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Just another advice on mounts...

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#1 chenesis

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 10:22 AM

Hi there, 

I'm totally new to astronomy, I mostly look at the sky occasionally and with binoculars (7x, 12x and 15x);

I bought some nice books and I'm trying to figure out how to start. 

Sooner or later I'll grab a telescope, so I'm gathering as much informations as possible in order to pull the right trigger when the moment will come!

My idea was to order a bundle but most of them come with eq mounts (often poor quality ones), so I'm steering toward the separed OTA / mount option.

 

Now the problem is that I would like to use the mount for both the telescope and my big binoculars, and i wonder if this forces me to get an AZ mount.

 

Considering a budget under 1000 euro for both the tube and mount, could you give me some advice for a decent mount?

 

Many thanks in advance :)

Cheers from Italy

Valerio

 

 


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#2 sevenofnine

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 10:54 AM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif

 

All kinds of astronomy equipment including mounts is thoroughly explained in "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide 4th ed." by T. Dickinson and A. Dyer. The kind of mount varies a lot depending on the equipment put on it. Some telescopes like Dobsonian reflectors come with very good mounts. Larger binoculars are often mounted on a video camera type tripod or a parallelogram mount. These are not good for telescopes. So, all of the possibilities are examined in this guide book. Best of luck to you! borg.gif


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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 10:54 AM

Not sure I would try to use same mount for telescope and binoculars. Binoculars are for looking straight. Telescope is for looking up. Binoculars are for viewing straight through. Telescopes you view at an angle. Typically you want to mount binoculars very high because you are looking straight through and normally towards the horizon. Telescope you mount lower because you are looking at an angle and looking up. A mount tall enough to mount binoculars at head height and sturdy enough to hold a telescope would be substantial.

Not saying it couldn’t work. Maybe you mount binoculars lower and view seated or something. But I don’t typically see people using the same mount for binoculars and telescope. Yes you would be restricted to Alt Az.
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#4 MikiBee

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 11:57 AM

I would also focus only on the telescope package at this time. You mentioned your budget which is good, hope you explored many different options out there:

 

1) OTA Design (refractor, reflector, catadioptric)

2) Mount type (AZ, EQ, AZ/EQ combo, AZ + wedge)

3) Usage (visual, astrophotography, both), if visual what kind of objects

4) Tracking Mode (fully manual, tracking only, fully computerized GoTo etc.)

5) Aperture size - endless options there

 

While many folks buy separate components sometimes you can get a better deal if you buy a combo (for example AZGTi + SkyMax 127 is cheaper as a combo than when individually purchased).


Edited by MikiBee, 03 April 2024 - 12:00 PM.

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#5 Freezout

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 02:51 PM

I do not think you will find something satisfying doing and telescope and binoculars mount. As said, they have different requirements.

 

I would add something about binoculars: straight-through binoculars are not compatible with normal tripods/mounts without creating very fast pain in the neck. I tried every position you could imagine, including mounting upside down the binoculars and laying on the ground, etc. It's never comfortable. A monopod can be used to support them when not going up too much, or eventually a tripod used as bipod when sitting on the ground. But for looking up, mounted straight-through binoculars are not the tool. They have to be hand-held with some support for the arms, or with a parallelogram mount (I never used that monster).

 

It's very relevant to buy separately OTA and mount, so I would advise you to focus on the telescope side. Advices would depend on your personal situation on which you should provide more info. 

in what country are you located

What is your level of light pollution at home

Do you intend to move your telescope a lot (ex: just observing from your garden, or moving to a dark site every time)

Do you have a particular interest (but this can change fast)

Do you have physical constraints

etc


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#6 chenesis

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 03:45 PM

Wow a lot of info here!
First, thank you all for your precious experience and suggestions.
Si you suggest to split binos from the trlescope. The fact Is that a couple of my big binos (both being speciphically designed for astro observation) are too big to be handheld, and I need a sturdier tripod (espedially for the 25x).
Sadly, a good stable photo tripod costs about the same as a tele mount...
Well, moving on...
I live in a very polluted Urban area, most observations Will occour here; but once a month or so I can reach a mountain pass nearby at about 1600mt above sea level with a good level 2/3 bortle sky.
I have no precise preferences, I like to see clusters, split some double, planets and Moon would be welcome too...
Maybe a small maksutov (with a reducer) could be a versatile starting point.
Photography wise, yes i'd like to try, but not necessarily with DSOs so maybe an accurate tracking Isn't a priority right now...
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#7 Inkie

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 03:48 PM

I think you'd be further ahead to purchase a bundle with your budget.  And, if you'd rather have a decent and reliable system, at the budget you specify it would have to include eyepieces and maybe a Barlow.  You would then purchase binoculars and/or better eyepieces in time.

 

A good telescope on a poor mount is not going to be either fun or useful. You can get along with a poor telescope and a better mount, though.. Again, in time you can always improve your optical tube.  Generally, in our hobby, it is the mount that sours us.  If they're flimsy, poorly engineered, or of cheap materials, they'll give you no end of frustration and disappointment.  So for me, and for many reading along, the mount really is key.  Unfortunately, such a mount is unlikely to be useful for binoculars, as stated earlier by SeattleScott. 

 

It sounds like you already have the binoculars.  If so, just purchase a suitable tripod for photography and get an adapter for the pan head.  A Manfrotto might be good.


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#8 Freezout

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 03:32 AM

Reducers for Maksutovs are not easy to find. While there are SCTs designs with fit for purpose reducers on the market.

 

But even in a Mak, without reducer, 99% of DSOs will fit. If you have a good red dot finder coupled with a RACI finder, you will find everything visible within the reach of your aperture and light pollution.

 

I advise not to spend money in go-to.

 

For the base, a 5 inches Mak. That:

https://www.astronom...e.html?___SID=U

+ a RACI. A RACI can be coupled with a red dot finder with a dual bracket mount, or you just buy an additional finder base on aliexpress and you glue it to the telescope (well aligned).

  

For the mount, buy second hand something that can take 8kgs. Or this

https://www.svbony.c...elescope-mount/

On a heavy duty photo tripod or Berlebach mount to keep it light. An EQ 3 mount would also be enough probably.

 

Or take a dobson 6 inches, if you can put your telescope close from your car in your mountain.

Or a used SCT 5 or 6 inches.

 

One alert on Mak 6 inches, it's heavy! More than a SCT of same aperture!

 

I personally never would give myself the hassle of 25x binoculars to mount on a tripod, if I have to do that then I would mount a telescope, at least you have more aperture and no neck pain.     


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#9 3C286

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 02:17 PM

Hi Valerio

 

As already suggested, I agree that it's best to separate the mount for the binoculars from the telescope because they're not really compatible.

 

Are you intending to use your binoculars with a tripod adapter? I find it a bit awkward looking up high through mounted binoculars but lots of people use it that way. You best option might be to get one of the big Manfrotto tripods (028, 475, 075, etc.) which you should be able to get second hand for €50-€150. This guy's tried them all for binoculars:

 

https://www.cloudyni...frotto-madness/

 

For mounts for your binoculars, you will probably get better advice on the Binoculars forum.

 

That leaves you €850+ for a telescope waytogo.gif

 

Tak



#10 JohnTMN

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 01:16 AM

Now the problem is that I would like to use the mount for both the telescope and my big binoculars, and i wonder if this forces me to get an AZ mount.

Good question. Can I help?

The matter of "how" equipment's are attached to a tripod or base is/are easily resolved with basic after-market adapters that are inexpensive.

So EQ vs AZ is mute as it applies to a mount.

It's more about how you want to use your equipment. AZ is point and look, EQ is find and track.

There is a learning curve.

Again, good question,, keep looking here, it's fountain of information. waytogo.gif



#11 Freezout

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 02:04 AM

Good question. Can I help?
The matter of "how" equipment's are attached to a tripod or base is/are easily resolved with basic after-market adapters that are inexpensive.
So EQ vs AZ is mute as it applies to a mount.
It's more about how you want to use your equipment. AZ is point and look, EQ is find and track.
There is a learning curve.
Again, good question,, keep looking here, it's fountain of information. waytogo.gif


You can point, find, look and track with both. The question is more, are you ready to have the additional north alignment phase and additional counterweight to carry, for the bonus of tracking with only one axis (and eventually make it effortless with a motor)?

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 05:11 AM

The matter of "how" equipment's are attached to a tripod or base is/are easily resolved with basic after-market adapters that are inexpensive.
So EQ vs AZ is ((moot)) as it applies to a mount.


In my experience that's often not true. First of all, many if not most mounts are sold bundled with tripods, and you typically save a lot of money by using them that way rather than buying them separately.

Second, tripods come with lots of different attachments at the top -- for good reason. There are quite a lot of alt-az mounts that are designed to mate with the standard 3/8-inch stud on a photo tripod, but very few EQ mounts that can do the same. Which is for the very good reason that EQ mounts place more strain on the tripod than equivalent alt-az mounts do. In most cases. There are always exceptions.



#13 radiofm74

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 05:32 AM

Ciao Valerio, benvenuto su Cloudy Nights!

 

I think the "bino" issue is settled – one mount for both, no can do – so I'll focus on the other issue.

 

1) I'm not sure that a Mak would be your best bet, or a SCT, unless you're buying GoTo (which I also do not advise as your first step). To find the objects, a wider field will come in handy. A newtonian or a refractor seem to me to be a better choice: with a newt you could get more aperture, and a 6-inch, f/5 newtonian is a great all-rounder and first instrument. With a refractor you'd probably be going for a 3-inch to 5-inch aperture, with an Ed-100 (4") being perhaps the sweet spot… less aperture, but such great ease of use, still a lot to see, and if you buy quality you'll be rewarded with very pleasing star, clusters and lunar images. 

 

2) The mount: I also like alt-az, but frankly I do have a preference for EQ mounts because of the convenience of tracking, and because I find that they make star-hopping a whole lot easier. Set-up is a few minutes longer the first times you use one, and there is a very small learning curve. All well worth it IMHO. Besides, cheap EQ mount does not mean "bad EQ mount". If you're reasonable with the tube and accessories, a humble Celestron CG-4 can be quite solid, accept a little tracking motor later on (oh the beauty of an RA motor…), and still be pretty easy to load and move for your forays to a dark site. 

 

3) Relatedly: Dob or tripod? This depends entirely from where you observe in my view. I do most of my observing from an urban balcony, with a rail to clear. A tripod was basically a necessity. YMMV.

 

4) Kit or separate tube/mount? There is no universally valid answer because there are good kits and bad kits. Telescopicwatch.com is a good site. My experience has been with a Celestron OMNI 150 kit (a 6", f/5 newtonian on a CG-4 mount) and I've been very happy with it indeed. I see kits of this kind go for very little money all the time on the Italian marketplace (astrosell.it), including at times lovely and venerable Vixen reflectors on Grand Polaris mounts that would be useful to me like a hole in the head, but still I'm tempted to snatch up ;D

 

Ok, this is already Too Much Information ;D If you'd like Italy-specific advice on sites and the market do not hesitate to PM me!



#14 chenesis

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 06:01 AM

Well you guys are giving me a whole bunch of informations here. I'm considering all your inputs, let me go deeper for a moment;

 

I'm into binoculars mainly because I prefer the binocular view, it's more relaxing, it give me more details and a higher level of immersion. 

Problem is, with my actual photo tripod i barely can hold still my 2.5kg 15x70, so I figured out that I need a more sturdy mount, in case I get a 20/25x bino or even more one of those with interchangeable oculars, which goes up to 4kgs and more.

Furthermore, it's not a stability issue only, when you approach those mag levels above 20x the FOV is considerably small and you benefit from a micrometric (or at least a very, very precise one) head that let you move into your scene smoothly.

 

A pretty cheap AZ mount checks all the marks, is sturdy enough and allows you to move precisely on 2 axis, which I think would be a real benefit for long distance observation both in night and daytime.

 

My initial question was mainly about the convenience of having a single mount to carry around, but you raised some solid points here (the ergonomic disadvantage of a straight big bino mounted like a telescope is a strong point and I'm considering it).

 

In the meantime, I'm scanning the market and found some AZ mounts that would work well with a telescope only i think, main reason is the dovetail plate is placed sideways respect the optical tube which is common for telescopes but not for usually below-mounted binos (proper L brackets to fix this could exist but I'm unaware of it). An example, the aforementioned Twilight I AZ mount.

 

I've also found mounts that will fit better, like the Skytee 2, which I think could hold both a telescope and a bino simultaneously, having 2 plates.

 

Still, the separate bino and telescope mount is a good advice and maybe more modular.

 

A final word on EQ; currently I'm not into astrophotography so much that I need an accurate tracking for stacking very long exposures. I also think that for that kind of stuff it probably would be advisable to get a good motorized mount.

 

Let me thank you again for your help, btw. 

And please forgive my bad english smile.gif

 

V


Edited by chenesis, 06 April 2024 - 06:28 AM.

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#15 Freezout

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 06:58 AM

If you love binocular views, you can check binocular telescopes. By selling your big binoculars maybe you can reach budget. Or you can search secondhand.
They exist in plenty of sizes, all very tempting

https://www.teleskop...h-eyepieces-274

Edited by Freezout, 06 April 2024 - 07:01 AM.

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#16 chenesis

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 09:30 AM

Yes, those are attrattive stuff really

#17 radiofm74

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 10:05 AM

Well you guys are giving me a whole bunch of informations here. I'm considering all your inputs, let me go deeper for a moment;

 

I'm into binoculars mainly because I prefer the binocular view, it's more relaxing, it give me more details and a higher level of immersion. 

Problem is, with my actual photo tripod i barely can hold still my 2.5kg 15x70, so I figured out that I need a more sturdy mount, in case I get a 20/25x bino or even more one of those with interchangeable oculars, which goes up to 4kgs and more.

Furthermore, it's not a stability issue only, when you approach those mag levels above 20x the FOV is considerably small and you benefit from a micrometric (or at least a very, very precise one) head that let you move into your scene smoothly.

 

A pretty cheap AZ mount checks all the marks, is sturdy enough and allows you to move precisely on 2 axis, which I think would be a real benefit for long distance observation both in night and daytime.

 

My initial question was mainly about the convenience of having a single mount to carry around, but you raised some solid points here (the ergonomic disadvantage of a straight big bino mounted like a telescope is a strong point and I'm considering it).

 

In the meantime, I'm scanning the market and found some AZ mounts that would work well with a telescope only i think, main reason is the dovetail plate is placed sideways respect the optical tube which is common for telescopes but not for usually below-mounted binos (proper L brackets to fix this could exist but I'm unaware of it). An example, the aforementioned Twilight I AZ mount.

 

I've also found mounts that will fit better, like the Skytee 2, which I think could hold both a telescope and a bino simultaneously, having 2 plates.

 

Still, the separate bino and telescope mount is a good advice and maybe more modular.

 

A final word on EQ; currently I'm not into astrophotography so much that I need an accurate tracking for stacking very long exposures. I also think that for that kind of stuff it probably would be advisable to get a good motorized mount.

 

Let me thank you again for your help, btw. 

And please forgive my bad english smile.gif

 

V

Just a word on EQ mount tracking. Sure, a sturdy motorised EQ platform is a must for imaging.  

 

But it's a big plus also for observation, especially at high magnification. A simple RA motor lets you have your object in the center of the FoV whatever you do (sketching, showing the view to somebody else, going back in for that dratted eyepiece you forgot in the living room…). It lets you observe without constantly having to touch your rig, minimising vibration. It lets you use without any disadvantage eyepieces whose narrow FoV would require you to constantly nudge your scope. It's the zen-est thing in the observing world. Even without a motor, the ability of "catching up" by simply turning a knob without having to look up your object again is very nice indeed. 

 

Set-up with an EQ mount for observing is literally zero fuss once you've learned to locate Polaris. Transportation is only marginally more complicated than with an alt-az mount: yep, you need counterweights… but below a certain tube dimension they can be small, and past that dimension you need them for an alt-az too.

 

Upshot: I do have a wonderful little alt-az, and I use it only when portability is at an absolute premium. Otherwise, I'll always reach for my EQs

 

YMMV of course ;D

 

PS: having had mounted binos and quite a few astronomical mounts, I keep thinking that buying a telescope mount with binos in mind is a losing proposition. You'll be observing in the most awkward positions imaginable. My advice would be to look for an astro-mount for a telescope, and a parallelogram mount (+ photo tripod) for your binos. There was a very light and cheap mount, now discontinued, the "Parabino light". You might want to look it up on the used market.


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#18 JohnTMN

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 12:42 AM

In my experience that's often not true. First of all, many if not most mounts are sold bundled with tripods, and you typically save a lot of money by using them that way rather than buying them separately.

Your right, but the OP hasn't shared with us what mount he has (as dated).

Confusion of mount systems are noted. Adaptations to any OTA for mounting are usually available.

I do understand that a 1980's Galieo EQ clamp won't fit a vixen dove,,(?)


Edited by JohnTMN, 07 April 2024 - 12:44 AM.


#19 3C286

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 04:40 AM

Hi Valerio

 

I live in a very polluted Urban area, most observations Will occour here; but once a month or so I can reach a mountain pass nearby at about 1600mt above sea level with a good level 2/3 bortle sky.
I have no precise preferences, I like to see clusters, split some double, planets and Moon would be welcome too...
Maybe a small maksutov (with a reducer) could be a versatile starting point.
Photography wise, yes i'd like to try, but not necessarily with DSOs so maybe an accurate tracking Isn't a priority right now...

1) You say that you live in a very light polluted urban area. So that we can get a quantitative impression of your level of light pollution, can you tell us what the sky brightness in mag/arcsec2 from this site? It might not be a lost cause?

https://djlorenz.git...erlay/dark.html

 

2) From your home, would you be observing from a garden or would you need to carry your telescope to a park or clearing nearby?

 

I'm into binoculars mainly because I prefer the binocular view, it's more relaxing, it give me more details and a higher level of immersion. 

Problem is, with my actual photo tripod i barely can hold still my 2.5kg 15x70, so I figured out that I need a more sturdy mount, in case I get a 20/25x bino or even more one of those with interchangeable oculars, which goes up to 4kgs and more.

Furthermore, it's not a stability issue only, when you approach those mag levels above 20x the FOV is considerably small and you benefit from a micrometric (or at least a very, very precise one) head that let you move into your scene smoothly.

 

...

 

In the meantime, I'm scanning the market and found some AZ mounts that would work well with a telescope only i think, main reason is the dovetail plate is placed sideways respect the optical tube which is common for telescopes but not for usually below-mounted binos (proper L brackets to fix this could exist but I'm unaware of it). An example, the aforementioned Twilight I AZ mount.

 

I've also found mounts that will fit better, like the Skytee 2, which I think could hold both a telescope and a bino simultaneously, having 2 plates.

3) Which photo tripod are you using? I use the Manfrotto 028 and 075 studio tripods I previously mentioned with my 4" refractor (with a Vixen Porta head) and they are pretty sturdy. The scope with everything probably weighs something like 6kg so these big photo tripods will be fine for your binoculars. The tripods heads are another matter...

 

4) I understand that you can't move your binoculars smoothly on your photo tripod. Is it vibration or stiction? Just a warning: Used the Manfrotto studio tripods I mentioned often come with old stiff heads. You may need to clean and re-grease them or get a better head. If you go to the binocular forum, you'll see people using Manfrotto video heads, etc. A long handle can also help to move the head smoothly and more accurately -- it's something you could rig up easily to see if it helps. It's probably best to put your questions about tripods for binoculars in Binoculars forum, maybe with photos of your current set up?

 

5) It's probably best to choose the scope first and then decide on the mount? Or get a combo deal as Tony Flanders suggests. Are you set on a Mak or open to other ideas?

 

6) I'm not sure it'll be very comfortable dual mounting a telescope (which you view 'down' via a diagonal) and binoculars (which you look straight through). I previously looked into getting a SkyTee 2 for dual mounting but decided against it because there's just a single screw on the 'auxiliary' side that holds the scope from spinning round the axis and crashing into the tripod legs... See the link below. Should be good for single-mounting though. I don't know if you've seen a SkyTee 2 in real life but it's bigger than it looks in the photos.

https://stargazerslo...skytee-2-mount/

 

 

Hope that helps? Good luck in your search!

Tak


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#20 chenesis

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 12:24 PM

Hi Tak, thanks for yout reply, I'll try to answer step by step

 

Hi Valerio

 

1) You say that you live in a very light polluted urban area. So that we can get a quantitative impression of your level of light pollution, can you tell us what the sky brightness in mag/arcsec2 from this site? It might not be a lost cause?

https://djlorenz.git...erlay/dark.html

 

According to the website it seems that I live in the worst area in the world for looking up... Veeery god :D I't about 18.2 mag/arcsec2 from my home. I can occasionally reach a spot that scores 21.

 

2) From your home, would you be observing from a garden or would you need to carry your telescope to a park or clearing nearby?

I would observe from my home, I've a big terrace and I can clearly see from SSO to NNE without buildings around me (I'm on a high floor).

 

3) Which photo tripod are you using? I use the Manfrotto 028 and 075 studio tripods I previously mentioned with my 4" refractor (with a Vixen Porta head) and they are pretty sturdy. The scope with everything probably weighs something like 6kg so these big photo tripods will be fine for your binoculars. The tripods heads are another matter...

 

4) I understand that you can't move your binoculars smoothly on your photo tripod. Is it vibration or stiction? Just a warning: Used the Manfrotto studio tripods I mentioned often come with old stiff heads. You may need to clean and re-grease them or get a better head. If you go to the binocular forum, you'll see people using Manfrotto video heads, etc. A long handle can also help to move the head smoothly and more accurately -- it's something you could rig up easily to see if it helps. It's probably best to put your questions about tripods for binoculars in Binoculars forum, maybe with photos of your current set up?

I'm using a Benro rated for 5kg, with a ball head sold with it. The problem is not only the tripod (which btw fully extended at 170cm generates a lot of vibrations), but the head too. It's a pita to loosen and tighten again every minute to reframe, and even when you center the object, there's no hope it will stay precisely pointed 'cause the weight of the binoculars makes it slowly fall down by half a degree or more. That's the reason I'd like to use a head with guided movements

 

5) It's probably best to choose the scope first and then decide on the mount? Or get a combo deal as Tony Flanders suggests. Are you set on a Mak or open to other ideas?

I'm open to any ideas as long as it keep down the weight and size :-D
That's the main reason why I've considere a mak, but could be also a schmidt or a small refractor. Furthermore, I would move the tele by car every now and then and I suspect that medium sized newtonians or dobsons' mirrors wouldn't like that. And I cannot properly re-collimate :-

 

6) I'm not sure it'll be very comfortable dual mounting a telescope (which you view 'down' via a diagonal) and binoculars (which you look straight through). I previously looked into getting a SkyTee 2 for dual mounting but decided against it because there's just a single screw on the 'auxiliary' side that holds the scope from spinning round the axis and crashing into the tripod legs... See the link below. Should be good for single-mounting though. I don't know if you've seen a SkyTee 2 in real life but it's bigger than it looks in the photos.

https://stargazerslo...skytee-2-mount/

I hadn't seen in real life, you're right it looks pretty chubby undecided.gif


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#21 3C286

3C286

    Mariner 2

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 02:06 PM

Hi Valerio

 

I would observe from my home, I've a big terrace and I can clearly see from SSO to NNE without buildings around me (I'm on a high floor).

I see. how wide (or is that deep?) is your terrace/balcony? If it's quite narrow, that would rule out longer scopes. There was another question recently about telescopes to observe from a balcony -- also from Italy. You might find something useful there?

 

https://www.cloudyni...from-a-balcony/

 

 

I'm using a Benro rated for 5kg, with a ball head sold with it. The problem is not only the tripod (which btw fully extended at 170cm generates a lot of vibrations), but the head too. It's a pita to loosen and tighten again every minute to reframe, and even when you center the object, there's no hope it will stay precisely pointed 'cause the weight of the binoculars makes it slowly fall down by half a degree or more. That's the reason I'd like to use a head with guided movements

That 5kg rating is presumably the maximum safety payload? That's a very light-weight tripod. I think you'll find a more substantial tripod + head nicer to use with your binoculars. Anyway, people on the Binoculars forum will help you out.

 

I'm open to any ideas as long as it keep down the weight and size :-D

That's the main reason why I've considere a mak, but could be also a schmidt or a small refractor. Furthermore, I would move the tele by car every now and then and I suspect that medium sized newtonians or dobsons' mirrors wouldn't like that. And I cannot properly re-collimate :-

I see. Given that you already have 15x70 binoculars, I think you'll get more out of it by getting a scope with a larger aperture that'll make a good difference to your view. 150mm (6") would be nice if you can manage it? Otherwise 127mm (5in)? Larger scopes tend to go hand-in-hand with heavier tripods so that's another thing to remember for portability. I guess it also depends on how big your balcony is.

 

I don't have experience with SCTs and Maks so I'll let others with experience to help you. 

 

Tak



#22 chenesis

chenesis

    Lift Off

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 08:18 PM

Hi Valerio

I see. how wide (or is that deep?) is your terrace/balcony? If it's quite narrow, that would rule out longer scopes. There was another question recently about telescopes to observe from a balcony -- also from Italy. You might find something useful there?


Well, it's a pretty large terrace. It's 2 meters deep on average (3m at some points) and somewhat 12 meters long, and then it turns 90 degrees and it's about 5-6 meters more in that direction.

I agree with you on the minimum size of 5inches btw, at that size it'd still be portable enough.

At the end of the day I decided to go for a dedicated bino tripod for now, and later a telescope mount as you all suggested. Now, I think I should start a new topic here on the forum, this time about the telescope itself laugh.gif


Edited by chenesis, 09 April 2024 - 04:46 AM.


#23 radiofm74

radiofm74

    Apollo

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 01:49 AM

 

I'm open to any ideas as long as it keep down the weight and size :-D
That's the main reason why I've considere a mak, but could be also a schmidt or a small refractor. Furthermore, I would move the tele by car every now and then and I suspect that medium sized newtonians or dobsons' mirrors wouldn't like that. And I cannot properly re-collimate :-

Hey Valerio, is there a particular reason why you think cannot re-collimate a newtonian? There is a small learning curve, but collimating the primary of an F/5 newt (in my experience as a beginner) was easy as pie. The secondary is an adjustment you may never have to do. It took me more effort to learn how to collimate an SCT (and they do need collimation from time to time, car or no car…). By the way, no system of mirrors likes car transport all that much, but it's no tragedy either. I've taken my 8", f/4 newtonian under dark skies two nights ago by car, and it needed no collimation on arrival. 

 

I'm pointing this out because in your situation – which resembles mine closely – you might be ruling out the best solution for you as far as telescopes are concerned: a reflector scope of some sort around 6/8 inches. I observe from a terrace resembling yours in Milano most of the time, with occasional trips to dark sites. If you want to observe lunar and doubles mostly (which is a good idea for a metropolitan observer) a 4" ED doublet is a great instrument. However, if you aspire to observe any DSOs, even just the bright ones, from your Bortle 9 balcony, 6" is a minimum requirement, and 8" is better. And while Rod Mollise recommends with good reason an SCT to the urban astronomer, as large as you can afford and use, I think that a beginner not having a GoTo mount positively needs a wider field. As an all-rounder, a 6", shortish (f/5 or thereabouts) newtonian might be just the ticket. Having a refractor AND an SCT – wide field and good "reach" – is a good alternative, but also a lot more money. 

 

Just thoughts for when you'll decide to take the big leap. And of cours, just IME, YMMV, and all the usual disclaimers ;D


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