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60mm Telescope and the Moon

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#1 MarkGregory

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 09:16 AM

My favorite target is the Moon. I am thinking about adding a small high quality 60mm refractor to my arsenal. However, before buying one I have a few questions because I have never owned or looked through a 60mm scope. Are 60mm refractors “really” adequate for the moon? If yes, which 60mm scope do you recommend?  Thank you. Mark


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#2 TNmike

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 09:36 AM

My answer would be a qualified yes. On what few nights that have been clear, I have really enjoyed my AT60ED on the moon. Since the moon is so bright it takes magnification well. I recently bought a Nagler 2.5mm that I am anxious to try out. First I bought a Celestron Excel LX 2.3mm to help determine if it would be worth it to purchase the Nag. The 2.3mm was still bright enough on the moon, and the eyepiece itself did considerably better than I was expecting. The 2.5mm Nag will give me X144, which is pushing it for a 60mm refractor, floaters and all, but I am still expecting it to be fun on the best nights. And I have the longer FL Delites I can fall back to on any given night also.

 

A small quality scope does make it easier to get out there more often, and that is a good thing. No, the light gathering power and resolution are not high, but there are almost limitless things to see despite that. Galileo would have been thrilled to have what we take for granted. Others may have different opinions and there are a lot of factors that apply, so best wishes on your decision.


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#3 sg6

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 09:55 AM

I bought a 60mm ED - the William Optics one - I love the little thing.

Haven't that I recall used it on the moon, did try Saturn. Very nice.

Will warn you the night I tried it I was also trying out 3 other scopes and results are mixed up a bit in memory, so not going to be overly specific.

Others were a 72ED, 102/600 achro and Tal RS 100. Fun evening, scopes everywhere and a few eyepieces.

 

Ideal items for those wide views and the moon is big enough.

100x is within it's capabilities and that would fill an eyepiece. Likely could goi more but I never really collected the eyepiece to allow me to do that.

 

If you want to look at a specific crater in close up then maybe not, just the 360mm focal length means 80-100x (4mm eyepiece) and that if the full lunar disk in one go.

 

Never tried my 3.2mm in it. Might one day. But I have to scope for nice simple viewing.

 

But the little 60 is one I will keep, as well as the 70, the 80 and the 90, maybe the Tal also. The 102 I keep for outreach. Might as well just keep the 72 as well then.

 

The WO 60 (61 specified) sits on a Az GTi mount.


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#4 Auburn80

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 10:12 AM

My favorite target is the Moon. I am thinking about adding a small high quality 60mm refractor to my arsenal. However, before buying one I have a few questions because I have never owned or looked through a 60mm scope. Are 60mm refractors “really” adequate for the moon? If yes, which 60mm scope do you recommend? Thank you. Mark


Which other scopes so you have? I can't see your sig - on phone.

#5 drd715

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 10:29 AM

For visual a 60mm telescope can show a pleasing view. But there are limits. Just the lens diameter is not the full definition of the telescope. The focal length is a significant factor. If the focal length is short you might be better off with quality binoculars - don't expect to get much power out of a 60mm short optical system. Or if you have a 60mm F-15 telescope you can max out your resolution at about 120X or so.

Physical length may come into your personal requirements here.

With an increase in objective diameter you get a corresponding increase in resolution so bigger up to the point you can/will use the scope easily would be better. For an equivalent max power resolution an 80mm should do 160X and a 100mm should show 200X

Power is useful on the moon - it is bright and those crater details are great to see.

Getting power out of a telescope is a consideration involving the physical focal length and the eyepiece focal length. Personally I would not like to go below 5mm in an eyepiece and 8 - 12mm would be a sweeter spot. So to reach 200X you need about 900-1000mm fl such as a "Skywatcher" F-9 Ed an excellentet scope. Or you could get a Altair astro/TS 102mm ED F-11 a rather physically longish scope but excellent for the moon in the smaller diameter objective class.

A compromise would be 80mm F-8 or longer.

You will find F#'s lower than 10 will show much annoying purple chromatic aberrations and the resulting loss of definition unles a superior quality ED or below F-7 a triplet objective is chosen. Even then keep in mind the maximum resolution limits of your chosen objective diameter.

So my personal opinion as to whether or not a 60mm scope is good for lunar viewing - no certainly not a short fl Achromat.
-A good 80mm long fl scope is a minimum and in still portable scopes the 100mm F-9 ED is best (or if you can handle the length the F-11 ED) (or if you can handle money the long Takahashi) .

If you do get a 60mm scope it will work fine as a autoguiding scope in the future or finder scope on a larger telescope.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
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#6 vtornado

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 10:30 AM

For a 60mm scope, on the moon an ED is not necessary, unless you are trying to minimize the mount, and want a short focal length.

 

A classic 60mm long focus achromat just has a certain Je ne sais quoi on the moon.

I have a carton f16 60.

 

Make sure the focal ratio is greater than 12.

Maybe it is the fact that the slow optics are easy on eyepieces, have minimal CA, SA, and field curvature.

They can be had for a bargain too.  You can probably pick one up for $50.00.

 

If you buy a newer Tiawaneese/Chinese one (not junk) you might get 90% of the classic Japanese scope

 

The same scope is good for solar observing too.

 

To be truthful, I think it will  not keep up with your 85, 111, or 125. 

My 100 ED f/9 technically has a better image.

 

If you are an audiophile it might be like comparing a transistor amp to a tube amp.

The tube amp is not technically better, but has a buttery smoothness that just sounds good to the ear.


Edited by vtornado, 28 March 2020 - 10:50 AM.

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#7 jag767

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 11:00 AM

Almost everything is friendly on the moon. My 50mm is fantastic, even my 35mm made from a projector lens puts up a nice view.
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#8 gwlee

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 11:46 AM

I find that the moon offers such a wealth of detail that it’s enjoyable with any size scope, including the TV 60 (60mm f6) that I used to own. However, larger scopes show proportionally more detail that’s obvious in side-by-side viewing, so I wouldn’t choose a 60mm scope for a “lunar scope” unless I really needed the portability of a 60mm scope.

A 72mm f6 has replaced my TV60 because it offers sufficient portability for all my needs, but I wouldn’t choose it for a “lunar scope” for the same reason, but often enjoy using it for viewing the moon because it’s so handy.
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#9 BigC

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 01:30 PM

Unless you are wanting small scope for ease of handling you're best views will be with the AT111. 

 If the scope must be short then it needs be ED.

 

If one wants 60 mm then a long achromat with RA motor will let you study details to the limit of resolution and seeing. 4 mm in a 900 mm gives 225X as supplied with many 60s. If you can go beyond that many would be shocked. 


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#10 astro744

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 04:17 PM

I enjoy using my Tele Vue 60 combined with Tele Pod mount for the Moon.  I use mainly use the Nagler 6-3mm zoom but also 3.5mm and 2.5mm T6 Nagler for the higher powers and wider field than the zoom.  Of course at the lower powers the view is stunning too.

 

It is a quick grab and go setup and I also use this for planets in the evening and morning twilight.  Have seen the chevron cloud feature on Venus many times easily as well as following Mars well past opposition towards conjunction.  I have seen a polar cap and Syrtis Major easily when Mars was at 5 arcsec diameter.  (By easily I mean there was a large bright area along one pole and dark area in the middle; a check with an ephemeris confirmed Syrtis major).  Contrast is superb with this telescope as is colour correction and image quality is simply stunning both at night and day when nature observing.  I really appreciate the lack of chromatic aberration.

 

At low power with a 24mm Panoptic (or 19mm for a slightly darker field), the telescope is a joy to use for sweeping the sky looking for DSOs.  You won’t get the bigger and brighter views offered in a larger instrument but simply detecting them in 60mm is what I enjoy doing and at 15x (4.3 deg) or 19x (3.4 deg) with the Tele Pod, I don’t get the shakes as I do holding a pair of 15x70 binoculars.

 

The TV-60 is a joy to use on a TelePod and as cool down time is barely a few minutes so I can be observing in the time it takes me to make a cup of tea.  It is at the premium end of cost but I have long since forgotten that.  Highly recommended!

 

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

 

 


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#11 Astrojensen

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 04:28 PM

My favorite target is the Moon. I am thinking about adding a small high quality 60mm refractor to my arsenal. However, before buying one I have a few questions because I have never owned or looked through a 60mm scope. Are 60mm refractors “really” adequate for the moon? If yes, which 60mm scope do you recommend?  Thank you. Mark

If you're uncertain whether a 60mm will be for you, why not simply make a cardboard aperture stop with a 60mm hole, mount it on one of your larger scopes and see for yourself? 

 

A 60mm can certainly show quite a few details on the Moon, but it must also be acknowledged, that even an 80mm is *noticeably* more powerful. That said, I've been using 60mm refractors for decades and still find them satisfying and rewarding to use, when I don't have the energy to drag something larger out. There is also something interesting in limiting yourself to a small aperture and take its limitations as a challenge. 

 

And there's certainly a lot of very interesting targets on the Moon within reach of a 60mm. Sometimes even some that only a mere handful of people have seen and recognized. The fascinating thing about the Moon is that it's close to us, so some of the details are very large and can be seen in the smallest telescopes. Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the smallest details, like tiny craters and narrow rilles, but there's also great satisfaction in observing and recognizing different lava flows in the Mare, buried impact basins, crater ray systems, etc. A 60mm can show all of this and much more. I have independently discovered a nearly hidden, ancient lunar impact basin myself with my 63mm Zeiss Telemator achromat. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...-the-near-side/   

 

So yes, a 60mm can be adequate for lunar observing, in my opinion. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 28 March 2020 - 04:29 PM.

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#12 TNmike

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 06:15 PM

What Thomas said... waytogo.gif 

 

A few days ago I was observing the moon when it was only 2-3 days from full with my AT60ED. I was especially checking out the craterlets of Plato. I'm 99% sure I detected A, and "possibly" B. And near full moon isn't particularly the best lighting when trying to detect them. So this year I am hoping to see how many of the Plato craterlets I can detect with this small but capable instrument. Should be fun if the weather cooperates.


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#13 m9x18

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 07:41 PM

When I first started out in this hobby, I had a Meade Model 226 60mm f/11.7 achromat. Through the lens of that little refractor, I took my first glimpses of Saturn's rings, Jupiter's Great Red Spot and of course, my first up close and personal study and tour of the moon. I have so many fond memories of the times I spent with that little blue-painted scope. For sentimental reasons, I wish I still had it. I'm sure we would still be having fun together under the night sky. In any case, the answer is yes, you can see many things on the moon with a 60mm telescope. And in my case, since it was my very first telescope, the many things I experienced though the eyepiece(s) of that little blue Meade can only be described as unforgettable.


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#14 Astrojensen

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 01:47 AM

What Thomas said... waytogo.gif

 

A few days ago I was observing the moon when it was only 2-3 days from full with my AT60ED. I was especially checking out the craterlets of Plato. I'm 99% sure I detected A, and "possibly" B. And near full moon isn't particularly the best lighting when trying to detect them. So this year I am hoping to see how many of the Plato craterlets I can detect with this small but capable instrument. Should be fun if the weather cooperates.

Actually, I've found that the time around full moon is the best time to hunt the craterlets in Plato. Then they're seen as tiny, bright spots against the dark floor of Plato, and this increases their contrast and apparent size, making them a little easier to see, in my experience. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#15 AndresEsteban

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:14 AM

If you can find a vintage 60 mm f/15 achromat (FL=910 mm) you'll have a scope with CA index of 6.42 which certainly will give some WOW images of the Moon, planets and stars. Of course limited by the aperture, nonetheless, amazing top qualty images!

Dan Beam 60 mm f/15.17 CA = index = 6.42


Milo <SYW> 60 mm f/ 13.33  CA index = 5.64

these +50 years old vintage, with 1.25" eyepieces 60º or more, give amazing views with exquisite contrast. DSO views are fantastic at low powers!

and you'll find these scope are not expenive adn have excellent craftmanship!

Clear skies for us all!!!
Andy


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#16 Astrojensen

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:29 AM

If you can find a vintage 60 mm f/15 achromat (FL=910 mm) you'll have a scope with CA index of 6.42 which certainly will give some WOW images of the Moon, planets and stars. Of course limited by the aperture, nonetheless, amazing top qualty images!

Dan Beam 60 mm f/15.17 CA = index = 6.42

 

Milo <SYW> 60 mm f/ 13.33  CA index = 5.64
 

these +50 years old vintage, with 1.25" eyepieces 60º or more, give amazing views with exquisite contrast. DSO views are fantastic at low powers!

and you'll find these scope are not expenive adn have excellent craftmanship!

Clear skies for us all!!!
Andy

I just want to emphasize this even more. Using modern eyepieces can really breathe new life into an old scope. Many people have been disappointed by the performance of 60mm scopes in the past, but much of that was likely due to the absolutely horrible eyepieces most of them were sold with. Using an ES82 or a Nagler (or even just a high quality ortho or plössl) on a decent quality 60mm f/15 can be a really shocking experience, first time you try it. It feels like a completely different scope. Suddenly, the views aren't so dim and narrow anymore and things are easy to find and see. 

 

If you're stuck with a 0.965" focuser and diagonal, for various reasons, there are adapters available that allows you to change most GSO and Sky-Watcher plössls (from 25mm focal length and down) and most orthos available today into 0.965" eyepieces by replacing the 1.25" barrel with a 0.965" one. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 29 March 2020 - 03:30 AM.

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#17 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:40 AM

My answer would be a qualified yes. On what few nights that have been clear, I have really enjoyed my AT60ED on the moon. Since the moon is so bright it takes magnification well. I recently bought a Nagler 2.5mm that I am anxious to try out. First I bought a Celestron Excel LX 2.3mm to help determine if it would be worth it to purchase the Nag. The 2.3mm was still bright enough on the moon, and the eyepiece itself did considerably better than I was expecting. The 2.5mm Nag will give me X144, which is pushing it for a 60mm refractor, floaters and all, but I am still expecting it to be fun on the best nights. And I have the longer FL Delites I can fall back to on any given night also.

 

A small quality scope does make it easier to get out there more often, and that is a good thing. No, the light gathering power and resolution are not high, but there are almost limitless things to see despite that. Galileo would have been thrilled to have what we take for granted. Others may have different opinions and there are a lot of factors that apply, so best wishes on your decision.

Love your comment about Galileo. Thanks for your input, helpful. 



#18 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:43 AM

Which other scopes so you have? I can't see your sig - on phone.

 

Which other scopes so you have? I can't see your sig - on phone.

 

The closest in aperture is my Tele Vue Tv-85.



#19 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:46 AM

For a 60mm scope, on the moon an ED is not necessary, unless you are trying to minimize the mount, and want a short focal length.

 

A classic 60mm long focus achromat just has a certain Je ne sais quoi on the moon.

I have a carton f16 60.

 

Make sure the focal ratio is greater than 12.

Maybe it is the fact that the slow optics are easy on eyepieces, have minimal CA, SA, and field curvature.

They can be had for a bargain too.  You can probably pick one up for $50.00.

 

If you buy a newer Tiawaneese/Chinese one (not junk) you might get 90% of the classic Japanese scope

 

The same scope is good for solar observing too.

 

To be truthful, I think it will  not keep up with your 85, 111, or 125. 

My 100 ED f/9 technically has a better image.

 

If you are an audiophile it might be like comparing a transistor amp to a tube amp.

The tube amp is not technically better, but has a buttery smoothness that just sounds good to the ear.

Your comments are very helpful. Must say, rom wha I am reading so far, a 60mm scope may not be in the cards. 



#20 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:50 AM

I enjoy using my Tele Vue 60 combined with Tele Pod mount for the Moon.  I use mainly use the Nagler 6-3mm zoom but also 3.5mm and 2.5mm T6 Nagler for the higher powers and wider field than the zoom.  Of course at the lower powers the view is stunning too.

 

It is a quick grab and go setup and I also use this for planets in the evening and morning twilight.  Have seen the chevron cloud feature on Venus many times easily as well as following Mars well past opposition towards conjunction.  I have seen a polar cap and Syrtis Major easily when Mars was at 5 arcsec diameter.  (By easily I mean there was a large bright area along one pole and dark area in the middle; a check with an ephemeris confirmed Syrtis major).  Contrast is superb with this telescope as is colour correction and image quality is simply stunning both at night and day when nature observing.  I really appreciate the lack of chromatic aberration.

 

At low power with a 24mm Panoptic (or 19mm for a slightly darker field), the telescope is a joy to use for sweeping the sky looking for DSOs.  You won’t get the bigger and brighter views offered in a larger instrument but simply detecting them in 60mm is what I enjoy doing and at 15x (4.3 deg) or 19x (3.4 deg) with the Tele Pod, I don’t get the shakes as I do holding a pair of 15x70 binoculars.

 

The TV-60 is a joy to use on a TelePod and as cool down time is barely a few minutes so I can be observing in the time it takes me to make a cup of tea.  It is at the premium end of cost but I have long since forgotten that.  Highly recommended!

 

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Your comments about your Tele Vue scope with TV oculars is very helpful. Especially because I have the 24mm Panoptic already and basically love Televue anyway. Mark



#21 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:53 AM

If you're uncertain whether a 60mm will be for you, why not simply make a cardboard aperture stop with a 60mm hole, mount it on one of your larger scopes and see for yourself? 

 

A 60mm can certainly show quite a few details on the Moon, but it must also be acknowledged, that even an 80mm is *noticeably* more powerful. That said, I've been using 60mm refractors for decades and still find them satisfying and rewarding to use, when I don't have the energy to drag something larger out. There is also something interesting in limiting yourself to a small aperture and take its limitations as a challenge. 

 

And there's certainly a lot of very interesting targets on the Moon within reach of a 60mm. Sometimes even some that only a mere handful of people have seen and recognized. The fascinating thing about the Moon is that it's close to us, so some of the details are very large and can be seen in the smallest telescopes. Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the smallest details, like tiny craters and narrow rilles, but there's also great satisfaction in observing and recognizing different lava flows in the Mare, buried impact basins, crater ray systems, etc. A 60mm can show all of this and much more. I have independently discovered a nearly hidden, ancient lunar impact basin myself with my 63mm Zeiss Telemator achromat. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...-the-near-side/   

 

So yes, a 60mm can be adequate for lunar observing, in my opinion. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Your comments and observations are spot on. I want it to throw in the backseat without hassle and be able to show friends and family the Moon at the spur of the moment.



#22 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 05:55 AM

If you can find a vintage 60 mm f/15 achromat (FL=910 mm) you'll have a scope with CA index of 6.42 which certainly will give some WOW images of the Moon, planets and stars. Of course limited by the aperture, nonetheless, amazing top qualty images!

Dan Beam 60 mm f/15.17 CA = index = 6.42

 

Milo <SYW> 60 mm f/ 13.33  CA index = 5.64
 

these +50 years old vintage, with 1.25" eyepieces 60º or more, give amazing views with exquisite contrast. DSO views are fantastic at low powers!

and you'll find these scope are not expenive adn have excellent craftmanship!

Clear skies for us all!!!
Andy

Wow, love those images you attached. Thanks.


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#23 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:30 AM

I was beginning to think a 60mm was not going to be my future. However, after reading some of the reviews by happy owners, and comments like those from AstroJenson  and AndresEsteban, I am thinking a classic 60mm refractor with some modern oculars would be fun. There is just something very cool about those vintage long white tubed refractors.  Please keep your comments and observations coming. Mark


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#24 Astrojensen

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:53 AM

I am thinking a classic 60mm refractor with some modern oculars would be fun. There is just something very cool about those vintage long white tubed refractors.

They certainly look cool:

 

gallery_55742_4772_288428.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#25 droid

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:10 AM

If you can find an old school classic 1000mm focal length scope.

 

Here is my 7TE

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