I posted a few pictures in the imaging post, but just a brief report on my first camping trip with the Flextube. Inks Lake State park is was reading 20.9 on the SQM-L but there was a considerable amount of dust in the air during the day and I could tell using the naked eye that the Milky Way was a bit subdued, so clearly the transparency was a bit low.
The detents and the ASA focal reducer worked great. I only did image intensifier (did not bring the binoviewers because I can do planets from home).
Overall, the visual views were quite excellent. While the fully illuminated circle is very small, the falloff is subtle. View were sharp right to the edge and only when imaging with narrow band filters was the falloff more noticeable but even here, that depended on the exposure time.
The 875mm focal lenght offers twice the scale of my 6" f/2.8 and but with considerably better limiting magnitude, so sweeping down the walls of the great rift was a constant rich field experience, but at the same time, the dark nebula along the walls has so much scale that it is not something that I found as enjoyable in the 10" f/3.44 as with the 6" f/2.8 and frankly, one of my favorite tools for the large scale structure remain the Mod 3 binocular at 3x. Still, trip down then up the walls of the rift was quite lovely.
Ink Spot was disappointing. I suspect this was due to the reduced transparency, but some to image scale as well. I could see it but it was not the dark black that I typically see from dark skies.
Nebula like the Lagoon pretty much fit entirely into the field, but NA and Pelican were far to large, though the scale made study of the structure much better than in the 6".
Lots of globulars but I did not do the native 1200mm focal length and I think that lenght would have been better, and I also have a barlow element in my filter wheel so I could have eked out about 1800mm of focal lenght with that setup, but I simply just did not bother swapping it over. I see the Flextube going to 1200mm mostly during galaxy season
Camp sites are close at Inks Lake and there was an annoying flicker from neighbor camp fires when pointing ins some directions and even some light leaking into the slot in the side of the filter wheel where the edge of the wheel sticks out. I need to remedy that somehow.
For visual, the illumination falloff is very subtle but with the H-a filters and longer exposures, the illumination falloff is more easily visible, but my primary use of my telescope and image intensifier is real time viewing, so I only do an occasional picture to share, but here, the purpose it so show the illumination characteristics of the Felextube when used at the -25mm custom detent position, which a quite happy with. Again, for visual, I found the illumination falloff the be very subtle due to the small 18mm image circle we use.
This is a 1/2 second exposure. ISO is 1000 with the Galaxy S9 phone working at f/1.5. I typically do not spend any time playing with manual exposure trusting the phone camera to take care of that. I use night vision mode and I suspect that it is perhaps coupling pixels or something because the resolution seems lower than when I use Pro mode, but the exposure times in Pro mode have to be much longer. I just hate imaging. What can I say...
The purpose of the post though was to convey my experience with the 10" Flextube and while I still very unhappy about what it took to make the scope serviceable and as just a telescope I don't think I would have been as happy as I would have been with maybe the Apertura 10", but as a do-it-all platform, it has indeed worked exceptionally well for me. I could never have fit my 12" dob into the SUV and still had room for the 70" television (only kidding but if you saw our loadout you would think there must be on in there somewhere). The 10" had a footprint that was no larger than the 6" on the IOptron Az Mount Pro, and smaller than the 8" on the Az Mount Pro, so a home run in terms of getting a decent size aperture in a space that is small enough to still bring camping. I feel like in spite of my issues with the base and balance, it was the best telescope for me and my range of viewing interests.
Hope everyone is having an excellent day!