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The Zen Minimalist

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26 replies to this topic

#1 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:15 PM

Sometimes less is better than more. My minimalist setup is a lightweight altaz mount (no slow motion controls), SV102A APO, and three eyepieces, 25mm ortho, 9mm ortho, 4mm TOE. I can go all night, easy to pack up and carry. It just feels right.


Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 22 October 2020 - 07:57 PM.

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#2 Avgvstvs

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:56 PM

I like minimalism

I have only 1 telescope now

10" F5 Newtonian

However EP's are unlimited but if limited to 3:

ES 30/82

ES 14/100

Meade 5.5 UWA


Edited by Avgvstvs, 22 October 2020 - 07:59 PM.

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#3 desertstars

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:40 PM

Somewhere between my eyes alone and a 10x50 binocular. watching.gif


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#4 csrlice12

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:55 PM

Twilight 1, ED81S, Orion E Series 7-21 and TeleVue 3-6 zooms 



#5 justfred

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 11:55 PM

Agreed.

 

Orion XT6 with Rigel Quickfinder, 24 Pan, 13Nag, 3-6NagZoom, Starbound Observing Chair (white), small aluminum folding table, red penlight, and Orion DeepMap600.

 

Throw in a thermos of coffee, some pimento cheese sandwiches, seasonal  Sawyer's bug spray and I'm good for the night.

 

Fred


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#6 luxo II

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:56 AM

My minimalist setup is an 8x50 finderscope. Roll out a picnic rug in a nice spot under a dark sky, lie down and look up with it.

 

You'll be surprised at what you can see, with patience.


Edited by luxo II, 23 October 2020 - 12:57 AM.

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#7 clearwaterdave

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:02 AM

My setup allows me to easily mount which ever refractor in my collection I wish to use.,and many nights just one eyepiece goes out,.The ES68/20 is a treat for lookin over the milkyway.,and the ES82/14 is great for scanning or viewing.,A zoom in the pocket is worth a dozen ep's in the box.,they make it a pleasure to look at luna or the Planets.,cheers.,

  My 102 mounted on Frank is truly a night of enjoyable exploration without leaving home.,

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#8 bumm

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:19 AM

I like simple.  While I like a rough polar alignment to find and follow things, I've been using my C8 for 43 years, and have had no reason to "upgrade."  I like paper charts.  I have no electrical cables to deal with, no computer screen, and I seldom use more eyepieces than the 1 ortho and 3 kellners in my turret.  And, while I love my scope for what it can show me, naked eye and binocular viewing are my favorite ways to enjoy the night sky.

                                                                                                                   Marty


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#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 07:59 AM

I have spent some observing sessions using only my spectacles for optical aid, and many using only unaided eye plus one or two pairs of binoculars.

 

To field-test an article I was editing for Sky & Telescope ("Stargazing Simplified", by James Mullaney), I spent one night using my 70-mm refractor at 30X. Can't say I agree with Mullaney's admiration of a fixed-magnification spotting scope; I was always itching to see so ever much more by using those other eyepieces that I had left inside.

 

On my most recent trip to South America, my telescope was the Orion 80-mm f/4.4 GoScope atop a photo tripod, used with a 26-mm eyepiece, an 8-24 zoom, and a 4-mm eyepiece. Also a UHC filter. Together with image-stabilized 10x30 binoculars, that was more than adequate for exploring the southern Milky Way night over a multi-week trip.


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#10 rhetfield

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:40 AM

The signature lists the full extent of what I got.  Carry it all in one trip.



#11 NC Startrekker

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 10:10 AM

Agreed.

 

Orion XT6 with Rigel Quickfinder, 24 Pan, 13Nag, 3-6NagZoom, Starbound Observing Chair (white), small aluminum folding table, red penlight, and Orion DeepMap600.

 

Throw in a thermos of coffee, some pimento cheese sandwiches, seasonal  Sawyer's bug spray and I'm good for the night.

 

Fred

Granted Fred, your XT6 shows more... but I don't think there is a better executed minimalist kit than your Questar 3.5.  Not cheap, but there's a reason it's known as an observatory in a box.  Alan



#12 csrlice12

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 10:21 AM

Agreed.

 

Orion XT6 with Rigel Quickfinder, 24 Pan, 13Nag, 3-6NagZoom, Starbound Observing Chair (white), small aluminum folding table, red penlight, and Orion DeepMap600.

 

Throw in a thermos of coffee, some pimento cheese sandwiches, seasonal  Sawyer's bug spray and I'm good for the night.

 

Fred

So does rubbing yourself down with pimento and adding a few drops of Sawyer's to the coffee keep the skeeters away?


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#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 11:50 AM

My minimalist set-up is a decent photo-tripod with a small grab and go scope (4 inch Mak or smaller refractor).



#14 justfred

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:23 PM

Alan - I gotta admit that the Q has been getting the lion's share of the time under the sky lately.  We've had some great weather in the Southeast for the past couple of weeks and I've loaned out my XT6. When traveling, the Q is the more compact and usually makes the trips. When our infamous seasonal hazy skies set in I do cheat and use the setting circles on the Q. Spot on whether in equatorial or alt/az configuration.

 

CSR... :-) you only make those mistakes once.

 

Marty - there is something special about the bare-bones C8! Not a whole lot to go wrong. I like the focal reducer option also. Two telescopes in one.

 

Fred


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#15 stevenwav

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:35 PM

Picture this - 

 

TMB 100 F/8 which was designed to have an extender which when removed, allows for binoviewing without a corrector.

Accessories -

Night Vision Monocular for deep sky

Herschel Wedge for solar

Binoviewers

Barlow

Ep's - Leica Zoom ASPH (17.8-8.9mm)/35 Panoptic/pair of 24 Panoptic

 

One scope, ultimate versatility - so a slightly different point of view on minimalism.

 

Alternative -

Stowaway/Leica Zoom/35 Panoptic/Barlow/NVD


Edited by stevenwav, 23 October 2020 - 03:36 PM.


#16 izar187

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:18 PM

All the minimalist set-ups offered above get my vote.

 

My pick is a newt on an alt-az mount.

Kept at ambient just inside an outside door.

With (+/-) 3 ep's in ep only pockets on me.

 

Plus full time glasses on viewing the greatest majority of the time, to step back from a focuser with no glasses futzing, for instant naked eye clarity of the whole night sky. 



#17 SonnyE

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 01:22 PM

I often walk out and look up, then see how many friends I recognize in the night skies.

 

From there, I have lots of choices...


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#18 happycamperjohn

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:03 PM

When i travel internationally now, i bring only a carry-on daypack with me (clothes, astro gear, everything). Very liberating. So to observe whilst away i bring only my TV60, Sirui VH10X mount, Novoflex Basic Ball tripod, an XW20, a Nagler3-6 Zoom and a Nikon EIC1.6 barlow. Here's a picture of my astro-bag. takes up about a third of my pack. When i'm feeling very luxurious i swap my fixed tripod out for a tiny Sirui ground-standing T-025X with the centre column removed.

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Edited by happycamperjohn, 24 October 2020 - 07:21 PM.

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#19 Gregrox

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 08:59 AM

My minimalist setup is the Galileoscope I've got on a photo tripod. It is the only telescope I have which requires absolutely nothing more than the tube and the mount. I keep the Barlow in my pocket when I'm not using it. Its lenses are so recessed I don't worry about lint or scratches. If dust gets in there I suck it out. I have powers of 25 & 50, and I seldom use it with other eyepieces unless I'm already out with other scopes. On a few occasions I have gotten my 6mm eyepiece (83x) out to look at Mars or Saturn, or my 32mm Plossl to look at wider fields. It requires no table, no chair, and no eyepiece box. I can pick the whole thing up with my hand, and it takes moments to stow away in the car.

 

A 50mm f/10 refractor is enough to show you Saturn's rings, Galilean Moons, Jupiter's Cloud Bands, features on the oppositional Mars, a very nice Moon. It can even show the Pleiades, Orion Nebula, Double Cluster, and Andromeda Galaxy. I also found M8 & M22 with it at one point. In theory, in a darker sky, a 50mm scope can see every Messier object.

 

The Galileoscope is peak minimalism and an excellent design.

 

Before I got the Galileoscope, my main minimalist telescope was the FirstScope, which still requires the eyepiece case to come out, still requires a table and chair (unless I set it up on my car hood for quick peeks), and can't do planets.

 

When I want to look very high, the Galileoscope's lack of diagonal means I do need a chair. I extend the tripod as high as it goes and sit directly under it, with my legs between the tripod. Did that to look at the Mars/Moon conjunction last month.

 

jPRuCtf.png


Edited by Gregrox, 02 November 2020 - 09:03 AM.

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#20 Mattimac

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 09:31 AM

8mm pupils, 12/20 vision, Bortle 1 skies on the Dodson Trail in Big Bend.  Unfortunately it also means a 50 lb. pack since you have to carry your water!



#21 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 01:57 PM

 In theory, in a darker sky, a 50mm scope can see every Messier object.

That's not theory, it's a fact. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#22 Gregrox

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 10:35 PM

That's not theory, it's a fact. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

theory is fact, when isolated of with all of the little details that make things go wrong in practice. For example, observer skill and eyesight, the actual level of light pollution, transparency, weather, the magnification/fov range of the scope etc. More importantly, it's something that I have never done nor seen for myself claims of it having actually been done, so better to err on the side of caution than be misinformative.



#23 luxo II

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 03:43 AM

It is indeed fact, as I alluded, lie on the ground and look up with no more than an 8x50mm finder. At a decently dark site with care you will spot all the messier objects.

 

Once you get started it's surprisingly easy and you'll scoop a Messier marathon fast, even the GOTO types will be struggling to keep up.


Edited by luxo II, 03 November 2020 - 04:59 AM.

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#24 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 07:33 AM

Somewhere between my eyes alone and a 10x50 binocular. watching.gif

I have a similar set-up that I use occasionally - my eyes and 7x50 binos.



#25 calypsob

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:20 PM

my minimalist imaging rig is a dslr on a ballhead with a  vixen saddle on an eq mount.  I dont even do goto's, just point the ballhead and start tracking. I manually dither and run an internal intervalometer. I have not done this in a while but it sure was easy. 




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