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Stevens Optical Mirror at 71x/inch and 102x/inch

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#1 Bob S.

Bob S.

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 02:16 AM

Well, I think this fellow Ed Stevens of Stevens Optical is showing great promise (not to mention that he further honed his craft under the mentoring of the famed Carl Zambuto). Tonight, an 8" f/5.6 mirror that he made for me coupled with an Antares secondary was showing off Saturn at 71x/inch and 102x/inch as it progressed just past zenith in North Florida. My friend Doug and I had been viewing it for more than an hour and noticed that it progressively was taking more magnification. After hitting the initial mag limit with a 3.5mm Pentax XW, it appeared to want more mag and we put a 5mm Pentax XW in a 2.5x TV Powermate which produced 569x or 71x/inch. Very sharp views for much of the time. We then wanted to try higher mag and to our surprise, with a 3.5mm Pentax XW and the 2.5x Powermate, we were able to get very nice (not tack sharp but very usable) nice images of the ring structure at 819x which translates into 102x/inch of aperture. Neither one of us had ever gotten over about 90x/inch in our Florida skies and this was indeed a hoot and holler experience. Doug's wife said that she heard us exclaim something as she was walking the dog. Doug commented that he was sure glad that he bought a mirror from Ed and had never seen a mirror perform like this 8 incher had (and we have owned about 20 premium mirrors between us). I told him that I had not had much luck with decent images over 90x and certainly had hoped one day (took five years of viewing) to be looking up with 100+mag/inch. Of course, this playtime was conducted using a Tom O tracking platform which is the ONLY way we could have been able to study the images and track the planet at such high power. Kudos to Ed Stevens for having built such a high-performing mirror. :jump: Bob Schilling


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