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Baader Astro Grade Amici

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#1 cam1936

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:42 AM

Does anyone have any experience with the Baader DX-1 1.25" Astro Grade Amici Prism diagonal? In either fast or slow refractors?

It's rather expensive, but I think it would be nice for terrestrial viewing, as well as star hopping in a small refractor (where you don't have a dedicated RACI finder.)
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#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:22 AM

DX-1 amici diagonal? I can't find any such diagonal under that name on the Baader homepage. Could you supply a link, please?

 

 

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#3 25585

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:44 AM

Only experience with the 2" BBHS Amici astro quality, which is excellent.


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#4 25585

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:51 AM

Read this https://stargazerslo...-correct-image/


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#5 25585

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:53 AM

DX-1 amici diagonal? I can't find any such diagonal under that name on the Baader homepage. Could you supply a link, please?

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

https://agenaastro.c...x1-2456130.html

 

have to look in the specs to find out its an erecting prism.


Edited by 25585, 05 August 2020 - 10:16 AM.


#6 Migwan

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:57 AM

No experience with the DX1 (link), but mostly use a cheap 45° correct image diagonal on an ST80 to just scan around.  I love it, but admit to not being very picky when doing so.  Worked quite well on Neowise too.    So I agree with your premise.  That said, don't think I would spend that many pennies for it. 

 

jd



#7 brightsky

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:12 PM

My F/7.4 refractor came with a Tak 1.25 in prism diagonal.  I was reasonably satisfied finding objects using a 24 mm eyepiece but thought that I would prefer the view through the scope be the same orientation as the view over the top of the scope.  I reasoned that star-hopping would be made easier.  So, with this bias I did some imperfect research and concluded that I needed a Baader T2 amici prism diagonal.  This is the 'astro grade' 1.25" model.  What reviews I could locate were unsatisfying with no clear comparisons between prisms in a single scope with a single observer on a single object, under specified conditions.  The dreaded diffraction spike was always mentioned, and now recently I have read about a decreased clarity at high magnifications.  However, these amici deficits were never mentioned in the context of an actual comparison review.  And the comparison comments were never very well documented for the Baader 'astro grade' amici.  So, finally the desire to have an earth oriented view and the promise of 'astro grade' won out.  I purchased the T2 amici prism diagonal.  At the time I was willing to endure a spike, should it occur, for the advantage of oriented view.  Note that with the T2 amici diagonal you must also purchase a nosepiece and an eyepiece adapter which together add about 140 dollars to the price (if you get the click-lock adapter).  

 

First off the diagonal increased light path by about 12-18mm, so I had to remove part 81 from the optical tube in order to focus.  Part 81 is just a screw-in/screw-out male-female coupler that adds about a centimeter and a half to the light path.  So I tried out the new diagonal on the moon, Venus, and ground lights at night.  I could not appreciate a diffraction spike.  Comparison with the Tak diagonal on DSO's was awkward because changing diagonals was a two minute process involving switching part 81 back and forth.  I concluded after about an hour of comparison that the views were identical.  You could certainly say that I have old eyes and could not discriminate well between the two diagonals, or that on a more transparent night would have rendered differences more noticeable.  But the T2 amici significantly enhanced star-hopping and simple finding, and I did not see any changes in views.  To me the diagonals give same experience except for orientation.  But, as I said, a rigorous review comparing the 'astro grade' amici with a star prism is not easy to find.  I have used the amici now for several months but have kept the Tak prism, and eventually I will try to find a tough double star and do the conparison test again with the two diagonals.  Also, any other technical, practical or otherwise suggestions on how to compare the Tak prism to the T2 amici prism are welcome.

 

In summary, I recommend the thing and await evidence of a less anecdotal nature to more accurately clarify the practical limit of the T2 amici.

 

Thanks, Dave 


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#8 cam1936

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:10 PM

Thank you for taking the time to reply with real experience!

Another $120 for nose piece and EP holder is pretty nuts!

Edited by cam1936, 05 August 2020 - 09:11 PM.


#9 clearwaterdave

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:36 AM

Have you looked at the William Optics CI prism diagonal.,I use one and other than the fov limits,.( very minor.,only in the 24/68ep's ) it gives very nice views.,and was quite helpful in learning to starhop.,It it less money and has a helical focuser on it that is worth the price of admission.,good luck.,



#10 BillP

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 10:13 AM

If you are talking this one, then yes - https://alpineastro....-bbhs-®-coating

 

Overall, if I could afford one I would get one!!  Made observing so much more relaxing and intuitive with everything in it's correct orientation!  Also amazing at how different objects look when their orientation changes.  View was breathtaking using my 40XW with it in both daytime and nighttime.  Beautiful unit with precision craftsmanship.  I could tease out a nuance better view using the Zeiss 2" Prism, but it was slight and basically inconsequential.  Performed excellently even up to 100x/inch.

 

Composit (web).jpg

 

Here are some randomly selected raw notes (need to put this into a review soon) --

  • Was out tonight with TSA and AMCI prism on Moon. Used Tak LEs and Barlow to get to 326x which is over 80x/in. Moon was just as sharp and etched in the AMCI as in the 2” Zeiss prism. I felt the Zeiss was a gnat hair crisper but after 6 flips between the 2 diagonals could not nail it down positively. Finding best focus was a bit easier in Zeiss though. Probably why felt it might have been a tiny bit crisper just because had more precise focus. So cool having Moon in correct view. Enjoyable difference.
     
  • Final high power test in Moon with AMCI prism tonight. Used the 152ED and cycled thru with two other diagonals, the Zeiss 2” prism and the BBHS Silver mirror. Went up to 480x then 600x. No sharpness difference. No induced SA or CA that I could detect between them. Was an incredibly stable and clear evening with the Moon near the zenith.  Views were jaw dropping. Felt like I was landing the LEM in the Moon!
     
  • Very impressed with the Baader AMCI prism. Compared it to my 2” Zeiss prism tonight in 6” Apo. Basically on stars like Rigel the single diffraction spike from the split in the prism was visible across most of the FOV. But it was so very thin and non obtrusive that even if Rigel’s companion was on the spike would still be visible. So no where near as fat as what a Dob produces. On the Orion Belt stars the spike barely to be seen. So all but invisible. Took the scope up to 300x and double splits were just as clean and color rendition just as good as Zeiss. When I was up at 400x on Sirius though, my ED scope was showing a little blue tightly around the star point a little more in the AMCI than the Zeiss. But that is over 50x/in. On Nebula the Zeiss showed them just a tad more so greater extent on wings of M42 and M1 looked slightly larger. M42 also showed mottled structure just a tad better in Zeiss. But that was it. Dimmest stars just as visible in either diagonal and things like Trap E and F just as visible in either. Was so much more intuitive with the AMCI moving around star fields than with the conventional Diagonal. So really enjoyed the AMCI and showed good clean color saturated star points right to the field stop in the ES24 as example. Really nice to use. Heavier than the Zeiss 2” prism though. Overall I loved it.
     
  • 152 ED Apo + 24 ES68 in AMCI (50x)

    Sirius -- Beautiful tight star point.  Almost all way across.  Thin.  Much less obtrusive than spider spike. 
     

    Betelgeuse + Belt Stars -- spike lite and ethereal, sometimes needing adverted vision to even see it.

    Rigel -- Spike more obvious, but exceedingly thin and still unobtrusive.  Extends about half way across FOV.  At times it vanishes.
     

  • 152 ED Apo + 12.5mm Tak LE (100x)

    Rigel - Spike brighter than in 24mm.  All the way across FOV of this 52 deg AFOV eyepiece.  Spike lite enough that if dim secondary on the spike still visible.
     

    Orion Belt Stars -- Spike across FOV but extremely dim.

    Betelgeuse -- Spike 3/4 way across FOV.  Very dim.  Small double under Betelgeuse beautiful and prominent ruddy red colors
     

    Sirius -- Spike bright and across FOV.  Very prominent but still much thinner than spider spike.

     

  • 152 ED Apo + 7.5mm LE + 2x Barlow (320x - 53x/in)
     

    Sirius - Beautiful star point.  The minimal blue halo from ED doublet immediately around Sirius was slightly more pronounced in AMCI than Zeiss price.  Expected due to longer glass path of the AMCI prism.

    Extent of dim nebula slightly better in Zeiss than AMCI.  In M42 extent of wings was very slightly more.  Mottled structure a very little better. 
     

    Star colors and star points and double splits all just as nice in AMCI vs. Zeiss.  Rigel companion just a little off-white in AMCI compared to Zeiss at 320x.

Edited by BillP, 06 August 2020 - 10:25 AM.

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#11 25585

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 11:20 AM

Thank you for taking the time to reply with real experience!

Another $120 for nose piece and EP holder is pretty nuts!

Only if you go for Clicklock. The 1.25" thumbscrew eyepiece holder is a lot cheaper, and a little shorter too. A 1.25" T2 nose may be shorter as well. There are also different T2 bits by different cheaper makers than Baader.

 

I am going for those options myself & hope to use the Zeiss Amici CI with Maxbright 2 binoviewers.   



#12 cam1936

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 12:37 PM

BillP, I'm looking at the 1.25" version of that one.

#13 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 12:42 PM

Bill,

 

Out of curiosity, is the vertical line seen in the bottom photo in the prism? If so, is it visible when observing? 



#14 BillP

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 01:36 PM

The prism is split into two prisms in an AMCI.  So that line is the joining of the two prisms.  It acts like a spider vane so it does produce a horizontal spike in the FOV if the star is bright enough.  I mention it in my notes in my post.  Everything comes at a price.  I did not feel it was obtrusive as it was not visible for most of the observing as don't generally look at bright stars.


Edited by BillP, 06 August 2020 - 01:36 PM.

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#15 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 02:26 PM

The prism is split into two prisms in an AMCI.  So that line is the joining of the two prisms.  It acts like a spider vane so it does produce a horizontal spike in the FOV if the star is bright enough.  I mention it in my notes in my post.  Everything comes at a price.  I did not feel it was obtrusive as it was not visible for most of the observing as don't generally look at bright stars.

Thanks; somehow I glossed right over that in your notes. 



#16 desertlens

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:24 PM

I too enjoy a right reading image for lunar observing. The Baader T2 Amici prism is excellent in this application. The classic Amici diffraction spike is of little consequence. I'm a small instrument observer and my seeing is seldom better than 3/5 so I'll never experience the high magnifications that Bill mentioned, but this FS-60Q/Amici setup with a 3-6 Nagler zoom or a short Delite is rewarding to use and has become my default scope for the moon.

 

FS60Qp.jpg


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#17 Starman1

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 03:28 PM

The prism is split into two prisms in an AMCI.  So that line is the joining of the two prisms.  It acts like a spider vane so it does produce a horizontal spike in the FOV if the star is bright enough.  I mention it in my notes in my post.  Everything comes at a price.  I did not feel it was obtrusive as it was not visible for most of the observing as don't generally look at bright stars.

Bill, you've mis-typed it several times--it's "Amici", not AMCI.

It's named for Giovanni Amici:

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Amici_prism

How it works:

https://en.wikipedia...mici_roof_prism

 

Also, your picture displays:

--the dividing line between the two halves of the prism

--lots of scattered light from insufficient internal blackening

--a heavily-vignetted, non-round clear aperture


Edited by Starman1, 06 August 2020 - 03:29 PM.


#18 BillP

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 05:37 PM

Bill, you've mis-typed it several times--it's "Amici", not AMCI.

It's named for Giovanni Amici:

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Amici_prism

How it works:

https://en.wikipedia...mici_roof_prism

 

Also, your picture displays:

--the dividing line between the two halves of the prism

--lots of scattered light from insufficient internal blackening

--a heavily-vignetted, non-round clear aperture

lol.gif Thanks!

 

Maybe that's the way it "appears" when viewed and illuminated improperly (i.e., not the way light enters it), but the proof is always in the field test and not the at the desk test.  Besides that pic was angled as very difficult to get that thin line to come out so camera was not centered and I had a lot of light coming in from the top (eyepiece hole so from wrong direction from when in use) to illuminate that line properly.  When viewed through properly it provided very contrast rich views both day and night (comparable to the Zeiss 2" Prism), showed no light artifacts on a variety of bright targets like Sirius and the Moon, and showed no edge dimming whatsoever with a 40XW.  BTW, observing the Moon with it was about the most enjoyment I ever had with lunar observing having everything oriented properly and still able to get to crazy high magnifications!  You can't trust a "product" oriented photograph to tell you anything meaningful.  I have pics of incorrectly illuminated and angled TV and AP diagonals as well the show lots of bright surfaces all over the place.  Never trust a camera unless it is sitting in the eyepiece slot when taking the shot lol.gif


Edited by BillP, 06 August 2020 - 05:52 PM.

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#19 BillP

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 05:55 PM

I too enjoy a right reading image for lunar observing. The Baader T2 Amici prism is excellent in this application. The classic Amici diffraction spike is of little consequence. I'm a small instrument observer and my seeing is seldom better than 3/5 so I'll never experience the high magnifications that Bill mentioned, but this FS-60Q/Amici setup with a 3-6 Nagler zoom or a short Delite is rewarding to use and has become my default scope for the moon.

It's so true..rewarding.  I hate using my Apos, even the little 81mm, for daytime spotting as just a pain with the left-right orientation being off.  But I recall when I used this AMICI for the first time with 40XW for daytime testing ... I actually gasped the view was so richly contrasted and simply stunning to behold.  If I had one of these I would be using my 81 for lots of daytime spotting!


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#20 Starman1

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 07:10 PM

It's so true..rewarding.  I hate using my Apos, even the little 81mm, for daytime spotting as just a pain with the left-right orientation being off.  But I recall when I used this AMICI for the first time with 40XW for daytime testing ... I actually gasped the view was so richly contrasted and simply stunning to behold.  If I had one of these I would be using my 81 for lots of daytime spotting!

And thus, Bill becomes a bird watcher.

That is the perfect scope for it, and magnifications up to 60x should be great in the daytime.

 

I was looking at the Marina with my 102mm from my house 8 miles from Marina del Rey one day when I noticed all the sail boats were clustered outside the entrance to the marina instead of out in the bay.

At 60x, with the 102mm, I could see a mother right whale and a young calf exploring the entrance to the marina.

The mother was getting in between the boats and shoving them aside with her body to create a path for the calf.  She had no problem moving the sailboats aside.

She was longer than most of the boats!  I'd guess 40' or more.  The calf actually grounded himself and looked up and around at the jetty blocking the entrance to the marina, then slid back

into the water and swam over to his mother. 

They eventually swam away.  I was 8 miles away and I could almost hear the clicking of cameras from my house.lol.gif

You never know what you're going to see.


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#21 BillP

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 07:29 PM

And thus, Bill becomes a bird watcher.

That is the perfect scope for it, and magnifications up to 60x should be great in the daytime.

I find birds a little too dynamic to use a conventional telescope.  I mainly use my Nikon 12x50 AE binoculars and a Pentax 65mm spotter as at times I am out in the rain.  With a small telescope, especially if I had an AMICI, I enjoy most looking at things in the far distance, or watching the activities of insects on trees, so much higher magnifications.  It's a real hoot watching ants meandering around tree limbs!!  But with the spotter on birds, yes, usually lower mags, for me maybe 40x.  Also really like wandering around the yard with the Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 binoculars!

 

Must be really cool to observe sea life!  All I have is a lake so mostly geese and swans.


Edited by BillP, 06 August 2020 - 07:35 PM.


#22 25585

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 01:15 AM

The prism is split into two prisms in an AMCI.  So that line is the joining of the two prisms.  It acts like a spider vane so it does produce a horizontal spike in the FOV if the star is bright enough.  I mention it in my notes in my post.  Everything comes at a price.  I did not feel it was obtrusive as it was not visible for most of the observing as don't generally look at bright stars.

I have & can recommend the 2", its in a class of its own but not cheap. However it is used enough to warrant tge outlay, no regrets.

 

APM's 2" CI roof prism is less expensive and good too. 



#23 Scott99

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 02:44 PM

Recently picked up the T2 version in 2-inch mode.  Even though the field stop is barely larger than 1.25".  I have 3 wide-field eyepieces all in 2 inch barrels.  Have not used it yet, I bought it for bird watching but possibly astro as well.

 

IMG_2257.JPG


Edited by Scott99, 07 August 2020 - 02:46 PM.


#24 BillP

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:01 PM

I believe that has a 32mm clear aperture?  If so then a 22 Nagler or 17 Ethos or 27 Pan should work just fine in it with no vignetting. Possibly even a 26 Nagler would show no apparent vignetting.


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#25 Thomas_M44

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 05:48 PM

The excellent  Baader and APM Amici prism diagonals obviously defeat most of the understandable prejudices associated with using lower-to-average quality Amici's for astronomical applications.

 

Many people are surely afraid of having their image quality eaten-up by an obtrusive diffraction spike, and that really doesn't have to be the case with a well-designed Amici prism.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Amici diagonal becomes more popular with time, given the availability of the above-mentioned quality units.

 

And yes, very convenient for terrestrial viewing as a bonus.


Edited by Thomas_M44, 07 August 2020 - 05:49 PM.

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