Discussion in 'Astrophotography and Imaging' started by Ed D, Feb 7, 2022.
Started by Ed D on Feb 7, 2022 at 9:05 AM
OK, I'm just showing off now.
If ya got it, FLAUNT IT, lol! Looking good, Dave
Thanks lol. I thought the low profile adapter might give me slightly more in-focus. Most of my refractors have aftermarket Baader adapters. I decided to go TV with the Titchy. You can rely on TV and Baader. I feel better knowing that expensive diagonals and eyepieces are held safely in the visual back. Even better if it looks good!
I’ve been experimenting with eyepiece combinations with the Titchy Sixty (again). The 19mm Panoptic is essentially de rigueur. Apart from being my favourite eyepiece it gives a nice 3.1mm exit pupil for about 19x. Enough exit pupil to use some ultra high contrast or OIII filters on such a small scope. In an effort to simplify things and keeping the overall weight down I’ve tried a variety of eyepiece combinations.
Theoretically it’s been suggested that you could use as little as three oculars. Basically low, middle, and high magnifications. So, how about two eyepieces and a Barlow? I’ve used a 6mm Expanse and Orion 2x Shorty combination in the past. I decided on a TV Barlow and a 6mm Vixen SLV this time. These will give just under 20x, just under 40x (Panoptic/Barlow), 60x and 120x (SLV/Barlow). The SLV only really has about a 50º AFOV but it punches well above its weight probably due to the lanthanum glass. Its colour separation and contrast are as good as any orthoscopic. Initially I thought the TV 2x Barlow might be a tad heavy and long in the 1.25” Everbrite. A 2x Vixen Deluxe and an Omegon (BST) short Barlow were also considered. I decided I couldn’t really go wrong with the TV.
First target was Izar, at 120x, with the SLV/Barlow combination. Conditions were average and a bit humid. The split was fairly easy with excellent contrast between the two stars. Next up was Alkalurops and then the Double Double. I Switched to the SLV on its own to find the other Double Double and the Hercules Clusters. I used the Panoptic on its own, then with the Barlow (37.8x) for a while. The Panoptic worked well in the Barlow and there weren’t any real balance problems. One advantage a long Barlow has over a shorter Barlow is that I can put slightly more distance between my knees and the AZ5 tripod legs! M57 and M27 could both just about be seen at 38x and 60x. I caught Iota Cassiopeiae with the SLV/Barlow, all three stars were quite distinct even though the conditions were far from perfect. As the transparency slowly deteriorated I managed the Summer Beehive with the 19mm Panoptic. This took me by surprise as I’d forgotten about this loose open cluster. For a brief period I wondered what it was. Will I stick with this combo? Only time will tell.
Another good session with the SLV/2xTV/Panoptic. The conditions were much less humid and I had until about 02:00 BST until the Moonrise.
I could see a few nebulae with the Titchy, including the Star Queen (M16).
Saturn was extremely sharp at 120x. Weirdest thing was when I was listening to BBC Radio Two with earbuds on my little DAB radio. I was observing Titan and Saturn at exactly the same time when the moons of Saturn are mentioned by Marc Almond.
Synchronicity or what?
Or maybe Synchronicity II?
Excellent report. I was up at dawn (again) not intending to do any observing but pulled out the Lil' Mak (127mm) and took a gander at Mars, inspired by your success at seeing detail. I saw some dark albedo features and I believe a hint of polar cap and a decided gibbous phase. It's getting exciting!
Thanks Reggie. I saw Mars again this morning with the Titchy Sixty. I believe the phase is at 86.1% now. I could see what was probably the southern polar cap but the NPH wasn't so visible. At 04:00 British Summer Time Mars was 1.339097 AU or 11.14 light minutes from Earth.
I like Sting, he's funny. Especially when he claims we all need to reduce our carbon footprint. This from a bloke with houses all over the world and a Learjet. Apparently his Learjet has been converted to run on Unicorn dung.
The Martians take a different view about Sting and have been dusting off the tripods. They are now about 200.3 million kilometres from Sting's Learjet. lol
I’m still finding the TV 2x Barlow, 19mm Panoptic & 6mm SLV ‘minimalist’ collection surprisingly versatile. The Panoptic gives about 19x and about 38x with the Barlow. So I’m pretty much covered for rich field and medium deep sky magnifications. The Panoptic Barlows surprisingly well in the 2x TV with no real vignetting or edge astigmatism even up to the field stop. The 6mm SLV gives 60x (1mm exit pupil) with 120x as the maximum. A couple of mornings ago I was observing Saturn. The conditions were not particularly good due to the humidity. When I switched to Jupiter it was a tad indistinct with atmospheric boiling at 120x. At 60x it just wasn’t really enough to see detail. So I wondered if the detached Barlow element from the TV 2x directly threaded into the SLV would give me an in-between magnification.
SvBony element and the 6mm SLV
This would be 90x or 96x depending how you calculate it, basically turning it into a 4mm (or thereabouts) eyepiece. I doubted the TV element thread would be compatible with the Vixen. I was correct. I decided to wait until I’d packed up and try some of my Barlow elements at a later date. The excellent Orion Shorty 2x Barlow element thread was also incompatible. Undaunted, I decided to try a few of my other short Barlow elements.
The Barsta-made Sky-Watcher fitted fairly well. The GSO was a very smooth fit, as was the SvBony 2x element. I performed a whole battery of daylight visual comparison tests with these elements. Then more tests compared with a 4mm SLV, GSO & Vixen 4mm Plossls, and finally 4mm Takahashi and Hutech orthoscopics. There honestly wasn’t much difference between any of them. The Takahashi ortho’ probably had the best overall contrast. I whittled it down to a choice between the SvBony and GSO elements to use with the 6mm SLV.
In this way I’d still really only be taking two eyepieces out with me. Both element housings appeared to be well made. I’m guessing they’re two element achromats. The GSO housing is slightly narrower and has a different focal plane to the SvBony. Probably as GSO 2x Barlows have 30mm barrels as opposed to the more common 22mm barrels used by SvBony and others. I can’t see any real difference between these elements when they are threaded into the 6mm SLV. However, I did think the SvBony had a smidgen more contrast, so it got the job.
I tested it Sunday morning on a variety of doubles and inevitably on Jupiter. I'm pretty impressed with the outcome and used it to view a Europa/Io conjunction.
The detached element fits snugly into this plastic container for transportation and is lighter than carrying another eyepiece. I also tried threading this into the 19mm Panoptic. The thread fits beautifully (which bloody well surprised me lol). Daylight trials seemed promising with no real vignetting. Although, as I suspected, there was some serious lateral astigmatism in the outer field when used to view star-fields.
Oh yeah, I forgot, I put the '4mm SLV' into the TV 2x to use on Mars. It sat slightly proud of the Barlow, due to the element. I could see the phase, NPH and a hint of the polar cap at 180x. It was surprisingly sharp considering I was getting an 0.3mm exit pupil. 180x is about 76x per inch of aperture!
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