What a top event..... The people were fantastic, the comet was phenomenal, and there was some great machinery dotted around the campsite areas. I had a good look through a lot of telescopes, and actually only used my four that I bought to the event for a total of around 20 minutes.
I have to say that the most impressive views I had all weekend were from the twin-mirror 12" binocular unit that Mark Suchting bought up with him. With two sets of 13mm and 24mm Pan Optic/Nagler EP's it presented the most incredible experience I have ever had behind a scope. Actually... in front in this case.
I have never approached a telescope and looked into it only to let out a physical "ghasp"
before. What I looked at blew me away. The extra depth that the twin mirror optics give you is simply sensational. While larger scopes may give you a bit more resolving power - they just don't give you that perception of "depth" that Marks design does. With wonderfully friendly eye relief, it is a very comfortable scope to use. The image presents as if projected onto a pane of glass several inches in front of your eyes. Once you swivel the focuser/EP assemblies around to suit your own eye separation, and adjust the mirror angles with respect to each other via two quick adjustment knobs, the image snaps into view and is clearer and more three-dimensional that you'd be normally used to seeing. What used to be points of light now look almost spherical. It's a really neat experience. Marks f/5 optics are just beautiful - as per usual. I'll do a full write up on it when I get a chance.
After standing by this scope until 2:30-3:00 in the morning on both Friday and Saturday nights, I took great pleasure in seeing and hearing others' comments as they took a look for the first time. Their reactions were universally similar to mine - ones of pure astonishment.
Anyway - I don't think that it'll be too hard to get Jenny to agree to me placing an order for a set of matched mirrors with Mark - but for a 10" model maybe...... Hmmmmm...
Time to get designing!
Great event. We'll be at the next one.