my white zone this was just a faint fuzz with averted vision. Switch out the Ethos for the NV eyepiece and I increased my aperture > 2x and transported myself to a dark site.

 

Too bad CN butchers images so bad, the original cell phone shot is much sharper in the core, as was the visual view.

 

Expensive? Very. But value for dollar spent compared to other astronomy gear? I'd say it's way up there.

 

This is a REALLY good pic.  Thanks for sharing this.



#41 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:28 PM

For me the choice is clear. With a 4-5" scope in my white zone this was just a faint fuzz with averted vision. Switch out the Ethos for the NV eyepiece and I increased my aperture > 2x and transported myself to a dark site.

 

Dark Site results from the City is another novelty that just doesn't wear off.



#42 faackanders2

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 10:11 PM

I had an unexpected surprise last night when Syed brought out his Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepiece with H-alpha
filter for his 120mm Orion ED doublet refractor with Antares focal reducer. We also looked at the sky with a 1x
focusing lens in both H-alpha and unfiltered. He was able to reduce the amplifcation gain to eliminate the graininess
and the views wer quite sharp with my glasses on. Many of the objects were observed for the first time or have never
been observed brighter (Using photopic vision was not an issue and more enjoyable being able to see greater details).
Syed says it works great on H-alpha nebulaes, but no advantage on OIII planetaries nore reflection nebulaes. Works good
on stars and open clusters with Sky glow like wide band light polution filters. Mixed on galaxies - better on edge on
concentrated light galaxies but no advantage for dim face on galaxies.

Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepieice w/ H-alpha filter in Syed's Orion 120mm ED doublet refrator with Antares focal reducer
(TBD deg TFOV, TBDx, TBDmm exit pupil) used fourth:
*M47 but not M46(nor NGC2438)
*Gum1 Seagull nebulae upper left of Sirius - first time I have ever seen this bright large Seagull nebulae, and it looked
like a decapitated flying seagull.
*C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very bright Rosette nebulae and smallC50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster - Best and easiest I have ever seen
the nebulae! Very bright when in the center 50% of view, but dims greatly when drifts to the outer 50% of view.
*HT38(NGC2264) Christmas Tree/Cone and entire large surounding nebulae region - firtst time I have seen this nebulae region.
*Col69(HT29) Orions head with large dim nebulae surrounding it.
*V352 Bernards Loop bright top left portion with right angle turn - first time I have ever seen this. Had to pan to see it all.
*Col70 Orion Belt & S had to pan to see it all
*NGC2024(Not HT34) Bright Flame very bright nebulae with center lite veins on one side of Alnitak with entire bright IC434
nebulae below and obvious B33 Horsehead nebulae notch and bight Sigma/Sturve multiple star. Second time I have sen the flame,
and first time I have seen IC434, and second time I have seen the horsehead; but never this easy! Best view of the evening!
Able to easily pan to Orions sword objects.
*Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/very large bright M42 Orion nebulae with filled in wings/dim M43/Col72(HT31)/
Not NGC1999(Not HT33). Able to very easily pan to Flame/Horsehead and Col 70.
*Unable to see IC2118 Witch Head reflection nebulae.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) had to pan to see all of it
*M45 Plieadies Cartoon Rat in dress
*NGC1499 California Nebula had to pan to see the entire bright nebulae and best I have ever seen it!
*M35 (but NOT NGC2158), dim Sh2-247 and 2174/5 nebulaes in same view first time I have seen them.
*Did not see M37, M36, M38, nor NGC1907.
*dim IC410 on one side and dim I405 Flaming star nebulae oth the other side of the minnow in Auriga. First time
I have seen these nebulaes although I have tried numerous times in the past from dark sites.
*C14(NGC869/884) small bright Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body, but not Stock 2
*Dim IC1805 Heart and IC1848 Soul nebulaes saw boyh but am unsure which is which at the time of writing. Firt time
I have seen these also.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster - had to pan to see all of it but could make it out
*NGC7822 and/or Ced214 - Is this Tycho's supernova? - First time I have seen anything above Cassiopia's W.
*NGC281 Pacman nebulae
*Could not see C10(NGC663), M103, nor C13(NGC457)
*Could not see find M31, M32 nor M110 too low and/or may have set.

Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepieice w/ H-alpha filter with 1x focusing lens.
(TBD deg TFOV, 1x, TBDmm exit pupil) used fifth able to pan the entire sky but the Milky Way's disk with Nebulaes was the best part:
*Gum1 Seagull nebulae upper left of Sirius - first time I have ever seen this bright large Seagull nebulae, and it looked
like a decapitated flying seagull.
*C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very bright Rosette nebulae and smallC50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster - Best and easiest I have ever seen
the nebulae! Very bright when in the center 50% of view, but dims greatly when drifts to the outer 50% of view.
*HT38(NGC2264) Christmas Tree/Cone and entire large surounding nebulae region - firtst time I have seen this nebulae region.
*Col69(HT29) Orions head with large dim nebulae surrounding it.
*V352 Bernards Loop bright top left portion with right angle turn - Unsure if I saw this at 1x?
*Col70 Orion Belt & S all in same view
*NGC2024(Not HT34) Bright Flame very bright nebulae with center lite veins on one side of Alnitak with entire bright IC434
nebulae below (but not too small B33 Horsehead nebulae notch nor Sigma/Sturve multiple star).
Able to easily pan to Orions sword objects.
*Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/very bright but small M42 Orion nebulae with filled in wings/not M43/Col72(HT31)/
Not NGC1999(Not HT33)
*Unable to see IC2118 Witch Head reflection nebulae.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) could see all of it
*M45 Plieadies dipper
*NGC1499 California Nebula very bright able to see all of it.
*M35 (but NOT NGC2158), dim Sh2-247 and 2174/5 nebulaes in same view first time I have seen them.
*Did not see M37, M36, M38, nor NGC1907.
*dim IC410 on one side and dim I405 Flaming star nebulae oth the other side of the minnow in Auriga. First time
I have seen these nebulaes although I have tried numerous times in the past from dark sites.
*C14(NGC869/884) small bright Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body, but not Stock 2
*Dim IC1805 Heart and IC1848 Soul nebulaes saw boyh but am unsure which is which at the time of writing. Firt time
I have seen these also.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster - able to see al of it.
*NGC7822 and/or Ced214 - Is this Tycho's supernova? - First time I have seen anything above Cassiopia's W.
*NGC281 Pacman nebulae
*Could not see C10(NGC663), M103, nor C13(NGC457)
*Could not see find M31, M32 nor M110 too low and/or may have set.

Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepieice w/ skyglow-like light polution filter with 1x focusing lens.
(TBD deg TFOV, 1x, TBDmm exit pupil) used sixth able to pan the entire sky seing so many stars like from a very dark sky site,
but all the large Milky Way's Nebulaes disapeared and I could not se any galaxies:
*Could not se Gum1 Seagull nebulae
*Could not see C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very Rosette nebulae, but could see small C50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster
*Could not seenHT38(NGC2264) Christmas Tree/Cone nor large surounding nebulae region.
*Could not se V352 Bernards Loop
*Col70 Orion Belt & S all in same view
*Could not see NGC2024(Not HT34) Bright Flame not IC434 nebulae (nor small B33 Horsehead nebulae) but could see Sigma/Sturve multiple star.
*Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/very bright but small M42 Orion nebulae with filled in wings/not M43/Col72(HT31)/
Not NGC1999(Not HT33)
*Unable to see IC2118 Witch Head reflection nebulae.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) could see all of it
*M45 Plieadies dipper
*Could not se NGC1499 California Nebula
*M35 (but NOT NGC2158), but could not see Sh2-247 nor 2174/5 nebulaes without H-alpha filter.
*Able to see M37, M36, but not M38, nor NGC1907.
*could not see IC410 nor I405 Flaming star nebulae on both sides of the minnow in Auriga..
*C14(NGC869/884) small bright Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body, but not Stock 2
*Could not see IC1805 Heart nor IC1848 Soul nebulaes
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster - able to see all of it.
*Could not see NGC7822 nor Ced214 above Cassiopia's W.
*Could not see NGC281 Pacman nebulae
*Could not see C10(NGC663), M103, nor C13(NGC457)
*Could not see find M31, M32 nor M110 too low and/or may have set.

Observed Venus and Mercury with monopod mounted binoculars from Mt Trahmore Yesterday/Saturday 3/17/2018 after
sunset till Venus set, then drove to Island Lake State Park Spring Mill Pond site till Midnight with Syed, John
McGill and Hayden. Nice clear new/no moon night. I did not bring my 17.5" dob due to Venus and Mercury seting.
It was very cold with some snow still on ground. John & I left shortly after Syed left.

Space Walker 3D 8x42 15.8 deg Binoculars handheld (used first/seventh)
*Venus and Mercury in same view at different depths - Able to change depths by holding binos upside down.
Actually did not like seeing the distracting arrays so only briefly looked at Mercury and Venus with these
from Mt. Trashmore.
From ILSP:
*Col69(HT29) Head
*Col70 Orion Belt & S, and Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/
M42 nebulosity/Not M43/Col72(HT31) all in same FOV looked good in 3D with 4 depths!
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) Looked good in 3D at 4 different depths like you were inside it!
*M45 Plieadies looked good in 3D in front of background stars
*M35
*M37/M36 (believe I may have been able to get M38 on edge of view if M37 was also on edge).
*M36/M38
*C14(NGC869/884) Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body dut did not notice dimmer Stock 2.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster looked good in 3d at 4 different depths like you were inside it! able to see all of it!

Orion 15x63 Mini-Giant deg Binoculars on Garett pistol grip monopod (3.7der TFOV, 4.5mm EP, 19mm ER, used second/eigth):
*Venus only - able to pan to Mercury upper right 10-20% beyond TFOV from Mt. Trashmore.
*Mercury only - able to pan to Bright large Venus lower left 10-20% beyond TFOV from Mt. Trashmore.
From ILSP:
*Col69(HT29) Head
*Col70 Orion Belt & S, and Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/
M42 nebulosity/Not M43/Col72(HT31) all in same FOV looked great.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) Had to pan to see entire thing.
*M45 Plieadies looked great like cartoon rat in dress, able to see all of it.
*M35
*M37/M36
*M36/M38
*C14(NGC869/884) Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body with dimmer Stock 2 in same view.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster looked good but had to pan to see all of it.

Orion 9x63 Mini-Giant deg Binoculars on Garett pistol grip monopod (5.0 deg TFOV, 7.0mm EP, 20mm ER, used second/eigth):
*Large bright Venus lower left & small Mercury upper right in same field of view - used most 90+% from Mt. Trashmore.
From ILSP:
*Col69(HT29) Head
*Col70 Orion Belt & S, and Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/
M42 nebulosity/Not M43/Col72(HT31) all in same FOV looked great.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) Able to see entire thing.
*M45 Plieadies looked great like cartoon rat in dress, able to see all of it with lots of margin.
*M35
*M37/M36 (believe I may have been able to get M38 on edge of view if M37 was also on edge).
*M36/M38
*C14(NGC869/884) Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body with dimmer Stock 2 in same view.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster looked good and able to see all of it in same view.

Ken

Edited by faackanders2, 19 March 2018 - 05:53 PM.

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#43 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:04 AM

I had an unexpected surprise last night when Syed brought out his Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepiece with H-alpha
filter for his 120mm Orion ED doublet refractor with Antares focal reducer. We also looked at the sky with a 1x
focusing lens in both H-alpha and unfiltered. He was able to reduce the amplifcation gain to eliminate the graininess
and the views wer quite sharp with my glasses on. Many of the objects were observed for the first time or have never
been observed brighter (Using photopic vision was not an issue and more enjoyable being able to see greater details).
Syed says it works great on H-alpha nebulaes, but no advantage on OIII planetaries nore reflection nebulaes. Works good
on stars and open clusters with Sky glow like wide band light polution filters. Mixed on galaxies - better on edge on
concentrated light galaxies but no advantage for dim face on galaxies.

Gen 3 Night Vision 1.25" eyepieice w/ H-alpha filter in Syed's Orion 120mm ED doublet refrator with Antares focal reducer
(TBD deg TFOV, TBDx, TBDmm exit pupil) used fourth:
*M47 but not M46(nor NGC2438)
*Gum1 Seagull nebulae upper left of Sirius - first time I have ever seen this bright large Seagull nebulae, and it looked
like a decapitated flying seagull.
*C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very bright Rosette nebulae and smallC50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster - Best and easiest I have ever seen
the nebulae! Very bright when in the center 50% of view, but dims greatly when drifts to the outer 50% of view.
*HT38(NGC2264) Christmas Tree/Cone and entire large surounding nebulae region - firtst time I have seen this nebulae region.
*Col69(HT29) Orions head with large dim nebulae surrounding it.
*V352 Bernards Loop bright top left portion with right angle turn - first time I have ever seen this. Had to pan to see it all.
*Col70 Orion Belt & S had to pan to see it all
*NGC2024(Not HT34) Bright Flame very bright nebulae with center lite veins on one side of Alnitak with entire bright IC434
nebulae below and obvious B33 Horsehead nebulae notch and bight Sigma/Sturve multiple star. Second time I have sen the flame,
and first time I have seen IC434, and second time I have seen the horsehead; but never this easy! Best view of the evening!
Able to easily pan to Orions sword objects.
*Orion Sword: NGC1981(HT30)/not NGC1977(Not HT32)/very large bright M42 Orion nebulae with filled in wings/dim M43/Col72(HT31)/
Not NGC1999(Not HT33). Able to very easily pan to Flame/Horsehead and Col 70.
*Unable to see IC2118 Witch Head reflection nebulae.
*C41(Mel25 Hyades V or Z/N) had to pan to see all of it
*M45 Plieadies Cartoon Rat in dress
*NGC1499 California Nebula had to pan to see the entire bright nebulae and best I have ever seen it!
*M35 (but NOT NGC2158), dim Sh2-247 and 2174/5 nebulaes in same view first time I have seen them.
*Did not see M37, M36, M38, nor NGC1907.
*dim IC410 on one side and dim I405 Flaming star nebulae oth the other side of the minnow in Auriga. First time
I have seen these nebulaes although I have tried numerous times in the past from dark sites.
*C14(NGC869/884) small bright Double Cluster Dragon Fly Eyes and Body, but not Stock 2
*Dim IC1805 Heart and IC1848 Soul nebulaes saw boyh but am unsure which is which at the time of writing. Firt time
I have seen these also.
*Mel 20 (HT14) Perseus A Cluster - had to pan to see all of it but could make it out
*NGC7822 and/or Ced214 - Is this Tycho's supernova? - Firtst time I have seen anything above Cassiopia's W.
*NGC281 Pacman nebulae
*Could not see C10(NGC663), M103, nor C13(NGC457)
*Could not see find M31, M32 nor M110 too low and/or may have set.

 

 

Wow! You had a busy night.

 

Amazing how much you can see with a 4.7" aperture and NV eyepiece grin.gif

 

Last Thursday night had a short session after dinner, wanted to show the gf the sights in Orion. Using just the 1x ENVIS lens and a 7nm H-alpha filter.

 

In the 40 degree true field view we could frame the Anglefish nebula (huge!), Barnards Loop starting just under the Anglefish curving all the way around to Rigel, the Rosette nebula, M42/43, the Flame Nebula, the glow that back-lights the HorseHead (the Horse being too small to pick up at 1x), the Cone, the Rosette, and a broken string of nebulosity that lead all the way down to the Seagull. All clear and bright, no averted vision required.

 

Just another night in the life of a NV eyepiece owner wink.gif


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#44 Clutch5150

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 04:22 PM

Incredible report Ken. Impressive night of NV viewing.

 

Would you mind elaborating on this? "*C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very bright Rosette nebulae and smallC50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster - Best and easiest I have ever seen the nebulae! Very bright when in the center 50% of view, but dims greatly when drifts to the outer 50% of view.

 

What was the reason for this?  Was this an equipment (NV or EP issue) or the nebulae itself?  Thank you.



#45 faackanders2

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 05:42 PM

Incredible report Ken. Impressive night of NV viewing.
 
Would you mind elaborating on this? "*C49 (NGC2237/38/46) very bright Rosette nebulae and smallC50(NGC244) Rosette Cluster - Best and easiest I have ever seen the nebulae! Very bright when in the center 50% of view, but dims greatly when drifts to the outer 50% of view.
 
What was the reason for this?  Was this an equipment (NV or EP issue) or the nebulae itself?  Thank you.


C49 is the nebulae and it was brightest when it was in the center 50% of field of view. When it drifted to outer 50% the nebulae was only half as bright. Unsure if it is because of the H-Alpha filter reflecting too much light away when off axis, vignetting of some type, etc.

The same thing was noticable on M43 which was only visible in center 50% of vield of view, and disapeared off axis at outer 50% of view.

Conclusion is panning and sweeping helps.

Edited by faackanders2, 19 March 2018 - 05:46 PM.


#46 Starman81

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 08:49 PM

Ken, it was a nice night. Glad to give you the opportunity to see what NV can do! It was my first time observing in several months (7+) and I was excited to get out. 

 

A few details I'll add:

 

- Scope was my ST120 (f/5) with 0.5x Antares focal reducer (2"), which from past testing, reduces the scope down to a very fast f/3.2 (not quite true 0.5x reduction), yielding a 2.7 degree TFOV and 15x magnification.

 

- Observing site was an orange zone site. I didn't have my SQM on hand but I would estimate only 19.5-19.7 SQM. So not 'dark' by any means, but better than our suburban backyards at least. 

 

- Filters used: Baader 7nm h-alpha, Baader 685nm Longpass

 

You do a great job recording your observations from memory. The highlights for me were:

 

- Barnards Loop was the best I have seen, mostly because Orion was setting very early when I got my NV unit last year.

- Horsehead --> first time observation for me! Flame was nice as well

- Orion Nebula of course, goes with saying. Chock full of detail!

- Best framed view of the Rosette

- Great telescopic view of the California nebula, that nearly fit in the FOV


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#47 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:48 AM

C49 is the nebulae and it was brightest when it was in the center 50% of field of view. When it drifted to outer 50% the nebulae was only half as bright. Unsure if it is because of the H-Alpha filter reflecting too much light away when off axis, vignetting of some type, etc.

The same thing was noticable on M43 which was only visible in center 50% of vield of view, and disapeared off axis at outer 50% of view.

Conclusion is panning and sweeping helps.

 

Sounds like bandwidth shift on the filter, although the resulting f/3 is not overly fast ... hmmm.

 

There was some lengthy discussion of this some months ago on the EAA forum. Don't recall the thread title, IIRC Mike Lockwood and Peter Wang (Pwang99) were the major contributors. Location of the filter in the optical stack might have been the issue.


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 20 March 2018 - 03:01 AM.


#48 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:57 AM

Ken, it was a nice night. Glad to give you the opportunity to see what NV can do! It was my first time observing in several months (7+) and I was excited to get out. 

 

Good to see you back Syed!

 

One little serendipitous discovery while you were gone:

 

Just out of curiosity, I tried a H-aplha filter on M27. I wasn't expecting much since we all think of these things as O-III targets.

 

Turns out M27 and the next dozen or so PN's I tried that filter on all responded quite well. H-alpha (12 or 7) is now my go-to filter for PN's.


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#49 JakeJ

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:12 PM

Videos do not do a good job of representing the actual, real-time view.

 

Below are 2 links to NV images (green and white phosphorous). Import a few into a program where you can control brightness and then turn the brightness down about 60 to 70%. That will give you a general idea of what can bee seen in real-time through a intensifier with a Ha filter used with an inexpensive, 100mm F5 achromatic refractor about 8-miles from center city Philadelphia, PA in absolutely horrendous light pollution.

 

HERE is a link

 

HERE is another link

 

Yes the view is not as pure as a conventional eyepiece. And if you just want to concentrate on the static/scintillation you will see it.

 

Every actual NV user will tell you that the static is mostly a non-issue.

 

 

Those images are 20-30sec exposures, so will increase resolution and decrease apparent noise.

 

Again, I would like to see a video from one of the newer ones to see if any better than a Gen 3 Collins, which I found akin to staring at a low-res green monitor screen.  

Video will show how much TV static these new ones have.  I am curious to see.   



#50 moshen

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:00 PM

Those images are 20-30sec exposures, so will increase resolution and decrease apparent noise.

 

Again, I would like to see a video from one of the newer ones to see if any better than a Gen 3 Collins, which I found akin to staring at a low-res green monitor screen.  

Video will show how much TV static these new ones have.  I am curious to see.   

My cell phone pics I've posted on this thread are VERY close to what I see visually. Visually the view is even sharper and there is little to no noise (a manual gain control is a must - turning down the gain for a clean view) - if I took a video of it there would be a ton of noise. I also use an alt-az so even a 2s exposure blurs stars.

 

As an example if you tried to take a video of a bright object like M42 in a big scope with glass eyepiece the view is bright and very clean in person but trying to get a clean video that looks the same is near impossible. For the same reason there isn't going to be a video of NV that is representative. The photos show it better.

 

Both of these are with 5" aperture in a white zone. iPhone X with 2s exposure. This is about what I see in the eyepiece although the Monkeyhead view is slightly fainter than what you see here.

 

M38 & NGC 1907, 5" aperture, white zone

Monkeyhead Nebula, 5" aperture, white zone

 

IMG_0907.jpg

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