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Any experience with Teleskop-Express's 60mm ED finder?

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#1 gribley

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 05:29 AM

Has anyone used this intriguing little scope? 

 

https://www.teleskop...uide-Scope.html

 

It's a 60mm finder with an "ED" lens.  Given the "B1060Vario" designation, it sure looks like a Baader Vario or a knockoff, but I don't believe the BV is ED.  It's interesting to me as an ultralight/ultraportable scope for bike touring, as it's almost exactly half the weight of my AT60ED.  Is the ED lens worth it?  Should I expect it to be any better (maybe less CA on the occasional bright object) than, say, the Stellarvue 60mm finder?  Is there anything else in this space I should be looking at?

 

(The real answer is to buy it and see, but I am in an extremely hard-to-ship location at the moment...)



#2 emilslomi

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 08:01 AM

Very interesting - considering that it is heavily discounted, ED, retractable cap, T2 connector and with enough backfocus to allow for a regular 1.25" diagonal. At this price, they will be gone quickly. Hmmm ... yeah, finger is just about still under control.

 

Emil



#3 Don Taylor

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 12:15 PM

I was not aware of this finder - very tempting.    

 

Yes, looks to be a similar concept to the BVF. I have the BVF and have never seen any mention of ED glass used, rather only references to the Zeiss C cemented objective.  Generally I like the BVF but in my opinion its way overpriced.  Mine shows significant CA above 50x - with a mirror diagonal.

 

I also have the SV50 and 60mm RACI finders and the BVF is significantly better optically and mechanically. I've never been happy with the SV finders over about 20x due to CA and the very short focal lengths mean a lot of field curvature that challenges eyepieces and your visual accommodation. The BVF has a lot of FC as well (that's physics) but gives very pleasing views with eyepieces like the 13T6 Nagler, 9T6 Nagler, and the 1.25"ES82 eyepieces. It seems anything with more than a 4 degree TFOV reveals FC and eyepieces yielding more than about 50X yields noticeable CA.

 

I would expect the TS ED would be better on CA and generally better than the SV finders.

 

One advantage of the BVF (and hopefully the TS) is the drawtube allows the diagonal to rotate and (the BVF anyway) holds collimation when rotated, unlike the SV 50 & 60mm RACI finders and their other incarnations (WO, Apertura, Altair, etc.). 

 

But a challenge for me is I don't like the drawtube focusing - it can be done but that critical focus necessary to reveal the faintest stars is not easy - so the diagonal I use with the BVF is fitted with the Baader helical focuser. Considering the TS is of similar focal length I would expect the same problem with the the TS as well - but it might not be a problem for you.

 

One last thought if you want a 90 degree diagonal: - I'm using Baader T2 diagonals with the BVF - as I have them for other scopes and i can borrow one for the BVF when needed. But T2 Amici prism diagonals are expensive and regular prism or mirror diagonals do not reverse the image left to right.  If you are looking for a low-ish cost mirror or dielectric diagonal (prism will add CA due to the fast finder optics) - you might consider using a GSO or other diagonal and the Baader extra short eyepiece clamp (#2458121) or the TS short visual back to provide the T2 threads to mate with the TS finder drawtube. The TS webpage shows those are female on the finder drawtube - so you would need a T2 "inverter ring" (#1508025) or the TS equivalent if you use the Baader eyepiece clamp.

 

Thank you for your post - I may try one of these TS finders.


Edited by Don Taylor, 03 November 2019 - 12:22 PM.

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#4 Don Taylor

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 12:31 PM

P.S.:  The version including the mounting bracket is even more tempting;  https://www.teleskop...cts_id=11022#cs as the bracket appears very similar to the Baader MQR IV but less than 1/2 the price.

 

I'm trying to resist this........smile.gif



#5 Don Taylor

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 01:14 PM

I can resist everything except temptation. I just ordered one.  crazy.gif


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#6 Don Taylor

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:04 PM

The TS B1060Vario arrived today!  When I ordered, the only shipping option was UPS Express. I had expected Post + DHL but that was said unavailable to my country (!?)  Notwithstanding that - everything arrived with no problems and very quickly.

 

I have a Baader Vario Finder (BVF) as well - so some comparison between the TS and the Baader are inevitable - but in this post I'll list some first impressions and note some of the characteristics. I'll post some photos in a few days when I have some time.

 

FWIW I ordered the version with the finder bracket and also a visual back so I can use 90 degree diagonals. I've never been a fan of 45 degree types for astro.  Also, I grew up using an old University 70mm right angle finder (not RACI) so doing the mental gymnastics to reverse the chart to match the image is second nature.

 

In no particular order:

  • It's surprisingly heavy - very dense feeling. Solid. But a bit more compact than the BVF.
  • The BVF looks like a miniature telescope - the TS looks like a fancy finder
  • Matte black paint or powder coat. Anodized drawtube.
  • The dew cap/shield is retractable - but comically short. It extends maybe 3/4" (18mm) past the objective. (?!?!)
  • The 45 degree prism housing is plastic with a sheet metal access plate. Fairly nicely made - but I'm not planning on using it, I'll use a GSO 90 degree dielectric I have.
  • The illuminated reticle eyepiece is nice - very similar to the Baader Polaris 1 that ships with the BVF except shorter. Flip-up eyecup and reticle focus by rotating the eyecup. Dual line reticle (4 lines total with hashmarks) again like the Baader. AFOV is narrow: maybe 40 degrees. Again - like the Baader (I actually looked through both the TS and Baader eyepieces, one in front of each eye and the AFOVs are the same). That would imply ~4 degree TFOV - same as the Baader. Since I'm ditching the 45 degree prism I don't think I can use the illuminated eyepiece. I suppose I could find a way to adapt it to a 90 degree diagonal but actually I prefer a normal eyepiece and I don't need the reticle. I've been using the 14mm ES82 eyepiece in the BVF and it is very good in that application, sharp nearly to the edge in spite of the extreme field curvature of a 250mm FL refractor.
  • The drawtube seems less solid than the BVF - but seems to function just as well. It's marked in millimeter increments.
  • focusing is via sliding the drawtube.  I did not like that arrangement on the BVF so added a helical focuser diagonal.  I'll try this with the GSO diagonal first before trying anything else. May be OK.
  • The finder bracket is a very close copy of the Baader MQR IV. In fact it's hard to tell one from the other. The main differences are it did not come with a finder shoe, and the dovetail is a bit narrower than the Baader but fits ok in any of my Vixen/Synta pattern shoes.
  • I also ordered the T-thread visual back (marked as a 15mm extension tube) which has a two screw compression ring fitting. 
  • The objective has effective coatings -  nearly disappears.
  • Looked through it indoors with the GSO diagonal and 24mm ES68 eyepiece and it's very sharp with rich saturated colors. I don't have much to compare with here as I've never tried to focus other finders at short distances indoors. Focused at 20 feet (6M) there is another 15mm of drawtube in-travel available so there won't be any problem reaching infinity focus.
  • i'd try it outside but we have rain storms tonight and into tomorrow - so optical testing will have to wait.

All in All - I'm impressed. The features and mechanicals are mostly very good and it's easily adaptable to the configuration I prefer.  The BVF is nicer yet - a step above in fit-&-finish compared to the TS but my biggest gripe about the BVF is the price. The TS is maybe 80 or 90% of the BVF - PLUS it has an ED objective yet it's sold at a far lower price.

 

I plan to do some comparisons with the other finders here on my menagerie of scopes. In addition to the BVF I have both Stellarview 50 and 60mm RACIs, the Astro-Tech (Long-Perng) 10x50 RACI, and a GSO 8 x50 RACI. All except the GSO finder accept various 1.25" eyepieces.

 

I'm looking forward to using it on the sky.   More to come.


Edited by Don Taylor, 06 November 2019 - 10:07 PM.

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#7 dscarpa

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:48 AM

 My 80mm Lumicon Super Finder has a too short dew shield and  on dewy nights it's a problem. I cap the objective when not looking through it which I don't have to do  my SV 50mm and 60mm finders. David



#8 jag767

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 08:29 PM

I really wanted to buy one of these for the objective, and build something awesome around it, but the shipping is almost half of its cost to my neck of the woods, and i just cant justify it.

#9 dscarpa

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 12:59 PM

 The draw tube focuser would have been a deal killer but the work around with a helical focusing eyepiece would work for me. I have experience with a draw tube focuser on a spotting scope my dad made.  My 80 Lumicon Super Finder came with a bad 42*ish crosshair eyepiece that I replaced with a SV 52* eyepiece with much better results. The too short dew shield is a problem for me. I call the 80 Lumicon Super Finder on my C9.25 the Dynamic Dewo. I hope the 60ED finder objective finds it's way into a SV type body at some point, that I'd buy.  David


Edited by dscarpa, 08 November 2019 - 01:00 PM.

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#10 Don Taylor

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 05:20 PM

 The draw tube focuser would have been a deal killer but the work around with a helical focusing eyepiece would work for me. I have experience with a draw tube focuser on a spotting scope my dad made.  My 80 Lumicon Super Finder came with a bad 42*ish crosshair eyepiece that I replaced with a SV 52* eyepiece with much better results. The too short dew shield is a problem for me. I call the 80 Lumicon Super Finder on my C9.25 the Dynamic Dewo. I hope the 60ED finder objective finds it's way into a SV type body at some point, that I'd buy.  David

I may extend the dew shield on the TS. Usually I don't have too much trouble with dew in the places i've lived or observed.  I guess TS made it retractable to shorten the size (for storage?) a little but a fixed longer shield would have been my preference.

 

Currently, I have the GSO diagonal attached via the TS visual back and that gives a good mechanical connection. But - all my small refractors, and the Baader Vario are equipped with Baader QuickChangers. May do the same here so i can use one of my T2 diagonals with helical focuser.  I'll try with the draw tube first though. For some reason the TS uses female T2 threads on the drawtube vs the male on the BVF so I'l need the male-male T2 adapter to add a QuickChanger.

 

I'm hoping to be able to take a few photos this afternoon of the TS and also BVF, SV, AT, and GSO finders as a comparison.


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#11 Mitrovarr

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 05:52 PM

I wonder if these were made from left over ED binocular objectives.

#12 Don Taylor

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 06:39 PM

A few photos as promised.  Plan to have first light tonight and get a better idea as to how this finder compares with the others.  Below are photos of the TS Optics B1060Vario and other finders taken at the same scale and setup for comparison. You can click on the images and see a larger version - and there is additional info as well. You can click on the larger image and an even larger view opens.

 

Here's the TS Optics B1060 ED - shown here with a GSO dielectric diagonal and BST 27mm FF eyepiece in lieu of the provided 45 degree prism and illuminated eyepiece. 

850 4716 4155
 
The obvious competitor: Baader Vario Finder, here shown with a Baader QuickChanger, T2 BBHS diagonal, Helical focuser, and 14mm ES82 degree eyepiece.
850 4715 4158
 
This is the Astro-Tech 10 x 50 RACI finder from Astronomics: This finder comes with a reticle illuminator not shown here.
850 4714 4162
 
This is a Stellarview 50mm RACI finder, also available under other brands. I believe these are made by KUO and use a cemented binocular objective (KUO is a large producer of binoculars)
850 4720 4165
 
This is a Stellarview 60mm RACI finder, otherwise similar to the 50mm above. Also available from several sources and brands.
850 4721 4168
 
And finally, the GSO 8 x 50 RACI. Not sure but the Skywatcher RACI appears to be identical - although maybe just near identical copies of each other. 
850 4717 4159
 
 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Don Taylor, 08 November 2019 - 06:41 PM.

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#13 Don Taylor

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 10:15 PM

Finally had "First Light" tonight - albeit a short examination of the TS Optics B1060ED and comparison with the Baader Vario Finder.  

 

The TS was equipped with a GSO 90 degree dielectric diagonal as in the photo above, and the BVF with a T2 BBHS diagonal and helical focuser. The opposite T2 threads on the drawtube (male on the Baader, female on the TS) prevented use of the same diagonal and focuser on each.

 

In a nutshell - the performance seems identical to the Baader Vario Finder in most respects. The Baader shows the "red dot" center of the diffraction pattern very slightly beyond focus and I did not see that in the TS - so it appears the TS is using ED glass as claimed. (there is a discussion of this phenomenon in the 2nd edition of Suiter's Star Testing book, pages 253 & 254.) Notwithstanding, there was no visible difference in focus on Altair, Sheliak, Epsilon Lyra, or M57.  There was no apparent difference in which faint background stars were detected. I could just make out the 'donut" of M57 with direct vision using the 4.7mm eyepiece (53x) and M57 was detectable with direct vision using the 14mm eyepiece (18x) - in either scope. I did not notice CA or any difference is sharpness with any of the eyepieces used (not unexpected with a maximum magnification of 53x). There was no noticeable difference in star colors or color contrasts.

 

The two major differences noted were:

 

1) the TS seems to have perhaps a 10% smaller image scale as compared to the BVF - I noticed the separation of stars (Alberio, Sheliak, and Epsilon Lyra) seemed less in the TS optics - when using the very same eyepiece. The BVF is supposed to have a 250mm FL and the TS 248mm but I would estimate about a 10% difference between the two.  Probably does not matter much - but I did notice a difference, most obvious with the 4.7mm eyepiece (~53x).

 

2) the drawtube focus method is difficult to obtain precise focus. This was my biggest gripe (other than price) about the BVF. I'm thinking I'll switch to a T2 diagonal and helical focuser - just as I have done with the BVF.

 

Conditions tonight were dry and dew was not an issue, however the very short dew shield did not block glare from Luna (perhaps reflected off the house?). A much longer shield would be beneficial to eliminate stray light. The BVF is way better.

 

Conclusion:  I was looking for something similar to the Baader but less expensive. I think this will be a success but a couple of minor changes are still needed - better focusing and a longer dew shield.  

 

BTW - eyepieces used in both the TS optics and BVF were 24 & 16mm ES 68  and 14mm & 4.7mm ES82.  The 4.7mm would show defocus in the TS Optics at about 50% field radius and seemed to remain sharp closer to the edge in the BVF - maybe to 65 or 70% but I suspect this is more a function of the ability to precisely focus the BVF as compared to the TS Optics. Similarly, the 14mm ES82 was sharp nearly to the field stop in the BVF and less so in the TS Optics. Field curvature is severe in both scopes but I plan to check this again after adding a focuser. The FC was most noticeable with the 24mm ES68 in both scopes. Remember - this is affected by my visual accommodation - your ability to accommodate (maintain focus) on field curvature is probably different.


Edited by Don Taylor, 09 November 2019 - 10:28 PM.

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#14 Benach

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 06:26 AM

Wonders of a 80mm ED finder will come out one day...

#15 Sarkikos

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 02:35 PM

Has anyone checked to see what is the actual clear aperture of the TS 60mm?  The Flashlight Test should do fine.  https://www.cloudyni...d/#entry5566084

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 10 November 2019 - 02:40 PM.


#16 epsiloneridani

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 02:53 PM

Thanks Don, for this excellent summary.

 

I'm considering this for my TEC140, for both visual and as a guidescope for use with a Lacerta MGEN standalone autoguider.

 

On the finicky drawtube focusser: does it have a focus lock knob? Or is it stiff enough that it's not going to shift mechanically (ignoring temperature) as orientation changes?

 

Does the TS finder bracket seem compatible with this finder base:

https://www.telescop...es/finder-base/

 

Thanks,

Derek



#17 Don Taylor

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 06:46 PM

Thanks Don, for this excellent summary.

 

I'm considering this for my TEC140, for both visual and as a guidescope for use with a Lacerta MGEN standalone autoguider.

 

On the finicky drawtube focusser: does it have a focus lock knob? Or is it stiff enough that it's not going to shift mechanically (ignoring temperature) as orientation changes?

 

Does the TS finder bracket seem compatible with this finder base:

https://www.telescop...es/finder-base/

 

Thanks,

Derek

Yes, it does have a focus lock screw to fix the sliding draw tube. And there are 2 additional tapped holes that could be used for additional setscrews (grub screws for those in the UK) to completely lock the drawtube. There is a brass compression strip the lock screws engage. I would expect the connection to be quite rigid.

 

I'm not much help regarding the TEC finder shoe as I have not seen one nor it's dimensions. The bracket supplied with the TS finder fits into all the Synta/Vixen pattern shoes I have - and it's somewhat narrower than the Baader (maybe 1-2mm narrower) but otherwise the same.


Edited by Don Taylor, 10 November 2019 - 06:56 PM.


#18 Don Taylor

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 06:49 PM

Has anyone checked to see what is the actual clear aperture of the TS 60mm?  The Flashlight Test should do fine.  https://www.cloudyni...d/#entry5566084

 

Mike

Mike:   I did the flashlight test with the 14ES82 eyepiece and GSO diagonal, an LED flashlight held about 20cm (8") away from the eyepiece and measured 2.375" or 60.3mm so it looks like its working at full aperture in this configuration.  I have not checked with the 45 degree prism and standard illuminated eyepiece.


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#19 Sarkikos

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:23 PM

I wouldn't worry about the 45 degree diagonal.  Most observers would want to replace that with a 90 degree.

 

Mike



#20 Astrohobby

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:08 PM

Finally had "First Light" tonight - albeit a short examination of the TS Optics B1060ED and comparison with the Baader Vario Finder.  

 

The TS was equipped with a GSO 90 degree dielectric diagonal as in the photo above, and the BVF with a T2 BBHS diagonal and helical focuser. The opposite T2 threads on the drawtube (male on the Baader, female on the TS) prevented use of the same diagonal and focuser on each.

 

In a nutshell - the performance seems identical to the Baader Vario Finder in most respects. The Baader shows the "red dot" center of the diffraction pattern very slightly beyond focus and I did not see that in the TS - so it appears the TS is using ED glass as claimed. (there is a discussion of this phenomenon in the 2nd edition of Suiter's Star Testing book, pages 253 & 254.) Notwithstanding, there was no visible difference in focus on Altair, Sheliak, Epsilon Lyra, or M57.  There was no apparent difference in which faint background stars were detected. I could just make out the 'donut" of M57 with direct vision using the 4.7mm eyepiece (53x) and M57 was detectable with direct vision using the 14mm eyepiece (18x) - in either scope. I did not notice CA or any difference is sharpness with any of the eyepieces used (not unexpected with a maximum magnification of 53x). There was no noticeable difference in star colors or color contrasts.

 

The two major differences noted were:

 

1) the TS seems to have perhaps a 10% smaller image scale as compared to the BVF - I noticed the separation of stars (Alberio, Sheliak, and Epsilon Lyra) seemed less in the TS optics - when using the very same eyepiece. The BVF is supposed to have a 250mm FL and the TS 248mm but I would estimate about a 10% difference between the two.  Probably does not matter much - but I did notice a difference, most obvious with the 4.7mm eyepiece (~53x).

 

2) the drawtube focus method is difficult to obtain precise focus. This was my biggest gripe (other than price) about the BVF. I'm thinking I'll switch to a T2 diagonal and helical focuser - just as I have done with the BVF.

 

Conditions tonight were dry and dew was not an issue, however the very short dew shield did not block glare from Luna (perhaps reflected off the house?). A much longer shield would be beneficial to eliminate stray light. The BVF is way better.

 

Conclusion:  I was looking for something similar to the Baader but less expensive. I think this will be a success but a couple of minor changes are still needed - better focusing and a longer dew shield.  

 

BTW - eyepieces used in both the TS optics and BVF were 24 & 16mm ES 68  and 14mm & 4.7mm ES82.  The 4.7mm would show defocus in the TS Optics at about 50% field radius and seemed to remain sharp closer to the edge in the BVF - maybe to 65 or 70% but I suspect this is more a function of the ability to precisely focus the BVF as compared to the TS Optics. Similarly, the 14mm ES82 was sharp nearly to the field stop in the BVF and less so in the TS Optics. Field curvature is severe in both scopes but I plan to check this again after adding a focuser. The FC was most noticeable with the 24mm ES68 in both scopes. Remember - this is affected by my visual accommodation - your ability to accommodate (maintain focus) on field curvature is probably different.

Good evening Don,

 

many thanks for the excellent review, Since my old BVF got the problem that the threats became loose and I couldn`t fix that I was looking for another solution! Even so I was pleased with the Baader - but the quality of the threated parts at that time where rather bad - what a pitty. Ilumination was top - optical quality too .... but this flaw....  and not mentioning the price!

 

Your report lead me to pull the trigger - much cheaper (discounted) in Germany without the bracket - but I have a rather solid bracket on my CNC - machined TMB LZOS 6" classic! Bought a seperate helical focuser - currious what the finder will deliver!

 

So many thanks again! Cheers  Oliver


Edited by Astrohobby, 12 November 2019 - 01:09 PM.


#21 Don Taylor

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

Good evening Don,

 

many thanks for the excellent review, Since my old BVF got the problem that the threats became loose and I couldn`t fix that I was looking for another solution! Even so I was pleased with the Baader - but the quality of the threated parts at that time where rather bad - what a pitty. Ilumination was top - optical quality too .... but this flaw....  and not mentioning the price!

 

Your report lead me to pull the trigger - much cheaper (discounted) in Germany without the bracket - but I have a rather solid bracket on my CNC - machined TMB LZOS 6" classic! Bought a seperate helical focuser - currious what the finder will deliver!

 

So many thanks again! Cheers  Oliver

Oliver:   You are very welcome! I hope this new ED finder will meet your expectations.   I am pleased with the Baader Vario - and have experienced no difficulties. However, the TS Optics is much less expensive - even with shipping etc. from Germany and I think it will serve my needs very well.  

 

As I said in an earlier post - I prefer 90 degree diagonals - and I would prefer a mirror at this extremely fast focal ratio.

 

There are few T2 (or 1.25") mirror diagonals available with focusers: 

 

Baader offers the  T2 BBHS and Maxbright - which are very expensive here. ($300 to $350 for the diagonal and focuser!)

 

William Optics offers a RACI (Amici) diagonal with helical focuser - but I would guess the optical path is too long for the TS finder (WO do not seem to publish that specification). The WO is $83 here - but again, I'm concerned there is insufficient draw tube travel to accommodate an Amici prism.

 

TS offers (what appears to be a GSO dielectric) in 1.25" format with T2 threads to accept a focuser. The Baader helical looks to be the shortest of the T2 focusers available. So - I have ordered the TS diagonal and Baader focuser.  The end result should be equivalent to the BVF and at approximately 1/2 the overall price.  Once I have the new diagonal and focuser - I will do a more thorough comparison with the BVF.

 

Thank you again for your kind remarks!



#22 Astrohobby

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Posted Today, 08:50 AM

Hi there Don,

 

thanks for you reply - I`m curious concerning your findings! I must admit that my BVF was an early version and I bought it 2nd hand. May be at that time the machining of the threat of the prismn was faulty (to thin, not long enough and not rigid).

 

Looking forward to your findings and evaluation.

 

Cheers  Oliver




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