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Ultimate Night Vision Kit in Pictures

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 10:44 AM

OK folks. I decided to do this effort because of all the questions we've gotten. I will emphasize you don't need to get this much stuff!

While I have a Mod3, so that provides a lot of flexibility, you can still do a lot with just afocal. It's just a bit different. In afocal you change eyepieces to get higher or lower magnifications.

Pro Tip: using your glasses when observing greatly tightens up the image for me. It's actually quite dramatic. I don't use my glasses when observing through eyepieces for visual. But for NV I use glasses. There is a ton of eye relief so that's no issue.

If you have any questions about a specific picture, let us know in the comments below and we can address the picture by itself.

Click on the picture for a larger view of it.

Below is my case that I have all my NV stuff in:
20220421 085225

Filters and more filters! Actually, all you would normally need is a HA filter and a long pass filter depending on your light pollution level. It can be useful to be able to do 2 inch and 1.25 inch. 1.25 inch is significantly cheaper. 12nm HA can be useful in certain situations such as fainter objects. It's not as detailed as some of the more narrow filters. There honestly isn't a ton of difference in the different filters in my opinion. My 8nm is about the same as the 6nm. Going from 12nm to 3.5 you'll see a difference in detail, but it's not like anything too crazy.

Long pass filters are very helpful in heavy light pollution. I love the 685nm for the Milky Way at 1x. Try unfiltered and long pass filters for objects.
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This guide scope cannot be used with afocal, but maybe some can get afocal to work for some situations. This is prime focus. This provides something like 7x I believe. Good for very wide field views.
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All together below. You adjust the focus by sliding the Mod3 in and out. It's not ideal, but it works good enough. Kind of awkward.
20220421 090056


Below is how you would use a mod3 with a camera lens. This method I decided to use to keep things simple. But putting the filter inside the Nikon cmount adapter is another method. Kind of difficult to engineer. I did it with hot glue and an old color filter taken apart. I could only use low profile filters in that situation. In the below setup, you may have some stray light issues. A dew shield is a must and this one has one built in. Slick. I get a little tired hand holding this setup. Keep that in mind when picking camera lenses. Shutter control mandatory to keep the shutter open. It's a feature on some cmount camera lens adapters.
20220421 090346


All put together below...
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Afocal mode using 1.25 inch. Because I have an Envis lens, I can do afocal just like if I had a PVS-14. It's the same setup really when all put together. For afocal, 40mm provides .7 reduction. A 27mm eyepiece should be native focal length. Something like a 13mm would be like a 2x barlow. I've not used many eyepieces in afocal, but if you have a PVS-14 you have no choice but to do afocal. 1.25 inch mode is much cheaper all the way around. Afocal does provide some messy edges of the view because of the curvature of the Envis lens (guessing). But it's still good enough to me. I prefer prime focus when not using heavy reduction, but afocal is fine also in my opinion.
20220421 091439


Below is the afocal stack in my 10 inch dob. You may have to put in a small extension tube or just pull things out a little. Afocal is good for scopes with limited inward travel. Not great for scopes with a lot of inward travel.
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This is the 67mm Televue setup below. Pretty crazy but it does work quite well providing a .4 reduction. So brighter images and smaller images. You may need to rebalance the scope when using it (very likely).
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Below just shows the 67mm lens screwed into the 55 plossl.
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Below is the cap screwed back on top of the 67mm lens. Ready to go now for 2 inch afocal work.
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Very tall stack. I like using this setup in refractors. But it works fine in the 10 inch dob. Personally I see no reason to use the Paracorr with this setup. Just doesn't seem necessary and it's already pretty crazy a stack.
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1x observing below if you have 2inch filters and the TNVC adapters. Stray light can be something to consider. I usually use my hands to shield the light. My neighborhood has a ton of stray light.
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Below the 1x 2 inch all together
20220421 092502


1.25 inch 1x observing. There could be other adapters, but this one works well. Do not screw all these on tight...just have them mostly connected. Otherwise you could have trouble getting them apart.
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Below is the adapter on the filter...pretty simple.
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Below 1x observing all together. Stray light always possible. HA filtered for nebulas and 685nm for everything else.
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Personally, I don't like using the filter wheel. It is handy for testing filters and unfiltered on objects. But it's more effort than I like to do. And stray light gets into this wheel so I have to put a towel over it. However, for prime focus in the 6 inch F4, this does provide a nice view. But I can't reduce the image so it's operating at F4. I'm probably going to sell all of this and my 6 inch F4 scope at some point.
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Below is all together with the filter wheel.
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In the scope below...stray light issues so put a towel over it.
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OK. Here is some prime focus. Very simple and lightweight and short stack. Good for any telescope. When using prime focus, you really change telescopes to get different magnification rather than changing the eyepiece. Sure, you can barlow lens or use the .7 reducer...but I like using difference scopes. 102mm F5 refractor gives wide field views and pretty fast. 8 inch SCT super zoomed in for globulars.
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In the scope below. Any scope will probably work for this setup.
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.7 Antares setup below. This requires a bit of inward travel, but most scopes should do OK if they have some decent inward travel. Not every scope will work though. Sorry...filter actually goes into the adatpter
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Filter inserted into the adapter. It's a little funny getting filters in and out of that..but it works good enough.
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Ok...so this is not inserted all the way tight. Unless you modify your Mod3, it doesn't fully tighten. I just leave it a bit loose and use it as you can see below. The gain adjustment is in the way a bit. I didn't find it necessary to adjust anything...it's just slightly loose when in use.
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Below the .7 setup seen in a telescope. Again, depends on the scope if this will come to focus.
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Here below we are doing simple unfiltered work. Put a filter on it if you want to. This will work in any telescope that uses a diagonal. The diagonal should be NOT a dielectric because those filtered out certain light. This Baader BBHS works good. This is prime focus
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Prime focus inserted in the scope below. Looks good, light weight. Great for Globulars!
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Below we're just adding a 2x barlow to zoom in a little. I find a 3x barlow is too much. But the 2x works well.
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In the scope...not bad and usually I don't need to rebalance.
20220421 094901

Edited by GOLGO13, 21 April 2022 - 01:18 PM.

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#2 sunrag

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 11:07 AM

Wow! This is super helpful, Thanks!

#3 John Vogt

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 11:47 AM

Simply superb!

No explanation needed; this says it all.

 

This should be made a sticky!


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#4 Second Time Around

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 11:52 AM

To go in the Best of NV thread?

#5 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 11:59 AM

To go in the Best of NV thread?

Hopefully...I'm tired now!

 

I added comments to each photo


Edited by GOLGO13, 21 April 2022 - 12:00 PM.

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#6 John Vogt

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 12:13 PM

This is so concise and complete I feel it should stand on its own.

No searching various threads needed to find "How do I" or " What X,Y,Z, do I need?"

One stop shopping at its best! waytogo.gif


Edited by John Vogt, 21 April 2022 - 12:16 PM.


#7 Joko

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 01:44 PM

Hopefully...I'm tired now!

 

I added comments to each photo

Good job, have a rest and take care smile.gif


Edited by Joko, 21 April 2022 - 01:47 PM.


#8 bobhen

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 01:47 PM

Nice post.

 

I’ll add my case/bag. I only do prime focus NV observing.

 

The bag contains…
1)  A 50mm repurposed guide scope
2) The NVD Micro Image Intensifier
3) 2 filters: A Baader 1.25” 685 Pass and a 1.25" 6nm Astronomik Ha
4) Extra batteries. Which I change once per year, if I need to or not
Not seen but in the front pocket…
5) A 2” 2x Barlow
6) A 2” .7 reducer
7) A 1.25” to 2” diagonal adapter

 

I use my glasses as well. Glasses clean up astigmatism. And with Prime observing, there is also plenty of ER.

 

Images are of the NV bag and the NVD Micro intensifier in a 2” diagonal.  Notice the shorter optical stack when using Prime focus.

 

Bob

 

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#9 finchie

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 03:37 PM

This is an awesome thread. Thank you for all the pictures, it really breaks down what I was trying to visualize.

 

You mentioned the guide scope cannot be used for afocal. Does this mean it simply wont work or its just going be to flipped? I actually have this setup coming in the mail to try with my afocal setup, so hopefully it works with the only problem being the odd image.



#10 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 04:30 PM

This is an awesome thread. Thank you for all the pictures, it really breaks down what I was trying to visualize.

You mentioned the guide scope cannot be used for afocal. Does this mean it simply wont work or its just going be to flipped? I actually have this setup coming in the mail to try with my afocal setup, so hopefully it works with the only problem being the odd image.


When I tried it I couldn't get it to focus. Maybe there's a way though. Not sure if anyone has found a way.

#11 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2022 - 04:39 PM

Another tip, I always take my battery out when storing the unit. No reason to take a chance leaving it on accidently.

#12 GOLGO13

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Posted 22 April 2022 - 10:39 AM

From other threads it appears that for afocal, using a 27mm (such as the 27 Pan) would provide native focal ratio (no reduction or increase). Using something like a 18 or 13mm Delite would provide a nice increase in focal ratio if you wanted to zoom in a bit.

 

So my opinion is for afocal you just would want to get a few eyepieces to give you a nice range of capability. The 67mm setup is certainly a useful capability that cannot really be achieved using prime focus (.4 reduction). 27pan for native to your telescope. And something else to bump it up for zooming in on small objects like globulars, small planetary nebulas, etc. Play around with unfiltered in these cases. For my 8 inch SCT I find unfiltered works best.

 

Only downside here is having to change out the eyepieces in the optical setup.



#13 scoale

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 10:43 AM

Golgo13, you have provided a tremendous service to the community.  You have nicely summarized learnings that took me hours and hours of reading through countless threads to accumulate.  And pictures really are worth a thousand words.



#14 25585

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 12:25 PM

I have been looking into filter prices, 2"  bombdrop.gif faint.gif Eyecrazy.gif gaah.gif help.gif ranting.gif tonofbricks.gif axe.gif



#15 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 12:31 PM

I have been looking into filter prices, 2" bombdrop.giffaint.gifEyecrazy.gifgaah.gifhelp.gifranting.giftonofbricks.gifaxe.gif


Depends on brand. Just got the Antila 4.5nm for $290 US. HA filters are a bit pricey in general.

#16 slavicek

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 02:13 PM

Nice. Yes it should be pinned. All the time people ask the same questions, questions which your post answers. waytogo.gif



#17 StarAlert

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Posted 23 April 2022 - 07:24 PM

Golgo13, you have provided a tremendous service to the community.  You have nicely summarized learnings that took me hours and hours of reading through countless threads to accumulate.  And pictures really are worth a thousand words.

And very useful for the functional illiterates. 
 



#18 Deadlake

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Posted 24 April 2022 - 01:03 AM

I have been looking into filter prices, 2"  bombdrop.gif faint.gif Eyecrazy.gif gaah.gif help.gif ranting.gif tonofbricks.gif axe.gif

In the end I cried once and got the Chroma 2”. Now I just use this one filter, the narrowest band H-Alpha filter…

The main reason is observation and spectroscope results point to Antlia not being as advertised, see:

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry11775727

This is the thread where the Antlia is measured as not as expected:
 

https://www.cloudyni...on-measurement/
 


Edited by Deadlake, 24 April 2022 - 11:31 AM.

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#19 GOLGO13

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Posted 24 April 2022 - 09:40 PM

In the end I cried once and got the Chroma 2”. Now I just use this one filter, the narrowest band H-Alpha filter…

The main reason is observation and spectroscope results point to Antlia not being as advertised, see:

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry11775727

This is the thread where the Antlia is measured as not as expected:
 

https://www.cloudyni...on-measurement/
 

Sounds like the dude doing the testing had some issues and not the filter. 

 

That being said, Chroma are the best, just insanely expensive in the 2 inch format. 



#20 Deadlake

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Posted 24 April 2022 - 10:40 PM

Sounds like the dude doing the testing had some issues and not the filter. 

 

That being said, Chroma are the best, just insanely expensive in the 2 inch format. 

I think there is a lot of noise around Antlia filters not performing as expected, switching to Chroma fixes this but the why still needs to be explained.



#21 RamStrocsop

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Posted 25 April 2022 - 11:53 AM

Thank you for the detailed post, GOLGO13.

Awesome thread --> Best of NV !!


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#22 25585

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Posted 26 April 2022 - 12:12 PM

Sounds like the dude doing the testing had some issues and not the filter. 

 

That being said, Chroma are the best, just insanely expensive in the 2 inch format. 

Who makes Chroma, & where?



#23 GeezerGazer

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Posted 26 April 2022 - 12:17 PM

Really nice work Golgo!  


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#24 GOLGO13

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Posted 26 April 2022 - 12:32 PM

Who makes Chroma, & where?

Appears to be a U.S company. But not sure if they manufacture them all there. They appear to have locations in US, Germany, Japan, China.


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#25 slavicek

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Posted 26 April 2022 - 04:32 PM

Who makes Chroma, & where?

It's a small company in Vermont, US. Google it.


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