Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

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Dale
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Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#1 Post by Dale » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:03 pm

I know alot of you are experienced astronomical types, so I'll bet you can help. My 8x
binoc's leave a lot to be desired in my new environment. Ok for birding, but I'm looking
for something for a range of 1 to 50 miles.
Nights here are so clear so often, and no street lights, so I might
begin stargazing. I already have a monster tripod.
All I know is there are spotting scopes, that seem to max out at 60X, and serious astronomy
types. I would like the most power my $200 budget allows.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

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KurtM
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#2 Post by KurtM » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:12 am

You don't want "power" in a telescope, you want aperture. Aperture rules. The more aperture, which is diameter of objective lens (or mirror), the more resolution, period. And remember, binoculars are just two telescopes bolted together, so same applies ... although the fact that they're (usually) handheld make them rather a different subject.

With your budget, sounds like you want a short tube 80 (I own two; one for a spotting scope and one for a finder scope on my 16 incher, see below). Get both a 45 degree and 90 decree star diagonal to go with it, and a 25 mm to 30 mm eyepiece.

http://tinyurl.com/y968uan9
http://tinyurl.com/y9vm47mx
http://tinyurl.com/ycgbelwl

Better yet, get an 80 mm binocular and mount in on your tripod. I can't believe this one is so cheap, but it has a couple good reviews:

http://tinyurl.com/y8w4x7cx

Image
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/

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wporter
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#3 Post by wporter » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:28 am

This is a vast subject, more complicated in some ways than microscopy, and has a lot of scope for debate (sorry, I couldn't resist). Your best bet is to hook up with a local astronomy club and try a bunch of scopes at star-parties, or at peoples' houses, until you get a feel for the range of size, cost, and types of telescopes available and what satifies your particular needs the best.

I would shy away from refractor spotting scopes. They tend to be very costly (for anything any good) and poor light-gatherers, much more suitable for daytime use; in astronomy, they only would be good for lunar observations. The closest thing to a spotting scope size, with good astronomical quality, would be something like a Celestron C90 Maksutov/cassegrain (#52268) : small, relatively cheap, and the same or less chromatic aberration as a $2000 apochromatic refractor birding spotting scope. You could use it on your big photo tripod just fine.

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#4 Post by Dale » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:34 am

Kurt, your 'better yet' idea looks promising. The one you suggested has very little eye relief, but I
will look more. None of the telescopes I looked at had good reviews from experienced users.
99% of my use will be viewing the scenery from the living room. The improvement from my old
8x40 brand X binocs to the Nikon 7x50's was phenominal, just like the microscopes! I will
scope out both your suggestions. (take that wp!) :)
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

charlie g
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#5 Post by charlie g » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:46 pm

Keep in mind, Dale, that if the joy of periodic nightface views of our skies lures you out of your home , out from limitations of window views ...you must have those ergonomic 45 degree, or 90 degree angled eyepieces...so much splendor resides at 45 degrees..and up to our skies zenith. Straight through optical path binoculars held on a stable tripod still 'crank/fatique/ cause neck ache after a very brief spell of uncomfortable observing.

Please visit http://www.cloudynights.com for 'arm chair' orientation of binoc and telescope activities. I sense tripod held 80mm aperture (or higher) binocs are a good way to ease into terrestrial (from your window you say) , or sky viewing. Locate area astronomy clubs..to try and then by used such binocs...in the mails..jolts may knock optical prisms out of alighnment...always good to find a local used buy of large binocs. Do not buy large aperture (80 mm or higher) with 'straight optics'..it really is uncomfortable for your meck! Charlie guevara

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#6 Post by Dale » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:20 pm

Rodger, Charlie, and that is a good site. There are a few stores that carry the uber-expensive
spotter scopes, so I can see what 60x does
It was very interesting reading the features list for some of the tely's, strangely
resembled the hyped up lists aimed at the numbers only shoppers.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

apochronaut
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#7 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:06 pm

Has anyone ever tried using a long focal length apochromatic process lens as a telescope objective? Some of the relatively less sexy brands can go for very low $.

Rodney
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#8 Post by Rodney » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:09 am

For over 15 years I have been using my Celestron C-5. I generally use this scope more as a high powered and large spotting scope than for astronomical use, but this one will get you into the moon craters for sure.
I hope they still make these scopes as good as the older ones but who knows. They were rather pricey at the time I purchased this one.
At one time I had some nice photos of it in a good Bogen tri-pod.
Rodney

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#9 Post by Rodney » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:14 am

I forgot to mention the reason I purchased the C-5 was after the Sky & Telescope article "Measuring the Universe", dated October 1993. This article has test reviews of the new Celestron C-5. I`m not sure if you can pull these old issues up are not since I haven`t looked yet. Nice read about the universe also.
But anyway this is a good universal scope as far as i`m concerned and they say everything you want in a telescope.
More than likely the new ones are made in China???
Rodney

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#10 Post by Dale » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:45 am

I have a Celestron Ultima 20-60 80mm spotting scope on its way :) Anybody
have a solar filter I can borrow/rent/buy for a few weeks? I just heard about the eclipse.
Might not get to see much, we are getting hammered by Canadian forest fire
smoke.
Apo, I will see what happens with my collection of eyepieces.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

billbillt
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#11 Post by billbillt » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:33 pm

Hi Dale,

Congratulations on your purchase.. I am also looking forward to the eclipse.. Maybe you could purchase something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solar-Eclipse-G ... 2749.l2649

You could wear a pair to watch the eclipse and have some left over for others to use also...

BillT

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#12 Post by Dale » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:54 pm

Those are glasses, and would not arrive til after the event. Daystar makes a 50mm
for $22, best price I've found. If this Canadian smoke gets any worse I won't need
a filter. (just kidding)
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

billbillt
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#13 Post by billbillt » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:12 pm

You couldn't wear a pair and peer through your scope?.. Surely a proper filter would be best..

BillT

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#14 Post by rnabholz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:42 pm

billbillt wrote:You couldn't wear a pair and peer through your scope?.. Surely a proper filter would be best..

BillT
Important to be clear on this, filtration for solar observing MUST be positioned at the aperture of the telescope, NOT after.

The simple filters in those glasses are not intended to handle the concentrated magnified energy gathered by the large aperture of a telescope and focused by an eyepiece. You would likely see them melted through in a few seconds, exposing your eye to potentially blinding energy.

They are also not suitable for use with binoculars either.

They are fine for unmagnified observation, simply looking up at the sun with them on.

Some older telescopes marketed in the 50s and 60s came with "solar filters" designed to be attached to the eyepiece. They would get so hot that they would shatter, exposing the user to very harmful intense light. If you have one of these filters, don't use it, and destroy it so that no one else will.

Be careful and follow all instructions for the use of solar observing devices to the letter. You only get one mistake.....

Good information here:

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety.html

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#15 Post by Dale » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:02 pm

Good job, thanks Rod. My lawn sprinkler installer just told me all I needed was a welders visor,
me thinks he has sniffed too much pvc glue!
Well, UPS just delivered the scope, a week early. Bring on the moon.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

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rnabholz
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#16 Post by rnabholz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:32 pm

Actually, a #14 welders glass is safe to use, but that is a very dark glass, usually used for very bright arc welding.

Welder's shields for other types of less bright welding processes would not be safe though.

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#17 Post by billbillt » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:31 am

rnabholz wrote:
billbillt wrote:You couldn't wear a pair and peer through your scope?.. Surely a proper filter would be best..

BillT
Important to be clear on this, filtration for solar observing MUST be positioned at the aperture of the telescope, NOT after.

The simple filters in those glasses are not intended to handle the concentrated magnified energy gathered by the large aperture of a telescope and focused by an eyepiece. You would likely see them melted through in a few seconds, exposing your eye to potentially blinding energy.

They are also not suitable for use with binoculars either.

They are fine for unmagnified observation, simply looking up at the sun with them on.

Some older telescopes marketed in the 50s and 60s came with "solar filters" designed to be attached to the eyepiece. They would get so hot that they would shatter, exposing the user to very harmful intense light. If you have one of these filters, don't use it, and destroy it so that no one else will.

Be careful and follow all instructions for the use of solar observing devices to the letter. You only get one mistake.....

Good information here:

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety.html


Thanks for the link Rod.. It makes sense.. Glasses cannot be used on a magnified view of the sun...


BillT

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Aenima
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#18 Post by Aenima » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:33 pm

BAADER solar film is great for the price - just cut a bit out and make your own aperture mask. It just needs to cover the front.

You'll be able to safely view the eclipse and afterwards use it to see sunpots.

http://agenaastro.com/solar-astronomy/w ... arium.html

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#19 Post by billbillt » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks Aenima,

Making you own solar filter is the most cost effective method.. Cheap enough...

BillT

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#20 Post by Aenima » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:02 pm

With the sun's size and brightness you won't actually need a full aperture mask filter - you can get away with a small piece in the center of a card or plastic mask.
Still plenty of light will get through, and its cheaper and easier that way.

Mine is made using the small 50mm dust cap - the kind of dust cap that has an even smaller hole with a cap on it. With about 2 inch square of actual baader film. As long as no light gets through or around the homemade mask you'll be fine.

These film filters are much safer than the old screw on eyepiece types, and will prevent heat build-up and allow you to use your regular eyepieces or accessories on the scope.

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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#21 Post by Rodney » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:16 am

Was like a good cloud cover in my area, nothing to report back. Some had a lot better views.
Rodney

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Dale
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Re: Telescope/spotting scope advice or offers wanted

#22 Post by Dale » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:59 am

Sorry to hear that, Rodney, I lucked out. Got the filter material, and a cool mount, and all
assembled in time for great pictures. Early morning fog burned off for a sunny Sequim
day.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

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