I have a Televue NP101is which up till now has been used exclusively on a GEM for stargazing. I am thinking about using it for terrestrial applications while on car travel, such as for scenery or (near car) bird watching on the road side. I am thinking of setting up a Alt-Az mount on heavy-duty photographic tripod (such as Gitzo series 5 tripod that only weighs 6-7 Lbs but can carry 88Lbs of equipment). How long does it take to set up Televue Gibraltar HD5 or HD4, or Stellavue M2C onto a photographic tripod if I have to remove a ballhead first, then put on the telescope, putting in eyepiece, and balancing it? Can the process be realistically be completed in 3-5 minutes? Do these two types of Alt-Az mount work well on carbon fiber photographic tripod?
I am think of more like stopping the car on road side at a scenery spot, quickly set up the telescope, viewing and resting for 10-15 minutes, then move on to the next location. In such an operation mode, if it takes 10 minutes to set up the equipment, it's just not going to happen unless I am traveling solo. Co-travellers typically would not have the patience to wait for someone to set up a telescope in 10 minutes, and do so repeatedly at each location. So I want to find an equipment configuration that make is fast enough to be practical. For that purpose, I am even thinking about a heavy-duty photographic gimbal mount, some of those can be as light as 2.4Lbs but can handle 50Lbs of equipment, so can live on the tripod for other tasks such as photography or birding with binoculars, or short distance hiking, and perhaps save 2 minutes of removing a photographic tripod head to mount a more astronomically oriented Alt-Az mount for terrestrial view. I already posted the question of what's wrong with using photographic gimbal head on telescope in the "Mount" forum. The question more suited for this "Refractor" forum is how to best configure a 4" APO refractor for quick and casual road side scenery views. Are there some general reasons why people sticks to spotting scope for terrestrial applications instead of using a APO refractor they might already have? FOV-wise, nothing can beat a Televue NP101is, with a 31mm Nagler will give 4.5 degree FOV at 17.5x, with a 21mm Ethos will give a 4 degree FOV at 25x. Such a FOV would be unheard of with spotting scope. So my goal is to understand what are the hurdles to make it practical for casual terrestrial use.
Edited by Spectrum805, 27 February 2021 - 04:31 PM.