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  #1  
Old 25-08-2017, 08:14 PM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Hello from a Beginner

Hi everyone,

So I've always been intrigued and mesmerised by the universe and recently shopping at Aldi on my birthday my wife and i saw the Nat geo 76/700 reflector telescope for $100. My wife was enthusiastic for me to buy it and i obliged.. of course. I know this scope is not the best but for $100 i thought i'd give it a go to dabble into the hobby and see how i go.

Well looking at the moon the day i purchased it and seeing the rings of Saturn the night after has left me obsessed. As well as reading everything i can find online about all different topics, i have purchased the Atlas of the southern night sky which is keeping me busy reading.

I particularly purchased the book to direct me at points of interest in the night sky. At the moment I've literally only been seeking out Saturn over the last few weeks and marvelling at its rings.

As amazing as Saturn looks through the telescope I've noticed that stars are actually much harder to observe (more dull) compared to my Nikon 10x50 binoculars. Is that due to the telescope being on he cheap side? I am also aware that viewing from my location is pretty much horrible. I'm in Botany so lots of light pollution.

I've attempted to collimate the scope (founder it a lot harder than what i read haha) but think i got it better? maybe?

Anyway. Looking forward to really getting into stargazing and cant wait for Jupiter to be a bit higher in the night sky so i can find it in the scope.

Cheers

Greg

Last edited by Greggles; 25-08-2017 at 09:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 25-08-2017, 09:35 PM
gaseous (Patrick)
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Hi Greg, and welcome.

I recently bought the same scope as a beginner scope for my young son, and for $100 it's not a bad little unit - I've done a brief review somewhere else on the fourm. The eyepieces aren't great, as you may notice some blue fringing around the moon with them but the lunar views are pretty reasonable for the pricing. Even a few simple $25 plossl eyepieces would provide a step up in visual quality if you wanted to do an early upgrade.

Like you, I found that stars are a little on the dim side compared to binoculars, but that's probably par for the course for a telescope with such a small primary mirror under light polluted skies. I took my boy to a dark site with his scope along with my larger scope, and he was easily swinging his about through the milky way and found several globular and open clusters on his own, so under the right conditions it's a perfectly adequate beginner's scope. As you may become aware, there is an affliction known as "aperture fever", so you may find yourself looking longingly at larger scopes sooner rather than later, but don't rush in, and enjoy the new hobby!

PS - Jupiter is still visible in the early evening sky out to the west, but will be setting earlier and earlier - you should still be able to catch it and just make out some banding and the GRS under good conditions.
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  #3  
Old 26-08-2017, 08:19 PM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Thanks gaseous. Yeah i read that would be a good starting point in regards to upgrades. At the moment, for my full magnification, i'm using the 12.5mm eyepiece with the 3x Barlow. That gets me 167x which i know is just over the recommended max of 150x.

Would it be best to get a 12.5 plossl and use the barlow or go say a 5mm?

Awesome, ill have to go looking for jupiter. I think its been behind building and trees in the last spot i was at.

Thanks again.

Greg
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  #4  
Old 27-08-2017, 05:35 AM
gaseous (Patrick)
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The suggested maximum magnification for a scope (any scope, not just a low-end model) is rarely achievable due to seeing conditions, and you'll find views tend to become grainy/blurry as your magnification gets higher. A 5mm eyepiece will give you 140x magnification which is pretty much near the limit for this scope and unlikely to give optimum views unless seeing conditions are excellent. I don't know that these scopes are designed to be used at such high powers, (although the marketing material will try to tell you otherwise) and we've certainly had better views using it for lower mag wide field viewing. A 5mm EP in any sized scope is probably going to give you magnification that atmospheric conditions will only occasionally allow you to use - I have 8" and 16" dobs and rarely use a 5mm EP. Enjoy your scope for what it is, and remember Christmas is just around the corner if you want a bigger scope!
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2017, 03:35 PM
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Pinwheel (Doug)
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I love the Aldi sales & I was first in on Saturday morning to buy the big Jukebox. Anyway it's a great start & no matter what you buy remember it's never big enough.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2017, 03:49 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinwheel View Post
I love the Aldi sales & I was first in on Saturday morning to buy the big Jukebox. Anyway it's a great start & no matter what you buy remember it's never big enough.
Never a truer word said ..

Greg, I started with a second hand $50 114mm f8 newt off the local TradeMe site. Now I have about 5 in ascending scale of size and still planning the next one.

Just beware of the dark slippery slope of the Black Hole of Astrophotography. THAT is the really dangerous one..
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2017, 09:25 AM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroID View Post
Never a truer word said ..

Greg, I started with a second hand $50 114mm f8 newt off the local TradeMe site. Now I have about 5 in ascending scale of size and still planning the next one.

Just beware of the dark slippery slope of the Black Hole of Astrophotography. THAT is the really dangerous one..
Ah yes. I'm learning very quickly about the ever need to go bigger and better! Just ordered a webcam adapter and am going to modify an xbox cam I have lying around for a bit of Astrophotography/planetary imaging.

I have also attached a photo I took of the moon the other night on the 4th. Afocal technique with iphone 6 and a 25mm lense. Short video and stacked using autostackert! A little post processing in photoshop but i really didn't know what i was doing.

edit. i coudl upload the image cause its a 200kb max and the image is 4mb. Once i figure out how to drop it to 200kb without losing all of the clarity i will do so.

Greg
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2017, 09:29 AM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Here is the photo.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Moon iphone 6 04.09.17 25mm.jpg)
179.6 KB49 views
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:32 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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Ooops, now you're in trouble on the slippery edge ....
Good start, you seem to have some chroma problems ( se the blue edge ? ) but you'll soon figure it out. That's when you start to slide ...
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  #10  
Old 15-09-2017, 11:47 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Cool

Welcome to the universe.

A few things to consider.

Assuming that scope takes 1.25" eyepieces, eypieces are universal so you can move them from scope to scope. Investments in eyepieces for this scope can be carried forward.

Plossls are the bargain of the astronomy eyepieces. They are low cost yet give bright sharp images. People are crazy for wide view eyepieces, but Plossls give the best bang for the buck in terms of field of view and a sharp image. Even many of the off brand Plossl eyepieces are quite good. If you are a tight budget, these are great!

Zoom Eyepieces - I have 20 eyepieces for my 3 scopes but I spend most of my time with my zoom eyepieces. The Celestron 8-24 zoom (US $65, I am in the USA) is quite inexpensive and produces images comparable to my Plossl eyepieces. You might want to consider one. That, combined with your barlow, will likely give you the full range of magnifications for your telescope with just the zoom and the barlow.

I usually recommend a 32 mm Plossl, for low power wide views, a zoom and a barlow as the optimum combination for many people. And I have many other eyepieces available, but I just love the zoom.

For example, in my Meade ETX 80 mm refractor I have the 32 mm plossl for 12.5X and over 4 degree FOV. Very binocular like view. Then I drop in the zoom for 16X to 50X. I then drop that into a 3X barlow and have 50X to 150X. That is every magnification between 16X and 150X. All of them for the price of 1 or 2 Plossl eyepieces.
  • I never expected the zoom eyepiece to become my primary eyepiece, but it has.
  • The Celestron 8-24 zoom is good and comparable to my Plossl eyepieces ($65)
  • The Baader Hyperion zoom, which I also have, is great and comparable to my Explore Scientific eyepieces ( $289)
  • Watching doubles split as I rotate the barrel is wonderful
  • One filter serves over a wide range of magnifications, no screwing and unscrewing to try other eyepieces
  • Moving smoothly from and between small changes in magnification helps when seeing is not the best
  • I am always working at the optimum magnification for this target.
  • Sharing the view with others is easier, especially in my manual tracking Dob - I hand it over at low mag so it stays in the view longer. They zoom back in to whatever magnification works best for them.
  • My eyepiece case has been greatly simplified
  • Kids love the zoom


Over time you will spend far more on eyepieces than you will spend on telescopes, so don't be surprised. Some eyepieces can be over $800 US.

Last edited by AEAJR; 16-09-2017 at 12:05 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:00 AM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Christmas is here! And I'm ready to purchase my new eye peices!

Has any one else had much experience with the zoom as mentioned above.

In regards to Plossl eye peices should I be looking at a particular brand? I'm looking for something affordable and what I've come up with so far is the national geographic plossl eyepiece on special from 40 to $20 or the bintel eyepiece for 50.

Any suggestions or advice?

Cheers

Greg
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:44 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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I presume this is for the Nat geo 76/700 reflector telescope listed in the first post.


You have my comments on the Baader zoom. That eyepiece may be a bit expensive for you. You might wish to look at the Celestron 8-24 zoom which is about 1/4 the price. I have both.

If you search on Baader Hyperion zoom or some combination of that you should find posts. Also BHZ is a common abbreviation.

Sane for Celestron Zoom.



Plossls - GSO, Celestron, Meade and Orion all seem to be very good. I have pieces of each. Tele Vue is reputed to have the best but at 2-3X the price.

I don't recommend Plossls below 10 mm as the eye relief gets quite short.


I am in the USA so you will need to check local source to see if these are available.

good eyepieces at moderate prices:

AT Paradigm Dual ED
https://www.astronomics.com/astro-te...ieces_c52.aspx

I believe the StarGuider series is the same eyepiece
https://agenaastro.com/catalogsearch.../?q=starguider


Both of the above eyepieces get consistently good reviews. Wider field of view than a Plossl and better eye relief, especially at shorter eyepiece focal lengths.


Orion Expanse
https://www.telescope.com/Accessorie...?ensembleId=55

I have not used these but they seem to be a pretty good value and get high ratings on the Orion Website.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2017, 07:59 AM
Greggles (Gregory)
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Thanks for the advice. Based on your first reply (and my budget) I have just ordered at Celestron zoom eye piece.

Thanks again, Will feedback on how it works with the scope.

Cheers
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2017, 09:46 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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When I am using my zoom eyepieces I stop concerning myself with focal lengths or magnifications as I move between them effortlessly. Th eyepiece disappears, in a manner of speaking, as I focus my attention on the target, not the eyepiece.

The only time I am aware of the focal length setting on the zoom is when I am making notes for my observing report. Other than that I pay no attention to focal length.

I find I spend most of my time in the 18 mm to 8 mm part of the range. I only know that because someone asked me and I had to notice what I was donig.

Normally I start with a low power wide view eyepiece. In a 1.25" focuser that would be a 32 mm Plossl or perhaps a 25/26 mm of some kind. Then I switch to the zoom where I am looking for the optimum magnification.

As a result I don't spend a lot of time in the 24 to 20 mm range. I start there but quickly move to more magnification. I may drop back to the low power end to regain something that has slipped out of the field of view. Or I use it when I hand the scope over to someone else. Then they can turn the barrel to get the magnification that is most pleasing to them.

Likewise, when I add the barlow, I may start at 24 mm but I soon leave it for higher magnification.

That is how I use it.
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