Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My telescopes: past and present


1. Celestron C90: this is my first telescope, I never forget the view of Saturn and moon through it

2. Celestron C8: this is the cure for my aperture fever, I've used it extensively from inside my home for planets/moon with my Tech2000/Giro; I've also brought it with me for several trips in the darker areas in Hong Kong with my Unistar Lighter

3. Meade ETX 60: I bought it from ebay, in the hope to make it a remote observatory of the sun, yes, it did work basically, but with the lack of suitable space, and the need of a special design blocking filter, it never comes into real usage

4. Borg 45ED: this one is actually just a lens-in-cell with a custom made tube to connect to a focuser, another attempt to make a remote observatory, again it's not the best combination


1. Tele Vue Ranger: this is my second telescope and it's also the telescope which made me more involved in astronomy, this scope has been used extensively, and it brings back a lot of good memories. For this reason alone, I will never sell it.

2. Takahashi Sky90: this one is co-owned with my astronomy friend, it's still with me sometimes, and with my friend sometimes. It's a great scope afterall, very versatile.

3. Coronado PST: I bought it for disassembly, and it works very well, still some minor kinks to be ironed out for the scaling up project setup

4. Celestron C5: this one lives with me for many years and then I finally bought it from my friend, it's now my workhorse, if I want to shoot the planet/moon, or for some deep sky observation. This is not a C8 in any case, but this is the maximum aperture that we could have for what its size and weight can deliver, it's also one of the most important part of my PST scaling up project

5. Borg 45ED II: this is very successful, I would say despite it's my newest purchase, but I may have used it more often than any of my other scopes, with the Ranger as a close second, however, it will be used even more in the coming future, I even brought it along for aeroplane trip, it's simply compact and powerful, especially for the sun; it's also good for wide field observation where binoculars might not work if you want to share the view with others, this little gems on a small tripod will do this job very nicely

6. Pentax 10x50 PCF III: this made in Japan binoculars is hard to find these days when this kind of economic models are only made in China now, this is light and the image is crisp and bright, it's easy to be hand held as well, again I brought this one to aeroplane trip, and it's the one which reached the darkest sky which I've ever accessed.

7. Canon 10x30 IS: this one is actually replacing my Pentax, simply because it gives image as nice as my Pentax and at the same time, it also delivers a wider field of view at the same magnifications, the best thing is the IS which works extremely well. Frankly, after using this one for a couple of months, I'd say that I might eventually get myself a larger model, it's just a matter of time.

Sneak preview into the future:-

1. Another 5" fast achromat is coming, I planned to use it for solar work with a Herschel Wedge, I expect there are a lot of CA, but with a green filter, it's not going to be a major issue, and finally, it's going to shine in CaK, this one is cheap and with good quality, I believe it might win over the C5 for low power wide field deep sky work as well, let's see.

2. The 60mm CaK from Lunt's Solar: I want to see how good it performs for the above in CaK with the Baader CaK, my major concern will be bandwidth. I never worry about the resolution for the 5" scope above, but if the bandwidth is really limiting the whole game, the Lunt's might take over the above.

3. Canon 18x50 IS: this is my dream binoculars, I believe that it's really a killer for portable astronomy on wide field, however, the price tag is also a killer, so I'm waiting for any good chance. I won't get one in near future.

No comments: